Kansas, A Guide to the Sunflower State (New York, The Viking Press), an illustrated volume of 538 pages compiled and written by the Kansas division of the Federal Writers' Project, was published in September, 1939, as one of the units in the American Guide Series. The book is a description and survey of the state. Following an introduction by William Allen White is a chapter on the topography, climate and geology of the state, and its natural resources and their conservation. A discussion of archeological research and a chapter on the Indians of Kansas precede the formal narrative of the state's history since 1541, when Coronado sought Quivera. Agriculture, transportation, and industry, commerce and labor are reviewed from their earliest introduction into the state, and Kansas folk-lore, education and religion are also treated in separate chapters. Recreational and cultural activities are summarized in chapters on sports and recreation, journalism and journalists, literature, art, music and the theater, and architecture, with which the Guide's first general section, entitled "The State and Its People," is concluded. The second section, "Cities and Towns," is composed of historical sketches of eighteen of the larger Kansas cities and their points of interest. "Highways and Byways," the third section, consists of directions for seventeen tours through the state, with descriptions of significant or unusual points encountered. Special features of the Guide include a section of "General Information," which lists railroads operating in Kansas, highways, air lines, a digest of the motor vehicle laws, and other information likely to be of interest to tourists as well as residents of the state; a "Calendar of Events" occurring annually in the cities of Kansas; a chronology of Kansas from 1540 to 1938; and a topical bibliography arranged to correspond with the successive chapters. In addition an eight-page index supplements the volume. Harold C. Evans was chief editor of the Guide.
The annual meeting of the Chase County Historical Society was held at Cottonwood Falls, September 23, 1939. Claude W. Hawkins of Clements, who had previously served as president of the society, was reelected. Other officers chosen were George M. Miller, Cottonwood Falls, vice-president; Mrs. W. W. Austin, Cottonwood Falls, secretary; George T. Dawson, Elmdale, treasurer, and Mrs.
Clara Hildebrand, Cottonwood Falls, chief historian. Changes in the constitution and bylaws were authorized. Mrs. Hildebrand, who for several years has been working on a county history, reported that much of the material for volume one was ready for the printer.
Alfred E. Gledhill was elected president and Bert Headley was reelected secretary of the Smith county old settlers' organization at the annual meeting held at Smith Center on September 27, 1939. A. C. Coolidge was the retiring president. Thale P. Skovgard, state senator, was principal speaker.
Officers of the Riley County Historical Society were elected at a meeting held in the city park at Manhattan on October 2, 1939. Mrs. Medora Flick was chosen president; Mrs. Bessie Murdock, vice-president; Mrs. Gertrude Failyer, secretary; Mrs. Caroline Smith, treasurer; George Failyer, custodian of the log cabin in the park, and Mrs. Smith, assistant custodian.
The Twentieth Kansas Regiment Association, veterans of the Spanish-American war, held its thirty-ninth annual reunion at Topeka October 8 and 9, 1939. The following officers were elected: Lewis E. Coffield, Yates Center, president; Homer Limbird, Olathe, vice-president; Harry W. Brent, Topeka, secretary-treasurer, and Jerry Springstead, Topeka, historian. Officers chosen by the ladies' auxiliary were: Mrs. Homer Limbird, Olathe, president; Mrs. Minnie Dicker, Lawrence, vice-president; Mrs. Bessie Hopkins, LaCygne, secretary; Mrs. Julia Gibson, Topeka, treasurer; Mrs. Hattie Taylor, Baldwin: chaplain, and Mrs. Edwin Barrett, Topeka, reporter.
At a joint meeting of the Horton Kiwanis Club and the HortonKennekuk Historical Society held in Horton on October 9, 1939, the following Kansans were awarded life memberships by the Oregon Trail Memorial Association: W. P. Lambertson, Fairview; Kirke Mechem, Topeka; George A. Root, Topeka; W. J. Dicker, Hanover; Mrs. James Montgomery, Marysville; Dr. Samuel Murdock, Sabetha; Mrs. M. Y. Griffin, Merriam; Mrs. A. V. Fuller, Merriam; Robert C. Rankin, Lawrence; Mrs. Lena M. Owen, Lawrence; Charles S. Travelute, Marysville; Dora Adriance, Seneca; Forrest J. Henney, Horton; William E. Smith, Wamego; Charles T. Guise, Oketo, and Russel C. Triplett, Troy.
More than two thousand persons attended the pageant celebrating the centennial of the establishment of Shawnee Methodist Mission on its present site, which was presented at the Shawnee Mission
High-school stadium, Merriam, on October 14, 1939. The pageant was written and directed by Mrs. Lida Weed Myers of Topeka, and was presented by the Kansas State Historical Society in cooperation with the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society, the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of 1812, and the Daughters of the American Colonists.
A bronze tablet commemorating the Santa Fe trail, the Oregon trail, the military road to Fort Scott, and the expeditions of Fremont and Doniphan, all of which "between the dates 1827-1890 crossed or used Fort Leavenworth," was presented on October 14, 1939, to the commandant of the post for the United States government by the Kansas National Old Trails committee of the Capt. Jesse Leavenworth chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. As part of the program Mrs. Effie H. Van Tuyl, chairman of the committee, sketched the history of the fort and the trails.
The annual meeting of the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society was held on October 23, 1939. The following officers were elected to serve during 1939-1940: Mrs. Jack Weems Quarrier, president; Mrs. Ross Smith, vice-president; Mrs. O. Wendell Shepard, recording secretary; Mrs. Walter B. Gresham, corresponding secretary; Mrs. C. F. Terry, treasurer; Mrs. X. 0. Meyer, historian; Mrs. John W. Sanders, curator of the society's museum at the Shawnee Methodist Mission; Frank C. Wornall, supervisor, and Mrs. Ross Smith, parliamentarian. Mrs. M. Y. Griffin was the retiring president.