What’s New

8-28-2015  Read a short bio of Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren at People/Surname Index/Dahlgren.  Etta Blanche was an important benefactor to FCHS and a number of other area organizations.  A slide show of her is coming soon.

8-7-2015  Information and a short slide show about Indian agent and Ottawa founder C. C. Hutchinson is now posted at People/Hutchinson, C. C.

6-22-2015  Joseph N. Baker’s reminiscence of moving to what would become the Lane, Kansas area in 1854, the Pottawatomie Massacre, and his Union Army service in the Civil War are now posted at Themes/Bleeding Kansas.

5-29-2015  For a slide show of the buildings and statues on  Franklin County’s Courthouse Square, go to Places/Franklin County/Franklin County’s Courthouse Square.

2-27-2015  We’ve added a slide show of all known photos of Franklin County Sheriffs to People/Elected Officials/Franklin County Sheriffs, plus a request for help in identifying a possible early sheriff.

2-23-2015  See a nice early history of Ottawa’s school system at Themes/Education/Town Schools.

4-01-2014  The 1966 “Welcome to Ottawa” video made by OHS students has been added to Places/Towns/Ottawa.

10-7-2013  Read about Willie Ramsdell and Lou McEvoy, two early day baseball players with Franklin County connections, in People/Surname Index/Ramsdell or McEvoy.  A new category, Franklin Countians in World War I, has been added under Themes/Military and it showcases 40 local veterans.

9-16-2013  We’ve added a nice reminiscence by Linda Showalter Lewis about working at Bennett Creamery in the 1960s.  We would welcome others.  We’ve also added 25 historic photos of the creamery from earlier days.  See Themes/ Business and Industry/Bennett Creamery.

3-10-2013  Business advertisements from three editions of the Western Home Journal, Ottawa’s first newspaper, have been added to the Ottawa KS Business History Database.

3-7-2013  The 1873 Ottawa City Directory is now one of the resources of the Ottawa KS Business History Database.

2-20-2013  The Ottawa KS Business History database is up and searchable.  Find it at Themes/Business and Industry.

12-09-2012  At long last!  The slide show about Mexican-American railroad workers is up.  Clicking the “full screen” icon with the diagonal arrows makes it huge.  Find it under People/Mexican-American Railroaders.  No drop-down–just click that page.

11-30-2012  Check out the souvenir photo album on themes/Events/Disasters/Floods/1928 flood photos.  Be sure to click the button which expands the images to full screen–four arrows.  It really zooms in!

9-21-2012 Examples of annual souvenirs, report cards, and commencement materials have been added to several rural school pages, including Boyd School #43, Bullard School #52, Cole School #40, Latimer School #35, Mud Creek School #34, and Richmond School #77. These documents include names of students, teachers, and school board members.

8-29-2012  The four historic driving tours found under Places/Tours now have maps!  Very helpful!

8-17-2012  Check out the newly added information on the Dietrich Cabin at Places/Historic Sites.

7-24-2012  Read the story of Joab Bernard, a Westport trader whose town, St. Bernard, was the county’s first seat of government.  On the topics bar, go to People/Surname Index/Bernard, Joab.

7-20-2012  Many new pages to explore added today!  Under Transportation/Railroads/Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroads find 2 files of payrolls for Franklin County from 1908 and 1912.  More to come. . . Under People/Surname Index check out Baum, L. Frank for a little-known connection to Ottawa.  Also under People is a whole new category called Elected Officials which begins with all the Franklin County Sheriffs.  Mexican-Americans in the 1920 and 1930 census can also be found under People. Under Places/Franklin County find an 1856 Preemption Register of settlers. Under Places/Towns/Ottawa find A Timeline of Utilities in Ottawa, Kansas.

7-13-2012  The four presentations from the 75th Anniversary History Symposium are now on the portal.  To read “Perry Fuller: Indian Agent, Self-Made Man and White Collar Criminal” and “The Courageous Dissent of Kansas Freethinker Etta Semple” go to People/Fuller and People/Semple. “The Confederated Peorias: In Union There is Strength” is located at People/Native Americans in Franklin County area–Emigrants/Peorias, Kaskaskias, Piankeshaws and Weas.  “Local and National Headlines from 1937” may be found at Places/Franklin County /1937: FCHS’ Founding Year.

6-6-2012  Marge Foote provided us with wonderful photos and information about the Wittmann family of Franklin and Anderson Counties at our scanning day at Williamsburg Community Library.  View them in Archives/FCHS Materials.

3-21-2012  Three new photo galleries from our March 8, 2012 collecting day at Pomona Community Library are at Places/Towns/Pomona.

2-06-2012  We’re celebrating Presidents’ Day with the addition of a scan of one of our favorite artifacts: an invitation to Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural ball.  Visit Types of Materials/Printed Material/Invitation to….to view the scan and learn how we acquired the document.

02-03-2012  Take a look at some of FCHS’s large collection of valentines from early & mid-20th century under Types of Materials/Greeting Cards/Valentines.

11-20-2011  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Check out Themes/Events/Holidays/Christmas for a Christmas story from World War II, a story of Christmas in territorial Kansas, and Christmas photos from the FCHS archives. 1

1-8-2011  The rural school project moves forward!  We’re up to the “Gs.”  If you have photos of Franklin Co. rural schools, please share them with us, and we’ll post them on the school’s page.  Go to Themes/Education/Rural Schools/ We’ve also added 28 “Dad” Martin exaggerated postcards to his page under Types of Materials/Postcards/Tall Tale/W.H. “Dad” Martin.  We’ll be putting all the known images of Martin cards on here soon, but for now, there are examples of hunting, fishing, oversize produce and animals, and more. 1

0-29-2011  There are new galleries for some of the courthouses of George P. Washburn at Themes/Architecture/George P. Washburn and pictures of the 1904 flood at “Themes/Events/Disasters/Floods/1904”

10-25-2011  Under Themes/Military you’ll find a great group portrait of the local Union Civil War veterans’ group, the Grand Army of the Republic as well as a group portrait of a reunion in Forest Park of some of the men who fought in the only unit formed of only Franklin County men–Co. D of the 12th Kansas Volunteer Infantry.

9-06-2011 Go to Themes/Education/Rural Schools for notes from the “Scratcher” or notebook of then Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales as he visited rural schools in the late 1860s.  A biography with photo of Fales is under his name in the “People” section.  We’re adding Bruce Fleming’s series that ran in The Ottawa Herald in the early 1990s to Themes/Education/Rural Schools as quickly as we can.

8-28-2011  Under Types of Materials/Audio and Video you’ll find a link to a performance of the one-act play “Christmas in the Cabin” by William B. Bennett and Deborah Barker.  It captures a Christmas Eve visit to Catherine Dietrich by her neighbor Angeline Gentry in 1866.

8-26-2011 Look under Themes/Music to read stories and see pictures of the Gormley Band of Ottawa and Payne’s Band.  There’s also a photo of the Wellsville Ladies Band.

8-25-2011  Check out the gallery of 1951 Flood pictures at Themes/Events/Floods/1951 Flood

8-22-2011  To read the 1880 Premium Book for the 14th Annual Franklin County Fair, check out Types of Material/Books and Booklets.  There are lots of interesting categories of items to be judged, and some advertisements that echo the huge interest in all thing Japanese at that time.

8-13-2011  View Maude Frink Crawford and May Frink Converse on the People/Surname Index under “F.”  See also Asa F. Converse under “C.”  These folks are the aunt, mother and father of artist Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton of Wellsville.

8-5-2011   Check out the new videos on Types of Materials/Audio and Video.

7-20-2011  Galleries of photos have been added to Silkville and the DAR under Themes/Community Life/Organizations.

6-13-2011 Read the diary of George Veix at /People/Native Americans-Emigrants/Munsees

6-10-2011  Take a look in Archives for scans and transcriptions of great historic written materials from Myers Library, Ottawa University that haven’t seen the light of day for many years.  There’s also a great 11-minute video there of OU alum and former Franklin County Historical Society Director John Mark Lambertson giving a talk about the founding of Ottawa University.

6-8-2011 We’ve begun adding to the Organizations section /Themes/Community Life/ Organizations/.   Contact us to provide information about your organization or to update it.

6-1-2011 Town histories from 1993 Franklin County History Book added under Places/Towns/. (1) To see county cemetery maps, click on Places/Cemeteries/. (2) To explore old maps of Kansas, click on Themes/Geography/ for a link to the Wichita State University Library Special Collection of such maps.  (3) Sanborn Fire Insurance maps can be found as a link on the same Themes/Geography page.  The originals are at the University of Kansas Spencer Research Library. (4) Be sure to click on pages even if a subpage title appears below or to the side of them.  Some of the topic pages have information on them as well as subpages. A review of this website from Ottawa University’s “web guru:” “I think end users would describe the site as appealing and easy to navigate. They would also appreciate the consistent theme, the invitations for interactivity, and the numerous photo albums. There are multiple areas of the site that draw users’ attention to new content, keeping them involved in current events and more likely to return for updates.  The broad array of tools offered by the selected content management system will continue to inspire additional ideas for content, interactivity and analysis. As they continue to make additional content and features available, the success of the website will undoubtedly grow.”

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