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Frank Reeves (1884-1975) was born in Kentucky in 1884 and was raised on his family's livestock farm in Texas, where he gained an interest in photography. After attending college locally, Reeves took a job with the Swenson Land and Cattle Company, owner of SMS Ranches throughout west Texas, where he stayed for 14 years and had some of his photographs published in the ranch catalog. One was even used in a Stetson Hat Company ad.
He's best well-known for his action shots and artistic framing, which all served to capture the most realistic snapshot of ranch life possible. Reeves had several other ranch jobs after leaving the SMS Ranch and wrote for the Dallas News during his time in California. He became a livestock reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when he returned to Texas in 1929, where he remained working and taking photographs until his death in 1975 at age 90.
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This collection is arranged by type of material and then by subject.
Collection of photographs by livestock reporter and photographer, Frank Reeves. His photos depict ranch life in the early 1900s of the American West, from cowboys and cattle to daily life on the range. His press pass from the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco is also included. The collection's inclusive and bulk dates are approximate.
Several ranchers hold down a cow in a corral. A man with a bucket stands nearby. A ranch hand rides a horses along the fence.
A few ranch hands release cattle from their pen. A group of ranch hands sit along the fence in the background right.
Several cowboys prod cattle up a wooden ramp into a train car.
Two men help cattle herd onto a train car via a wooden ramp.
A few ranchers watch as they let cattle run into their pen. One sits on the fence; a few others stand behind it on the right.
A group of ranch hands work together to brand a cow in a field.
A team of ranch hands wrestle down a cow, holding onto its legs.
Several ranch hands brand cattle in a field as others watch. In the distance, cowboys keep an eye on the herd.
Ranch hands work together to saddle a horse, while one looks on.
A few cowboys work with a saddled horses, while a few horses stand in the background.
A group of ranch hands on foot and horseback work to reign in the team of horses.
Several ranchers, most on horseback, pull a team of horses along with rope.
A cowboy on horseback watches over a herd of cattle.
A few ranch hands ride on horseback along a herd of cattle. A windmill stands in the distance.
Cowboys watch as a few stray cattle break away from the herd.
A cowboy on horseback chases down stray cattle along the range.
A few horses graze in a field. A ranch hand and herd of cattle stand behind them farther back.
Two wagons are pulled by horses across the range, as cattle gather beside a drinking spot in the background.
Cattle stop for a drink as ranch hands look on at Spring Mountain Ranch, Meridian, Texas.
A ranch hand watches over grazing cattle as they stop near a watering hole.
A couple of cowboys corral a group of horses with rope on the range.
A group of ranch hands each hold a lasso of rope as they stand beside a team of horses.
A cowboy pulls a roped calf behind his horse as he crosses the range. Another cowboy on horseback stands guard over a herd of cattle in the background.
A cowboy shows off his roping skills around himself.
A cowboy ropes off a calf that has strayed from the herd, which crosses the range in the background.
A calf in a corral is roped by two cowboys on horseback while another stands watch next to the fence.
A group of ranch hands help subdue a calf, as a cowboy on horseback prepares to rope it.
Several ranch hands gather their ropes and unsaddle horses inside the corral.
A cowboy rides a bucking horse in a field as two men and a horse look on behind him.
Four men gather to take a picture of a cowboy riding a horse down a hill.
Two men speak in a field. One is on horseback; the other stands to the side. Other cowboys and a cattle herd can be seen faintly in the distance.
A group of cowboys ride on horseback across a field. Blankets lie on the ground in front.
A group of cowboys ride forward, leaving dust in their wake. Others attend to cattle in the back right.
Four cowboys sit on their horses beside a corral. Their wound lassos sit prominent at their side.
A cowboy rears back on his horse inside a corral.
A pair of cowboys watch another on a bucking horse. Another stands to the side attending his horse. Other horses mill about in the background.
A pair of ranch hands busy themselves by the chuck wagon, its contents spread out around it.
Several men clean themselves up with buckets of water near the chuck wagon.
Cowboys and ladies dance to live music at Spur Ranch, Texas. Two men play the guitar and fiddle on the left. A sheet makes up the dance floor. Several people look on from the fringes.
Two chuck wagons sit uncovered in a field. A few buckets and sheets litter the ground around them. A man stands beside the one in the rear and a structure can be seen in the distance.
A group of men and women eat together beneath a tarp on the range.
Five ranch hands gather in a corral to have a smoke break.
A ranch hand cleans up buckets underneath a tarp, as a group of men sit beside the uncovered chuck wagon in the back.
A few men get ready for their day at the chuck wagon. Another bends over a bucket to the right. The making of camp--two tents and a covered chuck wagon--can be seen on either side behind them.
Cowboys gather to eat beside an uncovered chuck wagon. A tarp covers some of them, while others sit in the sun.
A man in an apron looks to the camera, as a few others take a break beside the uncovered chuck wagon. A box near a wheel reads, "Crisco."
Four women and a man pose for a picture in front of a tent. A chuck wagon sits in the back right.
A ranch hand smoking a pipe stop to talk to two men sitting on a corral fence. Cattle can be seen in the pen behind them.
Two tents stand prominent on the right, as a group of men rest beneath the shade of a tarp. The uncovered chuck wagon sits to their left. Trees make up the background landscape.
A man towels off at the rear of an uncovered chuck wagon. Various pots and pans and other supplies rest atop it.
A cowboy cleans bowls at the back of the chuck wagon. Various buckets sit about the ground around him. A tent can be seen in the back left.
Several men take a break at camp, playing with an instrument. Two men stand in the background near the chuck wagon. Another can be seen off the right. Two tents stand in the back left.
A variant shot of Item #52, the same men listen to an instrument in front, while two men work at the chuck wagon behind them. A covered chuck wagon sits to the right, while two tents stand off to the left.
Dozens of cattle are penned together in a corral.
A small group of cattle gather in the shade of some trees.
A group of cattle graze near a watering hole. A windmill stands tall in the center surrounded by sparse trees.
A large herd of cattle grazes on the open range near a watering hole.
Photograph of the front facade of a United States Post Office building. A few trees line the front. Other buildings can be seen in the background on either side.
Press Building pass from the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco, also known as the Golden Gate International Exposition, where Reeves wrote a column for the Fort Wort Star Telegram, per included separate handwritten note