Commentary

Wed
22
Aug

Leaving Civilization

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

Terror reigned across frontier Kansas after the shocking July 1868 raids through north-central Kansas by Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux warriors.

The Aug. 21, 1868, edition of the Emporia News reported that 200 families had fled the Saline, Solomon, and Republican valleys north of Fort Harker. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s command, the Department of the Missouri, extending all the way to the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, was unexpectedly paralyzed by fear.

 

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Wed
08
Aug

Amazon’s hidden cost

By Katie Parker

The billions in tax breaks larger cities are offering Amazon to host its “HQ2,” Amazon’s bare-knuckled push to squash a business tax in Seattle, and recent strikes for better working conditions in Amazon facilities have all fueled a growing conversation about the retail behemoth’s toll on communities.

But one element of Amazon’s business strategy has fallen under the radar, and this one could really bite where you live: its bid to dominate local government purchasing.

 

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Wed
08
Aug

Inevitable misfortune

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

As the 1868 spring turned to summer everyone on the plains held their breath wondering if peace with the Cheyenne was going to hold.

When the conference for peace had been held at Medicine Lodge the previous fall, the Cheyenne were the last to sign.

Who could blame them?

Of all the plains tribes the Cheyenne had been singled out by Colorado troops for retribution by means of a particularly brutal attack on a peaceful village in 1864. The Sand Creek Massacre was still fresh in their minds.

 

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Wed
01
Aug

Cowboys and Roundups

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

The article “Cowboys and Roundups” was originally published in an 1882 edition of Youth’s Companion. The publication was a children’s magazine that ran from 1827 to 1929.

Once it hit its stride, a typical issue of Youth’s Companion included “outdoor adventure stories, historical articles, anecdotes, contests, travel articles, and editorials”.

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Wed
01
Aug

The missionary mentality

David Norlin
Others Say

Two stories in the June 30 Salina Journal feature Gov. Jeff Colyer and Congressman Roger Marshall, both Republicans, in “Good Samaritan” mode.

The Colyer story recounts the governor, while campaigning, ordering his driver to stop the car as it went by an accident scene. There Colyer gave a heatexhausted truck-trailer driver a bottle of water, then took him to the trooper’s car to sit in airconditioning.

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Wed
25
Jul

The staff of life

John Schlageck
Others Say

While the 2018 wheat harvest remains fresh in the minds of Kansans, it’s worth remembering civilization has been directly linked to the cultivation of grain.

When primitive man first learned he could grow wheat during the summer, store it for winter food and use the leftover wheat to plant in the spring, he realized he could settle in one place.

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Wed
25
Jul

WE’RE IN TROUBLE

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

No mincing of words, no beating around the bush, Kansas public education is in trouble and has been for some time. A recent indication came with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling of June 15, which upheld the constitutionality of a state statute denying Kansas public school teachers guaranteed tenure after three years. Local authorities may provide such a guarantee but they are not obligated to do so.

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Wed
18
Jul

Pure air of independence

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

I don’t always know where a story will take me.

An example can be shown from my search for mountain man A. L. Johnson. I often use The Beginning of the West by Louise Barry as a springboard, leading to further research. In a July 18, 1849, reference, Barry notes that “expressman” A. L. Johnson and an unnamed Indian companion had arrived at Fort Leavenworth with about 350 pounds of letter mail. Coming from Fort Laramie, Johnson and his companion had been delayed 10 days due to high water. Normally, the trip would not have taken much more than two weeks.

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Wed
18
Jul

Playing the hand dealt

John Schlageck
Insight

“Better than expected, but not what we’d hoped for.”

This is what I heard when I asked Kansas farmers about this year’s wheat harvest. Still, with the little moisture received during the growing season, the 2018 wheat crop panned out better than most Kansas farmers thought it would.

Steve Boor, Lincoln County farmer wrapped up harvest June 30, two weeks after he began.

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Wed
11
Jul

George Bayard’s wound

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Second Lt. George Dashiell Bayard could hardly contain his excitement in a June 1, 1860, letter to his father.

Following a six-day trip from St. Louis, he had arrived at “Camp on the Pawnee Fork”, a tributary of the Arkansas River, (near present-day Larned, Kan.) for a military campaign against the Kiowas and Comanches.

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