Butler county at a crossroads: What was lost is remembered

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Walenta, Suzanne
Issue Date
2023-12
Type
Thesis
Language
en_US
Keywords
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
Abstract

At some point in all communities, large or small, a challenge emerges of how to sustain and grow overtime. This crossroads can manifest itself when faced with a choice or challenge of honoring its past and identity with a perception of rural life that is ever changing. A crossroads can often apply to memory and the moments that we choose to reflect on. However, the nostalgia of memory doesn’t always reflect the complex reality. In Butler County, an observer can witness a microcosm of the national experience - similar events that were tucked away, glossed over or hidden from view. The objective for Kansas Crossroads of Butler County was to move beyond the founder story narrative and unveil the complexities and richness of a rural community. The Butler County Historical Society’s Rural Crossroads/Kansas Crossroads project started out as a “quick” history retelling of selected towns which grew into a longer episodic series named, Kansas Crossroads of Butler County. The foundation was to use the community representative perspective through recorded interviews; use historical photos and documents, newspapers, and books to explore each community and to share stories that people may not be aware of, negative and positive. The result of this series was a version of rural communities that nostalgia often forgets. There are commonalities in each of the fifteen communities explored – farming, ranching, and oil discovery. However, there are many stories that have been hidden away and forgotten. Nostalgia often forgets community struggles with the Klu Klux Klan; white mob violence trigged in the oil boom days; 19th century physical fights and guns at the ready as two towns fight over the county seat; lawlessness and horse thieves. There are also hidden triumphs such as the first all-women jury. Looking back there are lessons revealed not only in lived experience but in how stories are presented.

Description
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History
Citation
Publisher
Wichita State University
License
© Copyright 2023 by Suzanne Walenta All Rights Reserved
Journal
Volume
Issue
PubMed ID
DOI
ISSN
EISSN