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Summer, 2007 Issue

John W. Bartleson Biography: Preface

J.W. BartlesonJohn Wool Bartleson (J.W.) was born August 15, 1846 in Pulaski County, Illinois, and died in Beloit, Kansas, April 18, 1944.  Starting sometime in the late 1920’s, J. W. began transcribing his life story to Rachel Bates.  This catalog of his life, spanning nearly 84 years at its completion in May, 1930, provides a unique vision of the life and times of a generation who come to age in the Civil War, later settling and building the rural communities of Kansas.  These memoirs—typed by Ms. Bates later annotated and corrected in pencil by J.W.— are a historical trove of information. Alone they provide great historical record.  But J.W. started a process—continued in fits and starts—by his children, grand children and now great grandson in documenting and sorting the record of this settler into a meaningful narrative. 

The next three articles—by Ms Boeckman, Mr. Younger, and Ms Watson—were submitted to the 2007 Rural Voices Contest, and, although did not win, were judged appropriate for Eye on Kansas.

“Kiss Me, I’m Irish Today

“Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” Well, actually don’t because I’m honestly German. But, for one special day of the year, I can be Irish.

Marshall County Historical Tour

In March of 2006, I officially began what is now called the “Marshall County Historical Tour,” or MCHT. I persuaded a few of my friends to come with me to visit past and present townsites located in our county that I have found. We put in countless hours of research interviewing people and looking in numerous reference materials, be they books or something on the internet. After our last interview with Oretha Ruetti, our number of townsites eclipsed 70!

The Future for Rural Kansas

The headlines today do not seem to have much faith in the future of rural Kansas. If we based Kansas’s future on the predictions of the news media, Globalization will take over rural Kansas and no one will live here anymore. However, I disagree with what the commentators and reporters say. I think that the Kansas that I have grown up in will continue to thrive for several reasons.

Buried Treasure in the Heartland

MeteoriteBuried treasure in the Heartland - something you don't hear everyday, especially in the agricultural center of America.  However, the truth of the statement is beginning to sink in with Kiowa County, especially now that the world is taking notice.  This buried treasure is not gold or jewels, a sunken ship or buried city.  It is even more exceptional, for this treasure is otherworldly.  Beneath acres of prairie grass where Indians and buffalo once dwelled, lays a treasure worth waiting for and seeking, year after year, because it fell from the sky.

Salina Kansas Hamburger Stand is World Famous

Cozy Inn
For 81 years, the Cozy Inn -- a tiny restaurant in downtown Salina Kansas has been making and selling small hamburgers, officially known as "aromatic sliders."

They are made the same as they were decades ago, and they are made only one way, equal parts hamburger and onion, catsup, mustard and a pickle. There is no such thing as a "cheeseburger" on the Cozy Inn menu and you had better not ask for one!

Elk on Fort Riley

Fort Riley Elk
Photos by April Blackmon

More than 15 years have past since Elk were first reintroduced onto Fort Riley. During that time, the elk herd has evolved to become a symbol of Fort Riley, a symbol that has restored a native component to the Kansas Flint Hills. For those who have experienced the elk firsthand, it is a sight they most likely will never forget.

A Bird Named "Kansas”

Kansas birdWhen Megan Friedrichs raised her government-issued Leica binoculars to study a bird she’d been tracking on the north slope of Mauna Kea, she saw something that set her heart racing. There, beside an adult palila fitted out with a radio transmitter, was a second bird, hopping and fluttering its wings. As the adult began feeding the second bird, Friedrichs studied its legs and plumage. “Holy cow,” she thought. Then she fumbled for her radio.

Looking into the Future’s Eyes

I have entered the most wonderful and scary club in the world. It is called motherhood. And while I am still adjusting (even after seven weeks) to sleepless nights and conversations that revolve around feeding and diapering this adorable bundle of joy, I am thankful that I am able to raise my daughter in rural Kansas.

 

 

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Last Updated June 22, 2007
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