Kansas Historical Quarterly - Annual Meeting - 1934
by Kirke Mechem
February 1935 (Vol. 4, No. 1), pages 74 to 93
Transcribed by lhn; additional HTML by Susan Stafford;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
THE fifty-ninth annual meeting of the Kansas Historical Society and the board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 16, 1934.
In the temporary absence of the president, H. K. Lindsley, the meeting was called to order at 10 a. m. by the vice president, F. H. Hodder.
The first business was the reading of the annual report of the secretary.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY, YEAR ENDING OCTOBER 16, 1934
The years of depression have greatly increased the use of libraries throughout the country and, unfortunately, libraries were among the first public institutions to suffer. With the demand for services increasing from twenty-five to upwards of fifty per cent, income in many instances was cut in even greater proportion. This is more largely true of public libraries than historical societies, although many state societies were crippled by drastic reductions in appropriations. It is estimated that the demands on our Society have increased approximately twenty-five per cent in the past two years. While it is regrettable that salary cuts had to be made, the number of employees was not reduced. The staff has been kept busy with routine work and much that should have been done in the way of cataloging and organizing books and other collections was necessarily postponed. Considerable organization of material was accomplished under a CWA project early in the year. Accessions of manuscripts, documents, books and relics were not so large as in the preceding year, but many valuable additions were received which will be mentioned in the reports of the various departments.
Illness and the inability of members to attend prevented several meetings of the executive committee. Advice of the members was sought in all matters of consequence, however, and in accordance with the constitution and by-laws they have approved all expenditures. The committee and the Society suffered a great loss in the death of H. K. Brooks. Mr. Brooks had been a member of the Society for many years and had always taken an active interest in its work. His knowledge of the history of the state and his experience as a successful business man made him an invaluable member of the committee. Mr. Brooks had been reappointed, with W. W. Denison and E. A. Austin, for a two-year term following the 1933 meeting. Upon the death of Mr. Brooks, President Lindsley appointed Thomas Amory Lee to succeed him on the committee.
APPROPRIATIONS AND THE LEGISLATURE
Appropriations requested for the biennium beginning July 1, 1935, were filed with the budget director in September. The executive committee thought it unwise to ask for salary increases, although the members believed the
THE ANNUAL MEETING 75
salaries inadequate. It is understood that some state departments have asked that salary reductions made by the last legislature be restored. The committee felt that if a general restoration of salary cuts is made the legislature will treat all departments equally whether or not requests appear in the budget. The contingent fund was cut from $2,500 to $1,500. A request was made that this appropriation be increased to 12,000. Two years ago the Society asked for $1,800 for newspaper racks which are badly needed to care for papers now filed on the floor in the basement where they are difficult of access and subject to deterioration. This request was then refused and it is again renewed. The present staff is inadequate to handle the increased demands, and two or three additional employees are badly needed. Additional steel manuscript cases are also needed. It was felt that the times do not warrant these requests and they were not made. The budget as submitted is believed to be necessary and reasonable.
Eighteen persons were employed by the Society under a Civil Works Administration project for ten weeks, from January 15 to March 22, 1934. The Civil Works Administration furnished $2,412 for the project, which went entirely for salaries. The Society spent $7920 for working materials and rental of office equipment. Supervision was supplied by department heads. An account of the work accomplished appears in this report under the department headings.
A summary of work accomplished under CWA projects by state historical societies, which was read at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association in April, indicates that the Kansas Society accomplished more in its own collections than any society in the country, although several sponsored projects for the organization of county archives which employed more persons.
THE PROPOSED FERA PROJECT
In September an application was made for a Federal Emergency Relief Administration project which would employ twenty-seven persons for five months. This is known locally as the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, or KERC. It was hoped this project would be in operation by the time of this meeting. More than thirty persons had already been interviewed when the Society was notified that a change in rulings regarding personnel had been made which would limit employees to those available from the relief rolls. Whether this limitation will make it possible to secure qualified persons for the work proposed cannot be determined until those available from the relief rolls are interviewed. Word was received last week that the project has been approved. It is hoped work can be begun by the first of November.
Tentative plans for work under this new project include the following: Completing the cataloging and labeling of pictures in the picture collection; completing the cataloging and reclassifying of books in the general library; indexing names in the first Kansas official census reports for the years 1855, 1857 and 1859; indexing Kansas corporation records which contain copies of all charters issued by the state from 1863 to 1909; continuing the indexing of original correspondence of Kansas governors; preparing a general index of the Kansas Historical Collections from volume 1 to volume 17, inclusive;
76 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
reclassifying and relabeling relics in the museum; copying documents and oorrespondence in the manuscripts and archives collections, and mending books. Probably not all the indexing mentioned can be accomplished. No final decision can be made until the qualification of the workers is appraised.
The library received over 3 000 requests for information, some requiring much time and research and others needing but brief answers. The number of books and pamphlets added is about the same as during the preceding year.
Interest from the Pecker bequest fund, a bequest which can be applied only on the purchase of New Hampshire books, was used for the purchase of twenty-one volumes dealing with the genealogy and history of that state. Interest from the Booth bequest fund was spent for the latest edition of the Americana encyclopedia.
An interesting collection of Civil War music was given by Mrs. Maud C. Cramer of Garden Grove, Calif. The music belonged originally to Ella Jane Hillyer, daughter of George S. Hillyer, a pioneer of Grasshopper Falls. Joseph K. Lilly of Indianapolis presented a complete set of reproductions of the songs and compositions of Stephen Collins Foster. Of particular note is a pamphlet purchased for the Kansas library, Periodical Account of Baptist Missions Within the Indian Territory for the Year Ending December 81, 1886, by Isaac McCoy.
Subjects on which extended research was made during the year by historians and students are: Civil rights of women in territorial Kansas; Presbyterian missions in Kansas; Methodist missions in Kansas; Holladay stage coach line; history and development of schools in Doniphan county; history of education in Montgomery county; Pierre and Auguste Chouteau; panic of 1857 and its political consequences; history of Osage county, 1870-1890; slavery in Kansas; relief of 1874-1875; history of Sherman county; the frontier and the labor movement; Gerrit Smith; Old Bill (William S.) Williams; history of the Baptist church in Kansas; Frémont sentiment in Kansas in 1864.
Six trained librarians were employed in the library under the CWA project last winter. Approximately 45,000 books and pamphlets were classified and a small part of these were labeled and shelf-listed. Additional trained librarians are needed on the regular staff to continue this work. There are also hundreds of valuable books pamphlets, maps and broadsides which need expert mending and backing for their preservation.
Many valuable manuscripts were accessioned during the year. These deal with various phases of the state's history from territorial days to the present. Donors to whom we are indebted include: Theodore Ackerman; James B. Brinsmaid; Clinton H. Collester; Mrs. R. K. Fry; Mrs. Lee Redden Gordon; W. B. Haines; W. P. Harrington; Grant W. Harrington; Bliss Isely; Mrs. Arthur M. Jordan; Mrs. L. G. Kennedy; T. M. Lillard; Wilder S. Metcalf; Ormon L. Miller; M. E. Palmer; Paul Parrish; L. C. Penfield; Paul Popenoe; Lena Robitaille; Mrs. Elmer 0. Swatzell; H. M. & J. P. Sydney; Webstei Wilder; Dora Skelton; Clayton Wyatt.
THE ANNUAL MEETING 77
Much use has been made of the manuscript collections. Papers of the United States Indian Superintendency and the New England Emigrant Aid Company, the correspondence of Jotham Meeker Thomas Wentworth Higginson, George Luther Stearns, Thaddeus Hyatt, Charles Robinson, John James Ingalls and others have furnished data for researchers.
Under the CWA project much sorting and classifying was done in the vast collection of federal archives acquired from the old Topeka post-office building. The papers have been placed in eight general groups: correspondence and records of the Topeka post office; documents and correspondence of land offices; documents and correspondence relating to bankruptcy; court records, documents and correspondence; alien enemy registration; pension records; and miscellaneous correspondence. There has been some organization of the alien enemy registration, court records and correspondence, and bankruptcy papers. Of especial interest is the large group of papers from the territorial period of which there are approximately eight thousand. As rapidly as it is possible to do so, these important manuscripts will be made available for research.
There were fewer accessions in this department than in the preceding year.
Seven bound volumes relating to Harper county were given by Mrs. Myron Miller and Phil Sydney, of Anthony. These include abstracts, tax records and other material. Eleven maps with explanatory manuscripts were received from club women of the first congressional district, presented through the Women's Kansas Day Club. These maps show locations of historic sites and include the counties of Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Marshall, Nemaha and Washington. A similar map of Bourbon county was also received. Subjects on which research was done include ferries, lost town sites, the old Osage mission Osage ceded lands, Cherokee neutral lands, battle fields, military camps, churches and numerous less general topics. Records of many of the noted women of Kansas were furnished the Women's Kansas Day Club. Many family records were supplied from the original census reports.
A Union List of Newspapers, a publication listing the newspaper holdings in the libraries of the United States and Canada, is being compiled under the auspices of the Bibliographical Society of America. The committee in charge, under the chairmanship of Dr. J. T. Gerould, of Princeton, asked for a list of the Kansas Society's holdings. With the assistance of four CWA employees, the Society brought up to date the list of Kansas newspapers owned by the Society as shown in its History of Kansas Newspapers, published in 1916, and its list of out-of-state publications which had not been revised since the list was last published in the Eleventh Biennial Report in 1898.
Thousands of volumes of our out-of-state holdings are magazines and properly are cataloged through the library. In this compilation, for the convenience of the Bibliographical Society, an attempt was made to list only the newspapers owned by the Society, thus separating for the first time the actual holdings of the newspaper section from that of the library. The report showed a total of 8,062 out-of-Kansas bound newspaper volumes.
78 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
The 1934 annual List of Kansas Newspapers and Periodicals received by the Kansas Historical Society was published in July. The edition listed 738 newspapers and periodicals which were being received regularly for filing. Of these, 59 were dailies, 11 semi-weeklies, 519 weeklies, 19 fortnightlies, nine semimonthlies, two once every three weeks, 73 monthlies, nine bimonthlies, 22 quarterlies, 13 occasionals, one semiannual and one annual, coming from all the 105 Kansas counties. In this list were included 460 weekly community newspapers. On January 1 the collection of Kansas newspapers totalled 42,010 bound volumes.
Accessions of old newspapers for the past year include: six issues of the Concordia Cyclone, published in 1881 and 1882, from Marion Ellet, Concordia; miscellaneous United States newspapers of the middle nineteenth century from J. B. Brinsmaid and Mrs. Lee Redden Gordon, and an incomplete file of The Jayhawker Press, Newton, 1923-1933, from Ralph T. Baker, of Topeka.
With the assistance of three CWA workers, the Society was able to sort, catalog and shelf-list nearly five thousand pictures during the year. Of these, 3,430 were unmounted pictures and portraits of persons prominent in Kansas history, and 1333 were unmounted pictures of localities, or objects such as monuments and buildings, which often required more than one subject heading and cross reference.
Work of this nature must necessarily proceed slowly, but progress is anticipated this winter if our application for the new project under the KERC is approved and capable workers are furnished. Over ten thousand pictures yet remain to be worked. There were 207 pictures and portraits accessioned during the year.
The attendance in the museum for the year ending July 1 was 33,617, a gain of 674 over the preceding year.
There were ninety-four accessions of relics and museum objects. Among the most interesting accessions was the Civil War uniform which was worn by Gov. Samuel J. Crawford. This uniform and a number of other items which belonged to Governor Crawford were donated by his grandson, Marshall Crawford. An outstanding accession was an old Spanish bit which was found in western Kansas in 1885. This is a crude wrought-iron bit of the type used in the sixteenth century, and it is possible that it once belonged to some member of Coronado's expedition of 1541. It was presented by Paul Jones of Lyons. An ancient trunk was the gift of Harry Hutchings of Lawrence. Mr. Hutchings lived on property adjoining the Sir Walter Raleigh estate in England, and when as a boy of 15 he came to America, he was presented with one of three trunks stored in the attic of the Raleigh home. The trunk has been in Mr. Hutchings' possession ever since, and he states that it is one which had belonged to Raleigh. The initials W. R. appear in brass studs on the top of the trunk.
THE ANNUAL MEETING 79
Total accessions to the Society's collections for the year ending June 30, 1934, were as follows:
|Printed maps, atlases and charts||86|
|Newspapers (bound volumes)||794|
These accessions bring the totals in the possession of the Society to the following figures:
|Books, pamphlets, bound newspapers and magazines||353,060|
|Printed maps, atlases and charts||10,365|
The Quarterly is now completing its third year. A number of valuable contributions to the history of the state have been printed in the past year. Among the articles which attracted favorable attention was one entitled "A Southerner's Viewpoint of the Kansas Situation, 1856-1857." This consisted of letters which A. J. Hoole wrote to his family in South Carolina while he was living in and near Lecompton during the territorial troubles. George A. Root's series of articles on the ferries of Kansas has also aroused interest.. Much credit for the high standard of the Quarterly is due to Dr. James C. Malin, associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, who is associate editor.
OLD SHAWNEE METHODIST MISSION
There are five organizations cooperating with the Society at the old Shawnee mission: the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of American Colonists, the Daughters of 1812 and the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society. These are all state-wide organizations with the exception of the latter. The rooms which have been assigned to these societies are gradually being repaired and furnished. In the east building four rooms have been remodeled and decorated. A stone wall was built along the creek south of the west building to prevent damage by high water. Along the road south of the north building a stone retaining wall sixty feet long and averaging four and a half feet high was built. The seven acres north of Mission road were graded and filled to permit the use of a power mower. Despite the drought the grounds present a better appearance than they have since the state acquired the site.
The appropriations granted for the mission are inadequate and should be increased. The amount allowed for maintenance by the legislature of 1933 was $750 a year. The request made to the budget director asks that this be
80 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
increased to $4,000 a year. This property, consisting of three large brick buildings now nearly one hundred years old and sixteen acres of ground, is one of the most important historic sites in the Middle West. The state purchased it at a cost of $50,000 and it deserves more consideration than it has received from the legislature.
FIRST CAPITOL OF KANSAS
The first capitol building continues to attract many visitors. For the year ending October 1, 1933, there were 6,647 as compared with 11,546 the preceding year. This decrease is due to the fact that highway No. 40 through the Fort Riley reservation was closed for several months while it was being repaved. It is interesting to know that 35 per cent of the visitors come from other states. The salary of the caretaker, who is required to be in attendance every day, including Sundays, was reduced by the legislature of 1933 to $37.50 a month. Our budget request asks that this be restored to $50 a month.
FORT HAYS FRONTIER HISTORICAL PARK
This park, which was created by the legislature of 1931, is managed by a board of which the secretary of the Historical Society is a member. A reforestation camp was established at the park in the summer of 1933, and a crew of nearly two hundred men landscaped the grounds, built dams and made roads on land belonging to the park and to the adjoining experiment station and Fort Hays State College. At its last meeting the board voted to request $4,000 a year from the legislature for the maintenance of this park.
PIKE PAWNEE PARK
In 1901 the legislature appropriated $3,000 for a memorial monument to commemorate the visit of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to the Pawnee Indian camp at this site. Last spring this monument was blown over in a high wind and the top of the shaft was broken. Since any repairs which could be made would materially reduce the size of the shaft many persons in that part of the state, believing a new monument should be erected, requested that action be deferred until after the 1935 session of the legislature.
This summer archaeologists of Kansas were surprised to learn that a group of men, said to represent the Nebraska Historical Society, had excavated Indian village sites in Kansas and had presumably taken a considerable number of artifacts from the state. The Kansas Society had no knowledge of this archaeological expedition. There are many village sites in the state which have not yet been despoiled. These should be protected until they can be scientifically explored, and when they are excavated the Kansas Society should have an opportunity to secure representative artifacts.
LOCAL AND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETIES
Since the last annual meeting two county historical societies have been organized, and the Society has assisted organizers in several other counties which have not yet affiliated. A number of the local and county societies in the state are doing good work in gathering historical documents and relics. Members of the state Society are urged to lend their assistance to local associations.
THE ANNUAL MEETING 81
This report would be incomplete without mention of the members of the staff of this Society. They are uniformly courteous, loyal and conscientious. The secretary acknowledges his indebtedness to them for what has been accomplished in the past two years.
KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.
Upon the conclusion of the reading of the report of the secretary it was moved by F. A. Hobble that it be approved and accepted. Seconded by F. B. Bonebrake. Carried.
The president, H. K. Lindsley, having arrived, Mr. Hodder relinquished the chair to him. Mr. Lindsley called for the reading of the report of the treasurer of the Society, Mrs. Mary Embree, which follows:
REPORT OF THE TREASURER
STATEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP FEE FUND FROM OCTOBER 13, 1933, TO OCTOBER 12, 1934
|Balance October 13, 1933||$731.11|
|Life membership fees||230.0 0|
|Annual membership dues||196.00|
|Refund of postage money||177.00|
|Postage on Quarterly||1.00|
|Return of subscription||2.25|
|Interest on Liberty bonds||297.50|
|Liberty bonds at cost||5,911.63|
|Total amount on hand||$7,546.49|
|Expense of annual meeting||$37.00|
|Pictures and prints||29.35|
|Extra clerk here||333.41|
|Money advanced for postage||314.00|
|Premium on bonds||10.00|
|Payment to Belleville Monument Works||19.00|
|Sign for Indian cemetery||3.82|
|Gifts to janitors||13.50|
|Rent of safe deposit box||3.30|
|Payment on exchange of bonds||3.50|
|Filing annual report of Society and Mission||2.00|
|Remington Rand Inc., repairs and machine||46.25|
|Southwest Bell Telephone Co., payment||7.15|
|Balance, October 12, 1934||$6,398.46|
|Liberty bonds at cost||$5,911.63|
82 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
JONATHAN PECKER BEQUEST FUND
|Principal, Liberty bonds||$950.00|
|Balance, October 13, 1933||62.66|
|Interest from October 13, 1933, to October 12, 1934||41.38|
|Total amount received||$104.04|
|Goodspeed's Book Shop for New Hampshire books||62.70|
|Principal, Liberty bonds||500.00|
|Balance, October 12, 1934||41.34|
JOHN BOOTH BEQUEST FUND
|Balance, October 13, 1933||66.48|
|Interest from October 13, 1933, to October 12, 1934||21.7 8|
|Americana Corporation, set of Americana||87.73|
|Balance, October 12, 1934||.53|
THOMAS H. BOWLUS FUND
|Principal Liberty bond (interest in membership fund)||$1,000.00|
MARY EMBREE, Treasurer.
The above and foregoing statement preceding this one, of the membership fund and of the trust funds-Jonathan Pecker bequest fund, John Booth Bequest fund, and Thomas H. Bowlus fund, has been examined by the committee October 12, 1934, and approved.
EDWIN A. AUSTIN, THOMAS AMORY LEE, T. M. LILLARD.
On motion of Mrs. Flora R. Godsey, seconded by Dr. E. Bumgardner,the treasurer's report was approved.
The president called for the report of the executive committee. In the absence of Edwin A. Austin, the secretary was asked to read the report:
REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The executive committee of the Kansas Historical Society hereby submits the following report:
The constitution of this Society by the second paragraph of the sixth section provides:
For the transaction of necessary business when the board of directors is not in session, there shall be an executive committee of five members to be chosen from among members of the board of directors as follows: the president elected at the 1931 meeting shall appoint two members for one year and three members for two years and thereafter each newly elected president
THE ANNUAL MEETING 83
shall appoint members to fill vacancies as they expire, the term of office being two years. Subject to the general direction of the board of directors, and in conformity with the state laws governing the Society, the executive committee shall be authorized to exercise the powers of the board and shall be responsible for the management of the Society and the carrying out of its policies.
Under the above provision the committee for the past year has been W. W. Denison, chairman, Edwin A. Austin, T. M. Lillard, H. K. Brooks, recently deceased, and Thomas Amory Lee appointed in his place, and Sam F. Woolard.
The committee holds monthly meetings on the third Friday of each month except during the summer months, the president and secretary also attending.
At the last meeting of the executive committee before this annual meeting, the committee examined the books of the treasurer and the receipts and disbursements of the Society, including the membership fund, state appropriation, and other receipts and disbursements, and the report of the state accountant, and the cash on hand at the National Bank of Topeka to the credit of the Society up to the date of this report.
In compliance with the constitution the following vacancies on the board of directors were filled by the executive committee: For the year ending October, 1934, C. L. Brokaw, Kansas City, Kan., Charles M. Correll, Manhattan, and Mrs. Mamie Axline Fay, Pratt, to complete the terms of H. K. Brooks, Topeka, and A. E. Van Petten, Topeka, deceased; and Charles Curtis, Topeka, removed from the state; and for the year ending October, 1935, W. F. Lilliston, Wichita, Ralph R. Price, Manhattan, and Mrs. T. T. Solander, Osawatomie, to complete the terms of Noah L. Bowman, Garnett, C. E. Cory, Fort Scott, and H. L. Humphrey, Abilene, deceased, and they now submit their action for approval.
The report of the executive committee would not be complete without mentioning the loss of Harry K. Brooks. Mr. Brooks died since the last annual meeting of the Society. In him the Society lost an active, energetic and faithful member. Mr. Brooks had served upon the executive committee of the board of directors for many years. It will be remembered that he married the daughter of the late Col. J. N. Harrison, who was president of the Society in 1914-'15, and it may be said that Mr. Brooks inherited from his father-in-law his first interest in the Society. The company of which he was the president and principal owner, The Capital Iron Works, furnished practically all the steel used in the construction of the building and of its metal fixtures. Mr. Brooks was always interested in the financial affairs of the Society and was one of the safeguards of its treasury. His place as a friend, member and efficient officer of the Society will be hard, indeed, to fill. W. W. DENISON, Chairman,
EDWIN A. AUSTIN,
T. M. LILLARD,
THOMAS A. LEE,
SAM F. WOOLARD.
On motion of Dr. E. Bumgardner, seconded by R. C. Rankin, the report of the executive committee was approved and accepted.
The report of the nominating committee was read by Mrs. Henry F. Mason, chairman
84 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
To the Board of Directors, Kansas Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations beg leave to submit the following report for officers of the Kansas Historical Society:
For a one-year term: Thomas F. Doran, president; F. H. Hodder, first vice president; E. E. Kelly, second vice president.
For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, secretary; Mrs. Mary Embree, treasurer.
MRS. HENRY F. MASON,
ISABELLE C. HARVEY,
ERNEST A. RYAN,
JAMES C. MALIN, Committee.
On motion of Justice John S. Dawson, seconded by J. G. Egan, the report of the nominating committee was accepted.
There being no further business for the board of directors the meeting adjourned.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY
The annual meeting of the Kansas Historical Society convened at 2 o'clock p. m. The meeting was called to order by President Lindsley.
Mrs. Eliza E. Goodrich, of Kansas City, Kan., a life member of the Society, was introduced. She explained her connection with the historical society of Wyandotte county and displayed a photostat copy of the Shawnee Sun and several other articles and relics. She presented a print of a group of pictures, including portraits of earlyday residents, to the Society.
The secretary read telegrams and letters from members who were unable to be present.
The annual address of the president, H. K. Lindsley, was then read. His paper, "The Value of History," appears as a special article elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly. At the conclusion of his address, Mr. Lindsley said:
The principal address was made by Robert T. Aitchison, of Wichita. At the request of President Lindsley, he was introduced by Mr. Mechem, who said:
THE ANNUAL MEETING 85
I also wish to say that in honor of Jotham Meeker, the first printer in Kansas, we have on display on the rack in the rear of the room, and on the counter, a number of early papers of Kansas, including some of those printed by Meeker in the first years of printing in Kansas.
It gives me more than ordinary pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Robert Aitchison, who will illustrate his talk with rare imprints from his private collection.
Mr. Aitchison's paper, "Early Imprints," appears as a special article elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly.
Kirke Mechem, secretary of the Society, read a paper, "The Mystery of the Meeker Press," in which were presented the results of an investigation into stories of various presses which have been claimed to be Jotham Meeker's original press. His paper appears as a special article elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly.
The report of the committee on nominations for directors was read by Mrs. Henry F. Mason, chairman, as follows:
OCTOBER 16, 1934.
To the Kansas Historical Society:
|Austin, E. A., Topeka.||Berryman, J. W., Ashland.|
|Brigham, Mrs. Lalla M., Council Grove.||Brokaw, C. L., Kansas City.|
|Bumgardner, Edward, Lawrence.||Correll, Charles M., Manhattan.|
|Davis, John W., Dodge City.||Denious, Jess C., Dodge City.|
|Fay, Mrs. Mamie Axline, Pratt.||Frizell, E. E., Larned.|
|Godsey, Mrs. Flora R., Emporia.||Hall, Mrs. Carrie A., Leavenworth.|
|Hamilton, Clad, Topeka.||Haskin, S. B., Olathe.|
|Hegler, Ben F., Wichita.||Jones, Horace, Lyons.|
|Kelley, E. E., Garden City.||Lillard, T. M., Topeka.|
|Lindsley, H. K., Wichita.||McCarter, Mrs. Margaret Hill, Topeka.|
|Mercer, J. H., Topeka.||Oliver, Hannah P., Lawrence.|
|Patrick, Mrs. Mae C., Satanta.||Reed, Clyde M., Parsons.|
|Rupp, Mrs. W. E., Hillsboro.||Scott, Charles F., Iola.|
|Schultz, Floyd B., Clay Center.|
86 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
|Shirer, H. L., Topeka.||Van de Mark, M. V. B., Concordia.|
|Wark, George H., Caney.||Wheeler, Mrs. B. R., Topeka.|
|Woolard, Sam F., Wichita.||Wooster, Lorraine E., Salina.|
Respectfully submitted, MRS. HENRY F. MASON, ISABELLE C. HARVEY, ERNEST A. RYAN, .TAMES C. MALIN, E. E. KELLEY, Committee.
On motion of Edwin A. Austin, seconded by F. A. Hobble, these directors were unanimously elected for the term ending October, 1937.
President Lindsley called upon Mr. Mechem to introduce editors who had been invited to take part in the program in celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of printing in Kansas.
Charles H. Browns, editor of the Horton Headlight, and a director of the Society, spoke extemporaneously, as follows:
TALK OF CHAS. H. BROWNE
Mr. President, and members of the Society: I think it is a little bit late, after these very fine speeches, to hear from a mere Kansas editor, of whom there are five hundred or six hundred scattered throughout the state, and who do not always attend these affairs in the capital city. However, when Mr. Mechem wrote me, I thought it might possibly be of interest to you to know the reactions of a newspaper man to some of the history-making events of this state in connection with its military forces. It happens to have been my privilege to have been a member of the National Guard of the state of Kansas for around thirty years, and also to have been in the newspaper business at the same time. Now, I think you all know that it is the custom of all military forces to try to suppress or censor military news while it is the business of a newspaper to disseminate the news. So I have had a dual job of taking part in military maneuvers, and keeping even unusual events out of the news. I have been thinking of a few little things that took place, which will never be quoted as history, because those who participated were unable to mention the events, and, as a result much has probably been forgotten by even those who took part in them. Mr. Mechem, your secretary, who served in the 137th infantry in France, understands what I mean.
As a little sample of this, I recall an incident which happened in 1916. As all of you, no doubt, remember, Kansas sent two regiments of volunteer soldiers to the Mexican border. This was the first time that the volunteers were permitted to actually go into action as the National Guard, for Kansas state troops were not permitted to go as National Guard to the Spanish War. That great figure, Gen. Fred Funston, was commanding general of about 200,000 troops on the border, including the punitive expeditionary force commanded by General Pershing in Mexico. There was no actual war at that time with Mexico; we were there, however, to keep peace-75,000 regulars
THE ANNUAL MEETING 87
and 125,000 National Guardsmen-some from every one ,of the forty-eight states. Funston was in direct command of all troops, including the National Guard units, and perhaps had as much to do with preventing actual warfare at that time as anyone, including the President of the United States. Right at that time the gasoline driven truck was coming into general use, and a number of them were sent to the Mexican border, and Funston was directed to move two or three regiments by trucks as an experiment. Trucks for the movement of troops was something that had never been tried in the United States before, but a year or two later in the World War they were used every day for that purpose.
Funston knew we had two Kansas infantry regiments at Eagle Pass Tex., and, as I understand, he wanted to see the officers, but it was impossible for him to go to Eagle Pass. Being resourceful, he just thought he would move them up to San Antonio in the trucks. No one had ever thought of moving hundreds of foot soldiers by trucks then, but less than two years later we moved divisions of 27,000 men in that way and thought nothing of it. Among the Kansas officers at Eagle Pass were Gen. Wilder S. Metcalf, Maj. Albert H. Krause, and others, who had served with Funston in the Twentieth Kansas in the Philippines in 1899.
That is a little incident of no particular importance, but it shows how Funston, the outstanding hero of the Spanish-American War, used his wits, and the resources at hand, to get an opportunity to see these Kansas soldiers and the intimate friends of his early military career.
Of course, during the World War, all movements of the army and navy were concealed, and nothing was allowed to be printed about it, and we used to say that nobody but the Germans knew when you went anywhere. When one battalion of the Thirty-fifth division went into the trenches, the Germans put up a little banner, saying, "Welcome, 35th Division." (Laughter)
Another incident that I never could put into my newspaper was this: Back in the early stages of the war my home town was Norton, as it is now, and the Eighteenth infantry was moved from E1 Paso to the Atlantic seaboard for early service in France. General Pershing had asked for this regiment as a part of the First division, and they moved through Norton in May of 1917. I went down to the train and talked to the officers. They knew they were going to France, and I did, too, and yet I couldn't put one thing in my paper about it, because of the strict censorship of that time.
The First division did more fighting than any other division in France. The Eighteenth, when it joined the First division, had in its ranks some 700 Polacks. These men had enlisted in the hope of being allowed to form an all-Polish regiment, but in the various transfers the Eighteenth got them all, and there wasn't an officer in the regiment who could talk to these men. The First was the first division to go to France, and yet a quarter of them were Polacks, who knew very little about the United States, but they were our first representatives in France. I have heard people say that the First division was almost wholly composed of native-born Americans, but they evidently hadn't heard about those Polacks.
I went to France with the Thirty-fifth division-was an officer in the 139th infantry. You can talk all you want about certain regiments being composed
88 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
of men from Kansas or men from Missouri, or men from Texas, or any other one state, but I'll tell you that they were shifted around so much that they were finally a combination from all states.
The 1339th infantry finally got to New York. It took every railroad to move this Thirty-fifth division-to get it to New York. The 139th, the regiment I was in, went from Kansas City to Detroit; traveled all night through Canada, and went down from there to New York. Other regiments were routed through Illinois, Kentucky, and even Georgia. It took at least two weeks to get them across the United States. And that was the way we went to war. When we got to France, this same division, the Thirty-fifth, was moved from up near Calais, near the English Channel, to the front lines in Alsace, not far from Switzerland, in three days. They moved us in cattle cars-you've heard about them, I know-little cars about as big as a truck, and tiny engines with whistles that sounded like those of a peanut stand. They didn't tell you how many days you would be on the train, but they got you there.
After we got to New York, the men of the 137th infantry-the all-Kansas regiment-were all loaded on board a ship. Then they found some bombs, or a broken propeller shaft, or something, and so they unloaded all of them and distributed them to other ships. Company "H" of Lawrence, 137th infantry, went over on the same ship that I did, which also carried all the 3,600 men of the 139th infantry.
An interesting thing happened after our arrival in France. We were in England a short time, and then were sent over to France, to Le Havre. There company commanders were called together by an American army officer, who told them that he had orders to give to them this information, which they would communicate to their men. He said, "You are now in the British army. This regiment is a part of the British army. You will eat British food, and probably wear British uniforms when those you have on wear out." I was a National Guard officer; my men had all enlisted voluntarily a year before. They were not drafted men, but volunteers like those who fought in the Spanish-American War and the Civil War-half of them Kansas men, and perhaps half Missouri men, and now they were in the British army.
Astounded, but obeying orders, I lined up my company and repeated what I had heard, adding this: "These are orders. You thought you were enlisted in the United States army, but you are now in the British army, and if any of you don't like it, you have my permission to fall out and go home." Nobody went home-we were three or four thousand miles from there, and so it we stuck.##
Our division was moved from that area, and so we eventually got rid of this British control. We were moved up near Switzerland. My battalion were placed in trucks; went through a tunnel; passed unusual signs, with different kind of reading. I said, "We are in Germany, I know we are, those are German type buildings," and it turned out that we were in German Alsace. It is my belief the Thirty-fifth division was the first American division sent into German territory, whose men were actually on German soil, and that is another thing that has never been printed.
In a little town there a Kansas chaplain of our regiment announced that church service would be held in a little Lutheran church. It was the first
THE ANNUAL MEETING 89
Protestant church I saw in Europe. Our band played in lieu of an organ, and the chaplain, a very fine man, got up and announced that the regular minister was away on military service. And when we asked the chaplain after the service, "What army is this duck in?" he said "In the German army." I am taking too much time. (Mr. Lindsley told him to go on.)
The National Guard units of Kansas have participated in a tremendous number of engagements as volunteer soldiers, right on down from Civil War days, yet, until lately, we had nothing that might show our honorable service such as they have in the British army, regimental insignia. The 137th infantry of Kansas, which it has been my privilege to command for the past thirteen years, now proudly wears its new regimental insignia. I want to show it to you. It took our regiment at least five years to get the insignia that we should have had years before. And the man who had more to do with it than any other is Lieut. Col. Harrie S. Mueller, of Wichita. It is a coincidence that he is present here to-day.
I want to show you the actual coat of arms of this all-Kansas 137th regiment of infantry, as drawn up by the quartermaster corps of the United States army and approved July 14, 1932, by the U. S. government, to carry on the history and traditions of your Kansas regiment. (He indicates as he talks.) This green canton at the top stands for service on the Mexican border. Space has been left to show the service of Kansas soldiers in the Civil War and the Indian wars when we can prove connection between our present regiment and the officers and men who were engaged in those early wars.
These (points) are real little bolos, and represent the service of the Twentieth Kansas in the Philippines. The sunflower, of course, represents Kansas.
Now, an interesting thing, in my opinion is this bar across here (indicates), which is one distinctive thing that no other American army regiment has. That was secured by the untiring efforts of Colonel Mueller. He wrote the French war department and asked them to pick something from the coat of arms of some town in France which was lived in, passed through, or captured by this particular regiment, the 137th infantry, to put into the coat of arms, or insignia of the regiment. They were very much interested, and they took this bar (indicates), which is really a baton of a marechal of France; took it from the coat of arms of the town of Varennes, which had acquired it as representing a marechal of France in the time of Louis the XVI. At the time of the Revolution in France Louis the Sixteenth and Marie Antoinette were trying to escape from France, but were recognized at the little town of Varennes by a young French army officer who arrested them and returned them to Paris. He later became a marechal of France.
In 1918 the 137th infantry actually captured the town of Varennes during the Meuse-Argonne offensive-after it had been occupied by the Germans for over four years. The French military authorities felt this gave all officers and men of the 137th infantry the right to wear it-this baton taken from the coat of arms of the city of Varennes. I hope you who are interested will look this over.
It has given me pleasure to tell you a few small incidents which I haven't been allowed to print, nor even allowed to tell when in the army. None of
90 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
them are of great importance, but possibly carry some interest. They would have been doubly interesting at the time they happened, bad I been allowed to put them into print.
I thank you. (Applause.)
Following Mr. Browne, O. W. Little, of the Alma Enterprise, addressed the members:
TALK OF O. W. LITTLE
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I was much interested in hearing about our friend Jotham Meeker, who engaged in the printing business in Kansas a hundred years ago, because the paper with which I am associated was established fifty years ago, and celebrated the anniversary of its establishment last week. I might have been a relation of Meeker's, as at one time I was rather sweet on his granddaughter, and I thought she liked me, but that was as far as I ever got.
My father came here and lived here in Topeka the winter of '57 and '58; he went to high school here, and lived with a Doctor Martin. I don't know whether any Topeka people knew him or not. In the summer of 1858 he stayed with Dr. S. E. Beach, above Dover, on Mission creek. He only stayed there while he was having the "shakes"-in other words, malarial ague. From his account he had them good and plenty.
I haven't anything of particular interest to offer you. I was very much interested in the secretary's story about the Meeker press. Charlie Scott wrote me about. the press when he heard from the man at Guymon and we were both trying to do some sleuthing. After listening to your secretary's paper I thought there wasn't much left of the story of the press-like the Dutchman's cider barrel, nothing left but the bunghole. (Laughter.)
I am going to tell you about my first acquaintance with Harvey Parsons, who died here a year ago. I knew him all his life. When I first knew him he lived up near Keene, on a farm; then be came to Topeka. After coming to Topeka he was the police reporter on the State Journal, and there has never been another like him. It was while he was working as a police reporter that his cartoons began to bring him into prominence.
I have taken some satisfaction in the thought that I started "Harve" in his work as a cartoonist. While he was out on the farm some of his friends told me of his ambition to draw things, and gave me an idea of what his trend was in that line. I made some connection with him, and told him that. if he wanted to draw some cartoons for my paper to go ahead. The first cartoon he sent in was based on the catch-line of a paper in a neighboring town, the Star-the phrase being "Search the Star." His cartoon showed an old hayseed searching the Star, and the individual shown happened to be an exact picture of one of my subscribers-a good friend. Harvey never saw him, didn't know him at all, but he couldn't have drawn a better picture of him than that cartoon. The old gentleman didn't like it, and he stopped the paper. I hadn't thought of any connection in looking at that cartoon, but when he stopped the paper, I knew what ailed him.
The next week be drew a picture of a place in a neighboring town where they sold some of the liquid that is usually sold to folks in the backroom of
THE ANNUAL MEETING 91
the hotel. The sheriff down there had put a padlock on the door. I forget the catch line under this picture, but it showed about six of the rather prominent men in town weeping while they looked at this padlocked door. They got their papers on Friday, and on Saturday I got letters from most of them stopping the paper. (Laughter.)
I went over to see Harvey, and I told him, "This is too expensive. I can't affiord it-it is costing me too much to have them mad every week. You ought to be on a larger paper." Anyway, I wrote letters to Albert Reid and Mr. MacLennan, whom you all knew, and Harvey came to Topeka and got a job. He was a very unusual man. Through all the years I knew him he continued to develop, and his death was untimely, to me at least.
I was glad that Charlie Browne got a chance to talk about the army-to tell us some of the unwritten history which he couldn't print. I think telling about it is more interesting than writing about it, anyway.
I thank you. (Applause.)
The president called for reports of committees. He was informed that Mrs. W. B. Gresham and several members of the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society had been in attendance at the meeting with the report which they had been invited to read. Due to the lateness of the hour they found it necessary to leave for their return trip to Kansas City, with the request that their report be accepted and filed. On motion, their report was accepted and placed on record.
At the request of John C. Hogin, a life member of Belleville, the following article by John F. Stanton was made a part of the records of the meeting. It had been hoped that time would be found for the reading of this tribute to the pioneer home, but the lateness of the hour prevented.
OUR FATHER'S CASTLE
It nestled in the brow of a hill, by the side of a winding trail.
The tomahawk and fire brand of a hostile Indian could harm it not.
The blasts of winter held it in its frozen grip, and spread an icy mantle of sleet and snow over it; as if to hide its homeliness.
Spring came and the lightning played about. it.
It was lost to view in a sea of flames as a wind-driven prairie fire surged around it.
The tornado writhed and twisted and spent its fury on it.
The scorching sun and winds of summer beat upon it.
Yet in the calm of autumn the moon beamed through the window upon the children in the little trundle bed.
Through cold and heat; through flame and fury that had raged over them: they had played or slept in that peace, safety, and comfort that mother earth has ever given to them that. seek the shelter of her bosom.
Within its crowded space the new-found neighbors gathered to minister to some misfortune or celebrate some joyous event. Its narrow walls were ever broad enough to shelter some weary traveler from the chill of night or storm.
92 THE KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Its tiny stores were large enough to divide with some less fortunate neighbor. It was home to those who fought with drought and hunger.
It was home to those who would and did an empire build.
To-day it is as but a dent in the hillside-as a blur in our memory may we commemorate it in legend and in song.
The old dugout-the refuge of the pioneer.
The castle of the homestead.
May we in these dark days of depression and drought, kindle anew the flame of the fraternity of the old dugout.
May we stand neighbor to neighbor and as shoulder to shoulder in this common cause to all.
Through the far stretches of our country hearts bleed over our plight.
The government and great agencies of mercy are bending to aid us.
Let us stand as our fathers stood-as neighbor and brother. And the depression, heat and drought will not have destroyed all.
And we shall find that much of the dross has been burned from the gold within us. And we shall emerge from under this thing with a better faith in humanity.
A better understanding of our government.
A better hope for our future.
A better love for our neighbor.
And a better respect for our neighbor's God.
Let us in our hearts abide again in Our Father's Castle. -T. F. STANTON.
There being no further business the annual meeting of the members of the Society adjourned.
MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The afternoon meeting of the board of directors was called to order by the president. He asked for a re-reading of the report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. The following were unanimously elected:
For a one-year term: Thomas F. Doran, president; F. H. Hodder, first vice president; E. E. Kelley, second vice president.
For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, secretary; Mrs. Mary Embree, treasurer.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.
KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.
DIRECTORS OF THE Kansas Historical Society
AS OF OCTOBER, 1934
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER, 1935
|Aitchison, R. T., Wichita.||Doerr, Mrs. Laura P. V., Larned.|
|Capper, Arthur, Topeka||Doran, Thomas F., Topeka.|
|Crosby, E. H., Topeka.||Ellenbecker, John G., Marysville.|
|Dawson, John S., Hill City.||Harvey, Mrs. Sally, Topeka.|
|Denison, W. W., Topeka.||Hobble, Frank A., Dodge City.|
THE ANNUAL MEETING 93
|Hodder, F. H., Lawrence.||Price, Ralph R., Manhattan.|
|Hogin, John C., Belleville.||Raynesford, H. C., Ellis.|
|Huggins, Wm. L., Emporia||Russell, W. J., Topeka.|
|Johnston, Mrs. W. A. Topeka.||Smith Wm. E., Wamego.|
|Knapp, Dallas W., Coffeyville.||Solander, Mrs. T. T., Osawatomie.|
|Lilleston, W. F., Wichita.||Spratt, O. M., Baxter Springs.|
|McLean, Milton R., Topeka.||Stevens, Caroline F., Lawrence.|
|McNeal, T. A., Topeka.||Thompson, W. F., Topeka.|
|Malin, James C., Lawrence.||Van Tuyl, Mrs. Effie H., Leavenworth.|
|Mason, Mrs. Henry F., Topeka.||Walker, Mrs. Ida M., Norton.|
|Moore, Russell, Wichita.||Wilson, John H., Salina.|
|Morehouse, George P., Topeka.|
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER, 1936
|Beeks, Charles E., Baldwin.||Metcalf, Wilder S., Lawrence.|
|Beezley, George F., Girard.||Morrison, T. F., Chanute,|
|Bonebrake, Fred B., Topeka.||Norris, Mrs. George, Arkansas City.|
|Bowlus, Thomas H., Iola.||O'Neil, Ralph T., Topeka.|
|Browse, Charles H., Horton.||Philip, Mrs. W. D., Hays.|
|Dean, John S., Topeka.||Rankin, Robert C., Lawrence.|
|Embree, Mrs. Mary, Topeka.||Ruppenthal, J. C., Russell.|
|Gray, John M., Kirwin.||Ryan, Ernest A., Topeka.|
|Harger, Charles M., Abilene.||Sawtell, James H., Topeka.|
|Harvey, Mrs. Isabelle C., Topeka.||Simons, W. C., Lawrence.|
|Haucke, Frank, Council Grove.||Soller, August, Washington.|
|Kagey, Charles L., Wichita.||Stanley, W. E., Wichita.|
|Kinkel, John M., Topeka.||Stone, Robert, Topeka.|
|Lee, Thomas Amory, Topeka.||Trembly, W. B., Kansas City.|
|McFarland, Helen M., Topeka.||Walker, B. P. Topeka.|
|Malone, James, Topeka.||Woodward, Chester, Topeka.|
|Mechem, Kirke, Topeka.|
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER 1937
|Austin, E. A., Topeka.||Kelley, E. E., Garden City.|
|Berryman, J. W., Ashland.||Lillard, T. M., Topeka.|
|Brigham, Mrs. Lalla M., Council Grove.||Lindsley, H. K., Wichita.|
|Brokaw, C. L., Kansas City.||McCarter, Mrs. Margaret Hill, Topeka.|
|Bumgardner, Edward, Lawrence.||Mercer, J. H., Topeka.|
|Correll, Charles M. Manhattan.||Oliver, Hannah P., Lawrence.|
|Davis, John W., Dodge City.||Patrick, Mrs. Mae C., Satanta.|
|Denious, Jess C., Dodge City.||Reed, Clyde M., Parsons.|
|Fay, Mrs. Mamie Axline, Pratt.||Rupp, Mrs. W. E., Hillsboro.|
|Frizell, E. E., Larned.||Scott, Charles F., Iola.|
|Godsey, Mrs. Flora R., Emporia.||Schultz, Floyd B., Clay Center.|
|Hall, Mrs. Carrie A., Leavenworth.||Shirer, H. L., Topeka.|
|Hamilton, Clad, Topeka.||Van de Mark, M. V. B., Concordia.|
|Haskin, S. B., Olathe. Wark,||George H., Casey.|
|Hegler, Ben F., Wichita.||Wheeler, Mrs. B. R., Topeka.|
|Jones, Horace, Lyons.||Woolard, Sam F., Wichita.|
|Wooster, Lorraine E., Salina.|