CHANUTE, KS – The Chanute Public Library has rescheduled “The Harvey Girls: Women’s Roles in Railroads, Kansas, and US History,” a presentation and discussion by Dr. Michaeline Chance-Reay for June 18th at 2:00 pm at the Chanute Public Library.  Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the Chanute Public Library at 620-431-3820 for more information. The program is made possible by Humanities Kansas.

This program is also part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of Chanute, KS.

The mythology of the Harvey Girl looms large in Kansas history and across the western United States. The Fred Harvey Company, concessionaire along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, offered young women employment opportunities as waitresses and tour guides. These women played a role in the economic and cultural history of Kansas and the American Southwest. This talk includes stories of women employed by the company as well as its founder, Fred Harvey, who lived in Leavenworth and opened his first lunchroom depot along the line in Topeka.

Dr. Chance-Reay is Professor Emeritus of Women Studies and Education at Kansas State University.

“Women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who wanted jobs or careers outside of the home had few choices,” said Chance-Reay. “But the Harvey Company offered unique opportunities. It was demanding work but it provided a decent salary in a protected environment, in addition to travel and adventure.”

“The Harvey Girls: Women’s Roles in Railroads, Kansas, and US History” is part of Humanities Kansas’s Speakers Bureau, featuring humanities-based presentations designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

For more information about “The Harvey Girls: Women’s roles in Railroads, Kansas, and US History” contact the Chanute Public Library at 620-431-3820] or visit

About Humanities Kansas

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit leading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit