Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Love Letters from 1900

Henry Rogler and Maud Sauble fell in love while they were both students at the Kansas Agricultural College in Manhattan, Kansas in the late 1800s, although they’d both grown up in Chase County and may have met earlier. Henry graduated in 1898 and went back to Matfield Green to begin applying what he’d learned about agriculture. These two letters from the Helen L. Rogler Archive were written in late 1900. They seem to indicate that the couple is already engaged, but have not decided on a wedding date. Maud has apparently made it clear that even love will not deter her from completing her degree. In fact, Maud graduated in June of 1901 and married Henry on July 12th, eight months after these letters were written.

Scrawled across the top of the letter with the drawing of a hand pointing to a stain on the paper is this line "some of Jennies tomato preserves."

Dearest Maud:

Your letters always portray and reflect your feeling, and especially so this last one for you are always so open hearted and good, that try as you might to hide it, it always creeps in and while I always feel and sympathize with you, I long for the time when we can put our heads together and tell each other just what we think and feel in ourselves and of others.

I always have had a faculty of putting myself ‘in’ and it may show itself some in this letter as regards Edna.

I am aware that she gets things mixed, but it may all be due to her over eagerness to tell something new or excite curiosity or comment in others rather than injure anyones [sic] feelings.

Edna has a large heart and I believe means well. The way I look upon the stories and there [sic] effect is this, that you and the family are well and favorably known every where you have been both at school and at home, and I have a poor opinion of a person that would allow some little floating hearsay story upset their idea of my character or as much as create a doubt.

The fact is all of you have a reputation Edna can not approach as yet and consequently your force of character is greater, another thing if it be true that things are misrepresented the fact that some one storied travels just as fast as the story itself and consequently has no weight and especially not with your friends, so I would not be alarmed in the least, but take it pretty much as all being in a lifetime unless you hear false reports that might prove serious and it would be time then to take Edna to task, but I’m not afraid but that your reputation will remain untarnished.

I intended going to a surprise party tonight dressed all up, fixed up the buggy, but when I went to get my company was informed that the party was postponed, and I was glad of it because I have been to one dance this week.

I took Misses Louie Patten and Leporin [?], and Miss Patten said right before Miss Leporin that she heard I was to be married soon, I told her I would hate to dissapoint [sic] her, but I dare say she never guessed how near I told the truth.
You said so many nice things to me in your letter, that I can’t adequately meet them in a reply but would sooner show appreciation by answering in person.

What was going on at Manhattan last week. I felt all week as if I ought to go and see you and I didn’t know why or what about, and explained it only by intuition.
I will try and make you a two days visit Xmas vacation, either before or after Xmas.
If it be true you can’t hardly study since I visited last, or as you say three months afterwards, perhaps I had better stay away, for you know I said I didn’t want our engagement to hinder your studying.

Of course I wouldn’t be willing to admit but what there are other things as important as schooling.

I feel as if I needed someone to help me at times, as I get tired planning by myself. Being here alone now as I am, I’m afraid I get ‘bossy’ at times, and make Louie ‘toe the mark’ and I need someone to hold me down a little.

I hope you get this Sunday afternoon. I received your letter tonight.

I suppose my darling little girl is asleep by this time, she should be (10 o’clock) if she is not baking bread.

Mattie put a little note in the bottom of your letter in pencil, this way
Dear Mamma, I will be home Xmas. Mattie

Whether she meant it as a joke on you, and forgot and wrote her own name or got her letter home and yours to me mixed is a question to me.

I’m going to roll in my little feather bed now so my best love to you and kindest friendship to Edna.

Ever your loving Henry

The directors of the Creamery Co. elected me President and secretary both, of the company which adds greatly to my correspondence and outside work. We will charter at $10000. The Creamery is making butter now.

Matfield Green KS
Nov. 20 00

My Darling Maud–

I know my little girl is somewhat disappointed [sic] this week and all on my account and she’s thinking how to treat me in return, whether to scold or like the good samaratin [sic] return good for evil and let it go as a mishap because she didn’t get my letter Sunday afternoon as she hoped and perhaps walked away down town to get it.

I guess boys are real naughty sometimes and one in particular.
It is with a hope that this letter may partly atone for the one you didn’t get, that I write it, and also because whenever I have a quick moment to myself my thoughts wander to you and I want to express them.

I sent Tom after the mail tonight and then took a doze with my feet on the stove and chair leaned back. I guess I got to thinking seriously about some things, and it occurred to me I better write to you, but I’m afraid to say half what I thought I would.

I have read your last letter a number of times trying to study out your full meaning and determine whether you were more than half in earnest.

The trouble is I believe we want to get each other to express their feeling first, because each of us are afraid that something we wish, or would like to have done, would too greatly discommode or inconvenience the other, and that’s why I’m afraid to say half what I feel and desire. I didn’t know I was so timid until it came to a test. Another way would be to ask and let you refuse (or accept as you might wish).

If you accepted all would be well and if not, things would go on as smoothly as before until the time set. I have said just enough now to make you wonder whether I am going to say more or not, but I thought from your last letter that I was given permission to break the “ice.” (Just so I don’t meet with an icy reception after it is broken.)

I guess I take myself altogether to [sic] seriously, but if any new arrangements are to be made it is high time to make them, both on your account and mine.

I wish we had talked over plans more fully when we talked of them before. But I know I have no business talking this way after having things definitely settled.

Perhaps the best way to do would be to ask you questions.

You have your mind fully made up to graduate haven’t you and your mother wants you to don’t she?

Is Mattie coming home Xmas?

Do you still think of taking that course in dressmaking next summer?

If we by any accident should get married before next Xmas—a year, would you want to make your eastern trip at that time?

If we should get married before next fall would you want that kitchen built, or would it be better to live here until my lease is up, which is a year commencing Jan. 1st? You would know then better what you wanted to go over there.

The foregoing questions ought not be asked at this stage but it is of twofold interest to me as regards renting my land for another year.

Some way I can’t express my self. I ought to be in Manhattan and then I would somehow know what you wanted to do.

If there are any questions you wish to ask me don’t be a bit backward because I feel the need of a little closer understanding between us.

You can probably see the trend of my whole letter without any trouble. To be plain do you want to be Mrs. Rogler this coming Xmas or winter, or do as we first agreed. Whichever course you choose will be satisfactory with me.

Your ever loving Henry

Don’t answer this letter if you think it out of place.

I wrote to you Sat. but was off hunting (?) and missed hack [by] a few minutes—I felt real sorry.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July's Volunteer Weekend

We had a very successful volunteer weekend on July 11th, filling our two worktables to capacity with helpful people! The group finished, completely, seven of our 21 photo albums. Not bad for a half day's work! We hope to have the rest of the photo albums finished within the next week, completing a large chunk of the collection so that we can turn our entire focus to Helen's amazing scrapbooks.

The day did have one surprising outcome. Peggy Stephenson found a photograph of her parents in one of Helen's albums. The picture at the top of this post is of her, holding up an enlarged copy of the photo. George and Pearle Miller, her parents, are on the left, with Sam and Pearl Stauffer on the right.

There is also another volunteer weekend planned for Saturday, August 8th, noon to four at the Chase County Museum and Library. No more pesky photo corners at this one; we'll be unfolding Helen's correspondence and placing it in archival safe folders. Come catch a glimpse into Rogler history while helping to preserve an important part of Chase County's past.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

"I Know a Spot That I Love So Well"

Helen left Matfield Green after graduating from Chase County High School in 1921, and headed for Manhattan, Kansas, to attend Kansas State Agricultural College. While the title for today's post comes from the college's Alma mater, selected by students in 1903, I find it ironic that Helen's photograph, taken shortly after graduation from KSAC, was taken in 1926 in Manhattan, New York.

While attending KSAC as a freshman in 1922, Helen lived at 920 Laramie, as women's dormitories had not, yet been built. Maud, Helen's mother, received a letter from the Dean of Women at KSAC, Mrs. Mary Pierce Van Zile. The Dean informed Maud that should Helen have any problems adapting to college life to please contact her for assistance. Wow! Is it no wonder that the first women's dorm built at KSAC in 1928 was named Van Zile Hall?

Helen's first semester of classes at KSAC included chemistry lecture, recitation, and lab; foods, recitation and lab; physical education; folk dancing; and college rhetoric. Second semester classes included physics recitation and lab; clothing I, recitation and lab; gardening; English literature I; costume design; folk dancing; and chorus.

Helen took an interesting mix of classes by today's college standards. It's not often one sees a gardening class offered at the college level! In our next post, about Helen's social life, we'll see why the folk dancing classes came in so handy.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

On to Kansas State Agricultural College

Helen graduated from high school and moved on to college in 1922. Thanks to the Morrill Act of 1862, signed by President Lincoln, this act established land grant institutions for higher learning. The colleges were to focus on agricultural and the teaching of home economics. Later acts established agricultural learning stations and cooperative extension units within each county in the state.

Founded on February 16, 1863, converting Bluemont College from a private to a public institution, Kansas State Agricultural College became the first newly created land grant college created under the Morrill Act. The college also was one of the earliest higher learning public institutions which allowed mixed sex education. In 1875, the college moved to its present day site, and the first building that was build was Holtz Hall. Anderson Hall, which houses the administrative offices of the university was build in three stages between 1877 and 1884. This historic structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also the signature building of the university.

During the time of Helen's schooling at Kansas State, William Jardine was president of the college, and the faculty had just voted the school color as Royal Purple. Enrolling in Kansas State Agricultural College in 1922, Helen focused on studying home economics.


Next up, Helen's time at Kansas State Agriculutural College

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Story of How the Rogler Family Land was Acquired

This item is as written by Helen Rogler and found in one of her scrapbooks.
By Helen Rogler, September 8, 1966

This story is being written by Helen Rogler from information given to her by Henry Rogler in 1964, and Adeline Beedle in 1966. According to Mrs. Beedle, two brothers had come from south Russia. One settled in Berlin, and became an iron master; the other became a farmer near Asch, Austria-Hungary, in the small town of Nassengrub. He was a good carpenter, and had a shop in Asch. The family considered themselves Czechoslovakians, here say has it that they had formerly lived in Sudaten.

Johann, the farmer had ten children, four died there. They were a very religious family, Lutherans or Hussite's. Because of religious persecution and because most young men were required to go into the army the family decided to leave. They came down the Rhine to Hamburg, and caught a sailing ship to America, landing in New Orleans. On the way over, Johann, the father, was very ill, but here say has it that whiskey saved his life for he had become very ill when a bad storm had forced the closure of all windows in the steerage.

Johann and Joanna Catharine, his wife, and six children, two boys and four girls, came up the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Missouri on to Council Bluffs. They stayed there a year, and Charles worked in Ohio, at Sandusky at skinning cattle in a tannery. They had sold their 10 acres of land at Nassengrub and had no money worries. Then he came back to Council Bluffs and joined a friend Henry Brandley.
They walked to Kansas and down the dry bed of the Cottonwood River to select home sites. Bazaar was a small town of 6 houses at the time, and Chase County did not exist.


Charles settled on a home site about 1 1/2 miles north of the present town of Matfield Green. After a year, he went back to Iowa by horseback and brought all his family to Kansas except the brother John. The settled at the present home of Henry Rogler, in a cabin.

Charles bound out Lawrence Rogler, his brother, to a family named Mitchell, who lived on what was the Albert Rogler home later. They were very religious, and not too kind to him, but after a year, he moved back to Jim Rogler's, Jim had lived with Charles until that time. But, he bought 80 acres of he 160 homestead of the father Johann (or John) for $3 an acre. This was the present Carl Beedle place, just north of Matfield.

Lawrence bought the other 80 acres about a mile east of Matfield Green. Charles continued to live on the present Henry Rogler homestead, and being an astute business man had acquired more land to add to his original 160 acres.

Lawrence was guardian of the family for several years and was paid $500 a year, if memory serves Mrs. Beedle right. Later, Albert became guardian, and Henry Brandley was administrator. Charles Rogler married Mary Satchel from near El Dorado in 1867. Charles had about $1000 worth of insurance in the Woodman organization which put Emma, Kate, Albert, Henry, and Jennie thru two or three years of school. Henry finished Kansas State College of Agriculture in 1898, and Albert took a business course. Kate and Emma went to Emporia State College for a while. Charles Rogler died of pneumonia after getting wet in a storm in 1888, and left about $8000 in cash which Albert, as administrator invested in more land. He purchased 800 acres west of the old Naylor place for $4 an acre, and 400 acres east of Southfork for $3.75, and also 160 acres south of Crocker Stock and the old Largent place. He lived there for a number of years until his children were high school age, then moved into Cottonwood Falls.

Albert was still administrator when Henry Rogler graduated from college and Henry took over the job of looking after the farm and 5 hired men who worked for him for 5 years at $1 a day. George Nieles lived in the old John Watchous house on Coyne Creek, John Wallace had a house at the present Matfield stockyards. Another house was located on the 16 acres east of Wayne Rogler's present place.

George Jackson lived in the house later taken over by Charles Broiles, east of Southfork and Henry Rogler's. Albert lived with Jim Rogler until he acquired his own place in about 1900. The family had about 3000 acres by this time divided in 1902. Henry Rogler had rented the 80 acres at the present home site, and married Maud Sauble in 1901.

The next year, he worked out a division of the land among the children. He divided it so each would get some bottom land and some pasture. Albert's land was the farthest north. He had 160 acres west of the road. Emma's land started with the Crocker Creek bridge and she had the present home place. She had the north one half of the southeast quarter of section 31, of 60 acres, plus about 200 acres of pasture west and some land north of Matfield, about 80 acres of the SE quarter of section 11.

Jennie came next, just south of Emma's, getting the south half of the SE quarter of section 31, township 21. She was also given about 800 acres of pasture west of the road. Henry took the next strip south, near the present Reynold Peck home, plus 480 acres of pasture east of the homestead called the old Broiles pasture, later. He had purchased 160 acres himself on Stakebake Creek, so he had about 900 acres of his own by 1900. After this division, they had a sale, and all the cattle and farm implements were sold. The land was paid for except for a mortgage on Albert Rogler's place, since he had acquired twice as much land as the others in this division. The money which Kate, Emma, and Henry had spent in college was deducted from their inheritance.

The wife of Charles Rogler had to be placed in a mental institution, and she was given an undivided mortgage, or about one half interest, about $4000 from each child. This was supplied to support her, but Henry Rogler supported her almost solely for years.

Henry purchased Emma's place for $8500, half of which went to his wife Maud. He purchased the pasture land of 200 acres, and the bottom land, which is now about 900 acres. His next purchase was 120 acres of Kate's land for $6500 cash, but he did not buy the 1000 acres of pasture land although it was offered to him for $5 and acre at the time. He rented this for many years from Kate, then later the children, Catharine and Kate.

His next purchase was 160 acres from Jennie. Other land which he added was 160 acres from George Lawrence at $10 an acre. Then he bought 400 acres from Albert in 1920 for $4000. He bought 80 acres on Stakebake for $4 an acre and 240 from someone else for $8 an acre. He also bought 600 acres of the Panke land for $20,000 in 1922. The most he ever owned was 2800 acres and though he had many mortgages, which he repaid, he never mortgaged the home place.

In 1956, he sold 1357 acres to his son, Wayne Rogler, and the money was divided among the other 3 children, Helen, Irene Palenske, and George Rogler, each receiving $19,334. This left about 800 acres of farm and pasture. During the depression in the 30s, Henry took a mortgage on Albert Rogler's land and gave Maud, his wife, a deed to her section of land. She gave some of the cash to her children at the time.


Next up: Helen attends Kansas State Agriculutural College

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From Yellowstone to the Redwood Highway

Highway 101, which runs north up the California coastline from Marin County to the southern part of Oregon, running 500 miles in length, runs right through the old growth of Redwood groves known as Sequoia Sempervirens. According to Helen's travel itinerary, the group left Old Faithful and Yellowstone on July 8th, and arrived in Seattle, Oregon, on July 10th. Locating a photograph in Helen's photo albums, we can assume that they traveled this route because we have found a photograph of the group at Coolidge Tree.

Coolidge Tree was one of the many popular drive through trees and tourists spots along the Redwood Highway. Located near Leggett, California, the remains of the tree are today in private protection in Coolidge Park. Helen and her group visited this area in 1937; the following year, 1938, the Coolidge Tree was cut down. According to the National Park Service, today the Coolidge Tree is a burned base through which a roadway has been cut.

In 1890, Sequoia and Yosmite National Parks were established to help save these giant redwoods, the oldest and tallest trees in the world. However, many areas, such as that where the Coolidge Tree stood were not protected and were open to public logging. Today, the trees are protected by Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, many Califonia State Parks, and privatly held parks.

Next, a look at some Rogler family history.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Helen Travels to Yellowstone

In 1937, Helen traveled to Oregon, via Denver, Yellowstone, and parts of California. She left on June 28th, 1937, with two friends, Lois and Doris. According to her daily itinerary, the group spent several days at Yellowstone National Park, including on the Fourth of July. What a wonderful place to celebrate the birth of our nation! Then, on July 6th, the group went to visit Old Faithful geyser.

Many of you who know me know that I have not only a deep love of our nation, it's history, but also of our national parks, and have had the privilege of working one season as a national park ranger. Since I am more of a historian than an archivist, while focusing on Helen's travels, I will also add some history to my blogs. For today, I have decided to look into the history of Yellowstone National Park.

The Yellowstone area remained relatively unknown until the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed just north of the area in 1806. Their journals mentioned the area as "Hotspring Brimstone", a name and area probably described by John Colter, a member of the expedition. Colter is believed to be the first Euro-American to have seen the area when he was working as a trapper for the Missouri Fur Trading Company.

1822 to the 1840s brought many fur trappers to the region, looking primarily for beaver. One of the most famous trappers/traders of the times, Jim Bridger, a man famous for his tall tales, often talked of the Yellowstone area, it's beauty, and smoking steam vents. Thirty years later the beaver was near extinction, and it was found that Bridger's stories were true. During the 1860s, Yellowstone saw a time of the hunters and prospectors. While game in the area was abundant, prospectors were not as successful.They returned home with stories of the beauty of the Tetons.

According to author, and former director of the Yellowstone Institute from 1980-1984, the west was seen as a vast wilderness, "something to be tamed, to be explored, settled, mined, logged, ranched, and farmed. ("Greater Yellowstone - The National Park and Adjacent Wildlands," by Rick Reese) At the time of westward expansion, the west and the wilderness was not valued for anything but military gain.

Then in 1871, a civilian/military exploration expedition led by surveyor General Henry D. Washburn named the geyser Old Faithful. Shortly after, in 1872, the bill for the first national park was voted on by the forty-second Congress of the United States. The bill was then signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. At the time, Yellowstone National Park included territories of Montana and Wyoming, near the head-waters of the Yellowstone River,and the park was under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior and still is today. For a look at the original bill click here

Funds were nearly nonexistent to support the park, and for the first 14 years, there were five superintendents. Along with no funding, many had no salary, along with no legal means or law enforcement to protect the park. Then, in 1886, the military moved in to help. Bison had nearly been exterminated,patrolling for poachers was started by horseback.Construction was begun on Fort Yellowstone, which was completed in 1913. Today, the fort serves as the main headquarters for the park, administration buildings, and housing for park staff.

By 1916, there were a total of 30 national park sites, and on August 16, they were all combined under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. The cavalry left Yellowstone in 1918, and today, National Park rangers uniforms are based on the military uniforms of those who protected the park in the early 1900s.

When Helen visited Yellowstone National Park she very well may have visited and stayed at Old Faithful Inn.Construction began in 1903, and was completed a short while later in 1904, it is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States. The hotel is 700 feet in length, and seven stories high, upon entering the lobby, guests can look up to the 65 feet ceiling. The inn features 327 rooms.

The inn is adjacent to Old Faithful geyser, which Helen did visit on July 6, 1937. Prior to an earthquake in 1959, Old Faithful erupted 21 times a day; today eruptions occur only 20 times daily. The geyser will spout on average every 74 minutes, but can range from 45 to 110 minutes, with the erruptions lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes in length. Water is shot from 100 to 180 feet high, but the average is 130 to 140 feet. The vent temperature at Old Faithful is 204 degrees Farenheit, and the steam temperature is 350 degrees Farenheit.

Next stop the Redwood Highway