How can we share the changes Dighton buildings have experienced throughout history? This was the guiding question posed to the DES 2nd Grade Class in the spring of 2022. After an adventure to the Lane County Museum, where they were shown an “empty display,” the second graders were tasked with showcasing historic buildings of Dighton. The students chose 9 historic Dighton buildings to research in pairs. Through “expert” interviews and primary sources, the students gathered information to investigate the changes of these historic landmarks. Using the information gathered, the students created several products for the display you see. Each pair produced a timeline, photo collage, and narrative piece describing what their building might “say” if it could tell its story. “If Buildings Could Talk” was inspired by the 1942 children’s book The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. In the story, The Little House goes through a series of changes throughout the course of time. As she does this, she “thinks” to herself about the changes she sees- an excellent example of personification. Using this text example, students were asked to write a personification piece from the point of view of their Dighton Building. As you admire their hard work, please remember, these are 7 and 8 year olds. While “fact checking” was done as much as possible, you may find some dates and facts to be inaccurate. As we strived to report accurate details, at times contradicting information was gathered. We ask that you view this display with the eye of a child.
The Dighton doctor was chosen by circumstance, my grandfather reasoned. But he was killed by design, plain and simple. Dr. Wineinger was a casualty of a bank robbery gone wrong.The yellowing pages, the fading letters from the old Underwood Standard Typewriter, and the editor’s corrections…some in pencil, some in ink, tell a story. The notes scribbled in the margins are the last my grandfather, W.T. Caldwell would make while living the final chapter of his own life. It’s been nearly 90 years since he first set out to tell the story of a family that journeyed from Iowa, to establish a new home on the raw western Kansas prairie in the 1880s. A home that would one day become the talk of the nation when groups of men and women gathered to discuss current topics and relate the most recent exploits of desperadoes. These pages chronicle a series of events and recount the killing of a bank president, his son John, an assistant bank teller named Everett Kesinger, and the execution-style murder of William Wineinger, a prominent country doctor from the small town of Dighton, Kansas. These four men would die by the hands of a ruthless Wolf Pack in May of 1928.
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