Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced five more people to his list of notable Kansans Wednesday.
The notables honored this afternoon were Clyde Cessna, Samuel Crumbine, Amelia Earhart, Joseph McCoy, and C.B. Schmidt.
The event was part of an effort to commemorate the Kansas sesquicentennial during 2011 and was held at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita.
Brownback plans to announce the final five Notable at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, September 15, at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. This event will be held in Dillon Hall inside the Encampment Building at the state fair.
Information on the recently announced notable Kansas was provided by the Governor’s office:
Clyde Cessna was born in Iowa and came to Kansas two years later. He was interested in mechanics and technology and saw his first airplane show in 1910. Cessna built his first plane, the Silverwing, in 1911. After crashing and rebuilding 13 times, his design was a success. He started Cessna Aircraft Company in 1927. At today’s event Cessna’s biography was read by Rhonda Fullerton, marketing operations director for Cessna.
Samuel Crumbine moved from Pennsylvania to Ford County to practice medicine in the 1880s. He was the state secretary of health for 20 years and launched public awareness campaigns for tuberculosis, the elimination of houseflies and rats, and water and sanitary sewage control. Crumbine also abolished the community drinking cup and is credited with creating the modern fly swatter. At today’s event Crumbine’s biography was read by Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Robert Moser.
Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and set many aviation records for speed. Earhart wrote several books, lectured on aviation, attempted to circle the globe at the equator. She disappeared in 1937 over the Pacific Ocean, and was never found. At today’s event Earhart’s biography was read by Janet Yoder, a trustee of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison. Yoder is also a member of the 99s, an international association of licensed women pilots of which Amelia Earhart was a charter member.
Joseph McCoy convinced Texas cattlemen to bring their herds to the newly built railroad in Kansas. He was a businessman who built a hotel, stockyard, office, and bank. McCoy established Abilene as a railhead on the Chisholm Trail. Through McCoy’s promotion and influence, two million head of Texas longhorns passed through Abilene in four years. He referred to himself as “The Real McCoy.” At today’s event McCoy’s biography was read by Jami Frazier Tracy, curator of collections at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.
C.B. Schmidt was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1864. He settled in Kansas in 1868 and was a grocer. Schmidt served as a land agent for the Santa Fe railway and influenced thousands of German Mennonites to settle in Kansas in the 1870s. These German Russian families eventually populated the central and western portions of Kansas. At today’s event Schmidt’s biography was read by Karen Penner from the Warkentin House Museum in Newton.
The 25 Notable Kansans were selected by the governor’s blue ribbon panel for history. The panel is comprised of: Don Chubb, Topeka; Dr. Virgil Dean, Kansas Historical Society; Gayle Garrelts, Hays; Dr. James Hoy, Emporia State University; Bob Keckeisen, Kansas Historical Society; Nathan McAlister, Royal Valley High School; Dr. Leo Oliva, Woodston; Mary Regan, Finney County Historical Society; J. Schafer, Kansas Public Radio; Dr. James Shortridge, University of Kansas; and Dr. Raymond Wilson, Fort Hays State University.
(Photos courtesy Kansas Historical Society)