A Century of Greenwood County, KS History - Eureka Herald, 1968

1917

Oil drillers were receiving $8 per day; tool dressers, $7; rig builders, $4 per day; and teamsters $6 per day. There was considerable excitement in oil circles in Eureka as representatives from several large companies were visiting the town and there was a renewed activity in leasing. Leases ran up to $300 per acre. The telephone exchange in Eureka was now known as the Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. Eureka suffered a $35,000 blaze in February, including the loss of the East Side school

Oil was struck in the Christy test, seven miles northeast of Eureka. New locations throughout the county were being staked out daily. Well on the pump were producing up to 700 barrels per day. After eight months in the federal service, five of which were spent on the Mexican border, Troop A Kansas Cavalry, the last Kansans to leave the border, were mustered out in March and arrived in Eureka by special train on March 5. There were 58 members and they were assigned 32 horses which would be kept permanently in Eureka. The town was out to meet the boys, stores were closed, the band was out and the streets decorated with flags and bunting. The troop was still in the state service and would drill regularly. Five men were assigned to care for the horses. In August, they were called for duty and were mustered into the regular army.

City mail delivery service started in Eureka on May 1. Race Parks and Ralph Gordon were the first carriers. All male citizens between the ages of 21 and 30 had to register for the draft June 5. In Greenwood County, 1,126 registered. Each man was given a number and these were forwarded to Washington where the draft drawing was held. L.G. Short of Hamilton was the first local name drawn.

Governor Arthur Capper delivered the high school commencement address at the Princess Theatre. The new Santa Fe depot was completed and officially opened in June. Race riots were reported in St. Louis. The Greenwood County Red Cross Society was organized in July. H.D. Hover had sold "Big Charley," his 3000 pound prize steer. J.H. Wiggins had purchased a new automobile hearse. An oil deal involving over $1 million was consummated when Wallace Good sold 9,000 acres of leases in the Flint Hills to the Ohio Oil Company. The Liberty Bond drive was on and efforts were being made to secure $300,000 in subscriptions in the county. A Farm Bureau was established in Greenwood Co. in November.

"Lightless Nights" had been ordered, signs of all kinds were ordered discontinued completely on Thursday and Sunday nights. Stores should not open on these nights and householders were to use as few lights as possible. A special election was held to vote $37,500 in bonds to build a new grade school to replace the one burned. The bonds carried 526 to 243.

1918

The Fuel Administration put all Kansas cities on a uniform closing schedule - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for general stores; banks, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; shows, 1 to 10 p.m.; and dance halls closed until further notice. The Eureka Herald started a tobacco fund - "Do Your Two Bits" and send a kit to a soldier boy. Mondays and Wednesdays were "wheatless" days; Tuesdays "meatless"; Saturdays, "porkless"; and one wheatless and one meatless meal each day.

Dr. Norman was killed in a car-train accident in February. A $34,000 waterworks improvement bond election carried in March. The new plant would furnish one-half million gallons pure water daily. The new Mulberry school was dedicated on March 25. More than 300 Greenwood County men were in the army and navy. Chas. Stith was building a new rooming house on North Main. A delegation of Eurekans went to Wichita to hear the famous singer, Galli Curci. Eureka was in dire need of 50 dwelling houses due to the tremendous oil activities.

The lovely Chandler Six touring car could be purchased from the R.C. Teichgraeber garage for $1595. A new Reo fire truck was purchased by the city at a cost of $2500. The golf links east of town were ready and a golf club was organized in August.

In Greenwood County, 1,811 men between 18 and 45 years answered the military call when the registered in September. On this number, five were negroes and two Indians. In order to conserve paper, no newspaper was allowed to continue subscriptions after three months from date of expiration. Ornamental piers and supporting columns at the Main street entrance to the park had been completed. A mayor's proclamation was issued that all schools, churches, clubs, theatres, billiard halls and bowling alleys be closed and all meetings and gatherings prohibited, due to the prevalence of Spanish influenza.

10,000 barrels of oil were lost in October when the Prairie Pipe Line Co.'s big storage tank five miles southeast of Eureka was blown up by dynamite, supposedly the work of the I.W.W. Cpl James Morris Smyth was the first Greenwood County boy to fall in action. He was killed September 27 in France. Germany surrendered unconditionally on November 11. Thousands of cheering citizens paraded Main street with flags, cheers and noise - up and down - on foot and in autos - they celebrated far into the night. No one enjoyed the celebration more than A. Auget and L. Vanhaverbeke. Auget was a native of Alsaco and Vanhaverbeke was born in Belgium.

A carload of horned steers, owned by E.H. Lehman of Eureka, established a world record for beef cattle when they sold for $25 per cwt. in Kansas City.

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1919 - 1920


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