Guide to the Frank Thomson Papers At the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Thomson, Frank
Title: Frank Thomson Papers
Dates: 1932-1970 (Bulk dates 1951-1968)
Quantity: 1 drawer(s) (2 linear feet)
Collection ID: MSS076
Repository: Leland D. Case Library of Western Historical Studies
E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center
Black Hills State University
Spearfish, SD 57799

Biographical Note

October 20, 1881 Frank S. Thomson was born to Lewis and Isabelle (Mitchell) Thomson of Rock Valley, Iowa. The family moved to Pukwana, SD two years later and in 1890 moved on to Hill City, SD. Thomson attended Spearfish Normal School (now Black Hills State University). He played on the first football team at the school and graduated in 1902. For the next several years he worked first as a carpenter on the gold mills at Maitland and then as a forest ranger in the Black Hills National Forest. In 1910 he purchased a farm in Spearfish, SD which he worked until 1974. He served for 52 years as the president of the Spearfish Livestock Association. He married Elsie Peterson in 1904 and had two children, a daughter, Edith and a son, George.

Thomson wrote a number of articles on the history of the Black Hills. He is best known for his tireless effort to prove the Thoen Stone to be a genuine artifact. The Thoen stone is a sandstone slab dated 1884 with handwritten script detailing the story of a party of prospectors who had found gold but were then perished, the author Ezra Kind was the last of the party and recorded their story before he followed his fellow prospectors. The stone was found by the Thoen brothers, Louis and Ivan, stone cutters who were quarrying sandstone on Lookout Mountain in Spearfish. Many believed the stone to be a hoax. Thomson painstakingly researched the members of the party listed on the stone and tracked down decedents in order to prove the authenticity of the stone. His research resulted in his book, The Thoen Stone: A Saga of the Black Hills, published in 1966. He donated land to the City of Spearfish to erect a monument, a granite representation of the Thoen Stone.

Thomson also published two other books. One titled Last Buffalo of the Black Hills: A Study and the other is experts of his diary titled Ninety Six Years in the Black Hills. Thomson died at age 93, on April 14, 1975. He is buried in Spearfish's Rose Hill Cemetery.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the material contained in this collection pertains to Frank Thomson's work in researching the Thoen Stone party and publishing his book on the Thoen Stone. There is extensive genealogy research documenting the decedents of the people listed on the stone. This research involves a great deal of correspondence. There are also files on a variety of Black Hills related subjects.

Acquisition Information

Received in 1978.

Related Material

Frank Thomson Photograph Collection.

Preferred Citation

Frank Thomson Papers, Leland D. Case Western Historical Studies

Processing Information

Processed by Dora Jones.

Subject Headings

Subject headings listed below for browsing. To find related items search the database at

Agriculture -- Montana
Allen, Jessie Sandusky
Allotment of Land -- Lumpkin County, Georgia
American Bison
American Bison -- Black Hills (SD and Wyo)
American Bison -- Effects of Storms On
American Bison -- South Dakota -- History
American Indian -- Antiquities
Anderson, Oscar
Anthony, Madeline
Archival Resources
Archives -- Atlanta, Georgia
Art -- South Dakota
Assiniboine Indians
Associations -- Missouri Title Association
Ayres, Ambro
Banes, Price
Barron, Clara
Barron, Robert Mrs.
Bears -- Black Hills (SD and Wyo.)
Belle Park Cemetery -- Rochford (S.D.)
Benoist, Louis
Big Horn River Canyon (Mont. And Wyo.)
Birds -- Black Hills (SD and Wyo.) -- History
Black Hills (SD and Wyo) -- Antiquities
Black Hills (SD and Wyo) -- Historiography
Black Hills (SD and Wyo) -- History
Black Hills (SD and Wyo.) -- Exploration and
Blizzards -- Great Plains
Bonneville Diary
Bonneville, Benjamin Louis Eulalie De, 1796 --
Books -- Reviews
Brennan, John R.
Brennan, Ruth
Brown -- Genealogy
Brown, A.W.
Brown, A.W. 1874 -- 1960
Brown, Alice 1870 -- 1959
Brown, Andrew 1874 -- 1960
Brown, Ben Alice, 1870 -- 1959
Brown, John P.
Brown, T.
Brown, Thomas
Brown, Thomson
Bryant -- Ella
Bryant -- Frank B.
Bryant -- Frank S.
Bulling, Dr.
Calamity Jane, 1852 -- 1903
California Jack
Cartwright, John
Cashner, John, 1792 -- 1881
Cattle -- Effects of Storms on
Cattle Trade
Census District -- Lawrence County (SD)
Census Districts -- Missouri
Census, 1835 -- Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Art
Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Indians -- Georgia
Cherokee Indians -- Georgia -- History
Cherokee Indians -- Mixed Decent
Cherokee Indians -- Mixed Decent -- North Car
Cherokee Indians -- North Carolina
Cherokee Indians -- Relocation -- Oklahoma
Cherokee Language
Chief Gall
Chief Gall -- Fort Berthold -- Dakota Territory
Chief Yellow Bear
Chief Yellow Hand
Children of Prisoners -- White Sulfur Spring
Christmas Cards
Clyman, James, 1792 -- 1881
Coates, G.W.
Cody, William, 1846 -- 1917
Commemorative Postage Stamps
Comstock Mine -- Virginia City (Nev.)
Corral Creek (S.D.)
Craig, Joe
Crazy Horse, CA. 1842 -- 1877
Curnow, Matt
Custer (S.D.) -- History
Dakota Indians -- Antiquities.
Dakota Indians -- History
Dakota Territory Centennial, 1861 -- 1961
De Lacompte, Joseph
De Lecompte -- Genealogy.
Dean, Strauther
Deer Hunting -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Depressions -- 1929 -- United States
Diaries -- Bonneville, Benjamin Louis Eulalie
Diaries -- Smith, Jedediah Strong, 1799 -- 1831
Douglas, Thomas -- Earl of Selkirk
Dowsing -- Landusky, (Mont.)
Dunn County (N.D.)
Elk -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.) History
Emery, Charles E.
Epidemics -- Ft. Belknap Reservation (Mont.)
Estes -- Genealogy
Fast Horse, Amos
Fathers and Daughters -- Lima (Mont.)
Fire Departments -- Spearfish (S.D.)
Football -- Rapid City (S.D.)
Football -- Spearfish (S.D.)
Forest And Forestry -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Forrester, Red
Fort Kearney (Neb.) -- History
Fort Laramie (Wyo.)
Frontier Museum -- Sylvan Lake (S.D.)
Ft. Towson, (Oklahoma)
Fur Trade -- Fort Pierre (S.D.) -- History
Fur Trade -- Montana -- History
Fur Trade -- South Dakota -- History
Fur Traders -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo) -- History
Fur Traders -- Dakota Territory
Fur Traders -- Missouri River Valley
Fur Traders -- Scotts Bluff (Neb) -- History
Fur Traders -- Fort Laramie (Wyo.)
Gay -- Genealogy
Gay, Al
Gay, Ella
Gay, George Kirby, 1796 -- 1845
Gay, Maude
Gay, William
Gay, William -- Manuscript
Gay, William Jr.
Geology -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo)
Geology, Stratigraphic -- Cambrian
Ghost Dance -- South Dakota
Ghosts -- Deadwood (S.D.)
Gold -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Gold -- Look Out Mountain (S.D.) -- History
Gold -- Sand Creek -- (Wyo.) -- History
Gold Miners -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.) -- History
Gold Miners -- Deadwood, (S.D.) -- History
Gold Miners -- Montana
Gold Mines and Mining -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Gold Mines and Mining -- Montana
Gold Ore -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.) -- Historical
Gold Ore -- Tinton (S.D.) -- History
Gold Ores -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Gold Ores -- Home Run Lode Claim, (S.D.) Historical
Goldin, Martin
Goodhaven -- Hill City (S.D.) -- History
Grass, John
Graveposts slabs -- Earl Beadle Ranch -- South Dakota
Grazing -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Hanging -- Spearfish (S.D.)
Hanging Butte (Mont.) -- History
Hellickson, Art Mrs.
Herman, Jake
Hickock, Wild Bill, 1837 -- 1876
Hill, Webb
Historical Drama
Hoefer, Mrs. William
Holley, Chris
Homestake Mine (S.D.) -- History
Human Remains (Archeology) -- Spearfish Fishery
Human Remains (Archeology) Limekiln Gulch
Indians of North America -- Dakota Territory
Indians of North American -- Black Hills (S.D.)
Iron Mines and Mining -- Lewiston (Mont.)
Jaeckel, Gertrud
James Clyman Diaries
James, Jesse, 1847 -- 1882
Jesuits -- Dakota Territory
John Martin
Kelley -- Genealogy
Kent -- Genealogy
Kent, Durward
Kent, James
Kent, R.
Kent, Remer
Kent, Robert
Kent, Rose Lindley
Kincaid, Clara
Kind -- Genealogy
Kind, Charles
Kind, Edwin
Kind, Esther
Kind, Ezra
Kind, George Dr.
Kind, Henry D.
Kind, Jacob Dr.
Kind, Leo
Kind, Martha
Kind, Martha, 1866 -- 1965 -- Death and Burial
Kind, Oscar
Kind, William
King -- Genealogy
King, William
Knives -- Look Out Mountain (S.D.)
Kuhnert, Emma
Lawler, Jim
Le Compte -- Genealogy
Le Compte Samuel D. Judge
Le Compte, Delanooh
Le Compte, Joseph
Le Compte, Judge
Le Comptes, Antoine
Lead (S.D.) -- History
Livestock -- Sturgis (S.D.)
Livestock Brands -- South Dakota -- History
Log Cabins -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Logan, John
Lost Cabin Mine (Wyo.) -- History
Lyle Hare Field -- Spearfish (S.D.)
Mackey, Jim
McClintock, J. S.
Memorial -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Memorials -- South Dakota -- Thoen Stone
Mine Accidents -- Bald Mountain Mining District
Mining Engineers -- Lewiston (Mont.)
Mining Machinery -- Lewiston (Mont.)
Moore, Tom
Morton, Nancy Fletcher
Murder -- Plum Creek (Neb.) -- History
Odell, Thomas
Pfaff -- Jacob, 1854 -- 1937
Pierman, Jim
Pioneers -- Dakota Territory
Plum Creek (Neb.) -- History
Plum Creek Massacre, Neb. 1864
Prospecting -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Rader, William
Red Cloud, 1822 -- 1909
Reservation systems -- Pine Ridge (S.D.)
Revolvers -- Look Out Mountain (S.D.)
Richards -- Genealogy
Richards, John
Robidoux, Antoine
Rogatory Letters
Ross, John
Ruby Gulch Mine -- Landusky (Mont.)
Sand Creek (Wyo.) -- History
Sandusky, Amanda Brown
Schopen, Peter
Scott, Kay
Scott, Winfield, 1786 -- 1866
Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska
Selenium in Agriculture -- Wyoming
Sepulchural Slabs
Sequoya, George Guess
Sheep -- Poison Basin (Wyo.)
Shoun, V. P.
Sitting Bull, d. 1890
Sitts, George Sidney, d. April 7, 1946
Slaymaker, Edith
Slaymaker, Louis
Slaymaker, Mazie
Smet, Pierre Jean De, 1801 -- 1873
Smith, Henry Weston, 1827
Smith, Jedediah Strong, 1799 -- 1883
Snakes -- Behavior -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo)
Sollars -- Genealogy
Sorghum as Feed -- Landusky, (Mont.)
South Dakota Centennial Celebration, 1861
Spearfish (S.D.) -- History
Stone Carving -- Bear Lodge (Wyo.)
Stoneville, Montana -- History
Storm Surges -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Storytelling -- South Dakota
Tall Mandan -- Teton Sioux Chief
Terry, Alfred Howe, 1827 -- 1890
The Thoen Stone: A Sage of the Black Hills
Thoen -- Courtney, Louise
Thoen Stone
Thoen Stone -- Dedication
Thoen Stone Party
Thomson, Frank
Thomson, Frank -- Photographs
Thomson, Frank -- Pioneer Citizen Award
Trails -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Train Robberies -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Tribal Government -- Pine Ridge (S.D.)
Whitcomb, Charles
Whitney, James
Women Educators -- Normal School -- Spearfish
Wood -- Genealogy
Wounded Knee, Battle of, S.D. 1890
Zinc -- Genealogy