Skip to main content

Gross, Kelly & Company Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-096

Scope and Content

Photographs related to the wholesale and retail mercantile business Gross, Kelly & Company and its predecessor firms. The bulk of the images were made between 1902 and 1954, the years in which Gross, Kelly & Company was in existence. Photos that predate these show buildings, personnel, and the operations of Otero, Sellar and Company and of Gross, Blackwell and Company. Photos related to the company are grouped under buildings, work, employees, and events. There are many photos of Gross and Kelly family members, in particular Daniel T. Kelly (including a 1903 group portrait of a boys' football team), Margaret Gross Kelly, and Caroline L. Kelly. Other photos of individuals (non-family) are arranged under identified and unidentified persons. A number of photos of the Hillbilly Club Camp in the California redwood grove were taken by the San Francisco Studio of Gabriel Moulin. Identified members include Daniel T. Kelly; Herbert Hoover appears in one shot. Photos of the dedication of Hyde Park (near Santa Fe, N.M.) and of an airplane inspection at Albuquerque Airport include New Mexico governors John Miles, Clyde Tingley and John J. Dempsey. Photos related to Native Americans show Indian processions in front of the mercantile establishment, family outings in Indian lands, pueblos (Taos, Acoma, Picuris), Bandelier National Monument, ruins of the Salinas pueblos, Navajo and Hopi villages and residents. There are photos of Canyon de Chelly and Painted Desert, and of archaeologists Earl Morris and Jesse Nussbaum.There are photos of Santa Fe Folk Art Museum (ground-breaking and construction) and the School of American Research Annual Meeting (1955). There are notable photos related to the Hermanos Penitentes. Miscellaneous photos show family homes, trips to Chimayo, buildings, churches, and of Santa Fe Fiesta. There is also a collection of unsent postcards (including black-and-white photo postcards of Cumbres Pass and railroad under snow), a sketchbook of Caroline L. Kelly, and 89 unprinted photo negatives (reproduced here as positive paper copies). Finally, there are 14 photo albums dating from 1904-1942 of Kelly family college graduations, weddings, special events, vacations, and outings.


  • 1880-1970


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Gross, Kelly & Company, with its predecessor firms of Otero, Sellar & Company, and Gross, Blackwell and Company, was one of the pioneer wholesale and retail mercantile companies in the Southwest. Otero, Sellar & Co. actually began operations in New Mexico before the railroads reached the area, making freight hauls by wagon from the end of the Kansas Pacific and Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe, as they were built west through Kansas. When the Santa Fe Railroad reached Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879, Otero, Sellar & Co. established Las Vegas as its permanent headquarters and base of operations. Otero, Sellar and its successor companies, while keeping the main office at Las Vegas, established a number of branches in other New Mexico towns and cities and even one in Trinidad, Colorado. A table showing the locations and dates of operations of these branches, along with a list of subsidiary companies, follows this history.

The three main companies were: Otero, Sellar & Co., 1867-1882; Gross, Blackwell & Co., 1882-1902; and Gross, Kelly & Co., 1902-1954. In addition, both Gross, Blackwell and Gross, Kelly eventually operated a number of more-or-less directly controlled subsidiary companies. Because of their roles as providers of credit for individuals and partnerships engaged in small ranching and lumbering operations, the parent companies often acquired control of such small operations in settlement of debts. A latter-day example on a rather large scale was Gross, Kelly & Co.'s acquistion of Con W. Jackson's, Jackson Cattle Company in 1935.

Besides wholesale and retail groceries which the parent companies dealt in from the beginning, Gross, Kelly & Co. was heavily involved in hides and pelts, wool, sheep and lambs, and cattle--all of which it bought from local producers and shipped and to consumers in the East and Midwest. Gross, Kelly & Co., financially supported by Eastern banks, provided credit for local ranchers and merchants. It also bought and sold railroad ties and finished lumber.

Although Gross, Kelly & Co. was still operating from five New Mexico locations in the post-World War II period (Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Gallup and Roswell), the company's stockholders voted in 1954 to sell out to the Kimbell Products Company of Fort Worth, Texas. Shortly after this decision, Daniel T. Kelly donated the firms records to Special Collections at the University of New Mexico.


600 plus items (7 boxes) : 468 photographic prints, 89 negatives, 25 postcards, 14 photograph albums, 1 sketchbook, 3 large prints

Language of Materials



Photographs related to the wholesale and retail mercantile business Gross, Kelly & Company and its predecessor firms. The bulk of the images were made between 1902 and 1954, the years in which Gross, Kelly & Company was in existence.


Arranged by subject.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number. Large prints filed in large drawers by Pictorial Number.

Separated Material

Material separated from the Gross, Kelly & Company Records.


Contact Information

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. MSC05 3020, 1, University of New Mexico
  3. Center for Southwest Research
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: 505-277-7173
  6. Fax:
  7. Email:
  8. URL:
Finding Aid of the Gross, Kelly & Company Pictorial Collection, 1880-1970
Processed by Pictorial Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131