Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Black Newspapers in Topeka

 From KSHS;

 1878 to ???
The Colored Citizen, a Topeka newspaper, promoted education of African Americans. As early as 1878 editor William Lewis Eagleson and other publishers spoke out against segregation in schools. A proponent of colonization, The Colored Citizen encouraged Black migration in the late 1870s and provided a unique message of realism. "Never leave home for Kansas without having some money over and above what it takes to pay your transportation," Eagleson warned." For the old men and women chances for great success in Kansas are not flattering."--From KSHS

I believe that this was edited by Col. Jantz and owned by Wm. Eagleton. 

1899 to 1958 (to 1930 in Topeka, later in Leavenworth then in Kansas City)
The Plaindealer

1891 to 1893
The Call

The American Citizen, Feb. 23, 1888 - Jul. 19, 1889

The Baptist Headlight, Sept. 15, 1893 - Aug. 8, 1894

The Benevolent Banner, May 21, 1887 - Oct. 22, 1887

Capital Plaindealer, Sep. 30, 1936 - Aug. 6, 1938, (This was Thelma Chiles' husband)

The Colored Citizen, Jul. 26, 1878 - Nov. 16, 1900

The Colored Patriot, Apr. 20, 1882 - Jun. 22, 1882

Daily Ledger, Jun. 13, 1893 - Jun. 20, 1893

The Evening Call, Jun. 13, 1893 - Jul. 8, 1893

Herald of Kansas, Jan. 30, 1880 - Jun. 11, 1880

The Kansas American, Mar. 21, 1936, single issue, see also Kansas Whip

Kansas Baptist Herald, Nov. 11, 1911 - May 3, 1913

The Kansas Blackman, Apr. 20, 1887 - Jun. 29, 1887

The Kansas Eagle, Dec. 21, 1934 - Dec. 19, 1935 see also Kansas Whip

Kansas Sentinel, Jul. 7, 1960 - Nov. 26, 1960

Kansas State Tribune, Oct. 6, 1881, single issue

The Kansas Watchman, May 25, 1905 - Nov. 17, 1905

Kansas Herald, Jan. 30, 1880 - Feb. 6, 1880

Kansas Whip (later known as Kansas Eagle and Kansas American), Nov. 2, 1934 - Sep. 30, 1955

The Little Weekly, Apr. 9, 1938 - Jun. 25, 1938, incomplete

Messenger, Jun. 14, 1969 - Jan. 21, 1970, N13

The National Watchman, May 9, 1914, single issue

The People's Friend, Dec. 11, 1896, single issue

The Plaindealer, Jan. 6, 1899 - Dec. 25, 1931

Sentinel, Jul. 7, 1960 - Jul. 8, 1964

The State Ledger, July 22, 1892 - Jun. 16, 1906

The Times-Observer, Sep. 4, 1891 - Sep. 10, 1892

Topeka Call, Jun. 28, 1891 - Mar. 26, 1893

Topeka Daily Plaindealer, Aug. 12, 1907 - Aug. 16, 1907

Topeka Ebony Times, Mar. 7, 1974 - May, 1974, incomplete, not on film

Topeka Post-Review, Oct. 1, 1970 - Feb. 1, 1971, three issues

The Topeka Tribune, Jun. 24, 1880 - Dec. 25, 1880, T2054

Topeka Tribune & Western Recorder, May 9, 1885 - Oct. 24, 1885

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Liquor licenses??

I do not get how prohibition worked in Kansas.  Liquor licenses indicate that it was legal.  I am going to have read more on this.   Ah, how one thing leads to another.  That is a lot of names. 

The mystery of Kansas liquor laws continues.  I have to read more on this.  Robert Bader Smith, the author of the Great Finney Bond Scandal, has a book on it. He is a good researcher and solid, albeit dense writer, therefore I will will write in the margins and underline a lot so I don't want to use the copy I got from the library, but I also am not wanting to get another book until I finish one, I am trying not to stack up too many books.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Beliot Industrial

Dr. Chris Lovett at ESU has been researching women in institutions in Kansas and recently had an article in KSHS' journal.  I wonder what they story is on this one, what the girl really did and what the outcome was.  This is not talked about much, but this was usually awful for the women.  See  and Christopher Lovett, Topeka. "Bad Girls: Sex, Shame, and the Legacy of Samuel J. Crumbine in Kansas, 1917-1955."  Kansas History, Spring 2018.


Not related to Chiles at all, but I found it while reading on Chiles.  I just found a piece about the "American Doctors" , ironic that they are located in the "European  Hotel", I know that later this would have been CF Menninger's office--not sure if he was part of this group although he was in Topeka practicing medicine at this time. I also think it is interesting that they are offering free medical services--this is the second group to do this and the other group was the "British" doctors--that is in a prior post.   According to Lloyd Z. there was a hotel the NW corner (6th and Jackson) before the train station--it was torn down early in the century--the train station is nice, but geeze we tear a lot down and it has not been beneficial. So many towns out there with much better houses/architecture which is sad because from reading Topeka had some of the finest buildings, now we don't. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

More on medical care

Interesting article a) because how they spell out what happened--they are up front, one guy was messing around with another guy's wife.  The husband found out, shot the guy.  These days they would say that members of the community were not in danger and that it was alleged or unknown.  b) the patient was treated with opiates.  Not sure exactly which ones they are talking about but I am pretty sure that those are illegal now.  c) woman Dr. Agnes Wallace--I haven't heard of her before. 

In the Chiles' plot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery

I don't know who this is. Maybe a brother to Nick Chiles' father--according to the obituary that ran in the Plaindealer for Chiles--his parents were Moses and Winnie Chiles.  Also, according to the obituary Chiles was born in South Carolina in the 1860s. So, I am not sure who this is, but it is someone who would be contemporary to Chiles' parents, so I am guessing an Aunt and Uncle although there may be no family connection.  More research.....

Carrie and Foster Chiles--from the dates they appear like they may have been  a niece and nephew or cousins.
Also in the family plot, Frank Chiles

.Noah Chiles--he appears to have been in the military--he will be easier to research.

Sorry this is upside down, Harry Earl Chiles--luckily he was in the military.  I should be able to find him at KSHS.

Beatrice Chiles Williams 

Mary and Rev. IB Chiles

Samuel and Remus Chiles

I don't know why this one is on it's side..Ulysess Chiles

And where Nick and Minnie are there is no gravestone.  Getting them a gravestone is one of my objectives.  


I don't know how well this article will copy but I love it--classic example of Prohibition era corruption and collusion.  It from July of 1897 and it boils down to the Chief of Police periodically raids joints, the owners are thrown in jail and then they are released on bond.  The joint owners never show up to court and the city gets the bond money--a pretty neat system for everyone, until Chiles bucks the system and goes to court and fights the charges, he wants his $100 back.  Chiles claims that he is not running an illegal alcohol selling operation but it is an OMB lodge meeting place.  (I am not sure what OMB lodge is.  More to look up. )

I also love how the guys (and it does appear to be all guys although in reality I doubt that this was true, they had the larger more legit operations is my guess) who run the clubs or joints are called "joinists" --simple, clear, easy to understand name and not an acronym.   I wonder where all the stills were around town. I have heard that there was one back in Martin's hill (what later became SBG/then Menningers/part of the Governor's mansions trails) but there had to be more.  Interesting stuff.

More on prohibition from Lisa Sandmeyer;  " Ferdinand Poppendick thrived, I think Bogardus isn’t so strange. Poppendick left,by the way, when the liquor laws got too strict. His hotel and restaurant were top of the line in the day, and he hosted many legislators in town for the session."

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Chiles' hotel

Up early, as usual, working on the Nick Chiles project.  I am deep in the year of 1897 and Nick has just purchased the three story building that will be Chiles' for the next 30 years.  He bought it for $6,200 from T.G. Shillinglaw and it was known as the "Case"building.  I haven't looked it up yet but I am betting that it was built by the  "Hib" Case--an early Topeka attorney and a cohort of James Lane (he is buried at Topeka Cemetery--Lisa Sandmeyer does a great tour which includes him). 
This is from the the appraiser's website. Chiles' hotel is the most non-descript of the three and the farthest to the left.  I think that Chiles' eventually buys all three of these buildings but I am not there yet..  The Chiles hotel opened on January 1st, 1897--with some 200 people coming out for dinner at a cost of 25cents--evidently, beer and port wine were served--openly and advertised on hand bills which created quite the controversy in a dry state. Papers as far west as Stockton have pieces in the paper about it ,C.K. Holliday, who was on the Board of Police Commissioners at the time, writes a letter to the editor defending the police decision not to stop the sale--Chiles was technically not selling alcohol, he was giving it away and an emergency meeting of the WTCU ( Women's Christian Temperance Union) is  held--they decide that they cannot do anything and to try with the new slate of Populist politicos coming in, to hold the police to a higher standard.

  Chiles was never one to play it safe, doing it was one thing, but advertising was a bold move. Could be called flaunting it.  There were 11 furnished rooms which rented for $1.00/week.  After Chiles gets the paper quite often the guest register will appear in the society pages.

Currently, this is owned by "AIM Strategies" who own several other properties downtown.  From what I can tell by driving by (I may go by today for more pictures) they are not doing anything with it.  Sad. When I first came to town, on the first floor was Custom Photographic--I remember taking film there (I had a Pentax K-1000--I wish I knew what I did with that camera, I would like to play around with it again--black and white rules) and get back cut sheets with the strips of negatives in a waxy paper sort of sheet and then I would use a grease pencil to indicate the photos that I wanted developed.  Neat place. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Medical care/patent medicines

As much as we lament the FDA approval process, the exorbitant costs of medical care, insurance and the like.  Medical care has come a long way in 120 years.  In 1899, the year that this ad appeared, there was no regulation of medical doctors, medicine, or hospitals, the patient was at the mercy of luck.

 Here is an ad for a cure for pain by magnets and a school of medicine--I have never heard of either but these sort of things proliferated, every town had it's own patent medicine, Topeka's best known was Gavitt's

One of my favorite books on the history of hospitals is Bellevue   

The following ad appeared in the Plaindealer in November of 1899.  This is something that I will go back to. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Sites to remember and bibliography

Topeka Church History by King  1905

Prohibition  in Kansas

Radical Cartography of Slavery in the North

Dr. Chris Lovett, of ESU's bibliography of African American history;

Timeline from Cox-- Events in Topeka Black History

From Cox's Black's in Topeka Kansas; 1865-1915 by Thomas Cox.  Cox based this largely on the Plaindealer I am told.  The book is a resource, it is problematic for the number of errors,but it is important and all work has errors, new things come to light, etc..

 In historical research, there is the 3-legged stool approach, which should be done with everything.  I don't know if they use this metaphor or not, when I was learning to research, I was taught that you wanted to find something in three places before considering it a fact up to that point it was unconfirmed.  Today's facts are pretty easy to confirm but lots of stories in the Plaindealer will not be and not all of history is confirmable or not at the time you are working on it.  So, it is like science until then there is a strong likelihood, theory until proven.  I am using wikipedia--which I know is a non-quotable source but it is a good place to get links and to begin and that is my purpose in using it.

I am a big timeline fan, so putting events into context.

1859--white First Presbyterian Church is established in the First Ward, they organize the Second Church as a mission for runaway slaves.  

1862 Homestead Act--

1863  Charles L. Langston, KC attr. (black) protests racial qualifications for suffrage

1863--Black Congregational church organized as Freedmen's Church when the area became Tennesseetown it was renamed the Second Colored Congregational Church (1866)

1864  Kansas legislature reaffirms it's position on suffrage, because a change would cause an overwhelming influx of blacks to the state (look up what states had black suffrage at this point).

1865 Topeka schools mixed

Second Baptist Church, later called First African Baptist, worship service at "bush arbor" at First and Crane streets and claims to be Topeka's first black church.
****  (I have to check on what black church met in the basement of Constitution Hall)

1866 Topeka elementary segregated, whites on first floor, blacks on second.

Colored convention for suffrage meets in Lawrence.

1867  Samuel Wood organizes the Impartial Suffrage Association of Topeka  to provide agency to disseminate information to garner support for equal voting rights "in the broad sense, without regard to sex,race or color."

Kansas electorate rejects amendment to remove racial voting qualifications.

1868 Prayer Circle and religious services held in a rented barn between Harrison and Van Buren streets with no denomination or a pastor. Becomes St. John's AME in 1878.  (National Register nomination  and

1869--Colonization Council founded by Henry Adams in Louisianan
Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association founded by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, Columbus Johnson and Alonzo De Frantz

1870 Fifteenth Amendment--Although the word "white" remains affixed to the suffrage clause of the Constitution until 1888.

Black population 473, total population of Topeka 5,790

1871--Solomon G. Watkins, Topeka's second Negro teacher arrives from Tennessee, protested segregated schools  adn with the Anti-Taft league, later NAACP , Colored Republican's Club and st. John.  

1870 to 1880--Approximately 20,000 to 40,000 blacks come to Kansas

1872--Meeting at African Baptist Church (Second Baptist is from Cox, which is currently in North Topeka.)
*** In the Plaindealer's church directory in 1899 there is a First African Baptist on 1st and Madison, so I need to do more work here to figure it out.)to discuss supporting a bond issue, discrimination at Santa Fe  and with the King Bridge Company discussed.

1875 Education only area of public accommodations in which discrimination had the force of law.  Segregation in public facilities that were licensed by the state (which were these?) was a misdemeanor by state statute.

Black population 724; Total population of Topeka 7,272.
15% of blacks lived in neighborhoods that were 3/4 black--majority lived in neighborhoods that were 1/8 black

1873 St. John AME segregation in education, public accommodations and common carriers belies the reputation of Kansas.

"Pap" Singleton's first visit to Kansas.

1874--Topeka High School founded.  Integrated from the beginning.

1875--Wesleyan AME (not in Plaindealer's 1899 directory)
            Second Colored Presbyterian (also not in 1899 directory) founded

Occidental Lodge (in PD 1899 directory and meeting at 618 Kansas with No. 2 attached to the name)
 Euclid Lodge (in PD's 1899 directory and meeting at 618 Kansas with N.M. S. attached to the name)
--Masonic founded and meeting at the Masonic hall at 127 Kansas

The date is unknown but sometime before 1875 the Great Western Lodge and the Good Samaritan Lodge were founded.  They met on the second floor of 108 Kansas.  Neither of these appear in the PD's 1899 directory. 

***Are these groups Prince Hall Masons?

1877--Compromise of 1877--

Nicodemus founded

Exoduster Movement begins to move to frontier opportunities and to escape Southern deteriorating conditions

Santa Fe and Union Pacific promote immigration to Kansas (

1878 Shiloh Baptist formed;route=ksrlead;brand=ksrlead;query= is a link to records at KU's Spencer library, is a link to the National Register nomination for the building.

1878--Rev. Thomas W. Henderson unsuccessful candidacy for lt. governor on the Republican ticket

1879--rev. L. W. Winn form Cherokee County appointed to an unexpired state senate term

1879--250 to 300 blacks per month came to Kansas.  This was more than any other city in Kansas.

1879--C.L. de Randamie---Topeka's first black real estate agent

1879--William Eagleson--Colored Citizen editor; candidate for assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas legislature
Dr. Seth Vernella, candidate for Shawnee County coroner
A Kuykendall elected as constable

1880-3,648 black population of Topeka; 15,528 total population of Topeka--this is in part because of the Kansas Freedman's Relief Association and the efforts of Gov. St. John and Elizabeth Comstock.

1880--Colored convention???

1880--Garfield Club formed to support Republican presidential ticket

John L. Buckner, a barber active in politics

Negro enclaves within the city included Redmondsville (or Up in the Sands) and Tenneseetown.

 1881--E.H. White, Topeka's first black teacher established a night school.

August 31, 1881, Commonwealth--black man lynched in Ft. Scott

1882--first black student receives diploma from Topeka High School

1882--Edwin P. McCabe of Nicodemus elected as state auditor on the Republican ticket

1883--Colored Convention meeting in Lawrence/ Alfred Fairfax, from Chautauqua Country backed by convention and by Topeka's black newspapers to be the state congressman-at-large

August 8,1885, Kansas Herald--Topeka hires it's first black policeman

August 1887--Colored Men's State Convention in Topeka

1888--Weley I Jamison, Exoduster, justice of the peace, reelected two times defeated in 1894 when (black) Soloman Watkins ran against him and split the vote. 

1889--Alfred Fairfax elected to the Kansas House

1889--Nat Oliphant lynched by mob in Topeka for killing an unarmend white man and injuring his wife after being caught burglarizing their home.

1890--William Reynolds, plaintiff in a suit against the Topeka Board of Education alleged that the school Lowman Hill was "unsanitary, inconvenient, and undesirable.....a veritable cesspool" Board asserted that negro children in their early years have different discipline and intellectual needs, and said that materials were equal.

???Afro-American League Topeka branch formed on the national

1890--Blanche Foster, Topeka minster was the alliance (populist) candidate for state auditor

May 28, 1892--Times-Observer --James Guy, "We should not attempt to be in places that we are not wanted.  We should recognize our differences and need to establish race pride and confidence."

July 28, August 18, 1893--Kansas State Ledger--W.J. Johnson,  "We are not seeking amalgamation or assimilation....we feel hat we are justified in insisting that (whites) not obtrude their equally unwelcome prescience upon us."

1893-94--22 black teachers in Topeka with state certificates , 11 had regular jobs

1893--People's Party Organized
Populist Flambeau Club integrated with Lytle, Brown and Eagleson receiving support for their nominations for municipal office
State wide  Populist Central Committee--Lytle, Brown and Eagleson

1893--First general conference of Negro Democrats held in Topeka

1893--William Eagleson attends the National Democratic Negro League in Indianapolis

1893--Sheldon opens the Tennessee town kindergarten

1894--Topeka Board of Education agrees to appoint only black teachers to black schools.

1895--Independent Voting League--John M. Brown, William Eagleson, John W. Barber actively involved

18895--severe winter, any Topekans of both race sought shelter in the jail
Outbreaks of scarlet fever and diphtheria
Summer flooding

1895--Tennesseetown kindergarten moves to Central Congregational Church, served 210 children with average daily attendance of 28.  The auxiliary, 40 negro women residents, instructed black mothers in child care, health, and hygiene. 

1895--Topeka Industrialist and Educational Institute (later becomes Kansas Industrial) opens in Mudtown of the Fifth Ward with sewing, kindergarten and a reading room.  Founded by Edward Stephens and Lizzie Reddick. 

1896--John Lytle, policeman, runs for city jailer on Populist ticket
Lutie Lytle (later becomes 2nd black woman lawyer in US) gets patronage position as asst. enrolling clerk for Populists

1896--Ladies Free Silver Club meets every Thursday at 6:00p

1896--Rev. Sheldon lives in the Tenneseetown district for two weeks to better understand; member fo the Social Gospel movement, Sheldon believed that poverty was not solely the evidence of sin but the result of social and economic imbalances created by society.  Responsible Christian stewardship required that the preacher should preach less and the congregation work more .

1896--Sheldon begins social services programs in Tennessee town

1897--Booker T. Washington visits

1897--(p. 124)  5 policemen, ten firemen, and one postman  were black in Topeka.
Fred Roundtree, Exoduster, teacher at Monroe School elected Fifth Ward councilman
Fred Stonestreet, janitor, elected constable
James H. Guy justice of the peace
Soloman G. Watkins, Republican, principal for (black) Lane school defeated for city clerk.

1897--Populist Democratic governor John Leedy--actively encouraged black participation in politics, and civil service reform

1898--Rev. William L. Grant, Populist, urged blacks to join Republican party

1898--Topeka Industrial and Educational Institute moves to 2nd and Kansas Ave.

 1898--John Wright, Blanche Foster, William Eagleson, John M. Brown --Topeka's leading black Populists

1898--Sheldon's Village Improvement Society in Tennessee town is founded, endorsed by Rev. William Grant of Shiloh Baptist

1898--Colored Free Silver League organized; club met weekly
League claims  21 chapters in Kansas

1898--John W. Barber unsuccessfully runs for the Independent League for state representative

1899--Vaccinations against smallpox become mandatory in Topeka

1899--Central Congregational Church founded

1899--Tennessee town according to Leroy Halbert, asst. pastor of Central Church and chronicler; 585 residents, 5,306 books, 147 newspaper subscriptions, 87% literate; 145 laborers, 52% owned their own homes.
1899--Sheldon stats for the city;  $1.50/day for street work; 58.5% female sworked and were employed as domestics at a average rate of $1/day; household annual median income $399; real and personal property valued at $92.  11% received county/city aid.
1899--blacks in KS numbers according to KS bureau of Labor  33% blacks were homeowners, average of 4 in a family, wages for men $1.43/day; $33.31/month.  

1890's??? Tennessee town town tavern, owned by Andrew Jordan houses the Tennessee town library, B.C. Duke,  serves as the first librarian.

1892 Interstate Literary Association organized

1893  Topeka affiliate of the National Federation of Colored Women's Clubs was organized 

??? Library and Literary Society, the Christian Endeavor Society--to encourage Sunday School attendance and the Mother's Club founded through Sheldon

 1899--Auxiliary founded to support Topeka Industrial

1900--Booker T. Washing ton sends Tuskegee graduate, William Carter to superintend Topeka Industrial, state legislature restores $1,500 appropriation.

1900--smallpox epidemic; city-wide quarantine


1903--Topeka Industrial purchases a 105 acre farm, one half mile east of Topeka for $10,000,.

1907 NNBL --National Negro Business League national meeting in Topeka
Keynote speech by Booker T. Washington

1913--Fisk University Jubilee Singers do a series of musicales at Central church

1914--Russell Sage Foundation;
Topeka's negro population is 10.4%; state is 3.2%
Crude death rates for 1912:  22.9% for blacks, 13.2% for whites

1880s-1915 justice of the peace position rotated among a succession of black Topeka lawyers  Judge Wesley I. Jamison, served  between 1897 and 1903, cases not confined to Negros.

1900 Rev. George Shaffer of St. John AME--Not a lunch counter in town where you could get coffee. (also comments on the lack of black hotels--but what about Chiles' on 7th?)

1900--Commercial Club changes to NNBL (National Negro Business League)

1908--Tennessee town kindergarten becomes part of the public schools

1908--Andrew Carnegie gives $5,000 to Topeka Industrial Institute

1910--Andrew Carnegie gives $10,000 to Topeka Industrial Institute.

??Somewhere around the turn of the century the Topeka Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis founded
Blacks treated in white hospitals, by white staff but with their own ward.
Topeka had two Florence Crittendon Homes for Unwed Mothers--Mrs. Sarah Malone supervised the black home, attended annual conferences on charities and corrections  (according to Marilyn Waugh this was at 911 College--which I think is now a parking lot)

Alpha Assisi Charity Club broad spectrum of philanthropy ; medicines for charity patients, food and household goods, private subscriptions financed the club.

1913--Eight black physicians and 2 pharmacists

1914--Gov. Hodges, Democratic governor placed negro women as attendants at the State Hospital.

1914--NAACP begins in Topeka.   Arthur Capper president through 1917.  Julia Roundtree was secretary and on the board of directors.

1915 The Young Men's Educational Organization of Kansas , concentrated on segregated education

1916--Paul Jones Magazine a black Topeka journal of current events and social activity founded.  Founding members also members of St. Simon and st. John AME

1916--William Carter, superintendent of Topeka Industrial investigated by James Guy and John Wright for being too friendly with women on the faculty.  No charges were filed, but George Bridgeforth, director of the agricultural department of Tuskegee, becomes principal in 1917.

1917  National Federation of Colored Women's Club made of 8 organizations.  Mrs. John Wright, Mrs. James Guy and Mrs. Jamison active and prominent in the organization.(included the Oriental Club, Alpha Assisi and the Oak Leaf Club)

1919--Kansas Hospital Aid Association organized under the Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute (formerly the Topeka Industrial and Educational), the board was dominated by Topeka women.

1919--Topeka Industrial and Educational Institute is receiving the majority of it's funding from the Kansas legislature and the legislature assumes full control, renaming it the Kansas Vocational Institute.

1922--Hospital and school for nursing facilities became a permanent part of the Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute.  Named for Nellie Johns, a white Topekan who willed $1,000 to the cause, state legislature contributed $10,000, Negros contributed $4,000.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Medical care

412 Topeka Blvd.
This was home to a branch of the British Medical Institute, the chief of staff was Dr. S.Edward McCully. They ran an ad in the Plaindealer when they first opened for free medical care for anyone/everyone for the first three months that they were in business. They opened in 1899. Topeka Blvd. at this time was a tony neighborhood with posh homes and mansions. 
Unfortunately, this house is gone.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Ashberry AME, St. Mark's AME, and Second Baptist

The neighborhood....the pictures tell it all.

Ashberry AME, St. Mark's AME and Second Baptist

Second Baptist, the newest building,and the only one that is not in the 1899 Plaindealer Church directory. These pictures show the relationship of all the churches to the bridge and the road--this area is north and west of Mudtown, which is a well known African/American and Hispanic neighborhood that was wiped out by urban renewal and the highway system, but again the powers that be chose to take swipe through a thriving minority neighborhood.  This pattern is seen throughout the U.S. (Motoring: the Highway Experience in America by John Jakle and The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein are great reads on this)

South Elevation
Lana and Angela, two great ladies that I met on my wanderings. 
South West elevation

Asberry AME, St. Mark's AME, and Second Baptist cont.

The blog will only allow me so much space so this is getting spread out into several posts although I see it as one. 

St. Mark's AME--the church was founded in 1864 and it is the church where Linda Brown's father was the Revered. It has recently received a grant from the National Park Service for restoration. It  is not on the National Register, but it should be.  The church webpage history says that this building was built in the 1880s and the cornerstone confirms this.  Notice the height of the foundation--smart thinking.

NE elevation

East elevation
South elevation
South elevation

Ashberry AME, St. Mark's AME and Second Baptist

South facing elevation, Ashberry AME
I went out this morning with the idea in mind of finding Ashberry AME--one of the 1899 churches, and I did.  But, I also found that Ashberry AME, St. Mark's AME and Second Baptist are in a triangle and roughly within the same city block.  Obviously, at one time this area had a thriving African American population, but today many of the lots are empty, the houses torn down and the remaining houses are mostly shuttered.  The neighborhood is in the  lowlands directly to the north of the Kansas river, therefore it is in the floodzone and flood insurance has become prohibitively expensive.  But, none-the-less, 2 of the 3 churches still have active congregations.  The third church and obviously the oldest, Ashberry has been repurposed by Nathan Hamm into a high end photography studio. Kuddos to Nathan, he did this before  it was cool and he save the building from demolition and has done a fantastic job which is not obvious from the exterior.  (Also, another wormhole, what is the significance of the name Ashberry--in CA there is the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, and there are others...)
West facing elevation of Ashberry AME