John W. Bartleson Biography
John 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.
“I'm not a farmer,” says Bill Schardein. “I have some cows!” he laughs as he sits on a stool at the kitchen island in his home located on University Park Road in northern Riley County. Bill and his wife, Susan, have lived on the same land since 1974. Susan's father heard about the farm and told the young couple they needed to buy it. They bought the farm and lived in the two-story house until a few years ago when the old house made way for the new one designed by Bill. From the office window you can see bright colored fish swimming in the old basement that was turned into a pond. “I kept the foundation, stones,” Bill explains how he built the pond. “It helps the folks who lived here remember where the old house once stood.”
Accounts of the 1951 Kansas River Flood
There have been numerous floods in the state of Kansas. Some of the biggest and most devastating are known to have happened in 1826, 1827, 1844 and 1903, just to name a few. One of the most well documented of those came when the Kansas River spilled over its banks in July of 1951. The flooding started above Manhattan on the Big Blue River. Downstream flooding continued in Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City. In Topeka alone 7,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. The rising river waters caused transportation throughout the river basin to cease. The damage at that time exceeded $935 million in an area covering eastern Kansas and Missouri. The flood resulted in the loss of 17 lives and displaced 518,000 people.
Houses and buildings collapsed or floated away. People stood on rooftops stranded and waiting for rescue while the structures beneath them filled with sand and mud from the roaring waters of the Kaw. The residents living in cities near the river hadn’t seen devastation such as this since 1903. This disaster however, surpassed anything that had come before, and was foretold by old Indian prophecy as far as the eye can see and from "hill to hill."
As a sport fish catfish may not have the cachet of bass or trout, but as table fare they're unrivaled. It doesn't matter whether you go after blues, channel cats, flatheads or bullheads; Kansas has delicious whiskerfish aplenty.
Despite an ability to grow to immense size and a willingness to clamp down on a variety of baits, catfish are accorded respect by too few anglers. Sure, catching a 2-pound bass is fun, but catching a 20-pound catfish is even more fun in the opinion of some anglers, including myself. In many states, including Kansas, catching a 20-pounder isn't all that difficult.
Furthermore, a tasty bonus comes with this fishing action: for every monster catfish that swims in state waters, many smaller cats, each one just the right size as the main ingredient for a fish fry, are eager to take the bait. No matter how you cut it: big fish or small, river, lake or pond, a catfish angler can't go wrong.
Lloyd Henderson: Kansas Aviation Pioneer
As I get older, history, especially personal history, becomes more significant. Now that I am retired and my children are grown and married, I have a new appreciation for what my father accomplished, endured, and contributed during his life.
Lloyd Henderson loved airplanes and airports. Even 40 years after he quit flying he would look to the skies when he heard an airplane overhead. “Looks like a Cessna 180 headed toward Wichita” or the next time he might say, “That’s an Aeronca Champ. I used to be pretty good in that airplane.” Lloyd couldn’t get airplanes and airports out of his blood. They were as much a part of him as the wrinkles and arthritis.
old rock house is located near Randolph, just off
picture was taken by the dam just north of Manhattan.
As Lewis and Clark made their way up the Missouri River in 1804, they came upon an unexpected discovery. In the Northeast corner of Kansas they took a left turn up a smaller, yet mighty river later to be named the Kaw. What they did not anticipate was the end of the deciduous forest and the beginning of the tallgrass prairie.
An owl from Ackert Hall, Kansas State University...
Tuttle Creek in Fall Colors