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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Remembering Cathy: A thank you from us all

Blog by Dr. MJ Morgan
Research & Curriculum Director, Chapman Center for Rural Studies

photo of Cathy Haney

Cathy Haney’s 2016 interview with Chapman Center for Rural Studies researchers

Cathy Haney, enthusiastic curator and historian at Clay County Museum, left us June 21, 2016. She was spearheading a massive effort to move the museum from its location in an old hospital to a newly-acquired building downtown. Cathy, we will miss you so much! Dr. Morgan, Research Director, will especially miss you, for your openness and willingness to welcome undergraduate (and graduate) researchers was unparalleled.

As Dr. Morgan said at a June 27 memorial service, “Cathy never said no.” Chapman Center for Rural Studies faculty and students could call to the museum, make an inquiry, and Cathy was waiting with materials and sources.

Folders, albums, newspaper files would appear; CDs of scanned photos were available, genealogy collections materialized – and the right ones. Students could sit at tables with newspaper volumes while Cathy made on-the-spot phone calls to community members and those living out in the small towns of Clay County, setting up interviews. Her mind was a ready clearing house for all kinds of historical information, and she shared that so generously. Over the years, she probably supported the research of over 25 separate student projects.

The most intensive of these was the Broughton Project, resulting in the publication of our first book, Broughton, Kansas:  Portrait of a Lost Town, 1869-1966 (2010). Underwritten and supported by Mark Chapman, this project took over four years to complete. It was based on forty interviews of former Broughton residents, some living in Arkansas, California, and New York. Without Cathy’s help, we would not have had a book. Like Mark Chapman, Cathy was born and raised in the tiny crossroads village of Broughton. Her family names of Harris and Scheinkoenig connected her to early settling families, and did she have the stories!

“My great-grandmother, Mary Catherine Harris – I was named for her – was still picking apples, up on ladders in her orchard, in her late seventies. She dropped the apples into her big apron. You couldn’t stop her.”

Cathy, you were so like your great-grandmother:  vital, energetic, irrepressible, a lover of projects and history, interested in people, connections, life! Because of your efforts and interest, every semester, research classes make trips to the old Broughton town site. The Harris orchards are long gone now, but on these field trips, we’ll especially think of you.

Spring 2016 LKC Broughton Field Trip

 

“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.

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.

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.

Spring Break in Western Kansas with Friends

While K-State students searched for their Spring Break refreshment, the Chapman Center’s Executive Director, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, and KSU’s Kansas History Professor, Jim Sherow, headed west to forge new connections on behalf of Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ research.

Wayne Ehmke, Lane County Courthouse

Vance Ehmke, Lane County Courthouse

Our goal is to have at least one researched place name per Kansas county in the Chapman Center’s digital archive.

While the archived student work continues to grow each year, it is more difficult to find students who are willing and able to travel far to research. It is crucial we make contacts in these distant Kansas counties to support future students’ interviews and search for elusive histories not found online or in books.

This is especially true of western Kansas’ Lane and Ness counties which are among the least populated counties in the high plains. Many former town sites are found in these western counties and are quickly being lost to memory. Our Chapman Center contacts, Louise and Vance Ehmke, make their home in Lane County. They own and operate Ehmke Seed, a large and going concern dedicated to wheat, Tritricale (a wheat-rye hybrid), and their regional heritage. Over the years, the Ehmke’s have hosted an army of researchers looking for paleo Indian artifacts and stories of Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holiday.

Lane County Courthouse Art Deco Detail

Lane County Courthouse Art Deco Detail

The Ehmke’s know much about the small surrounding communities which have seen better times: Ravanna, Eminence, Beersheba, Farnsworth, Nonchalant, Denmark, Hanston, and Speed. Each community has its own unique histories. Vance and Louise also know who have continued to care for the memory of these places—people like K-State alum, Amy Bickell, who writes a regular column about lost places for KansasAgland. Swing by www.kansasagland.com/agblogs/amybickel to read her many stories. Yeah Amy!

After an enjoyable conversation in the Ehmke’s guest house, a beautifully renovated round grain bin known as the Scale House (1), it was off to supper at the local bowling alley diner before attending the storm spotters’ meeting at the Lane County courthouse in Dighton. There, the Weather Service staff offered a lively presentation (to an appreciative and wisecracking audience) of what not to do in case of flash floods, severe thunderstorms, extreme winds, and TORNADOES.

George Washington Carver Historical Marker

George Washington Carver Historical Marker

One look at NOAA’s 2015 map of reported tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorm wind gusts makes it obvious Kansas remains a center of tornadic activity. There was plenty to learn about how to spot a tornado. We learned more about cloud walls to the beaver tail formation; clear signs an updraft and a downdraft are working together to form funnel clouds.

Early the next morning, a look through the Scale house window showed how important weather spotting is to residents of the high plains “where it takes three days for your dog to run away.”

Soon, on their way with no breakfast in Dighton, Jim and Bonnie headed to Ness City for a Cuppa Joe. Along the way, they stopped to read the KSHS marker in honor of the homestead of George Washington Carver as he left Missouri for Kansas in search of an education. Carver later developed over 500 products from his agricultural-based research of sweet potatoes and peanuts alone!

Tumbleweed Hitchiker

Tumbleweed Hitchiker

A great breakfast in Ness City and a conversation with the owner and it was home again (with a hitchhiker tumbleweed).

Until next time western Kansas!

(1) The Ehmke Scale House is well known for hosting visitors to the region, from Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Ag Economist Barry Flinchbaugh to local school children and families. Guests are encouraged to sign the main floor wall as record of their visit which serves as an informal who’s who of Kansas.