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Dr. Janzen

The Geneseo City Museum, originally Dr. Elmer Janzen's home, opened in 1964 showcasing central Kansas history and Janzen's diverse interests. Its vast collections range from railroad and pioneer history to novel questions about humanity, including UFO research. Janzen's eclectic pursuits spanned theology, medicine, and technology, reflecting his deep curiosity before the Information Age.



Geneseo’s first private school opened in 1887 with about 50 students. The first brick school building was constructed in 1889, establishing a two-year high school course that expanded to four years in 1910. A new school building replaced the original in 1926, with additional classrooms added in 1950 and a gym in 1956. The high school graduated its last class in 1980, but the grade school operated until 1997. The Geneseo High Alumni Association, formed in 1920, has met annually since.



Photos and artifacts of Geneseo businesses are preserved and displayed. Hotels, dry goods shop, cafes and restaurants, grocery stores, blacksmith shops, auto repair shops, lumberyard, meat market, barbershop, soda fountain, drugstore, banks,
telephone switchboard, newspapers, first post office, floral shop, library, and oil fields.
Churches of the community, Methodist, Presbyterian and Nazarene, are represented
by a hand pump organ, podium, old bulletins, Bible and Hymn display board.



Photos and memorabilia from Civil War, WWI, WWII veterans are displayed. Uniform, medals and records of Harlan Foster, killed in Texas 1943 while training as a Navy pilot, are displayed. The 1946
plane debris from the plane accident killing Vernon Janzen, WWII Army serving with General Eisenhower and letter from General Eisenhower to his parents is displayed. Holmes-Anderson-Foster Post No. 241
(American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary) artifacts are displayed.

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Kitchen tools, tins, dishes, and tools for any need in the 19th and 20th centuries are exhibited. Cameras and radios from early days to more recent times are on exhibit. Birds and their nests are displayed.



In the summer of 1886, J.F. Williamson harvested wheat in what would soon become Geneseo’s Main Street. That fall, two railroads converged here: the Santa Fe from the southeast and the Missouri Pacific from the east, sparking the town's development. Major E.C. Moderwill, tasked with securing rights and locating the town, named it Geneseo after his hometown in Illinois, which was named after Geneseo, New York. The Geneseo Town Company, formed by local figures, laid out streets named after its members.



Della Kennedy, Althea Janssen Byerlee, Kermit Janssen, Winston Schmidt, and Mike Livingston with Geneseo roots have been recognized for gifted art. Paintings, sketches, sculptures, and china paintings are displayed.



The crossing of two railroads was the start of Geneseo. The rail lines connected to Wichita on the south and Kansas City on the east. Depots for the Santa Fe and the
Missouri Pacific was an important location in Geneseo for passengers, produce, and supplies.



Dr. Janzen’s collection from UFO conventions in the 1950s and 1960s show the sightings of flying saucers. Exhibited are many of the sketches and drawings of life on Venus and other planets space by John Dean. Photos of Buck Nelson of Mountain View, Missouri and his research into sightings of UFO is presented.

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Geneseo area residents who have achieved notable contributions to society at large are recognized. The stories of leaders in art, agriculture, Asian studies, NASA engineering, living history, and elected officials are presented.

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