Register of the John Waldo Thompson Scrapbook, 1889-1928

Processed by Don Walker; machine-readable finding aid created by Don Walker
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
University Library, University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Phone: (209) 946-2404
Fax: (209) 946-2810
© 1998
University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Register of the John Waldo Thompson Scrapbook, 1889-1928

Collection number: Mss122

Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections

University Library

University of the Pacific

Contact Information

  • Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
  • University Library, University of the Pacific
  • Stockton, CA 95211
  • Phone: (209) 946-2404
  • Fax: (209) 946-2810
  • URL:
Processed by:
Don Walker
Date Completed:
April 4, 1994
Encoded by:
Don Walker
© 1998 University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: John Waldo Thompson Scrapbook,
Date (inclusive): 1889-1928
Collection number: Mss122
Creator: John Waldo Thompson
Extent: 0.3 linear ft.
Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Stockton, CA 95211
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Waldo Thompson Scrapbook, Mss122, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


John Waldo Thompson (1841-c1930) was born in Michigan and worked all of his adult life as a telegrapher. Thompson was one of the gang that helped to string the first transcontinental telegraph line. He began work in Omaha (1861), made his way to Ruby Valley, Nev. (1863), Petaluma, Calif. (1863), various cities in Oregon (1864-1865), and Nevada (1866), Marysville and Yreka, Calif. (1866), before finally settling in San Diego (1874-1909). Thompson was the first manager of the San Diego Western Union office and, in the early 1880s, he installed the first telephone in that city. He married there, and one of his daughters, Emma, enjoyed brief fame as an opera diva in southern California during the last decade of the nineteenth century. In 1909, J.W. Thompson took his final post in San Francisco. His wife, Hortense Eubanks Thompson, died there in 1928. When Thompson retired in 1923, he was the oldest telegrapher in the United States.

Scope and Content

Thompson's scrapbook, reveals an interest in California, Nebraska and Oregon local history, the history of American telegraphy, and an active involvement with a considerable extended family. Most of the materials to be found here are newspaper clippings, although the scrapbook also contains a few photographs and pieces of correspondence. Few items are dated or identified by source, but internal evidence enables one to estimate their time of collection as extending from about 1889 through 1928.

Container List


J.W. Thompson Scrapbook, 1889-1928


pp. 1-3----"Do you remember when?" early views SF bldgs.


pg. 4------Views of historic scenes at La Honda


pp. 5-6----[missing]


pp. 7-12---"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views SF bldgs.


pp. 13-14--[missing]


pp. 15-20--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views SF bldgs.


pp. 21-22--[missing]


pp. 23-28--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views SF bldgs.


pp. 29-30--[missing]


pp. 31-32--SF Daily News 20th anniversary articles & photos (1923)


pg. 33-----Lake Tahoe region views


pp. 34-36--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF


pp. 37-38--[missing]


pp. 39-44--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; also photos: Marysville [pp. 39, 41]; Crater Lake [pg. 43]; Henry, Calif. [pg. 44]


pp. 45-46--[missing]


pp. 47-54--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; also early view Oakland[pg. 54]


pp. 55-56--[missing]


pp. 57-60--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; also early view Oakland [Pg. 57]


pp. 61-62--[missing]


pp. 63-68--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; early view University of California, Berkeley [pg. 67]; steam engine Collis P. Huntington [pg. 68]


pp. 69-70--[missing]


pp. 71-78--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF


pp. 79-80--[missing]


pp. 81-90--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; photo of RR personnel w/ lanterns (c1900)[pg. 84]


pp. 91-92--[missing]


pp. 93-100--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF


pp. 101-102--[missing]


pp. 103-108--"Do you remember when?" chiefly early views of SF; article about John McLaren, Supt. Golden Gate Park [pg. 108]


pp. 109-110--[missing]


pp. 111-113--"Burbank's Better Garden Tips"


pp. 114-118--"Do you remember when?" San Diego Union (1922) chiefly early views of San Diego


pp. 119-120--[missing]


pp. 121-124--"Do you remember when?" San Diego Union chiefly early views of San Diego


pp. 125-126--[missing]


pp. 127-128--"Do you remember when?" San Diego Union chiefly early views of San Diego


pg. 129------"Development of Telegraphy in West told," SF Chronicle (9-8-21)


pp. 130-131--Eleanor Hinman. "Peter A. Sarpy, the Warhorse of the Sandbar, most important link between the old Nebraska & the new" (n.d.)


pg. 132------article on Castro adobe, El Cerrito


pp. 133-134--[missing]


pg. 135------article on Alameda County pioneers


pg. 136------article on J.W. Thompson visit to San Diego Shriners meeting (1928)


pg. 137------"Pioneer telegraph operator tells story of early-day real estate success," San Diego Union (9-2-28)


pg. 138------misc. articles incl. one on J.W. Thompson from San Diego Union (6-10-20)


pp. 139-142--[missing]


pg. 143------Pacific Fleet visits SF (n.d.)


pp. 144-145--"James J. Corbett...," SF Chronicle (4-1-22); photo of Meek's Bay Camp, Lake Tahoe (n.d.); picture postcard of Twin Lakes, Mono Co.


pg. 146------articles about J.W. Thompson moving from San Diego to SF (June 1909)


pp. 147-148--[missing]


pg. 149------article about J.W. Thompson as oldest telegrapher in US (August 1922)


pg. 150------"Siskiyou County fifty years ago," Siskiyou News (4-19-23)


pp. 151-152--[missing]


pp. 153-154---conclusion of article on Siskiyou County; articles on song writer/poet Maj. S.H. M. Byers


pp. 155-156--[missing]


pg. 157------telegrams regarding birth of Thompson grandchild (1901); article re illness of daughter (1896)


pp. 158-159---misc. articles about San Diego & "oldest butter in the world"


pg. 160------"Block system was out of order; jury exonerates Engineer Thompson..." (1-12-10); "Miss Emma Thompson returns for the summer," & other articles about Miss Thompson (1902-1905)


pp. 161-162--[missing]


pp. 163-165--articles & concert program re Emma Thompson (1903- 1905) & her husband's suicide (1913)


pg. 166------misc. obits.: James Spiers, shipbuilder; Thos. B. Merry, steamboat capt.; article about Nebraska cousin, Wm. M. Thompson


pp. 167-168--[missing]


pg. 169------misc. obits.: Mrs. W.S Little, pioneer San Diegan; F.W. Bradley, pioneer San Diegan; "$42,600 dug up in basement of Lehrke home" (Sonoma)


pp. 170-172--misc. obits.: W. Harris Campbell, Marion IL; Wm. Harris (1915); Benj. F. Eubanks (1889); J. C. Eubanks (1911); Hannah Eubanks (1911); Capt. Wm. G. Sloan;articles on First Natl. Bank, Marion IL; Gore- Campbell & Kern-Eubanks weddings [pg. 172], Marion IL; Morse Code [pg. 171]


pp. 173-174--[missing]


pg. 175------misc. articles: Mrs. John Eubanks; Anna Paulimne Rea; T.S. Cunningham, telegrapher


pp. 176-177--misc. articles about Maj. S.H. M. Byers


pg. 178------obits.: Robert J. Lounsbury, Oakland Co. MI (1917)


pg. 179------obits.: Rufus R. Haines, telegrapher (1908)


pp. 180-181--Portland's lst telegrapher, Dr. O.P.S. Plummer The Oregonian (12-01)


pg. 182------articles on early telegraphers: Robt. C. Clowry; Frank Lamb; Mrs. Hallie Obert


pp. 183-184--[missing]


pp. 185------O.P.S. Plummer obit.; J. Waldo Thompson 50th anniv. as telegrapher (1911)


pg. 186------misc. articles about J.W.T. & wife


pp. 187-188--[missing]


pg. 189------misc. articles


pp. 190-192--Thos. Edison banquet tribute from telegraphers (10-20-15)


pp. 193-194--[missing]


pg. 195------Directors of San Diego Exposition visit SF (1915)


pp. 196-197--events at San Diego Exposition (9-9-16)


pg. 198------misc.


pp. 199-200--[missing]


pg. 201------misc. US history articles


pg. 202-203--Jesse Benton Fremont obits. (1902)


pg. 204------article on Thomas B. Cuming [sic], Secty. of Nebraska Terr., 1854-1858


pp. 205-206--[missing]


pg. 207------cont. article on Thomas B. Cuming


pg. 208------article on Logan Fontenelle, Nebraska


pg. 209------cont. article on Logan Fontenelle; obit. of Mrs. J.W. Thompson; article on Hank Monk, Carson City stage driver


pp. 210-211--article on J.W. Thompson visit to San Diego (1928); article on Sikiyou County in 1873; srticle on opening of De Young Museum in SF (incl. passing mention of J. W. Thompson donation)


pg. 212------article on Yerba Buena [SF before Gold Rush]


pg. 213-214--[missing]


pp. 215-216--cont. article on Yerba Buena


pp. 217-218--misc. obits.: William Gilmour, Michigan pioneer; Perle M. Johnson, San Diego undertaker; S.L. Bird, Michigan clothier; Mrs. Magoffey, Siskiyou pioneer; Mrs. J.W. Thompson; Albert E. Hammond, Oregon RR; Mrs. J.M. Campbell (relative of Mrs. Thompson); article on lst telephone in Portland OR


pp. 219-220--[missing]


pg. 221------articles about J. W. Thompson visit to San Diego; article about Indian Mission, Bellevue NB; article about telegram announcing intercontinental telegraph service


pg. 222------obit.: Mrs. Beatrice Adella Story, San Diego; article on Waldo Bldg., Pontiac MI


pp. 223-224--[missing]


pg. 225------article on Wells Fargo banquet for surviving Pony Express riders: Wm. Pridham; J.M. Seibert; John James O'Neill (1922); obit.: Wesley Smith


pg. 226------misc.


pp. 227-228--[missing]


pg. 229------Wm. Campbell, Pony Express rider honored (n.d.)


pp. 230-231--articles on Maj. S.H.M. Byers


pp. 232-233--article on Pres. Warren G. Harding


pg. 234------article on lst telephones in Portland OR; article on Don Juan Temple, San Diego Anglo pioneer


pg. 235------article on Elmore E. Thompson (JWT's son)


pg. 236------misc.


pg. 237------article on telegraphers' strike (1907)


pp. 238-240--article on William Pridham, Pony Express rider


pp. 241-242--[missing]


pg. 243------"How Mark Twain came West"


pp. 244-245--article on the Pony Express; obit.: Perle M. Johnson, San Diego


pg.246-------"First newspaper carried by Pony Express found in state"


pg. 247------Banquet for J.H. Thatcher, Oregon telephone pioneer


pp. 248------"Former Mono County resident tells of crossing plains in 1859" [W.T. Whitney]


pp. 249-250--[missing]


pp. 251-252--cont. "Former Mono County resident..."


pg. 253------"Seven charter members of San Diego Elks Lodge..."


pg. 254------"Picture brings back memories of pioneer..." [Capt. Omar J. Humphrey, SF]


pg. 255------Obit.: William Pridham, Pony Express rider


pg. 256------"Banker, Pony Express rider in early days" [C.C. Beekman, Jacksonville OR]


pg. 257------"Governors of Oregon from 1823 to 1910"


pg. 258------"First things in Oregon..."


pp. 259-260--[missing]


pg. 261------cont. "First things in Oregon..."; article on Freemasonry


pp. 262-263--"True story of discovery of gold in California"; article on Freemasonry


pp. 264-265--misc.


pg. 266------obit.: Dr. Peter C. Remondino, pioneer physician of San Diego


pg. 267------misc. telegrams bearing Thompson family news


pp. 268-269--[missing]


pp. 270-271--obits.: James M. Campbell; article on Freemasonry


pp. 272-273--article on diabetes & insulin; article on William Pridham, Pony Express rider


pp. 274-275--[missing]


pp. 276-279--Susan E. Hayes. "A homespun ballad of the Oregon Trail"; historical notes about life on Platte River


pg. 280------article about Winema, Princess of the Modocs


pp. 281-282--[missing]


pp. 283-284--cont. article about Winema


pg. 285-286--"Old Waldo homestead in the hills" [Marion County OR]


pp. 287-288--[missing]


pg. 289-292--article about U. of Washington crew race vs. UC (1926)


pp. 293-294--[missing]


pg. 295-297--article about early journalism in Oregon; article about telegrapher's award won by T.S. Brickhouse


pp. 298-299--article about H.M. Kutchin, early publisher in San Diego; letter from Dr. at St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago re illness of Emma Thompson (1902)


pg. 300------pictures of early San Diego


pg. 301------misc.


pg. 302------letters from William Pridham to J.W. Thompson (1918)