NEW DATE! June 2: A New Deal for Public Art in the Free State (program)

Text reads New Date! June 2, 2024, at 2 p.m. background image painting of a river with trees along the banks and clouds in the sky

New Date! This program has been rescheduled for June 2, 2 p.m. A New Deal For Public Art In the Free State Sunday, May 5, 2024, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2024, 2 p.m. FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 E Logan Street, Ottawa, Kansas 66067 Register for online access via Zoom Between 1934 and 1943, the U.S. Treasury Department commissioned over 1,600 pieces of public art for newly constructed post office buildings across the United States. In the state of Kansas, twenty-nine of these murals and other artworks were…

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April 6: 5K Run For History Fun Run/Walk

Silhouettes of runners. Text reads 5K Run For History.

5K Run For History Fun Run/Walk Saturday, April 6, 2024  9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Old Depot Museum, 135 W Tecumseh, Ottawa, KS 66067 Feel the spirit of the trains beneath your feet as you trace the paths of the AT&SF and the MoPac railroads during our Second Annual 5K Run/Walk, which kicks off at the Old Depot Museum! Whether you set your best time or enjoy a stroll with your friends, your $25 registration fee will help support the Franklin County Historical Society. Register by March 23 and receive…

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March 3: Carnegie Libraries of Kansas (program)

A Greek Revival brick and limestone building with basement windows and two stories visible. Two-story columns flank the entrance. The Words "Carnegie Free Library" are lettered on the building. Carnegie Free Library, Ottawa, Kansas, is written in the corner of the image.

Carnegie Libraries of Kansas presented by Christine Steinkuehler Sunday, March 3, 2024, 2 p.m. In person: FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 E Logan St, Ottawa, Kansas 66067 Online: Register for Zoom Once the richest man in the world, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) donated a substantial portion of his fortune to the construction of more than 2,500 libraries around the world. 65 of those libraries—including 59 public libraries and 7 academic/university libraries—were built in Kansas. In her presentation, Christine Steinkuehler will explore how these buildings democratized access to libraries and created…

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February 4: Army of Amazons: Women’s Fight for Labor Rights in Kansas Coalfields (87th FCHS Annual Meeting)

Women and children dressed in winter clothes march along a dirt road. One woman carries a large American flag. Humanities Kansas logo. Franklin County Historical Society logo. Text: Army of Amazons: Women's Fight for Labor Rights in Kansas Coalfields, 87th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society, presented by Linda O'Nelio Knoll, Sunday February 4, 2024, 2 p.m. In person or online. Inset image: a portrait of a woman with chin-length brown hair.

Army of Amazons: Women’s Fight for Labor Rights in Kansas Coalfields presented by Linda O’Nelio Knoll 87th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society Sunday, February 4, 2024, 2 p.m. In Person: FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 E Logan St, Ottawa, KS 66067 Online: Zoom or Facebook Live In December 1921, thousands of women in southeast Kansas rose up to fight injustice in the area coalfields. These women were immigrants from Eastern European nations as well as Kansas born. After a months-long strike by the…

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New Exhibit: The Photographs of Luke Hoffman, University Student

Image of a young man airbrushing geometric patterns on a canvas. Text reads: The Photography of Luke Hoffman (University students being university students in the 1910s)

During the 1910s, Luke Hoffman was an Ottawa University student pursuing a degree in science and a passion for photography. His photographs capture all aspects of university life between about 1913 and 1917. The Franklin County Historical Society’s new exhibit, The Photographs of Luke Hoffman, University Student, features 23 of Hoffman’s photos. Born in Illinois, Hoffman was the youngest child of German immigrant parents. He moved to Ottawa to attend Ottawa University Academy (a high school program) and Ottawa University. Hoffman was a skilled airbrush artist and graphic designer, and…

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November 2 Program: Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism

An engraving of men and women sitting around a round table, their hands palms down on the table top. Humanities Kansas logo.

Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism Thursday, November 2, 2023, 7 p.m. In person: FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 E Logan St, Ottawa, KS 66067 Online: Zoom (registration required) or Facebook Live   It seems one of the eternal questions that has plagued humanity centers around what happens to us when we die. Most modern religions try to tackle this question, but none did so with more fervor than modern Spiritualism. What started in a cabin in New York with two young girls quickly spread across the globe.…

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Now through October 1: Countywide exhibit celebrates history makers

Franklin County Historical Society’s newest exhibit celebrates Franklin County citizens who exercised their right to protest, run for office, and made a difference! They Raised Their Voices: Rabble Rousers and History Makers exhibit panels are on display throughout the county in or near each history maker’s hometown. In this countywide exhibit, you’ll discover everyday people who advocated for desegregation, abolitionism, women’s suffrage, and good schools. You’ll meet a special agent who hunted down Confederate spies, a Freethinker who published her own Atheist newspaper, and a rancher who spoke out against the…

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Smithsonian Exhibit and Events Coming to FCHS August 19-October 1

Men and women study a chalkboard covered in the names of candidates and votes totals during an election. Logos for the Smithsonian Institution and Humanities Kansas. Logo for the Voices and Votes: Democracy in America exhibit.

Skip to Special Museum Hours Skip to Events: August 19: Grand Opening Celebration August 27: ‘We the People of Kansas…” The Story of Kansas’s Founding Documents, 1820-2020 September 5: The Governor Next Door: Elected Officials From Franklin County September 12: Madame Mayor: The First Women Mayors in Kansas September 19: The Pig in the Swimming Pool: Voices During the Creation of USD 288 September 24: Charles Curtis: The First Native American Vice President How far would you go to exercise your right to vote? In 1858, a group of Franklin…

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June 3: Reid-Duderstadt Historic House Tour: Renewed, Reused, Restored

2 1/2 story Italian Renaissance Revival house with a red tile roof, brick first floor, and large wrap-around porch.

Reid-Duderstadt Historic House Tour Renewed, Reused, Restored Saturday, June 3, 2023 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 306 South Elm, Ottawa, Kansas 66067 Tickets: $17 in advance, $20 at the door About the tour: Built for $18,000 by Lyman and Ida Reid in 1899, the 6,000-square-foot house at 306 South Elm was at risk of being torn down until Cathy and Wayne Duderstadt, who had long admired the home, decided to save it. This 45-minute tour will include a history of the house, discussion about the challenges and decisions the Duderstadts faced…

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June 25: German Prisoners of War in Franklin County (program)

Two men doing farm work. One man has "PW" on the back of his shirt. There is a wagon with livestock and farm buildings in the background. Photo by J.B. Muecke.

German Prisoners of War in Franklin County presented by Candie Campbell Sunday, June 25, 2023, 2 p.m. In person: FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 East Logan Street, Ottawa Online: Zoom or Facebook Live   During World War II, nearly 400,000 German, Italian, and Japanese military were captured and housed in almost 700 camps throughout the United States. More than a dozen of those camps were located in Kansas, including a German POW camp in Ottawa in Franklin County. But why were prisoners of war brought to America? Candie Campbell…

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