100 Year History of Morrowville, Kansas
June 8, 9, 10, 1984
Table of Contents
In the Beginning Was Wilderness -- History of Businesses -- Governing Body -- Churches -- Schools -- Clubs and Organizations -- Misc. Stories -- Enosdale
In the Beginning There Was Wilderness
In the mid 1800s many thousands of people moved across what is now Washington County Kansas, on their way to points west. By the 1850s, some began to settle on the fertile banks of the rivers and creeks that run through Washington County.
One such person was Rufus Darby, who with his family and his brother-in-law and his family, settled near Ballard's crossing on July 4, 1858. Their journey had begun some four years earlier in far away Maryland and had been interrupted by stops in Ohio and Iowa where the travelers had stopped to earn the funds necessary for them to continue their travels.
When the government survey was made Mr. Darby found that they were situated upon school lands, so on March 9, 1859, they moved up on Mill Creek to a place heavily wooded with an oak grove. This place had attracted them when they were out hunting for their winter's supply of meat.
On this quarter section of land, directly north of what is now the town of Morrowville, Rufus Darby hewed the logs from the timber on his place and built his cabin. To secure the papers for this land he drove his ox team to Junction City. When completed, the patent for the land was signed by the president, Abraham Lincoln, and was dated the first day of July 1861. This land was in the Darby name continuously from that date until the spring of 1984, at which time it sold to Delmar Rosenthal.
While in Junction City Mr. Darby purchased a breaking plow so that he might cultivate some land on which to plant his first crops. He also broke sod for his neighbors. Crops were very uncertain those days and food was scarce. They made their coffee from parched corn; for sweetening they used sorghum. Sorghum, cornbread and mush were their regular diet with clabbered milk for dessert. Many times they were fortunate to have stripped buffalo meat for food. In spite of all the hardships, they felt they were living high and were happy just to be well fed and warm.
Rufus Darby became the first justice of the peace of the county, receiving his appointment in 1859, and as Esquire Darby officiated at the first criminal charge in the county.
A son, Phillip Darby, settled on the farm adjoining his father on the west. Two other sons, Rezin C. and J. W. Darby, were members of the group which was instrumental in locating and plotting the present city of Washington. Rufus had another son, Asa, and a daughter, Mary Ann.
Rufus was a painter by trade and was handy with tools, often inventing devices for catching wild turkeys and other game that became food on the Darby table. At times he would raise pigs which he would sell and deliver to the government to feed the troops at Ft. Kearney, Nebraska. One year he made four trips to Ft. Kearney with pigs he had raised.
Mr. Darby never owned a gun, which might explain why his life and the lives of his family members were spared at different times by the Indians. One of those times, which occurred in 1864, was recounted by W. C. Hallowell who had heard the story so many times that it seemed that he had been there.
At that time, the Cheyenne Indians rode out of the west, emboldened by the knowledge that the state troops were away fighting during the Civil War, and could not protect the settlers as they had been doing. History says they were quarreling with the Otoes who were living northeast of here and in their war-like manner they were ready to fall upon the white settlements wherever they could.
Jesse Hallowell, maternal grandfather of R. V. Darby, lived on Mill Creek near Washington, and to the suprise of the family, one day a large band of Indians came riding in. In their company was Rufus Darby, paternal grandfather of R. V. Darby, whom they had captured as he returned to his homestead near Morrowville from a trip to Marysville for provisions.
The Indians demanded that the Hallowells "swap" bedding for buffalo robes, robes which they later stole back. When the Indians asked for milk and Mrs. Hallowell brought it from the cave, one Indian displeased or disappointed at the feast, ran his spear through the pan of milk. At that Mrs. Hallowell slapped him. He would have given her a thrust with his spear, but the other Indians interfered, saying "brave squaw".
Leaving the Hallowells they camped for the night just north of the present cityof Washington keeping Rufus and another man prisoner. About 40 men from scattered farms gathered in defense and with any available firearms, at least half of which would not fire, went after the Indians. At the sight of the advancing army, the Indians became frightened and ran leaving their prisoners behind. They escaped unharmed.
W. C. Hallowell remembered seeing the Otoe Indians hunting in the area as late as 1872 or 1873, but they were friendly and the settlers had nothing to fear.
In 1873 Richard E. White, a nephew of Rufus Darby, came with his wife to settle just to the south of the Darby homestead. On May 20, 1874, he was issued a patent signed by President U. S. Grant for this land described as the South half of the SW 1/4 and the SW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 26 Town 2 S Range 2 E and the NE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 35 Town 2 S Range 2 E containing 160 acres, more or less. It is on this land that the town of Morrowville stands today.
The Whites maintained ownership of this land until late 1878 when they sold it to Anna M. C. Curtis. Miss Curtis then owned the property until March of 1882 when she sold it to Emerson C. Melvin for $858.
While the Darbys and Whites and their neighbors were going about their business in Kansas, a young man from Ohio was making his way west. Born on April 3, 1846, in the town of Washington in Guernesey County Ohio, James C. Morrow left the farm that had been his boyhood home at the age of 16. Traveling with a team and wagon he settled near Olney, Illinois, for a year then continued on to Iowa where he finished his schooling and taught school. Being interested in livestock he bought 160 acres and commenced buying and shipping cattle to Chicago. He was very successful financially.
In 1874 Cal, as he was known by his friends, came to Clyde, Kansas, where he bought and sold stock until the spring of 1876. He then came to Washington County and "squatted" on Section 27 in Union Township. He purchased land in Union Township, improved it and remained interested in livestock. He invested his money in land from time to time and was very fortunate. He traveled back and forth over the country until 1881, when he formed a partnership with John Swan. They purchased a stock of general merchandise and with it established the third store in Haddam.
Two years later he engaged in the real estate business with Mr Vincent. In December of 1883 James C. Morrow purchased from Emerson C. Melvin the land that Richard White had homesteaded. In the spring of 1884 with the prospect of the Missouri and Burlington railroad coming, Morrow and "Pap" Simpson saw the need for a new town. With the help of Anselmo B. Smith, surveyor, the two of them laid out the town in April of 1884, and on May 22 of that year James Morrow dedicated to the public use the streets and alleys of the town of Morrow and recorded the plat of same with the Register of Deeds of Washington County. Cal, then on the same day, sold to The Lincoln Land Company all of the land in the White's homestead, and they, in turn, sold lots in the new town to those who desired them.
Mr. Morrow, single at this time, later married Rata Elliott, who was born in 1859 in Ohio. He continued to make his presence known in this area for many years and acquired land holdings of over 1,200 acres in Union Township with a complete set of well-kept improvements, some of which still stand today.
The Early Years
The Blocker post office, established on May 18, 1881, was moved to Morrow Station June 9, 1884, with David Welch as postmaster. He resigned within the year, and Mr. Cummins, a partner in the first hardware store, served as postmaster. J. C. Halferty became postmaster in 1894. The official name of the town was changed to Morrowville on June 7, 1894, because of confusion in the mail with the Brown County town of Morrill.
With the coming of the railroad in '84 the young town began to grow rapidly and there were many changes on the business scene in a very short time.
Hugh Garrett erected the first business in Morrow in '84. By 1886 he had dissolved that business and started the pioneer Grocery Store. In '88 he added on to his store and in 1896 traded it to Richard Blocker who continued the business until the late 1920s.
Another early business was the hardware owned by Cummins & McCormac. It was in a 25 foot x 30 foot building on the corner of Main and Elm streets. In 1885 Mr. McCormac traded his half interest to W. A. Nye. This business endured several other changes of ownership before it was purchased by O. A. Stanton in 1906. This business has stood the test of time and is known now as Stanton Farm Services, Inc. It is still owned and operated by the Stanton family.
Charles W. Hawes was another prominent man on the business scene in the new town, building his store on the corner of Elm and Main streets to the south of the hardware store. This building was completed in 1886 with the first floor being occupied by Mr. Phil Darby who sold a complete line of groceries and dry goods. Mr. Hawes' business flourished, and he enlarged his store several times and bought out several other grocery and dry goods merchants during the 1890s and early 1900s. In 1908 he installed new gasoline lights in his store.
In 1898 Jarret L. Robbins came to town and started a new store which he called a "Racket Store". Robbins was almost 60 years ahead of the times with his merchandising ideas, for his store was the forerunner of the modern "quick shop" type operation. His building, located near the present grocery store, housed not only a grocery store but a meat market and a restaurant. His restaurant was probably the first and last "fast food" place in town with a drive-in or rather ride-up window. Mr. Robbins installed a window on the south side of his building where one could place his order and receive his food. Robbins also used some of the same ideas used in 1984 to entice people into his store. His ad in the paper in March of 1905 offered "a fine 16" x 20" oil painting with frame to every person who purchased six dollars worth of goods at one time." The offer was good until the 25th of the month.
Mr. Robbins traded his Racket Store for the Commercial Hotel in Haddam in June of 1905. He sold it after three years and returned to Morrowville in 1908. Upon his return he opened a grocery store in the J. W. Wells building. Robbins added a shoe repair business to the grocery store. After the death of his wife in May of 1910, Robbins sold the shoe repair shop to James Watson in June and the rest of the business to Asbury Gaskill and his son-in-law in September of that year.
On the northeast corner of the intersection of Elm and Main streets was the dry goods store of D. T. Molony & Son who homesteaded near here in 1867 and then built a store in 1892. In 1902 the Molonys doubled the size of their store. They also were in the lumber and grocery business. As the town grew so did the Molony businesses. They expanded by building new buildings and renting others. The Molony family era came to an end in 1922 when D. T.'s son-in-law, J. F. Chrisman, sold the store to Messrs. Wurtz and Fagan of Greenleaf.
A news clip from May of 1887 gives some indication of how things were then.
"Most of the planting is done. In many cases the planter is taking the place of the lister, and the acreage planted will be greater this year. But a great many farmers stick to the lister, claiming it is not only the best but the cheapest way of raising 18-cent corn."
With passenger service on the railroad, the need for a hotel was filled by Mr. Shaw. He was the first to operate such an establishment. His hotel, 32 feet square and two stories in height, was completed in 1889. In 1902 Jacob Blocker and his wife were running the Morrowville Hotel. Rates were $1.00 per day for transients and $3.50 per week for regular boarders.
The medical profession took note of the thriving village when in 1885 Dr. French came here from Washington and built a new building, now the grocery store, to house his drug business. It was reported in 1886 that Indian John was dealing out large quantities of tea to the afflicted, and that all under his treatment were doing well. He had many young men of the community pick cockleburs and bring them to his place, near the August Carlson place, so he could make medicines.
In 1899 Dr. M. H. Horn came to town, leaving a short time later for surgery schooling and returning in the spring of 1900 with his schooling complete. In 1904 Dr. Horn built his office on the west side of Main Street south of the building occupied by J. W. Wells' general merchandise store.
Morrowville was a shipping center for grain and livestock in those early days. A stockyard was built as soon as the railroad was complete and soon after several corn cribs were built. By 1896 there was an elevator to handle small grain. The stockyards were very busy in those days shipping as many as 1,700 head of sheep in one week in 1901.
No prairie town would have been complete without a blacksmith shop, and Morrowville was no exception, never being without at least one since the beginning. James Whittet and Charles Raymond were two of the earliest blacksmiths on record.
The early settlers didn't spend all of their time in business and farming as is shown by this report from an early days' news article.
"The old settlers reunion was noted as the greatest gathering of people that has ever been in Morrowville and the largest per cent of old settlers. The day was fine. Thousands of grateful hearts mingled with the old pioneer benefactors of Washington county. The Sham Battle with the savage Indians presented some of the pioneer life in Kansas, Buffalo Bill and his company of guides whipped and drove the red skins back inflicting great loss of life as usual. The five mile bicycle race was a warmer. Will Molony, of Morrowville, gained first prize, $3.50. Time 14-1/2 minutes. Worth Woody, of Washington, was awarded second prize, $2.00; Joe Morey, of Narka, third prize, $1.00. Roll call by state for the benefit of old soldiers revealed the fact that forty old soldiers responded, which was as follows; Illinois 13, Iowa 8, Ohio 7, Wisconson 3, Indiana 3, and one each from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas. There were but few attended the first day which seemed to be a day for getting up steam; some got so steamed up so by evening that they could hardly control themselves. I suppose they evaporated at night. Everybody seemed to have the very best time and are decided to have if possible, a better time next year at a reunion here at Morrowville."
Another business vital to the growing town was the lumberyard. Morrowville had at least one and sometimes two lumberyards, almost from the beginning until 1971. The first was owned by C .F. Allen in 1885. The Kozel brothers, who came to this community in the 1880s, entered that business in 1901 when they purchased the lumber yard owned by Henry Molony. They eventually dominated the lumber business, as Charles and William each had their own yard.
The growing little town attracted many different businesses, some of which lasted for only a short time. In 1900 Will Gaskill and Tom Nutter opened a photography studio, but the demand must not have justified its existence as it closed in 1902.
The first of a long line of creameries and produce buying stations started with the founding of the Fairmont Creamery in 1898 with Mr. Osterhout as the manager.
In 1901 George Linn had a broom manufacturing plant in Morrowville.
The residents also looked after the educational and spiritual needs of the community with the establishment of a school in 1886 with Miss Nesbit as the teacher.
The new community soon had four churches, the Blocker Free will Baptist Church, later known as the Hickory Grove Church, founded in 1870; the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church north of town established in 1885; and a protestant community church founded in 1889, with a new church building being constructed in 1892. A few years later this church divided into the Methodist Episcopal and the Church of Christ (Christian). All but the Hickory Grove Church are active today.
A news clip from January 10, 1904, read, "We need a bank here badly and hear there is a prospect at present to get one soon. Let the good work go on, Morrowville will always be in the lead," and from the same newspaper on January 22, 1904, it said "Good news for Morrowville, we can say for a certainty we are going to have a bank. The foundation is already dug for the bank building, it will be 22 x 40 feet." The Morrowville State Bank opened for business in June of that same year.
With all the rough and tumble activities of the young town, the ladies' desire for the finer things was being filled by the millinery shop of Mrs. Grimes. It was located just north of the hardware store. In 1908 Mrs. Grimes sold her shop to Mrs. Stoffle.
By 1904 all of the available lots in the original town site had been purchased so The Lincoln Land Company sent A. B. Smith, the man who had done the original survey of the town, and his nephew to survey more land so that the town could continue to grow. The town was growing so rapidly that more land had to be surveyed again in 1906.
In 1905 the first telephone service came to Morrowville with the central office located in the J. M. Chubbuck home on Main Street. Vina Chubbuck was the first operator. In those days the central office must have moved whenever a different operator was employed as it moved to the home of Bessie Sommers Durst when she became the operator in 1906. Her home was just east of the bank where D & D's Easyrider is located now. It moved again in February of 1908 to the dwelling and office of Mr. J. J. Veatch.
Dr. J. M. Beggs, the town's first and only dentist, began his practice here in 1909. His office was located in Nate Archer's building just south of the hotel.
Morrowville merchants began to improve their properties with concrete sidewalks in 1909, with Frank Mayberry and Joe Archer starting the trend. Before long, the west side of Main Street all the way up to the schoolhouse boasted of concrete walks. Very soon the east side of the street had followed suit, and concrete walks extended from the bank to the Methodist Church.
Through the Teens on to the Roaring 20s
One of the major developments in 1910 was the completion of Kozel Hall, a fine 30 x 72 foot two-story building built by William Kozel to be used for an opera house. This hall became the home of the Morrowville Lecture Course, a series of cultural events which continued into the 20s. A few of the events included "The Negro Male Quartet" and the "Maude Stevens Concert Co." in 1912. The Hall was used for public gatherings of all kinds including dances which ultimately led to its demise, as some of the citizens objected to the dances. It was torn down about 1939.
The automobile was beginning to come into use by 1915 when it was said that Mr. Huyck, manager of the elevator, had been inspecting a new Reo for several days. With the convenience of the auto came the hazards of motor travel and in January of 1918, the community experienced its first fatal auto accident when Miss Emma McDonald was killed.
The machine age was beginning to dawn in town by 1917 when William Kozel installed a light plant and began to wire the town for electricity. This system provided the town with lights until 1930 when the system was purchased from Mr. Kozel's estate by the Kansas Power Company.
In 1917 James and Mary Lindsley moved to town and started Lindsleys Store. The Lindsleys were the first to have a grocery store in this building which has been in contlnuous use for that purpose to the present day.
In 1917 the world was at war, and the men of Morrowville answered their country's call. Many who answered the call did not return. William Cummings, 27-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Cummings of rural Morrowville, was one of the casualties. A complete listing of those from this community who served appears elswhere in this book.
For many years the bank building was the only building in town that wasn't wood. In 1917 O. J. Wells changed that when he built his building on the east side of Main Street using hollow clay tile from Endicott, Nebraska. This building was used by several people, for several purposes. Among them were Joe Cecrle's garage and Alois Scheer's blacksmith shop. The upstairs has served as a meeting hall for the Modern Woodmens and others and has been used as living quarters. Ray Wells used the building in later years for his pump repair business and the city owned a portion that was used for a fire house. The building currently is owned by J & N Elliott Construction, Inc.
A fire in January of 1920 showed that Wells had made a wise choice. The fire, which was across the street from the Wells building, started in the hotel and burned the hotel, a restaurant, a barber shop, a garage and a cream station. All the buildings were burned to the ground. The Lindsley Store was saved but no one could understand why because it too was a frame building.
In 1923 C. O. Throop built a new hotel constructed of Endicott tile. This hotel had the sleeping rooms upstairs and a large lobby area on the first floor with a soda fountain at the front. The hotel is owned today by Throop's son, Hardy, who uses it as a residence.
Before refrigeration was commonplace, the ice business was another vital element of the community. At first the only source of ice was from the creek in winter, and many people cut ice into blocks on Mill Creek, stored it in ice houses insulated with straw and sold it in the summer. One such ice house was owned by W. H. Kozel and was located in the building that is now Elmer Rollman's barn. Later the creamery had facilities for making ice which they delivered to the farms as they made their rounds picking up milk.
With the automobile replacing the horse in the 1920s the livery stable gave way to the filling station and the garage. O. J. Wells had one of the first gas pumps in town at his garage. Soon the filling stations rivaled the general store of the early years in numbers. The Brant Motor Co. had a gas pump and four other filling stations were in business at different times. A complete listing appears under the heading "Filling Stations".
Not only did the car replace the buggy but the truck replaced the team and wagon. In 1919 John W. Woods purchased a hard rubber tired International truck and began hauling farmers' livestock from the farm to the railroad stockyards in Morrowville. John also hauled lumber and cement from the railroad to the lumberyards and many many tons of coal from the railroad to area residents for cooking and heating fuel.
In 1925 Miss Bertha Lesher bought the property just north of Dr. Horn's office and built a store which she called "Lesher ' s Variety Store." Bertha was a favorite with the local youngsters who went to her store to buy penny candy which was always on hand. People who shopped at Bertha's were amazed at all the things she had packed into such a small store.
It was in 1923 that Jim Cummings watched the pipeline being built across his farm northwest of town and thought to himself that there must be a better way to fill the ditch than with mules and slip scrapers. After some thought and with the help of several other people in the community Jim's idea became a reality in J. D. Lewis' blacksmith shop. When it was completed Jim went out on the pipeline and proved that his machine would work and promptly received a contract to fill the line all the way to Freeman, Missouri. From that time forward the "bulldozer" was the standard method of filling the ditch. Cummings continued in the pipeline business and became known as "Mr. Pipeline" among his peers.
The business community lost one of its leaders in 1923. William Kozel died of complications from an infection he contracted after being doused with coal oil while removing some from a pressure tank.
The community recognized the need for more schooling for its children and in 1925 it voted to organize a rural high school district and to issue $40,000 in bonds to build a high school. The new school was open for class in the fall on 1926 and the first class graduated in 1927, most of its members having transfered here from Washington. Thus began the era of the "Bulldogs" as the school's athletic teams were known.
The first 4-H Club in Washington County was formed at Morrowville in 1927. The charter members were Duane Diller, Gladys and Electa Young, Amy Jones and Clara and Robert Darby.
Highway 36, the "Ocean to Ocean" highway, was being constructed through Morrowville in 1925. It came through Haddam to the McGregor corner north of town. From there it proceeded south through Morrowville to the corner one mile south of town then east toward Washington.
1925 was also the year R. J. Stanton built his new brick store building on the corner of Elm and Main streets.
The village of Morowville became incorporated as a city of the third class under the laws of the state of Kansas on October 8, 1929. C. H. Miller was mayor and the councilmen were: Ed Brant, Henry Diller, George Gehring, and Ralph Lindsley. J. T. Lewis was the police judge. The population of the town at that time was 248.
The Dirty Thirties
With the 1930s came the depression, drought and the PWA. The merchants of town were providing free motion picture shows each Tuesday night drawing as many as 1,000 people. The picture shows were preceeded by a band concert each evening. A trip around the business district in 1934, fifty years after the founding of the town, indicates how rapidly businesses changed hands in that era. The trip begins on the west side of Main at the north end where Clarence Throop and his family were operating their hotel in the building they built in 1923. They also had a lunch counter and soda fountain that made the hotel a favorite of the younger set.
The buildings just south of the hotel had several changes during 1934 with both Linn Northcot and Fred Goeken having barber shops there during that year. Fred also operated the Harding Cream Station in the south building for a few months before return1ng to the barber trade. Wayne Lindsley replaced him at the cream station. Next in line was the grocery store operated by Ralph and Minnie Lindsley. Located south of Lindsley's was the restaurant operated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Arney. Stanton' s hardware store was at the corner of Main and Elm streets. The Concordia Cream Station managed by Verlin Stanton was around the corner west of the hardware store.
Across the street to the south of Stanton's hardware, Lloyd and Louise Bonar operated their general merchandise store which had their living quarters on the second floor. Moving south the next three buildings in order were J. W. Wells, Bertha Lesher's Variety Store, and Dr. Horn's office. 1934 was a year of change for this block. The post office moved that year from the J. W. Wells building to where it is located today in the building built by Charles Bullimore and occupied at that time by Dr. Beggs. This forced Dr. Beggs to move into the Horn building which had been vacated by Dr. Miller in 1930. That same year the Jerpe Cream station opened in the Wells building under the management of Bohman Hubka. This block had two doctors for a time when a chiropractor by the name of Dr. Orville Rose was located in the old school building, which was located in the southeast corner of the block.
Moving across the street north of the post office one would have found J. D. Lewis working in his blacksmith shop. Henry Diller was the head cashier at the Morrowville State Bank located on the corner. This was the year that Henry Diller and Henry Farrar were taken hostage by two armed bandits in a daring daylight robbery. Around the corner east of the bank, the cafe, which had been operated for two years by Mr. and Mrs. Dick Menke, was purchased by the Adam Materi family. The last business on the south side in this block was Brant Motor Co. managed by Ed Brant.
East of the highway on the south side of Elm Street, Howell Lumber Co. managed by John Jandera, was the only surviving lumberyard. Starting back west on the north side of the street Brant Oil Co., owned and operated by Harvey Brant, enjoyed a prominent position on the corner of Elm and Morton streets. The Fairmont cream station, owned by John Winterrowd and operated by J. L. Hatter, was the next enterprise along the north side of Elm Street.
At the west end of the block Harry Pepple owned two buildings. Pepple's east building was occupied by a cream station managed by both George Springs and Fred Mathy during that year. Pepple operated a general store in the former Molony building.
Turning the corner onto Main Street Henry Bertram's meat market was located in the first building north of Pepple's store. J. D. Thomas bought James Watson's produce house in March of that year. He added his shoe repair business to the produce business in the building just north of Bertram's meat market. Located between Thomas's shop and the implement house of Frank Gassert and Bert Bonar was the Swift Cream Station, the sixth operating cream station in Morrowville, which was managed by George Springs after he left the other station.
Joe Cecrle was operating a garage, selling Hudson cars and doing general repair work in the O. J. Wells building. Two of the town's four service stations were across the street from each other at the intersection of Railway and Morton streets. The Morrowville Filling Station owned by Floyd Boylan was on the southwest corner of the intersection and the Sinclair station was on the southeast corner. It was managed by John Luehring and Gene Boston. The fourth service station, owned and operated by Melvin Gaston, was on the east side of the highway directly opposite the high school.
Rounding out the business establishments in town in 1934 were the two elevators located on either side of the highway along the railroad. The east one was owned by the Huyck family with Kermit Huyck as manager. The west elevator was known as the Morrowville Grain and Coal Co. and was owned by a group of local farmers. The manager was Joe Jandera.
The stock market crash in 1929 signaled the start of hard times to come during the 30s, and coupled with the hardship of the drought years, made survival the order of the day. Otho Barnes purchased his father-in-law's store in 1936, and Pepples General Store became the Barnes Cash Store.
During those years of high unemployment the government created the Public Works Administration (PWA), to provide employment, and at the same time build public works projects that couldn't be built otherwise, because of a lack of funds. This program was the motivating factor behind the decision of the citizens of Morrowville to install a city water system. An election held in December of 1936 approved by a margin of 102 to 8 the issuance of bonds to build the water system. The system was completed in 1939 with most of the work being done with WPA labor. In order to provide the maximum number of jobs all of the digging was done by hand.
The War Years
The population of Morrowville in 1939 was 260. In 1941 hog prices had risen to $8.75 per hundredweight, almost double the price of just one year earlier. Things seemed to be on the mend; then it happened! On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States was in World War II.
During the war years many of the young men who were not in the service went to the cities to work in defense plants.
Within a week of Pearl Harbor the government had placed a ban on all tire sales. This was replaced shortly by a quota system, the first of a long list of rationed items that would not end until after the war was over.
In stark contrast to the dry 30s, 1941 brought the biggest flood ever experienced in the Mill Creek Valley. The water was over the railroad tracks, floated barrels out of the O. J. Wells building and stood 18 inches deep on the gym floor in the high school.
The decline of the farm population which started in the "Dirty Thirties" continued on into the 1940s and led to a corresponding decline in business in town. This decline caused several of the cream stations to close by 1940, and in 1942 the board of directors of the Morrowville State Bank voted to liquidate the bank. Henry Diller and Anna Mallery, both of whom had been with the bank since 1910, continued to operate an exchange business in the bank building for several years. Alois Scheer purchased the blacksmith shop of J. D. Lewis and moved his shop to that location in 1942. The following year Albert Nutsch and Verlin Barnes opened a Case Implement dealership in the building vacated by Ed Brant when he closed Brant Motor Co. and moved to Colorado in 1941.
To aid the war effort the 4-H clubs of the area collected paper and aluminum and gathered milkweed pods used in life preservers. As a conservation measure during the war, feed companies stopped using paper for feed sacks. They used muslin with different flowered prints on it instead. When the sacks were empty the farm wives washed the sacks and made them into dresses for themselves and their daughters. This made the farm wives the envy of the city ladies because dress material was very scarce, and they couldn't buy any to make new clothes for their families.
In July of 1944 word was received that First Lt. Robert Seidel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Seidel Sr., of rural Morrowville had been killed in action on Eniwetok Island in the western Pacific. Lt. Seidel had graduated with the class of 1935 at Morrowville Rural High School, and was a graduate of Kansas State College. He was the first casualty from Morrowville.
In the spring of 1946 the Morrowville Bulldogs defeated the Haddam Hounds to win the Washington County basketball tournament by the score of 36 to 28. The second team also won the first place trophy. A new product was introduced to the area that year when Stanton Hardware started selling propane gas in 200-pound cylinders primarily for home cooking fuel. Also it was in 1946 that Ervin (Perf) and Delma Synovec purchased the Lindsley Store from the Herb Nutters who had operated it for two years. Later that year Perf bought the old Gassert and Bonar building across from his store, tore it down and used the lumber to build a locker at the rear of his grocery store.
Morrowville's young men and boys had played ball in the summer time since the early 1900s. In the early years most any pasture would do for a field. They played among themselves and with teams from the surrounding communities. It was in 1947, on a regular field with tied down bases, and their first time-playing under lights, that they made their mark. The Morrowville Bulldogs managed by Merle Bonar entered a district tournment at Glasco. They defeated Tescott, Barnard and Delphos on their way to the finals. The championship was decided by a three game series with Glen Elder, which the Bulldogs won to advance to the state tournament in Wichita.
Highway 36 was resurfaced in 1947 and some of the material that was torn off of it was hauled into town and used as the base for the first paved streets.
The American Legion of Morrowville purchased the old Gassert-Bonar property from Perf Synovec and started construction of a new hall on that site. It was while attending a dance on the completed concrete floor for this building that Earl Beeman suffered a heart attack and died. The new hall was finished, and the dedication was held on April 4, 1951.
1951 marked the 50th anniversary of the the Royal Neighbors of America chapter. Mary Grover was serving her 38th year as Oracle. It was noted that Lottie Patterson, who was deceased at that time, had served 42 consective years as recorder.
Access to the town from the south was greatly improved in 1951 when the state highway department cut a new road straight south of town to Highway 36. This was the first time Morrowville had a paved road into town. In 1956 a new road north to Nebraska, connecting to a new road at the state line, greatly improved access from the north.
The migration from the farm to the cities continued and one by one the businesses that served the farm community began to close. Where once six produce stations bought from the farmers, now one, Swift and Co., managed by John and Dollie Horky remained to serve the community. In 1954 the store, started by David Molony in 1892, closed its doors for the last time. In 1953 Albert Nutsch, who had been alone in the Case business since the death of his partner, moved his operation to his home on the south edge of town. Joe Cecrle expanded into Nutsch's former location and continued there 31 more years before retiring this spring (1984).
Even though the population had declined, the citizens of the community still saw a need to improve the education of their children; and in 1954 voted bonds to build a new grade school and gymnasium adjoining the present high school. This fine new school was completed for classes in the fall of 1956. After the old grade school buildings were razed the school district turned the land over to the city for a park. The city constructed a concrete roof over the old basement providing a community storm shelter. Later a shelter house was added over this concrete slab making a desirable picnic area for the park.
The Morrowville State Bank building was put back into use late in 1955, when Don Mathy opened a radio and TV shop there. Don continued there until 1957 when he accepted employment with Kuhlman Hardware in Linn, Kansas.
The 1958 edition of the Morrowville Rural High Bulldogs basketball team had an outstanding record of 22 wins with only three losses, the last coming at the hands of the Florence, Kansas, team in the state tournament at Emporia.
In 1960 Ed Westhoff, local dirt contractor, and Pete Anderson, of Haddam Grain Co., purchased five acres of land at the junction of Highways 15 and 36 where they constructed a service station, restaurant and motel. The motel never really caught on, but the station and resturant are operating at this time.
During the 1960s the town remained relatively stable as it slowly changed from a trade center to a bedroom community for the people who found employment in the towns surrounding Morrowville.
With the continuing decline in school enrollment, it became neccessary to further consolidate schools; and in 1967 Haddam, Mahaska and Morrowville joined to form North Central Unified School District #221. When all the shuffling was completed grades K-8 were located in Haddam and 9-12 were in Morrowville.
In 1968 the district constructed a new vocational agriculture building in Morrowville. The new building included a classroom and office allowing the instructor to supervise both the classroom and shop at the same time. Several years later an industrial arts shop was added to the building.
A big step into the future came in the mid 1960s when the city sewer system was installed, and the privy and the septic tank disappeared from the backyards of the homes around town.
Another advancement in public safety occured in 1969 when Rural Fire District #8 was formed. The Rural District and the city together leased the old vocational agriculture shop and turned it into a fire station. The availability of the rural truck has greatly improved the city's fire fighting capabilities.
The business district lost both a business and a businessman in the 60s. Alois (Louie) Scheer died suddenly in 1968, and his son, Tony, assumed the operation of the business. A business was lost when Lloyd and Frieda Mooren closed their restaurant in 1969. It was the last business to operate out of what had started out 64 years before as a hat shop. The town gained one business in 1968 when Elliott Construction Co. (now J & N Elliott Construction, Inc.) came to town to build the vocational agriculture shop at the high school and never left.
The last of the produce stations closed in 1972 when John and Dollie Horky retired.
A community club was formed in the early 1970s with members coming from both the town and the surrounding community. This club has done a great deal to improve the community including several improvements to the city park. These projects have been financed primarily by a pork barbeque that the club has held annually since 1973.
The town was enlarged for the first time in several years in 1976 when Norman and Janet Elliott purchased some property from Albert Nutsch on the south edge of town and developed it by adding another block to the town and building their business headquarters there in 1977.
In 1980 they and Gertrude Nutsch each sold some land to the Morrowville Housing Authority for the construction of a FmHA financed housing project. The Elliotts moved into their new metal home constructed there later in 1980.
Morrowville had its first resident doctor in more than 40 years when Dr. J. Ted Garner came to town and set up a chiropractic office in 1978.
Rainbow Haven, a low income housing project with six apartments, was completed in August of 1981. After a slow start five of the six units are now rented. This project is a fine addition to the town. The Housing Authority is in charge of all maintenance on the project including grass cutting and snow shoveling. This frees the residents from worrying about how these chores will get done. This complex will provide care-free housing for the people of the area for many years to come.
The community had another outstanding athletic team in 1981 when the North Central girls basketball team went to the state tournament with a perfect record. The North Central senior class of 1981 invited Governor John Carlin to be the commencement speaker, and he accepted, marking the first time a governor of Kansas had ever visited Morrowville.
As we enter the centennial year of the city of Morrowville a tour of the business district shows many changes from the tour taken in 1934.
The Throop Hotel is now the private residence of Hardy Throop and his wife. The next operating business is The Bread Basket Grocery owned by Bob and Judy Mold who bought it from the Synovecs in 1982. Next door to the store the restaurant building is gone leaving Stanton Farm Services standing alone on the corner.
Across the street south, the area once occupied by Hawes, J. W. Wells and Lesher's Variety Store, now contains the fertilizer blending plant of Stanton Farm Services. The City is now constructing a new city building and fire station in conjunction with Rural Fire District #8 where the office of Drs. Horn, Miller and Beggs once stood.
The post office has remained in the same location for the last 50 years. Scheer Welding's new shop building sits where part of William Kozel's lumberyard once stood. Tony Scheer now owns the rest of the property on Main Street to the corner north of his shop including the bank building.
Around the corner to the east, in the building owned by the Morrowville Community Center Inc., Dick and Diane Miller operate D & D's Easyrider Cafe. After 50 years of operating a business in Morrowville, 39 of those years in the same location at the next door east of the cafe, Joe Cecrle retired in March of 1984. Cecrle's grandson, Ron Nutz, will continue the business as Ron's Garage.
The lumberyard has been closed since 1972 when John Jandera retired. After many years as manager for Howell's, Jandera had purchased the yard and operated it as Morrowville Lumber Company for several years before retiring.
The Brant Oil Company building, which housed a laundromat for almost 20 years after the last station closed there, is now owned by Ben Tice. Fred Lindsley's cafe building, which last housed a cafe in the late 50s, is now the residence of Earl Goebel. Calvin Grover recently purchased the old J. L. Hatter produce building and plans to remodel it to house his antiques. The Molony building and the O. J. Wells building are both now owned by J & N Elliott Construction, Inc. They, with the American Legion Hall, complete the existing business buildings on that block.
When the Burlington Northern Railroad closed the Odell to Concordia branch line in 1982, after 98 years of service, Morrowville was left without a railroad. This left the Morrowville Elevator Company with trucks as the only means of transporting grain to the terminal markets. Both the east and west elevators are now owned by the Seneca Elevator Company which purchased them from Continental Grain in 1974. Bob Nold is the present manager.
Completing the 1984 business group in town is the Morrowville branch of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Assocation with headquarters in Greenleaf. This branch consists of what was once the Gaston service station, with several additions and a full line fertilizer service with dry, liquid and anhydrous ammonia available.
There are several businesses out in the country that have a Morrowville address. Among them are the 15 and 36 Truck Stop and the Korner Cafe located two miles south of town. Walthers Oil Co. of Cuba owns the truck stop, and Hank and Reva Rollman own the cafe. On the highway 10 miles north of town, Gail and Bernice Farber operate the Sunrise station and bulk fuel delivery service.
While life in Morrowville in 1984 doesn't have all of the hustle and bustle of the frontier town of the 1880s, living here is very pleasant and peaceful with friendly caring neighbors. It's as good a place as can be found to raise a family. With a 1984 population of 182 people, Morrowville has fared better than some of her neighbors during the migration from the rural areas to the cities. No one can predict the future but based on past history one would have to think that Morrowville will continue in the fine traditions of the founding fathers for some time to come.
When Rufus Darby was making his way across the plains in a covered wagon, powered flight was just a dream in men's minds. Now his descendants can fly coast to coast in less time than it took Darby to ride to Marysville to get provisions. It is an accepted fact that man has made more progress in coping with his environment in the last 100 years than had been made from the beginning of time until then. Who in 1900 would have dreamed of man going to the moon? Now space flights conducted with reusable spacecraft are almost commonplace.
The tremendous advancements in medicine that have increased the life expectancy by 30 years in less than one lifetime would boggle the minds of the pioneers. The early settlers could not even dream of all of the modern conveniences of life that are now taken for granted -- electric power on every farm, refrigeration, television, and modern highways and automobiles. The list could go on and on.
Ten or even five years ago computers were some monstrous piece of equipment costing thousands of dollars. Today they are small enough to carry and inexpensive enough that, this book is being prepared on one right here in Morrowville, USA. Reflecting on all this, one can only wonder what sort of scientific magic will be wrought by the time someone reads this book in 2084.
This writer is fully aware that not all of the important happenings of the last 120 years or so are in this story, however an honest attempt has been made to provide the reader with an overall picture of the founding and growth of the town. Many of the details of the succession of ownership of the various businesses, including the barber shops and beauty shops, which were only mentioned here, are listed in the next section of this book.
History of Businesses
The livery barn was an important part of the scene in the early days. Travelers needed a place to feed and shelter their horses as they passed through the town.
Jacob Blocker had one of the early livery barns. The records show that Claude Watson rented the livery barn from Blocker in April 1902. In November 1902 Mark Tinney rented it, and Charley and Jim Adams took it over in 1904.
In 1905 Frank Wright sold his farm to C. W. Hawes and erected a livery barn and built a new home.
Earnest Grover operated a livery barn and built an office on the south side of it in 1908. In 1909 Grover sold his livery barn to George Pecklam. In 1910 Pecklam sold it to Mondel Rose. In 1912 it is recorded that "The livery barn has changed hands again, Mr. Parrack having sold to a Mr. Gould."
George Brant owned a livery barn, located where the American Legion Hall now stands; but with the advent of the automobile age he remodeled it into the Rock Island Garage in 1913. By 1915 George Brant and Son were doing a brisk business selling Ford automobiles and tractors.
In 1921 they moved into the building vacated by Jim and Dave Lewis on Elm Street.
The O. J. Wells building was built just north of the Rock Island Garage in 1916 and 1917. It was constructed of hollow tile from Endicott, Nebraska. Walt Veatch laid most of the tile. Bowman Fencil, Floyd Lindsley and Billie Green also worked on it.
In 1917 and 1918 H. R. Wells had a garage in the Wells building. He also built a horse barn in the back that ran all the way to the alley. He had a livery service for soldiers going from Fort Riley to Fort Kearney, Nebraska, during World War I.
After World War I the horse barn wasn't too successful because the automobile was rapidly taking over the transportation in Morrowville as well as the rest of the country.
Dave Lewis and Warren Rose operated a garage in the O. J. Wells building for a few years in the early 20s. In 1925 O. J. Wells opened a garage and ran it until his death in 1928. Joe Cecrle opened his business in that location in 1934. On January 20, 1939, Cecrle was advertising a Deluxe Hudson for $745 delivered in Detroit. Cecrle continued his garage until Pearl Harbor in 1941 when he left to work in a tool and dye department, first in Wichita and then in Omaha. Frank Moore took over and operated the garage until the early 40s.
H. R. Wells maintained a shop, working on pumps and windmills, in the Wells building until his retirement.
The upstairs of the O. J. Wells building served as a dwelling, a meeting place for the community, a hall for the Modern Woodman of America and a meeting place for various other organizations within the community for many years.
Harry Frager had a wooden frame garage on the west side of Main Street north of the grocery store. Ray Bonar worked for him. Frager was there only a few years before the building was destroyed by fire in 1920.
Ollie Rickert and Joe Miller had a garage in a wooden frame building where Ron Nutz is located now. Their business, which lasted about two years, was selling Maxwell cars and trucks. Jim and Dave Lewis built a concrete block building on that location and operated a garage in it.
In 1921 George and Harvey Brant moved into the vacated building where Lewis had been, and it became know as Brant Motor Company. They built a garage onto the back of the building. George Brant died in 1927. In 1928 Ed Brant joined his brother, Harvey, after selling his store to Lloyd Bonar. The Brants had sales for more Ford cars than they could get from Ford so they started selling Whippets, Dodges and Dorts. They sold around 50 cars in a short time.
Harvey Brant left the business in 1933 and purchased the Kozel Station. Ed Brant ran the garage until he sold it to Albert Nutsch in the early 1940s.
In 1945 Joe Cecrle came back from Omaha, bought part of Albert Nutsch's building and started his garage. He sold Hudson and Terraplane cars. When Nutsch moved his business to the edge of town, Cecrle bought the rest of the building. In the early 60s Cecrle put in an Itco Farm Supply Store which he sold in March 1984.
In January 1977 Ron Nutz, Joe Cecrle's grandson, took over the operation of Cecrle's Garage and renamed it Ron's Garage. In March 1981 Nutz left to work for Phillips Petroleum Company, and Cecrle again operated the garage. Nutz returned in February 1984 and again took over the garage.
One of the first implement businesses in Morrowville was that of Lawrence & Rickert. In 1908 they held a street exhibit showing their many new implements, gasoline engines and feed grinders. They served a nice dinner in their large implement hall for all who came to town. There was a great demand for their windmills. In June they put up 17 windmills in three weeks.
M. E. Lawrence and O. E. Rickert sold their implement business to George Brant and William Weber in October 1908. In 1909 Weber moved to the farm and Frank Gassert came into the business with Brant. During that year they installed a two-horse power International gasoline engine to pump water for Elsworth Robbins.
Frank Gassert bought out Brant's interest in the implement business in September 1909, and Gassert moved the implement business south of the bank. Brant remained in the Rock Island Garage building where he sold cars and tractors. In 1921 Brant moved his automobile business east of the bank to the Lewis building, and Gassert moved back to the Rock Island Garage.
In February 1925 A.N. (Bert) Bonar bought half interest in the business from Gassert. Windmills and International Harvester farm implements and repairs were handled. Gassert and Bonar closed their business about 1943.
The Case implement business was started in 1943. Verlin Barnes and Albert Nutsch operated it in the Lewis building where Ron Nutz is now. In the late 1940s Earl Beeman replaced Verlin Barnes as Nutsch's partner. Earl Beeman died in late 1950, and Albert Nutsch ran the business by himself. In 1953 Nutsch moved his business to his home property and ran it from there until the early 1960s.
Morrowville, like most frontier towns, had plenty of blacksmiths. In 1885 James Whittet, a blacksmith, and Charles Raymond, a wagon maker, ran a neat shop; and they were soon overrun with business. In 1886 the blacksmith shop, run by Whittet, was still in operation; but Raymond had left town because he owed more money than he could pay.
In 1889 Mr. Campell had a blacksmith shop that was struck by lightning and caught on fire. The fire department was able to put out the fire before much damage was done.
In 1891 Fred Mason built a new blacksmith shop on Main Street where Mr. Shaw formerly had owned one.
In 1897 a Mr. Wright was the proprietor of the village blacksmith and general repair shop. He was doing first class work at hard times prices. He sold the blacksmith shop to Dick Osborn of Ponca City, Oklahoma.
On March 10, 1899, Elmer Grout had employed a helper in his blacksmith shop. On March 31, 1899, Levit Grout employed a new man at the bellows in his blacksmith shop for the summer.
Levit Grout employed a Mr. Hargis in 1900 as all round blacksmith. George Gray bought the Levit Grout blacksmith shop in 1901.
Dick Osborn was the industrious blacksmith in town in 1902. He owned his shop and tools and specialized in horse shoeing.
A newspaper advertisement on April 12, 1918, read:
Blacksmithing at O. J. Wells Shop
General Blacksmithing and Wood Work
Signed Sherman Rudy
Walter Veatch owned a blacksmith shop in 1921. It was destroyed by the fire in December that burned three buildings.
In 1921 J. D. Lewis opened the Lewis Blacksmith and Machine Shop. He did welding, machine work, blacksmithing and repairs of all kinds. In 1923 Lewis built an addition to his shop.
Alois Scheer moved his blacksmith business from Reno into Morrowville to the O. J. Wells building at the north end of Main Street in 1937. He had learned the blacksmith trade as a four year apprentice in Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1922. In 1942 he purchased the Lewis shop next to the bank building and moved his business to that location. He operated the business there until his death in 1968.
Alois Scheer's son, Anthony "Tony" , took over the business after his death. Tony built a new shop building next to the old shop in 1970. He razed the old shop in 1983. Tony has one employee, Rick Svanda, in addit.ion to himself in the shop today.
In 1884 the first hardware store was built by Cummins and McCormac on the northwest corner of Main and Elm. It was a 25 foot x 30 foot building in which they put a full stock of hardware. Mr. Cummins was also the postmaster. In 1885 Mr. McCormac traded his half interest of the hardware store to W. A. Nye for 80 acres of land. The name of the hardware store was changed to Cummins and Nye. An addition of 20 feet was built onto the store to house a selected stock of drugs. The need for the drug supply was due to the doctor who moved from Washington. Sometime between 1886 and 1889 W. A. Nye bought T. J. Cummins' interest in the hardware store. Reeves, who was at that time engaged in teaching the youngsters of Morrow how to shoot, traded some real estate near Haddam for half interest in Mr. Nye's stock in that hardware firm and changed the name to Reeves.
In 1899 Flansburg and Johnson bought Reeves Hardware and Drug Store and some other Morrowville property. They enlarged the stock and opened an extensive business. Later that year they built an addition of 18 feet x 32 feet on their building. In 1901 they bougHt the Old French Drug.Store building from A. F. Robbins. In 1902 a Mr. Ayers was employed to take care of their harness and shoe repair business.
In 1906 O. A. Stanton and Sons bought the Johnson and Flansburg Hardware Store. It was sold to R. J. Stanton in 1906, and it became known as Stanton Hardware and Drug. It was a wooden building 30 feet x 50 feet.
In 1925 a new brick building was built on the same location. It was 50 feet x 70 feet in size. Part of the old building was moved to the rear of the new one and used for storage. Hardware, dry fertilizer, harness, drugs and paints were the main products sold at that time. J. T. Lewis was the pharmacist. He had been a registered pharmacist since 1895.
In 1946 propane gas was introduced. It was sold in 200 pound cylinders and used mostly for cooking stove fuel. In a few years 500- to 1,000-gallon storage tanks were used for holding heating fuel. The business was called Stanton Propane Co.
R. J. Stanton died in 1950. The business was managed by his son, Harold J. Stanton, who was assisted by his sons, Robert and Bruce.
In 1952 anhydrous ammonia and liquid fertilizer were added to their stock. Storage tanks, a mixing plant and other equipment were acquired.
The business was expanded in 1956 when a propane and fertilizer plant was established at Fairbury, Nebraska. It was operated from Morrowville for several years.
Upon returning from the service, the Stanton sons worked in the business--Robert at Morrowville and Bruce at Fairbury.
Harold J. Stanton died in 1964. Robert and Bruce purchased the Stanton Propane Co. in 1969 from the R. J. Stanton heirs. They incorporated the business, and it became known as Stanton Farm Services, Inc.
In 1977 a new metal building was erected to replace the old store building in the rear. It is used for storage and a workshop.
Stantons is the oldest business in Morrowville. It has been in the same location for 78 years under the ownership and management of the O. A. Stanton family heirs.
At the present time Robert's son, James, and Bruce's son, Rick, are working with their fathers in Morrowville and Fairbury, respectfully, thus making the fifth generation of the Stanton family to be a part of the business.
Present employees of the Morrowville branch of Stanton Farm Services Inc., are Robert Stanton, owner; Jim Stanton, manager; Loraine Lindsley, bookkeeper; and Roy Grover, delivery truck driver.
In 1885 the lumber business was owned by C. F. Allen and Co. with Sam Thompson in charge. In 1886 the lumber yard was being managed by A.H. Decker.
In 1892 D. T. Molony built a lumber yard on Main Street north of the Methodist Church. In 1901 Charles and William Kozel purchased the lumber yard from D. T. Molony.
In 1905 Kozels added buggies to their business line. The brothers ran the business together until 1906 when William bought Charles' interest. He continued to operate the lumber and coal yard until his death in 1923. William died as a result of an infection caused by a burn he received while getting coal oil for a customer. He got some of the oil on his clothes, but he did not wash it off right awayand was burned by the oil.
After the Kozel brothers separated, Charles built a lumber yard on Morton Street. In 1915 Morrow Lumber Company was managed by his brother-in-law, W. J. Noble.
Charles Kozel owned the yard until 1927 when he sold it to Howell Lumber Company. John Jandera, who had managed yards for Howell's in Washington and Mahaska previously, was named manager. In 1939 hardware stock was added to the yard. They also sold lumber, wallpaper, Ideal cement and a complete line of building materials. The lumber company continued to be a part of Morrowville until 1972.
John Jandera sold the property to Curtis Wieland in 1972. Wieland razed one building, and the other buildings are left standing and used for storage.
Dray Service -- Truck Lines
In the days before the auto revolution when everything was hauled by team and wagon, Morrowville had a dray service operated by Claude Watson. He hauled cream and eggs from the produce stations to the train and freight from the train to all the stores in town. All of the livestock was driven to the stockyards at the railroad and shipped out on the train.
As the automobile came of age, trucks followed close behind. The first truck line in Morrowville was operated by John W. Woods. He started his trucking business in 1919 with one hard rubber-tired International truck. Woods' business consisted of hauling livestock from Washington County farmers to the railroad stockyards in Morrowvile. From there the livestock was sent by rail to Kansas City. Other hauling consisted of unloading lumber and cement from the railroad cars and hauling it to the lumber yard owned by Charles Kozel. He hauled many tons of coal from the railroad to residents in Morrowville to be used for cooking and heating.
In 1929 Woods bought his first truck with balloon tires. This truck was used for the same type of hauling plus moving furniture for local people. This truck carried a canvas which was used in inclement weather.
In 1938 Woods purchased a new Dodge truck. He and Jim Lewis, local blacksmith, built an enclosed box for the new truck. At that time he started hauling freight from Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri, and distributed it to many of the small towns along Highway 36 from Washington to Oberlin, Kansas. Locally Stanton's Hardware, Morrowville Co-op and Jack Tuma near Mahaska were good customers.
A short time later Woods purchased his first semi-trailer with a Ford tractor. This rig was used to haul eggs from Belleville to Kansas City. He returned with freight and meat from Armour and Swift packing plants in St. Joseph.
During the next few years he employed three drivers who continued to haul freight, meat and livestock. Some of the drivers were Jim Boles, Lawrence Cornell, Ellis Day, George Durst, Sylvester Durst, Keith Enfield, Clarence Hagan, John Luehring, Walter Lindsley, Joe Moore, Jack Freed, Milford Rollman, Kenneth Shea, Clark Sloan and Dave Woods, John's brother.
Woods continued his business until he lost his life in a truck accident one mile east of Hiawatha, Kansas, on Highway 36 on July 4, 1944.
Neal Moore started a truck line in 1927, first hauling flour from the mill at Clyde and bringing groceries to the stores from Fairbury. Later he started making long distance hauls from St. Joseph and Kansas City. Moore quit his business in 1932. Royand Frank Moore and John (Pud) Cummings were drivers.
Otho Barnes started the Barnes Truck Line in the early 30s. Some of his drivers were Hubert Menzies, Guy Jennings, Faye Throop, Adolph Hynek and Ross Rosenberg.
The Johnson Truck Line served the Morrowville area from 1935 to 1965. It was owned by Alfred Johnson. He owned a fleet of big trucks and a pickup truck for delivering small freight. Some of Johnson's drivers were Dern Jones, Eldon Odgers, Jim Hood, Chester Rowland and Keith Wilkinson.
Johnson sold the truck line to Lester Ayres and Lawrence Cornell, who ran it for a few years and then sold it to Topeka Motor Freight Inc. of Topeka.
The Rhine Truck Line was located in Morrowville from about 1950 to 1953. Sylvester Durst helped drive Rhine's trucks in long distance hauling. Durst bought the truck line in 1953 from Eldon Rhine and ran it until 1972 when his health failed.
The so called "short haul" truck line to haul farmers products to local markets has practically disappeared from the present day scene. Almost every farmer has a pickup truck for light hauling and general transportation. Many farmers own their own tractor-trailer rigs and haul their grain and livestock to terminal markets. Small item freight delivery by rail ceased many years ago, and now even LTL (less than truckload) freight service is not on a regular schedule. United Parcel Service, with five-day per week delivery direct to the customers' door no matter how remote the location, is filling much of the void created by the passing of local truck lines for delivery of small items.
Gas was first available in Morrowville from pumps in front of the O. J. Wells Garage and Brant Motor Company. The first station was probably the one Floyd Boylan had built on the west side of the highway across the street south of the railroad tracks sometime during the middle 1920s. Over the years it was known as the Morrowville Filling Station, the Farmers' Union oil Station, the Farmers' Oil Company, the Ideal Service Station, and finally, after 1937, the Texaco Station. Floyd Boylan operated it for several years. His step-son, Ernest Odgers, helped him for a while.
In February 1931 Boylan sold the station to Paul Reinecke, who had been running the bulk truck. In March 1932 Reinecke turned the station back to Boylan.
In the summer of 1933 Lloyd Vinzant opened a vegetable stand at the station. In 1935 he took over the stock and had charge of the station while Floyd Boylan continued to run the oil truck. The station manager changed again in 1936 when Lloyd Moore ran the station and Floyd Lindsley drove the bulk truck.
Buzz Brandt became the new operator of the Texaco Station in 1937 replacing Verto Beasley. In May 1939 Ernie Howland started running the Texaco Filling Station. In 1941 Floyd Boylan sold the business to Everett Oil Co. of Concordia. Francis Koch and his dad, Frank, ran the station until 1945 when Francis went to Concordia. Frank Koch and John Horky operated the station until 1948. At that time Henry Rollman became the manager. The station was closed two years later. The building has been torn down.
In 1927 Mrs. W. H. Kozel had a filling station built east of Swift Cream Station on the corner of Morton and Elm streets. Harlan Throop operated it for her, and it was known as Kozel Oil Co. The building was sold to Harvey Brant in 1933 and was known as the Brant Oil Company. He sold White Rose Gasoline and later became the Conoco dealer in the area. Roy "Skeetz " Moore ran the tank wagon.
It was in 1933 that gasoline prices hit the lowest level in several years. Ethyl dropped to 14.9 cents a gallon, regular gas to 11.9 cents and third grade to 10.9 cents.
In 1948 Roy "Skeetz" Moore and his sons bought the station. Skeetz, Robert "Dub", and Everett "Wimp" ran the station and truck. Dub quit in 1953 to run a cafe. Skeetz and Wimp sold the building and stock to the Coop in 1963 and went to work for them.
Gaston's Station later know as Coop
In 1931 August Carlson erected a new filling station for Melvin Gaston across from the high school grounds. In 1935 Gaston built a new building and used the old one for a garage. The gasoline pumps were moved because the new highway came too close to the old ones. Gaston sold shares to farmers, and it became an Independent Coop in 1938. Clyde Dull, Ernest Benne, Lyle Fraser, Cal Smith and Lloyd Wilsey were elected to the board of directors. They organized the coop and wrote by-laws and policy for the business. Gaston sold the station to the Coop in 1942. John Luehring helped manage it for three years. His wife, Celia, had to help since there was a shortage of men because of World War II. The station was closed for about three months in 1945. John Luehring continued to drive the Coop transport and delivered gas to Coops in several towns. Howard Hauschel managed it a very short time. Later in 1945 Alan and Bill Mayberry came back from the service and operated the station until 1948. Elmer Grover managed it until 1957. Elmer's son, Calvin, then managed the station until August 1962. Fern Lindsley became a half-tlme bookeeper in 1961 and retained that position until November 1981.
Henry Rollman was the manager from August 1962 until 1971. In April 1963 the coop became affiliated with the Cooperative Service Association of Concordia, Kansas. After Skeetz and Wimp Moore sold their Conoco Station to the Coop, they began working there. Wimp worked a short time and was transferred to Concordia. Skeetz quit in August 1968 because of his health. Leo Moore, who had been working there since 1961, managed the station from 1971 until 1974. In 1973 Farmers Cooperative Elevator Association of Greenleaf bought the stock from Cooperative Service Association. Delmar Crawford and Mike Van Kirk each managed the station for a short time before Leo Moore resumed the management in 1975. The current employees are Leo Moore, manager; Don Welch, Jeff Lehman, Keith Welch and Clark Long.
In 1933 the Sinclair Oil Company erected a new wooden building on the east side of the highway east of Floyd Boylan's station on the corner of Morton and Railway. In 1933 it was operated by each of the following men for a short time: Floyd Allen, Olin Bennett, Gene Boston, John Luerhing and Philip Beggs.
In 1935 the building was moved two blocks south to the east side of the highway at the corner of Morton and Oak streets. George Rose managed it for two months. Harlan Throop operated it for two years.
The building was moved to the southeast corner of Locust and Morton, where shortly before, John Schwab had moved an old bus to be used as a service station. Frank Bahl and Tom Lillibridge managed it. Lillibridge also ran the Port of Entry.
About two years later the building was moved by Charles Kephart to the southwest corner of Earl Craffordis farm across from where Gerhard Lutjemeier's farm buildings are today. Charlie Kephart operated a filling station and car repair shop there for a number of years.
General Merchandise Stores
The general merchandise stores were the forerunner of the modern department stores. These stores sold a variety of goods from dry goods and groceries to clothes, shoes, hats and toiletries. They were truly one-stop shopping for the early pioneer families. Nothing was packaged as we know it today. The clerk took the customer's order, counted, weighed and measured the goods and packaged them for him while he waited. The cracker barrel and pickle barrel were a common sight in these establishments.
In 1884 Garrett and Hennon erected the first business house in Morrow. They stocked general merchandise, dry goods and groceries. The business was dissolved in 1886.
The second business was built in 1885 by David Welch and son of the Blocker community. Before they moved into it, they sold it to R. W. Evans.
C. L. Hennon and Alex McLaren bought out R. W. Evans' stock of dry goods and groceries in 1886.
In 1886 Hugh Garrett founded the pioneer Grocery Store. In 1888 Garrett built an addition to his store. In 1896 Richard Blocker traded Oklahoma property for Garrett's merchandise. His business was in Garrett's old stand on the corner of Main and Broadway (now Railway Street).
In 1886 Charles Hawes completed a new building. Phillip Darby occupied the first floor in which he kept a complete stock of dry goods and groceries. In 1887 McLaren and Hennon purchased Hawes' stock of dry goods and groceries and moved to a new place. McLaren and Hennon filled their old building with farm implements, consisting mostly of John Deere's famous goods. Later in 1887 Alex McLaren purchased Charles Hennon's interest in the dry goods and groceries.
In 1898 Charles Hawes built a flour room on his building. Hawes bought M. E. Rector's stock of groceries in 1900. Hawes built another addition to his store in 1901. In 1902 Hawes bought out Wm. Linn's stock of groceries. Linn was in business for himself just four months.
In 1905 Mr. Driskell sold part of his store goods to C. W. Hawes and moved the rest to Haddam.
In 1908 Hawes put gasoline lights in his store.
It isn't known exactly when W. A. Nye took the store over, but Ed Brant bought the Hawes store from Nye in 1923 and later sold it to Lloyd Bonar in 1928. Around 1941 Bonar turned it over to Les Hubka to run. After a few years it was closed and the building was sold to Bruce Stanton. He tore the store down and used the lumber in his house that he built in Fairbury, Nebraska. Stanton Farm Services, Inc. has a fertilizer plant and scales on the lot now.
In March 1901 Savage and Wisner rented Rector's building and put in a stock of groceries. By April 1901 Wisner decided not to go into the store business and by June 1902 Savage had given up the business. Then a Mr. Cling put his stock of merchandise in the Rector building. He had a meat market first and later added groceries. In September of 1902, E. H. Grover purchased the Rector building and moved it south of the C. W. Hawes store.
In 1892 D. T. Molony and his family, which included his wife, Amanda; sons, Henry and William; and daughters, Effie and Jennie, who had come from Wisconsin, built a general store on the northeast corner of Main and Elm. In 1902 they doubled the size of their store. Henry also had a lumber yard just north of where the post office is now. Effie married John Frank Chrisman from Iowa. John and Effie took over the store in 1904. The Chrismans sold their store and home to Louis Wurtz and Raymond Fagan of Greenleaf in 1922.
Harry Pepple purchased the business from Wurtz and Fagan in 1929, and in 1936 Pepple sold his store to his son-in-law, O. A. (Otho) Barnes. Barnes handled all kinds of groceries, meats and dry goods.
Charles Terpening ran the store from 1946 to 1949. Merle and Bea (Wieland) Bonar ran the store for a short time before Fred and Velma (Barnes) Mathy took over the store. They operated it until it closed in 1956.
Harold and Verlin Barnes purchased the building before Terpening managed the store there and sold it to Albert Nutsch in 1946. Nutsch then sold the building to Lloyd Bonar in 1949. Both Hardy Throop and Anthony Scheer owned the Molony building for a period of time before Norman Elliott bought it in 1977 to use as a warehouse for construction materials.
Meat Markets & Butcher Shops
In the days before refrigeration and home freezers, the meat market and butcher shops made fresh meat accessible to the citizenry.
William Hoffine and Jim Watson apparently had two of the first meat markets in Morrowville. On March 6, 1908, Dave Sparks traded two pieces of property for Hoffine's meat market. The market was located where J. L. Hatter Produce was last. On March 13, 1908, Dave Sparks bought out Jim Watson's butcher shop. This made him the only person in the meat business. In April of that year Will Cummings traded for one-half interest in Sparks' Meat Market. On May 22 the partnership was dissolved. On May 29 Sparks sold the meat market to Tom Young and Al Green. Thus in less than three months Dave Sparks entered and exited the meat business.
Mr. Cass purchased the Morrowville Meat Market from Young in February of 1909. Frank Mayberry was its next owner, and in 1924 Neal Moore became the proprietor of the Morrowville Meat Market. In 1927 Mr. Bertram became the owner of the meat market. It burned in 1936. Bertram's Meat Market was moved across the street to the frame building north of Lindsley's store (Bread Basket). Bertram continued to operate the meat business until the early 40s when he closed his market.
The fresh meat market was no longer needed as the grocery stores had meat departments to serve the public.
In 1917 James and Mary Lindsley moved to town and leased the building, where the Bread Basket is now, from A. J. Tuttle and opened a restaurant. Within two or three years the restaurant had turned into a grocery, "Lindsleys Store." The first bread sold by the store was baked by Mary Lindsley. The Lindsleys had living quarters in the back. In the 1920s Jim's son, Ralph, became manager of the store. Vern, Ralph's son, operated the store from 1931 until he was called into the service during World War II. He sold the store to Herb Nutter in 1944.
In 1946 Ervin "Perf" and Delma (Gaston) Synovec bought the grocery store from Mr. Nutter and added a locker plant to the rear of the store. In 1965 the Synovecs remodeled the store and took out the locker plant. In 1972 the store was again remodeled and a new front was added.
Bob and Judy (Miller) Nold purchased the store from the Synovecs and opened the "Bread Basket" in 1982.
Alex McClaren and the Gregg brothers took care of all the corn brought to market. J. W. Allibone represented Mason Gregg and Brothers until March 1885 when he retired and Tom Young took his place.
In 1886 Gregg and Brothers and Kelley and Company stored up to 25,000 bushels of corn.
This is an article taken from the Washington paper in December 1888:
"Morrow is Washington County's Chicago. I have not seen such a rush in grain business during my five years residence in Washington County as there has been at this station for the past three weeks. We now have three regular buyers, not including Pap Simpson, who by the way, is the most liberal bidder in town. He never fails to bid on a load of corn and always fails to get it. The dealers stand around on the corners and as soon as a load of corn is sighted, each of them pipes forth the prevailing price for the day in tones that can be heard for a half mile, and each claims that he got the first bid, and consequently claims the load. And thus the excitement is kept up from early morning till late at night. Alex McLaren took in 2,000 bushels of shelled corn last Monday and refused 500 more on account of not having a place to put it. The other buyers are doing equally as well. Hugh Garrett, manager of Greggs & Kiser, is full to the brim and running over. Miller seems to be the back bone of the market, and from the looks of his calibre, will not be easily broken."
In 1888 Burns and Lindsey said they had over 40,000 bushels of corn engaged to shell during the year.
The price of corn in the fall of 1896 was 12 cents per bushel. In October 1897 Allen and Dalrymple were paying 17 cents for new corn in the ear; 75 pounds to the bushel.
An inventory of the corn cribs in Morrowville in January 1898 measured in length to be 2,387 feet.
West Elevator: The Duff Elevator was built in 1898, with Alex McGregor as manager. In 1899 a huge corn crib was built north of the scale house. In 1901 wheat made 30 bushel per acre.
The depot agent reported that there had been 37 car loads of hogs and cattle and 47 carloads of grain shipped from May 1 to June 24, 1904.
Mr. Hawke became the new manager of the Duff Grain Co. in 1909.
After having been destroyed by fire at some unknown date, the Duff elevator reopened in 1925. In 1927 Mr. and Mrs. Wyman and son from Manhattan moved here, purchased the Duff elevator and renamed it "Wyman Grain Co."
The west elevator was renamed the "Morrowville Grain & Coal Co.," by a group of farmers who made a cooperative organization of it in the 1930s. Some of the managers were Charles Smith, George Rose and J. T. Jandera. Jandera was the last manager before it was sold to Preston Milling Co. of Fairbury. A. Kaiser and George Weerts managed the elevator for Preston Milling Co. before they sold it to the Haddam Grain Co. in 1959.
Haddam Grain Co., owned by Pete and Frank Anderson and Fred Winter, added 170,000 bushels of storage to the elevator shortly after it was purchased. During this period, the elevator was operated mostly as a government bonded warehouse with Bill Power overseeing the operation.
In 1968 Continental Grain Co. purchased the west elevator putting both elevators under the same management.
East Elevator: In February 1909, a rally day was held to make plans for building a Farmers Elevator. On May 21, 1909, the contract was let for the new elevator which they hoped would be finished in time for the new grain crop. In June 1909 two carloads of material arrived. In August 1909 a news item read: "The lumber is here at last and the new elevator will soon be finished." October 1909 the elevator was complete enough that they took grain. Frank Weber delivered the first load of wheat. At that time both elevators had their scales up in the elevators.
Ed Erps was manager of the Farmers Elevator in 1915. Other managers through the years have been John Huyck, Kermit Huyck and a Mr. Glover.
In 1928 Huyck's elevator received 96 loads of corn in one day, a record. The papers said, "the price of corn is attractive enough to cause a lot of it to move."
Continental Grain Co. purchased the Farmers Elevator in 1944. In approximately 1949 they built a new office and put the scales on the south side of it: Paul Clark and Charles Terpening served as managers.
In 1951 Hubert Menzies became manager of the Continental Grain Co. When he first took over, there were two people, Bud Durst of Morrowville and Joe Schmidt of Hollenberg, who still brought their grain in with teams of horses and wagons. One of the highlights of Menzies' days with Continental was in 1973 when he worked in Salina with the grain that had been sold to Russia. Continental sent him there to oversee the loading of 145 railroad cars a day, which he said just about scared him to death. He said, "I was used to kind of a jerkwater operat ion."
In 1974 Seneca Elevator Co., owned by Frank Anderson, Fred Winter and Wendell Zenger, purchased the elevators from Continental Grain Co. and renamed them Morrowville Elevator Co. They installed a grain dryer and added some additional storage at the east elevator soon after purchasing it. Hubert Menzies continued to manage the elevators until his retirement in 1979.
Since 1979 the elevator has been managed by Jim Felder and Frank Nutsch. Bob Nold is the current manager. Alberta Slater is bookkeeper. Other employees are Arthur "Ted" Stoker, Gene Stoker and Paul Nutsch.
As an indicator of how much things have changed, a bushel of corn that sold for 12 cents in 1896 would bring over three dollars in 1984.
The creamery was one of the few industries that came to be a real help to the farmer's wife. The following quote summed up the value of the creameries:
"How many who understand what the farmer's life is, but know it is a busy one. The more cows he keeps, the more stock he raises, and the more milk there is to be turned into marketable produce, the more exacting his duties become. Since there is only one farmer now and then who has milk enough to engage in manufacturing cheese, the only thing to do is to make butter. We all know if the farmer is busy the wife is also busy. Up in the morning before the break of day, for there is breakfast to get, milk to skim, churning to do, chickens to feed, children to take care of, vegetables to gather and prepare for dinner, besides to put the house in order. And all ought to be done before the cool of the morning passes away, and that routine must be go on every day. With the addition of washing and baking day, where does she get any time for rest or social duties? Not one moment.
"Now, the creamery comes to us and says, 'I will take your milk and make your butter. You will make more money than if you make the butter yourself.' With what relief that comes.
"Among the advantages are: (1) it pays cash and has it's established pay day, thereby enabling the farmer to make his calculations without fear of failure; (2) it is central, everyone from near and far, can be accommodated; (3) it supplies our market with a uniformly good grade of butter at a moderate price; (4) it returns our milk in good condition for feeding purpose, free of charge."
The coming of the creamery was certainly exciting to the farmers around Morrowville. At one time there were as many as six cream stations in town.
The Fairmont Creamery, established in 1898, was the first creamery in Morrowville. It was a skimming plant. Milo Osterhout was the first manager followed by Will Haukenbury. In 1899 Link Frager became manager. In April 1899 Frager reported a daily average of 3,500 pounds of milk skimmed and in May of that year the plant handled 92,379 pounds of milk, twice what it processed in May of the previous year. J. G. Adams took over in 1902.
The Morrowville Creamery was the first cooperative creamery in Washington County. It was located in the building that later became the vocational agriculture shop of Morrowville High School. This creamery was established about 1916. The creamery made butter, ice cream, block ice and ice cream mix that was taken home and frozen. They also bought eggs and poultry. T.A. Howe was manager. The owners were C. M. Hanshaw, C. A. Grover, W. H. Kozel and R. J. Stanton. This creamery closed in the early 20s.
In the 1920s Winterrowd Produce Co. bought for Fairmont foods and sold Fairmont products. J. L. Hatter who managed the station later purchased it and renamed it J. L. Hatter Produce. He closed the business in 1951.
In 1921 Wendel Schmitz erected a building to house the Harding Creamery Co. of Kansas City, Missouri. During the 20s and 30s George Springs, Fred Darby, Fred Goeken and Wayne Lindsley managed the Harding Cream Station. In 1925 George Springs had an addition built onto the building so he could handle feeds. In 1928 Springs reported that from April 2-7 he paid $1,500 for creamery produce.
In May 1931 George Springs operated a cream station in the Pepple building where Jim Watson had been. In 1934 Springs moved his cream station to just south of Bonar and Gassert's implement shop.
From 1927 to 1930 the Armour Company was in Morrowville, managed by Miss Mildred Weber, Dallas Overlander and Lloyd Frans.
Mr. Watson was operator of Swift Company in 1928. From about 1934 until World War II, Fred Mathy managed Swift Cream Station. While he was in the service his wife, Velma, kept the business open. After the war he and Donald "Jack" Barnes purchased produce and hides and ran a produce route. They picked up milk, eggs and chickens. In 1949 Fred Mathy left to operate a grocery store. Jack Barnes closed the business in December 1951.
Others that started and dissolved were Beatrice Creamery Co., Lincoln Pure Butter, Concordia Creamery and Jerpe's. Most of the stations were closed by 1940 or shortly thereafter. Some of the managers were Ralph Morris, Verlin Stanton, Max Stanton, Kermit Menzies, Hubert Menzies and Wayne Lindsley.
John Horky managed a cream station for Swift and Company beginning in 1950. Later he purchased the station and operated it until 1972 when it was closed thus ending the creameries in Morrowville.
The Shaw House was built in 1889 and was the first hotel in Morrowville. It was two stories high with four apartments downstairs and eight apartments upstairs.
One Saturday in 1897 the Shaw House boasted of serving 75 meals, the equivalant to any hotel in Kansas City.
In 1897 it was purchased by Jacob Blocker who with the help of his daughter, Belle, operated it for two years. He built a home just north of the hotel. In 1908 Mrs. Ed Chapman owned the Blocker Hotel, and she sold it to Dave Sparks. In the same year Sparks traded it to Joe Archer for a farm southwest of Haddam. Archer built an addition on the hotel that was used as Dr. Beggs' dental office.
In 1915 Mr. E. Dunick purchased the hotel. This establishment known at different times as the Shaw House, Morrowville Hotel, Buster House, Blocker Hotel, and Archer Hotel, burned along with several other buildings in 1920.
In 1923 C. O. Throop built the hotel that is still standing today. It was first known as the Morrowville Hotel. From 1923 to 1928 the Throops leased the hotel to Alex Moore, Mr. Otwell and Warren Rose. The Throops came back to Morrowville and operated the hotel until 1942. In 1928 the Throops added a croquet court behind the hotel. It was one of the town's most popular amusement spots.
After the hotel was closed it was the residence of Hardy Throop and his mother until her death. It is now the home of Hardy and his wife, Crispina, who is from the Phillipines. Throop opened a hobby shop and soda fountain in 1968. He closed it nine months later.
An Advertisement in a 1927 newspaper read:
J. L. Hatter - flour, feed, seeds, cream, eggs; successor to J. F. Winterrowd: R. J. Stanton - fence, wire: Bank: Brant and Son - tires and cars: Howell Lumber Co.: Ed Brant store - clothes and material: Bertrams - Meat Market: Wurtz Store food and clothes: Raney Bros grocery store: Lesher's Variety.
The Morrowville State Bank was built in 1904 and opened on June 24 with J. R. Hyland as the first cashier. Hyland also was an attorney at law. On June 1, 1910, H. H. Diller became cashier.
In 1923 a woman was arrested in Kansas City. She had in her possession liberty bonds stolen from the Morrwoville State Bank several months before when the bank was burglarized. The woman was identified as "Bobby Beaver" who had been arrested several times on minor offenses.
In 1930 extensive remodeling was done. During remodeling, the banking headquarters were in the Lewis building.
In September 1934 two unmasked men forced Jim Lewis and Henry Farrar, who were on the street talking, to enter the bank. They proceeded to rob the bank of between $200 to $400. When they realized that the central alarm had been set off they took H. H. Diller; his son, Dwayne; Jim Lewis and Henry Farrar with them. Dwayne Diller and Jim Lewis were released in the street. The robbers released Diller and Farrar a half mile north of town. In December of 1934 Bert Pope, 25, and Denzil Chastain, 28, pleaded guilty of the robbery. They were sentenced to 10 to 50 years in the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing. In 1938 the bank had a capital stock of $20,000 with surplus and undivided profits of $7,000. L. H. Wilsey was president; C. H. Smith, vice-president; H. H. Diller, cashier; and Anna Mallory, assistant cashier. The bank directors were R. J. Stanton, Earl Sawyer, J. K. Synovec, L. H. Bonar and the four officers.
On February 26, 1942, the stockholders of the Morrowville State Bank voted to liquidate the assests and discontinue business. The bank had been in business 38 years. The depositors received 100 per cent of their deposits and the stockholders realized a good return for their share of stock. Business at the bank continued as usual until liquidation was completed.
After formal closing, the bank cashier, H. H. Diller, and assistant cashier, Anna Mallory, both of whom had been in the bank for 32 years, continued to operate the bank as an exchange, cashing checks and transacting other business until 1955.
Early telephone service was much different than it is today. Local operators had a switchboard in their homes.
Morrowville Telephone System was organized as part of the Washington Mutual Telephone Company. In those days Morrowville called people on the Washington line without paying a toll. The first board members were Lloyd Wilsey, Bob McGregor, Clyde Dull and possibly George Patterson.
The first switchboard was put in the J. M. Chubbuck home in 1905. Vina Chubbuck was the first chief operator, sometimes spoken of as the "HELLO GIRL." In 1906 the switchboard was moved into the home of Mrs. O. Grout located right east of the bank building, where D & D's Easy Rider is now located. Bessie (Sommers) Durst was the operator. She was chief operator for two or three years. Margaret (Edwards) Moore managed it for awhile. Junia Applegarth managed it for 27 years.
Part of the time the switchboard was located in the second house north of Oak Street along the highway. Later Applegarth bought the house at the corner of Oak and Morton streets where the office remained until it closed.
Some of Junia Applegarth's helpers were Grace (Nutter) Long for three years, Winnie (Walters) Wise before she became the manager, Eileen (Bertram) Day, Lillian (Bertram) Heina, Laura Menke for two years 1924-26, Mae Reinecke in the 20s, Pearl Bahl in the 30s, Mildred Gassert in the 30s, Mrs. Faye Throop, Catherine (Miller) Beach, Evelyn Durst, Julia Moore and Ethel Raines.
Grace (Nutter) Long worked for five years. She managed it her last two years there in 1937 and 1938. Her helpers were Eileen Bertram, Mrs. Faye Throop and Catherine (Miller) Beach.
Winnie (Walters) Wise managed it for seven years ending in 1942. Her helpers included Lillian Bertram, Doris (Bertram) Kolman, Tillie (Naylor) Grover, Bonnie Lewis and Lorraine (Fraser) Lindsley.
Bessie Durst managed it again for one year, then her daughter Evelyne Lamb managed it for five years.
Sherman and Esther Skipton managed it for a short time followed by Vernest Kaufman and Eve Sutton. Julia Moore helped Sutton for several years.
The telephone company was sold to the American Communication Company in 1953. They installed a dial system to replace the crank system and the local operators were no longer needed.
In the early days the barber shop was a busy place. The barber cut hair and gave shaves. It was easy to move the shop because there was no running water or electricity. All the barber had to do was unbolt his chair and move it to another building. According to the records they often did.
In May of 1932 Harry Bastow dug a cellar under Charles Sawyer's barber shop so he could put a heater and water supply in the barber shop.
The records show the following barbers were operating shops in Morrowville at some time during the indicated decades:
1897 to 1905 -- Harley Wright, Smith Dalrymple, Harry Pepple, Harley Marmen, Jonah Elliott and Floyd Nutter. 1906 to 1915 -- Harry Pepple, John Taylor, George Marc, Marvin Peckham and Joe Thompson. 1916 to 1925 -- O. M. Ferguson, John Taylor, Fred Goeken, Billinger, Bahl 1926 to 1935 -- Emery Whitman, Albright, Charles Sawyer, Bud Cornell, Walter Young, Orval Keen, Linn Northcot, Harry Pepple and Fred Goeken. 1936 to 1945 -- Harry Pepple and Roy Luce
Roy Luce continued to operate his barbershop until around 1960. Charles "Chuck" Durst purchased Luce's equipment and operated a shop on Monday evenings for about six months in 1961.
Morrowville has had several beauty shops to keep her ladies pretty. Mabel (Brant) Lindsley had one of the first. She gave marcels, finger waves and hair cuts. Her first shop was located where the post office is now, and later she moved it to her home.
Clara (Cummings) Mathy had a shop in the late 20s, but she closed it in 1931 and reopened it in 1937. Her shop was located in her home. In 1940 she sold her equipment to Faith Fraser Lindsley.
In 1935 Marjorie Diller had a shop in the home of her father, H. H. Diller. It was called the "Margie's Beauty Shop". An advertisement that she ran in the newspaper in 1937 read
Oil permanent wave $1.00 and up: Shampoo and finger
wave $0.35: Fitsch's shampoo or oil shampoo $0.25.
Faith (Fraser) Lindsley started working
for Clara Mathy in 1939. After she bought the equipment from Clara, she moved it to the
little room on the south side of the old Hawes building. She closed her shop in 1942.
A few years later Deloris (Russell) Koss had a shop in the same room.
In 1961 Alberta (Mooren) Slater started her shop in Morrowville. She called it "Bertie's Beauty Shop". She still works some in her shop.
After Margaret Nespor raised her family, she went to school to become a beautician. In 1973 she opened a shop in her home and still operates from there.
Jeanette Baker opened a shop in her home in May 1978. The Bakers live in the country just west of Morrowville.
Morrowville has had some auctioneers
and real estate men. Cal Morrow was the first real estate man. He purchased the land on
which the original town of Morrow stood, dedicated all of the streets and alleys to public
use and recorded the plat with the Register of Deeds of Washington County on May 22, 1884.
On the same day he sold the rest of the land to the Lincoln Land Company, which in turn
sold the lots to those who wanted them. Following Morrow were Fred Wright in 1902; a real
estate firm, Lawrence and Rickert, in 1904; and O. F. Skipton, a real estate and livestock
auctioneer, in 1913.
In 1927 J. F. Hollinworth, auctioneer, conducted the livestock sales which were held at the sale pavalion just north of Huyck's elevator.
Marvin Heck became an auctioneer in 1955. His first auction was a box supper for the Morrowville Grade School. One of his first paying jobs was Antone Cecrle's household goods. He now operates his business out of Washington, Kansas.
In 1885 Dr. French came to Morrowville
from Washington and started a first class business selling drug items. He was located in a
building north of where the Stanton Farm Services, Inc. office is today.
In 1896 Indian John distributed herbs and tea. He resided on what is known as the August Carlson place. Some of his brew was made from cockleburrs and iron weed.
In 1896 Dr. Matthews, a graduate of Topeka Medical College, who was recommended by Dr. Ochiltree of Haddam, came to Morrowville. At that time if a doctor could get a dollar now and then he was faring pretty well. By 1899 Morrowville was without a doctor.
In that year, Dr. M. H. Horn arrived. He came from Fehman Island near the Baltic Sea. Six months later, he took a leave of absence to attend Topeka Medical School to study surgery. In his absence Dr. Owen took his place. By early 1900 Dr. Horn was again practicing medicine in Morrowville. Frank White assisted as a nurse. In 1901 Dr. Horn built a new office building. In 1904 he purchased a new rubbertired buggy. In 1912 he took in an orphaned boy and filed for his own naturalization papers. Shortly thereafter he purchased the first gasoline powered "buggy" in Morrowville, and everyone wanted a ride. Before World War I broke out he went back to Germany to study more medicine. While he was gone Dr. Deurer took his place. Horn returned to the United States just before the war started. He left Morrowville shortly afterward. He died in 1964 in Bothell, Washington, at the age of 93. During his lifetime he had delivered more than 2,000 babies.
Dr. Miller came in 1918, shortly after Dr. Horn left, and was in Morrowville until his health failed in 1930. He died shortly afterward. His offices were located in Dr. Horn's old office building.
In 1934 Dr. Orville Rose, an osteopath, opened an office in the Kozel building across the street west of the Methodist Church.
In 1978 Dr. J. Ted Garner, chiropractor, set up a practice in Morrowville. He had a good business. In July 1983 he was arrested for the theft, forgery and murder of Fred Iwert who had disappeared. In January of 1984 he was convicted by a jury and subsequently sentenced for these crimes.
Morrowville had one veterinarian, Dr. North, in the early 19O0s.
Dr. Ernest Beggs came to Morrowville in 1909. He was a graduate of Kansas City's best dental college. His first office was north of L. Frazier's shop. In 1909 he moved his offices to a building attached to the Archer Hotel. It was used as a barber shop. For a time he moved his office to Haddam, then in 1928 he moved his office back to Morrowville and located in what is now the post office. In 1930 he moved his office into Dr. Miller's offices and installed a new X-Ray machine. It was one of the latest models of the day. He left Morrowville in the late 30s.
In the 1880s there were post offices in
almost every little community. One of these, the Blocker post office, was established on
May 18,1881, in the Blocker community. It was located across the road north of the
Franklin Lull farmstead. The postmistress was Mary Wilson.
After the founding of Morrow in 1884, the Blocker post office was moved to Morrow Station on June 9,1884, and David Welch was the first postmaster. In 1885 William Cummings was postmaster and the post office was located in his hardware store. After William Cummings left for Oklahoma, his sister, Maggie, was postmistress. Ten years later John C. Halferty was postmaster.
In 1899 Charlie Hawes was postmaster, and the post office was located in a corner of the Hawes store.
Rural delivery was started about 1903. M. H. Grimes, J. M. Chubbuck and Charles Day Sr. served as carriers for the three rural routes.
Charles Hawes was postmaster until about 1915, when John Waterman became postmaster. The post office was then moved to the J. W. Wells building where it remained until 1933.
In the early days the postmaster's position was very political. If a Democrat was in power, a Democrat served as postmaster. When the Republicans were in power the postmaster was a Republican. This policy did not change until about 1950, when a candidate for the position was required to take Civil Service exams. Route carriers have always been required to take Civil Service exams. As a rule, the candidate with the highest grade point average from the exams received the appointment to be filled, either carrier or postmaster.
In 1921 John Waterman transferred to a route that had been vacated by Charles Day, and John Schwab, a Republican, became postmaster and remained until 1932. Vern and Willis Darby had replaced M. H. Grimes and J. M. Chubbuck as rural carriers. In 1933 P. S. Kozel, a Democrat, became postmaster and purchased the building where the post office is located today. D. K. Lindsley was assistant postmaster until 1935. When John Waterman retired as rural carrier, P. S. Kozel became the mail carrier, and George Thomas became postmaster. He purchased the building from P. S. Kozel and used the space in back for a residence.
When Willis Darby retired, the three mail routes were combined into two routes. Donald "Gooch" Moore was assistant clerk. When Vern Darby retired, Moore became a route carrier. Phyllis Jennings was postal clerk. Upon the death of George Thomas in 1955, she was appointed acting postmistress. Curtis Wieland was appointed postmaster in 1956. Jennings remained as clerk until she resigned, and Frieda Mooren was appointed clerk. Reva Rollman served as sub clerk. When she resigned, Alice Stanton became sub clerk.
When P. S. Kozel retired as mail carrier, the two routes were combined into one route. Lloyd Mooren became the substitute carrier for Moore. After the death of Moore, Kenneth Rogge, a carrier out of Washington, became the route carrier for a combined Washington and Morrowville route. He was transferred, and Jim Menzies, a Washington carrier, became route carrier.
In 1975 Curtis Wieland retired as postmaster. For one year Frieda Mooren was acting postmistress. Robert Jones of Washington received the appointment as postmaster in 1976. In 1980 he was transferred to Linn, Kansas. Alice Stanton was appointed postmistress. Winifred Nutsch was appointed clerk. Both Stanton and Nutsch are in these positions today.
Some of the communities that had post offices in the late 1880s and the early 1900s were:
Albia -- 1905
Blocker -- 1881-1884
Clara -- 1903
Dewey -- 1900
Enosdale -- 1884
Gaskill -- 1903
Morrow Station -- 1884
Throop -- 1903
The Burlington and Missouri River
Railroad came through Washington County, passing by the place where Morrow was to be
founded in May 1884. There have been a number of depot agents who took care of baggage,
boxes and merchandise that came through the Morrowville depot and sold tickets to train
L.H. Bonsall was the first agent of the depot, telegraph and freight business in 1886. Between 1889 and 1910 C. E. Zink, W. B. Beck and Mr. Ilgin were agents. Sometime in the early 1900s the railroad changed its name to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The name of the railroad changed again in the 1970s to Burlington Northern. From January 1928 until September 1934 the following men were depot agents: Joe Milburn, Mr. Harris and Grant Casey. Oscar C. Mittler became agent and served 18 years until his retirement in 1952. Following Mittler several young agents served for short periods of time : Bob Sands, R. G. Kuhlman, Darrel Portnier, Wes Smith, Bob Fitz and Don Fairbanks.
The railroad was a branch line between Wymore, Nebraska, and Concordia, Kansas. The railroad went from daily round trip service to three round trips weekly. As the years went by and track maintenance costs grew much faster than freight revenues, the railroad company was forced to close the line in 1982, two years short of the centennial.
The upper story of the depot was used as living quarters for the agents in the early years. The last agent to live there was Oscar Mittler. This picture, taken looking east from Main Street, shows the depot after the second story was removed. The two elevators can be seen in the background.
Until 1943 there was no recreation
parlor in Morrowville. The building where the recreation parlor is located now was built
by J. D. Lewis in the 1920s. It was leased by John Cummings, who operated a grocery store.
W. H. Short leased the building and put in a cafe, then sold out his interests to Dick
Menke in 1932. Between 1934 and 1943 the following persons operated a cafe in this
building: Adam Materi, Claude Bacon, Earl Jennings and Robert Patterson
In 1943 Roy Luce purchased the building, set up a barber chair in one corner and installed pool tables in the remainder of the establishment. In 1947 he sold the recreation business to Francis Koch and moved his barber business to the building south of the American Legion Hall.
In 1948 Clay Pralle purchased the recreation parlor and operated it until 1956 when John Behrens purchased it.
In 1975 Don and Jeanne Mathy bought out John and Ruby Beherns, and they added short order meals and changed the name to the "Red Lantern." Mathys closed the business in June 1980. In the fall of 1980 the building was purchased by the Morrowville Community Center Inc. The building was leased by Pat and Dick Miller who continued to operate under the name of the "Red Lantern." Besides having a pool table, short order meals and beer were served. In 1982 Miller sold his equipment and stock to Ben Tice and Gary Roberts. In 1983 Dick and Diane Miller purchased the equipment and stock. They changed the name to "D & D's Easy Rider."
The port of entry system was
established more than 50 years ago as a law enforcement station. Truckers from all over
the United States and Canada have to purchase certain permits to operate in or through
Kansas. These permits are purchased on an annual basis and expire much like vehicle
registrations. Any permits that drivers do not have in their possession can be purchased
at the port. Port operators check permits and registrations, check all livestock coming
into the state, collect fuel taxes, issue oversize permits, collect sales tax on items
consumed in Kansas and provide tourist information. About 40 ports of entry have been
closed. Fifteen mobile units have been added to spot check permits, overweight and safety
devices. All operators have been in full uniform since 1979.
The first port of entry on Highway 15 was opened in the early 1930s and was located one mile north of Reno on the state line. Dewey Smith was the operator. As the years went by, the port moved south, first to Sunrise Station and later into Morrowville. Those who operated the port during the 1930s were Johnny Hodges, Tom Dawe and Ray Lillibridge.
In 1939 Herman and Opal Yeager operated the port out of their home on Morton Street. Later while the highway was being built Opal drove to Sunrise to operate the port. Yeagers built a house at 306 South Morton Street. Yeager operated the port from her home until 1958. Esther Skipton became the next port operator and ran the port from her home until 1978 when it was closed.
Ed Westhoff moved his construction
company to Morrowville from Scandia, Kansas, in 1949. Westhoff had a spread of heavy
equipment which he used for soil conservation work in the local area. He also did flood
control projects for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ed opened a lime quarry south of
Haddam in the mid 50s where he produced ag lime. He hauled and spread some with his own
trucks and sold some to others at the quarry.
As Westhoff's sons grew older they began to follow in his footsteps, and today six of them have their own construction or construction-related businesses. When the boys entered the business, they became scattered all through central Kansas and even into Oklahoma. They went where the work was, starting with land leveling, going into the sand and concrete business or even coal mining. Ed and Ina Westhoff moved to Larned, Kansas, in 1970 and remain in business there today.
Elliott Construction Co. was founded in 1965 by Norman Elliott. The company was based at his parents' home south of Morrowville. In 1968 the company headquarters were moved into Morrowville. The office was at his home, and the shop was in the old vocational agriculture shop at the high school. In the spring of 1969 the rural file district and city moved their fire fighting equipment into that shop, and Elliott moved his shop into the O. J. Wells building on Main Street. In 1975 Norman and his wife, Janet, formed a corporation, J & N Elliott Construction, Inc.
In 1977 Elliotts built a shop on the south edge of Morrowville. In 1980 the Elliotts built a split level pre-engineered home with their office in the lower level across the street from the shop.
J & N Elliott Construction, Inc. was awarded a Master Builder Award for the best combination home and office by Star Manufacturing Company at Star's national sales meeting in 1981.
J & N Elliott Construction, Inc. serves the agricultural, commercial and industrial market in approximately a 60-mile radius of Morrowville, selling and erecting Star pre-engineered metal buildings, including eight buildings in the city proper. The firm also is a major force in the grain storage and drying business in the area. It has sold and erected Chief products for the past sixteen years. The firm provides turnkey construction of these projects.
The business currently employs eight persons: Norman Elliott, company president; Janet Elliott, secretary-treasurer; Jerry Miller, construction manager; Craig Fencl, foreman; Robert Buehler; Charles Huber; Larry Moore; and Beverly Miller, part-time secretary.
One of the first restaurants was opened
by David Sparks in 1901 in the Garrett building. In 1904 T. C. Young purchased the
restaurant. Later that same year Young rented the restaurant to N. T. Dingman who added a
fresh meat market to the restaurant. In March 1906 it burned.
Other restaurant owners and operators between 1900 and 1923 were Charles Scott and William Tinney; Jim Watson; Joe Archer, who had a soda fountain in his restaurant; and John Odgers.
In 1923 Will Mayberry remodeled the building north of the hardware store and opened a restaurant. Mondel Rose purchased the business in 1928 and sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Arney in 1930. From 1937 through 1956 it was operated for short periods of time by Clay Pralle, George Back, George Nutsch, Elton Smith , Francis "Toby" Anderson, Merle Bonar, Billy Hadecek, John Buggs, Frank Bahl, Bill McKeever and Ernest Peterson. In 1956 Lloyd Mooren opened the restaurant as "Mooren's Cafe" and operated it until 1969 when it was closed for the last time. The building was razed in 1984.
Another restaurant was built west of Brant Oil Station in 1952 by Fred Lindsley. Fred's wife, Katherine, managed the restaurant. It was later leased to "Dub" Moore. Mrs. Erma Hirsch was the last person who operated the restaurant . John Wieland owns the building today and has made it into an apartment for his father-in-law, Earl Goebel.
Until refrigeration was available in
the homes, some way to preserve foods was necessary. Ice from Mill Creek was sawed into
blocks during winter, and sledded to ice houses and stored in straw to be sold during the
summer. Families had ice boxes in which they placed the ice and stored their perishable
In 1920 W. H. Kozel had an ice plant in the brick building at Locust and Mason streets where Elmer Rollman now lives. Rollman uses the building for a barn.
Another ice house was situated where Moore Brothers Station was located on the corner of Elm and Morton streets. Charles Berry managed the plant during the summer.
The Coop Creamery made ice. When they picked up cream from farmers, they brought blocks of ice for their patrons to buy.
There were several other businesses recorded that only lasted a short time or were one of a kind. Following is a partial listing:
In 1897 Sarah McWilliams was a
dressmaker doing business in the French building.
In 1898 J. L. Robbins opened a Racket Store. He put a window in the south side of his buiding and advertised it as a place to get a quick meal. He had groceries, fresh meat and a restaurant in the building.
Prior to 1899 the Phillipes owned a millinery (hat) store. These people owned the shop through the early 1900s -- Laura Blocker, Mrs. Grimes and Mrs. W. F. Stoffle.
In 1900 Will Gaskill and Tom Nutter had a photography shop. Stanley (Dode) Cummings had one around 1915.
In 1904 B. R. Stickle arrived in Morrowville. He was a jeweler and general repairman.
Some of the shoe repairmen have been W. D. Robbins, J. L. Robbins, James Watson, Thomas, Carl Johnson and, in 1984, Darel Bertram.
In 1908 Dad Parrack ran a candy shop south of the present American Legion Hall.
In 1912 Charles Wright had a cleaning establishment. The citizens "may have their clothes cleaned in Morrowville." In 1930 a Modern Cleaners opened in the Sawyer barber shop.
In 1912 a music store was opened in Morrowville by the White Piano Company. Within a month the new building occupied by this business was partially destroyed by fire.
At one time Irvin Cummings was a shoe shiner.
Miss Bertha Lesher established a variety store in 1925 and closed it in 1951 or 1952. All of the chilren who came to town went to Lesher's for penny candy.
Charles Bullimore built a building on the site of Wm. Kozel's lumber yard in 1928. He used the room for displaying light plants, radios and cabinet work. This building is now the post office.
"Sunrise Station," as it is
known today, started as Hackney's Store. The Ed Hackneys, who sold their store at Reno to
Herb Nutter in the late 1920s, leased a small plot at the present Sunrise location in
about 1930 or 1931. They constructed a small building where they lived and operated a
In 1934 Hackneys sold their store to Albert Hodges, who lived near the Washington County lake. Hodges then purchased a total of 22 acres of land from Bernard Benne which included the corner where the store was located.
Hodges then added gasoline pumps, an ice house, block salt and sacked feeds. He also bought eggs. Farmers could bring their eggs to the store and trade them for supplies. Later when their son, Johnny, married Virginia Smith, they moved a house to the location from a farm northeast of Sunrise. At that time they operated a port of entry which had been on the state line two miles north. The port was later moved into Morrowville.
When Hodges retired, he leased the business to the Raymond Menkes, and Menke added car repairs to the line of services.
While the Menkes were operating the business, the building housing the grocery store, living quarters and garage burned, and they were forced to move into the house and operate the business from there.
The Menkes left shortly after the fire. Verlin Towns and George Medlock each lived on the site and operated the business for a short while.
The business was sold by Hodges in 1948 to the Pearl Holbrooks who lived just east of Sunrise on the Bernard Benne farm. Holbrooks operated the business until Pearl died in November of 1949. Mrs. Holbrook sold it to Norman Lull in May 1950.
Lull added a tank wagon to the line of services. He moved a house from southwest of Sunrise and attached it to the existing house. He used the additional space for business purposes leaving the original house for living quarters again.
In about 1956 Highway 15 was graded and blacktopped. It was moved to the east which forced Lull to move the business back east. At that time he separated the house and the business and constructed a quonset which became the store and garage. He also added more rooms to the house.
In July 1959 Gail Farber leased the station from Lull who moved to Washington to continue in the oil business. In July 1960 Farber bought the business and has been there since. In 1970 they enlarged the storage building and remodeled and enlarged the house.
By the middle 70s the grocery suppliers and dairy and bread trucks began to specify that they needed large orders or they would not provide service to a small country store.
Over a span of 55 years, Sunrise started as a small grocery store, progressed to a full line of groceries, dairy products and feeds, then went back to a single service business. Farber now has a service station and tank wagon delivery, however the neighbors still stop in to catch up on the latest news of the community and to talk over old times of "way back when " .
Another rural Morrowville business in
the Sunrise community was the Paul "Poodle" Nutsch Blacksmith Shop. Nutsch had
operated a small blacksmith service on his brother, Frank Nutsch's, farm until about 1931
when he built a shop three-fourths of a mile east of Sunrise. In the 30s Paul added a
house and married Lillian Hall. He operated the shop until his death in 1961. Mrs. Nutsch
sold the farm and shop to Kenneth Wahl. Ralph Ginn operated the shop for a short while
until the Wahls could move. They took over the operation which became Wahl's Welding.
At the present time the shop is not open as a full-time business. The Wahls continue to farm and live on the place. They have added Nachurs fertilizer as their main line of business. Shop work is confined to their own repair work and helping the neighbors in a tight spot for repairs.
In the early 1930s Herb Nutter
purchased flve acres in Lowe township on Highway 15 for Reno #2. Reno #2 was
located where Jem Flying Service now operates. He built a house with a country store as
part of it. Later, other buildings were added including a tile hall, an ice house and a
cream station. Part of the hall was used for the country store, and the back was used for
a dance hall, skating rink and community center. Many young people learned to dance,
roller skate and play ball at Reno #2. Other equipment at Reno included gas pumps,
a Delco system and a wind charger which provided electricity.
In the early 1940s the Tom Lardners leased the buildings and operated the business for five years. The business closed in the late 40s and the buildings sat idle until 1968.
Elmer R. Hanneman now owns the Reno location and operates Jem Flying Service, Inc. The firm does aerial spraying for area farmers, spreading seeds and chemicals to kill weeds by airplane. Hanneman has built an airplane hangar and office on the location. He and his wife live in a double-wide mobile home on the location during the spraying season. During the winter they live in a warmer climate in Texas.
Ed Westhoff and Pete Anderson purchased
land from Gerhard Lutjemeier in 1959, located at the junction of highways 15 and 36 on the
northwest corner of the intersection two miles south of Morrowville. A cafe, a gas station
and a motel were built. These businesses were opened in 1960.
When Westhoff and Anderson purchased this property, a condition was attached to the deed that, "no alcololic beverage could ever be sold on the property".
On May 31, 1963, Ed and Ina Westhoff sold their interest in the enterprise to Pete Anderson. Anderson then sold the motel and cafe to Thomas Fanning and the gas station to Walthers Oil Co. of Cuba, Kansas, later that year. Gerald MacAtee managed the station for Walthers. It was managed by Frank Nutsch from 1971 to 1980. Steve Nutsch, Frank's son, managed the station until 1981. Walthers Oil Co. has managed the gas station since 1981. The following people work for Walthers: Kenneth Jackson, Henry Rollman, Dean Cox, Bob Duey and Gertie Olandt.
In the summer of 1967 the cafe burned. In 1969 Walthers built a restaurant building northwest of the station on his property. Robert and Alberta L'Ecuyer leased the building and installed restaurant equipment and opened as "L'Ecuyer's Cafe." It was open 24 hours a day. In 1971 Frank and Martha Nutsch purchased the business from L'Ecuyers and renamed it the "Korner Cafe."
Reva Rollman, the current owner, purchased the Korner Cafe from Frank and Martha Nutsch in 1980.
The governing body of Morrowville
consists of a mayor, five councilmen and a police judge.
The City of Morrowville was incorporated as a third class city on October 8, 1929. Reproduced on the following page is a copy of the original petition for incorporation with a listing of all the residents that signed the petition.
The first officials were C. H. Miller, mayor; Ed Brant, G. Rose, Ralph Lindsley, H. H. Diller and George Gehring, councilmen; and J. D. Lewis, police judge.
The mayors through the years have been: 1929 C. H. Miller; 1930 George Gehring; 1931 George Rose; 1933 George Gehring; 1937 Vern Lindsley; 1944 H. H. Diller, acting; 1946 John Jandera, acting; 1947 Charles Terpening; 1949 John Jandera; 1953 Harold Stanton; 1955 Hubert Menzies; 1960 John Horky; 1962 Hubert Menzies; 1969 Basil Elliott; 1973 Calvin Grover; 1977 Ervin Synovec; 1982 Norman Elliott.
The present governing body is made up of Norman Elliott, mayor; Frank Nutsch, Harry Pauli, Henry Rollman, Sherman Skipton and Curtis Wieland, councilmen; and Elmer Rollman, police judge. Phyllis Jennings is city clerk, and Lori Huber is city treasurer.
In 1978 Morrowville Pride conducted a
survey to determine the need for a low income senior citizen housing project in
Morrowville. It was decided that the need existed, and the following housing authority was
appointed by the mayor. They in turn elected officers: Hubert Menzies, chairman; Clara
Brant, vice-chairman; Reva Rollman, secretary; Roger Foran, treasurer; and Vera Stanton.
After considerable time and research the authority chose plans for the six units that the state housing board approved. A location at the corner of Morton and Maple streets was selected. The six units and a community center with laundry facilities were built and ready for occupancy in October of 1981.
Regulations for admission are as follows: applicants must be 62 years of age or older or be disabled or handicapped as defined by the Social Security Act; applicants must be able to manage their own apartment and obtain their necessities; and applicant's annual income, after adjustments, cannot exceed an amount set by the federal government. If there are no applicants that meet the age requirements, younger persons may rent the units, subject to eviction if an older person becomes available. Rents are based on the tenant's adjusted income with rental subsidies available from the federal government.
The present housing authority is: Ervin Synovec, chairman; Don Mathy, vice-chairman; Lori Huber, secretary; Grace Kolman and Guy Jennings. LeAnn Grover is manager. Previous members, other than the original authority members, were Calvin Grover and Delma Synovec.
After the new grade school was built in
1956, the old grade school site was given to the city and converted into a city park. A
concrete platform was poured over the old grade school basement to create a community
storm shelter. A shelter house was built over the platform, picnic tables were donated by
various organizations and businesses within the community, trees were planted, playground
equipment was added, two small picnic shelters were built, a tennis court and basketball
court have been built, a water fountain has been given as a memorial to Sarah Delay by her
family, a flag pole has been added and a kitchen was built onto the west end of the
In 1979 Mayor Ervin Synovec wrote to James Cummings to ask permission to publicize the fact that the first bulldozer was built in the Morrowville vicinity. Mr. Cummings sent a donation and gave his permission. The park has been named "Cummings Park" in his honor. An entrance sign was erected bearing the park name.
The old park at the corner of Railway and Miller streets was maintained for several years but has been sold.
The Hickory Grove Free Will Baptist
Church was organized by Rev. Wm. Marks on December 13, 1870, and was known as the Blocker
Church. The organization was perfected and services were held for several years in a log
schoolhouse near where the church was eventually built. This building was owned by
Blocker. Rev. John Palmer was called as the first pastor. He got up early and walked from
Washington for services. He held the pastorate nine years.
In 1885, during the pastorate of Rev. Joseph Westley, plans were commenced for the building of a church which was completed during the summer of 1886 on ground presented by Brother Will Gray, a deacon of the church. Dedication services were held August 30 of that year with Rev. Ransom Dunn, co-author of Butler-Dun Theology, delivering the dedicatory sermon. At that time the name was changed from Blocker to Hickory Grove. On that day Sister McKinney organized the Woman's Missionary Society. The society was a great help to the church, both financially and spiritually. In 1893 Rev. A. S. Reeves was pastor. A four room parsonage was built near the church. Later two rooms were added.
In July 1910 the church was destroyed by a tornado. The parsonage which stood about 50 feet away was only slightly damaged.
Although misfortune had come, those few faithful members were not discouraged. Five days later a meeting was called and plans were laid for rebuilding. While the new church was under construction services were again held in the district schoolhouse. The new church was built on the foundation of the old one.
On January 6, 1911, it was dedicated to the service of God. This time the dedicatory sermon was delivered by Rev. I. H. Murphy, returned missionary from India.
During the first 72 years the church was served by 22 ministers. Five of its members entered the ministry: Brother Paul Reeves, Sister Maude Mann, Sister Ada Grover Reiger, Brother Oscar Grover and Sister Vera Dawdy.
In 1942 the church had 56 members on its roll, the Woman's Missionary Society met twice a month and Rev. A. H. Deweese was serving his second year as full time pastor.
It was by the faith and courage of early settlers, and others interested in the community that the church had its beginning. It continued its good works until it closed in 1952. Passing time and vandalism took its toll of the unused buildings. The church building and the adjoining parsonage were sold August 14, 1968. The proceeds from the sale went to the Free Will Baptist College. Pastor John Palmer was the first pastor from December 13, 1870, to October 1, 1879. Pastor Mary Wellbaum was the last pastor from September 1, 1950, to August 31, 1952.
In 1885 a few Catholic families near
the present church site got together to start a church. Those present were A. Patterson,
Hagerty Lock, Doherty Sr., Doherty Jr., Hugh Little, John Little, Henry Nutsch, Seidel,
Jandera, an unmarried man named Muno, Hellman, Alonzo Damon and Franz Loch. Franz Loch
offered to donate six acres of land for a church and cemetery. The present site was chosen
because it was centrally located for the parishioners.
In June of 1886 the deed was recorded in Washington between Franz Lock and Bishop Fink of the Kansas City Diocese for the sum of $1.00. On June 29, 1887, the church was dedicated as Sts. Peter and Paul. The church still stands four miles north of Morrowville on Highway 15. Father Pichler from Hanover was the first pastor. He came by train to Morrow, and one of the parishioners took him out to the church. The first wedding was between Nicholas Brown and May Patterson. The first baptisms were the Doherty twins.
The church of Sts. Peter and Paul has been a mission church of Clara, Lanham (until it burned), Clifton, Clyde and, since 1961, Washington. The building has been added onto four times. Father Basil Torrez is the present pastor.
At first religious education was taught after mass. Summer school was added in the 30s with a seminarian conducting the all day school for two weeks. Later nuns helped with summer school. Now classes are held each week during the school year. In 1983 and 1984 summer Bible school was held for one week.
Sts. Peter and Paul's Altar Society
The Altar Society was formed in about
1934 or 35, when a few ladies met in a home. Helen Kozel and Emma Lindsley were
instrumental in getting it organized. At first they met in homes and did fancy work and
quilted. When the addition was built on the west side of the church in 1947, the meetings
were held there.
The main duties of the altar society are caring for the altar and seeing that the church is clean. For income they have quilted, served lunch at farm sales and hosted the parish bazaar. The money raised has been used for purchasing fixtures for the church or to help financially in the remodeling. They have also helped with religious education expenses. They serve meals for bereaved families. They have made baptismal robes and articles for charities.
Before the Altar Society was organized, the priest appointed a lady to be in charge of cleaning and taking care of the altar.
In 1984 the officers are Geneva Donovan, president; Betty Nutsch, vice-president; Virginia Baker, secretary; and Betty L'Ecuyer, treasurer.
A community church was started
in Morrow, Kansas, in 1889 with John Decker, as minister, and 40 members. A church
building was erected to house this congregation in 1892. The church had walls and a
roof with wood planking for a floor. Bales of hay were used for seats. It was heated
by a pot-bellied stove and had keorsene lamps for light. This building is used today by
the United Methodists. The community church worshiped together until the presiding elder
announced that the church would be a Methodist church. A group of members left the
community church and organized the Christian church. They met in the upstairs of the Hawes
Store building south of Stanton's store with Charles Brown as the first minister.
After a building was started in 1899, a windstorm blew down the framework. Some of the members wanted to change the location, but the majority voted to rebuild where they were which they did. George Arney hauled the first load of rock for the church building. The parsonage was built in 1906 with E. Guthris as head carpenter.
In 1909 the congregation put an addition on the east side of the church. A basement was dug in 1934, and the interior was remodeled in 1944. In 1952-53 an addition was built that included two classrooms on the north and a large kitchen in the basement. In 1975 the congregation put in new basement walls and remodeled. In 1982 a concrete parking lot was put on the west side of the church. White vinyl siding installed on the church in 1983.
There have been six men from this church to enter fulltime church service. They are Clyde Lindsley, Oscar Grover, Ray Applegarth, John Newton, Lyle Burwell and Fred Applegarth. Phillip King was pastor for nearly 17 years until he resigned and moved to Lusk, Wyoming, in 1964. Paul Milliken became the minister in 1983.
The ladies organization of the
Christian Church was started in 1901 at the home of Mrs. W. D. Johnson. The
officers elected were Mrs. M. H. Grimes, president; Mrs. Frank Stoffle, vice-president;
Mrs. John Hoffine, secretary; and Mrs. W. D. Johnson, treasurer. In 1901 nearly every lady
in the church helped quilt. Currently this organization has 12 members.
This group was very important to the progress of the church building and its furnishing. Some of their money making projects have been making sun bonnets and aprons, quilting, serving sales and serving two cent suppers. These were meals served for two cents per serving of food. Their last suppers were ten cent ones. The money was used to buy the pews, pulpit, communion table and chairs. They sponsored the basement when it was built in 1934.
The United Methodist Church evolved
when the community church, which was started in 1889, split into two groups in the mid
1890s. The church is a member of the Kansas West Conference, Concordia District.
One of the first improvements made to the church was the addition of pews which are still in use today.
In 1933 a basement was dug and a furnace installed. In 1973 two bathrooms were added in the basement, and the kitchen was moved to the west end of the basement.
Some items have been provided by memorials to loved ones. They include an organ, clocks, chairs, tables, outdoor bulletin board, new altar furniture, cross, candle holders, vases, flags, books and carpeting.
Some of the early families who were active in the church were: Darby, Chubbuck, Fraser, Given, McGregor, Diller, Waterman, Molony, Chrisman, Wells, Jones, Stanton, Gehring, Sawyer, Hawes, Barnes, Creighton, Bullimore, Morrow, Sommers, Lesher, Wieland, Nutter, Durst, Stoker, Parkens, Nye and Paxton.
Through the years this church has been known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church and since 1968 the United Methodist Church due to mergers between protestant denominations. The present minister, Rev. John Thompson, has been pastor since 1980.
United Methodist Women
The Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist
Church was organized shortly after the church was started in 1889. To earn money the group
quilted, held suppers and bazaars and sold lunches at farm sales. Some of the older
members were: Lottie Stoker, Lena Parken, Mary Parken, Lulu Cummings, Phoebe Barnes, Ida
Mae Sawyer, Mamie Gehring, Sarah Hawes, Mary Barnes, Rose Stanton, Belle Hennon, Eva
Darby, Mildred Darby, Eva Benne, Gladys Allen, Muriel Fraser, Wave Waterman and Stella
Diller. The ladies met at their homes each week and quilted and visited. The Ladies Aid
Society continued to meet and quilt in the church basement into the early 1970s.
On April 5, 1949, a second group was organized called the "Womens Society of Christian Service. The group met monthly, studied missions and the Bible and supported the mission work of the church. The first officers were Mrs. Lawrence Diller, president; Mrs. Guy Zimmerman, vice-president; Mrs. John Luehring, secretary; and Mrs. Orluff Lull, treasurer.
When the church became known as the United Methodist Church, the women's organization was renamed the United Methodist Women. The emphasis remained the same as that of the previous organization.
In 1978 a second group was organized to meet in the evenings to provide the working woman and the young mother an opportunity to belong to the United Methodist Women.
At the present time two circles make up the total organization in the Morrowville church. The Rebecca Circle (afternoon) has the following members: Helen Back, Helen Elder, Hazel Elliott, Faye Henderson, Edna Kephart, Mildred Lull, Isabelle Neyer, Betty Oliver, Bonnie Pascal, Elizabeth Saywer, Vera Stanton, Violet Stoker and Delma Synovec. The Tabitha Circle (evening) has the following members: Darla Dible, Janet Elliott, Dorothy Hawkins, Sue Peterson and Nancy Tice. The officers for 1984 are: Janet Elliott, president; Mildred Lull, vice-president; Sue Peterson, secretary; and Hazel Elliott, treasurer.
When people started homesteading, they wanted schools for their children. The early schools had one room, and the teacher taught all eight grades. The records show that at their peak enrollment some area schools had as many as 66 students. The first school in the area was McGregor School District 11 organized in 1867, and the last one room school to close in the area, and in Washington County, was Lowe Center in 1963. The following poem copied from a 1983 issue of "Grit" is one person's memory of what it was like:
The One Room School
By Marguerite Mosby
I remember when I went to school
Some of us walked and some rode a mule.
To that one room house upon a hill
Went Mary and I, and Fred, and Bill.
Our one teacher had 40 scholars
Her monthly wage was 60 dollars;
She taught eight grades from 9 to 4,
Then banked the fire and swept the floor.
Her subjects were not just two or three,
She taught them all from A to Z;
And then she taught us how to spell
In the one room school we loved so well.
Seated two in a seat, our faces red,
We tried to grasp what the teacher said.
Lunch was a homemade sandwich or two -
No cafeteria to serve hot stew.
We needed no gym to make us strong,
The two mile walk home was plenty long.
I'm told kids are learning more today
From specialized teachers with higher pay;
But I remember that one room school
Where we all were taught the Golden Rule.
McGregor, District 11,
was organized by the Darby and Hoffine families and others in 1867. A log cabin was built
one half mile north of Morrowville, in the NW corner of the E 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of section
26, with James Darby as the first teacher. In 1871 one acre of land was granted by Wm. and
Isabelle Cummings for the sum of one dollar on the SW corner of the NW 1/4 section 23.
Shortly thereafter, Robert McGregor purchased the land.
The school burned and in 1881 the site was moved to the SW corner of the SE 1/2 of section 15. It became known as the McGregor School. Clara Jones was the first teacher. The last teacher was Irene Hubka in 1947.
Blocker, District 16, was organized in the Blocker area. Jacob Blocker, David Welch, Reas, McNultys, and Eichmans were some of the early families. The first teacher was A. A. King and the last teacher was Helen Darby. The school closed in 1951.
Hoffine, District 21, was nine miles north and one half mile east of Morrowville. The first teacher was Maggie Kennedy. The last teacher was Ruth Tuma. It closed in 1956.
Albia, District 25, was in three different locations in Lowe township over the years. The last location was east of Reno. Some of the early families were Gray, Terpening, Smith, Benne and Hackney. The first teacher was Vinnie Hackney who received $15.00 a month. The last teacher was Nelda Flowers. She received $365.00 a month. It closed in 1961.
Throop, District 27, was located on the NE corner of the SE 1/4 of Section 32 in Coleman township. The first teacher was E. W. Morse in 1881. The last teacher was Geraldine Wurtz in 1946.
Bell, District 28, was in the middle of the north side of section 32 and later in the NW corner of section 32 in Lowe township. In 1881 James A. Martin was the first teacher, and in 1950 Nora Bum was the last teacher.
Gaskill, District 32, was first located in the middle of section 29 in Highland township. The second school was in the SW corner of section 20. The first teacher was Emma Evans in 1881. The last teacher was Bertha Funke in 1945.
Rock, District 49, opened in 1876. The teacher in 1881 was Charles W. Flaiz. The last teacher was Ada Haukenberry. The school closed in 1955. It was located in the SW corner of the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of section 20 in Coleman towship.
Silver Slope or Layering, District 53, had its largest enrollment in 1936 with 30 students. The first teacher was Ida Trip and the last teacher was Earl Coder in 1949. Some of the families were Dursts, McNultys and Cummings.
Triumph, District 54, first opened in 1881. The first teacher was James Pontius. The last teacher was Ruth Hanshaw in 1951. It was located in the NE corner of the NE 1/4 of section 23 in Coleman township.
Bales, District 77, was one mile east of the Catholic Church. Hugh Little was the first teacher in 1881. The last teacher was Doris Smith in 1944.
Plainview, District 80, was organized in 1881 with Tillie M. Poff as the first teacher. In 1911 the teacher was Clare McNish, and there were 19 students. Nelda Flowers was the last teacher in 1956. It was located in section 17 in Highland township.
Dewey or Pleasantview, District 81, was located three miles north and three miles east of Morrowville in Farmington township. In 1881 M.J. Wilsey was the first teacher. Early settlers were Dewey, Lewis, and Stanton. The last teacher was John Derrick in 1949.
Pursley, District 103, was in three different locations. The first school was a dugout. The last location of the school was in the NE corner of section 9 in Lowe township and opened in 1911. Mary Hensley was the first teacher. The last teacher was Gladys Kerr in 1951. The largest enrollment was 26 students in 1912.
Iowa Creek, District 104, had Mamie Elder as its first teacher. The last teacher was Leota Moore in 1953. In 1932 it reached its peak enrollment with 46 children. It was located in the SE 1/4 of section 36 in Mill Creek township.
Prairie View or Crieghton, District 107, was organized in 1877. In 1911 when Victor Diller was teacher there were 33 students in attendance. The first teacher was James B. Lower, and the last teacher was Bernice Durst in 1948. It was located in section 19 in Farmington township.
Lowe Center, District 115, was organized in 1885 with Cora Stratton as the first teacher. The last teacher was Sharon Hynek Grams in 1963. It was the last rural school to close in the county. The school is still being used for a community center. It is located in the NE corner of section 21 of Lowe township.
Spring Valley, District 121, opened in 1885 with Sadie Imhoff as its first teacher. The last teacher was Amy Willeford in 1948. Some of the early students belonged to the Lindsley, Nutter and Wilsey families. It was located 2 miles north of Dewey church in section 4 of Farmington township.
Excelsior, District 127, was organized in 1891 and located in the NW corner of the NW 1/4 of section 36 of Coleman township. The first teacher was Belle Steele, and the last teacher was Delmer Wilgers in 1951. The school building was moved to Enosdale.
Coleman Center, District 135, was organized in 1888 and located in the SE corner of section 16 in Coleman township. The first teacher was Emma Hughes, and the last teacher was Mary Ellen Uhlrich. The school closed in 1961. Some of the early families were Elders, Buhrmans, Paulis, Simons, Smiths and Barbees.
Bower, District 140, records did not list the first teacher. In 1911 Maude Hagans was the teacher, and the last teacher was Aenid Lyons. It was on land donated by M. L. Bower and located in the NE corner of section 7 in Mill Creek township.
Grand View or Schaich, District 144, was organized in the 1890s. It was located two miles north and one half mile east of Morrowville. Nellie Tuller was the first teacher, and Leota Moore was the last teacher in 1939.
Enosdale. Consolidated District 23, was organized in 1951 to consolidate Triumph District 54 and Excelsior District 127. It was located at Enosdale half way between the original schools in the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of section 26 in Coleman township. The first teacher was Bernice Seymour, and the last teacher was Ruth Tuma in 1961.
EARLY TEACHER'S CONTRACT
School teacher's contracts have undergone drastic changes according to a clipping from the Glasco Kansas Sun. As the magazine advertisement states, "YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY"
This was a blank teacher's contract from the year 1923. The first striking thing about the standard contract is the eight months school at $75.00 per month. That was followed by the following form:
Miss ___________ agrees:
1. Not to get married. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher marries.
2. Not to keep company with men.
3. To be home between the hours of 8:00 pm and 6:00 am unless in attendance at a school function.
4. Not to loiter down-town in ice cream stores.
5. Not to leave town at any time without the permission of the chairman of the board of trustees.
6. Not to smoke cigarettes. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher is found smoking.
7. Not to drink beer, wine or whiskey. This contract becomes null and void if the teacher is found drinking beer, wine, or whiskey.
8. Not to ride in a carriage or automobile with any other man except her brother or father.
9. Not to dress in bright colors.
10. Not to dye hair.
11. To wear at least two petticoats.
12. Not to wear dresses more than two inches above the ankles.
13. To keep the school room clean.
a. To sweep the classroom floor at least once daily.
b. To scrub the classroom floor at least once weekly with hot water and soap.
c. To clean the blackboard at least once daily.
d. To start the fire at 7 am so the room will be warm at 8 am when the kids arrive.
14. Not to use face powder, mascara, or paint the lips.
In contrast today school contracts and
administrative policy do not refer to dress codes, make up or out of school time.
Contracts and pay are the same for both men and women and custodial work is furnished.
The starting salary in the local school district for the 1983-84 school term was $12,725.00 per year or $1414.00 per month based on a nine month school year.
The first grade school was built in
1886. This building was moved to the northwest corner of Main and Oak when a new two room
building was built in 1905.
Miss Nesbit was the first teacher in 1886. The first teachers for the new school in 1905 were Alice Stoker and Mrs. Leota Nutter.
From 1886 to 1920 the salaries per month ranged between $40 and $80. More teachers were paid in the $40 to $50 range.
In 1917 the school was made into a four room building. The teachers that year were Delia Martin, Alice Edwards, and Belle Hennon.
In the early 50s two rural schools were purchased and moved end to end on the southeast corner of the schoolyard. A hardwood floor was laid inside the "new" building so that it could be used as a gymnasium.
Mr. Phillip Thomas was principal the last year the old building was in use.
The Morrowville High School opened in the fall of 1926. The board members were J. H. Huyck, president; Henry F. Raven, secretary; and J. T. Barnes, treasurer. Willis McGuire was the first principal. The first class graduated in 1927. The members were Gladys Barnes, Grace Hauschel, Robin Hauschel, Ellen Hodges, Milton Raven, Orval Rose, Velma Stanton, Clara Smith, Ardis Watson, Mildred Weber, and Ada Williams. Most of the graduates had attended Washington High School previously.
In 1954 the citizens of Morrowville School District voted a bond issue to build a new grade school in the amount of $116,850. The architects were Charles and John Shaver of Salina, Kansas. In 1955 Pat Hutson Construction Company, general contractor, commenced building the new grade school and gymnasium, which had been added to the project, for a total cost of approximately $200,000.
The new grade school was annexed to the existing high school building. The grade school board members who helped with all the planning and decision making for the building were Irving Peterson, D. K. Lindsley, P. S. Kozel, Orville Elliott and Merlin Nelson. The high school board members were Glenn Elliott, Joe Miller, Hubert Menzies and Verlin "Jim" Lindsley.
In the fall of 1956 the new building was ready for classes. The first graders who started school in the new building were Kathy Boutz, Leslie Kolman, Alberta Lange, Lanny Lindsley, Ramona Menzies, Fred Miller, Mark Sawyer, Larry Thomas and Joann Tice.
Mr. Phillip Thomas was the first grade school principal in the new building. Other principals were Paul Casper, Wayne Wray, Donald Skipton and Lester Wetter, acting principal.
In 1964 plans for state-wide unification were under way. After many meetings and discussions Morrowville, Haddam and Mahaska became Unified School District /1221. The grade schools continued to operate as they had, and Mahaska High School students went to Haddam High School in 1966.
In the fall of 1967 all of the high school students in the new district attended school in the Morrowville attendance center, and Morrowville's grade school students went to the Haddam attendance center. Mahaska continued to have grade school in their attendance center. At this time the schools were renamed North Central. The school colors were red, white and blue.
Members of the first graduating class of North Central High School were Kathy Boutz, Pat Brouse, Doug Cooper, David Duey, Floyd Else, Cheryl Fencl, Leslie Kolman, Lanny Lindsley, Rosella Mason, Ramona Menzies, Fred Miller, Lois Nance, Elva Novak, Sheila Rhine, Roberta Rokes, Marilyn Rose, Carol Ryser, Mark Sawyer, Edwin Steier, Rick Tamerius and Allan Zenger.
In 1926 the high school enrollment was 70 students. In the 1983-84 school year for North Central High there were 64 high school students enrolled with the district drawing from the old Morrowville, Haddam and Mahaska districts.
Principals for Morrowville High School were Willis McGuire, Henry Farrar, M.R.Laman, M. A. Finley, Raymond Patterson, J. W. Monfross, Mr. Bordeau and Burton Kersting. Mr. Kersting was principal for both grade and high school. The last Morrowville High School board members were Elmer Olandt, Curtis Wieland and Agnes Miller. The last grade school board members were Orville Elliott, Floyd Elder and Al Linenberger.
With unification seven board members are elected from the entire district. Curtis Wieland and Franklin Lull were the first USD #221 board members from Morrowville. The current board members from Morrowville are Larry Hauschel and Harold Nutsch.
Principals for North Central High School, District #221, have been: J. D. Brunnemer, Bradley Killen and Harold Niebarger. Superintendents for USD #221 have been: Ed Stehno, R. L.Powers, Richard Heaton, Don Musick and James Ledgerwood. The present principal is Harold Boggs, and the superintendent is Wayne Wilgers.
Custodians for the school were Tom Barnes from 1926-41, John Odgers from 1941-42, Bohman Hubka from 1942-1957 and Marvin "Mike" Hauschel from 1957-1980. Don Mathy has been custodian since 1980.
The North Central 1984 graduating class was: Ken Cohn, Jerry Comstock, Dan Dejmal, Jennifer Delay, LaVern Durst, Donna Fritz, Glen Gaydusek, Paul Hardenburger, April Highland, Brian Livingston, Beverly Mayer, Frank Morey, Eun Neyer, James Nutsch, Gary Roberts and Keenen Rose.
In 1967 a new vocational agriculture shop was constructed by J & N Elliott Construction, Inc. of Morrowville. It was ready for classes by the fall of 1968. In 1977 an addition was built on the north side of the shop to provide class space for industrial arts classes.
Besides a good curriculum, the music department has been outstanding, and sports have played a significant role in building school spirit. Football was the fall sport from 1926 until 1936. Baseball replaced football in the fall from 1936 until 1950 when football again became the fall sport. Depending upon the enrollment eleven man, six man, and eight man teams have played on the football field. Since 1970 girls' basketball and volleyball have been favorites. Girls' track is also offered. Both girls' and boys' basketball teams have competed in state tournaments. The girls' volleyball team has gone to state tournament. In 1983 the football team was in the state playoffs.
Organizations have played an important part in the education and social development of the students. The sports program has been complimented by a pep club to support the athletic events over the years. The athletes have been members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for several years.
The vocational agriculture and vocational home economics programs were an important part of Morrowville High School. After unification the home economics department did not continue under the vocational program. The two organizations, Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America, that are a part of the vocational programs have remained an important part of the North Central school activities.
Future Farmers of America
The Morrowville Chapter of Future
Farmers of America was chartered in 1930. The charter members were Cyril Bahl, Robert
Darby Louis Dolman, Leo Criffing, Howard Hauschel, Marvin Hauschel, Cecil Leidig, Samuel
McClaughry, Lyal Pascal, Archie Raney and Ernest Sewell. The first advisor was Hugh
Richwine. This charter was in effect for 37 years until 1967 when a new charter was
written for the newly consolidated school, North Central. The advisors with the longest
length of service are I. E. Peterson and Carry Peterson. I. E. Peterson was the second
advisor for the chapter starting a six year term in 1932 and returning for another four or
five years in 1951. Garry Peterson came to the school in 1972 and led the chapter for the
next 11 years.
Most of the men in the Morrowville area are past members of the FFA and the leadership abilities they gained through the organization has strengthened the community. Following is a list of past State Farmers: LeRoy Barnes, Louis Carter, Lawrence Dodd, Gerald Fencil, Craig Fencl, Jerry Graham, Leo Griffin, Marvin Heck, Guy Jennings, Lanny Livingston, Wayne McNish, Lester Miller, Earl Moore, Leo Moore, Francis Nutsch, Jack Nutter, Marvin Odgers, Elmer Olandt, Fred Prellwitz, Paul Prellwitz, Tim Rhine, Duaine Sawin, Garry Sinn, Ron Sinn, William Slater, Gary Smith, Oliver Steele, and Charles Schwab.
Highlighting the list of past leaders are brothers Garry and Ron Sinn. Garry received the American Farmer Degree in 1973, and Ron was named North Central Region District Star Farmer in 1975.
Through their BOAC (Building Our American Communities) Projects the local chapter has worked in cooperation with the Morrowville community on numerous projects. Examples include setting the city street signs and setting the flag pole at the city park. The local chapter is still active today with 23 members. The 1984 officers are Bruce Carter, president; Tim Zenger, vice-president; Jon Thompson, secretary; Bruce Livingston, reporter; Brad Livingston, treasurer; Ed Durst, sentinel; Matt Miller, student council representative; and Judy Wurtz, sweetheart. The advisor is Rex Zenger.
Future Homemakers of America
The Future Homemakers of America
chapter was organized in Morrowville in 1936. The organization was changed to the North
Central chapter upon unification in 1967-'68 and has continued to be a vital part of the
The Future Homemakers of America (FHA) and Home Economics Related Occupations (HERO) are national organizations of members who are enrolled or have been enrolled in home economics. The overall goals are to help individuals improve personal, family and community living, now and in the future, and to learn about vocational opportunities in the field of home economics.
Honorary chapter members are Virginia Baker, Barbara Cook, Mary Dittmar, Beanie Fisher, Luella Hauschel, Barbara Janasek, Lesta Peterson and Marlene Taylor
The 1984 officers are Beverly Mayer, president; Susie Moore, vice-president, Eun Neyer, secretary-treasurer; Tricia Nold, song leader; Diane Taylor, degree chairman; Jennifer Hawkins, historian; and Donna Fritz, student council representative. The advisor is Rebecca Brown.
The Pursley Club was started about
1936. It took its name from the name of the country school named after Mr. Wm. Pursley.
Hattie Grover, Mrs. Charles Cummings, Hattie Monroe, Clara and Belle Mathy, Mary Fencil
and Mildred Menke were the original members.
Other members over the years have been: Dollie Patterson, Mollie Pischer, Lura Shum, Arva Shum, Stella and Leona Horting, Ruby Heck, Faye and Theresa Gibson, Hazel Taylor, Lizzie Fencil, Gertrude Gould, Vira Hanshaw, Ursula Tegethoff, Gloris Tegethoff, Eleanor Heck, Mrs. Randy LaFarge, Millie Zach, Hazel Grover, Dola Chambers, Addie Menzies, Verda Lindsley, Faye Gaston, Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Gus Doering.
Present members are Faye Henderson, Mary Miller, Mildred Lull, Winifred Nutsch, Elizabeth Sawyer, Mary Fencil, Dorothy Elliott, Betty L'Ecuyer, Jeanette Baker, Lillace Tegethoff, Leota Moore and Gertrude Nutsch.
The club has kept alive the art of quilting. They do embroidering, make quilt blocks, patch or whatever the hostess has for them to do. They have a president and secretary-treasurer but charge no dues. They meet once a month for an all day meeting with a potluck lunch.
The Morrowville Extension Unit has been
in existance for 36 years. In December 1948 Mrs. Joan Amstutz, county home demonstration
agent, and Mrs. Lawrence Diller invited a group of ladies to the Methodist church in
Morrowville to organize the Morrowville Home Demonstration Unit. At that time the county
had eight units with 114 members. E. L. McClelland was county agent.
The first officers were Mrs. Lawrence Diller, president; Mrs. Dale Wells and Mrs. Charles Terpening, vice-presidents; Mrs. E. A. Sewell, secretary-treasurer; and Mrs. Raymond Patterson, reporter. There were 15 members.
In 1967 the name was changed to Morrowville Extension Homemakers Unit. During these 36 years the unit has been served by these home economists: Mrs. Amstutz, Mabel Coverdill, Betty Orr, Kathy Kurton, Kay Winehold, Mrs. Emerson, Karen Canard, Nancy Jo Fasse, Kay McCleary and Glenda Pearson.
Today Morrowville EHU has 14 members, four of whom are charter members: Beulah Apley, Agnes Miller, Gertie Olandt and Faith Lindsley.
Present officers include Mrs. Elmer Olandt, president; Mrs. Larry Hauschel, vice-president; Mrs. Franklin Lull, secretary-treasurer; and Mrs. Tony Donovan, homemaker council representative.
The unit has been awarded 21 gold seals for excellance.
Members meet once a month with lessons presented during the year in areas of family life, health, safety, citizenship, cultural arts and international. Crafts are offered to provide ideas for hobbies.
The Morrowville EHU has been active in helping to improve the community contributing to improvement of the city park, ball park and school grounds. In addition the unit has donated to, and done mending for, the Washington County Hospital and has donated to various county-wide drives.
Family picnics, ice cream suppers, Christmas parties and tours have enhanced the social life of members and their families.
The unit has promoted extension work through public meetings on subjects of interest such as health and cultural arts. Booths and floats have been constructed for the county fair. Themes through the years have included: "The Home is the Heart of the Nation", "Today's Home Builds Tomorrow's World," and "Children, Our Most Important Crop ."
The Riteway Unit of Morrowville was
organized in February 1950 with 12 members. They had as many as 17 members before the unit
dissolved in 1979.
Some of the subjects the group especially enjoyed were family life programs, foods, clothing and lessons on making drapes and slip covers.
Community projects included: donating to Smurthwaite House at Kansas State University, presenting a picnic table to the city park and sponsoring a queen candidate for the Washington County Fair.
The children enjoyed the traveling library which they sponsored in the summer.
The A.B.C. Unit of Morrowville was
organized in 1952. Some of the first members were Florence Olson, Eleanor Rollman, Edna
Kephart, and LaVeta Zabokrtsky.
Some of their community projects included: planted flowers and shrubs in the city park, planted poplar trees west of the high school, and worked to get lights at the railroad crossing on Highway 15.
They received a gold seal every year from 1952 to 1967, when because of declining membership the unit was dissolved.
The Modern Homemakers Unit was
organized in 1962. They received their first gold seal in 1963.
Some of the community projects of this group have been: painted all of the fire hydrants in the bicentennial year of 1976 and painted and placed tires for flowers in the city park and beside the post office.
The present officers are Nancy Tice, president; Dee King, vice-president; Jean Lehman, secretary-treasurer; and Annette Peterson, unit affairs.
In June 1927 county agent John Hepler
helped organize a new 4-H club in Morrowville. The members were Duane Diller, Gladys and
Electa Young, Amy Jones, Clara and Robert Darby. They were enrolled in dairy and poultry.
Four independent members were enrolled from the Clifton-Clyde area. They were Opal Olson,
Evelyn West, Sigurd West and Helen Peterson. Over the years some of the leaders were Mrs.
Lyle Fraser, Mrs. John Mayer and Hugh Richwine. The club was discontinued but no records
were found establish the date it dissolved.
The Pursley 4-H club was organized in 1938. Some of the leaders were Mr. Merlin Nelson, Mrs. Fred Zimmerman, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Heck and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Newcomb.
In 1958 the Pursley club merged with a Morrowville club, and they named the new club the Stick-to-It 4-H club. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Moore were the leaders when these two clubs merged. A few of the leaders since then have been: Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Kolman, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Lull, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Applegarth, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Slagle, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Schwerdtfeger, and Mr. and Mrs. Bob Duey. The leaders for the club in 1984 are Mr. and Mrs. Fred Miller assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Everett Lutjemeier.
The Morrowville Business Club was organized to promote cooperation among the businesses in town and to sponser activities such as the annual appearance of Santa Claus each December.
The Morrowville Royal Neighbors of
America group was organized in 1900. The oganization was the ladies counterpart of the
Modern Woodmen of America, a group formed to allow its members to have insurance policies
with the sponsoring company. On June 15, 1950, the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Mary Grover celebrated her 38th year as oracle and Lottie Patterson had served 42 years consecutively as recorder.
Some of the members who helped celebrate the 50th anniversary were Alta Jandera, Lulu Cummings, Mabel Barnes, Minnie Robbins, Clara Grover, Sarah Hawes, Mary Grover, Josephine Kozel, Bertha Lesher, Minnie Lindsley, Estella Diller, Cora Patterson, Vera Stanton, Dollie Patterson, and Emma Hecker.
The group dissolved shortly after its 50th anniversary.
The Morrowville chapter of TOPS Club
(Take Off Pounds Sensibly) was organized on September 24, 1975, with six members. Two of
these, Dorothy Grove and Kathy Foran, transfered from the Haddam club. The club grew in
numbers with a few women from Washington joining. Altogether the club has had eighteen
In 1976 three girls reached their weight goals becoming members of KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly). They were Sandy Duey, Diane Miller and Dorothy Grove.
The group has met in the Christian church basement, the city park, the Methodist church basement and in members' homes with the scales located in Stanton Farm Services' store. In 1981 the members from Washington organized their own club and the scales were moved to Agnes Miller's home where the meetings are held each week. Tops members weights are recorded each week, and reports are sent quarterly to the area coordinator. Awards are given when a goal is met or a member wins a contest.
The Morrowville Lions Club was
chartered as a member of the world's largest service organization in March of 1983. There
were 30 original charter members from Morrowville and the surrounding area. During the
year the membership grew to 36 members. One member was lost due to the death of Rev. James
During the first year of existence the Lions Club has had several projects. Lions members participated in Lions International candy day to raise money for sight projects at home and at the Kansas University Medical Center. Locally the club used some of its funds to purchase glasses for a needy youngster. Other projects have included conducting games at the annual community club barbeque, distributing surplus butter and cheese, cleaning up after a residence fire, sponsoring a consignment sale and catering the Morrowville High School alumni banquet.
In 1971 some citizens of Morrowville
organized a Community Club to raise money to improve the town and to sponser gatherings
and entertainment for the community. Membership comes from the town and the surrounding
The group sponsored an outdoor living nativity for the Christmas seasons in 1972 and 1973. They sponsor an Easter egg hunt and Halloween party for the children of the community each year.
Larger projects have included installing a tennis court and basketball court in the city park and erecting a flag pole in the park.
The club has funded its projects by sponsoring a pork barbeque each June since 1973. Musical entertainment has been furnished at the barbeque by the Kieffer Pair and Bill and Connie Dusin. One year the community held a talent show with entries coming from the community.
In 1984 the barbeque is planned for June 10 as part of the centennial celebration. The Kieffer Pair will provide entertainment and games will be sponsored by the Lions Club.
The present officers are Sherman Skipton, president; Bob Nold, vice-president; Holly Milliken, secretary; and Certie Olandt, treasurer.
In 1978 Morrowville citizens, wanting
to improve their town and community, invited Ralph Utermelon, community development
specialist from Kansas State University, and Carry Keeler, county extension agent,
to explain the PRIDE program at a meeting of the community club.
Programing Resources with Initiative for Development Effectiveness, PRIDE, is a program designed to encourage all Kansas communities to compare themselves with each other and strive to stimulate economic growth and make Kansas a better place to live and work.
PRIDE is a two phase program--the "Community Awareness Phase" consists of a self-inventory and analysis of the strengths and the needs of the community and the "Community Action Phase" involves taking positive steps to achieve the goals set in the first phase. The program works through a steering committee that seeks groups and work forces from within the community to help those goals become a reality.
At that meeting the community voted to join the PRIDE program. A survey was sent to all patrons of the town and rural Morrowville. The survey asked the people to list some of the needs of the community. The survey was then tallied and goals were set according to priorities shown by the survey. Various groups and organizations within the community were asked to help realize these goals.
After the survey was taken the following steering committee was elected: Norman Elliott, chairman; Carol Scheer, vice-chairman; Agnes Miller, secretary- treasurer; and Roger Foran, Irving Peterson, Donald Wieland, Frank Nutsch, Harold Nutsch and Bernice Esslinger members at large.
Some of the goals set that have been accomplished are securing a senior citizen low income housing project, identifying and marking streets with signs, numbering the lots and houses, ridding the town of old buildings and cars, making the community and others outside the community aware of the fact that the first bulldozer was made in Morrowville and improving the park. One long term goal was to get a new fire hall which was realized in the spring of 1984.
The PRIDE program gives recognition to communities for their accomplishments in 22 areas. To date Morrowville has received blue ribbons in 16 of these areas. The blue ribbons can be seen on signs as one passes through town.
The American Legion Post 396 was
installed on November 9, 1949. The purpose of the American Legion is to seek to advance
the aims and interests of veterans, to continue the friendships formed during military
service and to see that disabled veterans receive the care and the help they need.
The post sponsors the annual boys state, a program which gives high school boys a chance to practice the responsibilites of citizenship.
The Legion Hall was built in 1950 and dedicated on April 4, 1951. It was built with donations from many citizens around Morrowville both members and nonmembers. All of the labor was volunteer with Orville Lamb and Albert Nutsch doing a major part of the construction. The hall is used by the entire community for all kinds of functions from organization and business meetings to wedding receptions and family dinners.
The following charter members are still members of the post: Floyd Elder, Glen Hanshaw, Paul Henderson, Guy Jennings, Ed Nutsch and Ervin (Perf) Synovec.
The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary
Post 396 was installed on January 2, 1951. Their principal service is to sponsor the
annual girls state, a program which gives high school girls a chance to practice the
responsibilities of citizenship.
The ladies have been responsible for equipping the kitchen area of the hall and providing dishes and tables for use by groups using the hall.
The following charter members are still members of the group: Shirley Boutz, Helen Elder, Luella Hauschel, Faye Henderson, Josephine Linenberger, Gertrude Nutsch, Reva Rollman and Delma Synovec. To qualify for membership of the auxiliary women must be mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of American Legion members or mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of men and women who have died in World War I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Since Morrowville was built near Mill
Creek it has been seiged by floods. A few of the more memorable ones are noted here.
In June 1908 seventeen inches of rain fell in two weeks. During the floods that followed the first Mill Creek bridge was washed away. By October Wayland's crew had rebuilt the bridge so that the farmers did not have to travel miles to cross the creek.
In 1935 the present bridge across Mill Creek north of town was built.
On June 8, 1941, the flood waters were 18 inches deep in the high school. The water was reported to be the highest in history that year.
In 1951 the flood waters again surrounded the school, but the dike that had been built since 1941 spared the school.
In 1960 seventy plus inches of snow fell in January and February, and when it melted it sent streams and rivers to overflowing.
In June 1983 the area again received downpours, and the flood closed Highway 15 to traffic for about five hours. The water reached almost to the top step of the high school, but it did not get into the building.
Agriculture has always played an
important role in the economy of Morrowville and the surrounding community. Conservation
practices to prevent soil erosion have been a big factor in making this area as prosperous
as it is by increasing the productivity of the land. These practices, carried out under
the supervision of the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of
Agriculture, are strictly voluntary. In 1948 the bankers of the county established an
award program to recognize those farmers who were actively engaged in conservation and who
had completed all the major parts of the basic conservation plan for their particular
The following persons from Morrowville have received the Soil Conservaton Bankers Award for their efforts to conserve the soil for future generations through the use of approved conservation measures such as terraces, waterways, farm ponds and shelter belts.
1948 Lyle Fraser
1951 Forrest Shum
1952 J. R. (Dick) Moore
1958 Irving E. Peterson
1959 Walter Brockmeyer
1960 Glenn Elliott
1963 Kenneth Durst
1966 Lawrence Diller
1967 William Frager
1971 Louis Carter
1973 Al Linenberger
1979 Doyle Boutz & Mamie Gehring
1981 Donald Allen
1983 Marvin Ginn
In 1962 Carol Synovec entered and won
the Miss Fairbury pageant. She then participated in the Miss Nebraska pageant. These
pageants were a prelude to the Miss America pageant.
In 1965 Washington County participated in the Junior Miss Pageant program for the first time. Donna Synovec was the first Washington County candidate to participate in the state pageant. Donna won the state competiton and represented Kansas in the fifth national pageant in Mobile, Alabama.
Other Morrowville young ladies who have represented Washington County at the Kansas Junior Miss Pageant have been: Martia Wieland, 1967; Romona Menzies, 1968; Ginger Synovec, 1970; Debbie Carter, 1981; and Eun Neyer, 1983. Eun was named third runner up in the pageant in which she participated.
Martia Wieland entered the Pork Queen contest in 1971.
Enosdale, located five miles south and
one-half mile east of Morrowville, was established in July of 1884 when Enos Carson
through special effort secured the location for the post office. The department prefixed
Enos to the word dale making the station Enosdale. Enos Carson was the postmaster.
Enos Carson owned 60 acres of land in section 24 of Coleman township where he and his son, J. E. Carson, platted the village.
Eight buildings were constructed in the village prior to 1890: a post office, general store, blacksmith, church and some residences. The blacksmith shop was managed for a time by Mr. Coppleman.
In 1886 Enos Carson and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Snipes, started a store known as "Carson and Snipes." Mrs. Snipes subsequently sold her share to J. E. Carson, eldest son of Enos. The younger man operated the store until his death in 1888.
Mr. Carson sold the store to J. W. Holfer who moved to Linn with the stock. Carson then purchased another store from A. F. Robbins and sold it to William DeVallon who built a fine frame store building.
Later owners of the store were Cromers and Ab Brown, the father of Vera Dickson. Lloyd and Louise Bonar purchased the store from her uncle, Ab Brown. Mr Zabokrtsky managed the store for a while. Lloyd and Lousie Bonar operated the store before moving to Morrowville in 1928. Bonar moved the store building to Washington, Kansas, on Commercial Street where it still is today. He planned to open a store there but never did.
Enos Carson and his family belonged to the Society of Friends. Since no organization existed when he arrived, he rallied men and means to erect a 20 foot x 30 foot church. He deeded the land for the church on June 1, 1884. He also donated the land for the parsonage. The society had a membership of 166 in 1890. It closed in 1952, and the building was moved to Washington, Kansas, where the church continued to function until the fall of 1978 when it closed.
Alfred Johnson owned and operated Johnson Truck Line at Enosdale from 1935 until he sold it in 1965. See the heading "Truck Lines" for more information. The Johnsons sold a few groceries from their truck line headquarters.
Two school districts, Excelsior, District 127, and Triumph, District 54,consolidated to form Enosdale, Consolidated District 23, in 1951. The building from Excelsior was moved to Enosdale across the road from the Friends Church location. This one room school was closed in 1961.
All that remains of the village after 100 years is the Dale Friends Cemetery on the old church grounds and some of the old buildings. The Alfred Johnsons own the land and live nearby.
End of Part 1. [Go to Part 2]
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