Ben Wittick (1845-1903) Biography
George Benjamin Wittick was a photographer born in Pennsylvania, later moving to Illinois, and then out west in 1878 to pursue frontier photography. He first worked for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroads, but later established his first photography studio in Gallup, New Mexico. During his career, he photographed many subjects to include the railroad; southwestern landscapes such as Canyon de Chelly, the Navajo Reservation, and Pueblo scenes; and the Native peoples mostly the Apache, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni. He also painted scenes of the American expansion westward as well. He carried with him a collection of props for his photographs to include rifles, pistols, blankets, pottery, and more. Most of his photographs were taken outside using the natural sunlight against backdrops. His best known photographs were of Geronimo and Billy the Kid.
In 1900, he established his last studio at Fort Wingate. He later died in 1903 of a rattlesnake bite at Fort Wingate, which was foretold by a Hopi priest.