Osmar Waller Photographs, ca. 1890s

Overview of the Collection

Waller, O.L. (Osmar Lysander), 1857-1935
Osmar Waller Photographs
ca. 1890s (inclusive)
.25 linear feet of shelf space, (1 box, 17 images)  :  25 prints or plates
Collection Number
PC 162 (collection)
Unlabeled and unidentified prints of the Osmar Waller home and family in Pullman, Washington, taken between about 1895 and 1906. Some photographs are of unidentified Pullman homes. A few photographs are from other areas, including one from Chicago.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use. Images are no longer in copyright.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Born Nov. 30, 1857 in Ohio, Osmar Lysander Waller moved to Colfax, Washington, in 1890 to serve as superintendent of schools there. In 1893 he moved to Pullman as a Professor of Mathematics and Civil Engineering at the college there. Osmar had married Belle Mary Brown in 1885, and they had three daughters, Florence (b. 1889), Gladys (b. 1891), and Anna (b. 1894). Osmar remained at Washington State College until 1930, when he retired for medical reasons. He passed away in Pullman on August 3, 1935.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of 14 photographic prints and 11 glass plate negatives, 8 of which overlap, leaving 17 unique images. All are unlabeled, but the majority of them are of Pullman, Washington. The identification of the photographs as the Osmar Waller family comes through historical research, as no identification was retained with the original photographs.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item Description] Waller, Osmar Family Photographs, ca. 1890s

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The original set of fourteen prints were organized and numbered at the archives and stored in folder 1, with like photographs grouped. The first four photographs are all Waller’s Star Route (Maple St.) home and neighborhood on Pullman’s College Hill. The next two (5-6) are Pullman homes (probably that same neighborhood). Photos 7-9 are houses in unknown locations, probably not Pullman proper. 10-12 are interior shots, of Waller’s daughters, wife, and a Christmas tree. 13-14 are distant locations. The eleven negatives do not match up perfectly with the prints, and are kept in order in folder 2. The first eight negatives match to prints number 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13. Three additional negative had no prints, and are numbered below as 15, 16, and 17. These three are Waller family images, and likely would have been grouped with print images 10-11. The glass negatives, plus those prints not available on glass, have been scanned as 600 dpi tiffs and are retained in MASC’s digital archives.

Acquisition Information

The photographs were donated to Washington State University Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) in September 2016 by Rawson Mordhorst of Oak Harbor, WA and retained as UPC 16-01. Mr. Mordhorst notes that he found glass negative versions of these prints in the attic of WSU’s Carpenter Hall. The glass plates were given to a cousin, Robert Hirschel, who in turn donated those to MASC in late October, 2016. Mr. Mordhorst thinks that he found glass negative versions of these prints in the attic of WSU’s Carpenter Hall during remodeling in the early 1960s (he thinks this was most likely during the 1961-1962 school year, while Mr. Hirschel thinks it was likely 1958-1959). Hirschel, who taught high school photography, made prints from the glass negatives himself at that time.

Processing Note

The collection was processed in September-October of 2016 by University Archivist Mark O’English.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Folder image
1, 2 1 Waller family home, 1407 Star Route, Pullman, and neighborhood. Circa 1896.
1 2 Waller family home, close-up.
1 3 Waller family home with a horse (“Old Fred”) and cart in front.
1 4 Horse and cart with neighborhood in the background.
1 5 House, Pullman.
1, 2 6 House, Pullman.
1, 2 7 Farmhouse, location unknown.
1, 2 8 House, location unknown. On porch are Osmar’s three daughters, wife, and two older people, presumably the parents of either Osmar or Belle. Circa 1895.
1, 2 9 Three daughters in yard, location unknown.
1, 2 10 Three daughters with their mother, Belle. Interior. Circa 1897.
1, 2 11 Three daughters with two cats. Interior. Circa 1897.
1 12 Candlelit Christmas tree. Interior.
1, 2 13 Chicago. Taken on West Adams street looking eastwards from just west of South Wells St. Old Rand McNally Building is on right. Taken between 1889 and 1906, possibly ca. 1896.
1 14 Rural scene, location unknown. possibly a flood aftermath?
2 15 One of the daughters. Interior.
2 16 Belle. Interior.
2 17 Belle reading a book. Interior.
3 18 Non-photographic supporting documentation.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top