THE sixty-sixth annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society and board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 21, 1941.
The annual meeting of the board of directors was called to order by the president, James C. Malin, at 10 a. m. First business was the reading of the annual report of the secretary.
The past year has been one of continued growth in all departments of the Society. The dedication of fifty historical markers and the celebration of the Coronado cuarto centennial have prompted many inquiries about state and local history. Even the defense program has brought hundreds of persons to the Historical Society, as will be mentioned. During the year there was a material increase in the number of persons from other states using the Society's collections.
President James C. Malin reappointed Justice John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard to the executive committee, the members holding over being Thomas Amory Lee, Robert C. Rankin and Charles M. Correll. Mr. Correll had been appointed just prior to last year's annual meeting to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Chester Woodward. The death of Thomas Amory Lee was the second on the committee within the year. Milton R. McLean was appointed by President Malin to succeed Mr. Lee.
The 1941 legislature provided for the acquisition of three historic sites for the state. The mission building near Highland, erected in 1846 for the Iowa, Sauk and Fox Indians, is to be partially restored. Part of the original walls of brick and stone still remain. A ranch house near Hanover, built by G. H. Hollenberg on the old Oregon trail in 1857, is to be preserved. This building was a Pony Express Station in 1860-1861. And the site of the Marais des Cygnes massacre of 1858 in eastern Linn county, together with a sixty-acre tract of land given by the Pleasanton post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was accepted as a state memorial park. The Historical Society gave active support to these bills in their progress through the legislature.
The Society received the usual appropriations from the legislature with an additional $1,500 a year for the contingent fund, $500 a year for printing, and $5011 a year for microfilming and filing equipment.
The legislature also added $100 a year to the salary of the caretaker of the First Capitol of Kansas, which restored it to $600 a year, the pre-depression level.
During the year approximately 3,000 persons did research in the library. More than half of these were working on Kansas subjects. Nearly a thousand were helped in genealogical research and more than 200 were served by mail from the loan file on Kansas subjects.
Many Kansas books and genealogical works were received as gifts. The family of Paul Parrish, who died April 11, 1940, presented his splendid World War collection as a memorial. This included 543 books, 580 pamphlets, and numerous magazines, newspapers, scrapbooks, music, pictures and maps. Paul Parrish had been interested in the Historical Society for many years and it is fitting that his valuable collection should be preserved here. Another large and interesting collection of more than 700 books and pamphlets was donated by Mrs. Thomas Amory Lee. Mr. Lee was a director and past president of the Society and one of its most enthusiastic supporters. In his collection there were a large number of biographies and books on the World War. Duplicates and books outside the Society's Specialized fields were given to other libraries at Mrs. Lee's request.
From Mrs. Thomas F. Doran came a number of Kansas books which had been in Mr. Doran's library.
Many valuable historical works are received in exchange from other historical societies and libraries. Recently added to the exchange list are publications of the following: Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society; Augustana Historical Society; Cape May County Magazine of History and Genealogy; Dutch Settlers Society of Albany; East Tennessee Historical Society; Long Island HiStorical Society; Mennonite Historical Society; Colorado Archaeological Society; West Texas Historical Association; the Southwest Museum at Los Angeles; Berks County Historical Society and the Ulster County Historical Society.
The Society has subscribed to the American Genealogical Index, a card index to family names in genealogies and local histories. Installments are received several times a year and it will be years before the index is completed. Many books that have no indexes and are not indexed in other publications are now made easily available. This index is being prepared by a committee of librarians experienced in genealogical research.
Kansas newspapers have been increasingly history-conscious this year, due probably to the Coronado celebrations. The volume of clippings has been fully fifteen percent larger. Anniversary editions, historical markers, county history, pioneer reminiscences and army and defense activities have also contributed largely to the feature material published. An average of 350 clippings Were clipped and mounted each month. WPA employees helped mount many maps and broadsides, repair books and pamphlets, and remount old clippings for rebinding.
During the past year 375 pictures were added to the picture collection. Of unusual interest was a water color entitled "Attack on General Marcy's train near Pawnee Fork, 1867," which came from Mrs. Bertha Kitchell Whyte of Milwaukee. This painting was done by H. Stieffel of Co. K, fifth U. S. infantry, the company which escorted General Marcy's train, and was found in an antique shop in Milwaukee.
Major accessions for the year were 2,965 manuscripts containing the statistical rolls for 1933 as returned by assessors to the state board of agriculture and a number of documents from the state board of agriculture, the secretary of state and the state auditor.
The catalogue of state charters and amendments recorded in 189 copy books, has been completed through 1938. There are now more than 194,000 cards in this index. Work on the catalogue will be resumed when books containing copies of charters granted since 1938 are released by the secretary of state. Work was continued on the loose-leaf catalogue of old townsites, discontinued post offices and railroad stations of Kansas.
Seventeen manuscript volumes and 30,732 individual manuscripts were received during the year.
Of outstanding importance are the papers of the late Chester I. Long, of Wichita, the gift of his daughter, Mrs. W. E. Stanley. The collection embraces correspondence, letter press books, speeches, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous papers. The correspondence (28,000 items) dates from 1889 to 1917, the larger part from 1901 to 1909 when Long was representative and later United States senator from KansaS. These papers will be of special value to students of the political history of that period, both state and national.
The Isaac T. Goodnow papers received last year have been organized and an additional 257 items were received during the year. These consist of letters, business papers, lectures and a small portion of his diary. Judge J. C. Ruppenthal presented records of the district court of the twenty-third judicial district. Included is an inventory of all court records to 1928. There is also a list of qualified justices of the peace in Kansas for the years 4928 and 1929.
Through the courtesy of Dr. Frank Melvin, of the University of Kansas, the Society secured photostat copies of microfilmed letters, telegrams and documents from Eastern libraries. The collection totals 264 pages and relates to the history of the University of Kansas. The correspondence dating from 1854 to 1868 includes numerous letters of Charles Robinson to A. A. Lawrence, letters of S. C. Pomeroy, E. Nute, S. N. Simpson, I. T. Goodnow and other pioneer leaders.
Dr. Robert Taft of the University of Kansas lent for copying a group of original manuscripts of Theodore R. Davis, the noted artist and correspondent, whose sketches and articles appeared in Harper's Weekly in the 1860'x. Davis and Henry M. Stanley, the explorer, were press representatives with Hancock's expedition on the plains in 1867. The manuscripts are interesting accounts of Davis' experiences while covering these Indian campaigns.
Gifts were received from the following during the year: Mrs. G. R. Angell, J. E. Bartholomew, Fred B. Bonebrake, Meribah Clark, Mrs. Dorothy DuVall, Edward Thomas Fay, Earl Fickertt, Ruth Maria Field, Kipp Gimple, A. A. Godard, Mrs. Blenda Palm Greenwood, Mrs. Fannie (Pratt) Griggs, Alexander S. Hendry, Ben Hill, Biona Hull, Mrs. Charles H. Humphreys, Lucina Jones, Kansas State Highway Commission, John Kranhold, Jr., Tracy Learnard, Mardis B. Millikan, William Mitchell, Harrie S. Mueller, John C. Nicholson, Frank W. Nickel, Mrs. Clarence E. Osborn, Jennie Small Owen, Harriet Parkerson estate, Albert T. Reid, J. C. Ruppenthal, W. L. Sayers, Mrs. W. H. Sears, Mrs. A. B. Seelye, Mrs. W. E. Stanley, Dr. Robert Taft, Topeka Public Library, Judge Clark A. Wallace, William Allen White, Samuel M. Wilson, Mrs. Winifred Clark Wolff.
For several years the newspaper division has had charge of the state and federal census records. These include early federal records and complete listings of seven state census returns ending with 1925. When old-age assistance acts were passed requiring proof of age these census records, and to some extent early newspaper files, had to be consulted by many claimants. This increase in demands on the department became a landslide this year when workers in defense projects were required to have birth certificates. During the year this department has issued more than 2,000 census certificates. Since there is no index to these thousands of books of records, nor any alphabetical listing of names, it often requires hours of research to find the desired information. With the help of WPA workers an index of the census records of 1855 and 1860 has been completed, together with approximately 100,000 names in the 1875 census. A Street index for a number of the larger cities in the State, covering the 1915 and 1925 records, has also somewhat simplified this work.
During the year 5,395 patrons were registered. Nearly 14,000 bound newspaper volumes and 12,139 loose newspapers were consulted. In addition, there are daily requests by mail for census certificates, obituaries and copies of legal documents, to be found in the records and newspapers. The WPA workers in this department have continued the work of listing changes in names of newspapers, editors, publishers and owners.
The 1941 List of Kansas Newspapers and Periodicals was published in August. It shows the issues of 759 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly for filing. Of these, 61 are dailies, 11 semiweeklies, 487 weeklies, 29 fortnightlies, one trimonthly, 16 semimonthlies, 83 monthlies, 9 bimonthlies, 22 quarterlies, 34 occasionals, 3 semiannuals and 3 annuals, coming from all the 105 Kansas counties. Of these 759 publications, 160 are listed Republican, 40 Democratic and 284 independent in politics; 96 are school or college, 34 religious, 20 fraternal, 17 local and 108 miscellaneous (including four Negro publications).
On January 1, 1941, the Society's collection contained 47,374 bound volumes of Kansas newspapers, in addition to the more than 10,000 bound volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to 1941.
The year's accessions have been valuable. The most important among them is the film copy of the Seneca Weekly Courier, February 10, 1871, to November 26, 1875, representing about five years of weekly newspapers. The Society in cooperation with other libraries also had film copies made of its own files of the Wichita Vidette, August 13, 1870, to March 11, 1871; the Dodge City Times, October 14, 1876, to December 28, 1882, and the Kansas Cowboy, Dodge City, June 28, 1884, to December 5, 1885.
Among the other accessions are: a one-column extra of the Holton Recorder, July 2, 1881, probably Kansas' smallest newspaper issue; one issue and two extras of the Olathe Herald, April 11 and August 9, 1860; The Vox Populi, Lawrence, June 14, and October 30, 1873; Seven numbers of the Weekly Anti-Monopolist of Parsons and Fort Scott, January 12 to March 9, 1871; issues of PM, New York daily and weekly, June 14 to July 22, 1940; one number each of the Topeka Press and Spear, April 26, 1934, and July, 1936, respectively; the Ellsworth Reporter, a Republican convention extra, June 12, 1936; a centennial edition of the Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., January 1,
1940; and The Western Globe, Stockton, August 1, 15 and October 10, 1902 (Vol. I, Nos. 1, 2 and 5). The Society also received a number of duplicate copies of newspapers already in its files. Donors were: Edward Bumgardner of Lawrence, Peter J. Hoexter, W. M. Hutchison, George A. Root and Everett Stroud of Topeka, Gertrude S. Kunkle of Ellsworth, Mrs. Don E. Wells of Erie, George C. Weber of La Crosse, and D. J. Green of Stockton.
During the year there was an increase of 10,588 in the number of visitors to the museum, the total being 41,700. School classes from nearly every county in the state, boy scout and camp fire troops, and other organized groups of visitors increase each year. The Santa Fe railroad sponsored a number of educational tours to Topeka. In April four tours numbering 750, 863, 900 and 1,000 children respectively visited the museum. The Missouri Pacific also brought 400 on one tour.
There were 43 accessions. Among the most valuable was a 1909 model four-cylinder automobile, a Thomas "Flyer," presented by the Dillon family through Emma Ward and T. M. Lillard, representatives of the estate. An interesting miscellaneous collection, including papers, books and relics, came from Lillian Forrest of Jewell.
During the year the following have been subjects for extended research: Biography: David L. Payne ; Gov. Robert J. Walker and Gov. Frederick P. Stanton; Arthur Capper's senatorial career; Mary Ellen Lease; Samuel Irvin; Mother Bickerdyke; William E. Borah; Gov. John R. Rogers of Washington; Alfred W. Jones; Chouteau family and outstanding Kansans. County and town history: Ellsworth; border troubles in Bourbon and Linn counties; Rice county; Pratt county; Neosho county. Education: History of Emporia High School, a curriculum study, 1876-1940; history of Quaker education in Kansas. General: History of the religious influence on the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph; history of Young People's Societies of the Lutheran church; irrigation; farm movement; Osage Indians; Santa Fe colonization and land promotion; grain belt farm representatives and the tariff, 1865-1913; negro exodus, 1879-1880; bicameral system in Kansas; United Brethren church; Kansans in the United States navy; Black Bob lands; history of the Santa Fe railroad; Mennonites; reconstruction; geography of the high plains; bond problem, 1879-1889; KansaS' attitude toward the tariff; the Grange in Kansas since 1875; history of sports writing; regulation of terminal agricultural markets; civil service; Kansas territorial period; Buchanan's administration of Kansas territory; early trails through Kansas to Colorado; public opinion on the Spanish-American War.
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its tenth year, nine volumes already having, 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. The Quarterly is widely quoted by the newspapers of the state and is used in many schools.
The WPA project sponsored by the Society for work in the building has employed an average of seventeen persons four days a week. The staff has supervised the work, which is mentioned in departmental reports. Federal expenditures for the year from October 8, 1940, to October 6, 1941, were $12,322.04 for salaries. The Society's contribution for the Same period was approximately $300 for materials.
The Historical Records Survey, sponsored by the Society and supervised by Harold J. Henderson of the WPA, issued county inventories for Shawnee, Osage and Phillips during the year. Twelve books have been published in the series to date. The Gove county volume is now being mimeographed. Preliminary drafts of record descriptions also have been compiled for eight other counties. Several months ago this work was considerably curtailed. The project now employs thirty-two workers and operates in seventeen counties.
During the year the listing of American Imprints prior to 1877 held by municipal and college libraries of the principal cities of Kansas was about completed. Within the year compilations were made at the college libraries of Baker, Bethany, McPherson, Sterling and St. John's of Winfield. This project, sponsored by the Society since October 1, 1938, was discontinued on June 30. The small amount of remaining work is being completed by the Historical Records Survey.
Seven years ago a committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce headed by Fred Brinkerhoff, of Pittsburg, Roy Bailey, of Salina, and Samuel Wilson, of Topeka, met with the secretary of the Historical Society to discuss plans for marking historic sites on state highways. To make a beginning, the His-
torical Society compiled a list of 100 sites. From these fifty were selected for the first signs. Gov. Walter Huxman and the highway commission approved the project and one marker was constructed before the change in administrations. In July, 1940, Gov. Payne Ratner and D. J. Fair, director of the new highway commission, resumed the program. Fifty-six texts have now been turned over to the commission and it is expected all the markers will he in place this fall. A brief sketch of the history of this project, together with the texts of all the inscriptions, will appear in the November, 1941, number of the Quarterly.
Work on the restoration of the north building at the mission, made possible by an appropriation of $15,000 by the 1939 legislature, was completed last winter. The state architect, Roy W. Stookey, and his assistant, Charles Marshall, who drew up the plans and supervised the work, took a personal interest in this project. With their help it was possible to complete this work at a cost of about $40,000. The legislature of 1941 reappropriated the $5,000 balance and made it available for all the buildings and the grounds.
This summer George Dovel was employed to supervise the decoration of the north building. A numbei of fine pieces of furniture of the period, about 1845, have been obtained. After a study of old wallpapers several appropriate patterns were selected. The smaller rooms and those that were used as dormitories for Indian girls will be painted. This work of papering and painting was begun last week.
A landscaping plan calling for the planting of numerous trees and shrubs about the north building was prepared by Ray V. Murphy of Manhattan under the supervision of L. R. Quinlan, head of the department of landscaping at Kansas State College. It is hoped these plantings can be made in the spring.
During the year minor repairs were made on the other buildings. The grounds are being constantly improved by grading and the removal of stone. A new power mowing machine purchased last spring will enable the caretaker to keep the grounds in a better and more attractive condition.
The Society is indebted to the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society and to the State departments of the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of American Colonists and the Daughters of 1812 for their continued cooperation at the mission. The number of visitors increases each year. Harry A. Hardy, caretaker at the mission, and his wife, Kate Hardy, deserve special mention for the manner in which the buildings and grounds are maintained.
Construction of the new Camp Funston necessitated an additional spur of the railroad across the old capitol grounds between the building and the highway. Work gangs and trucks also used part of the grounds as a roadway. For several months the building was more or less isolated from the highway. This condition and the fact that highway 40 has been detoured around the reservation have somewhat reduced the number of visitors. Minor repairs have been made on the capitol building and next spring it will be necessary to replant grass and shrubbery on part of the grounds.
The accomplishments noted in this report are due to the Society's splendid staff of employees. It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to them.
At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, I. B. Morgan moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by W. F. Thompson.
President Malin then called for the report of the treasurer, Mrs. Lela Barnes. The report, based on the audit of the state accountant, follows:
This donation is substantiated by a United States treasury bond in the amount of $1,000. The interest is credited to the membership fee fund.
The above report covers only the membership fee fund and other custodial funds. It is not a statement of the appropriations made by the legislature for the maintenance of the Society. These disbursements are made not by the treasurer of the Society, but by the state auditor. For the year ending June 30, 1941, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society, $27,670; Old Shawnee Mission, $2,000; First Capitol of Kansas, $650.
On motion by Edward Bumgardner, seconded by Mrs. W. D. Philip, the report was accepted.
The report of the executive committee on the audit by the state accountant of the funds of the Society was called for and read by the secretary.
OCTOBER 17, 1941. 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 state
accountant has audited the funds of the State Historical Society, the First
Capitol of Kansas and the Old Shawnee Mission from September 1, 1940, to
August 31, 1941, and that they are hereby approved.
Mrs. Bennett R. Wheeler moved that the report be accepted; seconded by Edward Bumgardner.
The report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society was read by the secretary:
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits the following report for officers of the Kansas State Historical Society:
For a one-year term: Charles H. Browne, Horton, president; W. E, Stanley, Wichita, first vice-president; F. W. Brinkerhoff, Pittsburg, second vice-president.
The report was referred to the afternoon meeting of the board. The following motion was made by I. B. Morgan: That the next legislature be requested to make an adequate appropriation to publish the annals of Kansas from the last date of Wilder's Annals to the present time, supervision to be under the direction of the Kansas State Historical Society. Motion was seconded by Edward Bumgardner. Various problems involved in such a compilation were brought out in the discussion which followed and it was the sentiment of the meeting that the work should not be undertaken for a greater period than the fifteen years following Wilder's Annals, or 1885 to 1900. Mr. Morgan moved that this limitation be included in the motion. Seconded by Edward Bumgardner, and passed.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned until the annual meeting of the Society at 2 p. m.
The annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society convened at 2 p. m. The members were called to order by the president, James C. Malin.
The annual address by Mr. Malin, "An Introduction to the History of the Bluestem-Pasture Region of Kansas," is printed in this issue.
A paper by George A. Root, for fifty years a member of the Society's staff, was read by the secretary after the president's address. The paper follows:
ONE of the incidents in the life of an ordinary individual, and one which happens but once in a lifetime, is the privilege of sticking to one job for half a century, or longer. This privilege has been mine. "Accepting a position" on the force of the State Historical Society, the middle of March, 1891, I completed my first fifty years in the service of the state of Kansas in March of this year. The Topeka Capital and the Topeka State Journal gave the incident state-wide publicity, while the Society's personnel gave a party for me. For these recognitions I feel duly grateful.
My first actual service with the Society began in the year 1880. That year I lived with Judge Adams, my uncle, then secretary of the Society, and with the younger members of his family assisted in opening and sorting the newspaper mail which accumulated during the week. This chore was on Saturday afternoons, and was looked on by us youngsters as more of a lark than a task.
This was only five years after the organization of the Society, which had its first home in a bookcase in the office of State Auditor D. W. Wilder. Judge Samuel A. Kingman started the collection with the gift of about fifty books and pamphlets. Later it had temporary quarters in the attorney general's office, and still later in the state treasurer's quarters. From 1880 on I am familiar with the various homes of the Society. For a time it was located in a long, narrow room on the ground floor of the east wing, in the extreme northeast corner. The west wing was then being built, and the two wings were connected with a boarded walkway, on a level with the second floor, and dubbed the "cattle chute." In this corner room I assisted in opening the newspaper mail and sorting the newspapers. Later the Society was assigned to a committee room in the east wing, on a level with the senate gallery, and in the extreme northwest corner.
With the completion of the west wing the Society was allotted quarters on the south side of the ground floor, and in 1893 three rooms, formerly a part of the suite occupied by the court of appeals, were set aside by the executive council for our library. These rooms were the north five of those on the east side of the south wingground floor.
The greater portion of the Society's newspapers in the early days were stored in the cellar of the state house, which was badly infested with rats and mice. Many a time while working in those
catacombs I have seen a procession of rats, sometimes twenty or twenty-five, trekking from west to east, making the journey on the top of the steam pipes which were fastened to the ceiling. Many a volume of the Society's newspaper collection was more or less damaged by rodents which nibbled the cloth and labels for the paste used in sticking the binding together.
The Historical Society at this time was the fastest growing institution about the state house, and was eternally in need of extra room. Within two or three years from the time the Society had moved into new quarters in the south wing, the executive council built an open top room in the foyer of the south wing. This annex was soon crowded with newspapers and in addition many volumes were piled high on top of the shelving as well as corded up on the floor. It was a hard job even to get some volumes from the shelves without moving a hundred or more that were in the way.
About the year 1899 the supreme court moved from its old quarters on the ground floor of the south side of the east wing to its new quarters on the third floor, and the Society managed to get one of these old rooms, into which several thousand books and pamphlets and unbound magazines were moved.
A few months later the state library moved out of the north side of the east wing, ground floor, whereupon the Historical Society took possession of about half of its old quarters. The other rooms vacated by the state library housed the Goss collection of birds, then under the superintendency of Prof. Bernard B. Smythe. These small rooms became an ideal place for "spooning" on the sly. Professor Smythe was not inclined to encourage anything of this sort and it kept him pretty busy "policing" the rooms. He eventually evolved a series of mirrors so placed that they reflected just what was going on. He told me this stopped these early-day "necking" parties.
About this time the Society was given the use of sub-basement rooms beneath the adjutant general's rooms of today. There were five of these rooms in all, and in the larger one about half a mile of running shelving was installed. Here for the first time we were able to consolidate all our duplicates in one room.
Of more interest, perhaps, than a recital of the various makeshift quarters of the Society before the erection of the Memorial building would be mention of some of its early personnel. The first seecretary, Franklin George Adams, accepted the position when it consisted of nothing but a name and had its headquarters in a bookcase. He was a pioneer in Kansas territory, coming out in 1855,
and being actively engaged in the Free-State cause from the start. Settling at Leavenworth in 1856, which was practically ruled by the Proslavery element, he was obliged to flee to save his life, and went to Lawrence and joined a company of Free-State men being raised at that place. He was with Captain Harvey's company at Slough creek which had captured an Alabama company at that point. He was at Lawrence at the time of the arrival of the 2,700 Missourians, took part in their reception and rejoiced at their dispersal. In 1857 he went to Atchison and became part owner of the Squatter Sovereign, changing its politics from violent Proslavery to Free State. At this place some time later, when Gen. James H. Lane had been invited to make an address, Mr. Adams and Caleb A. Woodworth, Sr., were attacked by Proslavery men who were determined that Lane should not speak. The report came to his wife that he was lying on the street, injured, whereupon she armed herself with a brace of revolvers, pushed her way through the mob, stood off the crowd, and got her husband away.
Mr. Adams' work with the Society was a passion with him. He always took notes while listening to reminiscences of any old timers who called, and among his private papers are dozens of pocket notebooks filled with such items, and most of these notes are in the old correspondence style of shorthand as perfected by Ben Pittman back in the 1850's. During the early years when the Society had but a scant book fund he wrote hundreds of letters soliciting newly issued volumes for the library. When unable to get a gift copy he would try to get one by exchange, giving a volume of The Kansas Historical Collections in return. He was forever on the lookout for rare Western Americana, and through his foresight the Kansas Historical Society has been enriched by one of the most complete collections of this sort of any library in the West.
One of the standbys of the Society, almost from the very start, was Miss Zu Adams, daughter of the secretary. In the early days there were no funds to pay for office work and for several years Zu helped outside of school hours, receiving no salary whatever until 1880. During her father's later years she was made librarian and during his last year she did both his and her own work.
She was familiar with every phase of the Society's activities and in particular had made a special study of Indian history. As a young girl she took up the study of shorthand and was of great service to her father, whose phonographic notes she could readily read. She contributed a number of historical articles to various publica-
tions. She also helped in the compilation of various earlier volumes of The Kansas Historical Collections.
After a lingering illness she passed away on April 12, 1911, after about thirty-five years service for the state.
It was in Judge Adams' administration that the staff had one of its most exciting experiences and got two very interesting relics. This was during the legislative war between Populists and Republicans. A number of Populists who claimed to have been elected and counted out by Republican election boards demanded recognition. These individuals took their seats on the north side of representative hall and took part in the proceedings and deliberations of their party members, while the Douglass house members carried on at the same time on the south side of the hall. J. M. Dunsmore, who presided over the Populists, was a trifle undersized, dark complexioned, had dark snappy eyes and wore glasses. His forehead reached to the back of his head, which characteristic earned him the honorary title of "The Bald Hornet of the Neosho."
The legislative war broke out on February 15, 1893, when the Populists took possession of the hall and stationed several national guardsmen, which they had called out, along the stairs leading up to the hall. That morning the Republican members of the house learned of the action of the Populists and met at the Copeland Hotel. At nine o'clock these members, headed by E. W. Hoch, started out and marched-two abreast-from the hotel to the state house, up the east steps, through the east wing, rotunda, and to the stairs leading up to representative hall, followed by about a thousand deputy sheriffs and assistant sergeants-at-arms. The stairs were blocked by militia men, with muskets crossed to prevent anyone going up.
I was standing in the corridor by the door to the state treasury not over ten or twelve feet away and saw the men start up the stairs. There was a bit of confusion as the procession started up. One of the men towards the front grabbed one of the militiamen and pointing down to the floor beneath told him to "drop that gun or I'll drop you overboard." The youth did so. Up the stairs surged the members followed by the crowd. They were too late to get in, however, as the doors had been swung shut and locked. Someone called for a hammer. A few minutes later a sledge hammer had been procured from a hardware store on the avenue a few doors north of Ninth. A few well-delivered blows and the panels gave way, and the hosts entered. The members and employees of the Dunsmore house had all disappeared by the time the Republicans entered, so the Douglass
house members and attaches took possession. These doors and the sledge hammer are now relics in the museum.
Following the rush of the legislators, Governor Lewelling ordered Col. J. W. F. Hughes to disperse the Republican members. His refusal to do so is a matter of record. The Populists, following their retreat from legislative hall, set up shop on the ground floor of the south wing, closing off that floor and holding sessions until the su preme court declared them out of order. On the morning of February 28 the dual houses met together in representative hall and answered roll call. I was present in the hall at this time and recollect that a goodly number of the Dunsmore faction rose to a question of personal privilege as their names were called. Dr. P. Daugherty, of Junction City, was one of the wheel horses of the reform party, and as his name was called he got to his feet and addressed the chair, explaining in plain language his stand in the late unpleasantness, and closing his remarks with the statement "We bow to the decision of the supreme court." There was tumultuous applause and hand clapping at the conclusion of his little speech, the doctor still remaining on his feet until the applause died away. The orator had not quite finished it developed, for he then turned and faced the members on the south side of the hall and roared forth at them, "But damn such a decision!" A few minutes later another of the returning members arose to a question of personal privilege when his name was called. He started out with the intention of dubbing the Douglass house members a self-constituted house but in the excitement he blurted out that they were a self constipated house. Some suppressed giggles followed this statement and he realized he had blundered. Taking a fresh start as the chuckles continued, he again used the same expression. When he made a third attempt with no better results a member on the south side of the hall called out: "Say, mister, just what do you think ails the members on this side of the floor?" The confused legislator sat down as another round of applause. broke forth.
In those days many of the men who played a prominent part in the state's early history often visited the Society. I well remember Col. Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, first president and chief promoter of the Santa Fe. He was tall, around six feet in height, dignified, bald, with a fringe of snow white hair extending around his head from ear to ear. He wore a mustache and side burns, dressed immaculately, wore spats, a long Prince Albert coat, and a silk plug hat. He sported a cane, and wore pince-nez glasses, suspended by a
small gold chain. He lived in a large square frame mansion at the northeast corner of Sixth and Monroe, which was one of the centers of social activities in the days when Topeka's Four Hundred lived, for the most part, on the east side of the avenue. The colonel was a past president of the Historical Society, a member of the board of directors for many years, one of the three members of its auditing committee, and as such was called upon to O. K. the Society's regular grist of monthly bills.
Another frequent visitor was Eugene F. Ware, early-day Fort Scott harness maker, poet, editor, and lawyer. About a year before Secretary Adams died he wrote Mr. Ware for the gift of a late edition of his Rhymes of Ironquill. Ware came into the library one noon hour a week or so later when Adams and the librarian were gone and gave me the book. Then he said, "Say, about ten years ago a Topeka book dealer collected a lot of my verse and printed it. It was a heluva looking job! Every time I look at the volume it gives me the hydrophobia!" Ware had a shrill falsetto voice that came to a climax as he continued: "I wish you would take that book down to the basement and stick it in the furnace!"
Ware's reputation as a poet got a good start when he published his "Washerwoman's Song." He was an avowed agnostic, yet this early poem will be remembered for many years to come. He was at one time president of the Historical Society and for years served on the board of directors. Once in a while an out-of-state visitor dropped in to see what we had in the museum. I recall a rather prepossessing female of middle age, from Missouri, who wound up her visit among our numerous mementos and relics of "Old John Brown." As I was putting them away she turned and in a most deprecating tone informed me that "Down where I came from we don't hold Mr. Brown in very high esteem." This little dig provided a temptation I couldn't resist. Pulling out a pasteboard box from a nearby shelf of the vault I removed the lid and put; it in her hands. "These shin bones," I told her, "were once part and parcel of Quantrill, the noted guerrilla, and I can assure you he didn't stand very high in these parts, either." The visitor hastily gave me back the box and soon departed. Honors were even.
Another woman visitor I can remember was more emphatic in her disapproval of one of our museum pieces. Back in the early 1900's when there was considerable activity in enforcing the prohibitory law, the governor's office was the recipient of a reproduction
of a famous painting. This picture was "Custer's Last Fight," and the donor was the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. The governor presented the picture to the Historical Society. As Custer had been stationed at several forts in Kansas and as the Seventh cavalry was organized at Fort Riley, there was a valid excuse for placing this noted picture on the Society's walls. However, we began hearing rumors that the Society was advertising beer by allowing the picture to hang in its collection. In a move for appeasement I pasted a strip of paper over the offending lines.
It was about this time that Carrie Nation had led several crusades against local jointists, and she was already finding imitators. One morning Mr. Martin, then secretary, had arrived early and was sitting in his office when he heard the crashing of glass in the hall. He stepped out and saw Miss Blanche Boies standing beside the Custer picture. She had an axe in her hand and she explained that she was trying to cut out the line mentioning the brewing association. Mr. Martin took the axe from her and someone called the police. After she was led away the glass was swept up and the picture still remained on the wall. From that time on the old picture became a drawing card. Then one day some vandal gouged a hole through the picture and for a while it was open season for souvenir hunters who wished a fragment of the historic picture. About one-third of the center was cut away. The story of the mutilated picture traveled all over the country and visitors from out of the state seemingly never forgot to ask to see the old wreck. Although a new Custer picture with the beer advertisement carefully painted out was donated to the Society, Our original had to be allowed to hang on the wall. Of the thousands who see the old picture annually probably not over one in a hundred now knows why such a shabby relic is still on display.
The foregoing occurred shortly after George W. Martin became secretary. He was really the second secretary, assuming the duties before Judge Adams' death. His was a happy selection on the part of the Society. He came to Kansas with his parents in 1857, landing at Wyandotte, their destination being Lecompton. They were due to reach that point by steamboat. At the mouth of the Kansas river the elder Martin was patiently waiting till the steamboat arrived. But young George, a youthful red head, was ready and anxious to go, and a few days later he told his parents that he wasn't going to Wait any longer, boat or no boat. He was going to walk. They tried to dissuade him, arguing that when the boat did
arrive it would pass him en route. He struck out anyway and reached his destination about ten days before the steamboat. He was soon working in a printing office at Lecompton and attending all the political meetings that were held in that vicinity. He met many of the Proslavery politicians of that era and got well acquainted with them.
In the early 1860's Martin managed to get hold of the Junction City Union and made it a red hot paper. In 1873 he was elected state printer and held that position for four consecutive terms. Martin came to Topeka on a number of occasions during Secretary Adams' latter days and succeeded in getting the legislature to vote more generous appropriations for the Society than Mr. Adams had been able to get. He had a state-wide acquaintance and could relate anecdotes about any Kansan of prominence from the time he came to Kansas up to the last year of his life.
On one occasion a couple of Eastern ladies were going through the HistOrical Society's rooms. Our gallery of notables for the most part was hung on the walls surrounding the dome. The women were armed with notebooks and pencils and soon began criticising the art work of the various painters who had done the portraits. George W. listened for some time in silence but finally he could hold in no longer. "Ladies," he said, going up to them, "this is no art gallery, and was never intended to be. But I just want to tell you about these people whose faces you see on the walls. They were the salt of the earth; not much to look at, but they helped make this state what it is today." He then pointed out the picture of one of the governors whose face the women had criticized, and related his history, giving a word picture that only George W. could give. He went to another portrait and had as good a story about the original of that one. Those two women followed him around for the balance of the forenoon, neither one making any further notes, until one of them discovered they just had time to make their train for Chicago. As they left one of them said "Mr. Martin, I have visited many art galleries and looked at thousands of pictures but I never spent a more interesting forenoon anywhere than I have in this one."
Mr. Martin had much to do with the erection of the Memorial building and securing it for the HistOrical Society. Unfortunately he did not live to see it occupied by the Society, although he did take part in the ceremonies when it was dedicated by William Howard Taft.
Following the reading of his paper, additional remarks were made by Mr. Root. The report of the committee on nominations for directors was then called for:
To the Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits the following report and recommendations for directors of the Society for the term of three years ending October, 1944:
By unanimous vote of the members of the Society the report of the committee was accepted and the members of the board were declared elected for the term ending October, 1944.
Reports of other societies were called for. The following responded: Mrs. Ross B. Smith, retiring president of the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society; the Rev. Angelus Lingenfelser, secretary of the Kansas Catholic Historical Society; W. H. Edmundson, historian of the Wilson County Historical Society; Robert C. Rankin, president of the Douglas County Historical Society; and F. W. Brinkerhoff, director of the Crawford County Historical Society.
Charles H. Browne of Horton described a mock parachute raid in Louisiana during recent army maneuvers in which Kansas men participated.
There being no further business the annual meeting of the Society adjourned.
The afternoon meeting of the board of directors was called to order by President Malin. He asked for a rereading of the report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. On motion of Edward Bumgardner, seconded by Mrs. W. D. Philip, the following were unanimously elected:
For a one-year term: Charles H. Browne, Horton, president; W. E. Stanley, Wichita, first vice-president; Fred W. Brinkerhoff, Pittsburg, second vice-president.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.