Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Historic Kansas Photographs Recently Donated are the Subject of a Temporary Exhibit (Part Two)

August 7th, 2019

This second installment of the temporary exhibit of the Hollmann photograph collection focuses on photographs of Kansas, featuring images depicting settlement, military service, portraits, and colleges. (The first installment highlighted photographs of Lawrence.)

Kansas settlement

Cabinet card of a sod home with family.  Photographer B. I. March

Cabinet card of a sod home with family. Photographer B. I. March.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 41, folder 8. Click image to enlarge.

M. Sheley and his family casually pose outside of their sod home with their horses near Norton. The date of the photograph is approximately 1900. In some areas of Kansas, lumber and trees to build houses were not available to early settlers. They built homes, barns, churches, and schools out of sod instead. Many images of sod structures appear in the Hollmann photograph collection.

Stereoview of Dodge City, Kansas. Published by J. Lee Knight of Topeka, Kansas

Stereoview of Dodge City, Kansas. Published by J. Lee Knight of Topeka, Kansas.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 85, folder 6. Click image to enlarge.

This stereoview shows an early view (1874?) of the settlement of Dodge City. Wagons or carts are piled high with an indiscernible cargo. An inscription on the right side of the card reads “Goods for export, Dodge City.”

Kansas military service

The Hollmann photograph collection contains many images of Kansans serving in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and even World War II. Several hundred photographic postcards of Camp Funston illustrate life for Kansans training for World War I.

Postcard of Holyrood men before leaving for Camp Funston. 

Postcard of Holyrood men before leaving for Camp Funston.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 15, folder 34. Click image to enlarge.

This postcard, dated May 27, 1918, captures men in suits leaving their hometown of Holyrood in central Kansas for Camp Funston to serve in World War I. It appears that the photograph was taken near a railroad. The building behind them could be the train station.

Two members of the 9th Cavalry band.  No photographer identified.

Two members of the 9th Cavalry band. No photographer identified.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 28, folder 22a. Click image to enlarge.

Dorcy Rhodes (left) and Sergeant Emilio Jarnilia of the 9th Cavalry band pose outside a building at Fort Riley. Their names are inscribed on the back of photograph. Although their service dates are not identified, the photograph dates from approximately the 1910s.

Kansas colleges

Besides the University of Kansas and Haskell Institute, featured in the previous post, many other Kansas colleges and universities are represented in the Hollmann photograph collection.

Stanley Hall at Western University caption: Western University for African Americans in Quindaro.

Stanley Hall at Western University caption: Western University for African Americans in Quindaro.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 44, folder 16. Click image to enlarge.

Unidentified students stand in front of Stanley Hall at Western University in Quindaro in approximately 1906. The school was established after the Civil War and was the only African American school in Kansas. The university closed in 1943.

Stereoview of the Agricultural College, published by L. A. Ramsour in Manhattan. 

Stereoview of the Agricultural College, published by L. A. Ramsour in Manhattan.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 87, folder 10. Click image to enlarge.

Shown here is the “Main building” of the Agricultural College, now known as Kansas State University, dated approximately 1880. The stereoview publisher, L.A. Ramsour, of Manhattan, Kansas, also published views of New Mexico, hence the publisher’s printing along the sides of the stereoview.

Kansas portraits

Unidentified woman, possibly from Valley Falls.  Photographer McCoy from Valley Falls, Kansas. 

Unidentified woman, possibly from Valley Falls.
Photographer McCoy from Valley Falls, Kansas.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 48, folder 4. Click image to enlarge.

Unfortunately, many of the portraits in the Hollmann photograph collection do not have identification. Often, a penciled inscription on the back of the photograph will identify the subject or give a clue as to the identity. This woman is not identified on the back, however since the portrait was taken in Valley Falls, it is possible that she is from there. Her clothing allows the photograph to be dated to approximately the 1880s.

Carte de visite of Pottawatomie Chief Abram Burnett of Topeka.  The photographers are Bliss & Wentworth of Topeka.  Dated approximately 1869.

Carte de visite of Pottawatomie Chief Abram Burnett of Topeka.
Photographers Bliss & Wentworth of Topeka. Dated approximately 1869.
Call Number: RH PH 536, box 60, folder 18. Click image to enlarge.

Pottawatomie Chief Abram Burnett was an important figure in Topeka history, moving to the area in the 1840s and serving as a mediator among the Pottawatomie tribe. He died in 1870 and was buried on his farm.  His grave site is now known as Burnett’s Mound. A note inscribed on the back of the photograph states that the card was purchased as a souvenir in the 1860s.

Be sure to come view the temporary exhibit in the North Gallery in the Spencer Research Library before it closes at the end of August! The Spencer Research Library is open to everyone. If you would like to do research with the Hollmann photograph collection, please see our website for information on visiting and using the collection at Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Lynn M. Ward
Processing Archivist

“A Spin Down the Road”: Photographs of Kansas Cyclists

May 30th, 2017

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes stories, in Scientific American, 1896

May is National Bike Month, so this week we’re sharing some photographs from the Kansas Collection that show turn-of-the-century Kansans with their bicycles.

Photograph of a group of bicyclists, 1896

Group of bicyclists participating in a Leavenworth-Kansas City bicycle race, 1896.
Leavenworth Public Library Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 72.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Mattie Parrish with a bicycle, 1897

Mattie Parrish with a bicycle, Junction City, Kansas, 1897.
Joseph J. Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of F, 1 Bicycle Corps with their Bicycles, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1897

F, 1 Bicycle Corps with their bicycles, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1897.
Joseph J. Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of Samuel Elliott with his children on a bicycle, circa 1904

Samuel Elliott with his children Maude, Jeannette, Sam,
and Louise on a bicycle, circa 1904. Photo by Alfred Lawrence,
734 Massachusetts, Lawrence, Kansas. Elliott Family Papers.
Call Number: RH MS-P 338. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of a group sitting on a loading dock with a bicycle, circa 1913

Group sitting on a loading dock with a bicycle, circa 1913.
Kansas Collection Photographs. Call Number: RH PH P1088.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Be sure to also check out additional digitized photos of bicyclists in the Pennell Collection.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Thanksgiving on the Post: Images from the Pennell Collection

November 20th, 2015

The following images were taken by Joseph Judd Pennell, a professional photographer in Junction City, Kansas, from 1888 to 1923. The images in the collection represent a comprehensive record of life in a turn-of-the-century small Kansas town and the nearby army post of Fort Riley.

Photograph of a football team on Thanksgiving Day, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1896

Football team on Thanksgiving Day, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1896.
Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

A major U.S. Army post, Fort Riley was the site of a light artillery unit; several cavalry units, including the 9th and 10th black cavalry troops; one of the best cavalry schools in the world; and Camp Funston, a major army induction center during World War I.

Photograph of 20th Battery Dining Hall prepared for Thanksgiving meal, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1904

Kitchen staff in the 20th Battery Dining Hall prepared for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley,
Kansas, 1904. Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of soldiers in the 20th Battery Dining Hall for Thanksgiving meal, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1904

Soldiers gathered in the 20th Battery Dining Hall for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley,
Kansas, 1904. Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Although primarily a studio portrait photographer, Pennell also went out into the community to photograph. He recorded business, social, church, and school activities; people’s prized moments and possessions; and events that touched everyone’s lives, such as floods, parades, President Theodore Roosevelt‘s visit, the racket nine-cent sale, polo games, and Chautauqua. Revealed within the photographs is the detail and complexity of rural and urban life. The collection as a whole shows how a town and its people changed over time, evidenced in things like the styles of fashion and consumer goods, the appearance of new buildings as the town grew, and the entrance of technology into everyday life. One of the most notable technological changes that Pennell documented was the gradual movement from horse to automobile power.

Photograph of a dining room set for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1905

Dining room set for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1905.
Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the 6th Band dining room set for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1913

6th Band dining room set for Thanksgiving dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1913.
Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Spencer’s Pennell collection consists of approximately 30,000 glass plate negatives, 6,074 contact prints (some dry-mounted on boards), 302 original Pennell photographs, and ten studio register books containing Pennell’s negative identification system. The glass plate negatives vary in size from 4″ x 5″ to 12″ x 20″, with the bulk of the collection in the 5″ x 7″ format. There are also a small number of flexible negatives and forty-six large panoramic negatives.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

Kansas Christmases Past

December 18th, 2014

Several archival collections in our Kansas Collection contain images showing Christmas scenes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We’ve selected a few to show here; we hope they help get you in the holiday spirit!

Photograph of a room interior with Christmas tree, 1896

Room interior with Christmas tree and presents, 1896.
Leavenworth Public Library Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 72. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Louise and Margaret Walbridge at the Christmas tree, circa 1897

Louise and Margaret Walbridge sitting under the Christmas tree
with their toys, Profile Ranch, Russell County, Kansas, circa 1897.
Louis Chester Walbridge Collection. Call Number: RH PH 21. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of 7th Battery dining hall set for Christmas Dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1906

7th Battery dining hall set for Christmas dinner, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1906.
Joseph Judd Pennell Photograph Collection. RH PH Pennell.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of Douglass Grade School, Manhattan, Kansas, Christmas 1945

Douglass Grade School, Manhattan, Kansas, Christmas 1945.
James E. Butler Collection. Call Number: RH MS-P 507. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of John A. Hodge with his grandson, Johnnie L. Hodge, Christmas 1949

John A. Hodge with his grandson, ten-year-old Johnnie L. Hodge, Christmas 1949.
The pair are examining Owen Wilson’s new “knockdown” electric train cars.
Photograph by Dowdal H. Davis, son-in-law. Dorothy Hodge Johnson Collection.
Call Number: RH MS-P 549. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the winner of Christmas decoration contest, Topeka, Kansas, circa 1950s

Winner of Christmas decoration contest, Topeka, Kansas, circa 1950s. Photograph by Joe Douglas.
Joe Douglas Collection. Call Number: RH PH 90. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Christmas decorations on Massachusetts Street at 7th, Lawrence, Kansas, undated

Christmas decorations on Massachusetts Street at 7th, Lawrence, Kansas, undated.
Lawrence Photo Collection. Call Number: RH PH 18H.
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Thanksgiving in Kansas (1889, 1896, 1904, and 1953)

November 21st, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from the Kenneth Spencer Research Library! As you eat your turkey (or tofurky) and pumpkin pie this holiday, enjoy a taste of Thanksgivings past from the Kansas Collection.

Image of Thanksgiving Proclamation, Kansas 1889
Above: Humphrey, Lyman Underwood (Kansas Governor 1889-1893). Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Topeka, KS: [State Printer?], 1889. Call Number: RH P872. Click image to enlarge.

Image of Football Team Thanksgiving Day, Fort Riley.  1896.
Above: Pennell, Joseph Judd (photographer). Football Team Thanksgiving Day, Fort Riley.  1896.
Pennell Photography Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell: print 64.2: box 3: Pennell number 9401.
Click image to enlarge.

Image: Men Gathered in 20th Battery Dining Hall, Fort Riley, for Thanksgiving Dinner.  1904.
Above:  Pennell, Joseph Judd (photographer). Men Gathered in 20th Battery Dining Hall, Fort Riley, for Thanksgiving
Dinner.  1904. Pennell Photography Collection. Call Number: RH PH Pennell: print 64.2: box 3: Pennell number 9401.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Graves-Williams-Dandridge family at Thanksgiving.  Wichita, Kansas. 1953.
Above:  Hughes, Leon K. (photographer). Graves-Williams-Dandridge Family at Thanksgiving.  Wichita, Kansas. 1953.
L. K. Hughes Photography Collection.  Call Number: RH PH506, box 12, folder 8. Click image to enlarge.

Want to see more?  Visit the newly launched Leon K. Hughes: African American Life in Wichita Kansas online exhibition (and contribute identifications and additional information through its interactive comment feature).  Browse photographs from the Kenneth Spencer Research Library in the University of Kansas Luna Insight Image Collections.