Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Jayhawk Couple Edition, Part II

February 14th, 2019

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jayhawks!

Photograph of two KU students sitting on the Strong Hall steps, 1925

Two KU students sitting in front of Strong Hall, 1925. University Archives
Photos. Call Number: RG 71/0 1925 Prints: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

African American Migration from Kansas to California

February 12th, 2019

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) founded the annual February celebration of Black History in 1926 and has identified Black Migrations as the theme for 2019. To demonstrate African American migration in the United States, I chose the Anthony Scott family papers from Spencer’s African American Experience Collections. The papers tell the story of the migration experiences of two families who lived in or came to Kansas.

Anthony Scott was born in Kentucky in 1846. He and his wife Anna had five children: James, Thomas, Elder, Mary, and Alvin. In 1880, Anthony and Anna moved their family from Kentucky to Topeka, Kansas.

Photograph of Anthony and Anna Scott, 1895

Anthony and Anna Scott in Topeka, 1895. Anthony Scott Family Papers.
Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Image of bill of sale for a home in Topeka purchased by Anthony and Anna Scott, 1901

A bill of sale for a home on Taylor Street in Topeka purchased by Anthony and Anna Scott, 1901.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

James, the eldest son of the Scott family, staked out land and established a homestead in the Cherokee Outlet (now part of Oklahoma) in 1890. However, shortly after the turn of the century James returned to Topeka, where he met Lenetta Brasfield. They married on August 18, 1903. The couple had seven children: James Jr., Luther, Raymond, George, Charles, Bessie, and Thelma. Around the same time, Thomas Scott, James’s brother, moved to Chicago.

Photograph of James Scott's ranch in Oklahoma, circa 1895

James Scott’s ranch in Oklahoma, circa 1895. Anthony Scott Family Papers.
Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Lenetta Scott with sons George and Luther Scott outside the family's home in Topeka, Kansas, 1915

Lenetta Scott with sons George and Luther outside the family’s home in Topeka, 1915.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

In 1919, James Scott purchased an insurance policy for a Chandler touring car. The Scotts used this car on their thirteen-day journey from Topeka to Los Angeles later that same year.

Image of James Scott's insurance policy for a Chandler touring car, 1919

James Scott’s insurance policy for the Chandler touring car, 1919.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the James H. Scott family, 1919

The James H. Scott family, 1919. Front row, left to right: Lenetta Scott, Bessie Scott,
Amanda Adkins, Raymond Scott, George Scott, Luther Scott, Thelma Scott,
James Scott Jr., Erma Scott, and James H. Scott; people in the car unknown.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Image of James Scott's California registration for a 1920 Chandler touring car, 1924

James Scott’s California registration for a 1920 Chandler touring car, 1924.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

The James Scott family settled in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles upon their arrival in 1919 and lived at the same address until 1962.

Photograph of the The Scott family home in Los Angeles, 1950

The Scott family home in Los Angeles, 1950. Anthony Scott Family Papers.
Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Thelma Scott – the youngest daughter of James and Lenetta Scott – met her husband, Grant D. Venerable, in Los Angeles. Mr. Venerable (pictured with the family below) was born in Jackson, Missouri, in 1905. He became the first African American to graduate from the California Institute of Technology in 1932. Grant D. Venerable’s older sister Neosho once lived in Lawrence; she graduated from the University of Kansas in 1914.

Photograph of the James H. Scott family, 1946

The James H. Scott family dinner session of the Kansas Club in the Venerable home, 1946.
Front row, left to right: Elizabeth (Pettus) Moore, James Scott, and Lenetta Scott.
Back row, left to right: Thomas Moore, Erma (Scott) Moore, Mildred Moore,
Thomas Moore Jr., unknown, Thelma (Scott) Venerable, and Grant Venerable.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Mr. and Mrs. Venerable had three children: Delbert (Grant D. Venerable II), Lynda, and Lloyd.

Photograph of Thelma (Scott) Venerable and Delbert Venerable in California, 1944

Thelma (Scott) Venerable and Delbert Venerable in California, 1944.
Anthony Scott Family Papers. Call Number: RH MS 676. Click image to enlarge.

Delbert Venerable, son of Grant D. Venerable and great-grandson of Anthony Scott, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1965. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1970. He was awarded the United States Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship for his research into radiation biology. He taught chemistry in both high schools and universities in the 1970s and went on to work in Silicon Valley as a systems scientist in the 1980s. From 1992 to 1999 he was the CEO of Venteck Software Inc.

Dr. Venerable became a part of the development of a new field of study combining science, history, and ethnic studies. He continued in the 1990s to maintain positions of administration or professorship at various universities. His publications have included books, scientific paintings, academic articles, and editorials.

The Scott and Venerable families illustrate the importance of migration as a major theme in the African American historical experience.

Elaine Kelley
African American Experience Student Assistant

World War I Letters of Milo H. Main: February 11-17, 1919

February 11th, 2019

In honor of the centennial of World War I, this is the second series in which we follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-five year old Milo H. Main, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. On Mondays we’ll post a new entry featuring selected letters from Milo to his family from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Milo Hugh Main was born in or near Pittsfield, Illinois, on November 21, 1892 to William and Rose Ella Henry Main. The family moved to Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, in 1901. After his mother died in 1906, Milo remained in Argonia with his father and his two sisters Gladys (b. 1890) and June (b. 1899). His youngest sister Fern (b. 1905) was sent to live with relatives in Illinois.

As Milo reported to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1919, after graduating from high school he worked as a store clerk. He resigned in July 1917 and took a position at Standard Oil Company, possibly co-managing a gas station in Argonia.

Milo entered into military service on September 21, 1917. He served as a wagoner – a person who drives a wagon or transports goods by wagon – in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Funston (September-October 1917) and Camp Doniphan (October 1917-May 1918). On May 19, 1918, he boarded the ship Ceramic in New York City and departed for Europe.

In this week’s letter, Milo discusses rainy winter weather, an upcoming review (i.e. formal military inspection), and souvenirs for his family. “Say Father,” he writes, “how would you like a pair of wooden shoes to wear around the house? Sure a trick, the way these French go in and out of their wooden foot wear.”

 

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, February 16, 1919 Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, February 16, 1919

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, February 16, 1919 Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, February 16, 1919

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, February 16, 1919

2/16/19
Ernecourt, France.

Dear Father:- This is Sunday afternoon in a little village in France. The day is dark and rainy, but very warm for this time of the winter. Practically all the snow has melted now. This is my day off duty so am wandering about in hip-rubber boots when I venture out side. But have passed most of the day teasing a little French girl here.

Our division passes in review before Pres. General Pershing and Prince of Wales to-morrow. Date set for last Friday for review, but was postponed on account of General Pershing’s aide’s death.

Say Father how would you like a pair of wooden shoes to wear around the house? Sure a trick, the way these French go in and out of their wooden foot wear.

Got up early this morning, 9:30. We had American issue ham and French eggs. Eggs are 7 francs per doz. or about $1.40. It puts the flavour into them too. French can buy them for about ¼ that price. But Oh! you Yanks, we Frogs for your francs!

Don’t know a thing about our future Army life to-day. The review may bring orders.

Am feeling fine save I need a little exercise, I remain

Your son,
Milo H. Main.
Bat F. 130 F.A.
c/o Regtl. Mess.

P.S. Letter from you under date of Jan 14th just received. As to Geo. Devin (1) the last account I had of him was at Rupt, when I went on the Front near Verdun and he was at the said small town, then a rear-echelon. He had just returned from the Front having gone up with a team on one of our pieces or guns. He was there on Oct, 17th when I went up. He was complaining about severe pain in right side, and was taken from there to hospital shortly there after. Since his departure, I have made inquiry at both our Regtl. [Regimental] Hospital and [our Rgtl.] Personnel section, but I was informed that his service record was sent to some hospital with him and therefore their record of him ceased.

(1) Milo previously mentioned George Franklin Devins in his letter of December 24, 1918; additional biographical information about him can be found in that blog post. George served with Milo in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. In late 1918, he was apparently in the hospital suffering from shell shock received from a high-explosive shell during the Battle of the Argonne Forest. According to U.S. Army Transport Service passenger lists, George sailed from Brest, France, on January 24, 1919, aboard the Vermont.

 
Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant

Throwback Thursday: Ice Skating Edition

February 7th, 2019

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Photograph of KU students ice skating in front of Strong Hall, 1936-1937

Students ice skating in front of Strong Hall, 1936-1937. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Snow 1936-1937 Prints: Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Color Our Collections – Round 2!

February 6th, 2019

Color Our Collections logo, 2019

Color Our Collections is back! Started by the New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016, Color Our Collections is a week of coloring craziness where libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring pages featuring their collection materials.

KU Libraries participated for the first time last year, and this year we have another coloring book to share! Featuring materials at the Spencer Research Library, this year’s book even includes two pages celebrating the Spencer’s 50th anniversary. You can download and print the book via the Color Our collections website. While you are there, be sure to check out the submissions from our colleagues at other institutions!

As a preview, here are three pages from the book.

Spencer Research Library image in the KU Libraries coloring book, 2019

Spencer Chemical and P&M advertisement in the KU Libraries coloring book, 2019

Kelmscott Chaucer image in the KU Libraries coloring book, 2019

Happy coloring, everyone!

Emily Beran
Public Services