Welcome our New Spring 2017 Interns

Join us in welcoming two new Spring 2017 interns to the Chapman Center for Rural Studies: Rachel Hein and Shaun Knipp!

Rachel Hein

Rachel Hein

Hello, my name is Rachel Hein. I am a junior at Kansas State University majoring in history and from a small town in Kansas by the name of Andale. It is in Sedgwick County, which is northwest of Wichita.

When it comes to books, movies, or television shows, I will read or watch almost anything. I’m an avid reader and Netflix watcher. I love how a person can get lost in a good book or TV show and – for a moment – feel like they too are a part of that scene.

I also like to travel to new places. My siblings and I like to travel to state and national parks around the United States. My favorite – at the moment – is Zion National Park in Utah.

My project will focus on the material history of artifacts from Diamond Springs, Morris County, Kansas. I will also do an oral history with a long ago resident of Diamond Springs and owner of the project artifacts.

After I graduate, I hope to move to graduate school and onto museum work, possibly as an archivist. I am stoked to be an intern for the Chapman Center for Rural Studies. I look forward to making new friends and gaining more knowledge of what it really takes to be a researcher.

Shaun Knipp

Shaun Knipp

Shaun Knipp is our next Chapman Center “first-semester intern.” He is a senior studying secondary education with an emphasis in social studies. He will student teach this Fall semester.

He will be working on a project detailing the history of a local ranch. Shaun will piece together the public records and genealogical ties related to the property and figure out the role the ranch played in the shaping of the Flint Hills community.

He will also conduct several interviews with people in the surrounding community. Shaun will also develop his skills with photography and drones as well as video editing. He will also learn to incorporate GIS information into the project.

He is extremely excited about this opportunity knowing he will employ this experience into his future classrooms!

You are welcome to drop in and meet the interns and staff of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies!

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.

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.

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.

Chapman Center Summer Interns, Graduate Research Assistant, & Their Projects

Summer 2015 Busy with Research, Digitization, and Exhibit Development
Summer 2015: Chapman Center for Rural Studies interns, Graduate Research Assistant, and Executive Director

Summer 2015: Chapman Center for Rural Studies interns, Graduate Research Assistant, and Executive Director

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies welcomes three new interns (Alex Good, Trey Heitschmidt, and Patrick Moran) and one returning intern (Michael Spachek) for a summer of diving into history!

The Chapman Center continues to partner with organizations across town and around the state. K-State senior, Michael Spachek, is learning to digitize the Wabaunsee County Historical Society & Museum’s extensive collection of original glass plate negatives of settlers and places in the Flint Hills. Chapman Center Board of Directors member, Greg Hoots, author and archivist, has partnered with the Center to help launch the transfer of images from glass to digital memory.

Alex Good, also a senior, is working to capture photos, slides, and documents illustrating the rich history of the Historic Rogler Ranch. The ranch began with a long walk from Iowa to Kansas in 1859 and today is home to Pioneer Bluffs prairie heritage education center.

Maud (Tarr) Sauble, Champion Buckaroo, 1919   Photo courtesy of Pioneer Bluffs Foundation

Maud (Tarr) Sauble, Champion Buckaroo, 1919 Photo courtesy of Pioneer Bluffs Foundation

Trey Heitschmidt, junior in History, is helping to research the Lost Towns of the Flint Hills for a Chapman Center and Flint Hills Discovery Center joint exhibit opening September 2016. The exhibit will offer visitors the opportunity to add their stories to the Lost Town studies featured.

Son of a career Army officer, Patrick Moran, is a transfer student who is working on behalf of the Chapman Center with the City of Manhattan and Fort Riley Cavalry Museum to honor Riley County veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States. The auditorium, dedicated September 1955, adjoins the Manhattan City Hall offices and City Commission Room. Patrick’s work includes researching soldiers not currently remembered in the Peace Memorial.

Graduate Research Assistant for Digital Humanities, Katie Goerl, works directly with the interns and Chapman Center faculty to move our research, archives, and collaboration into the age of digital communication.

 

A Rediscovered Legacy

Michael surveys the land once owned by African Americans near the turn of the 20th century.

Michael surveys the land once owned by African Americans near the turn of the 20th century.

Thanks to diligent research by Chapman Center Intern Michael Spachek, the once forgotten history of a substantial group of black farm families has been brought to life. Michael conducted research on African American land ownership in Wabaunsee County this past fall, discovering the complex stories of success and failure surrounding these remote tracks of land in the Flint Hills.

An old farm road bisects the land in Wabaunsee County once belonging to African American farmers.

An old farm road bisects the land in Wabaunsee County once belonging to African American farmers.

Michael’s research uncovered the stories of twenty-six landowning African American families in Wabaunsee County near the turn of the 20th century. Michael recently traveled to these remote farmsteads with Dr. Morgan to photograph the land and gather more information. Through his research, Michael learned how to work effectively with large databases of census records and deed records. Much like finding a needle in a haystack, Michael discovered small pieces of information and skillfully turned it into an accurate narrative of these landowners’ lives.

I was drawn to the topic because of the chance to discover stories about a group of people that disappeared and with little published work on them.

The farmsteads owned by African American men nearly one hundred years ago.

The farmsteads owned by African American men nearly one hundred years ago.

Michael’s research was previously presented at our first annual Chapman Center Open House. We are also excited to congratulate him on the acceptance of his research to the Flint Hills History Conference, “Culture and Conflict,” where he will present his research in March!

Undergraduate Research on Display

Dr. Morgan introduces the interns and describes the work they each did before their presentations

Dr. Morgan introduces the interns and describes the work they each did before their presentations

In December 2014, after a intense semester of research, our interns presented their research findings to a room full of eager listeners. Individuals from around Kansas traveled to the Chapman Center to attend the open house and hear about undergraduate research. The focus of intern research was the discovery of an obscured Kansas history, the history of African-Americans in rural Kansas. Each intern met with differing degrees of success in their research, but they each succeeded in peeling back the layers of history to discover diverse and untold stories.

Haley Claxton talks about the difficulties she faced conducting her research

Haley Claxton talks about the difficulties she faced conducting her research

Fall intern Haley presented her research on the founding of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Junction City. She encountered obstacles at multiple layers of local and regional government, making her grass roots research incredibly difficult. Ultimately, her research into the park is ongoing as she discovers the challenges of rural research. Her main research project explored the life of Orchid Ramsey Jordan in Clay Center. Haley searched for brief references to Orchid in historic records and books. Haley discovered Orchid’s rich story, which included membership in the Missouri state legislature. Haley has also been selected to present her research in Topeka at the Undergraduate Research Conference!

Blake presents the body of research that he worked with to discover the history of The Bottoms

Blake presents the body of research that he worked with to discover the history of The Bottoms

Blake Latchman presented his research on the Manhattan Bottoms, tracing the history of the African-American community that rose up in the Bottoms between 1880 and 1920. Blake accessed historic maps of Manhattan to discover the geographic dispersal of this community, circa 1909. Blake explored why the African-American population rose so sharply in 1890 and dropped off in the following decades. Blake traveled several times to the Bottoms in southern Manhattan to discover the story of this historic community.

Jessica points to sections of the Underground Railroad and The Manhattan Spur, highlighted on a map of Kansas

Jessica points to sections of the Underground Railroad and The Manhattan Spur, highlighted on a map of Kansas

Jessica Hermesch presented her research on one of the western routes of the Underground Railroad, which snaked its way through Kansas, including a section called ‘The Manhattan Spur.’ Jessica set out discover just how far west the trails ventured into Kansas, tracing their routes through historic maps and old records. Jessica discovered that several ‘conductors’ had to take their trails out west of the main avenue, the “Lane Trial to Freedom.” These ‘spurs’ went through Manhattan, Wabunsee, and Nemaha County before rejoining the Lane Trail further north.

Michael points out the plots of land owned by African-Americans in Wabunsee County

Michael points out the plots of land owned by African-Americans in Wabunsee County

Fall intern Michael used a number of old plot and township maps and land records to present the history of African-American land ownership in Wabaunsee county. Michael traced the history of five land-owning African-American men in the Mission Creek township. Michael was able to generate maps locating the specific plots of land owned by these men. Michael’s research has also been accepted at the Flint Hills History Conference, “Culture and Conflict,” this coming March!

A room full of attendees await intern research presentations

A room full of attendees await intern research presentations

We look forward to watching the continued success of our interns and eagerly await what the future holds for these bright young historians!