A Guide to the Frank Duncan Papers, 1907-1968
Missouri-native Francis K. “Frank” Duncan (1877-1970) was a photographer, prospector, and mining supervisor, who owned mineral rights in West Texas. Although he primarily lived in Marfa, Presidio, and Terlingua, Texas, Duncan also lived or worked in several areas of Mexico, British Columbia in Canada, Alaska, Missouri, Kansas, Oregon, New Mexico, and numerous other states in the U.S. As a professional photographer, he operated several studios, including the Duncan Photography Company in Marfa, and was well known for his group portraits of ranchers and the military as well as his landscapes of West Texas and Big Bend. Additionally, he was a member of the Socialist Party of America, Photographs Association of America, Loyal Order of Moose, and the Brotherhood of American Yeoman.
Duncan’s siblings include Hattie (Mrs. J. P. Bradley), Elias, Newt, Maude (Mrs. Atkin), and Lula (Mrs. Vaughn) Duncan. He and his wife M. L. Duncan had one daughter, Kathleen (Mrs. Menard), who helped her father in his photography business and mining ventures.
Frank Duncan Papers, 1907-1968, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Marfa Public Library. "The Photographer." Marfa Public Library. http://www.marfalibrary.org/photographer.cfm (accessed August 10, 2010).
The Frank Duncan Papers, 1907-1968, consist of correspondence, tax receipts, check books, bills, deeds, copyright notices, mineral rights applications, photographs, publications, and other legal and financial documents. The business correspondence, financial records, publications, and legal documents concern Duncan’s attempts to purchase mineral rights through the General Land Office; business relationships with mining companies, investors, and other prospectors; production and sale of photographic postcards; and copyrighting of his nature photographs through the Library of Congress. Furthermore, personal correspondence details Duncan’s relationships with his daughter, friends, girlfriends, colleagues, and other family members, and a few photographs depict the people, communities, and natural resources of West Texas.
This collection is open for research use.
Frank Duncan Papers, 1907-1968, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection contains unprocessed materials.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers