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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • ‘Small town’ is small book about small community

  • A local newspaper editor has created a photo book chronicling the people and families of the Crescent Community and has launched a crowd funding campaign to fund publishing costs.
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  • A local newspaper editor has created a photo book chronicling the people and families of the Crescent Community and has launched a crowd funding campaign to fund publishing costs.
    “I was sorting through a crate of Faye Hargadine’s papers,” said Kiowa County Signal Editor Patrick Clement. “I found this old photo album. It was filled with photos from the Crescent Community and I thought it would make a great book.”
    The 80-page hardcover book includes restored photos from the Sloan, Adams and Hargadine families.
    The Hargadine’s were one of the early families that settled in the small community north of Mullinville that spilled over the Edwards County line. They established a general store and farmed the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
    “The photo collection spans the 1930s and 1940s,” said Clement. “By that time the community had become much smaller. Many families moved into Mullinville and around that time the school closed and most of the kids got bused to Mullinville. It was a really pivotal time not just for the people of Crescent, but for people in rural communities across the country.”
    The photographs are well composed, taken of family and friends (sometimes reluctantly) by an amateur photographer, likely a family member. In the 1930s personal photography was still in its infancy, and the photographs are surprisingly well composed.
    “This was during the depression,” he said. “The photos really say something about rural communities. These people had a hard life they were farmers and they made the best of it. If there is a story in these photos it is a story of families that loved each other and found happiness in the little things.”
    The collection also showcases fashion, automobiles, homes, hairstyles and the landscape of the era.
    Clement will publish a limited amount of the books. He said that the Kiowa County Historical Society and the Big Well Museum have each pledged to purchase 50 copies of the book at cost.
    “I just want the book to get made,” he said. “This isn’t a for profit venture. These photographs are a snapshot of rural Kansas life and this book will help preserve them.”
    Clement launched a successful Kickstarter.com campaign last month to raise the remaining $700 it will take to publish the book.
    He offered copies of the book and a variety of other rewards including original photos and prints for supporters that pledge.
    “I’m extatic that we reached our goal and then some,” said Clement.
    The campaign raised more than $800, with pledges for 14 sponsors.
    Page 2 of 2 - Kickstarter.com is the most well known crowd-funding platform. Creators host campaigns for a variety of personal projects including books, films, and inventions.
    Clement said that if any profits are made from the sale of the book, 30 percent would be donated back to local charities.
    “Getting the book published is my number one concern,” he said. “But if we turn a profit I will donate 15 percent to a charity of my choice and Faye [Hargadine] will get 15 percent to donate to a charity of her choice.”
    Clement said the book will be printed by Mennonite Press, the Hutchinson-based printer and would be for sale through the Kiowa County Museum, the Big Well and the Kickstarter campaign.
    “I just think it is so neat,” Clement added. “It’s a slice of Americana that I think people outside of the area can enjoy and for locals it’s a piece of their heritage.”
    You can also find photos and updates at www.facebook.com/smalltownkansas and view a selection of the photos at http://pinterest.com/patrickclement
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