Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend With Shades - Sunday - August 30

A Monthly - Weekend With Shades - Column

Photography was all the rage in the St Louis area at the turn of the twentieth century, and not surprisingly so. The city was "The Gateway to the [still wild] West." It would be celebrating the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase .and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. A World's Fair had come to the city. It was a photographer's Paradise.

When A.J. Magill had the chance to get into the photography business, he jumped at it--or at least he would have jumped had he had two good legs with which to do so. Magill had been one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders at San Juan Hill; but he had survived that unscathed. However, when the handsome soldier with "a magnificent physique" returned to civilian life in Missouri, he had taken a job at the St Louis National Stockyards. Such work in that era was highly dangerous. A court later had occasion to describe what then happened to Magill:


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