We’re bringing back “Share Your Story” mini-events to the Going Home exhibit

smaller-story-storeYou and a friend are invited to Share Your Story with the Chapman Center for Rural Studies Sunday, December 18; Saturday, December 31; Saturday, January 7; or Sunday, January 8.

Sign up for a 45-minute “interview.” Each designated “Share Your Story” day will include four interview options beginning each hour from 1 pm to 4 pm. Call 785.587.2784 to register or sign-up when you arrive at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, 315 South 3rd Street, Manhattan, Kansas.

Going Home exhibit curator, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, will be available to help start and keep the conversation going. Your interview will be recorded on the StoryCorps “StoryCorps.Me” application and made available to the Library of Congress archives!

Explore the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ “Going Home” featured exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. You have until January 8, 2017, to discover – and record your own – Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills.

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

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. 



“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.

We do Biography!

Orchid Ramsey Jordan

Orchid Ramsey Jordan

You’ll find biography among Kansas place histories in Chapman Center for Rural Studies online archives.

With the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ growing collection of lost community histories of Kansas (currently 147 and climbing), our undergraduate work is best known for recovering a sense of place.  Tiny faded towns – from Doniphan County in the northeast to Hamilton County in the southwest – spring to life again as students research and write about them.

Most of these places have no written history aside from a church history or a small entry in a county history.  Yet Kansas is more than its lost communities and more than its current thriving ones!

Kansas has been built and sustained through the energy of a truly remarkable population, and here at Chapman Center, we also celebrate the lives of our people.  Below are listed interesting bio-essays and the links to find them in our collections.  These studies prove that there are no “just plain Kansans.”  While their lives have not been illuminated until Chapman Center undergraduate students wrote about them, these are truly extraordinary, ordinary Kansans.

Morgan Snyder BaseballQuilter & Historian, Wabaunsee County
Ethel Mae Morgan: An African-American Biography Wabaunsee County, Kansas 1898-1989, by Lorraine Reimers http://goo.gl/TVNC1J

Small-town Clay County girl and Missouri State Representative
Generations of Achievement: The Family and Early Life ofOrchid Ramsey Jordan in Clay Center, Kansas, 1910–1928, by Haley Claxton http://othercollections.omeka.net/items/show/34

1930s Professional baseball player, Clay County
Morgan Snyder
 (1909-1990): Clay Center’s Contribution to Professional Baseball by Garrett Clerisse http://othercollections.omeka.net/items/show/31

George Earl Adams SrBrown County farm boy & WWI soldier: a legacy of military service
George Earl Adams, Sr.: The Beginning of a Legacy, by Jessica Hermesch http://othercollections.omeka.net/items/show/33

Journalist and author of Small World, Long Gone, Chautauqua County
Avis D. Carlson (1897-1987): Not Simply an “Obscure Housewife” by Erin Strathe http://othercollections.omeka.net/items/show/24

Union Army & Tennessee Colored Infantry veteran, successful Wabaunsee County farmer
A Look at the United States 101st Colored Infantry and the Free Life of John Sullivan  http://goo.gl/49N8l9

Their Memory Lives

Leo Chapman, the father of Mark Chapman, contributor to the Chapman Center, passed away peacefully on April 10th in Clay Center, Kansas.

Irene and Leo Chapman

Irene and Leo Chapman

Leo was born June 4, 1919 to Chris and O’Tillie (Dietrich) Chapman. He attended Hannibal Grade School and graduated from Clay Center High School. He attended Kansas State University for 2 years where he earned a letter in wrestling.

He married Irene Elizabeth McCully on October 19, 1940. They were married for 72 years.

Leo was an entrepreneur. He was a farmer, cattleman, developer, general contractor, real estate and stock broker, appraiser of farmland and property, antique dealer, and held many auctions.

While in his 70’s and 80’s, he competed in Senior Olympics, even taking 3rd place in the shot put at the National Senior Olympic Meet.

Leo was a member of the United Methodist Church and served as a member of the Trustees Committee. He was one of the originators of the Good Friday Men’s Breakfast. He served on the boards of: Broughton School District, Broughton Telephone, Broughton Watershed, Clay Center Coop, and Clay Center Utilities Committee. He was a member of the Lion’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

His hobbies were many. Refurbishing old upright pianos and pump organs, collecting & selling R S Prussia china, Vaseline glass and quilts. He also was a craftsman of fine wood furniture, giving many pieces to his children and grandchildren.

He went big game hunting in Colorado for years and was an avid hand fisherman.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Irene, son, Mark Allan, and baby daughter, Rena Lee.

Survivors include daughter-in-law Cheryl Mellenthin, Cat Spring, TX, son, Christopher (Edee Medley) Chapman of Richland, WA, daughter Julie (Dennis) Rice of Winfield, KS. Sister, Beulah (Chapman) Avery, Raytown, MO.

Grandchildren Amy (Frank) Burns, Lexi (Todd) Giblin, Carter Chapman, Jesse (Jeri) Chapman, and Carl (Louise) Chapman. And 5 great grandchildren.

Adams’ Collection Research Honors Family of Veterans

Chapman Center Intern Jessica Hermesch with the collection donated by General Adams

Chapman Center Intern Jessica Hermesch with the collection donated by General Adams

Thanks to a generous donation from Brigadier General Bruce Adams (Ret.), Hale Library Special Collections at Kansas State University is now home to a collection of military records, letters, and documents that trace the military and family history of George Adams, Sr., George Adams, Jr., and Bruce Adams.

With the death of his own father, General Bruce Adams saw that the passing of family members creates an impassable barrier, and he believes it is critical to begin the recording process of a complex story while the memories are still accessible. As part of that process, early this year Chapman Center Director Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow interviewed General Adams about the collection and his rich family history.

This past summer, returning intern, Jessica Hermesch, began working with the collection in the University archives to build a narrative of the family history, beginning with the service of George Adams, Sr., in World War I. Jessica has sorted through dozens of documents chronicling George Sr.’s career as a Corporal in K Company, with the 140th Infantry Regiment in World War I. The 140th, as a part of the 35th Infantry Division, took part in combat operations in the Muese-Argonne offensive. George Sr. also trained with the 353rd Infantry Regiment at Camp Funston, a garrison at Fort Riley.

The contents of George Adams, Sr.'s wallet that he carried in France, 1917, which includes French currency, Army registration card, and a deck of cards that George passed down to his son.

The contents of George Adams, Sr.’s wallet that he carried in France, 1917.

Jessica’s research focuses on the patriotism passed from Adams father to son. She hopes to construct a narrative chronicling how values were passed from George Sr. to George Jr., who flew as a reconnaissance pilot in World War II. Her work prepares for future research on George Jr.’s record in WWII as well as General Adams’ military service. Both George Adams Jr. and General Adams attended Kansas State University and have deep connections to the University, including an Army ROTC scholarship.

Jessica pulls out the deck of cards. George carried this deck through France during World War I.

Jessica pulls out the deck of cards. George carried this deck through France during World War I.

One of the special items featured in the Adams Collection is the wallet that George Adams Sr. carried through France during World War I. The contents include currency, both French (Un Franc) and German (Eine Rentenmark).

At the top of the photo (left) is George Sr.’s Army registration card and a miniature deck of cards. George Sr. passed the cards to his son, George Jr., who then passed them to his son, General Bruce Adams. George Sr. received the cards in 1917 before he left for Europe. General Bruce Adams was presented with the cards in 1998.

Jessica sorts through the contents of George's wallet, examining his registration card.

Jessica sorts through the contents of George’s wallet, examining his registration card.

Jessica, whose family has its own military record, is interested in comparing how different families experienced the military. Jessica’s great uncle served in World War II and his father before him in World War I.

“The Adams Collection fascinates me because most of what I’ve learned about military history is the big picture and strategic story, but this has given me a chance to examine the individual lives of soldiers.”
– Jessica Hermesch, Chapman Center Intern

The Adams also resided for a period in Seneca, Kansas, Jessica’s hometown. According to Jessica, this shared location makes the connection to the Adams Collection even more interesting for her.

Jessica examines documents containing George Sr.'s promotion to Corporal and his Honorable Discharge forms

Jessica examines documents containing George Sr.’s promotion to Corporal and his Honorable Discharge forms

Michael Spachek, Jessica’s colleague, contributed a war diary belonging to his great-grandfather from his own family collection. She uses the diary to offer context for her work on World War I and to learn more about the life of soldiers in Europe. Jessica’s research, planned for completion in early 2015, and the Adams Collection both seek to honor this country’s veterans, past and present.

The Good Land: Chapman Center Students Visit the High Plains!

The Goodland Identity Project: June –  October, 2014

A western Kansas landscape by Jennifer Milnes

A western Kansas landscape by Jennifer Milnes

An art student with a love of landscape photography, an agricultural business major, a graduate student in women’s studies and public history, and a GIS grad student specialist from the geography department:  these talented students have tackled the far western town of Goodland, county seat of Sherman County.   Since early June, they have worked hard to create materials for a Town Hall Meeting at Goodland on October 18.  Funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, the Town Hall Meeting is a collaboration with the High Plains Museum in Goodland. It will bring townspeople together to learn about Goodland identity, historic and present-day, and to create an action plan for the future. As the humanities representative for the grant, M.J. Morgan, Research Director here, decided to invite talented KSU students to assist over the summer.

Jennifer Milnes and Will Lienberger grew up in western and north-central Kansas. Their feel for rural Kansas — its people, culture, agriculture, and landscape  —  brought a depth and reality to this project. Jennifer created a photo essay of Goodland on June 21, the summer solstice. Her images of the town, bathed in the high, lasting light of a western dusk, celebrate Goodland’s evolving identity, 1887 – 2014. One of the few western Kansas places that is gaining population, Goodland is part of the High Plains culture region, so far west it’s on Mountain Time, just miles from the Colorado border.   Short grass prairie, buffalo, sod houses and homesteaders created the stories of its past: but what of the future?  Imagining the future is part of the Town Hall Meeting as well. Chapman Center is proud to have contributed research and photography to this project.

Jennifer Milnes, Norton County, Kansas

Jennifer Milnes, Norton County, Kansas

“I was born and raised in the community of Norton, Kansas. I’ve been serving in the Kansas Army National Guard since 2002 and am also a non-traditional student at KSU majoring in art. As a first generation Kansan, I thought taking Lost Kansas Communities with Dr. MJ Morgan in the fall of 2013 would be a great way to learn more about my home state! Growing up in western Kansas, I wanted to be involved in the Goodland Project. Because of my love of landscape photography and American history, I thought this internship was the perfect fit.”

Will Lienberger, Jewell County, Kansas

Will Lienberger, Jewell County, Kansas

“I am a senior at Kansas State University, majoring in Agricultural Business. After graduating, I plan on returning to my family’s farm in north central Kansas. I will be the fourth generation to work on our farm, and my family is very involved with it. We farm around 3000 acres, mostly of wheat, but also use corn, soybeans and sorghum. My main emphasis on this project is to assist in the agricultural research on Sherman County tracts of land and property ownership, and also to look at crops, water sources, and soil types. I look forward to traveling to Goodland after studying the terrain and also to be part of the presentation.”

Katie helps the interns settle on a method for the best presentation of Goodland's history.

Katie helps the interns settle on a method for the best presentation of Goodland’s history.

Graduate students Katie Goerl (history), a former Chapman intern, and Tyler Link, a GIS specialist (geography), have also worked with us this fall in imaginative ways. They’ve assisted in image interpretation, caption wording, and map creation.  Here, Katie works with fall interns in designing the photography exhibit. Our new interns also joined in, interested to learn about a place in Kansas they had never been.

All told, eight diverse and talented KSU students worked on the Goodland Town Hall Meeting Project!  They brought their training in art, history, agriculture, public relations, geography, and women’s studies.  Most of all, they brought their curiosity… and a passionate commitment to Kansas.

Tyler's Map

“As a Kansan and history lover, I am so happy to get this opportunity.”
— Tyler Link, geography graduate student, GIS specialist