Friday, October 20, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 20, 2017

October 20, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about a mother, her three children and a puppy, who narrowly escaped their deaths. The mother’s name was Mrs. Theodore Zook.  She lived in Junction City with her three children.  One day they embarked on an excursion to gather nuts from a tree.  This was in October of 1894.  The three boys had a small wagon with them in which they had placed their coats, shoes and a picnic for their outing.  There was a small dog – or large pup, which was also included on the trip.  They went down the Union Pacific track and started across the railroad bridge that crossed the Republican River.  About halfway over the trestle, they were startled to discover a fast moving express train that was within a few feet of them.  The train was so close that it was impossible for them to reach the end of the bridge.  Mrs. Zook, in her excitement, grabbed the pup instead of one of the children and threw herself and the pup down on the ties outside of the rail. The children did the same.  The wagon was abandoned in the middle of the bridge and soon there were shoes and dinner buckets flying through the air.  The engineer stopped the train as soon as possible.  He was amazed and very thankful to discover that none of the Zook family had been seriously injured. 
            It is always wise to be very cautious at railroad crossings and anywhere there might be a train coming down the tracks. 
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 19, 2017

October 19, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today's story is about the Riley Manor Housing Development.  The location of Riley Manor was and is at Webster and First Streets in Junction City.  In October of 1949, there was a sale of the federal housing development.  Veterans of WWII, who were occupants in the development, were to have first priority in the purchases of the units.  Veterans who intended to occupy a dwelling unit in the building purchased had second priority, non-veteran occupants had third priority and non-veterans who intended to occupy a unit in the building purchased were to be a fourth priority.
            The prospective purchasers were instructed to register their intent to purchase on forms to be provided for that purpose and the sales were to be fixed prices.  The registration was to begin on October 18 at the Riley Manor Management Building at 707 West First Street.  Registration would end November 17, 1949. 
            Each housing unit was equipped with facilities for heating, cooking and refrigeration.  The equipment was included in the sale prices.   A good-faith deposit of $50.00 per dwelling unit needed to be made with each offer in the form of a certified or cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of the United States.  All sales were to be for cash and all the buildings have been approved for FHA-insured loans. 
            That’s today’s story…….
            Stop by our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets to see our Gallery’s, which are rich in Geary County history any day Tuesday through Sundays between the hours of 1 and 4:00 PM.  Admission is free.  We would love to share stories and hear yours too. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 18, 2017

October 18, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            October is “Fire Prevention Month.”  This news item from the 1920’s is interesting to share.  “While electric irons are a boom to housewives, their improper use is the chief electrical fire hazard.” So stated a report compiled by the National Fire Protection Association in October of 1926. 
            “Manufacturers of the appliances had cooperated by safeguarding them in numerous ways.  One of those was to provide a thermostat control to prevent the temperature from rising above given point.  That point was usually between 400 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit.  Stands were also being provided on practically all models to keep the irons from coming into contact with combustible material when not in use.  In mercantile and manufacturing establishments and even in dwellings, an effective precaution was the installation of a red light to warn when the power was on. If the operator left the power to the iron, there was a light which would be lit.  Despite precautions being taken by the manufacturers of electric irons, there was no way to counteract human carelessness.”  The author of the article stated that “It seems housewives continue to fail to put hot irons on stands and continue to fail to turn off the power whenever they left the room, even if only for a few seconds.  Often, these seconds turned into minutes and during that period many disastrous fires started.” 
            Make an effort to send our local firefighters a note of appreciation or stop by one of the stations and personally express your thankfulness to them for all they do to serve us and our community. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The thirty-third anniversary of the founding of the Ancient Order of the United Workmen was observed by the members of the order on October 17, 1900.  The event was held at the Knights of Pythias Hall and Ballroom in the Gentner block in the Junction City business district.  The Fort Riley Orchestra was secured to provide music. For the benefit of those who did not enjoy dancing, a short and well selected program was arranged under the supervision of Mr. John Mumment.  Spectators were urged to be in their seats at 8:00 PM sharp.  There would be no delay in starting promptly once the clock struck 8:00.  Tickets were 10 cents for each person in attendance.  At the conclusion of the program, the Ladies of the Degree of Honor were to serve coffee and appropriate foods. 
            Those who had ball tickets were to adjourn to the ballroom to engage in the pleasure of the evening.  In order that the dance floor not be overcrowded, the committee suggested a very moderate charge of 50 cents per couple for those who wished to dance.  Ladies without escorts were not permitted in the ballroom except on presentation of dance tickets.  The Ancient Order of United Workmen (A.O.U.W.) was known to be one of the best insurance orders in America.  They were especially known for their helpfulness to widows and orphans. 
That’s today’s story.  We want to encourage our readers to visit our museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets to see the displays in Gallery One, which will be coming down and be replaced with a new display. The museum is open on Tuesdays through Sundays from 1 until 4 and admission is free. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017

This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Our story today is about some helpful household hints from 1900.  The first hint is about care of table linen.  The author of the article from which this information came stated that “you may have a delightful meal to serve, plenty of pretty china, glass and silver, but if your tablecloth is not snowy white and of just the right stiffness, your table would not look it’s best.  One should examine the cloths once a week and darn the smallest break.  A tiny hole was easy to mend, but a patch was unsightly.  An undercover of Canton Flannel would make the tablecloth look better and prevent the table from wearing the linen.”
Another hint was about the use of tray cloths.  “Tray cloths were to be used to prevent spillages and stains.  These smaller cloths were easier to wash and dry than the larger cloths which would be on top of the smaller ones.” 
Several tips were given for the removal of stains on the different cloths.  “Tea and coffee stains were to be removed by pouring boiling water over them and kerosene could be used on fruit stains and iron dust.  Alcohol was good for grass stains and chocolate required a soaking in cold water before being rinsed in boiling water.”
“If the woman of the house did not do the laundry herself and if she wanted to keep her table up to standard, she must still be able to direct the laundress.”
Today less time is spent at the table to share in a meal.  Gatherings with friends tend to be for barbecues, sharing finger foods and watching games on television.  We often use paper plates and plastic ware.  Most items used can be thrown in the trash or recycled with less time spent on clean up.  Even some table cloths can be thrown away.  People tend to serve themselves in a buffet style and serving trays are rarely needed.  As we mentioned last week – to some, the good ole days were more formal.  However to others -  THESE will be the good ole days.  What will be our eating and dining habits in the future?

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Each of us who drive a car must have a driver’s license, proof of insurance, registration of the vehicle and a clearly posted license plate on our vehicle.  Well in the fall of 1909 the local law enforcement officers set out to be more rigid in enforcing similar ordinances in Junction City.  As a result, there had been several arrests for infractions of the Ordinances and more were likely to follow.  It seems the police officers had been checking up on delinquent motorists for several days.
            There had been periodic checks of the speed ordinance since it was enacted, but it had not been rigidly enforced.  Several arrests had been made, but at widely separated intervals.  However, to the credit of Junction City motorists there had been few incidents of reckless driving on the streets and only a few complaints of violations of the speed ordinance.
            The provision requiring each motor car be driven by a licensed driver and that the car have a leather tag number of ITS license be displayed at all times was to be more rigidly enforced.  Some motorists had disregarded this provision and one arrest had been made for failure to have a number properly displayed.  This particular motorist said he had lost his tag number off the car and did not realize it.  He was fined anyway!!!
            Another provision to be enforced was one requiring that motor cars, when driven at night, shall display tail lights showing red behind and white on either side so that the tag number of the car would be visible at all times.  Little attention had been paid to this provision in the past.  In fact, there were some cars in Junction City that NEVER displayed tail lights at all.
            Our vehicles automatically come from the factory with lights built in, so unless there is a bulb burned out, appropriate and legal lighting is not a concern for today’s drivers.  We only have ourselves to blame, however, if we get stopped for speeding. 
            Well… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the “Mother’s Club” of Junction City.  It was organized by Miss Ellen Huston in the fall of 1925.  The club started with 18 members, who were all mothers of the boys in the “Builder’s Class” of the Presbyterian Church.  By 1934, this group had grown to 75 members.  The “Mother’s Club” was an interdenominational club for mothers who had a personal knowledge of needy families in town.  The mother’s tried to can a little surplus fruit and vegetables to give in baskets to those in need – especially during the winter months.  Club dues were $1.00 per year, but even those dues were not compulsory.  The dues helped fill the 180 baskets given to the needy at Christmas time.  The club also gave treats to the inmates of the County Poor Farm at New Years and Easter.  Along with bedding and food, the Club also gave 3,000 garments and 300 pairs of shoes in 1933. 
            Our community is always responsive to those who are need.  Many civic clubs, churches, businesses, local agencies and individuals do not hesitate when asked to help others.  One more reason to say this is a great place to live, work, play and retire. 
            And… That’s today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story comes from a newspaper article dated March 27, 1947.  The headline was “Start Work On War Memorial – Landscaping of South Jefferson Street Park Is Underway”.
This is the area we now call Coronado Park.  The author of the 1947 article wrote that the “landscaping is expected to make it one of the most beautiful spots in Junction City.  The park is located between Vine and Ash Streets, just north of the hospital grounds. In a central location in the park will be a monument with a bronze plate bearing the names of approximately 80 men who gave their lives in WWII.  Prominent in the landscape plan will be 80 trees, which will be planted in honor of the memory of each of the men.”  This memorial was a joint project of the Woman’s Relief Corps and Veterans of Foreign Wars with the cooperation of other organizations and individuals.  The V.F.W. provided the monument and bronze plate.  A six-foot marble monument, three feet wide and eight inches thick was ordered for the park display.
The author of the article also wrote that the trees will be Oaks, American and Chinese Elms, Maples and others.  There will also be foliage placed for the winter months.  A small parking area and driveway are planned along the north side of the Park.”
            The Coronado Park has changed some over the years with the addition of playground equipment, a shelter house and basketball court for instance.  However, it remains one of our attractive parks in town where people can relax, enjoy the facilities and celebrate the contributions made by those who have served out country.
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 10, 2017

October 10, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In October of 1909, Dr. Fred W. O’Donnell and Junction City Attorney, I.M. Platt, were tasked with inspecting all the hotels in Junction City to see that the hotels  were in compliance with the regulations of the State Board of Health. These inspections included fire protection, sanitary inspection and even the specifications of towels, sheets and pillow cases.
            Hotels were required to have fire alarm gongs of sufficient size to be heard in all parts of the building.  Ropes or other approved devices for fire escapes had to be in every sleeping room above the first floor.  The inspecting officer’s report had to show the kind and number of escapes and the arrangements of the lighting directing the way out of the hotel.
            Inspection of sanitary concerns had a large number of things to be considered.  The inspectors were required to inspect the offices, wash rooms, pantries, kitchen closets, back yards, dining rooms and bedrooms.  The pantries had to be rat proof.  Inspectors had to note that the towels in the wash rooms were individual or roller types, trash and tin cans were not allowed to accumulate in the back yards and garbage and to be removed from the kitchen.  There was even a check to see if dishes in the dining room area were kept clean and flies kept away from the tables.
            When inspecting the bedrooms in the hotels, one of the checkpoints was to measure that the top sheet on the bed was sufficient width and length to cover the bed and fold back over the upper end of the blankets for at least fourteen inches. Inspectors also had to verify that there were clean individual towels, clean sheets and pillow slips for each guest. 
            After making an inspection, the local officers reported to the State Board of Health concerning their judgment.  A certificate would then be issued to each hotel where the inspection had been passed.  Those hotels which did not receive a certificate were to be closed.

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about a town by the name of Welcome, Kansas where we are sure everyone who attended the traditional community fair felt welcome.  In most cases, community fairs were held during the summer months.  An article in the 1923 newspaper stated that the Welcome, Kansas community fair would start on October 4 and end on October 6.  The event was to be held at the A.R. Germann farm, which was located six and a half miles northwest of Alta Vista.  Specific directions for getting to the event were given to those who lived in western Geary County: Turn at the Weston Schoolhouse, travel to the Welcome Cemetery, then go two miles north and a half mile east to arrive at their destination. 
            In past years, the Welcome ladies had served a chicken dinner in cafeteria style. However, for the fair in 1923, arrangements had been made with Brigadier General E.L. King, who was the Commandant at Fort Riley.  He was to provide a detachment from the Bakers and Cooks School to assist with the meal.  The men would prepare and serve a baby beef dinner in traditional Army style.
            Among the attractions of the fair was a draft-pulling contest and horse races. For these events half of the gate receipts would be awarded as prizes. Other activities included band concerts, horseshoe tournaments, a school parade and a program with eight county school districts participating.
            The town of Welcome, Kansas temporarily grew in size with many people attending the  Community Fair on those two days.  Welcome was located southeast of Junction City in the vicinity of McDowell Creek.
            And…. that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   

Friday, October 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In the fall of 1943, the County Ration Board Chairman, Joe Deines, reported he not only maintained a sizeable victory garden, but he also was trying his skills at dehydrating vegetables.  He had built a dehydrator to aid in the process, which consisted of heating and drying to remove moisture.  Joe found that if he started with a gallon of produce, it was generally reduced to about a quart by using the dehydration procedure.  The fresh peas came through the process well, but garden beets did not have a very appetizing appearance.
 The vegetables were blanched in boiling water to set the color, then heated to 150 degrees for 4 hours.  The heat was provided by four 250 watt reflector bulbs.  An electric fan circulated the heat and ventilators provided a means for the moisture to escape. Mr. Deines had made his dehydrator by using plans given in the General Electric magazine and he encouraged others in Junction City to support the War effort by giving this method a try.   
            We have a sample of a typical “Victory Garden” in our gallery on the main floor of our museum.  You could not dehydrate or eat the vegetables in our garden, however, because they are made of plastic.  But at least you can see what such a garden looked like during WWII. 

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 5, 2017

October 5, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            While looking through advertisements printed in the local newspapers of October 1947, there is some nostalgia about the “Good Ole Days” to which they are often referred by some of today’s senior citizens.  For example:  The “Song of the Thin Man” starring William Powell and Myrna Loy was showing at the Kaw Theater.  The Fashion Shop on North Washington was selling 100% wool coats for $35.00 and the fare to ride the Santa Fe Trailways Bus to Kansas City was only $2.90.  If you were more adventurous, you could go to Chicago for $10.20 or San Antonio for $14.95. A pair of “Acme” boots from LaShelle’s Shoe Store would have cost you $15.00.  Fresh cut roses at Keeshan’s Junction City Floral were $1.75 a dozen and a large mum plant was only $3.50.  To quench your thirst – a bottle of Coca-Cola would have cost you five cents.  Cooper’s CafĂ© claimed that with their home made cooking they save you money and with those savings you could purchase a pair of Boumont draperies for 98 cents at Townsend’s Department Store. 

            These were great prices as compared to what we pay now for similar items. Those were the “Good Ole Days” for some to recall.  Our children and their children will possibly recall these as their “Good Ole Days” when they are senior citizens and how little things cost today as to when they become senior citizens. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 4, 2017

October 4, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            In the fall of 1901, a local clergyman once exchanged pulpits with a younger minister, who was well known for his aggressiveness.  Before the service, the resident pastor told his substitute that the window behind the pulpit was broken. However, the pastor asked the substitute not mention it to the congregation, since it had already been mentioned several times in the past without any progress to get the window fixed.  The resident pastor also stated that the hymn books were badly torn, but there was also no need mention this to the congregation, because this issue had been discussed before and no action taken. The young substitute minister promised he would refrain from commenting on the broken window and the badly torn hymn books. 
            After the service began, the younger minister found the draft from the broken window unbearable.  So, he quietly stuffed his overcoat through the hole in the window.  The deacons of the congregation became uneasy and inwardly resolved to remedy this at their earliest possible moment.  When the minister announced the second hymn, he found the last two stanzas from HIS book were missing.  So, he told the congregation that if their books were complete – just keep on singing without him. 
            Without even saying a word about the broken window and the concern about the torn hymnals – as he had promised – both issues were resolved before the return of the elder clergyman the next Sunday.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our Past Is Present October 3, 2017

October 3, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The phrase “Now we’re cooking with gas” originated in the late 1930s or early 40s as a slogan thought up by the natural gas industry to convince people to use gas, rather than electricity on their new-fangled stoves.  This was the era where there was a widespread transition from wood-fueled stoves, and electric and natural gas stoves were in competition with each other.  The gas industry wanted to imprint the idea in people’s minds that cooking with gas was the most effective way to get the hot food on the table. 
            A demonstration given by the Junction City Gas Company Office in September of 1913 attracted many shoppers.  The demonstration of gas ranges and other gas appliances brought both men and women in to witness this new way of cooking.  A Mr. Hutchinson and his helpers cooked and served biscuits, coffee and apricot jam to everyone who visited the store. Coupons were handed out with a registration for a drawing to be held for a gas stove, which would be given away the next day.

            The phrase “Now we’re cooking with gas” was likely coined by a man named Deke Houlgate, who worked for the American Gas Association in the 1930s. He planted the phrase with writers for Bob Hope, who used it in his comedy routines.  The phrase also pops up in Jack Benny routines, a 1942 movie and a 1943 Daffy Duck cartoon.  You may have even heard Jerry Brecheisen say the phrase when he gets more than the usual calls on “Swap Shop.”  He means calls have increased and moving along in a positive way. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 29, 2017

September 29, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The formal opening of the new expanded Thompson Building at 7th and Washington Streets in Junction City took place in late October of 1909.  The offices upstairs and the large new billiard hall were visited by many people.  The Thompson Smoke House, which with the Loeb Drug Store, occupied the lower floor and was the largest billiard hall in central Kansas.  The front portion of the building was devoted to cigars, tobaccos, and pipes displayed in elegant new show cases and were partially separated from the billiard and pool tables by a partition. 
            In the rear of the building were two fine billiard tables and four pool tables.  There were four more pool tables on the south side, which opened on to East 7th Street.  The floor of the new part was covered with rubber matting while the front part of the building retained the tile floor.  The tables were all refitted and a new supply of cues and balls had been added. 
            The big glass front of the East 7th Street side furnished exceptional lighting and the central portion of the establishment was lighted by skylights.  At night there were new electric lights of high illumination.
            Mr. Thompson had ordered a supply of settees and writing tables for the convenience of customers.  The walls were decorated by the Durbon Company and were painted a light yellow color with the pressed steel ceiling painted in white.  Palms and other plants were used for decoration. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Sometimes we think about baking when we hear there was a Gold Medal Contest. However, the audience that left the Junction City’s Methodist Church on a Wednesday evening in September of 1907 had just been to a Gold Medal Oratorical Contest.  Because of some sickness and other reasons, the number of contestants was fewer than expected.  The medal was won by Mrs. J. B. Smeilney of Riley. This qualified her to be a contestant for the grand medal competition. 
Other entertainment was provided by the W.C.T.U. organization.  They gave a performance titled “Minute Women.”  The welcome song was sung by 22 school children.  Their graceful salute to the flag and the Kansas Rally Cry of the Loyal Temperance Union was outstanding.  The Rally Cry went like this:  “Saloons Must Go, Because Our Boys and Girls Say So.”  Apparently this brought about loud applause. 
            There were other musical selections presented by a chorus directed by a Mr. Elam. 
The Gold Medal Oratorical Contest was more than speeches being given, but also an evening of enjoying quality music.

            That is today’s story.  We hope you and your family will come to “Jammin in JC” for some great blues music, and some of the best food at the best prices at our booth in Heritage Park this Friday evening and Saturday all day and evening. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 27, 2017

September 27, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The September 3, 1921 edition of the “Junction City Daily Union” told how the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Harman had recently had one of his watercolor paintings printed in the “World Magazine.”  The picture showed a steeplejack view of New York’s Lower Broadway.  The article accompanying the picture stated “Truth is stranger than cubism when it comes to seeing and depicting the unbelievable skyscraper of Lower Manhattan.”  The perspective from which the picture was made was one that few artists would attempt.
            Bertram Hartman was born in Junction City in 1882.  He graduated from Junction City High School with 28 others in 1900.  The 1900 Year Book published an appropriate prophecy for each graduate and beside Bertram’s name was written “An artist who may produce excelled designs, but they will avail little, unless the taste of the public is sufficiently cultivated to appreciate them.”  Harman painted three murals for the old Bartell Hotel dining room in 1910 and it is these for which he is most remembered by area residents.  There were also four oil landscape paintings of Geary County that hung in the George Smith Library, which was located at the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets.  These landscape paintings were donated to our Museum in 1984.
            Bertram went on to study abroad and returned to live in New York where he opened a

studio.  Just prior to his death in 1960, he wrote letters to the head librarian of the George Smith Library.  These letters also contained sketches in crayon and ink.  A time capsule buried by the graduating class of 1900 was opened in 2000 and one of Harman’s sketches was found in the capsule. That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “The Lights Came On In Junction City.”
A reporter at the “Junction City Tribune” paid a visit to the Fogarty Mill west of the Smoky Hill River in September of 1886 to see the starting of the city’s new electric lights at its source.  In the basement of the new building he found a roomful of complicated, powerful and nicely adjusted machinery.  The person in charge was Mr. J. W. Wilkins, who represented the Western Electric Company of Chicago.  The wheels were first put in motion simply on a trial run.  After a short stoppage, some adjustments were made and a pulley was replaced.  The power, which was conveyed across the river by a wire belt was then gradually applied.  The lighting appeared at once in the mill room and in two dozen businesses and houses on Washington Street a mile and a half away. This occurred all at the same moment.  The reporter stated that this was one of the most wonderful practical applications of the powers of nature put to use in the nineteenth century.  Electricity would light the business streets and houses in of the city much more perfectly than could be done with oil lamps – not to mention that it would be cheaper.  Twenty-four streetlights were installed and more were on order.  It was believed that the supply of waterpower could be expanded by three times the original size by adding more machinery and fixtures.  The “Junction City Tribune” stated that it could now date the lighting of Junction City with electricity as of ….. September 1886.
            And… that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is another written by Gaylynn Childs, our former and now retired Executive Director during the year of the sesquicentennial anniversary celebration of the founding of Junction City.
            “One of Junction City’s great selling points in the beginning years was the existence in abundance of quality building stone.  Early promoters described the stone quarried in the immediate area as “magnesium limestone of a light gray or buff tint.”  It was found in the outcroppings sometimes called rim rock, which ran throughout the area.  However the best stone for sawing purposes was found beneath the surface of the soil down to a depth of 12 to 15 feet.
            One of the great advantages of Junction City stone was its workability when it was first taken from the ground and the fact that it hardened with exposure to the air and elements.  Thus, it could be worked and carved into beautiful shapes and forms that would endure as the stone aged.  Junction City’s first real industry came as a result of the effort to utilize this building stone.       
            Major O.J. Hopkins, who had earlier served at Fort Riley, settled in Junction City after the Civil War and in 1866 he initiated the commercial process of sawing this local limestone.  It is reported that he probably got the idea from Daniel Mitchell, an area settler, who in the summer of 1864, experimented with the use of a hand saw to saw this stone while constructing his house.  Hopkins had apparently witnessed this experiment and later initiated correspondence with the operation of eastern quarries to learn more about quarrying methods. 
            He then interested Junction City founder James McClure and others and formed a company to undertake the sawing of local limestone.  This venture became one of the largest industries in the early history of Junction City employing as many as 60 men and turning out about $1,500 worth of stone per month.  The company used the McFarland Quarry, which was probably the earliest quarry in the area. 
            In 1867, primarily through the efforts of George W. Martin, editor of the “Junction City Union”, The Junction City Stone Sawing Company secured a contract to furnish all the stone needed in the construction of the State Capitol building, which is now the east wing.
            Although the Junction City Sawing Company eventually went bankrupt, it had paved the way for the production of building stone, which would be used throughout Kansas and in the surrounding states for over a century.
            This has been “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 22, 2017

September 22, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 
            It’s football season!!! We thought that today, we would review some newspaper reports on the football season in years past. 
            The first article found was dated 1894.  The author had an obvious bias and concern about players getting injured when he wrote:  “Football is, if possible even more brutal and dangerous than prize-fighting.  But it is now a popular fad and it is supposed it will continue in “favor” until some of our bright and sturdy boys are maimed for life.  Thus far, in the season a broken arm and numerous bruises and contusions were the extent of the injuries received by local players, but it was felt that parents and teachers would avert much future regret, if they would strongly use their influence against this barbarous pastime.”
            By 1912, there was a more acceptance of the sport.  A football banquet was given by local merchants at the Bartell House at Sixth and Washington Streets.  Twenty-one players and as many merchants enjoyed an evening of dining and hearing short talks given by Dr. Smiley (the team’s coach), Dr. Carr, Mr. Platt and Mr. Shideler.  After the banquet the boys were treated to free entertainment at the Lyric Theater.   
            A 1913 article related some changes to the rules of playing football.  Neither the head coach nor anyone would be allowed to walk up and down the sidelines.  The words “running into the fullback after the kick” were changed to “roughing the kicker.”
            We found the report of the 1918 Junction City versus Salina game to be surprising.  JCHS lost.  This was their first game of the season and the score was 32 to 2.  One of the suspected reasons for the loss was that several players had car trouble and were unable to get to the game during the first half.
            It is football season and we wish all of our local teams the best – not only on the field but in using the many life skills that are learned from playing sports. 


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            This Sunday, September 24 at 3:00 in the afternoon, we will be hosting another in our series of “Memories at the Museum.”  Come and share your memories of Ninth Street in Junction City.  We would love to hear your stories. 
            Now for today’s story….
            One of the most attractive and best equipped drug stores in the West opened in October in 1909 and it was located in Junction City.  Louis B. Loeb was the owner.  The store was located at the corner of 7th and Washington Streets.  It was furnished in mission style mahogany and the fixtures were manufactured especially for Mr. Loeb by Whitcomb Cabinet Company of Kansas City, Missouri.
            There was a 14 foot soda fountain that occupied the north side of the store.  It was made of onyx and white marble and was beautifully lighted with colored globes.  The fountain was built for Mr. Loeb by the Liquid Carbonic Company of Chicago.  Another feature of the store was the balcony in the rear.  This space had green carpet, comfortable chairs and several small tables for serving hot and cold drinks. 
            There was a large mirror in the rear of the room downstairs.  Drugs in bottles and packages were in closed cabinets with glass doors. The cabinets on the north side of the room contained attractive displays of stationary, perfumes and toilet articles on one side and cigars and candies on the other. 
            The well-known photographer, J.J. Pennell, took a picture of the Loeb store, which we can show you at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets any day Tuesday through Sunday from 1 until 4 in the afternoon.  Stop by and see this picture and the many displays we have of Geary County History. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Our Past Is Present September 20, 2017

September 20, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            On September 12 of 1923, two Geary County citizens were hospitalized, two automobiles badly wrecked and a buggy smashed to firewood as a result of three weekend accidents.  Mrs. Ed Moritz was taken to the city hospital after the car driven by her husband had crashed into one of the heavy posts used to barricade the section of the Milford Road, which was cut through by the Republican River several months earlier.  Lack of light was said to have caused the accident.  Mr. and Mrs. Moritz had traveled to town to do their trading and at Fifteenth Street, both globes in the cars headlights burnt out.  The Moritz’s went back to town to get new globes, but shortly after beginning their trip home, the new globes stopped working.  Mr. Moritz was familiar with the road and decided to make the rest of the journey to their home in Milford without the lights.  He said he was on the lookout for the barricade, but was on it before he could stop the car.  Mrs. Moritz was thrown through the windshield sustaining cuts to her face and wrists.  She also had severed arteries, which caused her to lose a great deal of blood.  Mr. Moritz improvised a bandage and they set out on foot for the James Dixon place one and half miles up the road.  A passing car failed to stop, despite Mr. Moritz’s frantic waving of his wife’s bandaged wrist. Mr. Dixon took the Moritz’s to the hospital where a physician worked for several hours to repair the injuries. During that same night a large quantity of groceries and tools were stolen from the Moritz car by thieves. 
Charles Miller of Chapman was also taken to the hospital with a broken leg after his Ford had wrapped itself around a Cottonwood Tree on Grant Avenue. 
            A horse owned by a teamster named Paggett, had to be shot after an automobile collision broke the horses leg and the buggy… was smashed beyond repair. 
            September 12, 1923 was a busy day for accidents in Junction City.  Fortunately, everyone except the poor horse survived. 
            And… those are today’s stories on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

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.