The Panorama Man: H.S. Stovall

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

View of Newton, Ks from the roof of the Opera House, taken by H.S. Stovall.

“Photography is history and in a book like the Semi-Centennial edition of the Kansan, the the contribution of this profession to its success is obvious.” -Editors of the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Kansan, 22 August 1922.

Harvey County was fortunate to be home to several talented photographers that documented the progress of  county communities through photographs. From the earliest photo taken in the summer of 1871 to today, HCHM has an extensive collection of images created by Harvey County photographers.

H. S. Stovall was one of several photographers active in the county in the early 1900s.  Born in Kentucky in 1872, Stovall moved with his parents to Missouri. He attended the Chillicothe Normal School and Business Institute located in Chillicothe, Mo.  While studying business at the college, Stovall became interested in photography. After he graduated, he “devoted his entire business energy to this profession.”

Evening Kansan Republican, 9 September 1909.

By 1909, this “progressive business man” had moved to Harvey County where he was “an earnest worker for the best interests of Newton.”


H. S. Stovall

He opened a gallery above Hanlin’s Department Store at 603 Main in Newton, Ks.  Stovall provided many of the images for the 1911 Souvenir publication “Newton, Ks: Past & Present, Progress & Prosperity.”

Panorama Photography

One focus of his work was on creating panoramas including one taken pre-1915 from the roof of the Opera House.

View of Newton, Ks from the roof of the Opera House, taken by H.S. Stovall.


Enlargement  looking east.

Enlargement looking north.

Large Groups Photos

He also was a popular photographer when the subject was a large group.

District Meeting. Church of the Brethren, 1015 Oak Newton, Ks. 1911 taken by H.S. Stovall.


McMannus Employee Picnic, June 11, 1914, Photo by Stovall.


1st Christian Church, Main & E 1st, Newton, 1918. Photo by Stovall.

Senior Photos

Florence Holmes, 1928.

NHS Class of 1922, by Stovall.


Janet Parris, 4 years old, 1916. Photo by Stovall.


Evening Kansan Republican, 19 August 1914.

In 1924, Stovall is listed on Socialist Ticket Presidential Electors, along with Reed Crandall from Newton, Ks.

Council Grove Republican, 24 July 1924.

He was an active photographer in the Newton community throughout the 1920s.

Evening Kansan Republican, 10 December 1920.

By the 1930s he is advertising in Dodge City, Kansas newspapers and the Catholic Advance.

The Independent, 9 July 1938.


Catholic Advance,9 February 1935.

The last advertisement that was found for this article was in the Catholic Advance January 16, 1942. Stovall would have been about 70 years old.

Catholic Advance, 16 January 1942.

If you have information on H.S. Stovall, contact HCHM.

Other Harvey County Photographers

Charles L. Gillingham, W.E. Langan, F.D. Tripp, W.R. Murphy,  Mrs. B.F. Denton.


  • Catholic Advance: 1 October 1929,  2 February 1931, 9 February 1935, 9 July 1938, 16 January 1942.
  • Council Grove Republican, 24 July 1924.
  • Evening Kansan Republican: 9 March 1909,   20 April 1909, 7 September 1909, 9 September 1909, 8 September 1910, 13 February 1913, 6 March 1913, 19 August 1914, 5 September 1914, 8 March 1916, 17 April 1917,  8 September 1917,  30 September 1918, 10 May 1920, 17 September 1920, 21 September 1920,  30 September 1920, 20 October 1920, 23 October 1920, 10 December 1920, 22 August 1922,1 September 1920.
  • The Independent: 27 July 1922,  2 November 1922.
  • Newton City Directories: 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919, 1931, 1934, 1938.
  • United States Census: 1900, 1910.
  • Kansas State Census: 1915.

Picture Man: William S. Prettyman

 by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

The culture of the Native Americans in the late 1880s and 90s was fascinating to white Euro-Americans, even as it was changing and disappearing. As a result, there was opportunity for photographers to open studios and sell prints of life in the West. The time period between 1875 and 1920 is sometimes called the “Golden Age of Western Photography.” One area of particular interest was focused on the live of Native Americans.

William S. Prettyman

One photographer was William S. Prettyman.  Born in Maryland in 1858, Prettyman first came to Emporia, Ks in 1879 “with 5 cents in his pocket.”

William S. Prettyman. Photo courtesy Prettyman, Don.  “William S. Prettyman: Frontier Phtographer.

He eventually made his way to Arkansas City, Ks where he apprenticed with I.H. Bonsall, a well-known Civil War photographer. In 1883, he made his first foray into Indian Territory in his cameras and other equipment in a custom built buggy pulled by oxen.

Custom built buggy for trips into Indian Territory. Photo courtesy Prettyman, Don.  “William S. Prettyman: Frontier Phtographer.

The Picture Man

This became an annual tradition and he quickly became known as “the Picture Man” among the Native Americans he met.  He made friends easily and was at first interested in the Osage tribe, but over the years his interested expanded to include the Ponca, Otoe, Iowa, Sac, Cheyenne, Arapahos, Shawnee, Cherokee and Pottawatomie. He was able to photograph many of the principal chiefs of the various groups.

In general, his work is described as “journalistic and documentary, rather than pictorial.” He “resented the acculturation” he observed and tried to document  customs and rituals. He wanted his photographs to show Native Americans “in their natural state of living, before civilization took them off of their land.” 

There are two photos taken by Prettyman in the Photo Collection at HCHM.

Photographer William S. Prettyman, n.d. HCHM Photo Collection.

Photographer William S. Prettyman, n.d. HCHM Photo Collection.

 Prints, like the ones above, were typically mounted on cabinet cards, boudoir cards, and stereographs and marketed to  tourists  and easterners who displayed the photos in their homes.

Cherokee Outlet

After about 10 years, Prettyman moved to Blackwell, Ok where served as mayor. He continued to take photographs.

In September 1893, the opening of the Cherokee Outlet, gave him the opportunity to take one of the  first motion photographs. To get  photographs of the action, he had to make plans well in advance and in secret. He hired men to build a 3 story platform near the starting point, but they were not told why.  Prettyman was also careful to stay away from the construction of the platform. All of his efforts to keep his plan a secret paid off. He was able to set up four cameras by the noon opening of the run.  He instructed his employees to “squeeze the bulbs of their camera at two-second intervals as soon as the race began.” Four photos were taken, since each camera could only take one picture. With everything set up and ready to go,  Prettyman decided to enter the land run himself and let his assistants take the photographs.

Opening of Cherokee Outlet or Cherokee Strip. Photo by William S. Prettyman, September 1893. Photo courtesy Prettyman, Don.  “William S. Prettyman: Frontier Phtographer.

Of the four photographs, one was destroyed because is was considered poor quality. One caught the moment the race began, another showed the slower wagons behind the horses and the final photo showed the racers fanning out. Prettyman’s photo of the opening  of the Cherokee Outlet “became one of the most famous images of that era.”

He reportedly made over 10,000 pictures over the length of his career.

In 1905, he sold the studio, including the negatives, to George W. Cornish and moved to California.  In California, he operated a wholesale drug business.

He died in California in 1932.


  • Prettyman, Don.  “William S. Prettyman: Frontier Phtographer at
  • Drouin, Jeremy, “Photographing Native Americans in Oklahoma-Indian Territory, KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library at
  • John R. Lovett, “Prettyman, William S.,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, (accessed September 12, 2017).

Snapshot in time: George Kirk Family

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

When researching history, sometimes the only clues are a photograph. This is the case of a photograph of the George Kirk farm.

George Kirk Farm, ca. 1885, near Halstead, Ks. Photo courtesy Jim Brower.

George Kirk Farm, ca. 1885, near Halstead, Ks. Lt-Rt ground: William, George Sr, Albert, Jane Kirk. Balcony Lt-Rt: Agnes, Maggie, James, Thomas, Jane, George Jr. Photo courtesy Jim Brower.

George & Jane Cooper Kirk: Harvey County Pioneers

The obituary for George Kirk of Halstead, Kansas noted:

“He at once distinguished himself as a pioneer of the kind that has made Kansas the leading commonwealth of the world.”  (The Wichita Beacon, 12 December 1916, p. 3.)

So, who was this early Harvey County settler?

George Kirk born in Torrence of Campsie a suburb of Glasgow, Scotland 18 January 1840. He married Jane Cooper 21 October 1861. Their first child, William, was born in 1863 in Scotland.

George saw opportunities in the United States and in 1863 even “though the Civil War was raging, he set his face westward to bring his little family to the land where he thought there awaited them larger opportunities than were present in his native land.”

At first he worked as a coal miner and later, as a shaft foreman in the mines of northern Illinois.  In the spring of 1871, the Kirk family moved to Kansas and took a homestead a mile and half north of the growing town of Halstead.

Halstead Township, Harvey County, Historical Atlas of Harvey County, Philadelphia: J.P. Edwards, 1882.

Halstead Township, Harvey County, Historical Atlas of Harvey County, Philadelphia: J.P. Edwards, 1882.


George Kirk Farm, Section 26, Halstead Township, Harvey County, Edward’s 1882.

The Kirk family experienced tragedy in 1892. Nineteen year old, George, Jr, was living in Dighton, Ks, with his sister, Agnes and husband, William Curtis, when in a state of despair he “severed the Gordian know that bound him to this mundane state” and shot himself. In the letter he left to his parents he apologized for being “a very disobedient boy.”  He noted that they had “suffered more on my account than any of the rest of the family”  and urged his brothers “to obey their father and mother and they never will regret it all their days.” George had been living with his sister’s family for two months working with his brother in law on the railroad.  Agnes, his sister, had not seen any signs “which would lead him to the rash act.” She had brought the gun back with her from Halstead a few days earlier.

George Sr died at home in Halstead, Kansas 7 December 1916. He was  described as “hard working man of splendid integrity, faithful in every relation of life.” His wife, Jane Cooper Kirk, died 11 September 1917. They were survived by seven of their eight children.

L.A. Furlong, Halstead Photographer

Who was the photographer?

The photo was taken by L.A. Furlong, Halstead, Kansas. A census search revealed that John and Martha Furlong did live in Halstead at this time, but no connection could be found to L.A. Furlong.

A Google search revealed that there is at least one other photo attributed to “L.A. Furlong, Photographer, Halstead, Kansas.”



Other clues do not help much.

The 1867 St. Joseph, Missouri resident business directory lists L.A. Furlong.  In addition, L.A. Furlong is mentioned as a “Gen’l Western Agent of the New Nork [sic]Central railroad . . . at Olis” in the Atchinson Daily Champion, 28 January 1876.

The photo of the Kirk family was taken around 1885 based on the possible ages of the Kirk children.  The photo of “Chief Bull Thunder” is dated October 1885.

One other clue might be a brief news item in the Ottawa Daily Republic, 14 January 1888.  A “well-dressed man, supposed from the papers on his person to be L.A. Furlong, of Illinois” was left by the train conductor in San Antonio, Tx. Reportedly, the man was “insane or bewildered from the effects of some drug” and he could not “talk coherently, and nothing can be learned from him.”

furlog 001

No other information could be found related to the man left at the train station or about L.A. Furlong, Halstead Photographer.

Sources: George Kirk Family

  • The Wichita Beacon, 12 December 1916, 14 September 1917.
  • Evening Kansan Republican 14 December 1916, 11 September 1917.
  • Leavenworth Times 8 June 1892.
  • Dighton Herald, 9 June 1892.
  • Historical Atlas of Harvey County, Philadelphia: J.P. Edwards, 1882. HCHM Archives, Newton, Ks.  See also the Kansas State Historical Society at
  • Old Settler Official Program, 1917. HCHM Archives.
  • U.S. Census 1880, 1900, 1910.
  • Voter Registration, 1898, 1897. HCHM Archives.
  • Harvey County Marriage Licenses, HCHM Archives.

Sources: L.A. Furlong, Halstead Photographer

  •  Ottawa Daily Republic, 14 January 1888, p. 1.
  •  Atchinson Daily Champion, 28 January 1876.
  • St. Joseph, Missouri Residential and Business Directory, 1867. Jim Brower e-mail conversation with Susan K. Forbes, Historical Research Division, Kansas Historical Society, regarding the identity of L.A. Furlong.
  • Re: John & Martha Furlong Family. Evening Kansan,  25 February 1893, 18 May 1898, 26 May 1898, 31 December 1898, 9 January 1899,