February 9, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
On February 9, 1859, Junction City was incorporated as a First City by an act of the Territorial Legislature. In 1909, the city marked the 50th Anniversary of its founding with an “Old Home Week” celebration. A special feature of this commemoration was the unveiling of a collection of photographs of the pioneers of Davis County, which later became Geary County. Tintypes and photos of early settlers who came to this area between 1852 and 1870 were gathered and shared. They were copied in uniform sizes by Junction City photographer Louis Teitzel and labeled with each person’s name and the year of their arrival in Davis County.
Ten years later, in May 1920, a forerunner of today’s Historical Society was organized in Junction City and this collection of photographs was donated to the group by James B. Henderson, who had spearheaded the collection effort. This first Historical Society was short- lived, however, and a museum was never established.
For over thirty years the photo collection, which originally numbered over 400 images, hung in the corridors of the Geary County Courthouse. But in the 1950’s, it was diminished considerably when citizens were told they could take the photos of their ancestors for their family records from the collection. Today, only about 230 of the original photographs remain. They are now part of the collections of the Geary County Historical Society and hang in the hallway on the first floor of the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City. Stop by and see these photos and other artifacts donated by Geary County residents and
see the new exhibits about “Life on the Homefront” as we celebrate “The Year of the Soldier.”
Our Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 until 4. We hope to see YOU at the Museum. You have been listening to “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.