Kingman County Historical Museum - Kingman, Kansas
The Kingman County Historical Museum in Kingman, Kansas occupies a beautiful 1888 building which served as a firehouse, jail and city hall. The building has two towers, a bell tower over the city hall entrance and an unusual fire hose tower where the cotton hoses would hang after use, so that they would not mildew. That tower is the reason the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
After the towers, the most striking feature of the museum's building is the murals. The exterior of the building has two Stan Herd murals - a 40' x 20' one which depicts Clyde Cessna making his maiden flight in his first airplane and a 15' x 10' mural showing William "Cannonball" Greene driving a stagecoach between Kingman and Pratt. The largest gallery on the second floor has a 30' long mural by D. Stoneberger showing many scenes from Kingman history.
The exhibits change regularly on the main floor, but ther second floor is packed with permanent exhibits. Many of those are similar to what is found in other historical museums. The displays devoted to the former Kingman County farmer may be the most interesting to the wider audience.
Clyde Cessna farmed near the town of Rago, Kansas, south of Kingman, and it was there that much of the early work that spawned the Cessna Aircraft Company was done. Cessna also returned to that farm for the final 20 years of his life.
LS 9/15 copyright 2015 by Keith Stokes