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Town Histories, General History & Historical Themes


Membership Reminder 
Learn More About Membership

Annual SV24 memberships are on the calendar year and expire December 31 each year. Please check your address label below to see if your membership is current. If not, please send dues to our treasurer: Alan LeSage, PO Box A, Hill City KS 67642. Business, nonprofit organizations, individual and family dues are $25 per year. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with our projects. Those who are not members are invited to join. As always, we thank you for your support. Please check your address label below to see if your membership is current.


December 2013

Veterans’ Memorials Inventory

The inventory of monuments located in the Solomon Valley recognizing WWII veterans has received its first entry. We thank Lowell Beecher for making this effort and supplying a nice model for the information to include. We hope to hear from every community so that we may create a database to be appreciated by families of veterans as they travel U.S. 24, the WW II Veterans Memorial Highway.

“In Memory and Honor of Those Who Served”

by Lowell Beecher

The Graham County Veterans’ Memorial Monument was dedicated November 11, 1985.  It is located in Hill City at the southeast corner of the courthouse block on North Pomeroy Avenue. This is adjacent to the courthouse and across West Street from the Graham County Public Library.

The memorial lists the names of veterans from the War Between the States through those serving in the Vietnam Conflict. Post-1975 veterans are listed separately.


October 2013

Follow Us on Facebook

Board member Jan McClellan is giving the SV24 Facebook page nice updates. Please visit and share it with your friends. Like it, too. There is a link to our Facebook page on our site's Home page or Click Here

Contemporary Photos Needed

With our attention drawn to the history and changes along Highway 24, Joyce Suellentrop urges us to photograph as many existing road sites and businesses as we can. Some will recall earlier times. Together, they will document the route now. The places she suggests are the gas stations, diners, motels, auto dealers, and auto repair shops (including those no longer in business). If Highway 24 is your Main Street, all the businesses along that street should be documented. Years from now these photos will be part of the historical record. This is a living history project we can work on together



“Never doubt that a small group
of thoughtful citizens can
change the world.  Indeed,
it is the only thing
that ever has.” 

Margaret Mead

Kansas Humanities Council
  Kansas Humanities Council 


December 2013

Meet the Speaker for 2014 Annual Meeting

John Edgar Tidwell explores the art of creating– the doing and redoing that defines that art. Creative Labor is a process that can be seen in the work of famous Kansas artists Langston Hughes, Gordon Parks, and Frank Marshall Davis. Being able to examine their work and Kansas connections with Mr. Tidwell will provide a chance for discussion. This topic resonates with the SV-24-HA’s commitment to encourage voices from this time and this place.

John Edgar Tidwell is a professor of English at the University of Kansas. His program is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit organization promoting understanding of the history and ideas that shape our lives and strengthen our sense of community.

Reservation information for the January 18, 2014, meeting is found with the 2014 Calendar.


December 2013

Midland Trail Centennial

Update on SV24HA work to stimulate recognition of the Midland Trail Centennial: About a dozen contacts statewide have responded to our outreach.  We have arranged to meet at the Kansas Sampler Festival in Wamego, the first weekend in May. The Midland Trail will have an exhibit in the State Tent.

Two issues of KANSAS MIDLAND TRAIL NEWS have been sent to all contacts, summarizing their suggestions and actions taken so far.

David DeAmond has published Sketching the 1916 Midland Trail Across Kansas as I found it a century later. He is working with us as we plan the Midland Trail rendezvous in Wamego.


October 2013

Nicodemus Natl. Historic Site Wraps Up Summer

by Superintendent Angela Wetz

     On June 14, I flew to Washington DC and met with former Senator Bob Dole who recalled his work getting the enabling legislation for Nicodemus National Historic Site passed. In our conversation, Senator Dole’s recollections ranged from his growing up in Russell, his work leading up to the enabling legislation for Nicodemus National Historic Site, his personal interest in the history of Nicodemus, and his other contributions to Kansas and National Park Service legislation. He graciously allowed me to video record our conversation which can be viewed on our website at   This has been a very exciting project and I am grateful to have been granted the interview.

     The 135th annual Emancipation Celebration/ Homecoming event was a great success this year. It was a rainy and cool weekend, which is quite a change from the usual blistering heat of late July. The National Park Service was honored to play a small role in the event in the parade and other activities and sponsor Troy Strahan who portrayed Abraham Lincoln delivering the Emancipation Proclamation. This year the community celebrated along with the rest of the country the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

     On August 20th the National Park Service co-hosted the community learning experience “The Journey from Ellis to Nicodemus.” Our group of NPS staff and community members followed the route from the train depot in Ellis to Nicodemus that the founders of Nicodemus walked. We stopped at “sleepy hallow” and “the mound” mentioned in the Lulu Craig document. We stopped at the Walz farm and learned about the original trail crossing their property as noted in family history as well as wagon ruts, paleontological sites, and a World War II bombing range. Angela Bates and Thomas Wellington of the Nicodemus Historical Society and the Walz family provided a great tour. I am always impressed by the rich history of this area and the valiant efforts by individuals today to keep that history alive.

     On September 7th the NPS hosted the Nicodemus Historical Society’s program “The Women of Nicodemus: The Way They Worked” in the Visitor Center. For more information on events and the site, please visit our website at  or “like” our Facebook page at   


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Stories Of Land Of Man Of Nature