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Harland Coffman baseball scrapbook

Harland Coffman baseball scrapbook
Date: January 1, 1948-December 31, 1952
This scrapbook documents the minor league baseball career of Topekan Harland Coffman. Coffman was a right-handed pitcher who played for several minor league teams between 1948 and 1952, including Independence (KS), Joplin, Columbus (GA), Omaha, Houston, Rochester, and Columbus (OH). In 158 minor league games, he achieved an overall record of 62-46, with an ERA of 3.19. His best season occurred in 1948 with the Independence Yankees, a club in the Class D Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League. Coffman's record that year was 18-5, with an earned run average of 1.94. His ERA was the best among all KOM League pitchers in 1948, and he was a league co-leader in number of wins, sharing the honor with two other pitchers. In 1952, Coffman participated in the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, but did not make the team roster in the regular season. His professional playing days ended when he suffered an arm injury and opted not to have surgery recommended by doctors to extend his baseball career. After his minor league career, Coffman played several years with the semi-pro Topeka Decker Oilers. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Decker Oilers were a perennial contender for the state semi-pro baseball title, competing each year in the state tournament held in Wichita. Harland's father Vern was the long-time manager of the Decker Oilers. Other family members who played with the team were Harland's brother Burton, and his uncles Ed and Junior Coffman. Harland was a lifelong resident of Topeka, and worked 34 years for the Topeka Capital Journal. He died in 2010 at the age of 81. Digital reproduction of the scrapbook was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.


 Harland Coffman of the Columbus Red Birds

Harland Coffman of the Columbus Red Birds
Date: 1952
Topekan Harland Coffman is shown in this photograph from 1952, when he was a right-handed pitcher with the Columbus,Ohio Red Birds, a Class AAA minor league club in the American Association. Coffman pitched for several minor league teams between 1948 and 1953. In addition to Columbus, he also pitched for teams in Independence, Kansas; Joplin; Columbus, Georgia, Omaha; Houston; Rochester; and Austin. In the 158 minor league games for which his statistics are available, he achieved an overall record of 62-46, with an ERA of 3.19. In 1952, Coffman participated in the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, but did not make the team roster in the regular season. His professional playing days ended when he suffered an arm injury and opted not to have surgery recommended by doctors to extend his baseball career. After his minor league career, Coffman played several years with the semi-pro Topeka Decker Oilers. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Decker Oilers were a perennial contender for the state semi-pro baseball title, competing each year in the state tournament held in Wichita. Harland's father 'Pooch' was the long-time manager of the Decker Oilers. Other family members who played with the team were Harland's brother Burton, and his uncles Ed and Junior Coffman. Harland was a lifelong resident of Topeka, and worked 34 years for the Topeka Capital Journal. He died in 2010 at the age of 81. Digital reproduction of the photograph was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.


Milton M. Powers to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Milton M. Powers to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Date: June 7, 1856
Milton M. Powers, Deputy Clerk of Court in Columbus, Ohio wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday, Free State leader and founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory. Powers had read of Holliday's activities in northern newspapers. A presentation of the Wrongs of Kansas, emphasizing Andrew H. Reeder and Samuel N. Wood's experiences, had emotionally motivated Powers to write and assure Holliday of his support. Once a Jeffersonian Democrat, but convicted that the party had abandoned its principles, Powers had become a Republican. He stated that the entire nation was attuned to events in Kansas Territory, and he believed that these events would have intense impact on the nation's future.


U.S. 40. The main street of America

U.S. 40. The main street of America
Creator: U.S. 40 Highway Association, Inc.
Date: 1920s
This pamphlet by the U.S. 40 Highway Association promotes U.S. Route 40 as the trans-continental highway from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California. At the pamphlet's creation, the highway had not yet been completed and reached to eight miles west of Topeka, Kansas. Raymond M. Sawhill of Glasco, Kansas, was the secretary of the local organization. The pamphlet contains a map of the route and there are charts listing the distance between all the cities through which the highway would pass. The charts also list the population of each of the cities. This pamphlet proposes a northern and southern route through the middle and western portions between Manhattan, Kansas, and Limon, Colorado.


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