Thursday, November 23, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 23, 2017

November 23, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story comes from an article published in the “Junction City Daily Union” newspaper written by Gaylynn Childs, our retired Executive Director at the Society. She wrote that “Ever since the first Plymouth colony gathering in 1621, Americans have associated Thanksgiving with feasting.  Even before President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863, it had been the custom in most regions of the country to gather around boards laden with the bounties of the earth and the fruits of the farmer’s toil to give thanks. 
In 1883 there was excitement about a newly completed Opera House in the community, where citizens could gather to celebrate.  The holiday news that year was that the grand Thanksgiving Night Ball would be held in the Opera House.  A local dance master by the name of Tappan had been preparing the citizenry in a number of nearby communities as well as our own, to dance off the effects of the Thanksgiving feast.
            However, the Ball was upstaged by a Thanksgiving Day fire, which got out of control in the Highland Cemetery.  It scourged the entire burying ground, ruining the trees and evergreens.”
            We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day feast of amazing food, conversation, football games or whatever you chose to do on this special day.  Please remember to pause at some point to remember those who are less fortunate than so many of us and if you can support the Food Pantry, “Wheels of Hope” and other organizations that do so much to provide food to the needy. 
            And… Happy Thanksgiving from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
With large numbers of American troops deployed again this Thanksgiving, today’s story is about the kind of meal served to our troops during WWII.  The “Junction City Union” reported that for Thanksgiving dinner in 1949 every man and woman in Uncle Sam’s armed services would sit down to a good old fashioned turkey dinner whether they were in Japan, Alaska, Okinawa or Kansas.  Each person would have a pound and a half of turkey with all the trimmings including cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
The Army Quartermaster Corps, which had charge of procuring the food for all services had purchased about five million pounds of turkey since June and expected to buy more.  They had started buying turkeys for the Orient in early spring and turkeys for eastern posts and Europe were purchased later.  Service men and women were permitted to invite immediate family and/or a friend.
At the Fort Riley Mess Hall, it was reported that they would have about 14 cooks to help prepare the entire dinner, with two men devoting their entire time to turkey carving beginning just after breakfast Thanksgiving Day.  All the cooks were graduates of the Army Cooking and Baking School at Fort Meade, Maryland.
            The dinners were all prepared by a master menu, which was made in advance by home economics experts and sent out to the troops.  These menus were carried out by Mess Officers, cooks and local Commanding Officers. 

            We wish all of you and especially our troops stationed in the States and abroad a Happy Thanksgiving from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 21, 2017

November 21, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about some of the activities going on around town to get ready for Thanksgiving celebrations.  On Wednesday, November 23, 1932, the “Junction City Union” reported that the “City Is Ready For Thanksgiving.”  “Six churches were taking part in a united service at the First Methodist Church that evening.  On Thanksgiving, St. Xavier Catholic Church would have a high mass.  Immanuel Luther Church, Church of God and First Church of Christ Scientists also conducted services either on Wednesday or Thursday.  On Thanksgiving Day, the weather was perfect. The air was crisp and cool and roads were in almost perfect condition for those who desired to take a motor trip to football games, go hunting or visit relatives.  All stores, the post office and public offices were closed and the streets were practically deserted.  The principal attraction of the afternoon was the annual football game between Junction City and Chapman High Schools.  In the evening there was the annual Elks Charity Ball, which was held in the Jones Ballroom above the Kaw Theater. The Good Eats CafĂ© was serving oyster and fruit cocktails, cream soup, baked young turkey and stuffed duck.  Candied yams, baked brown potatoes and mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and hot mince pie were also on the menu.  All this could be had for the sum of seventy-five cents.”  At that time, however, most people dined at home.
The day after Thanksgiving, the newspaper reported that the Junction City football team was victorious over Chapman by a score of 14-13.  One thousand two hundred fans attended the game.  The Thanksgiving Day football game was played each year until 1935, when the two schools joined different leagues. 

We hope you have made your plans for celebrating your thankfulness this year.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            One of the most popular delicacies enjoyed by Kansans in the 1890s was oysters.  In Junction City during this era, oyster suppers were frequent offerings at every kind of social gathering from debutante balls to church bazaars.  How these so called “fruits of the sea” reached land locked Kansas in a state fit for consumption was somewhat of a mystery.  However, the “Junction City Union” newspaper had an article about just that in November of 1909.  The author stated that “the people of Kansas were expected to consume 180,000 gallons of oysters that winter.  The estimate had been made by companies who had made shipments here in previous years.”  The article further stated “If the estimate is correct, an order issued two years ago by the State Board of Health that prohibited the adding of water to oysters and shipment into the state in ice means a saving of $54,000 to the people of Kansas in one year. 
In previous years the common way of shipping oysters was to pack a big bucket two-thirds full of oysters and then fill the tub with ice.  The ice melted and then the oysters and the water were sold at from 40 to 60 cents a quart.  The Board of Health and Dr. Crumbine stated that this was a pretty high price for the people of Kansas to pay for water. So an order was issued prohibiting oysters to be shipped with ice in the same tub. The ice must be packed around the tubs containing the oysters and the oysters themselves were not to be touched by ice.
Oysters on the half shell, in dressing or as a stew are popular at this time of year.  If you love oysters – enjoy!!!

That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 17, 2017

November 17, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
 If we get some rain, this story will have more meaning.  The story comes from a November 1910 newspaper and is about using an umbrella in other ways than protecting us when we are outside in the rain.  The author of the newspaper article wrote that “Umbrellas require a great deal of attention to keep them in good repair but at the same time they are well worth it.”  The author asked: “How often have your bonnets and hats been saved from ruin when caught in a sudden downpour with no shelter at all?  Upon arriving home after being caught in the rain, it was suggested that the umbrella should not be stuck in the stand and left to drain.  The moisture would gradually accumulate in the silk causing it to rot and go into shards in a short time.  It should be placed open, in a dry, airy room until it is thoroughly dry.
The article went on to instruct that when put away the umbrella should be left unrolled to avoid having the creases wear through.  One’s best silk umbrella should never be put in a stand, where the commonplace ones are kept.  Anyone coming in in a hurry, which places a walking stick or other umbrella in the same place, could unintentionally poke a hole in your umbrella. Old, worn out elastic or dilapidated and discolored tassels should promptly be discarded and new ones replaced.” 
            Well, if we get some rain and if you are a user of an umbrella, perhaps these tips from 1910, will be of use to you at least that is our hope. 
            Thanks for reading today, to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 16, 2017

November 16, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. Promoting the good things about our city is not a new concept. When people put down our city, each of us needs to have some specifics about our town and community that counter any negativity which is said.
            In November of 1877, the “Junction City Tribune” newspaper advised that it had added 60% to its circulation during the 16 months prior to November and that subscriptions were still growing.  Scarcely a day went by that new customers were not welcomed among the paying subscribers.  Some days it seemed that they came by the dozen and every trip by the home canvasser in our town as well as adjoining counties were fruitful.  The paper prided itself on the fact that its columns were the best medium for advertising in this part of the state.  The “Tribune” also boasted that there were readers in every state of the Union, thus making it a valuable tool for advertisements and a means of letting the other states know the value of Junction City.  This advertising brought to the west, tens of thousands of settlers every season.  They naturally chose localities where there was the greatest evidence of thrift and general prosperity.  They counted the stores, the mills, the factories and the shops and decided to stay – proving the power of advertising and positive promotion of Junction City.  

            We may not have all the stores and restaurants people want today, but we have a great quality of life with our schools, parks, law enforcement, fire fighters/EMT’s  and most of all a diverse community of amazingly talented people.  We are the best source of advertising about the good in Junction City/Geary County. Share your optimist with others about our community.  And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 15, 2017

November 15, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            On Monday we had a similar story to this one, which is about the need to control the population of animals that were a threat to the survival of farmers and ranchers.  In the 1930s, when very little else was thriving in western Kansas, the population of black tailed jackrabbits exploded.  The rabbits were pests, which needed to be eliminated.  Farmers and ranchers had lost their crops and thus their income. 
            A local resident recalled that the rabbits ate all of the vegetation above the ground, then dug down and ate the roots.  Grass was sparse after years of severe drought.  Cattlemen estimated that 60 rabbits ate as much as a cow.  Ranchers and farmers asked neighbors to help round up and exterminate the fast breeding rabbits.
            Organizations such as the American Legion and Farm Bureau chapters began sponsoring rabbit drives.  These drives became spectacular public events.  Thousands of people participated and tens of thousands of rabbits were killed. The residents gathered on horses, in cars and on foot to drive the rabbits through the fields into the holding pens.  The rabbits were then handed out for dinner during the depression days or sold for their skins.
            Even though I am not a hunter, I appreciate the need to control the population of animals that can quickly overpopulate and do damage to fields, crops and even our domesticated animals.  So, thank you to those who participate in legal hunting and use the meat for personal use. 

            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 14, 2017

November 14, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about two polo games played at Fort Riley one Sunday in November of 1908.  The games attracted one of the largest crowds to the games that year.  Many of the farmers from eastern Geary County drove over to see the match, because the Humbolt boys were one of the teams involved.
            The first four periods were played between the Mounted Garrison and the Junction team.  Although this contest was not played at a fast pace, the teamwork of both sides WAS apparent. 
            The second game was played by the Humbolt team and a team made up of selected players from the Post.  The Humbolt team was made up of farmers, who had not played at all that year, however, they stayed competitive.  At the end of three periods, the Humbolt boys had four scores and the Post team none.  The play was fast and brought cheers from the on-looking crowd. The Post team came back and at the end of the eighth period and the score was tied.  It was decided to play off the tie.  During the tie breaker, the Humbolt team scored a goal and won the game, bringing a pleasant, but exciting afternoon to a close where the “Life of Riley” was at its best.
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            It was called the “biggest wolf hunt (or coyote/rabbit hunt) to ever take place in southern Geary County.”  The event happened in late 1920. The area of the hunt was a wide section of territory that extended south to Lyonsdale and Skiddy.  Seven hundred men and boys took part in the hunt with about an equal number of farmers and townsmen. 
            Aubrey Edwards had planned the event and was the captain of the north line.  The round up was in the Boyce meadow near the Hardscrabble School. Five coyote and several hundred rabbits were shot that day by the hunters.  It was reported that one or two coyote broke through the lines and escaped.  A.N. Miller, one of the townsmen said that “it was one of the best managed and best attended wolf drives he had known in his 32 years of residence in Junction City.” There were two dead coyote, which could not be identified as having been killed by one of the shooters. The dead coyote were auctioned off.  Thirty-seven dollars was raised and donated to the Salvation Army.    
            This was a huge hunt to better control the population of coyote and rabbits in the area, which is sometimes necessary to assist mother-nature to keep things in a balance. 
And… that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about Elmer Hoyle and his grocery business.  In 1947 he celebrated his 25th year in the grocery business.  Mr. Hoyle came to Kansas with his parents, who settled on a farm near Dwight in 1886.  From the time when he was first married, he farmed  - in a small way, but in 1922 he moved to Junction City where he bought the Leavell grocery store at 10th and Washington Streets.  Mr. Hoyle recalled on the occasion of his 25 anniversary that in those days grocery stores were poorly lighted, had little or no refrigeration and the poorly arranged stock was often piled outside the store because of a lack of space.  The proprietor stocked the sales floor, waited on all customers and worked from 7 AM until 9 PM every day and on Saturdays until midnight.  Eventually Mr. Hoyle had up to four clerks to help him serve the customers.  During those 25 years, all three of Mr. Hoyle’s sons worked in the store, which by 1947 had become a modern self-service grocery doing a large volume of business. Mr. Hoyle attributed his success in his chosen field to the close cooperation and support of … his family.
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 9, 2017

November 9, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            With the recent School Board elections now complete, our story today is about one man’s opinion about learning.
            In an effort to encourage people to subscribe to the newspaper, the Junction City Union printed the following tale in 1896.  It was written that “a man who didn’t take the newspaper was in town the other day.  He brought his family in an ox wagon.  He still believed Millard Fillmore was the President when in fact it was William McKinley.  He had just sold his pork for 6 cents a pound, when he might have gotten 8 cents.  One of his sons went to a blacksmith to be measured for a pair of shoes and another mistook the post office for … a church.  The son hung his hat on a box hinge and waited patiently for an hour for the service to begin.  One of the girls in the family took a lot of seed onions to the printing office to trade off for a letter and she had a baby which she carried in a “sugar trough” stopping occasionally to rock it on the sidewalk.  When it cried, she filled its mouth with a cotton handkerchief and sang “Barbara Allen.”  The old man had a tea kettle he wanted fixed and he carried it to the millinery shop.  The clerk thought he was CRAZY!!!  Having seen the hole in the kettle, the clerk politely directed him to the proper place to have it mended.  The gentleman then took an old plow to the jeweler’s to have it sharpened.  We told the fellow he ought to read the newspapers, (in order to become more knowledgeable about where services can be found), but he would not listen.  He was opposed to “eternal improvements” and thought “larnin’ was a wicked invention.”  Let’s hope they aren’t any people who think this way today. 

            Many of you have shared how much you learn about Geary County history on this program and we are confident you are lifelong learners.  Thank you for that and for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 8, 2017

November 8, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is a continuation about the economic impact of visitors who came to watch maneuvers at Fort Riley.  Many farmers in Geary County leased their land to the government in 1903 for use during the big military maneuvers.  Landowners were said to be pleased with the way the Army made settlements with them for damages resulting from the troops going over their land.  One farmer said he had just finished planting wheat over 20 acres and when the Army crossed the field in several places they destroyed practically all the planting. 
            When the officers came around to settle for the damage, he was allowed 25 bushels of wheat to the acre and was paid a rate of 60 cents a bushel.  He could not have wished for a better settlement.  The gentleman did not have to cut or thresh the wheat and didn’t even have to worry about the failure of the crop.  Another farmer from the northern part of the county reported that he had sold $105.00 worth of apples and honey at the camp and was getting 15 cents a pound for his chickens.  He said that no one could tell him that the maneuvers were not a good thing for the farmers in our area.  Indeed, the Army WAS a good friend to farmers in 1903.
            Since the Army owns most if not all the land they use for training, it is doubtful that farmers reap these benefits in this way today. 
            Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 7, 2017

November 7, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            There were 6-8,000 visitors who were entertained during the Fort Riley Army and National Guard maneuvers in 1903.  This was almost twice as many as had come the previous year.  Most of the people who were attracted to the maneuvers planned to stay a day or two at Fort Riley.  However, they were disappointed because there were no accommodations for them.  Several weeks before the maneuvers, a Mr. Tyler, who was the President of the electric railway, sent out over a hundred advertisements to as many newspapers in the state as he could.  His ploy was to be sure that those who were coming for the maneuvers knew that Junction City was the closest town near to the Fort and was the only place in the vicinity of the big camp that had accommodations.  Besides advertising in the newspapers, Mr. Tyler had thousands of posters printed and sent them to all the towns in Central Kansas.  He spent his own money for the printing of the posters and newspaper ads, which benefitted his electric street car company in the end.  Those who visited or stayed in town rode his cars back and forth to the Post and all the Junction City business also profited from his investment. 

            Tomorrow’s story will be about how the farmers in the area profited from the maneuvers at Fort Riley.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about how a few peach stones eventually developed 1,200 trees.
Mr. A. Packard, settled on his land in 1857.  The land was on the Smoky Hill River in Dickinson County about 17 miles west of Junction City.  One year after settling there he planted a half bushel of peach stones, which he had brought from Ohio.   Within ten years, he was enjoying what was said to be the prettiest sight west of Topeka.  There were twelve hundred trees in his orchard.  Each branch almost broke from the weight of the rich, luscious fruit.  From the time the trees were three years old, they blossomed regularly, but never bore fruit that amounted to much before 1867 or 10 years after he planted them.  Mr. Packard sold $600.00 worth of peaches that year.  However, the newness and the novelty of the crop attracted many visitors and many of the crops were just given to them.  The new 1868 season was expected to yield over 1200 bushels, although the fickle Kansas weather would undoubtedly have the final say just as it does today.
            We hope you have made your plans to vote tomorrow.  Polls open at 7:00 AM and will close at 7:00 PM.  The election of new City Commissioners, School Board members and the issue about the “New JCHS” will be on the ballot.  Please vote!!!