Ask the Reason Why – Manhattan, Kansas (1908)

Miss Blanche Overman lived in Wichita, the city on the Arkansas River in south -central Kansas.

Now a center of airplane design and manufacturing (and the largest city in Kansas), Wichita was established in the 1860’s as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail.

In January of 1908, Blanche received a postcard from her friend, Dix, who mailed the greeting from Manhattan, Kansas.

The city of Manhattan, at the juncture of the Kansas River and the Big Blue River in northeast Kansas, is the home of Kansas State University.

This land-grant college, founded in 1863, was formerly Kansas State Agricultural College – and Dix appears to be a student there.

The face of the postcard bears a hand-written inscription of the place of origin, the name “Dix”, and the abbreviation, “K.S.A.C.”.

I fear that Miss Overman was not a faithful correspondent.

The postcard bears a verse suggesting that, if a body wrote and did not receive a reply, a body should ask, “why?”.

Just two weeks after Christmas, the illustration of a poinsettia on the face of the postcard feels like a continuation of the holiday season.

One hopes that Blanche responded promptly to Dix, that Dix succeeded at the college, and that the two remained friends for many years.

Note: The postcard had an careless postmark applied to the face – I removed it digitally to better represent the postcard as sent by Dix.


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