One of the most prolific and unappreciated western photographers, William Richard Cross was born in Vermont in 1843. By the 1860ís he had opened his first studio in Omaha, Nebraska. This did not last long however, as Cross moved from place to place across Nebraska. His stops included Norfolk, Ft. Meade and finally Niobrara, where he settled for the next ten years (1868-78). In 1878 he shifted his studios to Hot Springs, South Dakota where his Cross Studios operated until 1898.
During his productive career, Cross covered much of Nebraska and the Dakota Territory, recording a trade list of more than 2000 views. He photographed everything of interest, from Indians and sod houses, to fossil and mammal skeletons. He published a set of twenty views of Sitting Bullís camp at Fort Randall, where the Indians were held as prisoners of war. In addition, his sets of the Black Hills, the Wind, Onyx and Crystal Caves, and the Missouri River Ice Gorges are particularly noteworthy.
His only known Yellowstone view to date resides in the collection of thermal expert, Heinrich Koenig. It is a Joshua Crissman photograph of Liberty Cap at Mammoth. Cross was known to occasionally pirate other photographers images and this is such a case.
1142 Minerva Terrace, west side (large).