Camera Workers, 1858-1950

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

Prest, Mrs. Olive Harley[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

Female 1853 - 1913  (59 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Prest, Olive Harley 
    • VARIANT NAME: Prest, Mrs. W.A.
    Title Mrs. 
    Born 30 Apr 1853  Eng., UK Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Gender Female 
    Business Address/Year 1903-Jun 1907  Cranbrook, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 7 Jan 1913  Saskatoon, SK Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, SK Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Association Prest, William Archie (Relationship: Spouse) 
    Association Prest and Company (Relationship: Proprietor; Co-proprietor) 
    Association Prest, Cecil Henry (Relationship: Son) 
    Person ID I1735  Camera Workers | P, vol. 2, 1901-1950
    Last Modified 13 Jun 2020 

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial.
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: According to the 1901 Canada census she immigrated in 1856. The Cranbrook Herald noted her presence in Fernie on 23 Oct 1902 where she was "looking after the photograph gallery in the absence of her husband, who is dangerously ill with hemorrhage of the brain." Following her husband W.A. Prest's untimely death in Nov 1902, she closed the Cranbrook studio on 15 Nov 1902 and departed in late Dec for Effingham, IL, where she attended the Illinois College of Photography. Likely in order to keep her name in the public mind, she sent a letter recounting her experiences at the school to the Cranbrook Herald which it published on 5 Feb 1903. Although she was supposed to return home in early Mar 1903, she attended her dying mother in Virden, MB, where her sister, Mrs. Woolhouse, also lived. Her sister accompanied her back to Cranbrook in mid-Mar. At this point her son Cecil H. Prest quit his job and partnered with his mother to keep the Cranbrook and Fernie studios open. In addition to portraiture work, both of them took landscape views: he photographed the aftermath of the 1903 Frank Slide in neighbouring Alberta, and together they photographed mining operations at Perry Creek in the East Kootenay region. After her son quit his appointed position as Cranbrook's first City Clerk and moved with his wife to Virden, MB, she sold Prest and Company to photographer R.J. Binning, and followed him to Manitoba. Her son subsequently moved to Saskatoon where he worked in real estate.

  • Sources 
    1. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 1, 23 Oct 1902.
      In Fernie looking after husband's photo studio.

    2. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 4, 13 Nov 1902.
      Closes studio due to absence

    3. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 4, 1 Jan 1903.
      Left for Illinois last Saturday

    4. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 1, 5 Feb 1903.
      Letter recounting her experiences at the Illinois College of Photography

    5. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 1, 5 Mar 1903.
      Mother ill and dies

    6. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 4, 13 Mar 1903.
      Returns to Cranbrook with sister

    7. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 6, 11 Aug 1904.
      Perry Creek trip

    8. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 8, 27 Jun 1907.
      Canadian Alpine Club camp and move to Manitoba

    9. [S995] Cranbrook Herald, 4, 9 Jan 1913.

    10. [S647] Census of Canada 1901.
      Province of BC, District no. 5 Yale Cariboo, Sub-district no. 8, Polling sub-division no. 4 in Riding S[outh] E[ast] Kootenay, Cranbrook, p. 2, line 3

    11. [S832] Find a Grave (Web site).
      URL (accessed 12 Jun 2020):