National Museum of the American Indian

Edward H. Boos photographs from Montana

Collection ID:
Boos, Edward H.
Physical Description:
10 Photographic prints
3 Copy negatives
This collection includes prints and copy negatives taken by Edward H. Boos in approximately 1906 throughout Montana. The cultures depicted include Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke), Salish (Flathead), and Kootenai (Kutenai) communities.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is currently unprocessed.
Prints include P04069-P04073, P12777-P12781. Copy negatives include N21582, N35215, N36870.

Arranged by catalog number.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Edward Boos was born in Kentucky on April 1, 1877. While he was in grade school, his family moved to Helena, Montana. He attended the University of Montana at Missoula in 1896 but did not complete a degree. In that same year, Boos began working as a freelance correspondent for several newspapers in the Missoula area. During the summer of 1897, Boos accompanied the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps on its experimental overland trip from Fort Missoula to St. Louis, Missouri to prove bicycles could replace horses for troop transport and reconnaissance. The company traversed 1,900 miles over difficult terrain and through taxing weather conditions. As they traveled, Boos wrote accounts of the expedition that were published by the Daily Missoulian, newspapers along the route, and national and international newspapers.
After the Bicycle Corps expedition, Boos continued to produce photographs for western Montana newspapers. Around 1900, he purchased his own camera, and began photographing people and landscapes in the Missoula and Flathead valleys. Boos was particularly interested in documenting life among the Kootenai, Salish and Pend'Oreille families of the Flathead Reservation. Between the spring and fall of 1905, he conducted a series of photographic portrait sessions at various sites across the reservation. According to a 1935 newspaper story, Boos developed many of these photos at night under a canvas cover so that he could share the portraits directly with his subjects.
In 1906, Boos accepted an advertising manager position with the Missoula Mercantile Company (MMC) and married Annie Hammond, cousin of MMC co-owner Andrew Hammond. While accepting this position marked the end of his newspaper contributions, Boos continued to periodically take photographs of the Missoula and Flathead Lake areas as a hobby. Boos remained with the Missoula Mercantile Company for the next thirty-one years. In September 1935, an "Indian Jubilee" celebration was held in St. Ignatius, Montana. This event was the first public exhibition and print sale of Boos' Flathead Reservation portraits. Boos died of a heart attack on September 26, 1937.
Biographical note adapted from the entry "Edward H. Boos photographs, circa 1900-1908" on Archives West, Orbis Cascade Alliance.

Mikaela Hamilton
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Annie Boos, 1937. [P12777 - P12781]
Processing Information
Collection record written by Mikaela Hamilton, Archive Center Intern in 2020.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email:
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edward H. Boos photographs from Montana, image #, NMAI.AC.153; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kootenai (Kutenai) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Montana -- Flathead Reservation Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salish (Flathead) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Missoula County (Mont.) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland, Maryland 20746-2863