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Pasonault, Joseph E.
b. 1875
Discipline: Photography

Joseph Pasonault was born in 1875 in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. At the age of six, he moved with his family to Iowa. They moved again when Pasonault was twelve, this time to Rolla, North Dakota.

He began to work as a photographer in 1896, when he was twenty years of age. He apprenticed in Devils Lake and in 1896, he opened his first studio in Cando. He practiced there until 1909, when he relocated to Williston.

In addition to the portrait work that came with his chosen profession, he was known for his photographs of the communities in which he lived. Examples include a 1903 photograph of a scene at a racetrack in Cando and a 1916 image of pontoon bridge in Williston.

In addition to photography, he was also an accomplished solo violinist who often performed in public.

In his personal life, he was married to Catherine Callahan, an Irish immigrant who was born on August 28, 1876. They had six children: Leo, Louise, Fanette, Antoinette, Denice, and Daniel. Joseph died on December 26, 1945. His wife Catherine died November 9, 1944. 

- Ben Nemenoff


State Historical Society of North Dakota

Institute for Regional Studies (North Dakota State University)

*Images courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota (#0739-v1-p62b and #A3642).

Photo of a home
Photo by Pasonault


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