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John Ise

John Ise


book cover Sod & StubbleIse Family Home Photograph Circa 1980School House on Ise Farm Photograph Circa 1980

Ise Family Farm Photograph Circa 1980

School House on Ise Farm Photograph Circa 1980

School House on Ise Farm Photograph Circa 1980

Ise Family Farm Photograph Circa 1980

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biography  
          

John Ise was born the eighth of eleven children to Henry and Rosa Ise, June 5, 1885, on a farm three miles northwest of Downs, Osborne County, Kansas. Ise received his Mus.B. in 1908, his A.B. in 1910, and his L.L.B. in 1911, all from University of Kansas. He received his A.M. in 1912 and his Ph.D. in 1914, both from Harvard University. He joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1916, reaching full professor status in 1920. He retired in 1955. His eight books ranged in subject matter from a collection of humorous comments on current conditions to comprehensive test on economics, interspersed with the classic story of his pioneer family in Osborne County. His great generosity is reflected in several gifts to aid university students and to the city of Lawrence, Kansas, to build and support a humane animal shelter. He served as president of the American Economics Association, the Mid-West Economic Association and served on the editorial board of the American Economic Review. He was a world-renowned economist and is still remembered to be one of the three greatest professors in University of Kansas history, even after his death in March 1969.


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Published Work  
 

Sod & Stubble, New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1936. Later editions came out from Bison Books, 1967, and an unabridged and annotated edition from the University Pressof Kansas, 1996, ed. Von Rothenberger.

Sod and Stubble, John Ise's most well known work, is a record of the adventures and adversities of his childhood as a homesteader of Osborne County, Kansas. In this book he takes the reader from the 1870s to the turn of the century showing the ups and downs of life as a homesteader in Kansas. The fires and droughts, parties and picnics, insect infestations and bumper crops, prosperity and poverty, divisiveness and generosity, births and deaths are all a part of what shaped the lives of Henry and Rosa Ise, their family, and their community.

For more about Sod and Stubble, see kansaspress.edu's article.

Economics, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946.
Our National Park Policy: A Critical History, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press for Rescources for the Future, 1961.
The American Way, Lawrence Kansas: The Allen Press, 1955.
The United States Forest Policy, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1920.
The United States Oil Policy, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1926.


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Writing Samples  
 

Sod and Stubble

The days of summer came and went . . . The wheat crop that Rosie helped to harvest early in July was one to be talked of for years afterward--forty bushels per acre, altogether two hundred bushels from Henry's five-acre field. Fifty bushels were enough for the year's bread and for seed, so there were one hundred and fifty bushels which could be hauled to Russell and sold. (pg 97)

Soon afterward, Rosie bought another farm with the money received from his life insurance. She wrote the check with tears in her eyes, as she recalled how hard it had often been to pay the premiums--how Henry had sometimes gone without decent overshoes and mittens and woolen socks, had always shaved with a nicked razor, had carried a broken-handled jackknife for many years, had never had a watch until the year before he died--in order that they might have more land in the good years that were to come, and more comforts and luxuries then he himself had ever known. (pg 299)

The United States Oil Policy

It is not only through speculation in leases that human energy has been wasted in the oil fields. Many capable and energetic people have been turned from productive labor by the "windfalls," the unearned fortunes, that abound in the oil fields. The fortunes accrue to various classes--to fortunate speculators in leases or stocks or royalties, and to landowners. If we assume that fortunate speculators have earned their fortunes by risking their funds in a hazardous lottery, it leaves landowners as the chief recipients of these windfalls or unearned incomes. (pg 205)


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Roadside Attraction

 
 

This attractive sign in Memorial Park, along Highway 24, pays tribute to the book Sod and Stubble, written by John Ise, who wrote of his parents who homesteaded northwest of Downs in the late 1800s. The book has become noted in historical circles as an excellent written account of that period of time in rural Kansas.

Memorial Park, US 24, Ise Sod and Stubble sign


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Reviews  
 

Sod and Stubble
"Over the years, I have recommended this book to hundreds of people in all walks of life and of almost all ages. Many have declared it to be most informative and most interesting book they have read about Kansas history.

--Leo E. Olivia, author of Woodston: The Story of a Kansas Country Town.

 

Of the Von Rothenberger edition: "A first rate edition. The annotations are informative in content and graceful in style."

--Susan J. Rosowski, general editor of The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition.


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