Herman Brosius (active 1870s and 1880s) was one of twin boys born in 1851 to George and Wilhelmina Brosius. His name first appears in the Milwaukee City Directory in 1869 as a wood carver for Matthews Brothers Furniture Company. He is listed in the 1874 directory as a traveling agent, and subsequently he listed himself as an artist. He was associated with the Beck and Pauli Lithographic Company as well as his brother’s Milwaukee Lithographing and Engraving Company. He authored at least fifty-seven bird’s-eye views, beginning in 1871 and concluding in 1884. He continued working as a publisher through 1895 and died in Chicago in 1917.
Camille N. Drie
Camille N. Drie (active 1870s–1910s) produced only a dozen city views during a career that spanned a little more than three decades, from 1871 to 1904. His masterpiece, a 110-sheet view of St. Louis, Missouri, was published in 1875. Drie (also spelled Dry) left no record of his birth date, nor is his death date known. There are a few business and residential addresses that appear in St. Louis city directories during the 1870s. Otherwise, little is known of the man who listed himself as a “draughtsman.”
Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler
Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842–1922) was perhaps the most prolific of the dozens of bird’s-eye view artists who crisscrossed the country during the latter three decades of the nineteenth century. He produced at least seventeen views of different Texas cities in 1890 and 1891, but that output is dwarfed by his production of almost 250 views of Pennsylvania between 1872 and 1922. Born in 1842, Fowler came up through the ranks, learning photography during the Civil War and joining his uncle’s photographic studio in Madison, Wisconsin, following the war. He joined Albert Ruger of Chicago as an assistant, or agent, as early as 1868 and went on his own in 1870. He was involved in several partnerships with other established bird’s-eye-view artists and publishers such as H. H. Bailey, O. H. Bailey, and J. J. Stoner. Beginning in 1888, he associated with James B. Moyer, and together they published most of the approximately 250 views of Pennsylvania cities that Fowler drew. It seems likely that Fowler would have used his photographic skills in his new profession, perhaps transferring his drawn images to stones or zinc plates photographically, as many lithographers had taken up the practice during the latter quarter of the century.
Fowler made a swing through Oklahoma and North Texas in 1890 and 1891. Honey Grove (which exists only as a drawing in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum) is the easternmost Texas city that he documented, and Clarendon is the westernmost. Both of these cities, along with several others that he published, are on the east-west railroad line made up of the Texas and Pacific, Missouri Pacific, and Fort Worth and Denver City that ran from Texarkana to Sherman to Wichita Falls and on into the Texas Panhandle and to Denver. He probably traveled by rail to all the other Texas cities that he documented as well. Fowler continued to draw and promote his views even into 1922, the year of his death.
Paul Giraud (1844–1917) was born in Valence, France, and came to Texas in 1887. He went into the real estate business in Dallas in 1890 and became involved in the Trinity River Navigation Company promoting commercial traffic on the Trinity River via a system of canals, locks, and dams. During this time he served as secretary of the Commercial Club of Dallas, predecessor of the Chamber of Commerce, and produced his bird’s-eye view of Dallas, which he distributed in France in an effort to promote Dallas. He apparently was not a member of the Giraud family that immigrated to La Réunion, a French colony on the south bank of the Trinity River in central Dallas County.
Augustus Koch (1840–?) was born in Birnbaum, Germany. He received a good education (whether in Germany or this country is not known) and served as a clerk and draughtsman in the Engineers Office of the Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. Although his English was poor, he won an assignment as an engineering officer with an African-American regiment serving in the Lower Mississippi Valley. He began his bird’s-eye-view career with a few pictures of Iowa cities in 1868 and 1869. He traveled to several other states, from California to New York and Alabama, before arriving in Texas in 1873. He worked for years with Joseph J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin, the same person who served as agent for both Drie and Brosius, who preceded him to Texas. Koch produced some twenty-four views of Texas cities that are known and dozens of views of cities in other states. Koch’s views are known for their detail and accuracy. He returned to Texas on at least two subsequent occasions, revisiting cities that he had already drawn and producing updates for cities such as Austin, Brenham, and San Antonio. His death date is not known.
D. D. Morse
D. D. Morse (active 1870s). Little is known of Morse, who drew views of Fort Worth, Denison, McKinney, and Waxahachie in 1876 and probably Weatherford in 1877. He first shows up as a bird’s-eye-view artist and/or publisher in 1870 in Michigan. He apparently ended his career with a view of San Gabriel, California, in 1892 and might have retired there.
Henry Wellge (1850–1917) was one of the more prolific of the bird’s-eye-view artists, producing more than 150 city views between 1878 and 1910 in twenty-six states and the Province of Quebec, including at least nine Texas views. Born in Germany, he is first noted in this country in Milwaukee, where he was engaged as an artist, lithographer, architect, and publisher. From the beginning he associated with the Milwaukee firm of Beck & Pauli, which published most of his views. He worked with Joseph J. Stoner and George E. Norris, among others, who handled the sales and distribution of the prints. Norris, for example, is the person who called on the editor of the Fort Worth Gazette to publicize the view of Fort Worth.
A. L. Westyard
A. L. Westyard (active 1890s). Little is known about Westyard, except that he seems to have been associated with D. W. Ensign, Jr., of Chicago, who might have been a publisher in Philadelphia before moving to Chicago.