from Wikipedia 1

Isaiah West (I.W.) Taber (August 17, 1830 – February 22, 1912) was a noted photographer. Although his studio was in San Francisco, he and his family lived in Oakland c.1872 to c.1898.

Taber married Annie Slocomb (Taber) (1849 – January 9, 1922) in San Francisco on September 29, 1871. 14 Daughters Daisy Taber (Cronise) (Mack) (April 16, 1876 – March 19, 1906) and Louise Eddy Taber (April 18, 1884 – July 22, 1946) were both born in Oakland.

The Taber house was at 1551 Madison (originally 1351) and Taber photographed his family there as well as the house itself. See the collection link for many more photos of the house and family. 3

It's unknown exactly what years the family lived in Oakland, but Taber registered to vote in Alameda County in 1872, giving Oakland as his address and noting "transferred from SF". The 1874 directory lists 1156 Alice St.; 7 the 1877 directory lists 1360 Harrison. Finally, listings appear in the 1883-1884 directory and 1889-1890 directory for 1351 Madison. They no longer appear in the 1898 Oakland directory and do appear in the 1900 San Francisco telephone directory. At the time of his death in 1912, Taber was living in San Francisco. 5

Louise was an author of some note; her works include The Flame. 8

Daisy was the namesake of Samuel Merritt's 28'-long sharpie Daisy, which she christened in 1882 and Dr. Merritt thereafter launched on his namesake lake. 11

That same year, the Taber family hosted the Hawaiian legation to Japan, along with members of the Casco party (Merritt's yacht) which had been entertained in Hawai'i. The party had apparently included I.W. and Daisy, along with Dr. Merritt and Thomas Dargie. 12 Coincidentally, Dargie's sister, Anne Dargie, was Daisy's teacher at nearby Lincoln School. 13

Louise (L) and Daisy (R)

Louise (L) and Daisy (R)

March 4, 1895

Taber's home gallery

Taber's San Francisco studio was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fires, and he decided to retire. He lost over 80 tons of portrait negatives and 20 tons of view negatives. 4,5,6 Even allowing for glass plate negatives, it must have been a huge collection. An article in the California State Library Foundation estimates the collection included 100,000 portraits and 30,000 scenic views, though the article notes some were the work of other photographers. Taber had planned to donate them to the state, but had to sadly report their destruction instead. 10

Taber died February 22, 1912, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Plot 14B, Lot 116, as are Annie and Louise. 9

Links and References

  1. I.W. Taber on Wikipedia
  2. Isaiah West Taber on FindAGrave
  3. Isaiah West Taber Family Photographs, ca.1880-1895
  4. Isaiah West Taber Is Summoned by Death at Age of 81 Years San Francisco Chronicle February 23, 1912
  5. Isaiah W. Taber Dies Across Bay Oakland Tribune February 23, 1912
  6. Isaiah W. Taber Called By Death San Francisco Examiner February 23, 1912
  7. 1874 Langley Directory
  8. The Flame by Louise E. Taber, Alice Harriman Company, 1911
  9. Louise Eddy Taber on FindAGrave
  10. Pioneer Photographer’s Personal Archive Donated California State Library Foundation Bulletin No. 90, 2008

  11. Dr. Merritt's Sharpie Oakland Tribune May 13, 1882

  12. Hawaiian Notables Oakland Tribune October 12, 1882

  13. Honorable Promotions in the Lincoln school Oakland Tribune May 28, 1887

  14. Cupid on the Wing San Francisco Chronicle October 1, 1871