Henry Arthur Elkins was born in Vershire, Vermont in 1847 and his family subsequently moved to Chicago when he was nine. In the summer of 1866, Henry Chapman Ford, James Gookins, and Elkins, all artists living in Chicago, formed a party and started out from the Missouri River heading into the Rocky Mountains. Mainly self-taught, Elkins took lessons from and travelled with the great Albert Bierstadt. He traveled extensively, especially in California and Colorado which the majority of his works depict. He died in Georgetown, CO in July 1884.