Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            A neighborhood feud in Junction City was settled in August of 1924, much to the relief of the police and county authorities.  The neighbors in this story will be referred to as Neighbor No. 1 and Neighbor No. 2, just in case any of our readers might be able to identify the characters involved in this story.
            It seems that Neighbor No. 1 had been complaining that a cow belonging to Neighbor No. 2 had been allowed to run at large to the detriment of the first’s garden.  Shortly afterwards, No. 2 called the police and complained that No. 1 had locked up his cow and demanded $25.00 for damages to his garden before he would turn the cow back to its owner.
            The police and county authorities declined to get involved in this fuss and suddenly the matter was dropped.  Shortly after this incident, Neighbor No.2 caught a white angora cat belonging to Neighbor No. 1 on his premises and locked her up on the claim that she had been eating his chickens.  When Neighbor No. 1 called to protest, he was told that it would cost $25.00 to get the cat released.  Neighbor No. 1 replied “I’ll trade you the cow for the cat”….
And with that exchange, the feud ended. 
            Wouldn’t it be great if disagreements could be handled that easily today?”
           


Monday, July 24, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Sibling rivalry is common among families.  That was certainly true about Frank, Andy and John Flower, who were brothers.   Here is an example of a typical day in 1924, when the boys teased each other in a spirited and amusing way.
            What started out to be a beautiful day for Junction City merchants, Andy and John Flower got spoiled when their brother, Frank, walked into their store with a large bouquet. Frank stated that while they were busy raising vegetables in their backyards, he was doing something to beautify the town by raising flowers in his front yard.  With that remark he presented the bouquet to them.  With true brotherly spirit, Andy and John lit into Frank and gave him a verbal dressing down.  The boys were clear that although their last name WAS Flower, Andy and John had always raised vegetables and they didn’t think very highly of a man who spent his time puttering with flowers.  Anyway, they said, all Frank had to do was sit in his office and watch the money from rental properties roll in, running home occasionally to the 35 minute job of hoeing his flower beds.  They, however, worked all day in the store and did their gardening after super and before breakfast, raising vegetables that would be of real value instead of flowers that would only satisfy the eye. 
            Perhaps if you have siblings, you have experienced a similar rivalry.  In the end though, it is also common for siblings to be the best defenders of each other when that need arises.



Friday, July 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            This is a little early to be thinking about the new school year, however, it is closer than some may want to realize.  Today’s story is about the beginning of the public school system in Junction City, which was established as District No. 1 in July of 1862.  The first settlers in the area were from communities where a school was an integral part of everyday life.  As soon as they were able to take care of the necessities of life, they made provision for the education of their children.  As early as 1858, select schools were in operation in Davis County, which is now Geary County.  These schools were actually private schools wherein the parents paid the teacher directly and the teacher usually maintained the school in his or her home. No records exist today of these tuition schools and only scant mention is made of them in newspaper articles of the time.  Some of these select schools existed throughout the 1860’s becoming specialized in areas like spelling schools, singing schools and “finishing” schools for young ladies.  During the winter of 1858-1859, three select schools were maintained in the immediate area; one at Bacheller (which was the first name given to Milford, Kansas), one at Junction City and one four miles northwest of town.  To finance Davis County School District No 1, the first Board of Trustees assessed a tax of one-half of one percent for renting or building a school house, one fourth of one percent for teachers’ wages and one fourth of a percent for supplies and equipment. The school opened on November 17, 1862 with classes held in a rented room upstairs over the Ganz Building that stood on the north side of Sixth Street. Seventy-two students enrolled for this first class. The first building built specifically for education purposes was known as the “school on the hill”, but its location at the intersection of what is now Jackson Street and Walnut Street proved to be too far out from the city.  Rural schools also sprang up quickly around Junction City and by 1872; just ten years after the city district was established there were 20 rural schools in the county. 
            USD 475 School District now has schools in Junction City, Grandview Plaza, Milford and on Fort Riley.  All of the buildings are being made ready for the 2017-18 school year, which will begin August 9th for teachers and August 16 for students.
             




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Getting outside and enjoying the weather, taking a ride in the country, visiting small towns or just admiring the Flint Hills is something many of us like to do.  In July of 1925, the automobile gave many just that opportunity. A number of conveniences for the tourist had been invented for preparing and keeping food hot or cold while on an excursion.  There were elegant and perfectly equipped luncheon boxes and baskets, but until that year no one had invented a table on which a luncheon could be served to travelers when they wanted to stop along the roadside for a meal either inside or outside of the car.   
            The folding table filled that gap.  It was advertised as being perfect in any car and gave tourists assurance that luncheon may be served at any place or at any time – rain or shine. And…. it was not necessary to leave the car. After lunch, the table could be used for playing cards or writing a letter that needed to be posted at the next stop. When not in use, the table folded and hung out of the way from the robe rail or it could be folded flat to lie on the floor of the car.  This traveling table was invented by Mrs. George A. Rockwell, a prominent citizen of Junction City.  She applied for a patent on it in 1915 and had the tables manufactured by a furniture factory in St. Louis.  Mrs. Rockwell was expecting to establish agencies in most of the large cities to promote and sell her table, which seemed to have been a forerunner to today’s…..folding t.v. trays.  
            And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            One of the earliest Junction City settlers passed away in July of 1915.  That was Mrs. Ruth Keys.  She was born in Lima, New York in 1829, but when she married John Keys in 1854, they decided to move out west.  They first lived in Iowa before coming to Kansas in the spring of 1860.  They stopped in Junction City where they purchased a land warrant for $200, which entitled them to 160 acres of unclaimed land.  They settled in the Chapman Creek area.  All that summer there wasn’t a drop of rain.  John and Ruth slept in their covered wagon with their nearest neighbor being three miles away.  Indians roamed about the area. 
            One day John Keys went to Junction City to get supplies and did not return until the following day.  Just before dark, a band of Indians came by and asked if the big chief, meaning Ruth’s husband, was in the wagon.  She led the Indians to believe that he was and they didn’t bother her.  However, they set up camp so close that she could hear them snoring as they slept.
            As a result of the drought and the ill health of her husband, the family gave up the farm that fall and moved into Junction City where Ruth lived on the same block for nearly fifty years.  She raised two sons, but both died within a month of each other in 1906. This left her with just one grandson.  Her husband, John, had passed on many years before she died in 1915.  Ruth was buried in Highland Cemetery in 1915.  Her picture may be seen in display on the first floor of our Museum. It is among the many pictures we have displayed of early settlers in Geary County.  Stop by and see them any Tuesday through Sunday between the hours of 1 and 4:00 PM.

            

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            “Shaken, not stirred” is a command often given by James Bond in the Ian Fleming novels, which became movies.  This is in reference to James’ preference for the making of his martini.  However, today’s story is about what to do with hay after it is mowed.  Should it be “shaken or stirred?”
            This story comes from a July 1866 article in the “Junction City Union” newspaper.  The writer stated that “his father says it don’t do nay good to keep stirring hay all the time after it is mowed, till it is cured.”  Uncle John, who is a good farmer, says we “ought to keep stirring the grass all the time.”  Mother says “Uncle John cannot bear to see anyone rest for one minute, so all the while he keeps his people working whether or not it does any good.”  I should like to know who is right on this subject stated the author. 
            Well, the reply came back stating that “it seems Uncle John was right.  The more one stirred newly mown grass, the more it cured evenly and the sooner it was fit to go into the barn. Some of the best farmers used a horse hay-tender for keeping the grass in constant motion.  As soon as an acre or two was mowed, they started up the tender, shook up and turned over the hay until it was fit to rake.  When it lay thick on the ground and was not turned, that was when the sun did the most damage by burning and scorching the grass.  The respondent also stated that “it would be best to shake all the bunches into pieces and throw it around lightly so the air may circulate through it and raise the moisture.  This would hurry along the curing process.”
Now we all know that shaken not stirred is preferred by James Bond in the making of his martini and the same can be said for those who work with cutting and putting up hay. 
            That’s today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017
You are listening to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Besides visits to our Museum and attending our fundraisers, a way to support the Geary County Historical Society is through a membership.  We have a wide range of annual memberships that range from $10.00 a year for Senior Citizens to Individual Memberships for $15.00 and family memberships for $25.00 per year.  The membership of your choice will get you special notices of upcoming events, our newsletter and you will be showing your support of our mission to preserver and educate about the history of Geary County.  Contact one of the staff at 238-1666 or just stop by the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets between the hours of 1 and 4:00 PM Tuesdays through Sundays.
Now for today’s story…
In September of 1854, the Pawnee Town Association was formed to establish a town near the new Army post at Fort Riley.  The Association was composed totally of military officers and territorial officials, including Major W.R. Montgomery, the commander of the Post and the first Territorial Governor, Andrew H. Reeder of Pennsylvania.  Governor Reeder assured the Association of his intent to convene the first Territorial Legislature at Pawnee if proper buildings could be constructed and Major Montgomery agreed to exclude the town site from the first survey of the fort reserve.
Pawnee was soon a booming town of a dozen or so dwellings with a two-story capitol and a large hotel under construction.  By May, the hotel could boast of about 500 residents.  Two sawmills were operating there and three saloons catered to the workmen and soldiers, who were building the nearby fort.  In April of 1855, Governor Reeder called the first legislature to convene at Pawnee on July 2nd.  However, the legislators were mostly pro-slavery Missourians, while Reeder and the Pawnee citizens were predominately Free-stators.  This “Bogus” Legislature met at Pawnee July 2nd through 6th in 1855 in the unfinished Capitol Building.  The main acts of the session were to expel the two free-state members and to vote to remove the seat of the governor to Shawnee Mission, a few miles from the Missouri line.  Though Governor Reeder vetoed this bill, he had no choice but to join the body when they reconvened in Shawnee Mission on July 16th.
            Later that summer, Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War, in Frank Pierce’s cabinet, expanded the boundaries of the fort to include the Pawnee town-site.  The citizens were ordered out and in October of 1855, soldiers used grappling hooks and rode in and pulled the houses and buildings down.  This left only the old stone Capitol Building as a mute testimonial of the little settlement that was to have been the Capitol City of Kansas.
            The building can still be seen on Fort Riley and is open by appointment.
           


Friday, July 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 14, 2017

  July 14, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Sometimes it is a challenge to deal with certain customers, who DEMAND service or deals beyond what the business owner may be able or willing to provide. Well… there was an example of a challenge a local grocer had, which was published in the “Junction City Union” newspaper in July of 1910.
            The grocer said he admired women greatly and indeed thought most of them to be quite sensible.  However, occasionally he met a woman who tried his patience.  He said she was the kind of lady who would order groceries at 11:30 in the morning and become highly indignant if the groceries could not be delivered to her house in time for lunch.  That kind of woman usually forgets that the grocer had more than one customer. He said that one woman telephoned her order in at 11:45 AM and said if the goods were not at her house by noon she would cancel the order.  He told his delivery wagon driver to pretend he was beating the horses as he approached the woman’s house.  A little later the woman telephoned to say that the driver was beating the horses unmercifully and she wanted him fired right away.  After the grocer explained that it was difficult to get her items delivered to her on such short notice, she agreed to phone her order in earlier in the future.    
Dealing with some of those DEMANDING customers can be a challenge for those who work in the retail business. “The customer is always right” is a good philosophy, but sometimes the customer needs to consider the business owner’s perspective too.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the man who took care of the Opera House clock.
We have shared stories about Walter Starcke on past broadcasts. According to a newspaper account in July of 1927, Walter Starcke was the official custodian of the Junction City town clock, located in the Opera House Tower.  He had held the position for 44 years – ever since Junction City had a town clock.  This first clock was installed in the tower of the city hall and Opera House building in 1883.  But the clock tower fell during construction and had to be rebuilt.  The clock was not installed again until about three years later. Mr. Starcke, then a youngster was employed by his uncle, Andrew Vogler, who had a jewelry store on East 7th Street.  Young Walter was given the job of winding, regulating, oiling and taking regular care of the clock.  He did this until it was destroyed when the building was burned in 1898.  When the Opera House was rebuilt, another clock, a Seth Thomas was installed.  Mr. Starcke estimated that he averaged 150 trips a year into the clock tower for the purpose of winding the clock and doing maintenance on it.  For many years Walter Starcke received only $15 a year for acting as guardian of the clock.  But in 1927 his wage was raised to …..$52.00 a year. 

Many of you have visited the Starcke House on the corner of Fifth and Adams, which is an historic site owned by the Historical Society. Free tours are available upon request.  Just contact one of the staff members on your next visit to the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams or call for an appointment at 238-1666. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 12, 2017

July 12, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
In July of 1882, the Board of County Commissioners went to the eastern area of the county to inspect a new iron bridge at McDowell Creek.  A newspaper reporter was invited to go with them on the journey and his article published in the “Daily Union” newspaper gave a graphic description of the countryside east of Junction City.  He wrote that while the commissioners looked at the bridge he wanted to see the farms, crops and the prairie with its millions of flowers.  After leaving the city, the first thing to catch his eye was Fogarty’s 225 acres of corn.  It was as level as a floor and well cultivated.  Then he saw Captain Wright of the Cedar Springs Farm.  There was an undulating field of rye, wheat, oats and corn.  Frank’s farm, which was further along the way was the farm that Anson W. Callen, who was known as “Old Grizzly” first claimed when he came to Kansas.  On the ascent to Government Hill, there was a magnificent view of the Clark’s Creek valley.   Then it was on to the Humboldt Creek valley.  As they reached Commissioner Hobb’s place, the reporter found him and two boys wrestling with sheaves of wheat and setting them up in huge shocks.  The Commissioner showed the party the way to McDowell Creek by way of the prairie.  For five miles they followed a blind trail through acres of grass that would have fattened thousands of cattle. Lunch was taken at the sheep ranch close to the new iron bridge and after another inspection of the structure, the party headed for home.  There was more written about the landscape and the beauty of what was then Davis County than there was about the inspection of the new iron bridge, which was the intent of the trip.
            Our area IS beautiful this time of year with all the rain we’ve had.  The grasses and tree leaves are green, the creeks and rivers full and the puffy white clouds during the day and the beautiful sunsets in the evening are some of the reasons this a great place in which to live, work, play and retire.
            Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 11, 2017

July 11, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about a jail break.  Sheriff Peeso had one of the most thrilling events of his career in July of 1904.  It seems that Gilbert Mullins, a local thug, had been the leader in a mutiny at the federal prison and killed one of the guards.  Mullins had been brought to the Junction City County Jail for safekeeping while awaiting trial.  He had made a number of attempts to escape and on one morning in July, Mullins along with several other prisoners concealed a club and attacked the Sheriff, when he stepped into the jail.  The Sheriff was up against four or five big men, who were using clubs and chairs to fight him.  During the fight the prisoners slipped out of the jail and left one by one.  At last, Peeso got the door shut and locked. With blood streaming down his face from a dozen wounds he started for his rig, which was kept in the old stable at the corner of Ninth and Washington Street.  The alarm was given and everyone in town was on the manhunt.  The prisoners had gone south down the railroad track.  William Bicknell, who was then a policeman, was close behind them and they just got across the river as he arrived at the banks.  One reporter ran down to the Davidson Hardware Store and got a double-barreled shotgun and was close behind two of the men when they surrendered to Clarence Bell at the Grandview Schoolhouse.
            All that night and the next day, officers and every able-bodied man in town were on the hunt for Mullins.  Two days later he was found west of town after a couple of shots brought him down.  Mullins was sent to jail for life for killing the guard at the federal prison. After serving ten years, he was given parole by President Wilson.  He left prison and went to Yale, Oklahoma where he stayed for one year before coming back to Kansas.  At Pittsburg he robbed and assaulted a man and was back in prison again.  On his release, another battle ensued and he was shot in the neck which left him unable to talk.  Mullins then moved in with his sister, who did her best to keep him out of more trouble while he lived his last days in Junction City. 
            Well, that’s today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Last week we had a story about a best seller book written in Junction City.  The author was J.J. Pennell’s son, Joseph Stanley Pennell, who wrote The History of Rome Hanks written in 1944.  In July of that year, the “Kansas City Times” newspaper ran an article entitled “An Unconventional Kansan.”  It told of Joseph being a man who “disdains hard and fast rules” and who had turned out a “breath-taking first book.”  When Joseph Stanley was a student at the University of Kansas, he papered the walls of his room with rejection slips from editors.  These slips came from a variety of publications.  One of those was the Atlantic Monthly.  However, in 1944 Pennell finally had his first novel published. The History of Rome Hanks was acclaimed by critics as among the most remarkable books to appear in many years. 
            It was in Junction City that he began to settle down and for more than two years immersed himself in studying about the American Civil War. Lee Harrington is the central figure in the novel.  He is a young man, who is trying to sort out memories of the Civil War as told him by his grandfather.  He tries to imagine what life would have been like then and what impact the Civil war might have had on the people. The tales range from past to present, from Gettysburg to Shiloh. 
            We have a copy of this book at our Museum.  Stop by and ask to see it any Tuesday through Sunday between 1 and 4:00 PM.  Admission is free and we keep the Museum cool for our artifacts and your comfort. 
           


Friday, July 7, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Yesterday we began a story about John Rogers and his management style at the early public swimming pool in Junction City. 
John’s word was law at the pool as Lois York remembered.  In the early 30’s she came back to Junction City from a vacation in Minnesota with a stylish new red one piece bathing suit.  When she wore it to the city pool for the first time, John gave his disapproval and told her one piece suits were not allowed in the pool.  Lois climbed right out of the pool and spread a beach towel to sunbathe – after all there was no rule that one piece suits could not be worn around the pool if you didn’t go in the water.
John’s other rules during in 1913 were that swimmers must shower with soap before swimming; boys and men’s suits must be a one piece suit.  Girl’s and women’s suits must have a blouse, bloomers, skirt and hose.  During swim times males and girls had their own swim time separate from each other.  Black females and black males had their own swim time.  Occasionally boys and girls could swim together.  In 1938 a second pool was built in the same place as the first one, which was more modern.  The new rules were: no dunking, running acrobatic rough housing, water fights, pushing or diving. 
In 1988, a third pool was built in the same place and became an Olympic size pool.  These pools were located next to the Fifth Street Park and is currently open to everyone.
That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
           

            

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 
            In an article written for the August 17, 1978 “Daily Union”, Chloris Killian wrote about “Junction City’s Earliest Pools”.  She wrote that “Junction City was unusual in that a pool was built in the city park near the turn of the 20th century.  Sumner Pierce, one of the early settlers in this area, gave the park land to the city and was responsible for building a swimming pool there.  As a young boy in New York, he developed a crippling ailment at the age of 12 and lived the rest of his life with some disability.  He was convinced that better swimming facilities might have prevented his illness. The first pool in Junction City was built in 1913. 
            The swimming pool in the park had a native stone bath house.  The pool was south of the stone house and had the most modern facilities of the time with a sanitary method of changing water by means of a drainage ditch that ran north across several lots to the edge of town. The pool was managed by John Rogers, who also served as the lifeguard.  However, John couldn’t swim, but used a life preserver with a rope tied to it in the case that anyone needed help.  Just this system caused swimmers to be cautious about going beyond a depth of water that was comfortable to them. 
            Be listening tomorrow when we continue this story about John Rogers’ rules and how Lois York remembered wearing a stylish new bathing suit to swim in and how he disapproved of it.
This has been today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 5, 2017

July 5, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Heather, our Curator has created a display about the impact of the military on local commerce in the early development of Junction City. The 1918 year book from the Medical Officers Training Camp at Fort Riley displays the advertisements for many local businesses that helped support the troops during the First World War.  They include tailors who customized dress uniforms, shoe stores that sold boots, leg wraps and puttees; hotels and restaurants that offered discounts to soldiers and photographers, like J.J. Pennell, who took photographs of soldiers.    An advertisement published by the B. Rockwell Merchandise and Grain Company in Junction City stated that the B. Rockwell Company “has been the headquarters for soldiers and officers for over 50 years.  It’s the oldest store in Central Kansas, located in the same place as 50years ago.  Also a remarkable thing is that it’s under the same management. The name “Rockwell’s is a household name in every Geary County home.  Our aim is “the fulfillment of your desires.  We carry nearly everything an officer of soldier wants.  The quality is right and our prices are always the lowest. Our grocery department is one of the largest in the state.” 
The economic impact of Fort Riley and veterans in the Flint Hills region can easily be seen.  As the numbers of soldiers and their families increase and decrease at Fort Riley, so does the economic impact. 

            

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
             Today’s story is about a unique sports event that took place in Junction City on July 4, 1921 and at the same time in Jersey City, New Jersey. There was a big fight between two boxers.  Their names were Dempsey and Carpenter. A large scale fight party was arranged by the “Daily Union” newspaper.  An 18 foot arena, which was the same size as the actual ring the fighters would use in New Jersey, was erected in the front of the newspaper office at 108 W. Eighth Street.  A direct telegraph line was installed to Kansas City. Two boxers representing Dempsey and Carpenter were to reenact the blow by blow account of the actual fight in New Jersey, but do it in Junction City as the information was received by way of the telegraph line and relayed to the boxers by Doc Reid, a local boxing enthusiast and trainer.  The blows would be as fast as Doc Reid could read and pass on the information.  In the case of a knockout, the blow by blow report and demonstration was to be stopped long enough to tell the crowd that the fight had been won.  Then the blows leading up to the victory would be shown by the actors in a kind of instant replay.  A special bulletin board was erected in front of the Central National Bank on which the returns from the big fight would be posted. 
            Long before television a large crowd in Junction City was able to celebrate the 4th of July by seeing how Jack Dempsey won the big fight….. well sort of. 

            

Monday, July 3, 2017

Our Past Is Present July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the misuse of fireworks and what that will get you.
The Junction City Police Department has told us that fireworks can be set off in the city limits during the dates of June 27-July 5th according to City Ordinance 210.230.  Sunday through Thursdays fireworks may be set off between 8 and 10:00 PM and Friday, Saturday and on the 4th of July from 8-midnight. Persons who violate the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor.  The consequences could be that the person could be fined up to $500 and put in jail for up to 30 days or both.
            The Pre-Fourth of July booming of fireworks in Junction City in 1949 and in particular in the downtown area, resulted in three arrests by police.  All were charged with disturbing the peace and were released on just $5.00 bond each.  Police said the activities included throwing of firecrackers under the parked cars of persons listening to the band concert in the City Park and fireworks being thrown from a moving car. 
            In 1949, Burke’s Rexall Store advertised a large selection of fireworks including a $1.50 Peace Maker and a cap gun for $.98.  Fireworks cost more today and the consequences for illegally shooting them off within the city limits could involve jail time and a sizeable fine. 
            We encourage everyone to use good judgement, comply with the restrictions and stay safe using and being around fireworks this year. 
            This has been “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society

Friday, June 30, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017
You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Today’s story is from a letter printed in the “Junction City Union” in 1890 written by John Mulligan.  He describes the first Fourth of July celebration in our area, which took place in 1854.  Mr. Mulligan explains that he arrived with the first batch of mechanics and laborers at Fort Riley.  He was hired by Major Ogden to take charge of the quarrying of rock for buildings. Mr. Mulligan went on in his writing to state that “in the summer of 1854, the soldiers and citizen laborers were determined to celebrate the Fourth of July.  In order to do so they made a private agreement with some parties outside the post to secretly deliver one hundred and fifty gallons of whiskey and ten gallons of wine to a location on Three Mile Creek.  Private Drum was to receive the goods and was on hand the night of July 1st as agreed.  As the last keg was rolled into the brush, a Sergeant and two soldiers appeared on the scene and arrested the entire party.  The threat was made to confiscate the whiskey and wine, have Private Drum court martialed and have all of them sent to the penitentiary for not less than ten years.  Drum threw himself on the ground crying bitterly and begging for the Sergeant to let them go stating they would never be caught doing such a thing again.  A proposition was made to the Sergeant that the liquor and ten dollars in gold would be given him, if he would let them off.  The Sergeant did so with the understanding that the heads of the kegs were to be knocked in and liquor poured on the ground.  As the party began to leave the Sergeant began to knock in the heads of the kegs, but wait…. That’s not the end of the story.  The Sergeant only pretended to destroy the liquor.  He actually saved it… and sold the liquor for a dollar a quart.  The Fourth of July celebration for him and others was a huge success.” This has been “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 29, 2017

June 29, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            The Cozy Theater opened in November of 1918.  It replaced the Aurora Theater, which had been established on the site in 1917.  The Cozy had the finest motion picture equipment in the Midwest and a new brown brick façade, which showed the influence of the Prairie Style of architecture, which originated with the Chicago architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. 
            The Cozy Theater opened during the era of silent films.  Mrs. George Brown was hired to play the piano to provide background music for the films.  She was often joined by a trumpet player and a violin player.  The trio received cue sheets with each new film in order to appropriately accompany the action on the screen. 
            When you take a walk and visit Junction City’s downtown district, look up at the top of the building at 616 North Washington and you will still see the word “Cozy” carved in the stone. This building is number 32 of the 41 buildings highlighted in our free pamphlet titled “A Walking Tour”.  Stop by and pick up a copy and take a walk through our downtown. Reflect on the beauty of the architecture of the buildings and appreciate that “Our Past IS Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story was written by Darren Gunderson and published in “The Daily Union” newspaper in July of 2000.  The article was titled “Junction City’s Forgotten Railroad Empire”
Darren wrote: “Anyone who has had to sit at the railroad crossing on Chestnut, Ash or Eighth Street is very familiar with the fact that the Union Pacific Railroad line goes through Junction City and we were also served by the Missouri, Kansas, Texas railway or MKT line before it ceased service November 12, 1957.  Junction City also had a third short-lived railroad empire in the early 1950’s – the Junction City Flyer or the #1069.  The train was purchased by Bert McKinsey and brought from Wichita.  Bert owned McKinsey and Phillips Barber Shop in the 600 block of Washington Street.  It came with “some assembly required” and it was said the train, tracks and all could be set up in one day.  Raymond Eller, who lost the use of his legs, because of polio and was attending Kansas State, was hired to operate the train in Fifth Street Park during the summer months.  There were promotions for young people to get free rides if they brought three wrappers from Marvel Bread.  The Junction City Flyer had a fairly short life of only a couple of years at Fifth Street Park and one or two years in Coronado Park.  The “Flyer” was purchased and taken from the area – last seen in Indiana.”  If anyone has stories they are willing to share about the “Junction City Flyer” #1069, please contact the Museum at 238-1666. 
That’s today’s story from the Geary County Historical Society.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Another in our series of historic buildings in downtown Junction City is today’s story.
Many of you know that J.J. Pennell was a well-known Junction City photographer between 1886 and 1922.   In 1908 he built the building at 801 North Washington Street, which housed the Miller Pharmacy at the street level and his photography studio upstairs.  After Pennell’s death, his widow and son moved from their home on Fourth Street to the second floor of this building.  It was here that Joseph Stanley Pennell, J.J.’s son, wrote the novel The History of Rome Hanks, which was a best seller in 1944.  In 1960, Joseph sold the building to the College of Emporia and moved to Oregon after his complaints about a noisy calliope was not dealt with by city officials. 
The main floor was then occupied by Gambles Department store, the second floor by the Red Cross and apartments and the basement by Republic Printing.  In 1998, the building was restored and occupied by Geary County Court Services.
            There are 41 buildings highlighted in our free pamphlet, “A Walking Tour”, which is available at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets. The information about the historic buildings was collected by Bruce McMillan and Eric Stahl.   Stop by our Museum for a visit and take the walking tour of our historic downtown business district.
           



Monday, June 26, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            One of Geary County’s most famous military connections happened when the county was still known as Davis County, in the mid 1800s.  General George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry live on in history for their untimely end at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, but before that, Custer arrived at Fort Riley as Colonel to the newly formed 7th Cavalry.  He brought with him his wife, Libby Custer, who recorded her husband’s life in her books Tenting on the Plains and Following the Guidon.   In these books, she recalls not only her husband’s movements, but also her own time in Geary County and her interactions with other famous historic figures. One of those was Wild Bill Hickock, who had acted as a scout for Custer.  We have a picture of Will Bill, which was taken in Junction City by A.P. Trott. There are other items in a display, which  contains one of Libby Custer’s books and a picture of Wild Bill that would be of interest are located in our Main Street Gallery on the first floor of our Museum.
           



Friday, June 23, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Before beginning today’s story, I would like to again thank Gaylynn Childs, our past Executive Director of the Geary County Historical Society, for doing most of the research and writing the articles shared on “Our Past Is Present”. She spent countless hours and days putting together stories we have shared since her retirement.  This is one of those many stories.
            In mid-June of 1949, it was announced that the supervision of the Fort Riley Grade School through the Junction City school system had been authorized by the Board of Education. The signing of a contract to put the plan into effect was approved at their monthly meeting. 
            The arrangement, authorized by the recent session of the Kansas Legislature, meant that the Post school should be operated the same as any other unit of the Junction City school system, according to D.A. McConnell, Superintendent of Schools. The announcement explained that all teachers would be hired locally and would be expected to meet the same qualifications required in the city schools.  It was expected that all Fort Riley children from Kindergarten through sixth grade would attend the school.  It was tentatively planned that there would be seven teachers, one of whom would be the Principal. In 1948 the Post school had more than 200 pupils.  So some of the fourth, fifth and sixth graders attended school in Junction City due to over-crowding.  The Department of the Army funds would be provided for all expenses of the school, but the funds received would be administered by the local officials.  It was further determined that the Fort Riley School would have its own Board of Education, however, today Fort Riley schools are responsible to the USD 475 Board of Education. That’s today’s story.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            We have shared that there are 41 buildings listed in the free pamphlet “A Walking Tour”, which is available at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets.  Building number 18 listed in the pamphlet is the Rockwell Building. 
            Bertrand Rockwell was a Civil War veteran, who began his dry goods and grocery business in Junction City in 1865.  In 1880, he built a new brick building at 723-725 North Washington Street.  The building burned in 1888.  In 1889 the B. Rockwell Merchandise and Grain Company reopened on the same site and in the present building.  The Rockwell firm continued in business until the 1920’s.  The ground floor was later occupied by Woolworth’s, the Scott Store and later it was a Duckwall Store.  In 1986, the original façade was restored by Dr. Ned Price, who was a local veterinarian, and others. 
            When you take a close look at the building you will see decorative holes in the north wall.  This was known as woodpeckering.
            The Rent-A-Center is currently located at 723 and Edward Jones Investments is located at 725 North Washington Street. 
            We hope you have enjoyed the information about some of the historic buildings in downtown Junction City.  Take some time to visit us at the Museum and take the walking tour downtown to become even more aware of why we say “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today we are sharing information about the Steadman Building in downtown Junction City.  The exact date of this building’s construction is unknown, but photographs show a single story frame building as late as 1905.  A 1910 Junction City Souvenir brochure stated that Dr. C.E. Steadman and his son Dr. L.S. Steadman had well-appointed offices at 708 North Washington with Downing’s Pharmacy at the same address.  In 1913, the building housed Kibbey’s Drug Store and in 1923 it became Costello’s.  By 1925, Quality Drug was located at this site with the dental offices of Dr. Wade upstairs.  In the 1940’s Claire’s Ready-to-Wear Dress Shop took over the location. The Dress Shop,  which was run by Clair Dickman, had some famous clientele who frequented the shop.  Among those were Lana Turner, Gene Tierney and Sally Rand, who were in the area at that time.  In the 1990’s the First National Bank purchased the building.  The current occupant is the Exchange Bank Trust and Financial Office.  
            The building has been remodeled, but when visiting the inside of the building, it is easy to imagine the displays of dresses and displays both on the main floor and along a balcony where some of the formal dresses were available for trying on and purchasing. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017
            Parks are important to the quality of life in any city and Junction City’s Heritage Park has been a focal point for all kinds of local happenings.  A number of years ago Theresa Durand, the daughter of one of Junction City’s early mayors, reminisced about growing up in this town in the late 1800’s. She stated that her parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.O. Rizer, arrived here in 1865 and the park was here then.  “I shall never forget how my sisters and I enjoyed marching through the park around the fountain and onto the corner of Washington and Sixth Street, where Lily Murphy, a young widow operated a popcorn stand.”  Theresa stated that the “aroma of the hot buttered popcorn was irresistible, so we bought a sack of it for five cents.”
            The special night of the week in the park was Friday.  That was band concert night.  People from all over Geary County brought their families in to enjoy the music.  Three Bandstands were built in the park over the years and the Friday night concerts by the Junction City Municipal Band have been a community custom for over a century. 

            Band concerts continue this summer, but they are held in the air conditioned C.L. Hoover Opera House every Sunday in June beginning at 7:00 PM. The concerts are free and delicious popcorn is available for a donation. You can enjoy the popcorn and a cold soft drink or adult beverage while listening to our Community Band.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            68 years ago in our town, the philanthropy of a local young man got the summer’s swimming season off to an exciting start.
            It was reported in the “Junction City Union” that the six year old boy could have won a popularity contest at the Municipal Swimming Pool during a June afternoon in 1949.  He was passing out $20.00 bills.
            The youngster found the bills in a billfold at home and immediately started on  his brief, but highly successful project of giving the money away.  There was a total of $240.00.  On his way to the swimming pool, he met a couple of other youngsters, who agreed to accept $70.00 of the money.   
            The money went even faster at the swimming pool, when there were others eager to help the young lad with his philanthropy.  That was until --- someone notified the police.  Most of the money had been distributed when Police Officer Berl Woodland arrived.  He suggested that some of the receivers might like to give back the money.
            Well…. Some did, but some did not.  The final score was about one dollar for every two given away was recovered.  $151 of the $240 was returned. 

            Philanthropy is a good thing – if the money comes from a legitimate means. It is wise to keep in mind that what seems too good to be true, probably is too good to be true.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 16, 2017

June 16, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the role of a water boy at a construction site in 1912.
According to the “Junction City Union” newspaper an old fashioned “water boy” was still employed by the Ziegler/Dolton Construction Company. Clarence Cubes was the young lad who carried buckets of water to the men employed by the construction company.
In July of 1912, Clarence was working at the Zee Dee Building which was then under construction on Washington Street.  All day long he climbed from the top to the cells, down ladders and over scaffolding to give every man on the job a drink of water.  The job of the water boy was a hard one and Clarence made about 16 rounds each day to the 40 men employed on the building site.  This was one of the labor saving methods employed by the contractors so the workers didn’t have to stop their work to get a drink by leaving their work site and walking down to the hydrant. 

            Today many construction workers prefer to have their own water bottles or large containers of water near their site.  We hope everyone who is working outside remembers to drink plenty of water to protect themselves and stay hydrated.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

            Today’s story is about a new machine at a local quarry.  In June of 1866, Captain O.J. Hopkins’ new stone cutting machine was used for the first time in the Junction City Quarries.  It was set to work on a Tuesday morning and was said to have worked “positively delightfully."  It was a simple machine formerly used for sawing logs using horse power.  For sawing stone, it was a perfect success.  A stone 22 inches by 17 inches was sawed through in exactly two minutes.  This success wrapped up Captain Hopkins’ big goal in the stone business as he prepared to add steam power and improved saws.  He predicted this would revolutionize building interest in the whole country by facilitating stone work and greatly reducing the cost.  The next month another visit was made to the quarries by the newspaper and the editor noted that the Captain had rigged his quarry with a derrick and track making it resemble a coal mine.  The saw machine ran perfectly for 7 or 8 hours a day without failing and without sand or water, which demonstrated the suitability of the local stone for sawing.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s broadcast is about another in our series about historic buildings in downtown Junction City.  This information comes from our free pamphlet titled “A Walking Tour”, which is available at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City. 
            Today we will be sharing about the Hall and Porter Building located at 712 to 714 North Washington Street.  This is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Junction City.  It housed Hall and Porter Drugs, which was organized by E.T. Porter in 1866.  An 1870 photo shows a flat stone façade, which was replaced with the current brick in the 1940’s.  The stone is still visible on the north side in the alley.  Later tenants included: People’s Drug Store, Louis Teitzel Photography (which was upstairs), the W.G. Glick Jewelry store, the J.C. Teitzel Shoe Store, Lashelle Shoe Store and Lancaster Grocery Store. 

            The current business at 712 North Washington is Flint Hills Investment and Midway Travel is at 714 North Washington Street.  We again encourage you to take a walk downtown and see some of these historic buildings, but first stop by our Museum and pick up a copy of the free “Walking Tour” pamphlet to make your tour even more interesting. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            During the next couple of weeks of broadcasts during this time we will be sharing more information about the historic buildings in downtown Junction City. 
The source is a free pamphlet we have at our Museum titled “A Walking Tour”. 
Today we will visit the Blattner and Blakey Building at 615 to 617 North Washington.  615 is occupied by a video games store, however, 617 North Washington is currently unoccupied. The Blattner and Blakey Building was a hardware business as early as 1874 and was mostly in the south half of that building.  By 1885, John Davisons’ carriage and buggy business was located there and Palace clothing occupied the northern part of the building, which was added in about 1880.  The date at the top of the Blattner and Blakey Building represents a remodeling, which visually joined the two buildings.  Other later occupants of this building were the Glick Jewelry Store, the Rizers’ shop, Lytle’s Berkshire Department Store and Gatherings on the Prairie.

            Next time you are downtown, take a closer look at the Blattner and Blakey Building at 615 to 617 North Washington Street.  Take along a copy of our free pamphlet and see downtown Junction City in a different way than perhaps you have seen it before.  You will see why we say:  “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 12, 2017

June 12, 2007

            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

            Today’s story is about a new town, which was to be started between Ogden and Fort Riley.  This is according to an article in the “Junction City Union” newspaper in June of 1917.  It was reported the town would be called Kellyville, but it was later named Army City. 

            H.P. Powers of Junction City had earlier bought the old Dyche Farm east of the Fort Riley reservation boundary.  This was a property consisting of over 3,000 acres with about 150 acres  on either side of the Union Pacific right-of-way between the post and Ogden. Mr. Powers had no sooner purchased the place than the announcement was made that the new Fort Riley training area Camp Funston would be located on the Ogden Flats and he was asked by many to name a price for the property.  The Carolina Land Company made a contract to handle all the building for Army City and an advertising campaign began announcing the public sale of lots.  As a site for thousands of WWI soldiers stationed at Camp Funston in 1917 and 1918, this new boom town thrived.  However, its lifespan lasted only five years.  Following the end of WWI the Camp was closed and razed in 1922.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 9, 2017

June 9, 2017

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
           
            Yesterday’s story was about the flood of 1908.  Today’s story takes us back to June of 1905, when a tornado struck the northeast part of Jefferson Township in Geary County at about 10:00 in the evening.  It caused a great deal of damage to property and crops.  The first flood took place near the crossing of the Kaw River.  This was the Country Club on Whiskey Lake. Tents and camper’s outfits were carried off into adjoining fields.  Some of the fourteen persons were there to spend the night and they took refuge in the clubhouse where they had to remain.  Big trees were broken by the force of the wind.  Further away from the river, the storm seemed to gather force.  At Jake Boiler’s place corn cribs and a windmill were blown away.  At John Cameron’s farm the out buildings and front porch to the farmhouse were wrecked.  Mr. Cameron had finished putting up two stacks of alfalfa a few hours before the storm came and in the morning there was nothing to show where the stacks had been.  The wind turned the large barn on John McIntyre’s place on its foundation, and the back part of Mrs. Rasmussen’s house was blow away.  Clarks Creek was out of its banks in the morning and it was impossible to cross the Coffey, Settgast or Conrow bridges with teams of horses on account of the water being as much as ten feet deep on the approaches. 

            We have had some strong winds lately, but apparently nothing the tornado of 1905. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 8, 2017

June 8, 20017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the “Flood of 1908”. On June 8, 1908 the local newspaper headlines read:  “Bottom Land Along the Republican River Under Water – Many Fields Destroyed-Street Car Line Out of Business- Washington Bridge Damaged – North Span went out.”  This was the damage inflicted on Geary County by the flood of 1908.
            Shortly after midnight the rain began to pour down and continued for several hours for a total rainfall of 1 and 3/8 inches.  However, a great deal of rain had fallen in the previous 12 hours in all parts of central Kansas.  Saturday evening the Republican River stood at 13 feet and it was thought the crest of the flood had passed.  However, by 11:00 it was at 15 feet and by 8:00 AM had reached 17 feet and remained stationary.
            Water had been over the fields at Alida for several hours and was rising, causing great damage to the fields and killing some livestock.  Between Junction City and Fort Riley, the Republican was now one-half mile wide and flowing with a terrific current.  About 40 feet of the north approach of the Washington Street Bridge had gone out and the current was rushing through the gap. 

            By Sunday afternoon the local Union Pacific agent received word that the UP train number 104 eastbound would not come here.  It would leave Abilene on the Santa Fe tracks to go to Kansas City.  The Rock Island tracks between Manhattan and Topeka were under water and washed out in many places.  Water was also over the Union Pacific tracks between Junction City and Fort Riley, and much damage would end up being done there.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017
            You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            On June 14 of 1900, the public was invited to inspect their new Court House.  The following invitation appeared in the local newspaper as follows:
            “The Junction City Commercial Club invites you to inspect your new Court House and has prepared the following general program: 
            9:00 AM-2:00 PM inspect the Court House
            2:00 PM there will be a dedication address by Judge O.L. Moore
            2:30 PM there will be a band concert and speeches at the City Park
            Everybody come out and have a good time.  Per order of the Committee.
Court House.”
            Well, that was the plan.  However this dedication was postponed by the Commercial Club and the County Commissioners after consulting with each other and concluding that since the wheat harvest would be in full operation during mid and late June, a better date to invite people to see the new Court House would be July 4th.  This would attract more people and not interfere with the wheat harvest. 

            We have a picture of the Court House being built at our Museum.  The picture is hanging on the wall on the first floor of the Museum.  Stop by and see it and other displays when you have a few minutes or a few hours.  We are open from 1 until 4 every day Tuesdays through Sundays.  We would love to show you around and hear your stories about Geary County.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Our Past Is Present June 6, 2017

June 6, 2017
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today is “D-Day”, which was June 6, 1944.  This was the day when 160,000 Allied troops landed on the 50 mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German soldiers.  More than 9,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives or were wounded.  This began the slow defeat of Hitler’s threat to the world. 
            On the third floor of our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets, Heather, our Curator, has created a display titled “I am sending my love and kisses, catch em, Honey!!!”
She has found letters that were donated by Geary County soldiers and their families, which may have been tucked away in attics, closets and basements throughout the county. Many of these letters in the display are those of eyewitness accounts of famous battles, historic events, or encounters with prominent military leaders.  The more personal items of correspondence, such as heartfelt expressions of affection or words of support and encouragement between separated loved ones, offer valuable insight into the wartime experience.   

            Geary County is a community with a long history of military involvement.  Families from this area have sent sons and daughters into the military from the 1850’s, when the county was founded and Fort Riley was established, to the present day.  Likewise, many military families have chosen to make Geary County their home. The letters and souvenirs that soldiers sent home helped their family and friends and now us to connect to wartime experiences.