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Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Reminiscences and Memoirs

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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


A Flint Hills Story by Victor Palenske

A Flint Hills Story by Victor Palenske
Creator: Palenske, Victor
Date: 1973
This is a forty-page monograph, authored by Victor Palenske and signed and dated 1973. Palenske's document recalls his early days in Alma in the 1910s and speaks in detail of Alma business and life in the early 20th century in Wabaunsee County. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Address before the Old Settler's Reunion, Lincoln, Kansas

Address before the Old Settler's Reunion, Lincoln, Kansas
Creator: Stanley, Arthur Jehu, 1874-1967
Date: September 17, 1915
An address given by Arthur Stanley before the Old Settler's Reunion in Lincoln, Kansas. Stanley recounts life in Lincoln, of living in a dugout, the fear of prairie fires, prairie schooners passing through, the naming and meaning of places in Lincoln, and many other stories of the county and prairie life in general.


Alex E. Case collection

Alex E. Case collection
Date: 1866 - 1917
In this small collection, Alex E. Case, a state representative from Marion, Kansas, describes his experiences in Kansas in the 1860s. He recounts a conversation with an Irish immigrant named Sallie Young, who told Case about her encounter with Quantrill's raiders as they rode towards Lawrence. Case also relates his memories of the Cheyenne Indian raids on Marion in 1868 and shares stories about his neighbors A. A. Moore and William Henry Roberts. A searchable transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Allen M. Coville collection

Allen M. Coville collection
Date: 1898-1913
This is a small collection of papers relating to Allen M. Coville's childhood years spent on a farm west of Topeka, and to his service in Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War. Coville's family moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1855, when Coville was seven years old. Colville grew up during the Border Wars and wrote down his memories of the time period. He recalls conflicts between abolitionists and pro-slavery groups, skirmishes that occurred between Native American tribes, and encounters with neighbors, including a Kaw chief he refers to as "White Plume". His account of his experiences with the Rough Riders, and his discharge, signed by Roosevelt, are also in the collection. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant. A typed transcript of his time with the Rough Riders begins on page 62 of Folder 3. However Coville's account stops before he gets to Cuba. The typed transcript for his description of his experiences during the Border Wars begins on page 51 of Folder 4.


Amos Clifton Rucker, World War I soldier

Amos Clifton Rucker, World War I soldier
Date: Between 1918 and 1920
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Amos Clifton Rucker, Battery F, 130th Artillery, 35th Division, who fought on the Verdun front, under heavy military fire.


As The Old Santa Fe Trail Looks Today

As The Old Santa Fe Trail Looks Today
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1930
This is a monograph by Louis Palenske, addressing the Old Santa Fe Trail as it looked in 1930 shortly after the author traveled the length of the trail by car, taking panoramic photographs along the route. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


A sketch of hospital life and work

A sketch of hospital life and work
Creator: Webb-Peck, Anna S.
Date: Between January 1, 1862 and June 30, 1897
This item, composed by Nurse Anna S. Webb-Peck, details her experiences as a nurse during the first year of the Civil War. One of the prominent people that she came into contact with during the period was Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke, who gained widespread fame for her work as a hospital administrator for the Union during the Civil War.


A story of the Shawanoes (Shawnee)

A story of the Shawanoes (Shawnee)
Creator: Rayner, John Allen
Date: 1886
This reminiscence by George Bluejacket, a Shawnee (Shawanoe) Indian originally from Ohio, tells the creation story of the Shawnee people as well as the history of his own tribe. Although his story ends before the Shawnee were relocated to Kansas (then called Indian Territory), it appears that he relocated with the rest of his tribe. The reminiscence was recorded by John Allen Rayner, and the first page of the document is an explanatory letter written by Rayner.


Autobiography of L. Palenske

Autobiography of L. Palenske
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1938-1975
This is an eleven-page autobiographical work by Louis Palenske, dated October 1938. There is a twelfth page, included as an addendum, which is dated October 1975, which is a brief synopsis of Louis Palenske's life, possibly authored by Palenske's children, Victor Palenske and Florence Hallgren. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Autobiography of Louis Palenske

Autobiography of Louis Palenske
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: January 3, 1934
This is a three-page autobiography of Louis Palenske, written on his 76th birthday. The fourth page is a short autobiographical synopsis. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Battle of Indianola

Battle of Indianola
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1906
This handwritten section of Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, which was based on Reader's diary from the same period, deals with the "Battle of Indianola," which occurred on August 30, 1856, near Indianola, in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory. Reader describes the day's events, in which no actual fighting occurred, when the local militia gathered to prevent theft and burning by proslavery supporters.


Betty McCann-Thomas reminiscences

Betty McCann-Thomas reminiscences
Creator: McCann-Thomas, Betty
Date: 2004 - 2012
This is a reminiscence recorded by Betty McCann-Thomas describing her work at North American Aviation during World War II. After leaving Kansas State University, she attended training school and was hired by North American located in the Fairfax District of Kansas City, Kansas. McCann-Thomas was involved in making B-25 airplanes. Women working in the defense factories were often called Rosie the Riveter. She describes in detail the tools she used and the work she performed on the airplane skins and tank doors. The collection contains two photographs of Betty McCann-Thomas.


Biographical circulars

Biographical circulars
Date: 1890-1899
This collection consists of biographical forms sent by F. G. Adams, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, to individuals whose names appeared in historically significant materials in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society. The responses are arranged alphabetically by last name. Biographical information may include full name, place and date of birth, place and date of settlement, present residence, place and date of death, official positions, and/or addresses of family members.


Biography of Frederich and Caroline Palenske

Biography of Frederich and Caroline Palenske
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1930-1940
This short biography of Frederich and Caroline Palenske was written by their son, Louis Palenske, born in the Kansas Territory in 1858. The Palenske family immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1854, and soon homesteaded a claim in Richardson County, Kansas Territory. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Christmas in the 1870s

Christmas in the 1870s
Creator: Adams, Harriet Elizabeth, 1867-1938
Date: June 20, 1928
Harriet E. Adams wrote this reminiscence in 1928 about her childhood memories of Christmas. The story describes the family's preparations for Christmas, the activities of her older sister Zu Adams in creating an atmosphere appealing to her younger siblings, and their typical Christmas morning. Though the family lived in Topeka, Kansas at the time this reminiscence was written, they were living near Marysville in Marshall County when Harriet was seven. The story was written as part of the efforts of Lilla Day Monroe to collect reminiscences concerning the women's perspective in settling Kansas. Zu Adams was a long time employee of the Kansas State Historical Society and her father Franklin Adams was the first secretary (executive director) of the Society.


Curtis Loyal Russell, World War I soldier

Curtis Loyal Russell, World War I soldier
Date: Between 1918 and 1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Curtis Loyal Russell, Headquarters Company, 351st Infantry, 88th Division. Russell died from pneumonia on October 8, 1918 in Haute Saone, France.


"Dorothy Stories": growing up in Butler County, Kansas

"Dorothy Stories": growing up in Butler County, Kansas
Creator: Holt, Dorothy Bogue
Date: 1994-2000
In this photograph Dorothy "Dottye" Bogue Holt, born in 1925, stands in front of the Bodarc General Store building, which closed in 1951. Bodarc, also known as Bois d'Arc, was unofficially founded in 1875 in Butler County, and is now considered one of Kansas' "lost communities." Dorothy Holt moved from Douglass to a farm near Bodarc in 1931. Her four stories about growing up there in the 1930s are titled "One Fourth Of July (1933)"; "The Farewell Party (1930)"; "Riding The Bay (1933)"; and "A New School Start [1931]." Holt died in 2014 in Topeka, Kansas.


Dr. W.H. Goldsbury to Kansas Historical Society

Dr. W.H. Goldsbury to Kansas Historical Society
Creator: Goldsbury, Dr. W.H.
Date: February 16, 1942
This is a letter from Dr. W.H. Goldsbury, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, to the Kansas Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas. In the letter, Goldsbury recounts an Indian massacre that supposedly took place in 1878 at Sappa Creek in Kansas. Reported to be killed was a George F. Walters. But Dr. Goldsbury personally reports that Mr. Walters lived near Hennessey, Oklahoma, until 1901. Dr. Goldsbury asks if the Historical Society has any information on the raid and if he can have a copy.


Edward Rowe, World War I soldier

Edward Rowe, World War I soldier
Date: 1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Edward Rowe, Co. F, 353rd Infantry, 89th Division. Rowe was killed in action on November 7, 1918.


Ellis Kepler Porter and his reminiscences of the Rush County (Kansas) county seat war (1886-1888)

Ellis Kepler Porter and his reminiscences of the Rush County (Kansas) county seat war (1886-1888)
Creator: Porter, Kenneth Wiggins
Date: Between 1969 and 1971
Reminiscences of the Rush County county seat war, which took place between 1886-1888, recounted by Ellis Kepler Porter.


Excerpts from taped interviews with John Stadler

Excerpts from taped interviews with John Stadler
Creator: Stadler, John
Date: 1979
This oral history interview with John Stadler, Stevens County, describes his experiences during the dust bowl of the 1930s. He devotes much of the interview to reminiscing about how these dust storms interrupted the daily routines of those living in western Kansas. Stadler worked for the local gas company, and he also supervised the drilling of 443 wells near Hugoton. Copied from Dust Storms as Remembered by Hugoton Citizens.


Gladwyn Mills Saunders, World War I soldier

Gladwyn Mills Saunders, World War I soldier
Date: 1918-1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Gladwyn Mills Saunders, Co. L, 356 Infantry. Saunders died of appendicitis on August 15, 1918, while serving overseas.


Henry Cooprider interview

Henry Cooprider interview
Creator: Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.)
Date: 1970s
This oral history interview, conducted by Don Holsinger and Sondra Bandy of Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, details the experiences of Henry Cooprider. Cooprider, a resident of Inman, Kansas, recalls his experience growing up in Kansas and the treatment he endured while the U.S. was at war with Germany during World War I. On one occasion, Henry's brother George was tarred and feathered by a mob in response to their father's earlier refusal to buy Liberty Bonds. Shortly after the incident, Henry was sent to Camp Funston as a Conscientious Objector.


Historic Psychiatry original miscellaneous documents

Historic Psychiatry original miscellaneous documents
Date: 1751 - 1961
These are a variety of handwritten and typed letters, lectures, autographs, news clippings, biographical information, images and sketches, court documents, and other documents related to the history of psychiatry. These documents are housed in four boxes and the folders within are arranged alphabetically by surname or title, and they are included in the larger collection of historic psychiatry material in the Menninger Archives. Authors come from such fields as medicine, religion, prison and other reform and advocacy movements, politics, the military, etc. The documents themselves sometimes provide significant information, and sometimes they were collected because their authors were significant historical figures. Some of the individuals found in Box 1 include James Mark Baldwin, Ludwig Binswanger, Eugen Bleuler, Jean-Martin Charcot, Elizabeth Fry, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Carl Jung. Some of the individuals found in Box 2 include Alfred Adler, Robert Frost, and Washinton Irving. This box also includes a 68-page handwritten notebook by Dr. W.W. Reed entitled "Reminiscenses About the Treatment of the Insane." Some of the individuals found in Box 3 include Amariah Brigham and Frederick van Eeden. This box also includes a correspondence file (1883-1888) on Ellen Kehoe, a patient at the Worcester Lunatic Hospital in Massachusetts, and a series of drawings from the 1920s and 1930s by a Belgian patient suffering from paranoia named Andreas at the Kankakee State Hospital in Illinois. The drawings were donated by Dr. J.B. Gier, formerly of the Topeka Veteran's Administration Hospital, who knew the patient and encouraged his work. Box 4 includes a miscellaneous folder regarding insane asylums and contains legal documents, postcard images, and receipts for services. Languages include English, German, French and Italian, and transcriptions or translations follow some of the documents.


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