Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Restrictions on Access

Acquisition Info

Processing Info

Other Finding Aids

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the McGilvra Family Photograph Collection



PH Collection No.: 487
Creator: McGilvra, John J. (John Jay), 1827-1903 , creator
Title: McGilvra Family Photograph Collection
Date Span: ca. 1880s-1920s
Quantity: 20 photographic prints (1 box)
Location: K0165
Engraving of John McGilvra. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW3281

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Biographical Note

Lawyer, businessman, politician, and Seattle pioneer John J. McGilvra was born in Livingston County, New York, in 1827. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1853 and practiced law in Chicago. His law office was located in the same building as Abraham Lincoln's and the two were good friends. In 1861, Lincoln appointed him U.S. Attorney for Washington Territory, at which time he relocated with his family to the city of Seattle. McGilvra served as U.S. Attorney until 1866, when he returned to private practice. He was responsible for legislation to create a wagon road over Snoqualmie Pass, the first trans-Cascade connection between eastern and western Washington.

McGilvra and his wife (Elizabeth M. McGilvra) and children (Oliver and Caroline) were the first settlers in what is now the Madison Park area of Seattle, and their effect on the development of the area is still evident. In 1864-1865, he cut a straight-line road from his 400 acres of land to downtown Seattle. Today this is Madison Street, the only direct route from Lake Washington to Elliott Bay. He operated a daily stagecoach that ran the length of Madison Street, and soon the area became a favorite haunt of Seattle residents who came to rent canoes, listen to music played on twin bandstands, and walk along the promenade. In 1880, McGilvra set aside 24 acres of his property for a public park and leased additional acreage for the building of cottages.

McGilvra's son Oliver was a successful Seattle lawyer. Daughter Caroline McGilvra, a philanthropist and avid collector of Native American artifacts, was married to Seattle pioneer Judge Thomas Burke, for whom the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is named. John J. McGilvra died in 1903.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of photographs of John J. McGilvra and his wife Elizabeth M. (Hills) McGilvra. There are also photographs of the McGilvra children, Oliver and Caroline. In addition, the collection contains one 1902 photograph of the McGilvra home and two snapshots of the McGilvra family gravesite.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open to the public.

Acquisition Info

Gift of the Thomas Burke estate, June 1, 1935.

Processing Info

Processed by Rebekah Dalby, 2002.

The photographs were relocated from the John J. McGilvra Papers, Accession No. 4806-1, in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

These materials form part of the John J. McGilvra Papers, which are described and indexed in A Guide to the John J. McGilvra Papers.


Inventory

 
Folder Item
John McGilvra
11John McGilvra

Photographer: Bogardus, New York, NY
2John McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Moore, George, Portrait and Landscape Photographer, Seattle, Wash.
3John McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Jacob Shew's Photographic Gallery, San Fransisco, Calif.
4John McGilvra

Photographer: Bell, C. M., Washington, D.C.
5John McGilvra   View image

Photographer: McClaire, Seattle, Wash.
26John McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Moore, Seattle, Wash.
7John McGilvra
Engraving based on John McGilvra photograph #487.6.

 
Folder Item
Elizabeth McGilvra
38Elizabeth McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Moore, George, Portrait and Landscape Photographer, Seattle, Wash.
9Elizabeth McGilvra
10-11Elizabeth McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Moore, George, Portrait and Landscape Photographer, Seattle, Wash.
12Elizabeth McGilvra   View image
Tintype.
13a-bElizabeth McGilvra as an old woman   View image

Photographer: Webster & Stevens, Seattle, Wash.
13b is an engraving based on 13a.

 
Folder Item
John and Elizabeth McGilvra
414John and Elizabeth McGilvra   View image

 
Folder Item
Oliver and Caroline McGilvra
515Oliver and Caroline McGilvra   View image

Photographer: Moore, George, Portrait and Landscape Photographer, Seattle, Wash.
16Oliver McGilvra   View image
17Oliver and Caroline McGilvra (Burke)   View image

 
Folder Item
McGilvra Home and Gravesite
618McGilvra home

Photographer: Peiser, [Theodore E.?], Seattle, Wash.
19-20McGilvra gravesite

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Burke, Caroline McGilvra--Photographs.
McGilvra family--Photographs.
McGilvra, Elizabeth M., 1835-1926--Photographs.
McGilvra, John J. (John Jay), 1827-1903--Photographs.
McGilvra, Oliver C.--Photographs.
Moore, George N., photographer.
Subjects:
Lawyers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs.
Pioneers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs.
Last modified: June 14, 2006
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