With Compliments of D. R. Stiltz & Co.

When one thinks of vintage views of Baltimore, stereographs are the form that comes first to mind.

Daniel Reed Stiltz (1837-1903) may have sold photographs to stereoview publishers–most are anonymous–but he specialized, at least while in Baltimore, in carte de visite-sized views of churches and important buildings.

This 1864 photograph of  St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Franklin Square shows the church still under construction.

Originally designed by Niernsee and Neilson and dedicated in 1853, the church was not finished for 15 years when the board brought in  J. W. Priest.

Priest, a proponent of the Ecclesiological Society’s belief that modern church design should reflect those of medieval English churches, added the small crenelated tower.

The Maryland Historical Society has several of Stiltz’s cartes available for viewing on line, including the old Baltimore court-house at Calvert and Lexington, the Front Street Theater.

St. Luke’s is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Several photographs of the church, as well as details about the history of the design and building of St. Luke’s, are visible via Google Books in The Gothic Revival and American Church Architecture (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968), by Phoebe B. Stanton.

Born in Baltimore, according to Maryland photography historian Ross Kelbaugh Daniel Reed Stiltz trained in daguerreotypy under Jesse Whitehurst.

During the Civil War, Stiltz, who served as a private in Company H of Purnell’s Legion, Maryland Infantry, worked as an army photographer (Lycoming County Genealogical Society).

He married Mary Elizabeth Marshall in 1861, and by 1870, they had settled in Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, where he continued to operate a studio on 4th Street, and then founded a business called the National Copying Company.

He and Mary, who belonged to Williamsport’s beautiful and historic Christ Episcopal Church, had four children, Helen, Mary (Stiltz) Sergeant, Chester, Stanley (who lived only two years), and civil engineer Daniel Dorey Stiltz (1876-1913). Daniel Stiltz Sr. died on 15 June 1903, and is buried in Wildwood Cemetery, Williamsport, along with his wife, their daughter Helen, and their sons Daniel, Stanley and Chester.

Thanks to the Lycoming County Genealogical Society  for their help with documentation of Daniel Reed Stiltz’s career and with finding his family’s graves in Wildwood Cemetery.

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