Friday, June 24, 2022
As always, I was looking for something else and I came across this....Lila Day Monroe (aka Judge Lee Monroe's wife), they lived across the street from the Dillon house (her house was razed for the Docking to be built, it was 3 story, yellow brick....), she was a suffragette, editor, the first woman lawyer in KS and the person who compiled the stories that became Pioneer Women. One of her daughters lived in Potwin, but this is the other unknown daughter! So cool to find this. C Here is a link to the book that was mentioned: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30432976646&cm_mmc=ggl-_-COM_Shopp_Rare-_-product_id%3Dbi%253A%2030432976646-_-keyword%3D&gclid=Cj0KCQjwntCVBhDdARIsAMEwACmMHekdzkeA3qb7DzOahJLM1p05lhba_o7kUbp90vdF3j9Js0JEWbUaAswcEALw_wc&fbclid=IwAR3p6p2ILPzcLD_CSufaJKhZtl4v0RIqi3OuVz6tVko9wPpViKOKgDtqp1I Here is her obit: Topeka Capital-Journal, Thursday, June 3, 1982, page 34: Day Monroe Day Monroe, 93, 7220 Asbury Lane, formerly of 2311 W. 17th, died late Tuesday at a Topeka hospital after a short illness. She was born Oct. 19, 1888, at WaKeeney, the daughter of Judge Lee Monroe and Lila Day Monroe. She was graduated from Washburn College and received an honorary doctorate from Washburn University, both at Topeka. She also studied at Sorbonne, Paris, France; Columbia University, New York City, and received her doctorate from the University of Chicago. Miss Monroe taught at Columbia University, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and later taught economics at the University of Washington, Seattle. During World War II she served with the American Red Cross in France. She was a member of Grace Episcopal Cathedral and Topeka Home Economist Club, both at Topeka. Survivors include a sister, Mrs. Lenore M. Stratton, Topeka. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Posted by Christine at 7:10 AM
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
" The State Library was founded on the basis of the Kansas Territorial Library, first funded in 1855. In 1863, the Kansas Legislature made the first appropriations of $2,000 to form the Kansas State Library. Originally the collection consisted of a general collection and a law collection and was housed in the state auditor’s office who also acted as librarian. This proved unsatisfactory and an act in 1870 designated a board of directors and State Librarian appointed by the governor. The initial annual salary of the State Librarian was $500. At this time, the State Library was housed in a room in the East wing of the Capitol. In 1900, the State Library was moved to its current site in the North Wing on the third floor of the Capitol. The State Librarian at the time, populist Annie Diggs, described it best: "The new rooms are not only spacious and commodious, but delightfully attractive as well. The frescoing is exquisite in color and the woodwork fine of finish… There is no convenience know to the modern library which is unsupplied. The aisles between the rows of book-stacks are furnished with electric lights, which may be turned on at need by switches at each entrance… The large spaces set aside for reading- rooms on either side of the great hall are finely lighted by large windows which command beautiful views of Topeka’s best buildings." The State Library was built to include the first electric lighting in the Capitol building as well as a glass floor on the second deck. The third deck was added in 1917. The State Library’s services have changed and adapted as Kansans needs have changed. In 1889, the State Library began a traveling library service to serve rural Kansans. In 1964, a system of grants was developed to assist rural libraries. The needs of individuals with low vision are met through the Kansas Talking Books service begun in the early 1970s. A service to help Kansans obtain important U.S. and Kansas census information began in 1980. The State Library continues to serve the needs of state agencies, legislators, and the general public and will continue to grow and change.' This is from the Kansas State Library website. I visited there yesterday and got Allen Gardiner's Libraries of Kansas book. Gardiner was a librarian at the State Library for many years. He wrote a total of 14 "books", spiral bound with card stock covers. I doubt that they appear in any LC listing, but they are treasures. The Kansas State Library is small for a state library and was not completed until 1900. The Capitol as a whole was completed in 1903. In the entry to the State Library there is a wonderful newspaper clipping with an illuatration of what is now the library area (depicting Wm. Jennings Bryan giving a speech)which was a public gathering spot. At the time the Topeka City library was steps away on the corner of the block and from all accounts quite nice, you have to wonder what affect this had on the State Library. Annie Diggs (yes that Annie Diggs, President of Kansas Women’s Free Silver League, President of the Kansas Press Women and Kansas Equal Suffrage Association...) was the State Librarian at the time. She refused to have wooden bookshelves--she considered them a fire hazard--and to this day the metal bookshelves that she stipulated remain and are in use. She also approved the sunflower motif on the railings. It was not the state flower at the time (that came in 1903 after her tenure).
Posted by Christine at 5:18 AM
Monday, November 29, 2021
Grace was a chiropractor who practiced in Topeka, Kansas. I am not sure of the dates but during the 1920's (according to an ad in the TSJ) her office was at 1412 W 8th and her office was at 628 1/2 Kansas was listed as her school. I am not sure what this means. My guess is that her office was in the front part of her house hich has been razed for the construction of Stormont Vail's complex. In part this would make sense as it would have been in easy walking distance to Vail Hospital, and many "hospitals" and Dr.'s offices were in their houses (another wormhole, I have found at least 3 of these in Topeka, they had one-six beds, examination room and lobby). As to her school, I will have to do some checking but it is likely that that she was teaching others to be chiropractors. She would have come somewhat later than Dr. Eva Harding, but they likely would have known each other. Her huaband, her husband was chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen for the Santa Fe Railway. He was a printer there and played clarinet in Marshall's band. At some point they moved to California, but they are buried in the Topeka Cemetery so obviously there were strong ties here.
Posted by Christine at 5:13 AM
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Built in early 1950's. It was not base housing according to one of the original homeowners, it was built in response to the 1951 flood. All are two bedrooms with 700 square feet on a slab foundation. Large lots. One of the builders was Sanneman. The streets were brick until the mid 90's.
Posted by Christine at 4:31 AM
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Years ago as an undergrad at Washburn University I had a professor named Dr. Marvin Heath. He taught philosophy and political science. From what I remember he was a Korean war veteran and had attended ivy/ivish league universities. He wore a fedora, a trench coat and smoked a pipe. Pretty much the quintessential professor stereotype. He lived in the Holiday/Central Park area of Topeka on Western in the 1200 block. His house was a large craftsman style 4 square. I am not sure when but Dr. Heath purchased a half dozen or so properties on that same block or nearby which he used as rentals. He took excellent care of them and by and large installed garages. He had the same tenants for 20 years or more, so I presume he was a good landlord. I have always theorized that this was in part because that area was devastated by the 1966 tornado and he picked up the properties cheap with the subsequent rush to the suburbs (white flight?) of his neighbors. This was a retirement income plan and a way to control his neighbors/keep his neighborhood intact. (He could not beat the tide though, several huge section 8 housing complexes would go in and the downturn of the neighborhood seemed inevitable after this). Anyhow, fast forward to a couple months ago. A friend of mine from California emails me about a new book--All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days by Rebecca Donner. It is about the Red Orchestra and one of it's leaders, an American woman from Wisconsin. Some of the keys players in this story are a couple from TOPEKA--yes, my six degrees of separation moment--Don and Louise Heath and their son Don. My friend asked me about the Heaths--presuming that I would know about them. I knew nothing. Now I have read the book and the wiki listing I know more, but not a lot. (Great book and an easy read by the way. I recommend it. FYI--the main character is beheaded by Hitler, I never knew this was a Nazi thing, ugh.) I have to wonder if this is a relative of the Dr. Heath I knew and I have started a mild search on it.
Posted by Christine at 4:45 AM
Saturday, November 6, 2021
“Cities are not the result of chance nor do they make themselves. Their prosperity and greatness are in a large measure due to the sagacity and enterprise of their founders and early settlers in reaching out and drawing to them the channels of commerce and trade.” James Mead Most of my research of early town formation has involved North Eastern Kansas. Town formation in NE Kansas was dominated by the New England Emigrant Aid Society, free-staters, abolitionist and pro-slavery “Border Ruffians”. Lots of discussion of Bleeding Kansas and the fight to be a free state. I do not know if it is my sources or if it is fact but for the Topeka area, Native Americans are generally not mentioned, they seem to have been nomadic. I have found 3 settled villages in Shawnee County but not a lot about them. White Plume and Chief Burnett are the main figures. In contrast to this, Wichita’s history of habitation seems to be older, Native Americans played a larger role and hunters, traders and businessmen dominated the formation. Moralist become a driving force later in its development. There is very little discussion of the Civil War and the Free v. Slave state. (what a difference 1Also, that I can find none of the Spanish explorers went into the northern part of the state, Salina seems to have been the farthest north they went. The following is a summary of the very early years. This era is of particular interest to me because I know so little of it and I think that it gets brushed off. Please correct my mistakes and set me on the right path. Ideally while doing this I would create maps for you, maps and timelines have always figured heavily into my classroom practice. Although, I think that the tribes that came from the East had to have been discouraged, jaundiced and untrusting because they had tried to get along, I have always maintained that I think that most people during this era did not set out to be exterminators or the exterminated, but generally they wanted to get along and they only saw their little piece of the puzzle. I could be entirely wrong. But I grew up on the farm and I see this period as much more like my early years than many people. Conditions were not always easy, lack of a good garden or a bad year in the fields had consequences, you got along because you needed each other at times. And the buffalo (bison), well my uncle raised them as a hobby for many years after he retired from active farming. He generally had 100 or so. And one of the things you did with him was to load up a couple lawn chairs in the back of the truck, drive out and sit and watch them---with a loaded shot gun across your lap. We called him the anthropologist. He had been about to start school at KSU’s veterinarian program when he was drafted for Korea. He served there as a field medic, when he came back, he never returned to college, but he had a way with animals and was who everyone in the area called before they called the vet (he was free, more available and always did house/field calls). During his active years he ran about 1,000 head of cattle at time. But, back to the buffalo (and he always called them buffalo although he knew they were bison) one winter, he had a bull that that kicked him in the stomach, and he was hospitalized for several weeks, ever after that he felt that that bull was going to take him out. So, he felt that he was forced to sell the herd (he kept 3 females until his death). Sadly, the greatest price would go to trophy hunters who wanted him to line up the ideal “hunt” and so that they could get the best “heads”. This fact was soul crushing to him. He ended up selling them to Cabela’s—it was the most respectful and humane way to go in his opinion. But this is the lens that I look through these early years, generally good people, trying to do the best they can with what they have and what they know. Wichita is sited on the Arkansas River near the mouth of the Little Arkansas river and evidence suggests that this area has been the site of established Native American settlements had been there many years before whites entered the picture. In 1541, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado came across the area in his search for the mythical “Seven Cities of Gold”. Although he did not find cities of gold, he did find a civilization of straw thatched villages with and fields of corn, beans and squash stretching from Lyon to Salina counties. He named this civilization was Quivira. The Quivirans were the forefathers of the Wichita and Caddoan tribes that would be in the area when the white man began arriving in the 1850s. The Wichita and the Caddo Native American tribes at this time were living in a large area in southwestern Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and Texas. Subgroups to this were the Kichai, Waco and Towakoni. I believe that the Osage were around as well but clustered around the Missouri River and I am not sure if the Kaw were in the northern part of the state, but prior reading has given me the sense that they probably were but existing as seasonal villages and nomadic as the Osage did. (Price’s Wichita 1860-1930) Don Juan de Onate was the next Spanish explorer to find the area and Quivira in 1601. Onate was from a family of Spanish nobles who had served for decades in the Spanish court and in high political positions. His wife was the granddaughter of Henan Cortes and the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma Xocoyotzin. In other words, Onate had a lot to live up to and he was wealthy. Onate was sent to the New World by Spain to colonize, explore and spread Catholicism. He began in New Mexico and established Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico and then ten set out in 1598 to explore. In October of this year, he encountered the Acoma Pueblo, where he tried to take stored food from the Native Americans, when they resisted, he considered this an insurrection and order the pueblo destroyed, killing 800-1,000. This became known as the Acoma Massacre (and to the best of my knowledge this is the first massacre of Native American in the SW part of the US). When King Philip II hears of this, he banishes Onate from New Mexico, but Onate continues in America. In 1601, Onate organized a expedition to find the Quivira, and the fabled cities of gold. Onate ventured into Kansas and encountered the Quivirans, their rivals the Escanjaques and Etzanoa but thankfully seems to have only visited them. (http://archive.pov.org/lastconquistador/background Rumors of gold in the area of the Arkansas River would persist through the years. In 1757, Antoine du Pratz, a French explorer/attempted settler (?) published a map it is unclear to me but this appears to be in his History of Louisiana, which was in Thomas Jefferson and the more erudite of the days’ libraries, but has generally been forgotten. He seems different than most of the French that came here in his exploring but maybe traders/hunters are not given enough credit as explorers and maybe what separates the hunter/traders from explorers is their written records? (A professor from Oregon is intent on seeing that he receives more credit so that shall be interesting to follow). In the 1700’s the Osage began expanding out into the Arkansas River area under the leadership of Black Dog. The Osage trail going from Baxter Springs to the Great Salt Plains in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma was built by him for the use of hunting and mourning parties. Osage hunters were known for their ferocity and would go as far as Santa Fe and Mexico. I am not sure why they traveled so far; according to Meade it seems that at this time game was abundant in the plains region but it might have been following the game with the seasons. James Mead, from Indians in Kansas says “All of Kansas as west of these reservations, comprising about three fourths of the state, as the best hunting grounds on the continent.” They began a settlement outside of what will become Wichita. By early 1800’s the Osage are ousted from their more eastern holdings by the US government to open up land for settlers and forced into the Three Forks area of Oklahoma. And by the 1830’s the Osage, whose numbers are diminishing leave the area https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=BL002 This corresponds with in 1830 Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act authorizing that Native Americans would be given last west of the Mississippi in return for their properties in the East. Many of these refugees ended up in Kansas and Oklahoma, land in which the government was worthless and unhabitable based on the Long Expeditions’ assessment of it as “the great American dessert’. In June of 1834, the US government passed the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act. The Intercourse Act was passed to make up for the vagueness of the Removal Act. It stipulates where the Native Americans are to move to, “that part fo the United States west of the Mississippi, and not within the states of Missouri, Louisiana, or the Territory of Arkansas.” Which is still pretty vague. The Intercourse Act created the “Permanent Indian Frontier”—well sort of. I think that the Ft. Scott NHS states the pervasive attitude best, “They felt that to survive, the Indians must become “civilized” and learn the ways of the white man.” The Cherokee in particular had been moving toward “civilization” significantly over the years, they had established a written language, started a newspaper, and begun to create settlements based on farming. (Farming is highly correlated with white’s idea of being “civilized”, Mead too, talks of it in his The Indians of Kansas, he seems rather fatalistic about the Native Americans in his Hunting and Trading, “the attempt to change their life has, in a great majority of instances, proven an entire failure.”). It seems like the eastern tribes were coming too close to “civilized” for the comfort of Jackson, he may have perceived them as a threat to the US’s sovereignty or he may just have felt superior and was controlling. In 1863 the Wichita Indians fled Indian territory to Leroy and during 1864 they again move to cluster around the Arkansas River. Then in 1865, the Treaty of the Little Arkansas River is signed. This treaty is one of a series of treaties that the US government signed with the Kiowa, Comanche, Plains Apache, Southern Arapahoe at the Little Arkansas River in October of 1865. In part in response to the Sand Creek Massacre and in another part to bring “peace” and to let the army be dissembled after the Civil War, this created reservations and gave widows of the massacre cash settlements. Lasting less than 2 years, the reservations that were to be created by it never materialized and were reduced by 90% by the Medicine Lodge Treaty in October of 1867. I like to think that this was entered into on both sides with optimism as Mead’s book Hunting and Trading would seem to indicate but he contradicts himself in the last chapter and in some of his earlier writing with the view that Native American were inferior and that this was just how it was, they were not civilized, or hard enough workers and extinction was their fate. The areas come to development first with the hunters, such as James Mead. We know the most about Mead because he was a prolific writer and his writings are a gift to researches of this era, but they also represent the viewpoint of the victor writes history. Mead was from Iowa; his father had attended Yale and was a minister, his viewpoint seems to stay on line as a businessman, he never strays into being a moralist and he views himself as a naturalist and a historian. The hunters and trappers found the area with abundant wild game. Mead in his book Hunting and Trading describes his first visit an area near Council Grove as filled with game, buffalo as far as the eye can see. Mead is an experienced hunter and he finds the others in his party to be less (there is a bit of arrogance in his writing?) so he goes out and hunts on his own and finds the buffalo easy to hunt. The book was in a way a tallying of game he killed. Mead (and other hunters of the period) took the hides to Leavenworth but there were several other cities that he might have taken them to, Atchison and Weston being other possibilities I presume. Mead used animal hides as currency. (at this time there was no national currency but instead different locales had their own, so hides would have been more universal) He traded hides for goods, coffee, tobacco, flour, and upon return sold them to the Native Americans—once again by trading for hides. Trading posts were most commonly a room or a lean-to on a small house and they were often run by the wives of the hunters/traders. If not completely, then the wife did the accounting. There were interactions with the Native Americans but most seemed to be amicable. It was not until I read his accounts of the them in Bentley’s book (Chapter XLI) that I saw a sense of superiority and arrogance toward the Native Americans. I am not sure why the two sources read so differently. Darius Munger, Buffalo Bill Mathewson, William Greiffenstein and Jesse Chisholm all got their starts as hunters and traders in much the same fashion as Mead. Jesse Chisholm is unusual in this crowd for his half Native American/half white heritage. He spoke multiple Native American languages and laid out the trail from Wichita to Indian Territory in the south in order to maintain his trading posts. Chisholm was able to straddle both worlds, he looked up to in the Native American communities as being a sort of father figure and was respected as a fellow hunter/trader in white circles. Chisholm dies fairly early in Wichita’s development but it is unlikely that he would become a founding father, in Craig Miner’s book The Magic City, he is described as a “rude trader” and it is said that he did not have the education to keep his books or for urban strategy. Whether this is true or not, it indicates that he would have been closed out of the deals that took place in order to be a founding father. Buffalo Bill Mathewson got his nickname from saving a group of starving settlers by the gift of buffalo meat one winter. And he was known to the Native Americans as “Long Bearded Dangerous Man” for his battle with the Kiowa leader Satanta. Mathewson was a licensed government trader at Kiowa and Commanche agency and was later involved in the negotiation of the Little Arkansas Treaty and the Medicine Lodge Council Meeting, both of which were not favorable to the Native Americans. He would build one of the first houses in Wichita and establish the Wichita Savings Bank. William Greiffenstein ran a trading post and had contracts with the federal government to supply, move and contract farms for Native Americans in Indian Territory. His first wife was Cheyenne and he was run out of Indian Territory when the federal government discovered that he was selling guns to the Native Americans. Greiffenstein sued the federal government for this action and won, he then used this money to buy trading posts, which was the beginning of his career in real estate speculation. He will go on to have heavy holdings in milling and banking and to be the leader of the “Douglas Avenue Crowd”—a political and economic clique of the 1870s. And Darius Munger. Munger was sent by the Wichita Town Company from Topeka to Wichita in 1868 to create the city of Wichita. In 1869, he completed a 1/1/2 story log cabin near 9th and Waco. It is described as being near the river and with orchards of fruit trees. This served as the core of the platted town and functioned as a post office, boarding house and office of the Justice of the Peace while Munger lived there. By 1870 the land issues with the government start to get settled and in July of that year Wichita incorporates as a small town along the Little Arkansas River. Almost immediately a rivalry starts up as to the center what will be the economic hub of Wichita, it is Mead and his “North Enders” v. Giffenstein and his “Douglas Avenue Crowd”. In the end, the “Douglas Avenue Crowd” will win out and be where the downtown area is established. The 1870’s in Wichita are marked by the cattle trade. Cattle drives begin bringing longhorns from Texas up to Kansas to be sent to the eastern market for slaughter. The story of the “4 Horsemen” tells of how Wichita was saved from being a ghost town when four of the city fathers went out one night and intercepted a cattle drive headed to Park City and convinced—with maybe a bit of cash between friends—them to come to Wichita instead. For about ten years Wichita will be a “cow town”. The cattle drives and the subsequent money they bring will aid the development of business and the creation of wealth. I tend to gloss over this because I feel that it is overdone and as a Kansan, I am tired of it (much like Dorothy). There is an excellent book David Dary entitled Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries and Robert Day’s The Last Cattle Drive are great and both favorites.
Posted by Christine at 5:37 AM
Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Expansion, and Aircraft In the aftermath of the Panic of 1893, Marshall Murdock, always the pro-business/boosterism man denounced Mary Lease and “Sockless” Jerry Simpson as whiners and populism was the result of people who engaged in the boom getting their just desserts. Instead, Murdock supported the views of Russell Conwell and his “Acres of Diamonds” speech, in which he emphasized loyalty to the community and that everything that people needed to succeed was to be found in Wichita and in themselves. But as we left off on the last paper with William Allen White transformation from conservative Republican to Progressive Republican (WAW never became a Democrat although he did say during the FDR years that he was a Democrat every year but election years), so becomes Victor Murdock, the son of Marshall Murdock and the heir to the Eagle (1894 he became the managing editor). In 1902, Victor is elected to the US House of Representatives as a conservative Republican a position he will keep until 1915. Gradually Murdock’s perspective was changing and in 1912 he left the Republican party to follow Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Bull Moose Party. Murdock became chairman of the Progressive Party from 1914-1916. In 1916 he was nominated as the Progressive Presidential candidate but refused to run. Instead in 1915 he had returned to Wichita and picked up the mantle of the editor of the Eagle again but continuing as a member of the Federal Trade Commission. (a Woodrow Wilson appointment). An interesting connection here, Victor Murdock was married to Mary Pearl Allen. Both were of Wichita’s uppercrust, powerbroker families and in the Wichita Social Register. Mary Pearl was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Allen, he was involved in the development of the College Hill neighborhood. ) Eagle, 4/22/40. By 1910, Wichita had 16 newspapers. Three of which appear to have been religious in nature and five of which were involving agriculture, which gives us a sense of priorities and dominant influences of the area. Of these only 3 were dailies—the Wichita Daily Beacon, the Wichita Daily Pointer and the Wichita Eagle. The Eagle was both a daily and a weekly and was the predominant newspaper at this time. Therefore, where the Eagle went, the community followed. (An aside, populists were very aware of this and hence the rise of the Populist Press. In Prairie Bachelor by Fenwick, Isaac Werner talks about this in his diary. Another thing that I did not realize was that being a speaker was considered to be a profession at this time. He talks a lot about Mary Lease and what a powerful speaker she is and he considers this as a career for himself. Modern history teachers often do not give 19th century people enough credit, for example, they do not see the layers of Carrie Nation, or the populists or Murdock. These people had great complexity and intelligence. I think that a long study of Murdock and the Murdock family would be fascinating. I always credit Bent Murdock with much of WAW’s achievements, they had a lifelong friendship.) Wichita’ population was becoming more diverse. Chinese and Mexican workers had been brought in to work on the railroads. Lebanese started coming to Wichita in 1895, many were fleeing the oppression of the Ottoman Empire. Most were Christian and were seeking economic opportunity. In 1912, the “labor unions of the city joined together in a petition asking the city employ only Wichita worker, excluding foreigners.” (Minor 97) Wichita, much like other cities, had begun segregation in the 1890s after the passage of Plessy v Ferguson and in the following decades it began firmly established and a caste system of sorts began, with African Americans isolated and, on the bottom,, Hispanics, Lebanese, Jews (I do not know if this is true in Wichita but in other cities there is a class system in the Jewish religion, including being orthodox v non-orthodox, and convert or born, etc.) and others in the middle and Europeans on the top. Although, within the Europeans there were distinctions and Protestants were higher ranking than Catholics. Due to this African Americans began to establish parallel cities in Wichita and elsewhere. Initially, the African American community was centered around Main and Water streets west of the courthouse. In 1868 Kansas law allowed but did not require segregated schools. As African American population rose in the state with the arrival of the Exodusters, more schools began to segregate and in 1879 the Kansas legislature passed a bill allowing first class cities (those with populations of 15,000 or more) to operate separate primary schools. And by 1906 Wichita had segregated schools. Segregation did not come to the schools earlier because there was such a small black population. By 1912, Wichita has 2 African American elementary schools, eventually there will be four. And at the high school level there was de facto segregation. Total Population v African American Population in Wichita 1880 3,500 1900 24,671 1910 52,450 1920 72,217 (1921 Tulsa riot victims flee to Wichita) 5,000 1930 111,110 (It is interesting to note: Topeka’s black population in 1885 was 4,111/19,088; and at 1905 4,111/34,986; this gives an idea of the growth of Wichita and racial distribution versus other areas of the state) And the African American community began the process of setting up a dual set of institutions. Prominent African American newspapers were the Searchlight and the Negro Star and there were African American funeral homes, banks, Masonic organizations, etc. At this time the African America community was located in the area around Douglas and Grand Avenues. There was enough of an African American population to support having a baseball team-the Monrovians, which when incorporated had a stock value of $10,000 (that is roughly $150,000 today). The Monrovians had their own ballpark at 12th and Mosley called Monrovian Park and they played everyone. They played their games to raise money for local causes such as the Phyllis Wheatley Children’s Home. In 1922, they played a game against the Ku Klux Klan. I suspect this was because they knew that this game would pull in a lot of people and raise the receipts for the day. ( https://www.ebbets.com/blogs/news-and-history/wichita-monrovians) I have been studying housing patterns in Topeka for years, and sometime in the teens/20s is when Topeka began to segregate in housing based on color, before that it was much more based on money. James Guy (an attorney) and Van Buren (a funeral home owner) both lived on the high status/high visibility Topeka Avenue and the AME Church was just two blocks from the Capitol in a very prestigious area. Nick Chiles in his newspapers, the Plaindealer, said of the Potwin Place Neighborhood that it was discrimination by price. This does not seem to be the case in Wichita— where segregation lines seem to have been more clearly drawn from the start. This is going way down the line in time, but I know that the Wichita NAACP was approached for the school desegregation case before Topeka and they turned the NAACP down. I am interested to learn more about this. By the 1930’s Mexican Americans would be Kansas’ second largest immigrant group (Germans were the largest). The Mexican American during this era begin to shift from the railroads (most likely because the work of building the railroads was generally done and the railroads were employing less people lower skill/lower wage people and the higher wage jobs were probably reserved for whites. In this period, I believe that both Mexican Americans and African Americans were prohibited from union membership, which would have also guarded these jobs. In Kluger’s Simple Justice, he says that the reason Oliver Brown was chosen as the lead case for Brown v. the Board was because he worked for Santa Fe and belonged to the union and therefore had some job protections whereas the other plaintiffs had none such protections. This has been disputed, but to me it rings true and Kluger’s work has generally been outstanding.) to meat packing industry. Large concentrations who began in boxcar housing in the area near Orme and St. Francis, in what was at the time Wichita's southern end shifted and the area around Broadway and Waco became the center. A number of housing areas emerged as well, including the El Hurache neighborhood at 17th to 20th, Santa Fe, Mead and Moseley. Much like the African American community, the Mexican American community was developing independently in the midst of the larger city. Women were prominently involved in business in the Mexican American community. Particularly in the area of restaurants. Many of these restaurants grew out of church dinners and community events. One such restaurant is Connie’s Mexico Café (which appears to still be in business), which grew out of Concepcion Lopez’s cooking for fundraisers for St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. The style of Mexican American food in Wichita features flour tortillas, ground beef, potatoes, and peas. (https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/connie-s-mexico-cafe/1029) Church based community food celebrations were important in Wichita’s culture, a few included-Deli Days at the Congregation Emanu-El, Jewish Temple with “Uncle Manny’s Deli”, the Lenten oyster feed—St. James Episcopal Church, Old English Tea at St. James Episcopal Church and the Lebanese Dinner at St. George’s Cathedral. These church celebrations (fund raisers) were the basis for restaurants and an occasion for people to cross ethnic divides. Wichita in the twenties becomes a hub of business, and businesses that begin in Wichita take off to be national and international. The Coleman Company which was founded in 1900 by William Coffin Coleman selling gasoline pressured lamps had taken off. William Dye, the “Chili King of the West” is building an international business importing spices and peppers. And Wichita becomes a city of oil and aviation. (both of which seem like topics that should have their own papers). Not all businesses were a success, or even meant to be. This was the time of patent medicine and flim flam men and Rajah Rabbit seems to have been just that sort of enterprise. J.S. Porter came to town shortly after the 1929 stock market crash. Promising that he would be building a rabbit farm at the vacant Kansas Sanitarium property and investors would reap fantastic profits he solicited funds from wishful Wichitans who wanted to turn around the bad luck of the Depression. (remember the leaders of Wichita had always felt that through the force of their determination that they could turn things around and that Wichita would be a great city.) The Wichita Eagle on February 9th, 1930 ran the headline “Where Rabbit is King" and dedicated the front page to how to raise rabbits and the great benefits of it. Porter ended up raising about $340,000 from local investors before leaving town and vanishing with the money and leaving behind 55,000 rabbits. ( https://www.kansas.com/news/special-reports/kansas-105/article1065124.html) The businesses that really stand out from the 20’s and 30’s are the diners. This was the heyday of dinners, but in most places, they were a single Mom-and-Pop location, but an unusual number of franchises/chains come out of Wichita. I think that this also goes to the ambition and sense of seeing themselves as leaders of the area. Here are the diners from the period that become chains: Walter Anderson began in the restaurant business by running food stands and in 1916 opened his first diner in a converted streetcar. By 1920 Anderson had four diners and was looking to expand. Anderson official founds White Caste in 1921 by partnering with Edgar Waldo Ingram and making White Castle into a chain of restaurants. White Castle was the first fast-food hamburger chain and set the stage for the diners that would follow. It featured innovations such as newspaper ads, a standardized food prep system where everything was in each of a person standing still, uniforms, and paper boxes. White Castle was designed to establish reliability, reliable food, cleanliness and service standards. (It is interesting that this came out of Kansas as did the Harvey House restaurants, which I would call America’s first chain restaurants and both were based on the principals of cleanliness, reliability and standardization.). White Castle engineer Lloyd W. Ray created a steel building (24’ x 12’) in 1928 that was portable. Portable was important because leases were unreliable and might not be extended, or lease conditions might not be favorable, being portable allowed White Castle to pick up and move. This portability led to the small size, it would be easy to pick up and lift as a unit. White was important in the name and in the restaurant design as it represented strength and cleanliness. This was the first of White Castle’s Porcelain Steel Buildings. This first building was at Hillside and Douglas. https://www.thefabricator.com/thefabricator/article/shopmanagement/hamburgers-metal-and-mettle Eventually, Ingram will buy out Anderson and moves the chain offices to Ohio. White Castle will adopt a building that looked like their iconic emblem—the White Castle, which were immediately recognizable to travelers and White Castle’s Porcelain Steel Buildings becomes a subsidiary to the With Castle restaurant company. This spin off company began in 1934 after Ingram had moved the company to Columbus Ohio. I am fairly certain that these are part of the inspiration of the Lustron homes that will come in the post-World War II era. https://www.thefabricator.com/thefabricator/article/shopmanagement/hamburgers-metal-and-mettle Ablah Hotel Supply Co.at 13th and Grove, built pre-packaged small, portable, metal diners, perhaps as many as 200 which were operated under various names and owned outright by others. iIn addition to this the Ablah’s ran a chain of restaurants in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Arthur Valentine had one such of these buildings for their location in Hutchison (they had 4 locations at this time) and he becomes a salesman for Ablah. By the end of the 1930’s Valentine has taken over the construction of diners and has maybe as many of 50 Valentine Diners in operation in southwest Kansas. They become known in the 1930s as Valentine Dinners when an employee buys them out and later a Sutch-A-Burger and then Sport Burger Drive In. The Valentine Diners were a direct spin off from White Castle in my opinion. https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/valentine-diners-business/18734#vlunch I have found that there were 2 Valentine Diners in Topeka in which the buildings are still around. One is in North Topeka and has continuously operated as a restaurant. And the other, of later design (obviously not portable) is in the SE part of town and is a car dealership. I do not know if the later design is prefabricated, but it could be. The first Nu Way Café opens in 1930, while not as large of chain as White Castle. NuWay was located along automobile routes and featured loose meat sandwiches and root beer. Marked by their Tudor style buildings. (There are several buildings similar to these in Topeka which I had always attributed to being old filling stations, I can find no reference to Nu Way Cafes being in Topeka though and I have asked about all of these chains on the Topeka History Geeks facebook page) I think that this chain may still be going, according to a Topeka Capital Journal article from 2019, it was bought by Homer’s of Leavenworth. https://www.cjonline.com/news/20190826/homers-purchases-nu-way-drive-in. The Wichita Eagle July 5th, 2020, The NuWay Café. In the 1920’s America is shifting from a railroad-based world to an automobile based one. Prior to this, petroleum came from a farm supply store. But, now, the filling station emerges. Along with it a culture of the Sunday Drive, the Road Trip and the gas station as a gathering place for men. In 1927 Phillips uses Wichita as a test market for their cottage style gas station. https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/46-gas-stations.htm. According to this article, the cottage/Tudor style gas stations were designed to make them more palatable to upscale residential neighborhoods. This kind of logic would also work with what I have found out about adoption homes and other elements of a city that may be less desirable (prison and mental hospital designs come to mind immediately). It is interesting that the garage has moved from something that you would want to hide to “snout” houses where the house design is secondary to the bragging rights of the garage. (Phillips is based in Bartlesville and has the Hugoton wells, but why the pilot filling station design in Wichita?) Another of the chains to come out of Wichita are the Vickers gas stations. Vickers got his start with a refinery in Potwin and processing oil from the Butler county area in the late teens. Jack Vickers begins the Vickers filling and oil stations and by 1950 he has built this into a chain of over 300. Vickers also sponsors the Wichita Vickers, an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team playing in the National Industrial Basketball League. (this is unusual to me, I have found a lot of baseball teams in Kansas but not a lot of basketball) Vickers was a member of the Wichita and Country Clubs, the Wichita Polo team and he and his wife were names on the social register. At the height of the Depression, Vickers built “Vickridge”—a 12-bedroom mansion costing $100,000. Vickers represents the changing social structure and increasing wealth of Wichita. Wichita Eagle, November 11, 1940, page 1 Archibald Derby and the Derby Refinery.
Posted by Christine at 5:33 AM