06 Meet the McKellips

In today’s episode we meet two photographers who are another set of sisters running studios together at a variety of times and places in the early 20th century.


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Notes

The McKellips sisters were prolific, running studios in a variety of towns. They were producing cabinet cards, portraits, photos of babies, etc., i.e.  all the standard type of artisan photographer images.

I first ran across them when I was researching Margaret O’Donnell and ran across this ad in a Beloit paper:

The Beloit Daily Call_ newspaper, Sep 23, 1909
The Beloit Daily Call_ newspaper, Sep 23, 1909

As it turns out, the McKellips sisters and their photography studio(s) appear quite a bit in old newspapers advertisements and other notices. Below is just a sample of some of the material that I found in the Beloit newspapers for Myrtle and Mary McKellips (all the clips were found using digitized newspapers available online at places like Newspapers.com (a subscription service) and the Library of Congress online newspapers (free):

1914 Boxed advertisement in the Beloit Daily Call newspaper, when Myrtle is working on her own:

Myrtle McKellips ad, Beloit Daily Call newspaper, 11/6/1914
Myrtle McKellips ad, Beloit Daily Call newspaper, 11/6/1914

1914 Different style notice in the Beloit Daily Call newspaper for her photography:

Sample newspaper notice for Myrtle McKellips's photography studio, Beloit Daily Call, 1914
Sample newspaper notice for Myrtle McKellips’s photography studio, Beloit Daily Call, 1914

After August 1915, Myrtle and her sister Mary are running the studio together; the studio is now named “The McKellips Studio”:

The McKellips Studio ad, Beloit Daily Call, 08/02/1915. Both Mary and Myrtle now work there.
The McKellips Studio ad, Beloit Daily Call, 08/02/1915. Both Mary and Myrtle now work there.
1915 notice in the Beloit Daily Call that Mary (nicknamed Matie) has returned and will work with her sister Myrtle.
1915 notice in the Beloit Daily Call that Mary (nicknamed Matie) has returned and will work with her sister Myrtle.

Between 1915-1919 Myrtle and Mary run ads and put notices in the paper at regular intervals, using a variety of messages that ranging a humorous nudge to a somber reminder of happenings in the world:

Notice for the McKellips Studio in the Beloit Daily Call, 10/26/1917
1917 Notice for the McKellips Studio in the Beloit Daily Call (10/26/1917)
Ad for the McKellips Studio during WWI, Beloit Daily Call newspaper, 10/17/1918
1918 ad for the McKellips Studio during WWI, Beloit Daily Call newspaper, (10/17/1918)

In June of 1919 Myrtle and Mary sell the McKellips studio; Myrtle gets married and retires (for now), while Mary moves one:

Mary McKellips now working in Concordia, Kansas (ad in the Concordia Blade Empire paper 09/24/1919.)
Mary McKellips now working in Concordia, Kansas (ad in the Concordia Blade Empire paper 09/24/1919.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet run across any photos of the McKellips sisters themselves, nor any examples of the actual photos they took. However, when I run across them, I’ll add them to the board I made for this episode on Pinterest.

Lifeline

Lifelin for McKellips Sisters: Mary McKellips, 1893-190, Myrtle McKellips, 1888-1931

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