Jump to Navigation

Kansas Historical Notes - May 1942

May 1942 (Vol. 11, No. 2), pages 220 to 224.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Gov. Payne Ratner announced last fall that the program for marking the historic sites of Kansas on the highways would be continued, but the Japanese attack on Hawaii December 7 and the nation's allout war effort forced a change in plans. Inscriptions for fifty-seven markers were written before work was stopped. Four or five markers, not placed on the highways in 1941 due to changes in road construction or because of difficulties in securing suitable right of ways, will be set up and dedicated this year. Officials of the Kansas State Highway Commission, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and the Historical Society, the cooperating organizations, are hopeful that the program can be resumed again when peace comes.

The Committee on Conservation of Cultural Resources and the National Archives in Washington recommend that institutions and individuals cooperate in the campaigns to collect paper for use in war industries by discarding nonessential documents and excess copies of those which may have value. However, in an effort to prevent wasteful destruction of papers which ought to be preserved, they have prepared a poster which reads in part as follows: CONSERVE paper but SAVE historical records. GIVE waste paper, wrappings, boxes and duplicate records to the waste paper collectors. SAVE family papers, journals and diaries, birth and death records, complete files of old newspapers, and records of county, city and other governmental units. Indiscriminate destruction of official records is prohibited by federal and by most state laws. IN CASE OF DOUBT consult your Historical Society or library, the history department of a university, or write the National Archives, Washington, D. C.

In response to a call from the National Resources Planning Board a Kansas committee has been appointed by Kirke Mechem, secretary of the Historical Society, acting as temporary chairman, to plan for the preservation of cultural, scientific and historical materials. Problems to be considered include protection of the state's records and treasures and storage for materials from other states should it become necessary to move them here from danger zones.

The following were asked to serve on the committee: C. P. Baber, librarian, State Teachers College, Emporia; C. M. Baker, librarian, University of Kansas Library, Lawrence; Howard Church, art di-



rector, Washburn Municipal University, Topeka; Grace E. Derby, associate librarian, Kansas State College, Manhattan; Harold J. Henderson, state supervisor, Historical Records Survey, Topeka; W. M. Jardine, president, Wichita Municipal University; Louise McNeal, state librarian, Topeka; Minnie S. Moodie, curator, Thayer Museum of Art, Lawrence; Odella Nation, librarian, State Teachers College, Pittsburg; Hattie Osborne, Quayle librarian, Baker University, Baldwin; G. H. Sandy, librarian, Kansas City Public Library; Mrs. Maude G. Schollenberger, president, Wichita Art Museum; F. B. Streeter, librarian, Fort Hays Kansas State College, Hays. An investigation of storage facilities within library and museum buildings of the state is being made by the Historical Records Survey as part of the committee's program.

An address, "Let's Look Again at Kansas," by Deane Malott, chancellor of Kansas University, was the feature of the annual banquet meeting of the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas held in Topeka, January 28, 1942. New officers are: Native Sons -- Glenn Archer, Densmore and Topeka, president; Richard Allen, Topeka, vice-president; W. M. Richards, Emporia, secretary; Nyle H. Miller, Anthony and Topeka, treasurer; Native Daughters -- Mrs. Charles H. Benson, Topeka, president; Mrs. George L. McClenny, Topeka, vice-president; Mrs. F. S. Hawes, Russell, secretary; Mrs. W. von der Heiden, Newton, treasurer. The retiring presidents were Bert E. Mitchner of Hutchinson and Mrs. Howard Richardson of Pratt. Officers of the Lyon county chapter of the Kansas Historical Society were reelected January 34, 1942. They are H. A. Wayman, president; George R. R. Pflaum, first Vice-president; H. A. Osborn, second Vice-president; E. C. Ryan, secretary; J. S. Langley, treasurer. Osborn was chosen to fill the vacancy left when Wayman and Pflaum were moved up in rank following the death of W. L. Hug gins. Historians of the chapter, who were also reelected, are Mrs. Fanny Vickery, Mrs. Lulu Purdy Gilson and Lucina Jones. J. J. Wingfield, Margaret Lowe, Richard Langley, Anna R. Carpenter, Park Morse, R. D. Lumley, C. A. Paine, Mrs. J. C. McKinney, Ben Talbot, Tom Price, Mrs. Dolly Sheets, Dr. O. J. Corbett, Catherine H. Jones, Alice Evans Snyder and W. A. White are the board of directors. The society maintains a museum in the civic auditorium.

The Kansas History Teachers Association and the Kansas Council for the Social Studies met in Topeka, April 18, 1942. The morning


session of the History Teachers Association was held in the newspaper reading room of the Historical Society. Ernest Mahan, president of the association, was chairman. The following papers were presented: "Getting Together With Latin America," by John Rydjord, University of Wichita; "Sampling the War Literature," by Elizabeth Cochran, Pittsburg State Teachers College; "Some Implications of a World Point of View," by Fred L. Parrish, Kansas State College, Manhattan. Robena Pringle, president of the Kansas Council for the Social Studies, presided at its morning meeting in Topeka High School. Robert E. Keohane, of the University of Chicago, gave the featured address On "New Challenges to Teachers of the Social Studies." Discussion leaders were Margaret Browne of Topeka, P. E. Cowan of Kansas City and J. C. Gaeddert of Manhattan. Ruth E. Litchen, of the University of Kansas, presided at a joint session at the high school in the afternoon. Featured addresses were "Social Science Congresses for Junior Colleges," by Alvin Proctor, Pratt Junior College, and "Implications of War in Teaching the Social Studies in a Democracy," by Robert E. Keohane. Iden Reese of the Kansas City Junior College is the newly elected president of the history association. Other officers and members of the executive committee are A. B. Sageser, Kansas State College, Manhattan, Vice-president; Della A. Warden, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, secretary-treasurer; Ernest Mahan, Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsburg; Jessica Smith, North High School, Wichita; C. S. Boertman, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia; William Theodore Paullin, Kansas University, Lawrence. New OffIcers and members of the executive committee of the Kansas Council for the Social Studies include Ruth E. Litchen, University of Kansas, Lawrence, president; P. E. Cowan, Argentine High School, Kansas City, vice-president; Ethelynn Fortescue, Topeka High School, secretary-treasurer; Jessica Smith, Wichita; J. C. Gaeddert, Manhattan Junior High School, and Robena Pringle, Topeka High School.

Volume II of a historical series of booklets entitled Notes on Early Clark County, Kansas, has recently been issued by the Clark county chapter of the Kansas Historical Society. The chapter since its organization in the summer of 1939 has sponsored a column of interesting notes on southwest Kansas history in The Clark County Clipper of Ashland. In 1940 the first year's articles were reprinted in a paper-bound booklet as Volume I of the series. Volume II, featuring articles


reprinted from the Clipper files of August, 1940, to September, 1941, was issued with indexes to Volumes I and II, and both volumes have been combined and reissued in a single cloth binding. Editors are Mrs. Dorothy Berryman Shrewder and Mrs. Melville Campbell Harper.

Kansas Points of Interest-Historic, Scenic, Recreational is the title of an attractive blue booklet issued early in 1942 by the Kansas State Highway and Industrial Development Commissions. Over 150 Kansas towns receive mention. Complete texts of the fifty-seven Kansas Historical Markers are printed. All the markers and 100 Kansas lakes are located On a 14" x 8" colored map of the state folded in the center of the thirty-two page booklet. The Kansas Historical Society compiled the historical information. Copies Of the booklet and of a newly-issued colored highway map of the state may be secured by writing Leslie E. Edmonds, superintendent of public relations, Kansas State Highway Commission, Topeka.

The fact that workers in vital war industries must have birth certificates has caused an unprecedented demand for documentary proof of birth and citizenship. To help make these records available the Historical Records Survey of the Work Projects Administration has issued a mimeographed Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Kansas. It includes data on state and local public records of births, marriages, deaths and divorces. Sources have been listed and the procedure for securing copies has been explained. In addition, the 262-page volume outlines the history of the requirements for recording the state's vital statistics and a description of methods employed. The compilation will prove a handy guide to all who are helping secure the documents necessary for delayed birth certificates. Two more volumes have been issued in the series of inventories of county archives in Kansas being prepared by the Historical Records Survey. The book for Phillips county was completed in September, 1941, and one for Gove county in December. Eleven other county volumes previously released were listed in the Quarterly, v. X, pp. 334, 335. The Kansas Historical Society is sponsor of the project. Publications of the survey are available to governmental agencies, libraries and historical societies. All requests should be addressed to Harold J. Henderson, state supervisor, Historical Records Survey, 912 Kansas Avenue, Topeka.

The history of manufacturing in Lawrence from the establishment of the town in 1854 was reviewed by Kenneth A. Middleton in a


ninety-one page booklet published in December, 1941, by the Bureau of Business Research of the University of Kansas. The publication was titled The Industrial History of a Midwestern Town.

"Plotting After Harpers Ferry: The `William Handy' Letters," was the title of an article by James C. Malin in the February, 1942, issue of The Journal of Southern History, of Baton Rouge, La. "The idea of abolition of slavery by revolution and the shedding of blood was by no means new when Brown tried it," Malin pointed out. "William Handy" was William Thayer. The letters show that Thayer and others organized men "willing to shoot or be shot at" should U. S. authorities attempt to arrest any because of involvement in the Brown episode. They were prepared "to precipitate a conflict between the state and federal governments, or some other kind of armed conflict."

Lamps on the Prairie-A History of Nursing in Kansas, compiled by the Writers' program of the Work Projects Administration and sponsored by the Kansas State Nurses' Association and the Kansas Department of Education, was issued from the Emporia Gazette Press in April, 1942. The book contains 292 pages and is well illustrated. It is "the story of the development of nursing in Kansas, prefaced by a bit of state history and enlivened by personal reminiscences of pioneer nurses." The first hospitals in the state were established by the military at the several Kansas forts. The first civilian hospital was opened at Leavenworth in 1864. Histories of these and the more recently established hospitals are featured. Cora A. Miller, of Emporia, is chairman of the historical committee of the nurses' association. Harold C. Evans is state supervisor of the Kansas Writers' program. Included among other recent publications of the Writers' program not previously mentioned here are: a 28-page guide to Kansas' recreation areas under the title Kansas Facts, Events, Places, Tours (1941), printed as one of the American Recreation Series; the 24-page "Guide to Pittsburg, Kansas" (mimeographed), sponsored by the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, and histories of the 127th field artillery, 130th field artillery, 161st field artillery and the 137th infantry regiments (mimeographed), compiled under the sponsorship of Brig. Gen. Milton R. McLean, adjutant general of Kansas.