About this Collection

The Oral History Project is a multi-phase project to chronicle and preserve firsthand accounts, as well as stories passed down from generation to generation, about farming and farm life in Southeast Kansas during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Great Depression changed history and molded a generation. The farm people who were interviewed for this project survived the "Dirty Thirties" by hanging on to their land and raising much of their own food. Their memories reflect the tenaciousness of farmers everywhere in America's heartland. Yet, despite lack of money, harsh weather, and lots of hard work, they still remember some good times from an era when family and community were essential.

Initial Project Phase

The first phase of the project, “The Impact of the New Deal on Southeast Kansas Farm Life” documents the impact on farm life of various programs enacted during the New Deal of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The project phase began in August 2008 and culminated in October 2009. Principal funding for this program is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, traditions, and ideas that shape our lives and build community.

The Interviews

The Great Depression changed history and molded a generation. The farm people who were interviewed for this project survived the “Dirty Thirties” by hanging on to their land and raising much of their own food. Their memories reflect the tenaciousness of farmers everywhere in America’s heartland. Yet, despite lack of money, harsh weather, and lots of hard work, they still remember some good times from an era when family and community were essential.

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Browse the Southeast Kansas Farm History Project Collections:

Southeast Kansas Oral Histories

Southeast Kansas Photographs