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