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Mohr, Lee W.
b. 1919, d. 1983
Discipline: Photography

Lee Mohr was born in Miles, Iowa and came with his parents to Mandan, North Dakota in 1919. He graduated from Mandan High School three years later and, after that, he completed a business course at Penn State. When his father opened a J.C. Penny store in Mandan, the younger Mohr returned to work for the company.

He stayed with them for fourteen years and worked in J.C. Penny stores in Mandan, Minneapolis, and Peoria, Illinois.

He married Kathleen Harriss in Grand Island, Nebraska and, soon after, took leave of his employer to travel around Europe.

A hobby photographer up to that point, Mohr made extensive use of his camera while overseas. It must have had a profound effect on him, because he purchased a photography studio when he returned to Mandan four months later. He would work as a photographer for more than thirty years.

In addition to the portrait work that came with his chosen profession, Mohr made several images of events and locales around the state. He primarily photographed rodeos but also made images of floods caused by Missouri River overflows, trains, train wrecks, construction projects, the Garrison Dam, Fort Abraham Lincoln, the Chateau de Mores, and several familiar sites around Bismarck including the Capitol Building, airport, Mary College (now the University of Mary), and the Lewis and Clark Hotel, among many others.

He retired from the profession in 1969 and died on November 20, 1983. He was survived by his wife, one nephew, and one niece. He was interned in the Mandan Union Cemetery.

- Ben Nemenoff


Obituary. Bismarck Tribune, November 21, 1983.

Other Sources:

State Historical Society of North Dakota

*Images courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota (#10557).

Mohr images
Bulldogging photo by Mohr
Lady trick-rider photo
Parade of queens photo
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