Archive of What's New at KanColl

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  • Happy Birthday, Kansas!
      January 29th is the anniversay of Kansas' admission to the Union as a State. At KanColl, we've made up a special page to celebrate Kansas Day. Kansans elsewhere have other ways of celebrating -- for example, four mothers of fourth-grade students in Leoti, Kansas, have organized a very special party for the students, with the idea that this will help them understand and better appreciate their state's history. What a great idea! We hope that everyone's celebration goes well, and that you enjoy ours.
  • The History of Johnson County, Kansas, by Ed Blair (1915) [in progress]
      "The History of Johnson County as here set forth is not an attempt at metaphysical disquisition, nor a profusion of legendary lore; neither is it an effort to analyze the unknown motives of man or to seek the hidden causes for certain human events. The constant object before the writer has been to present the story of Johnson County as told by the men and women whose faith, courage, foresight and industry have made the county what it is today. The story of the adventures, struggles and achievements of these pioneers form an indispensable and most interesting part of this work." Thus Ed Blair introduces his rich and extremely detailed history of Johnson County. We found it so interesting that we are presenting the book in progress, so you can enjoy it while work continues in the EKIS workshop. (Chapters will be added as they are completed -- please check the 'Updated' section of this page for additions.)
  • Extract from Marvels of the New West, by William M. Thayer (1890)
      This extraordinary description of the "New West" was advertised as six books in one, describing the marvels of the West in nature, ancient races, mining, enterprise, stock-raising, and agriculture. KanColl's extensive extract, scanned and edited by Jude Glad, focuses on the last three. Here you will find meticulously gathered statistics, thrilling stories, humor, travel tips, and more (William Thayer seems to have been a combination of Arthur Frommer, Robin Leach and Carl Sagan). And nearly a third of the over 350 illustrations in the book have been included. As Mr. Thayer observes, "MARVELS! That idea is adhered to throughout the work. Marvels of ancient races; marvels of scenery; marvels of railroading over the highest mountains; marvels of growth; marvels of agriculture; marvels of mining; marvels of stock-raising; and other marvels we need not enumerate here. Nothing but marvels occupy these pages. The most remarkable things of the New West, and not the commonplace -- these are what we lay before the reader, for these express the possibilities of the New West as the commonplace cannot. Such as they are, we commend them to the study of young and old, and commit our humble venture to the considerable judgment of the public."
  • Ford High School Commencement Exercises Program, 1931
      Paul Dale has contributed a copy of the stylish May 15, 1931 program handed out at Ford High School's commencement exercises in Ford, Kansas. The program includes a class list (there were eleven graduates), the class colors, and the class flower. The class motto? "Push, Pull, or Get Out of the Way."
  • The 1998 KanColl Holidays pages
      The Holidays pages are back! Once again this year, we invite you to celebrate the holidays with us. Please join us for a very special dinner -- with some very unusual guests! -- and relax afterwards in the parlor, and hear the beloved Story once again. Please be sure to look through the Christmas cards that our volunteers and managers send to you (more will be arriving in the coming days), and sample the eggnog and sugar cookies. Oh, and don't forget sign the guestbook! Happy Holidays to all!
  • Preface to The Way It Was, by Tom Carney
      Mr. Carney has generously allowed us to include this preface in KanColl. His book is about Alabama, and Huntsville specifically; but we believe that he has captured here the heart of what we do at KanColl.
  • Elijah Nelson Doughty's Civil War Diary of Travels
      Elijah Nelson Doughty's diary of his Army days in the West at the end of the Civil War, a first-hand view of military life without major battles -- but with all the dangers of frontier life. Includes a military roster of D Company, 11th Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Contributor Lloyd Nichols has added information about the diary and several photographs; Verita Rae Mentzer-Simpson provided the footnotes. This selection is also accompanied by a names index and set of calendars for January - August 1865.
  • Voices: KanColl's Online Magazine
      We turned the Autumn issue over to the voices at KanColl. You will find remembered here Kansan McKinley Burnett, who initiated the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education case which changed a nation; historian Homer White of Lane, Kansas, who knew just about everything there was to know about John Brown -- and much more about local Kansas history; lawman Tom Smith of Abilene, a genuine hero; Gordon McLin of Silver Lake, a man who in many ways was Kansas; and the Buffalo Soldiers, captured in three brilliant paintings by Kansas City artist Robert Roark. You will also find that these voices of the past have quite a bit to say about our present -- for example, Charles Sheldon's words of nearly 100 years ago on "The Moral Side of Political Questions," in the book In His Steps, were never more pertinent. August 1935 selections from "Progress in Kansas," the Kansas Chamber of Commerce magazine, provide an interesting view of business, finance and Kansans (they are not so different now!). In addition, we are very pleased indeed to feature in Mark Dunn's breathtaking photograph of the Flint Hills in "Kansas Scenes"; Nora Hiatt has provided with a fascinating photograph for this issue's "Mystery Photo"; and you'll want to be sure to go "Behind the Scenes..." at the EKIS workshop to see what our volunteers have been up to.
  • "A Tribute to Homer White"
      Historian Homer White of Lane, Kansas, knew just about everything there was to know about John Brown. He was also a beloved member of his community. Both his work and his life are featured here, in recognition of his contributions to Kansas and what we know of its history.
  • "Gordon McLin: Kansan."
      The Reverend Paul B. Mitchell made these remarks at the July 1998 funeral service for Gordon McLin. Gordon was not a famous man, but his rock-solid character, strong values, and understated sense of humor made him a man who was Kansas. This is his story.
  • Postcard: Charles Frederick Brand
      Nora Hiatt has contributed this postcard, dated December 1910, which shows Fred Brand standing in front of a most peculiar dwelling at a Kansas military facility.
  • In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon (1896)
      In this book, Charles Sheldon tells the story of church members who agree to an unusual pact: for one year, they will ask themselves before doing anything, "What would Jesus do?" And for that year, no matter what the cost, they would do whatever they thought Jesus would do in their place, in this age. Today, the book is headed for a new reprint and "What Would Jesus Do?" societies even have their own webpages. That this book has perhaps even more to say to us today than over 100 years ago (regardless of your religious beliefs) will be evident if you read just two chapters, 8 and 11.
  • Mark Dunn's Welcome to Virgil, Kansas
      Mark Dunn has contributed a wonderful selection of new and old photographs of Virgil, Kansas, a small town at the southeast end of the Flint Hills. In this guided tour of Virgil, there are many points of interest, but one of the most restorative and beautiful is a view of the Flint Hills on an overcast day. Mark has perfectly captured the spirit and inspiration of this landscape in his photograph, and we are very grateful for his allowing us to include this selection in KanColl.
  • McKinley Burnett: Fired by a Dream
      McKinley Burnett was the driving force behind the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court case. This brief biographical sketch describes the man and his struggle to ensure that all children, regardless of the color of their skin, could freely attend schools together.
  • My Life on the Plains by General George Armstrong Custer (1874)
      General Custer wrote these articles for the Galaxy to describe "a cavalryman's Life on The Plains." The style is very reminiscent of the General recounting his adventures at a formal dinner back East for the fascinated diners around him: conversational, occasionally wryly humorous, other times thrilling or terrifying, and always utter certainty that his audience was hanging on every word. Reading this book is very much like spending an evening with Gen. Custer and hearing his side of the events he was involved in, which always seemed to bear some controversy.
  • The Ragle Letters
      John Ragle has contributed an absorbing set of letters, one set written by Alonzo Ragle to his son Nathan in Kansas, and the other written by another of Alonzo's sons, Jacob, who was living in Kansas at the time. Dating from the last part of the nineteenth century to the start of the twentieth, these letters (and John's biographical sketches of Alonzo and Jacob) provide a view not only of the times but of the people who lived then.
  • James C. Malin: A Sampler
      James C. Malin was a prodigious writer, a broad-thinking historian, and a meticulous scholar. John Matthews has put together a set of articles, including James Malin's explanation of how the Cutler's/Andreas Histories were written, which provide both an introduction and an understanding of this remarkable man. The articles join a work by James Malin already produced for KanColl, excerpts of his book The Grassland of North America: Prolegomena to Its History.
  • Last of the Great Scouts by Helen Cody Wetmore (1899)
      Buffalo Bill Cody's sister writes his biography, stating plainly, "Embarrassed as I am with riches of fact, I have no thought of fiction." Zane Grey adds a foreword and a concluding essay about this man who seemed larger than life -- perhaps because he was.
  • Rick Housh's Family Photographs
      Rick Housh shares this extraordinary collection of photographs, including a beautiful photograph of his grandmother, Daisy Tedrick Housh, and another most interesting one of a "Tom Thumb" wedding (with Lucile Housh Morse and Marlin Jenkins). A narrative accompanies each photograph, so that you feel like you're sitting right beside him as he explains them. You won't want to miss this!
  • Freese Family Photograph Album
      This selection includes 31 photographs of the Freese family; most if not all of these seem to be have been taken in the years just after the Civil War. Includes the reverse side of the photographs -- some of those designs are as interesting as the pictures of the people!
  • Voices: KanColl's Online Magazine
      The Summer issue takes you on a sentimental journey through Kansas -- you can stop by the Neosho River in 1856 as Miriam Colt and her family arrive in Kansas, Garden City in the 1950s as Don Dale describes his "growing-up" years there, Eastern Kansas at the start of this century courtesy of John Abbott's postcards, and many more places besides. One of your stops should surely be at "Concerts in the Park" in Lawrence, Kansas -- a new original article by Lynn Nelson -- and you might also swing by Allen County to learn about what happened when Ray Downing went there to present his great-grandfather's photograph to the sheriff's department (this is the sequel to Ray's article in the Spring issue of "Voices"). You can finish your tour with a quiet moment looking up at the sky with Mike Hayes and Lee Nichols, who recently exchanged messages about Kansas skies (there is nothing quite like a Kansas sky!). And Connie Snyder, our EKIS project manager for transcribing the Andreas/Cutler's History of the State of Nebraska, is featured in this issue's "Behind the Scenes..." as the EKIS volunteer in the spotlight.
  • Concerts in the Park by Lynn Nelson
      Lynn reminisces about concerts in South Park in Lawrence: how they were, and are, a part of the community there, and sometimes have very little to do with music, and everything to do with life.
  • J. C. Redfield: Sheriff by Ray Downing
      This is the sequel to Ray's earlier story about the search for his great-grandfather, and what that led to. Here Ray travels to Allen County to present a photograph of J. C. (Allen County sheriff in the 1860s) to the current Sheriff, Ron Moore, who has been collecting pictures of his predecessors for a display in the courthouse there.
  • Kansas Skies by Mike Hayes
      Mike Hayes writes a message about the incomparable Kansas skies, and reminds us of one of the best features of Kansas.
  • Flint Hills Rhapsody by "W. L. W." of the Emporia Gazette
      An essay from the June 1935 issue of "Progress in Kansas" which attempts to explain the incredible beauty and sheer grandeur of the Flint Hills -- one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.
  • Celebrating Independence Day!
      KanColl wishes you a Happy Fourth of July, and invites you to browse a patriotic selection from the Collection, including a July 4th speech from A. M. Harvey's Tales and Trails of the Wakarusa, a "Progress in Kansas" article about the first Independence Day celebration in Kansas, and a turn-of-the-century postcard from Jude Glad.
  • Congratulations, Lynn!
      We invite you to celebrate with us as our founder Lynn Nelson embarks on a whole new phase in his life!
  • Cattle Trade of the West and Southwest by Joseph G. McCoy (1874)
      Joseph McCoy, one of the cattle trade's legendary figures, provides a detailed history of cattle ranching and shipping in mid-nineteenth century America, and a forthright look at what was right and what was wrong. In plain and simple style, he includes stories of what the drovers, ranchers and others in the trade endured, and what these people who helped shape American history were like.
  • Wonderful Old Lawrence by Elfriede Fischer Rowe (approx. 1966)
      Elfriede Rowe writes about how life was in Lawrence, Kansas, right after the turn of the century. Her stories of this bygone era, when summer entertainment included ice cream socials, telephone operators rang you back to try a call again that had been busy, and gentlemen walked ladies home after a dance, remind us of the best things about those days.
  • Josie's Ledger by Josephine Winifred Hammond Crawford
      Marcia Philbrick has kindly contributed this collection of poems by her great-grandmother. The poems were written in a ledger over the span of decades, and reveal a woman who is rock-steady and steel-strong, with a sometimes wicked sense of humor -- a true Kansan. Recommended: "Lonely" and "Kansas."
  • Prairie Homestead: The Letters of Clay and Kate Bowen
      Two letters from Kate and Clay Bowen vividly illustrate life in Kansas in the earlier days: Christmas in 1886 and prairie fires in 1887. Kate's letter was written to a newspaper in 1925, as she remembered that long-ago Christmas; Clay's was written to his brother in 1887, shortly before he died. Nancy Attey has also generously contributed portraits of Clay and Kate, which are included with the letters.
  • The University of Kansas Orchestra (1904)
      Frank Job has contributed an arresting photograph of the University of Kansas Orchestra in which his grandmother, Josephine L. Parrish, played first violin. The photograph also includes Professor Charles L. Skilton, composer as well as music director at the university for many years, and also features in this formal portrait Ms. Parrish's dog, Nero (down in front, center).
  • Class of District School No. 6, Douglas County (1897)
      Frank Job has also generously contributed this photograph of the District No. 6 class of 1897; the variety of expressions of the children's faces is fascinating, and the details in this extraordinary photograph -- the different ages of the children in the class, the manner of dress, and so on -- tell us much about life and education at that time.
  • Portrait of Josiah C. and Hannah Redfield
      Ray Downing contributed these photographs to accompany his story, "J. C. Returns Home." Judith B. Glad scanned and retouched J. C.'s photograph, a tedious and painstaking process; the results are genuinely remarkable.
  • Voices: KanColl's Online Magazine
      In the spring, a Kansan's thoughts turn to . . . weather. Weather is an intrinsic part of the Kansas psyche, and in the Spring issue of "Voices," we look at dust storms and tornadoes. Susan Chaffin's original article, "Kansas in the Dust Bowl: 'We Aim to Stay'," describes the harsh reality of living in Kansas in the 1930s, and Kansans' stubborn persistence and hope; postcards of the time contributed by Paul Dale provide a close-up look at how frightening those storms were; Lynn Nelson gives an account of more recent dust storms in "Living with Dust." And -- since you can't mention Kansas and spring without including tornadoes! -- Jim Banister tells about a Kansas City twister in "The Sirens Began Wailing . . . ". while other Kansans recall their experiences in "Tornado!"
           Also featured in this issue: Ray Downing's "J. C. Returns Home"; Jim Sumner's "Brownie, A Hobo"; and a 1902 wedding announcement contributed by John Maier (complete with a list of all the presents!). Selections from the 1935 issue of Progress in Kansas present a picture of Kansans battling the Depression, drought, and dust storms (and winning); "Behind the Scenes . . . " introduces you to volunteer Dick Taylor, EKIS/KanColl Director.
  • "J. C. Returns Home" by Ray Downing
      Ray Downing spins an intriguing and heartwarming tale of discovering his great-grandparent's history, and setting something right.
  • A Pretty Church Wedding contributed by John Maier
      This 1902 newspaper report of a local wedding is a bit different from what we're used to today! Includes a list of the wedding presents given to the newly-married couple -- an interesting look at the 1902 equivalent of a toaster!
  • Tales of the Smokey Hills: "Brownie, A Hobo" by Jim Sumner
      The first in a series of stories about life in the Smokey Hills "back when," Jim Sumner captivates us with the simple story of Brownie, a hobo who came to Enterprise, Kansas in the 1930s -- and stayed there for ten years.
  • Selections from the May 1935 Issue of Progress in Kansas
      Deep in the Depression and buried in dust storms, this issue reflects the hope, solid values, and sheer stubbornness of Kansans faced with adversity. In particular, F. J. Atwood's article, "Piebald Human Beings," describes an approach to life that would serve us all well. Also new: "Blacking Our Own Eye" by S. D. Flora. This transcription of a speech on the droughty conditions in Kansas provides some interesting facts about the weather problems at the time (November 1935) and an unexpected explanation for Kansas' reputation for nasty weather.
  • "The Sirens Began Wailing . . . " by Jim Banister
      A compelling story of sturdy men working construction in Kansas City -- and a tornado that struck near where they were working.
  • "Living with Dust" by Lynn Nelson
      Lynn shares memories of living in Texas during the dust storms of the 1950s.
  • "Amazing Grace" by John Newton
      The pioneers brought many hymns with them in their journey West. One of the most beloved was the inspiring hymn written by John Newton, "Amazing Grace," which remains a touchstone with so many people today.
  • "The Cross of Gold Speech" by William Jennings Bryan
      William Jennings Bryan delivered this thrilling speech July 8, 1896. A stirring Populist call to action, it is one of the most famous orations in American history.
  • New Galleries:  On the Trail . . .   and  Heroes and Villains
      Two new galleries are featured on the KanColl welcome page. On the Trail . . . highlights materials in KanColl about the many trails crossing Kansas: the Oregon, Santa Fe, Smoky Hill, Military, and others. Heroes and Villains brings together KanColl works about men and women who inspire us -- or warn us -- through the lives they led and the kind of people they were.
  • Memorial of Captain Edward C. D. Lines (1867)
      Captain Edward C. D. Lines served his country by choice during the Civil War, and gave his life for what he believed. This small book describes Captain Lines' last months through letters, newspaper clippings, and testimonials, and introduces us to a man who was not only a military hero, but a hero in all senses of the word.
  • The Real Issue by William Allen White (1896)
      In this unusual collection of short stories, William Allen White sketches the lives of Kansas characters, caught in unlikely and sometimes unmerciful situations. Some stories, such as "The Prodigal Daughter," are heartrending, and others, such as "The King of Boyville," make you smile in recognition. All of them evoke strong emotions, of pity, humor, sympathy, sweet memories, horror, or sorrow.
  • Voices: The Kansas Collection's Online Magazine
      As El Nino does its best to introduce us all to weather we're not used to, Voices, KanColl's online magazine, invites you to settle down and while away the evening with its Winter issue. Featured this time: "Tradition," an original story by Susan Hedrick-Chaffin about a strange Christmas Eve tradition in her Kansas family; "On Earth Peace, Good Will Towards Men," an essay written by Harold C. Place in 1935 about what is most important in our lives; "Views: Kansas in Winter," photographs and artwork about what winter in Kansas can really be like; and articles by Lynn Nelson and Michelle Stafford (see below). "Just for Fun!" offers brainteasers, games and Kansas trivia, John Maier is introduced in the EKIS volunteer spotlight, and Sioux Stoeckle contributes another intriguing "Mystery Photo."
  • "Who was the Wheat Dreamer?" by Michelle Stafford
      Mark Carlton came to Cloud County, Kansas with his family in 1876, when he was 10 years old, just a year before black stem rust took the state's wheat harvest. His dream to find a stronger, more disease-resistant strain of wheat to grow in the fertile Kansas plains became his life. Michelle Stafford tells the story of this dream, and its bittersweet ending.
  • "Kansas Scenes" from Dick Taylor
      Original artwork including the arresting "Schoolchildren's Blizzard" sketch, the strong watercolor portrait of "The Farmer," and the simple but powerful drawing of "The Bison."
  • Kansas Fact and Fancy: Trivia questions about Kansas history
      An ongoing archive of trivia questions from Kansas-L, the Internet mailing list devoted to discussion of Kansas life and history. The questions will introduce you to famous Kansans, history, and interesting places in the State. Hope you do as well as the Kansas-L subscribers!
  • "Aunt Ruth's Pioneer Woman" by Mary Ann Sachse Bown
      Mary Ann Sachse Brown excerpts passages from Ruth Considine's thesis on women in history as she describe Ms. Considine, a remarkable woman in her own right. Among the passages: "...though women tend to lose their identity, so closely are their lives woven into the warp of history, they are, nonetheless, co-makers of history..."
  • The Surveyor's Trade
      In this article about surveying, Lynn Nelson explains, as only he can, Prime Meridians and longitude, including a humorous anecdote from his life as a surveyor about Larry, the birdies, and the bullsnake.
  • "The More Things Change . . . " by Jude Glad
      Featured in the Fall 1997 issue of Voices, KanColl's online magazine, these turn of the century postcards were mailed between Jude Glad's grandparents as they courted. Some are humorous, others very romantic (especially for the time!), but all show, as Jude says, the more things change, the more they stay the same, at least as far as men and women are concerned.
  • KanColl Holidays
      The Holidays pages are back! Fill your plate from the virtual buffet and then take a look at this year's Christmas cards from the EKIS/KanColl staff to you, and help finish the holiday story, "Christmas Miracles." Happy holidays!
  • Cutler's: Work in Progress
      Work on transcribing William G. Cutler's The History of the State of Kansas has taken over two years, and we are now close to completing this mammoth project (the book is over 1600 pages long, with type so small that one page yields four to six typewritten pages!). This page highlights the volunteers who are working on finishing the transcription.
  • Six Months in Kansas by Hannah Anderson Ropes (1856)
      In 1856, Hannah Ropes published a collection of letters she wrote to her mother while living in the Kansas Territory. The letters provide a vivid picture of life in the young territory during those violent days, and the force of this strong woman's personality comes through clearly as she describes getting used to sleeping with scampering mice, tending folks ill with fevers, and living with the continual threat of violence and suppression. Poignant, humorous, warm, and indignant by turns, this classic work draws you back to those dangerous and adventurous days before Kansas statehood.
  • KanColl's Online Partnership with Schools
      KanColl launches a program to partner with schools in helping students learn more about Kansas history. Some of the forms this partnership can take are providing interactive reading lists of KanColl materials, helping students develop oral histories or transcribe texts for KanColl, and posting Kansas history lesson plans to share with other schools -- but we're open to suggestions!
  • The Grassland of North America by James C. Malin (1946)
      An extract from James Malin's landmark work is presented here, and will interest both the researcher and the serious reader. This comprehensive investigation of the grassland ecology of North America, and Kansas in particular, draws on the fields of agronomy, geology, climatology, modern history and philosophy, biology, and several other diverse areas. You might think at first that this is a very dry book, but James Malin's easily read writing style and interesting insights while describing the interaction of many different elements is both absorbing and informative.
  • Robert Roark's "Buffalo Soldiers'" (1997)
      Kansas City artist Robert Roark has contributed three extraordinary paintings of buffalo soldiers to KanColl. His superb sense of color and the strong feeling in these paintings make them very special.
  • "hello" (1996)
      A reminiscence presented as a story told by a young boy, living at the time of Buck Rogers and Mary Astor and Luke Appling.
  • "Kansas, 'Ad Astra Per Aspera'" by Roscoe Fleming (1957)
      Roscoe Fleming spent years writing and rewriting this famous poem, which captures the essence of Kansas and her peoples with humor, sharp observations, and warm appreciation of the unique character of this state. We are extremely grateful to Mary Zirin, Mr. Fleming's daughter, and EKIS volunteer and contributor Jude Glad, for making this poem available to everyone in KanColl. It is, simply, a masterpiece.
  • "The Small Pleasures of Autumn" by Lynn Nelson (1997)
      Another wonderful piece from Lynn Nelson (featured in the Fall issue of Voices). Here Lynn presents brief glimpses of autumn moments to paint a magical portrait of Kansas in the fall.
  • "The Factual History of Kansas" by Sherman Young (1954)
      At age 90, Sherman Young remembers Kansas in its early days. Be sure to read the stirring conclusion to his reminiscences, which will resonate in the hearts of Kansans everywhere -- it begins, "One hundred years have passed since Kansas was organized as a territory. How differently we work and play today. Yet, human nature is the same. Some strive and fail; some work and succeed; some weep, and some rejoice and how few of us become masters of our souls; yet, we all respond with one accord to the stirring call of Kansas."
  • Voices: The Kansas Collection's Online Magazine
      The Fall issue celebrates Kansas women with an assortment of interesting pieces. Susan Chaffin, who produced this issue for us, writes an absorbing and meticulously researched article on women's suffrage and the role Kansas played in this struggle, including a timeline. Mary Ann Sachse Brown contributes the inspiring story of Ruth Considine, who wrote about women in history and Kansas women in particular. Jude Glad provides a romantic description of how her grandmother and grandfather courted using postcards back in the early part of the twentieth century; more than a dozen of the postcards are included! And Harold C. Place's 1935 article on "Unusual Kansas Women" showcases women who served then as physicians, police captains, and musicians. Other features in this issue: "Kansas Scenes" looks at Kansas in autumn with W. E. Blackburn's 1935 essay and Lynn Nelson's 1997 description (you won't want to miss either one!)...."Behind the Scenes . . . " spotlights EKIS volunteer Rosana Whitenight....and John Gomperz writes about a very special recipe his 11-year-old son gave him in "A Cold Cake Memory."
  • "Dr. McEwen Treats Emmet Dalton!" (1936)
      In a 1936 San Diego Union newspaper article, Dr. W. W. McEwen recounts the Dalton Gang's attempted bank robbery in Coffeyville, and his having to treat one of the wounded would-be bank robbers.
  • Voices: The Kansas Collection's Online Magazine
      Voices celebrates KanColl's second birthday in the July/August issue! You'll find a history of EKIS and KanColl, an introduction to our founder Lynn Nelson (along with a look at the early Internet days!), a description of Voices, EKIS, and KanColl projects in "Coming Attractions," as well as a message from our Director, Dick Taylor. Special birthday features include Susan Chaffin's original article, "Peanut Butter, Doll Cakes and Erskines" -- a collection of reminiscences by Kansans on birthdays and other celebrations....the very special children's book, The Cow from Grasshopper Falls by Mary Ann Sachse Brown and wonderfully illustrated by Roy Lee Brown....and an updated version of KanColl's The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum, originally published 97 years ago. And! since no birthday is complete with a fun surprise, be sure to check out our regular "Kansas Humor" feature -- this month, it's a very unusual surname list from Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. You've never seen one quite like this!
  • KANSAS: The Prelude to the War for the Union by Leverett Wilson Spring (1906)
      This standard reference to Kansas history, first written in 1885 and updated in 1906, presents the State's turbulent history in an engaging and even a bit flamboyant style. Excerpt: "One of the judges insisted that the first Missourian who presented himself at the polls should swear that he resided in Kansas. The fellow hesitated. He evidently stumbled at the ethics, lately sanctioned by high pro-slavery authority, that in dealing with abolitionists scruples of conscience were an impertinence. The leader of the gang, seeing there promised to be an awkward hitch in the programme, ordered him to retire and presented himself at the polls, that the on-looking crowd might have the benefit of his elucidating and inspiring example. "Are you a resident of Kansas?" asked the election judge. "I am," the Missourian replied. "Does your family live in Kansas?" persisted the former. "It is none of your business. If you don't keep your impertinence to yourself I 'll knock your d--d head from your shoulders." The judge, considering his usefulness gone, retired, and thenceforward everybody voted who felt so disposed." (A number of the works this book references are also located in KanColl.)
  • The Cow from Grasshopper Falls by Mary Ann Sachse Brown (1996)
      Aunt Ruth used to tell Mary Ann and her sisters stories about the family coming to live in Kansas back in the pioneer days. Fortunately, Mary Ann wrote this story down and has generously contributed it to KanColl so we can all hear the tale of young Johnnie Considine and the cow from Grasshopper Falls. Roy Lee Brown has provided wonderful illustrations for the book, and a family album of photographs is also included with this selection.
  • Twin Hells by John N. Reynolds (1890)
      IN PROGRESS -- John Reynolds tells a riveting story of life in Kansas and Missouri penitentiaries in this 1890 book. As compelling now as it was then, "Twin Hells" is exceptionally well-written and provides a signal warning against falling into a life of crime. The transcription is still in progress, but this book is so extraordinary we wanted to make it available now.
  • The Raynesford Papers
      Howard Raynesford was an historian, Director of the Kansas State Historical Society, and tireless expert on the Smoky Hill Trail and the Butterfield Overland Despatch stagecoach line that ran over the trail. This transcription of his notes about the Despatch includes stories, maps of the routes, and lists of the stage's stations.
  • "Gone to the Dogs" by Dick Taylor
      A tongue-in-check description of a little-known fact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • "Elizabeth Garen's Scrap Book" by Jim Bullock
      In the 1870's, Elizabeth Garen began keeping a scrapbook, pasting newspaper clippings into an old catalogue from a farming and equipment firm, James L. Haven & Co. of Cincinnati. In some cases clippings were pasted over older ones, and the total number is estimated at over a thousand. Primarily cut from the Hutchinson News and an Ohio newspaper, where Elizabeth Garen lived before moving to Kansas, the articles range from news items, human interest, religious, moral character, humor columns, home remedies to advertisements. The excerpts produced here provide a fascinating look at life as it was lived then and in the years following.
  • "The Old Windmill" by C.L. Edson
      Reprinted by request in the Automobile magazine of 1901, this poem protests in stirring terms the destruction of an old mill that had lost its usefulness, but not its unique beauty and significance to those who lived near the mill in Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Old Elsmore School, Kansas (1917)
      Chuck Fink has contributed this photograph of the class at Old Elsmore School in Douglas County, Kansas, taken in 1917. Some of the faces of these children are haunting, making us wonder what their lives then were like.
  • Tales and Trails of Wakarusa by A. M. Harvey (1917)
      This wonderful collection of stories published in 1917, about people who have no annals "because they were peaceful and happy," is dedicated to young soldiers with a wish that "the annals of all men will be stories of love, companionship and association one with another." Read about the old-timer and the Newcomers, phantoms and revivals, a stirring Fourth of July speech and an Indian Christmas, and more!
  • Progress in Kansas
      Between 1934 and 1938, Harold C. Place edited this magazine of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce (now Commerce and Industry), and combined factual, business-oriented articles with stories of Kansas history, inspirational essays, thought-provoking quotations, and humorous observations of the Kansas scene. Issues from all four years have been donated to the Kansas Collection and are being transcribed. The first few articles are now available: "Forgotten Counties of Kansas" takes a look at the frequent name changes in Kansas counties; "The Civil War Begain in Kansas 80 Years Ago" examines the major events of the Bleeding Kansas days; and "Some Notes on the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention" gives us a unique inside look at the framing of the Kansas State Constitution.
  • Life at Laurel Town in Anglo-Saxon Kansas by Kate Stephens (1920/1936)
      Kate Stephens tells of life in Lawrence, Kansas, and at the University of Kansas, through stories, verse, and even sheet music. Although some of the stories she relates are humorous, at heart this is a serious book; as Lynn Nelson observes in the preface he wrote for this selection, "Kate Stephens was a disillusioned woman and wrote Life in Laurel Town in Anglo-Saxon Kansas to recall what her world had been like. She remembered a Lawrence still peopled by the men and women who had staked their lives in a bitter and bloody struggle against slavery, and a University whose function it was to call the young men and women of Kansas to higher ideals rather than to entertain them and prepare them for better-paying jobs. Beneath the rhetoric and racism, Stephens was attempting to explain problems that we are confronting once again: the decay of civic virtue, a growing tendency to deny individual responsibility, the decay of common ideals, and a loss of respect for a heritage for which our forbears fought and died. "
  • "Cora Pickering Cordell" by Julie Schossow (1997)
      Julie Schossow's remembrance of her grandmother introduces to a very special woman, who understood the joy and magic in life, and as a teacher, mother, and grandmother devoted her life to children. Be sure to also visit the selection of Cora Cordell's photographs of various Kansas cities, the Lucas School House, a group of young men leaving Yates Center for the War, and two extraordinary winter scenes, all taken in the 1910's.
  • Do Tell: The Early Years by Don B. Dale (1991)
      Don B. Dale's autobiography, written for his daughters, combines wit, warmth, and shrewd observations on life. At times deeply moving, and very well-written, the book has offers as much to adults as to the younger people who read it.
  • Voices: The Kansas Collection's Online Magazine
      This electronic magazine presents voices from KanColl's many selections in original articles and features. In the March-April issue: "History" a look at how the Kansas Collection presents history (and why), and the conclusion to Susan Chaffin's original article, "A Jolly Time . . .". Regular features include "Mystery Photos," a request for information about photographs that have come our way at EKIS/KanColl (this issue includes an update on the last Mystery Photos); "Behind the Scenes..." at the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, a regular feature that describes EKIS activities and introduces you to our volunteers (Kathleen Roper is featured in this edition); and "Kansas Humor" presents an excerpt from William Allen White's "The Martial Adventures of Henry and Me."
  • Interactive Reading List for "Home on the Range" Conference
      Fort Hays State University is hosting the "Home on the Range" conference April 11-12, 1997. The Kansas Collection is pleased to support the conference by providing an interactive reading list for participants, listing KanColl works related to the topics that will be discussed at the conference.
  • "Autobiography of Sara Edna Eutsler Kennedy" (approx. 1956)
      Sara Edna Eutsler Kennedy tells the story of her life in a series of short, vivid scenes in this latest addition to the Kansas Collection. It was not an easy life, but although Mrs. Kennedy includes the sadder events in her story, she wastes no time dwelling on these harsher aspects...instead she focusses on the better parts of her life. You sense that you have met a remarkable woman as you read her story.
  • Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska by William G. Cutler (1882)
      A companion volume to Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, this book is an essential -- and exhaustive! -- reference to Nebraska history, through 1882. Here Cutler developed the formula of state history chapters and individual county chapters that he would use a year later in producing History of the State of Kansas. Connie Snyder is coordinating this project for EKIS, which is still in progress.
  • John Abbott's Postcards
      John Abbott has contributed an intriguing set of turn-of-the-century Kansas postcards. Scenes include Howard, Topeka, Chanute, Emporia, Independence, Lawrence and Fort Leavenworth.
  • Went to Kansas by Miriam D. Colt (1862)
      Mrs. Colt's book about "an ill-fated expedition to that fairy-land and its sad results" is a heart-rending account of her and her family's move to Kansas. A gifted writer, Mrs. Colt describes the disasters that befell them when they went West as part of the effort to settle a vegetarian community on the banks of the Neosho -- keep a box of tissues nearby when you read this, you'll need them.
  • Voices: The Kansas Collection's Online Magazine
      This electronic magazine presents voices from KanColl's many selections in original articles and features. In the January-February issue: "Kansas Day," a celebration of Kansas' birthday as a State of the Union (don't miss the beautiful old postcard in this article, and Kirk Mecham's description of how the State's Constitution was written); "A Jolly Time . . ." by Susan Chaffin, a look at the fare enjoyed by the pioneers, based on KanColl's edition of Emigrant Life in Kansas by Percy Ebbutt, and complete with recipes!; "History Quiz," an unusual test of your knowledge of Kansas history, and the Kansas Collection; "Mystery Photos," a request for information about photographs that have come our way at EKIS/KanColl; "Behind the Scenes..." at the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, a regular feature that describes EKIS activities and introduces you to our volunteers (in this issue, Bonnie Bunce, associate manager for the Cutler's transcription project); and "Kansas Humor," another regular feature highlighting the Collection's humorous works -- in January-February, Mike Jacob's story of "Bootleggers in Jewell County" is showcased.
  • Letter to Edward Beedles from Richard Smith (1870)
      This letter is a ringing endorsement for emigration to Kansas. Edward Beedles is told enthusiastically, "You or any other man cannot do better than to come west and that right away, if you think you can live without hearing the factory bell."
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  • History Links
      We've added two links to the websites we recommend for our readers who want to go further: the Truman Library Museum (Mark Adams' exceptional skills as a website developer and designer are much in evidence here), and Blue Skyways' Kansas History and Historical Markers page, which includes a well-organized tour of the State's historical markers -- a tour through history itself. (31 December 1998)
           We've also added a link to Roger Soldan's site, "Visit Central Kansas!" (wonderful views of sights in Central Kansas), and updated the Kansas City Star's "Digital History" link, to reflect that Jennifer Dalton is now managing the site (not to be missed!). (2 February 1999)
  • 1998 KanColl Holidays: Recipes
      We've added a photograph of Grandmother Stafford's prune cake recipe to this page -- a very old and very well-used recipe, as you can see from this illustration. Such memories were made with this! And you see them reflected in the marks of time on this slip of paper -- yellowed, a corner missing, stains from cups and other cooking tools that were set on it -- and perhaps you'll see a little of the love that kept this paper in the family, marks and all, for so many years. (14 December 1998)
  • In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
      Jude Glad has scanned the cover illustration from an early edition of this book, a pretty maiden (Rachel Winslow no doubt), and this has been added to our "cover page." We hope that you like her as well as we did. (Explanatory note about the scanned illustration has been added to the credits page.) (9 December 1998)
  • The Huron Carol
      We are very grateful to Darren English for contributing this old Carol sung by the Huron Indians, and written by Jesuit priest St. Jean de Brebeuf in the mid-1600s, to our Holidays celebration. This addition to our Holidays pages includes the original Huron language lyrics and the English translation. (8 December 1998)
  • Jude Glad's Kansas Postcards: New Winfield Postcard
      This humorous card is labelled "Stirring Times in Winfield, Kansas" -- and features a young woman wearing an apron, and stirring something in a small bowl! (6 December 1998)
  • Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards
      More turn-of-the-century postcards from Jude! A Christmas postcard featuring children playing with old-fashioned and a New Year's postcard picturing a lovely young woman in a winter scene (both of these were part of Jude's Christmas card for the 1998 KanColl Holidays pages). Also added: a Thanksgiving card with a most prodigious turkey! (6 December 1998)
  • Mark Dunn's Welcome to Virgil, Kansas
      Two photographs have been added to this selection, courtesy of Mark Dunn and Bob Common: a view of the construction of the Gymnasium at the Virgil School, and a photograph of an early-day Virgil baseball team (some of the people in this photograph have been identified). Baseball was very different then! (6 December 1998)
  • Old Kansas Area Maps
      Lloyd Nichols has wrought more magic in renovating this early KanColl selection. Each map now has a webpage with navigational aids for moving easily from map to map, and the look of the main page listing the various maps has also been updated. (30 November 1998)
  • Voices, Autumn 1998: Behind the Scenes . . .
      Also added to the Autumn issue: Connie DiPasquale is our volunteer in the Behind the Scenes... spotlight. Connie contributed "Orphan Trains of Kansas" to KanColl -- here, while getting to know Connie, you can learn how she developed an interest in the Orphan Train movement, and how "Orphan Trains of Kansas" came about. In addition, Tom Carney's Preface (see What's New, above) had been included in the first section of this issue. (29 November 1998)
  • Voices, Autumn 1998: A New World by Susan Chaffin
      In this original article added to the Autumn issue of Voices, Susan Chaffin explores the changes to American life which occurred at the beginning of this century. (22 November 1998)
  • Well-Known Visitors of Early-Day Kansas
      Lloyd Nichols has elegantly updated the web design of this early KanColl selection, portraits of Kansas visitors contributed by Dick Taylor and installed back in 1995. (11 November 1998)
  • Wonderful Old Lawrence by Elfriede Rowe
      Installed in progress, this work has now been completely edited and is complete. Mrs. Rowe stirs memories of a gentler time, when ladies and gentlemen attended dances in the park, and the gentleman always walked the lady home. (11 November 1998)
  • Kansas: Its Interior and Exterior Life by Sara Robinson
      George Nelson has scanned a daguerrotype taken for Mrs. Robinson, of the ruin of the Free State Hotel in Lawrence, which appeared in the original edition. Added to the main page just before the Preface; to see a larger size view, please click on the daguerrotype on this page. (26 September 1998)
  • "Heroes and Villains" Gallery
      Last of the Great Scouts, the story of Buffalo Bill Cody, has been added to the gallery. (5 September 1998)
  • Old Settlers' Tales by F. F. Crevecoeur
      Teresa Lindquist has added a complete "Every Name Index" to this online book, to help you locate people mentioned in this description of the early settlers in Nemaha and Pottawatomie counties, Kansas. We are very grateful to Teresa for this tremendous amount of work! (3 September 1998)
  • Orphan Trains of Kansas contributed by Connie DiPasquale
      Rick Housh has generously restored the photograph of ph of William James (Potthoff) Kimmel shown in Connie's story, "Riders of an Orphan Train: Two who came to Kansas". When the photograph was found, another document had left marks on the face of the photo. Rick removed these ink marks so that the photograph could be viewed in its original condition. The graphics area of "Orphan Trains" features a full-size version of William's picture. (30 August 1998)
  • "What's the Matter with Kansas?" by William Allen White
      William Allen White's famous editorial, published 15 August 1896, in which he explains precisely what is wrong with Kansas. (22 August 1998)
  • Old Settlers' Tales by F. F. Crevecoeur
      This book, billed as "historical and biographical sketches of the early settlement and settlers of northeastern Pottawatomie and southwestern Nemaha counties, Kansas, from earliest settlement to the year 1877," has at last been completed and refurbished. Teresa Lindquist is also adding an "Every Name Index," which is currently complete through "Giles." (15 August 1998)
  • Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards
      Two more postcards have been added -- a striking Washington's Birthday card and another celebrating the Fourth of July. (29 June 1998)
  • History Links
      Two new links have been added to the History Links page: Jude Glad's A Glimpse into the Past, presenting Jude's collection of turn of the century Idaha postcards, and Lee Marlin Schneider's Orphan Trains of Nebraska, focussing on the history and stories of orphan children who were sent from the East Coast to Nebraska in hopes of a better life. Both are highly recommended! (11 June 1998)
  • Connie DiPasquale's Orphan Trains of Kansas
      The story of orphan train rider Edward Hoyt has been added to the Orphan Trains gallery, along with two newspaper articles related to Mr. Hoyt's story and several graphics. The appearance of the Orphan Trains pages has also been updated. (4 January 1998)
  • Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards
      This Christmas postcard is one of the most beautiful that Jude has contributed. (20 December 1997)
  • The History of the State of Kansas by WIlliam G. Cutler
      Barber county, transcribed by Susan Gwinner, is the latest addition to the History. (19 December 1997)
  • Kansas: 'Ad Astra Per Aspera' by Roscoe Fleming (1957)
      A biographical sketch in Mr. Fleming's obituary from the Denver Post, October 1974, has been included in the presentation of this beloved poem. (8 December 1997)
  • Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards
      Jude contributes a bewitching Hallowe'en postcard to this extensive collection of turn-of-the-century, full-color postcards. (31 October 1997)
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum (1900)
      This classic story has been updated with a new look for KanColl's second birthday celebration. If you've only seen the movie, you should most definitely read the book! Many surprises await you, from the surprisingly adult humor to the silver (not ruby) slippers to the plans of the Cowardly Lion at the end of the book. Although it was written 97 years ago, this wonderful novel still enchants us. (12 August 1997)
  • American Thumprints by Kate Stephens (1905)
      Kate Stephens writes about Kansas, life and history in this early work. This book appears to be the first EKIS project completed, and Teresa Lindquist, who designed the presentation of Ms. Stephens' later book, Life in Laurel Town, has just updated this KanColl version with a new look. (31 July 1997)
  • Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards
      More of these extraordinary, full-color postcards from the turn of the century have been added to this selection: Kansas Day (an acclaimed poem about Kansas), March, Easter, and Birthday Greetings. (26 April 1997)
  • Orphan Trains gallery: "A History of the Orphan Trains" by Connie DiPasquale
      Connie DiPasquale provides a clear and informative overview of the history of the Orphan Trains movement; includes a brief bibliography for further reading. Also added: a partial list of the institutions which the children riding the Orphan Trains came from. (14 April 1997)
  • Orphan Trains gallery: "William J. McCully, Sr.: Placing Agent"
      Matt Balocca has contributed an obituary notice for Mr. McCully, who served as a placing agent in Kansas for the Orphan Trains movement The notice describes the sort of man Mr. McCully was and illustrates what moved him to participate in the relocation of children from New York to the western states. Included is a photograph of Mr. McCully. (12 April 1997)
  • A Prairie Traveler by Capt. Randolph B. Marcy
      A description of the world of the prairie traveler in 1859 has been added to the Internet edition of Capt. Marcy's extraordinary "manual for overland expeditions." (7 March 1997)
  • Connie Dipasquale's "Orphan Trains of Kansas"
      Photographs of Anna May Potthoff Keeton and William James (Potthoff) Kimmel have been added to their story, "Riders of an Orphan Train." (25 February 1997)
  • Connie Dipasquale's "Orphan Trains of Kansas"
      New additions to the Orphan Trains gallery: newspaper articles from the time that provide a look at the arrival of the trains; forms which were completed by Kansans taking in the orphans; and "Legacy of the Orphan Trains," an original article by Pat West about her grandmother, an Orphan Train rider. (19 January 1997)
  • Jude Glad's Kansas Postcards
      An early Christmas present from Jude Glad! Eight new postcards have been added to this extraordinary collection of turn-of-the-century postcards, most from 1910-1912: Union Station at Wichita, Kansas; the interior of The Forum, Wichita, Kansas; a gazebo near (we think) Winfield, Kansas; a view of Winfield's Main Street; the Harvey County Courthouse, Newton, Kansas; the Ragsdale Opera House and Post Office at Newton; the new Concrete Bridge at Winfield, Kansas; and Winfield's Lutheran Home. (7 December 1996)

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