|Haxtun HS grad seeking Will Heginbotham history|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Jacki Smith, a 2006 graduate of Haxtun High School, is a doctoral candidate and is doing a project on Phillips County benefactor William Heginbotham as part of her dissertation research.
Smith will be in the area in mid-June, and it is her goal to conduct oral history interviews with local residents who knew Heginbotham or whose families knew him in some way.
She said she would also be glad to collect (borrow or copy) any written documentation on Heginbotham that interviewees are willing to share (correspondence, for example).
Not only will this research seek to understand Heginbotham’s interactions with bank clients and tenants in northeastern Colorado, but it will also attempt to situate his social and civic activities within the larger community, explained Smith.
Inquiry into these layers of the banker’s character will help develop a complex portrait of the small-town banker, she added.
Heginbotham’s case will supplement other studies of lenders and help understand bigger questions about their contributions to Great Plains communities.
A large part of this research on Heginbotham will be used in a comparative manner alongside Smith’s previous study of a lender-landlord in southwestern Kansas. The latter study uncovered complex economic motivations and agricultural knowledge on the part of the landlord.
It is Smith’s intent to pursue similar questions about whether agricultural science informed Heginbotham’s tenant relations and farming practices and about how these dealings played out during the depressions of the 1920s and 1930s.
Smith has received certification to conduct these interviews from the University of Kansas and is working under the supervision of Dr. Kim Warren, her faculty co-advisor.
Smith did her undergraduate work at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb., graduating in 2010. She received her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., in February 2013 and is a doctoral candidate there.
She is the daughter of Gordon Smith of Haxtun and Jo Hurst of Henry, Neb.
Holyoke Enterprise May 16, 2013