Thursday, January 10, 2008
Captains of Industry and Rural Kansas
Anthony Kansas is on the border with Oklahoma, and as of the 2000 census, home to 2440 souls. Actually, the Anthony Chamber of Commerce currently claims 2302. Many rural towns across the fruited plain are shrinking faster than this. Not only are we losing people, we're losing the stories and history. There is a chance that folks in Anthony Kansas do not remember the Mason Book Store any more, although there are still some Masons in the phone book. Google sure doesn't remember a book store in Anthony, but it is hardly the mighty be-all of human knowledge we wish it could be. It'll also likely be a while before the Harper County Museum gets in on the Open Library, or one of the other digitization efforts. I wonder if anyone there still has a business directory from the end of the 1880s? Would a town like Anthony publish one? Until then, the American Book Trade Index is a start to preserve the history of the American Book Trade, even in places like Anthony Kansas.