Charles Kelly photograph collection,, 1910-1970  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Kelly, Charles, 1889-1971.
Charles Kelly photograph collection,
1910-1970 (inclusive)
1920-1940 (bulk)
3 boxes, (1.5 linear ft. )
Collection Number
Revised text test: Photographs, negatives, and slides (taken and collected by Kelly) consist primarily of landscapes of national parks and monuments in Montana, Wyoming, Utah Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. Also included are a number of family snapshots. Bulk of the photographs are unidentified.
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections & Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Telephone: 435-797-8248
Fax: 435-797-2880
Access Restrictions

Open to public research. Nitrate negatives have been removed from this collection and placed in Cold Storage box 1. Patrons must request to view these negatives 3 hours in advance.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Charles Kelly was born February 3, 1889, in a roaring lumber camp in Cedar Springs, Michigan. As a boy of seven he learned to set type in a small print shop which his father used to turn out religious tracts. He attended college in Indiana for a short time, but when money ran out he began wandering as a tramp printer in the West and Far West. He served in the army during World War I, during which time he met and corresponded with Harriette Greener. In February 1919, he and Harriette married and settled in Utah. For the next twenty years Kelly continued to earn his living as a linotype operator and printer, eventually becoming a partner in the Western Printing Company. In the meantime, he became interesting in local history, as a result of a trip to the Great Salt Lake Desert in 1929. Although he continued in the printing business, his passion was to research and write about the stories of the old West. He was particularly interested in the Utah-Arizona-Nevada region. His publications included Salt Desert Trails (1929), Holy Murder (1934, the story of Porter Rockwell), Old Greenwood (1936, the story of Caleb Greenwood), Miles Goodyear (1937), and Outlaw Trail (1938, a history of Butch Cassidy). Kelly also edited the Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859 (1938) and wrote numerous articles. He died on April 19, 1971.

Kelly was extremely bold in many aspects of his life- in outdoor adventures, in attitude, and in politics. He took the first automobile across the Salt Lake Desert on the Donner trail, and he floated Glen Canyon several times in the years when it was not generally known. As the first custodian of Capitol Reef National Monument, he compiled an immense body of interpretive information. Extremely anti-religious, he lived squarely in the middle of Mormon country and dared the Mormons to do something about it. He was also one of the founding fathers of the Utah Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

For more information about Kelly see, A. Russel Mortensen, "In Memoriam," Utah Historical Quarterly 39 (Spring 1971): 199-200 and Gary Topping, "Charles Kelly's Glen Canyon Ventures and Adventures," Utah Historical Quarterly 55 (Spring 1987): 120-136.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Charles Kelly collection consists of 574 photographs and a few accompanying negatives. The photographs, taken and collected by Kelly, consist primarily of landscapes of national parks and monuments in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. Also included are a number of family snapshots. Unfortunately, the bulk of the photographs are unidentified. Because different parts of the collection were discovered at different times, the arrangement may seem a bit disjointed. An organizational attempt of some kind has nonetheless been made as similar print types were assembled and the prints were put into a loose chronological arrangement. The bulk of the items are silver gelatin developing-out-paper snaps. Most of the negatives were nitrate, duplicated onto dry diazo film.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use


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 Charles Kelly photograph collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Alternative Forms Available

View selected digitized images from the Charles Kelly photograph collection

Preferred Citation

Charles Kelly photograph collection, 1910-1970. (P0003). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Miscellaneous SnapshotsReturn to Top

Where there is no state indicated for a place name, that place is in Utah. The folder level descriptions do not attempt to mention everything in the folder, but items thought to be of particular interest.

Container(s) Description Dates
1:01:01-1:01:08: Bryce Canyon National Park [Utah]
1:02:01-1:02:15: Bryce Canyon National Park [Utah]
1:03:01-1:03:21: Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park, [Arizona] (North Rim)
Photos of sheep, deer, and a camp scene with automobile.
1:04:01-1:04:25: Zion National Park [Utah]
1:05:01-1:05:14: Yellowstone National Park [Montana and Wyoming]
circa 1920s
1:06:01-1:06:15: Yellowstone National Park [Montana and Wyoming]
circa 1920s
1:07:01: Capitol Reef National Park [Utah]
circa 1920s
1:08:01-1:08:06: Crater's of the Moon National Monument [Idaho]
1:09:01-1:09:11: Flathead Lake [Montana], and vicinity around Polson
Includes photo of the St. Ignacio Mission church and of a Montana Indian village.
1:10:01-1:10:08: Fossil [Wyoming]
Includes some accompanying negatives. Camp scences, R. See Craig, and fossil hunting.
1:11:01-1:11:08: Great Falls [Montana]
Includes photos of Kelly in army uniform.
1:12:01-1:12:13: Northwest Trip
Crater Lake [Oregon]; Lake Tahoe [Nevada]; Redwood National Park [California]; and San Francisco Bay [California].
1:13:01-1:13:12: Pendleton [Oregon]
Children riding horseback; buffalo; John Kelly and Don Strain working in a printing shop.
circa 1920s
1:13a:01-1:13a:08: Postcards.
8 items.
Several hand-tinted. Death Valley [California]; a Desert Tortoise; Mesa Verde National Park [Colorado].
1:14:01-1:14:16: Dated Snapshots
The Greener Family; artist Gordon Ertz (Chicago); sculptor Jack Phillips; Julia Stack; Charles and Henrietta Kelly (on in City Creek Canyon, Salt Lake City); U.S. Army groups in Paris.
1:15:01-1:15:11: Dated Snapshots
Includes photo of (?) Huber, Henrietta Kelly, and Viola Bridgood in front of the Stationery Press, Salt Lake City; the Kelly family in front of the Utah State Capitol; Fred and Elsie Albers with the Kellys and their first Model A Ford on the Salt Lake Flats.
1:16:01-1:16:14: Dated Snapshots
Ice caves near Shoshone [Idaho]; Blue Lakes and Twin Falls areas [Idaho]; Hoffman Briney standing at the grave of Dr. King Robinson in Salt Lake City; Mirror Lake.
1:17:01-1:17:13: Dated Snapshots
1:18:01-1:18:21: Dated Snapshots
Includes an excursion on the Donner Trail.
1:19:01-1:19:19: Dated Snapshots
Includes artist Bill Flemming working on a Coca-Cola sign; Capitol Reef; Floral Ranch.
1:20:01-1:20:19: Dated Snapshots
Some accompanying negatives. Cathedral Valley; Capitol Reef National Monument; home in Fruita.
1:21:01-1:21:19: Snapshots
Capitol Reef National Monument, etc.
1:22:01-1:22:15: Dated Snapshots
Bryce Canyon National Park; Virginia City [Nevada].
1:23:01-1:23:16: Dated Snapshots
Includes Fred Greener on the summit of Starved Rock State Park [Illinois].
1:24:01-1:24:18: Dated Snapshots
Some accompanying negatives.
1:25:01-1:25:11: Dated Snapshots
Includes view of the visitor center at Zion National Park.

Undated SnapshotsReturn to Top

A highly miscellaneous box of photographs, some identified as to place. They were arranged loosely by size and type of print, with a view to bring at least general time periods together. Much southwestern scenery, family, friends, etc..

Container(s) Description Dates
2:01:01-2:01:16: Snapshots
Includes photo of Kelly as a Boy Scouts leader.
circa 1910s
2:02:01-2:02:16: Snapshots
circa 1910s
2:03:01-2:03:16: Snapshots
Some negatives included. Southwestern scenery, including Indian ruins; photos taken in Glacier National Park [Montana], and other probably taken in Montana when Kelly lived there just before entering the Army. Some of the shots in this folder seem to aim for a painterly look.
circa late 1910s
2:04:01-2:04:11: Snapshots
2:05:01-2:05:15: Snapshots
Many probably taken in Montana; some probably the Sun River near Great Falls, as one print is positively identified as such in folder 7.
circa 1910s
2:06:01-2:06:15: Snapshots
Many probably taken in Montana.
circa 1910s
2:07:01-2:07:14: Snapshots
Scenery, including Sun River near Great Falls.
circa 1910s
2:08:01-2:08:15: Snapshots
circa 1910s
2:09:01-2:09:16: Snapshots
Scenery; portraits; Kelly posed with a four-piece band.
circa 1910s
2:10:01-2:10:12: Snapshots
Scenery; portraits, including one of western artist Charles M. Russell working on a canvas in his studio (Kelly took lessons from him in Montana).
circa late 1910s
2:11:01-2:11:17: Snapshots
Indian ruins; Utah scenery including Mt. Timpanogas, mine at Lake Solitude, and the Uintahs.
circa 1920s
2:12:01-2:12:15: Snapshots
Interiors, Timpanogas cave [?]; Salt Lake City scenes including Brigham Young's Beehive House, view south/southwest over the city from the Capitol, and a view south from the mouth of Parley's Canyon.
circa 1920s-1930s
2:13:01-2:13:15: Snapshots
Includes photos of Kelly as a ranger at Capitol Reef National Monument.
circa 1930s-1950
2:14:01-2:14:08: Photographs
Mainly photographs of Kelly, one standing before one of his paintings.
2:15:01-2:15:01: Interior photograph mounted on board, Kelly at work in the Western Printing Co., Salt Lake City
circa 1924
2:16:01-2:16:01: Interior photograph mounted on board, Kelly at work in the Western Printing Co., Salt Lake City
circa 1924
circa 1924
2:17:01-2:17:12: 35 mm Slides
Subjects include Mt. Rushmore, pictographs, and Capitol Reef National Monument.
circa 1940s-1950s
2:18:01-2:18:06: Petroglyphs and Pictographs
2:19:01-2:19:17: Miscellany
2:20: Miscellaneous textual materials

Miscellaneous NegativesReturn to Top

Besides the negatives listed below, the box contains unnumbered and uncategorized negatives for which prints do not yet exist

Container(s) Description Dates
3:01: Sleeve #1 Entrance to Gypsum Cave
(Nitrate Negative)
3:02: Sleeve #2 Pueblo
(Nitrate Negative)
3:03: Sleeve #3 Pueblo
(Nitrate Negative)
3:04: Sleeves #4 through #29 Glacier National Park in
(Nitrate Negatives)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • National monuments--West (U.S.)--Photographs.
  • National parks and reserves--West (U.S.)--Photographs.
  • Personal Names :
  • Kelly, Charles, 1889-1971--Portraits.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Western Printing Co. (Salt Lake City, Utah)--Photographs.
  • Family Names :
  • Greener family--Portraits.
  • Kelly family--Portraits.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)--Photographs.
  • Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)--Photographs.
  • Glacier National Park (Mont.)--Photographs.
  • Grand Canyon National Park (Ariz.)--Photographs.
  • Kaibab National Forest (Ariz.)--Photographs.
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)--Photographs.
  • Yellowstone National Park--Photographs.
  • Zion National Park (Utah)--Photographs.