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Encyclopedia > Daniel Fitzgerald

Daniel C. Fitzgerald is an American regional history author, 1959--present.

Fitzgerald was one of the first documentary/historical authors to examine the plight of the Midwestern small town during the 1970's-1980's. His Ghost Towns of Kansas books documented small town rural history in the nineteenth, and particularly the second half of the twentieth century. Similar material to rock artist John Cougar Mellencamp. His documentation of Neosho Falls, Kansas, led rock band Kansas to write a concept album about the community in 1988, In The Spirit of Things. His works remained extremely popular while the subject matter drew national attention. However, in the 1990's, focus on the ailing economic situation of Midwestern small towns diminished in attention and focus, and Fitzgerald's works suffered in popularity. Unfortunately, the plight of the small town had actually worsened, but attention was focussed on other regional issues. His books have recently seen a resurgence in popularity. Ghost Towns of Kansas: Revisited (2007) will be the first book in Fitzgerald's resume to re-examine the plight of the small town. It is his first major work in twelve years. Fitzgerald researched nearly 400 ghost towns in Kansas between 1973 and 1994, interviewed scores of local residents and parlayed the results into five books. His research also extended into nearby Missouri and Nebraska, but no lengthy works were ever published. Fitzgerald also spent time researching Missouri River boom towns that flourished during the steamboat era of the 1850's, and even attempted to locate a sunken steamboat named the Sallie, located somewhere off Doniphan County, Kansas, in the 1860's.

Fitzgerald's works spun several related film projects in the 1980's and 1990's. Five of these were nominated for a total of eight regional news emmy awards, of which four were won.


  • Ghost Towns of Kansas: A Traveler's Guide (1988),
  • Inventory records of the Topeka Fire Department, and
  • Ghost towns of Kansas Volume Two (1979).
  • Ghost Towns of Kansas Volume Three (1983).
  • Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas (1994).
  • Sound and Fury: A History of Kansas Tornadoes (2007).
  • Ghost Towns of Kansas: Revisited (2007).
  • Ghost Towns of Kansas: Volume One.

External links

  • http://www.danielcfitzgerald.com



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