Myrtle Harcey the Photographer

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 Myrtle Harcey and her daughter Katherine

Myrtle Harcey (1878-1927), daughter of Thomas Edwin Harcey and Albertine (Wendt) Harcey, operated a photography studio in Minneapolis for several decades.

In 1905 she was living with her husband Reynold Scott "Ray" Hogue (whom she married after 1900) -- and was using his last name -- at 715 6th Avenue North in Minneapolis. As teenagers Myrtle and Ray had had a daughter, Katherine, born in 1897, who was given up for adoption.

By 1909 Myrtle was single and using the name "Harcey." Her business and residence at that time were located at 714 6th Avenue North in Minneapolis (perhaps the same building as 715), across the street from the Kistler Building at 635-637 6th Avenue North, where Myrtle’s older brother Edwin worked as a grocery clerk (and perhaps had an apartment).

In the 1910 federal census Myrtle was listed as a ‘boarder’ at 714 6th Avenue North, now the residence of Clarence and Charlotte A. "Lottie" (Starr) Altland and their sons Glen and Lee; her occupation was listed as "bookkeeper." Clarence (1872-1926) was a fireman on the Minneapolis-St. Louis Railway, the same line which employed Myrtle’s father Thomas Edwin Harcey. Mrs. Altland (1874-1916) appears in several of Myrtle’s photos.

There are photos of Myrtle in Europe and Mexico; whether she traveled for work or pleasure is unknown.

In the 1910's Myrtle located and reconnected with her daughter Katherine, who had been raised in Minneapolis as Katherine Margaret Tracy by her adoptive parents John Lewis and Kate M. (Tunnicliffe) Tracy. The two remained in contact until the end of Myrtle’s life. Myrtle introduced Katherine to all the Harcey family, including the relatives in Winona County, Minnesota, with whom Katherine appears in several photos.

Ralph Harcey (1899-1993), Myrtle’s much younger first cousin, recalled that Myrtle was struck and killed by a taxi "in New York City or some place." There is a notation on her burial record in the archives of Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis reading simply, "Montgomery Cty., Pennsylvania." Whether her death took place there or, as Ralph Harcey thought, in New York City, remains unknown. Her grave, like those of her parents, sister Elizabeth (Harcey) Roberts and brother William Franklin Harcey, was never marked with a gravestone.

a view of 6th Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN., taken from Myrtle (Harcey) Hogue's studio at 714 6th Avenue North, in 1907; the brick building behind the street car, located at 635-637 6th Avenue North, is labeled "Kistler Building;" Myrtle's brother Ed worked as a clerk for James Kistler, a grocer; penciled on the reverse of the original is the date "April 28, 07."

l. to r: Myrtle Harcey, Estella Harcey, Ruby Lela Harcey and Mrs. Altland standing on the stairs of Mannheimer's Memorial (now usually called the "Wedding Arch"), Como Park, St. Paul, MN., in the early 1900's; possibly taken with a camera timer

Minnehaha Creek, Minneapolis, MN., in the early 1900's, from an 8 x 10 original by Myrtle Harcey (which she titled "Minnehaha Creek" and signed "M. Harcey")

Myrtle Harcey, New York City, 1908

Myrtle in Naples, Italy, 1910

Myrtle's portraits of her siblings (l. to r.) Chauncey, Florence ("Launey") and Sr. Yvonne

Myrtle's portrait of her niece Bernadette Harcey (1908-2004), left, and Bernadette's friend Marion Swanson

A photograph which Myrtle Harcey took of her little brother John Asberry Harcey (1893-1955); the cardboard mount bears Myrtle’s studio stamp

Myrtle in Mexico, 1914

Myrtle's photo of her cousins (l. to r.) Ralph, Verne and Ruby Harcey 

Myrtle's portrait of her father Thomas Edwin Harcey and younger brother John Asberry Harcey

Myrtle's portrait of her grandson (Katherine's son) Robert Evans Courtney (1917-1943)