Who was Edith Shelton?
Edith Keesee Shelton (1898-1989) was born in Richmond,
Virginia, to Edith Morton Keesee and W. Penick Shelton, a banker. She attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduating in 1918 with a degree in Latin. She began
working for the University of Richmond about 1927, where she continued to work
as a cashier in the Treasurer’s Department until her retirement in 1969. After her mother’s death in 1950, Miss
Shelton apparently lived alone until her death in 1989. What makes a university cashier spend her spare time and
money, traipsing through old and sometimes decaying Richmond neighborhoods to
take photographs? When Miss Shelton’s cousin, Mrs. Edgar Fisher, Jr., donated
the slides to the Valentine in 1991, each one came with a descriptive index
card. Miss Shelton obviously had a plan
and an appreciation of the past - she was not just a casual observer. We may never know Miss Shelton’s intentions,
but we can certainly enjoy her photographic legacy.