Kansas 105

Today's trivia (July 3)

"Pa and Ma talked sometimes about going to Kansas. Pa's cousin, John J. Ingalls, had gone to Kansas, but Ma said all he had was an itching foot."— Laura Ingalls Wilder on her second cousin, who gained fame as a politician. When Kansas was in its political infancy, few people nourished it as much as John J. Ingalls.

A U.S. senator, Ingalls was considered one of the greatest national orators of the 19th century. He helped write the Kansas Constitution and is credited with the state motto, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," or "To the stars through difficulties."

Ingalls was born in Middleton, Mass., in 1833, and graduated from Williams College in 1855. A lawyer, he came to Kansas in 1858 intrigued by a picture of a Kansas town. He settled in Atchison when he was 25 years old.

Early on, he was recognized as a scholar and worked to make Kansas a civilized state, taking note that Kansas' political climate often had ramifications throughout the nation.

"Kansas has been the testing ground for every experiment in morals, politics and social life . . . something startling has always happened, or has been constantly anticipated," he wrote.

Ingalls was a believer in Kansas and quickly gained a national reputation by preaching its virtues.

By 1861, when Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state, Ingalls was the secretary to the Kansas State Senate. As state leaders were determining what the young state's motto would be, Ingalls suggested "Ad astra per aspera," Latin meaning “To the stars through difficulties.”

Question: In what prominent location was a statue of Ingalls placed?

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Answer to Saturday’s question: In 2004, The Kansas Civilian Conservation Corps statue was dedicated at the Marion County Lake and Park near Marion.

Check back at Kansas.com Monday for the answer to today’s question.