February 21, 2018
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is about an explosion in the Milford High School Gymnasium.
The explosion of an overhead butane gas heater was blamed for a fire, which destroyed the Milford High School Gymnasium in February of 1961. The fire was discovered about 11:00 in the evening after several Milford residents had heard an explosion, but did not realize the source of the blast. Principal Lew Wallace said the Butler type building, constructed about seven years earlier at a cost of $65,000.00 was believed to be a total loss. Most of the contents in the gym including athletic gear and 500 permanent seats were all destroyed. Members of the Milford fire department, as well as many other Milford residents fought the fire in near zero temperatures for about four hours. City and school officials publicly thanked those volunteers, especially the military men in the community for their help. Many handled water hoses for up to three-quarters of an hour without relief. Ladies of the community provided hot coffee and food for the volunteers. The gym was a separate building from the structure, which housed the high school classrooms and the fire did not damage those. Since the fire was before today’s school unification, Milford school officials received offers from both the Junction City school system and St. Xavier’s to make available their facilities for future athletic events. The gym was never repaired and the high school was razed within three years to make way for Milford Lake.
And.. that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.