History on a Piece of Cloth: Kansas Flour Sacks - Nancy Jo Leachman
Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 2:00 p.m.
Kansas mills, located literally in the breadbasket of America, produced an enormous quantity of flour in an era when women routinely baked their families’ bread at home. Mill owners used cotton flour sacks as advertising tools to proudly display their names, locations, and unique brands, as well as to catch the consumer’s eye. The empty sack also served as a needed piece of fabric during the Depression.
Avid collector Nancy Jo Leachman, a longtime reference librarian at the Salina Public Library, has accumulated more than 100 vintage flour sacks from the 1920s-1940s, representing more than 30 Kansas counties. Her illustrated lecture of the best and most colorful—nothing “run-of-the-mill” here—reveals how each sack carries a fascinating story, be it advancing nutritional information, expressing political views, or reflecting popular culture.
Legacy of Order No. 11 - Tom Rafiner
Sunday, May 17, 2015 - 2:00 p.m.
By the time of Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the land and people of western Missouri had suffered as much as any during the Civil War. The edict known as “Order No. 11” and the Federal army that carried it out in 1863 had depopulated several Missouri counties, devastated homes and farms, and left deep scars—“a burnt district”—that took decades to heal.
Focusing on families and communities, author Tom Rafiner looks at what former residents found when they returned after the Civil War on the western border had ended. Order No. 11 cast a long, dark shadow over postwar Missouri but left a puzzling legacy, at times appearing and disappearing from the consciousness of the region's inhabitants.