Winneconne Historical Society

Tonnesen Collection

Beatrice Tonnesen was born in Winneconne on June 24, 1871

She moved with her family to Oshkosh when she was 5 years old. Leading photographer Cook Ely was hired to train Beatrice when she expressed an interest in photography. She set up her first business in Menominee, Michigan but a year later moved with her sister, Clara, to a studio on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. She was known for her portraits and for pioneering the use of live models in advertising.

After retirement she returned to Winneconne to live with her sister Clara and family, she spent her final years at St. Mary's Home in Oshkosh where she died on May 12, 1958 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Oshkosh, beside her parents. For more information on the life and works of Beatrice Tonnesen visit

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