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Noonday rest: A black ink on rag paper woodcut showing cows grazing and resting under a tree, drawn by Hershel C. Logan.The below lists are a compilation of general books on agriculture in Kansas. All of these books are available to researchers in the Research Room of the Kansas Historical Society.


An aerial view of the Elton Raymond and Nora Helen Allen farm located northwest of Soldier, Jackson County, 1954Adeleke, Olusola A. "Analysis of Changes in the Financial Conditions of Kansas Farmers, 1973-1984." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1986.

Droze, Wilmon H. "Changing the Plains Environment: The Afforestation of the Trans-Mississippi West." Agricultural History 51 (January 1977): 6-22.

Ebeling, Walter. The Fruited Plain: The Story of American Agriculture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. The author divides American agriculture into four geographical regions.

Fite, Gilbert C. The Farmers' Frontier, 1865-1900. 1966. Reprint. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987. This important study covers many facets of frontier settlement from the Upper Midwest to California.

__________. "Great Plains Farming: A Century of Change and Adjustment." Agricultural History 51 (January 1977): 244-256.

Ham, George E., and Robin Higham, editors. The Rise of the Wheat State: A History of Kansas Agriculture, 1861-1986. Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1987. In response to the 125th birthday anniversary of the State of Kansas, this collection of sixteen essays provides a contemporary view of Kansas agriculture and a brief examination of earlier development.

Helms, Douglas. "Conserving the Plains: The Soil Conservation Service in the Great Plains." Agricultural History 64 (Spring 1990): 58-73. Important role played by SCS in combating the "Dust Bowl" and subsequent activities.

Hewes, Leslie. "Early Suitcase Farming in the Central Great Plains." Agricultural History 51 (January 1977): 23-37.

__________. The Suitcase Farming Frontier: A Study in the Historical Geography of the Central Great Plains. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1973. The region examined was western Kansas and eastern Colorado, where a "suitcase farmer" lived so far away that he had to pack his suitcase when he went to his farm. A "sidewalk farmer" lived in town and went out to his farm as needed.

Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1994. Interpretive and covers all eras and regions in American agriculture, including Kansas with pictures from the state historical society. Isern, Thomas D. "An American Dream: The Family Farm in Kansas." Midwest Quarterly 26 (Spring 1985): 357-367. Discusses the mythology of this "American Dream" and reality of recent past.

McGregor, Kent Mark. "Climatic Influence on Agricultural Productivity and Decision-Making in Kansas, 1951-70." Doc. diss., University of Kansas, 1982.

Parker, William N., and Stephen J. DeCanio. "Two Hidden Sources of Productivity Growth in American Agriculture, 1860-1930." Agricultural History 56 (October 1982): 648-662. Importance of scientific and individual producer learning when applied to the farm.

Rice, John G. "The Role of Culture and Community in Frontier Prairie Farming." Journal of Historical Geography 3 (April 1977): 155-175.

Rogers, Earl M., compiler. A List of References for the History of Agriculture in the Great Plains. Davis: Agricultural History Center, University of California, Davis, 1976. Categorized among various farm topics and states; many items in this "list" apply to Kansas agriculture.

Rome, Adam Ward. "American Farmers as Entrepreneurs." Agricultural History 56 (January 1982): 37-49.

Saloutos, Theodore, and John D. Hicks. Agricultural Discontent in the Middle West, 1900-1939. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1951. Major study of farm organizations and movements during the post-Populist era.

Schwab, Jim. Raising Less Corn and More Hell: Midwestern Farmers Speak Out. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988. Emphasis on farm problems of late 20th century; based on interviews and including some Kansas examples.

Sexton, Rich., and John Cita. "The Changing Structure of the Kansas Farm." Kansas Business Review 5 (July-August 1982): 1-12.

Shannon, Fred A. The Farmers' Last Frontier: Agriculture, 1860-1897. New York: Rinehart, 1945. Volume 5 in "Economic History of the U. S." series, Shannon's study covers wide range of topics: farm making, land acquisition, mechanization, and more.

Sitler, Harry G., and Melvin D. Skold. "Analysis of Change in the Agrarian Sector of the Great Plains." Rocky Mountain Social Science Journal 5 (October 1968): 38-48. Agriculture continues to have increasing impact on Great Plains economy despite decline in number employed on the farm.

Sorensen, Willis Conner. "The Kansas National Forest, 1905-1915." Kansas Historical Quarterly 35 (Winter 1969): 386-395. Failed effort at forestation in southwest Kansas near Garden City; lessons learned aided renewed efforts of 1930s.

Walther, Thomas R. "Social and Economic Mobility in Rural Kansas, 1860-1905." Doc. diss., University of Oklahoma, 1971.

Webster, Edwin H. "Fifty Years of Kansas Agriculture." Kansas Historical Collections 12 (1911-1912): 60-64. Includes graph juxtaposing acreage, income, per bushel value, and yield of wheat and corn from 1862-1911.

Wilson, John L. "The Good and Bad Years." Forty-Fourth Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, Statehood Centennial Edition 49 (1960-1961): 184-191. Good years outnumbered bad for Kansas farms during first century of statehood; highlights most notable periods with regard to farm production.

Land Acquisition

Image and link to Emigrants' Guide to the Kansas Pacific Railway Lands, 1871.Adams, Franklin G. The Homestead Guide, Describing the Great Homestead Region in Kansas and Nebraska, and Containing the Homestead, Pre-emption, and Timber Bounty laws. Waterville, Kans.: 1873. This 312-page guide for the prospective settler, by a long-time secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, deals with many questions regarding homesteading: Homestead law, railroads, fencing, and towns.

Anderson, George L. "The Administration of Federal Land Law in Western Kansas, 1880-1890: A Factor in Adjustment to a New Environment." Kansas Historical Quarterly 20 (November 1952): 233-251. Administrative procedures, which failed to protect individual entrymen, as well as laws themselves were not adequately adapted to frontier.

Emmons, David M. "American Myth: Desert of Eden: Theories of Increased Rainfall and the Timber Culture Act of 1873." Forest History 15 (October 1971): 6-14.

Finley, Robert M. "A Budgeting Approach to the Question of Homestead Size on the Plains." Agricultural History 42 (April 1968): 109-114.

Gates, Paul Wallace. "Homesteading in the High Plains." Agricultural History 51 (January 1977): 109-133.

__________, with a chapter by Robert W. Swenson. History of Public Land Law Development. 1968. Reprint. Helms Beach, Fla.: Gaunt, 1987. Comprehensive study of land law and policy from the 1780s, and its impact on western settlement.

Hargreaves, Mary W. M. "Homesteading and Homemaking on the Plains: A Review." Agricultural History 47 (April 1973): 156-163. Applicable to study of women and settlement of farming frontier.

Harley, C. Knick. "Western Settlement and the Price of Wheat, 1872-1913." Journal of Economic History 38 (December 1978): 865-878. Shows a direct connection between the world prices for wheat and western farm settlement.

Haywood, C. Robert. "Sod, Straw, and Sunflower Stalks: The Homestead Act and Jefferson's Yeoman Farmers in Kansas and Nebraska." The Prairie Scout 5 (1985): 143-154.

Lee, Lawrence Bacon. Kansas and the Homestead Act, 1862-1905. New York: Arno Press, 1979. Lee's 1957 doc. diss. (University of Chicago) detailing legal and practical aspects of homesteading with numerous tables and illustrations.

Marple, Robert P. "The Corn-Wheat Ratio in Kansas, 1879-1959: A Study in Historical Geography." Great Plains Journal 8 (Spring 1969): 79-86. Change from 183 acres of corn for each 100 of wheat to 19 of corn for every 100 acres of wheat.

Nieder, Paul. "The Timber Culture Laws in Western Kansas, 1878-1891." Master's thesis, University of Kansas, 1966.

Opie, John. The Law of the Land: Two Hundred Years of American Farmland Policy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987.

Williams, Burton J. "Trees But No Timber: Prelude to the Timber Culture Act." Nebraska History 53 (Spring 1972): 77-86.


Image of exaggerated postcard showing a horse drawn wagon filled with huge cabbages, 1908Garrison, Stephen J. "Kansas Crop Production Variation in Response to Commodity Price Changes." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1980.

Harris, Allan James. "Economic Incentives in Dryland Crop-Share Leases, Western Kansas, 1957 and 1970." Doc. diss., Kansas State University, 1973.

Hewes, Leslie. "Agricultural Risk in the Great Plains." In Brian W. Blouet and Frederick C. Luebke, editors. The Great Plains: Environment and Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

__________. "The Causes of Wheat Failure in the Dry Farming Region, Central Great Plains, 1939-1957." Economic Geography 41 (October 1965): 313-330.

Jorgenson, Lloyd P. "Agricultural Expansion into the Semiarid Lands of the West North Central Plains States during the First World War." Agricultural History 23 (January 1949): 30-40. Statistics by county for states of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Loewen, Solomon L. "Harvesting in Kansas During the Early Decades of This Century: A Reminiscence." Kansas History 13 (Summer 1990): 82-87. Technology and social patterns among Mennonites in central Kansas.

Nall, Gary L. "Dry-Land Farming on the High Plains A Perspective." Red River Valley Historical Review 1 (Summer 1974): 122-126.

Rubright, Lynnell. "Development of Farming Systems in Western Kansas, 1885-1915." Doc. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1977.

Saul, Norman E. "Myth and History: Turkey Red Wheat and the `Kansas Miracle'." Heritage of the Great Plains 22 (Summer 1989): 1-13. Saul convincingly argues that the traditional account of the introduction of this important strain of hard winter wheat, which gives all credit to German Mennonites from Russia, is largely myth.

Testing new crops

View of a man in a combine cutting wheat on the Paul and Steve Conrardy Farm and Seed Company land near Kingman, 1998Brumfield, Kirby. The Wheat Album: A Picture and Story Scrap Book of Wheat Harvests in Years Gone By. Seattle, Wash.: Superior Publishing Co., 1974. Mostly photos and reproduction advertisements (implements) related to wheat harvesting throughout the Plains, includes many Kansas items.

Dalrymple, Dana G. "Changes in Wheat Varieties and Yields in the United States, 1919-1984." Agricultural History 62 (Fall 1988): 20-36. Many Kansas grown varieties are considered.

Flora, Jan L., and John M. Stitz. "Ethnicity, Persistence, and Capitalization of Agriculture in the Great Plains During the Settlement Period: Wheat Production and Risk Avoidance." Rural Sociology 50 (Fall 1985): 341-360.

Leukner, Robert W. "The Cost-Price Squeeze: Causes and Implications for Kansas Wheat Farms." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1984.

Mearns, Linda Opal. "Technological Change, Climatic Variability, and Winter Wheat Yields in the Great Plains of the United States." Doc. diss., University of California, L.A., 1988.

Reitz, L. P. "The Improvement of Wheat." In After a Hundred Years: Yearbook of Agriculture, 1962. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, 1962. Introduced in America by early colonists, the great success of this crop in the 20th century was made possible by the development and introduction of special varieties by scientists working for the USDA.

Socolofsky, Homer E. "History of Wheat." In Marketing Kansas Wheat. Topeka: Kansas Wheat Commission and State Board of Agriculture, 1959. Republished as Wheat, Field to Market: The Story of the Golden Crop. Chicago: Wheat Flour Institute, 1967.

White, Gerald T. "Economic Recovery and the Wheat Crop of 1897." Agricultural History 13 (June 1939): 13-21.

Technology on the Farm

Photo of the construction of a silo east of Cimarron, Gray County, 1910sBaker, T. Lindsay. A Field Guide to American Windmills. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985. Includes a listing of all windmill companies operating in Kansas.

__________. "Turbine-Type Windmills of the Great Plains and Midwest." Agricultural History 54 (January 1980): 38-51.

Brownback, Sam. Kansas Fence Laws and the Laws of Trespassing Livestock. Manhattan: (Ag Law Series,) Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service, 1984.

Farrar, Jan Orton. "Herd Laws and Hedge Posts: Fencing in a Kansas County." Heritage of the Great Plains 21 (Summer 1988): 3-10. Focus on Butler County in 1870s; one article in special issue on agricultural technology on the Great Plains.

Grimes, W. E. "The Effect of Improved Machinery and Production Methods on the Organization of Farms in the Hard Winter Wheat Belt." Journal of Farm Economics 10 (April 1928): 225-231.

Hurt, R. Douglas. "Agricultural Technology in the Dust Bowl, 1932-40." In Brian W. Blouet, and Frederick C. Luebke, editors. The Great Plains: Environment and Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

__________. "Agricultural Technology in the Twentieth Century." Journal of the West (April 1991): 3-100. Concentration is on tractors, cotton pickers, combines, irrigation technology, and mechanizing sugar beet and tomato harvests.

__________. American Farm Tools: From Hand-Power to Steam Power. Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1982. Well-illustrated reference.

__________. "Grasshopper Harvesters on the Great Plains." Great Plains Journal 16 (Spring 1977): 123-134. As early as 1875, Plains farmers began using mechanical "harvesters" to combat the ravenous insect; includes nine different patent drawings.

Isern, Thomas D. Bull Threshers and Bindlestiffs: Harvesting and Threshing on the North American Plains. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990. As the author explains in the preface of this detailed study of folklife and technology of 19th and 20th century harvesting and threshing, the "bull thresher represents capital, particularly machine capital; the bindlestiff represents human labor."

__________. Custom Combining on the Great Plains: A History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982. A vital facet of agriculture on the 20th century Great Plains; these mechanized migrant workers cover wheat areas from Texas to Canada.

__________. "Plainsmen Nonpareil: Custom Combiners of the Great Plains." Kansas Quarterly 12 (Spring 1980): 45-54.

McCallum, Henry D., and F. T. McCallum. The Wire that Fenced the West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965. Divided into three parts covering barbed wire "fence-makers," "fence-builders," and types of wire.

Malcolm, Douglas. "Oats Compared to Oil as a Farm Power." Nineteenth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture 24 (1913-1914): 443-448. Comparison of two modes of farm power animal and mechanical/machine at the beginning of this important transition.

Rasmussen, Wayne D. "The Impact of Technological Change on American Agriculture, 1862-1962." Journal of Economic History 22 (December 1962): 578-591. Changes in farm productivity linked to "first" and "second agricultural revolutions."

Sageser, A. Bower. "Windmill and Pump Irrigation on the Great Plains, 1890-1910." Nebraska History 48 (Summer 1967): 107-118.

Torrey, Volta. Wind-Catchers: American Windmills of Yesterday and Tomorrow. Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Greene Press, 1976. Five of the eighteen chapters are organized around the small mill for pumping water.

Williams, Robert C. Fordson, Farmall, and Poppin' Johnny: A History of the Farm Tractor and Its Impact on America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987. A "biography of the tractor" which documents its major developments in North America and discusses its social and cultural impact.


View of cattle belonging to Bradford Grimes near Ashland, between 1891 and 1912Laude, G. A. Kansas Shorthorns: A History of the Breed in the State From 1857 to 1920. Iola, Kans.: Kansas Shorthorn Breeders Association, Laude Printing Co., 1921. Includes county-by-county listing and selected short biographical sketches of breeders with focus on individual contributions throughout.

Nimmo, Joseph, Jr. Report in Regard to the Range and Ranch Cattle Business of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885. Authored by the chief of the Bureau of Statistics, U. S. Treasury Department, who completed this 200 page report in compliance with a House resolution requesting information on the cattle industry. Contains many valuable maps, statistics, and details on Texas fever and quarantine laws as related to Kansas and other Plains states.

Schlebecker, John T. Cattle Raising on the Plains, 1900-1961. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1963. How 20th century cattlemen adapted to closing of open range and how "cattle industry evolved to meet the needs of an urban-industrial society;" considerable attention given to 1930s and 1940s.

Towne, Charles W., and Edward N. Wentworth. Shepherd's Empire. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1945. Sheep were a significant part of the livestock economy in western Kansas during late 19th century.

Wentworth, Edward N. America's Sheep Trails: History, Personalities. Ames: Iowa State College Press, 1948.

Wood, Charles L. The Kansas Beef Industry. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1980. An extension of dissertation done at the University of Kansas, 1974, Wood concentrates on period from 1890 to 1940; all phases of production are covered.

"Long Trails" to Cattle Towns

View of Three Block ranch cowboys preparing to go on the second guard duty to watch cattle at night.Dick, Everett. "The Long Drive." Kansas Historical Collections 17 (1926-28): 27-97. History of cattle drives and industry from origins of Texas herds with early Spanish through 1880s; Dick's master's thesis done at University of Nebraska.

Drago, Harry Sinclair. Great American Cattle Trails: The Story of the Old Cow Paths of the East and the Longhorn Highways of the Plains. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1965.

__________. The Great Range Wars: Violence on the Grasslands. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970.

Durham, Philip, and Everett L. Jones. The Negro Cowboys. 1965. Reprint. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983. Long neglected figure on trail and ranch; estimates that blacks accounted for one-fourth of all western cowboys.

Dykstra, Robert R. "Town-Country Conflict: A Hidden Dimension in American Social History." Agricultural History 38 (October 1964): 195-204.

Lewis, Theodore B. "The National Cattle Trail, 1883-1886." Nebraska History 52 (Summer 1971): 205-220.

Millbrook, Minnie Dubbs. "North from Dodge: Troubles Along the Trail." Kansas Quarterly 6 (Fall 1974): 5-13.

Evolution of the Closed Range Cattle Industry

1880s advertisement for barbed wire fencingAtherton, Lewis E. The Cattle Kings. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1961. Concentrates on the ranchers rather than the cowboys.

Clawson, Marion. The Western Range Livestock Industry. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950. Includes Kansas and other states.

Dale, Edward Everett. The Range Cattle Industry. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1930. A study, initiated under direction of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, concentrated on the Texas area, long drives, and ranching on the Central and Northern Plains. A new edition, 1960, used subtitle, Ranching on the Great Plains from 1865 to 1925.

Hutson, Cecil Kirk. "Texas Fever in Kansas, 1866-1930." Agricultural History 68 (Winter 1994): 74-104. A new look at the impact of this deadly disease, brought north by the Texas longhorns, on the development of the Kansas livestock industry and the long drives.

Peters, Alvin. "Herd Laws in Kansas." Heritage of the Great Plains 20 (Summer 1987): 29-38.

Savage, William W., Jr. "Stockmen's Associations and the Western Range Cattle Industry." Journal of the West 14 (July 1975): 52-59. Includes discussion of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association and nearby southern Kansas towns.

Wheeler, David L. "The Blizzard of 1886 and Its Effects on the Range Cattle Industry in the Southern Plains." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 94 (January 1991): 415-432. Area of concentration includes Kansas, Indian Territory, and Texas, with some attention to Colorado and New Mexico Territory.

----------. "Winter on the Cattle Range: Western Kansas, 1884-1886." Kansas History 15 (Spring 1992): 2-17.

Wood, Charles L. "Science and Politics in the War on Cattle Diseases: The Kansas Experience, 1900-1940." Agricultural History 54 (January 1980): 84-92.

__________. "Upbreeding Western Range Cattle: Notes on Kansas, 1880-1920." Journal of the West 16 (January 1977): 16-28.

Weather and Agriculture

Photo of a drawing of a herd of cattle in a blizzard drawn by Charles Graham from a sketch by Henry Worrall, 1886.Alleman, Roy V. Blizzard. St. Louis, Mo.: Patrice Press, 1991. Compares the blizzard of 1948-9 to the one in 1886.

Bonnifield, Paul. The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1979. Based largely on interviews and local sources, Bonnifield's was first full-length treatment of Depression era event (1932-1938) that affected portions of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Kansas.

Borchert, John R. "The Dust Bowl in the 1970s." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 61 (March 1971): 1-22.

Byers, Oliver P. "Personal Recollections of the Terrible Blizzard of 1886." Kansas Historical Collections 12 (1911-1912): 99-117. Includes accounts by several western Kansans followed by brief remarks on blizzards of 1856 and 1887.

Caldwell, Martha B. "Some Kansas Rain Makers." Kansas Historical Quarterly 7 (August 1938): 306-324. A business that was of great interest to many Kansans in early 1890s.

Ferrill, Martha J. W. "The Myth of Tree Planting on the Great Plains." Doc. diss., University of Nebraska, 1988. The reasons for tree planting changed in historic times.

Ganzel, Bill. Dust Bowl Descent. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. A comparison of Farm Security Administration pictures of the mid-1930s, with photos taken of the same subjects in the 1970s.

__________. "Return to the Dust Bowl." Historic Preservation 36 (October 1984): 32-37. Adaptation of the above cited book, includes quotations from several of the author's subjects.

Great Plains Quarterly 6 (Spring 1986): 67-136. An entire issue devoted to "The Dust Bowl," with articles by John C. Hudson, Gilbert F. White, R. Douglas Hurt, Donald Worster, Harry C. McDean, and William E. Riebsame.

Harrison, Lowell H. "Planted Forests Will They Succeed on the Plains?" Great Plains Journal 8 (Spring 1969): 75-78.

Hurt, R. Douglas. The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981. Dust storms have always been factor on Plains, but agricultural practices and other factors increased severity in 1930s; suggests that another Dust Bowl is possible if proper conservation program is not followed.

__________. "Dust Bowl: Drought, Erosion, and Despair on the Southern Great Plains." American West 14 (July/August 1977): 22-27, 56-57.

__________. "Letters from the Dust Bowl." Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 52 (1979): 1-13. Five of these letters are from Kansas.

__________. "Return of the Dust Bowl: The Filthy Fifties." Journal of the West 18 (October 1979): 85-93.

Irvine, Robert. "The Waterscape and the Law: Adopting Prior Appropriation in Kansas." Kansas History 18 (Spring 1996): 22-35. Analysis of the environmental and economic implications of Kansas' relatively late abandonment of the riparian doctrine with the passage of the Water Appropriation Act of 1945.

Johnson, Vance. Heaven's Tableland: The Dust Bowl Story. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1947.

Lauber, Patricia. Dust Bowl: The Story of Man on the Great Plains. East Rutherford, N.J.: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, Inc., 1958.

Marotz, Glen O. "Trees, the Plains, and Water Management." Journal of the West 2 (April 1983): 48-53.

McDean, Harry C. "Dust Bowl Historiography." Great Plains Quarterly 6 (Spring 1986): 117-126.

__________. "Social Scientists and Farm Poverty on the North American Plains, 1933-1940." Great Plains Quarterly 3 (Winter 1983): 17-29.

Opie, John. "The Drought of 1988, the Global Warning Experiment, and its Challenge to Irrigation in the Old Dust Bowl Region." Agricultural History 61 (Spring 1992): 279-306. Compares periods and development of irrigation; the golden age of irrigation cited as 1960-1990, with half of usable water spent.

____________. Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993. This "historical study in the possibilities for American sustainable agriculture" focuses on the depletion of the aquifer that underlies portions of eight High Plains states, including much of western and central Kansas; irrigation "has turned the old Dust Bowl region into the breadbasket of the world."

____________. "100 Years of Climate Risk Assessment on the High Plains: Which Farm Paradigm Does Irrigation Serve?" Agricultural History 63 (Spring 1989): 243-269. Assesses developments in area from Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Riney-Kehrberg, Pamela. "From the Horse's Mouth: Dust Bowl Farmers and Their Solutions to the Problem of Aridity." Agricultural History 61 (Spring 1992): 137-150. Farmers in southwest Kansas accepted federal aid during these hard times, but they also agitated for policy reform and looked for ways to help themselves--"to adapt their agriculture to the Plains, or the Plains to meet their conception of agriculture."

Rosenberg, Norman J. "Adaptations to Adversity: Agriculture, Climate and the Great Plains of North America." Great Plains Quarterly 6 (Summer 1986): 202-217. Includes a map comparing zones for hard red winter wheat in 1920 and 1980.

Schuyler, Michael W. "Drought and Politics 1936: Kansas as a Test Case." Great Plains Journal 15 (Fall 1975): 2-27.

Sims, John, and Thomas Frederick Saarinen. "Coping With the Environmental Threat: Great Plains Farmers and the Sudden Storm." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 59 (December 1969): 677-686.

Smallwood, J. B., editor. Water in the West. Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1983. Collection of essays on this controversial western issue past and present.

Spence, Clark C. "The Cloud Crackers: Moments in the History of Rainmaking." Journal of the West 18 (October 1979): 62-71.

__________. The Rainmakers. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980.

Svobida, Lawrence. Farming the Dust Bowl: A First-Hand Account from Kansas. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1986. Includes a lengthy introductory essay by R. Douglas Hurt. Originally published in 1940 as An Empire of Dust, this is the personal history of a Meade County "Dust Bowl" farmer.

Travis, Paul D. "Changing Climate in Kansas: A Late 19th-Century Myth." Kansas History 1 (Spring 1978): 48-58. Impact of drought of 1890s and perceptions from diaries and letters written all over the state.

Worster, Donald. "The Dirty Thirties: A Study in Agricultural Capitalism." Great Plains Quarterly 6 (Spring 1986): 107-116. Examines the ecological aspect of James Malin's work.

__________. Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930's. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Concludes that flaws in American capitalism produced both the Depression and Dust Bowl.


Photograph showing an irrigation ditch on the J. C. Mitchell farm, Finney County, 1890sBaker, T. Lindsey. "Blowin' in the Wind: Windmill Manufacturing and Distribution in Kansas." Kansas History 18 (Spring 1996): 6-21. The article includes "a comprehensive roster of Kansas windmill makers, 1870s-1980s."

____________. "Irrigating with Windmills on the Great Plains." Great Plains Quarterly 9 (Fall 1989): 216-230.

Dunbar, Robert G. Forging New Rights in Western Waters. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983. Evolution of water rights and laws, includes Kansas.

Foth, Victoria. Water and the Making of Kansas. Topeka: Kansas Natural Resource Council, 1988. Originally a series of newspaper articles that briefly cover a variety of water related issues and events, from "Great American Desert" to Ogallala aquifer.

Fund, Mary. Water in Kansas: A Primer. Whiting, Kans.: Kansas Rural Center, 1984. Water law, usage, and other issues discussed.

Gracy, David B., II. "Irrigation on the High Plains A Perspective." Red River Valley Historical Review 1 (Summer 1974): 127-131.

Hurt, R. Douglas. "Irrigation in the Kansas Plains since 1930." Red River Valley Historical Review 4 (Summer 1979): 64-72.

Hutchins, Wells A. "Trends in the Statutory Law of Ground Water in the Western States." Texas Law Review 34 (December 1955): 157-191.

__________, R. V. Smrha, and Robert L. Smith. The Kansas Law of Water Rights. Topeka, Kans.: State Printer, 1957. Jointly published by Division of Water Resources, Board of Agriculture, and Water Resources Board.

Lowitt, Richard, and Judith Fabry, editors. Henry A. Wallace's Irrigation Frontier: On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. A collection of essays written by the young Henry Wallace (later FDR's secretary of agriculture and vice president) for publication in the family's Iowa farm journal--Wallace's Farmer; Wallace's "tour of the principal irrigation projects" begins on July 2, 1909, with a description of sugar beet and alfalfa production near Garden City, Kansas.

Lowitt, Richard, editor. Politics in the Postwar American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995. A collection of 19 essays covering a variety of political topics from Alaska to Texas; of most interest to the Kansas historian is "Kansas and Water: Survival in the Heartland" by James E. Sherow and Homer E. Socolofsky.

Norby, Oscar, and Robin Higham. "Irrigation in Western Kansas the 1950's." Journal of the West 22 (April 1983): 26-29.

Self, Huber. "Irrigation Farming in Kansas." Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 74 (Fall-Winter 1971): 310-317.

Sherow, James E. Watering the Valley: Development Along the High Plains Arkansas River. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990. Analyzes social and environmental impact.

Smith, Henry Nash. "Rain Follows the Plow: The Notion of Increased Rainfall for the Great Plains, 1844-1880." Huntington Library Quarterly 10 (February 1947): 169-193.

Taylor, James E. "Water, Our Prime Natural Resource." Kansas Historical Quarterly 30 (Spring 1964): 112-119. Legal issues and state administration discussed, with emphasis on 20th century.

Worman, Frederick Driscoll. "Utilizing Agronomic Crop Growth Models in Economic Analysis: The Case of Cropping Adjustments to Decreasing Irrigation Water Availability in Western Kansas." Doc. diss., Kansas State University, 1985.

Farm Life

Finney County homestead, between 1880 and 1900Baltensperger, Bradley H. "Farm Consolidation in the Northern and Central States of the Great Plains." Great Plains Quarterly 7 (Fall 1987): 256-265.

Flora, Cornelia Butler, and Jan L. Flora. "Structure of Agriculture and Woman's Culture on the Great Plains." Great Plains Quarterly 8 (Fall 1988): 195-205.

Havermale, Neil C. "Farm Structure and Small Farms: A Study of the United States and Kansas During the 1970s." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1982.

Rowland, Mary Scott. "Kansas Farming and Banking in the 1920s." Kansas History 8 (Autumn 1985): 186-199. Compares farmers and bankers, "both bastions of individualism" during the era.

Tauxe, Caroline Suzanne. "High Plains Changes: An Ethnography of Energy Development in Rural America." Doc. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1988.

Farm Organizations

Image of title page of A Crisis for the Husbandman by Percy DanielsDyson, Lowell. Farmer's Organizations. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986. A volume in "The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions," listing geographical headquarters, chief executive officers, and "estimated membership of selected farm organizations" along with main entries.

Eye, Robert Vinson. "Cohesion and Divisiveness in the Kansas Livestock Association." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1976.

Flamm, Michael W. "The National Farmers Union and the Evolution of Agricultural Liberalism, 1937-1946." Agricultural History 68 (Summer 1994): 54-80. Much on James Patton, the long-time president of the NFU, who was born in 1902 near Bazar, Kansas, and grew up in western Colorado at Nucia, an experimental community organized by the New Utopia Cooperative Land Association.

Guth, James L. "Farmers Monopolies, Cooperation and the Interest of Congress." Agricultural History 56 (January 1982): 67-82. Origins of the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922, co-authored by Kansas Senator Arthur Capper, tried to remedy major roadblock to effective organization prosecution under Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Huff, C. E. "Farmers Union to Kansas in 1906." Forty-Fourth Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, Statehood Centennial Edition 49 (1960-1961): 120-121. Topeka: 1961. Author was a former president of the National Farmers Union, often considered the heir of old Farmers Alliance Movement. This Report featured many historical articles.

Ingwersen, James W., editor. The Grange in Kansas: 1872-1973. N.p.: n.d. Officially the Patrons of Husbandry, founded as national organization by O. H. Kelley in 1867.

Merrill, K. E. Kansas Rural Electric Cooperatives: Twenty Years with the REA. Lawrence: Center for Research in Business, University of Kansas, 1960.

Smith, Ronald Dean. "The KFU (Kansas Farmers Union): A Study in the Dynamics of a Voluntary Agricultural Association." Master's thesis, Kansas State University, 1977.

Tontz, Robert L. "Membership of General Farmers' Organizations, United States, 1874-1960." Agricultural History 38 (July 1964): 143-152. Also provides Kansas memberships for various farm organizations.

Van Sant, Thomas D. Improving Rural Lives: A History of Farm Bureau in Kansas, 1912-1992. Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1993. Shows interconnection between county agents and farm bureaus before the creation of the Kansas Farm Bureau in 1919, its professionalism with the creation of an insurance organization and role in Kansas agriculture.

Wilson, Lloyd C. A History of Cooperatives in Kansas. Topeka: Kansas Cooperative Council, 1949. Farm cooperatives and REA

Agriculture and Government

Shelterbelt, Reno County, 1939Baker, Bryan Douglas. "Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program on Wildlife Habitat in the Great Plains. (Volumes I and II)." Doc. diss., University of Minnesota, 1991. Examines the "ten-year federal agricultural land retirement program" in the six eastern-most Great Plains states.

Dean, Virgil W. "America's Search for a Long-Range Policy for Agriculture: The Truman-Brannan Price Support Plan, Innovative New Approach or `Political Football?'" Doc. diss., University of Kansas, 1990. Kansas Congressman Clifford R. Hope was central figure in this post-World War II farm policy debate.

____________. "The Farm Policy Debate of 1949-1950: Plains State Reaction to the Brannan Plan." Great Plains Quarterly 13 (Winter 1993): 33-46. Covers the pro and con response from Kansas and the subsequent defeat of the Brannan Plan, with special attention to the role of Republican Congressman Clifford Hope of Garden City and significance of the farm policy debate.

Graham, I. D. "The Kansas State Board of Agriculture: Some High Lights of History." Kansas Historical Collections 17 (1926-28): 788-813. Traces its roots to Kansas State Agricultural Society founded in 1857; board actually created by legislature in 1872 but original organization remained essentially intact.

Hurt, R. Douglas. "Gaining Control of the Environment: The Morton County Land Utilization Project in the Kansas Dust Bowl." Kansas History 19 (Summer 1996): 140-153. The Resettlement Administration launched its land utilization program in Morton County, at the "heart of the Dust Bowl," in 1935; eventually, the acreage acquired by the federal government became the Cimarron National Grasslands.

Hurt, R. Douglas. "The National Grasslands: Origin and Development in the Dust Bowl." Agricultural History 59 (April 1985): 246-259. Development of 4 of 19 National Grasslands.

Jackson, James P. "Trees Across the Plains." American Forestry 73 (November 1967): 34-35, 52-53.

Kraenzel, Carl Frederick. "Trees and People in the Plains." Great Plains Journal 6 (Fall 1966): 8-18.

Lindquist, James L. "The Kansas Cooperative Extension Service: An Analysis of External Factors Impacting Organizational Decision Making." Doc. diss., Kansas State University, 1987.

O'Brien, Patrick G. "A Reexamination of the Senate Farm Bloc, 1921-1933." Agricultural History 47 (July 1973): 248-263. O'Brien found a multiplicity of blocs within this loosely knit alliance of farm state legislators who sought national solution to farm crisis of 1920s and early 1930s. Kansas Senator Arthur Capper was important player.

Quisenberry, Karl. "The Dry Land Stations: Their Mission and Their Men." Agricultural History 51 (January 1977): 218-228. Carleton, Chilcott, Widtsoe, and Salmon.

Saloutos, Theodore. "The New Deal and Farm Policy in the Great Plains." Agricultural History 43 (July 1969): 345-355. New Dealers recognized that farm problems of Great Plains went deeper than periodic bouts with nature sought relief and reform in region.

Schmitz, Henry W. Kansas Soil Conservation: A History to 1970. N.p.: 1974.

Schuyler, Michael W. The Dread of Plenty: Agricultural Relief Activities of the Federal Government in the Middle West, 1933-1939. Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1989. Includes material of specific and general application to Kansas.

Sorensen, Conner. "Federal Reclamation on the High Plains: The Garden City Project." Great Plains Journal 15 (Spring 1976): 115-133.

Tomlinson, John Ulysses, Jr. "An Analysis of the Government of Soil Conservation Districts in Kansas." Doc. diss., University of Kansas, 1968.

Wessel, Thomas R. "Roosevelt and the Great Plains Shelterbelt." Great Plains Journal 8 (Spring 1969): 57-74. Interesting study of FDR and this project, characterized as "one of the most ambitious and least remembered conservation projects of the thirties."