• Special to the Leader & Times
Seward County Community College/Area Technical School in Liberal will host “Kansas Cattle Towns,” a presentation and discussion by Jim Gray at noon, Wednesday, April 13, in the SCCC/ATS Library.
Members of the community are invited to attend the free program, which is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.
Texas Longhorn cattle, rowdy cowboys, gamblers, gunslingers and tempting women combined to produce the archetypal Kansas cattle town. Chronicled in literature, music and movies, the cattle town has been a common setting for adventure and intrigue, but the real meaning and importance of cattle towns has rarely been explained.
Many misconceptions have endured to distort the actual history of the Kansas cattle town. Gray’s presentation will reveal the Wild West as it really was.
“The Cowboy” Jim Gray is a sixth generation Kansan, whose family migrated during the territorial days. In 1996, Gary founded the C.O.W.B.O.Y. (Cockeyed Old West Band of Yahoos) Society to promote and preserve Kansas’ cowboy heritage through the bi-monthly newspaper, Kansas Cowboy. He recently authored the book, “Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier.” His newest venture, The Way West, is a weekly column available in newspapers across the state.
“Growing up around old cowboys and listening to their stories just naturally led to a curiosity about the Old West and especially the end of trail cattle towns,” recalled Gray. “Studying the people and events in those old towns brought the whole era to life.”
“Kansas Cattle Towns” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Kansas 150 Speakers Bureau commemorating the Kansas sesquicentennial. The special edition Speakers Bureau features presentations and discussions about Kansas and what it means to be a Kansan over time and across generations.
The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to participate in their communities.
For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at (785) 357-0359 or visit online at www.kansashumanities.org. For more information, call (620) 417-1161.