I found this 12" Sunflower block in the book Happy Birthday Kansas! by Linda Frost and published by Kansas City Star Books. It's the ninth block of my Irish Great-Grandpa Sampler Quilt.
While my maternal grandmother was still in high school, she interviewed her father, James Lynch, at the urging of her older brother Will, who was living in China at the time. (Read his letter to her here.) Later, she wrote a biography of her father from the notes she'd taken during the interview. Following is the ninth part of this biography:
"James stayed in Illinois until November 1867 when he went to Kansas after getting letters from former neighbors. One neighbor was Mr. Phelps, who had bought the farm later known as the Shepherd farm and after that the Kaniper Place. The other neighbor was Mr. Cunningham, who owned the farm right across the road from where James later built his house. In later years, James bought that farm, and it was my brother Carl's home.
"These neighbors had written to him that he could buy cheap land in Kansas. He took the train to Topeka and the stage to Burlingame and visited these friends. He bid on and bought 134 acres at four dollars per acre. He then went to live with his younger brother Thomas (who lived between Lawrence and Lecompton) and worked there that winter to get money to farm with."
- by Hazel Lynch Skonberg, James Lynch's daughter