The World Series. It’s a great event for baseball fans. As the baseball season comes to its culmination, we are reminded of a time before racial integration when there were two World Series: One for major league baseball, and a second for what was called the National Negro League. Today we’ll learn about two young players who led their teams in each league. Incredibly, those two players both came from the very same small town in rural Kansas. Thanks to Meredith Wiggins of the Kansas Humanities Council whose article served as our source and is used with permission in today’s Kansas Profile.
Walter “Big Train” Johnson was an icon in big league pitching a century ago, playing for 21 years with the Washingon Senators. He was the dominant power pitcher of his time, described as “one of the most celebrated and dominating players in baseball history.” Several of his pitching records still stand today, more than a century later.
“Here’s your mail.” It is always good to check the mailbox and receive personal mail. Today we’ll learn about a remarkable rural town that has people working together to improve the community. They are also working to attract and retain youth in their community, using the mail – and an actual mailbox – as a reminder.
Cole Herder is city administrator in his hometown of Humboldt, Kansas. Cole grew up here and went to Wichita State where he studied electrical engineering technology. After a 29-year career in manufacturing, he gave local government a try and became city administrator.
Cole had already been involved in the civic affairs of his community as a volunteer. He was concerned about the future of the community in the early 2000s, as economic and government problems challenged the region.
In 2007, the community of Humboldt signed up for a program called Public Square Communities. As we have previously profiled, this program is intended to bring elements of the community together for progress. When the program came to Humboldt, a public meeting was held.
Cole Herder spotted a notice in the paper about Public Square having a public meeting about the future of the community. He was curious, but also tired of hearing negative comments from people at the time. He still remembers that night.
Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University writes Kansas Profile. The weekly posts highlight individuals or companies in rural Kansas who are making a difference to their community and state.
The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is a public / private partnership between Kansas State University and the Huck Boyd Foundation. The mission of the institute is to help rural people help themselves. Learn more at www.huckboydinstitute.org.