Carl Eytel at work near Palm Springs (1913)

Carl Eytel was born in Württemberg, Germany in 1862.  He traveled to the U.S. in 1885 and worked as a ranch hand in Kansas and later, he worked at a slaughterhouse.  In 1891, after reading an article about Palm Springs in the San Francisco Call, Eytel traveled to Palm Springs. He returned to Germany for 18 months to study art before coming back to California. 

Traveling throughout the Southwest, Eytel eked out a living doing odd-jobs for a number of years.  He finally settled in the Palm Springs area on Tahquitz Creek.  He was hired by George Wharton James to illustrate James’ The Wonders of the Colorado Desert, which contains about 300 drawings by Eytel.

Eytel made a modest living as an artist.  At age 63, the artist died of tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Banning, California.