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.