Frank C. Aston (1871-1966) was a San Luis Obispo photographer, active in San Luis Obispo from approximately 1906 to the 1940s. Many iconic photos of San Luis Obispo events and landmarks were photographed by Aston, including the 1921 Tank Farm fire and many decades of Cal Poly scenes.

Aston was born December 5, 1871 in Ohio to Joseph and Elizabeth Aston.In 1894, Aston moved to Bakersfield, where he worked as an assistant to the owner of a photo studio.2 He purchased a studio in Bakersfield which he operated until 1906.2 He married Grace D. Rigby December 8, 1899, in Kern County, California.2  

In 1906, Aston set up a studio in San Luis Obispo, succeeding photographer Lee Fitzhugh.3 By 1909, he was hired by Cal Poly as the school's photographer.9

The first Aston studio was located at 957 Monterey Street.3 After about 16 years, Aston had to move to make way for the construction of the Anderson Hotel, and the Aston studio moved to 733 Higuera Street.3

Aston retired in 1947 and relocated to Baywood Park and then Morro Bay.3,4 Aston died on September 3rd, 1966 in Morro Bay.5

See also


1. 1880 U.S. Federal Census

2. "Mr and Mrs. Aston Celebrate Golden Wedding Anniversary, San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune, December 21, 1949, pg. 2.

3. Aston-Ribgy Marriage record, Western States Marriage Record Index, BYU Idaho Special Collections, certificate number 325.

4. "Aston Photo Shop," San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram, April 1, 1924, pg. 8. 

5."Photos," San Luis Obispo Morning Tribune, May 17, 1906, pg. 4.

6.Notice, Aston Photo Shop, San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, June 13, 1947, pg. 11.

7.Obituary, Frank C. Aston, San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, September 5, 1966, pg. 8. 

8.California Death Index via Ancestry 

9. "Schedule of Bills Approved January 14, 1909," UA 100, University Archives, Cal Poly.