Biography of Eschol M. Hammond
Tulare County, CA Biographies





ESCHOL M. HAMMOND.
In the interesting field of photography in California there are few names better known than that of Eschol M. Hammond, art and commercial photographer in Porterville, whose special works of photography of some of the scenic wonders of this state and particularly of the beautiful valley of the San Joaquin and of the Yosemite valley and of views from the height of Mount Whitney have attracted much attention among connoisseurs of that distinctive form of art. In July, 1915, Mr. Hammond made the ascent of Mount Whitney, carrying the burden of a forty pound camera outfit, and remained over night in order to secure morning views from the summit of this highest peak in the United States. From one of the views thus secured he has developed a picture fifteen feet in length of amazing charm and beauty, which displayed on the walls of his studio. has excited the admiration of all who see it. There is another picture thus displayed, a photographic view done in natural colors, of a poppy field in California, that is a veritable gem of art. And then there are many others, views throughout California and as far north as the Oregon line, all forming a collection of such superior quality as to fix itself definitely on the memories of all who examine it.

Eschol M. Hammond was born on a farm in Morris county, Kansas, December 10, 1890, and is a son of James M. and Margaret (Hinton) Hammond, the latter of whom was born in Ohio. James M. Hammond, a native of the state of Tennessee, came with his family from Kansas to California in 1907 and on January 31, 1908, became a resident of Porterville. Conditions, however, at that time did not prove up to his expectations and it was not long until he and his wife returned east. E. M. Hammond was sixteen years of age when he came with his parents to California in 1907 and he found things here so much to his liking that when his parents returned east he decided to stay on and cast in his lot definitely with that of the people of the rapidly progressing little city of Porterville. From the days of his boyhood back on the old home farm in Kansas, Mr. Hammond had been intensely interested in the art and processes of photography and as a lad had bought a camera, paying for it with money earned by raising onions in one of his father's fields. This interest he brought with him to California and upon his arrival in Porterville he just naturally gravitated toward the local photograph gallery, an establishment at that time being carried on by A. R. Moore, veteran photographer, who also was proprietor of a small theater. Mr. Hammond was given a place in the Moore establishment, going to work at five dollars the week, out of which he had to pay for room and board and such other essentials of personal upkeep as might reasonably face a young stranger in the town. Not long after this Mr. Moore turned his little playhouse into a motion picture theater, the first in the town, and it then became a part of Mr. Hammond's job to crank the projection machine of nights in addition to his labors in the photograph gallery during the days, and he thus carried on for four or five years, meanwhile constantly drilling himself in the art and mystery of photography. With a view to acquiring a better technical knowledge of this difficult art, he then returned east and took a thorough course in a special school of photography in McMinnville, Tennessee, returning then to Porterville and resuming his place in the Moore establishment.

On the Fourth of July, 1914, the Moore protograph studio and theater were destroyed by fire and Mr. Moore retired from business. Ten days later, July 15, 1914, Mr. Hammond started in business for himself as a photographer in Porterville and ever since has been thus engaged, a period of more than ten years, during which time he has come to be recognized as one of the leading photographers in this section of the state. Growing business and the need for more extensive quarters have required his removal twice, he thus having had three locations during the ten years and more in which he has been in business. His present location at No. 408 North Main street is admirably adapted to his purposes, he there having a thoroughly well equipped establishment, modern and up to date in all its appointments and with all the paraphernalia requisite to the high quality of its products. In addition to the establishment of a successful business in Porterville, Mr. Hammond also has been an interested and helpful promoter of the general commercial and industrial activities of the town and has rendered service as a director of the local Chamber of Commerce. He is the present secretary of the Rotary Club, an organization of the leading men of the town formed for the definite purpose of more harmonious procedure in local promotion activities and based on a general desire for better civic service, and from the beginning of that locally influential organization he has been one of its most active members.

On April 2, 1912, in Porterville, Eschol M. Hammond was united in marriage to Miss Georgia Mae Dudley, who is a native daughter of California, born in Fresno, the daughter of George Dudley. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond have two children: A son, Clyde Hammond, born in 1913; and a daughter, Margaret, born in 1919. The Hammonds have a pleasant home in Porterville and take an interested and helpful part in the city's general social activities. Mr. Hammond is a member of Porterville Lodge No. 93, Knights of Pythias, and of Orange Camp No. 333, Woodmen of the World, and in the affairs of these popular fraternal organizations he takes a proper interest.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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