Introduction to a
Collection of Photographs
and Oral Recollections of
Winfield, Kansas and Cowley County

This Web Site is a continuing effort to collect the knowledge of people who remember, or know about the early days of Winfield and southern Kansas. This area has a unique history which resulted from the conditions of the second half of the Ninteenth Century. The Civil War, the Indian Nations, the Railroad, and the mass exodus of the eastern populations created events which unfolded in their own way, guided by the individuals who by making their own way, created the legacy of the region which we see today.

Many of the "first person" experiences are contained in family stories which have been retold but not yet written. This would seem to be an excellent medium to collect and desiminate these stories, so that the younger generation can learn what got them here and also to capture the recollections of the older generation while they remember what it was like.

Much of the material which has been collected so far relates to the 19th centruy, and we have very few people who can remember any of that. But the 20th centruy began with the conditions which were left by it predecessor. (not unlike how the 21st century will begin.) Years from now, when grand parents will recall for their gradeschoolers, how they remember when they were kids that there was a day when nobody in town was on the Internet, and nobody knew what the World Wide Web was, the gradeschoolers will nod in disbelief. Another story beyond imagination. How could anyone have gotten by without the Web?

My parents grew up without radio, can rember seeing the first car and the first airplane. I hope we stimulate some of you to ask the older people you know to look at the pictures provided here and to write down their stories when they tell you how it used to be. If you, and they, would like to share thier stories, send them to me via email and I will add them to this material. It could be interesting to learn how we got here.

The First Train

The First Construction Boom

Poaching in Indian Territory

More Incursions/Excursions into Indian Territory

List of Transportation Images

A Complete Index Of This (WINRR) Directory

Text Image Indexes

(Quick to load, text only)

Thumbnail Image Indexes

(Little Pictures, these may take some time to load)

This section tries to put the pictures into a reasonable time sequence. Some of the pictures are explicitly dated. Others are unmarked. Each of the pictures has clues as to when it was taken, but the time detective must have knowledge of events such as, when were the first telephone lines strung downtown, When were the first electric lines run. When was Main Street first paved, etc.

Articles from the Archives of the Winfield Daily Courier

Links to related material.

My appreciation to Bob Hartung of the Cowley County Museum and to Jim Davis of Winfield for providing much of this material. Many of these pictures have been only minimally identified. I would appreciate any further information which somebody out there may have or may recognize in the pictures. This is a work in progress and will progress much better with more insights from other people. I am doing it because I am interested, not because of knowledge. There are a few mysteries about some things and these are pointed out. If you have any knowledge or insights or other material which could be included please contact me.

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Bill Bottorff
3660 Stone Ridge Road, #F101
Austin, TX 78746
512-328-4747 work
512-327-5484 home
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