Skip to main content

Taylor Ealy Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-443

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs of Dr. Taylor Ealy and his family. There are also two photographs by J. N. Choate Studio of Zuni children at the Carlisle Indian School. One photo shows the two boys and two girls in Zuni dress and the other in non-native clothing.


  • 1880-1910

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.


Taylor Filmore Ealy was a medical doctor and Presbyterian minister who began his career with seven years of service as a missionary. In 1874, at the age of 26, he and his wife, Mary Ramsey Ealy, were assigned to the government school for black children in Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. They worked there for about two years, until the school was transferred to the administration of the Baptists.

As a result of a request from Alexander McSween, a Scottish lawyer who hoped to see Presbyterianism spread in his adopted state, the Ealys moved to the turbulent village of Lincoln, NM, in 1878. The family now consisted not only of Taylor and Mary, but two small daughters, Pearl and Ruth. Their arrival on February 19 coincided with the violent outbreak of the Lincoln County War, precipitated by the recent murder of McSween's friend and business partner, John Henry Tunstall. One of Ealy's first acts, on February 21, was to conduct the young Englishman's funeral. Mary Ealy played the organ and William Bonney (Billy the Kid), an employee of Tunstall's, sang hymns.

Although the Ealys tried to remain neutral, their five months' stay in Lincoln was dominated by the violence resulting from the conflict between the McSween-Tunstall faction, which was challenging entrenched political and economic interests, and the Murphy-Dolan faction, which was defending its monopoly. This atmosphere frequently prevented Ealy from performing his ministerial and medical duties, and put his and his family's lives in danger. Finally, after the infamous seige of July 19, 1878, the Ealys sought the protection of the army in near-by Fort Stanton. By early August, they were safely in Las Vegas, NM.

The Ealys' next assignment was less exciting, but no less difficult. They were given the task of establishing a school and mission among the Native Americans of remote Zuni Pueblo, in western New Mexico. From the fall of 1878 until mid-1881, they contended with the frustrations of isolation and the passive resistance of the Native Americans.

Resigning from both his Zuni post and from missionary work, Ealy took his family back to his home town of Schellsburg, PA, where he entered his father's medical practice. He remained a country doctor for the rest of his life, with a sideline in the manufacture of baby powder. The Ealys had several more children, one of whom was the father of Lawrence Ealy, who assembled this collection and whose notes occasionally appear in it.


9 items (1 folder) : 9 photographic prints

Language of Materials



This collection contains photographs of Dr. Taylor Ealy and his family.

Physical Location

B2. Small Collections box 5. Filed by Pictorial Number.

Photographs Available Online

Portions of the Taylor Ealy Photograph Collection are available online via New Mexico's Digital Collections.

Separated Material

Photographs were separated from the Ealy Family Papers.
Finding Aid of the Taylor Ealy Photograph Collection, 1880-1910
Edited Full Draft
Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2007
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