Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 14, 2018

August 14, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story was taken from a December 1982 article found in the “Junction City Daily Union” newspaper written by Bob Honeyman, a staff writer.  Bob wrote that “The Junction City Commission accepted a deed to the property (at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson, which was then then the Colonial Theater and had previously been the Opera House), which was a gift from Fred and Dorothy Bramlage.  The building had housed the police and fire departments and city jail from 1882 until about 1937, when the Municipal Building was built across the street from the Colonial Theatre on the northwest corner of Seventh and Jefferson Streets. The Municipal Building was a WPA project. 
            The building was purchased by the Bramlages from Commonwealth Theatres, Inc. Commonwealth purchased the building for a cinema after WWII and operated it there until the Westside Twin Cinema was opened in the Westside Shopping Center.
According to Bramlage, he had admired the historic building since he was a youth and wanted it to be preserved and put to good use.  Bramlage added that it is his desire that the structure be used as a convention center “to help the motels and bring business to the community.” 
            Commissioner Eunice Lesser stated that the city’s future plans for the theater called for it to be converted into a convention center and a new home for the Junction City Little Theatre.  Deeds for the transfer of the Colonial from Commonwealth to the Bramlages and from the Bramlages to the city were filed simultaneously on Tuesday, November 30, 1982.
            We have been sharing historic information about the Opera House on Tuesdays for the past eight months.  If you are interested in reading the scripts, they can be found on our blog at gearyhistory.blogspot.com or you can listen to the scripts read by visiting the C.L. Hoover Opera House website and click on “Our Past Is Present."
            And… as always… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society on 1420 KJCK.  The Talk of JC.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program is about how a person got shot over a bill that was owed and was taken from a newspaper article published in 1909. 
            “The preliminary hearing of Dr. R.L. Ready, charged with shooting James Carter when the two were wrangling over a bill at Ready’s office was held at the court house by Justice of the Peace Chase.  The testimony of the two men, Carter and Ready, did not vary on material points to any great degree.  Apparently the two came to blows while disputing a bill.  Each claimed to have acted in self-defense and when they fought their way from the Ready reception room into his operating room, Ready went down and managed to get hold of a derringer pistol from a drawer in his cabinet.  He fired and shot Carter striking Carter through the chest. 
            After hearing the evidence from physicians as to the nature of the wounds, Justice Chase bound Dr. Ready over to district court and charged him with felonious assault. His bond was set at $1,000.  Carter, who had been working in Parsons, Kansas, returned there.” 
            This all happened as a result of a disagreement about a bill.  We all need to choose our battles and decide ahead of time if it is really worth risking getting injured over a discrepancy.
Well… that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program is about another historic site owned by the Historical Society and is available for tours or used by the Society on special occasions.
            The Spring Valley Historic Site consists of the Spring Valley School, the Little Cabin and the Wetzel Cabin. The Spring Valley Historic Site was originally the Spring Valley rural school grounds. The School building is a native limestone one-room school building originally built in 1873 and operated as Rural School District #21 until its closure in 1958.
            The Wetzel Cabin was relocated to the Spring Valley Site in 2004 and is located directly south and downhill of the school in a small depression.  The log cabin is constructed in a unique style and includes two rooms separated by a breezeway or “dogtrot” and an attic loft.   The Christian F. Wetzel Cabin was originally built on the banks of Clark’s Creek southeast of Junction City in 1857 and was constructed for Louis Kettlass by Isaac H. Loder at a cost of $225.00. After Kettlass died, Wetzel purchased the cabin in 1860 and his family moved into the house.  The Wetzels lived in the cabin for about four years and during that time the first services in Kansas of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod were held in their home by missionary Reverend F. Wingen Lange. In 1864, the cabin was sold to Samuel E. Turner for $750.00 and until 1925 it was used as a residence by various families.  The cabin was restored and moved, and stood at a new location east of Junction City until it was relocated to its current location.
            The Little Cabin is a one-room hewn-log cabin, originally located on Lyons Creek in southern Geary County. It has been reconstructed on the eastern edge of the school ground. 
            Other buildings on the site include a wood frame shed, a pony barn, a bright red water pump and two outhouses constructed as a WPA project. 
            And… that is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 9, 2018

August 9, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We have been sharing information about some of the properties owned by the Geary County Historical Society, which are available for visiting. Some of these sites are by appointment or are used by the Society for special occasions.  Today is one of those sites available by appointment when you visit the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets during the hours of 1 and 4 Tuesdays through Sundays.
            Today, we will be sharing information about the Starcke House, which is located across the alley from the Museum on the corner of Fifth and Adams Streets.  The Society renovated and opened the Starcke House, in the fall of 2000.  The one story brick structure was for a century the home of Walter and Eunice Starcke, who ran a jewelry shop for decades in downtown Junction City.  The house serves as a “period house museum” in which the furniture and household goods can be displayed in a natural setting.
            The restoration of the Starcke house at 306 West 5th Street was built in the 1880s by pioneer jeweler and watch-maker Andrew Vogler as a home for his young German bride.  The original structure was described in a 1938 “Union” newspaper article as a “squatty red brick house” which made “conspicuous” the corner on which it sat for 52 years.  When it was originally built, however, the four-room house with a lean-to kitchen attached to the back offered the latest in comfort and modest amenities for its inhabitants.
            Stop by our Museum and ask to see the Starcke house and see why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 8, 2018

August 8, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Thanks to Scott Brown, who listens to this program for sharing an article, which was published in the “Junction City Union” in 1919.  The title of the article was “Four Burned In Explosion”.  This is some of what was written in the article:
            ”Pat” Fogelstrom, 5 years of age and Donald Stephens, 11, were accidentally burned last evening when the gasoline tank on a Studebaker touring car belonging to C.A. Fogelstrom exploded.  The accident occurred in the storage yard just west of the Fogelstrom Blacksmith Shop on Seventh and Adams Streets.  According to the stories the boys, Donald Stephens, “Pat” Fogelstrom and “Billy” Brown, 6 years old,  were in the rear seat of the car.  The cap of the gasoline tank had been off ever since Mr. Fogelstrom purchased the car some months ago.  One of the boys either held a lighted match to the opening or threw the match into the tank.
            The force of the explosion threw the top of the car, which was down , over onto the Stephens, Fogelstrom and Brown boys, imprisoning them in the blazing car.  Louis Volkman, who lives on Eighth Street just across from the Blacksmith Storage Yard, was one of the first to reach the burning car and pulled out Billy Brown and Donald Stephens through a hole in the top.  The Brown boy was slightly burned about the face and ears.  The hair on the back of his neck was singed off.
            Pat Fogelstrom was pulled from the car by Howard Montgomery.  Pat was terribly burned about his face and hands and his condition was serious.  Mr. Fogelstrom was burned about his legs when his clothing caught fire as he attempted to pull his son from the car.”
            There was speculation as to how this explosion happened, however, there was no evidence included in the article to that resolve.  Well…. Thanks for reading today and if you have stories to share, please drop them by our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets. Because as we say… “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 7, 2018

August 7, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. The information in today’s story was taken from a 1978 “Junction City Union” newspaper.
            "During the Depression, the Opera House was one of the better stage houses in the country," stated Roy Clewell.  He also stated that “about once a month an acting troupe, traveling by train from coast to coast, would stop in Junction City to give a two or three night performance.  Top rate professional actors traveled with their props and costumes and put on full productions of musicals, dramas and a little bit of everything.” Mr.  Clewell remembered a performance he saw of “Abbies Irish Rose”, starring George Brent, who was an outstanding leading actor in his day.
            Joe McCormick, recalled his early high school days when he sometimes got into shows as compensation for sweeping the steps to the Opera House.  He also remembered seeing shows by Ted North and the North Players.  Admission charge was 15 cents, so almost everybody could attend the shows. 
            Glenn White recalled watching wrestling matches at the Opera House during the mid and late 1920’s. He stated that “Joe Zobisko, a heavy weight champion Tony Ross, a professional wrestler from Wakefield competed at the Opera House.  The admission charge was one dollar per person. 
            Live entertainment was a lucrative business according to Roy Clewell.  The Opera House backers preferred to book stage shows rather than let townsfolk use the building for a fee as a community center.  So in 1935, the Municipal Building was started to serve as a community center.  R.B. White and his sons, Norman, Glenn and Ralph were contracted to build the new Municipal Building.
            And…. that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 6, 2018

August 6, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story was taken from a 1978 article published in the “Daily Union” newspaper about an Army truck that got stuck in the lake. 
            A two and a half ton Army truck challenged the wisdom of members of Fort Riley’s 34th Engineers in extracting the vehicle from Milford Lake near the area known as the sunken bridge, east of US-77.  The Geary County Sheriff’s Department was called by a nearby resident, who reported that the truck, with two men aboard, was almost submerged.
            Captain Robert Woolever was dispatched to the scene and attempted to contact the Fort Riley military police by telephone.  He was unable to reach them because of an apparent malfunction, so the Fort Riley Police services were called. 
            Military Police, a crane and boat were dispatched to give assistance.  While the passenger remained in the boat, the driver waded ashore to get help.  The passenger remained with the truck and sat in a small unsubmerged portion of the vehicle, refusing to wade ashore.
            A boat had been dispatched to the scene, but did not have any oars. So, a Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission sign was lifted and used as a paddle.  Eventually there was an attempt to attach a 10 foot cable from the crane to the truck.  However, the cable was too short.  Since the cable was double stranded, it was made into a single strand, which made it possible to reach the truck.  Eventually the entire truck was rescued along with the lone passenger.  How the truck  got stuck in the lake in the first place is totally unknown.  And that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 3, 2018

August 3, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program is about another historic site owned by the Geary County Historical Society and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
            St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and Cemetery are located in the McDowell Creek Valley in Geary County just off of Exit 307 and .15 miles east of Lower McDowell Creek Road. 
            This beautiful church was built in 1910 in Gothic Revival Style, but the parish dates from the 1860’s on.  The building was decommissioned as a church in the late 1980’s.
            The Geary County Historical Society and the Friends of the St. Joseph’s Church took possession of the church in 2008.  The deteriorated roof has been replaced with completely new sills, trusses, sheeting, shingles and flashing.  Other updates include new doors and windows. 
The church is currently used as a meeting place by the McDowell Creek Community, however, Catholic Mass has not been held there for many years.  The cemetery is still used today for burials.
            The Church and cemetery are available for visits at various times throughout the year.  Contact the Museum at 238-1666 for more information and… Thanks for reading today to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 2, 2018

August 2, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Our next two programs will be about Geary County Historical Society sites, which may be visited free of charge.  And… today we begin with the Museum site at 530 N. Adams Street in Junction City.  This building is the former Junction City High School.  The exterior is of native limestone and was built in 1903 by Ziegler and Dalton contractors who also built the Geary County Courthouse.
            The building served as a four-year high school from 1904 to 1918, when growing enrollment necessitated the construction of a separate junior high school.  The building served as a three year high school from 1918 to 1929 when the last high school class graduated.  In the fall of 1929, the JCHS building became a seventh grade building.  From the 1950’s to the time it was vacated in 1980, the building held sixth grade classes, a kindergarten class in the building’s basement level and administrative offices for the school district. 
            The building sat empty for about two years before Fred Bramlage purchased and donated it for use by the Historical Society in 1982.  Extensive remodeling was done to the building before its grand opening in May of 1983.
            The basement level includes the maintenance workshop, three storerooms, the Research Center, an historic printing press and exhibit about the press and an exhibit about the history of the fire department.
The main level includes offices for the Executive Director, and Programs and Education Director, three galleries for exhibits, which include “Main Street”, “Grandma’s Kitchen” and a temporary exhibit about floods in Geary County and a Native American exhibit. There also is a gift shop on the main level. 
            If you have never been to our Museum or it has been more than a while since your last visit, stop by and see the exhibits and share any stories you have about Geary County history. The building is handicapped accessible with an elevator installed in 1986.  And… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Our Past Is Present August 1, 2018

August 1, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is “Remembering the Hammond Family”.  Pascal Hammond was a freed black man from South Carolina, who was born in 1842.  Pascal Hammond married Elizzie and they had four children, who were born before the move to Junction City after the Civil War.  Pascal worked as a sorghum maker and truck farmer, raising vegetables, strawberries and pigeons.  He sold these items to the officer’s families and soldiers at Fort Riley.
            In an article published in the “Daily Union” newspaper in 1999 and written by Susan Franzen, she stated that “The marriage of Mary Johnson and Joseph C. Hammond in 1889 marks the real beginning of the Hammond dynasty in Junction City.  They were the parents of fourteen children.  The children also raised large families.  Whites knew them primarily as reliable workers or business people, talented musicians and skilled athletes.  In the 1930’s Robert Hammond, one of Joseph and Mary Hammond’s sons shined shoes in the Bartell House lobby.  The Hammond quartet, consisting of Howard, Bob, John and Paul sang gospel songs on the radio station in Abilene and around town on Christmas Eve.  Loretta Hammond had a gospel hour on the radio. 
            Other Hammonds were Mervyn, Gilbert, Robert Lee, Mervyn Sr., Laren Dale, Joseph, Roger, Buford and Selwyn Hammond.  Dana Durand recalled that “They were great singers.”
Gilbert Hammond recalled that people would say “It isn’t Christmas Eve until the Hammonds came by to sing Christmas Carols.”   
            The Hammond/Johnson family began the practice of returning to Junction City every three years for a family reunion.  They came from all over the world. They worked as teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers, policemen, musicians, farmers, businessmen and quite a number of PhD’s. 
            Gaylynn Childs wrote that “Each time this remarkable family gathers back to the home place to celebrate their roots, Junction City, too, has cause to rejoice for it is families like these that have made the fabric of our community strong and vital as we learn to live, work, overcome, and make music together.”
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Our Past Is Present July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is more on the history of the Opera House and a meeting that took place in September of 1988 between the City Commission and the Opera House Foundation, Incorporated.  The City Commission members included Jim Clark, Mayor, Eunice Lesser Kelly, Vice Mayor and T. Michael Fegan and Marvin Fuller Commissioners. 
            Donna Lundeen, who was the Opera House Foundation President made a presentation to the commission concerning the restoration of the Opera House.  The Foundation asked that the city, which presently owned the building, lease the structure to the group for $1.00 per year for 10 years so the building could be restored.  The restoration would be completed in three stages. 
            Following the presentation, Commissioner Marvin Fuller asked if the group would consider entering into a short term lease, which after a contract for the initial phase of restoration is let would convert to a transfer of the building’s deed to the Foundation.  Lundeen stated that she and her group had considered this possibility, but would need to discuss it further. 
            During the presentation, Bruce McMillan outlined the groups three-phase restoration plan for the Commission.  Funding for the restoration would come from donations, shareholders, pledges and several grants, which are available for community projects. 
            A list of those donors and key leaders are posted in the lobby of the Opera House.  Stop by and take a look at those, take a tour and consider purchasing tickets for upcoming shows and events at the current Opera House.  The “Jewel on the Prairie."
            And… Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Our Past Is Present July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program is a brief history about the Montgomery family’s ownership of the “Daily Union” newspaper.  The information used comes from an article written by Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University, which was released in February of 2017. Mr. Wilson wrote:
            “For four generations, the Montgomery family has been a leader in the newspaper industry in Junction and beyond. John Montgomery worked as an apprentice at a newspaper office in Iowa.  One day in 1865, young John received word by telegraph that President Lincoln had been assassinated.  He set the type to print the story in the newspaper and then delivered the papers himself. 
            After the Civil War, the young newspaperman came west to Kansas.  In 1888, he bought the “Weekly Union” newspaper in Junction City.  Four years later it became a daily.
            John Montgomery was succeeded by his son Harry, who served as publisher from 1936 to 1952, followed by John D. Montgomery from 1952 until 1973.  His son, John G. Montgomery, took over in 1973.  John G. Montgomery is the recently retired publisher of the “Junction City Daily Union” and other community newspapers in the region. John G. also serves as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army and remains active in the Junction City community.   
It is believed that “The Daily Union” is the third oldest continuously published newspaper in Kansas.
            Chris Walker and the White Corporation, owner of the Emporia Gazette, assumed ownership of the “Junction City Daily Union” newspaper, effective March 1, 2018.  John G. will continue to maintain an office at the “Daily Union”, assist in the transition and remain involved in an advisory capacity.
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.      

Friday, July 27, 2018

Our Past Is Present July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “The Night The Indians Came."  The information came from a 1934 article in the “Republic” newspaper. 
“The McFarland’s, located in Junction City either in 1861 or 1862.  There were no more than a dozen houses in town.  The only substantial building was the Henry Ganz Store, which was a two story stone building located on the southeast corner of what is now the Bartell House Block.  The building was well built to withstand Indian attacks. 
            At times a hunting party of as many as three to five thousand Indians would go out in the vicinity of Solomon City and return with a load of buffalo meat.
            It was a well know custom that Indians did not travel at night – unless something extraordinary was in their plan.  One night Junction Citians were aroused by a crier telling the people that the wild Indians were going to attack.  Arrangements had been made to rendezvous at the Henry Ganz Store where guns and ammunition were stored.
            We all expected to be annihilated, but the friendly Indians were returning from their hunt, and ran into a band of Cheyenne, their enemy whom they whipped and scalped and were coming back for a war dance.  In those days all the east and west traffic passed by the McFarland residence and that was where the Indians began their celebration.  All the locals survived that scare."
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Our Past Is Present July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

            KJCK Auction OR….

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Your host for this program is also a host on Thursdays at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City.  We have one room on the second floor of our building that is a dedicated exhibit to the one room school house.  In it are a variety of different sized desks, which would have been for the students of different ages.  We have slate chalkboards for students to write on and a slate chalkboard for the teacher.  There is a potbellied stove in the room that would have been used to keep the students and teacher warm during the cold weather season and a single dipper for the students to get a drink of water during the day. 
            At the front of the room is a mannequin dressed in a white blouse and long black skirt.  This is to depict what the female teacher would have worn.  During the tour of this exhibit, docents like to share that the expectation of country schoolteachers was high.  Besides being able to maintain discipline and teach students of a wide age-range all at the same time, a strict code of personal conduct was also a part of the requirements of the teacher.  Here are a few:         
1.      They will not marry during the term of the contract
2.      They are not to keep company with men
3.      They will be home between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM unless attending a school function
4.      The teacher may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores
5.      They may not travel beyond the city limits unless given permission of the chairman of the Board of Education
6.      Teachers may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is the father or brother of the teacher
7.      They may not smoke cigarettes
8.      They may not dress in bright colors and must wear two petticoats
9.      They may not dye their hair
10.  Dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle
11.  The teacher must keep the schoolroom neat and clean; the floor must be swept at least once daily; the floor scrubbed at least once a week with hot, soapy water; the blackboards cleaned at least once a day and start the fire at 7:00 AM so the room will be warm by 8:00 AM
It is curious to your host that little direction seemed to given about how or what to teach, focused more on other things. 
            Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.