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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.


Frankwood E. Williams Papers

Frankwood E. Williams Papers
Creator: Williams, Frankwood E. (Frankwood Earl), b. 1883
Date: 1905 - 1942, undated
This collection of materials consists of biographical sketches, correspondence (both personal and professional), lecture notes, bibliographies, and tributes for Frankwood E. Williams, director of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. Much of the correspondence is between Marion Kenworthy and Norman Fenton regarding Fenton potentially writing a biography of Williams after his death (this never came to pass). A photograph of Williams is included in folder 12. This correspondence is part of the historic psychiatry material in the Menninger Archives. A searchable, full-text transcription is forthcoming.


How the W. P. R. R. violates its' charter

How the W. P. R. R. violates its' charter
Creator: Union Pacific Railroad Company
Date: 1873
A partial map of the Southwestern United States showing the Central Pacific, Union Pacific, Denver Pacific and Kansas Pacific Railroads. This map was possibly taken from an article/book by Robert E. Carr. The W.P.R.R. was probably the original Western Pacific Railroad (1862-1870), established in 1865 to build the western-most portion of the Transcontinental railroad.


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."


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."


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