This hunting vest was important in the life of a Kansas legislator with a farming lineage who used it on his Kansas Century Farm.
Farming was in John Vogel, Jr.'s blood. His grandfather's desire to own land drove him to walk nearly 100 miles from Minneapolis, Kansas to the town of Stuttgart in Phillips County. Vogel later grew up on this family farm. After graduating from the University of Kansas School of Business in 1939, he married Irene Schaake and they moved to her family's farm in Douglas County near the Kansas River.
John primarily used this hunting vest on Irene's Kaw Valley homestead. Founded in 1860, it is designated a Century Farm by the Kansas Farm Bureau because its ownership (including the current owner/operator) has remained in the same family for at least 100 years.
A hunting vest such as Vogel's is a practical multipurpose item for everyday life on the farm. The pockets are designed to carry 12 gauge shotgun shells but can hold other useful objects, such as scissors or pliers. Around his farm, Vogel may have hunted a variety of birds such as grouse or turkeys, and would have been able to scare off unwanted visitors such as foxes or coyotes. He was an accomplished hunter, winning a shotgun at a turkey shoot in his home county of Phillips during the late 1920s.
This vest was made before blaze or safety orange clothing became an almost universal requirement. Kansas began requiring red or blaze orange vests or hats on big game hunters in 1965, the same year it established a deer hunting season. John Vogel was involved in the establishment of these hunting regulations. He served nine terms (18 years) from 1962 to 1980 in the Kansas House of Representatives as the legislator from Grant Township, Douglas County. Vogel remained involved in farm life even away from home, chairing the legislature's Agriculture and Livestock Committee for 14 years and serving as a member of the Ways and Means Committee for 12 years.
Vogel's daughter Nancy donated his hunting vest to the Kansas Historical Society, where it resides in the collections of the Kansas Museum of History.
Entry: Hunting Vest
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: October 2011
Date Modified: December 2014
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.