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The Bob Black Photographs are polaroid photographs showing the immediate aftermath of the July 1978 fire in Girard, Kansas which destroyed the former Haldeman-Julius Publishing Company building.

Bob Black was born in 1943 in Nashville, Tennessee, to John and Mary (Collins) Black. Bob graduated from Ottawa High School (Kansas) in 1961 and went on to earn a Computer Science degree from Kansas State University in 1972. In 1972 he began his career at Missouri Pacific as a programmer analyst. Shortly after this, he moved to Pittsburg, Kansas to start the first ServiceMaster franchise in Pittsburg. He later formed Alternate Systems, initially a mail distribution service and later a cleaning company. He would go on to own and operate several other small businesses throughout the years. Bob married Judy McLain in 1969, and they had three children, Michelle, Tim and Belinda. Bob "Blue" was known for his vintage Harley motorcycles. He enjoyed traveling to blues festivals and motorcycle events. Bob served in the U.S. Marine Corp from 1964-1967, with 13 months of foreign service during the Vietnam War. He was decorated with multiple medals and badges. For years Bob lived in Carona, Kansas (Cherokee County) in the old historic Gay Parita Ballroom building, which had been renamed the Blue Parita. He passed away in 2021.

Publication Date



Architecture, Social Life and Customs


Architecture | Arts and Humanities

Size of Collection

.3 linear feet

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0399

Black, Bob, Photographs, 1978



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