Friday, June 22, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about some of the businesses that sold ice cream and cold beverages in early Junction City.  Businesses ranged from saloons and restaurants to soda fountains and drug stores.
            An item in the October 14, 1865 issue of the Junction City Union newspaper notes that Billy Lockstone’s saloon “has been the general place for resort for those wanting ice cream, lemonade and other such treats during the summer.  He has kept it well and made the place so attractive that people like to go there.”
            By the early 20th century, the newspapers were filled with ads for ice cream and ice cream socials.  One well-known establishment was the Miller and Shoemaker Soda Fountain, which is featured in a Pennell photo that hangs in our Museum.  It was the forerunner of the Miller Drug Store, in 1900.  The soda fountain featured a large menu of flavors, which included banana, ginger, wild cherry, sarsaparilla, pineapple, strawberry, lemon, vanilla, root beer and even Coca-Cola.  By 1905, the Miller Drug Store was selling ice cream.  One of the ads for the store stated that “Ice cream with cow’s cream in it (is) at the Miller Drug Co.”  “Try our cream and you will always want it.” “Ask your girl who has best ice cream and she will tell you – The Miller Drug Co.” 
            When it comes to being refreshed with some tasty, cold ice cream on a hot summer day, your host often has to be reminded – “Everything in moderation” – even when it comes to ice cream.    
            Thanks for reading today to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is the second in a two part series about Ninth Street in Junction City.
            Yesterday, we ended our story about Ninth Street with information about the “Parallel Development” on that street and Washington Street.  Some of the businesses were illegal in both places, but they operated on the “fine system” and were tolerated by the city government.  There was prostitution, often with women coming from Kansas City on payday.  There were white-owned businesses on Ninth Street, just as there was a black-owned shoe repair shop and dry cleaner in the white business district.
            It was the jazz clubs that were the proudest feature of the street.  They were on the Kansas City jazz circuit and featured most of the famous jazz musicians, which included Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald.  Isaac Bridgeforth recalled that the jazz musicians liked to play in Junction City because of the cosmopolitan nature of the business district which led black people to call Junction City “the small town with big city ways.”
            In 1940, the 10th Cavalry joined the 9th at Fort Riley and the business on Ninth Street doubled.  After the cavalry was disbanded in 1946, Kansas ended Prohibition in 1948 and the army was racially integrated in 1948.  Black infantrymen replaced black cavalrymen in the clubs on East Ninth.  That didn’t end the need for a black district, because it took a long time for custom to catch up with the law. Public accommodations were still segregated for many years. 
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is the first in a two part series about Ninth Street in Junction City. The information was taken from an article written for The Daily Union newspaper by our Executive Director, Katie Goerl, who got her information from a book written by Susan Lloyd Franzen, author of Behind the Façade of Fort Riley’s Hometown: The Inside Story of Junction City, Kansas.
            “In the 1860s, (Ninth Street in Junction City) was a German immigrant district.  By 1900, it was a street of brothels.  Its third and most famous incarnation was as an entertainment district for black soldiers, as Junction City was awaiting the return of the 9th Cavalry Regiment from the Philippines in 1922.
            At that time both the town and army were racially segregated, and the form this discrimination took in Junction City determined the development of East Ninth Street. Mayor W.H. Thompson and the City Council were eager to provide facilities that would make the black soldiers feel welcome, but that would maintain separation and discourage incidents of violence.
            The system devised to accomplish this was what Kansas historian Randall Woods called “paralleled development”. In a sense, the businesses on East Ninth paralleled those on Washington Street at the turn of the 20th century.  Examples were the Bridgeforth Hotel, which was a respectable rooming house.  Across the street from the Bridgeforth Hotel were jazz clubs, which were illegal, just as the saloons on Washington Street had been.” 
            Well that’s all of the time we have today.  Tomorrow we will continue our story with more on the early days of Ninth Street in Junction City on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 19, 2018

June 19, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            It has been a challenge to follow the early timeline of the Opera House, if you have been listening over these past five months. Hopefully, today’s report will help clear up the early development of that building.
            We reported to you last week that the Dramatic Club was working on a play for the opening of the Opera House on January 5, 1882.  The play was titled “Miralda” and they made a suggestion that the building be called the City Hall.  The reasoning given in the newspaper was that “there were so many snide towns all around with opera houses that the boys thought the name was overdone.” The building opened as scheduled on January 5, 1882 with the Drama Club putting on the play over two nights raising $170.00 to help pay for furnishings.
In further research, we have found that the citizens of Junction City felt the need to open the opera house with a professional company and the goal was fulfilled with a later performance by the Clayton Star Concert Company. 
We also found that the “Christening of the Opera House came in January of 1890, when what had been known as the City Hall, was formally named  the “Blakely Opera House” after Major William Blakely.  That same summer the Opera House was remodeled and contracts were let and approved for raising the seats to an angle to improve vision; build a flue; change a window to a door for more unified heating; and electricity was hooked into the building with electric lights installed. The celebration of the Blackely Opera House was held on September 4, 1890 with a band concert. 
            The Blakely House burned on the evening of January 14, 1898 and the cause was never known. The new Junction City Opera House was formally opened on October 13, 1898 with the play “A Milk White Flag.”  The Opera House flourished until April of 1915, when The Junction City Union newspaper reported the advent of the motion picture and gave the public notice that Hollywood productions would be shown there.  The young motion picture industry plus the scarcity of road companies forced T.W. Dorn to relinquish the Opera House to John W. Wendel in 1915, who promptly announced he would run movies when no large road shows were available.    
In September of 1919, the announcement was made that the Opera House would be renovated, renamed and regenerated under the new name “City Theatre”. 
Perhaps this will help clear up the early timeline of what we now refer to as the C.L. Hoover Opera House at the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets in Junction City.
            Thanks for reading today to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about A.P. Trott, who was a pioneer photographer in Junction City. The information comes from an article published in The Daily Union newspaper and written by Jennifer Dixon, Director of Programs and Education at the Geary County Historical Society.
            “A.P. Trott was one of the first professional photographers in Junction City.  He was born in 1938 and was originally from Boston, Massachusetts.  A. P. Trott was described in his obituary in 1918 as a man of honor, a good citizen, a faithful husband, a splendid father and one who left a heritage of memories to loved ones.     
            Trott took pictures of Plains Indians, including the Kaw, Pawnee and Snake peoples.  He also photographed Wild Bill Hickok, when Wild Bill was the Marshal of Abilene.  Hickock traveled to Junction City and had his picture taken at Trott’s studio.  On the day that Hickock’s term as Marshal ended, Wild Bill stopped at the bank to give a copy of his photo to the bank president.  Early Abilene resident J. B. Edwards, who was once arrested by Wild Bill for discharging a firearm, also happened to be in the bank that day, so Hickok gave him a copy too.
            Decades later, Edwards had it copied by an Abilene photographer named Forney, who sold it as a carte de visite, which was a popular format about the size of a visiting card that nineteenth-century Americans bought and traded among themselves.
            You can see this rare photo by going on-line and typing in A.P. Trott’s picture of Wild Bill Hickok.  We also have a picture in our Museum that A.P. took of a member of the Kaw Tribe.  Stop by and see this picture and the varied galleries in our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets Tuesdays through Sundays between 1 and 4."
            You will see why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Friday, June 15, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 15, 2018

June 15, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program includes two stories about "Ways Early Cowboys Dealt With Their Cook," who was sometimes referred to as “cookie”. Henry Young was a cowboy, who was born in 1865 and left home to be a cowboy at the age of 25.  He stated in an interview: “We had our own cooky.  “Dog Face” is the only name I recall we had for him.  He was a good cook and made dandy sour-dough bread and was a good bean cook too.  Lots of times he fixed us bean-hole beans.  That is, beans cooked in a hole.  “Dog Face” would dig a hole in the ground, line the hole with stone, then build a fire in the hole and keep it burning for several hours.  Those stones would get piping hot, then the hole was ready for the beans.  He put the beans into an iron kettle with a tight cover, set it in the hole and covered it with sand.  There they would be left for several hours.  He seasoned the whistle-berries with bacon and molasses.  I am telling you, those beans were fitting to eat.  Beef, beans, a few canned vegetables and dried fruit was the chief chuck on which we lived.  Half of the time we ate the chuck sitting on our haunches behind the chuck wagon.”
            Next we want to share some Chuck Wagon Etiquette with you this morning.  Here is a list of things to do and not to do around Cookie:
            No one eats until Cookie calls.           When Cookie calls, everyone comes a runnin’.
            Hungry cowboys wait for no man.  They fill their plates, fill their bellies and then move on so stragglers can fill their plates.   Cowboys eat first and talk later.  It’s okay to eat with your fingers – cause the food is clean.   Here’s one more:  No running or saddling a horse near the wagon.  When you ride off – always ride downwind from the wagon.
            We are sure the cowboys in Geary County know all of these rules.  They make sense – even to us city folk.
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 14, 2018

June 14, 2018
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            When you read the story this morning, we are sure you will agree that Junction City businesses have increased in number and diversity.  Sometimes we complain about not having enough restaurants, manufacturing and other resources in town, but take a listen to what was here over one hundred years ago.  Perhaps we need to be more thankful for what we have, but still encourage more growth.
            There was a headline in the Daily Union newspaper in 1905 that caused attention to the increased building of residences and businesses in Junction City.  The story explained that the section of the city where most of the increase in building took place was on Washington Street - a block to the north and a block to the south of Seventh Street.
            W.H. Thompson had built one of the finest and most substantial buildings in the city. 
Ziegler and Dalton were beginning work on a stone building that would be
one of the most attractive buildings of its kind in Central Kansas when it was completed. 
Other buildings in the area were being improved with additions and remodeling both inside and
out.  All of the improvements to the business section of Junction City were to be completed in
the fall.  Cement walks with curbs and gutters would be installed on both sides of Washington
Street in place of the limestone sidewalks, which had become uneven. Streets and alley
crossings were also being laid in concrete. 
            Even over a hundred years ago, there was still that desire to keep growing.  Thanks to our City Commission, City Manager, the Chamber of Commerce and all who work so hard to keep our city well maintained and growing.  And… that’s our time together on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 13, 2018

June 13, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story comes from a listening and sharing of oral history at our “Memories at the Museum” held May 21 with Red and Gloria Dunham.  The Dunham’s are former members of the Geary County Sheriff’s Posse and told those of us present about the Posse and some of their experiences.
            The Geary County Sheriff’s Posse was started in about 1972 by the late Jim Gross who was the sheriff at the time.  The Posse was a volunteer group of people who met monthly for training.  They were trained to do searches for lost people, evidence that would possibly be used in court and locating missing persons.  Posse members did some of their work on foot, but they also had to provide their own horses when horses were needed. An example was when they helped with parking of cars at “Sundown Salute” on the 4th of July, when it was held at Milford Lake.  
            Red and Gloria remembered some of the former Posse members as being:  Ben Bennett, Buz Bruzina, Alex McKay, Cathy Augustine, Arnie Bowen, Mark and Pierce Powers, Danny McGuire, Darrell Blocker, Cheryl Bennett, Denise and Gary Witt and our current Sheriff, Tony Wolf.
            The Posse had no power to arrest.  That was left to the Sheriff and/or his Deputies.
            Gloria remembered finding the glove and tire tracks that contributed to the conviction of a murder in Geary County.  Both Red and Gloria enjoyed the people with whom they worked, the social gatherings, the parades and just being able to help out by giving back to the community. 
            The Posse no longer exists, but many of us have memories of the Posse being in parades at seeing them assist drivers with parking their cars at “Sundown Salute” and even more importantly helping drivers safely leave the area after the fireworks display. 
            Thanks so much to all who served in the Geary County Sheriff’s Posse and thanks to Red and Gloria Dunham for sharing about that organization so we could share some of their memories with you on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.    

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            If it’s Tuesday, that means we have some more history of the Opera House to share with you.  The source of the information for today’s program was the work done by Marvin Jonason.  He wrote that the “Christening of the Opera House was on January 1, 1890.  The Opera House, which had been known as the City Hall building for many years was finally given a more formal name, the Blakely Opera House after William Blakely, who died in 1885.  The following review of the occasion was reported by the Junction City Union newspaper on January 4, 1890.”
            “The christening of the Opera House took place Wednesday, January 1.  There was a large audience assembled to see the “Nobel Outcast”.  The house was decorated very nicely in honor of the occasion.  P. Van Trovinger appeared after the curtain was drawn and after a few appropriate remarks gave a brief sketch of the gentleman after whom the house was to be named. Suspended above the stage was a board bearing the words, “Blakely Opera House,” and at the close of Mr. Grovinger’s remarks the name was unveiled.  There was great applause when the name was made known.  Major William Sayer Blakely died June 11, 1885.  He represented the county in the legislature, held several county offices, was Mayor of the city when the opera house was built, was postmaster eight years and held several less prominent positions.  His public spirit and his great liberality made him a very popular gentleman.”
            It is interesting to find in this document by Mr. Jonason, that the Opera House was first opened in January of 1890, yet during the summer of that same year, it was remodeled.  Well, that project will be shared next Tuesday on "Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 11, 2018

June 11, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled: "Not One, But Two Rough Landings."  The story comes from an article in a 1919 publication in the Junction City Daily Union newspaper.
            The article stated that: “The Albert O. Spencer referred to in a “Kansas City Star” newspaper article and Lieutenant Jack Spencer is one in the same.  For those of you who have lived in Junction City for a long time, this was Jack Spencer, Sr.
There were two thrilling experiences recorded involving Lieutenant Spencer.  One of those was when the plane he was flying in with eight others and there was a break in the plane’s gas line at almost 10,000 feet in the air. The men were forced to spiral down through several layers of clouds and rain, to a level of about 1,000 feet before the ground became visible.  Lieutenant Spencer found himself over a town and was obliged to make a landing in a vacant lot.  This drew a crowd of curious people.  To avoid hitting them he made a sharp turn and collided with a telephone pole, damaging the wing of the plane.  With the aid of two broomsticks and some muslin, temporary repairs were made and with the gas line having been repaired, resumption of the trip was possible.”
            Lieutenant Spencer and the others in the plane again encountered difficulty when seeking his next landing place.  He had picked out a black spot, which appeared to be cleared land.  Spencer leveled out for a three point landing.  A few feet off the surface of his black spot he suddenly discovered the surface was water.  He was landing in the middle of a pond.  He “zoomed” just in time to keep his plane’s tail out of the wet and climbed about 300 feet and began searching for landing strip.  However, once again he met with no success.  He cited what appeared to be a vacant lot, settled the plane down to the street level and flattened out, when to his surprise instead of feeling ground beneath him, he kept on settling and finally found himself and the others in an excavation 20 feet below the surface of the lot.”  
            Jack’s nephew recently donated this article and some items to the Museum, which included a camera, a flight log book, a flight wing pin and a compass that belonged to Lieutenant Jack Spencer. 
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 7, 2018

June 7, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
             Set In Stone, a book available at our Museum, contains information about Geary County History and makes a great gift.  It has stories collected by Linda Barten, Gaylynn Childs, Leona Garrison, Jan Gray, Shelly Gunderson, Kathy Harris, Mary Kay Munson and Eric Stahl.  Today’s story comes from that book and is titled “Fletcher Sergeant – The Only Man Modiste in Kansas.  A modiste is a fashionable dressmaker. The article was written by Gaylynn Childs.
            “During the few years that Fletcher Sargeant practiced his trade in Junction City, he was known as “the only man modiste in Kansas.  Since he was a little boy, he designed apparel for his sisters. In the mid-1920’s, Fletcher went into the dressmaking business for himself and opened the studio above his father’s drug store at 706 ½ North Washington Street.
            Amy Hayes Rodiger, who worked as a seamstress in Fletcher Sargent’s shop for several years beginning in 1929, remembered that Sargeant had an obsession with the idea of going to Hollywood and opening a studio there. As a result he saved every penny he could.  This sometimes made it difficult for the seamstresses to collect their pay.  They made mostly formal and party gowns for the officers’ wives at Fort Riley and for prominent ladies in town.  Most of the clothes were original designs.”  Amy also stated that “Each gown that was turned out was a unique and quality piece.”
            On August 10th 1929, Robina Manley caused quite a stir in conservative Junction City when she married Phillip Hedges at the Country Club.  The cause of commotion was because of her wedding dress.  Robina’s strikingly simple ivory satin gown was designed by Fletcher and worn with the only undergarment being a dainty, pink silk “teddy” also designed and made by him.  It was also NOT the traditional white color, which also was a cause for much conversation. There is a picture of Robina’s questionable gown on page 149 of the Set In Stone book.
            In 1931 or early 1932, Fletcher Sargent left Junction City for California in search of his dream of becoming a designer for the movies.  We are not sure that his dream was ever realized, however.
            No matter how well Fletcher fared in California, he will be remembered by some  as “our hometown Christian Dior."
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 6, 2018

June 6, 2018 
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We want to give you a “heads-up” about our “Memories at the Museum” oral history program scheduled for June 24 from 3 until 4:00 PM. The topic this month will be “Businesses of Geary County Past."  Join us at the Museum on Sunday, June 24, and share your stories and memories about businesses you remember shopping in Junction City as a younger person or as an adult. 
            And… now for today’s story.
            Many of Geary County’s early settlers fought during the Civil War, in both the Union and Confederate armies.  After the war, the settlers had to learn to set aside their differences and work together in their growing community.
            One of these Confederate settlers was Caleb Estes.  He enlisted with the Confederate States Army in June of 1861 and served with Co. F, 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.  This regiment is known for having the most casualties on either side throughout the entire war. During the war, Caleb fought at Gettysburg and was captured twice. 
            After his return from the war, Caleb and his wife, Mary, decided to move west.  They settled on the Geary-Riley County line and raised a daughter by the name of Ariel.
            Nearly 30 years after Caleb fought at the battle of Gettysburg, his daughter, Ariel, married Ed Hudson, the son of a Union soldier who fought on the other side at Gettysburg.  Ed and Ariel raised a family and Ed served as a blacksmith with the 7th Cavalry during the Indian Wars.  It really is interesting how life experiences turn us from being enemies to … well …even marriage.
            We have some interesting displays about the 7th Cavalry in our Main Street Gallery. Stop by and take a look and see why we say – “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 5, 2018

June 5, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. This is another in our Tuesday series about the history of the C.L. Hoover Opera House. Today’s story contains more information from a thesis titled “A History of the Junction City Opera House In Junction City, Kansas: 1880-1919."  The work was written as a thesis and submitted in 1970 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science degree in the Speech Department at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. The author was Marvin Jonason.
            Last Tuesday, we ended that story in which Mr. Jonason stated that the opera house lacked any kind of ventilation until fans were installed in 1898, so the season was limited from late August to the middle of May with the exception of some shows and events on special holidays. He also stated in his work that: “Other summer events took place in Junction City, such as traveling circuses, tent shows called Chautauqua, which ran every day for a week and the annual fair that lasted for several days.  These events, plus the fact that Junction City was a rural community and the farmers were kept especially busy during the summer months, made running the opera house unprofitable. 
            Several movie theaters opened in Junction City during the early 1900’s.  The theaters that were most competitive were the Cozy, the Lyric and the Aurora.  These theaters ran nightly features and had air domes for ventilation in the summer months.  Finally, when the opera house was converted to the City Theater in September of 1919, it also ran films in the evenings.”
            Mr. Jonason’s work was written in 1970 when the current Opera House was the Colonial Theater.  He went on to state that: “Since its opening in 1882, the Junction City Opera House has served the people of Junction City well.  The building still stands and serves as an entertainment center for the public by showing the current releases from the major Hollywood film companies. Although the interior has been stripped bare of its elegant period décor and the backstage area is filled with air conditioning units, the exterior of the building still evokes memories of a bygone era with its high bell tower, both a symbol and a landmark.  Even more important is the fact that the people of Junction City, in a desire for cultural entertainment, did take an active part in the growth and the history of the American Theater.”
            We will have more on the history of the Opera House from this thesis each Tuesday for a while. Please keep reading on Tuesdays and every day Monday through Friday for Geary County history and learn why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Our Past Is Present June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            A chauffeur claiming to be a nephew of Kansas Governor Stubbs was arrested in Junction City the spring of 1912. He was arrested for shattering the speed limits inside the city limits.  People who saw him coming along the road from Fort Riley thought it was a bird flying low at a high rate of speed.  When arrested the young man had an indignant attitude as if to say to the officer who had stopped him: “Apparently you don’t know who I am!”  He went on to explain that he was the nephew of the Kansas Governor.  However, in spite of his high connections, the young man did not have even the necessary $10 to pay for the speeding ticket.  One of the two passengers in the car had to cover the fine for him. 
            The chauffeur stated he had left Kansas City that morning and was on his way to Solomon. Well, following this incident, the general sentiment about town was that Governor Stubbs should either caution his nephew against driving at excessive speeds or furnish him with enough money to at least pay for the fine.
            Apparently the arresting officer DIDN’T know who the young man was nor did that have any influence when the young man broke the law.  GOOD FOR THAT OFFICER!!!
            And that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.