Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a young doctor's portrait

As much as I love the old things, I am so damned pleased with many of the modern things, and the internet is near the top of that list. I was looking through photos to see what I wanted to share and noticed the full name on this portrait. Ten years ago when I bought it I would have had to do quite a bit of work to find any information on him. But, tonight, I just put the name and town in google and I immediately know his life history.

This is Murdoch Bannister. This photograph was taken in 1889 according to the back of the photo and 1890 according to the front. He was in the middle of his college years at the time.

The photo was taken in Ottumwa, Iowa and that is where he lived for his life. He graduated with a B.S. from Iowa State University in1891. He then went on to become a doctor. He married Keota William in 1904. Keota was a practicing lawyer, which seems remarkable to me for the time. She quit law to get married and they had two sons.

Murdoch Bannister became quite a prominent doctor and there are many antique books and papers online that he wrote.

I wonder how his college portrait made it's way to the west coast. I did find one listing from the 70's for his son that indicated he lived in Santa Clara, California. Maybe that is how I got it. I must have picked it up when I was in the Bay Area.


  1. Thanks for the history. It makes the picture more interesting. His wife must have been a real interesting person. Thanks for sharing your treasures with me.

    debbie peysen