Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

“This is a Fun Locality for Botanizing”: Francis H. Snow and KU Students in Colorado

August 30th, 2013

Soon after my arrival at Spencer Research Library, a patron request provided me the opportunity to poke around some of the photographs contained within KU’s University Archives. I was especially excited by a collection of approximately forty-five photographs showing Professor Francis H. Snow with a group of students on a summer collecting expedition to Colorado in the late 1800s.

Photograph of Specimen Mountain Party, No. 3, August 19, 1889 [1891?].
Specimen Mountain Party, No. 3, August 19, 1889 [1891?]. Call Number: RG 17/40/1889
Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Long a prominent fixture on campus during KU’s early years, Snow (1840-1908) was a professor of mathematics and sciences, 1866-1890; the university’s fifth chancellor, 1890-1901; and a professor of natural history/director of the natural history museum, 1901-1908. His reports to the regents “furnish ample evidence that the direct study of nature was a vital part of his instruction,” wrote Clyde Kenneth Hyder in his biography, Snow of Kansas. His classes “appealed to the impulse to collect, often compelling, whether the objects collected be patchboxes, African violets, or insects” (142-143). Moreover, between 1876 and 1907, Snow – frequently accompanied by his students and sometimes even his family – led twenty-six summer collecting expeditions: eight in Colorado, six in New Mexico, six in Arizona, four in Kansas, and two in Texas. As Hyder noted, “those who accompanied Snow on these expeditions included some who afterwards became distinguished scientists” (153). Future journalist and author William Allen White participated in one of the expeditions during his time as a KU student. The thousands of specimens Snow and his students collected and classified during these trips – including insects, birds, reptiles, and plants – were brought back to Lawrence and preserved as part of the university’s “cabinet of natural history,” now the Natural History Museum.

Photograph of Lily Mountain and Park from Eagle Cliff, June 26, 1889 [1891?].
Lily Mountain and Park from Eagle Cliff, June 26, 1889 [1891?]. Will Franklin,
[James Frank?] Craig, Harry Riggs (standing). Call Number: RG 17/40/1889
Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the Big Thomson and Terminal Moraine, July 2, 1889 [1891?].
The Big Thomson and Terminal Moraine, July 2, 1889 [1891?].
Call Number: RG 17/40/1889 Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Snow’s expeditions are well-documented in various primary and secondary sources at Spencer, but only one or two were photographed. Notes on the back of the images I examined indicate that they were taken in Estes Park, Colorado, but there is some confusion as to whether they were taken during the expedition there in 1889 and/or during the collecting trip to Manitou Park, Colorado, two years later. Either way, the photographs provide a glimpse into camp life and the collectors’ activities against the backdrop of dramatic and beautiful mountain landscapes. (I’m also left wondering how the female students managed to trek around – collecting samples, hunting, and fishing – in those long, voluminous skirts!)

Photograph of E. C. Franklin. Top of Windy Gulch, 1889 [1891?].
E. C. Franklin. Top of Windy Gulch, 1889 [1891?].
Call Number: RG 17/40/1889 Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of "The Girls Bridge," August 19, 1889 [1891?].
“The Girls Bridge,” August 19, 1889 [1891?]. Helen Sutliff, [James Frank?] Craig, J. S. Sutliff,
Will [William Suddards] Franklin, Eva Fleming, Harry Riggs, woman “not of our party but a K.U. girl I think.”
Call Number: RG 17/40/1889 Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of group off for Specimen Mountain, July 22, 1889 [1891?].
Off for Specimen Mountain, July 22, 1889 [1891?]. In front, S. C. [Schuyler Colfax?] Brewster,
Fred Funston, Will Brewster, Herb Hadley, Ed Franklin, Harry Riggs, Billy the Burro,
Will [William Suddards] Franklin, [James Frank?] Craig.
Call Number: RG 17/40/1889 Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of group on Long's Peak Trail, August 6, 1889 [1891?].
On Long’s Peak Trail, just beyond Keyhole looking towards the Trough, August 6, 1889 [1891?].
V. L. Kellogg, Ed Franklin, Will [William Suddards] Franklin, [Alvin Lee] Wilmouth?, Eva Fleming,
[James Frank?] Craig, S. C. [Schuyler Colfax?] Brewster, ?Will Brewster, Hadley, Dr. Snow.
Call Number: RG 17/40/1889 Prints: Biological Sciences (Photos). Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information about the 1889 collecting expedition, see Professor Snow’s wonderful letter to his wife and family, dated August 2nd. The original document, from which the title of this blog post was drawn, is held within KU’s University Archives (RG 2/6/6, Chancellor’s Office. Francis H. Snow. Correspondence, 1883-1885. Letters, 1862-1903.); Hyder included almost all of the letter in his Snow of Kansas.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Cherry Ames (now) at Spencer

August 22nd, 2013

People of a certain age may recall reading tales of intrepid nurse Cherry Ames, a young woman from Illinois who travels the world in wartime as a nurse, then transitions into peace-time service. In her career, Cherry works in many situations, from nursing and veterans’ homes to department stores, jungles, cruise chips and dude ranches. Always plucky and resourceful, Cherry meets each challenge with humor, grace, and smarts.

Cover of Cherry Ames at Spencer, by Julie Tatham, 1949.

Cherry Ames at Spencer, 1949. Call number Children B2641. Click image to enlarge.

The Cherry Ames series (written mainly for an audience of young girls) was penned by two authors: first Helen Wells, then Julie Tatham, and finally Helen Wells again. The twenty-seven books (as well as annuals and many other spin-off products) were written between 1943 and 1968. At a time when there were not many viable career options for girls, Cherry provided a window into the exciting life of a working woman. Cherry traveled to exciting locales and met handsome doctors, yet her dedication to her patients always came first.

Cover of Cherry Ames: Flight Nurse, by Helen Wells, 1945.  Cover of Cherry Ames: Veterans' Nurse, by Helen Wells, 1946.

Left: Cherry Ames, Flight Nurse, 1945. Call number: Children B2643.
Right: Cherry Ames, Veterans’ Nurse, 1946. Call number: Children B2647. Click images to enlarge.

Cover of Cherry Ames: Chief Nurse, by Helen Wells, 1944.  Cover of Cherry Ames: Rest Home Nurse, by Julie Tatham.

Left: Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse, 1944. Call number: Children B2644.
Right: Cherry Ames, Rest Home Nurse, 1954. Call number: Children B2638. Click images to enlarge.

Spencer Library recently acquired a group of twelve Cherry Ames books. Given that Cherry Ames once worked at a place called Spencer (although in her case it was a hospital), we are sure she will feel right at home in ours. For more information on all things Cherry, see the Cherry Ames Page.

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services

Going “Dutch”: The Lawrence Windmill

August 15th, 2013

Did you know that a windmill used to be the main landmark in Lawrence? The “Old Dutch Windmill,” as many called it, was located near the corner of what is now 9th Street and Emery Road. It was the first wind-driven mill in Kansas, and Lawrence was chosen as the location for the mill because there was a lot of grain farming in the area and the town was rapidly growing. The idea to erect the mill came from business partners John Wilder and Andrew Palmquist (whose name was later changed to Palm when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen). Palm returned to his native Sweden for several months to get help with the mill’s design. He brought back machinery as well as several millwrights—craftsmen who specialized in building windmills. Construction on the mill began in July of 1863. The mill sustained some minor damage during William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence on August 21st of that same year. However, the damage was quickly repaired and the mill was completed in June of 1864.

Photograph of Lawrence Windmill, June 1892. Photograph of the Lawrence Windmill with a man sitting where the arms of the windmill intersect

Left: “A Dutch Relic”: Lawrence Windmill, June 1892. Lawrence Photo Collection. Call Number: RH PH 18 E:5.
Right: Lawrence Windmill with man sitting where the windmill’s arms intersect, undated. Lawrence Photo Collection.
Call number RH PH 18 E:16(f). Click images to enlarge.

The Lawrence windmill had two sets of millstones—one to grind corn and the other to grind wheat—which were imported from France due to their high quality. The windmill measured 64 feet above ground level and each of the arms was 34 feet long. It had an octagonal shape, with shingles on the upper part of the windmill and a base made of stone. These features are considered typical of Dutch windmills. However, the Lawrence windmill had a unique feature with its onion-shaped dome, which can be seen on some Swedish churches.

Color postcard featuring the Lawrence Windmill, undated.

Color postcard of the Lawrence Windmill, undated. Lawrence Photo Collection. Call Number: RH PH 18 E:20.1.
Click image to enlarge.

Wilder and Palm used the windmill not only for grinding wheat and corn, but also to power their manufacturing business where they made carriages and plows. The business partners even produced their own brand of flour and were quite successful with their enterprises for several years. But by the 1880s there were larger mills in Douglas County that could grind more bushels of grain per day than the Lawrence windmill. Wilder and Palm had also acquired quite a bit of debt. In July of 1885, the company went into receivership—a type of corporate bankruptcy. Assets were liquidated over the next two years and the windmill stood unused until April 30, 1905 when it was destroyed by fire.

Advertisement for Wilder and Palm featuring the Lawrence Windmill

Advertisement for Wilder and Palm featuring the Lawrence Windmill, undated. Lawrence Photo Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 18 E:49(f). Click image to enlarge.

It was only after the mill stopped working that it became a symbol of the community. It was a popular picnic spot for KU students and was the subject of paintings, drawings, and photographs. More information about the “Old Dutch Windmill” can be found in John M. Peterson’s article “The Lawrence Windmill” in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, volume 3, issue 3, Autumn 1980, which is available in the Reading Room of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library (Call number F 681 .K177 v.3:3). Additionally, in Spencer Library’s Kansas Collection, there is a paper entitled “Once Upon a Time: A Windmill in Lawrence” written by Jean Paul Pentecouteau in 1987 (Call number RH D6161). Pentecouteau was a student in KU’s School of Architecture and Urban Design.

Melissa Doebele
Public Services Student Assistant and 2013 Museum Studies Graduate

Summer on the KU Campus, 1920s-2000s

August 6th, 2013

Celebrate the last weeks of summer (according to the academic calendar, at least) with these photographs of a sun-soaked past on the KU campus.  And while you’re at it, contemplate a new fall research project: when did Potter Lake lose its diving platform and why?!?

Photograph of people swimming at Potter Lake, 1925

Swimming at Potter Lake, 1925 (above) and circa 1926 (below).
Call Number: RG 0/24/1: Potter Lake (Photos). Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of swimmers, diving platforms, and sunbathers at Potter Lake, ca. 1926

Photograph of four women with rackets preparing to play tennis or badminton, 1940s

Summer sports:  women with rackets, 1940s (above) and croquet during summer session PE, 1941 (below).
Call Number: RG 71/0: Student Activities (Photos). Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of man with croquet mallet and ball during summer session PE class, 1941

Photograph of Potter Lake with two boys fishing , 1950.

Above: Fishing at Potter Lake, 1950. Photograph by Bill Olin. Call Number: RG 0/24/1: Potter Lake (Photos).
Below: Chatting in front of Watson Library, 1950s. Call Number: RG 71/0: Student Activities (Photos).
Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of a man and a woman chatting in front of Watson Library, 1950

Photograph of two women playing in the water of the Chi Omega Fountain, 1970s

Above: Splashing in the Chi Omega Fountain, 1970s. Call Number: RG 0/24/1: Chi Omega Fountain (Photos).
Below: Fishing at Potter Lake, 1970s. Call Number: RG 0/24/1: Potter Lake (Photos). Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of boy fishing at Potter Lake in the 1970s.

Photograph of man skateboarding Skateboarding at "Wescoe Beach" in front of Wescoe Hall, 1980s.

At “Wescoe Beach”: skateboarding, 1980s (above) and sunbathing, 1980/1981 (below).
Call Number: RG 71/0: Student Activities (Photos). Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of student sunbathing at the "Wescoe Beach" in front of Wescoe Hall, ca. 1980/1981.

Photograph of two five students by the Chi Omega Fountain, 1991

Chi Omega Fountain: lounging by the edge, 1991 (above) and floating on rafts, 2000 (below).
Second photograph by Doug Koch. Call Number: RG 0/24/1: Chi Omega Fountain (Photos).
Click to images to enlarge.

Photograph of two men floating on rafts in the Chi Omega Fountain, circa 2000.

 

Elspeth Healey
Special Collections Librarian