Osborn Studio


The longest lived photography name in Dickinson was the Osborn Studio, located at 17 Second Ave. West. The company started when A.J. “Josh” Osborn came to Dickinson in the spring of 1896 and purchased the studio begun by O.S. Goff at that site in 1891. Osborn, who also became a city alderman and auditor and was an officer in the local Company K, had first come to the area in 1891 and took up a claim four miles north of Gladstorne. He returned to Michigan in 1893 to complete his studies in photography at his brother’s studio. Osborn became a major name in the photographic record making and keeping in Dickinson and the surrounding area. They kept extensive negative files of all photos taken.
The original wood frame building that Osborn purchased with the building was raised up and a basement was added underneath after city water and sewer were put in. Then in 1938, this building received an all new look when the exterior was covered with stucco and the inside was updated.
Osborn’s son Lawton begun his photographic career in 1920, taking over active management of the business in 1928. Lawton purchased the business in 1932 and kept the studio going. In 1951, Lawton Osborn Jr “Buzz” returned to Dickinson after having worked for chemical and pharmaceutical firms in Philadelphia and Dallas. Buzz took over the business and operated it until it was sold in 1976 to Larry Brown of Morehead, who dispersed the 80 years worth of photographic work when he moved the business back to the Fargo-Moorehead area shortly after. The majority of these photographs were donated to the Stark County Historical Society and are part of the collections at Dickinson Museum Center.
Summarized from Centennial Roundup, p. 89-90. 1982.


  • Osborn Studio
    Ambrose J. Osborn, "Josh"
    Lawton Osborn, Sr.
    Lawton Osborn, Jr. "Buzz"


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Collection Items

Bowman, Bruce
Portrait of a young man who is wearing a shirt, tie, and a suit jacket. Identified.

Geiser, Sylvia
Portrait of a young woman who is wearing a dress with a pin on it. She has a slight smile. Identified.

Hagen, MaryLou
Portrait of a young woman who is wearing a dress and ear rings. She is smiling. Identified.
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