Dyche Hall, Ray Hildebrand, Smoky Hill Trail

(Frank) Today’s Around Kansas begins with the story of the Dyche Museum of Natural History at Kansas University. Next we look at the popular 1960’s song Hey, Paula that was written by a Kansan named Ray Hildebrand. Then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with a tale about the Smoky Hill Trail and the Butterfield Overland Despatch. Stay tuned.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas. (Frank) Is it Wednesday again already? (Deb) Honey, it’s not only Wednesday, it’s September. (Frank) And it’s early in the morning. Hmmmm. (Deb) Can you believe…I know, really. (Frank) So, September, good grief. But, Kansas is full of all kinds of things going on in September and October and so, anyway, just kind of check calendars everywhere and go everywhere you can. Right? (Deb) It’s so busy. It’s like everyday is packed. You’d have to be ten people to do everything that’s going on in September. And before I forget it, September 2nd, this is my daughter’s birthday. She just went back to Israel, so happy birthday from Kansas. And hope everything’s going well over there and people in Kansas miss you and love you. So, just want to remind you, don’t forget us back here. (Frank) Well, she can watch Momma of course, online anywhere around the world. (Deb) Isn’t that awesome? That’s right. You know, I was looking, Heather and I were looking the other day at some of our viewers that watch on You Tube, we have a You Tube channel you can check it out, or on Facebook that watch the clips on Facebook. And there are people all over the world. There’s like, I don’t know, a dozen or so in the United Kingdom. I know one of those at least is my cousin. But I don’t think everybody there is related to me that’s watching this show. But we got, yea, we’ve got folks all over the place. (Frank) Isn’t it exciting? (Deb) Is it! It’s so…so hey everybody, where ever you are around the world watching, we’re so glad to have you with us. (Frank) It’s the same thing, you know I’m kind of associated with wrenradio.net and the same thing we have listeners all over the world and it’s really a fun thing. It’s kind of like back in the 1950’s the 50,000 watt AM stations at night you could hear all of them. (Deb) Oh heck, they went into Mexico or something. (Frank) Yea, and so that’s kind of returned, people are kind of going across the dial now and finding radio stations all over the place. But anyway… (Deb) And people connect to things, you know like the stuff that we do on Around Kansas. One of the things I love of course is pioneer history. We know those immigrants came from all over the world. So, many of them still have family connections that aren’t too distant, you know, back in Europe especially. And so, it just goes to show they would be interested in Kansas and what’s going on here. (Frank) Yea, so what have you been up to? (Deb) Ah, just running the roads. Just everywhere. Went back home, went back to the hills of Virginia, North Carolina. And it’s funny when people ask me what’s home? So, when I’m here I talk about going back home. But when I’m back there, I talk about coming back home to Kansas. So, it’s like you know they’re both home. (Frank) Yea, so people should know you’re from Mount Ida. (Deb) Not exactly, close to Mount Ida, Mount Airy. I was actually born in Mount Airy, but I grew up on the Virginia side of the line, just eight miles north of Mayberry. So Mayberry, RFD, that’s where I’m from. (Frank) That’s right, so… (Deb) You know, the State Fair’s coming up. The 9th, 10th or 11th, something like that through the 20th. So it covers two weekends down in Hutch. And everything you could imagine. (Frank) And the highlight of the Fair is the butter sculpture. (Deb) Oh man, (laughs), what talent, what incredible talent! (Frank) Well, think about it. (Deb) It truly is, yea, it’s pretty amazing, it’s pretty amazing. (Frank) It’s worth the admission just to see the butter sculpture. There’s usually a big cow. So… (Deb) We’ll be right back folks, stay with us.

(Frank) And we’re back and I’m still awake. (Deb) We really need to get people to deliver coffee for us, Frank. (Frank) Coffee would be good. (Deb) I’ve only had one cup this morning and I can really feel it, I’m not really functioning that well. And we need a masseuse on staff. You know we’re getting to be a big deal around Kansas and we…. (Frank) We’ll talk to our director, contracts I think are coming up here quickly. (Deb) I go to the co-op and people recognize me, so we need, yea… (Frank) You know, (laughs). (Deb) Go to the feedlots, and people, I know you! Yea, so, we need a little perk here and there. (Frank) Something, anyway, so…oh back to business. You know, we’ve talked about a lot of museums and really interesting places around the state and there’s one over in Lawrence and you’re gonna do a story about that. And it is the Dyche Museum. (Deb) It’s amazing, the Dyche Museum has been a treasure in Kansas for a long, long time. It’s the old-fashioned natural history museum where you’ve got a lot of stuffed animals and stuff. But they have updated the exhibit that we were there seeing is on viruses and molecules and so, it’s a fantastic exhibit. I don’t know of anyplace that kids enjoy more. And of course it’s always cool because you go up and you can actually touch a stuffed polar bear or whatever, and you see the big panorama. But what really blew me away was, I took my grandkids who are four and five and my granddaughter who’s 11. And the four-year-old who is ADD, just you can’t get him to sit still and he’s looking into the microscopes and he’s looking, he’s stopping and he’s spending time and he’s looking at these bugs and he’s looking at these molecules and I was really amazed at how engaged he was with what I considered the less spectacular exhibits. And it was really amazing to see the kids engaged that way. And all the kids that we took with us really, really loved it, so I think you will too. Lewis Lindsay Dyche came to Kansas Territory as a baby. His parents settled in Osage County where they farmed and raised twelve children. His boyhood was spent outdoors on the farm or hunting and trapping. He also visited with local Indian tribes, and was fascinated by their stories. He rarely attended school, but wanted an education. He sold cattle he had bought and raised and used the money to enroll at the Kansas State Normal School, the teacher’s college, in Emporia. He graduated early and then enrolled at KU. Inspired by KU’s science professor Francis H. Snow, Dyche pursued his studies with zeal and became the equivalent to a teaching assistant. In 1881 while on a field trip to New Mexico, the group of KU scholars just missed being attacked by a band of Apache warriors. Dyche graduated from KU with two bachelor’s degrees. He married and continued teaching at the university. He spent a summer in Washington DC training under the National Museum’s chief taxidermist and became skillful at the craft. In 1891 the U.S. Army asked him to preserve the remains of the old cavalry horse, Comanche, the only survivor found on the Little Big Horn battlefield after the defeat of George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry. He also helped assemble specimens for the Kansas exhibit at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Dyche continued teaching at KU and devoting his summers to collecting animal specimens and lobbied the legislature to build a museum to house them. In 1901, they voted on the funds. Dyche spent years helping to design the structure and providing it with exhibits. Later on, Dyche also became the state’s Fish and Game Warden. Under his leadership the state fish hatchery at Pratt was enlarged into one of the biggest and most modern in the country. He wrote legislation that protected endangered species and set hunting seasons for most mammals and game birds. He also spoke on the need for soil and water conservation. The natural history museum was renamed the Dyche Museum of Natural History. Dyche Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and celebrated its centennial in 2003. The seven million specimens in the collection, as well as research facilities and offices, now known as the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, are housed in Dyche Hall and spill over into five other campus buildings.

(Frank) Oh ya, that’s right, OK. Good morning. OK, your turn. (Deb) Alright. So, I am on the board of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. (Frank) Uh, huh. (Deb) So, send me your bribes and you know, all those things and I’ll see what I can do for you. But we, as you well know Frank, because you’ve been in the music business here in Kansas for a long, long time. We are blessed with an incredible number of very, very talented people. (Frank) That’s true. (Deb) And this one I was shocked to find out he had a Kansas connection, when he was inducted into Kansas Music Hall of Fame a couple of years ago, Ray Hildebrand, who does a lot of Christian music now. But most of our viewers, I’m sure, remember the song, Hey Paula. (Frank) Well yea, and I’m associated with an oldies station and really should have known that, but I didn’t. I mean, yes, the song is very, very popular and well known, Hey, hey Paula, and all that. But anyway to learn that he was from Kansas and all of the places the song is used are very interesting. (Deb) Isn’t it cool? (Frank) So, instead of telling you the story now, I’ll tell you the story now. You may not be familiar with the name Ray Hildebrand of Prairie Village, Kansas, but it is nearly impossible not to have heard his biggest hit, Hey Paula. On the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, according to Ray’s official website, Priscilla Presley said that one of her husband’s favorite songs was Hey, Paula. She said Elvis had sent the record to her when he was in the army in Germany. Country singer Kenny Rogers’ brother named his twins Paul and Paula after the song. News commentator, Bill O’Reilly said it was the first song he ever danced to in Jr. High School. The song provided the inspiration and encouragement for Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters, to get into the music business. Rush Limbaugh even used it on his radio show, as political satire or parody of course, to poke fun at President Clinton and Paula Jones. Hey, Paula has been used on television shows such as Cheers, Married with Children, Dharma and Greg, Ally McBeal, That 70’s Show, as well as in movies such as Animal House, Hotel De Love, and Family of Strangers. The radio and television appearances on past royalty statements indicate that Hey, Paula has been played somewhere in the world virtually every day since 1962. Over the years, countless fans have testified that they fell in love and got married because of the song, were named after the song, named their kids after the song, or were greatly encouraged because of this simple song that Ray wrote and he and Jill Crawford recorded in 1962. A year later, it was a chart-topping hit and was quickly followed by others in the top 100. Ray became one of the founders of Contemporary Christian Music. He traveled for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a speaker and performer and later became a youth director for a church in Prairie Village. Ray was a frequent guest as a singer for the Billy Graham Crusades. In 1983, he hooked up another contemporary Christian music artist, Paul Land. Land & Hildebrand have played together all over the US and have recorded sixteen albums. In 2013, Ray was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and took the stage with his daughter to perform Hey Paula to a delighted audience.

(Ron) Me and the guys were at the café, eatin’ lunch and swappin’ lies, and listenin’ to our local veterinarian philosophize. It’s not medicine; it’s management, the old vet said to me. He was goin’ on about the bad cases that he’d see. He made the point that medicine couldn’t fix a situation when it was underlying management that caused the complication. He said these cowboys expect me to do a miracle fix and remedy their management with cheap antibiotics. It’s not the medicine; it’s management that needs to be changed. And then they wait too long to get a vet call arranged. These ranchers are so tight, the old veterinarian said, they don’t resort to calling me till the critter is half-dead. He got so involved in the comments that he’d say that he didn’t notice when the boys began to drift away. Bob had to make a phone call. Jim needed a tractor part. Max went to help his cousin cause his pickup wouldn’t start. So it was just the vet and me when the lunch bill came to pay. I said I got no cash. Looks like you get the bill today. Hey wait said ol’ Doc. This isn’t good. It is no fair. Everybody ate here, each one should pay his share. As he kept spouting protests about getting stuck with the bill, the waitress said calm down, Doc, just take a chill pill. Oh no, I spoke up, cause I’ve learned from this event it’s not medicine Doc needs, just better management. Happy Trails.

(Frank) Hey, we’re back again. And still no coffee, but hey you know. (Deb) Doggone, the service around here, I’m telling you what! (Frank) So…let’s see you have another story that you want to talk about. (Deb) You know I have images of roads all over my house. And have just always been drawn to roads. I love to travel. There’s nothing that tickles me more than just getting on the road. And of course, Kansas is blessed with roads and trails. And you’ve done a lot of research on some of those roads. And of course, before they were highways, like I-70 they were trails that were military roads, there were all kinds of commerce trails, the Santa Fe Trail and all this good stuff, the military roads. Before that they were Indian paths and buffalo trails, so all those trails just keep evolving. And one that we’re gonna take a look at today is the Smokey Hill Trail, which a lot of people may not remember. But those of you who are western movie fans, when you would see all those movies with the stage coach attacks, you know they were always portraying the stage would get robbed, that was the Butterfield Overland Despatch in many cases. And so we’ll talk about that today. The Smoky Hill Trail had been used as early as 1858. It was 500 miles long but it was still 100 miles shorter than the other routes across the prairies to Denver and could shave one to two weeks off the travel time. It earned a bad reputation early on, though. The road was not clearly marked west of Fort Riley and there was little water for the last 130 miles. Travelers often arrived reciting ghastly stories of danger, hunger, and death along the Starvation Trail. In 1865 David Butterfield saw the Smoky Hill Trail as an opportunity to create a thriving business. Butterfield was born in Maine but was fascinated with the West. After the Civil War he moved to Atchison, where he began to solicit financial backing to bring his dream to reality. Thus was born Butterfield’s Overland Dispatch or the BOD. Freight wagons and stages could reach Denver from Atchison in twelve days. The cost for traveling aboard a BOD coach, $175 per person one-way, was not considered extravagant. Eventually 39 stations were established and manned along the trail west of Fort Riley at an average interval of about 12 miles. Some of these were home stations where passengers could get meals at an added cost of from 50 cents to one dollar per meal. The trip was fairly comfortable from Atchison to Fort Ellsworth but from there westward the terrain was rougher. In addition, Cheyennes and Arapahos took exception to this invasion of homeland and began to attack coaches and stations. Initially there was no military protection west of Fort Ellsworth, but as the attacks increased the government established forts along the trail. Fort Fletcher was established and Camp Pond Creek, later renamed Fort Wallace, was established near the Kansas/Colorado state line. Losing money, Butterfield sold out to Ben Holladay, who was running a similar business along the Platte River Road. Tribes continued harassing the travelers but it would be the coming of the railroad that ended the stage and freight traffic along the Smoky. The Smoky Hill Trail Association holds its annual conference October 16 – 18 in Atchison, and among the speakers are Jerry DeBaker, Butterfield’s descendant. Visit the group’s website for more information.

(Frank) So anyway we have to say goodbye. So, I’m Frank. (Deb) It was tough without the coffee though. I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere… (Both) Around Kansas.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

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