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Chapman Center Presents Alan Winkler with Bruntzel Award

Melvin Bruntzel and Alan Winkler, Winner of 2015 Bruntzel AwardThe 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. Named for Kansas author and first award recipient (2012), Melvin Bruntzel, this honor recognizes “excellence in preserving the people, places, and stories of Kansas Territory and the State of Kansas.” (photo at left: Melvin Bruntzel and Alan Winkler)

Mr. Winkler, a long-time resident of McFarland in north central Wabaunsee County, Kansas, has devoted hours of personal time to assist Chapman Center researchers. He collaborated with Chapman Center researchers to create a traveling museum exhibit on African-American Settlers of Wabaunsee County, to research and develop the Center’s Filling the Larder book, invaluably assisted in identifying key primary research materials for a number of projects, and has published articles about Chapman Center researchers in the Museum newsletter.

Drs. Morgan and Lynn-Sherow present Alan Winkler with the Chapman Center for Rural Studies Bruntzel AwardChapman Center Research Director, Dr. MJ Morgan, nominated Mr. Winkler for the recognition.  February 10, Dr. Morgan and Chapman Center Director, Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, presented him with the award before a scheduled meeting of the Wabaunsee County Historical Board as he was surrounded by family and friends.

“Alan’s interest in local history developed when he compiled the book, McFarland: the First Hundred Years, for the town’s 1987 centennial celebration. Alan graduated from Alma Rural High School and attended Washburn University. He is a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict and worked three years for the Rock Island Railroad. He then worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber for 35 years. He has served in several capacities for the City of McFarland and two terms as a Wabaunsee County Commissioner.” 

 A Rediscovered Legacy

SpachekThanks 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.

RoadMichael's research uncovered the stories of twenty-six landowning African American families in Wabaunsee County near the turn of the 20th century. Michael recently traveled to these remote farmsteads with Dr. Morgan to photograph the land and gather more information. Through his research, Michael learned how to work effectively with large databases of census records and deed records. Much like finding a needle in a haystack, Michael discovered small pieces of information and skillfully turned it into an accurate narrative of these landowners' lives.

I was drawn to the topic because of the chance to discover stories about a group of people that disappeared and with little published work on them.

Michael's research was previously presented at our first annual Chapman Center Open House. We are also excited to congratulate him on the acceptance of his research to the Flint Hills History Conference, "Culture and Conflict," where he will present his research in March!

 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.


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

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