William Henry Jackson

Jackson, William Henry, 1843–1942, American artist and pioneer photographer of the West, b. Keeseville, N.Y. After serving with the Union army in the Civil War he traveled overland to California (1866–67), part of the way on a Mormon wagon train, and then settled in Omaha, Neb. (1868). Engaged in photography after 1858, Jackson devoted himself to recording the scenic grandeur and historic sites of the West. He photographed the building of the Union Pacific RR, the mining booms at Cripple Creek and Leadville, and the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. His 1871 photographic series on the Yellowstone region was instrumental in having the area set aside as the first national park the following year. In 1924, Jackson moved to Washington, D.C., began painting, and at the age of 93 executed a series of murals on the Old West for the new Dept. of the Interior Building.

See his autobiography (1940) and his diaries, ed. by L. R. and A. W. Hafen (1959); C. S. Jackson, Picture Maker of the Old West (1947); B. Newhall and D. E. Edkins, William H. Jackson (1975).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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