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W. A. L. Thompson - Page

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This is a photograph of W. A. L. Thompson who was born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 18, 1848. He spent his childhood in Harrisburg, but in 1866, he moved to Philadelphia where he lived until he came to Kansas in May, 1869. After several months in Topeka he spent about a year at Park City, and was the owner of a general store where he sold supplies to Texas cattlemen on the Chisholm Trail. In 1872, he moved to Hutchinson, Reno County, where he helped organize the county and was the first candidate for county attorney. Later, Thompson traded his Southern Kansas property for a herd of cattle, he moved to Topeka, and remained in the cattle business for three years, and then founded the W. A. L. Thompson Hardware Company. He started with a modest stock, but built it up to one of the largest retail establishment in Kansas.

On January 7, 1876, Mr. Thompson married Ida Smith, daughter of Jacob Smith, who was a pioneer merchant and banker in Topeka. The couple had two children, a daughter, Helen T. Donaldson, and a son, Roy S. Thompson.

In 1888 the Merchants National Bank was organized with Mr. Thompson, a charter member. In 1896, he became vice president and in 1900-1911 he served as president. He was later Chairman of the Board from 1911 until his death in 1925.

In 1910, Thompson and H. L. Hall constructed the New England Building on Kansas Avenue in Topeka, Kansas.

He was a charter member and president of the Topeka Club for twenty years, and a member of the Elks Club and director in the Kansas State Historical Society.

Creator: Karl
Date: Between 1900 and 1910

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Item Number: 310809
Call Number: B Thompson, W. A. L. *2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 310809

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