Brad & Lin’s Excellent Adventure

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Future, as stands at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Photo by Brad Galka

“What is past is prologue.”  – William Shakespeare

Located on the northeast corner of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., sits the sculpture, “Future,” with Shakespeare’s words inscribed on its foundation. This fall, Chapman Center for Rural Studies (CCRS) Editorial Assistant, Brad Galka, and CCRS Intern, Bo Lin, worked together to plan a research trip to the Archives and other resources in the Capitol. While there, Brad took the photo of “Future” at right.

It is unusual for a graduate student to collaborate on a research trip with an undergraduate student, but the Chapman Center has a history of fostering cooperative work as illustrated in the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills.”

Brad Galka in front of the White House. Photo by Bo Lin.

Brad Galka in front of the White House. Photo by Bo Lin.

Though Brad and Lin researched separate topics, they learned both needed to access information found only in the physical National Archives and – in Lin’s case – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. While discussing their respective projects around the Chapman Center library table, they discovered each needed to travel to Washington, D.C. and decided to travel together. By joining forces, they ensured reliable traveling companionship and a colleague on-site to help strategize research, transportation, and dinner!

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Bo Lin in front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Brad continues to refine his master’s thesis regarding fascism in America between World War I and World War II. Lin was finishing his discovery of primary sources concerning Carmelite priests who once lived in Scipio, Kansas.

Lin found three volumes of books which helped to flesh out the Carmelite history in Scipio, Kansas. “They included other versions of the story and were really helpful!” said Lin.

While Lin scoured the Carmelite archives, Brad dove into the National Archives looking for Congressional transcripts of testimonies from key public figures of the period between the Great Wars. Unlike Lin, Brad learned much of the primary texts he was hunting are not available. This has caused Brad to pivot towards new means of finding information to support his master’s thesis.

Though they enjoyed the good company of their shared fall research trip, both Lin and Brad recommend planning further than one month in advance to save expenses and avoid the challenges of arranging “last minute” research itineraries.

Chapman Center researchers are known to go to great lengths to find sources and verify their research. We trust the work Brad and Lin accomplished this fall semester will certainly serve as prologue to solid careers in History and the Humanities.

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Library of Congress, Photo by Brad Galka

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Arlington Cemetery, Thanksgiving morning 2016. Photo by Brad Galka

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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.

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!

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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.

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.

Pioneer Bluff Partnership Featured at Flavors of the Flint Hills

09122015 CROPPED BLS speaking at Pioneer Bluff Fundraiser by Dan WolfeSeptember. The month when autumn air cools the Flint Hills and the Kansas State Fair inspires and entertains. This year, it is also the month of Pioneer Bluff’s Flavors of the Flint Hills fundraiser which highlighted the unique Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Pioneer Bluffs partnership.

“History is depicted in many ways…I can recite the heartfelt words of Henry Rogler, but I cannot recreate the experience of life at the ranch,” Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Executive Director of the Chapman Center and keynote speaker, said regarding the importance of the Center/Bluff partnership.

As the Chapman Center creates a digital archive of the Pioneer Bluffs/Rogler Ranch rich recorded history of photos, letters, and ranch documents, Pioneer Bluffs’ staff engage visitors in the south wind passing through the windmill, walk among the grounds, the whistle of nearby trains, and “smell of spring grass…and spring burn.”

Since last Spring, Chapman Center interns and staff have worked carefully to organize, preserve, and digitally archive the physical history of the Rogler family – homesteaders of what is now Pioneer Bluffs. This archival project has included scrapbooks, mementos, letters, maps, photos, and ranch documents which illustrate the spirited life of the Roglers and their contribution to the agricultural heritage of the Flint Hills and State.

Included in the papers are letters home to sweethearts from college students like Maud Sauble. She wrote to her future husband, Henry, he would have to wait to marry until she had graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC). Investigation revealed the entire Rogler family attended what is now Kansas State University (formerly KSAC) which speaks to the role land grant colleges had in the history of ranching and farming.

E 1936 Kenneth Robertson Joe King Kay Golden Oscar Butters Henry Rogler
Students in Dr. Lynn-Sherow’s Spring 2015 Public History class also researched and created a self-guided walking-tour brochure for Pioneer Bluffs visitors (Pioneer Bluffs’ Walking Tour Brochure (PDF). This resource further invites ranch guests to step into history preserved and alive – a key factor in building understanding and engagement – a sense of place.

“This is a history that fills our senses, touches our hearts, and ruffles our hair,” Lynn-Sherow said of Pioneer Bluffs’ prairie heritage education and exploration farmstead.

 

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.