KanColl: The Kansas  Historical Quarterlies

Kansas Historical Notes

November, 1944(Vol. 13, No. 4), pages 253 to 256.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

     Oregon trail markers have been placed along the2,000-mile route of that famous emigrant road in recent months in observance ofthe centennial of the forming of Oregon's provisional government. The markingprogram is sponsored by the Oregon council of the American Pioneer TrailsAssociation. Kansas received forty markers. These are being placed inschoolyards, towns and along the highways of the counties of northeastern Kansaswhich were crossed by the trail and its feeders. The markers are cedar posts,three and one-half inches square and six feet long, branded with the words"Oregon Trail." Most of them are being centered in pyramids of native stones setin cement. John G. Ellenbecker of Marysville, Kansas chairman of the PioneerTrails Association, has directed the work in this state. Among those assistinghim are: Leo Dicker, Hanover, Washington county; C. E. Hedrix and D. W. Conger,Marysville, Marshall county; William E. Smith, Wamego, Pottawatomie county;George A. Root, Topeka, Shawnee county; Sen. Robert C. Rankin, Lawrence, Douglascounty, and the commissioners of Johnson county. It is hoped these temporarymarkers can be replaced in postwar days by something more enduring. Mr.Ellenbecker reviewed the story of the trail and discussed the importance of themarking program in a four-column article published in the Marshall CountyNews, of Marysville, September 7 and 14, 1944. The article has also beenissued as a reprint.

     "Space and History-Reflections on theClosed Space-Doctrines of Turner and Mackinder and the Challenge of Those Ideasby the Air Age," was the subject of Dr. James C. Malin's address before theAgricultural History Society in Washington, D. C., February 14, 1944. Dr. Malinwas the retiring president of the society. His study was published in the Apriland July numbers of the society's magazine, Agricultural History, and was laterreissued as a reprint.

     The Hollenberg Ranch State Park near Hanover hasbeen considerably improved during the past year by the Washington County OregonTrail Memorial Association, the organization designated by the state to managethe property. The building, which once served as a pony express station, has beenrepaired and the six rooms have been replastered. Brush has been cleared from the7&38;#250; acres in the park area. The driveways have been graded, brome grassplanted,



and 185 cottonwood and 75 native cedar trees have been set out. A decorativerock retaining wall has been built along the crest of a slope in front of thebuilding. Leo E. Dieker, of Hanover, president of the Washington County OregonTrail Memorial Association, is supervising the restoration. He has been assistedby the other officers, all of Hanover, including Edward J. Flaherty, secretary,John Merk, Jr., treasurer, and Dugald Spence, Henry Brockmeyer and FredBrockmeyer, trustees. The building is not yet being opened at stated hours, butit may be inspected at any time on application at one of several downtown placesin Hanover where keys are kept.

     Mrs. Medora Hays Flick, Manhattan, secretary ofthe Riley County Historical Society, reports the following new officers: WalterMcKeen, president; Mrs. Gertrude B. Failyer, vice-president; Mrs. Flick,secretary; Mrs. Caroline Abbott Smith, treasurer, and F. I. Burt, curator.Directors are Miss Mary Lee, Mrs. Florence Fox Harrop, Mrs. Loyal Payne, Mrs.Flick, Mr. McKeen, Joe Haines, Sam Charlson, F. R. Smith and Mr. Burt. Theorganization has celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with one charter member,Mrs. Smith, still active. The log cabin museum is open on Sunday afternoons.

     The annual business meeting of the ShawneeMission Indian Historical Society of northeast Johnson county was held September27, 1944. Newly-elected officers are Mrs. C. V. Scoville, president; Mrs. A. M.Meyers, vice-president; Mrs. K. S. Browne, recording secretary; Mrs. JohnBarkley, corresponding secretary; Mrs. F. B. Belinder, treasurer; Mrs. M. Y.Griffin, historian, and Mrs. A. E. Wedd, curator. During the year the societyassisted the Pioneer Trails Association in dedicating an Oregon trail marker atOld Shawnee Mission. Mrs. Percy L. Miller was the retiring president.

     At the annual business meeting of the CrawfordCounty Historical Society at Pittsburg, September 29, 1944, the followingofficers were elected: George F. Beezley, Girard, president; S. L. House holder,Pittsburg, vice-president; Mrs. Eula Paris, Pittsburg, recording secretary; Mrs.Ralph Shideler, Girard, corresponding secretary; Mrs. George Elliott, Pittsburg,treasurer, and Charles Grandle, Cherokee, J. F. Fowler, Arcadia, and F. W.Brinkerhoff, Pittsburg, directors for three years. Dr. Ralph H. Smith was theretiring president. The twelfth annual old settlers' reunion of the Kiowa CountyHistorical Society was held at Greensburg October 3, 1944. The oldest


person in attendance was Washington Kennedy of Mullinville, now 95, who went topresent Kiowa county in 1878. Officers of the society are: Frank Dowell,Wellsford, president; A. S. Barnes, Mullinville, Herbert Parkin, Greensburg, andMrs. Sam Booth, Wilmore, vice'presidents; Mrs. Benj. O. Weaver, Mullinville,secretary, and Mrs. Charles T. Johnson, Greensburg, treasurer. Mrs. Weaver, whohas been secretary of the society since its organization, reports a membership of500.

     Although Volume II of Chase County HistoricalSketches will not be published until after the war the Chase CountyHistorical Society continues to collect manuscripts, according to Mrs. HelenAustin, of Cottonwood Falls, secretary. Volume I contained 448 pages and waspublished in 1941.

     Records of twenty-nine rural cemeteries ofDouglas county with tombstone inscriptions, 1854-1940, have been collected duringrecent years as a major project of the Douglas County Historical Society. Typedcopies of the completed work and an index of the 3,200 names have been placed inthe city library at Lawrence and the Historical Society at Topeka. Sen. Robert C.Rankin, retiring president of the Douglas County Society, paid tribute to thelate William Hastie who directed much of the work at a meeting of the countysociety at Lawrence, October 12, 1944. The compilation was indexed by the BettyWashington Chapter of the D. A. R., of Lawrence, under the chairmanship of Mrs.H. E. Chandler. The newly-elected officers of the Douglas County HistoricalSociety are: John F. Akers, president; Elmer Riggs, first vice-president; MissIda Lindell, second vicepresident; Miss Ida Lyons, secretary; Walter Varnum,treasurer, and Dr. Edward Bumgardner, historian. Senator Rankin and Mrs. WilliamHastie were chosen to fill two vacancies on the board of directors, the othermembers of the board being reelected.

     The Dickinson County Historical Society meetsannually each autumn in different parts of the county. The fall meeting of 1944.was held on October 25 at Pearl. At the morning business session the followingofficers were reelected to serve for two years: Fred Ramsey, Solomon, secondvice-president, and Walter Wilkins, Chapman, treasurer. The early history of thePearl community was reviewed in several family histories featured at theafternoon session. Some of these sketches are being published in Dickinson countynewspapers. The society's history file now fills thirty looseleaf volumes withenough other material to fill five or six more. Copies of a part


of this collection have been filed with the State Historical Society. Includedamong the society's active offIcers are Mrs. Carl Peterson, Enterprise,president; Mrs. A. B. Seelye, Abilene, librarian, and Mrs. H. M. (GeorgieNichols) Howard, secretary.

     A paper, "How To Organize a Local HistoricalSociety," by Bertha L. Heilbron of the Minnesota Historical Society, has beenprinted as Vol. I, No. 9 (November, 1944) of the Bulletins of the AmericanAssociation for State and Local History. The thirty-page booklet discusses theleadership, plans and organization of a historical society and includes modelconstitutions and bylaws. The Bulletins are distributed by the secretary of theAmerican Association for State and Local History, Box 6101, Washington, D. C.

     The Iowa, Sac and Fox mission building east ofHighland, recently restored by the state under the supervision of the NortheastKansas Historical Society, is open every Sunday afternoon from one to six,according to Mrs. C. C. Webb, of Highland, president of the society. A museum hasbeen started for relics and antiques from northeast Kansas. The society is inneed of an antique pulpit for the chapel, writes Mrs. Webb, and anyone knowingwhere one may be secured is asked to get in touch with her.

     Local History: How To Gather It, Write It,and Publish It is the title of a 186-page book by Donald Dean Parker andBertha E. Josephson which was recently issued by the Social Science ResearchCouncil. The book discusses sources of information for local history; explainsthe technique of gathering and organizing local historical material; provides amodel outline; explains details in composition for historical writing, and tellshow to make a bibliography and an index. Various methods of publishing localhistory are discussed. In an appendix, Lester J. Cappon of the University ofVirginia outlines a method of writing the war history of communities. The book isa handy guide for semi-professional historians as well as beginners and may bepurchased for one dollar from the Social Science Research Council, 230 ParkAvenue 17, New York.

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