Annual Meeting - 1937
February 1938 (Vol. 7, No. 1), pages 81 to 97
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
THE sixty-second annual meeting of the Kansas Historical Society was held in the rooms of the Society on October 19, 1937.
E. A. Austin, president of the Society, was unable to attend the meeting because of illness of a member of the family, and William Allen White, vice-president, was in Mexico. In their absence Thomas Amory Lee presided at the morning meeting and Thomas A. McNeal presided at the afternoon meetings.
Mr. Lee called the meeting to order at 10 a. m.
The first business was the reading of the annual report of the secretary.
SECRETARY'S REPORT, YEAR ENDING OCTOBER 19, 1937
During the past year there has been a gradual increase in the number of requests for information received by the Society, the total even exceeding those received during the campaign of last year when Governor Landon was a presidential candidate. Our experience confirms reports from other historical agencies that there is a material growth in popular interest in local and state history. The study of local history continues to be featured by many schools in small towns and rural communities, who write for detailed historical data about their towns and counties. These demands on the staff do not leave as much time as we could wish for organizing our collections. The supervision of federal projects also requires continuous attention. The work of cataloguing and otherwise organizing our vast collections of books, relics, manuscripts, public documents, pictures and newspapers is progressing, however, and it is a pleasure to report that many thousands of items have thereby been made accessible and more useful within the year.
President E. A. Austin reappointed Justice John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard to the executive committee, the members holding over being Thomas Amory Lee, Robert C. Rankin and Chester Woodward. At the first meeting of the committee following the annual meeting Mr. Lee was elected chairman. Due to illnesses and other unavoidable causes only five meetings of the committee were held. The advice of the members was sought in all matters of consequence, however, and in accordance with the constitution they approved expenditures.
APPROPRIATIONS AND THE LEGISLATURE
Appropriations requested for the biennium beginning July 1, 1937, were filed with the budget director last fall. Our requests included $900 for additional newspaper racks, an increase of $150 in the contingent fund, two additional clerks, and $700 for catalogue card cases. For the Shawnee mission an increase of $1,250 in the repair and maintenance fund was asked, and $25,000 was requested for the restoration of the north building. For the first capitol building
82 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
an increase in the salary of the caretaker from $450 a year to $600 a year was asked, as well as an increase of $90 in the maintenance fund. In addition to these items, the secretary asked the legislature for restoration of salaries to the 1931 figures and sought the support of members for the employees' old age retirement bill.
The following were received: $900 for new newspaper racks, an increase of $250 in the contingent fund, one additional clerk, an increase of $250 in the maintenance fund at the Old Shawnee mission, an increase of $50 a year in the salary of the caretaker and an increase of $75 a year in the maintenance fund of the old capitol building. The retirement bill which deserved passage was lost in committee. Salaries of all state employees receiving $2,400 or less per year were restored in full and all others received a restoration of ten per- cent, based on existing salaries.
The session was the longest in the history of the state and had to deal with many important and pressing matters. It is felt that while the Historical Society did not receive everything it requested the appropriations were all that could be expected. In passing it may be of interest to say that many new legislators do not know what the Historical Society is, and it is difficult to get them to visit the building during the session, but invariably when they do take the time to inspect the collections and hear of our work they become keenly interested.
FEDERAL WORK PROJECTS
Much work has been done during the past year by workers employed under the Works Progress Administration and National Youth Administration projects sponsored by the Society. Employment has been uninterrupted. Several of the workers have been with us for two years or longer and are making excellent progress with minimum supervision. Members of the Historical Society's staff wish to express their appreciation to these persons for their alertness and willingness to perform tasks assigned them. Since these workers are distributed within the Society's several departments, a discussion of work accomplished is incorporated in the department reports.
From nine to fourteen workers have been regularly employed sixteen days a month each under the WPA project. From October 6, 1936, to October 5, 1937, the federal government's contribution was $9,032.63 for salaries and twelve dollars for typewriter rentals, making a total of $9,044.63. The Society's expenditure for the same period was approximately $240 for typewriter rentals and working materials. The Society, as a part of its contribution as sponsor, is also credited with some of the time given the project work by its staff members and for the office space provided the workers, but this allowance is not included here. During the past year the project was renewed once. Funds for the present project will be depleted within the next few weeks. Another renewal proposal has been submitted to continue the work. We have been informed that the Washington office will accept the proposal.
Under the NYA project, which also has operated continuously throughout the year, from three to seven young persons have been employed six days a month each. The federal government has contributed approximately $1,300 in salaries for the operation of this project.Many persons have felt the need for an annals of Kansas beginning where Wilder left off in 1885. To supply this chronology the Society in December,
THE ANNUAL MEETING 83
1936, filed application with the WPA to sponsor a project to bring these annals to date. The Washington office rejected the proposal, however, on the ground that it conflicts with the work of the Kansas federal writers' project. If the writers' project plans to publish a chronology of Kansas events it possibly will not be as extensive or thorough as Wilder's Annals.
SUBJECTS FOR RESEARCH
The requests made of this Society range from telephone messages asking whether Kate Bender actually escaped or was secretly killed, what was the date when Hannibal crossed the Alps and how many elephants did he take with him, to extended visits of serious scholars consulting during their stay hundreds of books and documents. It would be futile to attempt to list all of even the serious questions asked of this Society. But it may be of interest to list the subjects on which rather extensive research has been done. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of these research subjects during the year, and from all departments of the Society. These subjects are grouped here under several rather broad headings: Agriculture: Economic survey on the mechanization of agriculture; grain market trends. Biography: Jerry Simpson; Charles Robinson; Sen. W. A. Harris; W. M. Mathewson; Jedediah Smith; Abraham Lincoln. Economics: sociological effects of drought on Haskell county; economic development of Gray county; income tax in Kansas; legislative compensation; history of child labor amendment in Kansas; legislative council evaluation. Education: Pratt county schools; history of education in Butler county; education in Rawlins county; Franklin county education. Foreign influences: Quaker settlement in Cherokee county; French place-names in Kansas; Catholic Osage mission in Kansas. Journalism: The Kansas City Kansan; histories of press associations in Kansas; newspaper participation in the Kansas struggle. Literature and Music: Kansas poetry; anthology of Kansas literature; musical organizations in Kansas. General: Santa Fe trail; Anti-Horse Thief Association; Russell, Majors, and Waddell, freighters; Southwestern history; Negro exodus; chronology of current events; Union Pacific railroad; Aztec Indians; boundary lines of counties; church histories; Cherokee neutral lands; Kansas State Banking Association; data for the National Geographic Magazine article "Speaking of Kansas" which appeared in the August, 1937, issue.
During the year the library received over a thousand more requests for information than during any previous year. There are two events that doubtless had something to do with this increase: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the state, and Governor Landon's nomination, which attracted attention that continued throughout the year.The Society's federal work projects demand much assistance from the library, and outside workers on the federal writers' project are a continuous source of inquiry. These requests frequently concern minute items of state, county and local history and the proper answers often consume much time.
The loan files of historical material were mailed to 560 people. Most of this loan material went to grade schools for use in their Kansas history projects. The genealogical collection is being added to steadily. It is recognized as one of the best collections on family history in the country. More than a thousand fairly extensive researches were made in this library during the year.
84 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Topics pertaining to early Western history, the Indians of North America and other general material in American history were made the subject of re- search by more than 800 persons this year.
Much constructive use was made of WPA workers assigned to the library. Of particular value have been the projects covering filing cards in the Library of Congress depository catalogue, and the revision of the general catalogue. The loan collection, consisting largely of typed material on subjects of Kansas history, has been greatly enlarged with the aid of WPA typists. There has been an increasing demand for the Civil War records of Kansas.
NYA workers have begun an index to the Civil War roster of Kansas which it is hoped will be completed next year. NYA workers have also helped to check the literature collection and a number of the Society's early periodical files.
In 1933 the secretary was authorized to employ a full-time cataloguer out of membership fee funds to catalogue the Society's collection of pictures. The 18,000 daguerreotypes, photographs, prints and paintings brought together through the long life of the Society were organized only in a loose classification before this work was undertaken. It was always difficult and sometimes impossible to find pictures when wanted, and the subject groupings were wholly inadequate. It was discovered that only three or four collections of pictures in the country had been catalogued, and a study of these systems proved that they were not entirely adaptable to our use. The system finally worked out was based on the general classification system devised by the Library of Congress as adapted by the Minnesota Historical Society. It had to be changed in numerous respects to fit the needs of the Kansas collection and to permit expansion in the future. Each picture had to be considered not by itself alone but for its usefulness as a possible illustration of several subjects. There are very extensive cross references in the catalogue. This has been a tedious task, partly because so much of the work was pioneering, but largely because of the number of pictures. The man first employed on the job resigned and it was completed last spring by Russell Hickman. In addition, a number of WPA workers typed and filed cards and helped sort pictures. The cost for salaries was $1,700. The secretary and the staff are pleased to announce the completion of this work and to say that it is proving highly successful.
Fifty manuscript volumes and 17,614 separate manuscripts have been added to the Society's collections during the year. Unusual interest attaches to some of these gifts.
From Emil Huria, nationally known political figure, were received three letter press books of John Pierce St. John, governor of Kansas, 1879-1883. The books cover the years 1879-1882, and while the letters are generally personal in character, there are many bearing on his public activities such as prohibition, the freedmen's relief association, etc.
The Kansas State Planning Board gave records of registered livestock brands, 1855-1937. These records, compiled under the direction of the board, and numbering 17,500, were taken from official records in ninety-three Kansas counties. Each item gives the name of the livestock owner, date of registration
THE ANNUAL MEETING 85
of brand, types of livestock on which it was used and a sketch of the brand.
The Society is indebted to Mrs. Elam Bartholomew, of Hays, and the Rev. J. E. Bartholomew, Topeka, for one of its most unusual diaries. It was kept by the late Dr. Elam Bartholomew, over a period of sixty-three years-1871-1934. This record of Doctor Bartholomew's life is also a record of the development of the western counties in which he made his home. Doctor Bartholomew was an authority on fungi and at the time of his death was curator of the mycological museum at the Fort Hays State College. Ellsworth Ingalls gave five valuable letters from the papers of his father, John James Ingalls.
The city commission of Kansas City has placed with the Society "Journal A" of Wyandotte City, 1858-1866. Special mention must be made of the work of the Dickinson County Historical Society which has sent in valuable manuscript material including a copy of "Book 2" of the Dickinson county marriage register. The Wichita chapter, D. A. R., gave typed copies of the records of the First Presbyterian Church of Wichita. Indexing of the Society's correspondence volumes by NYA workers has been continued under the supervision of this division. A typist on the WPA project is making copies of letters in the letter press books of Thomas Ewing, Jr., and the Leavenworth law firm of Sherman, Ewing & McCook, 1857-1861. The letter press books were lent by Thomas Ewing of New York. The letters are of particular interest because of the prominence of the writers and their activities during the years covered. The Society is indebted to the following for gifts during the year: Dr. Charles A. Arand; F. E. Armstrong; Mrs. Elam Bartholomew; the Rev. J. E. Bartholomew; Mrs. S. J. Brandenburg; Edith Clift; Mrs. Maud M. Cramer; Charles Curtis estate; D. A. R., Wichita chapter; Mrs. Effie H. Dickson; Dickinson County Historical Society; Orrie S. Dille; Federal Writers' project, Dodge City; Sister Mary Paul Fitzgerald; Hugh C. Gresham; 0. G. Guttery; Mrs. Frank H. Hodder; Emil Hurja; Ellsworth Ingalls; Icie F. Johnson; W'm. A. Johnston estate; Mrs. Ruth Burge Kambach; Kansas State Planning Board; city commission, Kansas City; Cad W. Kirkpatrick; Thomas Amory Lee; Mrs. Melissa Lynch; Mrs. J. L. Miller; T. A. McNeal; Warren L. Matthews; Adelaide Morse; Paul Popenoe; Willard Raymond; A. W. Relihan; Mrs. A. B. Seelye; A. E. Sheldon; Edwin R. Squier; Mrs. F. W. Stout; Mrs. W. A. L. Thompson; Wichita City Library; Pliny A. Wiley; Scott Williamson; Woman's Kansas Day Club; Lyman C. Wooster.
There were many accessions from various state departments during the year ending June 30, 1937. These documents, including official correspondence of Governors Harry Woodring and Alf M. Landon, came from the offices of the governor, the state auditor, the secretary of state and the state board of agriculture, totaling 586 bound volumes and 123,983 manuscripts. George A. Root, curator of archives, who, it will be of interest to know, is now the oldest employee in the state in point of service, is an authority on many phases of Kansas history, but particularly on old roads and trails and river crossings. He has prepared a map of the early trails of Kansas and his articles on ferries in The
86 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Kansas Historical Quarterly have been of unusual interest. He is now preparing a map on which fifty or more of the outstanding historical sites in the state will be located. This map will be the basis of a map to be published by the state chamber of commerce.
WPA workers are being employed to organize and catalogue three of the important collections of the archives department. The archives cataloguer and a WPA typist are listing and describing the "lost" towns of Kansas. These include abandoned townsites, post offices changed in name or moved or put on rural free delivery. It is surprising to learn that the names beginning with "A" now number 250 and those with "B" total 435. The origins of the town names of Kansas range in time from Old Testament days and in place from nearly every corner of the world. The Civil War named many of them and the World War changed some of them, as, for example, Germantown in Brown county, which became Mercier in honor of Cardinal Mercier of Belgium. Twenty-five Kansas town names began with Mount and seven had salt as a prefix. Information regarding these abandoned towns has been collected for years by the archives department and comes from hundreds of scattered sources.
In the report last year it was stated that 2,800 names in the 1855 census of Kansas had been indexed with the help of WPA workers. During the past year this census was completed, the total being 6,000 cards. Twenty-four thousand names have been indexed in the 1860 census. These census indexes are of constant value. We receive many requests from individuals, and from insurance agents who wish to check the ages of clients. Also they are important to genealogists; in some states the early census records have been indexed and published. Unfortunately a cut in the WPA personnel removed three employees from our project and it was necessary to suspend this work. If the quota is increased this winter it will be resumed.
A third undertaking in the archives department with WPA workers is the cataloguing of the state's corporations. These cards are made from the secretary of state's corporation copy books held by this Society. This classified index shows the beginning of all the industries and many other activities of the state. For example, there are hundreds of cards under each of these classifications: Oil, mining, banking, unions, irrigation, insurance, universities, livestock, and telephones. There are 4,700 cards showing the churches organized in the state, 1,200 town companies, and 1,300 railroad companies, most of the latter chartered during the boom days of railroading. Without this index it would be impossible to bring together all this information about these undertakings and activities. It makes possible a complete history of any line of chartered endeavor in Kansas. During the year 62,000 cards have been added to this catalogue, bringing the total to 117,000. Two thousand of these cards list charters that were authorized by the legislatures of 1855 to 1863, before the secretary of state began issuing charters. To date, the index lists of Kansas are from 1855 to 1912.
The employment of a new clerk on July 1 as authorized by the 1937 legislature is relieving somewhat the congestion in the newspaper division. The legislature also authorized the installation of steel shelving, valued at $900, to house part of the out-of-state newspapers which have been stacked on boxes and
THE ANNUAL MEETING 87
benches for twenty years. The shelves will be purchased during the next fiscal year.
Files of Kansas newspapers preserved by libraries and institutions located over the United States are listed in the 791-page volume, American News-papers, 1821-1936, a Union List of Files Available in the United States and Canada, published last spring. A list of the Society's collections was revised by this department for inclusion in the publication. The History of Kansas Newspapers published by the Society in 1916 was the basis for the Kansas list revision. The History does not give the volume and number of the first issue of each newspaper in the various files, hence it was not possible to learn from it whether or not the first number preserved by the Society was the initial issue of the newspaper. The editors of the Union List desired the information and as many of these files as possible were checked before the List's deadline so that much of this information was included in the volume. After publication of the List the remaining files of weekly newspapers were checked and the whole compilation was bound for future reference. A check of the early files of daily newspapers is also planned. The usual number of readers has made use of the Society's newspaper collection which now totals over fifty-four thousand bound volumes. Of this number, 44,307 volumes are Kansas newspapers. The Society is now receiving qregularly for filing in its Kansas collections 61 dailies, 13 semiweeklies, 499 weeklies, 25 fortnightlies, 11 semimonthlies, two once every three weeks, 69 monthlies, 7 bimonthlies, 20 quarterlies, 11 occasionals, two semiannuals and one annual, coming from all the 105 counties of the state.
The year's extra accessions are unusually valuable. Files of the Fort Scott Democrat containing 101 issues dated from July 14, 1859, to September 21, 1861; four issues of the Fort Scott Western Volunteer dated in 1862, and twenty-four issues of the Fort Scott Bulletin, from May to October 18, 1862, were donated by Mrs. Albert H. Campbell, of Fort Scott; through her son, R. B. Campbell. Previous to this time the Society had only five issues of Fort Scott newspapers for the period. Mrs. Charles A. Coe, of Lawrence, contributed twenty-two volumes of the Chase County Leader, of Cottonwood Falls, from March 4, 1871, to March 5, 1903, the first four years of the file being needed to complete our own. William Atlee Sears on a recent visit to Topeka learned that files of his paper, the Leon News, were missing for the period 1919 to 1923. He gathered up a large number of these issues and gave them to the Society for its files.
Other accessions include:
Files of Landon Marches On, published at Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1936 Republican national convention, from Thomas Amory Lee and J. F. Jarrell; five French newspapers dated in March, 1919, and an issue of The Stars and Stripes, of June 13, 1919, from Robert Beine, of Topeka; six volumes of The Industrialist, of Manhattan, dated in the 1880's and 1890's, from Dr. J. T. Willard, of Manhattan; miscellaneous issues of the Philatelic Gossip, of Holton, 1924 to 1927, from W. B. Skibbe, of Topeka; forty-six bound and nine unbound volumes of the Merchants Journal, of Topeka, dated from September 21, 1907, to February 2, 1935, from Paul Lovewell; The Western Argus, Wyandotte, September 14, 1858, an "Extra," and the Wyandotte Herald, April 5, 1886.
88 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
The attendance in the museum for the year was 32,606, an increase of 1,829 over the preceding year.
The number of accessions was 33. Among the relics acquired was a large Pawnee jar found in 1934 on Coon creek near Barnes, by T. C. Dodd, of Linn, who gave it to the Society. It was sand and gypsum tempered, with a capacity of about fourteen quarts, and Mr. Dodd worked approximately sixty hours to match the pieces and cement them together. A Pottawatomie otter medicine skin used by that tribe in medicine dances was obtained from John O'Bennick and his daughter, Mary Tohee, members of the tribe living near Mayetta. It had been in their family nearly 200 years. An old French flute used by the aide-de-camp of the Emperor Maximilian during his fateful expedition in Mexico was presented in the name of her mother by Miss Irma Doster. The flute had been presented to Justice Frank Doster in Mexico. A large log from the old John Brown fort near the scene of the Marais des Cygnes massacre was presented by Mrs. John A. Hall, of Pleasanton. A number of relics, as well as books and documents came from the Charles Curtis estate, and from the families of Chief Justice William A. Johnston and Dr. Frank H. Hodder. There were also many souvenirs of the Landon campaign.
Many of the collections in the museum were cleaned and rearranged. All the accession records were recopied and new file cards prepared. Approximately 250 large display cards and numerous smaller ones were made with pen and brush. This work was done with the assistance of two WPA workers.
Total accessions to the Society's collections for the year ending June 30, 1937, were as follows:
|Magazines (bound volumes)||348|
|Printed maps, atlases and charts||217|
|Newspapers (bound volumes)||753|
These accessions bring the totals in the possession of the Society to the following figures:
|Books, pamphlets, bound newspapers and magazines||371,731|
|Separate manuscripts (archives)||1,057,347|
|Manuscript volumes (archives)||27,809|
|Manuscript maps (archives)||583|
|Printed maps, atlases and charts||10,919|
THE ANNUAL MEETING 89
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its sixth year, five volumes already having been published. It has established itself among the leading state historical magazines of the country and is each year becoming more popular with the members of the Society. It is widely quoted by the newspapers of the state and is used in many schools. A new feature that has been favorably received is the department, "Bypaths of Kansas History." These short, human-interest articles and out-of-the-way items often illustrate more clearly than more pretentious studies the events of the state's history.
OLD SHAWNEE METHODIST MISSION
Mention has been made of the appropriations for the upkeep of the mission property, consisting of twelve acres of ground and three large brick buildings now nearly 100 years old. It is hoped that the request for enough money to restore the north building will soon be allowed by the legislature. This building in many ways is the most interesting of the three. Almost all the original floors, partitions, mantels, lath, and other woodwork are still in the building. The grounds and the buildings are being constantly repaired and improved.
The outstanding undertaking of the past year was in the second floor of the east building. Some years ago when the property was in private hands this building was converted into a roadhouse and eight or ten small rooms were constructed on the second floor. Under supervision of the state architect these partitions were removed and all the space between the two stairways was converted into a large assembly room. The modern hardwood floors were removed and the original wide oak boards were repaired. The walls were plastered and painted and new lighting equipment installed. Under the direction of Miss Marjorie Cupp the room was attractively decorated and furnished. The many societies and individuals interested in the mission and desirous of meeting there have been delighted with this work.
FIRST CAPITOL OF KANSAS
The first capitol building, on Highway 40 in the Fort Riley reservation, continues to attract many visitors. During the year ending September 30, 1937, there were 13,718 visitors, about forty percent being from other states. This report would be incomplete without mention of the members of the staff of the Society. They are uniformly efficient and courteous. The secretary is pleased to acknowledge his indebtedness to them for the accomplishments noted herein. Respectfully submitted,
KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.
At the conclusion of the reading of the report of the secretary its approval was moved by Fred B. Bonebrake, seconded by W. C. Simons, and the motion carried.
Mr. Lee then called for the reading of the report of the treasurer, Mrs. Mary Embree, which follows:
90 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
STATEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP FEE FUND
From October 20, 1936, to October 19, 1937
|Treasury bonds on hand||$3,500.00|
|Balance, October 20, 1936||2,308.91|
|Refund of money advanced for postage||355.25|
|Annual membership dues||159.00|
|Life membership fees||170.00|
|Interest on treasury bonds||146.25|
|Chairs for 1936 annual meeting||4.00|
|Extra clerk hire||750.00|
|Christmas checks to janitors||13.50|
|Money advanced for supplies||8.95|
|Coal for First Capitol building||7.75|
|Premium on bonds of secretary and treasurer for 1936 and 1937||20.00|
|Rent of safe deposit box||3.30|
|Balance, October 19, 1937||5,271.05|
|Balance consists of Treasury bonds||$3,500.00|
JONATHAN PECKER BEQUEST FUND
|Principal, treasury bonds||$950.00|
|Balance, interest, October 20, 1936||$107.42|
|Interest from October 20, 1936, to October 19, 1937||27.80|
|Total amount received||$135.22|
|Goodspeed's Book Shop, New Hampshire books||$74.53|
|History of Jaffrey, N.H.||13.38|
|Anthony Taylor Family History, N.H.||15.00|
|Balance, October 19, 1937||32.31|
THE ANNUAL MEETING 91
JOHN BOOTH BEQUEST FUND
|Principal, treasury bonds||$500.00|
|Balance, interest, October 20, 1936||$40.68|
|Interest from October 20, 1936, to October 19, 1937||13.87|
THOMAS H. BOWLUS FUND
Principal, treasury bonds (interest included in membership fee fund), $1,000.00
Respectfully submitted, MARY EMBREE,
At the conclusion of the reading of the report of the treasurer its approval was moved by Robert Stone, seconded by I. V. Morgan, and the motion carried.
The report of the executive committee upon the treasurer's report was read by Mr. Lee, as follows:
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE'S REPORT
OCTOBER 19, 1937.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas Historical Society:
The executive committee being directed under the bylaws to check the accounts of the treasurer, states that the accounts of the treasurer have been audited by the state accountant and they are hereby approved.
THOMAS AMORY LEE, Member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Lee stated that the report of the executive committee stood approved if there were no objections. The report of the nominating committee for officers Of the Society was read by Mrs. A. M. Harvey in the absence of the chairman, Dr. James C. Malin:
NOMINATING COMMITTEE'S REPORT
OCTOBER 19, 1937.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations begs leave to submit the following report for officers of the Kansas Historical Society:
William Allen White, Emporia, president;
J. M. Challiss, Atchison, first
vice-president; Robert C. Rankin,
Lawrence, second vice-president.
JAMES C. MALIN, Chairman,
MRS. A. M. HARVEY,
MRS. HENRY F. MASON,
THOS. F. DORAN,
THOS. A. MCNEAL.
The report of the nominating committee was accepted and referred to the afternoon meeting of the board.
There being no further business to come before the board of directors, the meeting adjourned.
p>92 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY
The annual meeting of the Kansas Historical Society convened at 2 p. m. The members were called to order by Thomas A. McNeal, who asked C. M. Correll, in the absence of President Austin, to read the president's address:
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT
Ladies and Gentlemen-Members of the Kansas Historical Society, Friends and Guests:
It is the custom and the law of this Society that at each annual meeting the president shall present an address on such subject as he may select. This may be considered a substitute for such annual address for I find myself in New York City, far distant from the annual meeting.
The president of this Society has not many other duties than the preparation of this address, except to preside at the annual meeting and at the annual meeting of the board of directors immediately preceding, at which the succeeding officers are elected, and to appoint two members of the executive committee. When this annual meeting adjourns, the bylaws provide that the secretary and the executive committee shall have the power to carry on and perform the business of the Society. Though a year of ordinary length has elapsed since my election as president of the Society, I have not found time to prepare a satisfactory address due the honor conferred upon me. Sickness and death and attendance at the bedside of still a third friend have consumed much of that year and distracted my attention and mind from the necessary subjects of such an address.
I have nevertheless read many books published this year which I thought would give me somewhat of a background appropriate for a paper to read before the Kansas Historical Society. Four of them are: Sod and Stubble, by John Ise; The Sod-House Frontier, by Everett Dick; Coronado and Quivira, by Paul Jones; Man, the Unknown, by Alexis Carrel. Also I have gone through some little of the Virginia Historical Index.
Which leads me to the idea of asking every member of this Society to furnish our collections with their family history as far back as possible as preserving one of the best materials for Kansas history. It has been an old custom to record the births, marriages and deaths in family Bibles and transcripts of such records have always been found to be very valuable historical material. In the absence of such record, the memories of members and their family and friends, written out and deposited in the collections of the Historical Society, would be very acceptable and add greatly to the preservation of the materials which make the history of this state. But the last book which has fallen into my hands, is Forty Years on Main Street, which tells me that I could not do better than to limit my substitute for an address here to a few quotations manifesting the brilliant "intelligent discontent" which characterizes the next president of this Society, William Allen White. Since the publication of his famous editorial "What's the Matter With Kansas?," he has been known as one of the freshest, most vigorous, most intelligently human writers of our political commentators.
William Allen White came to Emporia and bought the Emporia Gazette,
THE ANNUAL MEETING 93
June 1, 1895, over forty years ago. On June 3, 1895, appeared his "Entirely Personal" salutatory editorial to his gentle readers announcing that the editor would do his best to represent the average thought of the best people of Emporia and Lyon county, with no axes to grind, that he would not be running his paper for political pull, that he would try to make and leave an honest name behind him, and as a forerunner of his later well-earned title as a phrase maker, he closed with this characteristic sentence, "The path of glory is barred hog-tight for the man who does not labor while he waits." Ten years before he had quit the College of Emporia because he thought it was not right to let his mother keep boarders to enable him to go to college; so he became a printer's devil in the offices of the El Dorado Democrat. In the introduction to Forty Years on Main Street, R. H. Fitzgibbon says: "Mr. White has made no tin god of editorial consistency." This collection--any collection--of his editorials will reveal that fact in the first few pages.
"`You can't pin the man White down,' is, he says, the verdict of many Gazette readers on his apparent mercuric instability. This refusal to assume that a position once taken must be religiously maintained has, however, permitted a sincerity that is a far more wholesome and solid characteristic of his writing. He writes what he, thinks. This may mean that the Gazette's editorial position will change almost overnight."
It was only about a year after he bought the Emporia Gazette that he wrote his famous editorial "What's the Matter with Kansas." The day it was written his time was limited. He and Mrs. White were to take an afternoon train for Colorado where they expected to spend their vacation. It was in the midst of the feverish McKinley-Bryan campaign. Some Populist stopped him on the street and argued with a sympathetic crowd of other Populists until White's temper became heated and he was in a state of angry excitement when he arrived at his office. The composing room was crying for "copy" to fill a hole in the editorial page. Mr. White rapidly wrote the editorial and left it with others. It represented the heat of the moment and he did not think of it as having any significant importance, but it attracted attention in Chicago and New York papers, and Mark Hanna, chairman of the Republican national committee, distributed copies to a large number of Republican newspapers, and in pamphlet form it was circulated for even more extensive political use. And when Mr. White returned from his vacation he found fame knocking at his door. I would like to insert that famous article, but it is too long.
The situation in 1922 involved specifically the Kansas industrial court, the establishment of which Mr. White and his paper the Emporia Gazette, had earlier favored. But its decision outlawing the displaying of placards expressing sympathy with striking railroad workers on the Atchison-Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, Mr. White felt, was a moral wrong. He became the spokesman for the protesting group and he himself violated the order by displaying a placard in his office window, and an editorial appeared in the Gazette of July 19, 1922, in which he says: "One of these cards went up in the Gazette window today" saying "we are for the striking railroad men one hundred percent. We are for a living wage and fair working conditions." The quotation continued: "Instead of one hundred percent, we have started it at forty-nine percent. If the strike lasts until tomorrow we shall change the percent to fifty, and move it up a little every day."
94 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
His close personal and political friend, Gov. Henry J. Allen, following his own lights, ordered Mr. White's arrest and trial as a test case. A few days later, in the role of an "American Milton," he addressed to Governor Allen another famous editorial entitled "To an Anxious Friend."
The next year came the announcement that this editorial had won the Pulitzer prize as the best editorial of 1922. "Mr. White's arrest was at best only a Pyrrhic victory for the state administration since in spite of his repeated requests he was never brought to trial. The most significant result of the affair was to rally support more strongly to the strikers' cause."
William Allen White has always been a staunch friend of Emporia, and I haven't any doubt he will be an equally staunch friend of this Society as president.
EDWIN A. AUSTIN.
THE ANNUAL MEETING 95
At the conclusion of the reading of Mr. Austin's address, Mr. McNeal asked the secretary to introduce three visitors. Mr. Mechem said that this annual meeting, featuring pictures of Kansas and the West, was in a way a celebration of the completion of the card catalogue of the 18,000 photographs, prints and paintings in the Society's collection.
He then introduced Mr. L. Palenske of Alma who for many years has taken notable photographs throughout the West. He commented on Mr. Palenske's recent work in illustrating with modern photographs the new edition of Alonzo Delano's famous book, Across the Plains and Among the Diggings. Mr. Adolph Roenigk of Lincoln was introduced and it was explained that the illustrations for his book, Pioneer History of Kansas, were reproductions of oil paintings which were made by the artists under his personal direction. Mr. Roenigk participated in many incidents described in his book. Miss Margaret Whittemore of Topeka was introduced with the statement that her wood blocks of historic buildings and scenes in Kansas were outstanding among the historical illustrations of the /state.
The photographs, illustrations and prints of these three were a part of the collection of the Society's pictures on display in the lobby, Mr. Mechem informed the meeting. He then explained that he had intended to display and comment on a number of the most interesting pictures at this time before it was learned that Dr. Robert Taft, the principal speaker of the afternoon, would be available. Instead, he selected only ten or twelve to display and then introduced Doctor Taft who made a most interesting address on "Artists of the Frontier." This talk was illustrated with lantern slides in colors showing examples of the paintings of the earliest artists of the West. At the conclusion of this address the report of the committee on nominations for directors was read by Dr. James C. Malin, chairman:
October 18, 1937<
To the Kansas Historical Society: Your committee on nominations begs leave to submit the following report and recommendations for directors of the Society for the term of three years ending October, 1940:
|Austin, E. A., Topeka.||Lillard, T. M., Topeka.|
|Berryman, J. W., Ashland.||Lindsley, H. K., Wichita.|
|Brigham, Mrs. Lalla M.,||McCarter, Mrs. Margaret Hill, Topeka.|
|Council Grove.||Morgan, Isaac B., Kansas City.|
|Bumgardner, Edward, Lawrence.||Oliver, Hannah P., Lawrence.|
|Correll, Charles M., Manhattan.||Patrick, Mrs. Mae C., Satanta.|
|Davis, John W., Hugoton.||Reed, Clyde M., Parsons.|
|Davis, W. W., Lawrence.||Rupp, Mrs. W. E., Hillsboro.|
|Denious, Jess C., Dodge City.||Schultz, Floyd B., Clay Center.|
|Fay, Mrs. Mamie Axline, Pratt.||Scott, Charles F., Iola.|
|Frizell, E. E., Larned.||Shirer, H. L., Topeka.|
|Godsey, Mrs. Flora R., Emporia.||Uhl, L. C., Jr., Smith Center.|
|Hall, Mrs. Carrie A., Leavenworth.||Van de Mark, M. V. B., Concordia.|
|Haskin, S. B., Olathe.||Wark, George H., Caney.|
|Hegler, Ben F., Wichita.||Wheeler, Mrs. B. R., Topeka.|
|Jones, Horace, Lyons.||Woolard, Sam F., Wichita.|
|Kelley, E. E., Garden City.||Wooster, Lorraine E., Salina.|
JAMES C. MALIN, Chairman,
MRS. A. M. HARVEY,
MRS. HENRY F. MASON,
THOS. F. DORAN,
THOS. A. McNEAL.
On motion of Thomas Amory Lee, seconded by Robert C. Rankin, these directors were unanimously elected for the term ending October, 1940.
The reports of representatives of other societies were called for. Mrs. Lena Miller Owen, president of the Douglas County Historical Society, read the annual report of that organization. Mrs. Carl Harder of the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society made a report for that society. Mr. B. M. Ottaway made a verbal report for the Franklin County Historical Society. Mr. Charles H. Browne of Horton made a brief statement concerning the splendid manner in which historic sites are marked in Montana, and recommended that when work is begun on the proposed marking of historic sites in Kansas by the Historical Society, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the State Highway Commission, it would be well to consider Montana's system as a model. There being no further business the annual meeting of the Society adjourned.
96 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The afternoon meeting of the board of directors was then called to order by Mr. McNeal. He asked for a re-reading of the report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. The following were unanimously elected:
William Allen White, Emporia, president; J. M. Challiss, Atchison, first vice-president; Robert C. Rankin, Lawrence, second vice-president.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.
KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.
DIRECTORS OF THE KANSAS STATE HISTORICAL
SOCIETY AS OF OCTOBER, 1937
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER, 1938
|Aitchison, R. T., Wichita.||Malin, James C., Lawrence.|
|Baugher, Charles A., Ellis.||Moore, Russell, Wichita.|
|Capper, Arthur, Topeka.||Morehouse, Geo. P., Topeka.|
|Carson, F. L., Wichita.||Price, Ralph R., Manhattan.|
|Challiss, J. M., Atchison.||Raynesford, H. C., Ellis.|
|Dawson, John S., Hill City.||Russell, W. J., Topeka.|
|Doerr, Mrs. Laura P. V., Larned.||Smith, Wm. E., Wamego.|
|Doran, Thomas F., Topeka.||Solander, Mrs. T. T., Osawatomie.|
|Ellenbecker, John G., Marysville.||Somers, John G., Newton.|
|Hobble, Frank A., Dodge City.||Stevens, Caroline F., Lawrence.|
|Hogin, John C., Belleville.||Stewart, Don, Independence.|
|Huggins, Wm. L., Emporia.||Thompson, W. F., Topeka.|
|Hunt, Charles L., Concordia.||Van Tuyl, Mrs. Effie H., Leavenworth.|
|Knapp, Dallas W., Coffeyville.||Walker, Mrs. Ida M., Norton.|
|Lilleston, W. F., Wichita.||White, William Allen, Emporia.|
|McLean, Milton R., Topeka.||Wilson, John H., Salina.|
|McNeal, T. A., Topeka.|
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER, 1939
|Beeks, Charles E., Baldwin.||Mechem, Kirke, Topeka.|
|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.|
|Browne, Charles H., Horton.||Philip, Mrs. W. D., Hays.|
|Embree, Mrs. Mary, Topeka.||Rankin, Robert C., Lawrence.|
|Gray, John M., Kirwin.||Ruppenthal, J. C., Russell.|
|Hamilton, R. L., Beloit.||Ryan, Ernest A., Topeka.|
|Harger, Charles M., Abilene.||Sayers, Wm. L., Hill City.|
|Harvey, Mrs. A. M., Topeka.||Simons, W. C., Lawrence.|
|Haucke, Frank, Council Grove.||Skinner, Alton H., Kansas City.|
|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.|
|McFarland, Horace E., Junction City.||Woodward, Chester, Topeka.|
|Malone, James, Topeka.|
THE ANNUAL MEETING 97
DIRECTORS FOR YEAR ENDING OCTOBER, 1940
|Austin, E. A., Topeka.||Lillard, T. M., Topeka.|
|Berryman, J. W., Ashland.||Lindsley, H. K., Wichita.|
|Brigham, Mrs. Lalla M., Council Grove.||McCarter, Mrs. Margaret Hill, Topeka.|
|Bumgardner, Edward, Lawrence.||Morgan, Isaac B., Kansas City.|
|Correll, Charles M., Manhattan.||Oliver, Hannah P., Lawrence.|
|Davis, John W., Hugoton.||Patrick, Mrs. Mae C., Satanta.|
|Davis, W. W., Lawrence.||Reed, Clyde M., Parsons.|
|Denious, Jess C., Dodge City.||Rupp, Mrs. W. E., Hillsboro.|
|Fay, Mrs. Mande Axline, Pratt.||Schultz, Floyd B., Clay Center.|
|Frizell, E. E., Larned.||Scott, Charles F., Iola.|
|Godsey, Mrs. Flora R., Emporia.||Shirer, II. L., Topeka.|
|Hall, Mrs. Carrie A., Leavenworth.||Uhl, L. C., Jr., Smith Center.|
|Haskin, S. B., Olathe.||Van de Mark, M. V. B., Concordia.|
|Hegler, Ben F., Wichita||Wark, George H., Caney.|
|Jones, Horace, Lyons||Wheeler, Mrs. B. R., Topeka.|
|Kelley, E. E., Garden City||Woolard, Sam F., Wichita.|
|Wooster, Lorraine E., Salina|