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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.


A local history of Jerome Township, Gove County, Kansas

A local history of Jerome Township, Gove County, Kansas
Creator: Baker, Fred
Date: 1918
This is a local history of Jerome Township, Gove County, Kansas, as recollected by Fred Baker, Gove City, Kansas. Baker wrote this sketch and submitted it in March 1918 to the Golden Belt Educational Association at Hays, Kansas, and was awarded a prize. Also included is a letter from Judge J.C. Ruppenthal, Russell, Kansas, to William Connelly, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas, who received the sketch from Baker and wished for it to be donated into the Society's holdings.


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 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.


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.


Cattle toll crossing in Hodgeman Co.; Parker's Ranch toll crossing

Cattle toll crossing in Hodgeman Co.; Parker's Ranch toll crossing
Creator: Holbrook, Eloise
Date: Between 1930 and 1938
A history of the cattle toll crossing and Parker's Ranch toll crossing in Hodgeman County. Included in this history is a description of the ranch's land and the amount of cattle that came through in one summer's drive.


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.


Correspondence on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County

Correspondence on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County
Creator: Scott, Charles F., b. 1860
Date: 1931-1932
This is correspondence among Charles F. Scott, Harold C. Short, Frank Fuhr, Mrs. F.C. Montgomery and George A. Root. The correspondence focuses on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County, 1874, where a group of United States Surveyors were killed by Indians.


"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.


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.


Fayetteville road

Fayetteville road
Date: Between 1900 and 1910
These letters, maps, and reminiscences relate to the Fayetteville road, also known as the Fayetteville Emigrant Trail. This trail started at Arkansas Post in Arkansas, then headed towards the northeast corner of Oklahoma, crossing the Neosho River, entering the state of Kansas in what is now Montgomery County. The trail crossed the Verdigris River about two miles north of the Kansas state line, went through the present-day site of Coffeyville making its way northwest, finally meeting with the Santa Fe Trail at Turkey Creek in McPherson County, Kansas. In total, this trail crossed the following Kansas counties: Montgomery, Chautauqua, Elk, Butler, Harvey, Marion and McPherson.


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.


History of Runnymede

History of Runnymede
Date: Between 1940 and 1950
A brief history of Runnymede, Kansas, detailing the founding of the town and the lives of some of its inhabitants.


History of Woodson County

History of Woodson County
Creator: Jones, Mrs. S.E. Chase
Date: 1877
A history of Woodson County, Kansas, written by Mrs. S.E. Chase Jones.


Hodgeman County's county seat history

Hodgeman County's county seat history
Creator: Kenyon, M.W.
Date: 1911
A brief history of the county seat war in Hodgeman County. The two rival towns being Hodgeman Center and Jetmore. Eventually, Jetmore was chosen to be the official county seat.


Hodgeman County toll bridge

Hodgeman County toll bridge
Creator: Holbrook, Eloise
Date: Between 1930 and 1938
This is a history of the Hodgeman County toll bridge, written by Eloise Holbrook. Included in the history is a description of how the bridge came to be built, who the owner was, and the dedication of a monument for the bridge in 1925.


Incidents of Pioneer Life in McPherson County

Incidents of Pioneer Life in McPherson County
Creator: Wilson, Bessie Felton
Date: March 1926
This reminiscence was written by Bessie Felton Wilson in March 1926. Bessie's family moved to Osage County, Kansas in 1872, where she was born on February 20, 1873. In 1874, the family moved to McPherson County, Ks. Bessie includes some family history but the bulk of the reminiscence details the daily life of a pioneer family. She describes hardships such as prairie fires and rattle snakes. She recounts incidents and special events as well as activities of daily life. Some genealogical information is included. This story was written as part of the efforts of Lilla Day Monroe to collect reminiscences concerning the women's perspective in settling Kansas


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