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Collection P 010:
B. J. Ochsner photograph collection

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Introduction, scope and contents

Administrative info

Biographical note
List of photos 
Center of Southwest Studies collection inventories
Center of Southwest Studies

©2003 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Introduction/ Scope and contents

P 010
B. J. Ochsner photograph collection

Years created: 1920 - 1953

This collection consists of approximately 400 large photoprints, nearly all in black and white, of local Southwest Colorado scenes, many of them in winter.  Most were framed under glass at the time they were accessioned, in acidic conditions; all are now stored unframed.  Individual prints are numbered 103-533.

Biographical note

Benjamin J. Ochsner (1869-1953)

Undated 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.”

OBITUARY 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 into Durango.

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. "

Administrative information

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.


Search suggestion: you can search this web page by name using the Edit-> Find in Page (Ctrl+F) feature on your Web browser.

Photoprint # Title
P010108 Across the river
P010452 Across the river
P010260 After rain
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
P010446 Afternoon meal
P010106 Afternoon on the desert
P010340 Aida (front) Egyptian dancer
P010177 All alone
P010245 Alone
P010427 Alpine hut
P010477 Apache
P010474 Apache scout
P010492 Approaching storm
P010233 April
P010205 April
P010470 At the lake
P010372 Atonement
P010278 Atonement
P010384 Autumn morning in the Rockies
P010204 Autumn's offering
P010144 Autumn's offering
P010410 Bacchante
P010430 Bacchante
P010155 Ballet
P010136 Battle of the titans twilight of the gods
P010317 Battle of the Titans: twilight of the gods
P010133 Bitter medicine
P010104 Blood and sand
P010437 Blossom time
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
P010500 Cherry blossoms
P010### City of the lost tribes
P010328 Clear and cold
P010448 Cliffs
P010523 Cliffs and trees
P010### Clouds over Electra Lake (Colo.)
P010501 Combat
P010435 Come chick
P010224 Come chick
P010481 Coming to rest
P010363 Crystal Lake (Wisc.)
P010264 Dance fantastic
P010387 Death in the afternoon
P010176 Desert cottonwood
P010375 Desert cottonwood
P010103 Desert spring
P010332 Desert spring
P010195 Design
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
P010396 Duck hunter
P010001 Durango Smelter (Durango, Colo.)
P010511 Dusk
P010193 Edge of the meadow
P010495 Emerging from the clouds
P010353 Empty hayshed
P010358 Entrance to monument valley-burial ground of the gods
P010420 Entrance to Valhalla
P010155A Evening at the castle
P010424 Evening calm
P010519 Evening in the mountains
P010439 Evening peace
P010450 Fishing
P010370 Flight
P010128 Flower seller of Xochimilco
P010335 Freedom of worship
P010514 From the north window
P010259 Frost flowers
P010274 Frosted cedar
P010354 Frosty hillside
P010281 Frosty hillside
P010246 Frosty morning
P010282 Frosty morning on the farm
P010419 Frosty night
P010364 Frozen music
P010389 Golden autumn
P010443 Golden autumn
P010390 Golden autumn
P010112 Grazing
P010112A Grazing
P010172 He loves me
P010315 Hilltop house
P010238 Home to our mountains
P010294 Home to our mountains
P010320 Hygeria
P010421 In a garden
P010### In the valley
P010### Indian camp in the trees
P010428 Indian summer
P010255 Indian summer
P010194 Indian summer
P010504 Indian summer
P010185 Innocence
P010398 Into the West
P010118 Intrusion
P010126 Japanese design
P010302 Joy of life
P010210 Judy morning
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.)
P010186 Long ago
P010395 Marooned
P010119 Maytime
P010518 Meadows
P010124 Memories
P010143 Mexican farms
P010327 Mexican street scene
P010505 Moonlight
P010373 Moonlight fantasy
P010359 Morning chores
P010179 Morning greetings
P010499 Mount Papocalopatyl
P010217 Mountain cabin
P010### Mountain cabin
P010456 Mountain clematis
P010404 Mountain hayfield
P010411 Mountain lake
P010212 Mountain lake
P010### Mountain pass
P010116 Mountain pastures
P010479 Mountain pastures
P010486 Mountain ranch
P010### Mountain ranch
P010503 Mountain scene
P010234 Mountain view
P010### My hand of dreams
P010512 Nature arrays her forces
P010### Nature's forces
P010239 Nature's forces
P010524 Nature's screen
P010473 Navajo chief
P010202 Navajos
P010178 Near the stream
P010377 Nocturne
P010515 Nocturne
P010469 Nocturne-moonlight fantasy
P010### North hillside
P010407 October
P010243 Old hard road
P010240 Old hunter
P010240A Old hunter
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
P010431 Open doorway
P010485 Open grazing
P010180 Oriental
P010187 Oriental design
P010520 Out for a sail
P010361 Pastoral
P010290 Penelope
P010151 Penelope
P010322 Please play another
P010333 Plumes of winter
P010346 Plumes of winter
P010526 Posterboad for presentation
P010160 Pot roast
P010459 Pot roast
P010350 Powerful beauty
P010141 Prince
P010192 Quiet afternoon
P010331 Rain over the castle
P010517 Ranch house in winter
P010339 Recollections of the hunt
P010189 Red's irish is up
P010149 Religious ruins
P010227 Remnants of autumn
P010392 Remnants of autumn
P010191 Remnants of autumn
P010298 Remnants of autumn
P010142 Remnants of autumn, no.3
P010494 Renewal
P010219 Renewal
P010316 Repeated shadows- angels in nature
P010113 Resting
P010135 Resting
P010388 Returning home
P010229 Rhythm
P010005 Rising fog
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
P010507 Screen pattern
P010171 Secret messengers
P010114 Senorita M
P010226 Setting for a romantic story
P010### Sheep alongside an irrigation ditch
P010483 Sheep may safely graze, J. S. Bach
P010### Shining smile
P010522 Snow covered sheds
P010006 Snowy stream
P010521 Solitude
P010244 Solitude
P010490 Songs of the past
P010368 Songs of the past
P010312 Spanish dance
P010232 Sparrows' Christmas
P010115 Sparrows' Christmas
P010265 Spring
P010393 Spring
P010510 Spring
P010436 Spring
P010360 Spring
P010304 Spring
P010275 Spring
P010417 Spring beauty
P010487 Spring day
P010341 Spring evening
P010489 Spring in the Rockies
P010357 Spring morning
P010367 Spring pastures
P010348 Spring returning
P010502 Spring returning
P010 Spring song
P010107 Spring the south wind
P010218 Spring's awakening
P010280 Spring's awakening
P010371 Spring's awakening
P010467 Spring's awakening
P010235 Spring's awakening
P010440 Springtime
P010174 Springtime
P010289 Springtime
P010109 Springtime
P010297 Springtime
P010305 Springtime
P010369 Springtime
P010313 Springtime in the mountains
P010498 Springtime in the Rockies
P010270 Steep hillsides covered with vegetation
P010263 Still life
P010343 Still life
P010434 Still life:"The Nativity"
P010271 Summer idyll
P010406 Sun breaks through
P010385 Sun's last rays
P010366 Tails up
P010### Tales from the Iliad
P010295 Taxco
P010167 Taxco
P010223 Ten below
P010362 The [hand]
P010147 The bandit
P010457 The bath
P010466 The birch
P010### The blizzard
P010342 The blue grotto
P010402 The budding
P010145 The call of spring
P010181 The Call to prayer - Cathedral near Choluba in old Mexico
P010318 The camp
P010158 The centerpiece
P010168 The cloud
P010291 The cool retreat
P010491 The cynic
P010324 The cynic
P010376 The dancer
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
P010159 The fountain
P010344 The gaze
P010311 The glorious west- a mountain park
P010478 The good fairy
P010122 The good fairy
P010429 The guardian
P010254 The gypsy girl
P010237 The habitat
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
P010383 The nativity
P010173 The nativity
P010163 The net
P010256 The old and the new
P010480 The old west
P010461 The open gate
P010493 The patriarch
P010303 The perch
P010248 The pioneer
P010123 The pioneer- thoughts of yesterday
P010127 The pirate
P010199 The pirate chief
P010525 The pirate chief
P010152 The pirate chief
P010273 The pond
P010188 The quarry
P010415 The renegade
P010314 The rite
P010355 The river
P010132 The Roman race
P010222 The scout
P010463 The secret messengers
P010349 The song of the brook
P010258 The spire
P010### The storm spectra
P010215 The sunburst
P010154 The tease
P010400 The tree
P010413 The upland pasture
P010130 The walk
P010381 The wandering five
P010293 The waterfall
P010236 The waterfall
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
P010125 To spring
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.)
P010460 Tragedy
P010261 Trees in a row
P010416 Tribal call
P010426 Trout Lake (Colo.)
P010380 Turkey buzzards on the death watch
P010211 Turkey buzzards on the death watch
P010379 Unconquerable
P010269 Unconquerable
P010444 Upland pasture
P010433 Upland pastures
P010182 Upland pastures
P010285 Upland pastures
P010468 Upland pastures
P010111 Upland pastures
P010476 Ute dancer
P010170 Ute Indian mother and papoose
P010391 Vanity
P010310 Waiting for spring
P010497 Waiting for spring
P010325 Waiting for the doctor
P010475 Waiting for the doctor
P010465 Waiting for the doctor
P010134 War-widowed mother
P010442 War-widowed mother
P010183 War-widowed mother
P010496 Watch towers of the Navajos
P010272 Watching nature
P010488 Watching the birds
P010286 Wayside cabin
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
P010405 Winter beauty
P010### Winter etching
P010### Winter hillside
P010### Winter ice
P010268 Winter morning
P010401 Winter night
P010425 Winter night
P010221 Winter night
P010516 Winter night
P010319 Winter on the western ranch
P010484 Winter visitor
P010169 Woman of Isleta: Bread baking
P010288 Woman's hands

Doing your own research: This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.   It cannot serve as a substitute for a
visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

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 archives@fortlewis.edu 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.


Page last modified: November 02, 2006