July 17, 2022 Program: Architecture of the People’s Houses

Sepia-toned photo of the Franklin County Courthouse, a three-story brick and stone victorian building. Inset: graphic of a man with dark hair and a beard. Humanities Kansas logo.

Architecture of the People’s Houses presented by Murl Riedel Sunday, July 17, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 South Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas Kansas has 105 county courthouses and hundreds of city halls, plus a few more state capitals than you might expect. The manifestation of the greatest ideals occurs in these buildings, where the work of the people’s democracy is in action. The designs of these buildings tell us about the evolution of local government in the state. Larger societal issues, such as the Free State and the Civil…

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February 8, 2022: Osage Women, Gender, & Empire

An Osage Woman holds her child.

Osage Women, Gender, & Empire Presented by Dr. Tai Edwards Recording Available   Historian Dr. Tai Edwards will speak on the research she has conducted for numerous publications (including her book) on Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power. She will address aspects of colonialism and its impact, Indigenous power, and gender roles in the context of the Osage experience in modern-day Missouri and Kansas. Dr. Edwards is a history professor at Johnson County Community College. Her research and teaching focus on empire, Indigenous peoples, gender, and disease. She is…

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NEW DATE February 6, 2022: Santa Fe depot architecture subject of virtual annual meeting

A train is pulled in to a Santa Fe depot. the Santa Fe logo and "Princeton" are visible under the gable of the depot's roof. People are gathered on the platform between the depot and the train. Passengers can be seen inside the train.

“Santa Fe Depots: Form and Function,” presented by Bob Walz 85th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society  Recording Available   Update: In deference to our Chiefs fans, we are moving our program to February 6, 2022, 2 p.m.  What exactly is a depot and what is it for? Using images of depots along the Eastern and Western Lines of the AT&SF Railroad, Bob Walz will examine the history of the development of Santa Fe depots, from repurposed boxcars to large, ornate depots and everything in…

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POSTPONED: November 14: Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 (online program)

An aerial view of a street lined with businesses and cars.

Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 presented by Dennis Peters Register at Zoom or watch via Facebook Live   The small town of Richmond, Kansas, has changed a lot over the years. Changing businesses, shifting community needs, and destructive fires have shaped and reshaped the community. Dennis Peters, volunteer with the Richmond Community Museum, will present a history of Richmond through photographs in the museum’s collection. This program will be rescheduled as in in-person program in the spring of 2022.  

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January 31:Historic maps the topic of this year’s virtual historical society annual meeting

An image of a hand-drawn 19th century map, featuring streets, buildings, and the Marais des Cygnes River is in the background. A photo of a man with a beard is featured in the foreground. The words "Mapping the Past" and "84th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society" float over the map.

“Mapping the Past,” presented by Kelly Johnston 84th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society Sunday, January 31, 2021, 2 p.m.   Click Here For Recording   Before technology like drones, aerial photography, and GPS, 19th and early 20th century cartographers were creating incredibly accurate and detailed maps of small and large towns and their historic structures. Kelly Johnston will explore the history of some of these maps and how they can be used to research the history of buildings and towns during his presentation at…

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January 26: Franklin County’s Civil Conservation Corps topic of this year’s historical society annual meeting

From 1933 until 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed millions of young, unmarried men in jobs related to conservation and natural resource development as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Tod Bevitt will explore how the C.C.C. impacted Kansas and Franklin County during their presentation at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society on Sunday, January 26, 2 p.m. at Neosho County Community College in Ottawa, Kansas. The Civilian Conservation Corps was arguably one of Roosevelt’s most successful New Deal programs. The…

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Announcing the Laura Ingalls Wilder Commemorative Series

Library and historical society launch Laura Ingalls Wilder Commemorative Series Ottawa, Kansas—125 years ago, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family traveled through Franklin County on their way to what would be their permanent home in Mansfield, Missouri. This fall, Ottawa Library and the Franklin County Historical Society are partnering to commemorate the event while exploring Wilder’s impact on Kansas and literature. On August 16, the Wilders entered Franklin County. In her journal, which would later be published as On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota…

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Franklin County Museum Hopper Weekend returns August 3-4, 2019

Museum Hopper Weekend on August 3 & 4

Four Franklin County museums are partnering to promote local history on August 3 and 4. Appanoose Museum, the Old Depot Museum, and Richmond Community Museum are returning for the second annual Museum Hopper Weekend to encourage visitors to explore the rich history of Franklin County. New to the event this year is Williamsburg Community Museum. Admission to all four museums is free during Museum Hopper Weekend. Some participating museums are also offering giveaways and refreshments.  Hours, locations, and featured exhibits include Appanoose Museum: 600 Shawnee Road, Pomona (from Pomona, turn…

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Saturday, April 13: The Victory Garden Movement

WWI and WWI posters promoting Victory Gardens

The Victory Garden Movement  Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.  Neosho County Community College, 900 E Logan, Ottawa, KS  Free Event   “Victory Gardens” were home and community gardens used to grow fruits and vegetables at a time when food, fuel, transportation, and labor were in short supply. Though these gardens have their roots in the Home Front efforts of World War I and World War II, the concept of Victory Gardening can be applied today. Loretta Craig will present a history of Victory Gardens, including why they were so important…

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Friday, February 22: O-Town Reads Book Discussion-Tough As They Come by Travis Mills

O-Town Reads Book Discussion Tough As They Come by Travis Mills Old Depot Museum Friday, February 8 February 22, Noon   Originally scheduled for February 8, this event has been rescheduled for February 22. Ottawa Library is partnering with the Old Depot Museum to host a book discussion for Travis Mills’ TOUGH AS THEY COME, the 2019 O-Town community reads book.  Thousands of soldiers die each year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third…

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