[meteorite-list] Re-Post Nininger Moment #8

From: almitt <almitt_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:23:46 2004
Message-ID: <3E689621.4D7E922C_at_kconline.com>

Subject: A Nininger Moment 8
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 06:13:57 -0500
From: almitt <almitt_at_kconline.com>
To: Alan Mitterling <ALMitt_at_kconline.com>

Back in the middle to late 1800's as cowboys rode their horses across the
prairie in what is now Kiowa County, they came across from time to time
heavy black rocks scattered across the buffalo grass. There were no other
such stones found else where so the black stones were a bit out of place.
The stones were often used for weight lifting and shot-put demonstrations.
At the end of the nineteenth century Frank Kimberly brought his wife Mary
to homestead the area. One of the first things she noticed was the black rusty
rocks that were about in the area. She informed her husband that the rocks
were not ordinary but rather meteorites and began to keep a pile of them
near the house they had made. She was often laughed at and kidded as the
pile grew larger. The rocks were considered somewhat useful for a number
of chores that the locals had in the area as no other rocks were around.

As a child in Iowa she and her class were taken to a railroad station to
view a great meteorite in transport to an eastern museum. The experience was
one she had not forgotten and how the meteorite had looked to her when she
was quite young. As Frank plowed the prairie ground he would often plough
up new specimens and Mary would drag them back to the pile, although this
was beginning to become an irritation to him as the pile grew. Mary wrote a
number of letters to various places in hopes of finding someone that might be
interested in her meteorites. Finally after five years a Dr. F.W. Cragen at
Washburn College in Kansas agreed to look at the collection. When he
arrived he was amazed and delighted at the pile of specimens and paid her
several hundred dollars for the better half of the specimens. This sell was
enough to buy a neighboring property where more of the specimens were
found. As word got out other scientists followed Dr. Cragen's lead and came
to buy specimens and a brisk market was generated for a number of years.
Frank had quickly changed his tune after the first sell his wife had made, and
went out prospecting on a more regular basis. Over a ton and a half had been
sold just past the turn of the century by the Kimberly's Their place was known
as the Kansas Meteorite Farm.

Nininger had met the Kimberly's in 1923 and bought many specimens from
them as no interest had been made in regards to the remaining specimens
for some twenty years. This increased Nininger's young collection at the time
and help him finance other searches during that time. More than three and a
half tons total had been recovered from the Brenham fall and no doubt more
picked up and not recorded. In 1929 while visiting the Kimberly's on their
farm Nininger discovered that some of the masses were in a buffalo wallow
which peaked his interest of a possible meteorite crater. Nininger was shown
a shallow depression that was forty feet wide. The rim around the edge peak
his interest even more. Nininger later went back and excavation the crater
called Haviland using teams of horses and road scrapers. Each time the
crater was cut and scraped detailed information was noted of features and
places meteorites were found as well as weights and condition of specimens
which were mostly falling apart by their stay on Earth in a wet environment.
The crater formed an elongated bowl of such. Nininger went on to write
several papers on meteorite craters even though at the time they were not
well established. One such paper at the American Association For The
Advancement Of Science in 1933 was titled Meteor Craters vs Steam

Source: Find A Falling Star By H.H. Nininger

--AL Mitterling
Received on Fri 07 Mar 2003 07:52:49 AM PST

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