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



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Home and Family - Family parties and reunions - Holidays - Thanksgiving

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 3, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He told her of his planned trip up the Kansas River, his pleasure in the people of Kansas Territory, and a Thanksgiving dinner he attended. Unwilling to return to Pennsylvania, Holliday expressed desire that Mary come to Kansas Territory and described the construction of a friend's sod-covered "mansion," one such as Clarina I. H. Nichols, a lecturer and writer, inhabited.

First Thanksgiving Sermon

First Thanksgiving Sermon
Creator: McVicar, Peter, 1829-1903
Date: November 29, 1860
This sermon by Rev. Peter McVicar's sermons is entitled "First Thanksgiving Sermon." It was delivered in Topeka on November 29, 1860, just weeks after he assumed the pastorate of the Congregational Church. McVicar focused on the concept that God's blessings were not to be measured by the accumulation of money or property, making specific comments about Kansas. He suggested, for example, that citizens of Kansas Territory who gathered together on that day should be especially thankful for the hardships endured by "early" settlers in order to establish freedom from slavery.

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: November 21, 1858
Much of this interesting letter, dated November 21, 1858, from Sumner, Kansas Territory, describes the Ingalls law practice and the nature of a "frontier" court proceedings that often attracted "nearly all the population." According to Ingalls, "the chief difficulty arising [in the courts came] from the conflict of the two Codes, adopted by two hostile legislatures, each of which had adherents who call the other 'bogus.'" Ingalls also discussed the business of land sales, as something many others successfully combined with the practice of law.

Thomas Ryan and family

Thomas Ryan and family
Date: 1913
This is a photograph showing Thomas Ryan and his family taken on Thanksgiving. The photograph was taken at Thomas Ryan's home in Brownell, Kansas.

William and Catharine Menninger's family over the years

William and Catharine Menninger's family over the years
Date: 1938-1987
The photographs, from Catharine's personal collection, show the children and grandchildren. Dr. Will was co-founder of the Menninger Clinic in 1919. They were married in 1925. Their three sons, Roy Wright, Philip Bratton, and William Walter all continued the Menninger Clinic in Topeka.

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