Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Kenneth F. Roahen

Roahen was born on August 27, 1888 in Claflin, Kansas. He was tutored by his mother as there were no public schools. He received a small, inexpensive camera as a gift. With the camera he taught himself the art of photography. He commented about sitting for hours in dugouts, duck blinds, edge of lakes and swamps just to get a wildlife shot. Kenneth F. Roahen started out as a traveling auditor for a chain of lumber yards in Kansas.

After working for a lumber company in Cashmere, Washington, he enlisted in the U. S. Army in World War I. He was an Army Detachment Company instructor. Following his discharge, he was advised to "live the outdoor life" if he wanted to be healthy. Roahen went to work for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife as a game agent and photographer in 1924. The district covered five midwest states. In 1930, Roahen was transferred to Billings, Montana. He retired in 1954 but not from his photography.

During his life history was one of his key interests. He was a past president and director of the Custer Battlefield Historical Museum, the Yellowstone County Historical Society and the Izaak Walton League.

Source: "Two Who Switched" by Kathryn Wright; Billings Gazette, December 8, 1968; page 42.

View high resolution images of works by Kenneth F. Roahen when available.