Programs

SCHGS Meetings

2017

April 24th - 6:30 p.m.  
"Wild Women of the West"
from Caldwell, Kansas


Dance Hall Girls - French Marie, Squirrel Tooth Alice, Doc Holliday's girlfriend, 
Big Nose Kate,  Poker Alice and Molly B'Dam
and Butch Cassiday's girlfriend, Etta Place,
may all show up!

Singer(s) to serenade cowboys
Cowboy Poet - Sam Wylie
James Jordan as Jesse Chisholm
Concessions
April 24th - 6:30 p.m.
Wellington Regent Theater
114 West Lincoln Avenue
Wellington, Kansas




"The Chisholm Trail in Sumner County"
May 22nd - Wellington Public Library - 6:30 p.m.

Jim Bales, Chisholm Trail Museum



FOR MORE INFORMATION:
March 12, 2017                                     Sherry Kline, 1st Vice President/Programs
Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society
PH: 316-833-6161; 
skline09@gmail.com
www.ksschgs.com; www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com

“Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail"

Wellington –Dr. Leo Oliva, author and former professor of history at Fort Hays State University, is fascinated by 19th century Kansas early settler’s history, Native-American, and military history, and is currently working on a book with Alice Anne Thompson about women who traveled the Santa Fe Trail.

“I’m mostly interested in the 19th century,” Oliva said, “twentieth century seems too recent”

Oliva will present a few of his stories about “Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail” to members and guests of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society on Saturday, March 18th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Wellington Public Library. Everyone is invited to attend the free program. For information or weather cancellations: President Jane Moore - 620-441-9835 or Vice-President Sherry Kline at 316-833-6161.

Dr. Oliva has been a member of the Kansas Humanities Council Speakers Bureau since 2010. He attended college at Ft. Hays State, received his PhD from the University of Denver, Colorado, and is the author of a dozen books, most about frontier military history (including Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail and six of the eight fort histories in the Kansas Forts Network series).

“We are working to find stories on all the women that we can,” Oliva said, adding that they are continually finding new stories, many coming from the descendants of those women.

Oliva said that the trail was used by a very diverse group of people: African-American slaves and non-slaves, whites, Native Americans, Mexicans, and more.

According to Oliva, Susan Shelby Magoffin, Kentucky, was granddaughter of Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, and traveled the trail in 1846 with her husband’s wagon train.

“There was an African-American woman who served in the Army for two years,” Oliva said.

“We think that she decided she wanted out of the Army because of the poor treatment of African-Americans in the service,” Oliva said, “even the discharge papers don’t state that she was a woman.”

“Another woman served in the Mexican American war and was discharged without any mention of her being a woman,” Oliva said, “she applied for a land warrant and the soldiers testified in her behalf and she got her land grant.”

Marian Sloan Russell traveled the trail five times from the age of 7 to 17, with her “single” mother. Marian’s mother, Eliza Sloan, was married to an Army officer.

According to Oliva, Marian’s grandsons have located two marriage records for Marian’s mother Eliza, but no divorce records. From all evidence, she traveled the trail with her daughter, married and remarried, and - leaving both husbands behind, though not divorcing either, continued to travel the trail. (Possibly to avoid being in the same area as either of her ex-husbands?) Oliva said that she even ran a boarding house at Ft. Hays for a short time.

Lydia Spencer Lane, who was an Army officer’s wife, traveled the trail at least 7 times, Oliva said, and Katie Bowen traveled the trail in 1851, and suffragist and abolitionist Julia Archibald Holmes, traveled the Santa Fe Trail across Kansas Territory to the Rocky Mountains, where she became the first woman to climb Pike’s Peak.

Dr. Oliva is a founding member of the Santa Fe Trail Association and Fort Larned Old Guard, served as editor of the Santa Fe Trail Association Quarterly, Wagon Tracks, for 25 years and writes a weekly newspaper column titled “Our Kansas Heritage.”

Dr. Oliva and his wife Bonita operate the family farm in north-central Kansas.

This talk is being presented thanks to a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council.




NEWS RELEASE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       FOR MORE INFORMATION:
February 20, 2016                                  Sherry Kline, 1st Vice President/Programs
Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society
PH: 316-833-6161;
skline09@gmail.com
www.ksschgs.com; www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com

Kansas Mascots: The Common, the Classic, and the Quirky


Wellington – Whether you wear your school’s colors on game day, shout “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” for Jayhawks basketball, or put on your purple during K-State’s football season, your team’s mascot has a story.
Jordan Poland, Director of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, will present the program “Kansas Mascots: The Common, the Classic, and the Quirky” to members and guests of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society on Monday, February 27th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Public Library. Everyone is invited to attend the free program. For information or weather cancellations: President Jane Moore - 620-441-9835 or Vice-President Sherry Kline at 316-833-6161.
Poland will discuss some of the common mascots, such as Bulldogs, Eagles, and why those mascots are so common.

“Yale had been known as the Bulldogs from the late 1800’s,” Poland said, adding that when folks migrated west, they may have used a mascot for their new town that reflected the area they left or picked the mascot of a team that they admired.

According to Poland, organized sports in American schools didn’t really start till the late 1800’s, and it wasn’t until then that team’s began to have mascots.

Poland said that the origin of some of the fun mascots may be lost to history, but they are often rooted in a local legend, or local history.

“There really isn’t a rhyme or reason why teams picked their mascot at that time,” Poland said, “someone might have had a dog, and sometimes the newspapers may have printed that the team ‘fought like wildcats’ and then the team became known by that.”

Poland will discuss some of the common mascots, such as Bulldogs, Eagles, and why those mascots are so common.

“Yale had been known as the Bulldogs from the late 1800’s,” Poland said, adding that when folks migrated west, they may have used a mascot for their new town that reflected the area they left or picked the mascot of a team that they admired.

Whether your team is the Southwestern College “Moundbuilders” with Jinx the cat, the Central Plains “Oilers”, or the Washburn University “Ichabods,” your team’s mascot may reflect local history, legends, or commerce.

Poland said that in the early 1900’s Wichita State (then known as Fairmount College) had a football team. 

“They [the team] would be loaned out to farmers,” Poland said, adding that the majority of the team spent their summers shocking wheat for area farmers, leading to them being nicknamed the “Wichita State Wheat Shockers”, now “Shockers.”

K-State fans may be surprised to know that their team has had several mascots, a black lab, the Aggies or Farmers, and the Wildcats; the University of Kansas Jayhawks have had the same name since the Civil War era.

“Folks in that area have been called the Jayhawkers since the Civil War,” Poland said.
Poland said that when schools merge, they often end up choosing a new mascot, such as Central Plains in Barton County’s new mascot, the “Oilers,” that reflects the area’s oil industry.
Poland began to research mascots because he wanted to find a unique way to talk about history, especially to kids.

“The great thing about this state is that we have such a rich history,” Poland said, “a lot of us don’t realize that it’s in front of us every Friday night or on Saturday when the colleges are playing.”

“Younger kids don’t always think of history as being the most interesting topic in school,” Poland said “if you can reach a kid - that’s what fires me up.” 

January 23rd, 2016


Clint Metz - Oxford, Kansas Homesteader

Wellington – Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society will host “Homesteading Near Oxford” a presentation by Dennis Metz, Oxford, on Monday, January 23th, at 6:30 p.m.  at the Wellington Public Library, Wellington. Everyone is invited to attend the free program. For information or weather cancellations: President Jane Moore - 620-441-9835 or Vice President Sherry Kline at 316-833-6161.


In 1872, when Dennis Metz’s great-great-grandfather, Clint Metz, farmer, gambler, and Civil War veteran came into Sumner County, Kansas seeking land to homestead, there were few people, no railroads, the grass was as high as the stirrups on his saddle, and the Dalton gang had yet to rob their first bank.

“His [Clint Metz’s] grandson was my Granddad,” said Dennis Metz, “I grew up on the same farm with my Granddad.”

Clint Metz was just one of the many Civil War veterans (and non-veterans) who took advantage of the Homestead Act that was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862.

The Homestead Act allowed would-be land owners to pay a small filing fee and claim 160 acres by building a home, growing crops, and living on the land for five years. Or, they could live on the land for six month, build a home, begin to grow crops, and pay $1.25 an acre to own the land.

In 1864, after a change in the law, soldiers with two years of service could claim land after a one-year residency.

By the time Clint homesteaded between Wellington and Oxford, the Indians had spent their first year in Oklahoma after being relocated there from their homes in Kansas.

By 1900, eighty million acres of land had been distributed following the implementation of the Homestead Act.

The Metz family history includes several interesting stories about Clint’s early days in Kansas.
“Clint Metz was a gambler,” Metz said. “During one card game, he bought a ham sandwich and ate a card.”

Another story passed down through family history was of the time Clint Metz was involved in a card game located on a farm south of Oxford.  While the card game was in progress a group of riders rode into the yard on horseback and headed for the barn.

The farm owner quickly told them “Just sit still. Don’t get up or they will shoot you through the window.”

“Just shut up and keep playing cards. I’ll tell you when they are gone,” he said.

Curious but frightened, the card players did as they were told.

After the group rode out, the farmer said “That was the Dalton gang, and they stopped to get fresh horses.”

“When you got here in 1872, there wasn’t a whole lot of law,” Dennis said, “they were kind of rough and tumble people then.”

Clint’s son Charlie added two more quarters to the original homesteaded quarter and he left each of his sons land and each of his daughter’s money,” Dennis said, “so we have three quarters that have been in the family for more than 100 years.”

Dennis said that his father worked with him when he began farming and now he helps his sons.
“Each family generation works with and encourages the next generation,” Dennis said, “it’s a family farm.”



September 26th, 2016

Kansas Farm Bureau Century Farms


On September 26th, at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet at 6:00 p.m. at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington, speaker Helen Norris, Wellington, will present the program "Kansas Farm Bureau Century Farms" to members and guests. The program is free.  Visitors are always welcome.  Buffet available before the program begins. 

The program is free. Visitors are always welcome.

Contact Sherry Kline, 1st Vice President, Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society at 316-833-6161 for more information. 



August 27th 2016




Wellington – The Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society will host “Wichita’s Dockum Drug Store Sit-Ins Make History,” a video presentation and discussion by Dr. Galyn Vesey, Wichita, on August 27th at 1:00 p.m., at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington.  Buffet available from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 p.m. The program is free. Visitors are always welcome. Contact Sherry Kline, Vice President of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society at 316-833-6161 for more information.

In the mid 1950’s Galyn Vesey was attending junior high and working in the kitchen at Kress’s.

Vesey said this was an era when blacks sat in the back of the bus and most job opportunities for blacks were for kitchen or janitorial work.

It was a time when young Vesey could work in the restaurant’s kitchen, but was not allowed to eat at that restaurant’s counter.

When Vesey was a twenty-one-year-old Wichita University student and a member of the of the Young Adult Chapter of the NAACP, the Young Adult Chapter decided to address these inequalities.

“Because, see, it was not unusual to be treated shabbily downtown, so our leaders were looking for an activity of a civic nature,” Vesey said.

The group decided to hold a sit-in at the Dockum Drug Store Lunch Counter.  A lunch counter that only served whites. The sit-in was to be a peaceful demonstration during which young black students would sit down at a. lunch counter they had never been allowed to sit at, and politely wait to be served.  

Vesey said that the planning and preparation for the 1958 sit-in began in 1957. Because of violence in other parts of the country, including the treatment of the high school students in Little Rock, and the murder of Emmet Till, Vesey’s group was concerned enough to prepare for anything that might happen.

They prepared by rehearsing all the possible scenarios, each playing a different role.  They were instructed to wear their “Sunday best clothes.” They were told to be polite.

“I went during the day or on Saturday mornings” Vesey said. According to Vesey, twelve to twenty young people, usually students of high school, college, and some of elementary school age, came and took turns sitting at the Dockum Drug Store counter waiting to be served.

“Sometimes if some whites came in and saw what was going on, they would turn around and leave,” Vesey said.

“There were youths whose parents knew they were down there,” Vesey said, “and there were other youths like myself, whose parents didn’t know.”

“My father had the kind of job that if they had known, my father could have lost his job,” Vesey said, “my dad died and never knew what I had done, but my mother lived long enough to attend the banquet in 2006.”

In August of 1958, after approximately two weeks, the sit-in was over when a Dockum Drug Store executive said “Serve them, I’m losing too much money.”

They had no idea when they began that their success would have such far reaching effects. Sit-ins were staged across the nation, and restaurants began to be desegregated.

“Once I got up to Syracuse University, and started reflecting on my life I decided that it needed to be written about,” Vesey said, “when I was working on my PhD, a light came on about all that.”

Now, Vesey is the Project Director for the “Research on Black Wichita” Project, (www.robwks.com), which focuses on black history from 1873 to the mid-1970’s.  

Vesey said that the project will focus on individual interviews, focus groups, and “all the documents that I can find.”

“To make it come alive, I get into the individual adversities that individuals had to deal with,” Vesey said, “sometimes people are in their graves before they are recognized. Now that I look back there were a lot of heroic people in Wichita.”

“I’m proud of what I did. It took some bravery.  We could have been thrown in jail or worse,” Vesey said, “it takes a lot of steps to get someplace and it took a lot of steps to make this a better planet to live on.”



For more information about “Wichita’s Dockum Drug Store Sit-Ins Make History,” in Wellington, Kansas contact President Jane Moore 620-447-3266 or Vice President Sherry Kline 316-833-6161.  Or visit www.ksschgs.com or www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com.


May 23rd, 2016



"Head 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out

"Head 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out" is part of the Kansas Humanities Council's Kansas Stories Speakers bureau.  Jim Gray is a sixth generation Kansan who co-founded the COWBOY (Cockeyed Old West Band of Yahoos) Society to promote and preserve Kansas's cowboy heritage through the bi-monthly newspaper, Kansas Cowboy.  Gray is also the executive director of the National Drovers Hall of Fame and the author of "Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier" and writes the newspaper column "The Way West." 

"Head 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out" will explore early days of ranching and trail driving.

The Monday, May 23rd meeting will be held at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington, Kansas at 6:30 p.m.  The buffet is available to members and visitors from 5 - 6:30 p.m.

Questions?  

Contact:  Sherry Kline - 316-833-6161 or Jane Moore - 620-447-3266.



2016 - Saturday, April 16th 


Angela Bates
"Children of the Promised Land"


Saturday, April 16, 2016
1:00 p.m.
Wellington Public Library
Lower Level
121 W. 7th
Wellington, KS 67152
620-326-2011

Angela Bates is he executive director of the 
Nicodemus Historical Society.

She presents educational programs across the nation 
covering Nicodemus, Exodusters and black towns in the 

West, Buffalo Soldiers, and black women in the West.

2016 - Monday, March 28th

Civil War Reenactor Michelle Yipe
Monday, March 28th, 2016
6:30  p.m.

Good Taste Chinese Buffet
Meeting Room
1311 E. 16th

Wellington, KS 67152
Good Taste Phone: 620-399-8401


2015 - Monday, November 23rd

"Alaskan Adventure - The Kenai Peninsula"


November 23rd, 2015
Program: 6:30 p.m.; Meal: 5:30 p.m.
Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington, KS  67152
Free program; Guests Welcome

“Alaskan Adventure – the Kenai Peninsula”

Ken and Shari Carothers, Retired Teachers who taught in Alaska north of the Artic Circle for 2 ½ years, will present the free program “Alaskan Adventure – the Kenai Peninsula” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society Members and Guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet.  Meal at 5:30 p.m.; meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. For possible weather Cancellations, please contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 or the Good Taste Chinese Buffet at 620-399-8401.

When Ken and Shari Carothers retired, they didn’t plan to go and teach 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, an environment so cold that in the winter it got down to 60 below, and the wind chill may have been 120 below.

In 2007, Ken and Shari Carothers flew into what would be their new teaching positions. A place so cold, according to the Carothers, that you put on two pairs of socks, jeans, ski pants, thermal everything you could find, plus two pairs of gloves and a ski mask and goggles and then put your hood up over everything just to go out the door.

A place so remote they had to fly in to get there; a place so remote that everything had to be flown in and a gallon of milk was $15.00, a bucket of vanilla ice cream was $22.00, and bananas were $8.00 a pound if you could get them at all.

And they began teaching kids that had already ran off thirteen teachers before them.

But the kids weren’t able to run the Carothers off and they returned to teach again in 2008. After the school year ended, the Carothers rented an RV and they traveled with their family from Anchorage to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula.

With colorful scenic photographs, a PowerPoint presentation, and their unique perspective, the Carothers will share historic information about the “Open Port” at Seward and how it was used during World War II, the beginning of the Iditarod sled dog race, the Mendenhall, Exit, and Byron Glaciers, whale watching on the Kenai Fjord, the Seabey’s Dog Training camp, and much more.

“The trip that was supposed to take three and a half hours took us three days,” Shari Carothers said, “Because we pulled out at every scenic pull out.”



2015 - Monday, October 26th


“Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor”



Before the first shot was ever fired at Fort Sumter and before Kansas was ever a state, Kansas and Missouri were already involved in the bloody border wars that led to the back-stabbing, back-shooting, neighbor-against-neighbor border violence that earned Kansas the nickname “Bleeding Kansas” and led to the Civil War.

If you are one of the many who descend from a Civil War veteran and would like to hear more about what the soldiers experienced and learn how to trace their footsteps during the war, then the program on Monday, October 26th hosted by the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society is a don’t miss opportunity.
Michelle Enke, Manager of the Wichita Public Library’s Genealogy Special Collections Center, will present the free program “Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor” to Sumner County Historical Society Members and Guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet.  Meal at 5:30 p.m.; meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Enke will share how to trace your ancestor, find out what unit he was with, what the unit did, and how it might have affected him.

“Even though his unit did one thing, he may have been sent out to do something entirely different, “Enke said, adding that she will share how to find out what that might have been.

According to HistoryNet.com, “The Civil War came early to Missouri and Kansas, and stayed late…”
“Neighbor fought against neighbor,” said Michelle Enke, “Brothers didn’t usually fight against each other, but cousins did.”
“It was not just the troops fighting,” Enke said “This affected people in their homes.”
Shortly after Kansas became a territory in 1854, the bloodshed began. As early as 1855, Jayhawkers and pro-slavery Border Ruffians were terrorizing the border between Kansas and Missouri, both becoming known for their brutality and thievery with settlers of either viewpoint being murdered, hacked to death by hatchet, and shot in the back.
According to HistoryNet.com, approximately two hundred people were killed between November 1855 and December 1856 before the Civil War actually began.
On January 29th, 1861, Kansas became a state, and on April 12th, 1861, Fort Sumter was attacked by Confederate troops. By the Civil War’s end, approximately 1,000 Kansas men had joined the Confederate cause, and of the approximately 30,000 Kansas men of service age, nearly 20,000 had volunteered to serve as Union soldiers, supplying 19 regiments and four batteries to the Union cause. Nearly 8500 men from Kansans were war casualties.


Enke said that of the Wichita Public Library’s 25,000 plus genealogy and historical reference books and 15,000 rolls of microfilm, 1,600 books and 50 of the rolls of microfilm deal with Civil War information and data.

Enke said that along with the books and microfilm, there are online databases. But Enke said that most of the Civil War soldier’s service records and Union pension records are located at the National Archives in Washington, D. C..

Enke said that records were also generated for veterans after the Civil War. Many of the Union Soldiers joined the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) a Union Civil War veterans organization, applied for land under the revised Homestead Law, applied for pensions, were buried in military cemeteries, and were granted military headstones.

Enke said that Confederate soldiers did not receive federal pensions, and there are different records available for the Confederate soldier.

“I have several Civil War Ancestors who fought in the Union Army with Missouri,” Enke said, “so I have an interest in the Civil War and how it affected the people on the home front.”




2015 - Saturday, September 19th 


                   

          Presentation Explores Multicultural Workforce of Harvey Girls


[Wellington, Kansas] – Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society in Wellington, Kansas will host “The Harvey Girls’ Multicultural Workforce,” a presentation and discussion by Michaeline Chance-Reay on September 19, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the meeting room of the Wellington Public Library, 121 W. 7th, Wellington, Kansas. 

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society at 620-447-3266 or the Wellington Public Library at 620-326-2011 for more information. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

The Fred Harvey Company not only hired recent immigrants to work in their famous Harvey House restaurants, they actively recruited them. Eventually, African American women became part of the workforce, and during World War II American Indians and Mexican Americans were hired as well. This presentation explores the job duties and working conditions of Harvey Girls from 1876 to the early 1950s.

Michaeline Chance-Reay teaches courses in Women's Studies and Education at Kansas State University. Her current research focuses on the Harvey Girls and historic sites on the K-State campus, especially those related to women.

“Women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who wanted jobs or careers outside of the home had few choices,” said Chance-Reay, “but the Harvey Company offered unique opportunities.  It was demanding work but also offered a decent salary in a protected environment, in addition to travel and adventure.”

“The Harvey Girls’ Multicultural Workforce” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Humanities Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience—our innovations, culture, heritage, and conflicts.
  
The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.  For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785/357-0359 or visit online at www.kansashumanities.org.

For more information about “The Harvey Girls’ Multicultural Workforce” in Wellington, Kansas contact the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society at 620-447-3266, the Wellington Public Library at 620-326-2011, or visit http://ks-schgs.blogspot.com/p/programs.html



 .


2015 - August


Amber Countryman Schmitz

 “The History of Drury”

On Monday, August 24th, at 6:30 p.m, Amber Schmitz, SumnerNewscow.com writer, will present “The History of Drury” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington.  No cost for the program; guests are welcome, and meal time is 5:30 to 6:30 p.m..  For possible weather cancellations, contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 or the restaurant at 620-399-8401.

When Amber Schmitz moved to Drury at the age of seven, she enjoyed playing on the old schoolhouse playground and walking over the cement bridge that was built over the Chikaskia River in the 1920’S. She also enjoyed the interesting stories that she began hearing about her new hometown.

The stories fascinated her.

There were stories about a booming little river resort with boats, a beach, and a hotel for the vacationers that came by train and stagecoach. And there were stories about a grocery store owner that disappeared and nearly 100 years later, may (or may not) be ‘buried’ in one of the cement bridge supports.  And there was also a story about a man that woke up, saw an axe hanging just over his head, and screamed so loud that all the dogs barked and the neighbors all woke up.

Schmitz found these stories compelling, and she has written them down, collected photographs, and explored the possibilities of some of the legends being true. 

“I’ve wanted to write a book about Drury since I was 14 or 15,” Schmitz said, “Every time some older person told me something, I went home and wrote it down in a notebook.”

If you have photographs or stories about Drury, Schmitz would very much like to connect with you for the book she is working on. 

2015 - July - No Meeting - Summer Vacation

2015 - June - No Meeting - Summer Vacation

2015 - May


Knock, Knock, Who’s there? Discovering the History of Your House


On Monday, May 18th, (please note the earlier meeting date), Michelle Enke, Special Collections Manager, Wichita Public Library, will present “Knock, Knock, Who’s there? Discovering the History of Your House” Enke will share tips for finding the history of your home in the Wichita Public Library’s genealogy collection to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and visitors at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington. There is no charge for the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.; members and visitors are welcome to come at 5:30 p.m. to eat from the buffet.

Is your home haunted?  Do things go ‘bump in the night’ at your house? According to Enke, that’s just one reason folks begin researching the history of their home. 

“Some want to find out who died in their house because they think they have a ghost,” Enke said, adding that while some folks just want to learn the history of the house and the people who lived there, others are trying to learn who their ghost might be.

Enke has worked for the Wichita Public Library for thirteen years, and she said that libraries, historical and genealogical societies, and county court houses may all be helpful resources in researching your home’s history.

“The Wichita Public Library has Wichita city directories and newspapers,” Enke said, and that they are often the best resources for researching a home’s history, and newspaper research is easier if the newspapers have been digitized.

“You might find that a funeral was held there, or that a wedding was held there,” Enke said, when doing newspaper research, and she added that census can be another helpful resource for researching a house’s history.

“Basically, you are tracing the genealogy of the person(s) who lived in the house,” Enke said, “You are doing the genealogy of the family who lived in a location.”

In case of bad weather cancellations, please contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 – or the Good Taste Chinese Buffet at 620-399-8401.



2015 - April




The Chisholm Trail
Jim Bales

On Monday, April 27th, at 6:30 p.m., Jim Bales, Director of the Chisholm Trail Museum, will present “The Chisholm Trail” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington.  No cost for the program; guests are welcome.  For possible weather cancellations, (snow, ice, or tornadoes) contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 or the Good Taste Buffet restaurant at 620-399-8401.

“The Chisholm Trail’s 150th Anniversary is coming up in 2017,” Bales said, “and the states of Kansas and Oklahoma are planning all summer long celebrations.”
Bales said the celebrations will go from May to October, which is about the same time each year as when the trail was active.

“They are trying to coordinate the celebrations so that all the communities can advertise what they will be doing,” Bales said, adding that that will allow folks following the trail to take in several celebrations.

 “We have tourists from overseas come through the museum that are following the Chisholm Trail. We see people who are following the Chisholm Trail, and following the markers that were put up.

 “Say, if somebody from Germany wants to tour the trail, they can access the Chisholm Trail’s 150th Anniversary website and follow the celebrations along the trail,” Bales said, adding “that international advertisement is where some of our tourism dollars are going.”

According to Bales, the Chisholm Trail was an Indian Trail before the cowboys and cattle drives came along, and after the cowboys, the trail was used by settlers.

“The trail was important to the settlement of this area,” Bales said.



2015 - March


Researching Ancient Native Americans in Kansas


Donald Blakeslee
On Monday, February 23rd, at 6:30 p.m., Donald Blakeslee, Professor of Anthropology at Wichita State University, will present “Researching Ancient Kansas Native Americans” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet, 1311 E. 16th St., Wellington.  No cost for the program; guests are welcome.  For possible weather cancellations, contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 or the restaurant at 620-399-8401.
Blakeslee said that he specializes in the history of the Great Plains with a special interest on the Walnut River basin during all time periods. His current research could, in his words “rewrite the Great Bend culture.” The Great Bend Aspect, as archaeologists call it, refers to ancient Native American people, particularly the ancestral Wichita tribe, who lived in several regions of the state, including Cowley County, from about 1425 AD to the early 18th century.

Blakeslee said that many Great Bend sites and artifacts have been identified in Cowley County and in the Arkansas City area in particular. Blakeslee’s latest research suggests that present-day Arkansas City covers the southern end of a massive settlement that covered at least a 5-mile stretch to the north. Blakeslee said that there are other sites along the river, in Winfield, and scattered up as far as Augusta. Spanish records from the 17th century that Blakeslee has examined suggest that perhaps as many as 20,000 people may have lived in the Arkansas City area settlement at one time.

 “There were lots of Wichita’s here,” Blakeslee said, but added that by 1719, most of them were living in Oklahoma.

“They came back temporarily during the Civil War,” Blakeslee said, “there were lots of Native American refugees in Kansas during the Civil War.

“As soon as the Civil War was over they went back to Oklahoma,” Blakeslee said.

Blakeslee said they will be doing a little survey during Spring Break around Arkansas City to see if they can get permission to go on people’s lands, then in May & June they will have a field school that will start up in Rice and McPherson Counties where there are similar sites and then move to Arkansas City.

If people want to bring in artifacts that they have found, arrowheads, flint chips, pieces of pottery, etc, Blakeslee said that he will try to identify them for the collector.


2015 - February - Cancelled because of ice and snow




"Buckskin Joe"

James Jordan as "Buckskin Joe"


On Monday, September 22nd, James Jordan, editor of the Wellington Daily News, and former editor of the Arkansas City Traveler, will present the program “Buckskin Joe”.  

Jordan will share tales and true stories of one of South Central Kansas’s early settlers and interesting characters to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Good Taste Chinese Buffet meeting room, 1311 E. 16th, Wellington.  

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; the meal at 5:30 p.m..
When James Jordan attended a story-telling seminar, he knew his next step was to find a character to portray.

Jordan enjoyed reading old newspapers, so when he read about E.J. Hoyt, better known as Buckskin Joe, he knew he had found his character.

“I kept seeing his ads,” Jordan said, “and I got to studying them a little bit. His ads were always really funny.”

“Buckskin Joe was a person of many talents,” Jordan said, adding that he was a Canadian citizen who fought in the Civil War and that earned him citizenship and a land grant. And the land grant brought him to Kansas and the Arkansas City area.

“Buckskin Joe was one of the original settlers to found Arkansas City in 1870” Jordan said, “He settled on the Walnut River, two miles from where the city was founded.”

Jordan said that Buckskin Joe worked as an Indian scout, performed in a circus, and later traveled in Wild West Shows with Pawnee Bill. 

Jordan said that among Buckskin Joe’s many interests were his grocery store in Arkansas City, and his gymnasium, where he practiced gymnastics. Jordan added that Buckskin Joe walked a tight rope across the main street in Arkansas City in the 1880’s.

“The Museum at Ark City actually has his balancing pole,” Jordan said. 

“He was also a self-taught musician,” Jordan said, adding that he called himself a professor of music, claimed he could play 17 instruments, and started the Arkansas City Municipal Band, one of the oldest bands in the state that has continuously operated.

According to the June 26th 1878 Arkansas City Traveler newspaper, Buckskin Joe and his band were to spend July 4th, 1878 in Wellington “to give the people of that burg a taste of good music.”

“He also was heavily into gold mining and seemed to have a knack for finding it,” Jordan said, “he made a fortune in the Colorado gold mines, and claimed to have found gold near Arkansas City, but said it was too small of an amount to be mined.” 
Jordan said that after about 1880 he spent his summers in Colorado mining gold and his winters in Kansas teaching music.  Then about 1900, he moved to California, where he lived until he died in 1918.

 “He was just an amazing character,” Jordan said. 


August 2014 



“Etta Semple – Kansas Free Thinker” 



On Monday, March 24th, at 6:30 p.m., Vickie Stangl, Andover, will present the program “Etta Semple – Kansas Free Thinker” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington.  In case of inclement weather, contact Jane Moore: 620-447-3266.

Stangl was required to do a “piece on a Kansas person” for her Master’s degree at Wichita State University, and after reading about Etta Semple, she became fascinated, and asked her instructor if she could “write about this heretic in Ottawa.”

Stangl said that Etta Semple, born near Quincy, Illiniois in 1855, had views that were considered radical for the time.

Stangl said that Semple was a humanitarian, and had a state of the art sanitarium, but she was also an activist.

 “She and her second husband were active in the labor movement,” Stangl said.

“I began reading her newspapers and I was fascinated,” Stangl said, adding that she worked on her thesis for three years.

Stangl said that Semple died in Ottawa of influenza in 1914.

“It was pretty emotional when I realized that she was going to die of pneumonia,” Stangl said, “It became very personal to me.“

Stangl hopes to get her thesis published, and she is also working towards getting a documentary made on Semple’s life.

 “I think her story is important,” Stangl said, “everyone has their own beliefs and Etta was no different. She was a very courageous lady. Her story is just important.”






April 2014




A Turning Point In Sumner County:
The 1892 Wellington  Tornado


On Monday, April 28th, Jim Bales, local historian and President of the Chisholm Trail Museum Board, will present the program "A Turning Point in Sumner County: The 1892 Wellington Tornado," a program about the 1892 tornado in Wellington and how it affected Wellington's business and the growth of the city, to the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 South Washington, Welington, at 6:30 p.m.  Contact Jane Moore at 620-440-3266 in case of inclement weather.

On May 27th, 1892, when a tornado hit the fast growing new town of Wellington, Kansas, there was no radar, no tornado sirens, no trained tornado spotters, and the tornado took everyone by surprise.
“About where the Memorial Auditorium was it took out an area about 2 blocks wide there,” Bales said, “That was probably the widest spot.”

There were no radios or televisions,” Bales said, “And people on the south side of town woke up the next morning and didn’t even know anything had happened.”

Bales has photographs of the damage. Lots of photographs. Using a Powerpoint presentation with maps and
photos, Bales will track the path that the tornado took through Wellington, twisting through the new and bustling downtown area, cutting a two-block-wide swath in places, coming down at about West Harvey and the Rock Island tracks, and heading  east towards the area of “B” and “C” streets.

Thirteen people died. More were injured. Buildings, banks, and homes were destroyed, and one man was picked up along with the timber that had him pinned down, and then dropped him off, mostly uninjured, about where Roosevelt school is now.

Bales will tell the stories that go along with the tornado, and will also talk about the lasting effect the tornado had on the city. According to Bales, Wellington had just gone through a big growth spurt following the end of the cattle drives and the beginning of large wheat harvests, and the tornado had a long-lasting and very negative impact on the growth of the city.  

 “At that time, Wellington was growing faster than Wichita, and we had a population of 12,000 people” said Jim Bales, “We lost several businesses and banks in the tornado and Wellington never did recover.”



March 2014 

In March, Vickie Stangl was ill, and was unable to present the program, so Dolores Carr presented the Women's History program!  Vickie Stangl presented her program in August. 

“Etta Semple – Kansas Free Thinker” 



On Monday, March 24th, at 6:30 p.m., Vickie Stangl, Andover, will present the program “Etta Semple – Kansas Free Thinker” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington.  In case of inclement weather, contact Jane Moore: 620-447-3266.

Stangl was required to do a “piece on a Kansas person” for her Master’s degree at Wichita State University, and after reading about Etta Semple, she became fascinated, and asked her instructor if she could “write about this heretic in Ottawa.”

Stangl said that Etta Semple, born near Quincy, Illiniois in 1855, had views that were considered radical for the time.

Stangl said that Semple was a humanitarian, and had a state of the art sanitarium, but she was also an activist.

 “She and her second husband were active in the labor movement,” Stangl said.

“I began reading her newspapers and I was fascinated,” Stangl said, adding that she worked on her thesis for three years.

Stangl said that Semple died in Ottawa of influenza in 1914.

“It was pretty emotional when I realized that she was going to die of pneumonia,” Stangl said, “It became very personal to me.“

Stangl hopes to get her thesis published, and she is also working towards getting a documentary made on Semple’s life.

 “I think her story is important,” Stangl said, “everyone has their own beliefs and Etta was no different. She was a very courageous lady. Her story is just important.”



2013 SCHGS Meetings

November 25th Meeting

 “Horse Racing: A Family Affair”



On Monday, November 25th, Joyce Church, retired teacher and former girl jockey will present the program, “Horse Racing: A Family Affair,” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at 6:30 p.m., at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington. Visitors are welcome; no charge for the program. For possible weather cancellations, contact SCHGS President Jane Moore at 620-447-3266.

In 1946, wearing maroon and pink racing silks, a skullcap, and wielding a bat, fourteen-year-old Joyce Riggs Church began her short career as a ‘bush’ jockey, racing her father’s thoroughbreds on small ‘bush’ tracks. Church and her sister raced in several Kansas towns, including their home town of Conway Springs, Anthony, Burden, Garden City, Emporia, and many other towns in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Missouri and Illinois. 

Church, a genealogist, was surprised to find that breeding horses and racing them was ‘in their genes.’ Her research turned up that not only had her grandfather bred and sold mules by the train car load, ancestors before him had also bred mules and pacing and trotting horses.

“Dad grew up in that atmosphere,” Church said, adding that it was her father’s dream to breed and race thoroughbreds and after her folks bought four colts and a stallion from a man in Fairfax, Oklahoma, her father needed jockeys, so he enlisted the help of his two daughters.

“Mother never wanted us to ride,” Church said, adding that although her father allowed them to race, her parents were very protective and she and her sister were not allowed to hang out with other jockeys in the barns where there was drinking and gambling.

“Racing was a family affair,” Church said, adding that the entire family traveled to the races with the horses. The horses traveled in the back of a wheat truck, and her mother drove the car. 

Church said that her mother packed picnic baskets with fried chicken and cherry pie, and the family picnicked on the race track grounds, and often spent the night in the back of the wheat truck with a tarp strung over the stock racks to keep off the rain.

Although Church went off to college when she was 16 years old, she came home on weekends to race, and at times lived at home and drove back and forth to school at Friends so that she could continue to ride. Church stopped racing when she was twenty-nine years old, and married in 1963.

“Before that, I ran around so much I didn't have time to get married,” Church said.

 Church said she “had had some accidents,” and been knocked out and taken to the hospital by ambulance, but had never broken a bone. But Church added that 1976 was a bad year for the Riggs family when her sister was killed in June at Churchill Downs at the age of 37, and her father died later that year.

Church will bring photographs and other racing memorabilia to share with the group, as well as the book “The Boys From the Bushes” by Lou Dean, a book about ‘bush racing’ that shares stories from Church and other ‘Bush’ jockeys.



October 28th Meeting

Colonel George M. Boyd, Tuskegee Airman to Speak on October 28th

On Monday, October 28th, 87-year-old former Tuskegee Airman, George M. Boyd, Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol and former Wing Commander of the CAP and Retired Major in the United States Air Force, Wichita, will present the program “Keeping Our Dreams Alive”, a program about patriotism and being American, to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 South Washington, Wellington at 6:30 p.m. Contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 in case of inclement weather.

 Boyd said that he was 18 when he went into the service on the 20th of January of 1944, and when asked if he was afraid, Boyd replied, “Yes, we knew that you could get killed in training or on the battle field. Everyone knew you were in harm’s way when you put that uniform on. Everyone was scared.”

Boyd said that he learned to fly at Tuskegee during World War II. It was a time when African Americans were not allowed to serve in the military alongside whites, nor allowed to take pilot training at the same facility as whites.  It was a time when German prisoners brought stateside were treated better than African American soldiers.

 “I look at what the Nazi’s did,” Boyd said, “they were so wicked that the world was outraged. In World War II we knew we had to win the war. We would have been in bad trouble if we hadn’t won that war.”

“The enemy was just as concerned about winning and they were as dedicated to winning as we were,” Boyd said, “that is why the war was so vicious and cruel.”

Boyd also served during the Korean and the Vietnam Wars, became a radar intercept officer, and helped protect the fuel tanks for the bombers in Tule, Greenland.

Boyd said that he welcomes questions about his Tuskegee experience, as well as his subsequent service, and will also share his experiences when he and three other original Tuskegee Airman went to Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar in 2009 where they spoke to, visited, and signed autographs for approximately 6,000 to 7,000 US Service personnel that included Army, Navy, Air Force and civilians.

“The job of the military is to maintain the framework of the Constitution. Our job is to protect the Nation,” Boyd said, “We really have a great country and we need to take care of it.”

 “I think it was an opportunity and an honor to serve the country,” Boyd said, “If I wasn’t overage and grayed I would be on active duty if they would let me.” 



September 23 2013 Meeting

  “Finding Your Family History on Ancestry.com: 
How to Get the Most Out of Your Ancestry Searches” 

On Monday, September 23rd, at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington, at 6:30 p.m., the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society will host speaker Gene Davies, owner of Davies Genealogy Service. Davies will present the program “Finding Your Family History on Ancestry.com: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ancestry Searches” 

Davies, who formerly worked in information technology, has been doing genealogy research for more than 30 years and has done extensive research on his and his wife’s family’s history.  Currently, Davies spends time teaching genealogy/family history classes and helping others fill in the blanks in their family tree.


There will be no evening meal prior to the program. For questions or bad weather cancellation information, contact President Jane Moore at 620-447-3266, or Vice President Sherry Kline at 620-326-3401.


August 26, 2013 Meeting

On Monday, August 26th, at 6:30 p.m., Lori DeWinkler, Lead Investigator and Historian for Moonlit Ghost Hunts, will present the program “Wellington After Dark” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington.

Lori DeWinkler, a paranormal investigator since 2008, loves being a paranormal investigator for Moonlit Ghost Hunts,www.moonlitghosthunts.com

But Dewinkler doesn’t just go to a location for the first time on the night of the investigation. She checks out the location ahead of time. Thoroughly.

She researches the building’s history, who owned it, who lived there, and maybe even who died there.

She reads newspaper articles, talks to folks who know the history of the location, and the area, searches for clues, and compiles and analyzes her findings before the group ever goes in to investigate. And she gets excited when the pieces of the historic puzzle start falling into place and she can pull together a structure’s fascinating history before an investigation.

DeWinkler will share several fascinating stories about Wellington and Sumner County and bring along some of the tools they use to investigate.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.. There is no charge for the program and everyone is welcome. In case of bad weather cancellation, contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266

For more information, go to www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com.



May 2013

Jim Bales, Vice President of Chisholm Trail Museum Board
On Monday, May 20th, at the Memorial Auditorium, 208 N. Washington, Wellington, at 6:30 p.m., the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society hosts speaker Jim Bales, Vice President of the Chisholm Trail Museum Board, who will present the program “The Very First Wheat Festival”

Bales said that the first Wheat Festival was held in September of 1900, and Bales will bring facts and photos, and talk about the early events held, events such as wheat and corn judging contests, entertainment exhibits, and the very popular Austrian quartet, “the Tyrolean Singers,” whose skills included yodeling.

Wheat Festival Parade - Flowered Cart


Bales said that according to his research, the most popular event that year was the Tyrolean Singers.

“But,” Bales added, “it was held at a beer garden….”

Bales said that the very first Wheat Festival featured also featured a Ferris wheel and one other very popular event - the Coronation of the Wheat Queen.

Bales said that he became interested in volunteering at the museum after his wife volunteered, and added that he helps wherever needed at the museum, whether it is fixing the building, cleaning up and refurbishing, putting together exhibits, or digitizing documents.
“I do really like history,” Bales said, “And I do a lot of genealogy work on my own.”

Wheat Festival Stage


There will be no evening meal prior to the program. 

For questions or bad weather cancellation information, contact President Jane Moore at 620-447-3266, or Vice President Sherry Kline at 620-326-3401.


April 2013
"Exodusters in Kansas"


On Monday, April 22nd, at 6:30 p.m., Neta Jane Doris, Winfield, will present the program “Exodusters in Kansas” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Best of Orient meeting room, 114 E. Lincoln, Wellington.
.............
The meal begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m.. There is no charge for the program and everyone is welcome. For possible bad weather cancellation, contact Best of the Orient at 620-399-8575.

When two of Neta Jane Doris’s former high school classmates and friends asked her to do their family history, Doris was only too happy to help them out.

Doris had been involved in several family history projects, found ancestors and descendants for several, reconnected family members, begun family reunions, and published a family history on her mother’s side of the family.

She was glad to help her friends out.

“I’ve been researching for about 40 years,” Doris said, “I just love the research. Actually, when I’m researching, they almost feel like my family.”

Doris, who did the bulk of this research prior to the age of computers, learned that her two friends were not only the descendants of “Exodusters”, or African-American slaves freed by emancipation, they were also related to each other.

“The more I researched, the more interested I became,” Doris said, adding that it took several months to find much of the information and expand their family trees.

“There were about three years when there was a mass exodus,” Doris said, adding that most Exodusters came to Kansas between 1879 and 1881 and many were from Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas where circulars were passed out by both black and white people to entice the new settlers to Kansas.

Doris said that the mass exodus “happened so fast and so suddenly that it caused a Congressional investigation.”

Doris’ has focused her research in Pawnee, Hodgeman, and Edwards counties in Kansas, where her friends’ families homesteaded, but the techniques she used can be used to further your research in other areas.

 “Over 40,000 poor black people emigrated during that time,” Doris said, “they were kind of led to believe that they would get money and land, and that didn’t happen.”

Doris said that she will “speak about the general history of the Exodusters and talk a little” about the people who settled in Kansas: one family who was involved in the Underground Railroad, one family whose owner (and father) freed them and gave them money to move, and Lutie Lytle, who became the first woman black lawyer in Tennessee in 1897 and was the first black woman to be admitted to the Kansas bar.

“Sometimes families were torn apart and you never get them back together again,” Doris said.
For those genealogists and family historians searching for their own Exoduster history, Doris said that she will bring along a copy of the circular used to advertise settling in Kansas as well as books and articles, census and land records, and share information on some of the resources that she used, and also how and where she found the information.

According to Doris, many of the citizens in Larned today are descended from the Exodusters.
“They were some of the earliest settlers in that part of Kansas,” Doris said, “they showed a lot of strength and determination.”

(This meeting was originally scheduled for February, but the "Blizzards of Oz" forced us to reschedule!  Lots of great information in this program!)



“Who Was Mary Elizabeth Lease?
Kansas Homesteader?  Mission Teacher? or Political Activist?”



On Monday, March 25th, at 6:30 p.m., Dolores Carr, Wellington, will present the Women’s History month program “Who Was Mary Elizabeth Lease: Kansas Homesteader, Mission Teacher, or Political Activist?”  to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Best of Orient meeting room, 114 E. Lincoln, Wellington.

The meal begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m.. There is no charge for the program and everyone is welcome. For possible bad weather cancellation, contact Best of the Orient at 620-399-8575 or President Jane Moore at 620-447-3266.

Dolores Carr said that Mary Elizabeth Lease, author, speaker, and editor, was born in Pennsylvania to upper-class Irish immigrants Joseph P. and Mary Elizabeth Clyens, was raised in New York, and was well educated before coming to Kansas to teach in an Osage Mission after her father and older brothers died fighting for the union in the civil war. 

According to Carr, Mary Elizabeth Lease “read for the law” while earning money washing clothes for the neighbors, and after marrying, she and her husband homesteaded in Kingman County, Kansas but were not able to make a go of it, and she and her family moved to Wichita where she founded a club for woman who wanted to improve their education.

 “She became a speaker for the Populist Party,” Carr said, “and was often called “The Lady Orator of the West” and “the Kansas Cyclone” by some because of her speaking abilities.”

 “She could just mesmerize the audience,” Carr said.

Carr stated that Lease believed that if she had been a man she would have been appointed to the U. S. Senate, but Carr added that because Lease promoted women’s suffrage as well as temperance and was politically active in the Populist Party some comments about her were not complimentary.

“She was probably a woman ahead of her time,” Carr said.



The "Exodusters in Kansas" had to be cancelled because of snow and ice, but will be given on Monday, April 22nd.

"Exodusters in Kansas"

On Monday, February 25th, at 6:30 p.m., Neta Jane Doris, Winfield, will present the program “Exodusters in Kansas” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Best of Orient meeting room, 114 E. Lincoln, Wellington.

The meal begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m.. There is no charge for the program and everyone is welcome. For possible bad weather cancellation, contact Best of the Orient at 620-399-8575.


When two of Neta Jane Doris’s former high school classmates asked her to do their family history, Doris was only too happy to help them out.

Doris has been involved in several family history projects, found ancestors and descendants for several, reconnected family members, begun family reunions, and published a family history on her mother’s side of the family.

She was glad to help her friends out.

“I’ve been researching for about 40 years,” Doris said, “I just love the research. Actually, when I’m researching, they almost feel like my family.”

Doris, who did the bulk of this research prior to the age of computers, learned that her two friends were not only the descendants of “Exodusters”, or African-American slaves freed by emancipation, they were also related to each other.

“The more I researched, the more interested I became,” Doris said, adding that it took several months to find much of the information and expand their family trees.

“There were about three years when there was a mass exodus,” Doris said, adding that most Exodusters came to Kansas between 1879 and 1881 and many were from Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas where circulars were passed out by both black and white people to entice the new settlers to Kansas.

Doris said that the mass exodus “happened so fast and so suddenly that it caused a Congressional investigation.”

 “Over 40,000 poor black people emigrated during that time,” Doris said, “they were kind of led to believe that they would get money and land, and that didn’t happen.”

Doris said that she will “speak about the general history of the Exodusters and talk a little” about the people who settled in Kansas: one family who was involved in the Underground Railroad, one family whose owner (and father) freed them and gave them money to move, and Lutie Lytle, who became the first woman black lawyer in Tennessee in 1897 and was the first black woman to be admitted to the Kansas bar.

“Sometimes families were torn apart and you never get them back together again,” Doris said.

For those genealogists and family historians searching for their own Exoduster history, Doris said that she will bring along a copy of the circular used to advertise settling in Kansas as well as books and articles, census and land records, and share information on some of the resources that she used, and also how and where she found the information.

According to Doris, many of the citizens in Larned today are descended from the Exodusters.

“They were some of the earliest settlers in that part of Kansas,” Doris said, “they showed a lot of strength and determination.”



“Native American Tools and Their Uses”



On Monday, January 28th, at 6:30 p.m., Dennis Kramer, Winfield, will present the hands-on program “Native American Tools and Their Uses” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 South Washington, Wellington; south door.

There will be no meal, but refreshments will be served. The meeting will be cancelled if weather is bad.


When Dennis Kramer was eight years old, he took a jug of water out to the field where his uncle was plowing. When Kramer sat down in the furrow, he saw a perfect arrowhead between his feet.

That first artifact began a hobby that has lasted for decades.

Now, Kramer has a collection of arrowheads, stone hammers, scrapers, and other tools and is experienced at locating Native American campsites.

“I’ve traveled all over the US, from Canada to Mexico and Mississippi to the Rockies,” Kramer said, adding that he belongs to the Archeological Association of South Central Kansas that is affiliated with Wichita State University, was on the archeological survey on Cedar Bluff, and surveyed the ground with WSU and the Kansas State Historical Society before the bypass at Arkansas City was built.

Kramer said that most of his collection, which includes some archaic artifacts, has come from near Manhattan and from Grainfield, KS which is in Gove, Co, and Cowley County, and one artifact from Sumner County.

Kramer said that “the tool that was used to make the tool” fascinates him, and added that the presentation will include tools used by Native Americans, such as scrapers, knives, and hammer stones, and will be a “hands-on show-and-tell” where he demonstrates the use of the tools and allows the audience to handle the artifacts.

“The shape determines the use and the how,” Kramer said, adding that he has studied the steps the Native American went through to make rawhide.

“Some groups scraped the hides while tacked on the ground and some hung them from trees. As it [rawhide] got finer, they used a thumb scraper instead of a palm scraper,” Kramer said.
“There are a lot of springs in Cowley and Kay County and those were attracting places for our first Americans and they attracted a lot of different cultures,” Kramer said, adding that there was more than one group in this area because of the buffalo.

“There are tricks to finding stuff,” Kramer said, “you have to think like a Native American.”

“Hunters are always looking at the horizon, and farmers are looking at the crops,” Kramer said, “You find all kinds of neat things when you are always looking at the ground.”



2012 SCHGS Meetings


September 2012


“The Creation of the Seller’s Park and the
Wellington Park System”

On Monday, September 24th,the Sumner County Genealogical & Historical Society will meet at “The Rock” restaurant, 1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington.  Jim Bales, Vice President of the Chisholm Trail Museum board of Trustees will present the program “The Creation of the Seller’s Park and the Wellington Park System” to members and guests.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. Contact "The Rock" in case of inclement weather for cancellation information.

 “I like history and I like genealogy,” said Bales, who has been a volunteer at the Chisholm Trail Museum for the past two years, “I do my own family history and through that I’ve learned to really appreciate history.”

 “The museum is all about how our ancestors lived,” Bales said, “it’s more about Sumner County history, and when you do genealogy research, you learn about your ancestors, and you start wondering ‘how do they do this and how do they do that?’”

Going through museum files and archives is a favorite pastime of Bales while volunteering, and he was fascinated by Marie Sellers VanDeventer’s Book “Seller’s Park,” the story of how Seller’s Park in Wellington went from being a “nasty trash dump overgrown with weeds” and prone to flooding, to the park it is today.

Bales said that Mrs. Lulu Sellers took over the park project after it was begun, and “did an excellent job of carrying through and bonding the community together” to make the park project a success.

Bales said that the park, which once featured a working water fountain, was used during World War I to help feed hot meals and give drinks to soldiers coming through on trains, and there was a baseball team here.

“They actually straightened the creek about where the football field was,” Bales said “probably men with shovels, and maybe mules and horse teams, and they straightened it out for the football field and tennis courts.”

“Makes you wonder, ‘How’d they do that?”  Bales said.

Bales will share photographs and stories from Van Deventer’s “Seller’s Park” book, and will also share with the group advance information about the upcoming “Artist’s Exhibit” which will run at the Chisholm Trail Museum from October 2nd to October 28th during regular museum hours and feature fifteen local artists, including Letha Rinehart, Elvie McDonald, and Sue Jean Covacevich.


August 2012


“The 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812”

On Monday, August 27th, Jane Moore, Geuda Springs, President of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society will present the program “The 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812” to members and guests at “The Rock” steakhouse,  1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington. 

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. 


In 1812, less than forty years after the United States declared war against and won their independence from, Britain, they went to war with Britain for a second time.

The fledgling nation was struggling. The French Canadians, French and English were not only preventing the westward expansion of the country by supplying Native Americans with weapons and ammunition, the British were also intercepting American ships, stealing goods and kidnapping men to sail on British ships.

“It was an economic issue,” Moore said, adding that when it was over, “no one got more land, but the British gained a better respect for America.”

 “Up until that time, they didn’t have much respect for America,” Moore said.


May 2012


Date: Monday, May 21st, 2012
Topic: "Pearl Harbor Memories"
Speaker: Eighty-Eight-Year-Old Arthur Dunn
Where:  "The Rock" Restaurant, 1311 East 16th, (east Highway 160), Wellington.
Meal: 5:00 to 6:30  p.m. - order off the menu;
 no reservations necessary

Meeting: 6:30 p.m. 

Pearl Harbor Memories

On Monday, May 21st, 2012, Eighty-eight-year old Arthur Dunn, World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, will present the program “Pearl Harbor Memories” to Sumner County Historical Society members and guests at “The Rock” restaurant, 1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington. 

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. Contact "The Rock" at 620-399-8990 in case of inclement weather cancellations.


April - 2012

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Topic: "Tools From the Earth"
Speaker: Terry Powell
Where:  "The Rock" Restaurant, 1311 East 16th, (east Highway 160), Wellington.
Meal: 5:00 to 6:30  p.m. - order off the menu - no reservations necessary
Meeting: 6:30 p.m. 

Tools From the Earth



On Monday, April 23rd, former archaeologist Terry Powell, co-owner of “Tools From the Earth" and creator of reproduction Stone Age and Native American tools, will present his program to Sumner County Historical Society members and guests at “The Rock” restaurant, 1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. Contact "The Rock" at 620-399-8990 in case of inclement weather for cancellation information.

Most of us will never have the opportunity to see let alone handle Stone Age tools or artifacts, but Powell, Wichita, who worked as an archaeologist for about twenty years, gives hands-on presentations to schoolchildren and groups that allows for program attendees to see, touch, and sometimes even use the kind of tools that our early ancestors worked with on a daily basis. 

Powell, who has a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University, became interested in the early tools after finding pieces of tools while on digs. He wondered how well they worked, and so he researched each artifact and now creates one-of-a-kind hand-made reproduction items from stone, bone, shells, wood, hide, and other natural materials that are not only authentic, they also work. 

With great attention to detail, Powell recreates the hair pins that once adorned women’s hair, axes that actually chop wood, garden hoes made from bison shoulder blades, and the fishing and hunting equipment that kept early man and Native Americans in meat and hides. 

“One of the first things I made was a stone axe head,” Powell said, “and then I thought, I wonder if these things work well, and then I finally figured out how to make them so they wouldn’t break.”

Powell said he now has axes that “are very well made and kids can use them.”

Powell’s reproductions are in high demand, and among Tools From the Earth’s many clients are historic sites, museums, educators, collectors, and even the IMAX film “Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West.”


To read more about Terry Powell and Tools From the Earth, check out his website at: 
http://toolsfromtheearth.com

or Wichita Eagle article at: 

http://www.kansas.com/2011/09/08/2006415/archaeologist-brings-history-to.html




March - 2012

Date: Monday, March 26, 2012
Topic: "The Belle Plaine Arboretum"
Speaker: Robin Macy
Where:  "The Rock" Restaurant, 1311 East 16th, (east Highway 160), Wellington.
Meal: 5:00 to 6:30  p.m. - order off the menu - no reservations necessary
Meeting: 6:30 p.m. 




“The Belle Plaine Arboretum”






On Monday, March 26, 2012, Robin Macy, owner of the Belle Plaine Arboretum will present the program “The Belle Plaine Arboretum” to Sumner County Historical Society members and guests at “The Rock” restaurant, 1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington. 


The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. Contact "The Rock" at 620-399-8990 in case of inclement weather for cancellation information.

In 1997, Robin Macy was a 38-year-old schoolteacher, radio host, and singer in a group that would become the famous “Dixie Chicks”, and she had driven from Texas to Kansas for the Walnut Valley Bluegrass when she saw a “for sale” sign on the Bartlett Arboretum grounds.
Something called to her to contact the realtor, and after seeing the nearly 100 year old arboretum that had once boasted of having thousands of tulips each year during the Tulip Festival, to buy it.

The Arboretum had been closed since 1994 when Macy bought it, and she felt that she had found her purpose in life, becoming the steward for the Bartlett Arboretum, which according to the website, http://www.bartlettarboretum.com is the “only mature tree museum between the Mississippi River and the Rockies.”



FEBRUARY - 2012

Date: Monday, February 27, 2012
Topic: "How the Media Treats the Women Who Run for the Presidency"
Speaker: Dolores Carr
Where:  "The Rock" Restaurant, 1311 East 16th, (east Highway 160), Wellington.
Meal: 5:00 to 6:30  p.m. - order off the menu - no reservations necessary
Meeting: 6:30 p.m. 



 “How the Media Treats the Women Who
Run for the Presidency”



Join the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society to get ready for March Women’s History month!

Dolores Carr, Wellington, will present “How the Media Treats the Women Who Run for the Presidency” to Sumner County Historical Society members and guests on Monday, February 27th at “The Rock” restaurant, 1311 East 16th (east Highway 160), Wellington. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; meal begins at 5:30 p.m.. Reservations are not necessary for the meal. Contact "The Rock" in case of inclement weather for cancellation information. Website: www.ksschgs.com.

Carr, a former teacher, became interested in the history of the Women’s Movement in the 60’s because she could see such disparate treatment between men and women teachers, and the salaries. 

“I could see all along that men had the advantage,” Carr said.

“Is America ready for a women President?”

That’s the one question Carr has run across in more than once in her research.  More than fifty women have run for the Presidency, Carr said, adding that many belonged to minor parties or if they were Republican or Democrat, most were only able to get their names on a few state ballots. 

According to one source, Carr said that the United States is far behind in women’s representation in government positions, as low as 89th in the world in some areas.

“Some 40% of the Parliament positions in Sweden are filled by women,” Carr said.

Money is part of it.  No matter which era the women ran in, it takes quite a bit of money to run for President or other government offices, but even today, many men (and women) still believe men to be more qualified to serve as President or in other government positions.

How Does the Media Treat Women Candidates?

Carr stated that one of her resources indicates that the media treatment of women candidates “hasn’t changed in the last 100 Years.” 

Be sure and check the main website at http://www.ksschgs.com//.




SCHGS meeting
May 23rd, 2011


"150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail" will be the topic of the May 23rd meeting of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society. The program will be presented by Karen Sturm, Caldwell, and Bob Klemme, Enid, OK.

Karen will share the details of the upcoming cattle drive from Caldwell to Ellsworth beginning on Labor Day weekend, and Bob Klemme will share the latest news on the possible designation of the Chisholm Trail as a National Park's Trail.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., at the Sumner Regional Medical Center, 1323 N. A St. (Highway 81 north), Wellington, KS 67152; the meal begins at 5:30 p.m..

Reservations necessary for the meal, please send inquiries two days in advance to: schgs@sutv.com

A longer press release will be coming soon.  Be sure and check the main website at http://www.ksschgs.com//.

We are sure looking forward to hearing (and watching) the story of the "Saving the Belleview School House" to the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society on Monday, February 28th, at the Sumner Regional Medical Center board room, 1323 N. A St., (North Highway 81), Wellington, Kansas at 6:30 p.m., and the meal at 5:30 p.m. 


“Saving the Belleview School House”

Saving a one-room school house wasn’t on Mike Brunhoeber’s mind when he drove past the deserted schoolhouse with the leaning chimney, peeling paint, and missing shingles. 


Instead, Brunhoeber was looking for another farm building to store his farm equipment in. But after he went inside of the Belleview School and saw the original wood floors, beautiful molding, and the slate blackboard that countless children had written upon, Brunhoeber thought to himself, “there is no way I can tear something like this up.”

On February 28th, at 6:30 p.m., in the Sumner Regional Medical Center’s lower level board room, 1323 North A (highway 81 north) in Wellington, Mike and Valerie Brunhoeber, Caldwell, will share their story of “Saving the Belleview School House” in a PowerPoint presentation to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society.  

The Meal begins at 5:30 p.m.; for meal reservations contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266.  For Inclement Weather cancellations, contact Sherry Kline at 620-326-3401.

After the Brunhoebers contacted the township that owned the schoolhouse they found out there were plans to burn it down. So the Brunhoebers asked how much the township wanted for the historic schoolhouse.

“I gave them a check for $50,” Brunhoeber said, adding that they bought the school house in September of 2009 and moved the 30,000 pound schoolhouse from its home along the Chisholm Trail northwest of Caldwell to its new home at their farm near the Chisholm Trail in February of 2010.

That’s when the hard work began…

“We’d quit in the field at dark, eat supper, get the kids in bed, and go work on the schoolhouse until one o’clock in the morning,” Brunhoeber said.


When they began to tear off the old wallpaper and take down the lowered ceiling, they were able to see that the school originally had a bell tower, two dressing rooms, and two entrances.  (One for the boys and one for the girls.)

Brunhoeber said that in the earliest school days, boys and girls were seated on separate sides of the room.  (Follow the Brunhoeber’s progress at http://www.belleviewschoolhouse.org/).

As near as they can estimate, because their school still had a stage at the front, and stages weren’t built much after the late 1880’s because too many teachers fell off of them, and because records indicate that the acre of land was bought in 1881 for $10, the Brunhoebers believe their school was built in 1882.

While none of the Brunhoeber’s ancestors sat at the desks or wrote on the blackboards, the Brunhoeber’s still enjoy walking into the school and hearing footsteps echo in the room and the floor creak when they walk across it and imagining what it was like when school children looked out of those same windows 130 years ago. 

What are the Brunhoeber’s plans for the school?
Brunhoeber said that often communities only had one building and it was used for the school, community building, and the church, and the Brunhoeber’s have already opened their school doors to the Caldwell Historical Society and to two school groups for tours.

In the future, they hope to re-enact school days of the 1880’s, including period clothing, lunches, the subjects that they learned, and the games they played at recess.

The Brunhoebers said they are trying to keep the school authentic. There is no electricity, no air conditioning, and no indoor plumbing.  They hope to locate as much of the original equipment as they can, and are searching for photographs that will show them what the school looked like in its different stages, and they would love to find the original school bell that called the children in from recess.

“You walk in that thing right now,” Brunhoeber said, “and it looks like you are walking back into an old classroom.”

But when finding original equipment just isn’t possible, they plan to locate authentic period pieces.

A copy of the 1911 teacher’s class schedule tells them what subjects were being studied and what time they went to recess, and Brunhoeber said that they currently have some of the Sears and Roebucks desks that were used in the school house, but added that they were not the original school desks. 

Brunhoeber said that one lady who visited just liked to come back, sit in there and reminisce about her school days.

“You could see on her face that it brought back good memories,” Brunhoeber said, “we just kind of gave it a new lease on life.”

Thanks to the Brunhoeber Family for allowing me to 'borrow' a couple of photographs to share with you here.  Be sure and check out their website at:   http://www.belleviewschool.org/.

And to watch the Brunhoeber's on KAKE-TV "Hatteberg's People" check out the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU3y7NjEdns.






We are certainly looking forward to hearing Lea Smith, granddaughter of one of the Cherokee Strip Runners talk on Monday, October 25th!  If you would like to come for the meal, don't forget to make reservations with Larry Clark - 620-455-3608.




"1893 Oklahoma Cherokee Strip Run"


On Monday, October 25th, Lea Smith will present “The 1893 Oklahoma Cherokee Outlet Run” program to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society and guests.

The meeting will be held in the lower level board room of the Sumner Regional Medical Center, 1323 North “A” St, Wellington, Kansas. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the meal will be served at 5:30 p.m.. To make reservations for the meal, call Larry Clark – 620-455-3608

Lea Smith’s grandfather, Josiah Lockhart, climbed on his race horse on September 16th, 1893 in 100 degree heat, then lined up on the dry, dusty prairie on the Kansas/Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) Border near Hunnewell, Kansas with 100,000 to 150,000 other men and women on foot, horseback, and in wagons, all hoping to win free land in Oklahoma.

“It was the biggest race that America had ever had,” Smith said, adding that at the time it was the biggest race the world had ever seen.

“It was also a dangerous race,” said Smith. Soldiers had been instructed to shoot anyone who began the run before the race was officially begun, and Smith said that some of the racers were shot. A few of the racers that carried guns pointed them at others and told them to “go home” and some turned around and went back home.

“The enormity of it, I don’t understand how so many could do this and not have more injuries,” Smith said.

Smith said that her grandparents traveled from Bladen, NE in a wagon pulled by two big black mules with their race horse tied on behind, followed the Republican River into Kansas, then camped on the Hatchenberg farm near Iola where Mr. Hatchenberg decided to join Josiah Lockhart in the race.

With just one month to go till race time, the two men traveled with a wagonload of supplies, the mules and two race horses down to the Kansas/Indian Territory border near Arkansas City where they found 50,000 people waiting to race. They traveled on to Hunnewell and stayed there till the race to begin.

Smith said that her grandfather was lucky that day and he staked a claim about eight miles west of Braman, Oklahoma but the dangers didn’t end when the race did. Claim jumpers tried to chase her grandfather off his claim at gun point, people were shot while in line to file their claims, and Mr. Hatchenberg was tricked out of filing on his claim.

Smith, who lived on her grandfather’s farm while she was in high school, said that while she knew he had won the land in “The Run” she didn’t fully realize “the enormity of it” till she was grown.



September 27th, 2010 - 6:30 p.m. the SCHGS will meet at Sumner Regional Medical Center, 1323 N. A, Wellington, Kansas  67152

"The Cherokee Strip Land Rush" Presented by Lea Smith, Wellington, Kansas.  Lea's ancestors participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, and Lea will present photographs, poems, and a Powerpoint presentation to share her family's ties to the Oklahoma Land Rush.

August 23rd, 2010 - 6:30 p.m., due to Wellington Steakhouse closing, the SCHGS will meet at Sumner Regional Medical Center, 1323 North A, Wellington, Kansas 67152.


Sumner County Contest Winners Present their Entries & Highlights of the Summer Conference

On Monday, August 23rd, the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet in the lower level board room of the Sumner Regional Medical Center, 1323 North A St, Wellington, Kansas. For those wishing to eat, the cost will be $7.00. The catered meal will be a chicken strip dinner served at 5:30 p.m..

Guests are welcome, and there is no cost to attend the program that begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature SCHGS summer highlights including the exciting announcement of the summer SCHGS prize winners, a short presentation of contest entries by the winners, presentation of prizes, and an informal photographic slide show of the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies Conference highlights presented by Gene and Cindy Davies, Caldwell, and the SCHGS members.

Highlights of the June KCGS Conference with Photo Detective Maureen Taylor will also include a few tips on ID’g and dating photographs using clothes, cars, hats, and determining locations using building styles, as well as valuable advice on making sure that your descendants don’t have to guess who is in your photographs a hundred years from now.

Directions for lower level board room of the Sumner Regional Medical Center: Enter Sumner Regional Hospital's main door on the east; go to the first bank of elevators; take elevator to lower level; turn right when exiting elevator; board room will be second door on the left.


May 24th, 2010 - 6:30 p.m., Wellington Steakhouse, E. Highway 160, Wellington, Kansas
Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society Meeting





“Branson – Center of U. S. History”

On Monday, May 24th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Steakhouse, J. P. Buellesfeld will present the program “Branson – Center of U. S. History” to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society
Buellesfeld, former adjunct history teacher for Cowley County Community College, traveled to Branson, Missouri recently to tour five important historic sites. 

“I’ve always been interested in history,” Buellesfeld said, “people don’t realize that Branson is a great central location to the Veteran’s Museum at Branson, the Little Rock High School National Park site, and three Civil War battle fields at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, and Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, Arkansas.”

Why Were the Battle Fields in the Branson Area Important?
Buellesfeld said that these Civil War battles were significant to gain the control of the states of Missouri and Arkansas. Two of these battle sites, Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge, were brought into the National Park system during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency, and the third site, Prairie Grove, became a state park. Buellesfeld said that these well-preserved battle sites don’t receive the national attention that eastern Civil War sites receive.

The Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Branson…
According to Buellesfeld, the Veteran's Museum in Branson is the only place where you can see the names of the soldiers on one wall that have died in every war beginning with World War II. Buellesfeld stated that the 50 Man Soldier’s sculpture features the statue of former Kansas serviceman Robert Dole, who represents the state of Kansas.

Where are the Little Rock Nine Today?
Buellesfeld’s most fascinating moment? Touring the Little Rock High School National Park guided by one of the original Little Rock Nine. Buellesfeld said that most black parents had already backed out on sending their children to school because their jobs were threatened and that left just nine youngsters to brave the angry mob. Buellesfeld stated that for one whole year from 1958 to 1959 there was no school in Little Rock schools in attempt to stop forced desegregation.

Buellesfeld said that the guide, who as a young girl braved threats, shouts, and the intimidation of thousands of angry whites to walk into school with the soldier’s who protected them, detailed the lives of the still-living Little Rock Nine, most of whom have entered professions as teachers, doctors, and lawyers.

“She was tremendously frightened because all of a sudden there were thousands of angry whites threatening her,” Buellesfeld said, “that shows you the courage they had.”

“It was really fascinating. It’s the only tour I'd ever gone to where one of the actual participants in that historic moment was the tour guide,” Buellesfeld said, adding that you certainly can’t go to a Civil War battle site, and have one of the soldiers who fought share his experiences. 

The Key to History...
“The whole key to all of history is that someone recognizes the importance of a historical event or site and works to preserve it,” Buellesfeld said, “You have to have somebody that will come along to preserve it.”

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