Peggy Hull, Chapman, Solomon, Vesper and St.

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas join us for a story of a distinguished Kansan – Peggy Hull – the first woman war correspondent accredited by the US government; then learn about the settlement of Irish immigrants in Kansas communities like Chapman, Solomon, Vesper and St. Benedict to name but a few. Next enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with a look at the color green!Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow.Learn more at

(Frank Chaffin) Good morning, I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m Deb. (Frank) This is Around Kansas, early in the morning. Thank you for getting up to watch this silliness. Well, it’s not all silliness. (Deb) Frank’s part is silly. My part on the other hand, is serious journalism. We’re going to highlight a serious journalist later on, Peggy Hull, just to prove that point. Here we are, talking about, of course it’s not Saint Patrick’s Day yet, it’s the Ides of March. I don’t know how you celebrate the Ides of March [Laughs]. You don’t kill somebody, I don’t know– (Frank) Caesar certainly didn’t. (Deb) He didn’t celebrate very long, did he? I don’t know how to appropriately- (Frank) The Ides of March, what could it be? (Deb) – commemorate the Ides of March. (Frank) Hey, maybe that’s when we can do the March Basket Day [Laughs]. I don’t know– (Deb) Put a head in the basket. (Frank) Two weeks back, we talked about that, anyway. (Deb) Oh God. (Frank) Beware The Ides of March. (Deb) The Menninger Foundation used to be here, they’re not here any longer, sorry to say Frank [Laughs]. We might be recommending you; we might be calling for a room over there. I kept thinking we could get a group rate or something. Just get a whole ward for me and my friends and family just get a whole ward at Menninger’s. (Frank) The thing is, it’s called the Ides of March and I know that refers to the middle of the month, the 15th of the month. I’m one of those people that I like to research words and phrases and all of that. Unfortunately, it’s one that I haven’t. I have no idea what I’m talking about here. (Deb) You are such a letdown, Frank. (Frank) [Laughs] I know. I don’t have any news about why it’s called “The Ides”. I’m sure there– (Deb) I’m sure it’s just like the…golly…trying to recall my high school Latin class now. I don’t know if that’s the word for middle or if it’s just word for 15. (Frank) 15. (Deb) I don’t think it’s the word for 15. (Frank) No, it wouldn’t be 15. (Deb) No, it wouldn’t be 15. (Frank) Because that would be what, XIV– XV. (Deb) Yes, but the word is like– you know my favorite– (Frank) No, it wouldn’t be X, yes it would. (Deb) Yes, you know my favorite– (Frank) XV (Deb) Yes, but the word for that is not just XV, the Romans didn’t go around saying it’s XV. [Laughter] (Frank) You don’t think? (Deb) No, they didn’t [Laughs]. (Frank) Okay. (Deb) My favorite Latin word is the word for 18. (Frank) What’s that? (Deb) Duodeviginti. (Frank) Okay. (Deb_ And it means ‘two from twenty’ literally. See, that’s what– they wouldn’t and say XV [Laughs]. (Frank) Beware the XV of March. Of course they probably didn’t say March either. Oh boy, this is just going nowhere. I think we have some stories that we probably ought to get to very, very soon. (Deb) You know the song that you keep singing, talking about the songs that keep running through your head? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) You know the song running through my head right now? (Frank) What? Deb: They’re Coming to Take me Away. [Laughter] (Frank) They’re Coming to Take me away. (Deb) I knew you’d know it. Frank: We play it on WREN every now and then. (Deb) Stay with us folks if you dare.

(Frank) Okay. We’ve settled down some here at The Ides of March. (Deb) I’ve got a great story. (Frank) Okay. (Deb) I think I might have mentioned on the show before; when I was four years old, I watched Lois Lane on Superman, decided I wanted to be a reporter. Actually, I just wanted to follow Superman around. I became a journalist and I was working for the local paper by the time I was 15 years old. Journalism is one of the ways that women could– it was a profession women could break into. Kansas has such a tradition of journalists. We’ve got Clarina Nichols who covered the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention and wrote back home. Since the beginning of the state, there’s been a lot of women who wrote, did important things and covered important events. This one is Peggy Hull, had you ever heard of her? Frank: No, I’ve heard of Peggy of the Flint Hills but– Deb: That’s the one that I had heard of too. Peggy Hull was one that was new to me, but she was actually a war correspondent. I never did, I used to work a lot with Fort Leavenworth so I did media training at Fort Leavenworth and I used to cover, back in Library, courts and the cops and everything which is very similar to covering the military. I loved it, really loved it. I loved working with military. I never went overseas as an embedded reporter. I had the opportunity a couple of times but I just didn’t feel like it was the right time to leave. Noelle was still at home so it just didn’t feel like it was the right timing but I really admire the people who do because that’s scary. It’s a whole different reality. (Frank) One of the outstanding broadcast journalists in Kansas and she happened to work for WREN many years ago, Katherine Brandenburg. Katherine was the first one that would get the question and if she were in the White House Press Corps now, she would be the first one that they would talk to. She was a tough news gatherer and you could depend on it, if she said it, it was. It wasn’t fake news. She just went out and got the news. (Deb) I long for those golden days of journalism. You’re going to be amazed about the story of Peggy Hull and I’m thrilled to bring it to you today. Kansas has a distinguished history in journalism. Many of our towns had newspapers before they had buildings. Some of the nation’s most respected journalists in all media have hailed from Kansas, from William Allen White in newspaper, to Bill Kurtis in radio and television and Jim Lehrer of the McNeill-Lehrer News Hour on PBS. Among those distinguished ranks is Peggy Hull, the first woman war correspondent accredited by the United States government and the first woman to serve on four battlefronts. She was born Henrietta Eleanor Goodnough on a farm near Bennington in 1890. Henrietta later changed her name to Peggy Hull. Peggy grew up in Marysville and later moved to Junction City and was a fan of the exploits of investigative reporter Nellie Bly. She started her career setting type at the Junction City Sentinel and got her break covering a fire when no one else was available. She worked for newspapers in Colorado, California, Hawaii and Minnesota. While reporting for the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1916, Hull was assigned to cover the Ohio National Guard in Mexico. The soldiers were dispatched to patrol the Mexican border while Brigadier General John J. Pershing pursued Pancho Villa after his notorious raid in New Mexico. Here Hull started writing for the El Paso Morning Times, and her reporting of Pershing’s return with his men is considered one of the most accurate accounts of the event. In 1917 Hull convinced the Morning Times editor to send her to France to cover World War I. At that time, the War Department did not allow women journalists to become accredited. Hull sailed for Paris without accreditation, but thanks to her acquaintance with General Pershing, she was able to spend a month and a half at an artillery training camp. Envious male reporters saw to it that Hull was recalled to Paris, and embittered, she returned to the U.S. In the summer of 1918 she finally received accreditation. In the following years she would cover military action from Siberia, Shanghai and several Pacific islands. Although pleased to have earned accreditation, Hull often complained that she was sent to places far from the front because she was a woman. She may not have been happy with the location of her assignments, but readers valued her perspective and the humanized view she brought to her “little stories of war.” A soldier writing in 1944 said, “You will never realize what those yarns of yours … did to this gang … You made them know they weren’t forgotten.” After World War II Peggy Hull moved to California, where she lived until her death in 1967.

(Frank) Back again. (Deb) We’re almost at Saint Patrick’s Day. That’s our excuse for not wearing green and Saint Patrick’s Day, way more fun than the Ides of March, is the 17th of March. Would we even have a good time at all if it weren’t for the Irish? (Frank) For the Irish, yes. (Deb) Bless you, bless their hearts for coming. (Frank) Well, [clears throat] I’m Irish. (Deb) I thought you said Chaffin was– (Frank) Well, the Chaffins– okay, there are two pronunciations, Chaffin and there’s Cheffin. The Cheffin is from Ireland and the Chaffin is from England. Thing is, the families had to- Deb: The Cheffins, so what did the Cheffins do? Frank: Anyway, because there were brothers that came over during the potato famine, and of course, immigrated to Ohio and then spread out all over the country. I think I have a family down in Oklahoma and– (Deb) – run out maybe more accurate. (Frank) Anyway, yes. There were a couple of immigrations and one of course, was due to the potato famine. Anyway, they’re just all over the country. There was a movie; I’m trying to think of the name of it that was about the five corners in New York. That had a lot to do with, at that time; the Irish really were not welcome. It was like, go home and the whole thing. (Deb) Yes, it’s a very interesting history. Let’s take a look at the Irish in Kansas. (Frank) Yes, let’s do. (Deb) Cheffin. (Frank) According to the Kansas State Historical Society, in 1870 the majority of immigrants to Kansas came from the British Isles, and particularly Ireland. In 1871 Thomas Butler, an Irish priest in Leavenworth, wrote a pamphlet encouraging Irish people to move to Kansas. Extreme poverty and a lack of opportunity have often motivated the Irish to seek other shores, most famously during the Great Potato Famine. The impact of the famine on Kansas’ Irish population is documented by Father Butler in his discussion of the history of Catholicism in Kansas, when the Catholic churches in the state increased from three in 1854 to forty-five in 1871. The Wichita Eagle’s Beccy Tanner found many communities with Irish names: Chapman and Solomon in Dickinson County, Vesper in Lincoln County, and St. Benedict in Nemaha County. Patrick Doyle, an Irish immigrant who settled in Marion County south of Florence, was the inspiration for Doyle Creek, Doyle Township, and the Doyle Post Office. Meade County has Irish Flats. And, in Marshall County, there is Irish Creek. Beccy added that shortly after the Civil War, Irish labor helped build the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and mined coal in southeast Kansas. Many of the Irish who came to Kansas during the mid-to-late 19th century did so because of a migration fueled by Ireland’s potato famine and social and political turmoil. Perhaps the most recognizable influence of the Irish is in the University of Kansas mascot, the Jayhawk, the mythical bird of Irish origins that antagonized its prey and was adopted to describe Kansans during the Border Wars, the original Border Wars of the 1850s and 1860s. And now, dear viewers, a toast to our Irish roots!

(Ron) When the open range era came to an end the homesteaders and settlers moved into Kansas and started building something that would change the life of the cowboy forever, I’m referring to fences. This poem is based on the true story of the invention of barbed wire. It’s called the Death of Open Range. Let me tell you of a time when open range was in its prime. Cowboys rode their horses forth and drove the huge herds of cattle north. We could ride all over this great land, unfettered by the human hand. Then a farmer over Illinois way invented something that’s used to this day. His name was Mr. Joseph Glidden and he was doing the homesteaders biddin. He took a pair of heavy pliers and wrapped barbs around a long piece of wire. The barb’s sharp points kept stock in or out, could be used for fencing all about. For the open range it was a turn of events that barbed wire made it easy to string a fence. Barbed wire succeeded more than Glidden had planned. Soon fences criss-crossed the open land. The old west changed with Glidden’s invention. And caused the cowboys apprehension. No more could we ride over free open range and the cowboy’s role would be forever changed. Homesteaders and nesters scarred this land and changed the role of the old cowhand. The cowboy’s work continues on but the days of the open range are gone. That open range would have no more hope. That’s why cowboys call barbed wire the Devil’s Rope. Happy Trails.

(Deb) I’ve got this story on green and I feel guiltier than ever now for not wearing green today. I don’t know what I was thinking. Green is the color of everything except us today. That’s just– (Frank) Oh, well. (Deb) I just started thinking, my dad was a preacher. Yes, really. One of my favorite verses from the Bible and one of my favorite visuals is when they talk about the hills and living green. I can remember sitting in the church back home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and daddy saying that and looking out at those beautiful hills. That living green, I thought, “What a beautiful description that is,” because that’s not like green on the tablecloth or on your shirt or whatever. That living green, where it’s just putting air, oxygen into the air and it’s just that vibrant sea. It was mama’s favorite color. She had our house painted one time mint green. I just started thinking about all the things that are green. Frank: I just saw a thing on weather channel here recently that when the sun is setting, just before it drops below the horizon, there’s a flash of green. (Deb) Really? (Frank) But you have to really watch closely and the sky is green. (Deb) Oh my goodness. I’ll look for that now. That’s another thing. The whole tornado, I forgot about the green clouds and all that. There’s so many—right in with your green things. It ain’t easy being green. Green is the color of March, of Ireland, of St Patrick’s Day, of clover and leprechaun suits. It is the color of Christmas, of holly and ivy and evergreens. It is the color of Kermit the Frog, the Swamp Thing, and the Incredible Hulk. It is the color of common things, like grass and leaves. It is the color of rare things, like emeralds and jade. It is the color of tropical fruit, like limes. It is the color of temperate-climate fruits, like Granny Smith apples. It is the color of caterpillars, lizards and moths; it is the color of the birds and snakes that eat them. It is the color of malachite and moss, grapes and olives, jungles and forests, vines and stems. Green is the color of money, of envy, of greed. But it is also the color of life, the color created through the process of photosynthesis by which the world is fed. Perhaps no other color screams so loudly of spring, of new life springing from the earth. When Kansas fields turn green, after the stubble is burned away, the color is almost blinding. Dry creek and riverbeds turn green hinting at the water buried beneath the dry ground. From the time of the Egyptians, green has been the color of rebirth and regeneration. Green is the color of hope and promise. Here’s wishing you a verdant spring.

(Frank) We got to go. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) We’ll see you somewhere (Deb and Frank) Around Kansas.

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