Roger's View from the Hills




Theodore Roosevelt

As you may know I write about more than my opinions here. I love the near forgotten people, places, and things about Kansas. The stories that were not considered ‘important’ enough to be put in the main line history books. If these stories were not valuable there would not be the hundreds of museums, historical societies, or history groups. There would not be hundreds of books written about our people and our past as there is. In my own library I have over 700 books (I really need to count them all again), that number was from at least a decade ago. In fact I am now trying to make sure that my library is not sold off one beer flat at a time when I die. Archival research libraries are hard to find. I am trying to convince our library to start an archival and research unit. It is hard for modern libraries to understand the value of old books. We lose more material on our history with every funeral. Many museums do not have the ability to keep archival sections and have researchers on staff.

My books about Kansas are; KANSAS ODDITIES, ECCENTRIC KANSAS, and TRUE TALES OF KANSAS, (stand by for an exciting announcement about TRUE TALES OF KANSAS).

I am working on two new manuscripts. One will be more stories of Kansas in general. The second will be all agricultural stories.

I have been researching two stories now for months. It seems that all the search engines I use (3) are just having a devil of a time coming up with information. My phone and email has been running hard trying to find the information I need. I have often been asked how I find my subjects for my stories? There is no one answer. Baby Alma I got right off the TV on Channel 12 News. Another, the Success Plow by FM Beydler Plow Company of Ashland, KS. came from Facebook.

The SUCCESS PLOW and FRANK M. BEYDLER are the reason I write this story. I find the SUCCESS GANG PLOW in the 1911 issue of THE THRESHERMAN’S JOURNAL There is a surviving gang plow that was shown at a recent steam and gas engine show. However no one knows anything about the company or man in Clark County where Ashland is.

Frank Beydler buried his wife at the Fairview Cemetery. The next time I find Frank is where he died and is entombed at Stockton, California. Not long after Frank was selling plows, with delivery from Wichita, the P&O plow company is selling the Success plows and soon sold to McCormick Deering and International is selling Success plows.

It would appear that the company was sold and Frank went on to other ventures, but I can not document it. There are patents taken out by Frank Beydler on several quick hitches but I can not find the story of the man.

It is research like this that drives me crazy but is also the fun part of writing a story. What I have are a few bones of a story. I cannot write on my theories, but only with documented proof of the story.

If any of my readers has any information on Frank (F.M.) Beydler and his Success Gang Plows, or any story about Kansas, please contact me at [email protected].



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