Welcome the Chapman Center’s New Research Director!

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Dr. Ginette Aley joins the Chapman Center as Research Director after more than 15 years as a college educator. This includes having taught courses at Virginia Tech, Drake University, the University of Southern Indiana, Washburn University, as well as online courses for Purdue University before beginning her association with KSU fall 2017. She is currently also the Associate Editor for Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Her love of the Midwest and Great Plains and the region’s students is reflected in her work.

She was born in Maine to an Air Force father and French-Canadian mother. Aside from about 9 years in Virginia, Dr. Aley has lived longest in the Midwest and considers Iowa her home. She credits her family’s move from northern Illinois to Colorado when she was 12 years as awakening her interest in land use and rural history. Later, she chose to study under noted agricultural historian (and KSU alumni) Prof. Doug Hurt for her Ph.D.

Professionally, Dr. Aley is a 19th century U.S. historian specializing in the nation’s agrarian past. Her dissertation focused on native-white relations and westward expansion in the Old Northwest, particularly as they impacted women and families. This resulted in several peer- reviewed, published essays. On the basis of this expertise, she was asked to contribute 2 essays on Confederate Virginia’s home front during the Civil War for William C. Davis and James I. Robertson’s Virginia at War series, the 1864 and 1865 volumes. Dr. Aley was then approached by an editor for a corresponding book on the Midwestern home front which became her co- edited (with Dr. J. L. Anderson) volume, Union Heartland, published in 2013 by Southern Illinois University Press. This was the first regional historical perspective of the Midwest’s home front during the Civil War. Her current research examines pioneering women and their health, Midwestern Civil War soldiers’ views on encountering the Confederate South, and Amish farming practices.

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Dr. Aley engaging with prospective research interns about opportunities at the Chapman Center during K-State’s College of Arts & Sciences Research Fair. 

 

 

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First team meeting of Fall 2018

Assuming the role of Research Director for the Chapman Center allows Dr. Aley to continue in her passion for mentoring student research projects. She was 1 of 3 founding editors for Amalgam, an undergraduate research journal at the University of Southern Indiana. This experience fits perfectly with the Chapman Center’s digital archive. She has also evaluated MA theses for the MAGS award (Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools), and teaches an online thesis proposal writing course for APUS. Dr. Aley looks forward to a very positive and productive association with the Chapman Center. She is already settling in and directing this semester’s intern research projects. Our student researchers will benefit from Dr. Aley’s breadth of experience in research, editing, writing, and mentorship.

Welcome, Dr. Aley!  We are glad to have you.

Follow us on social media for all the exciting updates and events: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the Rural Telegraph.

 

 

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Talented New Research Interns Join the Chapman Center for Fall 2018

This semester brings exciting changes to the Chapman Center and its staff. We have a new Research Director, new projects, and talented new interns joining the team for Fall 2018. Please help us welcome K-Staters Ethan McCary and Kaylee Kerns, Chapman Center research interns for Fall of 2018.

The research of undergraduate interns like Kaylee and Ethan is at the core of the Chapman Center’s mission. We are happy they’ve joined the team and we can’t wait to see where their research takes them.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on their projects throughout the semester.

My name is Ethan McCary…

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My name is Ethan McCary. I’m from Salina, KS and am currently a junior majoring in History and minoring in Political Science.

My obsession with history stems from the exposure I had to it as a small child. Reading books from my father’s and grandfather’s shelves about Military History and listening to family stories sparked a passion. Military History is the subject that I hope to specialize in, in the future. Following graduation, I hope to attend graduate school, or pursue career opportunities.

My other interests include Security Studies, Geography and Astronomy. My hobbies include Photography, watching college sports and my beloved Borussia Dortmund, as well as collecting items and documents with historical significance. Go Cats!

My name is Kaylee Kerns…

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My name is Kaylee Kerns and I am a senior in anthropology with a minor in literature studies. I have recently declared a secondary major in International Studies and I am currently in the process of earning a primary texts certificate as well.

I am extremely passionate about reading and writing, and especially uncovering mysteries of the past, which has aided me in discovering the history of the Fairchild Museum on the Kansas State campus. This fall I am ecstatic to continue my research, with the help of the Chapman Center, on the Fairchild Museum and the stories that were created within the halls of the building.

Once I graduate in May I hope to continue my education in graduate school studying material culture or something similar with the overall goal to continue research and writing.

In my spare time I play piccolo in the K-State Marching Band, dispatch for the K-State Police Department, and I am the treasurer for the Anthropology Club on campus.

 

 

The Pat Sauble Project: Veteran, Rancher, and “Pretty Good for an Old Guy!”

One of the exciting current Chapman Center projects centers on publication of a book on famous rancher Pat Sauble and his life in rural Kansas. The project is headed by Chapman Center Director, Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow. In addition to being the Assistant Editor of the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, Brad Galka also works as a research technician with the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, researching and digitizing materials for projects. Galka, along with other Chapman Center students, faculty, and staff,  spends hours transcribing interviews, digitizing, identifying, and organizing thousands of photos and memorabiliaworking directly with Sauble to make sure things are recorded accurately. 

What is your favorite part of the Sauble project?

My favorite part about the Sauble project has got to be Pat himself.  He is such a cool guy to talk to and hang around with.  He has led such an interesting life and going over to his house and seeing all of his memorabilia makes the connections with all his stories real.

Is there a favorite story of yours from the interviews?

My favorite story is probably about Pat’s grandfather’s neighbor Mr. Parrell.  Apparently Parrell had a running feud with all of his neighbors living across the county line.  Mr. Parrell (who Pat describes as an ornery Frenchman who nobody liked) used to lure his neighbors’ livestock across the county line onto his property and then, once they were on his land, Mr. Parrell would essentially kidnap the stray cows and horses and lock them in his pens until their owners paid the ransom to get them out.  This engendered no warm feelings toward Mr. Parrell to be sure.

One day a young ranch hand named Charlie Sayer went with his boss to free some kidnapped cows.  Charlie’s boss and Mr. Parrell got into a wrestling match over the fee Parrell was charging to free the animals and Charlie ended up shooting Mr. Parrell!  Mr. Parrell died of gangrene and Charlie went on the run for a little while to Oklahoma.  When he come back a few weeks later though Charlie was acquitted of the killing by a jury of his peers.  According to Pat, all his neighbors thought Parrell had it coming!

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Memorabilia from the Sauble family to be scanned and archived. Some of the material requires special care like this almanac from 1878.

What are some challenges to organizing and prioritizing such a vast amount of research and material? How do you even begin?

Much of the challenge comes in verifying the details of the stories that Pat tells us and finding good photographs to illustrate them.  Pat has a lot of photographs but most of them rely on his ability to remember who is in the photos and what the context is for us to be able to make use of them.  Other things like financial records, journal entries, and letters pose their own difficulties in just being able to read them.  A lot of the material comes from the early twentieth century or even the nineteenth century so it takes a very keen eye!

 

You must feel very close and invested in this project. Explain your connection to the project:

I have been working on this project in some way or another for about two years now.  Other than the Going Home exhibit that we put on at the Discovery Center this was the first project I worked on for the Chapman Center.  By now I have spent hundreds of hours listening to Pat’s voice on audio and video recordings transcribing his stories and then more hours on top of that talking with the man himself.  I am eager for this to come to a successful conclusion – for Pat’s sake as well as ours – but I probably will miss it a bit once it is over!

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Cedar Point School

Is preparing this material for publication anything like organizing the Going Home collection or a similar collection at a museum? Explain the similarities or differences for someone who doesn’t know anything about it.

For the Going Home project I worked on artifact acquisition for the museum exhibit and on writing labels to help tell a story through physical objects.  I also spent many hours transcribing oral interviews with individuals about their home town histories.  Many aspects, then, are the same yet, with the Sauble project being a book, they are also pretty different.  It is great when your experience overlaps with various projects but learning new skills is very important and can be fun as well.  Working with the Chapman Center and the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy has given me many such useful experiences and new skills.

The Insider Scoop

A familiar face at the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, Brad Galka has served as the assistant editor of the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy since his graduate school days at Kansas State University. After earning an M.A. in History in December 2017, he is excited to announce that he will return to Kansas State’s History Ph. D. program in August. We asked him to share about his role as editor for the journal.

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Brad Galka, Assistant Editor of the Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy

What are the job duties of an assistant editor?

My responsibility is being the main contact for our authors, reviewers, and board members. When authors submit their work to our journal, I walk them through the process of getting their work published. I am responsible for sending the articles out to appropriate reviewers and for requesting revisions to the authors’ work because of those reviews. In consultation with our managing editor, Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, I help make the final decision of whether we publish an article or not. I also provide copy-editing for the articles before we send them out for review and otherwise make recommendations to Dr. Lynn-Sherow about our articles and journal policies.

What is the mission of the Journal? What are you looking for specifically in an article? How do you solicit authors? 

The mission of the Journal is to publish scholarly research related to life in the Great Plains region of North America. It is a broad research area, and we do get a lot of very different topics submitted to our journal. Most common, however, are articles related to rural education, economics, environmental issues, agriculture, and the livestock industry. Dr. Lynn-Sherow and I are historians, so ever since we took over management of the Journal, we have tried to solicit more research emphasizing history. However, we do have a reviewer base capable of tackling almost any field of study.

The most common approach for soliciting authors is to look through lists of scholars who have presented their work at academic conferences in fields most relevant to our mission and contact those whose work I believe would be a good fit for our journal. I will also “cold call” individuals with a research focus relevant to our mission and see if they or someone they know are working on anything that they might like to publish.

How do you promote the Journal?

Dr. Lynn-Sherow and I take promotional materials to conferences so that we can increase awareness and solicit submissions. We also have a Twitter account and a Facebook page that I am working on to increase our online presence. We also rely on a lot of word of mouth from authors and reviewers we have worked with, and members of our editorial board also help spread the word.

Do you envision growth in the near future of the Journal? How?

I hope so! We are always thinking of new strategies to increase the profile of our journal and increase the number of submissions and publications that we have per year. We have recently begun to require more participation from our review board, and with their input and help, we hope the journal will continue to have greater success.

How has this experience shaped your professional goals and your own historical research and writing?

This job has shown me how many different fields one can work in, while still making academic contributions. We have a lot of university academics, to be sure, but we also have had tour guides, government officials, doctors, scientists, students, and business people writing from their experience in the non-academic professional world.

OJRRPTo learn more, see publications, or submit an article, please visit the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy

You can also follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

-Edited by Erin Comfort

 

A Legacy of Service

Jessica Hermesch

Jessica Hermesch exploring the Adams Family Collection at Hale Library in 2015

In Spring 2015, Chapman Center for Rural Studies intern Jessica Hermesch researched the life of George Earl Adams, Sr. incorporating the resources from the Adams Family Collection housed in the Morse Department of Hale Library’s Special Collections as well as oral history from the Adams family.

After the completion of her research titled “George Earl Adams, Sr.: The Beginning of a Legacy”, the Adams family donated George Earl Adams, Sr’s folded flag to the Center.

On Thursday, office staff got to witness the refolding of the flag, a tradition steeped in symbolism and honor. The flag is now in its new shadowbox on display with a gold inscription that reads:

Corporal George Earl Adams, Sr.

Oct. 10, 1891-Sept. 8, 1971

Donated by the Adams family

Born in Atchison County, Kansas to a lineage of farmers, George Earl Adams, Sr. was drafted into the U.S. Army on August 23rd, 1917. A member of the 35th Infantry Division 140th Regiment, K Company, George Earl Adams, Sr. took part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive at the height of American involvement in WWI. On May 13th, 1919, Adams was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal after which he returned to his Kansas farm in Bush Creek Township, raising his family until his death on September 8th, 1971.

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We are honored to have this piece of the Adams family’s storied legacy of service in the Armed Forces as well as Jessica’s research in the CCRS collection.

Check out the full story in our Kansas History and Life Research Collection, here:

(Scroll towards the bottom and select the right PDF tab under the “Files Section”).

_Maggie

First Impressions

Friday afternoon, Dr. Lynn-Sherow and I sojourned to Clay Center, Kansas to drop off research material to the Clay County Museum. While we were there, we got a tour of the museum’s new location on the square.

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As a Tennessee native, this exploration was my first to a Kansas museum.

Jeff Gaiser, Director of the Clay County Museum, took us on a personal tour of the 2 story space. From the ground floor with the genealogy and tax records to the top floor where Cathy Haney’s historic wardrobe collections rest-complete with colorful hat boxes, the museum is taking shape into a spectacular collection of interesting artifacts spanning decades of Clay County, Kansas history.

What stood out the most?

As a matter of practice, returning visitors are asked what item or activity made the biggest impression. For me, it was the Davenport Treacy Electric Player Piano. More electric player pianos were manufactured in the U.S. from 1900 to 1930 than any other single type of piano. The perforated paper roll inserts above the keyboard and large pumping pedals operated by the motor below the keyboard create a vacuum, pulling the air through the holes in the paper and cuing the piano which notes to play.

If you look closely, on the left side of the perforated paper, you can see the words to the song playing. Millions of these perforated musical rolls were produced and sold.

…Now, that’s some snazzy karaoke!

These electric player pianos vanished when replaced by the phonograph and radio as a more affordable means of entertainment in American homes during the Great Depression. How exciting to see one in person.

You can visit the Clay County Historical Museum’s website to find out more about their collections, genealogy resources, and hours of operations at https://www.claycomuseum.com/

If you get the opportunity to visit, drop by the Tasty Pastry on the square. The donuts are amazing.

I am excited for future field trips and opportunities to explore rural Kansas history.

-Maggie

So Long, Farewell, Adieu

On October 8, 2010, the Rural Telegraph began its life as a quirky blog about a small, hard-working group of students, staff, and faculty who would soon move into old Leasure Hall at KSU — the original veterinary science building (complete with a large-animal dissection table in a basement lab)!   We used discarded furniture and a bulky, antique microfilm machine. It was my privilege to be part of this adventure, Chapman Center for Rural Studies:  a research initiative in the department of history.

Now, CCRS is part of the College of Arts and Sciences and a nationally-recognized and award-winning undergraduate research center. From the rural history of Kansas to a broader focus on interdisciplinary projects about the region, the Center has grown steadily and creatively. We have gone digital in a big way, attracted many donors in addition to our founding donor, Mark Chapman, successfully secured national grants and recently, won a major university engagement award. This growth has been spearheaded by our director, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, who has shaped Chapman Center’s new identity quite amazingly. Bonnie does not give up. If one door will not open, she finds another one (and sometimes kicks it open)!

 As for me…I have loved every single minute I spent with keen, motivated undergraduate researchers. I have crawled under barbed wire fences with some, driven hundreds of miles on unmarked dirt roads of Kansas, led over 80 field trips to remote sites, sped away from an irate squatter with a shotgun (the truth!), hauled out corner stones from spider-infested church basements, encountered a seriously angry bull in a supposedly empty pasture….and basically, had the time of my life.

 Thank you, dear students and interns. I’ll miss you all more than I can say. But I’m off to new research frontiers (aka retirement) in Wisconsin. My KSU email address will be the same, so please stay in touch with your always-interested research director!

                                     Auf Wiedersehen,

Dr. Morgan