February 28, 2018
Interview conducted by James D. Fischer with Robert Augustus Wesley, community leader. Topic of this interview was "Growing Up Black in Independence, Kansas." Interview took place on February 16, 2018 at the Independence Public Library.
Here is a picture of James D. Fischer and Robert Wesley, chatting on the day of the interview.
January 31, 2018
This oral history interview was conducted by Suzanne Vining with Marge Warren, age 100, a resident of Eagle Estates, Independence, Kansas, in May, 2017.
These are Marge's hands:
December 8, 2017
Jack Brannum was born during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and moved as a toddler to Russell, Kansas, home of Robert Dole. Jack graduated from Russell High School in 1951 and moved to Independence, Kansas, where he met June, his future wife. Jack joined the United States Army and is a Korean War Veteran. When Jack came back from Korea, he and June were married and they had 3 children. Jack has always tried to live his life by his father's rule: "always give them 110% to their 100%," giving them more than what is expected. Jack and June lived for a time in Pella, Iowa and this year they returned to Independence, Kansas.
Here is Jack's yearbook photo as a senior at Russell High School, class of 1951.
August 27, 2017
This interview took place February 3, 2015, in conjunction with the Created Equal Oral History Project. Graham Reeves and his wife Helen are residents of Independence, Kansas.
August 17, 2017
This interview took place on September 21, 2016. Art Schenk was a former Montgomery County Sheriff for 20 years. Art and his wife LaVerne have been married for 70 years and are devoted to each other.
July 30, 2017
This interview took place July 8, 2014, at the Independence Public Library. Ralph J. "R. J." Osborn was born 10/26/1923, in Pawhuska, OK. He lived there until he was about 10 years of age. He graduated from Independence High School with the class of 1941 and attended junior college in Independence as well. He served in the United States Navy during World War II from June 1943 to February 1946. He now resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
July 29, 2017
Robert L. Cooley was born in Independence, Kansas. He was interviewed as part of the Created Equal grant received by the Independence Public Library. He was in the first group of students who attended Lincoln Elementary School in Independence. He was an insurance investigator for a number of years and also worked for the post office.
July 29, 2017
John Vermillion was born 4/1/1922, in Osawattomie, Kansas. He came to Independence, Kansas in a Model T Ford with his family when he was about 4 years old. Their first night in town they slept in the car at Riverside Park. John is the owner/editor of the Independence News newspaper.
July 27, 2017
Alfred James Baden was born September 8, 1924, at 600 S. 4th St., in Independence, Kansas. He was known as Bud to his friends and as Opa to his grandchildren. He served in the United States Army during World War II and he loved fly. He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and was employed by Sinclair Oil Corporation (later ARCO) for 33 years. Bud always had a smile and was ever curious about the history of Independence; the Baden family was a founding family. This interview took place on May 11, 2016.
July 26, 2017
Gary Edward Hunn was born May 6, 1944, in Wellington, New Zealand. Many years later he discovered that his birth father was an American Marine who had been killed in action on Tarawa atoll in the Pacific Ocean, November 20, 1943. His birth father was Jack Edward Miller of Independence, Kansas. Gary and his wife Nora came to Independence to discover his American roots in June 2016. This interview took place on June 12, 2016.
July 26, 2017
Dr. Fay Bradley was born January 13, 1938, at the home of his parents in Independence, Kansas. This interview took place January 27, 2015 as part of a grant called Created Equal that was given to the Independence Public Library. Dr. Bradley has run in marathons around the world.
July 26, 2017
Bertha May LaSalle was born July 13, 1923, "on a clap of thunder" according to her mother. She was named after her maternal grandmother. Bertha is an active and vibrant member of the community.