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Frank G. Abell photographs

 Collection — Photo Box: 1
Identifier: PH 200_003

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of 21 images, primarily portraits of recidences of Oregon dating from the mid 1870s to the late 1880s. The images span Abell's studio career in Oregon including images from Abell and Welsh in Ashland Oregon, Frank G. Abell Photographer in Portland, and Abell and Son in Portland.


  • 1876-1888


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Frank George Abell Jr. (1844-1910) was a noted commercial photographer who worked from San Francisco, California to Tacoma, Washington between 1862-1910. Abell was born in Roscoe, Illinois, and moved to California in 1857. He began his photography career working for William Shew's gallery located on Montgomery St., San Francisco in 1863. Abell married Kate C. Lauder in 1863, and the couple had two children, Emma May born 1864 and George L. Abell born 1866. Abell worked for various photography studios before opening his own studio with John Oliver Welsh (Abell and Wesh 1876-1877) located first in Ashland, Oegon and later Eugene, Oregon. In 1877 Abell moved to Portland and opened his own gallery located at 167 and 169 First Street. In 1884 Abell moved his gallery to 29 Washington Street and made his son George a partner (Abell and Son 1884-1887). After ending the partnership in 1887, Elbridge W. Moore bought Abell out in 1888. Abell briefly had galleries located in Corvallis, Oregon in 1886 and Colfax, Washington in 1888. Abell returned to San Francisco in 1888 or 1889 where he opened a gallery which later became Abell and Priest when he partnered with Charles F. Priest until 1897. Abell and Priest won a diploma for their cabinet cards and photographs at the 1890 Industrial Exhibition of the San Francisco Mechanics' Institute. At their height Abell and Priest ran three gallery locations in San Francisco, Stockton, and Chico, California. Abell returned to Portland, Oregon in 1897 where he worked until his retirement in 1901, in partnership with David C. Herrin and M.E. Herrin (Abell and Herrin Company). Abell returned to photography in 1909 opening a gallery in Tacoma, Washington. In September 1909 Abell was elected president of the Photographers Association of the Pacific Northwest. Abell died July 21, 1910 in Tacoma, Washington and was buried in Portland, Oregon. Other notable awards and positions held by Abell included first prize awards for entries to the Oregon Mechanics' Fair in 1878, 1879, 1881, 1887, and vice president of the Oregon delegation to the National Convention of Photographers in Chicago in 1880.

Citation: Palmquist, Peter E., and Kailbourn, Thomas R. Pioneer Photographers of the Far West : A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000. Pp. 77-78.


1 linear feet (1 container) : 1 Photo Box

Language of Materials



Frank G. Abell (1844-1910) was a noted commercial photographer who worked from San Francisco to Tacoma, 1862-1910. The collection consists of 21 images, primarily portraits, dating from the mid 1870s to the late 1880s.

Related Archival Materials note

These images were originally part of the Print Collection.

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Normandy S. Helmer. Revised by Emily Haskins.

Guide to the Frank G. Abell photographs
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Normandy Helmer. Revised by Emily Haskins.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA