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Longtime Lawrence resident creates bandana to commemorate 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid

August 7, 2013

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When Missouri ruffian William Quantrill raided Lawrence 150 years ago this month, Conrad Altenbernd III's great-grandfather and his family spent the day and night hiding in their farm's cornfield.

Conrad Altenbernd III has designed and printed 300 bandanas commemorating the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence. Altenbernd said he thought the bandana, which includes old Lawrence photos and a map of the raid route, would be an easy way for people to remember one of the more important moments in the city's history. He's giving away 100 of the bandanas to various city leaders, and plans to sell the remaining 200 for $10 apiece.

Conrad Altenbernd III has designed and printed 300 bandanas commemorating the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence. Altenbernd said he thought the bandana, which includes old Lawrence photos and a map of the raid route, would be an easy way for people to remember one of the more important moments in the city's history. He's giving away 100 of the bandanas to various city leaders, and plans to sell the remaining 200 for $10 apiece.

So Altenbernd figured he could at least do a little something to help Lawrence residents keep the fateful day at the top of their minds for a moment or two.

And what rests at the top of your mind more than a bandana?

Altenbernd has designed and printed 300 commemorative bandanas that recognize the 150th anniversary of the raid, which occurred on Aug. 21, 1863, and left more than 180 residents dead.

"I just want to do my part to make people aware of what happened in the little town that they live in now," Altenbernd said.

The bandana includes a reproduction of a somewhat famous drawing that ran in Harper's Weekly showing the ruins of The Eldridge Hotel. The bandana also includes: a picture of a young John Speer, Jr., who was killed in the raid when he was sleeping at the newspaper offices of his father; a map of Quantrill's route into and out of Douglas County; and a picture of Civil War troops to represent the group of Union recruits who were killed by raiders near Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

Altenbernd said he had seen several commemorative bandanas of western figures like Wild Bill Hickcock, Buffalo Bill Cody and others. Then he saw one celebrating the anniversary of a small Pennsylvania community, and he decided it might be a neat way to mark Quantrill's raid.

"It is something easy for people to carry or maybe even pass on someday," Altenbernd said.

Altenbernd plans to give away 100 of the bandanas to elected officials, local leaders, museums and others who have a special tie to Lawrence's history. He is selling the other 200 for $10 each at several retailers in town, including Weaver's Department Store, Cottin's Hardware, Downtown Barbershop and Stoneback's Appliance.

"We weren't money driven to do this," Altenbernd said of he and his girlfriend, Judy Green, who helped design the bandana. "It was fun. I learned more about the raid."

Altenbernd said stories of the raid came up from time to time from members of his family. His great-grandfather Konrad Altenbernd came to Douglas County in 1858 from Germany and set up a farm along the banks of the Kansas River between Lawrence and Eudora.

"I had heard the stories of my family seeing the burning of the town from our farm," Altenbernd said. "And then they got nervous and went and hid in the cornfield."

Altenbernd, who owns a local housing rental business, has been in Lawrence his entire life and still has the family's original homestead. He's even taken to collecting Civil War letters, and said he didn't want to let the 150th anniversary come to pass without doing something to mark the event that forever changed the city.

"I'm just a local boy, and this seemed to be a good thing for a local boy to do," Altenbernd said.

The community also will host several events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the raid, including a special Lawrence City Band concert and program at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 at South Park.

Comments

irvan moore 1 year, 4 months ago

I got mine last night, it's great, thanks for going the extra mile for your community Conrad

waitjustaminute 1 year, 4 months ago

Let's hope there will be a second and/or third run.

Tony Holladay 1 year, 4 months ago

"$10 each at several retailers in town, including Weaver's Department Store, Cottin's Hardware, Downtown Barbershop and Stoneback's Appliance"

Alpenglow 1 year, 4 months ago

Conrad still hunky after all these years!

LawrenceTownie 1 year, 4 months ago

He looked this good in our Kindergarten class too. I remember.

Sarah St. John 1 year, 4 months ago

Oooooo..... I wish I had seen this earlier today; I would have nipped downtown to get one. I hope I can still get one tomorrow. At my time of life I'm more likely to start shedding "stuff" from my life than adding to it, but I make exceptions for local-history stuff. Of course. :-)

Sarah St. John

"Old Home Town" person

windjammer 1 year, 4 months ago

"Right On" to that hunk Conrad. Heard about them and will get mine first thing in the morning. Hunk of what?

Tammy Copp-Barta 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm still confused about why we're celebrating Quantrill's Raid????

tomatogrower 1 year, 4 months ago

It's a celebration of survival. The residents who lived rebuilt and didn't let these butchers stop them from creating a community. Lawrence was settled by a lot of abolitionists who wanted to make sure that Kansas entered the Union as a free state, which it did. Missouri didn't want this. They were angry because Kansans helped slave escape. Guess what wissmo, the Union won. Missouri had to get rid of the slaves. Of course, their history would reflect a different story. Maybe if they had freed their slaves, there would have been no problem.

mom_of_three 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't know if I would say abolitionists as much as anti slavery. Kansas and missouri had been fighting since 1854, and this was just a continuation. Missouri was angry because it was another free state on their border and worried that kansans would help their slaves escape (john brown didn't help. ) and yes, they did rebuild and continue the town that was considered the anti slavery stronghold.

hedshrinker 1 year, 4 months ago

less a "celebration" than a remembrance of the people who perished in the Raid in our early town history. ...part of what sets us apart fr Mizzou and speaks to our adversarial history with them, Free State versus slave state. Is Conrad kin to Kerry Altenbernd, the local librarian who has been active in the Blackjack Battlefield preservation and John Brown portrayal?

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

Missouri was a border state during the C.W. Just like Kentucky. Some of us grew up learning a different history. http://www.joplinglobe.com/lifestyles/x1364887888/Frankie-Meyer-Union-raid-on-Osceola-is-detailed-in-book

HootyWho 1 year, 4 months ago

Kansas did their share of raiding into Missouri, just saying

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

Yep, there were very hard feelings for Kansans many moons ago. Always try to walk in the shoes of others regarding viewpoints.. I could care less which side was guilty, but think of those lovely old barns.

Some still standing today, wonders with the rock cleared from fields used as foundations. In those days a good barn was built after the hard backbreaking work in the fields was over. A luxury, a thing of worth, a pc. of the property showing off who you were.

And to think how passing riders with misguided intentions tossed a burning rag and burned them down in a matter of minutes. Talk about anger, on both sides.

tomatogrower 1 year, 4 months ago

Well, in Missouri, some of those barns were built by slaves.

Vince Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

@HootyWho, you're exactly right! From my point of view the raids and killing of pro-slavers were committed on the right side of the issue. Taking out folks who advocated the subjugation of an entire race of people was a good thing. Too bad John Brown wasn't around to continue his work. Did some innocents get killed? Probably. It happens in any war, declared or not. My great-great-great grandmother came to KS from AR after escaping from her owner. No, I have nothing bad to say about those folks who raided into mo.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

Me thinks the Osceola raiders sold the slaves they "freed." Just keeping it real.

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