Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

-

Log In

Username:

Password:

After login, go to:

Register
Forgot Username?
Forgot Password?

Browse Users
Contact us

-

Latest Podcast

Governor Mike Hayden Interview
Details
Listen Now
Subscribe - iTunesSubscribe - RSS

More podcasts

-

Popular Item

This is a portrait of Catherine (Kate) German, who was taken captive with her sisters, Sophia, Julia, and Adelaide, by Cheyenne Indians after their family was killed. On September 11, 1874, the John German family, consisting of his wife and seven children, was attacked by a band of Cheyenne east of Ft. Wallace, Kansas. Only the four youngest, Sophia, Catherine, Julia, and Adelaide, were spared and taken captive. The two youngest, Julia and Adelaide (aged 7 and 5), were subsequently abandoned on the prairie in what is now the Texas panhandle. Sophia and Catherine were kept by their Cheyenne captors. Fort Wallace received word of the killings and began the search to find the girls and to negotiate their release. They found Julia and Adelaide, who had survived on their own for 6 weeks, and on February 26, 1875, the Cheyennes released Catherine and Sophia. The two girls were reunited with their younger sisters at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

-

Random Item

Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union memory book Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union memory book

-

Site Statistics

Total images: 494,688
Bookbag items: 29,967
Registered users: 9,142

-

Color Scheme

-

About

Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

-

Syndication

Kansas Memory Blog

March Winds But No April Showers

Posted by Patricia Michaelis on Mar 5, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The year was 1935.  Southwest Kansas was in the midst of the Great Depression but it was also suffering from a multi-year drought.  Rainfall in southwest Kansas was never plentiful but it normally averaged around 18 inches per year in western Kansas.  Between 1930 and 1940, the average was 15.25 inches with the lowest rainfall during that time period occurring in 1934 with an average of 11.14 inches.  Because of the prolonged drought, conditions were extremely dry and western Kansas suffered horrific dust storms in late March and April in 1935. It is difficult to imagine the intensity of these storms but, fortunately, photos and postcards of these clouds of dust have been preserved.  While most of the storms occurred in western Kansas, some of them reached eastern Kansas.

Lillian Foster kept a scrapbook that contains postcards, photos, newspaper clipping, and her own accounts of her experiences with dust storms in Ness City, Kansas.  The content of the scrapbook gives an excellent overview of the impact of the dust storms.  Lillian Foster scrapbook

The Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC) was established to provide work relief in Kansas.  They undertook a number of projects across the state including a number of water conservation efforts.  The KERC produced an accomplishments movie that included footage of dust storms.  This film is available at KERC Accomplishments Film, segment 11.  A large population of jack rabbits created problems by eating the sparse vegetation so drives were organized to try to control them as illustrated in segment 10 of the KERC video.

 

Residents of western Kansas had to deal with the dust storms and their results.  Many people wore masks to keep from breathing in the dust and farmers had to deal with drifts of fine dust all over their farms.  Those who endured the dust storms and remained in western Kansas experienced a period of ample rainfall and prosperity during the 1940s.  We hope the current drought in western Kansas is broken long before dust clouds can be formed.

 

 

 

Join the discussion

You must be logged in to submit a comment.

If you already have an account, please Log In. Otherwise, go ahead and register. Registration is free and gives you access to all sorts of great features, with many more on the way.

Copyright © 2007-2016 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.