John Anderson was a photographer who worked primarily at Fort Niobrara in Nebraska and on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Born in Sweden in 1869, he came to this country with his parents, eventually settling in Cherry County, Nebraska, in 1884. John was sent back to Pennsylvania to be educated and it was during this time he became familiar with photography. By 1887 he was working as a civilian photographer for the army at Fort Niobrara, near Valentine, Nebraska. In the early 1890s he was working as a clerk in the Rosebud Reservation trading post operated by Colonel Charles P. Jordan.
Anderson was a prolific photographer. There are more than 350 glass plate negatives in the collection, including formal portraits of Fool Bull, Ben Reifel, and Crow Dog. Also included are scenes from around Rosebud and views of Fort Niobrara. To explore more of the Anderson Collection, please visit the NSHS Photograph and Artifact Database. Here are just a few samples of Anderson’s work.
John Anderson, the photographer, about 1890 [RG2969.PH:2-6 ]
Sam Kills Two, also known as Beads, working on his winter count. The death of Turning Bear, killed by a locomotive in 1910, is shown in the second row just above Kills Two’s left foot, about1900. [RG2969.PH:2-1]
Katie Roubideaux, about 1900 [RG2969-165a ]
Fool Bull, about 1900 [RG2969.PH:1-27] Fool Bull’s shield was made from material he carried at the Little Bighorn.
Sioux woman with child [RG2969.PH000002-000228]
Crow Dog, about 1898 [RG2969.PH:1-15 ]