Sunday, March 27, 2011


Dear cottonwood, so lovely then,
How wide and tall it grew.
What joy to those long absent when
Its top first came to view!
A sentinel it seemed to be
That stood majestic there,
And guarded those who dwelt within
That dear old home so fair.
--Ed Blair -- "The Planting of the Cottonwood Tree"
(From Poetry of Kansas)

Stereotypically Kansas is often seen in literature and on film as flat and barren or a large wheat field stretching from one end to the other. But much like Brooklyn a tree does grow in Kansas! Actually many trees grow in the Sunflower State providing shelter, shade, commerce, beauty, protection and a home to humans and animals.

Below are links to some information on trees in our state... historical, cultural, commercial and societal resources.

Kansas Forest Service
("Care of natural resources and service to people through forestry")
Site Map/Website Directory
Order Conservation Seedlings
Community Forestry
Rural Forestry
Riparian Forestry
Wood Energy Initiative
Arbor Day
Champion Trees of Kansas

Woody Plants in Kansas
(Great Plains Nature Center)

Kansas Trees and Shrubs
(Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses website)

(Publications issued by Kansas Research and Extension at Kansas State University)
Champion Trees of Kansas
Fertilizing Trees in the Landscape
Handling and Planting Container-Grown Trees
Native Kansas Forest Trees
Selecting and Planting a Tree
Shade and Ornamental Trees for Kansas
Staking and Guying Landscape Trees
Street Trees for Kansas
Tree Diseases in Kansas
Tree Squirrels: Urban Wildlife Damage Control
Trees and Shrubs for Difficult Sites
Trees and Shrubs That Attract Songbirds and Wildlife
Watering Newly Planted and Young Trees and Shrubs

Kansas Memory--Trees

Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association

Christmas Tree Recycling

The Aluminum Christmas Tree

(Kansas designated the Eastern Cottonwood as the official state tree in 1937. The cottonwood tree are deciduous trees which are distinguished by thick, deeply fissured bark and triangular to diamond-shaped leaves. The Eastern Cottonwood is also the state tree of Nebraska. Wyoming has the Plains Cottonwood as its state tree)

Adoption of the Kansas State Tree

Cottonwood Trees: Facts and Information
(From City of Cheyenne, Wyoming)

Cottonwood Tree Coloring Page
(The cottonwood is also the Nebraska state tree. A page for children and others who enjoy coloring in between the lines!)

Cottonwood Trees in Kansas
(From Ravenstone Press)

(Library resources from online catalog of the State Library, Kansas Historical Society, Supreme Court Law Library and Washburn University Libraries)
Tree planting -- Kansas
Trees, Care of -- Kansas
Ornamental trees -- Kansas
Bird attracting -- Kansas
Forests and forestry -- Kansas
Kansas -- Forestry Management
Kansas Forest Service
Windbreaks, shelterbelts, etc. -- Kansas

Thursday, March 3, 2011

John R. Brinkley

Dr. John R. Brinkley.
July 6, 1885 – May 26, 1942.

Dr. John R. (Richard) Brinkley was one of the greatest hucksters who ever lived in the United States. He started out as a poor boy from the South, and grew to be worth millions of dollars by the mid 1930’s. He was known as the “Goat Gland Doctor” for his famous operation, which he claimed would rejuvenate older men, and in fact claimed that some of his patients had later sired children. He built

hospitals in Milford, Kansas (1st), Little Rock, Arkansas, and Del Rio, Texas. He pioneered the use of radio in the early 1920s through the 1930s. He was the first broadcaster to build “super” radio stations, which could reach radio audiences throughout the country.

He sold patented medicines, published promotional pamphlets, advertised his hospitals, and had famous country and westerns stars entertain his audiences via his radio station. Over a period of time he owned three yachts, and even hobnobbed with the Duke of Duchess of Windsor at Nassau in the 1930s. He had a political career and almost became the governor of Kansas, much to the horror of men such as William Allen White.

Brinkley’s greatest medical nemesis was Dr. Morris Fishbein of the American Medical Association. In 1938 Dr. Fishbein published an article wherein he called Dr. Brinkley a charlatan. Dr. Brinkley sued in Texas, and lost. By this time the good doctor was in trouble with the IRS for millions in back taxes..

Brinkley declared bankruptcy in 1941. He died of heart problems in 1942 and was survived by his second wife and his son known as Johnny Boy. Today you can still see his fabulous mansion in Del Rio, a Texas historical landmark. To read more about this fascinating Kansas character see the bibliography below, or follow the links to learn more about him, and to see many pictures.

Campaign paperweight from when Dr. Brinkley ran for Governor Of Kansas.


Brinkley, J.R. The Brinkley Operation. Chicago. Sydney B. Flower, 1922.

Brinkley, John R. Dr. Brinkley’s doctor book. Del Rio, Texas, 1936.

Brinkley, John R. Road Courageous: being a compilation of radio talk given over radio station XERA during the full and Winter months of 1937 and 1938. Printed by John R. Brinkley, 1938.

Brock, Pope. Charlatan: America’s most dangerous huckster, the man who pursued him, and the age of flimflam. New York. Crown, 2008.

Carson, Gerald. The Roguish world of Doctor Brinkley. New York. Rinehart & Co., 1960.

Lee, R. Alton. The Bizarre careers of John R. Brinkley. University Press of Kentucky, 2002

Wood, Clement. The Life of a man. Kansas City, Goshorn Publishing Co., 1934.


Wikipedia entry

Quackwatch entry for The Goat Gland Doctor: the Story of John R. Brinkley.

Border Radio Quackery – go here, and you can hear Dr. Brinkley.

Kansapedia entry for John R. Brinkley.

Information on Brinkley Papers – KSHS.

Kansas Memory entries for John R. Brinkley.

A Humorous graphic novel view of Dr. Brinkley

Article by: Tom Roth, State Library of Kansas
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