October 29, 2022 | Last updated May 9, 2024

Marker Monday: William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942

Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight fascinating moments and places in our state’s past. Today we focus on William Henry Jackson, a photographer and explorer of the Old West whose photos of Yellowstone helped give us our first national park.

Marker Text

From 1867 to 1869 the first photography studio of William Henry Jackson, renowned photographer, artist, and explorer of the Old West, stood on the northwest corner of this block. His autobiography, Time Exposure, reports that in 1869 Omaha had the vitality of “a boom town.” Jackson first crossed Nebraska in 1866 on the Oregon Trail, working as a bullwhacker with a freighting outfit. His sketches of the trip vividly depicted the trail experience. In 1870 he joined the Hayden Geological Survey, which took him and artist Thomas Moran to Wyoming’s Yellowstone region. By revealing Yellowstone’s wonders, Jackson’s photographs and Moran’s paintings contributed to the establishment of our first national park. Jackson’s camera also focused on the infant towns along the Union Pacific Railroad, Nebraska’s Pawnee Indians, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, and the Mountain of the Holy Cross in Colorado, which inspired a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In 1898 Jackson captured scenes of Omaha’s Trans-Mississippi Exposition. Although his life spanned nearly a century, Jackson’s photographs and sketches of the glorious landscapes of the nineteenth-century West are his enduring legacy.



1401-1499 Douglas St, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. View this marker’s location 41.258536, -95.93473

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Marker Monday: Spade Ranch

Marker Monday: Spade Ranch

Nebraska’s Japanese American History

Nebraska’s Japanese American History

Marker Monday: Long Pine – A Railroad Town

Marker Monday: Long Pine – A Railroad Town

Fred Astaire’s Omaha Origins

Fred Astaire’s Omaha Origins

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.