Category: History

North Enders team up for history

May 2, 2022 | By The Active Age

The traditional center of Wichita’s Hispanic population now has a photographic history of its own. “Mexican Americans of Wichita’s North End” was published earlier this year by Arcadia Publishing and has been selling briskly. The book is a collaboration between Anita Mendoza, a real estate agent who grew up in the North End; Jay Price, […]

Read Article

The dress that kept on giving

| By Laurene Gast

This is a story my friends Mary and Gene Brand told me about their wedding and her dress.  They got married on Feb. 9, 1957, at Christ the King Catholic Church. The church wasn’t built yet, so the ceremony was held in the gymnasium. Mary bought the dress at Henry’s Department Store for $200. That […]

Read Article

Nicodemus historian to speak at Friends of Library meeting

September 30, 2021 | By The Active Age

DERBY — A presentation about the historic African American town of Nicodemus, Kan., will highlight the annual Friends of the Library meeting here Saturday, Oct. 16. Angela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society, is the featured speaker. Nicodemus, a small, unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town established by […]

Read Article

New Deal’s impact still felt in Wichita

September 28, 2021 | By Joe Stumpe

As politicians in Washington debate massive new infrastructure spending, it’s interesting to recall how the New Deal programs of nearly a century ago affected Wichita.       The impact of those projects spearheaded by President Franklin Roosevelt can hardly be overstated. They are still a big part of the city’s life in areas ranging […]

Read Article

Wichita’s own Field of Dreams

August 31, 2021 | By Bob Rives

By Bob Rives When Major League Baseball staged a game in the Iowa cornfield where “Field of Dreams” was filmed, it became one of the most-talked-about regular season contests in decades. Something similar plays out in Wichita when the city’s two vintage baseball teams square off at Old Cowtown Museum. Baseball is now rivaled in […]

Read Article

Auggie Navarro’s family carries on golf legacy

August 2, 2021 | By Amy Geiszler-Jones

By Amy Geiszler-Jones Growing up in a pair of boxcars on North Broadway, Auggie Navarro never envisioned himself making a living whacking a little white ball around manicured fairways and greens. But when his dad got a maintenance job at the original Crestview Country Club course, Auggie started caddying there. Thus began the Navarro family’s […]

Read Article

France says ‘Merci’ to WWII pilot

| By Joe Stumpe

By Joe Stumpe Bill Fry enlisted during World War II with the goal of becoming of pilot. He did that and a whole lot more. On July 20, the 95-year-old resident of Lakepoint Wichita was awarded the French Legion of Honor — France’s highest distinction — for his combat service nearly eight decades ago. In […]

Read Article

New book explores beloved Wichita restaurants

| By Joe Stumpe

By Joe Stumpe It’s no secret that dining out is one of Wichita’s favorite forms of entertainment. A new book by the Wichita Eagle’s Denise Neil shows that the city has been restaurant crazy for a long time, maybe since its earliest days. “Classic Restaurants of Wichita” is set to be released by The History […]

Read Article

KU School of Medicine

Wichita’s medical school marks 50th year

July 1, 2021 | By Bonnie Bing

Ask someone to name institutions of higher learning in Wichita and they’ll quickly come up with Wichita State University, Friends University and Newman University. There’s another four-year school with a shorter history but no lack of impact on the area and state: KU School of Medicine-Wichita. The medical school is 50 years old this year. […]

Read Article

Diana Wolfe

Teenage girls were crazy for cars, too

| By Diana Breit Wolfe

Recently I sent a couple of cards to my two great-grand nieces for their 14th birthdays. I kidded them about learning to drive, which made me think about my own experiences when I was 14 and so anxious to get a “learner’s permit.” It was 1957 and the family car was a pink ’57 Chevy […]

Read Article

The life and death(s) of ‘Charley’ Cordeiro

| By Jay Price

Early Wichita was full of colorful characters, few more so than Malachai R. “Charley” Cordeiro. A scout for the U.S. Army who opened a saloon in Wichita in 1869, Cordeiro became the defendant in  one of the town’s first murder trials. When an intoxicated customer named O. H. Whitman demanded that Cordeiro open up his […]

Read Article

Writer never had a sporting chance

| By Ted Blankenship

In more than 60 years of writing for newspapers and magazines, I have never been a sports writer. One reason is that I never participated in sports. I ran really hard but never got far. That’s because I was kind of fat. In the interest of truthfulness, I was really fat. Worse, I was short, […]

Read Article

Karen Dobbin

Work ethic stuck early in East Mt. Vernon neighborhood

| By Pat O’Connor

Article and photos by Pat O’Connor The East Mt. Vernon neighborhood runs from Harry to Pawnee and Oliver to Woodlawn. Many of its homes were built for working and middle-class families in the post-World War II housing boom. The natural setting at the edge of these neighborhoods colored the adventures. Karen Dobbin “I lived on […]

Read Article

From our archives

| By The Active Age

40 years ago Plans for Wichita’s first Senior Olympics, to be held in Linwood Park, were announced … A support group for families of people with Alzheimer’s was organized in Wichita … Bob Fletcher, 81, and Pat Van Dyne, 86, married six months after meeting at Hillhaven Nursing Home. 25 years ago Wanda Groves, 74, […]

Read Article

Future of McCormick School Museum in doubt

May 20, 2021 | By Joe Stumpe

Correction: A headline on an earlier version of this article said the McCormick School Museum is closed. Tours are still available by appointment on Wednesday and Sunday. To schedule one, call (316) 841-6198. The future of Wichita’s oldest school building, which houses McCormick School Museum, appears shaky. According to a memo that museum curator Paul […]

Read Article

Tales of the Innes Tea Room

April 29, 2021 | By Bonnie Bing

Ask many longtime Wichitans if they ever dined at the Innes Tea Room and you’ll see a big smile and hear a resounding, “Yes!” Especially if they’re female. Next you’ll hear the word “special” many times while they describe the experience.  I wholeheartedly agree with them. The first fashion show I saw was when my […]

Read Article

Author tells story of great aunt’s eventful

| By Joe Stumpe

Cindy Entriken was helping her grandmother clean out the house she’d lived in for 55 years when she came across a “ratty pile of papers tied with dirty string.” “I said, ‘What is this?’ She said, ‘Those are the letters your great aunt wrote during the war.’ ” Nearly three decades later, Entriken has turned […]

Read Article

Country Overlook: ‘Everybody knew each other’

March 31, 2021 | By Patrick O’Connor

The Country Overlook neighborhood was built in the late 1940s. Wichita had jobs and workers wanted to buy homes, often through the G.I. Bill. JAMES HAYS and his family shared a duplex with his grandparents. “We were right across the street from MacDonald Golf Course. We would hop over the fence and go sledding on […]

Read Article

Films tell story of Butler County’s past, town by town

March 1, 2021 | By The Active Age

EL DORADO — Butler County history is being brought to life through a series of short documentaries produced by the Butler County Historical Society. Each episode in the “Rural Crossroads” series examines a different community. So far, segments have run on El Dorado, Augusta, Towanda, Douglass, Cassoday and Rosalia. More are planned for Beaumont, Benton, […]

Read Article

Peace work

February 5, 2021 | By Debbi Elmore

When Lakshmi Kambampati arrived in Liberia, the schools had been closed for 14 years due to Ebola and a civil war. It was just the kind of challenge the retired Wichita teacher was looking for when she signed up for the Peace Corps. “I wanted to help and I was looking for adventure,” she said. […]

Read Article

Santa Fe trail spotting

| By The Active Age

Some Kansas women are hitting the Santa Fe Trail to celebrate the 200th anniversary of that famed route. It’s actually not the first time that they’ve done so. Back in 1906, the Kansas Daughters of the American Revolution raised money and placed 89 granite markers along the trail throughout the state. As a result, Kansas […]

Read Article

South Central remembered for music, bikes and watermelon

| By By Pat O’Connor

The South Central neighborhood is one of Wichita’s oldest. The Orme and Phillips Addition was platted in 1876, six years after the city was incorporated. In the early days, travel to work downtown was a quick walk or streetcar ride. Some of the city’s grandest homes were built among the many middle-class and more modest […]

Read Article

Time for space program to start monkeying around again

| By Ted Blankenship

I’m sure you have noticed that we’re back in the space business in a big way. After years of paying the Russians big bucks to haul our astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station, we now have our own taxi service.  Not only that, we’re sending more women to the station, and there […]

Read Article

Project Beauty looks forward at 50

October 1, 2018 | By Joe Stumpe

By  Joe Stumpe Project Beauty, Inc. may be down in numbers, but it’s not out. President Sue Boewe admits to an ambitious goal for the 50-year-old group founded to spruce up Wichita. “I’m hoping we’re going to double our membership this year,” she said. “I’ve asked everybody to bring in one member. That’s the challenge […]

Read Article

‘Fireball’ Jackson inspires book

August 29, 2018 | By By Debbi Elmore

By Debbi Elmore Gerald McCoy was a boy when he saw Isaiah “Fireball” Jackson pitch in Wichita’s National Baseball Congress tournament. Jackson’s explosive fastball wasn’t the only remarkable thing about him. There was also the team he played for, made up of fellow prison inmates. “My dad and I watched him lead the prison team […]

Read Article