Lillis, Kansas: In Puzzle Pieces

10122016-lillis-ksby Mallory Harrell, CCRS Fall Intern 2016

Every semester, K-State students enrolled in Dr. Morgan’s ‘Lost Kansas Communities’ class are given the responsibility and opportunity to create their own piece of historical research. This is the very research fueling a large portion of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies.

Among the students enrolled this semester is Mary O’Connor, and her subject? The lost town of Lillis, Kansas, a community which once flourished in southeastern Marshall County on Irish Creek, established between the years of 1856 and 1860.

O’Connor, a senior majoring in psychology, enrolled in ‘Lost Kansas Communities’ after taking a history of Kansas class over the past summer. Her interest in Kansas history grew as a result of both the class and her personal ties to Kansas. “I’m interested in the Kansas historical aspect because it’s where I’m from, and there are many stories about resilience.”

10122016-lillis-ks-blueprintMiss O’Connor also intends to offer a very personal touch to her project. She explained that her interest in researching Lillis largely stems from her own family history. “I’m mostly interested in it because it was founded by Irish Catholics and my Catholic background roots are from Nebraska. I wanted to find something similar because my family has a very similar story.”

One of the more fascinating aspects of the Lillis project involves a town plat that had been donated to the Chapman Center several years ago. It came in many pieces due to its age.

Mary has committed to piecing together the plat like a puzzle as a part of her project. “It’s cool to see that piece of history and not knowing its story, it’s like a cool mystery to put together because you can tell it has a lot of history behind it.”

Mary is also grateful to be working with another donated collection from Francis Hupp, long-time resident of Lillis.

Linda Hupp Morse offered this collection of letters, newspaper clippings, maps, and stories collected over a lifetime by her mother, Frances Hupp, of Topeka. Mary is excited for the opportunity to interview Francis Hupp about her memories of Lillis.

This emphasizes one of the most fundamental rules in studying history:  information can be found anywhere even if one may not know exactly where and how to begin looking. All it takes is a little passion and enthusiasm!

Welcome Fall 2016 Interns!

Meet the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ three new interns: Brandon, Bo, and Mallory.

They have joined the Center while we usher in the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit. Each have helped prepare thematic and town displays, clean artifacts, and keep the coffee flowing!

Brandon Williams, CCRS 2016 Fall InternBrandon Williams

I am a sophomore history major; I plan on finishing my undergraduate degree by 2021 before pursuing a PhD. I hope to one day be a historian who emphasizes research on small rural towns.

I am currently working on an inventory of a collection of articles donated to the Washington County Historical Society in tandem with the Lueb Camera Collection. In addition to this, I am going to be creating a second inventory on a collection of glass plate negative photographs taken of the small town of Clifton, Kansas, held in the town’s museum. I was born in Springfield, Missouri, but spent much of my life growing up in Kansas City, Kansas. I am a member of a large, blended family. My step-mother is a Kansas State University alumni and was a pivotal part to my coming to K-State for college.

Outside of my family, I am passionate about being outdoors, as I hunt, fish, and trek hiking trails. When not outdoors I enjoy writing, pottery, and spending time with my friends.

 

Bo Lin, CCRS Fall 2016 InternLin Bo

I’m currently a senior from Guangzhou, an hour west of Hong Kong, China. I want to pursue graduate school in Europe and expand my perspectives on correlation between the past, current, and the future. I would like to be in the field of Medieval Studies in the future education.

I am working on a project that relates to a monastery in Scipio, a vanishing town in Anderson County, Kansas. I am focusing on a mission that this monastery was sent out to Texas in 1881. I’m excited to be researching religious history and contributing to the Chapman Center.

I like playing chess when I am free because it is literally a game about history. I also like debating with people and discussing current events. After all, we all live in history.

 

Mallory Harrell, CCRS 2016 Fall InternMallory Harrell

I am a senior majoring in history and am planning to graduate May 2017. My current plans following graduation include furthering my experience working in the fields of either public or archival history. I also plan on pursuing a graduate program in either museum studies or library science.

My internship project primarily involves the production of a history and inventory for a series of primary source documents pertaining to the Clay Center Library Club. This project will be in collaboration with both the Chapman Center for Rural Studies as well as the Clay Center Historical Society, as the documents I will be examining are recent additions to their collections. I’m especially thrilled to be conducting research on a subject that has never before been explored and one that relates to my love of literature. I am also generally excited for the opportunities that the Chapman Center may make possible through the experiences I’ll have here throughout the semester.

I’m from a small town near Kansas City called Tonganoxie. I’m a lover of history and all things literary.  I have my history-teacher mother and speech-teacher father to thank respectively for each of these. I also share a love of discussing theater, animation, film, and several other visual mediums with my sister Lauren. In my spare time, I can often be found exercising, watching history documentaries or reading classical literature.