©2003 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account
Introduction/ Scope and contents
B. J. Ochsner photograph collection
Years created: 1920 - 1953
|Benjamin J. Ochsner (1869-1953)||
photo by De Castro (Santa Fe, N.M.)
This photograph, 9 x 6.5", is the only known picture of Dr. Ochsner. (Accession 1971:02042)
Benjamin James Ochsner was a Durango (Colo.) medical doctor whose photos were exhibited in England, France, Canada and the United States. He pioneered using color in photos. Born in Prairie-du-Sac, Wisconsin, Jan. 10, 1869, he died in Aug. 1953 at home at the age of 84.
Dr. Ochsner moved to Durango from Telluride in 1903. He spent much of his spare time in nature, taking photographs. As the Durango Herald noted in his obituary: “Considered one of the world's most consistent contributors to national and international photography salons, the doctor became one of the few Americans honored with a fellowship in the Royal Photography Society of London. He has pictures hanging in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution. He was one of the few photographers who today still developed his by the old carbon process. He sensitized his own printing paper and used sunlight to develop his prints. Up to Thursday, Dr. Ochsner spent some time in his darkroom, some time in the pistol range in the cellar of his home, and some time with his music collection each day.”
OF DR. BENJAMIN OCHSNER - Durango Herald, August 25, 1953
"Dr. Benjamin James Ochsner, 84,
died unexpectedly Thursday at his home, 720 Fourth Avenue here.
One of the best-known medical men in
the Four Corners area, Dr. Ochsner was an internationally famous photographer
and pistol shot.
Dr. Ochsner had been ill for two weeks,
but apparently recovered last weekend.
Dr. Ochsner was born in Prairie-du-Sac,
Wisconsin, January 10, 1869. There were medical men and surgeons in his
family back to the time of the Crusades. His great-grandfather was a
doctor in the service of Napoleon.
Dr. Ochsner was graduated from the
University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree. At college he
studied music. He played in the university orchestra and band and was a
cadet captain in the University National Guard unit.
After college the doctor attended Rush
Medical College where his work was so outstanding that he taught pathology while
still a student.
He was one of four Rush graduates who
passed a grueling four-day competitive examination for internship at Cook County
hospital in Chicago. There he interned under his cousin, the
internationally known Dr. A. J. Ochsner.
He studied in Europe for a year and in
1902 came to Telluride to practice. His interest in music led him to play
nightly with a string ensemble in the mining town's Sheridan hotel.
In 1903 he came to Durango.
Shortly thereafter he started the first of three hospitals he administered here.
The first hospital building was a two-story brick structure at 2449 West Second
Avenue now occupied by the W. C. Elliotts. Later the hospital moved into
the Jake Fritz house.
In 1913 Dr. Ochsner moved the hospital
into the 805 Fifth Avenue building now occupied by the Community Hospital.
Dr. Ochsner's hospitals contained the
most modern equipment of the period. He brought the first X-ray equipment
Best-known as a surgeon, Dr. Ochsner
performed the first goiter operations here.
Dr. Ochsner took another year abroad
after he had been here several years. He studied at the massive Vienna
hospital where 1,000 patients were handled in one day.
While in Austria he won that nation's
national pistol championship. He put on an exhibition of pistol shooting
for the King and Queen of Belgium. Later he numbered the American National
Pistol trophy among his many national and international awards for both rifle
and handgun shooting.
Each year Dr. Ochsner, often
accompanied by J. F. McNabb of 524 Fifth Avenue, spent hours hunting both small
and big game.
McNabb and other hunting and fishing
companions speak of the doctor's almost encyclopedic knowledge of the birds and
animals of this area.
When he was not hunting or fishing, the
doctor spent much of his time in the woods taking photographs.
Considered one of the world's most
consistent contributors to national and international photography salons, the
doctor became one of the few Americans honored with a fellowship in the Royal
Photography Society of London. He has pictures hanging in the permanent
collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
He was one of the few photographers who
today still developed his by the old carbon process. He sensitized his own
printing paper and used sunlight to develop his prints.
Up to Thursday, Dr. Ochsner spent some
time in his darkroom, some time in the pistol range in the cellar of his home,
and some time with his music collection each day.
His interest in music remained constant
through his life. He collected one of the finest libraries of symphonic
and operatic music in the area. Occasionally the Ochsners held soirees at
which local music devotees heard selections from the Ochsner library along with
a running explanation of the music by the doctor.
Dr. Ochsner sold his hospital to Dr.
Leo Lloyd and Dr. Christopher Martin in 1936. He retired then, but
continued until last year to care for the families of his older patients.
Two years ago, Dr. Ochsner, with Dr. R.
L. Downing and Dr. Wordsworth M. Elliott, was honored by the San Juan Basin
Medical Society for half a century of service in the Basin.
Dr. Ochsner’s first wife, Marie Malec
Oschsner, died in December, 1933. The couple met at the University of
Wisconsin. At Fort Lewis A & M there is a memorial scholarship for
Mrs. Marie Ochsner.
Arrangement note: To the extent that it was possible, the Center retained Dr. Ochsner's original order of these photoprints. The Center's database is the best means for accessing individual images.
Acquisition information: Mrs. Earl J. Baughetee donated the bulk of the first items in this collection (approximately 350 photoprints), in 1971 (accession numbers 1971:02042, 1971:02103, 1971:02490; the appraiser's report was dated Feb. 12, 1970). Mr. J. C. Fosshage donated 390 Ochsnser photprints in September of 1968 (accession 1968:09003). Addition acquisitions for this collection included a black and white Ochsner photo of a Navajo mother and children donated by Ella C. Bay (accession 1968:06001), a photo donated by Julie Koss in December of 1988 (accession 1988:12010), 8 photographs transferred to the Center from the Durango Public Library in August of 1990 (accession 1990:08004A), a photo entitled "Nydia, the blind girl" donated by Alyce Salmine McCoy in July of 2002 (accession 2002:07004), and a posed view of three women models at a waterfall donated by Ed Zink in April of 2006 (2006:055.5). The late Frank Nelson donated three Animas River Valley winter Ochsner photographs in1985 (accession 1985:06001). Historical note: after Dr. Ochsner delivered Mr. Nelson's son James Nelson, at the Ochsner Hospital (now the Gable Bed and Breakfast, in Durango), James weighed 4.25 pounds and Dr. Ochsner told Mrs. Nelson, "I wouldn't give you a dime for him" -- which, needless to say, upset the mother! James Nelson recalls that Dr. Ochsner had an office upstairs in the old Burns National Bank Building on Main Ave., and it always smelled of ether.
Processing information: The Center removed all of the photos from frames (due to the acidic materials used in early photographic framing) and numbered the individual photoprints from 103 to 533. Initial arrangement of the photoprints and data entry was by Jaymie Asmussen and other student archival assistants in October of 2000. Center of Southwest Studies student archival assistant Paul Beckler inventoried and item-listed the photos in the Center's Images database in October of 2000. This guide was produced by Todd Ellison, Certified Archivist, Center of Southwest Studies, on September 2, 2003.
List of Ochsner photographs titles
The following is a listing of the titles of 392 of the photographs in the Ochsner Collection that are available for researchers' use in the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.
ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY BY TITLE
Search suggestion: you
can search this web page by name using the Edit-> Find in Page (Ctrl+F)
feature on your Web browser.
|P010108||Across the river|
|P010452||Across the river|
|P010137||After the day's ride|
|P010228||After the hunt|
|P010161||After the hunt|
|P010225||After the hunt|
|P010###||After the storm|
|P010284||After the war|
|P010184||Afternoon in the hills|
|P010106||Afternoon on the desert|
|P010340||Aida (front) Egyptian dancer|
|P010470||At the lake|
|P010384||Autumn morning in the Rockies|
|P010136||Battle of the titans twilight of the gods|
|P010317||Battle of the Titans: twilight of the gods|
|P010104||Blood and sand|
|P010386||By the lake|
|P010337||By the sea|
|P010465||Cabin in the hills|
|P010449||Calm before storm|
|P010004||Calm before storm|
|P010447||Calm before the storm|
|P010###||City of the lost tribes|
|P010328||Clear and cold|
|P010523||Cliffs and trees|
|P010###||Clouds over Electra Lake (Colo.)|
|P010481||Coming to rest|
|P010363||Crystal Lake (Wisc.)|
|P010387||Death in the afternoon|
|P010200||Design by jack frost|
|P010441||Design by jack frost|
|P010414||Design by jack frost|
|P010196||Design by jack frost|
|P010287||Design for Japanese screen|
|P010001||Durango Smelter (Durango, Colo.)|
|P010193||Edge of the meadow|
|P010495||Emerging from the clouds|
|P010358||Entrance to monument valley-burial ground of the gods|
|P010420||Entrance to Valhalla|
|P010155A||Evening at the castle|
|P010519||Evening in the mountains|
|P010128||Flower seller of Xochimilco|
|P010335||Freedom of worship|
|P010514||From the north window|
|P010282||Frosty morning on the farm|
|P010172||He loves me|
|P010238||Home to our mountains|
|P010294||Home to our mountains|
|P010421||In a garden|
|P010###||In the valley|
|P010###||Indian camp in the trees|
|P010398||Into the West|
|P010302||Joy of life|
|P010247||Keeper of the flame|
|P010300||Keeper of the flame|
|P010###||Kiva of Mesa Verde (Colo.)|
|P010165||Lena Valentine Hott Slover, a nurse of Dr. Ochsner (Durango, Colo.)|
|P010327||Mexican street scene|
|P010###||My hand of dreams|
|P010512||Nature arrays her forces|
|P010178||Near the stream|
|P010243||Old hard road|
|P010252||Old wood road spring|
|P010139||On a summer day|
|P010412||On a summer day|
|P010374||On a western ranch|
|P010140||On my lady's table|
|P010138||On the buffet|
|P010520||Out for a sail|
|P010322||Please play another|
|P010333||Plumes of winter|
|P010346||Plumes of winter|
|P010526||Posterboad for presentation|
|P010331||Rain over the castle|
|P010517||Ranch house in winter|
|P010339||Recollections of the hunt|
|P010189||Red's irish is up|
|P010227||Remnants of autumn|
|P010392||Remnants of autumn|
|P010191||Remnants of autumn|
|P010298||Remnants of autumn|
|P010142||Remnants of autumn, no.3|
|P010316||Repeated shadows- angels in nature|
|P010###||Rising fog (Electra Lake, Colo.)|
|P010279||Road to the ranch|
|P010432||Rock creek pass|
|P010307||Rock Creek Pass (Colo.)|
|P010345||Sand and sky|
|P010###||Sappho and her maids|
|P010226||Setting for a romantic story|
|P010###||Sheep alongside an irrigation ditch|
|P010483||Sheep may safely graze, J. S. Bach|
|P010522||Snow covered sheds|
|P010490||Songs of the past|
|P010368||Songs of the past|
|P010489||Spring in the Rockies|
|P010107||Spring the south wind|
|P010313||Springtime in the mountains|
|P010498||Springtime in the Rockies|
|P010270||Steep hillsides covered with vegetation|
|P010434||Still life:"The Nativity"|
|P010406||Sun breaks through|
|P010385||Sun's last rays|
|P010###||Tales from the Iliad|
|P010342||The blue grotto|
|P010145||The call of spring|
|P010181||The Call to prayer - Cathedral near Choluba in old Mexico|
|P010291||The cool retreat|
|P010153||The devil's garden|
|P010121||The first of May|
|P010283||The first of May|
|P010156||The first of May|
|P010309||The first snow autumn returning|
|P010150||The first snowfall|
|P010311||The glorious west- a mountain park|
|P010478||The good fairy|
|P010122||The good fairy|
|P010254||The gypsy girl|
|P010482||The high priestess|
|P010261||The incoming tide|
|P010472||The Indian village|
|P010270||The land of dreams|
|P010508||The last frontier|
|P010###||The last load|
|P010003||The leaking flume|
|P010256||The old and the new|
|P010480||The old west|
|P010461||The open gate|
|P010123||The pioneer- thoughts of yesterday|
|P010199||The pirate chief|
|P010525||The pirate chief|
|P010152||The pirate chief|
|P010132||The Roman race|
|P010463||The secret messengers|
|P010349||The song of the brook|
|P010###||The storm spectra|
|P010413||The upland pasture|
|P010381||The wandering five|
|P010###||The woman of Isleta and bake oven|
|P010509||The wood carriers|
|P010131||Thing of beauty|
|P010164||Through the window|
|P010334||To a mountain peak|
|P010365||Toilers of the sea|
|P010231||Toilers of the sea|
|P010214||Toilers of the sea|
|P010110||Tombs of the gods|
|P010506||Top of Cumbres Pass (N.M.)|
|P010261||Trees in a row|
|P010426||Trout Lake (Colo.)|
|P010380||Turkey buzzards on the death watch|
|P010211||Turkey buzzards on the death watch|
|P010170||Ute Indian mother and papoose|
|P010310||Waiting for spring|
|P010497||Waiting for spring|
|P010325||Waiting for the doctor|
|P010475||Waiting for the doctor|
|P010465||Waiting for the doctor|
|P010496||Watch towers of the Navajos|
|P010488||Watching the birds|
|P010249||When life is young (click here to view this image)|
|P010201||Where the padres sleep|
|P010403||Where the padres sleep|
|P010336||Where the padres sleep|
|P010513||Wind and snow|
|P010002||Wind and snow|
|P010409||Wind and snow|
|P010319||Winter on the western ranch|
|P010169||Woman of Isleta: Bread baking|
This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at email@example.com or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126). The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center. To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.
Guidesto special collections at the Center of Southwest Studies
Tips for doing research at the Center of Southwest Studies
Center of Southwest Studies home
Page last modified: November 02, 2006