Scope and Contents
The Canisius family photograph album was primarily compiled by Elizabeth Canisius (1882-1977) of Indianapolis, Indiana, and contains photographs made from about 1918 to 1929 by her and various members of her immediate and extended family. Evidently not arranged in chronological order, the photographs document a burgeoning German-American family and their various pursuits. Among the photographs are depictions of unidentified men at work in a shipyard, among them Mrs. Canisius's husband Gustav (1872-1954); unidentified men playing polo or dressed for a game of basketball; men, women, and children posed in front of both urban and rural houses; and choice mid-West vacation spots, including the Great Lakes, Lincoln's tomb and home (Springfield, IL), Turkey Run State Park (IN), and Williams Bay (WI) and its famous Yerkes Observatory.
A good number of the photographs document the young adulthood of Kathryn (Dolly) L. Canisius (1906-1943), the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Canisius. These photographs depict Dolly, her classmates and friends, her teachers, her suitors, her leisure activities, her graduation from high school in 1924, and two years later her apparent graduation from a two-year college. Following her 1926 graduation, Dolly evidently served as an itinerant teacher-in-training and from several teaching posts sent photographs of her young pupils to her mother. These her mother dutifully added to the album, even though Dolly had annotated most of the photographs' versos. Among Dolly's photographs are depictions of her white pupils in a rural mid-West school and of her Native students at Standing Rock Agency in Fort Yates, North Dakota. The Standing Rock photographs consist of depictions of Dolly's female and male Native students posed in groups and on picnics, non-student Natives congregated in town, street scenes, landscape views (including the frozen Missouri River) presumably made just outside of Fort Yates, Agency buildings, and possibly the campus of Saint Bernard Mission School, established by Father Bernard in 1924. There are also several commercially produced photographs, including a studio portrait of Holy Horse distributed by the Northwest Photo Service of Mandan, ND, and a photographic postcard of the "rugged country on Standing Rock Reservation" by Frank B. Fiske. Dolly apparently also traveled as far as Medora, ND, and sent to her mother photographs of the Chateau de Mores, the former home of Medora's founder the Marquis de Mores, and of the Little Missouri River.