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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (1860-1943) – Professor Scientist of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Best known for his work with the peanut. George Washington Carver was born to a slave woman named Mary owned by his German foster parents Moses and Susan Carver. Since the Carvers did not have any natural children of their own, they raised George and his brother James after their mother was stolen by night riders during the Civil War.
George loved God's creation and had a way with plants and animals. He wanted to learn more about the mysteries of God's creation and left home at age 11 to get his education. Between 1873 and 1877, he attended the services at a African Methodist church in Neosho, MO. Later, around the year 1883, George joined a Presbyterian church in Minneapolis, Kansas. We know this because the Church Registry Roll book has been preserved.
George was talented in many areas. Not only was he good with plants, but he also loved music and art.
He wanted to attend college, but was denied admission to Highland University in Doniphan County, Kansas because he was black. He then tried farming in Kansas and soon afterward was accepted as an art major at Simpson College in Iowa, later transferring to the present Iowa State University and earning two degrees in Agriculture.
In 1896, Carver accepted an offer from Dr. Booker T. Washington to come to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to teach. He could have become a rich man, but he freely shared his secrets. For example, he wrote a series of free Agricultural Bulletins for farmers that provided information on crops, cultivation techniques and recipes for nutritious meals.
After Carver died in 1943, Congress designated the Carver home in Diamond Grove, Missouri a National Park.

A Bit of Trivia:
1847 = The Missouri Legislature made it illegal to educate blacks. Also, the legislature prohibited slaves from gathering in any kind of assembly, barred any religious services that were led by a black minister (unless a white official was present), and flatly outlawed the immigration of free black people into the state.

More to Read:
1. George Washington Carver. By Henry Thomas. 1958.
2. George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist. By Janet & Geoff Benge.
3. George Washington Carver, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior tourist brochure
4. Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show-Me State. John W. Brown. 2008.
5. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. G & C. Merriam, 1956.
6. George Washington Carver: Scientist and Inventor. By Judy Monroe.
7. George Washington Carver: Peanut Wizard. Laura Driscoll.
8. “George Washington Carver in Paola” By Joe Hursey. Miami County Historical Museum, Summer 2012 Edition. P. 6. 
9. "Negro Scientist, George Washington Carver" Official Manual "Blue Book," State of Missouri 1949-50. Secretary of State, Jefferson City, MO. p. 24
10. Find-a-Grave Memorial

Places to Visit in MO. & KS.:
1. George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond, MO.
2. Griot Museum of Black History & Culture, 2505 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, MO.
3. See Carver's statue at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, MO.
4. National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 630 Hall of Fame Dr. Bonner Springs, KS.
5. Miami County Historical Museum, 12 E. Peoria, Paola, Ks.
6. Former Residence = 309 East Miami Street, Paola, KS.

Extras For the (Home) Educator:
1. Classroom Poster, (#T-38306) Trend Enterprises, IN. St. Paul, MN.
2. There are many resources at the US Department of Agriculture website such as the coloring book below. Put "George Washington Carver" into their search engine to see what's available.
2. USDA Honors Dr. George Washington Carver (1864-1943) Coloring & Activity Book. US Department of Agriculture.
3. Discovering with God. By Lois Dick. Child Evangelism Fellowship Press, Warrenton, MO., 1987.

Historical Note: The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute of Tuskegee, Ala., headed for many years by Booker T. Washington (1859-1915) was associated with the National Baptist Convention, USA.

"March is National Peanut Month."

George Washington Carver
By Elizabeth McKinnon.

George Washington Carver liked peanuts,
He thought they were really a treat.
He made many products from peanuts,
From peanuts that we love to eat!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

John William "Blind" Boone

John William "Blind" Boone (1864-1927 ) -- A bi-racial, disabled Concert Pianist. Best known as the pioneer of ragtime music, he was recorded in 1912 by the QRS piano roll company. Born to Rachel Ann Carpenter Boone*  (1841, KY-1901, Mo.), a mulatto "liberated" slave, she gave birth to John William on May 17, 1864. When Willie was six months old, he contracted a serious illness known as "brain fever" and doctors removed his eyes in an attempt to cure it. 

Rachel, a single mom, moved to Warrensburg where she worked as a servant for several families. She married his step-father, Harrison Hendrick, May 17, 1871, when Willie was 8. She wanted her son to have a good education, so with the help of friends, he was sent to St. Louis in 1872/3 to the School of the Blind where he would be taught a trade, so he could support himself when he grew up, but he was not happy there, mostly because he was bored with the subjects he was forced to learn such as making brooms and Braille. He soon was expelled for skipping classes and a train conductor kindly sent him home after finding him living on the streets.

Boone had a fine mind with a good memory and could remember how to play the music he heard. Recognizing Boone's musical talent, John B. Lange, Jr. (1840-1916) became his manager, forming the Blind Boone Company. Willy married Eugenia Lang (1870-1931), his manager's youngest sister.

They traveled in the US, Canada, and Mexico where Boone gave as many as 8,000 public concerts during his lifetime, but was known to visit friends to play a song or two. He always played hymns during his concerts and one of his favorites was "Nearer, My God to Thee", words by Sarah F. Adams, 1841, and music by Lowell Mason, 1856.

He passed away October 4, 1927 while visiting his half-brother, Sam Hendrick, in Warrensburg, with Eugenia following on March 16, 1931. Both were buried side by side in the Columbia City Cemetery.

*Note: Due to the confusion over Rachel's name, I thought a little explanation was in order. According to David W. Jackson, author of Born a Slave: Rediscovering Arthur Jackson’s African American Heritage and editor of "Generations," the official newsletter of the Mid-west Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (M.A.G.I.C), emancipated slaves had the freedom to choose their own surnames. Whether Rachel was liberated from her former Benton County, Mo. slave-owners by running away or being stolen is undetermined, but Sam Hendricks, informant for Blind Boone's death certificate and his brother, Rachel's maiden surname was Carpenter, therefore Blind Boone was a product of her liberated state as she later married Hendricks when John William was 8 years old and had other children.  

Personal Motto: "Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins." 

More to Read:
1.) Dr. Ashley's biography: Click
2.) Blind Boone: His Early Life and Achievements. By Mrs. Melissa Fuell-Cuther, B.S.D., (First edition: Burton Pub., Kansas City, MO. 1915; Second Edition: Evangel Pub. Society, Robbins, TN; 1918.)
3.) Eugenia & John Lange, Jr.'s father, John Lange, Sr., Free Man of Color.
4.) "Historic Missourians: John William "Blind" Boone (1864-1927). Retrieved from the State Historical Society of Missouri. Retrieved from this
5.) "Blind" Boone: Missouri Honors Its Ragtime Pioneer. By Phoebe Prioleau. Retrieved from this website
6.) The African American Atlas. Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference. by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson. Macmillan USA, Simon & Schuster, New York. Retrieved from website: African-American
7.) Retrieved from 
Youtube: John William "Blind" Boone's Home. By Think You Colors.
8.) Retrieved from Youtube: History Off the
Shelf -- John William "Blind" Boone. By Think You Colors.
9.) Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins: The Life and Times of Blind Boone. By Dr. Mary Barile and Christine Montgomery. Retrieved from
website: Blind Boone. By Mo Sec of State.
10.) "Presenting Blind Boone: A Life from Rags to Ragtime Riches" By Leslie Lyon. Columbia Missourian Newspaper. 1975-11-30. No. 58.
11.) "J.W. Boone Was County Celebrity." By John Jaeger. Columbia Missourian Newspaper. 1971-08-22. No. 289.

12.) Blind Boone: Missouri's Ragtime Pioneer. By Jack A. Batterson. Univ. of Mo. Press.
13.) MO. Death
14.) Findagrave, # 4391

 Poem written about Blind Boone: Blind Boone's
Vision. By Tyehimba Jess.

Places to Visit:
Boone's Home (built by Eugenia's brother, Thadius Lange), 10 North Fourth Street, Columbia (National Register of Historic Places).
2.) Second Missionary Baptist Church. North 4th St, Columbia. Stained Glass window donated by John Lange, Blind Boone's brother-in-law and manager.
3.) Blind Boone Sculpture. Artist: Ai Qiu Hopen. Blind Boone Park, 402 W. Pine St., Warrensburg. 2 Markers
4.) City of Warrensburg Roadside Historical Marker. 812 East Young Avenue (Young Avenue and US Hwy 50 Access Ramp), Johnson County, Warrensburg.
5.) Boone County Historical Museum, 3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia
6.) Columbia Cemetery, E. Broadway & 163 Hwy, Boone county, Columbia.

7.) Thespian Hall, 522 Main St, Booneville
8.) John B. Lange, Jr. lived at 912 Park Ave, Kansas City. He and his wife, Ruth, are buried in the Highland Cemetery, Jackson County, Kansas City.
9.) Stand on the corner where Blind Boone's Theatre (1929) historic building presently stands at 18th & Highland Ave, Kansas City.
10.) Webster County, Missouri Roadside Marker. Webster County Courthouse, Marshfield.

Quote: "Blindness has not affected my disposition. It has never made me at outs with the world. Many times I regard it as a blessing, for had I not been blind, I would not have given the inspiration to the world that I have. I have shown that no matter how a person is afflicted, there is something that he can do worthwhile." ~ Blind Boone.

Friday, July 22, 2016

St. Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ (1769-1852) = Missionary Nun. Revered by the Potawatomi and given the name of “Quah-Kah-Ka-Num-Ad” (woman who prays always), Rose was born in Grenoble, France, the second of eight children to Pierre Francois and Rose Euphrosine Perier Duchesne. She survived the religious persecution of the French Revolution.
 Bishop Louis William Valentine DuBourg, bishop of Louisiana, sent Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne and a group of nuns, in 1818, to establish an Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri. Not only did she establish the free-of-charge girl’s school, but also the first convent of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a teaching order, there.
In 1838, the US federal government forced some 900 Potawatomi from their land in Indiana and made them march single file over 600 miles in three months, ending near present day Osawatomie, Kansas. The forced march is now known as the Trail of Death as many died along the way. Most of the surviving Potawatomi eventually settled in Sugar Creek near Mound City, but were later relocated to St. Marys on the Kansas River in 1847. Catholic missionaries opened schools for boys and girls at both.
Duchesne’s dream was to serve the Indians and she made quite an impression on them when it finally became a reality at the age of 72, thanks to her friends, Fr. Peter De Smet, SJ, and Fr. Peter John Verhaegan, SJ. She and three other nuns arrived in Kansas City on a steamboat on the way to their assigned mission. She never quite mastered the Indian language, but prayed daily, visited the sick, and helped the Indian girls with their knitting. After a year, she was summoned back to St. Charles where she lived the rest of her life, dying on November 18, 1852. One hundred, thirty-six years after death, she achieved sainthood when canonized on July 3, 1988.

Posthumous Award:
1918 = The Historical Society of Missouri named her the greatest benefactor among the state’s pioneer women.

More to Read:
1. Philippine Duchesne. By Louise Callan.
2. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. 150 Years of Faith: 1850-2000. By Todd Habiger. 2000.
3. Dictionary of Christianity in America.Editors: Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L.Shelley, & Harry S. Stout, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1990.
4. Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA; 1956.
5. A Centenary of Catholicity in Kansas: 1822-1922. By Thomas H. Kensella. Casey Printing, Kansas City; 1921.
9. Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
10. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
11. Findagrave #301 and  # 9395

Places to Visit in MO & KS:
1. The Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, 619 North 2nd Street., St. Charles, Mo.
3. Sacred Heart Church (f. 1942), Mound City, Linn Co., KS.
4. St. Philippine Duchesne Shrine on Sugar Creek, Mound City, KS.
5. St. Mary’s Mission signpost, St.Marys, KS.
6. Immaculate Conception Church, St. Mary’s, KS. (First cathedral of Vicariate Apostolic of the Indian Territory: 1851-1855).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone (1734-1820) = Colonel. Surveyor. Explorer. Sixth child born to Squire and Sarah Morgan Boone in Pennsylvania on November 2, 1734. His grandparents, George and Mary Boone, were English Quakers who settled near Exeter. The Quakers were great friends with the Native Americans in that vicinity. One time his grandfather invited a Moravian missionary to preach at his home and several Delaware Indians were converted to Christianity.

One of young Daniel's chores was to take the cattle out to pasture each morning, then drive them back each evening for his mother to milk. While he tended the cows, he became familiar with the woods and learned to hunt by the time he was thirteen. His family ate the game he shot and traded the skins for things they needed. Daniel was schooled by his older brother's wife, Sarah. She taught him to read, write and to do his sums.

In 1750, his family moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Daniel married Rebecca Bryan (1739-1813) there on August 14, 1756. They had ten children. Their names were James, Israel, Susannah, Jemima, Levinia, Rebecca, Daniel Morgan, Jesse Bryan, William, and Nathan.

Daniel loved to go on long hunts, sometimes leaving home for many months. He explored and surveyed the land. He rediscovered Cumberland Gap, a mountain pass and helped build the Wilderness Road. Boonesborough, a settlement in Kentucky, was named for him.

In 1799, Daniel walked to the Femme Osage district about forty miles from present-day St. Louis, Missouri. Kentucky was getting too crowded for him. Spanish officials appointed him a judge in 1800. He died on September 26, 1820 at Nathan's home.

Historical Note:” Chester Harding is believed to have painted the only portrait of Daniel Boone while he lived and  in 1851, artist George Caleb Bingham paints the most famous nineteenth-century Boone depiction, "Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap."

Historical Dates:
1750 = Thomas Walker discovered Cumberland Gap
1769 = Boone explored Kentucky
1775 = Boone established Boonesboro

More to Read:
1. "The Pioneer and The Prairie Lawyer: Boone and Lincoln Family Heritage 1603-1985." By Willard Mounts.Ginwill Publishing, Denver, Colorado, 1991
2. "The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone. By Hazel Atterbury Spraker. Tuttle Press, 1922.
3. The Lincoln, Hanks & Boone Families. By H. E. Robinson. 1906.
4. Morgan & Strode Genealogy. By Jim White.
5. Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke. By John Filson. 1784.
6. Daniel Boone. By Lyman C. Draper
7. Stories of the Great West By Theodore Roosevelt
8. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975.
9. The Spear and the Spindle: Ancestors of Sir Francis Bryan (d. 1550), Kt, . By T. A. Fuller. Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Maryland, 1993. Pp. 113-114.
10. Boone Association. Ken Kamper is the present-day expert on Daniel Boone.
11. Boone Society. Dorthy Mack is considered to be the expert on the Boone genealogy.
12. The History of Jackson County, Missouri. Kansas City, MO; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., 1881. Reprinted: Cape Girardeau, MO, Ramfre Press, 1966.
13. Chronology of Daniel Boone.
14. Early Settlers List on  Ft. Boonesborough Monument
15. Fort Boonesborough's Living History Teacher's Resource Website
16. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
17. Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky. By W. H. Bogart. 1854.
18. St. Louis, MO. sources for Boone information
19. Boone/Scholl Story in Clark County, Kentucky
20. Findagrave # 109 

Places to Visit in MO & KS.:
1. Daniel Boone's statue, Main St, St. Charles, MO.
2. DAR markers, on Main St, St. Charles, MO.
3. Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village, 1868 Highway F, Defiance, MO
4. Daniel Boone's Burial Site in Missouri.
5. Washington Historical Museum, Washington, MO.
6. Boone’s Lick State Historic Site, 12 miles northwest of Boonville on Route 187. Arrow Rock.
7. Boone's Lick Road Association (map)

Boone Descendants:
1.Daniel Morgan Boone 
2. Daniel Morgan Boone on Find-A-Grave # 6223
3. Daniel Morgan Boone
4. Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site, 7860 N. State Hwy V, Ash Grove, MO
5. Capt. Samuel Boone was a great-great nephew of Daniel's. He and several other family members are buried in the Mt. Tabor Methodist Church Cemetery, south of Odessa, MO.
6. Elder Ira Boone, Samuel's brother, was ordained in the historic Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church, 18400 E. Rd. Mize Road, Independence, MO.
7. Septimus Scholl Letters
8. Edgar Watts of Dallas/Watts Mill area of Kansas City, MO. marries Flora Boone, great-great granddaughter of Daniel Boone in 1923.  See the Watts Mill Markers, 103rd Street (south side), between State Line & Wornall Roads, Kansas City, MO.

9. Col. Upton Hays married a descendant of Daniel Boone -- Watts Hay Letters.
10. Bushwhacker Museum, 212 West Walnut Street, Nevada, MO (see quilt top made by a Boone descendant)
11. Price-Loyles House, 718 Spring St, Weston, MO
12. Albert Boone founded Lecompton which was one of the Kansas' territorial capitals pre-state. He also had a dry-goods store in Westport (present-day Kansas City, MO., see Kelly's Inn) at the corner of Westport & Pennsylvania Roads.

Historical Tidbit: Bryon wrote a poem about Daniel Boone.

A Quote by Daniel Boone:
All the religion I have is to love and fear God, do all the good to my neighbors and myself that I can, and do as little harm as I can help, and trust on God's mercy for the rest.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Miss Mary Jane Truman

Miss Mary Jane Truman
Mary Jane Truman (1889-1978) = Pianist/Organist, Sunday School teacher, & sister to former US President Harry S. Truman. Mary Jane was the third child born to John Anderson (1851-1914) and Martha Ellen Young Truman (1852-1947) on August 12. Mary Jane's paternal grandparents were Anderson Shipp and Mary Jane Holmes Truman and her maternal grandparents were Solomon and Harriet Louisa Gregg Young. She was named for her paternal grandmother and Harry's daughter, Mary Margaret Truman was, in turn, named for her.

Solomon Young's Home, Grandview, MO.

Sometime after the Trumans moved to Independence in 1890, Mary's brothers Harry and Vivian came down with diphtheria and she was taken to Grandma Young's in Grandview, MO. to stay until her brothers were well. When Mary Jane was older, she helped with chores in the house and learned to cook for the family as well as the farm hands. She rode a horse on errands to town. After Grandpa passed away, Grandma Young needed help running the farm, so the Truman's moved back. Mary Jane and her mother lived on the farm until the 1940s when they moved into Grandview.

As a member of Grandview's First Baptist Church (f. 1848), Mary Jane taught a Sunday School class and hosted Sunday School picnics on the lawn of their home. Like Harry, she could play the piano or organ and did so regularly for church services. When she was 19, she played for the Grandview Methodist's very first church service, then at 8th and Goode.

She was a postal clerk and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. She was instrumental in the sale of lands for the Truman Shopping Center built in 1957.

More to Read:
1.) Harry S. Truman: Missouri Farm Boy. By Wilma J. Hudson. 1973.
2.) History of Grandview, Missouri: 1844-1994. Grandview Historical Society, 1995.
3.)  Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975.
4.) Mr. President. The First Publication from the Personal Diaries, Private Letters Papers, and Revealing Interviews of Harry S. Truman. By William Hillman. 1952.
5.) “Harry Truman: The Millionaire Next Door” By Brian Burnes. The Kansas City Star Magazine, Kansas City, MO.; January 15, 2012. PP. 6-13.
Truman’s Grandview Farm. By Jon Taylor. 2011.
7.) Missouri Roadsides: The Traveler's Companion. By Bill Earngey. University of MO Press, 1995.
8.) Childhoods of the American Presidents. By William O. Foss. McFarland & Co, 2005.
9.) "Truman and the Trails" Niel M. Johnson. Overland Journal, Vol. 5, Number 2, 1988. Pp. 25-29 (photo of Solomon Young included in article)
10.) Some Truman Photos
11.) Sister-in-law, Bess Truman's biography.
This article gives names of Miss Mary's girlfriends. See if you can find them.
Findagrave #6137032

Places to Visit in MO.:
1.) Former Truman Homes (private residences), on Chrysler St. & at 909 W. Waldo Ave., Independence.  
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Independence
3.) Historical marker at Truman (former name: Corners) Marketplace Shopping Center, between 71/49 Hwy and Blue Ridge Blvd, Grandview
4.) Church of God, 8th & Goode, Grandview
5.) First Baptist Church Historic Room, 15th and Main St., Grandview (by appointment only)

6.) Solomon Young's home, 12301 Blue Ridge Blvd, Grandview. Truman Farm Home, cell phone tour = 585-672-2611.
Annual Truman Heritage Festival, Grandview (parade, craft/food vendors, BBQ contest, etc.)
8.) Greater Kansas City History Day

Update: The National Archives holds the Presidential Secretary's Files from the Truman Administration (1945-1960). Among those papers is his diary he kept while in office.