Fritts Photo Studio, Liberal, Missouri

The below image was originally on the late Barbara Irwin’s web pages on Liberal, which are no longer maintained. It was submitted to her by a Mary Jane Conrades who was seeking information on the women in the photo and stated the Missouri Historical Society Archives had dated the photo is being in the 1880s.

Taken at Fritts Photo Studio

Fritts Photo Studio retouched

Showing similar hairstyles of bangs and curls, I’ve a family photo which shows the same backdrop at Fritts, and would be from the same period.

To learn more about the above photo and the individuals in it visit this page.

I’ve been unable to discover who was the owner of the Fritts studio in Liberal. I do find this which is from the late 1880s:

Aug 6, 1887, pg 1, col 2

Died: This week we are called upon to chronicle the death of Phoebe L. Fritts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Fritts, of Liberal, Mo. Mr. Fritts and family were formerly residents of Garland, and have many friends here who deeply sympathize with them in this the sad hour of their deep affliction. May the just God who controls the universe, and tempers the wind to the shorn lamb be with them in their deep sorrow and cause them to realize that Phoebe has gone to dwell with Him who said, “Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

I find Joseph and Phebe B., ages 77 and 70, from New York, on the 1910 census in Liberal but not the 1900 census. In 1910 they aren’t listed as being in photography. They were in Macedon, Wayne county, New York in 1880 (little Phoebe was 6 years of age so she was 13 when she died), but Joseph was given as a farmer and gardener, not a photographer. So, we know Joseph Fritts and his wife were early residents of Liberal, who would have been attracted to the area during Walser’s freethought period, but we don’t know if he owned the studio. Joseph is the only Fritts in Liberal in 1910, and there are no Fritts families there in 1900, Joseph and Phoebe were then living in Drywood, Bourbon, Kansas, and Joseph was again listed as a gardener. If they did run a Fritts studio and it was still in Liberal as late as 1909, they may have sold it by that time. Or perhaps they had nothing at all to do with the Fritts photo studio.

4 thoughts on “Fritts Photo Studio, Liberal, Missouri

  1. Hello, I hope you don’t mind my putting my two cents in. I always appreciate it when I get feed back from people visiting my site. At least you know someone is reading. I can tell you that the first photo on this page were taken in late 1890s or early 1900 at the peak of their popularity by the sleeves both lady’s are wearing. Prior to 1898 this sleeves won’t be found, at least in photographs dating back to 1840. The hairstyles can be later but the sleeves can’t be mistaken. What qualities me is that I help people tell the possible dates of their photos in order to identify people in their family tree by studing fashions from 1840 to about 1960 and I have been restoring photographs since 1996 which exposes me to photos with known dates. I hope this is helpful to someone.

  2. Hi, don’t know if this website is still being monitored. I found a photo of one of my relatives taking by Fritts,view,a portrait artist, Liberal ,MO(stamped). on back.with 2075 aaa ??(written in ink)
    ..I was trying to date this photo….I have a Lydia J Keller Miner.1841-1920 . Someone wrote in pencil Mrs EF Miner. Husband. is sitting in a wood chair and she is standing with umbrella and leaning on a wood rack??(it is strange looking).
    Any info where I might get more info?…Thanks Cindy Olstrom

  3. Cindy, I have several Fritts photos and I know that two would be dated 1895, and one reader suggested 1898 for one of the above photos.

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