From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
The Leavenworth Art League met Oct. 5, at St. Paul's Episcopal Parish House.
The program for the afternoon was a symposium on "How frontier living left its imprint on our land and the need of conservation" led by Mrs. N. F. Holman, assisted by Mrs. Ed Cramm, Mrs. L. R. Burchett and Mrs. Robert Myers.
In the foreword, Mrs. Holman told how the white man first came to America in small boats and settled along the lonely, bleak and grey ocean shore. Now three centuries later one sees our rivers, valleys, lakes and mountains surrounding our big cities with slender spires of steel and glass reaching toward the sky.
All day the streets are crowded with people, the locomotives fling themselves along tracks of steel, automobiles flash back and forth along concrete roads, and we fly by jet in just a few hours to any place we desire to visit, seeing acre after acre in furrowed fields, harvesting machines cutting and stacking and threshing grain to provide bread for more than 140,000,000 people.
Mrs. Cramm went on to tell how the newcomers to America were mostly working people. When they reached the new harbors they lived for a time aboard their vessels until they made themselves shelters of bark and sticks and later houses of logs with stockades around them. They found their food hunting and fishing and planting corn as the Indians taught them. It was a rough life very different from the dull security they had known in other lands.
After they got a footing on the coast they began to go inland and found their new land could produce wheat, tobacco, corn, cotton, coal and iron. They were strong and eager to work and see what they could do. So they chopped trees, planted crops and dug for minerals and life around them changed. In the old world there had not been much chance but here if they worked there was no end to what might be accomplished with their new inheritance.
Mrs. Burchett told of the beautiful furs of America, the first treasure the colonists found in their new home. It was winter when some arrived and the snow began to fall and streams were encrusted with ice. The settlers stayed close to their fires suffering from cold. The Indians gave them medicine made of native herbs and furs to keep the cold away. The Indians had used furs to some extent, but the colonists came to America for the most part to settle and to farm, and many had borrowed money for their passage. They found it easy to get furs to sell to repay their debts. And so they felled the big trees and pushed through the shadowy green forests.
Then came the obnoxious weed. Smoking tobacco for the Indians was not only a pleasure but also a religious ceremony. The pipe was an emblem of peace and friendship. Farming and cattle raising were the main enterprises until fishing villages grew up along the coast. Then they were off to California and Nevada to get rich quick in silver and gold. Meanwhile dark layers of coal lay beneath the earth untouched until they found coal more precious than gold as we became a great industrial nation.
Then was oil found in the salt springs that Indians used to ease swollen joints and bruises. These salt springs made it possible to preserve food and push further away from the sea. Only later did they realize the oil value.
Our fruit is of an old lineage. Only a little is native like the crabapple, wild cherries and grapes. The Spanish and French brought many fruits from their countries. Finally healthful properties of fruit began talk of vitamins, new methods of refrigeration were invented, fast transportation carried fruit from orchard to market.
Mrs. Myers said America today stands poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power that is diminished daily by pollution, noise and blight. This is the conservation crisis of our time. We have reached the point that it is absolutely essential that all resources be evaluated. The old idea of inexhaustible resources is a myth. The open country side is vanishing. Parks, forests and water supplies are threatened on every side. Many communities are outmoded. thoughtful citizens are asking "What can be done about it"?
Mrs. Holman in the resume said we have tomorrow. We have come into our great inheritance bequeathed to us. Shall we dig deeper and bring up rarer treasurers[sic], richer crops, take more rich minerals from the sea. Perhaps our new source of strength will lie in the release of atomic energy. Will we inhabit the moon? Perhaps our new achievements will not be altogether with material things, but maybe we will be working with people themselves, trying to make every man who draws his living from the American earth healthy, strong and free.
Mrs. Benjamin Nichols sang "God Bless America" assisted by Mrs. Perry Tomlinson at the piano.
Mrs. Sidney Sexton gave a report of the First District Convention Oct. 1-2 at Goff. Mrs. Ralph Moore was elected president-elect of First District. The Leavenworth Art League Year Book won the three star award.
Mrs. Clarence Moulden told how the president of General Federation of Women's Clubs has chosen a woman, the Statue of Freedom on the United States Capitol Dome, Washington, D.C., as a symbol of service for freedom and growth during GFWC Diamond Jubilee in 1965.
Mrs. Tomlinson said the new chimes, gift of Kansas Federation of Women's Clubs, attached to the organ at Wadsworth Main Chapel, which one can hear each Sunday morning over a radius of two miles, will be dedicated sometime within the next two weeks. Also, Kansas was first in veterans in the nation, the second time in ten years to receive this award from GFWC.
Mrs. J. L. Clark Sr. was voted in as a new member.
For the social hour the tea table was covered with a lace cloth with an arrangement of fall chrysanthemums in a crystal bowl on a mirror adorned with golden fall leaves and a Hummel boy and girl. Mrs. Julius E. Kaaz and Mrs. Ralph Stalmok poured.
The hostesses were Mrs. George Baker, Mrs. Tom Murphy, Mrs. Earl Brown, Mrs. B. J. Bless and Mrs. Irving Feezor.
The next meeting will be Oct. 19 at St. Paul's Episcopal Parish House.