A Storied Life

by Libby J. Atwater

Horace Ashton became an acclaimed photographer while still in his teens. In 1902 his picture of President Theodore Roosevelt on horseback jumping hurdles endeared him to the president, who appointed Ashton his “official White House photographer.”

The position took Ashton around the world, but it was an on-call job. To ensure economic stability, Horace Ashton signed on with the photography firm of Underwood & Underwood. While in its employ, he took several epic photographs.

Some were of the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who Ashton admired and respected. Her son eventually engaged the acclaimed photographer to travel with them on Bernhardt’s final tour of the United States in 1916. While much has been written about Bernhardt, Ashton recalled, “She was an angel. She was so kind and considerate of everyone in her troupe that her passing left many heartaches in those who knew her well.”

Who else did Horace Ashton photograph? To find out, you must read The Spirit of Villarosa, available in January 2018.

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