THE sixty-seventh annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society and board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 20, 1942.
The annual meeting of the directors was called to order by Vice-President Fred W. Brinkerhoff at 10 a. m. First business was the reading of the annual report of the secretary.
It might be supposed that the Historical Society can do little to serve the nation in time of war. Compared with some departments of the state this of course is true. But in the ten months since Pearl Harbor the Society's records have proved of value in many ways.
Most important was the assistance given to persons born in Kansas who were seeking evidence of place and date of birth. These were nearly all applicants for war jobs where proofs of American birth are required. Copies of such records go directly to the factories or are used by the individuals in securing birth certificates. The Society holds the original records compiled by state census takers from 1865 to 1925. Most names can be found in these statistical rolls but occasionally proofs come from old newspapers, church records and school records. During the year 9,391 persons were supplied with this information. Part of the time it was necessary to transfer several workers from other departments to meet the demand.
One member of the Staff, Ed. Langsdorf, formerly a newspaper clerk, is now at Fort Sill and will soon receive a commission. Another, Marylois Moberg, is now employed at the Eudora munitions plant. The Society in other ways has had a small part in the war effort. Suggestions requested by the War Department have been used in naming army camps and air bases. Similar research has helped military organizations to choose shields and mottoes. Workers on a WPA war information project are searching all newspapers received by the Society for certain war and civilian defense data. The library is making a special collection of material about Kansas and the war. Publications from army and navy bases and defense plants are being received and hundreds of clippings relating to war activities are being preserved. Already this record contains many stories about members of the armed forces and civilians who have received recognition for outstanding Service. Information on the conversion of peace-time industries to war factories and on the development of new war industries is being compiled. The library regularly receives hundreds of government documents dealing with the war. These include publications on selective service, war production, price control, housing in defense areas, rationing, civilian defense, blackouts, salvage and scrap drives, air-raid safety and aviation, etc. The museum with scores of war relics on display is popular with soldiers and visiting relatives of men at the bomber base. The Billard airplane of 1912 is a principal attraction. It is not uncommon to hear a pilot or bombardier,
trained to fight in the stratosphere against the modern arms of the Axis, say to another, "Imagine sitting out there in the open air in that crate!" Other pieces that appeal to ex-service men are the gun collection, including the Gatling gun, the relics of World War I, and a bit of fabric from a Japanese dive bomber which was shot down at Pearl Harbor. It may also be mentioned in connection with the war that the secretary of the Society has for the past ten months been serving as chairman of the Kansas Committee for the Conservation of Cultural Resources. And a less cultural but perhaps more practical contribution was the collection of over two tons of scrap metal for the local drive last week.
President Charles H. Browne reappointed Robert C. Rankin, Charles M. Correll and Milton R. McLean to the executive committee. The members holding over were John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard. Since last year's meeting three outstanding members of the board of directors have died. They are Tom McNeal of Topeka, one of the best known and best loved men in Kansas; John C. Nicholson of Newton, a pioneer in the good roads program of the state; and Charles E. Beeks of Baldwin, a long-time friend of the Society. In the death of Mrs. Frank C. Montgomery, a member of the Staff for thirty years, the Society lost an archivist whose work was of inestimable value to the state.
Appropriation requests for the next biennium were filed with the state budget director in September. For the Historical Society: Two additional cataloguers were requested. An increase of $500 a year was asked for the book fund.
For Old Shawnee Mission: A special appropriation four years ago provided for the restoration of the north building and the opening of fifteen new rooms to the public. The one regular employee cannot show the thousands of visitors over the buildings and grounds seven days a week and still have time to keep them clean and presentable. It was asked that the present contingent fund of $1,000 a year be increased to $2,250 a year.
During the year more than 2,600 persons did research in the library. Nearly half of these were working on Kansas subjects. More than 800 received help in genealogical research and 150 packages were sent out by mail from the loan file on Kansas subjects. Many other requests were answered by letters.
Several recent Kansas books and genealogical works have been received as gifts from the authors. Typed volumes of Kansas marriage records, cemetery records, church records and miscellaneous genealogical material have been given by several chapters of the D. A. R. The Daughters of Colonial Wars, Daughters of Founders and Patriots and Daughters of the American Colonists have donated their lineage books, which are of great value in genealogical work. Many duplicate Kansas books were received, some of which will be preserved for future use in the library and some for lending.
An important addition in the field of Western Americana was the purchase of microfilm copies of ninety-one rare and valuable works listed in The Plains
and the Rockies: A Bibliography of Original Narratives of Travel and Adventure, 1800-1865, by Henry R. Wagner, Revised and Extended by Charles L. Camp, 1937. This bibliography contains 428 entries of which 210 are already in the library in printed form. The microfilms add items at a nominal price ($107.74) which could not be purchased an account of their rarity.
Current newspaper clippings average about 350 a month. Of these approximately 40 percent are on war and defense. This does not include old clippings which have come in from different sources and total several hundred during the year, nor anniversary editions. WPA employees have mounted broadsides, remounted old clippings and repaired books and pamphlets. Many folded maps which had been worn and torn in the folds have been removed from books, mounted and laid flat and will now last for many years.
During the past year 796 pictures were classified, catalogued and added to the picture collection. Four hundred thirty-five of these were the gift of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, and 162 were presented by the Topeka State Journal.
During the year a number of state departments took advantage of the archives law and turned approximately half a million pieces of manuscript records over to the Society. An exact count of course was impossible, but the accessions were estimated as follows: Secretary of State, 33,735; state auditor, 46,000; state board of agriculture, 2,965; bank commissioner, 319,500; livestock sanitary commissioner, 60,000. Of these 393 were bound volumes.
Twenty-five manuscript volumes and 4,208 individual manuscripts were received during the year. Also recently received and not yet accessioned was a collection from Joseph L. Bristow of Salina, U. S. senator from Kansas from 1909 to 1915. This collection includes voluminous files of official correspondence and will be more fully reported next year. Another large accession was a group of Isaac T. Goodnow papers from the Harriet Parkerson estate, supplementing those previously received (see reports for 1938, 1940 and 1941). Among the 632 letters and 78 documents are records relating to the early days of Manhattan and Kansas State College.
Clyde Schenck presented a collection of papers which included 67 letters by Lewis Stafford, lieutenant, later captain, in the First Kansas infantry. Written between March, 1864, and January, 1863 (Stafford was killed January 31, 1863), they give a detailed picture of a soldier's Civil Wax experiences.
To the Samuel C. Pomeroy collection were added twelve Pomeroy letters (1857-1862), and twenty-three documents illustrating Pomeroy's business dealings with Thaddeus and Theodore Hyatt.
Mrs. E. W. Thiele gave the Society a group of G. W. Hollenberg papers. The larger part of the collection consists of deeds, redemption certificates and land patents. Hollenberg, who died in 1874, was an early-day settler in Washington county. His ranch house, still standing, was a Pony Express station in 1860 and 1861.
A small group of the business papers of Hiram P. Dillon was acquired. They deal mainly with western Kansas railroad and town-site matters.
From Malcolm S. Smith the Society received Henry J. Shombre's diary of an overland journey to California in 1849. Shombre later came to Kansas and was killed during a border clash near Lecompton in 1856. Judge J. C. Ruppenthal presented a large number of manuscripts, including legal records of the twenty-third judicial district and other records of the counties within that district.
Records of the First and Second United Presbyterian churches of Topeka from 1870 to 1919 were received in gifts from Mrs. W. W. Peyton and Maj. Raymond F. Montgomery.
F. J. Atwood, retired Concordia banker, gave the Society his manuscript autobiography "Reminiscences of an Octogenarian." Business papers (1865-1871) of the firm of Lescher & Melville, Lawrence contractors, were given by Mrs. Lucius E. Eckles. The collection consists of one box of manuscripts and five account books.
Minutes of Dragoon Grange, No. 331, Osage county, from 1873 to 1877, a small manuscript volume, was received from Mrs. Laura Hopkins.
Another donation of interest came from Gerald Gribble, who gave G. M. Hoover's Dodge City saloon account book, covering the period April, 1883April, 1885.
Gifts were also received from the following during the year: Mrs. Herbert Balmer, Dr. D. R. Braden, Dr. Edward Bumgardner, Lee H. Cornell, Hattie Bell Evarts, Edward Thomas Fay, Palmer W. Foley, Mrs. Leslie C. Frye, Alma E. Grass, Historical Records Survey of Kansas, Jayhawker Club, Mrs. Bertram W. Maxwell, Wm. Alexander Miller, Judge Karl Miller, J. R. Moll, Theo. W. Morse, Jennie Small Owen, A. W. Parkhurst, Ellen G. Parkhurst, Paul Pinet, Ruth Robson, Mrs. A. B. Seelye, Mrs. Daisy Shirley Sims, F. C. Smart, Mrs. B. W. Swift, Topeka State Journal, Mrs. Mattie Wallace, Dr. L. L. Waters, Dr. John W. Wayland, William Allen White.
The demand for census records was more than four times that of last year. Patrons lined up day after day awaiting the services of three, four and sometimes six employees. As mentioned before, this department issued 9,391 census certificates. The work of indexing the census records was continued by WPA workers. This year a name index for the 1905 records of Topeka and the 1915 reco2Hochrds of Kansas City, Leavenworth and Wichita was completed, approximating 211,000 names.
During the year 10,548 patrons were registered, double the number of last year. Nearly 10,000 bound newspaper volumes and 28,282 loose issues were consulted. In addition there was a great increase in daily requests by mail for census certificates, obituaries and copies of legal documents found in the records and newspapers. To find shelf room for the ever increasing number of newspapers it became necessary to shift and rearrange the 48,000 volumes of Kansas papers.
The 1942 List of Kansas Newspapers and Periodicals was published in July. It shows the issues of 729 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly for filing. Of these, 58 are dailies, 12 semiweeklies, 466 weeklies, 26 fortnightlies. one trimonthly, 12 semimonthlies, 85 monthlies, 9 bimonthlies, 24 quarter-month-
lies, 31 occasionals, 2 semiannuals and 3 annuals, coming from the 105 Kansas counties. Of these 729 publications, 157 are listed republican, 36 democratic and 272 independent in politics; 93 are school or college, 29 religious, 25 fraternal, 8 labor, 13 local and 96 miscellaneous.
On January 1, 1942, the Society's collection contained 48,209 bound volumes of Kansas newspapers, in addition to more than 10,000 volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to 1942.
The year's accessions have been valuable. The most important contribution was made by Dan R. Anthony, editor and publisher of the Leavenworth Times. It comprised 12 volumes of the Leavenworth Evening Bulletin, September 18, 1862 (Vol. I, No. 1), to March 11, 1871 [broken file] ; 11 volumes of the Leavenworth Daily Commercial, April 3, 1868, to December 27, 1873; three volumes of the Leavenworth Daily Conservative, July 29 to December 31, 1862, January 1 to June 30, 4868; three volumes of the Leavenworth (Weekly) Conservative, January 2 to December 25, 1862, October 25, 1866, to October 17, 1867, October 15, 1868, to September 14, 1871; one volume of the Daily Leavenworth Herald, January 27 to June 27, 1861; one volume of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, New York City, N. Y., January 23, 1858, to January 21, 1860; eight volumes of the Leavenworth Daily Times, December 20, 1859, to June 30, 1865 [broken file] and one volume of the Leavenworth Daily Tribune, October 22, 1927, to January 20, 1928. Mrs. A. M. Harvey, headquarters secretary of the Spanish American War Veterans, Topeka, contributed 10 volumes of the National Tribune, Washington, D. C., January 2, 1930, to December 28, 1939; the Kansas State Library, Topeka, gave two volumes of The Industrialist, Manhattan, August 23, 1890, to June 25, 1892; George A. Root, Topeka, gave miscellaneous issues and one volume of the Waterville Telegraph, January 1, 1870 (Vol. I, No. 1), to January 13, 1872; C. M. Baker, librarian of the University of Kansas, gave 17 issues of the Parsons Surprise, February 28 to August 8, 1874; Alex. Jacob Haas, Holton, gave the Society his subscription and file of The Sporting News, St. Louis, Mo., June 5, 1930, to September 2, 1942. Single issues of a miscellaneous character were donated by J. O. Faulkner, Manhattan; Harry S. Fearing, Garnett; L. S. Webb, Atwood; Marianne Kittell, Dorothy McKenzie and Mrs. Francis E. Stone of Topeka; Lowell Lawrence and Adele C. Van Horn of Kansas City, Mo., and George Remsburg of California.
Thirty-eight reels of newspaper film were acquired during the year. Sixteen cover issues of the Leavenworth (Weekly) Times, March 7, 1857-October 29, 1859, and the Daily Times, January 25, 1859-November 2, 1867. Until Dan Anthony, publisher of the Times, lent his office files, the Society had only scattered issues dated before 1868. These were combined with issues held by the Library of Congress. The entire file, when ready for filming, numbered more than 10,000 pages. Since filming costs would have approximated $325 had the Society borne the entire expense, Several leading libraries and historical societies were asked to cooperate. Orders for ten positive copies were received and the cost was reduced to $135 for each subscriber. The collection was filmed by the Photoduplication Service of the Library of Congress. Other similar filming projects instituted by the Society covered the first Marion county newspapera, The Western News, The Western Giant, and the Marion County Record, of Marion, dated from September 14, 1870-November 17, 1876,
lent by Wallis Hoch, present editor of the Record; The Kansas Weekly Herald, of Leavenworth, January 9, 1858-August 3, 1861, a combination of issues held by the Library of Congress and the Historical Society, and The Nemaha Courier, Seneca, November 14, 1863-November 23, 1865, a file borrowed from the New York Historical Society.- The following out-of-state newspaper film was purchased: The Weekly Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, November 20, 1819-November 17, 1868, the St. Joseph (Mo.) Gazette, April 25, 1845-October 4, 1854, and the Commercial Cycle, January 5, 1855-December 5, 1856.
The attendance in the museum for the year ending July 1, 1942, was 30,189. This is a decrease from the preceding year and is partly due to the fact that the elevator was out of service for three weeks While the building was being cut over to alternating current.
There were 67 accessions. Among the most interesting was a large camera which Frederick Funston carried on an exploring expedition to Alaska in 1893. The donor was his sister, Mrs. F. A. Eckdall of Emporia. Two relics of the present war are pieces of Japanese paper money from the battlefield of Bataan in the Philippines and a piece of fabric from a Japanese dive bomber shot down at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese money was the gift of E. Criss, a sergeant in the 20th Kansas infantry in the Spanish-American War. The airplane fabric was presented by C. B. Crosby of Topeka who received it from his son-in-law Lt. M. T. Whittier. Lieutenant Whittier served on the aircraft carrier Lexington and has been awarded a Navy Cross.
During the year the following have been subjects for extended research: Biography: William A. Phillips; Charles R. Jennison; Gov. James W. Denver; William Allen White and his relation to Progressivism; Champ Clark; Theodore Roosevelt. County and town history: Early history of Emporia; history of Jackson county, 1855-1880; socio-historical study of German-Russian settlements in Ellis county; disorganization of Garfield county; history of Walnut City. Education: Development of education in Wabaunsee county schools; Kansas State School for the Blind; comparative study of art departments in the state colleges of Kansas; Presbyterian education in Kansas. General: The Populist party; colonial Pennsylvania; economic geography of La Crosse area; New England rural life as depicted by John Greenleaf Whittier; history of southeastern Missouri; history of South America, Mexico, Central America and the Indies; territorial Lawrence as the setting for a historical novel; history of immigration; Kansas Populist speakers; cultural history of the Middle West; literary survey of the Kansas City (Mo.) Star; history of football at Midland College, Atchison; Indians; adaptation of population and agriculture to Prairie-Plains environment; relationship of newspaper crusades to the magazine muck-raking movement; "Home on the Range"; early orphan asylums in
Kansas; Eugene Fitch Ware and the "Washerwoman's Song"; history of the Pottawatomie Indians.
July 1, 1941, to June 30, 1942
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its eleventh year, ten 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.
WPA projects Sponsored by the Society for work in the building have employed an average of eighteen persons five days a week. The staff has supervised the work, which is mentioned in departmental reports. Federal expenditures for the year from October 7, 1941, to October 8, 1942, were $13,875.09 for salaries. The Society's contribution for the same period was approximately $300 for materials.
The Historical Records Survey, sponsored by the Society, issued inventories for Gove and Morris counties during the year. These brought the total to fourteen completed volumes before the work was suspended in July, 1942. In addition to the published work, the survey inventoried and partially inventoried the archives of nearly all counties in the state; listed the imprints of most colleges and the larger city libraries; published a guide to vital statistics records of Kansas and published eleven volumes of listings and descriptions of federal records in the state. The unpublished material was deposited with the Historical Society.
At the last annual meeting it was reported that fifty-six texts for highway markers had been turned over to the highway commission. One more was written, making a total of fifty-seven before the highway commission project was discontinued for the duration of the war. All these signs are now in place with the exception of those for Runnymede, Fort Harker and Coronado.
The legislature of 1939 appropriated $15,000 for the restoration of the north building. As reported last year, the state architect, Roy W. Stookey, and his assistant, Charles Marshall, took a personal interest in the work, which was completed a year ago last winter. The interior decoration of the building was done under the supervision of George Dovel, a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. This was completed last Spring. Fifteen rooms, furnished as of 1845-1850, Were formally opened to the public June 14, 1942. Pictures of this building and of a number of the rooms appear in the November Quarterly.
A landscaping plan for the grounds around the north building was prepared by Ray V. Murphy of Manhattan. Last Spring numerous plantings of native trees and shrubs were made under Mr. Murphy's direction. During the year minor repairs were made on the other buildings. The grounds are being constantly improved by grading and the removal of stone.
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, the Daughters of 1812 and the Shawnee Mission Garden Club 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.
Since travel through Fort Riley on U. S. highway 40 was detoured the number of visitors at the old capitol building has fallen to a new low. Many soldiers and members of their families, however, continue to visit the grounds. Minor repairs have been made on the building, and the north part of the grounds was regraded. New shrubbery will be set out in the spring.
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. Respectfully Submitted,
At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, Robert Taft moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by Mrs. Mary Embree.
Vice-President Brinkerhoff then called for the report of the treas-
urer, 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.
This 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 31, 1942, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society, $29,670; Old Shawnee Mission, $2,000; First Capitol of Kansas, $750.
On motion of Mrs. A. M. Harvey, seconded by James C. Malin, 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 16, 1942.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:
Charles M. Correll moved that the report be accepted, seconded by James C. Malin.
The report of the nominating committee for offIcers of the Society was read by the secretary:
OCTOBER 16, 1942.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:
MRS. BENNETT R. WHEELER, MRS. A. M. HARVEY, MILTON R. McLEAN.
The report was referred to the afternoon meeting of the board. 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, Col. Charles H. Browne.
The annual address by Colonel Browne, "Kansas and Kansans in the Present War," was delivered extemporaneously and because it dealt largely with military matters of semi-confidential character is not presented here.
Following the president's address, Charles C. Hoge, Olathe, presented the plaque of Gov. John P. St. John for the St. John Memorial Association of Olathe and Pres. Charles H. Browne accepted it on behalf of the Kansas State Historical Society. Mr. Hoge then read a tribute to Governor St. John.
Robert Taft of the University of Kansas spoke briefly on a display of sketches and letters of William J. Hays. Hays was a painter of the middle 1800's and the collection deals with a trip up the Missouri river in 1860.
The report of the committee on nominations for directors was then called for:
October 16, 1942.
To the Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits the following report and recom-
mendations for directors of the Society for the term of three years ending October, 1945:
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, 1945.
Reports of other societies were called for. Charles M. Correll responded briefly for the Riley County Historical Society and Mrs. K. O. Meyer read the report of the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society. Mrs. J. W. Quarrier of Mission introduced her small daughter, Camille Quarrier, who was baptized in the newly organized Old Mission Parish Methodist Church. This church plans to build on a plot of ground that was once part of the Old Shawnee Mission property.
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 Browne. He asked for a rereading of the report of the nominating committee for offIcers of the Society. The following were unanimously elected:
For a one-year term: W. E. Stanley, Wichita, president; Fred Brinkerhoff, Pittsburg, first Vice-president; Ralph R. Price, Manhattan, second Vice president.
For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, Topeka, secretary; Mrs. Lela Barnes, Topeka, treasurer.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.