to capture, preserve, and celebrate

President Obama's Kansas Heritage

About the Project

Contributed by Teresa Baumgartner, October 4, 2010

Project Description

The President Obama Kansas Heritage Project (2009-present) is the work of a group of citizens from the greater Butler County area. Recognizing our civic duty to preserve a Presidential heritage, and honoring the role of Midwestern values in the strength of a nation, the group's current efforts are focused on collecting oral histories and artifacts, developing educational tools, and providing a website in order to make these resources available to the larger community. We invite individuals and groups who share our common concern to participate.

Project History

A group of citizens, led by Dr. Sarah Johnston, met on January 29, 2009 at the Kansas Oil Museum and Butler County History Center, to discuss how, as citizens of the county in which a President's grandparents spent their formative years, we ought to handle that history, extant artifacts, and living witnesses, in order to preserve them as part of our local, state, and national historical record.

On May 21, 2009, the President Obama's Kansas Heritage steering committee held a planning retreat at Butler Community College to adopt its official mission statement and goals, and to begin developing an action plan. The committee meets monthly at the Butler Community College L.W. Nixon Library in El Dorado, Kansas.


  • Becky Lingafelter: Web development and maintenance
  • Darryl Runyan and students: Initial website design
  • Jackie Vietti, Tom Erwin, Roberto Rodriguez: Webhosting
  • Sonja Milbourn, Teresa Baumgartner, Steve Cless, Susie Patterson, Steve Reynolds: Interviewers
  • Steve Cless: Digital video and editing
  • Marie Gillespie: Video selection, descriptions and transcripts, historical research
  • Micaela Ayers: Oral history preservation
  • Julie and Doug Jensen: Educational tools
  • Lisa Cooley: Virtual Museum artifacts
  • Gene George: Risk management, research protocol