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Donald P. Richards Collection

Creator: Richards, Donald P.

Date: 1943 - 2005

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 306253

Space Required/Quantity:

  • 1.00 Cubic foot box(es)

Title (Main title): Donald P. Richards Collection


Biog. Sketch (Full): Donald P. (Don) Richard was a journalist, a professional photographer, and a travel agent specializing in international group tours. He was born on November 25, 1922 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of James C. and Virginia Kindig Richards. The family moved to Manhattan in 1931 where Don attended and was graduated from the Sacred Heart Academy grade and high school. He enrolled at Kansas State University in September 1940 and graduated with a degree in Industrial Journalism in 1943. Don enlisted in the Army in June 1942 while enrolled in the ROTC program at Kansas State. He attended Infantry officers training at Fort Benning, Ga. and was ordered overseas to the European Theater in June 1944. Richards served as a platoon leader in the 317th Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, Third Army. He was wounded in the Battle of the Moselle, Eastern France and returned to the 317th during the Battle of the Bulge and was with the unit until the war ended in Europe. Richards was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the ETO Theater Ribbon with four stars. In July 1945 he volunteered as a photo officer in the Third Army's 166th Signal Photo Company which was scheduled to go from Europe to the Pacific Theater for the invasion of Japan. The Japanese war ended while the photo company was readying for debarkation at Marseilles, France. The company was then broken up and Don was assigned to Oise headquarters at Reims then transferred to Western Base Headquarters in Paris. He returned to the U.S. in July 1946. Don married Donna Hassur in Parsons August 26, 1946 and accepted a position as sports editor for the Parsons Sun at that time. In January 1947 Don and Donna moved to Los Angeles, CA so he could attend the Fred Archer School of Photography, a two-year program in professional photography. In Los Angeles, Donna was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In September 1949 the couple moved to Columbia, Missouri, where Don became director of public relations photography and an instructor in photography for Stephens College. In June 1951, the Richards returned to Kansas as Don joined the staff of the Kansas Industrial Development Commission as a writer and photographer for the state magazine, To the Stars. In 1952 he was named editor of the magazine and in 1957 was instrumental in changing the name of the magazine to Kansas! which is published today by the Kansas Department of Commerce. In 1964, Don joined the information office at the Menninger Foundation and a year later became director of the office, a position he held until his retirement in 1978. In 1982 Don became co-owner and president of a travel agency in Overland Park and began specializing in organizing group tours for international travel. For 25 years the Richards traveled the world with business and tourist groups visiting countries in all continents except Australia. In the early 1950s Don organized his own company, Photography House, producing books and postcards for four presidential libraries, the Boot Hill Museum, and the Kansas State Historical Society. He was a successful magazine, advertising and architectural photographer.

Scope and Content

Scope and content: The Don Richards collection contains color slides and transparencies of various historic sites, towns, scenes, cattle, buffalo, universities including the following: Abilene; Eisenhower Library and Museum; Old Abilene Town; agriculture; Atchison; buffalo; cattle; Coffeyville; Council Grove; Dodge City; Boot Hill; Dwight Eisenhower speaking at Kansas State University; Emporia; First Capitol; Fort Scott; Fort Larned; Fort Hays; Fort Riley; Fort Leavenworth; Fort Wallace; Gove County; grain elevators; Grinter House Museum; Halloween; Hanover; Interstate 70; Kansas capitol; Kansas legislature; Kansas scenes; Kaw Indian Mission; Leavenworth; Lecompton Constitution Hall; Lucus; Kansas State University; Manhattan; Marais des Cygne; Big Brutus; Rock city, Minneapolis; Monument Rocks; Oil wells; Pawnee Rock; Pomona Lake; Post Rock; power lines; recreation; Indian burial site, Salina; Santa Fe trail ruts; Shawnee Indian Mission; sunflowers; Merchant National Bank, Mexican fiesta, Carlson Federal building, Topeka High School, Gage Park, Washburn University, Topeka Public Library, State Hospital, Shawnee County Courthouse, Lake Shawnee, United Methodist Home, Capper Foundation, Colmery-O'Neill VA Hospital, Ramada Inn, Supreme Court building, Ward-Meade Home, scenes, Cedar Crest, Menninger, White Lakes mall, 1966 tornado, Docking office building, Memorial Hall, Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka; trains; Tuttle Creek; Victoria; Wabaunsee; Wamego; and Wichita Cowtown and scenes in Wichita. Also, postcards of Kansas State Historical Society's museum exhibits in Memorial Hall, Pawnee Indian Village Museum, John Brown's cabin, Grinter House Museum, First Capitol of Kansas, Marais des Cygnes Massacre Sate Park and Museum, Ft. Hays, Shawnee Indian Mission, Highland Presbyterian Mission, Funston Memorial Sate Park, Kaw Indian Mission, Topeka Public Library, and Hollenberg Ranch Pony Express Station.

Portions of Collection Separately Described:


Locator Contents
105-03-04-20  1 cf 

Related Records or Collections

Associated materials: 1 letter Pvt. J. P. Kilkenny, Jr. to Don Richards, June 21, 1943 (306255)
Packing instructions for replacement officers, AGF RD No. 1, Fort George G Meade, MD (unit 306255)
Reunion information for 80th division (unit 306255)
Kaw Valley Chapter of Kansas Military Officers Association of America membership roster 2003-04 (unit 306255)
Military Order of the World Wars newsletter October 14, 2003 (unit 306255)
1 letter Merrill Werts to Don Richards, September 15, 2003 (unit 306255)
Infantry School 12th Company, third Student Training Regiment, Ft. Benning GA, July 4, 1944 (unit 306255)
List of 1943 KSU Alumni (306255)
23 photographs of WWII and Lt. Donald P. Richards 9Unit 306839)
1 postcard of Adolph Hitler (unit 306846)
10 photographs of Donald P. Richards (unit 306845)
1 photograph of Gov. George Docking (unit 306242)
1 photograph of Dr. Roy Menninger conducting a class or seminar (unit 306243)
1 aerial photograph of Topeka pre-1966 (unit 306244)
1 photograph of Cessna flight line (unit 306245)
1 photograph of the Smoky Valley Roller Mill (unit 306252)
5 CDs with WWII Kansas Vets Selective Service lists (306255)

Index Terms

Creators and Contributors