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A. Venard to Thaddeus Hyatt

A. Venard to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Venard, A.
Date: October 3, 1860
This letter is from A. Venard, a medical doctor from Pleasant Grove, Kansas Territory, who wrote to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter described the sickness and disease that plagued the settlers along the Verdigris River in southeast Kansas. Dr. Venard had worked diligently to aid the settlers, even using funds from his own pocket to purchase medicine, but he requested that the committee give him 100 dollars worth of drugs. Attached to this letter is an itemized list of the drugs he wished purchased with the requested funds.


A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer

A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer
Creator: Johnson, A. W.
Date: March 24, 1875
In this letter to his cousin, A. W. Johnson relates news from his homestead near Osage Mission, Neosho County. Johnson describes the grasshopper plague in vivid terms, and also mentions how the recent hard times in Kansas should not discourage emigration into the state. In fact, he goes so far as to state that now is the time to come, since land is cheap and the spring weather is "deliteful[sic]." Johnson also states, however, that the price of corn is high, and that high prices on goods make it difficult for him to support his family.


A Dust Cloud Rolling Over the Prairies (near Hugoton, Kansas)

A Dust Cloud Rolling Over the Prairies (near Hugoton, Kansas)
Creator: Stovall Studio
Date: April 14, 1935
This is a photograph of a dust cloud rolling over the prairie near Hugoton, Kansas. Southwest Kansas was among the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as the one depicted here, could blow for a full day, coating everything in their path with a layer of dirt. It was taken by the Stovall Studio in Dodge City, Kansas on Sunday April 14, 1935. It is labeled #3.


A Reeves steam tractor turning virgin sod

A Reeves steam tractor turning virgin sod
Creator: Steele, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1866-1936
Date: Between 1891 and 1912
This is a view of a large Reeves steam tractor plowing prairie land to turn up sod.


A field of wheat, Kearney [Kearny] County, Kansas

A field of wheat, Kearney [Kearny] County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows a field of wheat and a binder pulled by several horses in Kearny County, Kansas.


African American baptism, Edwardsville, Kansas

African American baptism, Edwardsville, Kansas
Date: Between 1880 and 1900
This is a photograph showing African Americans being baptized at Murphy's pasture in Edwardsville, Kansas.


Aftermath of a dust storm in Kansas

Aftermath of a dust storm in Kansas
Date: Between 1934 and 1936
This photograph shows agricultural equipment covered with dust after a storm, possibly in Scott County, Kansas.


A glimpse of the Southwest;  New Mexico, the Santa Fe Route

A glimpse of the Southwest; New Mexico, the Santa Fe Route
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: 1884
This brochure advertises the "Fertile Rio Grande Valley" of New Mexico. Rich in gold, silver, copper, lead, iron and coal along with forests, farms, orchards, vineyards, meadows and flocks and herds. The brochure describes the history of territory and the State of New Mexico; describes the land; tells of the natural resources that are being mined; and, of the agricultural crops being raised. The climate, the towns and educational opportunities are described. Two maps show the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road System in the United States and Mexico; and, the whole State of New Mexico.


Agricultural equipment, Garden City, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural equipment, Garden City, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
The photograph shows the first steam powered plow in Garden City, Finney County, Kansas. The photograph also shows a man, who looks to be steering the plow while another man is riding on it. In the background of the photo there are a few buildings.


Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows a landscape view of an agricultural field in Finney County, Kansas.


Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows two men reclining on the prairie in Finney County, Kansas.


Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows a man standing in an open field in Finney County, Kansas.


Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural scene, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows an open prairie in Finney County, Kansas.


Alfalfa field, Finney County, Kansas

Alfalfa field, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows an alfalfa field in Finney County, Kansas, with stacks of cut alfalfa.


Alfalfa field, Finney County, Kansas

Alfalfa field, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
The photograph shows a view of an alfalfa field in Finney County, Kansas, with stack of cut alfalfa.


A living example of our problem in soil conservation

A living example of our problem in soil conservation
Creator: Works Progress Administration Indian Program
Date: 1935
This image, part of the New Deal Indian Program scrapbook compiled by the Works Progress Administration, depicts a gully created by severe erosion. Erosion such as this depleted the soil of its nutrients and decreased fertility, and blowing soil contributed to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.


Alysia Kysar to Governor Joan Finney

Alysia Kysar to Governor Joan Finney
Creator: Kysar, Alysia
Date: March 19, 1991
Alysia Kysar of Liberal, Kansas, writes Governor Joan Finney of Topeka concerning a water rights conflict at Cheyenne Bottoms wetlands in Barton County, Kansas. Kysar is eleven years old. She argues that the importance of wildlife habitats and communal ownership of natural resources, like water, supercede the rights of individual water users along Wet Walnut Creek. Kysar further questions the suitability of irrigated agriculture to an arid environment. In Wet Walnut Irrigators v. Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area (1992), the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Cheyenne Bottoms, citing its earlier claim to water rights.


An act regulating the diversion, appropriation, storage and distribution of water for industrial purposes

An act regulating the diversion, appropriation, storage and distribution of water for industrial purposes
Creator: Kansas. Legislature
Date: 1891
In this bill (H.B. 602), the House Committee on Irrigation drafted legislation to control and regulate the rights of water in Kansas. Articles within the bill include, Diversion and Appropriation of water for industrial purposes, rights of use of water, right of way, disposal of seepage water, creation of irrigation ditches, construction and maintenance and operation of works, regulation of rates and compensation, and unlawful interference. The bill passed both the house and senate and was signed into law March 10, 1891.


Animals watering, Finney County, Kansas

Animals watering, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows livestock at a watering hole. A windmill and horse and buggy are also visible.


Anna Margaret Watson Randolph, diary

Anna Margaret Watson Randolph, diary
Creator: Randolph, Anna Margaret Watson, 1838-1917
Date: August 17, 1858 - August 22, 1858
This brief diary, kept by Anna Margaret (Watson) Randolph, begins with her move to Kansas in an entry dated August 17, 1858. These six entries at the beginning of her diary provide details about her family's journey from Ohio to Kansas Territory, included a number of interesting accounts of their journey on a riverboat. Their boat ran aground several times and, interspersed among her descriptions of these difficulties, Anna wrote about her sister Mary Jane, the weather, and her personal observances of other passengers. She also filled her diary with her frustrations and concerns during their arduous journey west.


Appeal for the Kansas sufferers!

Appeal for the Kansas sufferers!
Creator: Foster, Daniel, 1816-1864
Date: 1860
This pamphlet, written by Daniel Foster, general agent of the New England Kansas Relief Committee, attempts to dispel any doubts about the severity of the nine-month drought in Kansas Territory. Many settlers had left Kansas Territory, and those remaining needed relief. Foster calls on people to provide aid to those in Kansas by contributing money or goods. The pamphlet lists names of people serving on a Boston committee who had met to discuss relief efforts in Kansas, including such well-known individuals as John A. Andrew, George Luther Stearns, Samuel Gridley Howe, and Thomas H. Webb.


Apple tree, Shawnee County, Kansas

Apple tree, Shawnee County, Kansas
Date: 1936
This black and white photograph shows drought damage to an apple tree in Shawnee County, Kansas.


Approaching Dust Storm 5 mi Away - Western Kansas

Approaching Dust Storm 5 mi Away - Western Kansas
Creator: Stovall Studio
Date: April 14, 1935
This approaching dust storm is five miles away. The photograph was taken near Hugoton, Kansas, on April 14, 1935, by the Stovall Studio, Dodge City, Kansas. It is labeled #1.


Approaching Dust Storm in Middle West

Approaching Dust Storm in Middle West
Creator: Conard, Frank Durnell, 1884-1966
Date: 1935
This is a view of an approaching dust storm somewhere on the southern Plains. The photograph was taken by Frank D. ("Pop") Conard, a well known photographer in Garden City, Kansas. Dust storms, such as this one, rolled over the the southern Great Plains from 1932-1936, removing top soil from agricultural lands and prompting important changes in agricultural practice. The image is labeled #24 Conard.


Approaching dust storm

Approaching dust storm
Date: Around 1935
This undated photograph captures a large dust storm about to hit this family's homestead. These storms were frequent occurrences in western Kansas during the 1930s Dust Bowl.


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