Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Charles Agustus Libby Photographer

The other day I was reading an article in the Inlander and they had a list of top 10 articles for 2013, while most were good one caught my eye. It was an article on Charles Libby a photographer here in Spokane that took thousands of pictures of the area and people, and he kept a list of where each picture was taken, why and date it was taken. The part of the Inlander article that caught my eye was that they did not know where he was from or much about his family. Charles and his son Charles Jr. operated the photography business till 1969.

This is a picture Charles Libby took of the baseball team my grandfather managed. On the back they said it was taken at Underhill Park in 1934 and the list of the players. You can see the Libby mark on the lower left of the picture, and I added the names of the players. My grandfather was the tall man in the back row. All of the players worked for the Great Northern Railroad in Hillyard, and win or loose after the game they went to my grandfathers for a homemade beer. Royal Arcanum was a fraternal group something like the masons.

So where did Charles Libby come from? I did a little online searching and found this:

Charles was born in Olympia, Washington to George A. Libby and Elizabeth Mauree born in Germany, George was the son of Aaron and Ruth Libby and born in Maine. George died in Olympia January 7, 1898 of consumption. George is listed in the 1879 Thurston county census as a lumberman and in the 1892 census as a miner. After death of George, Elizabeth moved the family to Spokane and Addice the older sister to Charles set up a photography and art studio. Charles joined Addie and soon after set up his own studio for commercial photography.
Charles married Gretchen Schlussler  in Spokane July 12, 1905 and they had a son Charles Agustus Libby, Jr. May 24, 1907. Gretchen was born in St. Paul, Minnesota  about 1885 to August Schlussler and Minnie Meyers.
Elizabeth was listed in the 1900 census in Spokane with her children George H. age 29, Addie C. age 26, Charles A. age 21, and Ruth H. age 10. Elizabeth died May 27, 1932 in Spokane and is buried in Thurston County with her husband George Libby. So why did Elizabeth move her family to Spokane after her husband George A. Libby died? Well there was a Dr. George W. Libby also born in Maine, living in Spokane then, so was he a cousin to Elizabeth's husband George A. Libby?, possibly. There were a lot of Libby families in Maine in the 1800s.
Gretchen Pauline Libby died April 6, 1957 and Charles Agustus Libby died July 1966 both here in Spokane.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great piece, Charles. I've always been interested in the Libby photography studio. Maybe we should have a longer article for the Digital Digest??? Anyone interested in pursuing that subject let me know.
Dani Lee