Troxel images raise unanswered questions

Troxel ImageA recently-digitized collection of images provides a glimpse into life around southwestern Wisconsin shortly after the turn of the 20th century. However, much of the collection is a mystery. Most of the images are unidentified, leading to questions about who is in the images, at which specific locations they were taken, and what were the events taking place in the images.

The R. W. Troxel Glass Plate Negative Collection consists of digital images of 428 glass plate negatives of various sizes. The physical collection was donated to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library Special Collections in 1993, where it has since resided in its original wooden boxes. The collection’s subject matter includes individuals posing, sporting teams, various buildings, and other landscape and street views.

We do not have a lot of information about the photographer, Roley William Troxel; he was born on July 7, 1883, in Richland County, WI, and died on December 29, 1967, in Prairie du Chien, WI. The photographs were taken mostly around Eastman, WI, and other areas surrounding Prairie du Chien, likely between 1910 and 1920.

Do you know anything about these images, or do you have relatives or acquaintances who might? If so, please contact David Mindel, digital collections librarian, at

We hope these images will eventually be identified and increase the depth of insight offered by this collection.

The Troxel image collection is part of the Murphy Library Digital Collections.