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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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!

08042016 James Pepper Henry

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.

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)!

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Wondering what new Lost Kansas Communities have been added to our online archive?
Click the photo below to find out!

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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.

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You’ll also find all the Chapman Center for Rural Studies news online at www.k-state.edu/history/chapman.

Student’s Lost Town Paper Exceeds Expectations

PNP245580 Defending the Fort: Indians attack a U.S. Cavalry post in the 1870s (colour litho) by Schreyvogel, Charles (1861-1912); Private Collection; Peter Newark Military Pictures; American, out of copyright

Defending the Fort: Indians attack a U.S. Cavalry post in the 1870s (colour litho) by Schreyvogel, Charles (1861-1912)

Blog Article by Emmalee Laidacker, Chapman Center for Rural Studies Intern

Last semester, Dr. Morgan’s Lost Kansas Communities class was tasked with writing an 8-10 page essay on a lost town of their choosing. They were expected to carefully and extensively examine its history, often uncovering new information in the process, and are given the full semester to do so. One such student, however, completed this assignment to an incredible extent. Darren Ivey, submitted his paper, “Lonely Sentinel:  Fort Aubrey and the Defense of the Kansas Frontier, 1864-1866”, which thoughtfully illustrates the history of Fort Aubrey along with the men who were stationed there.

Located in Hamilton County and formerly known as Camp Wynkoop, Fort Aubrey was named after explorer and trader Francois Xavier Aubrey. The fort’s life was short-lived, as it was abandoned after a number of troops deserted their post. Unfortunately, very little remains of Fort Aubrey today.

Darren Ivey, K-State student

Darren Ivey, K-State student and author

The study itself is over thirty pages in length, while the bibliography comes to nearly fifteen, making Darren’s submission an impressive forty-five pages in length.  “There was a lot to say”, said Darren, a former firefighter from Hutchinson, Kansas. “I wanted to exercise my research and writing skills”. Darren stated he has always had an interest in history since grade school, but more specifically “…in the American Civil War, mainly the cavalry of both sides, and the West, especially the frontier army and the Indian Wars; Texas Rangers, U.S. marshals, and other lawmen; and gunfighters.”

Ivey said he “perked right up” when Dr. Morgan mentioned the word “fort” in class and selected Fort Aubrey due to the fact it had not been thoroughly researched yet. Because Fort Aubrey existed for such a short time, he mentioned that one challenge was “just having enough there to really talk about, which apparently I did.”

Surprisingly, Darren went the extra mile in another area; he purchased the right to use the painting on the front page of his essay. Because the image he was set on using was copyrighted, he had to obtain permission as well as pay a fee to the copyright holder. “I emailed Bridgeman [Art Library] and asked for a quote. In a series of emails, the account manager and I eventually figured out which fee would be most appropriate for usage on a class project, and inclusion on the Chapman Center’s archives… The whole process only took about two days to complete, and the final fee was not outrageous.” He had already been familiar with the artist’s work and wanted to use the painting because it was one of few that depicted Fort Aubrey.

Darren Ivey has also authored a book, The Texas Rangers: A Registry and History and is currently in the process of writing another, making him no stranger to researching, writing, or studying the past. He plans on submitting his Fort Aubrey essay to a magazine.

Oronoque: Out of the Ashes

Oronoque, KS, Lost Kansas Communities“What comes to mind when you think of northwestern Kansas? Is it the rolling hills, prairie grass, fields of wheat and corn, or flowing streams? This paints a scene of Oronoque, Kansas. Ten miles southwest of Norton off of Highway 383 we find the remains of what was once the town of Oronoque. All that remains is a single house, the rubble of previous ones, a cemetery, and the old lumber company.

Looking at it today you may not have thought it to be the image of success and enterprise. Venture back to 1885 and you would get a new picture entirely, one where farmers plowed their fields and the blacksmith pounded out a horseshoe. Listen as the whistle blows, alerting the town that the train is coming through. Hear the wind blow through the trees on a windy afternoon and hear the birds chirping their tunes of joy. The story of Oronoque is filled with trials, of fire and depression, but more than its trials, this town tells a tale of perseverance. This is a story of a group of people not deterred by Mother Nature, but stronger than the trials they faced.”

Read more on our Lost Kansas Community website at http://lostkscommunities.omeka.net/items/show/178.

Samuel Field, senior in secondary education, author, “Oronoque: Out of the Ashes”
Spring 2015 Chapman Center for Rural Studies

Updated: Lost Kansas Communities Archive

KIC Image 0003Have you checked out the updated Lost Kansas Communities archive at lostkscommunities.omeka.net?

We’ve added several Lost Town profiles this summer including:

and more!

You’ll meet the people who cast their hearts into the Kansas wind, plowed the soil, worked the cattle, taught, served, doctored, and represented their fellow prairie pioneers.

They lived and worked in sod houses, lean tos, limestone, and clapboard homes and wove the traditions of their homelands into what is now Kansas.

We invite you into the stories of people and place as researched and written by undergraduate students of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies.

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!