Joseph Judd Pennell and Joseph Stanley Pennell collection
This collection contains the daybooks (studio registers) of Junction City, Kansas photographer Joseph Judd Pennell, as well as various artifacts, many engraved, from Pennell's personal possessions. The daybooks from the Pennell studio date from 1896 to 1925. Included in the collection are school essays and drawings by Pennell's son, Joseph Stanley Pennell.
- Creation: 1896 - 1925
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
Biographies of Joseph Judd (1866-1922) and Joseph Stanley (1908-1963) Pennell
The son of a confederate soldier, Joseph Judd Pennell was born March 9, 1866 in Kings Creek, North Carolina. When he was about 18, his father's business failed and the family could no longer afford the cost of private education in the North Carolina schools. A cousin returning from a trip to Kansas told of the good public schools in Kansas, so the decision was made to leave North Carolina and settle in Kansas.
In his first years in Kansas, Joseph Pennell worked as a carpenter making coffins for an Abilene undertaker. His first venture into the business of photography began in March 1888, when he bought a half interest in a Junction City photography studio owned by L.A. Ramsour. After a year of work in the studio, he quit to travel through the countryside making photographs in his "photo car," probably a wagon with a darkroom set up in it.
A year of touring the countryside gave him the desire for a more stable and permanent business, so he returned to Junction City and entered into a brief partnership with S.D. Hopkins. At the end of a year, he opened a studio in partnership with Ed Zellner, whom he bought out two years later in 1893.
In 1898, Pennell married Edith Stanley and their only child, Joseph Stanley Pennell, was born in 1903. As a photographer, Pennell was a success in both the business and the photographic world. His business grew enough for him to have a new studio built in 1907. The building is still in use in Junction City. Along with his business success, Pennell achieved recognition and awards for his photography. His work was shown at the World's Fair in 1893 and at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. It was also published in photographic journals and in popular magazines of the time such as Munsey's and Ladies Home Journal.
Pennell was active in his community, serving on the Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce, and in organizations such as the Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus. Pennell continued to operate his studio until his premature death by blood poisoning at the age of 56 on April 3, 1922.
Stanley Pennell attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence and was a newspaperman and novelist. His published books included The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters (1944) and The History of Nora Beckham.
1.75 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 10 volumes) ; 31-41 cm
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
This collection contains Junction City, Kansas-based photographer Joseph Judd Pennell's ten daybooks (studio registers). The Pennell studio day books date from 1896 to 1925. Listings in the day books are chronological, beginning with the daybook labeled "A" and continuing through "J." The daybook originals are at RH MS G81. Photocopies of the day books are at RH MS 833.
Also at RH MS 833 are various drawings and school essays produced by Pennell's son Joseph Stanley Pennell (chiefly while enrolled in grades 3 and 8), as well as artifacts from Joseph Judd Pennell's personal possessions. The latter include an early Kodak camera, a pocket watch and stand, a sachet packet advertising the Pennell studio, and various items engraved with Pennell's name or initials. These include a cuff link, napkin ring, clothes brush, hanging labels, and a photography award pin.
Beulah Pennell (1889-1986), a younger sister of Joseph Judd Pennell, was the donor of this collection. Her informational notes accompany certain items in the collection.
RH MS 833
RH MS G81
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, Beulah Pennell, 1984.
Previously shelved at RH MS 402.
- Guide to the Joseph Judd Pennell and Joseph Stanley Pennell Collection
- Joseph Judd Pennell and Joseph Stanley Pennell Collection
- Finding aid prepared by mh, 2006. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2006. Finding aid revised by cl, 2010; mwh, 2018, 2023.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Joseph Judd Pennell and Joseph Stanley Pennell collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 833, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas