Local History Archive


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Passenger trains had long been dwindling as more and more people owned multiple cars or chose to fly rather than ride, but train usage has surged in the last several years.  I myself took my first train ride just over a year ago, and I’ve heard of several people around the library discussing


The Supreme Sacrifice

Memorial Day rolls around again. Many of us will make a trek to a cemetery to place flowers on the headstones of relatives and friends long departed. Somehow it all seems remote and distant — those long gone saints and heroes. But the past came back with haunting echoes recently as I


An Old Photography Shop

People request all sorts of information at the library:  from the mundane to the downright strange, we get them all.  Just this last month, I received an email requesting a number from the McPherson Telephone Directory from 1947. The man was writing a book set in McPherson during that era and wanted to be


Front Page News

I was looking for an obituary a few days ago that I knew would be somewhere in late August of 1941.  Maybe early September, if the paper was slow getting the news.  But here’s the thing about searching through the microfilm of old newspapers:  you can’t not read the headlines. And this


Nat’l Library Week: The McPherson Room

Researching your family history?  Desperately trying to remember the last name of that old high school chum?  Devastatingly curious about the tunnels that supposedly exist under the streets of McPherson? The McPherson Room is the place for you!  So much more than a stuffy room full of dusty books, The McPherson Room


Frogs, Locusts, and Flies

As the Jewish festival of Passover approaches, the plagues visited on Egypt – remembered either from our Sunday School days or from this film classic  – are recalled with some familiarity. During my second summer as a McPherson resident (1980), the city was inundated with a plague of miller moths.  Hundreds of