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SEKS History Lives On with PSU Students at Miner's Hall Musuem in Franklin

Recently Pittsburg State Art History Majors Katie Well and Rosemary Stapleton spoke to KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro about the first month of their fall internship at the Miners's Hall Museum in this extended interview.

Extended interview with Rosemary and Katie

The Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, Kansas has long been an important resource for preserving the history of southeast Kansas.

This fall two Pittsburg State students interning at the museum are researching the lives of miners and their children.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Southeast Kansas has experienced dramatic changes over the past century from an economy largely driven by coal and other types of mining and the ubiquity of the railroad industry, to one that is now anchored by a state university and community colleges, healthcare, and tourism.

The area's rich history, stories and photos of its residents, and stories of how people live in Pittsburg and the surrounding communities are not lost thanks in part to the Miners Hall museum in Franklin.

Katie Wells is a Senior Art History Major at PSU who is originally from Wichita and says it’s been interesting learning how small southeast Kansas towns interacted.

“And I grew up in the suburban area, but it was definitely more spread out and distant and I definitely wasn't going over to my neighbor's house and bake them cookies kind of neighborhood.

So seeing how close all these communities were and how soft and how kind they were with each other and how supportive and close-knit they all were it’s really, really fascinating to see.”

Katie and her partner intern, Rosemary Stapleton, a Junior Art History major at Pitt State plan to present their research on how Slovaks immigrated and settled in southeast Kansas, between 1900 to 1920.

The presentation is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Miners Hall Museum on Sunday, December 3.

Copyright 2023 Four States Public Radio. To see more, visitFour States Public Radio.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.