Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Swartz and Freeman

06 Dec 2017
Thanks to an email from a fellow researcher, this page was updated and corrected.

21 Apr 2018
Thanks to a comment on Ancestry.com from member jbefrva1, this page has again been updated to include new information.

Photographer: Swartz & Freeman
229 Main Street
Dennison, Texas
(also listed under Gamaliel C Freeman)

reverse of cabinet card at the left
Inscription appears to be "W L Bruce"

David H Swartz (27 Jul 1854 - 1918)
John Swartz (27 Aug 1858 - 17 Jan 1937)
Charles Swartz (07 Sep 1864 - 06 Oct 1905)
Gamaliel C Freeman

Columbus, TX David H. Swartz partners with Gamaliel C. Freeman in the photographic firm of Swartz & Freeman
1882 Oct 06
Galveston (TX) Daily News classified ad, D H Swartz looking for two first class retouchers
San Marcos (TX) Free Press small “notice” says there is a new photograph gallery in San Marcos, TX, under the management of G. C. Freeman of Swartz and Freeman, from Brenham, TX, adding they will be there only a short time
1883 Jan 01
San Marcos (TX) Free Press small ad for D. H. Swartz and brother now of Fort Worth, TX
1883 Jan through Apr
Brenham (TX) Daily Banner small ads for D. H. Swartz
1883 Apr, May
San Marcos (TX) Free Press small ads for Swartz and Freeman
1883 Nov 15
San Marcos (TX) Free Press news item mention Swartz and Freeman finding quarters in a new building in Temple, TX

Brenhan Daily Banner - 10 Oct 1883

1884 Feb 14
Colorado (TX) Citizen news item Swartz (David) sells out to Freeman and moves to Fort Worth
Denison (TX) city directory Freeman, Swartz NOT in directory
1887 Feb 13
Fort Worth (TX) Daily Gazette small ad about D H Swartz and Bros
1888, 1889, 1890
Fort Worth (TX) Daily Gazette extensive advertising for D. H. Swartz
1889 Jan 01
Fort Worth (TX) Daily studio of David Swartz at fifth and Main in Fort Worth burns
1889 Jan through Dec
Denison Gazetteer small ads for Swartz and Freeman studio
1889 Feb 03
Fort Worth (TX) Daily Gazette Swartz officially opens new gallery Fifth and Houston
1889 Jul Through Sep
Fort Worth Daily gazette small ad for D. H. Swartz at Houston and 5th
1890 -1891
Fort Worth (TX) Daily Gazette several small display ad for D H Swartz

1893 May 28
Denison (TX) Sunday Gazetteer news item John sells out and moves to Fort Worth
1895 Jun 09
Denison (TX) Sunday Gazetteer news item John marries Blanche Buck
1895 to 1907
John Swartz maintains his studio at 705 Main in Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth TX, city directory David as photographer working as view artist with John; res 1020 Lipscomb; brothers Charles L and John on same page, different addresses;
1900 Dec
Fort Worth (TX) Heritage Trails John Swartz photographs the Wild Bunch in his studio
(See below)

Fort Worth, TX, city directory lists Charles and John as photographers working separately
1901, 1902
Dallas, TX, city directory lists no Swartz
1901, 1902
Dayton, OH, city directory David H is listed as photographer at 36 w Washington, wife Nellie and son Charles H also listed
Dayton, OH city directory David H is listed as a “chemist” at 36 w Washington, wife Nellie and son Charles H also listed
Dallas city directory lists a John Swartz working for the Texas Portland Cement co; living in West Dallas
Fort Worth, TX, city directory Charles listed as view photographer and John as studio photographer

Dallas, TX, city directory David listed as manager of D. H. Swartz Chemical Co.; bds 144 Veal
1905 Oct 07
Palestine (TX) Daily Herald news item Charles Swartz is struck and killed by a train, age 40

Palestine (TX) Daily Herald - 07 Oct 1905

From jbefrva1 on Ancestry.com:
He (Charles) was buried in an unmarked grave at the Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth. The memorial shown in the picture was donated and dedicated May 10th, 2013 in connection with a Swartz Brothers photograph exhibit in the Forth Worth Library in connection with "Swartz Bros Week". Charles wife and children were in Shenandoah County, Virginia visiting relatives at the time of his death and never went back to Texas. His wife was committed to a State Mental Institution where, it is believed, she died. The children went to live with relatives.

1910 Sep 23
Wise county (TX) Messenger news/ad about John Swartz Studio
US Census John has moved his studio to 1114 Billinger in Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX, city directory John moves studio to 503 ½ Main
Fort Worth, TX, city directory David Swartz has no personal listing but his company “Doctor Swartz Chemical Company” continues in the directory
1918 Nov 25
Dayton, OH, Woodland Cemetery data base seems David Swartz, born in Virginia returned to Dayton, OH, and died there
US census John has moved back to Virginia and is working on the farm
John dies in Manassas, VA, at age 78

Typical city directory ad

(Continued in the next row)

Charles Lee Swartz, the youngest of the three brothers, worked mostly for brother John Swartz in Fort Worth as a “View” artist. Views are photographs taken of various points of general interest, such as buildings or bridges.

He was killed by a train in 1905 while trying to rescue a camera from the path of the train. An article about that event in the Denison newspaper says he was partners with G. C. Freeman “28 years ago”. This is probably not accurate as there is no other information to support that idea and also, he would have been only 13 years old in 1877 and G. C. Freeman did not arrive in Denison, TX, until after 1880.

David Swartz was partnered with G. C. Freeman between 1882 and 1884 living and working in several smaller towns in Texas, such as San Marcos, Brenham, Columbus and Denison. It is the Superman/Clark Kent situation when David H. Swartz the photographer disappears and David H. Swartz the chemist appears. While living in Dayton, OH, at 36 Washington st, between 1902 and 1903 city directories show he abruptly changed professions from photographer to “chemist”. He then returns to Fort Worth

without his wife and son to open his new business, “Doctor Swartz Chemical Company” and remains there until his death in 1918. His death date is determined when his company is listed in the Fort Worth city directory but he has no personal listing.

There is also an entry in the Dayton, OH, Woodland Cemetery data base for David H. Swartz, born in Virginia, who died 25 Nov 1918. Did David return to Ohio just before he died? No other information has been found on his death.

John Swartz was partnered with G. C. Freeman between 1888 and 1893, situated mostly in Denison, TX. He sold out his partnership to Freeman and left Denison to live and work in Fort Worth, TX.

In 1900 John Swarz photographs, in his studio, five gentlemen who are later discovered to be “The Wild Bunch” including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

John remained in Fort Worth as photographer until 1930 when the US census finds him back in Virginia. He dies in 1937 at age 78.

Although Freeman was partnered with David Swartz as early as 1882 in Columbus, TX, they worked neighboring towns such as San Marcos, Temple and Brenham. There is little evidence they ever worked in Denison, which is where John Swartz was apparently living. In February, 1884, David sells out (probably to Freeman) and moves to Fort Worth, TX.

The cabinet card here was probably finished in or around 1889 when Freeman and John Swartz advertised repeatedly in the Dennison (TX) Gazetteer. In 1893 John Swartz sells out his studio in Denison, TX, and also moves to Fort Worth. Gamaliel Freeman has already left photography and in 1894 he is working with the YMCA.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette - 01 Jan 1889

Fort Worth Daily Gazette - 13 Jan 1889

Denison Sunday Gazette - 03 Feb 1889

John Swartz

Fort Worth Daily Gazette - 03 Feb 1889

David Swartz

Fort Worth Daily Gazette - 17 Feb 1889

Denison Sunday Gazetteer - 22 Dec 1889

Denison Sunday Gazetteer - 28 May 1893

Denison Sunday Gazetteer - 09 Jun 1895

Denison Sunday Gazetteer - 15 Oct 1905

Fort Worth City Directory - 1906

Dallas City Directory - 1913

The Metropolitan Museum of Art feels that this tintype is a picture of "The Wild Bunch" taken by an "Unknown" photographer. Well, is it?

Is this actually the photograph taken by John Swartz? Could be! Is this ANOTHER photograph of the Wild Bunch? That could be too! Is this just another photograph of five buddies out on a day's lark? That is possible too.

example from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Following is from the website of
the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Five Members of the Wild Bunch? --ca. 1892
Unknown photographer

The Wild Bunch was the largest and most notorious band of outlaws in the American West. Led by two gunmen better known by their aliases, Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) and Kid Curry (Harvey Logan), the Wild Bunch was an informal trust of thieves and rustlers that preyed upon stagecoaches, small banks, and especially railroads from the late 1880s to the first decade of the twentieth century.
This crudely constructed tintype portrait of five members of the gang dressed in bowler hats and city clothes shows, clockwise, from the top left, Kid Curry, Bill McCarty, Bill (Tod) Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, and Tom O'Day. Without their six shooters and cowboy hats the outlaws appear quite civilized and could easily be mistaken for the sheriffs and Pinkerton agents who pursued them in a "Wild West" already much tamed by the probable date of this photograph. Gone was the open range--instead, homesteads and farms

dotted the landscape and barbed-wire fences frustrated the cattleman's drive to market. Gone too was the anonymity associated with distance, as the camera and the telegraph conspired to identify criminals. Bank and train robbery were still lucrative, but the outlaw's chances for escape gradually shifted in favor of the sheriff's chances for arrest and conviction.

By 1903 the Wild Bunch had disbanded. A few members of the gang followed Butch Cassidy to South America, while the majority remained in the West, trying to avoid capture. McCarty was shot dead in 1893, in a street in Delta, Colorado, after a bank robbery; Carver died in prison; Kilpatrick was killed during a train robbery in 1912; Tom O'Day was captured by a Casper, Wyoming, sheriff in 1903; and Kid Curry died either by his own hand in Parachute, Colorado, in 1904, or, as legend has it, lived until he was killed by a wild mule in South America in 1909.
The photograph comes from the collection of Camillus S. Fly, a pioneer photographer in Tombstone, Arizona, in the 1880s and sheriff of Cochise County in the 1890s.

A bit of research was added here in response to this comment from hello863.
"I recently found some old pictures taken in the 1800's (I think) by D.H. Swartz and A.N. Callaway in Brenham, Texas. Any info
about either would be appreciated. Thank you."

Alonzo Newell Callaway can be documented in Brenham, TX, 1878-1879 and 1882-1883. (Callaway was probably in Brenham in 1880 and 1881, but no documentation has been found.) The Brenham Weekly Banner newspaper shows Callaway opened his gallery in June of 1878. According to the Brenham Weekly Banner, 23 March 1882, Callaway had sold out to J F Sprain. By 1885 Callaway was living in San Antonio, TX, and apparently never left. (See examples below) D H Swartz moved around a lot as seen in the timeline at the top of the page.

Best guess would be that Calloway and Swartz might have partnered up briefly around 1879 to 1880.

Brenham Weekly Banner - 28 Jun 1878

Brenham Weekly Banner - 23 mar 1882

Brenham Weekly Banner - 23 Mar 1882

Brenham Weekly Banner - 30 Mar 1882

Brenham Weekly Banner - 18 May 1882

Brenham Weekly Banner - 22 Jun 1882

Brenham Weekly Banner - 20 Oct 1883

If anything further turns up on Swartz, Freeman or Callaway it will be added here.

some examples by Callaway (after 1885)

photographer: Callaway
San Antonio, TX
example from Texas Photographers

photographer: Callaway
San Antonio, TX
example from Texas Photographers

photographer: Callaway
San Antonio, TX
example from Texas Photographers
some additional items by Swartz

photographer: Swartz
705 Main, Fort Worth, TX
example from Lumious Lint

example from University of Texas at Arlington Library

photographer: Swartz
705 Main, Fort Worth, TX
example from UTA library

photographer: Swartz
705 Main, Fort Worth, TX
example from UTA library
(This is not exactly a cabinet card.)

photographer: Swartz
Houston Street, cor of 5th, Fort Worth, TX
example from Portal to Texas History
Probably from after 1916-1918 (see text above)

Not the one you were looking for? Here's the photographer's INDEX by name. Listed here are all the Cabinet Card photographers of the 19th century found in LOST GALLERY. This is a work in progress. For a look at the original postings go to LOST GALLERY.

Some examples on this page have been enhanced or restored for clarity and presentation here.

This page is free for educational and research purposes only but, as always, if the original owner of any of these examples objects to the use on this page, they will be immediately removed.


  1. I recently found some old pictures taken in the 1800's (I think) by D.H. Swartz and A.N. Callaway in Brenham, Texas. Any info
    about either would be appreciated. Thank you.


    1. Thanks for your comment. I looked at Swartz again and added some items that may help you.

  2. Hi--I am researching the picture taken by Mr. Swartz of the Hole in the Wall Gang and I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping you can answer? My contact is info@mikesmcm.com.
    Mike K


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