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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



A high degree of artistic perfection marks the exhibits of the Hodson studios in Sacramento and Oakland. The consensus of opinion on the part of competent judges indicates that Mr. Hodson possesses ability as a photographer far above the average. An innate knowledge of proportion, an instantaneous comprehension of artistic outlines and a highly developed appreciation of graceful poses form characteristics admirably qualifying him for success in art. These qualities, while justly belonging to him through inheritance from a gifted father, have been so developed and perfected through study and experience that they have brought him professional prominence and local prestige, combining to give him a reputation which has been enhanced through his ease of manner and affability of demeanor.

When it is mentioned that Mr. Hodson has been actively identified with Sacramento Parlor No. 3, N. S. G. W., it will be recognized that the success of his work reflects added credit upon his native commonwealth. Oakland is his native city and July 22, 1875, the date of his birth, his father having been J. R. Hodson, a native of Illinois and from youth a photographer of eminent skill. As early as 1872 the elder Mr. Hodson established a studio in Sacramento, at different times he had art galleries in various bay cities. Eventually in 1894 he established his studio in San Francisco, where for a few years he limited his attention strictly to photography, but the development of his genius led him into the field of portraiture and he since has become a popular portrait painter of the exposition city.

At the age of five years Burton M. Hodson accompanied his parents to Sacramento and here he was sent to the primary school, later to the grammar and then to the high schools,. He can scarcely recall a time when he was uninterested in photography. The science appealed to him in early years. The difficult process incident to producing a finished picture appealed to his interest. Having made a life study of the science he is eminently qualified for successful work in all of its specialties. Reading and research have broadened his knowledge of art, while practical experience has developed his in- born tastes until now he occupies a rank of unquestioned prominence among the photographers of Sacramento and Oakland. From boy-hood he has devoted himself to his profession. Politics has not diverted his attention from his art. Fraternal interests, limited to membership with the Native Sons and the Sacramento Lodge of Elks, have not been allowed to infringe upon his constant devotion to his chosen calling, and it is to this persistent devotion, supplementing intelligence, affability and refinement, that he owes his growing success. Sharing with him in the good-will of acquaintances is his wife, who prior to their marriage in 1908 in her native city of Sacramento, was Miss Lillian May Nelson, member of an old and honored family of the capital city. 

History of Sacramento 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: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011