Wabaunsee County Historical Society and Museum

Wabaunsee County Historical Society and Museum Friends...I would like to ask for your help! We don't have a working WCHS & M page, so let's get one going! I hope to post information often!

If you haven't  heard about this project, please let me share!  One of the CAD classes at Wabaunsee High School created ...
06/20/2019

If you haven't heard about this project, please let me share! One of the CAD classes at Wabaunsee High School created a replica of the building. Mrs. Cassell and her students have every right to be proud of this project! I had hoped to see the building at the museum, but I hear that it's kind of heavy!

It's almost summer!  I'm  not enjoying the 90* temps, but I  do love the longer days!     I even made it in to the museu...
06/20/2019

It's almost summer! I'm not enjoying the 90* temps, but I do love the longer days!
I even made it in to the museum last week. Here are a few pictures of what I found.

06/12/2019

ANNIVERSARY TIME... American Legion Post 32, Alma, KS is celebrating 100 years of service! There will be an open house on Monday, June 17, 2019. The guest speaker is Mark Nutsch, former commander of 12-man U.S. Special Forces Team. Due to the number of people, the event will take place at the Wabaunsee High School Gym at 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments will be served after the presentation!
Sponsors of the event are The Alma American Legion Post 32, Bank of the Flint Hills and Wamego Telecommunications Co, Inc.

06/11/2019
“Crossroads” Smithsonian Announcement

WOW!

Humanities Kansas is at the Volland Store in rural Wabaunsee County to announce the six Kansas hosts of the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” Smithsonian...

June has to be one of the busiest months of the year!  The WCHS has held it's annual meeting on the first Saturday of th...
06/11/2019

June has to be one of the busiest months of the year! The WCHS has held it's annual meeting on the first Saturday of the month for several years, but this year--things changed! The meeting, which was held last Saturday, June 8, took place at the Methodist Hall in Alma.
Even with the change, there weren't a lot of folks in attendance. Lunch is served and a business meeting takes place. This year Dr. Jim Hoy was the featured speaker, and different people have assured me that he was entertaining. Now, if only we could find the perfect date for the meeting!
Each year the quilters donate their earnings. They raised at least $1200 this year! They also reminded everyone that the raffle quilt is done and they are selling chances! You can pick yours up at the museum. The quilt is usually on display at the Stockgrower's Bank during the summer and they sell chances there.
Here are just a few pictures from the event.

I know I've been kind of hit and miss here for the last month, so let me make up for it tonight!  First, here's a note f...
06/11/2019
Cabin Fever

I know I've been kind of hit and miss here for the last month, so let me make up for it tonight! First, here's a note from Greg. I knew Charlie Herman , too, but it wasn't until I worked at the museum that I realized what a body of work he had produced! There are more of his pictures available in the museum... But here's Greg!

Hi, Everyone,

It's Photo Friday! I have a great photo for you today which was taken by an old friend of mine, Charles Herman. Charles was a really nice guy, a true gentleman, and he was an accomplished photographer. He was born in Alma, Kansas and spent most of his years there.

Today's photo is a view of a one-room long cabin, commonly referred to as the Gnadt cabin, when it was located in Park Valley at Alma, Kansas. Originally, the cabin sat at 102 Kansas Avenue in Alma, one of the earliest buildings in town. In 1948 it was moved to the Gnadt farm, located east of Alma. In 1995, the Gnadt family gave the cabin to the Alma Area Foundation, and in 1999 the cabin was restored and moved to the Railroad Park in Alma.

One of the hallmarks of Charles Herman's photos is the fabulous sky seen in so many of his landscape views. I think it was a combination of events that led to so many incredible photos...Charles knew how to recognize a photogenic sky, he used Kodachrome color slide film, and he had a real eye for photographic composition.

There was a time when log cabins were common in the Flint Hills; today, they are the most rare of all buildings.

I've been collecting some photos of log cabins in Wabaunsee County, and you can view those in my story Cabin Fever, in the Flint Hills Special Digital Magazine. https://flinthillsspecial.com/2019/06/04/cabin-fever/

Have a great weekend!

06/02/2019

NOTE: The location of the yearly meeting next Saturday has been changed. The Community center is in use, so we will meet at the Alma United Methodist Hall. See you at 11:00! Please call the museum if you havent already reserved your seat!

What a day in Alma!  We were on the map!  The Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile bike race, begins in Emporia and came through Alma...
06/01/2019

What a day in Alma! We were on the map! The Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile bike race, begins in Emporia and came through Alma! Pretty amazing to see those bikes (only 1300!) riding through town. And before them the estimated 500 cars with support people!
I visited with several people - because this just doesn't happen every day! Two ladies were from Oregon. They were support for a son. Other people were happy to visit, because they were just waiting for the few minutes that their rider or riders came through. The Utah fella I visited with got news that one of their riders was ten minutes out! It wasn't quite 9:00!!
Some others I visited with were from Winfield, Wichita, and Great Bend, KS, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Canada. I heard that there were riders from every state and some foreign countries!
Pretty amazing! Lots of volunteers involved in this, too!
(Sorry the pictures can't do it justice! They were in a hurry!)
Oh... did I mention that it's called "dirty" because it's on gravel?!

Another week - and I  made in to see what was going on in the quilt zone.  Off with old and on to another!  That  means ...
06/01/2019

Another week - and I made in to see what was going on in the quilt zone. Off with old and on to another! That means the raffle quilt is ready!
Here's a look at the next project.

Dr. Jim Hoy will be the featured speaker at the yearly meeting  in June.  Here's a little more about him.I https://www.g...
05/19/2019
James F. Hoy: 1983 - James F. Hoy

Dr. Jim Hoy will be the featured speaker at the yearly meeting in June. Here's a little more about him.
I https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.emporia.edu/profiles/roercross/James/Hoy/1983-james-f-hoy&ved=2ahUKEwjH-LSEyqjiAhUP26wKHQBOATQQFjAAegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw04aAFC37j-db5gd1b6_T19

Some have called him a modern-day Renaissance man. And though he is better known throughout the central plains as a folklorist and singer of folk songs, Dr. Jim Hoy is equally at home discussing Chaucer and his academic specialty, medieval English drama, as he is the finer points of the history of c...

Hope you find this interesting!  From Matt Balocca...   Early history of Wabaunsee County, Kansas, with stories of pione...
05/14/2019
Early history of Wabaunsee County, Kansas, with stories of pioneer days and glimpses of our western border.. : Thomson, Matt : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Hope you find this interesting! From Matt Balocca...

Early history of Wabaunsee County, Kansas, with stories of pioneer days and glimpses of our western border. by Matt Thomson is viewable online, and downloadable in multiple digital formats, including PDF and Kindle. I wasn't sure if it is actually public domain.
It is on Archive.org at:
https://archive.org/details/earlyhistoryofwa00thom/page/n5

16

We haven't heard from Greg lately, I know!  But he's still going!  Thanks, Greg!Hi, Everyone, It's Photo Friday!   Today...
05/14/2019

We haven't heard from Greg lately, I know! But he's still going! Thanks, Greg!

Hi, Everyone,

It's Photo Friday! Today's photo comes to you from an old friend of mine who passed away a few years ago, Dean Dunn. Dean loved historic photos, and he had a great collection that he and his children have so generously shared with us.

It's a view from about 1940 from Lake Wabaunsee, Kansas, taken just three or four years after the water was impounded in the newly constructed lake. This particular view makes me wonder, which is more unusual, the crazy wooden boat or the outfit of overalls and a pith helmet that the operator of the boat chose.

Have a great weekend!

05/08/2019

2019.... It still seems like science fiction to me, but--it's not!
And it is time for the yearly meeting of the Wabaunsee County Historical Society! The date is June 8--barely a month away! Make plans now...
Please make your reservations as soon as possible. The meeting will begin at 11:00 A.M. at the Community Center in Alma. Jim Hoy is the guest speaker!
Call the museum to make your reservation. You may pay the day of the dinner, but reservations are necessary! The number there is 785-765-2200.
SEE you there!

05/03/2019

Happy birthday to one of our quilters!! Arleen celebrates her special day today! Best wishes to you, Arleen! Keep sewing!

04/25/2019

The address is on this page for future reference...
227 Missouri, Alma, KS

You asked and I have the answers! And  though it doesn't  say it on the poster, you may also mail your request for ticke...
04/24/2019

You asked and I have the answers! And though it doesn't say it on the poster, you may also mail your request for tickets. Please clearly indicate the number of chances you want and include your check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope and tickets will be sent to you!
Good luck!

The other day I mentioned the storefronts in the annex.  I wanted to post a couple other pictures of those.  I get a kic...
04/17/2019

The other day I mentioned the storefronts in the annex. I wanted to post a couple other pictures of those. I get a kick out of the dentist's office - and instruments! Here are a few details!

04/17/2019

Okay, okay.... I only wanted to show off the quilt today! Raffle tickets are usually available for about six months and usually sell 6 for $5.00. The drawing is usually in October.
With all that said, we have a city celebration this summer and the ladies want to have the quilt on display. I will do my research and post more info as I find it!

HERE IT IS!  Today is the reveal! The ladies have prepared a quilt to raffle and benefit the museum.  I dont know how ma...
04/16/2019

HERE IT IS! Today is the reveal! The ladies have prepared a quilt to raffle and benefit the museum. I dont know how many years they have been doing it, but this year is no different. And here is a look at this year's quilt! You might want to get tickets for this one! I love the details!

Another windy day, but it was a good day to check in at the museum!  Two of the ladies were working.  I love to watch th...
04/16/2019

Another windy day, but it was a good day to check in at the museum! Two of the ladies were working. I love to watch their progress... Compare!

Ah, Facebook...so good to remind me that I've  been out of touch!  I do have some photos from Greg, but for this entry, ...
04/13/2019

Ah, Facebook...so good to remind me that I've been out of touch! I do have some photos from Greg, but for this entry, I will just share a couple pictures from our collection.
Martin Gnadt created our " main street" shops. They are filled with everything from a dentist chair to a perm machine. Since the storefronts are in the annex, it might finally be warm enough to stroll over and check them out!

Good morning!  Prayers for Greg, who fell this winter (who didn't?!) and is recovering.  Still--on Friday we have a phot...
03/24/2019

Good morning! Prayers for Greg, who fell this winter (who didn't?!) and is recovering. Still--on Friday we have a photo, with story! Thanks, Greg. Take care of yourself!

Hi, Everyone,

It's Photo Friday. Today, I have a great photograph of Matt Thomson, an important person in the history of Wabaunsee County. Thomson's accomplishments were many. On September 7, 1889, Thomson formed one of the mainstays of Wabaunsee County newspapers, The Alma Signal, and he operated it for a dozen years before selling the paper in 1901. It was in that year that Thomson published the County's most important history book, The Early History of Wabaunsee County, with Glimpses of Our Western Border. Thomson's book was reprinted by Alma Signal-Enterprise editor and publisher, Robert F. Stuewe in 1973.

Thomson was an accomplished writer, artist, and cartographer, producing numerous drawings, etchings and maps between 1880 and 1901. He served multiple terms as the Wabaunsee County Superintendent of Schools, and he was an important businessman in Alma and active in political affairs of the day.

Today's photo, taken between 1895 and 1901, shows Matt Thomson in the offices of The Alma Signal newspaper. It's a good, sharp view, and it's the only actual photograph of Thomson that I've ever seen (he produced a self-portrait etching of himself which appeared in many issues of his newspaper).

Have a great weekend!

I made it!  Between the weather and other obligations, I haven't visited or helped the genealogy group.  The quilters ke...
03/15/2019

I made it! Between the weather and other obligations, I haven't visited or helped the genealogy group. The quilters keep suggesting that I could help them, but my skills are safer with just scissors and a pen!
Anyway, here are a few new pictures. Best wishes to Royce, who has become a regular. He was a bit under the weather.
The genealogy group offers a mini history lesson of the county! What a gold mine!

Professional Archaeologists of Kansas
03/12/2019

Professional Archaeologists of Kansas

The spring PAK meeting was a success! It’s always nice catching up in person to learn what other archaeologists are doing in the state. The board thanks Dan Waggoner for a tour of the Wabaunsee County Historical Society and Museum.

Mark your calendars now! The fall PAK meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday October 5th in Hays, KS. The board is working on potential site visits and a venue to hold the meeting. Suggestions welcome. Stay tuned!

Here's Greg!Hi, Everyone, It's Photo Friday!  I have an interesting photo for you today.  It's a "colorized" photo postc...
03/07/2019
Greg Hoots Real Photo Postcard Collection

Here's Greg!
Hi, Everyone,

It's Photo Friday! I have an interesting photo for you today. It's a "colorized" photo postcard of the businesses on the north end of the east side of Missouri Street in Alma, Kansas, as seen in about 1907. The buildings seen here from left to right are Louis Palenske's Commercial National Bank, F.C. Noller's Mercantile, the Alma telephone exchange, Simon's Printing, and the Airdome Theater.

This photo was taken some twenty years before the invention of Kodachrome film, so the colorization of the image was achieved by transferring the original black and white image from the negative to a printing plate, and then, sections of the plate were designated to be a certain color, and the postcard was ultimately created by offset printing or lithography, which created a photo by using a printed dot-pattern. At the time of this card's creation, the colorized card was valued by collectors of postcards, as it appeared to be a color photograph, something quite unusual in 1907.

In the world of postcard collecting today, a colorized card is far less valuable (or costly) to the collector, and a postcard with the original black and white image, created with the same negative, would be worth five times the value of the colorized version. Unfortunately, I've never seen a non-colorized version of this card, and, in fact, this is only the second example of the colorized version that I've ever seen.

I purchased this card this week to add to my Flint Hills postcard collection. You can see about 165 of my postcards on my website at: https://flinthillsspecial.com/2018/11/02/greg-hoots-real-photo-postcard-collection/

Have a great weekend!
(Sorry! Photo will follow! But here's another article from the website!)

I like this sign that spring iis coming!  Back to regular hours!
03/01/2019

I like this sign that spring iis coming! Back to regular hours!

Good evening!  During one of these last storms, I mentioned the temptation the cold days present: baking things I don't ...
02/19/2019

Good evening! During one of these last storms, I mentioned the temptation the cold days present: baking things I don't need to eat! My gratitude not to have to cook on a wood stove was my main point! We have a couple wood stoves at the museum.
I guess they are a step up from cooking in a fireplace!

Did it! I finally made it to town to check on the quilters, and here's  what's happening there!
02/13/2019

Did it! I finally made it to town to check on the quilters, and here's what's happening there!

I know it's not Friday, but here's Greg with a different perspective!Hi, Everyone, It's Photo Friday!  I have an interes...
02/12/2019

I know it's not Friday, but here's Greg with a different perspective!

Hi, Everyone,

It's Photo Friday! I have an interesting photo for you today, and I will preface my comments about it with some general observations relative to the image.

In the days leading to America's involvement in World War I, a wave of Nationalism, fueled by the United States government and political leaders, swept across America. This government-created Nationalism found a common enemy to vilify and label as an enemy of society and of the country; and that vile enemy of the people was the lowly immigrant, in general, and immigrants of German nationality, in particular. As war erupted in Europe, the government enacted in 1917 a regulation that required all immigrant men who were not naturalized citizens to report to law enforcement or other designated government representatives to be questioned and registered by the Justice Department as "Enemy Aliens." The Enemy Aliens were required to provide four "mugshot" photographs, no larger than 3x3-inches in size, Enemy Aliens were required to report to the local police station, or as in the case of Wabaunsee County, the U.S. Post Office, monthly.

In 1918, the regulations concerning registration of Enemy Aliens were broadened to include women, and particularly American-born citizen women who, by regulation, would become Enemy Aliens, themselves, the moment that they married an Enemy Alien. When this addition of women to the list, was completed, there were over 650 Enemy Aliens living in tiny Wabaunsee County.

The new regulations found their way into everyday life. After hearing over and over that these Enemy Aliens were a suspicious and dangerous bunch, lots of citizens became distrustful of their own neighbors and friends. Throughout America and throughout Kansas, discrimination against Germans, in particular, and all immigrants, in general, was widespread. People with foreign-sounding names or unusual accents were often labeled "spies".

Today's Photo Friday shows us the registration papers for one Enemy Alien, Albert Dieball, of Alma, Kansas. The registration papers, provided by the National Archives, tells the story of this suspicious enemy of the state. Born in 1842 in Germany, Albert came to America with his parents in the fall of 1856, homesteading in Wabaunsee County, Kansas in 1857, four years before Kansas statehood. In 1859 Albert became a teamster, driving oxen teams to Salt Lake City, Utah and Santa Fe, New Mexico. In September of 1862, Albert enlisted in the 11th Kansas Cavalry, fighting in Civil War battles in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and he served with the 11th at the Platte River in Nebraska.

After his discharge in 1865, Albert returned to Wabaunsee County and settled on the West Branch of Mill Creek, just west of Alma. He married Rosa Miller in in 1871, and when she gave birth to Albert's first son in 1872, Rosa died. Albert remarried Anna Thoes in 1873, and the couple had five more children. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have continued to operate the family farm in rural Washington County to this day.

When this sneaky Enemy Alien, Albert Dieball registered on February 18, 1918, he was 75-years old, he had lived on the same farm for fifty-three years, had served his country in the protection of the Union, and his "left eye was almost blind".

Insofar as Wabaunsee County had so many German immigrant residents, the regulations left some people embittered and outraged. The Alma Signal of February 21, 1918 made these observations: "A number of our most worthy citizens have been compelled to register as alien enemies; a man who served this country and bared his breast to preserve the Union being one. it seemed to us that this requirement was altogether wrong--that a Union soldier should be required to now sign as an alien enemy"

It was a dark time for Liberty in America.

Have a great weekend!

Address

227 Missouri Ave.
Alma, KS
66401

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(785) 765-2200

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