Birthday party to cap Kansas celebration

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January 27, 2011 - 12:00 AM

A birthday party on Saturday at the Allen County Historical Museum, 20 S. Washington, will conclude the weeklong activities celebrating Kansas’ 150th anniversary of statehood.
Area residents will have the opportunity to view new window displays, cameras from the early 1900s and photos of Iola dating back to 1905. The museum will be open from 2 to 4 p.m.
The window displays show the family trees of two Iola families. The Ed Cain family who was a forefather of Duane McGraw, and Nimrod Hankins who is an ancestor of Lavon Johnson and the Works family.
The window displays include a a baby swing and high chair from the 1800s and a black kettle.
The story behind the kettle is that a family crossing the prairie hid their gold fortune in the pot hoping to avoid having it stolen by thieves, said Jeff Kluever, executive director of the Allen County Historical Society.
Inside the museum the flag that draped the casket of Frederick Funston will be displayed as will Hankins’ Civil War discharge paper.
“I wish we could display the flag and papers for a longer period of time but that will have to wait until we can purchase climate-controlled cases. We don’t want the items to crumple from the air,” Kluever said.
Visitors will be able to stand in the center of a 360-degree panorama of photos of Iola’s square as it appeared in 1905.
The photographs will be arranged so when the person looks in each direction, they will see the square as it was in 1905, Kluever said.

PUNCH CARDS, which are available throughout the week at the museum, public library, Kansas birthday events and the Bowlus Fine Arts Center, should be taken to the museum before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. To be eligible for the prize drawings each card has to have at least two punches.
Wherever a person picks up his card he will receive his first punch, Kluever said.
People do not need to be present to win prizes which includes an autographed photo of Kansas City Chiefs star Jamaal Charles, Allen County Historical Society gift shop pack, Kansas 150 hooded sweatshirt and movie passes.
“I hope the community has enjoyed the week’s activities as much as I did helping with the planning,” Kluever said.

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