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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: N2016- 4
Creator: Ohmes, Gilbert Richard, 1908-2001.
Title, Dates: Jefferson and Leon County photographic collection, circa 1960-1964.
Amount: 300 photographs
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Organization/Arrangement: Numerical by Archives-assigned image number.
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Biographical/Historical:     Gilbert Richard "Dick" Ohmes was born to German immigrant parents on March 5, 1908, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburg before working as an oiler on a small freighter. Later, he earned a Ph.D. in psychology and philosophy from the University of Vienna.

    Returning to the United States, Ohmes worked as a research assistant for a professor at the University of Newark and began writing a book on popular psychology, which he never finished. In 1940, he married Frances Hall and moved to Florida, where he purchased 280 acres in Jefferson County on which they farmed cattle and harvested oil from tung trees.
    In the 1960s, Dick took an interest in the impact of integration on the lives of rural Black families and taught himself photography to document the lives and homes of Black Jefferson County and Leon County residents.
    The couple moved to Bremerton, Washington, around 1972 in order to be closer to family. He spent his time painting, sculpting, and writing a popular weekly column for the Bremerton Sun called "Prime Time," dealing with issues of aging and other topics, including stories of his early Florida days.
    Dick and Frances Ohmes both died in 2001.

Summary:     This collection contains over 300 black-and-white images documenting the Black experience in rural Leon and Jefferson counties, taken by amateur photographer Dick Ohmes from the early to mid-1960s. As a white man, Ohmes sought to represent living conditions, agriculture and residents of the area. Some photographs are adhered to album pages along with related typed drafts that appear to be intended for a publication. The collection also includes handwritten notes and a few drawings and sketches based on the photographs. There is little documentation directly identifying subjects of the photographs, though subjects include the Norton family and the Hughes family of Jefferson County.

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Subject Access Fields: African Americans Florida.
Agriculture Florida
Rural poor Florida
Rural life.
Photographs. aat
Jefferson County (Fla.)
Leon County (Fla.)
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