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S. T. Daken

The practical and artistic are happily combined in the make-up of S. T. Daken, a well-known artist of Santa Rosa, and enable him to originate and carry to successful conclusion enterprises impossible for other professional men to even conceive. Reference is made to the new Daken Art Institute which is nearing completion and is destined to be one of the most attractive and most beautiful art centers in this part of the state. It its erection the owner has in view the advancement of the community along artistic lines, through the ability to accommodate the traveling art exhibits, which are made up of the choicest works of the most celebrated artists all over the world. The enterprise is a worthy one and is well deserving of the success with which it has met from the time of its inception

The son of Henry and Deluska (Weeks) Daken, natives of Canada and St. Louis, Mo., respectively, S. T. Daken was born in Bunker Hill, Macoupin county, Ill., in 1876. He has no personal recollection of his birthplace, for when he was a child in arms the parents came to California, so that practically his entire life has been passed within the confines of this western commonwealth. Settlement was first made in Sacramento, and between that city and San Francisco the years of his boyhood were about even divided. He was little more than a child when, at the age of nine years, he began to learn the trade of decorator and fresco painter, following this in San Francisco for many years. An interim of six years then followed when he was interested in the mines of Eldorado and Placer counties, and while the work was interesting and exciting, he did not feel justified in following it at the sacrifice of the line of work for which he was specially fitted. At the close of his mining experience he therefore returned to San Francisco and resumed work at his trade, combining with this, however, on his own account, painting from nature as his time would permit. Ultimately he gave up his position and devoted his entire time to painting and sketching, opening for the purpose a studio on Van Ness avenue in San Francisco which he continued for three years. Upon giving this up in 1906 as a result of the earthquake and fire, in the spring of that year he removed to Glen Ellen, Sonoma county, but did not remain there long, coming to Santa Rosa soon afterward in the same year. Here he opened an art school and conducted classes for some time, or until accepting his present position as art instructor in the Ursuline College of this city. As his time permits he paints from nature and that he is a natural genius with a most remarkable gift, a glance at his collection of pictures will prove. Many beautiful scenes from Sonoma county are shown, as well as from other parts of the state, including views from the famous Yosemite valley. The panel which he has named the Russian River from Guernewood Heights is an exquisite and realistic reproduction of nature, one which he himself prizes above all of his other paintings. He has recently refused an offer of $1,500 for it. Among his private collection of paintings he has $75,000 worth of pictures from the brush of other artists, besides $16,000 of his own production. Mr. Daken was married in 1904 and is the father of two children, Edna May and Sidney T.


Source:
History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011