William Nutting Tuttle, son of
French Tuttle and Rebecca Yort Pratt, was born on September 1,
1845 in Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts. On March 1, 1864
William enlisted in the 1st Battalion, California
Mountain Infantry and remained with that unit as 2nd
Lieutenant in Company D until May 20, 1865. He served as Company
Commander of Company D from April 23, 1865 through May 20, 1865.
The 1st Battalion
California Mountain Infantry was organized from May 30, 1863
through March 16, 1864, for special service in Humboldt County
and attached to the Humboldt District of the Department of the
Pacific and Company "D" did duty at Fort Gaston until June,
1865. Men of Company “D” were raised by Captain William C.
Martin. It’s priority was the protection of the civilian settler
population from marauding bands of hostile Indians in the
vicinities around Forts Humboldt and Gaston. The Battalion
mustered out on June 14, 1865.
On March 1, 1866 William married
Miss. Electa Belle Townsend at Oakland, Alameda, California whom
he had met, in San Francisco, and they eventually had six
children, Jennie born in 1867 in California, Bertie, Benjamin
born August 17, 1876 in Santa Barbara, Florence born in 1879 and
one son and one daughter whose names are unknown. Their
marriage, however, did not last and eventually ended in a
divorce. By the 1860’s William was living in Santa Barbara,
California; working as a professional photographer, and by 1880
he had migrated to Sydney, Australia where he opened his own
studio at 426 George Street and had Australia’s first hydraulic
elevator; which he had brought with him from San Francisco.
Associate occupants of his building had agreed to share the
costs of the elevator, but after it was installed they declined
to pay their fair share; so William simply sealed off all exits
to their floors, denying them access to the elevator.
William’s business, grew rapidly,
so much so he expanded with studios located in Brisbane and
Charter Towers, Queensland, in Adelaide, South Australia and
Melbourne, Victoria. He ran into legal problems with business
partners in 1889, however, and the courts denied him the use of
his own name in business ventures.
The publication “Australasian”, dated March
1889 carried an article on his legal battle:-
“An action was tried in
the Supreme Court on Monday, before Mr. Justice Hodges, in which
Lidya Burch D’Alba, carrying on his business as ‘Tuttle & Co.’
sued William Nutting Tuttle to restrain him from carrying on
business in Melbourne and Hawthorn under the name of the
‘Tuttle” or the “Original Tuttle’. The plaintiff and
defendant had for some years carried on business in Melbourne
and Sydney in partnership as photographers, the Sydney business
being under the management of the plaintiff. During the
partnership the plaintiff and defendant adopted and used a
peculiar device or signature, ‘Tuttle & Co.’ on their places of
business, which was also impressed on the photographs,
envelopes, invoices etc., issued by the firm.On September 21,
1883, the partnership was dissolved. It was agreed that the
plaintiff should have the use of the name of ‘Tuttle & Co.’ in
Victoria. It was also agreed that the defendant should not carry
on business as a photographer or artist in Victoria under the
name of ‘Tuttle & Co.’. It was alleged by the plaintiff that for
some months past the defendant has been carrying on business in
Victoria under the name of ‘Tuttle’ and this was in breach of
the agreement into he had entered with the plaintiff”. The
Supreme Court found in favor of D’Alba who was granted damages
in the amount of 250 pounds for loss of business and a restraint
was placed against Tuttle from the continued use of the name
“Tuttle & Company” or from conducting busines in any way that
led the public at large into believing he was still engaged in a
partnership or conducting business with D’Alba.
Joseph Thomas, a traveling artist employee of
Tuttle & Co. ran an advertisement in the “Kapunda
Herald” August 26, 1887:
“To the inhabitants of
Kapunda and district… Mr. Joseph Thomas Artist to Tuttle & Co.,
is now staying in Kapunda for the purpose of receiving orders
for enlarged work from small photos”.
Tuttle was married a second time on June 20, 1889 at Sydney, New
South Wales, to Miss. Elizabeth Alice Oxborough’ an active
partner and an artist in his business; certification number 855.
continued to flourish until around 1890 when his financial
speculations in a mining operation in the Forbes area, some
four-hundred kilometers west of Sydney where he lived, brought
about the financial loss of thousands and the total collapse of
his entire studio chain operation.
After that he
continued in the photographic industry, but only operated as a
traveling photographer, until his death from “Pyaemia”, or blood
poisoning of the brain, at the Sydney Hospital on April 7,
1895.; certification number 9503516.
Tuttle was buried in the Waverley Cemetery in Sydney, New South
Wales, Section 7, Church of England Section, grave number 2691;
without a headstone.
Electa died on May
24, 1948. In September 1989 a headstone was acquired from the
American Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. and was
installed during a dedication ceremony on his gravesite.
“Australasian”, Issue March 1889
The Civil War Archive,
California Civil War Rosters
California State Census
California State Military Museum
“Compendium of the War of the Rebellion”,
Frederick H. Dyer
Dorothy Oksner, “Ancestors West”, California
“Kapunda Herald” August 26, 1887
Kimberly O’Sullivan Steward, Waverley, NSW
Massachusetts Birth Records
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
“Records of California Men in the War of the
Rebellion, 1861 to 1867”, Brig.-Gen. Richard H. Orton, 1890
“The Australian Photographic Journal”, April 23,
“The Magic Eye in Australia”, Alan Davis
Waverly Cemetery Records
Waverley Library Records
“World of Stereograph”, William C. Darrah