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Their Stories Live On

Leo Chapman, the father of Mark Chapman, contributor to the Chapman Center, passed away peacefully on April 10th in Clay Center, Kansas.

Leo was born June 4, 1919 to Chris and O'Tillie (Dietrich) Chapman. He attended Hannibal Grade School and graduated from Clay Center High School. He attendedIrene and Leo Kansas State University for 2 years where he earned a letter in wrestling.

He married Irene Elizabeth McCully on October 19, 1940. They were married for 72 years.

Leo was an entrepreneur. He was a farmer, cattleman, developer, general contractor, real estate and stock broker, appraiser of farmland and property, antique dealer, and held many auctions.

While in his 70's and 80's, he competed in Senior Olympics, even taking 3rd place in the shot put at the National Senior Olympic Meet.

Leo was a member of the United Methodist Church and served as a member of the Trustees Committee. He was one of the originators of the Good Friday Men's Breakfast. He served on the boards of: Broughton School District, Broughton Telephone, Broughton Watershed, Clay Center Coop, and Clay Center Utilities Committee. He was a member of the Lion's Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

His hobbies were many. Refurbishing old upright pianos and pump organs, collecting & selling R S Prussia china, Vaseline glass and quilts. He also was a craftsman of fine wood furniture, giving many pieces to his children and grandchildren.

He went big game hunting in Colorado for years and was an avid hand fisherman.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Irene, son, Mark Allan, and baby daughter, Rena Lee.

Survivors include daughter-in-law Cheryl Mellenthin, Cat Spring, TX, son, Christopher (Edee Medley) Chapman of Richland, WA, daughter Julie (Dennis) Rice of Winfield, KS. Sister, Beulah (Chapman) Avery, Raytown, MO.

Grandchildren Amy (Frank) Burns, Lexi (Todd) Giblin, Carter Chapman, Jesse (Jeri) Chapman, and Carl (Louise) Chapman. And 5 great grandchildren.

The Chapman Center was able to interview Leo and Irene in 2004 and 2005, listen to them recall what made Broughton so special.  


exploring Wabaunsee County Historical Museum

Field Research and the Chapman Center for Rural Studies

Students enrolled in Chapman Center for Rural Studies' classes encounter a unique undergraduate learning laboratory as big as Kansas! With hands-on field research among museum collections, sites of historic significance, far-flung fields, small towns, and downtown, History comes to life.

Flint Hills Discovery Center movie

This spring, Dr. Morgan's classes visited the Rock Creek Valley Historical Museum where they met many of the Museum Board of Directors who explored exhibits with the students. The Lost Communities class also traveled to the Wabaunsee County Historical Museum, the Flint Hills Discovery Center, and the old Broughton town site. Field research is adventure!

Dr. Lynn-Sherow recently hosted her Public History class in Manhattan's restored Union Pacific Depot. This field research offered opportunity for students to experience the result of a successful public-private partnership in preserving historically significant sites (Teddy Roosevelt stopped at the Depot during his 1903 whistle-stop tour!) This class has also visited Chapman Center partner sites, Pioneer Bluffs in Matfield Green and the local Discovery Center; and will be returning to Pioneer Bluffs to finish research for a historical walking tour brochure.

Rock Creek Valley Historical Museum

Something New: this semester’s Public History class coordinated their research of the lost town of Comisky, in Morris County. This team approach helped students to coordinate their work, bounce ideas off of one another, and dive deeper into the nuances of the lost town and the people that influenced, lived, and died there. Look for a story later this spring about the Comisky experience.

The Chapman Center field research serves as a catalyst to engage students in the narrative of history. Exploring the places of history leads them (and us) to encounter the people, stories, and artifacts that helped to shape today’s Kansas.

 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.


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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Tweets from the Teens:
A College Student and His Family Keep in Touch, 1906-1912:
the Dave Redmon Historic Postcard Collection. One of the most interesting projects to come to Chapman Center this spring is the Redmon Historic Postcard Collection. 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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