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George Lytle Beam [1868-1935]


[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BEAM, George Lytle [1868–1935]

“Cliff Palace Ruins — Mesa Verde National Park”


silver gelatine photographic print / 7 15/16 inches x 10 1/16 inches (image)

George Lytle Beam was born May 18, 1868 in New Paris, Ohio. In 1873 his family moved to Lawrence, Kansas where he grew up and went to school. During these early years his mother and two siblings died. When he was twenty-one years old he established himself as a used foreign and domestic postage stamps dealer. He and his father moved to Denver, Colorado around 1890.

In Denver Beam worked for Chain Hardy & Co. as a stenographer, but soon there after he began working in that capacity for the Chief Storekeeper and Purchasing Agent of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad until 1893. In 1894 he became a secretary to Shadrach K. Hooper (the general passenger and ticket agent) for the Rio Grand. George was skilled with photography and was well established as the Rio Grande company photographer by 1905 when he photographed President Theodore Roosevelt in the Royal Gorge. He became a well known, respected photographer, taking photographs for the Denver & Rio Grande company along with other scenic views of the Western United States. At the age of 62 he married Fay L. Kuellmer in Colorado Springs on June 7, 1930.

George L. Beam died March 16, 1935 at the age of 66 in Denver and was buried in Lawrence, Kansas.

The photograph was acquired by the Tennant family during their 1912 trip to New Mexico. It is on long-term loan from the Arts & Crafts Society which currently occupies Anson Tennant’s former studio-residence.

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