Miss Everhard

Miss Everhard
Photograph Collection

A collection of nearly 30,000 glass plate negatives depicting a century of Leavenworth history in portraits was purchased in 1998 by LCHS from the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California and returned to Leavenworth.

Miss Mary Ellen Everhard

The Everhard Photograph Collection is named after Miss Mary Ellen Everhard who owned and operated a photo studio in Leavenworth, Kansas, from 1922 to 1968. She was not only a gifted studio photographer, but a photography archivist. she had the vision to acquire and preserve thousands of negatives taken by four other photographers whose images of Leavenworth County people and places. Those predecessors were Richard Stevenson (1824-1891), his son Horace Stevenson (1867-1951), Ebenezer Elijah (E.E.) Henry (1826-1915), and his stepson Harrison Putney (1864-1950). At the time of her retirement, Everhard sold her entire collection to Chicago photographer and historian David R. Phillips. Mr. Phillips subsequently sold some 25,000 negatives from the collection to the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California, and others to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1998 Leavenworth County Historical Society raised the funds to purchase the Autry Museum collection and transport it back to Leavenworth. In 1999, the Society purchased 3,600 more negatives directly from Phillips.

In 2016 the rarest portion of the original collection was acquired by the museum. It is considered a national treasure because it contains stereo negatives of Leavenworth in the late 1860s to early 1870s.

glass plate negative

Glass Plate Negatives

The majority of images in the LCHS collection are studio portraits, but there are also street scenes, outdoor group portraits, residences and other subjects as well. The negatives reveal a visual cross-section of Leavenworth County citizenry and scenes representing the first century of the county's history.

The Everhard Collection is a rare, fragile, irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind historical artifact. It's value will endure and be enjoyed beyond its time. We invite you to step back in history and possibly even discover your own ancestors.

View some sample photographs from our collection on our Samples page


Discover Your Family in the Everhard Photograph Collection !

Since most of the collection is identified by name, the researcher of Leavenworth or Family History may discover a portrait not previously known.


View Virtual Exhibits of Glass Plate Images

As the photograph collection is digitized, images will become available for viewing. The online Virtual Exhibit "Men in Uniform" featured here is an example of some of our images. We also have Victorian women, families, children, houses, clergy, weddings, babies, men with mustaches and beards, hats, etc., as subject categories in the collection.
Use the Search function to find a family name or just browse the images. If you find an image you would like to purchase in the Virtual Exhibit or the searchable name only database, a form is available for ordering.
This is a fund raising project for the museum. Prints are available for sale in various sizes.
Start The Exhibits


Reproduction Prints Available for Purchase

The LCHS is in the process of scanning the glass plate negative images into print-ready digital formats using an Epson scanner and the Adobe Photoshop computer program. The name of this collection will be known as The Mary Ellen Roach Higgins Digital Collection. Mrs. Higgins donated the necessary funds to purchase the equipment for digitizing the images and continues to support the on-going effort. From these digital images, black and white photo reproduction prints can be ordered and purchased.


Purchase original or restored imagesoriginal sample

restored sample