Camera Workers, 1858-1950

The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950

Duncan, Francis King[1, 2, 3, 4]

Male 1878 - 1970  (91 years)


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  • Name Duncan, Francis King 
    • VARIANT NAME: Duncan, Frank K.
    Nickname Frank 
    Born 17 Dec 1878  Saint Clair, MO, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1913-ca. 1915  Salmon Arm, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 9 Jul 1970  Brownfield, TX, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Buried Mt. Olive Cemetery, Big Spring, TX, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID I1444  Camera Workers
    Last Modified 4 Sep 2019 

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial (itinerant).
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: According to Marshall, he was an itinerant photographer who appeared in Salmon Arm hoping to sell subscriptions for a special illustrated edition of the Salmon Arm Observer newspaper.

      MemoryBC provides this full biography:

      Francis (Frank) Duncan was born in Missouri in 1878. As a child, he and his parents lived in California and Texas. After the death of his parents, Duncan returned to Missouri to live with his grandparents. Duncan trained as a photographer, returned to Texas to work and then decided to "go up into Canada fishing."

      Duncan arrived in Salmon Arm in 1913 and opened a photography studio above the Kualt store. He was a widower at the time and sent for his daughter, Kathleen. Neighbours, the Reilly family, took care of the young girl at Tappen, while Duncan tried to make a living. To supplement his studio work, Duncan sold subscriptions to the Observer and bartered exchanges for his catches of fish.

      The Salmon Arm Observer notes that Duncan was an experienced photographer when he arrived in the area. He specialized in railroad and newspaper photography, and had worked throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.

      The Salmon Arm Observer commissioned Duncan to take photographs of all parts of the Shuswap. Interestingly, on June 18, 1914 the editors note that Mr. Duncan had a hydroplane that he used on Shuswap Lake. Duncan later worked in Klamath Falls, Oregon before moving to Texas. He made homes in Presidio, Terlingua and, finally, Marfa in 1916. According to The Big Bend Sentinel, Duncan considered himself primarily a prospector, with photographic skills. He approached ranchers in Texas, asking to prospect, but was usually denied access to their land. Then, as a back up, Duncan offered to take portraits of the ranchers' families and landscapes of their ranches. The Marfa Presidio County Museum houses 2,200 of Duncan's glass and film negatives from the region. Duncan loved hunting, fishing and the outdoors. He died July 9, 1970 at Brownfield, Texas and was buried at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Big Spring, Texas. Duncan was 91.
    • FORMATS: postcards.
    • IDENTIFYING MARKS: Print surface may be titled and signed with photographer's name.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1061] COLLECTION: BSALM.
      Francis (Frank) King Duncan fonds
      Includes glass negatives

    2. [S464] Steele (1995), D. Steele, (West Vancouver, B.C.: D. Steele, August 17, 1995).

    3. [S580] Marshall (1998), Denis Marshall, ed., (Salmon Arm: Okanagan Historical Society, Salmon Arm Branch, 1998).

    4. [S89] MemoryBC, (Archives Association of BC).
      Duncan, Frank
      URL (accessed 4 Sep 2019): https://www.memorybc.ca/duncan-frank

    5. [S832] Find a Grave (Web site).
      Francis King ?Frank? Duncan
      URL (accessed 4 Sep 2019): https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/89031162/francis-king-duncan