Friday, December 29, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 29, 2017

December 29, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Playing card clubs are still in existence in Junction City.  In fact, I recently heard about a club that was looking for more Bridge players.
            Well, in January of 1898, social card clubs were very popular here.  According to articles published in the “Union” newspaper at that time, these clubs were well organized, met regularly and always included a dinner or refreshments.  A variety of card games were in vogue then.  “Progressive High Five” was mention as the game of choice played by many. This game is similar to the popular game called “Pitch”.  A “Duplicate Whist” club was formed by some of the young people in town. “Whist” was played with a partner and “tricks” are taken based on the suit designated.   
             A report told of an “A.C.E.” Club meeting in Miss Bertha Rockwell’s elegant and spacious studio. “For this gathering score cards were each differently and daintily painted in watercolors and a four-course dinner was served in elegance to complete a pleasant winter afternoon.”
            Card games remain popular either as a regular club meeting or at occasional family gatherings.  Our granddaughter likes to play “Old Maid”.  Her reaction is priceless when she places the “Old Maid” in just the right place for one of us to select the card.  When we select it, she loudly laughs with joy.  The object of the game is to NOT finish the game holding that card and she loves it when someone other than herself does so.
            Well, perhaps you and your family will have an opportunity to play your favorite card game during this holiday season and enjoy each other in a friendly game.
            Thanks for reading today and Happy New Year from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 28, 2017

December 28, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The styles of clothing often change.  This is a plan by the designers and manufacturers so people will be tempted to buy the latest fashion.  In 1920, the Style Committee of the National Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers Association recommended that skirts for the New Year should be 3 to 4 inches shorter than the previous season.  This would make them from 7 to 8 inches from the floor for women and about 10 inches from the floor for young girls.  Sport suits, for the spring and summer were recommended with novel belts of leather and metal and would have a new style of collar.  The collar would be long, slender, and rolling.  “Peter Pan” design collars would also be popular.  The newest wrap for women was not unlike the old Roman toga.  It was to be a graceful envelopment garment that could be tucked up and pulled together.  However, the prices of coats, suits and skirts were expected to stay high according to the chairman of the Style Committee. 
            Well… clothing styles and colors of clothes change, which for some is looked forward to with much anticipation.  I know someone for whom that is absolutely true.  It is good to reflect on the statement that it is not the clothes that make the person, but the person who makes the clothes.  Just a thought….
            Anyway…. thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 27, 2017

December 27, 2017
            Today’s program is title “Yes, It’s An Ice Harvest”.  Until doing these programs and working at the Museum, I never really thought about where people got their ice other than from a refrigerator or freezer inside the house.  Keeping things cold and having ice available from trays or a dispenser seemed to be the way it always was.  Not true!!!
            In 1895, for example, the ice harvest meant work for two or three weeks from 100 or more workers in Junction City.  The pay was from $1.25 to $2.00 a day.  This extra income was helpful for families when they were short of money.  There was a need for a big supply of ice that year because the MK&T Railroad was getting more ice than they had gotten in the past.  Mr. J.A. Kean of Wreford got the contract and it called for 80,000 to 100,000 pounds of ice.  Thirty-five men were given employment. One Monday, they filled twenty-four railway cars.  Two saws, called markers, were used to score the ice 2 to 2 ½ inches in depth.  After it was marked, two men with long handsaws cut the chunks of ice off in strips.  Then a heavy iron instrument, called a “spud” with two prongs, was used to chop these strips into the desired size cakes of ice.  A scaffold with an elevator at the side of the railroad cars carried the ice into place for its journey to the icehouse where it was packed in sawdust to store through the winter. 
            This seems way more complicated than the way we get our ice today, but that was the way it was and this is one more way for us to realize how good we really have it.
            That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 26, 2017

December 26, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The flu and colds sometimes attack our systems during the winter season.  The costs of medications to fight these ailments seem to rise on a daily basis.  Perhaps you would like to join me this morning in a trip back in time when keeping healthy cost less than today.  On some of the patented medicine ads from around 1902, one could find a low-budget cure for whatever ailed a person or in fact a domestic animal. Here are some examples:
            “System out of tone? Nervous debility for instance can be cured by the use of Ayers Sarsaparilla.  It tones the system and makes the weak strong.  It has cured others and will cure you”. 
            Further down the page there was an ad that asked: “Got stiff joints? Hard work makes stiff joints.  Rub with Mexican Mustang Liniment and the sore muscles become comfortable, while the stiff joints become supple.  Good for the aches and injuries of man or beast.”
            Another ad the question was asked: “Blood gone bad? Pimples, faded complexion, chapped skin, rough hands?  Bad blood, cured in a short time with Rock Mountain Tea, the great complexion restorer.”
            And here is one more….”For that receding hair line:  “The only hope of bald heads is Carboline, a deodorized extract of petroleum.  Every objection has been removed by recent improvement.  It is now faultless.  This is the only cure for baldness and the most delicate hairdressing known.”
            Even as we read ads in magazines or newspapers or watch them on television, we can find more advertisements about how to improve anything that ails us. There are many drugs available by prescription or over the counter.  However, be sure to read or listen to all the after effects of taking them and always check with your doctor first.
            We wish all of you good health for the rest of this year and in 2018 from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Christmas at country churches in the early 1900’s was truly a religious experience as Ellen Peterson relates in “A Kansas’s Enterprise” a tale about Swedish families who settled in this part of the state.
            “My how exciting it was to arise at 4:00 AM on Christmas Day, dress in our best and hurry out to the carriage for the ride to church for a Jul-otta Service.  This service is a tradition in Sweden and takes place at 5 or 6 AM in a church lighted with candles.  The ride to Jul-otta was such a delight and was often made through snow.  We enjoyed counting the lights we would see twinkling in homes here and there along the route.
            However, it was the program on Christmas night that was the climax to a happy day.  The children would assemble, generally sporting new shoes and perhaps a new woolen dress or a serge suit.  They would tingle with excitement as they gathered at the church in anticipation of saying their recitations.  The church was always packed for the Christmas program, which began with the singing of the lovely Christmas hymns and followed by the children’s program.  Sometimes the children would stumble and forget their lines, but they always felt a wave of relief when their performance had ended.  They looked forward to the tree lighting and the distribution of sacks of candy following the program.
            Ellen Peterson believed the deep impressions, which those early Christmas programs made on the mind of youngsters who attended influenced the thinking of the community as a whole.  The children knew why they were celebrating Christmas.  All of the recitations, dialogues and songs centered around that grand theme – the birth of the Savior.  Santa Claus was left completely out of the thinking and he was not even permitted to hand out the presents or treats.  They believed in Santa Claus at home, but he played no part in the church services.
            And...that is today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.    


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 21, 2017

December 21, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “Remembering County School Christmas Programs”.  We are sure that many of our listeners, who experienced a County School Christmas Program have fond memories of them.  Some years ago the late Gaylord Munson and Grace Britt Horner reminisced about these occasions at our Spring Valley Historical Site at the corner of K-18 and Spring Valley Road.  There was no electricity at the school so the evening Christmas programs were illuminated with oil lamps and lanterns.  The school was heated with a pot-bellied stove. The classroom where the programs were held was barely as large as a living room.  So, parents and family members stood across the back and around the sides of the school room.
            A makeshift stage was arranged in the front of the room.  Curtains for the stage were always made out of bed sheets.  The sheets were attached with safety pins to a wire stretched across the front.  Gaylord recalled that “some student was always delegated to be the curtain-puller.  This always made the (curtain-puller) feel important.” 
            The program consisted of singing carols and recitations.  Gaylord Munson claimed he was such a poor singer, because the music training at Spring Valley School wasn’t much to brag about.  It seems when the teacher would try to play the old organ, which had to be pumped with the player’s feet, mice would run out.  When that happened, the teacher would be up on the organ stool screaming.”
            Mary Bell Read Glick recounted her memories of school days at Brookside, the old Taylor School and Christmas programs she enjoyed. “There was a box supper and a Christmas play with a variety of programs and recitations.  Mary also remembered that her mother took baked goods she had made at home” and shared with those who attended the programs.
            Giving recitations in front of friends and family could have been a frightening experience for some, but was also a good experience of speaking in front of people.  There have been or will be many programs at schools this season.  We hope you have had an opportunity to attend a Christmas program in one or more of our Geary County Schools this season to enjoy the talent of our students led by our amazing music teachers. 

            And… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 20, 2017

December 20, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society
            This is a warning that some of our listeners may become hungry for some seasonal  candy as you hear this story. The story is about an interesting process of making candy in 1930 at J.C.’s Flower Candy Kitchen, which was located in the Bartell House. Mike Phillips was making red and white striped candy baskets for the approaching holidays.  After the syrup had boiled to the proper temperature, he turned the boiling mass onto a marble slab and with buckskin clad hands he kneaded it until it was the proper consistency.  He then formed it into a loaf and decorated it with stripes of red candy, quickly forming it into a cone shape before a blowing gas fire.  Mike then called for help.  Three basket makers were kept busy as they elongated the cone, twisted, pulled and cut the exact length of candy needed.  It was then passed over to the next helper, who in the gentle breeze of an electric fan, coiled them like angry snakes into baskets and then flipped the end of the candy stick over to make a handle.
            We imagine these were very attractive - possibly too attractive to eat.
            Among other items that may be of interest to you as a gift for that special someone, we have some candy items for sale.  They are not as elaborate as described in today’s story, but may be of interest. Stop by our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets between the hours of 1 and 4 any day Tuesday through Saturday and check out our Gift Shop.
            Well, that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Our Past Is Present December 19, 2017

December 19, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is a virtual walk through a toy department in 1930.  Few people can resist

looking at or playing with toys.  “No matter how gray your hair,  put on your old bonnet or hat

and spend an afternoon among the toys.  It will make you feel at least ten years younger.”  Thus

read an article in the “Junction City Union” of December 17, 1930.  The author continued “that

many toys were similar to those of the winter’s childhood days.  However, he noted that

electricity had changed toys more than any other one factor.  Toy percolators, stoves, irons and

washing machines were toys that could be operated just like mother’s and were now in

abundance.  Boys could enjoy an electric train.”  However, it was noted that youngsters still

enjoyed the drums, skates and balls which their fathers cherished during their earlier years. 

Dolls were quite evident clothed with fine dresses and came with trunks, and dresses for

Christmas in 1930.

            Take some time to walk through the toy department this season and reflect on past gifts

you may have received and compare those with toys found on the shelves today.

            Another visit you will want to make is to our Museum to see the items we have in our

Gift Shop that would be special to anyone interested in Geary County history.  We are open

Tuesdays through Saturday from 1 until 4:00 PM and located at the corner of Sixth

and Adams Streets in Junction City. 

            This has been “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 18, 2017

December 18, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            These are some of the front page stories found in the “Daily Union” newspaper at about this same time of the year in 1949.  Perhaps these will bring back memories for some of our listeners.
            “The new Junction City Kiwanis Club held its first noon luncheon at the Bartell Hotel” at the corner of Sixth and Washington Streets “with a model meeting conducted by officers of the Manhattan Club.”  It was reported the club “will continue regular luncheon meetings each Friday at noon.  Officers of the new club were E. Carl Ware and Richard Whitehead.
            At the luncheon meeting of the Junction City Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, discussed the new amendments to the law concerning the new minimum wages of 75 cents per hour, overtime and child labor regulations.”
            Another front page story was about the new six-cent airmail stamp booklets, which were available at the Post Office. “The booklets consisted of two panes of six stamps each and sold for 73 cents.”
            And finally… there was a story about the Methodist Church Holiday Supper and Bazaar, which was to be held at the Church.  “The dinner consisted of Chicken Turbot with mashed potatoes and gravy, frozen peas, cole slaw, cranberry relish and jelly, biscuits, ice cream, homemade cake and coffee.  The price was just $1.00.”

            These stories were all interesting, but the Holiday Supper brought back memories of the amazing meals that are so special this time of year.  We hope you may have renewed some of your memories from having listened today to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            A new version of the worthless check game was perpetrated in Junction City in 1915 by a stranger who gave his name as A.J. Wilson. This Mr. Wilson was immaculately dressed, wore a diamond stud and carried a suitcase.  While in the Mayden Feed and Cole Store, he ordered two tons of coal to be sent to his home.  He gave his address and wrote a check for a considerable amount and received $17.50 in change.
            When the deliveryman delivered the coal he found there was no house at that address and an investigation began.  It was found that the check was worthless and the man had taken a streetcar to Manhattan. Sheriff Harbes was notified and caught the next interurban in hot pursuit.  This Mr. Wilson, as he called himself caught the same car and the sheriff was convinced he had his man.  It seems Wilson went to Fort Riley on the first car and not directly to Manhattan as had been thought.  At Ogden the Sheriff, with his man in custody got off to catch the next car back to town.  As they were going from one car to another, Wilson slipped out of his overcoat and in the darkness dodged behind a building. He jumped two fences and disappeared into the cornfields.  His overcoat and grip were brought back to Junction City.  Six pictures of Wilson were found in his grip.  The pictures showed Wilson in a fighting pose, sporting a regulation boxing ring costume.  The Sheriff commented that Wilson appeared to be more of a sprinter than a boxer.  The next day’s newspaper reported that Wilson had been captured in Manhattan and taken to a Shawnee County Jail.  Wilson had committed identical offenses in Topeka and so was turned over to the authorities there, which saved Junction City about $200 in costs to keep him in jail and prosecute him.
            Well… that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 14, 2017

December 14, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            My brother and sister-in-law recently visited us from Fairfax, Virginia.  He grew up in Junction City and remembered Cohen’s Chicken On A Tray Restaurant when it was on Grant Avenue.  He knew it had moved to Grandview Plaza at some point and then burned.  The restaurant was well known to residents in this area.  Thanks to Charles Kuralt, who did a television travel show, the restaurant received national attention.
 I found an article written by Don Muret, who was a staff writer for the “Daily Union” newspaper.  He wrote: “Chicken-on-a tray and fingerbowls have been in existence at Cohen’s Chicken and Steak House since Sam and Mildred Cohen opened the restaurant on Grant Avenue in 1930.”  The author went on to state that “Charles Kuralt should have known he had put his foot in his mouth when he mentioned during his “On The Road” tv show that there were no decent restaurants along Interstate 70 in Kansas.  Cohen said Kuralt was inundated with a “gang of mail” from Kansans and other Americans extolling the delicious virtues of Cohen’s Restaurant in the Junction City area.
Those letters provided enough impetus for Kuralt and his tv crew to come back to Kansas and sample Cohen’s chicken delights.  A 20 minute segment was produced and aired later. 
Years before, when Sam and Mildred first opened the chicken house, the “New Yorker” magazine featured Cohen’s.  The “Mobil Travel Guide” also contained several pieces on the restaurant.  Cohen’s was also recommended by Duncan Hines and endorsed by Betty Crocker and the American Automobile Association.
Cohen’s moved to a higher elevation in Grandview Plaza following the 1951 flood that practically sank the building on Grant Avenue in Junction City. David Cohen and his father, Gene became partners when they took over the business when Sam and Mildred died in 1978. 
In January of 2002, the restaurant caught fire and was later closed.
Many of us remember the Chicken-on a Tray in the cozy restaurant.  It was a special place to celebrate special occasions or just enjoy the tasty food. 

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 13, 2017

December 13, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “That’s A Lot Of Not-So Angry Birds” and as you listen, you will learn why this title was chosen.  This is a story about the 1939 Golden Jubilee Show of the Kansas Poultry Breeders Association. It was being held in the Junction City Municipal Auditorium on Jefferson Street.  Several of the associations arrived in town early in the morning to supervise the arrangements for the show.  Erection of steel coops to accommodate approximately 2,000 birds were started immediately with all entries to arrive by noon the next day.  Judging would take over two days with the Saturday morning judging devoted to the 4-H Club members and high school vocational agriculture students. 
            Mr. J.R. Cowdrey from Topeka, who was the club secretary and treasurer, commented that there were no finer birds in the country than those that were being shown at this show.  An influx of hundreds of out of town visitors were expected to take advantage of the first Sunday show ever held by the poultry association.  After the first day of the show, local persons who attended came away expressing their opinions of the exhibits in terms little short of amazement at the amount of high quality poultry.  They encouraged others to see the show – especially since admission was free.”
            Now you know why we titled this program “That’s A Lot Of “Not-So-Angry Birds”.
And that IS today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 12, 2017

December 12, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the County Commissioner of the Poor, Nellie I. Baker, and how she solved a problem in December of 1930.  The city woodpile was created at her suggestion.  The purpose of the woodpile was so that any able bodied man, was sent to the municipal woodpile located on different city lots, when he applied for groceries for himself and/or his family, because of lack of financial resources.  The man would receive a dollar’s worth of groceries for every rick of wood he cut and in the process he kept his self-respect and dignity.  County Commissioner, James Doyle, provided the free wood for chopping.  The trees were cut by prisoners of the County Jail and hauled to town in County trucks.  The wood, which was then cut and stacked in neat ricks, was given to the sick and needy or older people who were not financially or physically able to secure their own fuel.  C.W. Rouse got compensation for the groceries he needed by being the supervisor of the wood yard. 
            Everyone benefitted from this suggestion in 1930 from Nellie I. Baker, Commissioner of the Poor.
            There are only a few days left until Christmas and if you haven’t stopped by our Gift Shop to consider some special gifts for that special person, you will want to do so right away.  There is pottery with the words “Junction City” on them; Christmas tree ornaments of the Buffalo Soldier Monument, the 1904 High School, the 1882 Opera House; souvenir salt and pepper shakers, toys, puzzles and books about Geary County history.  Our Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturday from 1 until 4. 
            And…. thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            These “Rules For Driving” came from an article in a 1909 “Daily Union” publication found by Leona Garrison in our Research Center. The subtitle was “Every Person Running A Vehicle Should Use Them.”
            Here are those rules:  “When meeting another vehicle, turn to the right.  In passing a vehicle going in the same direction, drive to the left.  When turning a corner in any direction, keep to the right.  Stop at the curb only with the right side of the vehicle to the curb, even if it is necessary to turn around in the street to do so. Vehicles going no faster than five miles an hour must keep at least ten feet away from the car tracks, allowing faster vehicles to use this ten-foot space.  The speed limit is ten miles an hour anywhere in the city.  When turning corners, it is five miles. These are rules for driving put in as concise language as possible.
            Reckless drivers of automobiles may do a great deal of harm by neglecting these simple rules and by careful observance of them they will not only avoid trouble with the police, but contribute to the pleasure of every visitor, whether a pedestrian or occupant of a vehicle.  Frequently the drivers of teams (of horses) seem to feel that driving rules are for motor car drivers alone and not for them, but if team drivers will be equally careful to turn corners properly and pass other vehicles properly, much trouble and possible injury may be avoided.” 
            Today, we rarely have a mix of horses and cars on the streets, there is still some good advice here about being aware of our surroundings.  This is especially true during arrival and dismissal times of school children, pedestrians in cross walks, animals that suddenly dart into the street and monitoring our speed at all times.  These are some good reminders for us.
That’s today’s story.  Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We have 23 decorated Christmas trees in our house.  Many of them are themed, but five of them have only clear white lights and stand in front of our Nativity scene. Some people think 23 is a lot of trees. Well, today’s story is about someone’s idea about having a Christmas tree for every member of the family.
            In December of 1900, an enthusiastic mother wrote to the Junction City newspaper the following:  “I don’t believe there is anything on the face of the Earth that gives more pleasure to the average child than a Christmas tree.  It does make a good deal of trouble for the elders, but surely it is worthwhile.  One is only a child for a short while and one is grown up for so long.  Our big trees were glorious, but after all, the Christmas we always looked back on as the very best was the one where we each had a little tree of our own.  They were from about 6 inches high for the baby, up to 3 feet high for father.  They were planted in lovely pots and were decorated with little candles and cornucopias.  The decorations on each tree were different colors.  There was even a tree for the pets and no one was forgotten.  Every dog, cat, rabbit, Guinea pig or doll had a gift with its own name marked on the side.  Truly that was a Christmas!!!  I only wish I had nine little rascals to make all that happiness for and the means to do it.  Children are endless trouble, but how forlorn it is not to have them to trouble over at Christmas time.”

            Christmas is a special time for us to show our joy for those in our lives.  This COULD be done with a tree, but some just appreciate spending time either doing something together or just being together and enjoying the quiet.  The good thing is – we get to choose. And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 6, 2017

December 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Christmas will soon be with us!!!  At the beginning of December in 1921, the Junction City newspapers were already beginning to advertise ideas for Christmas gift shoppers urging patrons to not put off shopping until the last minute.  Cole Brothers had dolls with beautiful hair and sleeping eyes, attractive dresses and quality straw bonnets on their heads.  These were priced at $1.25 each.
 A line of exceedingly nifty coats were being sold at greatly reduced prices at the Phillips Dry Goods Store.  They came in a variety of plush fur and Boline cloth.  Marvelous lines of toilet goods were shown at the Miller Drug Company.  A subtle, delicate perfume in the “Three Flower” line was proving very popular and most attractive gift sets could be purchased in the form of toilet powder, perfume and face powder.
The Muenzenmayer Hardware Store advertised the Fairy Pressure Cooker, which was a heavy cast aluminum utensil that could cook the toughest chicken to a point where the meat fell from the bone in less than an hour.  It guaranteed to save the housewife two thirds of her cooking time and two thirds of the fuel costs as compared to the open kettle. Perhaps with this time saved, the lady of the house could be working on the latest innovation in needlework being sold at the Art Needlework and Gift Shop.  This was a patchwork luncheon set in unbleached muslin with color and the edge finished in rickrack to give it a pleasing effect. 
            We hope each of our listeners are narrowing down their Christmas shopping list as we get closer to that big day.  We have many gift ideas at the Museum that would interest our listeners.  Stop by our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Street and visit our Gift Shop for some special items for that special person. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 5, 2017

December 5, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about women in the 20th century workplace.  The 1906 Junction City Directory listed 318 women with occupational designations other than housewife.  These outside of the home job titles ranged from chambermaid, service girl or domestic to physician and music teacher.  At the beginning of the 20th century, it seemed that few women could enjoy the luxury of not preparing for some type of useful occupation and in some cases they continued in this work even after marriage.
            Many ladies were stenographers and clerks.  Early photographs show a lady teller in the age at the Jellison Loan Company office at Seventh and Washington and an early professional woman driving to work in a buggy.
            The nursing profession has been traditionally filled by women and there were half a dozen nurses and one female physician listed in 1905.  There were also many women who worked in less than glamorous jobs.  Those jobs were laundresses, housekeepers, domestics or servants, printers, waitresses, cooks, nursemaids and cleaning girls.  These occupations were all respectable and were often the means of supporting a widow’s family or providing the way for a farmer’s daughter to live in town and attend high school. 
            One of the most desirable occupations in Junction City in the early century was that of being a telephone operator.  The Junction City Telephone Company, founded by R.B. Fegan, was growing by leaps and bounds.  In 1900, there were almost 90 telephones in Junction City and 13 at Fort Riley.  One girl handled the switchboard in the first telephone office located in a little room above a barbershop on Washington Street.
            Perhaps the most common profession for a woman at the turn of the century in Geary County was that of a teacher.  These “normal training” graduates went out into the 36 rural schools in the county or taught in one of the four city grade schools or high school.  
            Women continue to play an important part in the Junction City workplace.  We now have more women in positions of leadership than might have ever been imagined at the turn of the 20th century.  The sad part is that it has taken over 100 years for women as a group to get where they are today.
            Tomorrow’s story will be about 1921 Christmas gift ideas. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017
            In December of 1900, the B. Rockwell Merchandise and Grain Company celebrated its 35th anniversary in business. Mr. Bertrand Rockwell, the head of the establishment had only recently mustered out of the Union Army, when he rode into Junction City on December 1, 1865.  His ability combined with his strength was the only capital he had.  However, he applied it vigorously and by 1900 had gone through sunshine and storm, grasshoppers, drought and fires.  He had triumphed over all of these and made a business of which few Kansans could be so proud.
            According to the local newspaper, the Rockwell Mercantile establishment of Junction City, was known near and far as one of the largest and most solid in the west.  The splendid success of that firm may be attributed to its excellent management and the accommodating courteous treatment given to customers.
            While Mr. Rockwell was conservative with his ordering and selling of materials, he was liberal and chartable. In celebration of the 35 years in business, Mr. Rockwell gave a check of $5.00 per year worked to his 35 clerks for a total of over $1,600 dollars.  F.B. Gaylord and E.J. Blades had worked the longest time with the business and their checks amounted to $125 and $120 respectively. 
            The Rockwell Merchandise and Grain Company closed its doors in 1926 after 61 years serving the shopper’s needs of Junction City. 
            Visit our “Main Street Gallery” at our Museum on the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets and reflect on some of the businesses of the past and learn more about why we say, “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Our Past Is Present December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about a store in Junction City that closed after being in business for 60  years.  December 1978 marked the end of an era in Junction City.  For 60 years, Roy Clewell had been the owner and operator of a drugstore on North Washington Street.  The store was first opened by Mr. Clewell’s uncle, C.H. Baskin in the building next door.  Baskin bought the business in 1890 and the store flourished.  So, he expanded and built the new building.  Roy Clewell’s father operated the Baskin Drug Store from 1904 to 1917, when Roy took possession of it.  In the early days the business served as a gathering place of the community and the soda fountain jerks and comic books kept the school lunch hour crowds entertained for many years.   The soda fountain, with its mirror encased in a heavy oak frame was a focal point for people to gather and exchange their tales about daily activities.  The store was said to be the first drugstore in town to get a refrigerated fountain, where it offered a wide selection of flavors in its ice cream gallery.
            When it closed in 1978, the Clewell Drug Store could boast of having hosted some well-known people such as Harry Truman, Mickey Rooney and Hollywood star Gene Tierney along with lots of satisfied Junction City customers.

            Tomorrow’s story will be about another long time business in Junction City that closed its doors after many years of doing business.  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 30, 2017

November 30, 2017
Today’s story is titled “Central National Bank’s Unique Way of Deterring Robbers.”
The word was out to all bank robbers who might have been planning a visit to Junction City after November 24, 1932: “Arm yourselves with Kleenex, handkerchiefs or towels in addition to your usual assortment of machine guns, revolvers and pistols.”  It was on that date the Central National Bank installed an alarm system of tear gas bombs as a further preventative against robberies.  According to the planners, the tear gas would fill the lobby and vaults with a smarting eye irritant that would send bank Presidents, cashiers, bandits, bookkeepers and customers alike stampeding outside for fresh air.  The tear gas was contained in shells or tear gas guns positioned in different parts of the Central National Bank.  The same system of push buttons that controlled the burglar alarms controlled the gas guns and the whole system could be set off simultaneously by any bank employee.
            Release buttons were located at every cage window, at the different desks and at other strategic points throughout the entire bank building.  The directors hoped the new tear gas guns would be an added safeguard for the bank depositors and apparently – it worked.  Junction City was fortunate that during the Depression period, bandits by-passed our town. 
            That’s today’s story.  We want to remind you that if you want a unique gift for that special person on your list, we have books, decorative items, games and other items of interest in our Gift Shop.  Stop by Tuesday through Saturday between the hours of 1 and 4.  Our Museum is located at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets.   If you have a person on your list who is interested in something related to Geary County history, we most likely have that special gift. 
And… thanks for reading  “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 29, 2017

November 29, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            It seems that scams have always been around.  At the end of November in 1914, local stockmen were warned to go easy when a stranger came along with his checkbook in hand and wanting to buy thoroughbred hogs for breeding purposes.  After purchasing the hogs, the stranger would take the animals to a packinghouse and a few days later the check would be returned as being bogus.  It was learned later that this particular con man had been working all over the United States.
He was described as six feet tall and weighed 200 pounds.  He looked and acted like a stockman, but clearly was not an honest man.  When he arrived in a city, he managed to visit a few of the well-known stockmen and since he was knowledgeable about the business, he was readily accepted. 
When investigating the case, the Sheriff found that the hogs purchased for the $62.00 had been shipped to Topeka and then sold to a packing house.  In less than a week, the Sheriff received word that the con man had been working his way through the country and it was suspected that he was on his way to find another gullible Kansas stockman of whom he would take advantage. 
We all need to be cautious of scams and pay close attention to salespersons who offer us something that sounds too good to be true, because it probably is.
Thanks for reading  “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 28, 2017

November 28, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “The Moose Is Loose.” It is the title of a song written in 1914 by Will A. Brown of Junction City.  Mr. Brown wrote the song as a campaign song about Teddy Roosevelt.  According to the Dictionary of American History, the term “Bull Moose” became a popular name for the Progressive Party that was formed in 1912.  When asked about his health, Teddy Roosevelt replied that he felt “fit as a bull-moose” and the name Bull Moose Party stuck.
            When Will Brown died in 1915 an article appeared on the front page of the Junction City Republic newspaper.  The author of the article stated that Mr. Brown, who was born in Ohio, was a long time resident of Junction City and had been employed by the Ziegler Lumber Company. He had pursued writing music set with words.  A Copy of “The Moose Is Loose”, “The Kansas State Song” and “Whisper of God” were for many years in the musical library of the late Alverta Trebilcock, organist at the Methodist Church.  After her passing in the 1980s, the choir director of the Methodist Church donated copies of these local compositions to our Museum. 

            Stop by the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets to see our Galleries of Geary County artifacts.  Our doors are open for visitors between 1 and 4 Tuesdays through Saturdays and admission is free.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 27, 2017

This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In November of 1886, a local boy was running for election as the Congressional Representative from the Fifth District.  John A. Anderson had made his initial Kansas home in Junction City in 1868.  For five years he was the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church and an influential community leader.  According to accounts, he was an energetic, magnetic orator and charismatic man who enjoyed people.  When he left Junction City in 1873 to become the first President of the Kansas State Agriculture College, which is now Kansas State University, he left behind a new church building, a flourishing congregation, a newly established city cemetery and many devoted friends.  One of those friends was George Martin, the staunch Republican editor and founder of the Junction City Union newspaper.
            After five years in his academic role, Anderson entered the political arena and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  In 1885, Anderson was the incumbent and the unanimous choice of the constituents in the district.  However, when the delegates met in Concordia in July to nominate the Republican candidate, some wheeling and dealing took place.
In fact, the nomination went to Judge A.S. Wilson instead.  Anderson’s supporters were outraged and on July 29th they convened another convention in Clay Center, where Anderson’s name was placed on the ballot as an independent candidate.  On November 6, 1886, theUnion newspaper reported that Anderson had won by a landslide over his two opponents.  Anderson went on to serve several terms in the U.S. Congress and then was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, where he later died.
 John Anderson was laid to rest in Junction City’s Highland Cemetery, which he helped to create.  
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Our Past Is Present November 24, 2017

November 24, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is another from a published in the “Junction City Daily Union” and written by Gaylynn Childs, our retired Executive Director.
            “As the Kansas frontier pushed westward, one of the first agencies established in a new settlement was the post office.  In the territory that now constitutes Geary County, the first post office was at Pawnee, the village started near the First Territorial Capitol in 1855.  Robert Wilson, who ran the settler’s store at Fort Riley was appointed the postmaster in March of that year, but the community was so short-lived that by December the Pawnee post office had been moved to Fort Riley. 
            The first post office in Junction City was established in June of 1858, but there are conflicting accounts as to the first postmaster.  The Kansas State Historical Society records list Nathan S. Ranschoff, but in the Andreas “History of Kansas”, L.J. Harris is named as the first Junction City postmaster.
            Ranschoff was a merchant and the post office was located in his store until 1861.  This store was located on West Sixth Street between Washington and Jefferson Streets. 
            In 1864, George W. Martin, editor of the “Union” newspaper was appointed the sixth postmaster of Junction City and the location of the post office was moved to the building in which Martin lived.  This was midway between 8th and 9th Streets on the east side of Washington Street.  The mail was delivered by stagecoach during this period an often arrived in the middle of the night. 
            When William S. Blakely was appointed the postmaster position in 1873, the post office was located on Washington Street somewhere between 7th and 8th Streets.  Ella Lawrenson, the only woman postmaster to ever serve Junction City was appointed in 1894 and served until she was replaced by her husband a year later. 
            There will be more about how mail was delivered by carriers – even to the point of having to swim across the Solomon River to do so. 

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.