Kansas State Historical Society.

The Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) online

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Lucy Larcom, published in 1855, being of outstanding interest.

Gifts of Kansas books and genealogies were received from individuals.
Dr. Edward Bumgardner gave a unique work which he has compiled, en-
titled Trees of a Prairie State. This is a two-volume set, one volume con-
taining the text and the other photographs of trees. Typed and printed
genealogical records were presented by the Children of the American Colonists,
the Topeka Town Chapter of the Colonial Dames of America, the Daughters
of the American Revolution and the Daughters of Colonial Wars. Gifts from
the Woman's Kansas Day Club included books, manuscripts, clippings,
museum pieces and pictures.


During the year, 692 pictures were added to the picture collection. Of
unusual interest are 136 pictures of early Manhattan, the gift of R. L. Fred-
rich through the Woman's Kansas Day Club; a picture of the Kansas race



horse Smuggler from Mrs. Samuel J. Kelly of Olathe; 15 pictures of Silkville
from Harold S. Sears of Nanton, Canada, whose grandparents were members
of the Silkville colony; 16 copies of pictures of early Caldwell made from the
originals, lent through the courtesy of Mrs. Jessie Wiley Voils, a Kansas writer
now living in New York; 18 pictures of Louisville, Pottawatomie county, and
vicinity from Charles Darnell, Topeka, and several photographs of the
Kanopolis dam from the U. S. National Park Service.


The following public records were transferred during the year to the
archives division:

Source Title Dates Quantity

Governor's office Correspondence Files 1947-1949 24,400 mss.

Board of Agriculture

.Correspondence Files

Minutes and Corre-
spondence State
board of Housing .

Statistical Rolls of

Statistical Rolls of
Cities .

1921-1944 5,600 mss.

1933-1944 1,200 mss.

1944 1,714 vols.

. . 1950 1,375 vols.

Commission of Revenue
and Taxation, Ad
Valorem Division .

State Labor Depart-

Applications for

Emergency Warrants

Correspondence Em-
ployment and Payroll
Reports, Factory
Inspection Reports . .


c. 1,630
case files

. 1927-1941 116,000 mss.

State Library

Appearance Docket, Order
Book, and Claim Register,
Court of Industrial
Relations 1920-1924 3 vols.

.Stub Book of State
Militia Commissions
Issued by the Governor 1864 1 vol.

Workmen's Compensa-
tion Commissioner.

Awards and Orders
in Docketed Cases

1927-1945 9,600 mss.

These records total 3,093 volumes and about 158,000 manuscripts. The
large groups of papers from the Labor department, which fills 44 transfer
cases, has not yet been examined in detail. Much of this material probably
will not be of permanent value and will be destroyed.


Installation of the new stacks was completed last winter. For the first
time in 45 years the archives are now in place on permanent shelves where
they are readily accessible.

The floods of last July resulted in only one known instance of damage to
state records. The Board of Engineering Examiners reported that eight
transfer cases of engineering applicants' folders, 1931-1948, which had been
stored in the basement of the Merchants' Moving and Storage Company,
were ruined by water seepage. Fortunately, the board had microfilmed these
records in 1949, and had deposited the film negative with the archives di-
vision for safe-keeping, so that no serious loss was caused by the destruction
of the original documents.

Microfilming of Insurance department records was completed during the
year. This group now totals 517 rolls, or approximately 51,700 feet of film.
The annual statements of insurance companies, 1870-1943, is by far the
largest series, amounting to 406 100-foot rolls. An old Adjutant General's
record, "Enrollment of Soldiers Under an Act of 1883," also was microfilmed
this year, as were four series of census records for 1855, 1865, 1870 and 1875.
Microfilming of archives during the year totaled 279 reels.


Accessions during the year were four manuscript volumes and approximately
475 individual manuscripts, in addition to several documents which were
lent for microfilming.

Dr. Edward Bumgardner of Lawrence presented a group of autograph
letters written between 1893 and 1947 by such prominent Kansans as William
Allen White, A. W. Benson, Charles F. Scott, George McGill, U. S. Guyer and
Errett P. Scrivner. Dr. Bumgardner also gave an album containing the auto-
graphs of all the governors of Kansas from Robinson to Am, including the
signatures of two territorial governors, Reeder and Shannon.

From Miss A. Blanche Edwards of Abilene the Society received a collection
of letters written to her father, J. B. Edwards, between 1905 and 1932. These
letters are concerned with the early history of Abilene and with recollections
of "Wild Bill" Hickok. Miss Edwards also gave 11 photographs, including
several of "Wild Bill" and members of his family.

An unusual collection, received through the Oklahoma City libraries from
Mrs. Walter M. Robertson of Oklahoma City, is a group of 2,500 waybills of
the Central Branch Union Pacific railroad for 1879. These waybills are
mounted in a large unbound book measuring 16 by 12 inches and six inches

Harold S. Sears of Alberta, Canada, gave two interesting records. One
is a cash and day book kept by his father, Charles Sears, from 1858 to 1889,
containing a statement of his relations with E. V. de Boissiere, the founder
of Silkville. The other is the cash and day book of Silkville and the De Bois-
siere Odd Fellows Orphans' Home and Industrial School, 1884-1896. De Bois-
siere, a wealthy French industrialist and humanitarian, attempted to establish
a silk industry in Kansas shortly after the Civil War ended. He bought a
4,000-acre tract in Franklin county where he succeeded in growing cocoons
and producing a fine quality silk which won first honors at the Philadelphia
Centennial in 1876. Unfortunately the market was not profitable, except, so
he said, for the commission merchants, and he was never able to establish


the business on a paying basis. In 1892 de Boissiere gave the property to the
Kansas Grand Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as a home and
industrial school for orphans of deceased members.

Vera Smith of Topeka presented a group of letters of Corydon Carlos Olney,
describing his experiences in the Civil War as a member of the First New York
dragoons. Olney came to Kansas after the war, settling in Ottawa county.

The Society bought a collection of 51 letters written in 1865 by John
Merrill of Hixton, Wis. Morrill was then serving with the 48th regiment of
Wisconsin Volunteers, which was stationed in Kansas near Olathe and at
Fort Lamed. This collection included a rare issue of a soldiers' newspaper,
The Plains, dated Fort Larned, November 25, 1865.

Several manuscript collections were microfilmed. Edgar B. Corse of
Greensburg and Mrs. Benjamin O. Weaver of Mullinville lent a group of
14 papers relating to the history of Greensburg and the Greensburg Town
Company, 1884-1888. Mrs. Weaver and the Kiowa County Historical Society
also sent a diary and account book of W. S. Winslow of Mullinville, covering
the period 1890 to 1908. Sarah and Ed Francis of Topeka lent a small
group of papers of Edmund Francis, written at New Orleans in the 1860's.
A roster and history of Company K, llth Kansas Volunteer regiment, 1862-
1865, was lent by George E. Grim of Topeka. Records of Wabaunsee com-
munity, including records of Wabaunsee township, 1858-1922, records of the
First Church of Christ, 1857-1917, and a teacher's record book for 1876-
1877, were filmed through the courtesy of H. E. Smith of Wamego. G. H.
Dole of Pullman, Wash., sent a typed copy of the autobiography of Artumus
Wood Dole, 1835-1902, in which he related his experiences in Kansas from
1856 to 1867. A diary of R. B. Landon, 1881-1916, which includes a number
of photographs of persons and scenes in western Kansas, was lent by Mrs.
Mabel Plumer of Downs. Correspondence and business papers of Silas Dins-
moor, now in the possession of Dartmouth College, also were filmed. Dins-
moor was born in New Hampshire and was graduated from Dartmouth in
1791, but spent most of his life on the frontier in Mississippi, Louisiana, Ken-
tucky and Ohio. The Dinsmoor papers were discovered in Topeka and the
Society was instrumental in arranging for their transfer to Dartmouth.

Additional manuscripts were received from Paul Adams, Topeka; Mrs.
H. D. Ayres, Wichita; Will T. Beck, Holton; Margaret J. Brandenburg, Wor-
cester, Mass.; George H. Browne, Kansas City, Mo.; W. S. Campbell, Norman,
Okla.; the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, Pa.; Charles M.
Correll, Manhattan; Mrs. Karl E. Gutzmer, Newton; Frank Hodges, Olathe;
Tracy F. Leis, Denison, Tex.; Mrs. Neil Little, West Lafayette, Ind.; Wilbur
N. Mason, Kansas City, Mo.; Theodore W. Morse, Mound City; Wayne W.
Polk, Sidney, Iowa; Case Broderick Rafter, Washington, D. C.; J. C. Ruppen-
thal, Russell; Burton Sears, Evanston, 111.; the estate of William Elmer Smith,
Wamego, and the Woman's Kansas Day Club.


Approximately two and one-half million photographs have been made by
the microfilm division since its establishment in 1946. Over half a million
were made the past year: 289,751 of archives and 213,823 of newspapers.

Because of the poor condition of the files of early Caldwell newspapers,
published during the years the city was a cow town, the following were


microfilmed: The Weekly Advance, March 1, 1894-December 27, 1901;
Commercial, May 6, 1880-May 3, 1883; Free Press, September 19, 1885-May
15, 1886; Industrial Age, July 29, 1887-January 11, 1889; Journal, May 17,
1883-February 22, 1894; News, January 5-December 28, 1893; Post, January
2, 1879-May 10, 1883; Standard, February 7-September 11, 1884; Weekly
Times, June 5, 1886-July 2, 1887. Another famous southern Kansas news-
paper, the Oklahoma War Chief, published for the purpose of opening Okla-
homa for settlement, was filmed. The newspaper was issued at Wichita,
Caldwell and elsewhere and is dated from January 12, 1883, to August 12,

The microfilming of the Salina Journal, including the Republican and Re-
publican-Journal, is practically completed. Earl C. Woodward, business man-
ager of the Journal, sent all the Journal's files to the Historical Society. They
were collated here with the Society's own files and 206,001 pages were
microfilmed during the year. Thus the entire Salina Journal, from 1871
through 1950, will soon be available- on microfilm.


Eighty-five hundred certified copies of census records were issued during
the year, an increase of more than 40 percent over the preceding year.
March, 1951, with 1,018 records issued, was the biggest month since January,
1942, early in World War II. The copies, which are furnished the public
without charge, are used to establish proof of age for war work, social security
or other retirement plans.

During the year, 3,642 patrons called in person at the newspaper and
census divisions. They consulted 3,692 single issues of newspapers, 4,545
bound volumes of newspapers, 820 microfilm reels and 13,315 census vol-

The Society's annual List of Kansas Newspaper and Periodicals was not
published this year due to the severe cut in the printing appropriation. It is
hoped that sufficient money will be available to issue the publication next

The Society's collection of original Kansas newspapers, as of January 1,
1951, totaled 54,134 bound volumes, in addition to more than 10,000 bound
volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to 1951. The Society's
collection of newspapers on microfilm now totals 3,076 reels.

As a gift to the Society, one of our members, George H. Browne of Kansas
City, Mo., paid for the microfilming of all the early Lecompton newspapers
which are held here and at the Library of Congress. The Congressional
Library microfilmed its holdings. The issues in the Historical Society col-
lection which are not duplicates of the Library of Congress holdings were
microfilmed here. The two films were then spliced together, with the issues
and pages in consecutive order. The resulting film filled one reel and con-
tained the following: The Lecompton Union, April 28, 1856- July 30, 1857,
and the National Democrat, July 30, 1857-March 14, 1861.

Publishers of the following Kansas daily newspapers are regularly donating
microfilm copies of their current issues: Angelo Scott, lola Register; Dolph
and W. C. Simons, Lawrence Daily Journal-World; Dan Anthony, III, Leav-
enworth Times, and Arthur Capper, Henry Blake, Milt Tabor and Leland
Schenck, Topeka Daily Capital


Among the most interesting single issues of newspapers received during
the year were a copy of The Plains, published at Fort Lamed, November 25,
1865, and a photostat copy of the Wallace News, dated at Fort Wallace,
Kan., December 27, 1870. The latter was edited by passengers on a Kansas
Pacific train snowbound at Wallace, but the actual printing seems to have
been done when the train reached Denver.

Two bound volumes of early newspapers published by A. Sellers, Jr., and
dated from 1866 to 1874, were received from M. Beatrice Skillings of Mc-
Pherson. In the volumes were files of the Pottawatomie Gazette, Louisville,
July 17, 1867-May 20, 1868; Wabaunsee County Herald, Alma, April 1, 1869-
March 9, 1871; Wabaunsee County News, Alma, May 15, 1872-December 30,
1874, and the Arcola (111.) Record, March 29, 1866-April 18, 1867. The
Illinois collection may be unique, for the available newspaper catalogues do
not show these issues anywhere else in the United States.

Among the donors of miscellaneous newspapers were: E. A. Menninger,
Stuart, Fla.; Otto J. Wullschleger, Marshall county; W. G. Clugston, Frank
Green, Charlotte Leavitt, Walter Saar, Winter Veterans Administration Hos-
pital, Topeka; Mrs. D. W. Smith and Frank Barr, Wichita, and the Woman's
Kansas Day Club.


The work of compiling the Annals has now been completed. Beginning
with the year 1886, where Wilder's Annals left off, this day-by-day history
of the state has been carried down through 1925. The rough manuscript
of these 40 years runs to 4,000 typed pages, more than a million and a quarter
words. This completes the first and most tedious part of the task. Miss
Jennie Owen and her assistant, James Sallee, are now rechecking and revising
this manuscript. Before it can be published, of course, it must be greatly
condensed. In rechecking, it will be possible for Miss Owen to recommend
many of the necessary cuts.

The Annals was authorized by the 1945 legislature. For a time, until Miss
Owen became familiar with the task, she worked alone; however, in the past
five years she has had eight different assistants. During this time, thousands
of newspaper volumes have been read, and notations made for the compila-
tion. Chief sources were the Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka State Journal,
Wichita Eagle, Wichita Beacon, and the Kansas City Star and Times. All
other dailies, and many of the weeklies were used for supplementary material
and checking. In addition, hundreds of other sources were consulted, includ-
ing, for example, official reports of state departments.

During the past year, the period from 1919 to 1925, inclusive, was com-
piled. Many Kansas events of those years made copy of nationwide signifi-
cance. Governor Allen's handling of a coal strike, together with his industrial
court, and William Allen White's campaign against the Ku Klux Klan, kept
Kansas in the headlines. The Non-Partisan league was in the news, as were
Minnie J. Grinstead, who in a "voice like a Kansas cyclone" seconded the
nomination of Calvin Coolidge for president; Glenn L. Martin, who predicted
planes would fly from New York to Europe in less than a day, and Amelia
Earhart, who was licensed to fly. Dorothy Canfield's Brimming Cup was a
best seller; Tom McNeal authored When Kansas Was Young; Georgia Neese
(Clark) and Sidney Toler (Charley Chan) were on the stage in New York;
Zazu Pitts, Phyllis Haver and Charles (Buddy) Rogers were getting favorable


notices, but Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle's films were being banned in his native
state. William Allen White won a Pulitzer prize. Longren, Beech, Cessna
and Stearman built airplane factories. The Victory highway was under
construction. The Meadow Lark was named the state bird. The University
of Kansas acquired "Phog" Allen. Women and girls went all out for the
Gloria Swanson bob, and nearly everybody played Mah Jongg.


The attendance in the museum for the year was 48,862. This is the
largest number of visitors ever recorded and is an increase of nearly 3,000
over last year. Many school groups came from over the state. On April 20,
the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads happened to bring special trains of
school children to Topeka at the same time, and for a few hours the museum
was jammed with nearly 2,000 boys and girls.

There were 39 accessions. Among the most attractive was a collection
of dishes from the William Allen White home in Emporia. Among them is
the gold-band white china which was used by Mr. and Mrs. White at their
wedding breakfast. A few years ago, when Mrs. White promised this china
to the Society, she remarked that "This set is all the dishes we had in the
world." Also in the White collection are a copper coffee-pot and a hot water
pitcher, some large cups and three beautiful pieces of Irish lusterware.

A case of dental instruments, used by Dr. Eben Palmer in his practice from
1871 to 1907, was donated by his son, F. R. Palmer of Topeka.

There used to be a time when no parlor was complete without a collection
of souvenir plates on which pictures of local scenes and buildings were re-
produced. The plates have again become popular. During the past year
a number, both old and new, have been added to the museum collection.


Extended research on the following subjects was done during the year:
Biography: Mary Ellen Lease; Joseph L. Bristow; Jotham Meeker; Francis
Huntington Snow; "Wild Bill" Hickok; William Allen White; Edward Hogue
Funston; John Brown; Jedediah Strong Smith. General: History of Sumner
county and Caldwell; Civil War west of Missouri; Emporia Methodist Church;
civil service; removal of Indians from Ohio; history of American historical
periodicals since 1895; prices and inflation in the Revolutionary period;
Indian agents chosen by religious groups; music in Kansas; border troubles,;
Fort Leavenworth; labor speeches of Clyde Reed; military order of the Loyal
Legion; Paxico community; Valencia; Smoky Hill trail; Silkville; floods,
bridges; Topeka parks; Indian legends; Kansas points of interest.

October 1, 1950, to September 30, 1951


Books 770

Pamphlets 1,642

Magazines (bound volumes) None


Separate manuscripts 158,000

Manuscript volumes 3,093

Manuscript maps None


Reels of microfilm 321

Private manuscripts:

Separate manuscripts 475

Volumes 4

Reels of microfilm 5

Printed maps, atlases and charts 364

Newspapers (bound volumes) 670

Reels of microfilm 412

Pictures 692

Museum objects 35

Books, pamphlets, newspapers (bound and microfilm reels)

and magazines 447,863

Separate manuscripts (archives) 1,790,611

Manuscript volumes (archives) 58,317

Manuscript maps (archives) 583

Microfilm reels (archives) -\ 682

Printed maps, atlases and charts 11,782

Pictures 25,195

Museum objects 33,506


The 19th bound volume of The Kansas Historical Quarterly, which is now in
its 20th year, will be ready for distribution soon. Features for the year include:
Alberta Pantle's "History of the French-Speaking Settlement in the Cottonwood
Valley," Dr. James C. Malin's "The Motives of Stephen A. Douglas in the Or-
ganization of Nebraska Territory," and the delightful journal of Mrs. Stuart
James Hogg, "A British Bride in Manhattan, 1890-1891." Dr. Robert Taft's re-
vised manuscript, based on "The Pictorial Record of the Old West" series in
the Quarterly, will shortly be issued by Scribner's in book form. Thanks are
due to Dr. James C. Malin of the University of Kansas, associate editor of the
Quarterly, who continues to take time from his busy schedule to read articles
submitted for publication.


During the past year sight-seers from 28 states and a number of foreign
countries visited the Mission. There has been a noticeable increase in the
number of school classes and other groups brought on conducted tours. Many
boy scout troops and similar organizations visit the buildings to learn how
Indian boys and girls lived and were taught a hundred years ago.

Although the Mission was operated by the Methodist church, it was pri-
marily a manual labor school and was supported by the federal government.
Other Missions also gave similar instruction, among them the near-by Friends
Mission, where there was at one time a teacher of agriculture by the name of
Calvin Austin Cornatzer. Recently a picture of his wife, Emily Smith Cornat-
zer, was presented to the Mission by a granddaughter, Mrs. H. D. Ayres of
Wichita. Mrs. Ayres also donated to the museum a wood bread-mixing bowl
and a chest of drawers which had belonged to her grandparents and were
used at the Friends Mission.




During the past year the outbuildings were painted and minor repairs were
made on the Capitol building. The number of visitors for the year was 2,787.
The July floods, which closed the highways during most of the tourist season,
were apparently responsible for this unusually low figure.


The various accomplishments noted in this report are due to the Society's
splendid staff of employees. I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to
them. Special mention, perhaps, should be made of the heads of depart-
ments: Nyle H. Miller, assistant secretary; Helen M. McFarland, librarian;
Edith Smelser, custodian of the museum; Mrs. Lela Barnes, treasurer; Edgar
Langsdorf, archivist and manager of the building; and Jennie S. Owen, annal-
ist. Attention should also be called to the work of Harry A. Hardy and his
wife, Kate, custodians of the Old Shawnee Mission, and to that of John
Scott, custodian of the First Capitok

Respectfully submitted,

KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.

At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, Frank
A. Hobble moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by
Joseph C. Shaw and the report was accepted.

President Haucke then called for the report of the treasurer,
Mrs. Lela Barnes:


Based on the audit of the state accountant for the period
August 22, 1950, to August 21, 1951.


Balance, August 22, 1950:


U. S. savings bonds, Series G



Reimbursement for postage . .

Interest on bonds

Books .








Balance, August 21, 1951:


U. S. savings bonds, Series G









Balance, August 22, 1950:

Cash $144.03

U. S. treasury bonds 950.00



Bond interest $27.31

Savings account interest 1.28



Disbursements :

Books $49.74

Balance, August 21, 1951:

Cash $122.88

U. S. treasury bonds 950.00




Balance, August 22, 1950:

Cash $66.00

U. S. treasury bonds 500.00



Bond interest $14.40

Savings account interest .64



Balance, August 21, 1951:

Cash ..-. $81.04

U. S. treasury bonds 500.00



This donation is substantiated by a U. S. savings bond, Series G, in the
amount of $1,000. The interest is credited to the membership fee fund.


Balance, August 22, 1950:

Cash (deposited in membership fee fund) $671.19

U. S. savings bonds (shown in total bonds, member-
ship fee fund 5,200.00


Interest (deposited in membership fee fund)




Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) → online text (page 5 of 76)