The Story of Kansas

1900-1910 Timeline


L. Frank Baum publishes "The Wizard of Oz."

March — The Topeka Daily Capital allows Rev. Charles Sheldon, author of "In his Steps" to edit the paper according to the "What would Jesus do?" standard, changing its guidelines for news coverage and rejecting advertising found unwholesome.

March 30 — The Harvey House in Florence, which provides both sleeping and dining facilities to Santa Fe rail travelers, serves its last passengers. The first Harvey House opened in 1876 in Topeka. The second was in Florence in Marion County.

Dec. 27 — Prohibitionist Carry A. Nation wrecks the bar at Wichita's Hotel Carey (now known as Eaton Place).

The Wichita Country Club becomes one of the first places in the Midwest to offer people a chance to play golf. It is founded by a Wichita Episcopal minister, J.D. Ritchey, and his choirmaster, Bennett "Cush" Cushman, so they could pursue the sport on a course with six holes and tin cans as cups.


Jan. 1 — Topekan Agnes Ozman asks her minister, the Rev. Charles Fox Parham, to lay hands on her. He does and she begins speaking in tongues, thus sparking the Pentecostal movement.

Feb. 17 — Carry Nation and 500 followers destroy one joint, six bars, and a cold storage plant in Topeka.

W.C. Coleman moves his Hydro-Carbon Light Co. to Wichita from Kingfisher, Okla., and opens a small lamp factory at 128 E. Second St.


June 16 — The play "The Wizard of Oz" opens in Chicago with Topekan Fred Stone as the Scarecrow.


Sam Jones becomes Wichita's first African-American constable.

Samuel Crumbine leads efforts to make Kansas one of the first places in the world to develop public health standards. He outlaws drinking cups shared in public and becomes known for his "Don't spit on the sidewalk" and "Swat the fly" campaigns.


The winter of 1905 is so cold that for nearly a month, temperatures did not climb above freezing. Kansas newspapers recorded temperatures at 22 to 30 degrees below zero. That didn't include wind chill.

Corn and canning clubs, tomato and poultry contests are started in Kansas. The clubs eventually give way to the Boys and Girls 4-H Club Work, or 4-H in 1926. 4-H originated in Clarinda, Iowa, but Kansas becomes one of the first states to embrace the philosophy of bringing culture and knowledge as well as social skills to rural people.

Coleman continues to make steady improvements in his gasoline lanterns, and Coleman arc lamps provide light for the first nighttime college football game. The winning team is Fairmount College, now Wichita State University.

The first significant influx of Mexican immigrants to Kansas occurs as railroads, mines, meat packers and sugar beet factories recruit workers.


Spring — Three thousand ring-neck pheasants are released in 84 counties. A century later, it is the most popular game bird in Kansas.


Charles Menninger receives a second medical degree from the University of Kansas. His son, Karl, who soon becomes known as the dean of American psychiatry, joins his father's practice in 1919 with a specialty in neurology and psychology.

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