“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.

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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.