Jay Price

History commentator

Jay M. Price is chair of the department of history at Wichita State University, where he also directs the public history program.

His works include Temples for a Modern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America, Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks, Wichita, 1860-1930, and El Dorado!: Legacy of an Oil Boom. He has co-authored Wichita's Legacy of Flight, the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, Wichita’s Lebanese Heritage, and Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley.

He has served on the boards of the Kansas Humanities Council and the Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review. He is currently on the board of the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum and the University Press of Kansas.

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ReverbNation

Last Sunday, a memorial service took place for Harry Dobbin, a member of the bands Sawdust Charley and the Funtones. He was also the graphic artist who made possible the recent book on Wichita rock & roll from 1950-1980. I still remember the work he did to arrange all the elements for the cover. Dobbin joins the ranks of so many Wichita rock figures who have recently passed.

Today, Planeview and Hilltop Manor in south Wichita are reminders of a time when World War II aircraft production required the creation of workers’ housing. Designed to be temporary, these communities have lasted well beyond their expected lifespans. Aging facilities and changing demographics remain challenges for residents, landowners, and local officials.

In May 1871, Wichita founder James Mead famously led a team of horsemen out to divert a cattle drive from going through Park City, returning the cattle trail to its original route by Wichita. The drovers had planned to go west of Wichita up to Brookville because of the efforts of Henry Shanklin, an agent with the Kansas-Pacific railroad. While the so-called “four horsemen” are celebrated as local heroes in Wichita, Shanklin often gets dismissed as the one who failed. However, his story is just as interesting.

Wichita can be considered the “bumblebee city.” If the bumblebee is the insect that should not be able to fly but does, Wichita is the city that shouldn’t be here but is. A visitor to the area in 1871 would have been well advised to bet on Newton, on a major transcontinental route, as the dominant community of the area. 

When studying issues in the press of a given time, it is essential to compare as many different publications as possible. The Wichita Eagle and Wichita Beacon, founded as the city’s Republican and Democratic papers, respectively, often took remarkably different views of an issue.

In the spring of 1871, word came that Wichita might lose its position on the Texas Cattle Trail to rival Park City, located near modern Valley Center unlike its modern namesake. One morning, James R. Mead, J.M. Steele, N.A. English, and Mike Meagher rode out and encouraged the drovers to abandon their initial Park City plans and return, instead, to the older route by way of Wichita. In the encounter, the Four Horsemen foiled the efforts of Henry Shanklin, who was encouraging the drovers to favor the Park City route. 

This commentary originally aired on December 15, 2015.  

One of the best things about living in Wichita is the chance to go to a year-round set of food fests. Most start as congregational fund

A person standing at Broadway and 21st Street can see how immigration has reshaped the urban landscape. 

Beth Golay / KMUW

This time of year brings out tales of haunted places. One such place is Theorosa’s Bridge, situated north of Valley Center where 109th Street crosses Jester Creek. Local legend says that the ghost of a woman haunts it, distraught over the loss of her baby who was drowned in the creek. Uttering the phrase “Theorosa, I have your baby” results in the irate spectre going after the speaker.

Past & Present: North End

Sep 19, 2017
wichita.edu

A Google Maps search for Wichita lists the area north of 21st Street and west of Broadway as “El Pueblo.” The more common community name for the area is the more generic “North End.”

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