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Kohli, Orlin (1897-1983) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Kohli, Orlin (1897-1983)


Historical Note: Orlin R. Kohli was born January 18, 1897 in Pandora, OH to Emanuel D. and Sarah (Schumacher) Kohli. He was the youngest of six sons in a family of ten children. He matriculated from Pandora High School and attended Wheaton College from 1916-1920.  During WWI he was stationed at Camp Sherman, in Sherman, OH and maintained a correspondence with college president Charles Blanchard. Due to a health problem following WWI he went to Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1922 with a bachelor's degree in social science.  He married Alice Kelley of Wheaton in 1922 and had a son and two daughters. He taught at the State Agricultural school at Ft. Lewis, CO and at Hammond, IN high school. After this brief teaching career, Mr. Kohli began developing his early enthusiasm for photography into a lifetime profession.  He opend his first studio in the Smith building shortly after moving back to Wheaton in 1936.  Ten years later the Kohli Studio was relocated at 212 N. Hale St., Wheaton. Early in his career Mr. Kohli was awarded scholarships to the Winona School of Photography, and his portraiture work was recognized in the Wheaton community and by members of his profession.  The Professional Photographers of America have twice honored him, first in 1953 by conferring him the degree of Master of Photography and in 1966 when he was presented the organization's National Award for service to professional photography.  In 1968 he was named Wheaton's Official Photographer by the city council. He was active in regional professional organizations, such as the Chicago Association of Photographers, the Northern Illinois Photographers Asssociation and as president of the Illinois Photographers Association in 1948-49.  In 1962 he was elected to membership in the American Society of Photographers.  He retired in 1945 from the Wheaton Public Library Board after serving 12 years, including a term as president.  He was also involved in other community, civic and school organizations.  He was a charter member of the Wheaton Kiwanis Club, president of the Lions Club (1949-41) and charter member of the Geneva Road Baptist Church in Wheaton, IL. He died on May 20, 1983 (age 74) in Winfield, IL and was survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.
Sources: Student File (Kohli, Orlin R.)






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