Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In the early 1900s, Junction City’s Charles Henry Manley was known as a newspaper editor, a real estate broker, a poultry fancier and was described as a “man of leisure.”  In September 1907, he held his annual chicken sale in the Ballinger Feed Store on Jefferson Street.  It was not generally known that during the previous spring, Mr. Manley decided to make a little money on the side and so he ventured into the chicken business.  He sent several hundred poultry breeders all over the nation a message that if they sent him some of their best eggs, he would give them free advertisement for a month in the Republic newspaper.  Breeders of chickens believed in advertising and by the next train the eggs started to arrive. On one shipment, an express wagon was filled and the express charges were $26.00.  Manley paid the bill without hesitation, because he knew he was going to get his money back in the end.  Manley made an additional agreement with some of the farmers who provided eggs, that half of the chicks hatched after September 1 were to be his. The following week after the agreement had been made, the finest bunches of chickens ever seen in this part of the state were sold to fancy breeders at good prices.  Breeders from surrounding towns attended the sale and secured a select lot of high-grade fowl.  Mr. Manley had proven himself to be successful at his part-time job of… raising chickens. 
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   

Monday, September 18, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Gaylynn Childs, our retired Executive Director, shared this story in a 2008 broadcast in recognition of the 150 anniversary of the founding of Junction City.     
            “To most who are relatively recent residents of this area, the idea that steamboats once piled the rivers of Kansas is hard to imagine.  But indeed they did and they played a significant role in the early settlement of this region.  Sonie Liebler, a “Steamboat buff” and a former resident of Junction City, has researched and documented this riverboat era in local history and she writes that between 1854 and 1866, over 20 steamers plied the Kaw River.  “In those days, rivers were the natural road ways on which settlers and cargo were carried west as the frontier opened up for settlement.  The Kansas River was no different from other tributaries of the Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Traveling the river was not easy, but it could and was done by perseverance and river smart men who knew their business.” 
            The three stern-wheelers that carried trade to Fort Riley were: The Excel, which made six trips during June of 1854; the Financier No. 2 that made two trips in 1855 and one unloaded at Fort Riley then continued up the Republican River as far as present day Clay Center.   The third was the Colonel Gus Linn, which made six trips during the flood year of 1859.  The Colonel Gus Linn was perhaps the most successful steamer on the Kaw, carrying a cargo of Commissary supplies, building materials and passengers to the Fort and returning with corn, hides, produce and passengers to Kansas City. 
            The fluctuations of the river boaters dictated the success and frequency of riverboat travel on the Kaw River until the start of the Civil War.  The railroad also brought an end to the era of the riverboats in Kansas.”


Friday, September 15, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 15, 2017

September 15, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In September of 1904, a man by the name of Ed Block was arrested for taking a ring from a girl in the north part of Junction City.  Mr. Block claimed to be a fortune teller and said he was making a forecast of the girl’s future then he slipped the ring on his finger and ran away.  He later pawned the ring at a saloon.  Law enforcement caught up with him and he spent the night in the city jail.  The next morning he was given 15 minutes to get out of town.  He left as fast as he could, but as the city limits were beyond a fifteen minute walk or run from the police station, he was only about half-way out of Junction City when he was apprehended again.  The attention of the Chief of Police and the Police Judge was direct to the fact that Junction City was a bigger place now and it might do well to lengthen the running time between the police station and the city limits.  There needed to be more time give to thieves to get out of town when told to do so by the court.
                        This Sunday is the Geary County Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social on the grounds of the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets. We will serve from 3:00 until 6:00.  There will be homemade baked goods, ice cream and other foods available and… free entertainment by members of the JCHS Jazz Band and the JCHS Orchestra and you could win a free cake in the “Cake Walk.”   The proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards maintaining the Museum facilities. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 14, 2017

September 14, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We had a story last week about a circus that came to town in September of 1904.  Well, today’s story is about a carnival that was here, only a month later – in October of 1904.
            A Fall Festival involving a street carnival was held in town from October 4th through the 8th.  The World’s Fair Carnival Company had been secured for the event, which was being sponsored by the local Aerie of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.  The company carried 14 first class amusement features.  Four of those were to be used free and the other 10 were paid attractions.  It was the intention of those who organized the event to have the carnival features set up in the streets in the business portion of the city providing the City Council granted their permission.  The location of the carnival was to be between Seventh and Eighth Streets and Jefferson and Washington Streets.  Everywhere this traveling company had appeared, they drew great crowds. It was hoped that the railroads would give excursion rates to those people traveling to this area in order to encourage out-of-towners to visit.  This was the first time Junction City had put on such an event and the community was confident the people of Central Kansas were going to be entertained in a way they would remember for a long time. 
            During Sundown Salute the Ottaway Amusements provide quality entertainment, which attracts people of various age groups and from different parts of the United States. It seems to me – being in the older age group - that some of the rides have become more challenging than the “Tilt-A Whirl”, merry-go-round or Ferris wheel, which were a part of the carnivals in the 50’s and 60’s.  So what do you think?  

            Well… that is today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.   

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 13, 2017

September 13, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Thomas Dixon, who was a Geary County pioneer and Junction City’s well-known feed and grain merchant, received word in September of 1908 that he had been awarded the contract for furnishing oats for the two Kansas Army Posts – Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth.  The contract called for 18 million pounds of oats. There was to be 13 million pounds for Fort Riley and 5 million for Leavenworth.  The contract was to begin October 1st of 1908 and end July 31st of 1909.
            Mr. Dixon had the contract the previous year also, but the new contract called for considerably more oats with this new one.  The announcement in the “Junction City Union” newspaper stated that “The fact the contract was given to a man from this city means much to the farmers of the county.  Mr. Dixon will this year, as in previous years, buy as much of the grain here in the home market as he can.  Of course, the quality must be the best and for this the highest market price would be paid.”
            This Sunday is the Geary County Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social on the grounds of the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets. We will serve from 3:00 until 6:00.  There will be homemade baked goods, ice cream and other foods available and… free entertainment by members of the JCHS Jazz Band and the JCHS Orchestra and you could win a free cake in the “Cake Walk”.   The proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards maintaining the Museum facilities. 

            Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 12, 2017

September 12, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The “Junction City Union” newspaper reported in September of 1949 that “the firm of Hornbaker and Harper had collapsed.” However, they were also quick to point out that it was the cleaning business of the younger members of the families that had ended and not the law firm of their fathers. Apparently the young teenagers, David Hornbaker and Doug Harper had contracted with Grace Campbell to clean her cellar.  Miss Campbell had some jars of old canned foods she wanted destroyed and she gave the boys directions on how to break the glass safely with a hammer.  Nevertheless, first one and then the other boy came to her to be treated for a cut.  Although Miss Campbell gave first aid with a nurse’s skill, both boys began to feel faint.  She wound up with her cellar cleaners on the bed!  The boys soon recovered, however, and were back on the job and considered the incident all in the line of duty.  The newspaper suggested that perhaps Miss Campbell should think about carrying Worker’s Compensation Insurance. 
            Both of the boys became successful in fields other than cleaning and neither joined their father’s law firm.  Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present”. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017
            A young Junction City businessman needed a car in the fall of 1905, but he couldn’t find any good bargains in Junction City.  So he decided to take a look at the car market in Kansas City.  He had not been there long, when he came across an old acquaintance, who offered to show him around.  On learning that the young man wanted to buy a car, the friend – just by coincidence- said HE was in the trade and would be glad to assist the young man in his search.  The next morning they drove out to the friend’s place of business.  There was a vehicle, in which the Junction City man showed interest.  It was in excellent condition with low mileage.  A deal of $500 was paid and the young man began his return to Junction City in his new car.  His joy was short lived, however.  The young man was stopped by the police and charged with being in possession of a stolen vehicle.  Apparently, the young man’s friend was the owner of a business full of stolen cars.  The Junction City man got on the train and came home without a car and . . . without his $500.00.  He came to the conclusion that from now on - - -it would be better to shop in Junction City in the future.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 8, 2017

September 8, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 
            Today’s story is another about an incident involving the Junction City Fire Department in 1897.  At about 4:00 AM on Sunday, September 15, 1897, a fire alarm rang.  The gasoline stove in Shreve’s Restaurant, which was located at the rear of the Hauserman Barber Shop, was said to have been the cause of the fire.  The old building was made of wood and the entire rear of two other businesses were also quickly engulfed in flames.  However, the fire department DID quickly respond.  They spread four streams of water at the blaze and soon had it under control.  They did this so quickly that the big plate glass window in the Davidson Hardware near- by was untouched by the heat.  Most of Mr. Hauserman’s barbering fixtures were removed, but the Thiele and Guthrie store, which was also near, suffered a $500.00 loss.  The Shreve Restaurant was completely wiped out, including clothing and personal family keepsakes.  None of the shop owners carried insurance, although the building itself was insured for $1,000.  It was not known if Captain Knox of Fort Riley, who owned the building, was prepared to rebuild.  In the meantime, Hauserman relocated his Barber Shop in a vacant room in the Bartell block and Thiele and Gutherie temporarily located their business in the south room of the “Senate” Buildng.  
Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 7, 2017

September 7, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In 1904, the Knights Templar was a group of people who were committed to carrying out charitable works and historical research to protect Christian sites in the Holy Land through diplomatic rather than military means. It is now recognized as a non-governmental organization with special consultation status to the United Nations. Some members of the Knights Templar were on their way home to Providence Rhode Island, after attending a meeting in San Francisco in September 1904, when their two special Pullman cars were in a train wreck six miles west of Junction City.  The Knights were brought into town and given accommodation at the Bartell House on Washington Street.  The local Knights Templar and the Ladies of the Eastern Star did everything in their power to make the strangers comfortable.  There were 49 Knights and ladies in the group involved in the train wreck.  Six of the Knights were seriously injured in the wreck and ten or twelve more had painful, but less serious injuries.  The others were shaken and had sustained scratches and bruises.  Most of the injured were in the rear car that rolled down a 15 foot embankment turning three quarters of the way over before stopping at the river’s edge. A special Union Pacific train was sent out to bring back the injured, which were taken to the hotel in wagons.   Many local physicians worked through the night to tend to the injured.  Doctors from Fort Riley also came to town to assist as needed. 
That is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  Thanks for listening. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 6, 2017

September 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the circus coming to town in 1904.  The parade of the Sells and Downs Circus Show arrived on the morning of September 8, 1904.  It was witnessed by the usual group of curious happy-hearted people from around the area.  The pageant proved to be interesting as the gilded cages, open dens of wild animals, dancing and prancing horses and attractively attired acrobats and performers mounted on splendid animals appeared.  There were also chariots, bands, elephants and camels.  The horses attracted the attention of those who loved well-groomed animals. 
The afternoon show was a highly entertaining one with performances by the Elliot Family, who were acrobats.  There were tricks on bicycles by the Martell Family and the Earl Sisters gave a breathtaking trapeze act.  Many clowns also provided many laughs.  This show came highly recommended by those who attended the circus in 1904.

Recently, some of the larger circuses have gone out of business. If you have never been to a circus, we hope you will attend a show before that form of entertainment is completely discontinued.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We receive quality service from our police, fire and EMT’s and sheriff departments and showing appreciation for those who are public service providers is important. Even in 1897 the citizens of Junction City were a little slow in showing THEIR appreciation for the excellence of the local fire department.  On several occasions, the members of the fire department had participated in contests.  They brought back fame and honor, not only to themselves, but to the city, however, without much fanfare or recognition.  In September of 1897 there was a contest in Salina at which the firefighters again claimed victory.  Only this time they found a band to lead a demonstration of praise and recognition on the streets of Junction City.  This was followed by a banquet.  Those invited were the contest team, the band and a few outsiders.  The celebration was paid for by the fire department.  The “Daily Union” newspaper had an article in which the author stated “the community had displayed a rather mean spirit to allow the firefighters of Junction City to go away to an important competition, return with a victory banner and then expect them to put on and fund their own celebration.  They deserved better treatment.  The firefighters were in need of new uniforms.”  It was recommended by the author of the article that the citizens could be saved from their previous oversight by contributing to the purchase of those uniforms. 
            We could do more to show appreciation for our law enforcement and firefighters.  Even if it is only give them a heartfelt thank you.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017

            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The dedication of a new school is a “Big Deal.”  This is a culminating event in celebration of the investment, planning and establishment of a learning environment for students to be successful during their formative years, and then into their future and for the community to use also.  In the early days of rural school buildings the dedication of a new school building in the Maple Grove District was for the same purpose.  It was September of 1926, when the new school was formally dedicated.  It was north of Junction City on the Milford Road. The building was completed during the summer months and was built to replace the school previously destroyed by fire.  The new school was made of stone.  It had a large basement with half of the being above the ground. It was intended that this area would also serve as a community affairs room.  The crowd at the dedication packed the building and many in attendance had to stand outside.  An instrumental duet was performed by Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild of Milford followed by a vocal solo by Mrs. T.L. Jones.  Dr. Draper conducted the dedication and Mrs. Ida Grammar, the County School Superintendent made a brief speech, as did Dr. John Brinkley.  At the conclusion of the dedication, a basket supper was served in the basement.  The Maple Grove School had fifteen students with Miss Margaret Harris as the teacher.  She later became Mrs. Pierce Powers.        

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            There will be two stories during our time together today.  One is about the first boxing match held here in 1874 and the other is about the Wetzig brother’s aviation business. 
            The first boxing match held in Junction City was in August of 1874.  People came from Topeka, Manhattan, Abilene and Chapman in buggies and carriages to see the match.  The boxers were Jim Brewster, and the other was an unknown who went by the name of the “Montana Wonder.”  Jim Brewster, better known as Jim BUSTER, weighed 249 pounds.  His opponent – the “Wonder” weighed only 189 pounds.  The match was held at the “Sipperly” home on the old fairgrounds on West 8th Street.  The match lasted three rounds.  Jim Buster was considered one of the best boxers in the area, so it was not unexpected that he won.  Several days after, when asked who won the match, Jim stated, “Well now, I did – or I wouldn’t be so willing to talk about it.”
            Our second story is about the Wetzig brother’s aviation business.  Long before many people had ever seen an airplane, let alone ridden in one, two Junction City men owned an airplane and were flying it in the area.  They were Herman and Henry Wetzig.  They were pioneers in the aviation business in Kansas beginning about 1910 and lasting up to WWI.  They toured many of the county fairs in the Midwest “barnstorming” as it was called.  They flew in a homemade plane and demonstrated how an aircraft could rise from the ground, soar through the air and return to the place from which it started.  Their plane was a one-seater.  The process for learning to fly was to tell the student what should be done, let the student-pilot practice taxiing across the field and then take off and land in 100 yards.  It took the Wetzig brothers about a month to learn all the needed skills and then graduate as pioneer pilots.  There is nothing in our research to indicate how long it took others to learn to fly. 
Those are today’s stories on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 30, 2017

August 30, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the impact of the Depression and the drought of that same period. Remember we shared with you about the 1874 invasion of grasshoppers that year.  There was another invasion in 1930.  As the Depression continued into the 1930’s, Kansans sought ways to become more self-sufficient.  With unemployment on the rise, some families decided to leave the city life and take their chances on the farm.  From 1930 to 1935, the number of farms in Kansas increased by 8,000.  This reversed the trend of people moving from the farm to the city.  The main advantage of farm living was the opportunity to raise food and livestock.  Whether in the city or country, nearly everyone had a garden.  Pigs, chickens and cows provided meat, eggs, milk and butter for the family.  Eggs and cream were often sold to earn much needed cash.  Wild foods also supplemented the diet.  Rabbits, raccoons, squirrel and even possum provided meat for the family.  In spite of all this, Geary County droughts and grasshoppers made raising food difficult.  One lady reported that one Spring, they had grown early beets, which her mother had canned and after the garden burned up later that summer, they ate beets every way one could imagine for an entire year. 
            Fortunately, many of us have never experienced a food shortage, extreme drought or insect invasion and we would have a difficult time imagining what any of those would be like.  It took people with strong character to live during those times and there are lessons to be learned from them.

            Have a great rest of your day and thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 29, 2017

August 29, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Many of us believe that Geary County and in particular Junction City is a great place to live, work, play and enjoy retirement.  That was also the opinion of a veterinary surgeon, who shared his opinion with the local newspaper in August of 1887.
            He first explained why he decided to settle in Junction City by stating: “After rambling over several counties in the state, I have concluded to make Davis County (which is now Geary County) my home and Junction City my residence. I have not found any section of the country I have visited as fine a collection of any kind or quality as we have in this county.  As to its health, it simply can’t be beat.  We hear no cases of ganders in horses or Spanish fever in cattle.  To sum it up in as few words as possible, I know of no region as healthy or so well adapted for raising good live stock.  With its rich grain producing valleys and fine upland pasturage, I look for this county in a few years to challenge comparison with the well-known and far-famed blue grass region of Kentucky.”

            Well said!!! And there are many other reasons, but in our opinion it is the people that make this city and county special.  It IS truly a great place to live, work, play and enjoy retirement. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            There is one bell in Junction City, which has meant much to students both in the past and today.  When this bell’s sound is heard it has a variety of meanings to the listener.
            On August 31, 1871 and by vote of a large majority of citizens, a school building was approved for a Ninth Street location.  That School was to be called the McKinley School and would be completed in 1872.  McKinley was the first school used for a high school in Junction City.  It was actually located at Ninth and Madison Streets, which is on the west side of the current Freshman Success Academy.  There was to be a 750 pound bell received and installed high in the tower of the McKinley building in November of 1872.  The bell served the community in several ways.  Not only did it announce the opening of the school day, the end of recess, but also the end of the school day.  To some who were not in school, the sound of the bell helped people set their clocks at home and even the time to begin their work at their jobs.  Its ringing could be heard all over town. 
            In 1929, when the Senior High School addition was added to the original Junction City High School Building, the bell was mounted on the Ninth and Madison Street corner where the McKinley School had stood for many years.   Due to rough treatment of the bell by mischievous students, it was finally stored.

            When the new high school building was constructed  at its current location in the late 1950’s at 8th and Eisenhower, the bell was retrieved from its hiding place and may now be seen at the entrance of the Shenk Gym at Junction City High School.  That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            There was a grocery store located at the corner of 9th and Washington Street for several years. In August of 1904, the owner, Fredrick Glick was preparing to retire from that business and turn it over to his sons.  Frederick Glick had gone into business in Junction City in 1869 and with only one exception he had been in the city longer than any other man at that time.  His principle possessions when he came here in the late 1860’s from Bavaria were: lots of faith and an abundance of energy.  He was endowed with the thrifty characteristics of the Germans and from the day he began business he was one of the city’s prominent and most highly respected men.  When Mr. and Mrs. Glick first arrived here, they lived above the grocery store.  Through hard work and successful management of his affairs, Fredrick Glick became one of the most prosperous businessmen in Central Kansas. However, age and poor health caught up with him and in August of 1904, he decided it was time for him to hand the business off to his sons,  Frank and Harry Glick. The brothers managed the grocery story until it closed and then that building became H.H. Mead’s real estate office.
            This is a reminder that this Sunday, August 27 at 3:00 PM we will hold our “Memories at the Museum”.  This is an opportunity for those of you who lived in Milford or in this area to share memories about the history of Milford and the changes that community has seen, including its relocation due to the construction of the Milford Dam.  Join us this Sunday at the Museum on the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets at 3:00 PM for “Memories at the Museum”. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The father of C.H. Manley, the prominent Junction City publisher, was Charles H. Manley, Sr.  He was a farmer who arrived in Geary County from New York in 1870 as a 17 year old youth.  The senior Manley kept an extensive diary of his farming experiences and this diary gives us an account of the grasshopper invasion in 1874 that is interesting. 
            Charles Manley, Sr. recorded that “when the grasshoppers came in August, the drought had already killed most of the corn in the county.  I had roasting ears (or corn) growing on about 3 and a half acres, but only got a couple of sacks full.  The grasshoppers got all the rest.  I had one neighbor who had about 15 acres of early corn, which made 10 to 12 bushels to the acre.  It was dried and hard enough so all the grasshoppers seemed to be able to gnaw only the surface of the corn.  They ate everything that was green.  Even the onions were eaten out of the onion beds, leaving a saucer-like depression.  The grasshoppers ate peaches, leaving the stones sticking on the limbs of the trees. The grasshoppers even ate the bark and girdled the limbs of some small cottonwood trees.  When the invasion of 1874 came, I owned nothing but a $5.00 pair of boots.  The grasshoppers left me nothing else.” 
            This story from Mr. Manley’s diary once again reminds us of the challenges farmers face to provide us with good food.  They deal with insects, the weather or other things unknown to many of us who purchase our food from the farmer’s market or the local grocery store with little thought about where the food comes from and what it took to provide it for us.
            That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            During the summer of 1949, the “Good Neighbor Program” was broadcast from the Leedy Drug Store over Junction City’s new radio station, KJCK.  On this show, local residents were recognized for being “good neighbors” and citizens.  One of the first honored was:  Mary A. Verbeke, who was nominated by the Reverend Harry Weed.  Mary Verbeke had an interesting life story.  She was born in Belgium.  When Mary was eight years old, she immigrated to this country with her mother. During their train trip there was a need to change trains in Kansas City.  Mary and her mother witnessed women chewing something at the train station.  It was not common in Belgium to see women chewing and their only reference was that of men who chewed tobacco.  So, Mary and her mother assumed the women were also chewing tobacco, when in fact the women were chewing gum.
            Upon arrival in Junction City, Mary and her mother spent their first night with the Muenzenmayer family, who lived on West 6th Street.  A neighbor at that time recalled the first time Mary was given ice cream, she put it on the stove to warm it, because it was too cold for her.

Mary and her mother moved into their first home on West 5th Street in 1893 and Mary lived there the rest of her life. Because Mary was on the “remembrance committee” of several organizations, she developed the habit of sending greeting cards and  cheery notes and messages during her life time.  So, KJCK’s recognition of Mary Verbeke in 1949 as a “Good Neighbor” was well deserved.  Showing our appreciation for others is a good habit to get into, even when we are not recognized for doing it.  It is just the right thing to do. That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            For some still living in Geary County, the beginning of the new school year brings back memories of a one-room school house educational experience.  Four generations of one family all attended the Alida School, which was located in northwestern Geary County.  Mrs. Lester Esasser wrote an interesting history of the school in 1953 and one of her recollections is our story today.  Mrs. Esasser remembered a stray burro clattering through the school’s hallway and one of the teacher’s was also a detective. One of the first teachers was Mrs. Jane Ault, whose four children also went to the school. 
            Because there were no school rules regarding age, it was common to have 18, 19 and even 20 year old boys in school, when there was no work to be done on the farm.  One year an unusually large number of boys threatened to “take over” the school.  The School Board advertised for a male teacher to manage the rowdy boys.  After being hired the male teacher managed to tame the unruly Alida lads. After the teacher left, it was discovered he was a detective who had been tracking a man in Junction City. 
            Another teacher was said to have carried an opened penknife and if a student misbehaved, the teacher threw the knife, which sailed past the student’s heads and stuck into the wallboard behind them.  There are still challenges in dealing with student behavior as there were in the early days of the one room school, the difference is that the teachers in USD 475 have training for managing  difficult to handle students and there are counselor’s and administrators to assist them when needed.

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the first swimming pool in Junction City. We shared with you in an earlier broadcast Junction City was one of the first communities in Kansas to have a public swimming pool. As the summer’s swimming season comes to a close, we wanted to share this story with you: “The first pool was located very near the site of today’s swimming complex.  The pool came about through the generosity of pioneer resident Sumner Pierce, who was the founder of Central National Bank.  He gave the park land to the city and was responsible for building the pool. 
            There was no special ceremony that marked the opening of the first pool, but community excitement was high nevertheless.”  On August 19 of 1913, the “Junction City Union” newspaper reminded “citizens of the big day and reported that dealers in bathing suits have sold their stock.  On the day of the opening of the pool, Fred Smith, the custodian of the new pool, awoke that morning and went to the pool soon after 5:00 AM. Much to his surprise there were three boys already there with their swimming suits on and waiting for the gates to open.  At 7:00 AM there were a dozen boys at the gate and by 8:00 AM the crowd numbered over 20.  When the gates opened at 9:00, 27 boys took the first plunge into the new pool’s water and in less than an hour the number had increased to over 50. The numbers kept increasing as the day continued.”  The newspaper observed that “the circus may draw the crowd tomorrow, but the playground and its pool drew the crowds today!!!”


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about Dr. John Brinkley, who was the famed “Goat Gland” doctor.  In the summer of 1920, Dr. Brinkley announced that he thought Milford, Kansas needed a hotel.  Apparently the hospital business of the “goat gland” surgeon had been so successful that a hotel was needed to accommodate his waiting patients.  Dr. Brinkley recognized the urgent need and ordered work be done to create a first class hotel.  With the possible exception of amenities like an elevator, electric lights and running water, it would offer guests every convenience.
  A manager for the hotel in Milford still needed to be found.  It was said that the fame of the goat gland specialist had spread to Europe and patients from London, Sweden and even South Africa were on the waiting list as guests at the hotel.  The surgeon was naturally desirous that Milford residents take care to put on their best, and every weed be cut or pulled before the arrival of his guests. Even if it meant at his expense.

We have more information about Dr. Brinkley in a book at our Museum.  Stop by any day Tuesday through Sunday between the hours of 1 and 4 in the afternoon and learn more about the “Goat Gland” doctor.  This has been “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The price of wheat has always been important to the farmers of Kansas.  In August of 1914 an interesting comparison was given of prices paid for wheat for the previous twenty years.  The report was published by B. Rockwell Merchandise and Grain Co., which in 1914 had been in the grain business in Junction City for about 40 years. 
            The report showed the lowest prices were 44 cents per bushel in 1894 and 45 cents in 1896.  The highest prices were $1.01 in 1909 and $1.00 in 1910.  In 1912 the price for wheat was $1.04 per bushel. 
            The price farmers would get for their wheat from September to December 1914 was difficult to predict.  If the foreign countries arranged for safe transportation of the wheat across the ocean, the price might go to 85 cents or a dollar.  The impact of WWI in Europe played a role in the challenge of getting wheat to those countries. 
            Farmers who were out of debt or were able to borrow money from the banks to pay their threshing and grocery bills would be the ones who would make a good profit on their 1914 wheat, and have enough money to support themselves and their families for a while.
            We all depend on farmers to provide the grains and vegetables we want and need for our diets.  They deal with a changing market, weather, pests, a “fickle” customer base and many other issues.  Those of us who go to Dillon’s grocery store or some other store for our food products usually don’t even think twice about where the produce comes for.  We mostly just think about the price we pay for items.  Perhaps we could all do a better job of showing our appreciation to farmers.  Something to think about.  Well, thanks for listening today. We look forward to sharing another story about Geary History with you tomorrow on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Tomorrow is the first half day of school for the 2017-2018 school year.  Today’s story is a brief history of Geary County Schools. The information comes from a book written in 1893 by J.W. Rodgers, who was then the County Superintendent of Schools. “The history of Geary County schools dates back to a period before Kansas became a State – even to the days when the vital question asked was - should this be a free or slave state? The first schools were private, or “select” schools and were provided for by the interested parents, who paid tuition in proportion to the number of children in attendance.  A fund was usually raised for those who were unable to pay the tuition.
            During the winter of 1858-59 there were three schools in the county.  One was located at Milford, one at Junction City and one four miles northeast of Junction City.  The first public school was organized in 1862.  A room was rented for the school and was above a store, which was located in the Bartell block.  County Superintendent, O. Davidson was also the teacher with 72 students enrolled.  During the next school year eight additional districts were formed in the county with three male and four female teachers.  Their average salary was $30.00 per month for the male teachers and $15.00 per month for the female teachers.    
            By 1868, every district had its own school building.  Some built of logs, some were frame and a few were stone buildings.  There was no uniform curricula until 1887, until Speer’s “Graded Course of Study” was introduced.  With this course of study, teachers knew where to begin and what was to be accomplished to prepare students for graduation examinations, which were often held the last Saturday in April of each year. “
In 1893 there were a total of 44 schools in the county with 67 teachers.  The average male salary had increased to $49.44 per month and the average female teacher salary was $39.92 per month.”
            There are 19 schools currently in USD 475 with approximately 700 teachers.  The current yearly salary for beginning teachers (whether they are male or female) is
$38,500.  Eight days of professional development is provided by the district. Teachers in Geary County Schools are: “Preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world.”            
            We wish all of our educators and students a great learning experience this school year from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
 At the turn of the 20th Century, William Frey was a well-known and enterprising owner of Frey’s Restaurant located at 607 N. Washington Street.  Later it was the Good Eats CafĂ© and several other restaurants.  It is now the home of Bella’s Italian Restaurant.  This address is also identified as the Rialto Building.
A souvenir booklet published in 1910 titled “Junction City Past and Present” described Frey’s Restaurant as having seen many changes and additions over time.  Mr. Frey moved into the location of 607 N. Washington Street in 1905.  It was here that the most modern facilities and arrangement of artistic as well as expensive fixtures had created a great deal of interest.  Courteous waiters attended the customers who dined at the restaurant, the lunch counter and the soda fountain. Twelve to 18 employees were required at all times to take care of customers.  Each customer received individual attention and their wishes were catered to with courtesy whether the customers were local people or those visiting. 
            A number of rooms were also available for rent. Regular meals were served as well as short orders of anything customers requested. There was a complete line of imported and domestic cigars, smoker’s supplies and tobacco.

Stop by 607 N. Washington Street and spend some time not only dining, but imagining what that restaurant would have been like in the early 20th century.  Before you enter the restaurant look up at the top of the building and see the word “Rialto” carved into the limestone.   

Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            A term used by historians is the word Chautauqua.  What is a Chautauqua anyway?
            A Chautauqua is an adult education movement that was popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920’s.  Entertainment and culture, speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day were included in these events.
            Traveling Chautauqua tent shows were once a highlight of small town entertainment and Junction City had enjoyed a successful one during the summer of 1911.  The last program that year had been a sacred concert by an Italian band.  The time had come to decide if the town would subscribe again the next summer.  A notice in the newspaper stated that in order to have the same excellent variety of programs the next year, at least 500 people must subscribe at once.  They also reported that the Chautauqua that year had shown the people of the city the high-class attractions that were sent out by the Redpath Chautauqua Company.  Many of the programs would cost a dollar elsewhere, instead of the low price asked by the Chautauqua management.  The newspaper concluded that Chautauqua was letting the people of this city and county hear some of the best speakers and musical talent.  It gave our citizens a week’s pleasure and education during the most disagreeable time of the year.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 10, 2017

August 10, 2017

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

            Today’s story is about a business that lasted longer than expected. 
            In August of 1891, a little stock of goods was uncrated and placed on sale in what was formerly a barber shop in the Bartell House block in Junction City.  There were prophecies by locals that the business would most likely last only a week or two – well perhaps as long as a month. But the goods were bought right and sold right.  During the first day of the opening of the store, over one-tenth of the whole stock was sold out, showing to the proprietor that the people of Junction City knew a good thing and appreciated it.  Fifteen years later, the Racket Store, as it was called was still growing.  The store was expanded several times until it had become one of the leading stores in the state with sales of up to about $150,000 a year.  The Racket Store owners claimed that their success was due to good reliable merchandise at the lowest possible prices and their policy of taking back any article that was not satisfactory with a full refund.  They claimed to make friends of their customers and did all they could to let them know their patronage was appreciated. Junction City’s Racket Store remained in business on Washington Street until well past WWI – well past the time naysayers had expected. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Zoos were not as numerous in Kansas as they are today.  So when a circus came to town, parents made every effort to take their children to see the animals. Many of those animals were unusual examples of wild life.  Before there were many zoos, the circus was a way to see and learn about animals that were not common to our area.  A good place to see these animals was at the circus.
  It was August 9 and 10 in 1866 following the Civil War that J.T. Johnson and Company exhibited the first circus in Junction City.  Watching a circus crew put up the big tent and make camp was almost as exciting as seeing the animals and the show.  The elephants usually stole the attention in the pre-event activities, because of the work they did in unloading and setting up equipment for the performances.  In 1867, the Siamese Twins, who were part of this company, visited the town again.  During the decades which followed, the summer entertainment was often furnished by traveling shows of various types.
Circuses are becoming less and less available now.  Many of us have memories of circuses that not only had entertaining animal acts, but also trapeze artists, clowns and who could forget the circus marches and music played by live musicians with tremendous skills and talent.  Good memories!!!
Well, that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Nels Nicholson, a well-known former Police Chief of Junction City and Geary County Commissioner, passed away in August of 1941.  He was 70 years of age.  In 1934, the “Daily Union” newspaper published a Junction City 75th Anniversary issue.  Everyone knew him as Nick.  He began his career in Junction City in 1900 under the city Marshall Tom Allen Cullinan, who we have mentioned during these previous “Our Past Is Present” programs.  Nick Nicholson served as Deputy Sheriff for 9 years.  Later, he became a U.S. Marshall in Wichita for three years before returning to Junction City as a night patrolman, a position he held for 10 years.  He was then elected Chief of Police and preserved law and order in Junction City during World War I.  Nick was the Chief of Police through the mid to late 1930s when the town was overflowing with people from Camp Funston.  He was a reasonable and somewhat forgiving man and many soldiers at Fort Riley knew it.  Nick Nicholson had given  some of them a lecture and sent them back to the Post when an arrest and sentence would have meant an end to the soldier’s military career.   
            We want to express our appreciation to our current Chief of Police, Dan Breci, Sheriff Tony Wolf and all of the law enforcement officers who serve and protect us every day in Junction City and Geary County.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Many of us are aware of the Farmer’s Market which is held every Thursday in the Geary Community Hospital’s parking lot.  Local farmers sell fresh produce and other products at that weekly event.
            In the early days of Junction City and the surrounding counties there was a sort of “trading post on wheels.”  Eggs, chickens, cream, milk and butter were traded for sugar, flour, molasses and other staples.  The wagon was equipped with chicken crates which were usually on the back of the vehicle as well as containers to protect the eggs, cream and milk.  This “trading post on wheels” made it convenient for those who lived in rural areas and didn’t often travel to town. As our town grew, more people bought their supplies in town and the “trading post on wheels” began to disappear.
            Credit for establishing the first store IN Junction City was J.B. Dickerson.  He had a trading post here as early as August 1, 1855.  In 1858, John Wiley opened the first general store in the new town, and in August of 1860 Streeter and Stickler bought out the stock of William Leamer and had an imposing store for the time and place.  In addition to local trade, this firm was a heavy contracting business freighting and furnishing supplies throughout the plains area as far away as the Rocky Mountains.  It reached every government post in that region.  Hundreds of men living on the plains were employed by this first “chain department store” in our town.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 4, 2017

August 4, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Citizens of Junction City were told in 1907 that there will be no raising of hogs in the city limits.  On August 25, 1907, Dr. Hannah, the city health officer served notice on all people who had been keeping hogs within the city limits to have them removed  - AT ONCE!!!  There was a very strict ordinance against this and yet there were people who, either through ignorance or disregard for the law, continued to openly violate it.  From time to time warnings had been published in various papers and they had been ignored.  The city abounded with people who kept as few as one and as many as six hogs in pens in their back yards.     
            Even in the densely populated parts of the city this nuisance was being carried on.  There were even some pigpens within a few blocks of the main streets.  Hardly a day passed, but some of these animals would be seen parading up and down the streets and alleys.  This gave the city a “Cabbage Patch” aspect and was a decided detriment to civic improvement.  Then, too, the stench from the pig sties was extremely unpleasant – especially in the summer months.  Also it was conducive to ill health.  Several cases of malarial fever during previous years was said to have been traced directly to this source.
            According to the “Union” newspaper editor, the practice of keeping pigs with the city limits had long been a menace to the health of the community, and Dr. Hannah was to be commended for the stand he had taken on this matter.
            That’s today’s story.  We hope to see you soon at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City. The Museum is open from 1 until 4 every day Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 3, 2017

August 3, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about a harsh criticism of a play that was performed at the Opera House in August of 1907.  Apparently not all summer entertainment lived up to expectations according to a review of a play present in Junction City in August of 1907.  The review stated it had been the custom of a certain class of stage people, when they wanted a vacation to band together and tour the country with a performance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” This was done by those more desirous of salary than anything more permanent.  The consequences was that the average “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” production was not all that it should be and the performance at the Opera House the previous evening was in no way an exception to the rule. 
            According to the reviewer, the play itself was always disappointing after one had read the book by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  The development of the play, through the work of such companies during the last half of the century had been rather disastrous to the individuality of the story.  “The show last night was poor”, stated the critic.  He went on to write that “the story was supposed to be a tragedy of the most pathetic type, but it takes good acting to do tragedy  and not make it laughable.  When it was well acted, it is a fine thing, but on the other hand when it is murdered and also dissected it is a most painful production.  The audience was large, but many left before the play was over”. 
            The review concluded that “this play was out of date anyway and the sooner it is laid on the shelf for the worms to worry over, the fewer occasions there would be for harsh and adverse criticism.”
            Wow!!! That was harsh – but from the critics perspective deserved.  It has been rare that a poor performance is seen at our C.L. Hoover Opera House.  We hope you will join us this season to see a few or all of the productions.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Many of us have experienced the direction to “hurry up” and then we find ourselves having to wait – for some reason, perhaps unknown to us.  Well, today’s story is about what might be considered a common “hurry up and wait” theme in August of 1920.
            A selected detachment of 500 regular soldiers from Camp Funston left for Denver on two special trains in August of 1920.  They had been ordered to duty in connection with the rioting related to the streetcar strike there.
            When the orders reached Camp Funston the previous evening, many of the officers and men of the detachment were at their homes and they were recalled at once to the camp. It took only a short time to get the unit together, assemble the equipment and get ready to entrain.
            The men were said to be a special detachment that was formed to handle similar emergencies as the one in Denver.  They were equipped with sawed-off shotguns and cartridges loaded with buckshot, Whippet tanks, hand grenades and “one-pounders” that shot shrapnel.
            Although the men and equipment were quickly assembled, their departure was delayed until the necessary rolling stock was available and they were finally underway with the first train that left in the early morning of August 7, 1920. 

            Hurry up and wait.  Still a common theme in the military.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Our Past Is Present August 1, 2017

August 1, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today our time will be spent sharing more about the early days of Junction City.  
            We hope you are enjoying these stories and if you are, stop by the Museum and let us know that or give us a call at 238-1666.
            Ben Keyser opened a printing office in Junction City to start a newspaper in 1859, the same year Junction City was incorporated.  He was a Southerner with pro-slavery sympathies and a radical Democrat, although the only surviving edition of his “Junction Sentinel” newspaper dated May 14, 1859 gives no outward indications about his political position.
            Keyser’s “Prospectus”, in addition to describing his plans for the newspaper, also gives us an indication of the prospects for the new town. Here is a quote from that work:  “This is the most western town of any importance in the Territory, being three miles west of Fort Riley and located immediately at the junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill forks of the Kaw (Kansas) River.  It naturally commands the trade of the settlers upon the rich and beautiful valleys spreading from the banks of streams. 
            The continued prosperity of the town although but six months old, its rapidly increasing importance and the many and varied interests that are centering on it, has induced the undersigned to try the rather dangerous experiment of publishing here, upon the border of civilization.  It is true that towns seldom make papers, while it is equally true that papers often erect towns.”  These were encouraging words about early Junction City.

Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Yesterday’s story was about the early days of Junction City. Perhaps many of our listeners do not know how and why Junction City got its name. So… in today’s story those questions will be answered.
Junction City got its name because of its position at the junction of two rivers – the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers. In 1854, Andrew J. Mead from New York, the Cincinnati-Manhattan Company and Free Staters with a connection to the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company, planned a community at what is now Junction City. They were going to call it Manhattan. There was even some discussion about calling it New Cincinnati. However, when the steamship, Hartford, which was delivering the immigrants, could not reach the community because of low water on the Kansas River, the Free Staters settled 20 miles west in what is today Manhattan. The new community, which is now Junction City, was renamed Millard City for Captain Millard of the Hartford steamship on October 3, 1855. Then it was briefly renamed Humboldt in 1857 by local farmers and renamed yet again later that year – Junction City. Junction City was incorporated in 1859. If you haven’t had time to visit our Museum yet this summer, we hope you will do so as soon as you can. Our Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays between the hours of 1 and 4 in the afternoon. Admission is free and the air conditioners work really well for the protection of our artifacts and your comfort. The Museum is located at the corner of Sixth and Adams. Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.       

Friday, July 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 28, 2017

July 28, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s broadcast will be a chronology of events in 1858 from May through December, which was published in the “Junction City Union” in May of 1876.  This information was a way to mark some of the significant events that led up to the 100th birthday of the United States and was a chronological history of Junction City up to that point.  These are some of those events:
            The Junction City Town Company was organized in the fall of 1857 and on New Year’s Day of 1858, Daniel Mitchell began the survey of the present town site.  The survey was completed in the early summer of 1858.  The original members of the Town Company were: J.R. McClure, President; Robert Wilson, Treasurer; Daniel Mitchell, Secretary; F.N. Blake, John T. Price and P.Z. Taylor.
            In May, work had begun to erect a building near the crossing of 7th and Washington Streets.  In June, editor Benjamin Keyser and printer, George Kingsbury announced, “We have bought the type and press for a democratic newspaper and have them now in town.  We will issue the first number in June.  It will be called the Junction Sentinel newspaper.”
            In July of 1858, the first sermon was preached in Junction City by Reverend William Millice, a Southern Methodist missionary.  He preached in a frame building erected on the northwest corner of 7th and Washington Streets.  Also in July, the Union Lodge A.F. & A.M. was relocated to Junction City.  The first meetings were held in a crude log cabin on the Cuddy’s Addition. 
            On August 2nd of 1858, Kansas voted on the Lecompton Constitution and Davis County cast 123 votes to reject with only 27 votes in its favor.  On August 5th, Elizabeth and Robert Henderson gave birth to their daughter Lizzie.  She was the first child born in Junction City. 
            On October 4, Benjamin Keyser and Thomas R. Points were elected to the Territorial Legislature from Junction City and by December about a dozen structures including homes and businesses had risen in the town. 
            There was a lot going on in the early days of Junction City.  We can be sure that there was construction of business buildings, houses, unpaved streets, getting to know each other, helping each other, growing foods to sustain themselves and many other activities going on in the building of a town in the mid-1800’s. 
We have some pictures of early Junction City on the first floor of our museum in the Main Street Gallery.  Stop by and take a look to see what our City looked like then and see why we say – “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.