Local History and Genealogy
Local History at The Library
As for local history, the Eudora Public Library has had a strong commitment to preserving local publications. Not only has it stored a Eudora Area Historical Society file cabinet and scrapbooks with local history materials compiled by Margaret Gabriel, Fern Long, and others, but the library has its own Eudora history files, Eudora newspapers, high school yearbooks, obituary collections, and family histories located in the reference section.
Regarding Eudora’s earliest records, the city gave many of its earliest records to Spencer Library, University of Kansas, including the following and their Spencer identification:
- Records. 1859-1924. RH MS G40
- Miscellaneous records (German). 1858-1860 (RHMSB48)
- Cemetery records (1860-1890) (RHMSB48)
- Eudora cemetery records (1870-1921) including age, race, nationality, death cause, etc. (RHMSD123) and also at Eudora Public Library
- Council minutes (German) 1859-1865 (RHMSB48)
- Book of Commissions (1859-1867) (RHMSB48)
- City ordinances (1-45) (RHMSG40)
- Treasurers records (1859-1920) (RHMSG40)
- Tax roll (1860-1866) (RHMSG40)
- City council minutes (1868-1904) (RHMSG40)
- Justice of the peace records (1871-1924) (RHMSG40)
For additional historical sources regarding Eudora and its outerlying communities, you may also want to check out the Douglas County resources on the Kansas GenWeb Project or the Watkins Community Museum of History in Lawrence. The Kansas State Historical Society also has information on Eudora, which can be accessed through its search function. And, although this publication, which is also in the library reference section, has several inaccuracies and some incorrect name spellings, William G. Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas has a Eudora section written in the late 1800s and EudoraTownship biographical section.
For information about Kansas history compiled by family and local historians that includes this area, see Kansas Heritage. In addition, the Eudora Public Library has an extensive Kansas Collection that includes books about Kansas and by Kansas authors.
Kansas History and Kansas Collection
- The Eudora Public Library Kansas Collection has Kansas-related magazines including Kansas, Kansas Wildlife and Parks, Kansas History, and editions of Kansas Heritage, Kanhistique, Kansas Business Review and others. In addition, the library has the Kansas Periodical Index, which contains citations for articles about Kansas from 1990 to the present that can be accessed through inter-library loan. The majority of books in the library’s Kansas Collection are non-fiction covering all aspects of the state; however, Kansas authors and fictional Kansas settings also are represented, such as Nancy Pickard, Linda Hubalek, Janice Brooks, Russell Banks, Jim Hoy, Julie Garwood, Truman Capote, Susan Gibbs, John Ise, Charlotte Hinger, Jane Smiley, and others. For additional information on this topic, see Kansas Authors compiled by the Kansas City, Kansas, public library system. A sampling of the more than 200 books in the Kansas Collection, includes:
- The Bloody Benders. Adleman, Robert. Np: Stein and Day, 1970. The story of Kate Bender and the rest of the Benders and the travelers never seen again after stopping at the Benders’ way station on the prairie.
- Prohibition in Kansas: A History. Bader, Robert. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1986. Robert Bader’s comprehensive account presents an even-handed analysis of the reform movement and of the role of women and of religion in it. In 1880, Kansas became the first state to write into its constitution a prohibition on alcohol, making it one of the very few states with extensive experience with prohibition as a public policy in both the pre- and post-Volstead periods. Since the campaign preceding the 1880 election, through the era of Carry Nation and national prohibition, up to the present day, the issue has been under continuous, and usually heated, public discussion.
- Kate Hansen: The grandest mission on Earth from Kansas to Japan, 1907-1951. Bales, Dane, and Bales, Kate, eds. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, 2000. It was 1907, the dawn of the 20th century, when a young University of Kansas graduate from Logan decided to leave a teaching job in Denver and undertake “the grandest mission on earth.” Kate Hansen, daughter of a prominent Kansas pioneer family, became a missionary teacher in Japan, ultimately spending 44 years there. She witnessed two world wars, the earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression and the beginning of the Japanese women’s movement. Miss Hansen’s nephew and his wife, Dane G. and Polly Roth Bales of Logan, and Calvin Harbin of Hays, collected and edited Miss Hansen’s accounts of her years in Japan and also of an 1891 family trip to Colorado by covered wagon, of a year’s stay in Denmark in 1893 and 1894, and of her years as a KU student. Many of her articles were originally written for church publications and detailed the importance and process of teaching Western music in Japanese schools and in higher education.
- Kansas Quilts & Quilters. Brackman, Barbara, Chinn, Jennie, and Davis, G.R. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993. A review of quilts and quiltmaking in Kansas, based on the Kansas Quilt Project’s catalogue of 13,107 quilts, and featuring interviews with quilters themselves. It focuses on specific types of quilts, as well as regional and ethnic communities, including Mennonites and African-Americans.
- Soul in the Stone: Cemetery Art from America’s Heartland. Brown, John Gary. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. Celebrating master stone sculptors as well as grassroots and ethnic folk artists, Brown’s striking images document the rich traditions of cemetery art as found throughout Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico. The art itself manifests a great many idiosyncratic forms and subjects including an Egyptian sphinx, a gigantic baseball, a salesman’s suitcase, a roll-top desk, a car-engine shrine, plexiglass-enclosed dolls, life-size limestone statuary, hovering marble angels, elaborate wrought-iron crosses, along with more modest traditional motifs in etched-granite and concrete.
- The Kansas Cookbook: Recipes from the Heartland. Carey, Frank, and Naas, Jayni. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1989. No more hot turkey sandwiches on Wonder bread or Iceberg lettuce awash in orange dressing–the stereotypes of Midwestern food–the recipes presented here include such tasty delights as morel mushroom turnovers, “cure-all” chicken soup, sirloin steak with midwest marinade, shepherd pie, Lou Belle’s best-ever meat loaf, country-style ribs with barbecue sauce, Czech sausage, Parson’s pan-fried chicken, fried pheasant, catfish grilled in corn husks, Drukla noodles, Bohne berogge, farmer’s corn casserole, candied sweet potatoes, savory squash cobbler, German baked beans, sweet and sour cabbage slaw, black bean salad, Sunflower State whole wheat bread, oatmeal spice muffins, whole wheat buttermilk biscuits, apple butter, dandelion jelly, jalapeno pepper relish, pioneer apple pie, black walnut pie, Mennonite wedding cake, persimmon pudding, kolaches, Swedish ginger cookies–and much more! Many of the recipes have been contributed by more than 150 cooks from around the state and represent years of fine-tuning family favorites in countless kitchens. Others are Carey and Naas’s innovative adaptations of historic recipes or new creations that make use of indigenous ingredients. All have been tested–and tasted. The food is simple, honest fare: no glitz, no razzle-dazzle, just good taste. Each recipe is accompanied by an historical note, a personal comment or reminiscence from its contributor, or a serving suggestion. The Kansas Cookbook is illustrated with nearly 100 line drawings by Robin M. Nance, a freelance artist living in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Red Blood and Black Ink: Journalism in the Old West. Dary, David. Lawrence, KS, 1999. Publishers Weekly: The great temptation in commenting on this highly entertaining history of journalism in the American West–from 1808, when the first newspaper west of the Mississippi went to press in St. Louis, to the early 20th century–is simply to repeat some of the excerpts from old newspapers that Dary has the good sense to quote so lavishly. They are salty, angry, foul-tempered, opinionated, unfair, misspelled and more fun to read than an entire year of contemporary op-ed pages. Most of the newspapers in the early West were more personal, more direct and snappier than what Easterners were reading. The coverage of politics was unabashedly partisan (pro- or anti-slavery before the Civil War; Republican or Democrat after). Western editors, like their descendants, knew that sensationalism sells and, accordingly, lavished attention on scandal and death (violent, if possible). Just about every paper “boomed” the local community and bad-mouthed the neighboring ones, and most elevated the art of viciously attacking rival publications to a blood sport. Despite these lurid habits, however, papers gave national and international news more coverage than one might expect. Informative appendixes discuss 19th-century printing presses (by brand name) and printing terms and provide a detailed listing of early Western papers and their editors. Dary (author of seven previous books on the West, including Cowboy Culture) delivers a nicely balanced mixture of scholarship and anecdote.
- Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas. Fitzgerald, Daniel. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. The library also has Fitzgerald’s three-volume Ghost Towns of Kansas. This work takes the reader on a journey round the state of Kansas, visiting 106 towns, such as Palermo, Fostoria, and Old Clear Water, and examining why they have declined or been abandoned.
- What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Frank, Thomas. New York: Holt, 2005. The New Yorker: Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against “money power,” is now solidly Republican. In Frank’s scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just “the mystery of Kansas” but “the mystery of America.” Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the “systematic erasure of the economic” from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of “authenticity,” whereby “there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer.” The leaders of this backlash, by focusing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, “filth” on TV), feed their base’s sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a “criminally stupid” Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about NASCAR; they need to talk more about money and class.
- Menninger: The Family and the Clinic. Friedman, Lawrence. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992. From Library Journal: Friedman (history, Bowling Green State Univ.) offers a detailed and very candid study of the Menninger Clinic and its founding family, both major influences on American psychiatry during the past 50 years. Relying on abundant documentation, Friedman provides surprising insights into several of the more charismatic family members and is especially informative about institutional governance and treatment issues and foundation politics. This is an authoritative history of growth and creativity in a major psychiatric treatment center and the intriguing intrafamilial conflicts and issues behind the scenes. It is important for students of organizational behavior and leadership in mental health settings. The Menninger Clinic’s national renown should make it of interest to larger general collections as well.
- One-Room Schools of the Middle West: An Illustrated History. Fuller, Wayne. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. This profusely illustrated history chronicles the heyday of the one-room school and its vital influence on American education from the pioneer era through consolidation after World War II. The Midwest’s one-room schools were, Wayne Fuller observes, the most democratic in the nation. Located in small, independent school districts, they were sustained with the barest of resources by civic-minded farmers who voted taxes, set budgets, constructed schools, elected school boards, hired teachers, and approved curricula. Their efforts virtually wiped out illiteracy, strengthened their children’s devotion to democracy, and opened up new vistas beyond the borders of their lives. Filled with evocative images of school houses, students, and teachers, this volume rescues from obscurity the life and material culture of rural education: McGuffey Readers, wooden desks, slate blackboards, potbellied stoves, kerosene lamps, and screened privies. Fuller describes how rural children walked, rode horses, or drove buggies to school along dirt roads; the way they dressed; the games they played; and the lessons they learned. He also recounts the life of the typical teacher–usually female, young, unmarried, and educated in one-room schools and county teacher institutes.
- Kansas in Color. Glenn, Andrea. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1982. This volume captures, in full color, the rich textures and subtle beauty of the Kansas landscape. Selected from more than 4,000 photographs, the images presented here convey the unique feeling, the flavor, the essence of Kansas. They explore the diversity of the terrain, from the stunning splendor of a great field of ripened wheat to the red, brown, and gold mosaic of the Gypsum Hills. They show contrasts, from the clean sculptured curves of the Flint Hills to the fanciful rock formations along the Smoky Hill River. They reveal moods: the drama of a prairie storm, the solitude of a farmhouse at twilight. Some of these photographs have appeared in Kansas! magazine; more than half are published here for the first time.
- Skimming the Cream: Fifty Years with “Peggy of the Flint Hills.” Greene, Zula. Lecompton, KS: Baranski Publishing Company, 1983. “The scent of honeysuckle in the dark calls up memories of years long gone, memories that fly through the mind in a kaleidoscope of change from peak to peak–the pleasure, the pain, the errors, regret, all mingled together in a feeling that is none of them and all of them.”
- The Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America. Holt, Marilyn. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books, 1994. Read this excerpt. From Library Journal: From 1850 to 1930 America witnessed a unique emigration and resettlement of at least 200,000 children and several thousand adults, primarily from the East Coast to the West. This “placing out,” an attempt to find homes for the urban poor, was best known by the “orphan trains” that carried the children. Freelance writer Holt carefully analyzes the system, initially instituted by the New York Children’s Aid Society in 1853, tracking its imitators as well as the reasons for its creation and demise. She captures the children’s perspective with the judicious use of oral histories, institutional records, and newspaper accounts. This well-written volume sheds new light on the multifaceted experience of children’s emigration, changing concepts of welfare, and Western expansion.
- Early Indian Missions. Roustio, Edward. Springield, MO: Particular Baptist Press. This history of the life of Isaac McCoy in relationship to early Indian migrations and missions stems from McCoy’s unpublished manuscripts. McCoy helped Indians move from the southern Michigan area into the KansasTerritory and tells of early missionaries.
- Dying and Living on the Kansas Prairie: A Diary. Rutledge, Carol. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. This is Carol Brunner Rutledge’s diary of the three months preceding the death of her mother, Alice. With quiet eloquence she celebrates her mother’s life and guides us on a journey from anguish and doubt through self-discovery and healing. In the tradition of earlier plainswomen, she fuses deeply personal emotions with universal themes tied to family, community, religion, and work – amidst the stark beauty of the Flint Hills. Rutledge vividly describes the people and the seasons of the prairie, providing insight into how generations of tall-grass people have related to the land. She offers nostalgic memories of her childhood and family history, as well as reflections on the Kansas pioneer spirit and its special brand of humor. Rutledge also records with excruciating honesty her frustration at the insensitivity of high-tech medical professionals who ignore her mother’s strong spirit while continuing to labor over a body that no longer works. Rising above these false hopes, mother and daughter forge an even stronger bond as they come to understand that dying is a natural part of living. Throughout, the silent, powerful prairie provides solace and strength.
- Peopling the Plains: Who Settled Where in Frontier Kansas. Shortridge, James. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995. From back cover: “This stimulating and pathbreaking book represents a quantum leap in the geographical study of frontier population origins and their significance for later political and cultural development at the state level. Shortridge has crafted a rare and intriguing blend of well-designed maps and thoughtful commentary that will have significance far beyond the specific realm of Kansas history and geography, to which it nevertheless makes a powerful contribution.”–Michael P. Conzen, editor of The Making of the American Landscape
- White Man’s Wicked Water: The Alcohol Trade and Prohibition in Indian Country, 1802-1892. Unrau, William. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1996. Library Journal: In his third book dealing with the Native Americans of Kansas (following Indians of Kansas: The Euro-American Invasion and Conquest of Indian Kansas, Kansas State Historical Soc., 1991), Unrau describes the federal government’s policies toward liquor on Indian lands and its attempts at enforcing its restrictions. Unrau’s primary geographic focus is on Kansas, and he emphasizes chronologically its pre-statehood decades of the 1840s and 1850s.
- Wagon Wheel Kitchens: Food on the Oregon Trail. Williams, Jacqueline. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993. Pioneer temperaments, Jacqueline Williams shows, were greatly influenced by that which was stewable, bakable, broilable, and boilable. Using travelers’ diaries, letters, newspaper advertisements, and nineteenth-century cookbooks, Williams re-creates the highs and lows of cooking and eating on the Oregon Trail. She investigates the mundane–biscuits and bacon, mush and coffee–as well as the unexpected–carbonated soda made from bubbling spring water; ice cream created from milk, snow, and peppermint; fresh fruits and vegetables. Understanding what and how the pioneers ate, Williams demonstrates, is essential to understanding how they lived and survived–and sometimes died–on the trail.
Eudora Records and Genealogy Data
The library has copies of several family genealogies, genealogical periodicals such as Ancestry and Everton’s Genealogical Helper, and books on genealogy research. It also has obituary compilations and cemetery listings from city records, Tombstone Census of Douglas County, and individuals, i.e., Barbara Seiwald’s Holy Family research. Additional records transcribed by Cindy Higgins also are listed at page conclusion.
When searching for or viewing names, keep in mind that Eudora German surnames often were spelled differently, depending on the person writing them in publications. Examples include Lenz/Lentz, Kohler/Koehler, Merz/Mertz, Albrech/Albright, Gunten/von Gunten, Brunniz/Brunning, Hennig/Henning, Leonhardt/Leonard, Brenkmeyer/Brinkmaier, Muller/Miller, Wunsch/Wuensch, Georg/George, Gabriel/Gabrel, Schneider/Snider, Spitzli/Spitzley, Eisele/Isley, and Rosenau/Rousnau. Several such as Ziesenis, Hunsinger, Diedrich, or Schafer had a variety of spellings. For instance, Knueppel, also appears as Koepple, Kopple, Knoepple, and other variations.
For additional resources, see Douglas County Genealogical Society; Kansas Genealogy claims it “scoured the web so you won’t have to”; Kansas Interactive Genealogy, part of the Kansas Heritage group, not only offers a search function but also gives genealogical tips; and Cyndi Howells’ much-acclaimed Cyndi’s List of Internet Sites for Genealogy Research has a Kansas section.
The local newspaper, according to various accounts, was first printed May 20, 1886 by Morris Cain, and he, similar to future editors, included news items from outerlying communities. Through the years, the newspaper would include regular mentions of communities such as Hesper, Weaver, Fall, Clearfield, Gardner, Hopewell, and DeSoto. In some editions, too, Cain featured items from “CampBranch” where the Moll, Dolisi, Delahurt, Sauery, Schermehorn, and other families lived. On July 28, 1889, George Brune, Lawrence, bought the newspaper from Caine who sold it to W. A. Thompson and later F. A. White. Lawrence newspapers also printed Eudora information as well as Die Germania, a German language newspaper first published in 1877 and continued until World War I.
From 1906 to 1928 William (“Will”) Stadler operated the newspaper, often selling or leasing it to others and buying it back. In 1928, Stadler sold the paper to Russel Dizmang, Blue Mound, who moved the Eudora News to Ottawa. Marie (Robinson) Abels bought the News mail rights and subscription list in 1934 and hired Stadler as managing editor. Her husband printed the paper in Lawrence. Abels was owner and editor until 1958.
Eudora didn’t have a newspaper until 1966 when Jane Richards and D. D. Richards established the Eudora Enterprise, which covered the Eudora, Linwood, and SunflowerVillage area. In 1973, Monte Miller of Tele-graphics. Inc. in Belleville purchased the Eudora Enterprise. In 1979, the Enterprise became part of Tele-News, a combination of news from Wellsville and Baldwin that didn’t last long.
On July 5, 1989, The Eudora News was reborn when Bert and Vickie Hull began publishing from 729 Main Street with Stacie Neis as reporting assistant. The World Company of Lawrence, which operates the Lawrence Journal-World, bought the weekly Eudora News and DeSoto Explorer from the Hulls in March 2000 and continues to publish it.
To access these newspapers, visit the Lawrence Journal World, Lawrence, and the Lawrence Public Library (which has September 8, 1887 to January 21, 1923 newspapers on microfilm). The Eudora Public Library has a collection of Eudora newspapers that includes Eudora Enterprise (1970-1977); Tele-News (1981, 1982); Eudora News (1891, 1901, 1905, 1981, 1982, all of 1970s); and the current Eudora News starting in 1989.
Another repository is The University of Kansas Spencer Collection:
- Vol. 2, no. 53 (May 10, 1888); Vol. 3, no. 2 (May 17, 1888)-v. 20, no. 20 (Sept. 28, 1905) = Whole no. 106-no. 999.
- Eudora Weekly News: Vol. 20, no. 21 (Oct. 6, 1905)-v. 30, no. 25 (Nov. 18, 1915); Vol. 30, no. 26 (Nov. 25, 1915)-v. 58, no. 33 (Jan. 13, 1944) = Whole no. 1000-no. 1501 (RH MF 121).
The Kansas State Historical Society’s Center for Historical Research, 6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, also has early Eudora papers:
- September 8, 1887-December 25, 1890 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E883)
- January 1, 1891-January 25, 1894 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E884)
- February 1, 1894-March 25, 1897 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E885)
- April 1, 1897-May 24, 1900 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E886)
- May 31, 1900-August 13, 1903 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E887)
- August 20, 1903-September 28, 1905 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E888)
Eudora Weekly News
- October 6, 1905-August 10, 1906 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E888)
- August 17, 1906-December 8, 1910 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E889)
- December 15, 1910-December 30, 1915 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E890)
- January 7, 1916-August 19, 1920 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E891)
- August 26, 1920-June 21, 1923 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E892)
- June 28, 1923-September 6, 1928 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E893)
- September 13, 1928-December 25, 1930 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E894)
- March 9, 1966-December 31, 1969 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E621)
- Eudora Enterprise January 7, 1970-December 27, 1972 Kansas Historical Society microfilm (E622)
Local History File Topics
We have local history files on the following subjects and welcome your additions to these files:
- Business (until 1900)
- Business (1900 to 1950)
- Business (1950 to 2000)
- Business (2000 to present)
- Business Advertisements
- Captain’s Creek Community
- Central Protection Association (C.P.A.)
- Church (Assembly of God)
- Church (FirstMissionaryBaptistChurch)
- Church (First Southern Baptist)
- Church (Hesper Friends)
- Church (Holy Family)
- Church (St. Paul)
- Church (SalemEvangelicalChurch)
- City of Eudora (buildings and property)
- City of Eudora (census reports)
- City of Eudora (early written accounts)
- City of Eudora (government)
- City of Eudora (overview histories)
- City of Eudora (sites of interest)
- City of Eudora (sources of information)
- City of Eudora (utilities)
- Clearfield Community
- Clubs and Organizations
- Clubs and Organizations (American Legion Auxiliary)
- Clubs and Organizations (EudoraHigh School Alumni Association)
- Clubs and Organizations (Eudora Flower Club)
- Clubs and Organizations (Hesper)
- Clubs and Organizations (Ku Klux Klan)
- Clubs and Organizations/ (1900 and Now Club)
- Clubs and Organizations (Odd Fellows and Rebekahs)
- Death and Burial
- Delaware Tribe
- Eudora Area Historical Society
- Black Population
- Fall Leaf
- Food and Drink
- German Settlement Society
- Hesper Community
- Housing Developments
- Interesting Facts
- Land Ownership
- Law Enforcement
- Methodist Mission
- Parks and Recreation
- Postal Service
- PrairieCenter Community
- Quantrill and Eudora
- Rivers (besides Kansas River) and other waterways
- School (graduates and alumni)
- School (employees)
- Schools (no longer in use)
- Schools (one-room)
- Schools (presently in use)
- School (sports)
- Shawnee Tribe (including Paschal Fish)
- Sinclair Pumping Station
- Sunflower Ordnance Works
- Turner Hall
- Wars and Veterans
- Weaver Community