The Jeffcoat Photography Studio
opened in 1921 in a small second story room in downtown Abilene, Kansas. The business’ owner, Paul H. Jeffcoat, had been inspired to work in photography by his mother, Lucy Fritz Jeffcoat, who retouched photographs for several Abilene area photographers throughout the early 1900s. Paul soon built his own studio and moved the business to 321 North Broadway Street in 1925. Paul saw his business through many hard times such as the Great Depression, a battle with illness, and the great 1951 Kansas flood. Paul’s son, Paul William Jeffcoat (known by many as “Bill”) showed an interest in photography at a young age. Bill worked in the studio with his father for several years, capturing many photographs of Abilene during hometown hero Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign. In 1966, Bill purchased the studio from his father and officially took charge of the family business. Over the years, many Jeffcoat family members could be found at work in the studio, comprising of three generations working at their craft. In addition to portrait sessions, the studio also offered film developing services, and products such as cameras, film, and various pieces of photographic equipment. During its over eighty years of operation, the Jeffcoat Photography Studio produced thousands of portraits for residents of the Abilene area and a wide selection of photographs showing life and events in Dickinson County.