The following excerpt is from an article by Steve Penn, published in the April 25, 2011 edition of the Kansas City Star.

Dusty boots worn by William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody. A walking plow like the ones used to till the plains of Kansas. A flat iron used well before electricity was invented.

Those items are part of an exhibit known as “Cowboys, Quacks and Carousels: Stories of Kansas” now on display at the National Archives at Kansas City. Using documents from a variety of federal records, the exhibit introduces the public to some of the ordinary and not-so-ordinary people who have called Kansas their home.

The exhibit includes George Armstrong Custer, best remembered for the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Custer was court-martialed while in service at Fort Leavenworth.

Other notables featured in the exhibit include C.F. Menninger and his sons William and Karl Menninger who founded the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, a pioneering institution in the field of psychiatry.

Throughout the state’s 150-year history, there have been more than a few characters. The exhibit at the National Archives at Kansas City does a good job at highlighting just a few of them.

The National Archives is located at 400 W. Pershing Road, and the free exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Read the full article.