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D.P. Thomson, Photographer
D.P. Thomson, Photographer
TitleD.P. Thomson, Photographer
DescriptionPostcard of the D.P. Thomson photo studios at 10th and Walnut
Historical ArticleThis store building at 10th and Walnut housed the F. G. Smith Piano Company on the corner and the photo studios of D. P. Thomson next door to the south.

Thomson was a man before whose camera virtually every prominent Kansas Citian and scores of pioneers of this region posed.

Thomson learned his craft in St. Louis and came to Kansas City in 1873. He had heard that the Union Pacific wanted a photographer to go with a party to take pictures of the Rocky Mountains for use in the road's advertisements, and he got the job.

A special car had to be fitted here, and the party was delayed a week. By week's end Thomson had looked over the gangling town, visited photographers Merine & Williams, located over the T. M. James store, bought them out and returned to the Union Pacific officials and asked to be released. He told them he had a chance to go into business here and liked the town.

After 50 years in business here he had taken more than 175,000 photographs of individuals and groups. He photographed every mayor Kansas City had, every president of the Chamber of Commerce, every president of the Live Stock Exchange and other prominent persons such as Jefferson Davis, Phoebe Cousins and General Donovan.

When Jefferson Davis (the former president of the Confederacy) spoke at the old fair grounds in 1878 Col. Kersey Coates and T. B. Bullene escorted him to Thomson's to have his picture made.

Thomson occupied various locations here, first at 6th and Main, then 10th and Walnut (as pictured), and in 1907 he moved to studios south on Walnut near 12th.

He gave his business to George Wolfrom who had been associated with him nearly 40 years, and Wolfrom continued to operate the business under Thomson's name.

Thomson was a member of the original Priests of Pallas board of directors and was president of the Kansas City Club in 1903.

In the 1930s he presented the Missouri Valley Historical Society with a collection of photographs of pioneers.

Kansas City Star
May 21, 1977

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectStores
D. P. Thomson, Photographer
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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