|Woman of the times as |
shown in the
University of Colorado
So, you can imagine how surprised I was when a Google search turned up a Rena Alice Travis at the University of Colorado for summer courses in the academic year 1920-21. This seemed too amazing for me, and I thought it just had to be someone with the same name. After all, Pottawatomie County, Kansas, is immediately adjacent to Riley County, where Kansas State University is located. Why would Rena leave her family and go all the way to Colorado to school when she could live much closer to home by attending classes at at K-State (or, Kansas State Agricultural College, as it was known at the time)?
So, I dug further, and when I reached p. 367 of the University of Colorado Catalogue, 1920-21—lo and behold!—there it was: Rena Alice Travis of Garrison, Kansas. But where on earth is Garrison, Kansas? I’ve lived in Kansas all my life and am very familiar with Riley and Pottawatomie Counties (at least, I thought I was); but I had never heard of the town of Garrison. So, maybe by some statistical improbability there were two Rena Alice Travises in Kansas in 1920, and the other one--from some other, far away county--had gone to CU for the summer. It could happen, right?
So, I made an Internet search for Garrison, Kansas, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a map of Pottawatomie County, Kansas, showing Garrison as the westernmost town in the county. A bit more digging turned up this description: "Garrison, a village of Pottawatomie county, is located in Green township. . . . [emphasis mine]." Well, now we were down to a statistical impossibility. This was my Rena--and no other!
Hooray for the great little website, Lost Kansas Communities! They really made my day.
Blackmar, Frank, ed. “Garrison.” Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History. Blue Skyways Library. May 2002. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. <http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1912/g/garrison.html >
Gent, Frank. Lost Kansas Communities. Chapman Center for Rural Studies. Kansas State University. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. <http://lostkscommunities.omeka.net/items/show/44>