Friday, July 6, 2018

Nathaniel Miles Wilcox



photographer N M Wilcox
Georgetown, TX
contributed by Carolyn Lind

photographer N M Wilcox
Georgetown, TX
contributed by Carolyn Lind

photographer N M Wilcox
Georgetown, TX
(circa 1895-1896)
contributed by Carolyn Lind

Nathan Miles Wilcox, Jr. (January 28, 1845 (Salem, Tippewa, Mississippi)-February 7, 1936 (Austin, Texas) was the son of Nathaniel Miles Wilcox, Sr. (1805-1867) and Mary Ann Carter (1821-?). At the age of 7 he came to Texas with his father, mother and siblings from Tennessee and settled in Houston first, moved on to Colorado County and then to Port Sullivan where Nathan’s father, a cabinetmaker by trade, died in 1867.

Nathan was in the Confederate Army serving in J. P. Border’s Regiment, Maxey’s Division, 2nd Brigade, cavalry. He enlisted in 1863 and was discharged in 1865. He is not shown living with his mother and brother in 1870.

In the 1880 census, Nathan is living in Austin, Texas with his mother and his brothers: Walter and Charles. Nathan’s occupation is listed as carpenter. He had learned woodworking skills from his father.


In 1882, Nathan married May Genevieve “Minnie” Sneed (1862-1941), the daughter of Captain Sebron Graham Sneed, Jr. (1836-1894) and Fannie Josephine Finnin (1841-1867). About 1883, the couple moved to Burnet, Texas. Three of their children, Mary (1883-1968), Sebron (1884-1959) and Margaret (1887-1985) were born there.

In Burnet, Nathan took up photography as an occupation. The state capitol was being built with stone from Burnet County and some of Nathan’s photographs were of the stonecutters, brought from Scotland by the contractor on the project, working in the granite yards. A photograph, taken by N. W. Wilcox is included below is from the Archives Division of the Texas State Library.

In 1887, according to ads in The Williamson County Sun, Nathan and his family moved to Georgetown where he set up a photograph gallery. He may have purchased the studio that belonged to G. A. Addison as the date

coincides with Addison’s departure from Georgetown. Another photographer, J. E. H. Chapman, who had been pursuing the profession in San Marcos, appears to have joined Wilcox in a gallery business in Georgetown as there is a notice of the dissolution of their partnership in The Williamson County Sun October 4, 1888.

Others joined Wilcox in business either as employees or partners. An article in The Austin American Statesman August 13, 1899 mentions Mr. Dave Goodlett, who, so the article states, was employed by Wilcox beginning in 1890. Dave Goodlett went on to establish Georgetown’s first movie theatre. Also, in 1890, Frank B. Elliott of Austin, Texas worked in Wilcox’s gallery.

For the next 30 plus years, N. M. Wilcox maintained his gallery in Georgetown, photographing bridal couples, babies and children, and just about everyone else as well as producing photographs of the small Texas

town’s activities and landmarks. A photograph of a Swedish pioneer woman, Mrs. C.C. Langford, weaving rugs was featured in a national magazine, Wilson’s Photographic Magazine in July 1894. (See below on this page)

About 1913 or 1914, he was joined in his business by A. S. Masterson from Austin. By that time, folks could rent or buy Kodak cameras and take their own photographs. Of course, the processing still had to be done by professionals, so perhaps the size of that business necessitated the addition of a partner. In 1916, Masterson retired and returned to Austin.

The census of 1920 indicates that the family’s residence is still Georgetown and that Nathan has continued in the photography business. In October of 1921, Nathan and Minnie moved to Austin to take up residence with their fourth child, Fannie (1889-1986), by then a young professional woman employed by the Texas State Library. There is no mention of a profession in the Austin City Directories of the

1920’s and 1930’s, so it seems with the move to Austin Nathan retired from photography. He did continue some woodworking and his interest in Texas history. In addition to his talents as a photographer, Wilcox was a lifelong historian as is noted in his obituary and is supported by other newspaper articles as well.

In the US census of 1930, the family is living in Hyde Park, a lovely area of Austin north of the University of Texas. He died there on February 7, 1936. Minnie and Fannie continued to live in Austin where Minnie, a lifelong musician of merit, founded the Wednesday Morning Music Club and was its president until her death in October of 1941. Fannie died in 1986.

Biographical sketch by Carolyn Lind



example from Wikimedia

Nathan Miles Wilcox
(1845 - 1936)

Timeline sources: US census, city directory, newspaper items as noted, Portals on Texas History, History of Texas

(Note: not all sources agree exactly on dates)

1845 Jan 28
Salem, Tippah (now Benton), MS, Nathan Miles Wilcox is born to Nathan M Wilcox and Mary Ann Carter
1860 Jul 16
La Grange, TX, US census N M Wilcox living with family
1863 Nov 25
Port Sullivan, TX, state records, brother Walter Wilcox is born
1863 Sep to 1865 May
Wilcox is enlisted in the Confederate Army Company D, J.P. Border’s Regiment, Maxey’s Division, 2nd Brigade, Cavalry
1867
Port Sullivan, TX, state records, father Nathan Miles Wilcox, SR, dies
1880 Jun 01
Austin, TX, US census as carpenter
1882 Feb 09
Austin (TX) Weekly Statesman news item N M Wilcox marries Minnie Sneed; article in “History of Texas, page 708” says marriage was Mar 14

1883 circa
According to the Austin (TX) American Statesman, 1899 Aug 13, N M Wilcox began his photographer career during this year; it is also thought that Wilcox was living in Burnet, TX, around this time, sources do not agree exactly
1884 Dec 09
Burnet, TX, state records son Seborn Sneed Wilcox is born
1887 Mar 20
Burnet, TX, state records daughter Margaret W Wilcox is born
1887 Jun 09
Austin (TX) Weekly Statesman news item mentions a display by Wilcox at J J Mabry & Co
1887 Nov 06
Austin (TX) American Statesman small display ad N M Wilcox buys H B Hillyer and Son Gallery
1888 Jan 26
Georgetown Williamson County Sun small display ad Wilcox Gallery now at “Addison’s old stand”; ad is repeated several times in January and February
1888 Jan 26
Georgetown Williamston County Sun news item says J E H Chapman is new photographer in Kincaid Building
1888 Oct 04
Georgetown Williamston County Sun news item says firm of Wilcox and Chapman has dissolved as Chapman moves to Taylor, TX
1888 Oct 25
Georgetown Williamson County Sun display ad for N M Wilcox photography no address given


1889 Apr 18
Austin Weekly Statesman news item tells of N M Wilcox making “views” of the Gabriel River for purchase
1889 Oct 16
Austin Weekly Statesman news item says Wilcox is building a cottage north of town
1890 Aug 28
Georgetown Williamson County Sun news item says Frank Elliot is now working for N M Wilcox; Dave Goodlet is also employed about this time, see 1899 Aug 13 item
1891 Feb 12
Georgetown Williamson County Sun news item says N M Wilcox is photographing “Old Settlers” as a project
1894 Jan 11
Georgetown Williamson County Sun news item says Mrs Langford is now working at studio of N M Wilcox
1894 Jul 26
Georgetown Williamson County Sun news item mentions a photograph by N M Wilcox
1896 Dec 17
Georgetown Williamson County Sun news item mentions N M Wilcox as artist
1899 Aug 13
Austin American Statesman news item says N M Wilcox has been in business sixteen years and has in his employ Mr Dave Goodlet since 1890
1899 Aug 13
Austin (TX) American Statesman prints photographs of local buildings taken by Wilcox
1900 Feb 01
Georgetown, TX, US census as photographer; res Oak st

1903 Oct 08
Houston (TX) Post news item says Mary Wilcox, daughter of Mr and Mrs N M Wilcox will marry Adolph Koch
1906 Jul 14
Houston (TX) Post news item mentions N M Wilcox, of Georgetown, TX, has donated a photograph of historical value to the State Library
1906 Oct 15
San Antonio (TX) Daily Express news item mentions N M Wilcox of Georgetown, TX, has donated a photograph of historical value to the state library
1910 Jan 07
Georgetown (TX) Megaphone display ad for N M Wilcox to make photographs for the school annuals
1910 Apr 15
Georgetown, TX, US census as photographer; res Oak st
1918 Oct 15
Georgetown (TX) Megaphone small display ad runs multiple times in October
1920 Jan 07
Georgetown, TX, US census as photographer; res Elm st
1920
Austin, TX, city directory NOT listed
1921 Sep 25
Austin American Statesman news item says Mr and Mrs N M Wilcox will leave Georgetown to live in Austin, TX; another news item say day describes the musical contributions of Mrs Wilcox

1922 - 1924
Austin, TX, city directory no occupation shown, res 3907 Av D
1925 Jan 02
Austin (TX) American Statesman news item describes a bit of the life of N M Wilcox
1925 Apr 21
Austin (TX) American Statesman news item describes N M Wilcox as prominent historian
1932 Feb 03
Austin (TX) American Statesman news item about the golden wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs N M Wilcox
1936 Feb 08
Austin (TX) American Statesman obituary for Nathan M Wilcox who lived at 3907 Ave D
1941 Oct 20
Austin (TX) American Statesman obituary for Mrs N M Wilcox

Austin (TX) Weekly Statesman - 09 Feb 1882

Austin Weekly Democratic Statesman - 09 Feb 1887

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 09 Jun 1887

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 06 Nov 1887


Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 06 Dec 1888

Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 23 Feb 1888

Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 04 Oct 1888

Georgetown Williamson County Sun -
25 Oct 1888

Austin (TX) Weekly Statesman - 18 Apr 1889

Austin (TX) Weekly Statesman - 16 Oct 1889

Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 28 Aug 1890

Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 12 Feb 1891

Georgetown Williamson County Sun -
11 Jan 1894

Georgetown Williamson County Sun -
26 Jul 1894


Austin (TX) American Statesman - 13 Aug 1899

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 13 Aug 1899


Austin (TX) American Statesman - 13 Aug 1899

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 13 Aug 1899


Georgetown Williamson County Sun - 17 Dec 1896

Houston (TX) Post - 08 Oct 1903

Houston (TX) Post - 14 Jul 1906

Georgetown Megaphone - 07 Jan 1910

(San Antonio, TX) Daily Express - 15 Oct 1906

Georgetown (TX) Megaphone - 15 Oct 1918

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 25 Sep 1921

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 25 Sep 1921


Georgetown (TX) Megaphone - 02 Jan 1925

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 21 Apr 1925

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 03 Feb 1932

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 08 Feb 1936


Austin (TX) American Statesman - 09 Feb 1936

Austin (TX) American Statesman - 20 Oct 1941




A photograph of a Swedish pioneer woman, Mrs. C.C. Langford, weaving rugs was featured in a national magazine,
Wilson’s Photographic Magazine in July 1894.
Photograph credited to N M Wilcox
contributed by Carolyn Lind


Stone cutter photograph by N M Wilcox, 1884
From the Texas Archives
Contributed by Carolyn Lind

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.

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