Photographers Index

Coonley, Jacob Frank, 1832-1915, photographer

Gender: Male
Active Dates: 1832 - 1915
Active Area: North and Central America (continent)
West Indies (archipelago)
United States (nation)
New Providence (island)
Nassau (inhabited place)
Bahamas (nation)
Bahama Islands (island group)
New York (state)
Bronx (county)
Kings (county)
New York (county)
Queens (county)
Richmond (county)
New York (inhabited place)
Tennessee (state)
Alabama (state)
Georgia (state)
Likenesses: None found.
Photographs: See list of photographs
Publications: None found.
Related Entries: None found.
Jacob Frank Coonley was born on 21 Jan. 1832 in New York City. His family was originally from Germany, arriving in the United States about 1800. J.F. Coonley was originally a sign and ornamental artist in New York whose business fell off in the panic of 1857. Circa 1857 Coonley studied daguerreotype photography with George Barnard. Barnard and Coonley opened a studio together. By 1861 Coonley was working with Barnard for Matthew Brady. In 1864 he made a contract with the Quartermaster General to photograph railroad construction in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. In the early 1880s Coonley worked with J.M. Mora (famous for portraits of theatrical personalities) at 707 Broadway, New York. Circa 1889 he moved to Nassau, advertising a studio at the corner of Bay and Parliament Streets. Coonley is listed as a photographer in Bay-street in the 'Almanack for 1901, with a guide to the Bahamas...', (1901, p.[110]). In the 1890s he moved to a studio in the Masonic Buildings. Coonley took his wife Sarah Mary Reid-Coonley with him on at least two of his trips to the Bahamas, and either Flossie or Ada Belle went with them on a trip too. He died on 2 Dec. 1915 in the Bronx, New York.
Sources: Information from 'The Bahamas Historical Society' and 'Onondaga Historical Association'.
'An Almanack for 1901, with a guide to the Bahamas, customs, tariff, directory, etc' (1901). Nassau: The Nassau Guardian.
'Nassau Guardian Advertiser', 21 December 1889.
Email (15 June 2015) to the RCS Librarian from J.F. Coonley's great, great granddaughter Peggy Jo Vanderbeck-Thomas confirming birth and death dates and giving brief family history.

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