Prosch Seattle Views Albums
The 169 images of early Seattle contained in this database were collected in two albums by Thomas Prosch, an early Seattle pioneer. Included are images of the waterfront, businesses, residences, and the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.
The collection includes two photographic albums containing 169 images collected and annotated by Thomas Prosch, one of Seattle's earliest pioneers. The photographs were taken by local photographers, among them Asahel Curtis, Webster and Stevens, George Moore, John P. Soule, Theodore Peiser and the Peterson Brothers Studio. The albums trace the early history of Seattle and vicinity, ca. 1851-1906. Images include the Seattle Fire of 1889, early businesses and pioneer families.
Son of pioneer parents, Charles and Susan Prosch, Thomas Prosch came with his family to the Pacific Coast in 1855 from Brooklyn, New York. The elder Prosch was a printer and in 1858 founded the Puget Sound Herald at Steilacoom. In his early years, Thomas Prosch worked for his father as well as in a number of other jobs including clerking in the State legislature and the customs office at Port Townsend.
About 1869 the Prosch family, now residing in Olympia, acquired the Pacific Tribune newspaper. When the complete ownership of the paper passed to Thomas in 1872, he moved to Tacoma, and later to Seattle where he continued its publication and eventually sold it. About 1879, Thomas Prosch and Samuel L. Crawford bought the Intelligencer newspaper. Two years later, the paper was merged with the Post to become the present day Post-Intelligencer. Early in 1886 Prosch sold the paper to a joint stock company.
From 1876 onward, Prosch was involved with a series of jobs and activities reating to the City of Seattle. In 1876 Prosch was appointed postmaster of Seattle by President Grant. He had charge of the municipal census of Seattle in 1890 and at the same time was special agent in charge of the federal census. In the early 1890's he served three years as a member of the Seattle School Board. In 1894 he aided in platting the tidelands of Seattle and Tacoma. He was also active in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and a member and officer of various pioneer and historical societies including the Washington Pioneer's association.
His later life was devoted to historical writing and collecting. He died in 1915.
Additional photographs collected by Thomas Prosch can be found in the Prosch Washington Views Album collection.
About the Database
The information for Prosch Seattle Views Albums was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division and Cataloging staff in 2001. All the photographs from the album were included in this database. The images were scanned in grayscale using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the images was done to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Content program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Seattle Prosch Album Collection no. 27.