Kansas State Historical Society.

The Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) online

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Minneapolis; Mrs. Fred A. Rehkopf, Topeka; John Ripley, Topeka; Floyd
Souders of the Cheney Sentinel; and Joseph Strathman, Seneca.

The demand for copies of photographs in the Society's collection continued
undiminished through the year. Publications of national circulation, broad-
casting companies and writers continue to ask the Society for help with regard
to illustrative material.

Seventy-seven new maps and atlases have been accessioned this year, 32 of
which are recent issues of the United States Geological Survey. The Kansas
Highway Commission has deposited with the Society 27 county highway maps
in the new series now being printed.

Other map gifts of particular interest include a plat of Oswego from J. F.
Amos, Oswego; a map of Fort Laramie, 1863, from the National Park Service,
Fort Laramie National Monument; an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad
map, 1876, from Mrs. Joe Zimmerman, Topeka; and two maps of the same
railroad, 1866, from W. A. Kingman, Topeka. Other donors included Fred M.
Mazzulla, Denver, Colo.; Robert Martin, Lyons; Jerry Riseley, Stockton; Mr.
and Mrs. Paul Harrison, Hollywood, Calif.; Service Pipeline Co., Tulsa, Okla.;
Norbert Skelley, Salina; and D. M. Cunningham, Winona.

Fenn Ward, of Highland, lent a lithograph of the town of Hiawatha, 1879,
for copying.


Subjects for extended research included: Dr. John R. Brinkley; Abilene;
Ellsworth; vote against war in 1917; Kansas place names; late 19th century
agriculture; folklore; history of Sterling College; pioneer years of Hillsboro;
Soule College; William Allen White; Alfred M. Landon; Populism; impact of
Farmers' Alliance on Republican party in 1888-1892; Kansas in the early
1930's; Nicodemus; grasshoppers; frontier religion; the Herd law; cowboy songs;
Westphalia; Bent's Fort; local aids to railroads; the Kansas Freedman's Bureau;
Baptists in Kansas; U. S. presidents in Kansas; Arthur Capper; William Tilgh-
man and other noted frontier police officers who saw service in Kansas.


Bound Volumes

Kansas 10,194

General 58,027

Genealogy and local history 10,217

Indians and the West 1,576

Kansas state publications 3,255

Total 83,269

Clippings 1,298

Periodicals 17,523

Total, bound volumes 102,090


Manuscripts (archives and private papers,

cubic feet) 5,815

Maps and atlases 5,444

Microfilm (reels)

Books and other library materials 323

Public archives and private papers 1,511

Newspapers 7,442

Total 9,276

Newspapers (bound volumes)

Kansas 58,087

Out-of-state 12,010

Total 70,097

Paintings and drawings 427


Kansas 95,956

General 39,036

Genealogy and local history 3,785

Indians and the West 1,089

Kansas state publications 5,998

Total 145,864

Photographs 34,896


All 50 states and 14 foreign countries were represented among the visitors
to the First Territorial Capitol on the Fort Riley military reservation. Total
registration was 7,061, slightly higher than last year, with 4,911 from Kansas.
One of the visitors was Emma Gatewood of Gallipolis, Ohio, who received
wide publicity for her feat of walking from Independence, Mo., to Portland,
Ore., following more or less the old Oregon trail.


Visitors to the Funston Home, north of lok, numbered 862, of whom 722
were Kansans. The remainder came from 26 other states.

Although lack of funds has prevented further development of the Funston
Home as a museum, the building and grounds are well-kept and attractive.


At the Kaw Mission, in Council Grove, 5,676 visitors registered, 4,552 from
Kansas, 1,109 from 45 other states, and 15 from nine foreign countries. Ap-
preciation is due again to the Council Grove Republican for its weekly "Mu-
seum Scoreboard,*' and to the Junior Chamber of Commerce which operates
an information booth at the Cowboy Jail and is instrumental in directing
many visitors to the Mission. Thanks are due also to the Nautilus Club,
which again this year presented a rose bush to the Mission.

Progress has been made by the Council Grove Rotary club toward com-
pletion of the Indian cabin by installation of a concrete walk and floor. The
club also plans to put in electric wiring and to place a rock veneer around the


Donors of museum items included Mr. and Mrs. Russell Adams, Mrs.
Marguerite Atwood, Mrs. C. L. Carr, G. E. Jones, Mrs. August Langvardt,
Mrs. Hattie Moore, Mrs. Jessie Ramsey, Raymond Veil, and Mrs. Edgar
York. Mrs. R. R. Cross lent part of her collection of china and glassware
for a temporary display.


Visitors at Old Shawnee Mission came from 44 states and 16 foreign
countries. The total was 8,266 as compared to 6,182 last year. Out-of-state
visitors numbered 2,768 while 5,464 were Kansans. Six visitors were
descendants of missionaries who served at the Mission prior to 1862: Joe
Greene, great grandson of the Rev. Jesse Greene; Mrs. Wilma Peery Garvin
and Virginia Peery Whitwarth, grand-nieces of the Rev. John T. Peery, and
John Wilbur Peery, a great-nephew; William Charles Bluejacket, a grandson
of Shawnee Chief Charles Bluejacket, and Russell P. Bluejacket, a great

As in past years, the Society is happy to express its thanks for con-
tinued interest and assistance to the Colonial Dames, Daughters of American
Colonists, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of 1812, and the
Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society.


It is a pleasure to make this annual acknowledgment to the Society's
staff for the accomplishments noted in this report. The work of a historical
society, especially one as large and as active as ours, cannot be handled by
any one person, or two, or three. All the members of the staff have worked
conscientiously and efficiently, and all can be proud of their part in earning
such commendations as these: "Out of twelve requests to state libraries,
yours was the only one to be so thorough and was of any help at all"; "the
finest state library in the country . . . especially impressed by the catalogu-
ing"; "Your reference service is outstandingly fine"; "As a life member of the
Society I am interested to find how widely the Society ranges for information
on Kansans. No doubt that is one reason you have such a superb library!";
"It is my sincere opinion that you and your staff have made the State Historical
Society Museum the best that I have seen anywhere."

Special attention should be called to the work of Edgar Langsdorf, assist-
ant secretary, and the department heads: Mrs. Lela Barnes of the manuscript
division, who is also treasurer of the Society; Robert W. Richmond, archivist;
Alberta Pantle, librarian; Stanley Sohl, museum director; and Forrest R.
Blackburn of the newspaper division.

Appreciation is also due the custodians of the historic sites administered
by the Society: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hardy at Shawnee Mission, Mr. and
Mrs. Elwood Jones at Kaw Mission, Mr. and Mrs. V. E. Berglund at the
Funston Memorial Home, and Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Brownback at the First
Territorial Capitol.

Respectfully submitted,

NYLE H. MELLER, Secretary.

At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, Charles
M. Correll moved that it be accepted. The motion was seconded
by Mrs. Jesse C. Harper and the report was adopted.


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


Based on the post-audit by the State Division of Auditing and Accounting for
the period August 5, 1958, to August 8, 1959.


Balance, August 5, 1958:

Cash $3,871.78

U. S. bonds, Series K 5,000.00



Membership fees $1,575.00

Interest on bonds 138.00

Interest on savings 43.35

Interest, Thomas H. Bowlus gift 27.60

Gifts 336.78



Disbursements $1,260.41

Balance, August 8, 1959:

Cash $4,732.10

U. S. bonds, Series K 5,000.00



Balance, August 5, 1958:

Cash $81.58

U. S. bond, Series K 1,000.00



Interest on bond $27.60

Interest on savings account 4.13



Balance, August 8, 1959:

Cash $113.31

U. S. bond, Series K 1,000.00


Balance, August 5, 1958:

Cash $147.62

U. S. bond, Series K 500.00




Interest on bond $13.80

Interest on savings account 2.06



Balance, August 8, 1959:

Cash $163.48

U. S. bond, Series K 500.00



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


Balance, August 5, 1958:

Cash (deposited in membership fee fund) $462.64

U. S. bonds, Series K 5,500.00



Bond interest (deposited in membership fee fund) . . 151.80


Balance, August 8, 1959:

Cash ( deposited in membership fee fund ) ........ $614.44

U. S. bonds, Series K ......................... 5,500.00

- $6,114.44


This report covers only the membership fee fund and other custodial funds.
Appropriations made to the Historical Society by the legislature are disbursed
through the State Department of Administration. For the year ending June
30, 1959, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society, in-
cluding the Memorial building, $252,080.58; First Capitol of Kansas, $3,482;
Kaw Mission, $5,133; Funston Home, $3,657; Old Shawnee Mission, $9,882.

Respectfully submitted,

MRS. LELA BARNES, Treasurer.

Kirke Mechem moved that the report be adopted. Will T. Beck
seconded the motion and the report was accepted.

Will T. Beck presented the report of the executive committee on
the post-audit of the Society's funds by the State Division of Audit-
ing and Accounting:



October 16, 1959.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:

The executive committee being directed under the bylaws to check the
accounts of the treasurer, states that the State Department of Post-Audit has
audited the funds of the State Historical Society, the Old Shawnee Mission, the
First Capitol of Kansas, the Old Kaw Mission, the Funston Home, and Pike's
Pawnee Village, for the period August 5, 1958, to August 8, 1959, and that
they are hereby approved.

WILL T. BECK, Chairman,

On a motion by Will T. Beck, seconded by E. R. Sloan, the report
was accepted.

The report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society
was read by Will T. Beck:


October 16, 1959.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:

Your committee on nominations submits the following report for officers of
the Kansas State Historical Society:

For a one-year term: E. R. Sloan, Topeka, president; Jerome C. Berryman,
Ashland, first vice-president; and George L. Anderson, Lawrence, second

For a two-year term: Nyle H. Miller, Topeka, secretary.

Respectfully submitted,
WELL T. BECK, Chairman,

James Malone moved that the report be accepted. Angelus
Lingenfelser seconded the motion and the officers were unanimously

After an informal discussion of the Society's recent publication,
Comprehensive Index to Publications, 1875-1930, Emory Lindquist
offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That we express our genuine appreciation and hearty congratu-
lations to Louise Barry and all others who have made possible the compilation
and publication of the Comprehensive Index to Publications, 1875-1930, which
provides another excellent resource for the study of Kansas history; and that
we express our great pleasure at the prospect of the publication of a second
volume in this series.


Mr. Lindquist moved the adoption of the resolution. James E.
Taylor seconded the motion and the resolution was adopted.

An oil portrait by Boris B. Gordon of the late Philip Pitt
Campbell, congressman from the Third district, 1903-1923, and
well-known lawyer of Pittsburg, was the subject of a discussion,
the portrait having been sent to the Society by the artist for
temporary display. Fred W. Brinkerhoff presented a resolution
expressing the desirability of the Society's acquiring the portrait,
if offered, providing the subject's daughter, Mrs. Robert Kleberg
of Kingsville, Tex., approves it as a satisfactory likeness. Motion
to accept Mr. BrinkerhofFs resolution was made by Will T. Beck,
seconded by E. A. Thomas, and the resolution was adopted.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Annual Meeting of the Society

The annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society opened
with a luncheon at noon in the roof garden of the Jayhawk hotel.
About 175 members and guests attended.

The invocation was given by the Rev. Peter Beckman, professor
of history at St. Benedict's College, Atchison.

Following the luncheon, President Long introduced guests at
the speakers' table. These included Governor and Mrs. Docking
and officers of the Society and their wives.

The address of President Long of Wichita followed:


Mr. Chairman, Governor and Mrs. Docking, and fellow Kansans:

WHEN it dawned on me that our annual meeting was only weeks
away and that I would be called on to address this group on
some matter of historical interest I gathered together some material
and decided to just make a few notes and talk from them.

It seemed a wonderful idea until I mentioned it to my wife. She
did not exactly veto the plan. She suggested that I convert the
notes into a manuscript; that by so doing there would be some
control over how long I would talk, so here is my control:

There was a day, not long past, when discussions of pioneers and
the early settlement of Kansas was considered a topic for old folks;
for those reminiscing of their youth. The selection of my topic for
discussion here today would have rated me an old fogey. My sub-
ject is "Wichita Cowtown."


But in recent years, due in large part to the movies and to tele-
vision my subject brands me with no connotation of age and senility.
On the contrary I might be classed as a youngster, for cowtowns
are becoming modern.

When Wichita's cowtown was started a decade ago it was the
first in the Midwest. True, Dodge City had its "Boot Hill," and
any number of communities had their historical museums, some
quite small. Today cowtowns are modern. There's one at Dodge
City, Abilene, Oklahoma City and no doubt others will be started.

Several weeks ago I was asked to participate on a television panel
program for a round-table discussion of Wichita's Cowtown. One
of the first questions put to me was: 'Who originated the idea for
Wichita's Cowtown?" And the only answer that could be given
was "No One." For Wichita's cowtown, like Topsy, just grew.

The germ of the idea which developed into Wichita's cowtown
originated in the desire of the late Victor Murdock, editor-in-chief
of the Wichita Eagle, to preserve the first permanent church build-
ing in Wichita as a historical monument for the city. That was back
in 1942.

When Mr. Murdock resigned from the Federal Trade Commission
to resume his editorialship of the Eagles in Wichita he continued the
regular Eagle policy started by his father, the late Col. Marsh Mur-
dock, of boosting the city; of pointing out its wonderful location
and the potentials for greater development. But, as a sideline he
sought to preserve in type the historical material still available. He
urged staff members to write of the early history of the community.
And he insisted on accuracy. He culled out fanciful fiction which
was the common property of most pioneer communities. Mr. Mur-
dock had a wide acquaintanceship over Kansas and did his stint of
historical writing.

One day I turned in a story concerning Wichita's first permanent
church building; how it still survived as a rooming house on North
Main street in Wichita. Since Mr. Murdock insisted so strongly
on accuracy he personally checked the records before allowing the
story to be published.

Convinced that the old weather-beaten structure was in reality
Wichita's first permanent church edifice he made plans to purchase
the building and restore it as a historical monument for the com-
munity. But he was stymied. The owner of the building would
not sell. It was wartime and every room was rented. While the
value of the property was nominal it was a money-producer,
Thwarted in his plans Mr. Murdock pointed out that when the


war years were over the building undoubtedly would be condemned
as a fire hazard. And he exacted from me a promise that in case
he was gone that I would see that the church building was restored.

I left word with the fire chief that if ever the building was con-
demned that I was to be notified. Several years later, while on a
vacation in Galveston, Tex., I received a telegram from the fire de-
partment that they were bringing condemnation proceedings against
the building. They had extinguished a small fire there and its
hazardous state was called to their attention.

I telephoned to the mayor of the city, the late Dr. L. A. Donnell,
and asked that the proceedings be held up until I returned. Back
in Wichita I found that the owner had sold the building to a salvage
operator. After considerable dickering I was able to contract to
purchase the old frame building for $400. I believed I had made
a bargain deal until months later when I learned the owner had
given it to the salvage man if he would remove it.

I called on a group of Wichitans with an interest in the com-
munity and told them of Mr. Murdock's desire to save the church
building. They were heartily in favor of the plan so we called on
business and professional men to put up the purchase money and in
less than a day raised the needed amount. We felt rather proud of
ourselves for a couple of days, until the owner of the property
notified us that the building had to be removed in 20 days. That
meant more "hat passing," quite a bit more for it cost us $1,200 to
take the building down in sections and store it in the county yards.

Along with the church building was a small house, the former
church parsonage. It had been condemned along with the other
building so the salvage man just threw that in. There we were, a
group of Wichitans with a mission to perform, two old buildings
stored in sections and no one willing to give us an estimate on the
restoration and no site on which to erect the historical structures.

First, we decided that if we were to be successful we should have
a nonprofit corporation to operate the affair. Once incorporated
we could operate in a more business-like manner. That was how
Historic Wichita, Inc., was born. And since there were two at-
torneys on our board they had the incorporation papers so general
that we could do almost anything so long as we labeled it "His-

Our next step was to secure a site for the historic church and
parsonage. By that time we had enjoyed all the difficulties possible
in fund raising and decided that the site costing the least in dollars
and cents would be best. So it seemed only natural that we would


turn to the Wichita Park Board. They had control of the greatest
acreage of land in the city suitable for such a project and surely
they would be glad to donate a little.

The park board members readily agreed that we had a most
worth-while project and of course they would help, if they could.
It was a cool, iffy response. We had just the site we needed picked
out in Oak Park. But, by that time we had learned considerable.
As a matter of fact we felt like old pros and decided to so conduct

The park board panned us off on their director, Emory Cox.
It was agreed that we would look over possible sites with him. Our
first suggestion was Central Riverside park which we realized was
unattainable. Emory Cox was ready with the explanation of why
that area just wouldn't be possible. After about four similar sug-
gestions with the always courteous turn-down, backed by most
logical reasons, we drove to Oak Park for the site we had in mind.
We believed that we had the director worn down and that we had
exhausted all of his negative arguments. We were mistaken. Direc-
tor Cox had figures to show how many thousand dollars the city
had expended to develop the area; how buildings and a parking area
would change the entire aspect of the natural woodland.

And then Director Cox played his hole card. He happened to
think of an undeveloped area in the city much closer to the down-
town district which we might acquire. It was 23 acres of sand
hills by the Arkansas river owned by the Wichita Water Company
and only used as a site for emergency water wells.

He was confident that we could persuade the city commission to
lease the site for 99 years from the water company and then in turn
lease it to us for a dollar a year. And then we could beautify the
area and as a clincher he promised to help us make the deal. The
only logical course seemed to be acceptance of his proposition
which did not cost the city a square inch of park space.

Director Cox kept his word. He joined forces with us and we
locked horns with attorneys for the Water company. We met, we
talked, we argued and in due course of time we had a lease on
the surface rights of 23 acres when we needed only one. Of
course we had to agree not to disturb the water lines, electric
lines, and not obstruct water company work parties.

With the lease duly signed we broke ground for the church and
parsonage. We were off to a good start with lumber companies
furnishing lumber and building firms man hours of labor. As the


work progressed we realized that restoring a building was far more
expensive than erecting a new one.

The frame-work of the buildings was in excellent shape, but the
weather-boarding so brittle that it could be broken with thumb
and finger. We could get identical boards, but the price was stiff.
The project almost ground to a halt when it was rescued by Mrs.
Lola Fisher, the widow of Dr. Jesse Clyde Fisher who had been
one of Historic Wichita's organizers. Mrs. Fisher agreed to under-
write the remaining cost, which totaled more than $15,000.

This first permanent church building in Wichita was erected in
1870 by the Presbyterian congregation. It cost only $500 since
much of the labor was donated. It served as a Presbyterian church
until 1873, when the Presbyterians had outgrown the structure and
had funds enough to erect a brick building large enough to
accommodate their thriving congregation. They offered the frame
building for sale and it was purchased by the newly organized
Catholic congregation and for years served as a Catholic church.
When sold by the Catholic congregation it was moved to North
Main street and converted into a two-story rooming house.

We had scarcely completed the restoration of the church and
parsonage when officers of the Eunice Sterling chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution offered us the Munger
house, or what was left of it; $3,000 and a lot worth $1,500 if we
would agree to restore this historic old building. The ladies had
purchased this building in order to save it and when faced with
the restoration cost decided to offer it to experts, as we then
believed ourselves to be.

The Munger house was erected in Wichita in 1869-1870 by D. S.
Munger. It was the first house in Wichita, a log and plaster affair.
Next to the church it undoubtedly is one of Wichita's most historic
buildings. It was erected by Munger to be used as a dwelling for
his family, but soon after its completion there was such a demand
by travelers for rooms that the upstairs rooms were rented out and
an outside stairs added to the building. In this manner rooms
could be rented without discommoding members of the family.
For a short time the house served as Wichita's post office with
Mr. Munger serving as postmaster.

Practically all of the materials for the house, with the exception
of glass for the windows and hardware, came from Wichita. The
house was a two-story affair of logs with a one-story kitchen

Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 11 of 59)