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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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A majority of people continue to go east via Sidney on the Union Pacific Railway

A majority of people continue to go east via Sidney on the Union Pacific Railway
Date: Betweem 1870 and 1890
This Union Pacific Railway poster promotes travel east from Sidney, Nebraska, on the Union Pacific Railway. It claims the Sidney and Black Hills Stage line passes over the best roads and has the best Concord Coaches. The stage line connects with the palace cars of the Union Pacific Railway to travel to all points east or west, crossing rivers on great iron bridges. At Omaha, Nebraska, or St. Joseph, Missouri, connections could be made to all points east, north, or south.


Arthur Capper to Major General Clarence Danielson

Arthur Capper to Major General Clarence Danielson
Creator: Capper, Arthur, 1865-1951
Date: June 02, 1944
Arthur Capper's telegram to General Danielson relays the concerns of Kansas farmers who fear that their supply of POW labor is about to run out.


Colorado, Kansas road sign

Colorado, Kansas road sign
Date: 1925
This black and white photograph shows a road sign informing travelers that Kansas City, Kansas was 492 miles and Omaha, Nebraska was 405 miles. The wooden sign may have been the first highway marker associated with U.S. Highway 36. The highway, which is still in use today, passes through thirteen Kansas counties that share their borders with the state of Nebraska.


Gavin Berberich playing baseball

Gavin Berberich playing baseball
Date: Between 2005 and 2013
In this set of five photographs, Gavin Berberich of Topeka, Kansas is featured playing baseball at various ages ranging from age 2 through age 10. Four of the photos were taken in Shawnee County; the other was taken in Omaha, Nebraska. Digital reproduction of the photographs was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.


Grand Tour of Colorado for forty-five dollars

Grand Tour of Colorado for forty-five dollars
Date: Between 1870 and 1890
This poster advertises tours originating in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri or Leavenworth, Kansas to Denver, Colorado Springs or Pueblo, Colorado. The Union Pacific Railroad, Kansas Pacific Railroad, Colorado Central Railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs Railroad are included. Five grand tours are advertised.


H.D. Fisher to Governor John St. John

H.D. Fisher to Governor John St. John
Creator: Fisher, H. D. (Hugh Dunn), 1824-1905
Date: April 05, 1879
From Omaha, Nebraska, H.D Fisher writes Kansas Governor St. John offering the lecturing services of the popular Temperance advocate and lawyer from Iowa, Mrs. J. Ellen Foster. Fisher himself expresses interest in working for St. John as a lecturer.


Harland Coffman baseball collage

Harland Coffman baseball collage
Date: Between 1948 and 1996
This is a collage of items relating to the baseball career of Topekan Harland Coffman, who pitched for several minor league teams between 1948 and 1952. In 158 minor league games, he achieved an overall record of 62-46, with an ERA of 3.19. His best year was 1948, when he went 18-5 for the Independence Yankees, an affiliate of the New York Yankees. He also pitched for minor league teams in Joplin, Omaha, Columbus (GA), Houston, Rochester, and Columbus (OH). In 1952, he participated in the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, but did not make the team roster in the regular season. In the top row of the collage are front and back views of the 1952 St. Louis Cardinals spring training roster card and schedule. In the middle of the top row is a partial view of an envelope which contained correspondence from the Omaha Cardinals, the team Coffman played for in 1951. In the bottom row are (l to r): a team photo of the 1951 Omaha Cardinals, a 1948 photo of Coffman as a member of the Independence (KS) Yankees, and a 1996 photograph of former players with the Independence, Kansas teams participating in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri (KOM) League. The Omaha Cardinals photo has a caption identifying the players, which include not only Coffman, but his teammates Earl Weaver and Ken Boyer. The reunion photo was taken in Pittsburg, Kansas, at a KOM League reunion organized by league historian John Hall. In that photo, Coffman is seated in the second row, on the far right. (For identification of all the former players, see Unit 307645.) Harland Coffman 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 collage was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.


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.


Kansas Adjutant General U.S. War Department correspondence

Kansas Adjutant General U.S. War Department correspondence
Date: April 1902 - June 1904
Correspondence sent and received by the Kansas Adjutant General's Office and the U.S. War Department between April 1902 - June 1904. Letters were also sent to Governor William E. Stanley and Governor Willis J. Bailey. Kansas Adjutant Generals during this period were Simeon M. Fox and Samuel H. Kelsey. Correspondents include Brigadier General William Crozier at the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, J. Parker and E.J. McClernand, Majors of Cavalry, and Quartermaster Generals Marshall I. Ludington and Charles F. Humphrey. Frequent correspondence was made with the Headquarters of the Department of the Missouri, in Omaha, the Headquarters of the Northern Division, in St. Louis, and the Headquarters of the Department of the Lakes, in Chicago. Topics discussed include military maneuvers, annual reports, and transportation arrangements.


Omaha Cardinals baseball team

Omaha Cardinals baseball team
Date: 1951
This is a photograph of the 1951 Omaha Cardinals, a minor league baseball team in the Class A Western League. Among those pictured are Kansans Harland Coffman, of Topeka, and Willard Schmidt, a native of Hays. Both were pitchers. The Cardinals won the Western League pennant in 1951, with a record of 90-64. Coffman made pitching appearances in 26 of the team's games, earning 11 wins against 7 losses. His ERA was 2.96. Schmidt's record that year was 19-14 and an ERA of 2.11. Harland Coffman pitched for several minor league teams between 1948 and 1952. In 158 minor league games, he achieved an overall record of 62-46, with an ERA of 3.19. In 1952, he participated in the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, but did not make the team roster in the regular season. Willard Schmidt pitched in the majors for seven seasons between 1952 and 1959. In 194 games for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, Schmidt won 31 games and lost 29. All of the players included in the photograph are identified in the caption. Two of them would have long, distinguished major league careers, including Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver and third baseman Ken Boyer. 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.


P. X. English to Senator Arthur Capper

P. X. English to Senator Arthur Capper
Creator: English, Brigadier General P.X.
Date: October 20, 1945
This letter is Brigadier General P.X. English's response to a letter sent to the Army Service Forces by Concordia resident Dr. G.W. Coffey.


Reverend T.H. Kinsella to J.V. Kelly

Reverend T.H. Kinsella to J.V. Kelly
Creator: Kinsella, Reverend T.H.
Date: October 08, 1923
This item, sent to J.V. Kelly by Reverend T.H. Kinsella, contains information on the Jesuit Mission at Kickapoo, Leavenworth County, Kansas. Kinsella addresses Catholic missionary life in the West, and the first efforts of such missionaries in the Indian Territory/Kansas Territory. Established in 1836 by Father Van Quickenborne, Kinsella explains that Kickapoo "had streets and stores of many kinds, a blacksmith's shop and a sawmill." Kinsella's letter also includes details on St. Mary's Mission, the influx of newcomers after 1854, Catholic work in Leavenworth, Kansas, and the flooding of the town of Kickapoo.


Robert Laushman video interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)

Robert Laushman video interview on experiences in World War II (transcript)
Creator: Laushman, Robert
Date: November 9, 2007
Robert Laushman enlisted in the Army (Air Force) in 1943 and served until 1945 in the 39th Air Depot Group Dance Band, 11th Air Force. He spent most of his time in the service at Elmendorf Field, Anchoarge, Alaska. Interviewed by Nancy L. Porter on Nov 9, 2007, Laushman talked about military experiences in the Second World War. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 6, 1923, and graduated from Omaha South High School in June l942. He enlisted in the Air Force and was called up in April 1943. He attended Hastings College in Nebraska until he was called up. After the war, he attended Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, on the G. I. Bill. He worked a number of years as a high school band director. It is not clear when he and his wife moved to Lawrence, Kansas. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Watkins Community Museum of History (Lawrence) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.


Sauk and Fox Nation at Omaha Exposition

Sauk and Fox Nation at Omaha Exposition
Date: 1899
Taken at the Omaha Exposition in 1899, this photograph shows a group of eleven Sac and Fox Indians. Listed from left to right the individuals in the photo are: Guy Whistler (standing), Fannie Whistler (sitting), Gertrude Washington (standing), Jane Shaw (sitting), Eunice Rice (girl standing), Loillian Shaw (sitting), Edna Shaw (girl on floor), young boy (standing), Sarah Whistler (sitting), Jol Brown, Sis Brown.


Western League statistics for the 1951 season

Western League statistics for the 1951 season
Date: October 16, 1951
This 1951 news release contains official statistics for the Western League, a Class A minor league baseball circuit. The release identifies the league's batting, pitching, and fielding leaders, as well as individual player statistics for the Omaha Cardinals. The league's official stats were compiled by Howe News Bureau of Chicago. Willard Schmidt, a native of Hays, Kansas, who pitched for the Omaha Cardinals, led the Western League's pitchers in earned run average (2.11) and strikeouts (202). Schmidt's win-loss record for Omaha was 19-14. Also pitching for the Omaha Cardinals in 1951 was Topekan Harland Coffman; his record was 11-7, with a 2.96 ERA. Raymond Perers of Wichita, Kansas, had the best win-loss percentage among the pitchers at .800. Future Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was on this team, as was future major leaguer Ken Boyer. Digital reproduction of the news release was accomplished through a joint project sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame.


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