History

  • Arkansas City, Kansas History

    Arkansas City pronounced Ar-kan'-sas, three miles north of the Oklahoma border at the confluence of the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers, is a shipping and refining center for oil fields at the north, east, and south. Long lines of tank cars emerge from the city on its four railroads; freight yards are piled high with incoming shipments of oil machinery and pipeline supplies. The local oil refinery has a daily capacity of 20,000 barrels.

  • Atchison Kansas History

    Atchison, Kansas is on the west bank of the Missouri River in a vast amphitheater gouged out during the glacial epoch, is surrounded by low hills. This staid little industrial city is rich in historic interest and proud of the nationally famous personages who have claimed it as their birthplace or former home.

  • Constitution of the State of Kansas

    This is the Constitution of the State of Kansas. It became the official Constitution of the State on January 29, 1861, when Kansas was admitted to the United States of America as the 34th state. Note: This constitution is known as the (Wyandotte Constitution).

  • Daniel Webster Wilder

    Daniel Webster Wilder was born at Blackstone, Mass., July 15, 1832. He died at his home in Hiawatha, Kansas, July 15, 1911. He was the seventh son of Dr. Abel Wilder. He spent four years at the Boston Latin School, was an attentive and studious boy, received prizes every year, graduated second in his class, and received a Franklin medal. At Harvard he was an officer in the Hasty Pudding Club, the Alpha Delta Phi, and three other college societies. He graduated in 1856, and was awarded the first prize, a gold medal, for elocution in competition with all the classes. Charles F. Browne, better known as "Artemus Ward," was his roommate, and the friendships formed there with such men as F. B. Sanborn continue to this day.

  • Eugene F. Ware

    Eugene Fitch Ware was born at Hartford, Connecticut, May 29, 1841; died at Cascade, Colorado, July 1, 1911. His parents moved to Burlington, Iowa, when he was a child. Iowa was at that time a territory, and he grew to man's estate on the frontier of our rapidly expanding republic.

  • Foster Dwight Coburn

    Foster Dwight Coburn was born in Cold Spring township, Jefferson county,. Wisconsin, May 7, 1846. His father was Ephriam W. Coburn, and his mother Mary Jane Mulks. At eighteen he was corporal in company F, one hundred and thirty-fifth regiment, Illinois volunteer infantry, and promoted from private to sergeant-major of the sixty-second regiment, Illinois volunteer infantry, veterans.

  • God On The Mountains

    From the oldest time men have associated the mountains with visitations of God. Their height, their vastness, their majesty made them seem worthy to be stairs by which the Deity might descend to earth, and they stand in religious and poetic literature to this day as symbols of the largest mental conceptions.

  • Henry King

    It is not the rule for men to follow the trade or profession to which they are best adapted and to achieve the dominant ambition of their lives. This inclination and result can in absolute truth be said of Capt. Henry King. He learned the printer's trade because the attraction was irresistible, and advanced from the composing room and hand press to the editorial desk because he must have foreseen the work he was best fitted to do. His taste and capacity were for writing, a natural force impelling him to reduce the workings of his mind to written form and it was real writing, for he never used a stenographer or typewriter, and his "copy" was the perfection of chirography.

  • History of Education in Kansas

    The schools of Kansas have been locally supported and, for the most part, locally controlled since the earliest days. Until 1937 when the State legislature established a State Aid Fund for the benefit of elementary schools in need of additional support, the State government performed neither of these functions except for the State supported institutions of higher learning and the educational institutions for defectives.

  • History of Industry,Commerce And Labor in Kansas

    Industry was the complement of agriculture during the first fifty years of settlement in Kansas. This relationship was first evident in 1827 when Daniel Morgan Boone, accompanied by his brother-in-law, Gabe Phillebert, settled at Stonehouse Creek and tried to introduce the white man's farming methods to the Indians. Phillebert, a blacksmith, set up his forge and supplied the crude implements needed by Boone and his pupils. When not mending or making ring hoes and plowshares, Phillebert hammered out pots and kettles with which the Indians replaced their primitive utensils.

  • History of Kansas Agriculture

    Although the first American explorers who passed through the Territory reported that the region was totally unfit for human habitation, history records that the Indians who lived on the Kansas plains before the coming of the white men practiced agriculture after a crude fashion. Thus the first Kansas farmers were Indian squaws who raised small crops of corn and beans to supplement the diet of game. They planted seeds in holes punched in the ground with sharpened sticks, and cultivated the crop with implements fashioned from buffalo bones. 

  • History of Kansas Architecture

    The pioneers who settled along the northeastern border of Kansas in the 1850's found timber and stone with which to build their homes. They set up log cabins or simple one-room houses of stone. Less often they built tent-shaped structures of poles thatched with grass, called "hay houses." These were little more than "straws in the wind" and were abandoned as soon as possible, but they served their purpose as easily and quickly erected buildings. The first church services in Lawrence were held in a hay house.

  • History of Kansas Journalism and Journalists

    Jotham Meeker, a Baptist missionary connected with the Shawnee Indian Mission near the present site of Kansas City, established the first newspaper published in what is now Kansas. Meeker, a printer as well as a minister of the Gospel, came to Shawnee Mission early in 1833 and (according to his diary) began setting type on the first issue of the Shawnee Sun on February 18, 1835.

  • History of Transportation in Kansas

    Before the coming of white men, the Indians in Kansas had no beast of burden other than the dog and no means of conveyance save the dugout canoe and the travois, a simple contrivance of two poles between which a dog was hitched, with the packs secured to the dragging ends.

  • How the Territory of the United States was Doubled

    Adams was an honest and patriotic man, but he never won the love of the people as Washington had done.  And when in 1801 his term of office came to an end he went back to his country home.  There he spent the rest of his life as a simple citizen.

  • Hutchinson, Kansas History

    Hutchinson, fourth largest city in Kansas, lies slightly south and east of the center of the State on the north bank of the Arkansas River. The city spreads out in the level valley land in the form of the letter "T", its base extending eastward and its broad arms reaching north and south. Although typical of the cattle country in its friendliness, its lack of social distinctions, and in the clean way its broad streets meet the open prairie, Hutchinson is a city of mills and factories.

  • Industrial America At The End Of The Civil War

    A comprehensive survey of the United States, at the end of the Civil War, would reveal a state of society which bears little resemblance to that of today. Almost all those commonplace fundamentals of existence, the things that contribute to our bodily comfort while they vex us with economic and political problems, had not yet made their appearance. The America of Civil War days was a country without transcontinental railroads, without telephones, without European cables, or wireless stations, or automobiles, or electric lights, or sky-scrapers, or million-dollar hotels, or trolley cars, or a thousand other contrivances that today supply the conveniences and comforts of what we call our American civilization. The cities of that period, with their unsewered and unpaved streets, their dingy, flickering gaslights, their ambling horse-cars, and their hideous slums, seemed appropriate settings for the unformed social life and the rough-and-ready political methods of American democracy.

  • Josiah Miller

    Josiah Miller was born in Chester district, South Carolina, November 12, 1828. He was the son of Robert H. Miller and Susannah Allilley. The family were Scotch Presbyterians and pronounced opponents of slavery.

  • Kansas Facts

    This section of the Kansas Reading Library contains an ever evolving and expanding section containing Kansas Facts, figures, historical data and other information about the state of Kansas. 

    This series should be of interest to students, teachers, authors, historians and others interested in the history of the State. So without further ado, we begin with a list of Kansas Facts. This list will grow and expand throughout the coming months, so keep checking back from time to time to see what is new. 

  • Kansas Facts: A checklist of facts about the State.

    This is the inaugural article about the facts of Kansas and its history.  In the coming months I will be providing some interesting facts, figures and historical data about the state of Kansas for our readers. This series should be of interest to students, teachers, authors, historians and others interested in the history of the State. So without further ado, we begin with a list of Kansas Facts. This list will grow and expand throughout the coming months, so keep checking back from time to time to see what is new. 

  • Kansas Facts: Anderson County Facts

    Cutler's History states that, "Anderson County is situated in the second tier of counties west from Missouri, fifty miles south from the Kansas River, and seventy miles north from the Indian Territory. It is in extent twenty-four miles square, and is bounded on the north by Franklin County, on the east by Linn, on the south by Allen, and on the west by Coffey."

  • Kansas Facts: Atchison County Facts

    Atchison County is in the second tier of counties south of the Nebraska state line and has an area of 423 square miles. It is bounded on the north by Brown and Doniphan counties, on the east by Doniphan county and the Missouri river, which divides it from the State of Missouri, on the south by Leavenworth and Jefferson counties and on the west by Jackson County. It is divided into the following townships: Benton, Center, Grasshopper, Kapioma, Lancaster, Mount Pleasant, Shannon, and Walnut. Source: Cutlers History of the State of Kansas 

  • Kansas Facts: Barber County Facts

    Barber County takes its name from Thomas W. Barber, a Free-State settler in Douglas County, who was killed near Lawrence on December 6, 1855. It was intended when the county was christened that it should bear the name of Barber, but somebody, out of an exceedingly wise head, determined that the spellilng should be Barbour, and it stood in this form until 1883, when the Legislature enacted that henceforward the county should bear the name originally given it. Source: Cutler's History of the State of Kansas 

  • Kansas Facts: Butler County Facts

    Butler the largest organized county in the State, may well be called 'the State of Butler.' Within it lines lies more territory than that of some of the Eastern States, while its arable land amounts to nearly as much as that of two of the smaller ones. From north to south it stretches forty-two miles, and from east to west thirty-four and a half; making a total area of about one million acres. It is named in honor of Andrew P. Butler, for twelve years United States Senator from South Carolina. Source: Cutler's History of the state of Kansas 

  • Kansas Facts: Information about The Counties of the State

    The purpose of a county is for local administration of an area beneath the state level, i.e federal, state, county, and municipal governments. In Kansas, there are a total of 105 counties, each with their own county seat. This county seat is the town where the governing body of the county resides. This body is known as the County Legislature which is named after the county. 

  • Kansas Folklore

    Folk tales and folk songs, compounded of dreams, idle imaginings, and wish fulfillment, are usually based on the prosaic doings of. men who "earn their living by the sweat of their brow." In Kansas the first workers were the farmer and the cowboy. Within the short span of three decades their not so heroic figures were draped with a spangled mantle of lore and legend.

  • Kansas is More Than Flyover Country

    When people hear the word Kansas in conversation they usually think or say, "oh yeah you mean flyover country", or "you mean the State that is 100 years behind the times?  (think the nineteenth century)"  Well I am here to tell you that there is more to the State than the "Great American Desert" or the home of Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz.

  • Kansas Literature

    The first writing inspired by the region comprised in the present State of Kansas was the journal of Pedro de Castaneda de Najera, who in 1541 accompanied the Spanish explorer Coronado on the latter's march through this region in search of the semi-legendary city or province of Quivira. In the three centuries between Coronado's futile quest and the early settlement of Kansas, the region was traversed by other explorers, some of whom notably, among the later travelers, Etienne Bourgmont, Lewis and Clark and their aide Patrick Gass, and Zebulon M. Pike have given us factual records of the region in their published journals.

  • Noble L. Prentis

    Noble Lovely Prentis was born April 8, 1839, in a log cabin three miles from Mount Sterling, Brown county, Illinois. He died July 6, 1900, at the home of his daughter, at La Harpe, in the same state, within a few miles of the place of his birth. His parents were from Vermont, and were descended from English settlers who came to America in 1630 and 1641, respectively. His grandfather Prentis served in the Revolutionary army, and two of his uncles gave their lives one at Bunker Hill and one at Saratoga.

  • Preface to The Government Class Book, by Andrew W. Young

    The utility of the diffusion of political knowledge among a people exercising the right of self-government, is universally admitted. The form of government established by the people of the United States, though well adapted to promote the general welfare, is highly complicated; and the knowledge requisite to administer it successfully can not be acquired without much study. From the fact that a large portion of the American people are greatly deficient in this knowledge, we may justly conclude that it will never become general, until it shall have been made an object of school instruction.

  • Preston B. Plumb

    Preston Bierce Plumb was born at Berkshire, Delaware county, Ohio, October 12, 1837. He died at Washington city, December 20, 1891. Plumb's parents were poor, and he was compelled to depend upon his own resources at an early age. When he was twelve years old he went to Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, through which institution he worked his way, acquiring at the same time high efficiency as a printer.

  • Religion in Kansas

    The first churchman of whom there is any authentic record in the region now known as Kansas was a Franciscan friar, Father Juan de Padilla, who accompanied Coronado's expedition to Quivira in 1541. He returned to Mexico with the expedition, but journeyed back to spread Christianity among the Plains Indian tribes. It is said that he was murdered by the Quivirans because of his decision to leave them and preach to another tribe. According to some accounts, however, the martyred friar was murdered by his own men.

  • Résumé Of Frémont's Expeditions

    A full account of the exploring expeditions of John C. Frémont would form almost a complete history of the great West during that time--from June, 1842, to February, 1854. The three earlier expeditions were made at the expense and under the direction of the Government. The two later ones were private ventures.

  • Rise of the New West Chapter V Colonization Of The West (1820-1830)

    The rise of the new west was the most significant fact in American history in the years immediately following the War of 1812. Ever since the beginnings of colonization on the Atlantic coast a frontier of settlement had advanced, cutting into the forest, pushing back the Indian, and steadily widening the area of civilization in its rear. There had been a west even in early colonial days; but then it lay close to the coast. By the middle of the eighteenth century the west was to be found beyond tide-water, advancing towards the Allegheny Mountains. When this barrier was crossed and the lands on the other side of the mountains were won, in the days of the Revolution, a new and greater west, more influential on the nation's destiny, was created. 

  • Sports and Recreation in Kansas

    The scarcity of natural water areas and the need for water conservation and flood control led indirectly to the development of the State's chief recreational asset its State parks. A plan to establish a system of parks, in connection with the construction of artificial lakes, was first proposed in 1923 by a group of sportsmen and conservationists.

  • The Cattle Trails

    The customary method of studying history by means of a series of events and dates is not the method which we have chosen to employ in this study of the Old West. Speaking generally, our minds are unable to assimilate a condensed mass of events and dates; and that is precisely what would be required of us if we should attempt here to follow the ways of conventional history. Dates are at best no more than milestones on the pathway of time; and in the present instance it is not the milestones but the road itself with which we are concerned. Where does the road begin? Why comes it hither? Whither does it lead? These are the real questions.

  • The Community's Play And Recreation

    The people of most rural communities have an unsatisfied desire for more play, recreation, and sociable life. Opportunities for enjoyment seem more available in the towns and cities and are therefore a leading cause of the great exodus. Economic prosperity and good wages are not alone sufficient to keep people on farms and in villages if their income will not purchase the satisfactions they desire.

  • The Democratization Of The Automobile

    In many manufacturing lines, American genius for organization and large scale production has developed mammoth industries. In nearly all the tendency to combination and concentration has exercised a predominating influence. In the early years of the twentieth century the public realized, for the first time, that one corporation, the American Sugar Refining Company, controlled ninety-eight per cent of the business of refining sugar.

  • The Desperado

    Energy and action may be of two sorts, good or bad; this being as well as we can phrase it in human affairs. The live wires that net our streets are more dangerous than all the bad men the country ever knew, but we call electricity on the whole good in its action. We lay it under law, but sometimes it breaks out and has its own way. These outbreaks will occur until the end of time, in live wires and vital men. Each land in the world produces its own men individually bad--and, in time, other bad men who kill them for the general good.

  • The Early Outlaw

    Before passing to the review of the more modern days of wild life on the Western frontier, we shall find it interesting to note a period less known, but quite as wild and desperate as any of later times. Indeed, we might also say that our own desperadoes could take lessons from their ancestors of the past generation who lived in the forests of the Mississippi valley.

  • The Fight For Kansas [1850-1854]

    The measures of 1850 proved anything but the "finality" upon slavery discussion which both parties, the Whigs as loudly as the Democrats, promised and insisted that they should be. Elated by its victory in 1850, and also by that of 1852, when the anti-slavery sentiment of northern Whigs drove so many of their old southern allies to vote for Pierce, giving him his triumphant election, the slavocracy in 1854 proceeded in its work of suicide to undo the sacred Missouri Compromise of 1820. Douglas, the ablest northern Democrat, led in this, succeeding, as official pacificator between North and South, somewhat to the office of Clay, who had died June 29, 1852. The aim of most who were with him was to make Kansas-Nebraska slave soil, but we may believe that Douglas himself cherished the hope and conviction that freedom was its destiny.

  • The Frontier in History

    The frontier! There is no word in the English language more stirring, more intimate, or more beloved. It has in it all the elan of the old French phrase, En avant! It carries all of the old Saxon command, Forward!! It means all that America ever meant. It means the old hope of a real personal liberty, and yet a real human advance in character and achievement. To a genuine American it is the dearest word in all the world.

  • The Government Class Book: Principles of Government

    Chapter I

    Mankind fitted for Society, and for Civil Government and Laws.

    §1. Mankind are social beings. They are by nature fitted for society. By this we mean that they are naturally disposed to associate with each other. Indeed, such is their nature, that they could not be happy without such association. Hence we conclude that the Creator has designed men for society. It can not, therefore, be true, as some say, that the savage state is the natural state of man.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments

    Chapter V

    The Nature and Objects of a Constitution, and the Manner in which it is made.

    §1. Of all the different forms of government which have existed, a republican government, on the plan of that which has been established in this country, is believed to be best adapted to secure the liberties of a people, and to promote the general welfare. Under the reign of a wise and virtuous ruler, the rights of person and property may be fully enjoyed, and the people may be in a good degree prosperous. But the requisite virtue and wisdom have seldom been found in any one man or a few men. And experience has proved that the objects of civil government may be best secured by a written constitution founded upon the will or consent of the people.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, Commercial Regulation

    Chapter XXIII

    Canals and Rail-Roads.

    §1. In carrying out the purposes of government, provision ought also to be made to secure to the people the means of obtaining a suitable reward for their industry, and to render the labor of all, as nearly as may be, equally profitable.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, County and Local

    Chapter XIV

    Counties and County Officers. Powers and Duties of County Officers.

    §1. Some of the purposes for which a state is divided into small districts have been mentioned. (Chap. VII, §1.) There are other reasons, equally important, for these territorial divisions. Laws for the whole state are made by the legislature; but certain regulations may be necessary for the people in some parts of the state which are not needed in others, and which the people of these places can better make for themselves.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, Education

    Chapter XXII

    Education. School Funds; Schools, &c.

    §1. The proper object of government is to promote the welfare and happiness of its citizens. For this purpose, it must provide for making and properly administering laws to protect the people in the enjoyment of life and the fruits of their labor. But it should go further, and make express provision for improving the condition of the people, especially the less fortunate portions of them.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, Executive Department

    Chapter XII

    Executive Department. Governor and Lieutenant-Governor.

    §1. The chief executive power of a state is, by the constitution, vested in a governor. The governor is chosen by the people at the general election; in South Carolina by the legislature. The term of office is not the same in all the states. In the six New England states, the governors are chosen annually; in the other states, for the different terms of two, three, and four years.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, Power of the Purse

    Chapter XXI

    Assessment and Collection of Taxes.

    §1. Every government must have the power of providing means for its support. The money which is needed to pay the expenses of administering the government, if the state has no permanent source of revenue, or income, must be raised by taxation. A _tax_ is a rate or sum of money assessed upon the person or property of a citizen for the use of the state. When assessed upon the person, it is called a _poll-tax_, or _capitation tax_, being a certain sum on every poll, or head. But as persons ought generally to contribute to the public expenses according to their ability, taxes are more just and equal when laid upon the property of the citizens. Few poll-taxes are levied in this country.

  • The Government Class Book: State Governments, State Legislatures

    Chapter IX

    State Legislatures--how constituted.

    §1. The legislature of every state in the union is composed of two houses--a senate and a house of representatives. The latter, or, as it is sometimes called, the lower house, in the states of New York, Wisconsin, and California, is called the assembly; in Maryland and Virginia, the house of delegates; in North Carolina, the house of commons; and in New Jersey, the general assembly. In most of the states, the two houses together are called _general assembly_.