Welcome HistoryCats!

Durso f2 volland school860

Volland, Kansas, School, ca. 1860. Courtesy of Wabaunsee County Historical Society.

Welcome WildCats to a new year and new opportunities to Make History!

With classes in Lost Kansas Communities, Advance Seminars in History, and History of the United States to 1877 starting; our “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit launching to the public September 24 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, and interns working on Middle Kansas projects and more, the Chapman Center for Rural Studies is a busy place!

You are invited to explore our refreshed “Chapman Center Research Collections” online which houses our Lost Kansas Communities research, maps, and other thematic exhibits such as “Kansas History and Life.” Several town studies have been added this summer and there are more to come!

Keep an eye on the Rural Telegraph blog, our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel for up-to-date information about your Chapman Center for Rural Studies!

And Go WildCats! Make History!

New Video Trailers: “Going Home” Exhibit, September 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “Home is the nicest word there is.”
What if your home or hometown no longer stands?

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies will host “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills,” an exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, starting September 24. You are invited to explore the histories of seven Flint Hills, Kansas, towns including: Bodarc, Broughton, Cedar Point, Chalk, Maple City, Volland, and Big John Creek Village, the Kansas home of the Kaw Nation. Kids will have a very special area dedicated to exploring how Kansas kids of the past played, learned, and more!

08042016 James Pepper Henry

An interactive map of all verified towns will help you envision how the Flint Hills population waxed and waned. Vintage photos and video will be displayed throughout the exhibit where you can explore towns and ideas like communication, travel, and recreation of Kansas’ past. Several iPad stations will be posted for more exploration of the seven featured towns.

Plan to stop at the Story Store, a place to record your memories of home throughout the exhibit. This is also where we will partner with nationally-recognized, StoryCorps, in November. “StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” We hope to add Flint Hill stories to their archive housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

This exhibition represents the work of undergraduate students working with Chapman Center for Rural Studies faculty and made possible by an estate gift from Mr. Mark Chapman. The stories, images, sounds and exhibit films were written, discovered, and created by an amazing and talented group of young scholars who care deeply about the Flint Hills. ( View more videos on our YouTube channel!)

The exhibition opens Saturday, September 24, at 10 am to the public.

Explore hidden places of the Flint Hills and their stories! You’ll also be invited to tell us all about what ‘Going Home’ means to you. 

Visit the Chapman Center for Rural Studies on YouTube for more video trailers, student-crafted multi-media projects, and discussions of rural Kansas history.

Remembering Cathy: A thank you from us all

Blog by Dr. MJ Morgan
Research & Curriculum Director, Chapman Center for Rural Studies

photo of Cathy Haney

Cathy Haney’s 2016 interview with Chapman Center for Rural Studies researchers

Cathy Haney, enthusiastic curator and historian at Clay County Museum, left us June 21, 2016. She was spearheading a massive effort to move the museum from its location in an old hospital to a newly-acquired building downtown. Cathy, we will miss you so much! Dr. Morgan, Research Director, will especially miss you, for your openness and willingness to welcome undergraduate (and graduate) researchers was unparalleled.

As Dr. Morgan said at a June 27 memorial service, “Cathy never said no.” Chapman Center for Rural Studies faculty and students could call to the museum, make an inquiry, and Cathy was waiting with materials and sources.

Folders, albums, newspaper files would appear; CDs of scanned photos were available, genealogy collections materialized – and the right ones. Students could sit at tables with newspaper volumes while Cathy made on-the-spot phone calls to community members and those living out in the small towns of Clay County, setting up interviews. Her mind was a ready clearing house for all kinds of historical information, and she shared that so generously. Over the years, she probably supported the research of over 25 separate student projects.

The most intensive of these was the Broughton Project, resulting in the publication of our first book, Broughton, Kansas:  Portrait of a Lost Town, 1869-1966 (2010). Underwritten and supported by Mark Chapman, this project took over four years to complete. It was based on forty interviews of former Broughton residents, some living in Arkansas, California, and New York. Without Cathy’s help, we would not have had a book. Like Mark Chapman, Cathy was born and raised in the tiny crossroads village of Broughton. Her family names of Harris and Scheinkoenig connected her to early settling families, and did she have the stories!

“My great-grandmother, Mary Catherine Harris – I was named for her – was still picking apples, up on ladders in her orchard, in her late seventies. She dropped the apples into her big apron. You couldn’t stop her.”

Cathy, you were so like your great-grandmother:  vital, energetic, irrepressible, a lover of projects and history, interested in people, connections, life! Because of your efforts and interest, every semester, research classes make trips to the old Broughton town site. The Harris orchards are long gone now, but on these field trips, we’ll especially think of you.

Spring 2016 LKC Broughton Field Trip

 

“On the Brink of Medical Change…” Lost Kansas Communities Student Returns to Serve

Dr. Tyler Funke

Dr. Taylor Funke

Blog by Emmalee Laidacker
2015-2016 Chapman Center Intern

Each year, thousands of students graduate from K-State and move to bigger and better things outside Manhattan. However, one former student of Dr. Morgan’s Lost Kansas Communities class is doing bigger and better things after moving back to town. Dr. Taylor Funke, who recently began working at a Chiropractic office in town, is living in Manhattan again, and hopes to somehow give back to Kansas State University.

Taylor explained how his love for both the University and Manhattan is what brought him back. He also liked the idea of not being too far from his hometown of Osborne. “I wanted to be able to come back and become involved with the University in some way.” Taylor hopes to be able to teach a class someday. “I just knew that I really love to teach and I wanted to somehow give back to what was given to me.”

Taylor is from Osborne, a small-north central Kansas town. He was inspired to take the Lost Kansas Communities class due to his interest in other small communities. “My dad was a veterinarian; we would go on vet calls in the country and I would always find these little towns and cemeteries that were around there. I wondered ‘What was the story behind all of this?’ or ‘What used to be here?’”

Vintage Postcard: Junction City, Kansas’, First Hospital

Each student in Lost Kansas Communities researches and writes a semester-long historical study of a topic of their choice. Taylor had an interest in healthcare and after working with Dr. Morgan to choose a topic, was able to research the first hospital in Junction City. “It was great to meet people that were excited about what I was doing and helping to provide some history about Junction City”, said Taylor.

“[It was] the best class I had taken at K-State, hands down. I’ll be completely honest. I just loved learning about little things I never knew about history, in Kansas, especially. I found out some stuff about my hometown that I had never known… I really liked that we went on a lot of adventures around the area; we went to the Broughton site, we went to an old schoolhouse down by Wabaunsee [County] …We got to physically be with history… She also taught us the academic side to go along with that so we could connect some stories.”

"Dr. Dechairo's Medical Bag"

“Dr. Dechairo’s Medical Bag” Dr. Dechairo was in practice in Westmoreland, Kansas. His bag is an example of one commonly used in rural areas and is on display at Rock Creek Valley Museum and Historical Society, Westmoreland, KS.

Taylor described his experience in Dr. Morgan’s class as something he will never forget. His research of historical medical practices culminated into “On the Brink of Medical Change: The Junction City Hospital, Junction City, Geary County, Kansas, 1913 – 1921” and explored how the establishment of the hospital brought needed improvements to the area’s health and prosperity.

A normal day at the office for Taylor includes meeting with patients and addressing whatever issues or concerns they may be having that day. He often works with athletes and has adjusted patients both young and old. Taylor’s office, Premier Chiropractic and Wellness, is located off Seth Child Road and K-18 highway.

Chapman Center Intern and 2016 Graduate, Anthony Porter, Leaves Written Legacy

Anthony Porter Spring 2016 webby Dr. MJ Morgan, Research Director, Chapman Center for Rural Studies

Chapman Center for Rural Studies intern, Anthony Porter, a 2016 K-State graduate, Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history, left a written legacy of his time with us. Anthony’s study of the vanished community of Magic, Riley County, Kansas, appears in the May issue of Kansas Kin, published by the Riley County Genealogical Society (RCGS). “Magic: The Ultimate Vanishing Act” was an invited piece and marks the start of a fruitful collaboration between Chapman Center and RCGS.

Magic, Kansas, Schoolhouse

Magic, Kansas, Schoolhouse

We hope to offer more student work for inclusion in Kansas Kin as undergraduate researchers tackle the long-disappeared communities, villages, and trading centers of a lost Kansas landscape. Like many of our researchers, Anthony used both documentary and oral history sources, conducting interviews with Magic community descendants.

Through leads and contacts often suggested by RCGS, students learn to piece together the fascinating and sometimes quirky history of rural Kansas. Readers can also enjoy Anthony’s study of Magic in our Lost Communities Archive, at http://lostkscommunities.omeka.net/items/show/180. (Click the link, scroll down below the featured photograph, and click the printer icon on the black top bar above the pdf-copy of Anthony’s Magic paper. You can now print off and read Anthony’s paper at your leisure.) 

Coming Soon: make sure to catch Anthon’s digital museum exhibit on the Quivira Society, an early 20th century amateur archaeology club in Wabaunsee County appearing later this summer in our Kansas History and Life Collection.

Passion for History Evident in Smallpox Research

04282016 Shannon Nolan Emmalee Blog 3By Emmalee Laidacker, Intern

Every semester, students in Dr. Morgan’s Lost Kansas Communities class research a local history topic that interests him or her. Students then write an in-depth essay detailing the results of their semester-long research. For her project, “The End of an Old Enemy: Smallpox in Clay County from 1900-1925,” Shannon Nolan discusses the devastating effect the epidemic had on the small communities in Clay County.

Small towns were especially vulnerable to the spread of disease due to many hospitals and doctors often being poorly-equipped to treat contagious disease. Railroads had the catastrophic ability to transport disease from town to town with ease. Shannon also mentions specific cases of infection among unlucky residents in Clay County. Only two out of three people infected with smallpox survived, but the disease has since been eradicated with the last known case occurring in 1977.

Portor Morgan Clay CountyShannon is a sophomore majoring in secondary education with a focus in social studies. She chose to take the class due to her strong interest in history.

“The syllabus said we got to write our own paper and I thought that was really interesting to be able to do our own research in a field that I’m interested in. I just really like history so I thought it would be a good fit.”

Like all students, Shannon faced a number of challenges during the research process.

“I’m not from Kansas, so I didn’t have any connections to any town or area in Kansas, and so I decided, instead of focusing on a lost community, I wanted to focus on a broader topic that would make more sense to me…”

Prevention From State Board of HealthAfter doing some research, Shannon discovered that there were a high number of smallpox cases in Clay County and decided it was the topic for her. Other obstacles Shannon ran into simply included a lack of information. “There were a few years that I couldn’t find any research from so that was pretty difficult… Also, pinpointing the exact reasons why this disease was stopping.” She visited Clay County museums in order to fill in the gaps in her smallpox story.

Despite this Shannon enjoyed many parts of the research process, including sifting through original documents. “I liked looking through all the old books that we have here at the Chapman Center and seeing the doctor’s notes first-hand; I thought that was really cool.”

Shannon has always had a passion for history which is the reason she decided to incorporate her passion into teaching; it is the best of both worlds. “You get to teach but you get to teach what you love.” she said.

With her degree, Shannon plans on teaching American history abroad and then later in her career, plans on working for a non-profit organization by teaching women’s rights in developing countries.

Straight to Video: Meet our Chapman Center undergraduate researchers

Chapman Center for Rural Studies undergraduate students and researchers Make History come to life!  Check out this video/slide show of who we are, what we do and why; and where we are headed. Click here for the Spring 2016 Video (or you can click on the photo below)!

CCRS Staff Fall 2105

Wondering what new Lost Kansas Communities have been added to our online archive?
Click the photo below to find out!

Wabaunsee Cowboy

You are invited to the Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills exhibit coming to the Flint Hills Discovery Center this fall! You’ll have a chance to tell your town’s story in our “Story Store,” explore hidden histories of people and places of the Flint Hills, and discover more about what has made Kansas and the Flint Hills home to so many for so long.

Screen shot advert from open house video

You’ll also find all the Chapman Center for Rural Studies news online at www.k-state.edu/history/chapman.