Sarah Judd was born June 16, 1802, in Farmington, Connecticut. During her childhood there, she completed her education. In 1832, Sarah’s family moved to Marine Mills, Illinois, where her father established a tavern and her brothers became stockholders in the Marine Lumber Company.
Later, the Judd family became frontier pioneers and headed for the new territory of Minnesota. In 1846, Sarah founded the first school in Point Douglas, Minnesota, and later she founded the first school in Stillwater. The Stillwater school was established in a small vacant log cabin.
In January, 1849, the veteran schoolteacher married Ariel Eldridge. The couple had no children.
In her day, a French citizen named Louis Daguerre invented the ability to take photographs called “dagueereotypes.” The enterprising Sarah established a photography studio in her home town in Spring, 1848. In so doing, she became the first professional photographer in Minnesota.
Following a long illness, Sarah passed away in Stillwater on October 12, 1886, at the age of 84. She was buried in Fairwater Cemetery in Stillwater’s Washington County.