Roots in Nicodemus

July 29, 2017

Seirer_170728_0251.jpgSeirer_170728_0251.jpgRoots in Nicodemus Veryl Switzer, nationally acclaimed sports star in the 1950s who returned to his hometown of Nicodemus to farm, chats with Josh Svaty, a Kansas gubernatorial candidate, at the 2017 Nicodemus Homecoming Celebration. Switzer, a graduate of nearby Bogue High School, won national attention as a football standout in the early 1950s at Kansas State University. He led the nation in punt returns his senior year and afterward was the fourth overall pick in the National Football League draft, joining the Green Bay Packers. His football career was interrupted by Air Force service and, upon his return he played Canadian football before joining the staff at the Chicago Board of Education. But he returned to Kansas and maintained his ties to his Nicodemus roots and farm even while serving in administrative roles at K-State. He is a descendent of one of the original settlers of Nicodemus, which was founded and promoted in 1877 as The “Largest Colored Colony in America.” In 1996 Congress designated Nicodemus as a National Historic Site, and today the National Park Service maintains a visitors center and five historic buildings, including the Township Hall where the Homecoming festivities were headquartered. Switzer said younger family members tend his farm today and he’s mostly retired.

Veryl Switzer, nationally acclaimed sports star in the 1950s who returned to his hometown of Nicodemus to farm, chats with Josh Svaty, a Kansas gubernatorial candidate, at the 2017 Nicodemus Homecoming Celebration. Switzer, a graduate of nearby Bogue High School, won national attention as a football standout in the early 1950s at Kansas State University. He led the nation in punt returns his senior year and afterward was the fourth overall pick in the National Football League draft, joining the Green Bay Packers. His football career was interrupted by Air Force service and, upon his return he played Canadian football before joining the staff at the Chicago Board of Education. But he returned to Kansas and maintained his ties to his Nicodemus roots and farm even while serving in administrative roles at K-State. He is a descendent of one of the original settlers of Nicodemus, which was founded and promoted in 1877 as The “Largest Colored Colony in America.” In 1996 Congress designated Nicodemus as a National Historic Site, and today the National Park Service maintains a visitors center and five historic buildings, including the Township Hall where the Homecoming festivities were headquartered. Switzer said younger family members tend his farm today and he’s mostly retired.


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