Bartram Salt & Pepper Shaker Collection



The Bartram Building is home to 1,600 salt-and-pepper shaker sets. Only one set is duplicated in the collection.

Elsie Bartram donated the 1,600 sets of salt and pepper shakers to the Museum, along with the funds to put up the building. She also directed the Historical Society to display anything from her house in the Museum and sell the rest.

Elsie was a charter member of the Historical Society and served as president for many years. The Museum was her pride and joy.

Elsie taught in country schools, and she spent her last years in Pawnee City. She loved her students and kept track of them through Christmas letters.

Barbed Wire Collection



More than 800 types of barbed wire are on display in the Barbed Wire Building. The display came from George Wenzl, an avid barbed wire collector who lived one mile north of DuBois. He donated his collection to the museum with the condition that an adequate building be constructed to house it.

A legal sample of barbed wire must be 18 inches in length. Each sample has been catalogued according to the barbed wire “bible.” While Wenzl’s collection includes 800 different kinds, there are many more types available. He mounted his samples on boards. One board features planter wire and another displays factory knots or splices. A variety of wire stretchers and other fencing tools are also housed in this building.

Mr. Wenzl belonged to various barbed wire organizations, and he was inducted into the Barbed Wire Hall of Fame in 1994. His picture appears at the Hall of Fame, located in LaCrosse, Kansas.

Button Collection



The Curtis House features a collection 8,400 buttons.

Ruby Yoble, a niece of  Elma Graham, donated the buttons to the Historical Society.  Elma, a lifetime member of the Pawnee City Historical Society, started collecting them in 1938. Several people gave her button to help expand the collection. She sewed some of the buttons onto cards at her home; when a fire broke out, several cards were scorched, but the buttons survived. Many more buttons are in large jars.

Metal, glass, leather, crocheted, and plastic buttons, in a variety of shapes, are on display.

Photo Collection



Mike McIntier digitized more than 550 photographs for the Museum, donating his time and money for the project. The files are on computers at the Museum, and visitors can request copies for a small fee.  Also available are data sheets with lots of information about the pictures.