THE sixty-third annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society and board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 18, 1938.
William Allen White, president of the Society, was unable to attend the morning meeting and in his absence Thomas A. McNeal presided.
Mr. McNeal called the meeting to order at 10 a. m. The first business was the reading of the annual report of the secretary.
Since the meeting last year more history has been made in the world than at any time since the close of the World War. Even in the United States it has been a period of change and a new consideration of the fundamentals of government. The result, as it affects the Historical Society, has been an increasing interest in the history of the state. Our experience confirms reports from other Societies that there is a material growth in popular interest in local history. Many schools in small towns and rural communities are asking for detailed information about their towns and counties. These demands on the staff do not leave as much time as we could wish for routine work. The supervision of federal projects also requires continuous attention. The work of cataloguing and otherwise organizing our books, relics, documents, pictures and newspapers is progressing, however, as will appear in the reports of the various departments.
Pres. William Allen White reappointed Thomas Amory Lee, Robert C. Rankin and Chester Woodward to the executive committee, the members holding over being Justice John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard. At the first meeting of the committee following the annual meeting Mr. Lee was elected chairman. The death of J. M. Challiss, first vice-president, was a great loss to the Society. Mr. Challiss was a member of a pioneer family, and he was an active supporter of the work of the Society.
Appropriation requests for the next legislature were filed with the budget director in September. Four additions to the staff were requested: a research director and three cataloguers. Five hundred dollars was asked for microfilming, and a $500 increase in the book fund. Also, $1,350 was requested for the purchase of new catalogue cases. In the budget for the Old Shawnee Mission $25,000 was asked for the restoration of the north building.
Federal work projects operating under the Society's supervision have continued without interruption. Mrs. Harrison Parkman and other WPA and NYA officials have provided better-than-average workers who have made commendable progress in the tasks assigned them. Mention of their work programs is incorporated in reports of the departments.
Thirteen to fourteen persons have been regularly employed sixteen days a month each under the WPA project. From October 6, 1937, to October 5, 1938, the federal government contributed $11,771.73 for salaries. The Society's expenditure for the same period was approximately $600 for typewriter rentals and working materials. During the year the Society's WPA program has operated under four project numbers. On July 1 our WPA personnel was absorbed by H. C. Sticker's WPA state-wide museum project. Direct control of individuals and their work assignments is still retained by the Society.
The NYA project, employing three to four young persons six or eight days a month, has operated continuously throughout the year. In its operation the federal government has expended approximately $750 for salaries. Starting in September one Washburn student, employed through the college NYA program, was assigned to the Society.
Inquiries for information come from many sources. In recent months we have sent material to both national broadcasting companies, to two transcontinental railways, to several of the great newspapers of the country, to one of the large bus lines and to two of the leading motion-picture companies. Producers of several of the "epic" films have been supplied by us with historical data, which, however, is seldom recognizable when the pictures are produced. A great deal of what is seen in the pictures about Kansas or is heard on the air or printed in books, newspapers and magazines is based on information secured from the Society. There are, of course, innumerable questions from individuals that require little research.
During the year there have been more than the usual number of historians doing serious research. Their subjects are grouped here under several rather broad headings: Biography: Edgar Watson Howe; David J. Brewer; Arthur Capper; Robert Simerwell; Charles Robinson; William A. Johnston; Everett family; John Steuart Curry; Bat Masterson; Isaac McCoy; Mother Bickerdyke; Andrew H. Reeder; William L. Couch; Daniel Reed Anthony. Economics: Kansas sales tax; financial history of Kansas; survey of commodity prices; economic history of Dodge City; investments. Education: Permanent school funds of Kansas; sociological factors affecting the development of education in Kansas; history of private normal schools; early high schools of Kansas; educational development in Harper county; history of education in Pawnee county. Foreign influences: Contribution of the foreign element to Barton county; history of the Swedish colony in Allen county; Scandinavian immigration to Lincoln county. Journalism: Early newspapers in Morton county. Literature and Music: Music festivals; John Brown in literature; KansaS literature for 1937. Politics: Colored Farmers' Alliance and its relation to the Populist movement; Progressive movement in the Republican party, 1902-1917; congressional insurgency, 1909-1913. General: Coal mines; influence of Fort Leavenworth on the development of the West; history and evolution of the Kansas Corporation Commission; KansaS oratory in the territorial period; history of child placing in Kansas; Quantrill raid; Kickapoo Indians in Kansas; church histories; court of industrial relations; history of McLouth; history of the state penitentiary; Osage removal and settlement; history of settlement on Little Osage; Atchison, Topeka & Santa
Fe land grants; border trouble in Linn and Bourbon counties; railroads; history of Abilene; child labor amendment; organization of Kansas troops in the Civil War; range cattle industry in the Flint Hills.
During the year the library has answered approximately 2,100 requests for information about Kansas, 900 about genealogy and 600 about the West, Indians and American history. Material from the loan file has been in continuous demand from schools and individuals over the state. Much assistance and material has been given to persons employed on federal projects.
This Society is the depository for Kansas of the Library of Congress authors' catalogue. Approximately 50,000 cards are filed in this catalogue each year. During the past year workers have filed these cards and have revised the filing of all cards under state and United States headings. An index to the roster of Kansas soldiers in the Civil War has been completed by WPA workers and is proving very useful. Other workers have begun an index to The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, the information in this three-volume set being practically lost for want of an index. Current and old newspaper clippings are being pasted by WPA workers and these files are being revised. The first State textbook printed and bound at the State Printing Plant was recently presented to the library. W. C. Austin was state printer and Victor S. Boutwell was foreman of the bindery when this book was published in 1914, and both are occupying these positions today. The book was Anna E. Arnold's History of Kansas.
The Historical Records Survey of the WPA is compiling an inventory of Kansas imprints from 1854 to 1876. The majority of entries have come from this library. This work, when published, will be of value to all libraries.
During the past year 597 pictures have been added to our collection. Six oil paintings depicting the early West were the gift of the Adolph Roenigk estate. Letters were sent to the Chambers of Commerce of seventy cities for which we had no or few pictures in our collection. As a result the Society received seventy-five pictures representing seven cities. Other cities have asked through their local newspapers for pictures and we hope later to receive more.
In February a catalogue case was purchased for the picture catalogue and we now have a convenient index containing approximately 30,000 cards.
Sixty-one manuscript volumes and 1,622 individual manuscripts were received during the year.
Of outstanding importance among these recent accessions are the diaries of Isaac T. Goodnow covering the period 1834-1894, in forty-five small volumes. They were the gift of his niece, Miss Harriet Parkerson, of Manhattan. Isaac Goodnow came to Kansas territory in 1855 and settled near Manhattan. In 1857, with Joseph Denison, Washington Marlatt and others he established Bluemont College, which later became Kansas State College. Goodnow served as superintendent of public instruction and was land commissioner for the M. K. & T. railway. He was prominent in local and state affairs for nearly forty years.
Fifteen letters by Charles Robinson to his wife, 1857-1862, have been added to the Robinson papers.
An unusual diary is that of George H. Hildt for the year 1857. Hildt, with companions from Canal Dover, Ohio, took up land near Olathe, Johnson county, early in 1857. William Clarke Quantrill, later guerrilla chief, was a friend and neighbor.
Sixty-four photostat copies of letters and documents on file in the office of the U. S. commissioner of Indian affairs, relating to the Shawnee mission and the manual labor school, were added to the manuscript materials on those historic institutions. They are dated 1838-1865.
Through the courtesy of Atlanta university photostat copies of 47 letters by John Brown to Seth Thompson, 1826-1847, were secured; also copies of 17 letters by Franklin B. Sanborn, 1857-1858. The Brown letters relate mainly to business enterprises in which Brown and Thompson were associated; the Sanborn letters relate to affairs of the territory.
Generous permission was given the Society by J. E. Everett, of Brewster, N. Y., to copy a series of letters written by his parents, John R. and Sarah Everett, during the period 1855-1864 while they were residents of Miami county. These letters set forth in detail the circumstances of pioneer life and the political conditions of the period, and are of such unusual interest that the entire series will be published in the Quarterly during 1939.
Typing of the letters in the letter press books of Thomas Ewing, Jr., and the Leavenworth law firm of Sherman, Ewing & McCook, 1857-1861, has been completed by a typist on the WPA project. Total number of letters copied is 919. Copies have also been made of various documents, including the minutes of the Connecticut Kansas colony, records of the Kickapoo town company, etc. Workers on the NYA project have continued the indexing of the Society's correspondence volumes under the supervision of this division.
Gifts of manuscripts were made by the following during the year: Paul M. Angle; Mrs. J. A. Bacon; J. E. Bartholomew; J. W. Berryman; Mrs. Samuel L. Brandenburg; Annie M. P. Bundy estate; Mrs. B. E. Canfield; John Carter; J. T. Crawford; Mrs. J. H. Culbertson; Mrs. C. O. De Lap; W. H. Fernald; Ellsworth Fuller; R. W. Graham; Mary W. Greene; Myra E. Hull; Schuyler Lawrence; Mrs. George T. McDermott; Dr. Karl A. Menninger; Mrs. John Moore; H. Norman Niccum; Jennie S. Owen; L. Palenske; Harriet Parkerson; Mrs. Dwight H. Platt; Willard Raymond; Harold Root; Mrs. A. B. Seelye; Mrs. Ella D. Shaul; Mrs. John Siglinger; Mrs. Manie B. Specht; Donald W. Stewart; Oscar K. Swayze; Tecumseh Social Service Club; Mrs. K. Myrtle Smith Wheeler; William Allen White; Mrs. Evelyn Whitney.
The Social Security act has increased the demands made on this Society, since applicants for old-age assistance must furnish proof of their ages. Individuals and welfare boards in nearly every county of the state have turned to us for help. In order to verify birth dates prior to 1911 it is necessary to check the official census records in our archives department or to make a search through the newspapers. During the past nine months we have issued 528 age certifications. Only occasionally is the information supplied by the applicant
definite enough to enable us to get the facts from the census immediately. During this time 2,277 census volumes and hundreds of newspapers have been consulted. Often it is necessary to devote hours in the search for a single name. This service has been provided without charge, as our contribution to social welfare, but it has become a rather serious problem. We also receive many requests from aged persons born in Kansas who are applying for assistance in other states.
During the year one WPA worker has been employed full time and other workers part time on the index of the 1860 census of Kansas begun last year. Names indexed to October 5 total 62,568. The names and other essential census data are posted on specially printed forms and are filed alphabetically.
The index of charters issued by the state, being prepared by WPA assistants, has been carried from 1855 to 1919. During the year 37,575 cards were added, the total now being 154,575. Nine volumes of amendments have been catalogued and the changes noted on original cards of the index. The value of this index was explained in the secretary's report last year.
The archives cataloguer and a WPA typist compiling a list of the "lost" towns of Kansas have forms partly filled out on 3,960 places. It is anticipated that this record of the towns that have disappeared in Kansas may total 5,000. Every phase of KansaS history is reflected in these town names. They come from Indians, explorers, businesses, railroads. They recall the strife over slavery. Many were brought from the Old World by foreign settlement and others have their source in religious cults. Some are descriptive of the flora and fauna of their locations and others are descriptive of their geological or geographical aspects. The range cattle era named some and the Civil War left its impress on many. There is comedy in many freak names and tragedy in the names of certain towns involved in county-seat fights. Statesmen and military officers were remembered, and many a farmer gave his own name or that of a woman of his family to many a lost post office. Frequently, in this connection, a change in name or location simply meant removal of the post office to another farmer's house.
For several years the Society has considered using microphotography for preserving parts of its collections. Since camera equipment and materials for photographing newspapers on 35 mm. film cost several thousand dollars we do not expect to make photographs until a Special appropriation to cover equipment, labor and materials can be secured from the legislature. Until then we expect to use the service offered by film laboratories where newspapers may be shipped and filmed at prices not at all unreasonable in comparison with other copy methods. A projector has been purchased and we hope to pick up for filming, as our funds will permit, rare files of Kansas newspapers heretofore not available to the Society's patrons. Filming of the Society's own newspaper collections that should be done will have to wait until more money is available.
In line of this policy we borrowed files of the Abilene Chronicle, 1870-1873, from H. W. Wilson, of Abilene, and the Ellsworth Reporter, 1871-1875, from Harold and Ned Huycke, of Ellsworth. Two rolls of film now in our film library were made from these newspapers by a subsidiary of the Eastman
Kodak Co., in Rochester. Both files carry much news of the early cattle business in these towns. Extra files have never come to light and it was gratifying to secure copies of them before they were lost to the Society forever.
For the first time the newspaper division has kept count of the number of patrons using its facilities and has noted the extent of newspaper materials requested. From January 1 to September 30, 3,797 patrons were registered. They consulted 5,407 newspaper bound volumes and 10,619 unbound issues.
The 1938 List of Kansas Newspapers and Periodicals was published in July. It shows 735 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly by the Society for filing. Of these, 61 are dailies, 14 semiweeklies, 490 weeklies, 27 fortnightlies, 12 Semimonthlies, one once-every-three-weeks, 69 monthlies, 10 bimonthlies, 21 quarterlies, 27 occasionals, two semiannuals, and one annual, coming from all the 105 Kansas counties. Of the 735 publications, 170 are listed Republican, 45 Democratic, 281 independent in politics, 91 school or college, 29 religious, and 119 miscellaneous (including six Negro publications).
On January 1, 1938, the Society's collection contained 45,069 bound volumes of Kansas newspapers, in addition to the more than 10,000 bound volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to date.
Additional Steel shelving costing $900, authorized by the 1937 legislature, has been installed. The new shelves provide storage for out-of-state newspapers which have been stacked on boxes and benches for twenty years, and for the first time in decades the entire newspaper collection is properly housed.
A collection of Emporia newspapers received from the office of Ted Newcomer, county clerk of Lyon county, was the outstanding old newspaper accession of the year. Chief among these was a very fine file of The Kansas News, published at Emporia from June 6, 1857, to December 20, 1878. Until receipt of these papers the Society had only three issues of the News dated before December, 1865. Other papers in this collection were The Tidings, April 13December 28, 1894, the Emporia Ledger, January 8-November 19, 1874, and the Emporia Weekly Republican, January 26, 1882-December 27, 1894. Other gifts included fifteen bound volumes of the New York Times, July, 1914January, 1917, from Dr. Arthur K. Owen, Topeka; miscellaneous newspapers and issues of The Southern Kansas Herald, Miami County Argus, and Miami County Advertiser, papers published in Paola in the 1860's and the latter two not previously represented in the Society's collections, from Ruth Field, Los Angeles, Cal.; L'Estafette du Kansas, French newspaper published at Leavenworth, December 25, 1858, from Grace Campdoras, San Diego, Cal., and miscellaneous newspapers from the State Library, Ralph T. Baker, Mrs. Clem C. Maurer, W. C. Epperson, Margaret E. Wallbridge, all of Topeka; Rupert Calve, Columbia, S. C.; Mrs. F. H. Hodder, Lawrence, and Gene Howe, Amarillo, Tex.
The attendance in the museum for the year was 33,637, an increase of 1,031 over the preceding year.
There were 64 accessions. The most important addition for many years was the airplane presented by Robert Billard of Topeka as a memorial to his brother, L. Phil Billard, who was killed in line of duty in France in 1918. It is a Curtiss type plane which was built in Topeka in 1912 by A. K. Longren. Mr. Billard had received requests from several institutions for this
plane and was offered $25,000 for it. It is in splendid condition and attracts hundreds of visitors. On July 24 it was formally presented to the Society by
Mr. Billard at a public meeting in Memorial hall. Sen. Arthur Capper, who is a director of the Historical Society and a long-time friend of the Billard family, made the principal address.
Another valuable accession was a replica of the first McCormick reaper, invented by Cyrus Hall McCormick in 1831. It was donated on behalf of the International Harvester Company by Cecil H. Wiley, manager of the Topeka branch.
Two collections of interesting historic objects were bequeathed to the Society in the wills of Annie M. P. Bundy and Kate King.
During the year the walls and ceilings in the museum were repaired and painted. All the pictures and exhibits were taken down and cleaned and repaired. The oil paintings were washed according to a formula provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; many of the frames were restored and new labels made. Also all Silver and brass objects in the museum were cleaned and polished. In all, 619 pictures were restored between the first of March and the last of July.
All the birds in five of the large cases of the Goss collection were cleaned and the cases were repaired.
A project has been approved by the WPA for the construction of six dioramas for the museum. These dioramas will be five feet wide and will exhibit in three dimensions six outstanding scenes in Kansas history. This will be one of the most interesting exhibits in the museum.
It is impossible to list in this report all the accessions. The names of donors were: George A. Root, Annie M. P'. Bundy estate, Clarence Messick, Carl Teichgraeber, Kate King estate, Woman's Kansas Day Club, A. B. Griggs, C. B. Crosby, Cecil H. Wiley, Robert Pierce, Robert Billard, L. C. Oaklund, Harry L. Rhodes, all of Topeka; John O'Bennick and daughter Mary Tohee, Mayetta; Alice A. Scott, Olathe; Frank Brown, Soldier; Henry Clay Nahgonbe (Bear), Mayetta; L. A. Stone, Ottawa; Mrs. Harvey Hiskey, Robinson; Pierce R. Hobble, Dodge City; Don DuCharm, Havensville; Lyman Hollis, Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Anna L. Cook, Huggins, Mo.; J. W. Wallace, Long Beach, Cal.
Total accessions to the Society's collections for the year ending June 30, 1938, were as follows:
These accessions bring the totals in the possession of the Society to the following figures:
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its seventh year, Six volumes already haying been published. Much of the credit for the high standard the magazine has achieved among the state historical magazines of the country should go to Dr. James C. Malin, associate editor, who is professor of history at Kansas University. Doctor Malin's criticisms of articles submitted is invaluable. Nyle H. Miller, newspaper clerk, deserves credit for his excellent work in checking all citations that appear in the magazine and preparing the manuscripts for the printer. The Quarterly is widely quoted by the newspapers of the state and is used in many schools.
Next year will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the erection of the first brick building at Shawnee Mission. Plans are now being made for the celebration of this event. The Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, Daughters of American Colonists, Daughters of 1812 and the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society will cooperate with the State Historical Society. The building was first ready for use in October, 1839, and tentative plans are for the celebration in October of next year.
In September the Society made application for a PWA project to restore the north building. In the budget requests submitted for the 1935 and 1937 legislatures an appropriation of $25,000 was requested for this restoration. These requests were disallowed each time. If the PWA project is approved the federal government will assign $13,750, leaving $11,250 to be supplied by the state. It is hoped that if the project is approved the legislature will appropriate the state's quota. This building in many ways is the most interesting of the three. Almost all the original floors, partitions, mantels, lath and other woodwork are still in good condition.
To commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the mission the Society will publish an "Annals of Old Shawnee Mission." For the past six months Miss Martha Caldwell, a member of the staff, has been compiling a chronological record of the mission and school. In her research she has consulted scores of documents and books and has Secured important records from the archives of the Methodist church, various government departments in Washington, and other sources. This manuscript now totals more than 600 pages. A selection will be made from this compilation in the form of a year-by-year record. Thousands of persons visit the mission each year and many ask if such a history is available.
The first capitol building, on Highway 40 in the Fort Riley reservation, continues to attract many visitors. During the year ending September 30, 1938, 13,282 persons stopped to inspect the building, about forty percent being from other states.
The Historical Society, in cooperation with a special committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the officials of the state highway department, have been working on a plan to mark and map the principal historic sites in Kansas. Following several meetings in the past two or three years the Historical Society tentatively selected 100 sites as worthy of marking. This work was done by George Root, who spent many hours checking the exact locations of the sites and verifying the events that make them historical. This list was submitted to the committee of the KansaS Chamber and as a beginning fifty will be selected for marking. The highway department has agreed to erect suitable signs and maintain them, and WPA officials will assist with material and labor. Some assistance will also be expected from local communities. The highway department is now working on blueprints of the proposed signs based on those being used in Montana, following a suggestion made last year at the annual meeting of the Historical Society by Charles H. Browne, of Horton. It is hoped that work can be begun on the erection of these signs within the next few months.
This report would be incomplete without mention
of the members of the staff of the Society. Last summer a member of the faculty
of Washington University, St. Louis, who has conducted research in many of the
large historical societies and libraries of the country, made the statement that
the members of the staff of the Kansas State Historical Society were the most
efficient and courteous of any he has met. The secretary is pleased to
acknowledge his indebtedness to them for the accomplishments noted herein.
At the conclusion of the reading of the report of the secretary Mr. McNeal stated that it stood approved if there were no objections. Mr. McNeal then called for the reading of the report of the treasurer, Mrs. Mary Embree, which follows:
From October 19, 1937, to October 18, 1938
The interest from this fund of $1,000 is
deposited in membership fee fund.
MARY EMBREE, Treasurer.
At the conclusion of the reading of the report of the treasurer Mr. McNeal stated that it stood approved if there were no objections. The report of the executive committee on the treasurer's report was read by John S. Dawson, as follows:
- 160 OCTOBER 18. 1938.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:
The executive committee being directed under the bylaws to check the accounts of the treasurer, states that the accounts of the treasurer have been audited by the state accountant and they are hereby approved.
JOHN S. DAWSON, Member of the Executive Committee.
On motion of H. C. Raynesford, seconded by I. B. Morgan, the report was approved. The report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society was read by Thos. Doran in the absence of the chairman, Dr. James C. Malin:
OCTOBER 18. 1938.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations begs leave to submit the following report for officers of the Kansas State Historical Society:
For a one-year term: Robert C. Rankin, Lawrence. president; Thomas M. Lillard, Topeka, first vice-president; Dr. James C. Malin, Lawrence, second vice-president.
For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, Topeka, secretary; Mrs. Mary Embree, Topeka, treasurer.
The report of the nominating committee was accepted and referred to the afternoon meeting of the board.
There being no further business to come before the board of directors, the meeting adjourned.
The annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society convened at 2 p. m. The members were called to order by the president, William Allen White.
The annual address, by Mr. White, follows:
WE will be in order, and I believe, according to the printed program and the instructions of your secretary, who really is my boss, that it will be my job to open the meeting with what is commonly known as the "President's Address." And I shall take occasion to express to this Society my gratitude and appreciation for the distinction which they have given me in electing me their president, and I hope during the year I have not been insensible of the honor. I trust that I have paid some attention to the job.
I have tried to make as distinguished a meeting as we could have in the way of a program, and this evening, if I may advise our hearers, we shall have a dinner at the Jayhawk, of which Mr. Lloyd Lewis, one of the really significant biographers in America, whose book, Sherman, Fighting Prophet, has been so widely acclaimed, will speak to us about the early days of Kansas, up to the death of Jim Lane. Mr. Lewis, in getting the record of General Sherman, found his hero's Kansas connections, and going into the Kansas days of Sherman, he became interested in our border warfare. I believe now Mr. Lewis is writing a book, and is making some search in the files within this building. His book will be about "Bleeding Kansas"a Kansas by the way that is past history, and is passed into beautiful memories, along with the Indian, the buffalo, the papaw, abolitionist, and I was about to say-the prohibitionist. This book, I am sure, and the research for this book, in a manner will be the shadow of his talk tonight.
I thought it might be fitting if your president in his presidential address could consider for a few moments the population sources of Kansas, and their effect upon the economic and social status of the Kansas that we know. Each state in this union has its peculiar distinctions. There are differences between every two states-between even Vermont and New Hampshire, between Kansas and Nebraska, between Missouri and Arkansas, between any two bordering states that one may name. The differences are fundamental. It is difficult to say why those differences have been marked through the decades or the generations-why they persist. They cannot be entirely geographical -they are not entirely differences of blood. But perhaps the equation is blood plus topography and plus the geographical differences
that make the unique distinctions which separate one commonwealth in our union from another.
Kansas was an organized community even before it was a state, and as a state and territory is only a little more than eighty years old. Two generations, perhaps three, in these swiftly moving days, have seen Kansas rise from the virgin prairies to a commonwealth which is of its own kind, a peculiar community, different from any neighbor, quite another kind from Oklahoma. Our slight differences are obvious in climate and blood. But do these differences alone distinguish us from Nebraska, where the geographical features are not deeply different and a slightly different blood strain shapes our state's individuality? We are strongly unlike Missouri, which has a historical background widely different from Kansas -another topography, another annual rainfall, another physical inheritance.
Nearly eighty years ago a young, thin, gaunt man from Massachusetts, a graduate of Williams College, stood on a ridge near Atchison, when that part of Kansas had just been abandoned by the aborigines. He gazed up and down the Missouri river with its wide and lovely expanse. He looked across the ridge into Missouri and back over rolling Kansas hills. He had been here long enough to know how the great prairies back of the Missouri river rise in an incline four hundred miles westward toward the Rockies. There on a lovely autumn day, as he stood on that ridge, he went back in imagination nearly 300 years to the time when the first white explorer from the East came to Kansas. John J. Ingalls, a youth in his twenties, wrote what I think was the high-water mark of his genius, an essay entitled "Regis Loisel." You will find it in the old Kansas Magazine, describing the Kansas that was-the wild Kansas, the illimitable virgin prairies, the limpid streams that he saw, that held the Narcissan images of the early first explorers from the East-the French and Spaniards. What they encountered in scenery and, indeed, civilization, when they came into our state in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Ingalls saw unchanged as he stood looking toward the Missouri river there in 1855. The French and the Spaniards left along the streams some faint marks of their passing. The missionaries followed the voyageurs, founded missions in the southeast part of the state, left the names of two or three rivers in the interior of Kansas. Perhaps 100 miles eastward from the Kansas-Missouri border a few townships and creeks still bear French names. The French came without their women-often-
times they married the Indians, and their blood merged. The Indian blood was too strong for the southern European stock. That Mediterranean civilization crumbled and was no more important to Kansas today than that of the mound builder and the troubadoura phrase I steal from John J. Ingalls.
When Ingalls came to Kansas in the 1850's only a memory was left of this civilization of southern Europe, Spain and France. It had touched Kansas as a visitor and left only slight marks of its passing. The first real influx of population into this state came to make Kansas a slave state. It was followed directly by those who would make Kansas free. The opposing forces came from the South, clashing with settlers from the Middle and New England states. The contest started in the eastern tier of counties. It reached westward perhaps fifty and seventy-five miles, and in some cases penetrated 100 miles from the border, but there it stopped. Manhattan and Emporia were Yankee outposts in the fifties. Thousands of settlers came, and would-be politicians followed, trying to get control of this state to make it into a state where slavery was not permitted-a state where slavery would never be allowed. They came in the 1850's-they founded the towns or blocked out counties in the eastern quarter of Kansas. Those from the North brought their families; those from the South, in the main, did not. They hesitated to bring their families and to settle permanently in a country where their slaves might not be permitted to remain boundmen. But the Southerners came-young men and middle-aged. They came for voting purposes. The New England groups brought their wives and children, established homes and settled down for good or ill. After 1860 New England blood prevailed.
This morning, downstairs in this building, I was looking on one of those tables where Kansas papers are displayed, and I saw there a copy of The Kanzas News, published by P. B. Plumb in the middle 1850's. And on the first page of this paper is a two-column block filled with the names of the members of the Lecompton legislature -the slavery legislature. That block stares across the years. With that careful impartiality which characterizes the Kansas newspapermen, Editor Plumb entitled the names there "The Roll of Infamy."
I was interested in that roll. I looked it over carefully. I'll tell you why:
When I came out of the shell of adolescence and attended my first Republican convention in 1888, I met in that gathering many men who had been in Kansas in the 1850's. I met in Republican
politics and in Kansas politics, active in the 1880's, scores of men who were part of the border warfare. But in that long list of members of the Lecompton legislature I looked in vain for the name of one man who was active in Kansas in the 1880's. The men on Plumb's "roll of infamy" had come to Kansas and gone as if they never were. The civilization of the South touched Kansas almost as lightly as the civilization of the Spanish and the French. That New England group which conquered Kansas, of which John J. Ingalls was a fair example, brought here the torch of learning, brought here the culture of New England, brought here the political institutions from New England and the Middle West. These Abolitionists made our constitution a copy of the constitution of Ohio and of certain New England states. Our county system comes from the Middle states modified from New England in one or two generations. This prewar group that adopted the Kansas Free-State constitution marked us. For Kansas in 1860 was still in embryo, still in the process of gestation. Go through any town today in Kansas to the east and north of Emporia, and you will see the houses built in the 1870's and the late 1860's that might have been set down out of balloons from any New England town. You see the architecture, the general set-up of the towns, white houses with green blinds, in elm groves and wide green lawns that still persist in our Eastern towns, and still show New England in the passing.
After Kansas was made a free state came the war. Those Free-State men out of New England and the Middle states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana went to the war almost as one man. I believe Kansas had a larger proportion of veterans in the Civil War on the Northern side than any other state in the union. Which of course does not mean that we had more soldiers there, but rather that more Kansans went to war in proportion to our population than soldiers from other states. We were intensely union and intensely loyal to the union cause. These soldiers, returning in 1865, brought with them a host of Civil War comrades. I suppose one of the economic reasons why we gained Northern settlers so largely in proportion to our total population was that the Civil War veterans, following the surrender at Appomattox, came West looking for free lands to which their war service entitled them. Probably in Kansas we had more bottom land and a fairly equable climate-more than any other Western states. To the north of us Nebraska was a little colder than Kansas. To the
south of us was the Indian territory. In the 1860's and 1870's, when the great flood of population surged westward after the Civil War, the young veterans of that war took up their service claims in Kansas. I saw them in their 30's when I was a child. I remember today how like the World War veterans they were. The Civil War boys had the same fighting young faces, they had the same lovely girls at their sides. They spoke then with the same Yankee twang-either out of New England, Illinois, Ohio or Indiana-that our Kansas veterans use today.
These young Civil War veterans who came into Kansas in the 1860's and 1870's and 1880's brought with them their institutions from the Northern states, mostly, I should say, from the Northern Middle states, a blood strained out of New England through the Ohio valley. The veterans found a fair free land.
They pushed the settlements in the decades of the 1860's, 1870's and even to the early 1890's. They urged a wave of Civil War veterans clear across the state, but it stopped, so far as permanent settlement was concerned, somewhere about half way across Kansas. In the seventies a wave of veterans and their young wives climbed the great hills from Salina to Hutchinson westward. They settled on the high prairies there. They tried to establish on the high plains in western Kansas the same methods of farming they had learned in Ohio and the northern Mississippi valley. Those methods worked in the Kansas east of Salina, in Kansas east of Hutchinson. But they failed on the high plains of western Kansas.
All over Kansas these Middle Western Yankees, these young soldiers of the Civil War, set up their own kind of a commonwealth, dominated by the political Puritan. They builded townships, cities and counties upon a belief in the moral government of the universe. In their yearnings they fabricated their own Utopias. They tried to set up a community that was a reflection of their own God's wisdom. So they attempted to establish a sort of theocracy. Moreover, they all joined the G. A. R. It dominated Kansas politics for 30 years: kept the state a rockribbed Republican plutocracy for thirty years after Appomattoxa plutocracy with benevolent aspirations. One of the early manifestations of this desire to establish a moral government in their commonwealth was prohibition. The settlers had begun to assail the saloon heavily even before prohibition was adopted in 1880. Indeed, temperance associations of one sort and of another by
that time had made a considerable portion of Kansas dry. We were a dry state even before prohibition.
I detour here a moment to talk about this prohibition amendment because it had a serious effect on our ethnology and social formation. You old men may remember in the 1870's and 1880's America was receiving a great influx of Germans, Scandinavians, Hollanders coming into Kansas, Wisconsin, Dakotas, in large numbers. But when in 1880 the prohibition amendment was adopted, when in 1882 we attempted to enforce it, and when it was a major issue during the 1880's we did not get the German who loves his beer. There are few German settlements in Kansas; some Scandinavians-only a few-and so Kansas, from the middle 1880's until today, has had a static population-a population bred of New England blood. Kansas has not grown in numbers much. The stagnation was the result largely of prohibition, because the people from northern Europe did not like the prohibition idea. We got whatever population we had from the Middle states, who were out of New England; directly or indirectly we descended from the Puritans, who believed as we did, in a moral government established by the Kansas legislature. This Puritanical longing for the Kingdom of God on earth accounts for what might be called our ethnological difference from the rest of the Missouri valley states. Many Bohemians live in Nebraska; Minnesota is filled with people from the Scandinavian-even, the Lindberghs and others. What we did get in the 1880's was the Mennonite, who came into Kansas in the middle 1870's-a great horde of them, and kept coming until the middle 1880's-and settled in middle western Kansas in comparatively great numbers. They have added distinction to the cultural values of our state. But they are also a highly religious people. They believed in a moral government of their universe and "the Kingdom." They differed from the Puritans only in that they spoke German.
And also like the New England Pilgrims, the Mennonites had been wandering over Europe-out of Spain to Rolland, from Holland to Russia, where Catherine granted them privileges for 100 years. But at the end of the 100 years the Russian czars became reactionary, so the Mennonites rose like a horde of locusts and came to America, and we probably got more than any other Western state. They have given us the things the Yankees had-thrift, diligence and a strong tinge of religious feeling. By the middle
nineties the great migrations from Europe to middle western Kansas had been completed. But we had acquired little of that population. We remained as we were in 1850 so far as blood was concerned-excepting a few Scandinavians, a large settlement of Mennonites. We remain essentially New Englanders-essentially a Puritanical type. We were different in blood and in ideals from the Nebraskans, from Missouri, from Colorado. We had a peculiar slant at life. We were basically diligent, thrifty, property-minded Republicans. We have carried this slant at life through the generations. But in 1890 and 1891 the great migrations from Europe -northern Europe-were over. After that, whatever America received was from southern Europe. It made an industrial population, not rural. Those settlers remained in Eastern America and the Atlantic seaboard, and Kansas was touched lightly by the influence of the southern Europeans. Only three counties, Wyandotte, Crawford and Cherokee, harbored these Slavic and Mediterranean people. So Kansas remains, so long as it has no great industrial enterprises, pretty much the same kind of state it was in the 1850's, 1860's and 1880's.
When the great migrations were over at the turn of the century, when all America was builded, when the railroads were finished in the 1890's, when all the wires were laid, when all the city streets had been blocked out, when all the pipes had been laid under all the cities that had been formed in this land of ours, suddenly the upward spurt of prosperity that had been carried through three decades ceased. America ceased to expand. Then came the economic shock of the major depression of the middle nineties. That major depression found Kansas in debt. We had built our towns, our railroads, our whole economic life, on borrowed money. We were New Englanders. A natural reaction came. The Kansas Yankee, deciding to boss his own household, rose and we went into an economic revolt in the 1890's with the Populists. It was purely agrarian, Puritanical in its enthusiasm - not unlike the great antislavery revolutionary movements that swept through the country in the 1840's, 1850's and 1860's. The Populists took Kansas, overturned the political dynasty for four to six years, swept the Republicans out of office, and for two administrations, at least, gave us a Democratic or Populist or whatever-you-will administration. But the Populists left almost no constitutional changes. I may be wrong, but I think out of that came the eighteen-months redemption
law, and I think that was almost all that was left out of that Populist uprising that still remains of the days when Kansas was in a left wing Puritanical revolt. Yet that Populist revolt went into our blood deeply. It must have immunized us, because since then in the first decade of this century the northern Western states of Minnesota, the Dakotas - have seen agrarian revolutions. But Kansas remained steadfast after she returned to her Republican political home in 1898; Townley from Dakota came to Kansasnot a ripple. We have never paid much attention to Townsend. The Klan left us cold. I think we got such a bad dose of radicalism in 1890 it still remains in our blood.
The middle 1890's brings on another phase of Kansas economic and social growth. Let us briefly review our social history: first, the Puritan, who came in the 1860's; second, the settlers who came in the 1860's, 1870's and 1880's, and then the third phase began in the middle of the 1890's, and we saw another great wave of assault going up the hill to the high Kansas plains-going up the inclined plains west of Wellington, Salina and Hutchinson to the Colorado line. Then we discovered wheat-winter wheat! With that discovery a successful attack was made on western Kansas. The settlement that followed the discovery of winter wheat in western Kansas was an entirely different kind of movement from that of the group of pioneers who tried to go and maintain homes there in the 1860's, 1870's and 1880's. The wheat growers formed a younger group. They found there the old nestors on the high plains who had gone to remain through droughts and hard times-and this younger group began to build a civilization on wheat in western Kansas.
Then in the first decade we suddenly realized Kansas was two states. Really that is most significant in our politics and in our economic organization. The part of Kansas from the Missouri line to Hutchinson, Wellington, Salina is different in soil, different in climate, in rainfall, and by reason of those differences is entirely different in its economic needs and in its social formation from the Kansas lying to the west of the 100th meridian to the Colorado line. In the eastern half of Kansas is an alluvial soil much like the soil of the Mississippi valley, from Salina eastward to the Alleghenies-a rich, deep, alluvial soil. It is possible for a man to live comfortably on a farm of from 200 to 240 acres. He may be fairly self-sufficient, if he will, and in the Kansas of the 1870's,
1880's and 1890's he was fairly self-sufficient. But in western Kansas we have a sandy soil-a different soil, a different altitude two or three hundred miles west of Newton from 1,500 to 3,300 feet at the Colorado line, which means a different rainfall. All these differences account for the fact that the settlers who went into western Kansas after the coming of winter wheat made an entirely different civilization from the civilization of those who stopped in eastern Kansas in the last decade of the old century and in the first decade of this century. The western Kansas wheat farmers undertook a civilization based on farming in larger units. The survival quality of a farmer who could run a large farm or large ranch in western Kansas were different qualities from those which made men successful in eastern Kansas. The westerners made a civilization of bright, clean, vigorous towns up to 3,000 in population and down to hamlets of one hundred. This bright western Kansas town was the center of the new agricultural order where men grew wheat and cattle. Eastern Kansas is an industrial area, an agrarian industry, composed of farms of 160 acres or such a matter. Here the farmer has a bunch of cattle growing or bought in Kansas City. Farmers in eastern Kansas flourish in a small way raising a diversity of crops. They live on their farms. They are small farmers. Except in the Flint Hills, these eastern Kansans are barn-lot cattlemen, self-sufficient farmers. In western Kansas we have another type of civilization-not that the small farmer does not persist-not that he cannot, if he will, win if he can take the handicaps. Here in eastern Kansas we have a fairly settled population, while in western Kansas we have a sort of migratory population which moves to other climes when the hot winds rise and the crops are bakedanother kind of state with different institutions and different social viewpoints. Yet the two states are living in harmony. Seventy percent of the people of Kansas do not realize we are operating under a two-state system.
Occasionally a quarrel between the two states breaks out in the state legislature, and, I think, much out of proportion to the importance of the question and population. But western Kansas runs the show for two reasons-a single vote in a county in western Kansas means vastly more in the Kansas state government than a single vote in any county in eastern Kansas. I am represented in the house of representatives at Topeka by a man who represents 14,000 people. If I lived in Morton county I would be one of 3,000
who controlled a member of the legislature. So out there they have more power-more political power-than we have in eastern Kansas, and they use this power with intelligence and I think with moderation.
Each of our two inner states of Kansas enjoys itself. But each is a different kind of economic, and to an extent, a different kind of social civilization. I think on the whole western Kansas is more individual -more of the old Puritanical civilization than here in the eastern half. But these waves of population settling the two topographical parts of Kansas have made Kansas what it is. We have learned the art of compromise in Kansas. We have had to compromise in and for successful government. Without a sense of compromise, without our democratic background, these two states long ago would have been up in arms. Instead we have gone on peacefully and scarcely known we live in two states-two good law-abiding states-yet they are one political world. Possibly not one Kansas citizen in 100 knows the peculiar social and political problems that we must meet in Topeka, divergent interests that have to be moulded to make public opinion in Kansas. This legislative compromise has made for intelligent knowledge of public affairs among our Kansas leaders. It has made us perhaps more a state of politicians than most of the American states. We have learned to live together-people with somewhat antagonistic interests. We have learned neighborly understanding-we have learned many necessary things to weld a democratic people in one political unit; and we have kept always in mind the fact that each part of Kansas had its own problems to consider, that all of us had our common problems to consider. This has given us a certain reasonableness and has provided Kansas with a considerable intelligence in handling public affairs. So today we are not only first in wheat, but first in freedom. I should say we have accomplished much. I think we may reasonably say that we are solving our economic problems. We have bitter and terrible privation in some sections of the state. Some of our farmers have lost their farms and homes. Of course we have in our towns and cities thousands on relief. But I should say here 75 or 80 percent of the people live on a common standard. We wear about the same kind of clothes. We live in the same kind of houses and eat the same kind of breakfast food. Our social habits are about the same. We go to the common schools and attend the same colleges. Do you realize that there
are more college students out of Kansas and Iowa and Nebraska in proportion to our population than go from any other three states in the union? In higher education we are in a class by ourselves. These things indicate a distribution of our wealth and economic justice which we have achieved on our Kansas prairies and high plains. It is not Utopia, of course. There is much yet to be done, but we have undoubtedly achieved much toward the ideal of the fathers who founded this state. If your father and my father could come back today and see the privileges that our children enjoy, whether their children may be rich or poor, if the founding fathers could see the towns we have built-most of them not overburdened with debt, if they could see our state and look at our state institutions operating with all the imperfections of a democracy-if our fathers could come back from where they rest and see the Kansas we have, it would be very close to their Utopian dreams. We have in deed and in truth made the West, as they the East, the homestead of the free.
At the conclusion of Mr. White's address, Guy L. Whiteford, of Salina, gave a talk on the Indian burial pit near Salina and illustrated his talk with a large photograph.
Fred W. Brinkerhoff made a short talk on marking and mapping historic sites. This was followed by a brief discussion of the plan and sites to be marked.
The report of the committee on nominations for directors of the Society was then called for:
OCTOBER 18. 1938.
To the Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations begs leave to submit the following report and recommendations for directors of the Society for the term of three years ending October, 1941:
On motion of Robert Stone, seconded by Thomas A. Lee, these directors were unanimously elected for the term ending October, 1941.
The reports of representatives of other societies were called for.
Reports were submitted from the Douglas County Historical Society by Mrs. Lena V. Owen, of Lawrence;
the Riley County Historical Society by Mrs. Medora H. Flick, of Manhattan; Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society by Mrs. Elizabeth Harder,
and the Kansas Catholic Historical Society by Father Angelus Lingenfelser, of St. Benedict's College, Atchison.
There being no further business the annual meeting of the Society adjourned.
The afternoon meeting of the board of directors was then called to order by Mr. White. He asked for a re-reading of the report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. The following were unanimously elected:
For a one-year term: Robert C. Rankin, Lawrence, president; Thomas 1\I. Lillard, Topeka, first vice-president; Dr. James C. Malin, Lawrence, second vice-president.
For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, Topeka, secretary; Mrs. Mary Embree, Topeka, treasurer.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.
William Allen White presided at the dinner meeting for 229 members and friends of the Kansas State Historical Society held in the Hotel Jayhawk, beginning at 6:30 p. m. Lloyd Lewis, biographer, playwright and dramatic editor of the Chicago Daily News, was the featured speaker. His address follows: