Special Collections
LSU Libraries
Home / Online Catalog Site A-Z Help    


Rabenhorst (Alvin E.) Photograph Collection

(Mss. 4110)



Size: .25 linear feet (69 prints)

Locations: Louisiana, especially Baton Rouge; St. Louis, Missouri; and unidentified cities

Bulk Dates: 1897-1899, n.d.

Languages: English

Summary: Prints copied from the photograph album of Alvin E. Rabenhorst (1875-1946), Baton Rouge native, postal employee, businessman, and civic leader. Photographs (many of which are identified) include buildings and other landmarks of the city, friends, annual volunteer firemen's parades, and high water (probably in 1897). Other views include St. Louis, Missouri, and unidentified towns.

Related: Andrew D. Lytle Photograph Collection (#893,#2600)

Access: No Restrictions Citation: Alvin E. Rabenhorst Photograph Collection, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries

Biographical/Historical Note

Alvin Eugene Rabenhorst (nicknamed "Allie") was the son of Confederate Captain Charles Rabenhorst. He was born on November 13, 1875, in Baton Rouge. He began his career in the United States postal service as a special delivery boy and some twenty-one years later was Chief Clerk of the Baton Rouge Post Office.

In 1915, Rabenhorst became associated with the funeral service founded by his father in 1866. At the time of his death he was president of that business as well as Rabenhorst Industrial Life Insurance Company.

Allie was active in many civic and social organizations including the Masonic Lodge, Baton Rouge Golf and Country Club, Kiwanis Club, and was a charter member of the Elks. He was also a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church.

On December 3, 1913, Rabenhorst was married to Miss Amelia Jennings Phillips (d. 1963). She was the daughter of Nathaniel Pope Phillips and Camellia Mumford Phillips of Pecan Grove Plantation in West Feliciana Parish. They had one child, Alvin Phillips Rabenhorst.

Rabenhorst died on March 24, 1946, and is buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Baton Rouge.

Summary and Scope Note

This collection consists of prints copied from the photograph album of Alvin Eugene Rabenhorst (1875-1946), Baton Rouge native and life-long resident. They were made by him and those identifiable by year date during the period, 1897-1899. Other images could have been taken before or after those years.

A social and civic leader of his city, Rabenhorst's photographs document the firemen's parades and decorations in the late 1890s. Always held in conjunction with George Washington's birthday, they were a major annual event in Baton Rouge. Some of the decorations can be identified by year through descriptions found in the local newspapers. Among those designing and executing the decorations were O. F. Rabenhorst and Ben Goodman.

Other subjects represented include Baton Rouge landmarks, including businesses, homes, and public buildings; candid and "staged" photographs of friends, blacks, and social activities; high water, probably in 1897; LSU cadets and campus scenes; at least two views of St. Louis, Missouri, (the old Courthouse and the steamboat landing); and other unidentified cities and buildings.

Many of the images have been researched and identified and a list by print number follows.

Photographs are arranged numerically by print number.


Rabenhorst, Alvin E. (Alvin Eugene), 1875-1946.
Baton Rouge (La.)--Social life and customs.
Baton Rouge (La.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Buildings--Louisiana--Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge (La.)--Commerce.
Baton Rouge Fire Department.
Washington Fire Company No. 1 (Baton Rouge, La.)
Washington Fire Company No. 3 (Baton Rouge, La.)
Pelican Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 (Baton Rouge, La.)
Schloss Fire Company No. 5 (Baton Rouge, La.)
Independent Fire Company (Baton Rouge, La.)
Baton Rouge (La.)--Floods, 1897.
Floods--Louisiana--Baton Rouge.
Postal service--Louisiana--Baton Rouge.
Post offices--Louisiana--Baton Rouge.
Saint Louis (Mo.)--Description--Views.
Theatrical productions.
(1897-1899, n.d.)
1.   Bicyclists.

2.   Firemen's Celebration on Market Driveway (The Public Market is
     directly behind the speaker's stand on the right.  Above it can be
     seen the roof of the old parish courthouse).

3.   Baton Rouge Post Office interior (See State-Times, September 6, 1962).

4.   1899 Firemen's Parade decoration, "Columbia," made by the Pelican
     Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.  The decoration stands on Third Street
     near Pike's Hall (the tallest building in the center on the left).

5.   Tea party.

6.   William J. Knox House, Church Street, Baton Rouge.

7.   Pugilists.

8.   Old Louisiana State Capitol Building.

9.   Riverboat on an unidentified waterway.

10.  First block of Main Street at the Mississippi River Landing, Baton
     Rouge, probably 1897 high water.

11.  Thought to be postmen with the mail.

12.  Same as #10.

13.  Firemen's Parade Celebration near North Boulevard looking south.

14.  "Old War Skule" Cadets.

15.  Old Government Building and Post Office.

16.  U. S. Mail Dray with mail sacks probably being taken to, or from,
     the depot.  The single story building with the tile roof was the
     stable next to the post office. 

17.  United States National Military Cemetery, Baton Rouge.

18.  Raising the levee at Baton Rouge, probably during the 1897 high water.

19.  Third Street and North Boulevard, Baton Rouge.  Abe Abramson's Store
     is the building on the left corner.

20.  Unidentified building.

21.  Wood, Bodley & Company Coal Yard at Front Street and the corner of
     Convention Street probably during the 1897 high water.

22.  Giant oak tree and park, location unknown.

23.  1899 Firemen's Parade decoration by the Washington Fire Company No. 3.

24.  Black boy with a pan of fish and can of oil at the corner of Third
     and Florida Streets, Baton Rouge.

25.  Traveling show with trapeze artist, location unknown.

26.  Convicts working on the levee in the Baton Rouge vicinity, probably
     during the 1897 high water.

27.  1898 Firemen's Parade Decoration, "Victory," on Church Street (now
     Fourth Street).  This second place winner in the competition was
     entered by the Washington Fire Company No. 2 and was designed and
     executed by O. F. Rabenhorst and Ben Goodman.  The St. James
     Episcopal Church spire is visible in the center of the photograph.
     The white wooden house to the south is the Cecil Bird house according
     to Steele Burden.

28.  1898 Firemen's Parade with L. Paul Amiss, Grand Marshal, at the 
     corner of Seventh and Florida Streets.  The large building in the
     background is the old State Penitentiary, Baton Rouge. (Miss May Lynn
     Amiss has an identical picture, so labelled.)  For a continuation
     of this picture and the Washington Fire Company No. 3 members
     marching, see #64.

29.  Old Louisiana State Capitol Building.

30.  Firemen's Parade Decoration, "Victory," parked in front of the Old
     Post Office and Government Building on North Boulevard. (February 22,

31.  Baton Rouge waterfront.

32.  Unidentified family group on gallery.

33.  LSU Cadets (?).

34.  Two men, possibly postal employees.

35.  Man (possibly Rabenhorst) and woman visiting.

36.  Bicyclist.

37.  William Garig's residence, Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge.

38.  Baton Rouge waterfront showing Front Street probably in the 1897
     high water.

39.  Firemen's Parade Decoration.

40.  Steamboat landing at St. Louis, Missouri (see similar view in a Jolly Family Post Card
     Album, LSU.)

41.  Firemen's Parade Decoration.

42.  Lumber Company, probably the Burton Lumber Company at Baton Rouge
     probably in the 1897 high water.

43.  Capital City Oil Mills, Baton Rouge waterfront.

44.  Old Courthouse, St. Louis, Missouri.

45.  Mr. George Garig in surrey.  (Identified by Steele Burden).

46.  1898 Firemen's Parade Decoration of the Schloss Fire Company No. 5.

47.  Black children.

48.  1898 Firemen's Parade Decoration, "Victory," prepared by the
     Washington Fire Company No. 1, designed and executed by O. F.
     Rabenhorst and Ben Goodmen. The building to the left is the
     Rabenhorst Undertaking Establishment.  To the right was the
     Washington Fire Company No. 1 Hall.

49.  Firemen's Parade Decoration.

50.  1899 Firemen's Parade Decoration, "America Sailing Over the Seas,"
     by the Independent Fire Company No. 1.

51.  1898 Firemen's Parade Decoration of probably the Pelican Hook and
     Ladder Company which won third place.

52.  1899 Firemen's Parade Decoration, "Wonderland," by the Washington
     Fire Company No. 1, designed by O. F. Rabenhorst.

53.  Firemen's Celebration (same location as #2).

54.  Unidentified gardens.

55.  Unidentified location.

56.  Unidentified women.

57.  Rabenhorst seated at his desk in the Post Office.  (THERE IS ALSO AN

58.  Raising the levee probably in South Baton Rouge.

59.  Unidentified town.

60.  Firemen's Parade Decoration on Church Street.

61.  United States Military Cemetery Superintendent's House and Gate,
     Baton Rouge.  (The gazebo is now on the grounds of Magnolia Mound
     according to Steele Burden.)

62.  1898 Washington Fire Company No. 3 members at the Firemen's Parade.
     Shown in the background is the Old Louisiana State Penitentiary in
     Baton Rouge.  (See also print #28).

63.  No print was made for this number.

64.  Unidentified pair of women possibly on top of the old Government
     Building, Baton Rouge.

65.  Raising the levee at Baton Rouge.

66.  Firemen's Parade Decoration, Baton Rouge.

67.  Unidentified building in an unidentified city.

68.  View of Baton Rouge from the Old LSU campus.  The white wooden house
     on the left was the ROTC House.  The two story house nearest the road
     south of the campus was the residence of Mrs. President Atkinson's
     sister, Mrs. Cary Holmes.  The large white house to its right was the
     Miss Kathryn Hill house.  (All identifications made by Steele

69.  Enlarged photograph of Rabenhorst in the Baton Rouge Post Office.
     (See #57).