Michael Bushnell

“Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Woolf on their walk from Kansas City to New York City. Started Monday, May 2nd, 1910. Their dog accompanied them last season through the Ozarks.” So stated the New York Times on August 16th, 1910 when the husband and wife team completed their walk of over 2,000 miles from Kansas City to New York City.

This week’s card showcases D. H. Woolf, his wife, their dog Don and their bay mare Dolly, leaving Kansas City on another of their famous “hikes”. They embarked on May 2 and arrived with much fanfare in New York City on August 15th. According to “Times” reports, the Woolfs camped in Yonkers the night prior to entering the city. They were met at the city limits by a police escort on horseback and by journey’s end, at the New York City City Hall, nearly 2,000 onlookers had braved a torrent of rain to welcome the traveling Missourians “from Kansas” to the Empire State.

In order to quell the ensuing throng, Mrs. Woolf distributed hundreds of picture postcards to the crowd as souvenirs. We feature one of those cards in this week’s edition. Mr. Woolf, who oddly enough wasn’t quoted at all in the “Times” feature, was a local orchestra director here in Kansas City who took long walks for inspirations to his musical compositions. The couple was well known for their walkabouts throughout the Missouri Ozarks and camping with the Ponca Indians in Oklahoma.

The postcard was never mailed. An interesting side-note regarding this card specifically- in the New York Times’ piece, it is noted that the Woolf’s arrived in New York City during a driving rainstorm. This postcard, while in excellent condition, bears all the marks of a paper piece that has been wet, then dried out, meaning it is very possible this specific card was one Mrs. Woolf distributed to a citizen of New York City 114 years ago.