Friday, May 25, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018                                                                                                                                     
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Although the practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers really began the spring before the end of the Civil War, the observance of a Memorial or Decoration Day did not take place in Junction City until 1883.
            On April 30, 1883, a general order was issued through the state headquarters of the G.A.R. urging all local posts to observe Memorial Day.  It was reported in the June 2, 1883 “Union” newspaper that on “Sunday evening the Opera House was packed to listen to Dr. Reynolds who delivered a patriot sermon.
            On Wednesday, which was Memorial Day, the crowd in town was large and equal to a circus day.  The services began at Centennial Hall and 500 people sat in their wagons under the sun for two solid hours listening to speeches.  
            The procession to the cemetery was a mile long.  The 9th Cavalry Band played music on the march and afterward gave an open air concert from the balcony of the Bartell Hotel.  We believe this was the first observance of Decoration (or Memorial) Day.
            In 1919, Memorial Day took on increased significance as names of Geary County soldiers and sailors who had fallen during WWI were now a part of the honor roll. In 1945 the toll of WW II brought new meaning to the solemn and patriotic occasion.
            There will be Memorial Day services in Junction City and at Fort Riley this year.  We hope you will take time to attend and show your support for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we might enjoy the freedom and quality of life we have in our country.
And… thanks for reading today to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today, we continue with Part 2 of “Becoming The Geary County Historical Society.”
            We pick our story up in the spring of 1982, when Fred Bramlage purchased the old Departmental School Building on the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City and gave it to the Geary County Historical Society to be used as a museum location.  The Museum on Seventh Street closed at the end of May 1982 in order to move into the new museum.
            The building, which first opened as the City High School in 1903, also served as Department School before being closed in 1979, which meant that there was a lot of work to do before the building could be used as a museum.  A new roof had to be installed, the outside chemically cleaned and then floors, walls and windows all had to be restructured and rebuilt for museum use.  A new furnace had to be installed.  Gaylynn Childs recalled that the old unit had to be taken out piece by piece in order to install a new furnace. This was done during the night in order that other workers could continue to do their jobs.  A handicapped entrance, elevator, men’s and women’s restrooms had to be installed and asbestos removed.
            The museum opened to the public with only one floor available for exhibits in May 1983 and work continued for the next ten years.  Volunteers created the Main Street Gallery; air conditioning and new furnaces were put in place and eventually all three floors of exhibit space were opened to the Geary County community. 
            Among the people who made the early museum a success were: early curators Annetta Hayes and Ingrid Bierbaum, who planned and created new exhibits from the ground up as construction on the museum building continued and Gaylynn Childs tirelessly created exciting programs and raised money to make the museum and historical society the best it could be.” 
            If it has been a while since you have visited the museum on the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets, please do so.  We have beautiful displays and things to do for young people that will help you better understand why we say “Our Past IS Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Last week we had a story about Commencement at the Opera House in 1916.  Today’s story is about the graduation exercise also held at the Opera House, but in 1917.  In information found in the “Junction City Union” newspaper dated May 22, 1917, it appears there was an eighth graduation and twelfth graduation over a series of days.  The article began with: “Weather conditions seem quite unfavorable for Commencement week.  The chief diversion of the senior girls nowadays is designing their graduation gowns.  The many social affairs of the week have occupied most of the students’ time and beginning last Sunday evening with the baccalaureate sermon at the Methodist Church they will enjoy a round of affairs.
            One of the best things of the week will be “Windmills of Holland”, which is a two-act operetta given by the seventh and eighth grade students. This was to be held on Thursday, May 24, 1917.” Admission was 25 cents.
 Apparently the Commencement exercises of the Senior Class was held that same evening.  The article continued “that Friday evening one of the most important events of the series will be the Alumni Banquet, which will be given in the Methodist Church.  The last affair of the school year will be the Senior Class Play at the Opera House on Monday, May 28.” The title of that play was “The Blossoming of Mary Ann”, which was a comedy drama in four acts.  Admission was 50, 35 and 25 cents. 
Class plays performed by graduating classes have been discontinued.  The high school graduates often request that Commencement be held outside at Al Simpler Stadium so more family members may attend, if the weather cooperates. We again want to congratulate the Class of 2018 and wish them the very best future they can imagine. 
And… we thank you today for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Our Past Is Present May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  Today we are beginning another two part series.  This time the topic is about “Becoming The Geary County Historical Society.”  The research for this program was done by Heather Hagedorn, our Curator with some thoughts from others who attended and shared at our most recent “Memories at the Museum” session. 
            Heather wrote that the history of the Geary County Historical Society actually extends all the way back to 1920, when J.B. Henderson attempted to start a society. A few items were gathered including the pioneer photographs that now hang in the current museum main hallway.  However, unfortunately the organization never gained enough support.  In the 1950’s a group of people had a desire to begin a museum, however, again there was a struggle to get things going.
            The next attempt at a historical society occurred in 1972 at the suggestion of Bonnie Loeb after a small group of people tried to save the Degitz Blacksmith Shop.  While the blacksmith shop ultimately was not saved, that small organization did  take root and on October 31, 1972, the Society was formed with 120 charter members.  Officers elected to this first Historical Society included: John B. Jeffries, Reverend Charles Ledin, Bonnie Loeb, Sue Wilcox, Dr. Larry Slaten, Bob Waters and Polly Collins.  The constitution and bylaws were prepared by Bob Weary.
            Early storage was housed above Waters Hardware, among other places and membership meetings were held in various locations until the fall of 1979, when Fred Bramlage made available the old Durland Store Building at 117 West 7th Street.  As the museum collection had been housed all over town, it took months of hauling and organizing before everything was moved into the 7th Street location and on May 3, 1980, the museum celebrated its Grand Opening.
            Tomorrow we will pick up this timeline again as we share how the Geary County Historical Society got started and continued to grow.  Read up tomorrow on “Our Past Is Present from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The information for today’s story was taken from an article written by the late Marilyn Heldstab, former Geary County Historical Society Director and was published in the “Junction City Union” newspaper in 1993. The article was titled “Deluxe Opens JC Ice Cream Factory.”
            Marilyn wrote: “It’s summertime and nothing sounds better on a hot day than ice cream.  Junction City has had its own ice cream factories in the past.  One of those was owned by Tom DeLuxe. 
            Tom first came to Junction City in 1917.  He could not find a building at first and started off with a popcorn stand in front of the Cozy Theatre across the alley from the Bartell Hotel. 
It was a small structure, which was erected for him on the alley just north of the Dumm Furniture Store.  Later, he located in the old frame building just east of the city hall on West Seventh Street. At that time, City Hall was located in the front section of the Opera House building.  Later, he was the first tenant in the Columbian Theatre building on Washington Street near Tenth Street.
            In 1922, Henry Muenzenmaer erected a two-story modern building for him at 133 W. Seventh Street. It was then that Tom DeLuxe went into the ice cream manufacturing business, while at the same time continuing his confectionary business at that same location and in the Columbia building.
            In the July 14, 1926 issue of the “Junction City Union” an article stated “The DeLuxe Confectionary and Ice Cream Company will observe its ninth anniversary in Junction City and would make a startling offering.  The details stated that they would sell 12 varieties of ice cream, sherberts and ices for 30 cents a quart.  They would even deliver it to your home for 35 cents a quart.  Each child visiting would get a free souvenir of either a balloon or a fan.
            Part of his business, at one time, was the operation of four wagons that delivered ice cream to the residential areas of town.  Do any of our listeners remember the ice cream man riding a bicycle with a freezer box on the front loaded with tasty cold treats?  In some neighborhoods there was a truck that came through with the driver ringing a bell or playing music to attract young people to purchase their favorite summer ice cream, popsicle or other favorite.  These are good memories that can be enjoyed anytime we want to think about them.  Your host is reflecting on an ice cold orange flavored popsicle even now.  The “Past IS Present”. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            “What caused cripples to lay aside their crutches, invalids to become strong and stout and lean men to grow fat and sassy?” These were questions asked in 1861 and discovered in an article published in a 1992 book titled Kansas Breweries and Beer by Cindy Higgins.
            The answer given to those questions were “Junction City Lager Beer according to its advertisements made by Robert Wilson and Jonathan Westover.  The two men spent $1,850 on 700 bushels of malt; $100 on 300 bushels of hops and $60 on wood.  Powered by a one-horse power engine and three brewery hands each earning $30 a month, the Junction City Brewery produced 400 barrels of beer a year valued at $4,800.
            Junction City Lager Beer wasn’t the first beer brewed in the city.  C.K. Heboldsheimer from Bavaria, came to Junction City by way of Kalamazoo, Michigan to start a brewery.  He opened his business in 1858 and made beer for only two years before moving to LeCompton and then to Topeka.
            Wilson and Westover’s establishment really had a hold on the Junction City beer market when they teamed up with a brewery from Poland who opened a distillery in conjunction with the brewery.  Good plan – bad results. 
            The federal government did more than frown on the combined liquor plant.  It ordered one or the other terminated.  The distillery went. 
            Junction City may have not been the best place to market beer.  Anheuser-Busch shipped in 13 train carloads of beer a trip to at least one Junction City distributor and temperance activists forced 21 saloons to close in 1875. 
            Yet one more brewer, Helmon Cammert entered the scene and disregarded the temperate climate when he bought the Old Smoky Hill Brewery.  Cammert advertised his purchase announcing: “The old Smoky Hill Brewery is reopened and in operation again under a new management.  Its beer is the best offered to the trade.  TRY IT!”
            Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 17, 2018

May 17, 2019
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            This is Part II of our story which was begun yesterday on the J.C. Bottling Company, Incorporated. This two part series is a brief history of the company from 1901-1979.
            In 1913 the business was known as the Crown Bottling Co.  and the franchise for Coca-Cola was purchased. This caused the company to change its name in the 1920’s to the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
            In 1916, the Deppishes began bottling Coca-Cola.  Due to the extra demand for this drink a power bottling machine was installed.
In 1931 the company added the new soft drink, 7-Up.  Then in 1962, the company was changed to the Junction City Bottling Co. Inc.  New lines of beverages were added many times.   
In 1938 to 1959, the line of Blue Jay soft drink flavors was added to the company.
On October 8, 1941, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. held an open house for its all new bottling plant across the street from the original plant.  It had new equipment and the latest in automatic bottling machinery.  The new equipment took the bottling capacity to 4,320 bottles of Coca-Cola an hour. 
            The business was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Carl Deppish in 1949.  Charles W. Lundeen, Sr., their son-in-law, joined the firm in 1951. Upon the death of Carl in 1976, Charles Lundeen, Jr. became the President of the Company.  Charles Lundeen Jr. joined the firm and the company continued to grow.  In the spring of 1979 an all new line of equipment was purchased to accommodate drinks that were sold in cans. 
            This concludes our two part series on this soft drink bottling company in Junction City  on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 16, 2018

May 16, 2018

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story will be two part program about a soft drink bottling company in Junction City and a brief history of that company from 1901 until 1979. 
            On January 23, 1901, John W. (Will) Deppish, with a partner, H.C. Behrend, purchased the “soda water” plant from John Fox, Henry Thiele and Ed Lancaster and moved to a new location on West Seventh Street in Junction City.  This is approximately where the Knights of Columbus Hall now stands.  Mr. Deppish then purchased the interests of his partner in 1903.  In 1908, he purchased a frame building and moved to 912 North Jefferson Street, which was next door to his residence. 
Long and tiresome hours were put in by both J.W. and his wife, Lena.  Many mornings they would start work before 5 A.M. Sometimes, to get an early start, Mrs. Deppish would get up at 3 A. M. to get breakfast, then help load up the wagon with soda water for trips to Keats, Riley Center, Leonardville, Ogden, Alma, Dwight, Alta Vista, White City and other towns within their trade radius.  Since the horse had to take it easy, J.W.’s day would often end in the early hours of the next day when he would pull in any time between one and two A.M.
The business remained a family affair until about 1913, when “The Exquisite Bottling Works” was purchased from Ira Bermant.  The building at 912 N. Jefferson was remodeled to house newly acquired machines and employees who were not family members were hired for the first time. 
And that is our time together today. Be listening tomorrow for more history of the JC Bottling Company on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 15, 2018

May 15, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            As we near the graduation celebration at Junction City High School, we thought it interesting to look at a Commencement exercise held at the Opera House May 26, 1916.  “It was the largest class in history at that point.  There were thirty-nine students that graduated that year. 
            The invocation was given by Reverend E.A. Martin, whose son, Paul was one of the graduates.  Miss Josephine Kregar played a piano solo titled “Etude De Concert”.  Apparently, there were orations given by honor students to the graduates.  One spoke on the “Warfare and Electricity”, depicting the share that electricity had in communication, transportation and in hospitals.  Another subject was “The Value of a Practical Education”.  The student spoke of the increasing need of an education, which should not just be good, but also be good for something practical.  Another spoke on “School Hygiene”, bringing out the thought that school hygiene should be about the establishing of good physical habits both for the school as a whole and for the individual.  The last speaker’s theme was “Ideal Citizenship” suggesting what that would be. 
            The keynote address was given by Thomas W. Butcher, President of the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia.  He talked about the American home as it was, described it as it is now and pointed out what has been left out of the home that now must be supplied by the school. 
            Superintendent Wagner presented the graduating class to Charles H. Manley, President of the Board of Education.  Reverend H. F. Ahrens gave the benediction and the high school orchestra concluded the evening with the playing of the “Manhattan Beach March” written by John Phillips Sousa.
            That is what it looked like at Commencement in 1916.  Congratulations to the Class of 2018 and best wishes from the Geary County Historical Society.    

Monday, May 14, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story comes from a book we have at the Museum title Project Heritage. This book contains information about the history of early schools in Geary County.  This work documents the existence of numerous rural schools with names like Antelope, Kickapoo, and Hardscrabble.  These are names which vanished from local maps when schools were consolidated in the early 1950’s and throughout the 1950’s until all of them eventually closed. 
            The book, which required two years to complete was the brainchild of the late Irene Jeffries, who was a teacher and then became a counselor at the Junction City Junior High School. 
            In the book there are documented interviews of former teachers and some of their stories they shared.  For example:  Clara Grace Popejoy, who was known as Miss Earle in her school teaching days, shared that “At Kickapoo, I had 12 students and got $35 a month.”  She taught at Kickapoo from 1912 to 1915.  She went on to state that “I boarded about one half mile from the school.  One morning when I walked across a culvert, a coyote ran out from under the culvert and it stopped about 12 feet from me.  I was really scared.  He stood there and looked at me and I watched him. 
            The next year, the Schmedemann family asked Miss Earle to board with them and drive their children to school in their horse and buggy – since the children were also afraid of coyotes.”
            The Project Heritage book contains copies of numerous pictures taken by J.J. Pennell, who was a local photographer from 1880 to 1905.  One of these pictures shows Miss Mable Thompson with her class of 1910-1911 at Morris School, located near the site of Camp Toma Shinga Church Camp off of Highway 77.
            Miss Thompson, the founder of the Junction City Association of Retired Teachers, taught in Junction City area schools for 52 years before she retired in 1963. 
            The late John Jeffries took numerous pictures for the book referred to here and prepared copies of the Pennell photos.  Other members of the book committee were Mildred Walker, Alberta Ellis and Vera Morris.  We have copies of this book in our Museum’s Gift Shop at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City and you will see why we say: “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            On May 12,1969 the banner line in the Junction City Daily Union newspaper sports section was “JCHS Challenges Sumner For 4A Track Title In State Meet Friday”.  The reporter wrote that “Junction City’s Blue Jays, with 14 qualifiers in 10 state meet events is expected to Challenge Sumner of Kansas City for the state 4-a track championship Friday and Saturday in Welch Stadium in Emporia. 
            Junction City won the 4-A regional at Topeka Friday while Sumner captured the Wichita regional.  Sumner and the Jays placed 1-2 in the 4-A Indoor Meet, with only three points separating the teams. 
            Waverly Thompson, Ivory Ward and Allan Hart were 1-2-3 in the 100 yard dash.  Thompson and Ward were 1-2 in the 220 yard dash and Curtis Edwards and Steve Stone were 2-3 in the 440 yard dash at the regional. All qualified for the state meet. 
            David Flowers and Hart won the 880 yard run and long jump respectively in the regional.  Flowers’ 1:55.9 was the year’s best time in the 880 yard run."  
            Track season is here.  If you get a chance to go to a Blue Jays meet, please do.  There are some outstanding athletes who would appreciate your support. 
            And… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.    

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The long history of the military and the citizens of Junction City began when Major Ogden came to Kansas in 1855 with his troops and carpenters to build a fort.  With him came several men responsible for establishing the Episcopal Church in Junction City.
            The first church services of any denomination in Junction City were held by The Reverend Preston, an Episcopal Priest, in a room upstairs from the jail on Jefferson Street between Eight and Ninth Streets.  The Reverend David Clarkson, who organized the Episcopal congregations in 1858, named it “St. John’s”.  Chaplain Clarkson was replaced by Chaplain George Henderson in 1859 and it was this man, aided by young Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart (later Major General Stuart of the Confederate Army), who built the church which stands today at Fourth and Adams. 
            The $1,500 to build the church was raised from officers at Fort Riley and the building began to be built by several laymen and a stone cutter by the name of James M. Harvey, who later became the Governor of Kansas.
            J.E.B. Stuart joined the Confederacy in the early 1860’s and was killed in a Civil War battle in 1864.  During the Civil War, disaster struck the new parish in Junction City.  The roof collapsed.  Reverend Charles Reynolds came to the aid of the struggling parish, which has lost membership in part because of men being gone to war.  A gift of $1,500 was procured from the Church of the Covenant in Philadelphia to erect a second gothic-style roof. The church was renamed “Church of the Covenant”. 
            A few weeks after completion of the new roof – it collapsed again.  A third roof was built again with money from officers of Fort Riley and citizens of Junction City.  The interior was finished and furnished by 1870.  Since then the church has been repaired, remodeled and enlarged and the Rectory and Guild Hall added. 
            Stop by and take a look at the Episcopal Church of the Covenant located at 314 North Adams Street and see why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program is another in the series of historic houses in Junction City. This information comes from an article written by the late Irene Jeffries for the Junction City Daily Union newspaper.  The house at 439 West First is now owned by Mark and Sally Edwards.  It has had a long life and interesting story. Records date back to October of 1860, when it was deeded to Daniel and Angeline B. Mitchell.  In October of 1869, Milton Stewart took the title for $270.  It is thought that Mr. Stewart built the original structure and then sold the property for $1,500 to Nathan and Jane Brown.  From that time until the property was purchased by W.W. Cook in April of 1887, there is a list of six other families who owned the property though none of them held title for more than two years.
            W.W. Cook, a young Civil War veteran, had lost a leg in battle.  He came to Kansas in 1872 to farm near Junction City on the upper Humboldt Creek.  Farming became too difficult for a man with an artificial limb, so he moved to town and purchased the home for $2,000.  W.W. Cook became a contractor who built roads, water and light plants and sewer systems.  About 1900 he rebuilt the home as it now stands.  The Cook family held title to the property until it was sold to Charles and Maude Black in June of 1929. Although the Blacks lived in the house only a short time, it is reported that it fell into a state of disrepair.  In April of 1935, U.S. Weary, a local attorney, bought the home for $7,000.  The late Robert K. Weary, his son, remembered that his parents did extensive remodeling to the home before the family moved into it.  The Weary’s sold the property in 1973 to the William O’Keefe family, who occupied the house until it was purchased by the Edwards family in 1977.  Mark Edwards is an attorney in Junction City.
            We encourage you to take a drive around Junction City and look at some of the beautiful historic houses and you will see why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Our Past Is Present May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            A posting of the program at the Opera House published in a 1917 edition of the Junction City Union newspaper had as it’s banner: “Big Vaudeville Road Show At The Opera House Commencing Monday Matinee, October 8th.  The Biggest Array of Talent Ever Combined For a Vaudeville Program.”  This was a full page ad that also stated there would be 36 people involved in the program and the management wanted to let people know they “paid $1,000 for this program.”  The first half of the program consisted of “Fisher and Howard”, who were novelty entertainers; Bertha Daubigny, a California Nightingale; “Thompson and Thompson”, who would provide whirlwind and society dancing; “Stevens and Stevens” a comedy, singing and talking act and the Bijou Minstrels would perform.  The picture show was a two-real feature titled “The Love Philtre of Iky Schoenstein”, which was a story by O. Henry. 
            The second half of the program included the “Waldo Trio”, which was a comedy aerial novelty act; the Labanch Duo, which was an instrumental and vocal group; “Clark and Alder” who were singers and dancers and “Culligan’s and Hochwald’s Famous Hawaiians” in a Concert of American and Hawaiian Instrumental and Vocal Numbers. 
            Doors opened at 7:00 PM.  There was an Orchestra Concert at 7:15 and the performances began at 7:30 PM.  The tag line at the bottom of the ad was that the “Program was absolutely guaranteed. Let us have your patronage and we will show you we are trying to please.  Get The Habit – The Opera House, The People’s Theatre – Follow The Crowd.”
            And… that’s today’s story about the C.L. Hoover Opera House on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.