James Hezekiah Crockwell was born on March 21, 1855 in Woodbury, Iowa. In 1863 or 1864 young James moved to Salt Lake City after his father, Dr. John D.M. Crockwell, converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. James and his brother George started a small business coloring photographs. After George left the business, Crockwell spent nearly a year as an apprentice to C.W. Carter in 1883. Shortly thereafter he formed a partnership with William Ottinger. For the next two years Crockwell and Ottinger used Salt Lake City as a home base and worked as traveling photographers in southern Utah and Southeast Nevada. In 1886 Crockwell bought out Ottinger and spent the next two years as an itinerant photographer for the mining towns of Nevada. In 1888 he settled in Virginia City, but moved back to Salt Lake City after business there tapered off. In Utah he photographed the mining towns of Park City and Eureka before becoming Utah's official photographer at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Afterwards Crockwell returned to Salt Lake City, but business was not good and there were expensive medical bills to pay. By 1900 he quit photography to become a traveling salesman.
In 1877 James Crockwell and Millie Bassett were married. They would have five children, Earl, Ada, Lula, Lawrence, and Clara Nevada (nicknamed Polly Wampus). In the spring of 1889 daughter Ada was fatally burned in a fire set by an angry former employee. Lulu was also badly burned. In 1915 Millie died. By 1930 Crockwell was living with a daughter in Alameda, California. He died on September 16, 1940.
This collection consists of writings and personal documents of James H. Crockwell. Included are his autobiographical life sketch and a book of remembrance containing several generations of genealogical information.
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 James H. Crockwell papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.
James H. Crockwell papers, 1776-1938. (COLL MSS 250). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.
|1||1||Life Sketch and History||1776-1875|
|1||2||Hand-written and extended life sketch||1850-1919|
|1||3||Certificate from the Post Office Department certifying the appointment of Millie Crockwell to the position of Postmaster at Clear Lake||1881 May 18|
|1||4||Book of Remembrance containing genealogical information||1783-1938|