Nicodemus Part 2: Name without prejudice

Weather effect
East of Nicodemus, Kansas

How did the Kansas weather affect race relations in the post-Jim Crow community of Nicodemus, Kansas? And just how did that town get its name? Click here for the oral story straight from the mule wagon…

Earlier, I wrote of the founding history of Nicodemus, Kansas. Here’s a brief oral history of the name’s origin as recounted by Angela Bates of Nicodemus.

Angela Bates

To listen to Angela explain who Nicodemus was, click on the player below.

Which brings us to the weather.

In the months I’ve traveled by wagon across the Great Plains, I’ve learned to keep a weather eye peeled for hail, thunderstorms and dry lightening. As soon as I hear rumbling, I break out the film and recording gear.

Recording the sky
Minor Ranch
North of Hyannis, Nebraska

Then, if there are any in the area, I run like hell for the nearest Quonset hut or abandoned barn. When the prairie sky falls, no property is private.

South of Bell Community, Montana

The weather had the same effect on homesteaders that eked a living off the Great Plains a hundred years ago.

Walking through prairie weather

Click on the audio player to hear Angela Bates describe how the Kansas weather has proven the area’s great leveler. And how prejudice was not a luxury homesteaders could afford under angry skies.

Thanks all you farmers and ranchers for the times you’ve pulled the funny looking wagon with the odd name out of the prairie weather.


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