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Singin' Sam Agins photograph collection, 1875-1990

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Agins, Sam.
Title
Singin' Sam Agins photograph collection
Dates
1875-1990 (inclusive)
1885-1980 (bulk)
Quantity
3.0 linear ft. , (3 boxes)
Collection Number
USU_P0134
Summary
Photographs from the 1940s to the 1980s and photographic postcards with images from the 19th century. The majority are black & white silver gelatin prints, 8" x 10" or smaller, although there are a few color prints and a large number of postcards. There is a total of 105 photographs (11 in color), 126 black and white proof sheets, 59 postcards (1 in color), 76 black and white negatives, and 18 posters. The majority of the images range from 1960 to 1980 and consist of the various places and festivals where Agins performed, the people that he performed with, and photos used in the photo-essay, Round Legs. Also includes photographs of a portrait of Agins painted by John Henry Waddell. Many of the photos were taken by Frederica Agins, some by professional photographers and event photographers, and a few by Agins' fans. The postcards are reproductions of 19th century "old west" images including Buffalo Bill, Native Americans, cowboys, stagecoaches, etc. Many of the photographs have negatives.
Repository
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
84322-3000
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
scweb@usu.edu
Access Restrictions
Restrictions

Open to public research.

Languages
English.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Singin' Sam Agins was born in Denver, Colorado on June 14, 1919 and he died in Sun City, Arizona on March 28, 1996. He was born with a congenital paralysis of both legs and only weighed 2 lbs. at birth. Agins was limited to using crutches or a wheelchair for mobility from childhood. Despite his disability he led a very active and full life. Sam's activities included guitar playing, making poetry, and writing and collecting music. In addition he was a leather craftsman, stringed instruments mechanic, and a maker of hand-tooled silver buckle jewelry and violins. On November 19, 1957 he married Frederica Agins (born May, 1938) and they had two sons, Judd and Joseph Agins.

Agins' passion was writing, collecting, and recording American folk songs, especially of the West. During the 1940s and 1950s he entertained disabled youth, veterans, and children in hospitals acting as an Ambassador of Goodwill Industries. In addition, he entertained prisoners in New Mexico, guests at dude ranches, and taught classes about folk singing throughout the American West. Agins was also the United States representative in 1976 at the Smithsonian Institution's Montreal Expo and also served as an expert on early American folk songs in Washington D.C. During the 1970s and 1980s he participated in the Festival of the American West and the Western Writers Conferences held in Logan, Utah.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes photographs from the 1880s to the 1980s. The majority of the images are black-and-white silver gelatin prints, 8" x 10" or smaller although there are a few color prints and a large number of postcards. There is a total of 105 photographs (11 in color), 126 black and white proof sheets, 59 postcards (1 in color), 76 black and white negatives, and 18 posters. The majority of the images range from 1960 to 1980 and consist of the various places where Agins performed, the people that he performed with, and photos used in Round Legs. Many of the photos were taken by Frederica, some by professional photographers and event photographers, and a few by Agins' fans. The postcards are reproductions of 19th century "old west" images including Buffalo Bill, Native Americans, cowboys, stagecoaches, etc. Captions and some of the inscriptions (or parts of due to the length) are copied exactly as they appear on the photo inside of quotation marks with additional information enclosed in brackets. Many of the photographs have negatives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Alternative Forms Available

View selected digitized images in this collection from the Singin' Sam Agins Collection

Preferred Citation

Singin' Sam Agins photograph collection, 1875-1990. (P0134). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 01
1:01:01: Agins performing around the campfire at Desert Willow Ranch, Tucson, Arizona Click to Access  
1949
1 02
1:02:01: Agins performing on KLZ Denver with radio personality Pete Smythe Click to Access  
1950s
1 03
1:03:01: Agins performing at a children's hospital Click to Access  
1940s
1 04
1:04:01: Performer entertaining around a campfire Click to Access  
1940s
1 05
1:05:01: Agins spinning a lasso around a boy Click to Access  
1950s
1 06
1:06:01: Agins spinning a lasso Click to Access  
1950s
1 07
1:07:01: Agins demonstrating a lasso Click to Access  
1950s
1 08
1:08:01: Agins performing around a campfire Click to Access  
1960s
1 09
1:09:01: Agins performing with his guitar around a campfire Click to Access  
1960s
1 10
1:10:03: Agins during a performance with his fiddle Click to Access  
1970s
1 10
1:10:02: Formal studio portrait of Agins Click to Access  
1970s
1 10
1:10:01: Agins with unknown woman during a performance Click to Access  
1970s
1 10
1:10:04: Agins performing at the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum Click to Access  
1980

John Henry Waddell original portrait of AginsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 11
1:11:01: Photograph of original portrait of Agins Click to Access  
see 1:15:03
1970s
1 11
1:11:02: Color copy photographs of an original portrait of Agins by artist John Henry Waddell
see 1:15:03
1 11
1:11:03: Agins, John Henry Waddell, and Lindsay Waddell with completed portrait Click to Access  
see 1:15:04.
1970s
1 11
1:11:04: Agins posing while John Henry Waddell paints Click to Access  
1970s
1 11
1:11:05: Agins posing while John Henry Waddell paints
negative available

Smithsonian Institution albumReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 12
1:12:01: Formal studio publicity portrait of Agins Click to Access  
1970s
1 12
1:12:02: Agins family Click to Access  
1922
1 12
1:12:03: Agins as a young man Click to Access  
1940
1 12
1:12:01: Formal studio portrait of Agins Click to Access  
1970s
1 13
1:13:02: Tracing of Agins from photograph Click to Access  
Undated
1 13
1:13:01: Formal studio publicity portrait of Agins with his guitar Click to Access  
1950s
1 14
1:14:02: Agins performing around a campfire with guitar and mandolin Click to Access  
1970s
1 14
1:14:01: Agins performing around a campfire with mandolin Click to Access  
1970s
1 15
1:15:01: Proof sheet of 35mm negatives Click to Access  
1970s
1 15
1:15:02: Agins during performance with his guitar Click to Access  
1970s
1 16
1:16:01: Agins playing a duet on the fiddle Click to Access  
Undated
1 17
1:17:01: Agins in motorized wheelchair Click to Access  
1980s
1 18
1:18:01: Agins in his wheelchair Click to Access  
Undated
1 19
1:19:01: Agins talking with a young woman Click to Access  
1970s
1 20
1:20:01: Agins and other performers on stage Click to Access  
1979
1 21
1:21:02: Agins relaxing at the home of a friend Click to Access  
ca. 1922
1 22
1:22:01: Agins performing at the Arizona Heritage Fest Click to Access  
1980s

Snapshot of TexasReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 23
1:23:01: Snapshot of Texas Jim Silver with his guitar
1 23
1:23:02: Snapshot of Texas Jim Silver with a record
1 23
1:23:03: Snapshot of Texas Jim Silver with his guitar

The Western Horseman, Sept. 1960Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 24
1:24:01: Clayton Barnes demonstrating his horse shoeing machine at the Elkhorn Ranch, Montana, 1960. Photographs taken for The Western Horseman by Clayton Barnes
1960
1 24
1:24:02: Clayton Barnes horse shoeing machine, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:03: A group of men trying out the machine on a horse, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:04: Clayton Barnes horse shoeing machine, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:05: Men working on the horse shoeing machine, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:06: Clayton Barnes demonstrating the machine which raises the horse horizontal, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:07: "Clayton Barnes and Bob Miller demonstrating his horse shoeing machine, and an electric sander to remove a horse shoe, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:08: Clayton Barnes shoeing the horse, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:09: Clayton Barnes shoeing the horse, "Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960
1 24
1:24:010: "Clayton Barnes demonstrating his horse shoeing machine, and an electric sander to remove a horse shoe, Sep 1960, The Western Horseman"
Sept 1960

Faces [People Making Silly Faces]   Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 25
1:25:01-05: 35mm negatives with proof sheet for 'Faces' book (1 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:02: 35mm negatives with proof sheet for 'Faces' book (2 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:04: Enlarged negative of a woman making a silly face for book 'Faces' Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:11-15: 35mm negatives with proof sheet for 'Faces' book (3 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:16: Enlarged negative of a man making a silly face for book 'Faces' Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:16-20: 35mm negatives with proof sheet for 'Faces' book (4 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:21: Enlarged negative of a man with glasses making a silly face (2 of 2) Click to Access  
Undated
1 25
1:25:21: Enlarged negative of a man with glasses making a silly face (1 of 2) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:01-02: Proof sheet for book, Faces (1 of 4) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:03-07: Proof sheet for book, Faces (2 of 4 Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:06: 35mm negatives with proof sheet for 'Faces' book (5 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:08-12: 35mm negatives for 'Faces' book (6 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:13-17: 35mm negatives for 'Faces' book (7 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:18-22: 35mm negatives for 'Faces' book (8 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:23-27: 35mm negatives for 'Faces' book (9 of 10) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:28-32: Proof sheet for book, Faces (3 of 4) Click to Access  
Undated
1 26
1:26:33-36a: Proof sheet from book, Faces (4 of 4) Click to Access  
Undated

Folder includes enlargements from 35mm negatives   Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 27
1:27:01-04: Woman walking Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:05: Enlargement of a wheelchair on a hill Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:10-15: Wheelchair on ice and ice skater (1 of 2) Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:16-21: Wheelchair on ice and ice skater (2 of 2) Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:16-21: Wheelchair on a hill Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:22-24: Wheelchair and shopping carts Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:25: Enlargement of a photo of a wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs Click to Access  
1989
1 27
1:27:25-30: Wheelchair on stairs Click to Access  
1989

Folder includes enlargements from 35mm negatives   Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 28
1:28:01-05: 35mm negative strip from Round Legs (10 of 10) Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:05: Enlargement of wheelchair at a bar Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:06-07: Wheelchair getting a speeding ticket Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:08-12: Wheelchair in various settings (1 of 4) Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:11: Enlargement of a wheelchair outside of a bathroom stall with a handicapped symbol Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:13-16: Wheelchair in various settings (2 of 4) Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:13: Enlargement of a wheelchair in front of a hand writing analysis table Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:17-18: Wheelchair in various settings (3 of 4) Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:19-22: Wheelchair in various settings (4 of 4) Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:25-29: Photo sheet strip of wheelchair at bar Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:30-33: Proof sheet strip of a series of photos of a wheelchair in various settings Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:34-35: Wheelchair and dog Click to Access  
1989
1 28
1:28:36-39: Proof sheet strip of a series of photos of a wheelchair in various settings Click to Access  
1989

Photographs for Round Legs with no negatives Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 29
1:29:01: Wheelchair with a guitar in front of a log cabin Click to Access  
Undated
1 29
1:29:04: Color image of a wheelchair with a harp in front of a lake Click to Access  
Undated
1 29
1:29:05: Color image of a wheelchair on a beach with birds Click to Access  
Undated
1 29
1:29:06: Color proof sheet with wheelchair on the beach and girls in costume Click to Access  
Undated
1 29
1:29:07: Color image of a wheelchair with crabs Click to Access  
Undated

Photographs from Rambler's Notebook Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 30
1:30:03: Agins sitting in a booth Click to Access  
Undated
1 30
1:30:06: Publicity photo of Agins Click to Access  
Undated
1 30
1:30:08: Unknown man next to 'Singin Sam' truck Click to Access  
Undated
1 31
1:31:01: Snapshot, the Dillon Hotel
1940s
1 31
1:31:02: Postcard announcing a 1990 exhibit entitled "Survivors: Underemployed workers in Third World Streets" by photographer Rolf Kjolseth at the University of Colorado, Boulder. On front is an image of a woman and carring her child labeled, "Overworked and Underemployed"; verso is signed by the photographer to Agins
1990
1 31
1:31:03: Brochure with color photograph on folk legend Don Pablo (1898-1974.)
1 32
1:32:01: Pancho Villa and his men
1 32
1:32:02: Pancho Villa's corpse, with a group of men surrounding it
1 32
1:32:03: Pancho Villa's corpse, "Sadaver de Francisico Villa and Hotel Hidalgo Parral Chihva
1 32
1:32:04: "Rattlesnake killing rabbit" in verso "Lucy Brown, Billings, Montana"
1 32
1:32:05: Copy photograph of a brochure advertising Harter's Liver Pills
1 32
1:32:06: Copy photograph of a brochure advertising Harter's Liver Pills
1 32
1:32:07: Unidentified cowboy performing with a lasso
1 32
1:32:08: "Old Occidental Hotel Where the Virginian got his man Buffalo, Wyoming"

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 33

Container(s) Description Dates
box folder
1 33
1:33:01: The Free State Saloon, Silverton, Colorado
ca. 1960s
1:33:02: St. John's Hospital, Jackson, Wyoming
ca. 1940s
1:33:03: Pioneer reenactment parade, Jackson, Wyoming. Cowboy Bar in background
1:33:04: Vista of Red River, New Mexico
ca. 1940s
1:33:05: Catalina Mountains from front patio of the Rancho Del Rio, Tucson, Arizona
1:33:06: Ranch house and north patio, Rancho Del Rio, Tucson, Arizona
1:33:07: "Pony Express--1947 Model" [woman on a horse], Rancho Del Rio, Tucson, Arizona
1:33:08: Jesse W. James, with crossed pistols
1:33:09: Great Northern Express Car, after being dynamited by Franhauser and MacDonald in train holdup near Rexburg, Montana

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 34

Container(s) Description
box folder
1 34
1:34:01: Jesse James in 1948 and at the age of 17
1:34:02: Gunmen Cole and Bob Younger
1:34:03: Corpse of Charley Pitts
1:34:04: Myra Belle Shirley, a.k.a. Belle Starr
1:34:05: Headstone of Belle Starr
1:34:06: Corpse of Clell Miller
1:34:07: Schribner White Horse Stage, Walcott, Wyoming to Saratoga, Wyoming
1:34:08: 'Comanche,' only horse to survive Custer's Last Stand
1:34:09: Round up, Saratoga, Wyoming
1:34:10: Round up scene

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 35

Container(s) Description
box folder
1 35
1:35:01: Rankin Stage Line, Bragg, Wyoming to Rawlins, Wyoming
1:35:02: Round up scene
1:35:03: Calamity Jane in a dress
1:35:04: Calamity Jane in fringed pants
1:35:05: Covered wagon days in Wyoming
1:35:06: Buffalo Bill show
1:35:07: Jesse W. James at 104
1:35:08: Captain W.C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson at 84
1:35:09: Jesse and Frank James with their mother
1:35:10: Hunting scene on old Wyoming ranch

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 36

Container(s) Description
box folder
1 36
1:36:01: Rawlins, Wyoming--Front St. south of railroad tracks
1:36:02: Bull train, Saratoga, Wyoming
1:36:03: Round up wagon, Saratoga Valley, Wyoming
1:36:04: Old stage line encampment, Wyoming
1:36:05: Wagon train arriving in Rawlins, Wyoming
1:36:06: Indian babies in papooses, copyrighted 1898 by Lee Moorehouse
1:36:07: Old blacksmith shop
1:36:08: Mule team trains leaving Rawlins, Wyoming for Ft. Washakie-Lander
1:36:09: Front street in Rawlins, Wyoming
1:36:10: "Boney Earnest"--one time buffalo hunter, Alcova, Wyoming

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 1

Container(s) Description
box folder
2 1
2:01:01: Hanging--Rawlins, Wyoming man unknown
2:01:02: Elderly Indian woman
2:01:03: Sitting Bull, Bismarck, Dakota, 1885
2:01:04: Sautee ferry boat
2:01:05: Settler's home, Oahe, Dakota
2:01:06: Indian tepee
2:01:07: Wagon on the prairie
2:01:08: Cheyenne village on the Yellowstone [from a stereograph.]
2:01:09: A group of people with a dog in a car, appears to be decorated for a parade
2:01:10: Broken Arm Chief--Sioux

PostcardsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 2

Container(s) Description
box folder
2 2
2:02:01: Indian chief
2:02:02: Curing buffalo hides--Cheyenne village [from stereograph.]
2:02:03: Mule train, James Carr's teams
2:02:04: Scaffolds--Indian dead bodies, Yankton Agency, Dakota Territory [from stereograph.]
2:02:05: Mountain man Jim Baker
2:02:06: Little Eagle
2:02:07: Indian encampment [from stereograph.]
2:02:08: Water team, Sautee, Nebraska

Photos from the American West Heritage CenterReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 2, Folder 3

Container(s) Description Dates
box folder
2 3
2:03:01: Photo of the oxen team, 'Yankee and Doodle' with unknown man, "100% Ox team"
negative available.
2:03:02: Publicity photo of Singin' Sam Agins"
"early '70s
2:03:03: Letter to Mr. Sherratt, VP for university Relations regarding the oxen team, 'Yankee and Doodle' from Russell G. Mawby President of W.K. Kellogg Foundation
2:03:04: Photo of the oxen team, 'Yankee and Doodle' with unknown man
negative available.
2:03:05: Biography of Peter Breck, from the Jay Bernstein Public Relations Inc
March 1975
2:03:06-13: Publicity photos of Peter Breck
[Eight copies.]
2:03:14: Negative of 3:03:01,4

Oversize, exhibition prints of photographs used in Agins' Round Legs (1989) and posters entitled, "The Horsetrader," used in poster with Agins' poem, "Eight Years Old, Comin' Nine" Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 01
3:01: Agins leaning on crutches demonstrating a lasso Click to Access  
Undated
3 02
3:02: Photograph entitled, 'The Horsetrader' Click to Access  
Undated
3 03
3:03 copy 2: Poster entitled, 'The Horsetrader' (2 of 3) Click to Access  
Undated
3 03
3:03 copy 3: Poster entitled, 'The Horsetrader' (3 of 3) Click to Access  
Undated
3 03
3:03 copy 1: Poster entitled, 'The Horsetrader' (1 of 3) Click to Access  
Undated
3 04
3:04: Exhibition print of empty wheelchairs Click to Access  
1989
3 05
3:05: Exhibition print of an empty wheelchair overlooking a vast canyon Click to Access  
1989
3 06
3:06: Exhibition print of a dog sitting in a wheelchair Click to Access  
1989
3 07
3:07: Exhibition print of a wheelchair for sale Click to Access  
1989
3 08
3:08: Exhibition print of a wheelchair set upon a saddle Click to Access  
1989
3 09
3:09: Exhibition print of a crab in a wheelchair Click to Access  
1989
3 10
3:10: Exhibition print of an empty wheelchair being towed Click to Access  
1989
3 11
3:11: Exhibition print of a wheelchair on the beach with birds Click to Access  
1989
3 12
3:12: Exhibition print of a police office pretending to write a ticket Click to Access  
1989
3 13
3:13: Exhibition print of a dog sitting by a fire hydrant and wheelchair wheel Click to Access  
1989
3 14
3:14: Exhibition print of an emtpy wheelchair pulled up to a bar Click to Access  
1989
3 15
3:15: Exhibition print of an empty wheelchair in a row of shopping carts Click to Access  
1989
3 16
3:16: Exhibition print of a woman ice skating and pushing an empty wheelchair Click to Access  
1989
3 17
3:17: Exhibition print text (2 of 2) Click to Access  
1989
3 18
3:18: Exhibition print text (1 of 2) Click to Access  
1989