Monday, March 17, 2014

Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society

On Monday, March 24th, at 6:30 p.m., Vickie Stangl, Andover, will present the program “Etta Semple – Kansas Free Thinker” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington.  In case of inclement weather, contact Jane Moore: 620-447-3266.

Stangl was required to do a “piece on a Kansas person” for her Master’s degree at Wichita State University, and after reading about Etta Semple, she became fascinated, and asked her instructor if she could “write about this heretic in Ottawa.”

Stangl said that Etta Semple, born near Quincy, Illiniois in 1855, had views that were considered radical for the time.
Stangl said that Semple was a humanitarian, and had a state of the art sanitarium, but she was also an activist.
 “She and her second husband were active in the labor movement,” Stangl said.
“I began reading her newspapers and I was fascinated,” Stangl said, adding that she worked on her thesis for three years.

Stangl said that Semple died in Ottawa of influenza in 1914.