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Guide to the Rainsford Photograph Collection

Identifier: H58-21

Scope and Content

The Rainsford Photograph Collection contains 177 8.5" x 6.5" glass negatives produced by Cheyenne photographer William G. Walker, or possibly his predecessor Charles D. Kirkland. Many of the images are of cowboys and livestock near Cheyenne, most likely on the Diamond Ranch, and the Rainsford and Sturgis homes in Cheyenne.


  • 1880s-1890s


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

George Dean Rainsford was born to a wealthy family in New York State in 1850 and came to Wyoming to raise horses. He settled between Cheyenne and Chugwater and established the Diamond Ranch in 1879 where he specialized in breeding Morgan and Clydesdale horses, contracting with Budweiser for many years. Influenced by his earlier work as an architect in New York, Rainsford designed several homes in Cheyenne, including his own and that of several cattle baron friends, including Thomas Sturgis. The Rainsford house boasted both an attached stable and covered carriage entrance. Several of these homes are now a part of the Rainsford Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. He was a lifelong bachelor and traveled widely following his retirement in 1924. Rainsford died in Florida in 1935 and is buried in New York City.

William G. "Billy" Walker was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1870 and emigrated to the United States, arriving in Wyoming in the 1880s. He worked as a cowboy and raised horses before becoming Cheyenne photographer Charles D. Kirkland’s studio assistant in 1891. He purchased the studio from Kirkland in late 1892 and continued to operate under the Kirkland Studio name for several years before changing it to the Walker Studio. Walker became one of the preeminent photographers in Cheyenne and was extremely proud of his studio’s long history in that city. He retired in 1936 due to poor health and sold the studio and all of its negatives to Mack S. Fishback.

Walker was very active in both the local Masonic Lodge and Elks fraternity. He also had a well-known talent for singing, often performing songs from his native Scotland. In 1895, he married Addie Harding in California. The couple had one son, Graham Rutledge. Walker died in 1942 and is buried in Cheyenne with his wife and son.


5 cubic feet (9 boxes negatives, .5 cf photographic prints)


The Rainsford Photograph Collection contains photographs of the Diamond Ranch and Rainsford house in Cheyenne, as well as horses bred by George D. Rainsford. The photographs were taken by Cheyenne photographer William G. Walker.


Item level inventory available on-site.

Acquisition Information

Donated by George D. Rainsford/Diamond Ranch through Art Trout in 1958.

Related Material

There are no other known archival collections created by George D. Rainsford at the date of processing.

Though the Dare/Kirkland/Walker Studio collection did not survive intact, many examples of their work exist in archival collection in the region.

Processing Information

Processed prior to 2005. Photographic prints made from original negatives.

Guide to the Rainsford Photograph Collection
Edited Full Draft
Suzi Taylor
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Wyoming State Archives, Wyoming Cultural Resources Division, Wyoming Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources Repository

Barrett Building
2301 Central Avenue
Cheyenne Wyoming 82002 United States
(307) 777-7826