(Frank) Today Around Kansas begins with a story about Teter Rock, a 16-foot monolith honoring James Teter, who in the 1870’s helped guide pioneers looking for the Cottonwood River. Next its Samuel and Florella Brown Adair, John Brown’s sister and brother-in-law; and a poem from Ron Wilson. We’ll end with Martin and Osa Johnson, adventurers from Kansas.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Frank) Well good morning. We’re here and you’re there, must be Around Kansas. (Deb) And it must be Wednesday. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we bring you this show to let you know about all of the people, places and things around Kansas that make it a great place to work and live and play. (Deb) And we’re sitting in one of them. I want to give a shout out to the Dillon House real quickly. We come to you from the Dillon House every week. And a couple of weeks ago Ross Freeman of the Pioneer Group that rehabbed this building won a very prestigious award. It’s called the “Timmy” Award and it’s named for an architect from Boston who basically pioneered rehabbing old buildings instead of just building new ones. And of course there’s a lot of advantages to that. And I think that this is the second Timmy Award that the Pioneer Group has won. It’s the most prestigious award an architect can receive in America and only a handful of people have more than they do. So, a shout out to Ross Freeman and the good folks with the Pioneer Group that made this beautiful space. Brought it back to life. (Frank) It is exceptional. If you’ve not ever been in here, sometime you should come and take a look at it. Right now of course, it’s in its holiday gaiety. And we’re sitting by one of the many, many decorations that are throughout the house. It was all done by Porterfields this year. And it’s a beautiful place to have a meeting, or a reception, or I don’t know come sit by the fireplace. (Deb) Really, it’s so pretty. It’s so pretty. Again, kudos to them. Well there’s just so much going on around the state in December. And of course the weather, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Western Kansas had blizzards back in November already. I mean shoot. (Frank) Twenty inches of snow. (Deb) It’s crazy. So, it’s already upon us. So, we want to give you some places that you can visit over the holidays and some nice cozy indoor spots. And take the kids, take the family that’s visiting from out of town. So, we’re gonna talk about those. Frank has one that’s not quite so cozy. (Frank) There’s one that this time of the year you may not want to go visit it. Anyway it’s called the Teter Rock. And a friend of mine actually owns the land where Teter Rock is but it’s open to the public and it’s an interesting story about why there is a rock there. (Deb) So that may not be as cozy as some of the other places we’re gonna talk about today. But if it’s a nice winter day, that would be a great place to go. That and Monument Rock and we’ve got so many incredible formations all over the state. We really do. There’s so many great places to see and great folks to know about. So, go back and look at our archives. You can find those at aroundkansas.com, and just flip through all those great episodes and we share ’em on Facebook. Our friend Karla Hall, I’ll give Karla a shout out, posts all that stuff on Facebook. And did you know we’re on Twitter? (Frank) Hmm, yes we’re there now. (Deb) I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know what… (Frank) We’re everywhere, we’re everywhere. (Deb) We’re everywhere, we’re everywhere. (Frank) Well, that’s Chicken Man. That’s another story. (Deb) Yea, that’s not Twitter, that’s Chicken Man yea, tweet, tweet. (Frank) We’ll be back.
(Deb) Welcome back. You know one thing that we have a lot of in Kansas is rock. And we’ve got the Flint Hills, which couldn’t be cultivated because the flint rock is so close to the surface. We’ve got the land of post rock fences, because they didn’t have trees to make fences out of. So, they used rock and then of course we’ve got all these wonderful stone buildings because that’s what we’ve got to build with. We’ve got rocks. (Frank) We have lots of rocks. Sandstone and flint and all kinds of stuff. (Deb) All kinds of rocks. Some big rocks, some little rocks. We’ve got all kinds of rocks all over Kansas. (Frank) In fact, they’re a lot of towns that have survived destruction of modern day and all of that. In fact, Alma is one that is, the buildings there most every one of them is made from native stone. (Deb) Oh, that’s a pretty town. (Frank) Oh ya it is. (Deb) A beautiful town. You’ve got me wanting some cheese from Alma. (Frank) Alma cheese, yea. (Deb) Alma cheese now. We’ll have to run over there later to get some Alma cheese. (Frank) Yea. (Deb) So, it’s no mystery that people have used these rocks for a lot of things and that’s what Frank’s story is about today about some of the rocks that weren’t natural landmarks. Well you could just make yourself a landmark, couldn’t you? (Frank) Yea, well and that really kind of is the gist of the story, why there is Teter Rock because it’s kind of the last vestige of what was there. (Deb) What was there. (Frank) Do I have you intrigued? (Deb) Yes. (Frank) Anyway, let’s find out about the famous Teter Rock. Our friend Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation reminds us that to “get” Kansas you sometime have to go out of your way to be in the realm of what was. Nice to have a big stone to give us a great reason to go there. In the 1870s James Teter piled rocks as a marker to guide pioneers searching for the Cottonwood River. Eventually the rocks were removed and used for construction materials. In 1954 a 16-foot-tall slab of rock was erected on this hilltop in honor of Mr. Teter. Although this jagged monolith that slices the clean Flint Hills air is marked up with graffiti, it’s still an excellent Kansas landmark, says Marci. The view is vintage remote Flint Hills. Teter Rock also marks the approximate vicinity of Teterville, an oil boomtown of the 1920s. At one point there were more than 600 people in Teterville along with two general stores, a school, a post office, and shotgun houses for oil workers and their families. By the 1960s everyone and nearly everything was gone. Today, you really have to use your imagination to envision such a town. A few foundations are the only remnants. You can learn more about the town at the Greenwood County Historical Museum in Eureka.
(Frank) And we’re back again. Now that we were outside we can kind of go inside. (Deb) That’s right. Now, we can go get cozy now. And so this actually, the next place that we’re going to talk about, the John Brown Cabin of Osawatomie is actually sitting in a park. So, if it’s nice you can go walk around outside and there’s a beautiful John Brown statue there. You can just walk around and enjoy the beautiful town of Osawatomie. Just walk down the sidewalks. It’s such a pretty town. Or you can come inside the John Brown Cabin. Now, I’ll have to tell you as a historian of course, this is obviously one of my favorite places. When I first came to Kansas, so many years ago, the historical society was still downtown in the GAR Memorial Hall. So I researched in there and I really wanted to just go in and I wasn’t working on anything specific. So, I’m like, well what do you want to see? And I’m like I want to see something connected to John Brown. And I was going through this file. And I get the diary of his sister, Florella Adair, who lived in this cabin. And so I sat in that old Memorial Hall and read her diary. And that was just amazing. Just amazing. (Frank) And what’s interesting is, was he a hero or was he a villain? And historians debate that all the time. (Deb) There’s no end. (Frank) Was he a hero? Was he a villain? Did his actions actually spark the Civil War? Most probably, because of Bleeding Kansas. (Deb) One of my friends, Jack Davis, who is a foremost Civil War author. He’s written 50 books. He said, John Brown is a mountain in the path of American history, you cannot go around him. Let’s take a look. When Samuel and Florella Brown Adair moved to the Kansas Territory from Ohio, it was with the dream of making a new home and stopping the spread of slavery. Florella’s half brother was the abolitionist John Brown and five of his sons followed the Adairs to Kansas, bringing with them their families and expectations for a better life in the new territory. After settling in the Osawatomie area, severe illness and the “clouds of war” closed in on the pioneers. John Brown came to the Territory to help his sons and found a place where he could act on his radical ideas. During the troubled times of Bleeding Kansas, Osawatomie was attacked and burned by proslavery forces in 1856, but the Adair Cabin, located some distance northwest of the town, survived. The Congregational meeting house built by Adair was dedicated in 1861 and still stands as well. The Civil War, when it came in 1861, separated the Adairs. Samuel served at Fort Leavenworth as military chaplain, while Florella died in 1865. Following her death, Samuel returned to his church and cabin in Osawatomie. He helped establish the first insane asylum in Kansas, present-day Osawatomie State Hospital, giving his services voluntarily as chaplain for 11 years. Samuel died in 1898, leaving the cabin to his son, Charles. In 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt visited Osawatomie to dedicate a memorial at the John Brown Memorial Park. Shortly after the Adair cabin was dismantled and relocated to the memorial park. In 1928 the state of Kansas appropriated funds for a stone pergola to surround the cabin, protecting it from further deterioration. The Kansas Historical Society maintains the site in partnership with the city of Osawatomie. Grady Atwater is the site director. Visit their website for upcoming events and exhibits.
(Ron) Howdy folks, I’m Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat. Those of us who live out here in the middle of the country get used to one thing and that is, the weather’s gonna change. This poem is entitled, “Just Wait a Minute, It’ll Change.” We’ve had lots of winter weather, so when we got a thaw, the chance to get outside was really quite a draw. It felt like cabin fever so I was glad to get outside and clean the feeder, build some fence and managed to get in a horse ride. I stripped down to my shirt sleeves and got a whole lot of good work done. And found it was the spring’s first exposure to the sun. The next day I was in the house, payin some ranch bills when I heard a clap of thunder roll across the nearby hills. I tuned into the weather and they proceeded to inform that a wave of snow might follow a local thunderstorm. I just shook my head and went back to working on the books, when what I saw out the window made me take a second look. Big fat, wet snowflakes were falling from the sky. It looked like a full-fledged blizzard passing by. I finished up my paperwork and bundled up to do my chores. And found the sun shining brightly across the great outdoors. It made me think about the weather pattern in this Kansas land. It will change so dad-gum fast, that it is hard to understand. And I said to my wife, as the weather made it’s turn, you know you live in Kansas when it snows on your sunburn. Happy Trails.
(Frank) And we’re back again. Don’t we have fun here? (Deb) We do. Now we’re going to go from a wild man to some wild beast. So have you visited the Osa and Martin Johnson Museum down at Chanute, Kansas? (Frank) No. (Deb) It’s a wonderful museum and I had not been there until a couple years ago. Jackie Zimmer is the director there. And her husband, remember the bookstore? (Frank) Lloyd. (Deb) Lloyd, our dear friend. They are just a wonderful couple. And she does an amazing job. They actually had a film crew from, oh shoot, the Czech Republic, I believe it was. This young couple who were making a film about Osa and Martin Johnson. And they came to Kansas and interviewed Gary Clark and lots of folks. And of course, Lloyd and Jackie helped them do all kinds of stuff. And I was invited to a reception at their house to meet this lovely couple. And so maybe one day they’ll be back in Kansas and we’ll share then. But we’ll share information on their film project and how that’s going. But again this is a wonderful cozy place to go. Take the kids, take the whole family. There’s something for everybody. And the library is in the same building. (Frank) Huh, well you can actually see Teter Rock and the museum all in one fell swoop if you like. (Deb) That’s right. It’s conveniently located. And Osawatomie is not that much far either. So, you can hit all three of these spots in one day. (Frank) Hey there you go. (Deb) At least one weekend. (Frank) A day trip. (Deb) A day trip, that’s right. Let’s take a look. In the first half of the 20th century an American couple, Martin and Osa Johnson, captured the public’s imagination through their films and books of adventure in exotic, faraway lands. Photographers, explorers, marketers, naturalists and authors, Martin and Osa studied the wildlife and peoples of East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo. They explored then-unknown lands and brought back film footage and photographs, offering many Americans their first understanding of these distant lands. Osa Leighty was born and raised in Chanute, Kansas. Martin grew up in Lincoln and Independence. Martin took part as a crew member and cook in Jack London’s 1907–1909 voyage across the Pacific aboard the Snark. After that, he started a traveling road show that toured the United States displaying photographs and artifacts collected on the voyage. He met Osa Leighty while passing through her hometown. Osa later penned a bestseller, I Married Adventure, which sums up the colorful couple’s life. Television’s first wildlife series, Osa Johnson’s The Big Game Hunt premiered in 1953. The Walt Disney Company was the first organization to license Johnson film from the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum for the 1976 program “Filming Nature’s Mysteries.” Disney again licensed Johnson film as part of the “Rafiki’s Planet Watch” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when it opened April 22, 1998. The architects and Disney team developing a new “safari lodge” borrowed Johnson films from the museum in 1997 and 1998 for research and inspiration. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge opened April 16, 2001. Included is an ongoing exhibit of 36 Johnson photographs. Martin and Osa Johnson were the namesake, inspiration and background story for the 2006-2010 Martin + Osa clothing line and national chain of 28 Martin + Osa stores launched by American Eagle Outfitters. The Safari Museum was formed in 1961 to preserve the Johnsons’ achievements and to encourage further research into their fields of study. The museum started with a core collection of the Johnsons’ films, photographs, manuscripts, articles, books, and personal belongings donated by Osa’s mother but has grown and flourished since then. The museum shares the beautiful old railroad depot with the Chanute Public Library. In 1998 the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum was named by the History Channel Traveler website as one of the “Top-Ten Historic Sites for Valentine’s Day” that “capture romance, American-style.”
(Deb) Well we have had fun today. (Frank) Hey, don’t we always? (Deb) Don’t we always? (Frank) Thank you for joining us. Anyway, we have to get outta here. So I’m Frank. (Deb) 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.