box [graphic] SCHS ANNUAL MEETING Sunday, December 2, 2012
box [graphic]
Christmas Tree & History Promotion December, 2012
box [graphic] Civil War Roundtable of Eastern KS Thursday, November 27, 2012
box [graphic] Lansing H.S. Tour November, 2012
box [graphic] PBS's Abolitionist Map of America Link is posted on national American Experience web site.
box [graphic] Enduring Struggle For Freedom Sundays in November, 2012
Partnering with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area
box [graphic] Historic Fall Preservation Series Specific Sundays in Sept./Oct./Nov., 2012
Partnering with Washburn University History Department

box [graphic] Fall Shared Stories of the Civil War — Sundays, late Sept. thru Oct., 2012

box [graphic] KSHS "Ancestor Fair" Saturday, October 20, 2012
box [graphic] Ice Cream Social and Santa Fe Band Concert Sunday, August 5, 2012
box [graphic] 2012 History Camp for Kids Super Saturdays in summer
box [graphic] 2012 Preservation Awards Sunday, May 5, 2012
box [graphic] Attic Sale Saturday, May 5, 2012
box [graphic] Freedom Seekers video premiere Sunday, April 1, 2012
box [graphic] Topeka Home Builders Assc. Home Show Friday-Sunday, March 1-3, 2012
box [graphic] Spring Shared Stories of the Civil War Four on Sundays, Feb., 2012

2012 Officers:

2012 Trustees:

  • Debra Bisel
  • Jeff Carson
  • Ricki S. Cobler
  • Tara Dimick
  • Hal Gardner
  • David J. Heinemann
  • Jeanne Christie Mithen
  • Murl Riedel
  • Martie Rison
  • Chris Schultz
  • Carlton Scroggins
  • Joan Wagnon
  • Doug Wallace
  • Jill Wolters
  • Doug Wright

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2012 Annual Meeting
Sun., Dec. 2, 2012 • 2-4 PM • Cox Communications Heritage Education Center

  • Business meeting
  • Election of officers/trustees for 2013
  • Student presenter Avery Munns discussed her video documentary done for regional History Day at Washburn University, February, 2012, "Clarina Nichols: Frontier Freedom Fighter"
  • Door Prizes / Holiday Bazaar

Holiday trappingsLet the meeting begin2012 President, Debra Bisel
Meeting continuesHonoring Ex-president and Preservation Committee Chair Carlton Scroggins, who is going off the board SCHS Treasurer Joan Wagnon
Meeting agenda slidePreservation Awards propertiesFirst annual fundraising Attic Sale
Special presentation on Clarina Nichols by student Avery MunnsTreats tableNetworking after the meeting
Networking after the meeting 2

Christmas Tree Decorating and History Promotion
Deb Bisel and SCHS Christmas tree, at WIBW-TV, December, 2012Historical wreathJim Ogle, WIBW TV's general manager, purchased the tree and wreath donated by the Shawnee County Historical Society at the Sheltered Living Festival of Trees in December, 2012. Both were displayed in the WIBW's lobby. On December 10, 2012, SCHS President Deb Bisel appeared on Ralph Hipp's 4 O'clock News show to promote membership in not only the SCHS, but other entities such as the Great Overland Station, Combat Air Museum, and the Lecompton Historical Society. Deb encouraged people to do their shopping at their gift shops associated with these organizations. While at the station, she took a moment to pose. The tree and wreath featured images of historic buildings as well as people such as John Ritchie and Cyrus K. Holliday.
Photos by Gary Bisel

Abraham Lincoln Speaks Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Lincoln reenactor was Troy Strahan of Gardner, KS.
Civil War Roundtable of Eastern Kansas, meets monthly on 4th Tuesdays at Cox Communication Heritage Education Center, 1118 SE Madison, Topeka. Meetings are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to join CWR. — Photos by Deb Bisel
Lincoln reenactor
Lansing High School Tour of the Ritchie properties in November, 2012.
For two days 260 students toured historic sites in our area.
Lansign High School tour, November 2012 A Lansign High School tour, November 2012 B Lansign High School tour, November 2012 C
PBS's American Experience Abolitionists Map
Education Committee reports:
SCHS is partnering with PBS's American Experience and for their abolitionist project and documentary. We added John/Mary Jane Ritchie to Abolitionist Map of America, as taking part in the Underground Railroad. As of early December our site is farthest west on the map!

Bill Wagnon, speakerEnduring Struggle For Freedom — Sundays in November, 2012
Partnering with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area

  • Nov. 25:Dr. Bill Wagnonemeritus Professor of History at Washburn, analyzed a local issue prompted by J. B. Billard and his son, Phillip, over daily compulsory Bible reading to open Topeka schools.
    Thom Rosenblum Thom Rosenblum 1 Thom Rosenblum 2
  • Nov. 11: Thom Rosenblum, National Park Service historian at the Brown v. Board NHS, made a presentation on Kansas and Topeka area Free Thinkers, posing the question of whether they were visionaries or nut cases.Dr. Walt Menninger Dr. Walt Menninger talks of Menning Foundation history Dr. Walt Menninger takes questions

  • Nov. 4: Dr. Walt Menninger, president of the Menninger Foundation, gave a talk on the pioneering role of the Menninger family and associates in fostering greater compassion and support for the mentally ill, freeing them from isolation and disrepute.

    November presentation attendees

Focus on Historic Preservation in Shawnee CountyOur Historic Fall Preservation Series features historic home preservation in the Old Town and Holliday Park neighborhoods.
Co-sponsored with Washburn University History Department

The series were held on Sunday afternoons at the Cox Communications Heritage Education Center, 1118 SE Madison.

September 16, 2012, Elizabeth Taylor spoke about preservation of her properties, the Woodward Inns Bed and Breakfasts.

October 21: Barb Quaney spoke about JQ Properties
in OldTown area, near Topeka High School

November 18: Nova Cottrell will discuss the Charles
Curtis House Museum
on Topeka Boulevard.

This series is free and open to the public. A special thank you to Washburn's history department for sponsoring this series.

KSHS "Heritage Fair," Saturday, October 20, 2012
SCHS table at the Heritage FairMartie and Gavin handle history buffs
Photos by Charity Rouse. Martie Rison & Gavin people the SCHS table at the Kansas History Center.

Ice Cream Social and Band Concert
Ice Cream Social & Santa Fe Band Concert

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Santa Fe Band in concert
collage of activity
Band plays ABand plays BRest between numbers
Young percussionistHorn section near the highwayWoodwinds
Band vanPacking upLoading the van
Overview under the shadeView from John Ritchie House
Inside the John Ritchie HousePublic area, Hale Ritchie HouseParlor displays, Hale Ritchie House
Standing ovationBand members have some ice cream

History Camp for Kids, Super Saturdays
for kids ages 8-12

   6- 23 - "Farm Busters" - A Field Study of Early Farming Tools
              and "If Walls Could Talk" A Field Study of the John & Mary Jane Ritchie Home
   7- 14 - "Dear Diary…" - A Field Study of Samuel Reader's Diary
   7- 21 - "Making Time for Fun" - A Field Study of Celebrations and Pioneer Toys
   7- 28 - "Right Under Their Noses!" - Secrets of the Underground Railroad in Topeka
   8 - 4 - "My Kansas Home" - A Field Study of Topeka's Pioneer Dwellings

Oregon Tail ruts

Oregon Trail swales tour

Thursday, June 16, 2012
Sponsored by Shawnee County Historical Society
and conducted by Doug Mauck
—We met at the visitors parking lot, Governor's Mansion, 1 Cedar Crest Drive

Read "Oregon Trail's wagon swales still visible at MacLennan Park"
by Eric Smith, the Topeka Capital-Journal, 6-14-2012

Before the Interstate Highway, planes and trains, Americans crossed the continent from east to west by wagon trails. In the 1840s and 50s, one of those major byways was the Oregon Trail, which passed through what would become Topeka in 1854. Development has eradicated most physical evidence in Shawnee County of the thousands of settlers moved who through here to the Pacific North West. However, parts of the trail are visible in the park south of Cedar Crest. Doug Mauck, a student of the Oregon Trail, has identified trail evidence and wagon swales, led a public field trip at Cedar Crest on Thursday evening, June 14, 2012. Mauck pointed out where the trail crossed Fairlawn Rd., then led the group along the evident swales, pointing out how they cross the park and track to the top of Menninger Hill and beyond.

The dip, looking east toward Fairlawn Road Doug points out the swale in the center of MacLennan Park area A look westward from the walkway parallel and near to Fairlawn Roa A view of the swale nearest Fairlawn Road

2012 Preservation Awards — Sunday, May 5, 2012
held at the Blue Planet Cafe, Thacher Building, at 110 SE 8th St., Topeka, 2 PM

See also: "Society Honors Persistance and Perseverance in Preservation" by Giang Nguyen, Topeka Capital-Journal, 5-6-2012

The sixth annual joint awards for preservation of sites reflecting the history of Shawnee County were presented by the Shawnee County Historical Society and the Topeka Landmarks Commission.

Carlton Scroggins Jeff Carson Stacey Keller Deb Bisel
Carlton Scroggins
Preservation Awards Committee Chair
Jeff Carson
Thacher Building host
Stacey Keller
Topeka Landmarks Commission Chair
Deb Bisel
Shawnee Co. Historical Society President

Deb Bisel, Shawnee County Historical Society President, honored these 2012 SCHS Preservation Award recipients:

Jeff Carson and Doug Jones with Deb Bisel Douglass Wallace and Don Lambert with Deb Bisel
Jayhawk Theatre, Jeff Carson & Doug Jones accepting: "Persistence in Historic Restoration Efforts" Constitution Hall, Douglass Wallace & Don Lambert accepting: "Perseverance in Historic Restoration Efforts"

John and Julie Lyle with Deb Bisel Dr. Jerry Farley and Bob Taggert with Deb Bisel Carlton Scroggins and Douglass Wallace with Deb Bisel
John & Julie Lyle, Revitalizing Elmhurst Neighborhood: "Historic Preservation and Heighborhood Revitalization" Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Washburn campus: Dr. Jerry Farley & Bob Taggert accepting: ""Preservation of Historic Property" The Schultz Family: Carlton Scroggins & Douglass Wallace accepting, "Maintaining & Dining."

Stacey Keller, new chair of the Topeka Landmark Commission recognized former commission members Robert Banks (ex-chair), Sandra Lassiter, Christy Davis and Rowena Horr. Banks and Lassiter accepted their recognitions in person.

Robert Banks with Stacy Keller Sandra Lassiter with Stacy Keller
Stacy Keller with past chair, Robert Banks
Stacy Keller with Sandra Lassiter

Stacey announced the past year's additions to the National Register of Historic Places: ATSF Motive Power Building, 1001 NE Atchison Street; Hughes Conoco Service Station, 400 SW Taylor Street; North Topeka Baptist Church, 123 NW Gordon Street; John C. Harmon House, 915 SW Buchanan Street; and Church of the Holy Name, 110 SW 10th Street. One local landmark designation, the William Crosby House, 1109 S. Topeka Blvd., home of William Crosby, founder of the Crosby Department Store in downtown Topeka, was also recognized. The Crosby home is currently used as the local headquarters of the Kansas State Nurses Association.

Edwin Hughes with Stacey Keller Darrell Linquist with Stacey Keller Garth Combs with Stacey Keller
Edwin Hughes accepts for
Hughes Conoco
Darrell Linquist accepts for
North Topeka Baptist Church
Garth Combs accepts for
John C. Harmon House

Candids, 2012 Preservation Awards Deb Bisel interviewed by staff, WIBW-TV Relaxing and visiting in the Blue Planet Cafe Clarisia Mize, descendant of architect, Constitution Hall Fun stuffed jackrabbit, Blue Planet Cafe

2012 building preservation projects honored:

View of seating area and balcony view of stage
Jayhawk Theatre, 720 SW Jackson St.

Front facade, Constitution Hall Rear View, Constitution Hall
Constitution Hall, 429 & 431 S. Kansas Ave.

1808 SW Muson Ave. 1144 SW College Ave.
Elmhurst properties, among those restored by John and Julie Lyle

Exterior, front facade Northern side view Interior living space
Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Washburn University campus

South side
Property entrances, east side The Break Room Chris Schultz, Gourmet Cabaret
Benoit Swinnen Properties, 917-921 S. Topeka Blvd.
The Schultz Family, The Break Room, 911 S. Kansas Ave.

Attic Sale: Saturday, April 5, 2012
This fundraiser was the first of its kind for Shawnee County Historical Society, held in the yards of the Ritchie property and inside the Hale Ritchie House. The sale included donated household items and antiques. Special guest was historian and antique dealer, Lt. Col. (ret) David Chuber, who ran our auction which started at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Attic Sale 2012 Customers were entertained by donated live music Auctioneer Lt. Col. (ret) David Chuber Auction started about 1 P.M.

Freedom Seekers: Stories from the Underground Railroad
Sunday, April 1, 2012 — Premiere of Gary Jenkins's 75-minute documentary
Freedom Seekers tells stories of the dangerous escapes by Missouri slaves held in bondage and thrilling adventures of Kansas Conductors and Stationmasters. Learn about the undercover activities of Wiliam Quantrill, the gun fight at the Wakarusa Valley cabin of Joseph Gardner, The Immortal 10, forged slave passes and many more previously untold stories of the Underground Railroad. Footage included Quindaro, Kansas ruins where many Freedom Seekers hid in cellars, wells and hidden rooms.
For more information on Jenkins and his films, visit

Freedom Seekers, video documentary SCHS President Deb Bisel introduces the video Good sized crowd attended Video package cover Watching the documentary Film's producer-director, Gary Jenkins Attendees discuss what they've learned Cox Communications Heritage Education Center

See also: "Film documents Underground Railroad in Ks.," Topeka Capital-Journal, 3/18/2012

See also: KPR coverage, "Part 1:Tracing the Tracks of the Underground Railroad Through Kansas" and "Part 2: Local Projects Unearth Underground Railroad History"

See also: "Guide to Underground Railroad sites in Shawnee County" [a downloadable pdf file]

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Topeka Home Builders Association Home Show, Friday-Sunday, March 1-3, 2012
SCHS greeted the public with a table at the entrance.
Volunteers shared member information, upcoming events and shared
love of local history. Contact information was shared and new members
recruited. Some past issues of Bulletins were sold.
A "thank you" goes to event volunteers!
Topeka Home Show 2012

Shared Stories of the Civil War readers theatre
Scripts developed by the Kansas Humanities Council & Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area
select a thumbnail to see the larger photo

Sunday, February 26, 2012: "Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence and Order Number 11"
Directed by Lana Wagnon, introductions by Bruce Mactavish, narrated by Travis Lamb
Readers: Ralph Skoog, Phyllis Penney, Jack Wagnon, Phyllis Penney and Jan Stover

Lana WAgnon, director, nad Travis Lamb, narratorReaders Jack Wagnon, Phyllis Penney and Jan StoverModerator Bruce MactavishReader Ralph Skoog
Overview, with Smart BoardBorder War illustration from Google searchReaders 2

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Sunday, February 19, 2012: "Guerilla Warfare: Bushwackers & Jayhawkers"
Directed by David Tangeman, introductions by Bruce Mactavish, narrated by Ralph Hipp
Readers: Phyllis Penney, Ken Kerly, Mary Feighny, Doug Wright and David Tangeman

Smart board imagesBruce Mactavish intrduces the readingDirector David Tangeman, reader Mary Feighny, narrator Ralph Hippreaders Doug Wright, Phyllis Penney and Ken Kerly
Bustwackers and Jayhawks didn't get alongRaid of Lawrence by William Quantrill, who sought to murder James Lanereaders Doug, Penny and Ken
Part of Feb. 19 audienceDale Vaughn has special interest in Bleeding Kansas history
As after the first two February events, Bill Wagnon gave tours of the John Ritchie House.
Bill Wagnon with Dale Vaughninside the John Ritchie houselooking in the front door of the John Ritchie house

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Sunday, February 12, 2012: "The Underground Railroad"
Directed by Margaret Wood, introductions by Kelly Erby, narrated by Ralph Hipp
Readers: Phyllis Penney, Lana Wagnon, Mary Feighny, Doug Wright and Margaret Wood

Ralph HippDoug Wright, Lana Wagnon, Margaret Wood
Phyllis Penney, Mary Feighny, Ralph HippKelly Erby
audiencestanding room onlycomments by script author Anne Hawkins

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Sunday, February 5, 2012: "John Brown: Martyr or Madman?"
Directed by Phyllis Penney, introductions by Kelly Erby, narrated by Ralph Hipp
Readers: Ken and Mary Kerle, David Tangeman, Ralph Skoog and Phyllis Penney

David TangemanRalph Skoog and Ralph HippPhyllis Penney and Mary KerleKelly Erby
Phyllis Penney, Mary and Ken KerleRalph HippReaders and smart board
Bill Wagnon makes a point during discussionattendees and coffee, plus brownies Discusion, photo 2 Coffee and brownies

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box [graphic] A Brief History
box [graphic] Society News
box [graphic] Current Trustees
box [graphic] Help Insure a Bright Future
box [graphic] Benefits of Membership
box [graphic] Nominations
box [graphic] Contact Us

2012 Report

About the Society
Shawnee County Historical Society logo
Topeka & Shawnee County, Kansas
About the Society, Shawnee County Historical Society, Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas
About the Society  
Focus on History
Focus on Preservation
Educational Initiative



Gary Bisel speaks with Bill Wagnon Kim Morris explains finishing plans Gary climbs the back stairs Gary displays original wood trim that will be returned to place Front stairs, Deb and Betty Preservation sign and Hale Ritchie House exterior View of Ritchie House, north of Hale Ritchie House inspecting progress backyard box of original wood trim large open space South side bay window, looking outside South side bay window, exterior Enjoying ice cream Doug Wright, social manager Evening out Bill Wagnon 2 Bill Wagnon 1 November attendees 2 November attendees 1