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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Carl K. Frey

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 413-414 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Carl K. Frey, a photographer of Utica who has maintained his present fine store and studio at No. 247 Genesee street since 1921, has been active in this field for more than a half century and is acknowledged to be the most expert representative of his art in the city. His birth occurred in Utica, New York, on the 5th of November, 1858, his parents being John and Margaret (Weidner) Frey. The father, who was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, in 1834, settled in Utica after his emigration to the United States and here engaged in the cooper's trade. He became well and favorably known in this city as a man of upright character and genuine personal worth.

In the acquirement of an education Carl K. Frey attended the public schools of Utica and also St. Joseph's German School. He gained his introduction to business in an insurance office and in 1873, being then about fifteen years of age and ambitious to make an honorable name for himself, he entered the employ of L. C. Mundy, a photographer. The young employe soon took a liking to this line of business and became very proficient in all its details. In 1887 he associated with a partner and they purchased the store of Mr. Mundy, the firm being conducted under the title of Gardner & Frey. Subsequently Mr. Frey acquired the interest of his partner and has since continued in his own name. A man of excellent taste, and sound business judgment, he has developed one of the most prosperous photographic establishments in the Mohawk valley. It was in 1920 that he purchased the old homestead of Judge Bacon at No. 247 Genesee street, to which site he moved his business. Mr. Frey makes a specialty of portraits but keeps a complete line of photographic supplies on hand at all times, thus meeting the demands of a growing patronage, and in his store and studio he furnishes employment to seven persons. His high standing among the representatives of his art is indicated in the fact that he was chosen president of the New York State Photographic Society for the years 1922 and 1923, while for five terms he served as vice president of the organization.

Mr. Frey is a communicant of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church of Utica, while fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Columbus, of which he became a charter member. He likewise belongs to the Rotary Club and enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance in Utica, of which city he has been a lifelong resident.

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