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We do Biography!

Orchid Ramsey, Senior Photo, Clay CountyYou'll find biography among place histories in Chapman Center for Rural Studies online archives

With the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ growing collection of lost community histories of Kansas (currently 147 and climbing), our undergraduate work is best known for recovering a sense of place.  Tiny faded towns - from Doniphan County in the northeast to Hamilton County in the southwest -spring to life again as students research and write about them. 

Most of these places have no written history aside from a church history or a small entry in a county history.  Yet Kansas is more than its lost communities and more than its current thriving ones!

Kansas has been built and sustained through the energy of a truly remarkable population, and here at Chapman Center, we also celebrate the lives of our people.  Below are listed interesting bio-essays and the links to find them in our collections.  These studies prove that there are no “just plain Kansans.”  While their lives have not been illuminated until our students wrote about them, these are truly extraordinary, ordinary Kansans.

Morgan Snyder, Kansas City Blues baseball

Quilter & Historian, Wabaunsee County
Ethel Mae Morgan: An African-American Biography Wabaunsee County, Kansas 1898-1989, by Lorraine Reimers

Small-town Clay County girl and Missouri State Representative
Generations of Achievement: The Family and Early Life of Orchid Ramsey Jordan in Clay Center, Kansas, 1910–1928, by Haley Claxton

1930s Professional baseball player, Clay County
Morgan Snyder
 (1909-1990): Clay Center's Contribution to Professional Baseball by Garrett Clerisse

George Earl Adams, Sr

Brown County farm boy & WWI soldier: launched a legacy of military service
George Earl Adams, Sr.: The Beginning of a Legacy, by Jessica Hermesch

Journalist and author of Small World, Long Gone, Chautauqua County
Avis D. Carlson (1897-1987): Not Simply an "Obscure Housewife" by Erin Strathe

Union Army & Tennessee Colored Infantry veteran, successful Wabaunsee County farmer
A Look at the United States 101st Colored Infantry and the Free Life of John Sullivan

 Have you visited our blog,"The Rural Telegraph," featuring original student research or swung by the Chapman Center for Rural Studies on Facebook and Twitter? #MakeHistory and come on by.


Summer 2015 Busy with Research, Digitization, and Exhibit Development
Meet the Chapman Center Summer 2015 Research Team and learn about their projects here

Did you know you can stay up-to-date with the Chapman Center for Rural studies on Facebook and Twitter? Check out our Lost Kansas Communities archive and blog, The Rural Telegraph

Field Research and the Chapman Center for Rural Studies
Ever wonder what it's like to research Lost Kansas Communities with the Chapman Center for Rural Studies? Learn how History comes to life and students explore Kansas history. Read more

A Rediscovered Legacy
Thanks to diligent research by Chapman Center Intern, Michael Spachek, the once forgotten history of a substantial group of black farm families has been brought to life. Michael conducted research on African American land ownership in Wabaunsee County this past fall, discovering the complex stories of success and failure surrounding these remote tracks of land in the Flint Hills. Read more

Adams' Collection Research Honors Family
This past summer, returning intern, Jessica Hermesch, began working with a specially donated collection of military records in the University archives to build a narrative of a family's history, beginning with the service of George Adams, Sr., in World War I. Read more

Chapman Center Presents Alan Winkler with Bruntzel Award
The Chapman Center for Rural Studies is pleased to announce Alan Winkler, retired Wabaunsee County Historical Museum Curator, as the recipient of the 2015 Bruntzel Award. Read more

The Goodland Identity Project
An art student with a love of landscape photography, an agricultural business major, a graduate student in women's studies and public history, and a GIS grad student specialist from the geography department: these talented students have tackled the far western town of Goodland, county seat of Sherman County. Read more

Undergraduate Research on Display
After an intense semester of research, our interns presented their research findings. Individuals from around Kansas traveled to the Chapman Center to attend the open house and hear about undergraduate research focused on the history of African-Americans in rural Kansas. Read more

Six Months of Research Pay Off
MJ Morgan and students presented to an interested audience at the High Plains Museum on October 18. Read more

In Loving Memory of Mark A. Chapman (1943-2014)
We lost a very close member of the K-State family early on the morning of April 18, 2014. Mark A. Chapman passed away after suffering a stroke a few weeks before (April 5). Mark was 71. Read more

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies is an undergraduate research-based center that provides hands-on experience in doing the real work of historians. We are located in 111 Leasure Hall in the heart of the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, KS.

Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Call us at 785-532-0380.

Search through the Chapman Center's on-going project, the Lost Town Digital Archive: Lost Kansas Communities.

For more information, email us or email the director, Professor Bonnie Lynn-Sherow.

Contact Us

111 Leasure Hall
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone:  785-532-0380

Chapman Center Resources

Lost Communities

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