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President Obama's Kansas Heritage

Oral Histories: Butler County & South Central Kansas

Oral histories in this category include those with rich memories of growing up in Butler County and living in South Central Kansas.

Butler County

These oral history narrators share their memories and experiences of growing up in Butler County.

  • Bill D. Dennett (1921- ) shares stories about a one-room schoolhouse in Gordon, attending Augusta High School in the late 1930's, his time in the service during World War II, and working on the railroad.
  • Clarence H. Kerns (1917- ) class historian of 1936, shares his memories from El Dorado High School, President Obama's grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, and other fascinating local history about life in El Dorado and Butler County.
  • Clifford W. Stone (1918-2010), leading citizen and philanthropist with deep roots in Butler County, shares his memories. His family has graciously agreed to share his oral history for the sole purpose of helping school children, as well as people of all ages, honor the rich history and legacies of Mr. Stone and others associated with the development of Butler County and surrounding area.

Featured Clip

Clarence H. Kerns shares a letter from President Obama's grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.

Length: 02:17

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South Central Kansas

These oral history narrators share their stories of living in South Central Kansas.

  • Forrest J. Robinson (1923-2012), the pastor of Madelyn Payne Dunham's parents late in their lives, shares his experiences of living in south central Kansas, and his World War II memories.

Featured Clip

Forrest Robinson shares his recollections of President Obama's great-grandparents, Rolla and Leona Payne in Winfield, Kansas.

Length: 03:53

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