We’re here tonight on behalf of the Lansing Historical Society and Museum. We are a nonprofit museum whose mission is to preserve the history of Delaware Township, the City of Lansing, Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing and United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth.
We’re requesting you release the museum’s funds – in excess of $140,000 – that were raised and donated with the promise of a better museum.
Our museum has been located at 115 East Kansas Ave, on the front lawn of the State Prison property for 30 years – this month.
The Lansing Historical Society raised the money to be used for a proposed Kansas Regional Prison Museum, which would have been an expansion of OUR museum. The Lansing Historical Society and Museum is the only museum in Lansing and preserves the history of our community and the prisons. Why wouldn’t the city want to support this by returning those funds?
An attempt was made to secure the gallows for a permanent exhibit to be a part of the existing prison artifact collection of the Lansing Historical Society and Museum. In a news article from 2004, a former museum director of the Kansas State Historical Society made it clear that it was unlikely that was ever going to happen. Yet three years later, the Kansas Regional Prison Museum was incorporated. The Kansas Regional Prison Museum dissolved in 2020.
We’re here tonight to represent the people of our community and members who donated, in good faith, to OUR museum with the promise of making it a better museum. The City is holding roughly $140,000 that was raised for a museum. We are that museum. We request that money be returned to the Lansing Historical Society and Museum so that we may continue our mission.