Sunday, October 28, 2018

Newspaper information

What is the difference between a editor and a managing editor?

Lisa Sandmeyer (long time Topeka Capital Journal editor--copy I think) " The ME generally runs the newsroom. "Editor" is more a job description. In a newsroom, you'll have a city editor, who manages assignments; a news editor, who runs the copy desk; a sports editor, who runs that section; a features editor, who runs those sections; and copy editors, who edit stories and write headlines."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Why I started this..

Why I started this...

It all begins about ten years ago when I first started the This Day in Topeka History blog for TOPEKA magazine.  For this project that ran three years--- discontinuing after I was working full-time at the school and chose to move on to other projects--from a time perspective it was a huge commitment---I almost exclusively used old newspapers.  In the course of the three years, I read thousands of newspapers.  Nathan Pettengill, my editor and I, being who we are, tried to have equal representation from each newspaper and we tried to have a wide range of topics (although early on we discovered that quirky items and bicycle related items got the most hits so we changed strategies--some) and I discovered the Plaindealer and Nick Chiles.

The Plaindealer stood out not for it's great verbage--which it had/has; but because Nick Chile's daughter, Thelma.  Her picture was on the front page or there was a couple line blurb about her in nearly every edition. This was unusual, endearing and fascinating.  Who was this newspaper owner?  Obviously he was not a run of the mill guy.  I was intrigued. So  was my editor, Nathan .  And I have been ever since.  But, never have I had the time or the reason to thoroughly research him.  So, this spring while searching for scholarship opportunities, I found the Tilden non-academic research grant through KSHS.  I talked to Cherylene Lovett the librarian at school and I decided on a lark, never thinking that I would get a grant to apply.  I wrote the application and sent it off.  To my surprise, in late June I got a letter--I received the grant.  In no way is this grant enough to pay for my time or research costs, but it is something that is making me focus in and research.

I see this as a 3-5 year project, with periodically published articles that spin off from it and at the end a book?  If nothing else, a Shawnee County Historical Society bulletin. 


So, today I am deep into reading about Chiles, Vardeman and William Jennings Bryan.  Yikes!  I have always found Benjamin "Pitchfork" Tillman to  be repugnant and I have generally avoided him.  It makes me uncomfortable. Physically as well as mentally.  As I read, I writhe in my seat, shift my position, get up and get more coffee.  I try to avoid it by surfing facebook, writing on this blog, whatever, but I have a goal for each day--which is really a minimum and I am disciplined, I am a historian, my mantra is "learning begins at the end of your comfort zone" and this puts it to the test.  I need to know more about  Tillman and guys like Tillman to understand the time period, the South, and of course Chiles.  Tillman and Chiles were both from South Carolina, Chiles left, Tillman became a symbol for the state..if I saw that coming I would have left too, it makes me think more of Chiles, smart, smart guy.   William Jennings Bryan is a little easier to swallow, but also difficult to understand, he flip flopped, he was inconsistent. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Law enforcement

What is the difference between sheriff, police, justice of the peace and constable? Do we still have these positions? They all existed in Topeka in 1897.  I have found them all in my research so far.  So, I put this question to Doug Mauck, a retired deputy sheriff.  Here is our conversation:

DM :  The Sheriff has responsibility for everything in the county, including the towns and cities. The police have responsibility to enforce ordinances governing their city. Small towns may elect a Justice of the Peace to try offenders of city ordinances. The JP need not be an attorney. Larger towns may establish city courts and elect or appoint judges to preside over them. City police usually have agreements for mutual aid, etc. with the County Sheriff.

Me:  What about the constable? So, the Justice of the Peace was sort of like a local district attorney is now? They were elected--it appears annually at this time.

DM:   Constables could be elected or appointed, depending on the city ordinance establishing the office. They may or not be sworn in as special deputy sheriffs. The JP served as a judge on violations of city ordinances brought forth by the constable or city police. Cases ruled upon by the JP could be appealed to the District Court. 
The Justice of the Peace is a judge, so it's not a district attorney.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Black Ghost Towns in Kansas

I think that most of these are a result of failed Exoduster experiences but I don't know. More to find out.  Here is what I have gathered so far:

Dunlap, Kansas --outside of Council Grove--

Nicodemus, Kansas -- not quite a ghost town yet, but has had a severe population decline

Morton City--

Quindaro--, perhaps one of the most successful and the best documented.

I am looking for information on Sumner City and Redmondsville which were mentioned in the Exodusters book that I am reading. 

  Chautauqua County...


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Names of Prominent Blacks Topeka people and organizations from Cox's Blacks in Topeka

Names of Prominent Blacks
 from Cox’s Black in Topeka, Kansas 1865-1915

Nick Chiles --“”resident of the Third Ward, editor of the Plaindealer, and a party to sundry legal and illegal business ventures, also exercised considerable influence in the city and state Republican councils.  Throughout the 1900s, Chiles had a reputation as a ward heeler, as one through whom elections could be bought and who meted out patronage, primarily to the Third Ward.  ..not documented “
William Carter-- Principal of Lane School
Martin Oglesvie,--Tennessee Exoduster, came to Topeka in 1878, gardener, laborer, 1/3 owner of the Apex Theatre, member of St. John AME and charter member of the NNBL
Dr. Seth Varnella –Topeka’s first black physician, his wife taught sewing classes at Topeka Industrial
J.C.S. Owens—pastor, his wife taught sewing classes at Topeka Industrial
Lutie Lytle-- lawyer, Populist campaigner
Pearle McNeal-- stenographer in the county clerk’s office
Lena Thompson--bread maker
Mack Walker--barber
William Schroud--janitor at the State House
John W. Barber-- black minister of the North Topeka Baptist Church, involved in real estate and insurance business.  Supported by black independents in a unsuccessful bid for state representative.
Thomas W. Henderson,--assistant editor of the Colored Citizen
John Wright--from Michigan, came to Topeka at 15 in 1882, graduated from THS, postal clerk, 1897 appointed deputy county clerk from 1897 to 1901, NNBL, St. Simon’s, many social and political groups.  An accountant who served as city treasurer and country clerk off and on between 1900 and 1916.
John M. Brown—gentleman farmer, emigrated from Mississippi in 1877, was responsible for the management of the Barracks and superintendent of the Kansas Freedman’s Relief, member of the Colored State Emigration Board
Mabel Jeltz (daughter of Fred)
Fred Jeltz—editor-publisher of the Kansas State Ledger
William Carter-- first superintendent of operations/principal of Topeka Industrial, 1900, student of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee
George Bridgeforth--former director of the agricultural department at Tuskegee became principal of Topeka Industrial in 1917
Elizabeth Cooper
William Damascus Cooper
Lulu  Harris--president of National Colored Women’s Club federation state convention 1906 and 1916
Willliam Eagleson-- political iconoclast, editor of the Colored Citizen, leader of black independents in Topeka until death in 1901 . (Colored Citizen ended in 1905), had been the editor of the Colored Citizen in Ft. Scott
E.H. White-- founded the Topeka Tribune, a short run newspaper
David Ware-- was in the 1st Kansas Colored, worked at the State House, member of Second Baptist, Great Western Lodge and Shawnee County Colored Horse Fair Association
--in 1906 wrote a pamphlet “Thoughts for Careful Consideration” –pro Republican
Spencer and Lucinda Hawkins--11 kids, Exodusters, carpenter, and trash collector, municipal garbage collector , streetcleaners and watchman for the city dump.  NNBL, St. John’s AME
William B. Townsend--municipal coal inspector
William Sharp-- messenger at the mayor’s office
James Boyd-- overseer of the rock pile at the Topeka jail
Wesley Jamison--the Squire, 1885 Tennessee—some legal training in Nashville at the central college, served three terms as justice of the peace and was  a criminal lawyer
Robert Buchner--born in Canada, carpenter for the Santa Fe, member St. John’s AME, well to do, single minded advocacy of education for trades
Dr. Oliver A. Taylor-- physician
Julia Roundtree-- elementary school teacher at Douglass Elementary, member of Alpha Assisi Charity Club and St. John’s. 
Rev. C.G. Fishback-- pastor Shiloh Baptist
Solomon G. Watkins--Topeka's second Negro teacher arrives from Tennessee, protested segregated schools and with the Anti-Taft league, later NAACP , Colored Republican's Club and St. John.   He and his wife both taught at Quincy school. Member of the Populist Democrats
Tolliver Byrd-- laborer, founding member of the Prayer Circle which later became ST. John AME, member of the Freemason’s, worked at the State House
Henry Clay Wilson—house painter, barber, restaurateur, operated a 15- chair barber shop across from the capitol, controlling interest in a recreation park on the eastern outskirts of the city, business membership in Second Baptist Church
James H. Stuart--Topeka’s first black lawyer came from Tennessee and began practicing in 1878
John J. Jennings--a professor and tonorialist, operated a barbershop on Kansas Avenue adjacent to the Taft House
C.C. de Randamie--Topeka’s first black real estate agent, his office and home was at 106 E. Kansas Ave.
Alonzo D. DeFrantz--partner with Benjamin Singleton and the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association, barber, and founded the United Colored Links with Singleton, president of the Southern Kansas colonization Society, Colored State Emigration Board
Columbus M Johnson--partner with Benjamin Singleton and the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association, member of the Colored State Emigration Board
Nathaniel Sawyer-- teacher, Exoduster, wrote articles for the black press, involved in Interstate Literary Assoc.
Sarah Malone--supervisor of the black Florence Crittendon Home, attended annual conferences on charities and corrections
James Guy-- from Ohio, lawyer, came to Topeka in 1885, charter member of St. Simon’s, deputy county attorney 1896, many and varied social, political and protest organizations,
Ira Guy-- barber, James Guy’s brother, first vice president of national organization of NNBL
William McKnight-- 1895 from Tennessee, custodian at the KS state house
Benjamin Perkins-- laborer from Kentucky
George Hagan--stonemason from Missouri, NAACP and Populist Party member
William O. Lynch-- pastor of the Asbury AME church, presiding elder in the black Kansas Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, involved with KFRA
Andrew Jordan, owner of Tennessee town tavern, made available to house Sheldon’s Tennesseetown library
Edward Stephens--co-founder of Kansas Industrial, 1895
Lizzie Reddick--co-founder of Kansas Industrial, 1895
Rev George Shaffer-- St. John’s AME
B.C. Duke--came from Tennessee.  First librarian of the Tennessee town library, member of the Second Christian Church , later a pastor at St. Mark’s Christian Church, member of 1905 governing board of black and white Kansas Christian churches.
Rev.  J. Barrett--pastor of the North Topeka Baptist Church
George Wellington Gross-- journalist, Republican 
From King's History of Topeka, 1905
Black Elementary School Principals:


J. L. Harrison


Fred Roundtree


Mary E. Langston


C. F. Clinkscale 

Oct. 28, 1908--The Carbondalian.
E. Ridley, Mrs. Sadie McClain, Mrs. WI Jamison, Miss Lillian Jeltz, Miss Irene Smith, Fannie Foster, Inez Wood, Etta McClain, Bessie Hawkins, Mary Jordan, Effie Burge, Lily Cooper and Missouri Bennings