"Early Days in Abilene," a series of historical articles dealing with the romantic past of one of Kansas' most interesting cities, was written in 1896 by J. B. Edwards, a pioneer settler, and printed in that year in the Abilene Chronicle. In June and July, 1938, it was reprinted in the Daily Chronicle, and it has now been published as a sixteen-page pamphlet, with added material from Edwards' papers.
Since its organization on July 1, 1939, the Clark County Chapter of the Kansas State Historical Society has made marked progress both in membership and in range of activities. The secretary, Mrs. J. C. Harper, conducts a weekly column in the Clark County Clipper, of Ashland, in which the work of the society is reported and brief articles on county history are printed. Following is a summary of the more important items, with the dates on which they appeared in the Clipper: August 24, 1939-Notes on the Driscoll boys, cowboys in the county in the late 1870's, by Mrs. M. C. Campbell of Wichita. September 7-A historical sketch of School District 40, by Mrs. W. H. Shattuck, originally published in the Clipper, August 11, 1938. September 14-Information on the redout on Bluff creek in the Ravenscraft pasture, from Mr. and Mrs. M. W. Anshutz, of Beaver county, Okla. September 21-Pioneer reminiscences of Mrs. Ella Zane, who came to Clark county from Iowa in 1886. September 28-"Pioneer Post Offices," an article by B. Wilburn Mayse, reviewing the organization and history of postoffices at several points in the county. Additional information on this subject appeared in the Clipper on October 26 and November 2. October 5-An article, "Biggest Hoax Ever Perpetrated on the Citizens of Appleton Township," by Miss Nellie S. Tawzer of Minneola. This account deals with a sugar factory organized in 1888, which was the cause of years of litigation in the Kansas courts. October 19-Recollections of S. P. Reynolds, chiefly about the Reynolds stage line established by his father, P. G. Reynolds, in the early 1870's. November 2-Reminiscences of C. W. Evans, who came to Clark county in 1884, later returning to his old home in Ohio; and another story of pioneer post offices by John R. Walden, now of Winfield. November 9-An article, "Cimarron Redoubt at Deep Hole," by John R. Walden; and another account of the same redoubt by India H. Simmons, taken from the Dodge City Daily
Globe of March 26, 1937. November 23-Report of the first annual pioneer mixer of the society, held at Ashland on November 15. The address of the president, Mrs. Lois McCasland Martin, was printed; and in addition the column contained an article, "Memoirs of an Early Western Kansan," by Mrs. John B. Smith, who migrated from Illinois in 1887. December 7-Description of a grave, perhaps the earliest in the county, which was discovered in 1935 by Cecil Mull. According to the description, written by Mrs. Minnie Lucas Roberts, the grave is that of a baby, and the ornaments and other relics found in it would indicate that it may be Spanish or Spanish-Indian in origin. December 21-An article, contributed by Mary Katherine Yunker, entitled "Early Pioneering of My Grandfather," by Joseph Hensley. December 28-Articles on the North Redoubt by John Walden and India H. Simmons, the latter reprinted from the Dodge City Daily Globe of March 26, 1937; and material on the Benedictine monastery "Bueffel Au," established in 1876 north of Ashland, by Dorothy Berryman Shrewder. Mrs. Shrewder, historian of the Clark county Council of Women's Clubs, had previously written a story of the monastery for the Clipper of June 29, 1939, which was mentioned in the Quarterly of August, 1939. January 4, 1940-Articles on the first school in Ashland, opened in October, 1885, and the first baseball team, the "Claim Holders"; and Clark county's first Sunday School picnic and first county fair, held respectively in 1885 and 1886. January 11-Biography of Burton H. "Barbecue" Campbell, an early-day Clark county rancher, by Mrs. Melville (J. C.) Harper, which was continued in the issues of January 25 and February 1. January 18-Story of the old cattle trails, by John R. Walden. March 14-Memoranda on the naming of Clark county and the town of Ashland. March 28-An article, "Ghost Towns of Clark County," by John R. Walden, including the history of Clark City, Appleton, Letitia, Vesta, Aurora (Lexington) and Cash City, all early towns which failed to survive. April 4, 11 and 18-Biographical and historical material on the Messing family, which came to Kansas in 1866. April 25-The story of Henry Mull, Sr., a Clark county pioneer, by Ruth Clark Mull. May 2 and 9-"An Early Day Story" by Mrs. Ina Cole Ford, dealing with the experiences of the Young, Rounds and Cole families, Kansas pioneers, in the latter 1880's. May 16-A brief sketch of the Dudley family, the earliest thus far reported in Clark county, and an account by John R. Walden of the first wedding in the county. May 23 and 30-"A Missionary Trip
Through Southern Kansas in 1876," being excerpts from the manuscript written in 1922 by the late Father Boniface Verheyen, O. S. B., and published here for the first time. May 30-Reminiscences of Mrs. Samuel F. Broadie, who came to western Kansas in 1886. This was reprinted with some variations on June 6.
The Phillips County Review, of Phillipsburg, in its issue of August 24, 1939, printed a partial list of the Phillipsburg high-school graduates from 1889 to 1939, inclusive, with a brief biographical sketch of each. The issue was devoted largely to the Phillipsburg high school, featuring interior and exterior views of the new high-school building, dedicated August 23, 1939, and pictures of the earlier highschool graduating classes.
In September, 1874, four small girls were captured by Cheyenne Indians and carried off into the southern prairie region. In December, 1939, one of the girls, now Mrs. Adelaide Andrews, of Bern, revisited the scene of her capture, which she believed occurred a few miles east of Russell Springs, near Six Mile creek, Logan county. All the girls were rescued, though their parents, Mr. and Mrs. John German, and their brother and two other sisters had been murdered by the Indians. Three of the captives are still living. The editor of The Western Times, Sharon Springs, interviewed Mrs. Andrews for his issue of December 28, 1939, and the story was reprinted in the Logan County News, Winona, on January 4, 1940.
Victor Murdock's historical feature articles published in recent issues of the Wichita (Evening) Eagle include: "As Wichita Looked Back Sixty-nine Years Ago on Leading Local Events [as gleaned from the diary of Charles C. Fees]," January 1, 1940; "Roll Call of Settlers Here Before Wichita Started With Plats, March 25, 1870," January 3; "[Ella B. Wichman Miller] Among Last Now Living to Arrive in Wichita From Afar by Ox-Team," January 5; "One Section in Kansas Once a Favored Haunt of Many Monster Sharks," January 11; "Wichita's First Merchant Whose Parents Named Him After King David's Priest," January 19; "Earliest Life Insurance Issued Here in Wichita [to William Greiffenstein, taken with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1874] Has Now Come to Light," February 13; "Time When the Santa Fe Extended Its Steel Rails on Out to Medicine Lodge," February 17; "Trips of Father [David McClain] and Son [Washington McClain] Taken Forty Years Apart Into Santa Fe Trail West," February 21; "Death of Frank Redfield Reduces a Notable
Group Coming Here From Humboldt," March 11; "One Thirty-Day Journey in a Wagon Across Kansas Marked by Hospitality," March 16; "First Community Ever Here Belonged to an Indian Tribe Long Familiar With Prairies," March 25; "When South of Wichita One, Ben Simon of Kansas, Cleaned Up Confederacy," March 26; "Wichitas Were Peaceful But Still For Twenty Years They Kept Two Cannon," March 27; "One Session of a Court [in Hugoton] Where Judge [Botkin] Kept His Feet From the First to the Last," April 4; "Sheridan Name for Wichita Was an Early Day Scheme Which Was to Die a-Bornin'," April 6; "First Town Companies Dealing With Wichita Appeared in the Year 1868," April 12; "When Two Town Companies Decided on Newton Site as Location For a City," April 16; "Once Crossing Arkansas Getting Out of Wichita Was Dangerous Business," April 19; "An Eye Witness Account Of Payne's Deportation After Oklahoma Invasion," May 9; "How Trip From Wichita Was Taken to the East Before the Railroad Came," May 13; "When Prairies Produced Money For the Settlers Before Farming Had Begun [as revealed by J. R. Mead's Journals]," May 14; "Early Reference Found to Number of Grass Homes Indians Had at Wichita," May 15; "Nine Kansas Farm Boys Gave 325 Years of Life to the Railroad Calling," May 16; "Moving Entry in Journal of the [J. R.] Mead Trading Post at Towanda Many Years Ago," May 17; "Oxen While Very Useful For Breaking Prairie Sod Were Not Much For Style," May 20; "Profitable Point in Sand in This Part of Kansas When It Is Made Into Glass," May 25; "How a Very Few Families Made Up First Community in the County of Sedgwick," June l; "Part Organic Matter Plays in Winning West's Battle Against the Dust Storms," June 6; "Heart-Stirring Story of Mrs. Greiffenstein's Hope To Save Mrs. Blinn," June 7; "Evolution of Prairie Into Wichita Town Lots Shown in an Account Book," June 14; "Watching a Procession Over a Prairie Highway With No Desire to Join It," June 17; "Interest of Wichitans in Value of Town-Lots Traced Back to Early Day," June 21; "Wichita Messenger Boy [Nat Marsh] First in the Delivery of Telegrams Back in 1872," June 24; "Great Lesson in Living Learned By the Faculty in an Early College Here," June 26; "Rare Old City Directory Shows State of Industry Here Sixty-Two Years Ago," June 27.
Included among the feature articles of historical interest pertaining to Kansas recently printed in the Kansas City (Mo.) Star are the following: "A Forgotten `Call of Kansas' [a poem by Lucy
Larcom of Boston], And One That Will Never Die," by Cecil Howes, January 2, 1940; "A Kansan, Edwin Emery Slosson, Pioneered in Popularizing Science [condensed and reprinted from the 1940 issue of the Kansas Magazine, Manhattan]," January 16; "Earl Browder, Radical From Kansas, Has Ruled U. S. Reds for a Decade," January 24; "Arbor Day Originated on Treeless Prairies of Nebraska and Kansas," by Cecil Howes, March 4; "Early Kansas Settlers Dug Their Fence Posts Out of the Ground," by Cecil Howes, April 6; "Kansas, Now a Leading Producer, Once Offered a Bounty for Salt," by Cecil Howes, May 3; "Young Bill White Carries on a Great Newspaper Tradition," by Paul Fisher, June 17.
A biographical sketch of James M. Harvey, governor of Kansas and United States senator, written by his son James M. Harvey, Jr., of Ogden, appeared in the Topeka Daily Capital, January 7, 1940. The sketch included a brief review of pioneer experiences in Riley county during the 1860's, Governor Harvey's service as captain in the Kansas Volunteers in the Civil war and as a colonel in the Kansas state militia which fought against the confederate Gen. Sterling Price, and a summary of his political career from his election to the state legislature as a representative from Riley county in 1865 to his defeat for reelection to the United States senate in 1877.
The approach of the Cuarto-centennial anniversary of Coronado's famous explorations has revived the perennial historical controversy over the exact location of Quivira. Historians have at one time or another identified Quivira with sites ranging from Texas north to Nebraska and even into the Dakotas, but for many years Kansas has been generally accepted as the probable location. Paul Jones, of Lyons, widely known as an authority on Coronado and head of the Kansas Coronado Cuarto Centennial Commission, believes the region to be in present central Kansas. Among other competent historians having the same view is Frederick W. Hodge who, in his Handbook of American Indians (1910), a standard work, identifies the Wichita Indians, then living in the region of the middle Arkansas river, in Kansas, with the people of Quivira whom Coronado encountered in 1541. (See, also, "Catholic First Things in Kansas," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. VIII, pp. 208, 209.) Mr. Jones discussed the relative merits of the claims advanced for Kansas and Texas in an illustrated article in the Hutchinson News, January 7, 1940.
Feature articles of historical interest relating to Kansas, recently published in the Kansas City (Mo.) Times, include the following: "Boats Used to Steam Up and Down the Kaw Carrying Men and Supplies," by Cecil Howes, January 9, 1940; "Important Chapters Are Added to Romance of Chemical Research [by Dr. Mary Elvira Weeks, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas]," by Hillier Krieghbaum, January 11; "Reporters in Finland [including W. L. White, Kansan, reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance] Use Skis, Dodge Bullets in Killing Cold," condensed from Editor & Publisher, January 18; "There Are Reasons Why Kansans Must Orate, Sing and Shout Today [seventy-ninth anniversary of admission of Kansas to the union]," by Cecil Howes, January 29; "Coronado's Expedition to Kansas Started 400 Years Ago This Week," by Cecil Howes, February 20; "Nothing Could Match Doniphan's `Rough, Ready and Ragged' Heroes [of 1846-1848]," condensed from Harper's Magazine, March 19; "Quantrill Left Dark Trail Here Before He Led Raid on Lawrence," by E. R. S., April 2; "Four Kansas Editors [Joseph M. Satterthwaite, Frank H. Roberts, Tom A. McNeal and Gomer T. Davies, each more than eighty years old] Who Have Been on the Job More Than Fifty Years," by Cecil Howes, May 9; "Kansas Cheers as the `Big Train' [Walter Johnson, the famous baseball pitcher] Shows Speed in Political League," by John D. Weaver, May 23; "Lecompton Recalls Colorful Days as Territorial Capital of Kansas," by Margaret Whittemore, May 29.
Charles P. Butler, an early settler in Kansas, recalled pioneer days in Atchison county in the Effingham New Leaf, January 26, 1940. He mentioned the county-seat rivalry between Atchison and Monrovia, and some experiences of the early farmers and cattle feeders of the region.
Names of early settlers, and events in the early history of Leon were recalled by Estel Marie Pickrell in the Leon News, January 26, 1940. The occasion was the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the town, January 31.
Writing in the Dodge City Daily Globe, January 27, 1940, John R. Walden of Winfield recounted sources and incidents of the last "Indian scare" in Kansas. This scare, which occurred in 1885, was a hoax perpetrated by cattlemen in western Kansas in an effort to frighten settlers off the land. Although no attack ever took place, the threat was sufficiently real to bring United States troops to the
scene. The incident is an interesting sidelight on the struggle between farmers and the men of the open range.
Pioneer experiences of Mrs. Jane Cox Coburn in Kansas territory, and during the early years of statehood, were related by Mrs. Warren Knaus, a daughter, in the McPherson Daily Republican and the Salina Journal, January 29, 1940. A typed copy of Mrs. Knaus' manuscript was given to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mrs. Jessie Rowland, of McPherson.
The Coyote, semimonthly publication of the Ozawkie Rural High School, included in its issue of February 1, 1940, a historical section dealing with early events in and around the town. Based in part on interviews with older residents of the community, the articles dealt with a local landmark, the Old Red Mill, the first lawsuit in the county, the hanging of a horse thief, the meaning of the name "Ozawkie," the stealing of the county records during a county-seat fight, types of community entertainment in the early days, reminiscences of Ozawkie in 1856-1857 as taken from letters published in the Clariden (Iowa) Herald, and many other accounts of historical value. Several of the articles were reprinted in the Valley Falls Vindicator, beginning with the issue of February 28 and continuing through March.
On February 2, 1940, the Syracuse Journal began publication of "A History of Hamilton County," by W. F. Chollar. The first chapter was entitled "Colonization in Early Hamilton County." Other chapters are to appear in subsequent issues of the Journal.
W. M. Snyder recalled in the Peabody Gazette-Herald, February 8, 1940, the days of Peabody's fame as the home of fine race horses. One of these was a grandsire of Joe Patchen, sire of the great Dan Patch. Among the breeders and turf men he remembered were Willis, Roy and C. E. Westbrook, and M. M., Charles and Emmanuel Rathbone.
Experiences in western Kansas in 1885 were related by James W. Dappert in the Hugoton Hermes, February 16, 1940. Mr. Dappert was an early settler in Comanche county, and traveled through the western part of the state in the fall of 1885 in order to secure land claims.
Lester A. Harding is the author of two historical articles which were printed in the Yates Center News. In the issue of February 22, 1940, he told the story of "The Old Lone Tree of North Town-
ship," Woodson county, which was a landmark in the early days for Indians and pioneers. On April 11 his account dealt with "The Early German-Russian Colony of North Township," located temporarily in the neighborhood of present Nikkeltown.
The Planters house, historic Leavenworth hotel, was the subject of an eight-column article by Allan E. Paris in the Leavenworth Times, February 25, 1940. Opened in the fall of 1856, described by Horace Greeley as "a wonder of elegance and comfort," this old house was host to Greeley, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sarah Bernhardt, and many other famous persons. It was the scene of numerous incidents during the border warfare of the latter 1850's, and in the 1860's, when Western migration and trade were booming, the house prospered in proportion. By 1880 the Planters house had lost its popularity; thereafter it passed through many hands, but long after other hotels of the time have been forgotten the Planters remains a familiar name.
Experiences with schools and school boards fifty years ago in Russell county were related by H. P. Tripp, who taught at Spring Brook in 1890. The schoolmaster received $24 a month for a three months' term and did chores for his board and room. The schoolhouse, a stone building 12 by 18 feet with a dirt roof, burned down during the sixth week of school. Classes then adjourned to another stone building half a mile away and work was continued, even though the ten students had lost their books in the fire. Mr. Tripp's reminiscences appeared in the Waldo Advocate, February 26, the Luray Herald, February 29, and the Natoma Independent, March 7, 1940.
The historical column by S. C. Stone which first appeared in the Wilson World on February 28, 1940, under the title "Early Day Merchants," expanded its topic to "Early Day History of Wilson" beginning with the issue of April 10. It includes personal reminiscences and anecdotes of early days in Ellsworth county.
A series of articles entitled "Early History of Blue Rapids Township," written twenty-five years ago by John F. Hoyt, were printed in the Irving Leader beginning with the issue of February 29, 1940.
The fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Masonic lodge at Hoisington was celebrated on February 27, reported the Hoisington Dispatch of February 29, 1940. Names of the original petitioners and charter members and officers who served the lodge in 1890 were listed.
"Jesse Chisholm Was First Trader to Sell at Wichita," was the subject of the first of a series of "Wichita Historical Panels" featured in the Wichita (Evening) Eagle, beginning with the issue of March 4, 1940.
The Whitewater Independent, March 7, 1940, began its fifty-sixth year of publication with an anniversary edition dedicated to the schools of Whitewater. A brief historical sketch of the Independent's predecessors, a history of the Whitewater school system, and sketches of departments and organizations in the schools were printed.
Waverly's early history was reviewed by Warren Fitch in the Waverly Gazette, March 7, 1940.
The Manhattan Mercury on March 8;, 1940, observed its twenty-fifth anniversary under the management of Fay N. Seaton. A "surprise section" in the Morning Chronicle of the same date, prepared by the staff without Mr. Seaton's knowledge, included a review of Manhattan newspaper history from the days of the first editor, Charles De Vivaldi, a history of the Morning Chronicle, and other articles reminiscent of the early days of the Chronicle and Mercury.
On March 14, 1940, the Rooks County Record, of Stockton, published the largest edition ever to come from its press. It was an "Old Home Edition," filled with reminiscences of early residents in the county and containing many photographs. Historical articles were contributed by W. F. Hughes; W. R. Fairbanks, C. E. Merwin, George H. Culler, F. M. Peek, A. C. Bradley, and Nick L. Penny. Many former residents now living in other parts of the country wrote of their experiences in Stockton. Reviews of the history of the Stockton churches and schools, including the old Stock-ton Academy, were also included.
A review of the history of dentistry in Kansas, written by Dr. Edward Bumgardner of Lawrence, appeared in the Lawrence Daily Journal-World on March 15, 1940. This year marks the centennial "of the opening of the first dental college, the publication of the first dental journal and the organization of the first dental society." Ninety years ago the first dentist to practice in Kansas, Dr. James A. Price, was treating army officers at Fort Leavenworth. Lawrence has an unusual distinction, according to Doctor Bumgardner, in being the home of the first woman dentist, Lucy Hobbs, who was also the first woman to receive a diploma from a dental college.
When Zach Taylor, of Ottawa, came to Franklin county in 1856 with his parents, the city of Ottawa was not in existence. "It wasn't even a wide place in the road," explained the Ottawa Herald, "because there wasn't any road. . . ." The family bought land near Peoria, the eastern border of the Indian reservation being the western boundary of their property. Mr. Taylor's recollections of the early days were printed in the Herald on March 23, 1940.
Kansas history is being taught to the youth of the Wichita elementary schools by means of "photographs, lantern slides and motion pictures." More than 800 different scenes are depicted in the series. "While large numbers are from Wichita, L. H. Caldwell, principal of Gardiner school, who did the photographic work, has traveled more than 4,000 miles to all corners of Kansas to find interesting and educational scenes." The project was financed with contributions from the schools, the city teachers association and a small grant from the board of education. A more detailed account was published in an article, "Pictures Teach Wichita Youth Kansas History," in the Wichita Sunday Eagle, March 24, 1940.
An eight-section, sixty-four page edition celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the St. John News was printed April 4, 1940. In accordance with the plan of the late editor and publisher, H. J. Cornwell, a "photo record" policy was employed instead of the usual biographical sketch system. However, many special articles by William Martin, Jr., Edward Weilepp, Mrs. Wilma Estes, in addition to those by the regular staff writers of the News, were included. Separate sections were devoted to the history of St. John and Stafford county, and to the county's oil, agriculture and livestock industries. Every local institution had its share of space.
Jonas A. Stucky, of near Haven, is the author of a historical sketch of the Mennonites who settled in the Reno county area which was published in the Pretty Prairie Times, April 4, 11 and 18, 1940. The article reviews the history of the group from the time of their emigration from Europe, explaining their manner of life and recalling many who were pioneers in Kansas.
Observing the tenth anniversary of Barton county's first oil well, the Great Bend Tribune on April 5, 1940, issued an eighteen-page edition reviewing the history of drilling and crude oil production in the county. Biographical sketches of local pioneers in the industry, reminiscences of its beginnings, and photographs and diagrams of sites and tools used in drilling were included.