Cultural Crossroads Contract

Update on the Project’s Contract

The following is the summary of our project’s contract as it has been created and updated thus far.


  1. Project Description
  2. Tools to be Utilized
  3. Work to be Completed by Team Members
  4. Schedule of Milestones
  5. Full Research Proposal

Project Description

The purpose of this research project is essentially designed around and intended to uncover the historical significance and further influence Native American Indian Tribes had in the Northern Frontier of Texas. More specifically tied into our project is the surrounding rhetoric and memorabilia found in the City of Wichita Falls towards the Wichita, and their forced migration patterns as seen in the late and early 19th and 20th century to and from Wichita Falls, Texas. As noted, this project intends to place the Wichita and other regional populations into the appropriate historical context, ranging from their initial presence through forced migrations and ending in their continued influence on regional culture even after their departure. Academic research has been produced in regards towards the Native American groups found in the Western Texoma region and the area surrounding Wichita Falls, TX.

Tools to be Utilized

  1. Throughout the entirety of this project, multiple social media platforms will be utilized in order to keep up with the progress of the work being done collectively as a team and individually such as:
    1. Twitter
      1. Brad’s Updates:
      2. Maria’s updates:
    2. WordPress
      1. MSU Project Site:
      2. Brad’s Updates:
      3. Maria’s Updates:
  2. Additionally to these platforms, various tools will be utilized to map and track the process of migration in order to present the information in a neat, clean, and interactive manner such as:
    1. Story Map JS
    2. Timeline Js
  3. Furthermore, to document the work in progress that is to be utilized as an annotated bibliography, Google Docs will be utilized through the link provided:
  4. Lastly, secondary and primary sources in the form of articles, texts, and possible interviews from Historians in the Wichita Falls Community will be utilized to collect the information necessary to create this project.

Work to be Completed by Team Members

    • Regional Establishment and History: Brad
      • An overview of Native American settlement within and early influences upon the Texoma region, especially in the 18th and mid-19th centuries
    • Forced Migrations: Brad
      • The movement of Native American people in response to outside pressures of Anglo – American settlement, including relegation to reservations in Texas and Oklahoma
    • Significance of the Northern Frontier: Brad and Maria
      • In regards to the establishment of the Northern Frontier within the State of Texas in the late 18th and early 19th century, an understanding of the Anglo American settlement on the land in the Texoma Region and consequent forced migration on behalf of the Native American Indians occurred is crucial.
    • Racial Symbolism, romanticized propaganda, statues, monuments, in Legal Rhetoric: Maria
      • Title of page: as presented: Rhetoric found
      • Information on page: establishing an understanding behind symbolism, propaganda, monuments, etc. established within the Legal sphere of Texas and within Wichita Falls; emphasizing on the fact that language and legislation creates barriers is important to determine the concept of forced migration. (Racial Symbolism, romanticized propaganda, statues, monuments, in Legal Rhetoric.)
    • Website Design: Home, About, and Bibliographic pages, and any other support pages we deem necessary: Maria and Brad
      • Title of Pages, information on pages, works cited, footnotes, etc.
  • Final Draft of Contract: Maria
    • As presented on Google Docs, as well as the working project site.

Schedule of Milestones

    • 19 Sept: COPLAC Contract Rough Draft
    • 22 Sept: Project Site Design Established
    • 26 Sept: COPLAC Contract Rough Draft – 2nd review
    • 30 Sept: Timeline and StoryMap developed
    • 3 Oct: First Timeline JS and StoryMap JS [Syll.]
    • 5 Oct: Contract Final Draft [Syll.]
    • 31 Oct: Website Rough Draft [Syll.]
    • 30 Nov: Final Presentations [Syll.]
    • 11 Dec: Website Final Draft [Syll.]


Full Research Proposal: Abstract, Thesis, Methodology, Justification

The Native American group known as the Wichita Indians suffered through immense forced migration during the 19th and 20th century due to Anglo – American influences in Northern Texas; hence the lack of current representation in places such as Wichita Falls, Texas. Furthermore, the Wichita Indians had difficult relationships with stronger, more prominent tribes such as the Comanche Indians, who dominated most of Northern Texas, consequently creating tension between tribes and further displacement. Although the Wichita Indians are no longer found in Wichita Falls, influences of the Wichita Indians are professed throughout the city and county’s history. Whether it be in buildings, statues, geographical or landscapes named after them, their legacy remains although their history does not.

The resources used in this project fall into two distinct categories. The first category focuses on primary sources, contemporary accounts to the history being analyzed. This will include autobiographies, memoirs, and interviews, such as Bass’s The Arapaho Way: A Memoir of an Indian Boyhood. It will also include accounts and depictions from newspapers and other periodicals, as well as pertinent official policy and legislation. The second major category of resources to be utilized by this project include secondary sources that inform and analyze previous events. These works come in two distinct variants. The first such variant focuses on regional history. These sources include significant details on the influential Native American populations in the region, but they place them squarely within the context of Texas, the United States, and the settlement of the western frontier. Alternatively, some sources used will instead focus upon the Native American populations themselves. While these wider studies will go well beyond the regional focus adopted by this project,  they will still serve as an important resource.

Significant amounts of academic research has been conducted on the Native American populations of the western Texoma region and the area surrounding Wichita Falls, TX. However, much of the research is dated, warrants further examination, or provides incomplete coverage of all aspects of the topic. Some of the historic analysis has been rooted in the mythology surrounding the state of Texas, potentially resulting in skewed perspectives. Additionally, not all Native American populations have been studied to the same extent. The Wichita, in particular, have been marginalized in many of the wider studies. This project intends to place the Wichita and other regional populations into the appropriate historical context, ranging from their initial presence through forced migrations and ending in their continued influence on regional culture even after their departure.

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Mile Marker 5


What a day! The link above is to a source that I’ve been using to put together a My Map with the sections of the Parkway and when they were opened. I’m unsure how to cite it because I found it on the DocSouth website but they didn’t have a citation either and I can’t seem to find the document by searching the web anywhere.  The document details stretches of the parkway and when construction on them began, as well as when they were opened to the public.

However, this document is not what I want to focus on today. I visited the Headquarters of the Blue Ridge Parkway today to meet with Jackie Holt, the Museum Curator for the Parkway. She was beyond enthusiastic about our project and introduced me to several people in the office including the folks who manage community outreach, tourism, all the Parkway’s social media accounts. Everyone there was excited and incredibly helpful when it came to our topic. I have pages of notes from the meeting as well as a flash drive full of documents to look through and several Park documents like their General Management Plan and Founding Document.

View of the Headquarters building from the bridge to the entrance

One of the things that we discussed while I was there that I found to be of particular interest was what brought the actual employees to work at the Parkway. Many of the people I spoke with today told me that they had bounced from Park to Park and when they landed at the Parkway they loved it so much that they didn’t want to leave. This opened up an avenue that could lead us to having oral histories included in this project. Jackie and I talked about the possibility of talking to retired National Parks Service employees who had worked on the Parkway and decided to stick around in the area after their retirement. The ideas and opinions brought up today made me realize that we really need to nail down what our geographic location will be for this project –the Parkway is huge! Western North Carolina is also quite large! On a similar note, I really need to study a map of both places so my head spins a bit less when the conversation turns to counties and cities.

Overall the meeting today was the kick in the butt I needed to get on top of research and start critically thinking about how our project is going to look and what kind of impact it will have. I look forward to working closely with the folks at the headquarters and digging through the documents they provided to find trends that will aid our project.

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Further Discussion Regarding Fair Use

In light of my previous comments regarding Copyright Law, an interesting line of questioning arose. Do I believe that American Universities need to change their approach to plagiarism?

No, I don’t necessarily think so, but my full opinion has difficult nuance to it.

In most of the classes I have taken throughout my intermittent collegiate career, the professors have sufficiently linked plagiarism with cheating. The simplest way to avoid cheating is to include transparent methodologies. To put it into math terms, show your work. Our paper (or whatever final form your research takes, so… website?) should be more than just our findings. It should be a roadmap, illuminating not just the destination at which we have arrived but the path others can follow to arrive at the same conclusions. Retracing the steps we took allows others to validate the methodologies used or to poke holes in analyses with logical fallacies and faulty reasoning. In the extreme, it will also expose the ideas of others that we may try to pass as our own.

This traditional academic homily is effective, but it is also one sided. The emphasis is on the student themselves. While this makes sense, as one can only control their own actions, it does cause some valuable perspective to be lost. While it is important to concern ourselves with how we use the ideas of others, the goal of any historian is to advance their own ideas as well, to add to the intellectual community in their own unique way with their own unique thoughts and analysis.

This is the difficult position the field of history takes. As we enter the discipline at the lowest levels, we are little more than mindless automatons, regurgitating what has been fed to us to prove we were paying attention. Advancement in the field requires a shift in thinking beyond this limited scope. As we begin to develop into historians, we need to recognize the role we play within the discipline, and just as we need to protect the ideas of others, our own ideas warrant protection.

So to circle back around to the original question, no, I do not believe that universities need to change their initial approach to plagiarism. This approach directly addresses the most pressing and direct issue.

However, I do believe that history does a poor job of growing professional historians. Other disciplines must groom students to think like the professionals of that field, teaching them the appropriate methodologies that distinguish a professional from an amateur. History too often assumes students inherently understand what they are doing. While the discipline may discuss plagiarism appropriately, the issue of copyrights and the protection of intellectual property lies in a larger blind spot.


Or maybe it’s just me…

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Work Hard and Honor Family

This week Joy and I are met with Kevin Wulf in the “Community Relations and Education” department at Riverview, LLP to discuss the Apostolic family history of Riverview and also to better understand Riverview’s role in the history of local Mexican migration. It was a great meeting, but I think both Joy and I walked away anxious to start storyboarding. We have been gathering information from all over and now it is time to review that information and decide what we are going to do with it and look at what information is still lacking.

Our plan has been to look at both migration stories and do a side by side profile. We continue to process how this will look and function and what specifically we want to showcase. I feel that it is important to acknowledge that in comparing the stories and cultures of these two groups we are not equating their experiences. I think to do so would be dishonoring to both sides. In each migration history there have been hardships and success, however, I believe it is fair to say that the Apostolics have never had to endure the prejudice and discrimination felt by people of Mexican heritage in the United States. It is an experience I would not want to belittle or deemphasize in any way. With that being said… I think back to our meeting with the University’s archivist. He said, “We’re (Minnesotans) people that work hard and honor our families .” This quote really stood out to me this week as I contemplated boh this week’s reading, “Challenges and Strengths of Immigrant Latino Families in the Rural Midwest” and our Riverview interview.

In the reading, authors Raffaelli and Wiley assessed the challenges and strengths experienced by Latin American immigrant mothers in rural Illinois communities. I came across this study for another research project but I thought parts of it are helpful in our understanding Mexican migration in our rural area. For me, the most interesting findings was that the interviewees identified “personal support networks (family warmth and cohesion, unity in the Latino community, and support provided by network members) ” as one of their greatest assets and resources in the Latino community. Also high on the assets and resources list was “personal or internal resources (strong work ethic and the ability to overcome challenges).”

How do these findings fit into our “Minnesota moto”?


1 Gross, Stephen, interview by Amy Schmidgall, & Joy Stephansen. The Archives (September 06, 2017).

2 Rffaelli, Marcela, and Angela R. Wiley. “Challenges and Strengths of Immigrant Latino Families in the Rural Midwest.” Journal of Family Issues, 2012: 347-372.

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Finnish Food and Finnish Boarding Houses

When the Finns started to arrive in Newport, they started to slowly recreate the culture they left at home, and food was no exception. One of their main dishes was the soup. “Soups of all kind, beef soup, cabbage soup, potato soup, fish and lamb soup. Pea soup was a standard of the Finnish army and soup was served at Finnish social , at the halls, at the tract meets at the Finn Park” (p. 13). Another soup that was considered a delicacy was fish soup. All the fish used in Finnish fish soup was not bought at a store, the Finns instead caught it fresh in Newport. The way they did this was by violating fishing laws and the place they fished, “Ledge Pond called Silkkonjarvi (Sullko’s Lake) was prime fishing ground. The pond was secluded and John Sulkko a Finn, owned most of the frontage. They were no cottages, no outside interference, and the conditions were ideal for catching a fish extra fish for Sunday’s picnic” (p. 15). The fish soup was a borderline delicacy, and was one of the fanciest things Newport Finns ate.

Another stable of the Finnish diet was butter. If it did not have butter on it, it was not food according to the Finns. In fact when Finns picked up a bag of lunch before going to work if they did not have time to walk home for a lunch break, “The meal in the bag was same heavy diet, ham sandwiches with butter, minced ham sandwiches with butter, bologna sandwiches with butter… to begin making the dough for coffee bread Finnish  women through in a huge slab of butter. As a result of this butter-laden fat meat diet Finns had the highest rate of heart disease in the world” (p. 14). This probably is not true anymore, but it’s rather extraordinary that this was the case in the early twentieth century.  The Newport Finns were resistant to changing their diet, but overtime it became more Americanized. Corn on the cob became an instant favorite and after World War II the diet changed so much that the Finns eventually discovered pizza and, “As a matter of fact, it wasn’t bad at all, and on Saturday night the old-country Finn found himself waiting in line for a take-out pizza” (p. 14). The irony to this moment is that the Finns were already used to a high fat diet. They were already prepared for the future.

Turpeinen, Olli. The Finns in Newport, New Hampshire, United States: United States, 2000. Print.

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Rubin and Crystol Luthi

Last Wednesday (9/20) Amy and I got to meet with an Apostolic couple, Rubin and Crystol Luthi to talk about their perspective on our project as well as look through some family records and Apostolic resources. To begin, we sorted through a lot of information on the Luthi, Moser, and Schmidt families. I created a few family trees and organized them based on who was from where or held tightly to their German or Swiss heritage. It turns out that Christian (Christ/Criss) Luthi was Ruben’s grandfather and brother-in-law of Chris Moser. Turns out that Chris Moser was one of the most influential people in bringing over the Luthi family to America, specifically Northeastern Iowa and later Minnesota, and even taught him agriculture and farming.

We gathered a lot of information, but don’t want to give it all away! So here’s a little snippet!

Unlike we previously believed, the community here is a large mix of Germans and Swiss. We now have a new gap to look into!

We deduced that the families are very interconnected, and based on the basis of Christian faith that family ought to take care of one another, it is pretty obvious that, even during times like the great depression, the Apostolic church took care of each other. There was also talk of punishment (kind of like bannishment)

We heard a lot about the agriculture here in Stevens County and especially about the relationship of Apostolic’s in Northeast Iowa to those here. There is still a lot of migration in this community throughout the Midwest. Amy and I have decided that this is interesting but I am not convinced that it would be worth investigating. I really think that opens the scope of the project too much.

It was between 1932 and 1935 that the use of German in Apostolic churches was being discussed, and there are still churches that are strictly German speaking. Some of the Luthi’s relatives spoke both English and German, but were reluctant to change.

My favorite piece of information was when Ruben told us that the Apostolic people really impacted Morris, and Stevens County as a whole. They were perceived as honest people which helped them be accepted here among a variety of other ethnicities and religious beliefs.

This is just one meeting from a local historian that Amy and I are blessed to meet with. Grateful for a wise, educated, organized, and invested community supporting us!

Info Mine: a distinctly dusty dissertation

Coogan, Timothy. 1992. The forging of new mill town: North and South Adams, Massachusetts, 1780-1860. Dissertation, New York: New York University.

Image result for hoosac tunnel

Coogan writes his dissertation on the history of the Adams area of Massachusetts in Jacksonian America. He makes a comparative analysis of the Northeastern factory communities and their paternalistic arrangements such as boardinghouses, management policies, millwork experience and interpersonal relations. He traces the town’s agrarian and Yankee roots to its transformation into an industrial town with a large Catholic immigrant population. This dissertation was extremely lengthy with a plethora of annotations and footnotes. It follows more general trends than coverage of specific events. It was not clogged with too much academic jargon, but still not an easy read. This source is useful for observing social and economic trends in North Adams during the early part of the nineteenth century.

Wow. I was not expecting much from this extremely long dissertation written by a guy in New York nearly thirty years ago, but I found so much information.  We already knew a lot about the general socio-economic live of the Irish Immigrants, but it is nice to have concrete confirmation. He also included some very helpful facts, figures, and sources. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some of the sources he used and mine them for more information about some interesting events I found. For instance, an Irish tunnel worker was found beaten to death in the Hoosac Tunnel in the 1860s as tension in the town rose due to increasing immigration and strike activity, but Coogan doesn’t say who he was or if his killer was ever found. A man’s murder was reduced to an interesting factoid in parentheses. I find this story very sad, and now I want to discover more.

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A Good Place to Work (if you are a woman).


Homer, Winslow. Bobbin Girl . 1871. Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, Massachusetts . In Center for Lowell History . Accessed September 27, 2017.

McGaw, Judith A. “”A Good Place to Work.” Industrial Workers and Occupational Choice: The Case of Berkshire Women.” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 10, no. 2 (1979):227-48 doi:10.2307/203335.

This secondary source discusses the amount of women who worked in the mills throughout Berkshire County, most being immigrant workers, and the reasons why they worked where they did.  “In 1880, twenty-two woolen mills, twenty one paper mills, eighteen cotton mills, and seven mixed textile mills operated in the county.  All of these industries presented substantial employment opportunities for women, cotton and paper mills generally hiring a preponderance of females” (pg. 230).  “Initially, prejudice also impeded the hiring of ethnic minorities, but, at least for the Irish, the years after the Civil War saw a lessening of that discrimination” (pg. 235).  One of the biggest reasons women chose to work in the first place was need.   Either they came from families who had too many children to feed, so the older boys and girls had to help out, or they came from families where the men where either unemployed or had past away.  Many of the men who died during the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel left behind large families.  In 1880 there were a large number of mills women could work at that were within a ten mile zone of their homes which made finding a job that much easier.  Most of the female mill laborers made the choice to start working where and when they did along with other family members.  “75 percent of the women working in cotton manufacturing in the Berkshires were still living with their parents, three fifths were under the age of 21 and almost a quarter of cotton mill girls were under 16” (pg. 235-36). Many of the immigrants living in the area were so poor that they had to send as many children to work as possible, those who had more daughters working in mills were most likely from families where the fathers were unskilled laborers or unemployed altogether.  Another factor that showed just how poor these settlers were was the fact that the majority of cotton mill workers were extremely young.  Soon hiring young girls and women as workers in cotton mills became the norm and they turned into the easiest places to get a job as a female, especially from coming from a family that was “ignorant, less familiar with American life, and poorer” (pg. 237).  

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Back to “Driving Through Time”

“Parkway Route Meets Dispute.” Raleigh News and Observer. July22, 1939. North Carolina Collection. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed September 27, 2017.

Just as a side note, in looking for a new source to explore, I was surprised when the National Park Service offered up Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway as the source to go to for historical maps and documents (which is where I found the source for this blog post). I guess I didn’t quite realize that this website was so influential. I foresee it playing a big role in our research!

I had originally planned to look at a different type of source besides newspapers (since that’s all I’ve done so far), but then I located the PERFECT source to include on my timeline to discuss the dispute over routing the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Eastern Band of Cherokee Reservation. I already have an article on my timeline discussing surveying the land through the Reservation, but I wasn’t going to keep it unless I could find additional sources that would illustrate why there was issues between the government and the Cherokee on the topic of the BRP. I found exactly what I desired in “Parkway Route Meets Dispute: Specific Route Slated to Be Written Into Bill to Acquire Cherokee Land.”

The bill that was proposed was would apparently allow the government to route the Parkway through any part of the Reservation and would give the Cherokee next to no compensation for their land. F.B. Bauer, Vice Chief for the Eastern Band of Cherokee, strongly opposed this measure, calling it another attempt by the government to take Indian land and not pay for it. Bauer also called the plan an invasion of the individual rights of tribal members.” R.G. Browning, state engineer, refused to support any proposal leading the BRP around the Reservation on account that it would add too much money to the costs.

I found this article particularly interesting. There was (and still is) a lot of positive media about the Parkway, but it is important to remember that the construction/routing of the Parkway was not always met without resistance. In this instance, the Cherokee—who have already suffered at the hands of the government—had every reason to believe that this deal with the government would not be beneficial to the Tribe.

In the end the Parkway did not cut through the Reservation. Rather, the entrance to the BRP is located right outside Cherokee. It seems as though this article is was written towards the beginning of this dispute, so I look forward to digging into this a little more to see how the story played out.

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A Changing Landscape

Adair County looked very different prior to the establishment of the first settlements in the 1830s and 1840s. The Keokuck Indians were the only inhabitants of this area of Northeast Missouri at the time, and relations between the Native American group and the settlers were fairly peaceful for the first decade of settlement. However, as Maxine Montgomery notes in a Kirksville Daily Express article, “the Keokuck Indians were friendly, but not so their dogs” who “often attacked hog pens.” This was deemed reason enough for the white settlers to drive the Indians off of their ancestral lands and even imprison them.

Today, the inhabitants of Kirksville are still primarily white. However, recent migrations and demographic data show that there are indeed people of other races living in Kirksville. Daniel Lichter’s article in Rural Sociology explains that minority populations tend to be more spatially segregated from the majority population, and thus less noticeable to those who may not be looking close enough. While the Congolese population in Kirksville is by no means invisible, it is interesting to take this into consideration, especially when we look at the spatial assimilation model. This model “suggests that immigrants become integrated residentially with natives as they become economically assimilated.”

While I do believe that the Congolese immigrants have been doing a great job of connecting with the community, this economic separation is something I’d like to look at, especially in terms of limitations on how these families can live. In his article, Lichter specifically focuses on Hispanic immigrant populations in rural communities (which Kirksville also has), but I think some of his reasoning can be applied to the Congolese immigrants as well. He claims “Hispanic growth is linked directly to rural industrial restructuring (especially in nondurable manufacturing, which includes food processing) and, more generally, a rapidly globalizing agro-food system.” This similar phenomenon applies to the Congolese immigrants working at the meat packing plant in Milan. Lichter describes how language and cultural barriers force immigrant populations to take these jobs, whereas many white people would refuse to work them.

I really want to delve into the effects that economy and economic integration have on community integration in regards to the Congolese people, especially since many of them hold college degrees and are simply barred economically by their inability to speak English. How does the economic separation (working at the meat packing plant vs in town at other jobs) affect peoples’ perceptions of them and their perceptions of themselves? What are these working conditions like? What are the implications for social mobility? What about that of their children” Does economic separation really have as much of an impact on community integration as Lichter suggests?

I’m sure we will answer some of these questions once we begin our interviews. I’ll leave you all with another quote from Daniel Lichter (mostly because I am excited to be on the forefront of such studies):

“The shift in settlement patterns among immigrants to new destinations and the continuing replenishment of new immigrants through ongoing migration streams mean that the emerging literature on immigration will have to take a new empirical and theoretical focus. Empirically, it is time to move away from city-based studies in traditional gateways and look at the transformation of the South, the Midwest, and small cities, towns and rural areas, and suburban areas as sites of first settlement… Now is a propitious time to study the new second generation in rural America and its progress in school, relationships with teachers and peers, and links to other institutions (e.g., social services providers and police).”


Montgomery, Maxine. “Pioneer Days in Adair County,” Kirksville Daily Express, September 12, 1979, accessed September 25, 2017,

Lichter, Daniel T. “Immigration and the New Racial Diversity in Rural America,” Rural Sociology, 77.1 (March 2012): 3–35, accessed 25 September 2017,

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