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Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's miniature train and the engineer Merle A. Benson

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's miniature train and the engineer Merle A. Benson
Date: 1927-1964
Here are photographs and newspaper articles about Merle A. Benson, engineer, on Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's miniature train. He was at the throttle of the little parade train for 37 years before retiring on December 31, 1963. Benson traveled thousands of miles to participate in parades, expositions, celebrations, and other events. The original miniature freight train, which was headed by an engine designed after the old steam locomotives, was built in 1926 at the Topeka shops. In 1927, a miniature passenger train was built as a companion. The power source for both trains was Model-T Ford motors and transmissions. In 1937, the steam locomotive design was replaced by a diesel-type jacket over the same power source. Use of the passenger train was discontinued in 1942 and it was finally scrapped in 1951. Before the passenger train was retired, it consisted of three Pullman cars, a buffet-library car and a dining car. The freight train consisted of the locomotive plus a coal car, refrigerator car, boxcar, stock car, tank car and caboose. During the off-season he would provide maintenance on the miniature trains and get them ready for the next season. Benson was born in Greeley, Kansas in 1896, and he moved to Topeka in 1923. He started to work in the Santa Fe shops as a car man helper and in 1924, he became a machinist.


Charles M. Sheldon memorials

Charles M. Sheldon memorials
Date: 1924-1984
Charles M. Sheldon (1857-1946) served as a minister of the Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas from 1889 to 1920. He was also an author of the international best seller, In His Steps, which was published in 1897. A series of memorials, presented here, comprises part of the Charles Monroe Sheldon/Central Congregational Church Collection. A complete description of the entire collection is available through a link below. This series includes letters, a notebook, published articles, and assorted items surrounding Sheldon's death and memorials in his honor. The letters are to and from individuals and members or groups associated with Sheldon's study, the Altruist Club of Central Congregational Church organized by Sheldon, and exhibits related to Sheldon after his death. Correspondents include Carl K. Linge, Elsei Hobson, Hugh F. McKean, Charles W. Helsley, Howard S. Searle, Hermione Adams, Brewster Place, Catharine Brandenburg, Andrew K. Craig, John Goodin, Emma Crabb, Walter Earl Glover Architect, Bailey-Reynolds Chandelier Company, D. O. Coe Seed & Grain Company, Pilgrim Congregational Church in California, and First (Park) Congregational Church. Emma Crabb was in charge of the Sheldon Collection at the Central Congregational Church. The publication, Congregational KANSAS, published in 1946, provides his picture on the cover page and an article titled "Dr. Charles Monroe Sheldon, Congregational Minister." The topics of other publications, such as the Congressional Record of 1946, and PROGRESS, also published in 1946, include Sheldon's lifelong activities as a pastor and author.


First capitol of Kansas

First capitol of Kansas
Date: November 27, 1900
This article, published in The Industrialist, describes the history of the first territorial legislature which met with 28 pro-slavery and 11 free-state men. It urges that the building be preserved. The First Territorial Capitol was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


Flood control where?

Flood control where?
Creator: Jones, J.O.
Date: February 2, 1952
In this article from the Kansas Farmer, University of Kansas Professor J.O. Jones challenges the Kansas large reservoir plan aimed at flood control. "Nature has a disconcerting way of frustrating man's attempts to thwart her." Large dams, he argues, near the outlets of huge drainage areas do not offer protection to those portions of the basin upstream. "Tuttle Creek dam will not protect Marysville, Blue Rapids or Irving. Perry Dam will not protect Valley Falls."


Newspapers, Long in the Family

Newspapers, Long in the Family
Creator: Howes, Cecil, 1880-1950
Date: 1940-1950
This item, written by Kansas City Star editor Charles Cecil Howes, addresses the long history of newspaper publication in Kansas. According to Howes's research, "Jotham Meeker was the first newspaper publisher in Kansas. That is, he brought the first printing press and established a newspaper for the Shawnee Indians." Howes also explains that, at the time he wrote the article, the Kansas State Historical Society had "4,813 listings of newspapers" that were published within the state of Kansas.


Opening of the Santa Fe Trail

Opening of the Santa Fe Trail
Creator: Howes, Cecil, 1880-1950
Date: 1940-1950
This item, titled "Opening of the Santa Fe Trail," was written by Charles Cecil Howes in the 1940s. Howes explains that "the commissioners of the United States completed [1825], at Council Grove, the treaty under which the Osage Indians agreed to let the traffic through their lands without molestation and without price." Howes also explains that the Santa Fe Trail had long been in use, and began with "the movement of the nomadic tribes of the Indians in the prairie area. Then the Indians walked and carried their housing and whatever goods they owned upon their backs."


Reminiscences and articles by Aaron Lane Lanning

Reminiscences and articles by Aaron Lane Lanning
Creator: Lanning, Aaron Lane, b. 1845
Date: 1919-1927
Here are "Reminiscences", "Against sunday games", "Pioneer life of Emma Preston Lanning" and "Some recollections of early days in Kansas" all written by Aaron Lane Lanning.


The Chisholm Cattle Trail

The Chisholm Cattle Trail
Creator: Howes, Cecil, 1880-1950
Date: 1940-1950
This item, written by Kansas City Star editor Charles Cecil Howes, concerns the Chisholm Trail, its origins, and its impact on Kansas. Howes explains that the Chisholm Trail was named after Jesse Chisholm who, along with James R. Mead, "freighted goods over the trail for years." According to Howes, Chisholm was a "half-breed Indian who engaged in the trading business for many years and established several trading posts in the Indian Territory [most of the land west of the Mississippi during that period]."


The Grand Canyon of Arizona

The Grand Canyon of Arizona
Creator: Adams, George Matthew
Date: 1911
This essay by George Fitch focuses on the history and scenic location of The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.


The Indian tribes of Kansas

The Indian tribes of Kansas
Creator: Howes, Cecil, 1880-1950
Date: 1940-1950
This item was written by Charles Cecil Howes sometime after World War II in order to educate the public about the Native American tribes in Kansas. As Howes indicates, the "fourth Saturday of September of each year has been designated by the Kansas legislature as American Indian Day when the schools and the public are to make proper observance in honor of the Native Americans and their service to the country. Most patriotic organizations and many of the schools provide special programs for the day particularly honoring the thousands of Indians who served well and honorably in two World Wars."


The Pony Express

The Pony Express
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: Unknown
This is an undated three page article by Louis Palenske titled, "The Pony Express." Palenske was very well-traveled, and he developed a fondness for the American West, the subject of his panoramic photography. The Pony Express, which moved mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California using a series of relay horseback riders, was a subject of great interest to Palenske. The Pony Express only operated for nineteen months from April of 1860 through October of 1861. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Showing 1 - 11

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