Rural Culture Elements

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The people of Kansas are the state's greatest asset. From well-known names like President Dwight Eisenhower and Walter Chrysler to the man who invented the flyswatter, Dr. Samuel Crumbine, and the inventor of the Icee, Omar Knedlik, many fascinating people have come from Kansas.

Here are some questions to help assess the influence of people in your town:
  1. Who are the historically significant people from your town?
  2. Who are the present-day characters or contributors?
    Note: Use all the rural culture elements to help think of people. For instance, considering commerce might help you think of inventors from your town.
  3. Which ethnic groups contributed to the formation of the town and still have an influence?
  4. What is the story of the population of your town?

Here are some examples of how towns have emphasized the story of people:


Abilene honors native son Dwight Eisenhower with a Presidential library and historical complex that includes his boyhood home. Atchison has renovated the girlhood home of Amelia Earhart and she is featured in several museums and galleries in town. The Ottawa County Museum in Minneapolis features the story of scientist George Washington Carver.

A most unusual museum in Norton, the Also Ran Gallery, features all the presidential candidates who came in second!
The Lincoln Reenactment Day celebrates the birthday of Abraham Lincoln in the town of Lincoln.

Ellsworth has cowboy gatherings that celebrate the cowboy lifestyle. Iola hosts the Buster Keaton Festival.

 *Ethnic Celebrations

Eastern European immigrants are honored at Little Balkan Days in Pittsburg; Svensk Hyllningsfest celebrates the Swedish heritage in Lindsborg; and the Czech Festival in Wilson recognizes that dominant ethnic influence of northwestern Ellsworth County.

*Historical Markers and Statues          

Garden City, Florence, Wichita, Beeler, Burdett, and countless other towns honor their city founders or famous citizens with historical markers and statues.

For instance, a plaque in downtown Delphos shares letters exchanged between Grace Bedell and Abe Lincoln regarding Bedell's recommendation that Lincoln grow a beard so her brothers would vote for him.