Linn, Kansas 1877-1977
The Linn Centennial Book Staff consisted of Naomi Richwine (History of the Linn Community), Zoe Cross (Roster of Linn Businessmen, 1881-1976), and Bill Wilgers (Artists Drawing of Linn, 1881). Researchers were Naomi Richwine, Zoe Cross, Evelyn Kipper, Malinda Gross, Emma McGregor, Mildred McGregor, Letha Johnson, Vera Foster, and Edith Chizek. Photography was by Kathy Hill, Don Singular, Jackie Dieckmann, Richard Funk, and Carl Sparkman. Page sponsorships were acquired by Mildred McGregor, Darlene Mack, and Iris Kuhlman. The book was transcribed for the Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society website by Beverly Munson.
Pre-Emption and Homestead Acts
In 1841 Congress established the right of pre-emption. This meant that settlers were allowed to pre-empt unoccupied land by a six month residence and payment of $1.25 an acre. The purpose of this act was to facilitate the settling of the western lands which were slow to develop.
A few settlers are listed as having settled in Washington County as early as 1857 but none were in the vicinity of Linn. The great influx came after the passing of the first Homestead Act in 1862.
The Homestead Act provided that any person over twenty-one years of age, or the head of a family, and either a citizen or an alien who had declared his intention of becoming a citizen, could obtain the title to 160 acres of public land merely by living on the land for five years and improving it. This act also permitted a person to pay $1.25 and acre in lieu of the five-year residence requirement.
Between 1862 and 1900, the Homestead Act provided farms and homes for over 400,000 families.
By 1900 practically all good farming land in this vicinity had passed to state or private ownership. Some of the original settlers had sold their land to new-comers who arrived too late to get it free; many of the original homesteaders, however, spent the rest of their lives in the community. Many of them moved to town and spent their last years in comparative comfort.
History of the Linn Community
The forty-niners had wound their way across the Kansas prairies leaving in their wake many a wagon trail. The Pony Express had served its time. The Civil War had been fought, some of it on Kansas soil. Indian tribes had been subdued and, finally Kansas had been admitted to the union as a free state. And as peaceful days began to reign in Kansas its rolling prairies beckoned to the restless, the spirited, the ambitious.
Soon the prairies were dotted here and there with small homes, often dugouts, the dwellings of the homesteaders. Into this vast wilderness of rolling grass, with hope in their hearts and very little in their pocketbooks, came such courageous people as John Raven and his wife, Mary Ann; Claus and Johanna Hinck; Duncan McGregor; Watson Otwell; and Mr. and Mrs. H. Hatesohl.
All of them and many more took homesteads before they had been in the area a day. They came to carve out farms for themselves where there was no sign of a town. What a joy it was for them when, a few years later, a town began to spring up before their eyes! They could now look forward to a time when it would no longer be necessary to walk to Waterville to summon a doctor or buy supplies.
As the population increased, the railroad crept its way farther into the interior of the state, planting here and there box cars or small frame structures to serve as depots and freight terminals.
And so from the east they poured in, some from the New England states, some from the middle-west and many from Europe. All had heard of the great possibilities of this wide expanse of territory where land was free for the asking. What high hopes those early settlers must have had!
By 1870, it was no longer necessary to enter Kansas by covered wagon for the Missouri Pacific branch had reached as far as Waterville. It was at this time that a widow, Mrs. Maria Elliott from Indiana, arrived with her four sons at the small station in Waterville. From there, they traveled by wagon to Washington county to take homesteads. As they traveled slowly to their destinations, which was three miles south of where Linn now stands, what a feeling of awe and wonder must have possessed them as they gazed on the vast stretch of billowing prairie with only here and there any signs of human life.
In an old diary one pioneer wife wrote that riding to her homestead the first time was like riding through a tunnel because the native prairie grass was ‘shoulder high to a tall man’.
Homesteaders were required to live on their claims so Mrs. Elliott and her sons took four adjoining parcels of land in a single block. They built a four-room house with a room on each of the four claims. Since one of the sons was not yet of legal age, the mother lived in his room to prove his claim.
The Elliott land stayed in the family for four generations. One of Mrs. Elliott’s grandsons became known throughout this section, and even beyond, for his weekly newspaper column which for many appeared under the pen name of A. Rural Rube. A capable writer of dry wit, Ernest Elliott was widely quoted in newspapers over the state. He also was known to many through his broadcasting on the extension programs of Kansas State College.
Ernest died in 1949 on the farm on which he was born in 1884. He was sixty-five years old when gored to death by an angry bull.
Mrs. Zoe Cross of Linn is a great grand daughter of Maria Elliott.
By 1870 the buffalos, which had been abundant here ten years before, had disappeared but deer and elk were still plentiful. The settlers could have fresh meat merely by going out to hunt for it.
Most pioneers did not waste any time getting settled. By the end of their first summer they had a temporary dwelling set up and a shelter of sorts for the farm animals they expected to get. Fields and gardens had been laid and a well had been dug. During the summer and fall wives dried as much food as they could for winter consumption.
Life was very hard for the pioneer people. The combination of poor and inadequate food coupled with drafty houses, homesickness and worry arising from the many dangers, resulted in much sickness and death – especially among women and children. During the wet season the settlers were plagued with fever and ague. Sometimes a whole family would be sick at one time with no neighbors near enough, or well enough, to help and no doctor within many miles.
They had to raise most of their own food and, with drought and grasshoppers ravaging their crops, it often was ‘thin picking’ as they said. They did not starve but neither were they very well fed. They and all the people they knew were thin – very thin. They raised cord; so corn meal mush with salt port and, occasionally, wild game was served day after day.
Several times a year the man of the house would walk to Waterville or Blue Rapist (20 or 25 miles away) to have meal ground and to buy a meager supply of coffee and sugar. Some times he would bring some yard goods or a few hanks of knitting yarn. He would leave early in the morning, before daylight, and return home after dark.
Coffee was very important to the settlers. They bought it green and roasted it at home. Many settlers had their own grinders; those who didn’t, put the beans in a stout duck sack and pounded it with a hammer until the coffee was fine. When times got so hard that people couldn’t afford to buy coffee, they improvised by pounding toasted grains of wheat, rye or barley. No social gathering or business meeting was complete without a cup of ‘coffee’.
The pioneers had many fears. They were completely dependent on their own crops, so they were always fearful of crop failures. Then, too, awareness of the possibility of Indian raids was always with them. And during the dry years the pioneers feared prairie fires. They soon learned that when a prairie fires swept over thousands of acres, as it frequently did, those settlers dwelling in dugouts were better off than those living in frame houses. Mothers cautioned their children about all the dangers lurking in the tall prairie grass. They knew that hungry wolves and coyotes would attack a child, even a man if the man was alone. And there were many rattlesnakes slithering in the rocks and vegetation.
It was the grasshopper invasion of 1874, however, that broke down many a hardy spirit. The big insects, which were a kind of locust, came into the state from the northwest and moved toward the southeast. They ate everything green as they went through. The air was so thick with the insects that the sun’s rays were obstructed and daylight was turned into darkness. After the grasshoppers had devoured every bit of greenery, they moved on to look for fresh pastures.
For the pioneers who had had very little stored up to fall back on this was a terrible blow. Left destitute, they could not have survived without the help of people from the east who sent carloads of supplies to Waterville for distribution. Even so, there was very little to eat in the prairie homes in the winter of 1874. Another grasshopper scourge in 1875 was discouraging but less devastating.
A few of the pioneers gave up and left Kansas for good but most of them were of the sturdy type and they, always believing that times would improve, remained.
Prosperous years followed and people regained their confidence in the new land. More and more prairie was turned into farms; and new towns sprang up.
In 1877 the railroad, pushing its way further into Washington County, passed through this section. A box car was placed at about the same location where the depot was later built. The station was called Summit because it was the highest point railroad surveyors found of this branch of the Missouri Pacific.
When an attempt was made to get a post office here, the postal authorities refused to grant it because there were other offices in the state with similar names. It was necessary, therefore, to select a new name. Some time in 1877, a mass meeting was held in the box car. Theodore Bedkler, homesteader on what is now the Herman Pfeiffer farm, presided at the meeting. About twenty men attended. Ed Collins, later Linn’s first mayor, was a young boy at the time and attended with his father.
No one knows for sure just why the name Linn was chosen but, according to legend, one of the railroad officials, a man by the name of Linn, jokingly asked them to use his name. Everyone appeared to be willing so the vote was unanimous. Shortly thereafter Linn secured it’s post office.
For some time after the naming of the post office, the settlers continued to call the town Summit. It was a gradual change-over but, eventually, it was generally conceded that Linn was the name of the town.
Previous to the establishment of the Linn Post Office, citizens received their mail at Fred Kingsbury’s farm located two miles north and one and one-half miles west of Summit. Another post office was located approximately three miles east and two miles south of town on the old Capwell farm. In later years this farm was owned by Dave Dittbrenner. At another time the Anthony Jones homestead was the site of a post office. All of these were located on or near the Parallel Road, one of the three wagon trails that went through Washington County.
All kinds of people, explorers, missionaries, gold seekers, and adventurers, passed through Kansas via these trails. According to legend, “Kit” Carson, the nation’s pioneer hero of western America, left his name carved on a sandstone bluff in what is now the Clarence Ohlde pasture northwest of Linn. Whether Carson really camped here, or whether the story is fabrication, cannot be proved; records do show, however, that Carson came through this part of the west in 1842 when he served as a guide for John C. Fremont and again in 1849 and 1850 when he convoyed gold seekers to the Pacific coast and protected them from the Indians. On one trip he drove 6,500 sheep across the plains.
The Kingsbury farmstead was for many years the gathering place for the community. Besides serving as a post office, it was an overnight stopping place for early settlers of northern Kansas on their way to and from Waterville, the western extremity of the Missouri Pacific Railway at that time. Their house was a story and one half structure, the top floor being the area reserved for overnight guests. Not high enough for a man to stand upright, this half story was accessible by an indoor ladder.
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Lohmeyer now own the Jones homestead. The house has been enlarged but Mrs. Lohmeyer believes that their living room may be the original building. This house also has a half story above.
With Linn on the newly built railroad, the new post office soon absorbed the other three offices.
In 1881, among others who came mostly by train, were C.F. Schwerdtfeger grandfather of Emil Schwerdtfeger, Alvin Pfeiffer, Leroy Alexander, Herman Lehman and Julia Mildfeldt, and great grandfather of Harold Schwerdtfeger. He had sold some of his land near Chicago for one hundred dollars an acre; and he bought his first quarter section in Kansas for a dollar an acre. This is the farm east of Linn now owned by Charles Merritt. A shrewd thinker, Mr. Schwerdtfeger saw the great possibilities wrapped up in Kansas prairie and he bought about six hundred acres from early settlers who were discouraged and ready to move on. As time went on, he bought considerably more land which, at that time, had been broken for farming but few buildings had been erected and there were few trees.
A man of vision, Mr. Schwerdtfeger encouraged the establishment of a town by giving a building lot to any person interested in starting a business. It was logical to build along the railroad but it was unheard of in those days to place a building on the slant; hence the irregular front of our main street today. The first store, and probably the first business in town, was the Cummins store opened in 1881 on the site now occupied by the Linn post office. Mr. Schwerdtfeger, himself a new-arrival, donated the land and Mr. Cummins agreed to build a store if the other settlers would help him get the material. They all joined hands and, with teams and wagons, hauled rock from the Warren Riggs farm. According to old records, the mason work was done by Mr. Shatto, a homesteader. This store became the center of trade for miles around. Not only were all kinds of merchandise and medicines handled, but it also housed the post office.
A little later, an addition was built on the east side of the store and here the first bank was established. M.F. Southwick was organizer and president. August Soller was the first cashier; he was followed by Ed Lehman. Then in 1894, after having been bookkeeper for a few years. J.J. Meirkord became cashier.
About the time that the new Cummins Store was opened, the Mahone brothers started a lumber yard in connection with a hardware store. Their business was located about where the Co-op Service Station now operates. After a few years, the Mahones sold out to R.L. Foster.
The oldest house in Linn stood the years well. Built in the 1870s and recently owned by Eldred O’Brien, it remained on its original foundation until the 1973 tornado ripped it apart. This was the little red house north of the depot; it was used as a rooming house until the hotel was built. A slot in one of the doors indicated that it probably had been used as a post office at some time or other. Early records indicate, also, that Linn’s first newspaper, the Linn Gazette, may have been published in this house.
Three residences west of the hotel went up next; they were on the lots where the new bank building is now taking shape.
Dr. J.W. West may have been our first physician. He was practicing here in 1897 when the first issue of the Linn Digest was published. Dr. Stroud was another early-day doctor. There was a saloon in Linn at that time too. The Blind Tiger Saloon was a one-story frame building situated back from the street behind our present barber shop and could be entered both from the east and from the north. There was no advertising in the papers to tell who the proprietor was.
Other people in business at that time included; E.A. Hopfer, general store; Anna Boyer, milliner; Gus Jungck, harness maker; W.T. Roche, attorney; R.M. Elwell, tonsorial artist; Kanke and Stuive, buggies, wagons and agricultural tools and implements; and L.H. Cobb, florist, seedman and editor.
The first school in Linn, called the Bedker School because it was on Bedker’s land, may have been located in the area where Sophia Wiese’s house and garden are now. Here in the home of Theodore Bedker, Mrs. Alexander Spiers conducted the first school in Linn Township. Since there was no tax levy for education in the township in 1875, this school was maintained by subscription. Later taxes were levied and arrangements were made to build a stone structure which served as both school house and church. This stone school house, designated as district school No. 59 and built in 1879 on an acre of land purchased from Fredrick Vogelsang, stood on the northwest corner of what is now the Wm. Wiechmann farm.
This building eventually proved to be too small and was soon outgrown so, in 1887, Mr. Schwerdtfeger again donated lots upon which a two-story frame structure was erected. The new school house was put up a few feet north of where LaVern Long’s house now stands. It faces the south.
After some years of sheltering the school children of the community, this old building was razed in 1910 to make room for a larger two-story schoolhouse.
Most pioneers brought with them the Christian beliefs in which they had been reared. It is not surprising, then, that they soon established congregations in the settlement. The first church services were held in the homes of the members and in school houses; and the pastors were often circuit riders who served several congregations in the area.
Although people of varying religious convictions arrived almost simultaneously, records indicate that the first sermon preached in the area might have been that of a Methodist minister, Rev. Jacob LeVan, a circuit preacher who arrived in Washington County in 1870. Rev. LeVan, his wife, and four children came from Guthrie Center, Iowa in a covered wagon and they, like many other pioneers, brought the family milk cow. Early in the spring of 1871 they took a homestead six miles west of the present site of Linn. The team of horses which brought them to Kansas, was traded for a team of oxen and a pony which Mr. LeVan rode on his trips around the circuit.
As more settlers arrived, few homes were large enough to accommodate the congregations. Again Mr. Schwerdtfeger donated lots, this time to churches. The Methodists were the first to build in 1884. St. Paul’s Evangelical, Advent Christian, and Missouri Lutheran soon followed. The Missouri Lutheran church has been re-built twice since then; the Methodist church and St. Paul’s have been remodeled and enlarged. The Advent Christian church disbanded in 1929.
We find no record of any attempt to lay out systematic avenues of circulation in the early town. People built where they wanted to and foot paths evolved as the natural result of people going from one place to another. There must have been many days when the weather was just right for pleasant strolling but one old issue of the Digest tells of ‘the streets being ankle deep in dust one day and hub deep in mud the next day’. It was quite an improvement when the railroad furnished cinders to spread on the paths, especially when some of the more discriminating people added deckle edges.
A few years later, it is not clear just when, the city had voted to install wooden sidewalks in the principal areas of circulation. According to the newspapers, much could be said for the wooden sidewalks when they were new but they were found to rot out very quickly. The wooden sidewalks were made by nailing short boards across two parallel two-by-fours. The result was a long sled-like affair which could be moved from place to place, wherever the puddles were the worst or when streets needed cleaning and smoothing over. Some of the newspaper accounts told of wooden sidewalks that became rickety and over which many a lady caught and tore her skirt, or even tripped and fell.
Linn was known as a rather progressive little city and could have been incorporated before the turn of the century if the citizens had so desired. The issue of incorporation was brought to the voters in 1900 but the more conservative people, reluctant to bring on tax increases, were able to block the issue. Is was not until 1911 when there was a great clamor for cement sidewalks and better streets, that Linn voted to incorporate. In those years before incorporation, Linn was governed by an elected citizen’s committee consisting of a president, a secretary, a treasurer, a collector, and a street commissioner. The following men composed the citizen’s committee of 1900:
President D. C. Troup Secretary C. F. Griffith Treasurer Herman Raven Collector John Grother Street Commissioner W. W. Coder
By 1913, the sidewalk project was well underway with Jake Werner doing the cement work. Many more sidewalks have been added during the intervening years but some of the old walks still remain.
The muddy and dusty streets which plagued housewives and business men in the early days are now gone. In 1928 the first major street improvement brought guttered, curbed and graveled thoroughfares to the entire city. This was a great improvement over the old. Then, in 1941, the decision was made to black-top the streets. Linn now has a total of four and one-half miles of black-topping and almost as much curbing and guttering.
One of the problems facing the settlers in their new town was the danger of vandalism, crime and vice during the nighttime hours. These were the days when a steady stream of covered wagons was rolling through the country. Every day brought new faces to the streets and they were usually people who stayed but a few hours and then went on.
Street lights were installed when the town was young, probably about 1880. They were four-sided coal oil lamps mounted on poles. The sides of the lamps were clear glass, easily broken in wind storms and in winter when cold temperatures struck the hot flame within.
Some of the newspaper accounts reveal that, although the lights were necessary, they were actually a necessary evil because they were a fire hazard. On windy evenings it was difficult to light the lamps.
Although there were plenty of hitching posts scattered throughout the town, there was a tendency to hitch on any conveniently placed post. Probably as a safety measure, a “No Hitching” notice was nailed on most wooden lamp posts.
The street corners were illuminated with a half dozen of these lamps. Every evening about dusk the lamplighter could be seen making his rounds. He carried matches, a step-ladder, his can of kerosene and a bundle of rags for cleaning the chimneys.
Of course, this man’s job was not finished when he lighted his last lamp; he had to reappear early in the morning to put out the lights.
It is not clear how the lamplighters were selected but lamp-lighting may have been a part of the street commissioner’s job. Anyway, there must have been several lamplighters between 1880 and the advent of electricity in 1915. Records show that Otto Peters was the last to fill this job.
The Linn Digest of 1889 states that Ed Collins and his father, J.C. Collins, had installed two acetylene gas lights in front of their stores. At that time, the father and son operated two stores in the two buildings now occupied by Bert Peters’ appliance store and Ralph’s Grocery.
When the city installed electricity in 1915, four hanging lights were put over the four most important intersections. These lights were turned on at dusk and off at midnight. From time to time, more hanging lamps were added until most areas of the town were lighted. It was no longer necessary to carry a lantern when going out at night; at least not if one intended to get home before midnight!
In recent years, new lights have replaced the old. All our streets are well-lighted with 175 watt mercury bulbs which are controlled by photo electric cells to turn them on and off. These lights do not swing in the wind like the old ones did; they are held over the street by long steel arms which reach out from light poles.
Linn Fire Department and Linn Palmer Rural Fire Department
It was not long before the early settlers learned that the lush green prairie grass that was so inviting on their arrival would turn dry and brown as the season advanced. Eventually the billowing green carpet would present a real fire hazard. Added to the fact that the dry vegetation itself was quickly combustible, was the fact that the wind was usually stirring ‘a little or a lot’ so a big fire could easily be kindled.
From the very beginning, the settlers worried enough about fires to organize a bucket brigade. Each householder kept a bucket on hand for each member of his family who was big enough to pump and carry water; and everyone knew just what he was to do in case of fire.
An account, taken from the Linn Digest of 1889, tells of a citizen’s meeting held at the fire department headquarters (in Higgins’ and Raven’s office) for the purpose of electing a fire chief and other officers.
The first big fire recorded is that of a livery stable in the east part of town, probably directly behind the Ed Doupnik residence. During the night a fire broke out in the hay and several horses were burned alive. An old clipping, which shows no date, tells that the screams of the horses could be heard all night.
There was another bad fire in 1919 when the Lohmeyer Harness Shop burned. This high building which the bucket brigade could not reach burned to the ground.
In 1925, a new fire siren was purchased and placed in the telephone exchange building for the convenience of reporting fires. In addition to fire alerts, the siren was (and still is) blown at 7 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Prior to 1935 the city owned some hose but, since only a few homes had running water, it usually was necessary for men to take turns pumping while others struggled with the hose which had very little force because of low water pressure. It was not until 1935, when the city water system was installed, that the firemen could fight a fire with real force.
In 1935 Paul Pronske, fire chief, and Alvin Kuhlman, blacksmith, constructed a new fire wagon trailer to carry all the hose and other equipment. A chassis from an old automobile was used and equipped with new tires. The chemical tanks were mounted on the front. Directly behind the chemical supply box was a rack for holding the small fire hose. The back half of the trailer carried a box open at the rear and top. This box contained the large fire hose. A platform at the rear of the vehicle provided standing room for two or three fire fighters. Others stood on the long running boards and clung to the hand holds. Nozzles, axes, lanterns and other equipment were conveniently located. The whole thing was painted red. Every detail was worked out to make the job complete from the bell to the combination coupling of the trailer tongue. This splendid equipment was built here at Linn at only a fraction of the cost of a factory built trailer.
In 1939, the city bought a 1936 Ford V-8 chassis for $300 and mounted the above mentioned equipment on it. This brought Linn’s fire-fighting equipment up to first class condition. In 1941 a new siren was installed.
In 1967 it became obvious that certain deficiencies had to be corrected in the operation of the city fire department if reasonable insurance rates were to be maintained. Otherwise there might have been as much as a 50 percent increase in rates. These deficiencies were corrected by increasing the yardage of fire hose and by providing, in a monthly educational program, proper training for a fire chief, assistant fire chief, and a crew of firemen.
Linn is now well-protected from fires. The present city truck, a Chevrolet, was purchased in 1970 and is equipped with 1000 feet of 2 ½ inch hose plus 450 feet of smaller hose and a water tank and booster pump. To avoid mess in interior fires caused by gas and electrical faults, the crew often uses CO2, a powder which is easily cleaned up with a vacuum sweeper. Hose and water, of course, are used in fighting exterior fires.
Chuck Dieckmann is fire chief and Orville Long is assistant chief.
The Linn-Palmer Rural Fire Department was organized in 1966. Equipment consists of a surplus army truck (GMC) and a Chevrolet pick-up. Dick Oestreich is chief of the rural fire fighters.
Each of the fire departments has a crew of ten men. Firemen for both the city and rural fire departments include: Kermit Rahe, Raymond Rahe, James Herrs, O.D. Mack, Dick Moore, Delbert Beikmann, Phil Balch, Orville Long, Charles Long, James Herda, Larry Lehman, Terry Lehman, Allen Kohlmeier, Neil McGregor, Don Winter, Don Singular, Larry Wurtz, David Dankenbring, Dick Oestreich, DennyBokelman, Chuck Dieckmann.
The ambulance service comes under the authority of the Linn-Palmer Rural Fire Department. Since the ambulance is housed in the Linn fire house, it is manned by Linn people. At present there are five trained ambulance volunteers; James Herda, Larry Lehman, Chuck Deickmann, Gary Helms, and Delbert Beikmann.
Washington County Co-operative Creamery Company and Hoerman Packing Company
The creamery industry in Linn and vicinity dates back to 1887 when Henry Lindeman came here from Chicago and started a creamery located where Mrs. Emma McGregor’s house now stands. He took in whole milk and skimmed it at the creamery. He also had several skimming stations located about ten miles in different directions from town. In summer he shipped as much as two tons of butter a week to Chicago and Kansas City and, at times, over a thousand pounds of poultry and eggs. Much of the butter he shipped out was made in his creamery but Mr. Lindeman also handled homemade butter brought in by the farmers’ wives. His business was quite successful but after a time he sold out to big business and turned his creamery into a cream-buying station.
It was in 1907 that H.C. Hoerman, with borrowed capital, bought a small produce business from H. L. Schwerdfeger. The building was located on Linn’s south business street. A short time later, he purchased a building standing next door to what later was to become the Club Royal. He moved this last mentioned building to the south edge of town.
In 1908, Mr. Hoerman inaugurated a trucking system to pick up the farmer’s produce. At that time, trucking was done with team and wagon. He was one of the pioneers of the wide network of trucking used today by packing plants, creameries, bakeries, and other businesses throughout the country. By the time that the motor truck came into its own, Mr. Hoerman began purchasing them until he owned a fleet that canvassed the surrounding territory.
The second spurt of butter making in Linn dates back to about 1912 when a group of progressive farmers in the vicinity of Palmer organized the Palmer Co-operative Creamery Company and built a plant at Palmer. This industry did not prosper as was expected and the stockholders became discouraged.
Early in 1917 H.C. Hoerman purchased the controlling interest in the Palmer company by absorbing its indebtedness. Then followed two years of fair prosperity for the organization, but lack of adequate water at the Palmer plant necessitated a change of location. The stockholders decided to move the plant to Linn where a more modern building was erected.
After about two years, Mr. Hoerman saw the folly of trying to compete with the many cream stations in other towns. He decided to discontinue the creamery business and use the building for a poultry packing plant. When he purchased the plant in 1917, an agreement had been made that the stockholders could repurchase the plant at any time and again make it a co-operative. H.J. Meierkord, the local banker, who had been exploring into the idea of promoting the dairy business in the area, prevailed upon Mr. Hoerman to sell the creamery plant to the dairy farmers of the community. This was done in 1919.
In 1921, dairying seemed to have great possibilities in Washington County. A survey was made by the county agent who found that Holsteins were the preference of most farmers. After several educational meetings with dairy specialists from Kansas State College, 25 or 30 farmers went on inspection tours to other areas. Then a meeting was held to discuss community breeding and joint ownership of bulls.
In March, 1922, farmers signed contracts and 93 head of cattle were brought in from Wisconsin. Henry Hatesohl of Greenleaf, himself a Holstein enthusiast, along with a specialist from the college, selected and bought the animals. Thirty-four men signed contracts for these animals, thirty-four of which were purebred and the others high-grade cows and springer heifers. The financial end of the deal was handled at the local bank, each individual making private arrangements for settlement.
The day the cattle arrived from Wisconsin was a big day at Linn. More than five hundred people were on hand to see them unload and to observe the demonstrations. Each farmer who had ordered stock was expected to show his animals to the crowd.
In order to show the difference between clean and slovenly dairy methods, two stalls were rigged up, one containing a clean cow and the other a dirty one.
In the same way, demonstrations were given of clean and slovenly methods of butter making by using the contrast of a neatly dressed woman and an untidy one.
A purebred sire and one of scrub variety were displayed, each with an example of his offspring.
The agricultural college sent a miniature bull pen for demonstration. A poultry demonstration on feeding milk to chickens was given.
The outcome of this beginning was so favorable that, again, Mr. Hatesohl was sent to Wisconsin for another importation of cattle. The same plan of buying, financing and distribution were followed. Sixty-eight head of Holsteins went to twenty-four men, boys and girls. These cattle came from the same community as the former shipment. Everything possible was done to keep the blood lines strong, even to the point of bringing back two extra heifers to replace two non-breeders found in the first shipment.
As before, the arrival of the cattle was the inspiration for community dairy day. At first this affair was called the Linn community Dairy Day but later it was spoken of as the first Black and White Show. Linn hosted many such shows. As the organization grew, it came to include stockmen from several counties; and some time in the early thirties the State Dairy Association organized the North Central Kansas Black and White Show.
The Black and White Show evolved into an annual affair. It was held in Clay Center one year and, for a time, it was held in Washington; but from 1947 until 1953 it was again held in Linn. The Linn Booster Club and the Washington County Co-operative Creamery Company worked jointly in making arrangements for the day. The judging took place in an open-air-ring on the creamery grounds. In cases of inclement weather, judges and stock were moved into the creamery garage and warehouse.
Usually about thirty or forty exhibitors showed ninety-five to a hundred head of Holsteins with six hundred or more spectators in attendance. There was always a large entry in the livestock judging contest – adults, 4H clubs, and vocational agriculture students. Trophies awarded the high FFA and 4H judging teams were furnished by the creamery. Medals were presented also to the three high individuals in each group.
Because of the high quality of animals shown, the Danish system of judging was used. This way all the animals were placed in the blue, red or white ribbon group. The quality of the animals was so high that usually only two or three white ribbons were given. Once or twice not a single white ribbon was used.
From time to time various innovations were added. In 1947 H.H. Kappleman of Greenleaf displayed a collection of utensils used by our great grandmothers in making butter. He showed such articles as a seventy-five year old churn, butter molds, covered butter dishes, butter paddles and various other small articles. These antique pieces presented quite a contrast to the modern equipment on display.
In 1950 a new feature was added – the choosing of a dairy queen. This young lady was picked from 4H club members and chosen on the merits of her projects. Billy Jo Krueger, 14, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Krueger of Washington was the first dairy queen.
The show grew larger and larger. In 1953, twelve FFA teams and twelve 4H teams were entered in the contest. Virtually all the high schools of the area sent contestants.
The Washington County Co-operative Creamery continued to grow too. This was a completely co-operative concern; no business was accepted from an outsider and no person could own more than 5 percent of the stock.
A new two-story brick building was erected and dedicated in June of 1928.
During these years of rapid creamery expansion, the Hoerman Packing Company was growing as well. The two plants stood side by side and it was natural that they support each other.
For many years the two companies owned and operated the Linn Trucking System, a non-profit organization to haul eggs and cream to the two plants. In later years, the packing plant sold its interest in the trucks to the creamery and paid to have the eggs delivered to the plant.
By 1925 the packing plant building was too small for the large operation. The old frame structure was torn down and replaced with a fifty by sixty-four foot tile building. Business increased so rapidly that work soon started on a fifty by thirty-six foot addition. In 1927 a third section measuring fifty by forty-two feet was added. This made the completed structure fifty by one hundred forty-two feet. The two story building had over twenty-one thousand feet of floor space. This seemed to be more than adequate.
Only two years later, however, still more space was needed and another addition measuring forty by one hundred fifty feet was constructed. This completed the building as it stood until the 1973 tornado demolished a great deal of it.
In 1927 the Hoerman Hatchery, owned by Vern Sizemore and Carroll Conklin, was added to the business. Mrs. Sizemore and Olen Ayers looked after the business the first year. Later Mr. and Mrs. Sizemore worked together in the hatchery. Still later Ed Doupnik was manager until 1948 when Olen Ayers bought a substantial interest and became manager. The hatchery was soon moved into the building which now houses Singular’s south store where it did a thriving business until Mr. Ayers’ death in 1968. He also had a feed store in connection with the hatchery.
Down through the years Linn was famous for high-quality dairy products. The trademark “Linn Quality” was recognized in market centers throughout the United States. During World War II it was seen in many foreign ports.
On January 1, 1949 the Washington county Co-operative Creamery Company bought the Hoerman Packing Company. The Hoerman Hatchery, previously sold to Olen Ayers, of course was not included in the transaction.
Thus was brought to a close the inspiring story of a business that started from a very small and humble beginning back in 1907, weathered many an adverse circumstance, and developed into the largest produce and packing plant in this area. The late Mr. H.C. Hoerman, founder of the business, lived to see some measure of the success of his venture before his death in 1929. After that time, the business was ably managed by his son-in-law, Carroll Conklin who was vice-president at the time of Mr. Hoerman’s death.
The merging of Linn’s two largest industries was the greatest business transaction that had ever taken place in Washington County. Each plant had been doing an annual business well above the million dollar mark. Both did much to build up the community and to make Washington County known all over the world.
From this time on, the two plants were operated separately with an office in each building. Poultry, cream and eggs continued to be gathered directly from the farms.
The Washington County Co-operative Creamery continued on for another twenty years. By 1951 over 3400 patrons were marketing their cream, eggs and poultry through their own co-operative market. More than twenty trucks were used to pick up the produce from forty-two routes. The RFD brand of eggs, packed in cartons of one dozen here at Linn, were distributed by Western Dairy Products Inc. in northern California. The creamery also shipped 600 to 1000 cases of Linn eggs to Honolulu every week.
Then, on September 6, 1969 the final chapter in the development of the dairy industry in this community was brought to a close. In a special meeting, the creamery stockholders voted to approve the acquisition merger of the company with Associated Milk Producers of San Antonio Texas. Ten days later the Washington County Co-operative Creamery became the Linn Plant of the milk producers company.
The black and White Shows still continues but the district is much larger now and the show is moved every year. Since the dairy business in this vicinity has declined, there is less local participation in it.
The Linn Store Company, Furniture Store, Harness Shop
It is not clear just how long Mr. Cummins operated the store he opened in 1881. We do know that by 1898 Henry Kappleman had bought the business and he enlarged and modernized it according to the styles of the time. Heavy oak counters lined both the grocery department on the east and the dry goods department on the west. There was a row of round swivel stools on the dry goods side where women could sit while selecting cloth or being fitted for gloves. It was another generation before the oak counters gave way to glass showcases and the swivel stools had to be abandoned for the sake of preserving the glass from the ravages of little boys who were prone to play merry-go-round on the stools.
In 1902 the firm was re-organized and operated under the name Linn Store Company. W.P. Cook became the manager in 1908. In 1915, Mr. Cook sold his interest to W.W. Beaty who had come to Linn in 1912 and was running an implement business and a furniture store with funeral service.
Paul Herda came to Linn in 1912 to work in the Beaty furniture store and to take care of the funeral business. When the Beaty family left Linn in 1925, Paul Herda bought the business he had been managing. Charles Singular took over this business in 1933. The Furniture store was located in the building which once had housed the Maintz drug store. This is where the Linn Store now stands.
Originally there was a harness shop on the corner where Singular’s are now located. In 1897 Gus Jungck was the harness maker and he built the shop. He was followed by H.L. Lohmeyer and sons, John and George. John Lohmeyer had the business when the shop burned down in 1919. The store was interesting to children because much of the leather goods was suspended from the ceiling and these articles were accessible by a system of balconies which could be raised and lowered by ropes and pulleys. Many a boy and girl went into the shop merely to have a hand at manipulating the balcony extensions and to have a ride on the big stuffed horse which stood inside the shop near the door.
When the Beatys left Linn in 1925, the Linn Store was sold to George and Anna Raven and H.J. Meierkord. During the next years there were several managers (Schmersey, Anthony, Walberg). Later Anna Raven Guiles was the sole owner. In 1945 she sold out to Leroy Alexander and he moved the firm to its present location where he had erected a new building.
Buck’s, Wildstack’s, Peter’s and Collins’ Stores
For many years the two Collins stores, opened in the 1890s, stood side by side – Ed Collins’ hardware store and his father’s general store. When the senior Collins retired, some time around 1910 Gus Peters and his father-in-law, J.C. Hornbostel, bought the business. Then in 1914 Peters and Hornbostel sold out to Henry Wildstack who previously had been a partner in the firm of Buck and Wildstack, a general store located in the building which now houses Singular’s south store. In 1924 E.C. Peters bought Wildstack’s business. Ernest Peters and his brother, Otto, were in business here for a number of years. Otto Peters, who now lives in Beatrice, Nebraska, still owns this building which is now occupied by Ralph’s Grocery.
It has been established that the first business building erected in Summit was the Cummins store located where our post office now stands. The second was the Exchange State Bank building which was the first door east of the store. Arrangements were made to conduct the banking business in the store while the bank was being built.
The new bank opened in late 1886. M.F. Southwick was the organizer and first banker. Early in 1887 August Soller became the cashier and he held the job for three years. He was followed by Ed Lehman who held the post from 1890 until 1893 when he left this area. At that time H.J. Meierkord, who had been a clerk and bookkeeper, was named cashier. He held this post until December 31, 1932 when the bank closed.
In 1906 during Mr. Meierkord’s tenure a new bank building was erected. This has been the home of the Linn banks all through the years until the present time when a new bank building is going up.
After the closing of the old Exchange State Bank in 1932, a new organization, the Linn State Bank, came into being with Clarence Johnson as president and Raymond Oltjen as cashier. The new bank opened in 1934. Some time later, in 1940, Mr. Oltjen was replaced by Charles Chizek who remained cashier until his death in 1961. The present cashier, O.D. Mack, is Mr. Chizek’s son-in-law. He has been cashier since his father-in-law’s death.
For a short time, there was a second bank in Linn. Some time around 1914, the Farmer’s State Bank opened in the brick building across the street east of Singular’s furniture store. Leroy Bishop was cashier. After this bank closed, the building was used at different times as a millinery shop, dress shop, and printing shop. It is now a part of Kuhlman’s Hardware Store and most recently has contained gardening supplies.
The Linn Post Office
The Linn post office, established January 25, 1878 and now housed in a new modern building, had a very humble beginning. From the meager information available, it appears that for many years the Linn office was located in a corner of any store or other business that the postmaster happened to be connected with.
Milo R. Williams, the first postmaster, was appointed on January 25, 1878. Like all newly-established post offices, Linn was listed as fourth class. Under this classification, the office could be located according to the convenience of the postmaster; so the first ten years, during which time Linn had a total of six postmasters, the location of the office was changed frequently. Part of this time it was in the bank building which was just east of the present post office; several times it was in the postmaster’s home.
During the time the post office was fourth class, the postmaster’s salary depended upon the amount of stamps cancelled. Thus the pay per year ranged from a few dollars on up. There was no allowance for rent, lights, fuel and clerk hire.
A well-known figure at the turn of the century, Dr. R.W. Maintz who operated a drug store near the present site of the Linn Store, became postmaster in 1904. He moved the post office to his drug store where it remained until 1914 when Malinda Hoerman became postmaster and built the small frame building which is now used as a barber shop.
It is believed that the Linn post office went up to third class in 1914 and with this came the requirement that it be housed in a building of its own. Under this arrangement, the postmaster was paid a salary plus allowances for rent, utilities and clerk hire.
In 1931, during Sherman Lull’s tenure as postmaster, the office was remodeled and enlarged. Malinda Hoerman’s small frame building was moved back several feet to allow for a new brick front which enclosed the lobby. This was Linn’s post office until 1964 when the present modern building was erected on the lot formerly occupied by the Linn Store Company.
Postmasters of Linn, Kansas 66953
Milo R. Williams January 25, 1878
Freeman Fisk March 8, 1879
William Cummins October 20, 1881
Herman Mattern July 5, 1887
Anthony Jones September 14, 1888
John T. Fox April 11, 1889
George Purtzer March 29. 1893
Henry J. Meierkord July 18, 1894
John Grother May 24, 1897
Dr. R.W. Maintz February 6, 1904
Malinda L. Hoerman November 21, 1914
Sherman F. Lull May 19, 1924
Marvin A. Raven October 2, 1933
Harry Faris June 6, 1938
Donald L. McGregor October 1, 1939
Mrs. Minnie Faris (acting postmaster) June 1, 1945
Alvin Pfeiffer April 1, 1947
Alberta Leiszler (officer in charge) July 1, 1973
John H. Anderson February 23, 1974
Rural Mail Carriers
Although Herb Roche started carrying rural mail from the Linn post office as early as 1897, it was not until 1903 that two other carriers were added and RFD came to all patrons of the Linn area.
Art Randall and John Coder had mail routes until they were replaced by Houston Johnson and Allen Bond in 1905 and 1906 respectively. These three Dave Roche, Houston Johnson, and Allen Bond carried the rural mail for many years, until they retired.
Allen bond used ponies and a wagon the first years. In winter he used a pony-drawn sled. He got his first car in 1914. Johnson and Roche too, used horses with carts and sleds before they graduated to cars.
How did rural mail service start? According to the late Herman Schwerdfeger, a grandson of C.F. Schwerdfeger, who was a columnist for a newspaper in the Washington D.C. area, a pert little farm wife back in the middle 1880’s got up on her feet at a grange meeting in a mid-western town and complained bitterly about having to drive eight miles over bad roads to get her mail.
“People in the cities have their mail delivered to them,” she said. “Are they any better than we are? Why can’t we have rural free delivery?”
Rural free delivery! RFD! The idea swept the country like fire and the politicians were quick to see its virtue as a rural vote getter. By 1891 there was sufficient pressure back of the idea that Postmaster General Wanamaker suggested a bill to Congress to create such a service. On June 9, 1896, the first FRD route was started at Charleston, West Virginia. The service spread rapidly.
As Roche, Johnson, and Bond retired, Marvin Raven and Donald McGregor carried the mail. As roads improved and cars became more reliable, routes were consolidated until, today, we have but one rural mail carrier. Harold Oehmke delivers all the rural and part of the city mail.
In the days before vacuum sweepers, when “all dust went before the broom”, the broom was one of the most valuable tools a housewife could possess.
It was in 1892 that William E. Otwell saw the possibilities in broom manufacturing and started his first plant in the basement of his home. He soon erected a factory building and the business grew to a volume of as high as $24,000 a year in peak times. He employed as many as five broom makers.
For the next fifty-five years Mr. Otwell engaged in broom making in addition to his farming and livestock interests which were extensive. Much of his land was planted to broom corn although he also purchased brush from other farmers. His customers throughout Kansas adjoining states were numbered by the hundreds. He was active in the business he founded until the hour of his death in 1947 when his delivery truck was struck by a freight train at Hickman, Nebraska. He was 81 years old.
Mr. Otwell was the son of Watson Otwell who brought his family to Kansas in 1869 and homesteaded 160 acres in Strawberry Township.
Like that of other pioneers, the first Kansas dwelling of the Otwell family was a pole shanty covered with dirt where they lived for two years before a suitable home could be built. It was on this same farm that Watson Otwell’s son, William, operated the broom factory.
In 1935 Mr. & Mrs. Paul Pronske opened a broom factory at their residence in Linn where the garage was converted to a shop. Paul Pronske’s father, A.G. Pronske, was employed there. After some time this business was moved to Lyndon.
From 1887 when the first train went through the Missouri Pacific railroad continued to be a big part of life in Linn for a good many years. Most people knew it if the train was late and they knew how many people got off and got on every day. It was in the days when the traveling salesmen made their weekly calls on merchants. Some came in the morning and left in the afternoon; others coming from the west, spent the night at the hotel here and left the next morning. There was a continual coming and going at the depot and at the hotel.
Although the train crew seldom had a chance to meet the people living in the houses along the tracks, they became their friends anyway. Men and women, boys and girls recognized each man as he sped by and they took time to wave at the engineers and firemen, brakemen and conductors. Day after day, year after year the train men watched for their friends in Linn and returned their greetings.
Many people were immediately aware of it if a member of the usual crew was missing, perhaps ill or transferred to another line.
Prior to 1915, when there was no accredited high school in Linn, our young folks attended school in Greenleaf. It was convenient to take the 8 o’clock train in the morning and return home on the west-bound at 4:15 p.m. What better service could one expect?
A few years later, in 1925, the Palmer high school closed and their young folks enrolled in Linn. Again the convenience of riding the Missouri Pacific morning and evening.
During the years of expansion in the two industrial plants, when refrigerated cars made it possible to send perishables long distances by rail, carloads of butter, eggs and poultry were shipped out of Linn every week. Then as trucking became a more popular means of moving produce, and as people traveled in their own automobiles rather than by rail, the trains started to feel the pinch. It finally became obvious that the passenger trains would have to be discontinued and the freight trains curtailed.
For some of the older people it was the end of an era when the passenger train made its final run through Linn on November 14, 1960. Freight trains, too, are few and far between now. The mail and a great deal of our freight is brought in by truck.
Early in the history of the town, Linn had a newspaper, J.H. Armstrong published the first one in 1889. His printing office was located on the Glover property north of the depot. The Linn Gazette was enthusiastically received but Armstrong soon found other interests. He sold the plant to another man and the paper dwindled down and finally was discontinued.
Another early newspaper, the Linn Lyre, published by J.H. Dowd, was also short-lived. Then, in 1896, with a small hand press, L.H. Cobb came out with his first issue of the Linn Digest. This was the newspaper that was to be the friend of Linn folk for generations. It has stayed with us through prosperity and adversity and is still going strong under the name of Linn-Palmer Record.
A brother and sister team, H.L. and Ruth Cobb published the Linn Digest for several years. The subscription price was twenty-five cents a year. Cobb also had other business interests. Advertisements listed him as “florist, seedman and editor”.
Then Don Elliott and A.J. Freeborn became editor and publisher but whether either of them ever owned the paper is not clear. Perhaps they were working for Cobb or rented the shop from him.
In 1899 W.T. Roche, who was also an attorney and a real estate and insurance broker, bought the shop. Roche installed a new press which he operated by horse power. By walking in a circle, the horse generated the power to operate the press. All the type was set by hand. Since Roche was busy with his several other business pursuits, his wife, Cora, did much of the writing and editing. The paper was much larger now than the original and the subscription rate went up to fifty cents a year.
J.W. Mahaffey was editor for a while. Miss Addie Hankins (Mrs. Henry Raven) worked for editors Elliott, Roche and Mahaffey and learned to set type.
Between 1905 and 1906 the Linn digest changed hands numerous times. Bert Benson, Arnold Oren and D.C. Troup each took a turn at being editor. We do not know why Bill Roche’s horse-powered press was retired but it appears that these editors used a gasoline-powered engine.
In 1906 J.W. Mahaffey returned to newspaper work and bought the Digest. After a few years, the Mahaffeys purchased the Grand Island Business Business College and moved to Nebraska. The Anderson brothers, who also had a furniture store in Linn, bought the newspaper business from Mahaffey.
Records show that by 1912 J.M. Best was publisher and John C. Jenkins manager of the weekly.
The Digest changed hands twice in 1913. Early in the year, Charles Cook was editor and later on Frank Seelig bought the paper. Miss Vera Hankins (Mrs. A.L.Foster) worked for both editors Best and Cook.
A few months later, in 1914 W.T. “Daddy” Logan bought the shop. Logan published the paper for about eight years. In 1920 he sold the shop twice (to Robert Delhotal and to O.P. Smith) but both times he took it back after a short time.
Then in 1922 A.H. Gauger bought the Linn digest. He was editor and publisher until November of 1923 when Albert Higgins bought the shop. Higgins lived in Palmer where he was editor of the Palmer Index. In 1924 he combined the two papers and called the two-town newspaper the Linn-Palmer Record. Eventually the Higgins family moved to Linn.
Until 1923 all the type was set by hand and the press was powered by a gasoline engine. Mr. Higgins, however, bought a linotype which has been in use ever since.
Mr. Higgins was owner and editor of the Linn-Palmer Record for many years. During his tenure, Alma Harz (Mrs. Walter Farner) was editor from 1928 to 1935; during this time, Mr. Higgins continued as owner and publisher. Then for a couple of years (around 1937) Mr. and Mrs. Higgins were away for awhile and Arthur Strang put out the paper during his absence.
In 1962, Albert Higgins retired and sold the plant to Tom Mall who has published the paper ever since. His sister-in-law, June Rahe, is news editor. Mr. and Mrs. Higgins continued to make Linn their home until August, 1976 when they moved to Arkansas.
Linn Rural Telephone Company
Although the Linn rural Telephone Company did not function until 1903, a few ingenious souls were sending calls over various kinds of wires and fences a few years earlier. Fred Hoerman, businessman, and Pete Leuszler, farmer, were in the cattle business together and they set up such a telephone device on barbed wire fences between Fred’s shop and Pete’s farm. The Hincks, also, had a similar arrangement: Claus Hinck and his son, Henry, operated an elevator in Linn but they also farmed.
The barbed wire fences carried many a conversation for them between town and country.
As early as 1900 meetings were held in the post office to organize a telephone company. Officers were elected, stock sold, and by May 10, 1900 Sylvester Jones, Charles Troup, John Kappleman and Charles Brunner began work on the local telephone system. They set poles and wires during the summer months and in the winter they studied until they had mastered the mechanical complexities of telephone science. By 1903 the phone company was ready to go.
As many as eight or ten families were on a party line, each house having a different ring. Housewives found much enjoyment rushing to the telephone when they heard their neighbors’ ring; ‘rubbering in’ on other people’s calls was considered a legitimate pastime.
It was not unusual for a person who had a phonograph to give the line call (five long rings) and then to proceed to play a concert of phonograph records for the enjoyment of all who cared to listen.
In case of emergency or a new item of great importance, the operator would be asked to give the general ring. Dave Boyer who farmed west of town and was active in the Farmers’ Union, frequently used the general ring to announce a carload of sugar or peaches or other commodity on the railroad track in Linn where members of the union could buy at prices lower than retail.
Henry Schwerdtfeger, son of C.F. and father of Emil Schwerdtfeger and Julia Mildfeldt, was the lineman from 1903 to 1914. He was followed by J.A. Zimmerman and Howard Hogaboom. Emil Schwerdtfeger became lineman in 1922 and held the post most of the time until 1968. During this time James McCaulley, Chester Cooper and Elton Winemiller each served a short term as lineman. Since Emil’s retirement in 1968, Dick Oestreich has been on the job.
The first switchboard was installed in an upstairs room over the old Linn Store (where the post office now stands). Entrance to the store was on the north and the central office entrance was on the west. In 1916 the switchboard and other office equipment was moved into a new building across the street. This now houses the B. and B. Farm Center.
Louise Raven (Mrs. W.P. Cook) and Thello Outwater were the first to learn to operate the switchboard. Lou was daytime operator and Thello was on night duty. Patrons were asked not to place calls after ten p.m. except in cases of emergency, but the night operator was on duty all night.
In those early years Henry Herrs, who had a garage and gasoline station on his farm west of town, had a private line between his farm and the Linn telephone office. He also maintained two other private lines in other directions. Mrs. Herrs operated the switchboard in her home.
At that time, patrons of the system owned their own telephones. Old books show that in 1924 service rates were twenty-five cents a month for desk and wall phones and fifty cents a month for extension sets. A ten percent discount was given for payment a year in advance.
The Linn Rural Telephone Company is still in existence. From time to time new innovations have been made. In 1955 dial telephones were installed. At the present time, plans are underway to convert to direct dial. A good share of the wires are underground with more going under as time goes by.
Something ‘homey’ disappeared from the scene when the telephone system converted to dial. No longer could housewives ‘call Central’ to ask the time of day, or where Mrs. So-and-So might be found, or the location of the fire just announced by the siren, or, indeed, just to ask “What’s the latest news?”
We now live in a more sophisticated age.
Linn City Park
In 1911, soon after the city was incorporated, Linn citizens began to talk of laying out a park. It was a few years later, however, before the idea sprouted and the city dads really took up the project in earnest.
In 1925 four acres of land, earmarked for a city park, were purchased from Ed Schwerdtfeger. This was the nucleus of the park we enjoy today.
By 1926 things were well underway. Grounds were well planned for drives and planted areas. Various clubs and societies in town took on the task of providing equipment to make the park a beautiful and restful spot. During a period of two weeks, 340 trees and shrubs were planted and a well was dug.
In 1930, using material donated by an oil rigging company, a grandstand was built.
There was a slowing up of park improvement during the early part of the Depression, but, in 1935, more was accomplished through a project for relief workers. At this time various areas were leveled and seeded to bluegrass. Rock-bordered drives and stone posts at the two entrances brought definite shape to the park. Unfortunately, one set of gate posts is no longer there; they were demolished in a vehicle accident a few years ago.
In 1936, still using relief workers, a wading pool and fountain were constructed, flagstone walks laid out, and bleachers erected. More land was seeded to bluegrass. Park stoves were installed and a tennis court made. Several pieces of playground equipment were added. The Improvement Club purchased a merry-go-round and a see-saw.
In 1940, in another park improvement project, young men working under the NYA were paid 25 cents an hour by the federal government to work 7 hours a day, 8 days a month. At this time they put in two rock culverts, planted trees, improved the tennis court, laid out croquet grounds and did general cleaning of the park.
In 1942 the shelter house was built. It is equipped with a gas cooking stove.
About midnight on July 4, 1965, tragedy hit the Linn City Park when the grandstand burned to the ground. Volunteer fire fighters responded quickly but the blaze had gained too much headway before being detected. Baseball and softball equipment and other itmes stored under the grandstand were a total loss. The cause of the blaze was never determined. Some people believed, however, that the wood used in the erection of the grandstand, donated in 1930 by and oil rigging company that was terminating exploration in the community, might have been oil-soaked and, therefore, vulnerable to the slightest spark.
The grandstand was rebuilt soon.
Besides providing a place for the annual Linn Picnic and for ball games, the park is the scene of many family reunions and gatherings. The shelter house is so popular that it must be reserved in advance. Children, especially, like to play on the swings, see-saws, and merry-go-round.
With the Linn Picnic drawing such tremendous crowds, it soon became necessary to provide a larger parking area than was originally set up. With this in mind, more land was purchased and the Linn Park now comprises 20 acres of land. The municipal swimming pool, built adjacent to the park in 1974, is the most recent improvement.
There are now two baseball diamonds in the Linn City Park. It is not unusual for two games to be played at the same time.
For several years the Linn governing body was concerned about providing a water supply for both home use and for fire protection, but it was not until 1933 that the proposed municipal water system was put up for referendum. The water bonds carried and work was started immediately. The first well, dug in 1934, was condemned by the State Board of Health because of excessive iron content. As suitable well, adequate to accommodate the city, was found soon, however, and the water system became a reality. The water tower holds 55,000 gallons.
In the years since 1934 various improvements have been made. A sewer system, added in 1946, served until 1968 when a larger one was installed.
At present we have three pumps, three wells, and a treatment plant. Plans are currently underway for improvement of the water system.
The Day Linn Locked Up
In the early days, when only trails led to the ‘trading centers’, farmers were inclined to go to the town which was easiest to get to. In an effort to make Linn a desirable shopping center, it was imperative that the town be accessible to the farmers. It became the custom for the business men to go out several times a year, usually spring and fall, to clear the roads and smooth them for the wagon and buggy trade.
The following clipping, taken from the Washington Palladium of April 14, 1911, tells of the first road improvement day:
LINN TO LOCK UP AND LEAVE
Everybody to Turn the Key in the Door and Quit the Town for One day
Dear Editor of the Palladium; Wish you would tell your subscribers in this week’s issue of your paper that ALL the men folks, and women folks too, are going to be away from home on next Wednesday, April 19, 1911.
Business houses of all description will be closed. The public school will not be in session and the post office will observe Sunday hours only.
Seventy men from town with teams, scrapers, graders, drags, picks and shovels, and all of the farmers on both sides of the first four miles west from the northwest corner of the city will be at work improving the said four miles of the road. These men will be under the leadership of five captains and the two road supervisors of Linn Township. There will be system in this work.
At noon, our women folks will meet us with a good dinner. The meeting place for dinner probably will be at Dr. Maintz’s farm where there is an abundance of water for man and the teams. This point is just about the middle of the four miles. If the weather is fine we want you to come out and see us; but don’t monkey around long and keep us from doing a good day’s work. After we make this try-out at road building we will write you the result of our efforts.
WATCH LINN BUILD GOOD ROADS!
Linn Booster Club
Since it is the civic clubs that control the destiny of the small towns, one must credit the Commercial Club of the 1890’s, the Business Men’s Club of the turn of the century, the Booster Club of the 1920’s, the Lions Club of the 1930’s and the Booster Club of today for the progress that Linn has made. Each club had an important part in the evolution of the community; and all have made great contributions to the present and the future.
The Linn Booster Club was first organized in 1922. Since then, except for the two years between 1932 and 1934, the Booster Club has been the navigator which steered the community through good times and bad.
One old-timer put it this way: “H.J. Meierkord served as president of the Linn civic clubs for 15 or 20 years, maybe more. There were no dues, no elections. H.J. was ‘It’. He called a meeting when he thought one was needed. This didn’t suit several of the business men so they decided to try another type of civic club. In 1932 the Washington Lions were invited to come down to organize us. For two years the Linn Lions Club met regularly once a month with supper served by Mother Hoerman in the White Way Hotel”.
An old issue of the Linn-Palmer Record tells of an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Lions club in 1932.
“The event started with a picture show for everyone, old and young. Admission price was one good egg.
After the show, boys and girls of grade school age and older gathered downtown for the big Easter egg hunt. 1,000 eggs each in a paper sack bearing the emblem of the Lions Club were hidden about in the business district. When found, the eggs were taken to the Record office and redeemed for one cent each. Thus, every child who took part in the hunt received some spending money. All but 75 of the hidden eggs were discovered.”
Each Lion paid several dollars to the national headquarters and, after a time, this began to cause dissatisfaction. As the old-time said; “The fellows didn’t like to see all this money go out of town.”
In 1934, the men decided to go back to a locally controlled club and the Linn Booster Club was re-organized on the plan which is still followed today. They have regular meeting with supper served. It is a loosely structured organization; the Boosters do whatever needs to be done.
The Booster club has done much to promote the community. During the lean years of the Depression free shows were given on Saturday evenings; free prizes were given at Saturday afternoon drawings; and, in 1934 and 1935, ‘Christmas Cheer money’, to be spent at the two auction sales on the last two Saturdays before Christmas, was given out at the stores.
One Saturday afternoon in 1939 nickels fell like rain on the streets of Linn. Under the sponsorship of the Booster Club, 200 coins were tossed from the store roofs to the crowds below.
The club sponsors an annual athletic banquet for the high school athletic teams. They have provided a great deal of equipment for the school teams and for the city park. They also contributed to the Linn community Nursing Home and to the community TV antenna.
One of the biggest events of the year, the Linn picnic, is promoted and sponsored by the Booster Club.
You Can Always Have a Good Time in Linn
From the very earliest times, Linn has been known as a center for good entertainment. People from miles around look forward to coming here to enjoy themselves; the Booster Club and the business people always provide high class amusements.
Perhaps Linn’s reputation as an entertainment center dates back to July 4, 1899 when the citizenry decided that, since the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, it was a fitting time to greet the twentieth century with pomp and glory. Neither time nor money was spared to make this a memorable celebration.
The following is a copy of the day’s program as advertised in the Linn Digest and other newspapers of the county:
1. Music Linn Brass Band 2. Choir "America" 3. Prayer Rev. Parker 4, Music Choir 5. Address of Welcome Dr. R. W. Maintz 6. Music Linn Brass Band 7. Address W. T. Roche 8. Solo Cora Roche 9. Music Linn Brass Band Basket dinner at noon Afternoon program 1. Music Linn String Band 2. Music Choir 3. Solo Libbie Saxton 4. Address Hon. J. G. Lowe 5. Music Male quartette 6. Music Linn string band Amusements 1. Bicycle race (open to all) prize $2.50 2. Foot race (open to all) prize $1.00 3. Fat man's foot race prize $1.00 4. Egg race (open to boys) prize $ .50 5. Sack race (open to all) prize $ .50 6. Greased pole prize $ .50 7. Baseball game prize $5.00 8. Grand balloon ascension & parachute leap
"There will also be an elaborate display of fireworks in the evening and a grand ball, music furnished by the Linn orchestra. The day will start with John and Sport Kappleman, the blacksmith brothers, putting gun powder between the anvils and setting them off at dawn. The day will end at midnight with a 250 gun salute.
So come to Linn, saint and sinner, and we will all join in singing the praises of Uncle Samuel’s splendid achievements and be entertained as you have always been when you come to Linn.”
(Note: According to a later issue of the Linn Digest, the crowd was estimated at 1200 to 1500 people. A steady stream of buggies started coming in early in the morning from all the surrounding town and from Nebraska. “Not a drunk man was seen in town,” one man reports, “One man from Greenleaf walked home mad because he couldn’t get anything but mild temperance drinks.”)
The enterprising business men who first set up shops in Summit found a unique way of attracting people to town. Balloon ascensions were held on Saturday afternoons with a real live monkey going up as a passenger. The monkey was trained to parachute at a certain altitude after which he would walk back to town. He was a familiar character on the streets for several years until he suddenly disappeared and the balloon had to go up without him. No one knew what happened to old Monk until many years later, when the old Linn Store building was being remodeled, his bones were found under the floor where, apparently, he had crawled away to die.
For many years lodges flourished in the community. Husbands and wives belonged to brother and sister organizations such as: Odd Fellow and Rebekah, Masonic and Eastern Star, Workman, Woodman and Royal Neighbor. Fraternal organizations were so well thought of that some of the business men and their wives belonged to two, or even three, of them. Winter evenings were enlivened with oyster and pie suppers, ice cream socials and box suppers where the various lodges entertained each other and brother organizations from other towns.
The Masonic Lodge seems to have been the first to organize in the community. Dispensation was granted Fraternal Lodge No. 170 in 1882 by G.M. Cowgill and instituted by G.I. Bullock. The original meeting date was on the Saturday evening before each full moon. In the 1930’s this was changed to the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
In the early part of 1896 the lodge hall was destroyed by fire and a new one, the second floor of the J.C. Collins building, was erected in 1897. This lodge hall, 26 by 70 feet, was built and furnished at a cost of $1,027.55. Access to the hall was by two outside wooden stairways, one of which still stands today. During the years when fraternal orders were at their zenith, all the lodges in Linn used the Masonic facilities.
In 1962 Fraternal Lodge consolidated with Frontier Lodge No. 104 of Washington. Members from Linn who attend at Washington include: Edison Doupnik, Donald Flenthrope, C.A. Johnson, Neil McGregor, Earl Otott, Alvin Pfeiffer, Charles Singular, Calvin Pauli.
Charles singular now owns the old Masonic lodge hall. He uses it as a storage room.
Order of the Eastern Star
Linn Chapter No. 303 Order of the Eastern Star was organized in 1907 and chartered in 1908. Edward Hood was Worthy Patron; Anna Bennett, worthy Matron, and Evelyn Mahaffey, Associate Matron.
The organization got off to a good start with twenty-one members at the first meeting and six more voted in at the second. Their meeting night was the first Saturday evening after the full moon of each month.
In 1912 this chapter surrendered its charter and members transferred to neighboring chapters. Today Eastern Star members from this area who are affiliated with the Greenleaf or Washington chapters include: Mr. and Mrs. Earl Otott, Mrs. Edith Chizek, Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Mack, Mrs. Jeanette Pratt, Mrs. Anita Singular, Mrs. Mildred McGregor, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Blaske, Mrs. Zoe Cross, Mrs. Zita Pfeiffer, Mrs. Vera Foster, and Mrs. Irene Storrer.
It was great honor for her chapter when, in 1970, during the 94th session of the Grand Chapter of Kansas, Mrs. Darlene Mack of Linn was installed as Worthy Grand Matron.
Modern Woodmen of America
Charter was issued for Linn Camp No. 2769 in 1895. Old papers carry accounts of many worthwhile projects undertaken by the woodmen. An issue of the Linn Digest in 1889 tells of a dramatic production given by Woodmen in the Masonic hall. Proceeds were to go to aid victims in drought areas. The first night’s presentation was free to the public; the second night there was a charge of ten and fifteen cents with reserved seats going for twenty cents. Gramophone records were played between acts.
The camp was active for many years but dwindled and discontinued meetings in the early forties. The only remaining members of the Linn Camp are: Merle “Chick” Johnson, Willis Billings, and Charles Singular.
Recently the lodge has adopted a new program of activity. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Singular were appointed district social directors for a seven-county area. Monthly social meetings are being held for members and friends.
Royal Neighbors of America
The Royal Neighbors of America, auxiliary to the Modern Woodmen of America, also had an auspicious beginning in Linn. Chartered in 1896, Summit Camp No. 357 started with twenty-one members, both men and women. Like the Woodmen, the Royal Neighbors were public-spirited people and they did much to improve the community. Mrs. Bertha Combs who has been a member since 1903 and who served as recorder for sixty years, recalled the many money-making projects whose proceeds went for the promotion of worthy causes. They served lunches at sales, pieced quilts to be sold, operated food stands at Black and White Shows, gave a dance to earn money.
On May 15, 1900, according to the Linn Digest, Royal Neighbors of Summit Camp gave an apron social at their hall. Each lady made an apron leaving the hem unfinished. After a supper of sandwiches, pickles, cake and coffee (for 25 cents) the men hemmed the aprons. Prizes were given to the men who did the best and worst job of hemming. The Linn orchestra furnished music during the contest.
Membership in the Royal Neighbors diminished in recent years. Summit Camp has not met for some time. Members are: Bertha Combs, Cynthia Berger, Helen Ayers, Bessie Oehmke, Velma Mikulecky, Anna Long, and Vera Foster.
As early as 1915, the Linn business men sponsored a week-long Chautauqua course in August. This continued for many years. Season tickets were sold in advance (usually sold out before the big tent was set up) at a dollar for an adult’s ticket and fifty cents for a child over six.
Many people were satisfied to sit on the backless plank benches; but at the back of the tent there was plenty of room for the older people to place their comfortable rocking chairs and cushions which they usually left there all week.
The Standard Chautauqua Company put on plays, musicals, lectures, and magic shows every afternoon and evening all week. There was something for everyone – men, women and children, all were entertained. In addition to the afternoon and evening performances (which all ages attended) the morning session, called Junior Chautauqua, was devoted to coaching children of the community in a pageant to be presented the last day.
The business houses were closed during the hours of performance. One year the Chautauqua boasted a small rest tent placed near the big top. This was a place where mothers could go with restless babies, nurse or diaper them, and not miss a bit of the program in progress.
Linn’s last Chautauqua was held in the summer of 1927. No one could explain why the big tent shows lost their popularity; some attributed it to the fact that more and more people owned radios and were, therefore, able to get entertainment without leaving their homes.
The same company offered a winter lyceum course which was presented a few seasons in Linn but did not attract crowds like the Chautauqua did.
For several years the Chick Boyes Players also came to Linn for a week of dramatic presentation. They, like the Chautauqua, drew capacity crowds. Mr. and Mrs. Boyes made many friends in Linn who looked forward to their arrival.
The Linn Picnic
The annual Linn Picnic, which has gained such massive proportions in recent years, started out in a very small way. For many years a carnival made an annual visit to Linn and the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel were the main attractions. Concessions were set up on the two business streets with the merry-go-round usually placed at the intersection.
Old newspaper accounts indicate that as early as 1921 the three-day celebration in Linn was an affair to want to go to. Free acts were presented twice daily and our own local band provided a concert. There were ball games every day and, in the evenings, the Chick Boyes players offered exciting dramatic productions. Later in the evening a big dance was held.
It must have been around 1921 or 1922 that the annual affair was first referred to as the ‘Linn Picnic’. Before that, the celebration was known merely as ‘the carnival’.
For three years, between 1931 and 1934, there was no picnic due to the hardship of the depression years. Since 1935, however, it has been an annual event. Since 1940, in order to better accommodate the huge crowds, the picnic has been held in the City Park.
The Linn Picnic seems to get bigger and better each year. The excellent quality of free acts plus the commodious out-door dance pavilion draw people from all over this section of the state. For this big event, the Booster Club always engages one of the best carnivals available.
The Linn Picnic is a practical demonstration of civic co-operation and teamwork. Three days before the opening of the midway, members of the Booster Club descend en masse on the park where they proceed to set up a stage, string lights, arrange seats, install loud speakers, mark off the parking area, do everything necessary to make the annual affair a success. From then until the opening of the midway, the park is a busy place with everyone doing ‘his thing’.
The same thing is repeated as soon as the show is over. Many Booster club members work until dawn getting things in shape for Sunday. Usually on Monday evening they again gather to give the park a thorough cleaning.
In the days before colleges started giving scholarships to outstanding athletes, young men who sought work at Linn’s industrial plants were more likely to be selected if they were athletically inclined. George Raven, field man for the Washington county Co-operative Creamery and also manager of both the basketball and baseball teams, was instrumental in bringing in such fine players as Ed and Jack Doupnik, Henry and Lewis Mikulecky, Olen Ayers, Glenn Erickson and Ray Talley.
These young men were dedicated to their teams. Working at the Hoerman Packing Company and the Washington County Co-operative Creamery was their vocation; playing on the ball teams was their advocation.
The following account of a baseball game between the Manhattan Travelers (a team made up of players on the Kansas Aggie Team) and the Linn baseball team is taken from the August 15, 1930 issue of the Linn-Palmer Record.
“The ball game at Linn Sunday between the Manhattan Travelers and Linn was one of the most thrilling games ever staged in this part of the country. For twenty-one long innings the game was scoreless, and in the twenty-first inning the Travelers scored on a series of bunts and two errors. This was the only inning that the defense of either team cracked and, unfortunately it was Linn. By this time the sun was sown so low that the players facing the west were blinded. “Swede” Erickson toiled for Linn the first eighteen innings and was relieved by “Panny” Durham who pitched the last three. (Incidentally, Erickson had pitched thirty-one consecutive scoreless innings to date. This game was full of thrillers in which all the players participated by making many spectacular plays.
The longest hit of the game was a three bagger by Henry Mikulecky who was stranded on third. Linn’s reliable catcher, Ed Doupnik, was injured in tagging a man at home plate.
C.A. Johnson umpired back of the plate and Sam Keen watched the bases.”
Members of the team at this time were: pitcher, Glenn Erickson; catcher, Ed Doupnik; first base, Jack Doupnik; second base, Olen Ayers; third base, Less Paronto; short stop, Artie Talbot; right field, Melvin Smart; center field, Panny Durham; left field, Henry Mikulecky.
The basketball games were as exciting as the baseball games. The Hoerman Packers was an outstanding basketball team in the 1930-1931 seasons. In fact, they were so good they had to disband. No team inI this vicinity could give them a game worth watching, and the cost of importing teams from Manhattan, Topeka, Wichita and other distant points was so great as to be prohibitive. Also there was not enough room in the old high school gym to handle a crowd large enough to pay expenses. “Then, too,” quoting the Linn-Palmer Record, “we must remember those lean depression years of 1931 to 1935 when quarters looked like wagon wheels.”
The Messiah and Other Music
Music has long been in the heritage of the community. In the 1890s there were two bands in Linn, one a string band, the other brass. Both bands played for community functions; sometimes both were featured in a single program. The brass band frequently gave a concert for newly-weds in connection with a charivari. Newly-married couples, returning from their honeymoons on the afternoon train, were often met by the brass band and escorted home to the strains of music.
In 1925, Mrs. H.C. Hoerman organized and sponsored a community band. Since then music has become a part of the school curriculum and we have been fortunate enough to have excellent school bands.
Handel’s Christmas Messiah under the direction of Mrs. Zoe Cross was first given by the Girls Glee Club about 1940. In a short time the Boys Glee club was included. Soon it became a community project made up of the glee clubs and the church choirs from the surrounding area. The largest chorus to participate was one hundred eighty voices in 1959.
With Mrs. Cross directing every year except two, the Messiah has been presented almost every year since its beginning. Soloists are drawn from the area, and the accompanists are area musicians. The accompaniment is done on piano, organ and harpsichord used singly, a blending of all, or various combinations of these three instruments.
In 1970 and 1971 Mrs. Cross directed singers from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church in giving a Christmas cantata, “The Night the Angels Sang.’ At Easter time in 1971 the same group presented ‘Hail Glorious King’; and in 1972 and 1973 they gave ‘Behold Your King’. These productions were open to the public.
In 1927 George Raven an enterprising young man who, although himself crippled by polio, enjoyed seeing others dance, converted the old Maintz theatre into a dance hall and roller skating rink called The Forum. For several years this was a popular gathering place for both teen-agers and adults. Lawrence Welk was one of the popular musicians who played at the Forum.
During the lean years of the Depression, it became necessary to close The Forum. The building was then converted into a dentist’s office for Dr. Bill Gausman who came “back home” to practice. Some time later part of it was used as an apartment. It now houses the Record Publishing Company.
The Club Royal
Many of Linn’s older people will never forget the blizzard of New Years’ eve, 1941. It was the opening night of the Club Royal and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Faris, proprietors, served a turkey dinner with all the trimmings to a full house. A dance and floor show kept the merry-makers entertained until, in the wee small hours, someone decided to go home and found the door banked shut with snow.
Investigation showed that late in the evening while the revelers had been celebrating, a severe blizzard had descended full force and just at the dawn of the new year the roads had become impassable with great drifts.
The blizzard continued on through the night and most of New Years’ Day. A few hardy souls who lived close by managed to walk home but many were forced to stay at the club until the storm abated. Old timers compared this storm to the famous blizzard of 1888.
It was said that Paul Pronske played the Good Samaritan for forty-eight hours. The next day, as soon as the storm had let up some, he came to the aid of many in distress. In his faithful old ‘tin Lizzie’ which was more maneuverable than larger cars, he bucked snow drifts to haul people home and to deliver groceries and medicines.
In the succeeding years the Club Royal had many managers: Mr. and Mrs. George Kearns, Mrs. Viola Lohmeyer, Mrs. Blanche Herda, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Oestreich, George and Harold Herda, Ida Turner and, finally, Mrs. And Mrs. Harold Blaske who were proprietors from 1958-1972
As the years passed, the club gradually changed in character. From being a dinner dance club, it came to be a teen-age center. Teen-agers from all over the three county area and from Nebraska came here on Saturday evenings to dance.
Mr. and Mrs. Blaske closed the club in 1972. The building which had housed a furniture store and an implement business before the days of the Club Royal is now mainly used as a warehouse.
Linn-Palmer Saddle Club
Clyde Chayer was instrumental in the organization of the Linn-Palmer Saddle Club. Always interested in the welfare of children, in 1952 when many children were stricken with polio, he promoted a horse show and pulling contest for the benefit of the polio fund. As a result of this show which netted over $80.00, the Palmer Saddle Club was formed and later chartered. With members from Palmer, Linn and Clifton, the organization is now chartered as the Linn-Palmer Saddle club (since 1965). There are 119 members.
Through the years the club has done a great deal of community work. They contributed generously to both the Linn and Clifton ambulances and to the Palmer tennis court fund. They also provided a table for the Palmer ball park and a shampoo bowl for the Linn Community Nursing Home. Each year they give a trophy at the Washington County Fair.
The club presents two horse shows a year, in spring and fall. They have a trail ride the first Sunday of every month and an over-night trail ride annually.
It was a great honor for Clyde Chayer, organizer and past president of the saddle club, to be selected wagon master for Kansas in the bi-centennial wagon train of 1976. The wagon train followed the Sante Fe trail and Clyde was in charge from Coolidge, Colorado to Independence, Kansas.
Wholmoor American Legion Post No. 237
In the spring of 1946 several members of the George W. Hood post from Washington came to assist ex-GI’s of Linn in organizing and American Legion post. Loren Wurtz was elected temporary chairman and was in charge of all meetings until March 4, 1946 when the temporary charter for Wholmoor post was issued. Of the 29 charter members, 14 are members today and 5 are deceased. At the present time there are 198 members.
Curtis Wieland, a visitor from the Washington post at the organizational meeting, suggested that the post be called Wholmoor. He used the first letter in the last name of each man from this area who had paid the supreme sacrifice in World War II in the following arrangement:
PFC Veryl Wurtz W Pvt. Lawrence Heisterman H Pvt. Morris Lee Olson O Sgt. Kenneth Long L PFC Ernest Morrison M Cpl. Vernon Oelschlager O Cpl. Ollie Olson O Sgt. Roy Rogge R
A few years later two other Linn boys, Roy Elliott and Raymond Holsch, gave their lives in the Korean conflict.
The basement of the old high school auditorium served as a meeting place for awhile until the Masonic hall was offered free of charge in exchange for some work in refurbishing the hall. The Legion continued to meet here until a suitable post home was found.
The first officers of the Legion were:
Post Commander Loren Wurtz Vice Commander Alvin Pfeiffer Adjutant Ervin Duitsman Finance Officer Lowell Johnson Chaplain Raymond Lohmeyer Historian Lowell Hatesohl Sgt. at Arms Paul Herrs
As have most of the charter members, these men have served many times in various offices of the organization.
On January 7, 1952 the permanent charter was issued.
The Legion found a permanent post home in an old grade school building which they purchased from Bob Worthington and Ken Bolley. Originally this had been the Advent Christian Church, built early in the history of Linn. As before, members turned out with hammers, saws and paint brushes to improve the building.
In 1969, with financial help from people in the Linn and Palmer communities, a new post home was built at the east edge of Linn facing highway 15. The new facility, called the Linn Legion Club, was dedicated on April 23, 1970.
This strictly modern 50 by 100 foot building, with dance floor, restaurant, and private bar, is equipped to seat 200 diners at one time; they frequently serve up to 600 dinners in relays. The Legion Club Restaurant is open to the public every day of the week with evening meals served Monday through Saturday and a noon dinner served on Sunday. They have dances every Saturday night.
Present officers of Wholmoor post are:
Commander Delbert Beikmann Vice Commander Kenneth Landis Adjutant Neil McGregor Finance Officer Wilbert Scheele Chaplain Willard Hatesohl Sgt. at Arms James Herrs
Neil McGregor, adjutant of Wholmoor post, expressed their goals and accomplishments this way; “Our goal is to promote the respect for Americanism, law and order, and community service; to provide assistance for any veteran who, through no fault of his own, has become disabled or incapacitated….We have sponsored a boy to Boy’s State for many years and hope to continue this in the years to come. We are co-sponsors of an American Legion Baseball team and a Boy Scout troop; we donate both time ad money to many other community and civic projects. All of these have been a goal we strive to reach each year.”
Wholmoor American Legion Auxiliary No. 237
The Wholmoor American Legion Auxiliary was chartered on January 18, 1960 with 18 members of which two, Mrs. Lena Wurtz and Mrs. Anna Long, were gold star mothers; two, Mrs. Elaine Bonar and Mrs. Eunice Hiltgen, were gold star sister; and one member, Mrs. Aleta Foster, was a gold star wife.
The first officers of the auxiliary were:
President Mildred McGregor Vice President Donnette Oehmke Secretary Dorothy Long Treasurer Betty Long Chaplain Mary Alice Latham Historian Aleta Foster Sgt. at Arms Ruth Hatter
The auxiliary has worked with the Legionnaires on many community service projects. For several years they have sent a girl to Girls’ State and they hope to continue this in the years to come. They have assisted with the Bloodmobile in Linn the last few years. One of their big jobs is the monthly chicken fry which has proved to be a very big success. They send cookies and a Christmas box to patients at the Wadsworth Veteran’s Hospital at Leavenworth every year.
Present officers are:
President Betty Long Vice President Sophia Buch Secretary Arlene Oestreich Treasurer Audrey Wurtz Chaplain Joan Mall Sgt. at Arms Bessie Oehmke
The auxiliary has grown from 18 members to 86 with only one deceased member since they organized. They also have several junior members.
Plans are to continue with the projects already started and to possible add more as the years go by.
LINN HIGH SCHOOL
The Linn Rural High School opened in the fall of 1915 with one teacher, W.C. Porterfield, teaching freshman and sophomore classes. In 1916, the junior year was added and Mr. Porterfield’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Mitchell were the faculty.
The first class graduated in 1918 with five members; Roy Morgan (later a dentist in Washington), Hazel Young who commuted by train from Palmer, Florence Beaty, Eva Boyer, and Anna Smutz. All these graduates had taken some high school work elsewhere before enrolling at Linn.
The first class to have completed a full four years at L.R.H.S. was graduated in 1919 with nine members. All nine were living when the class celebrated it 50th reunion in 1969.
The high school used the upper floor of the school house which had been erected in 1910. After a few years the east wing, also two-story, was added. Eventually the high school used the three upper rooms and one on the ground floor while the grade school occupied the two remaining downstairs rooms. The old auditorium, which LaVern Long now owns and uses as a shop and warehouse, was built in 1926.
The school continued to grow and improve, but the building left much to be desired. In 1944 plans were started for a new building and a bond issue was passed. In 1945 bonds were voted for a grade school addition to the proposed high school building. Because of increased building costs in the post war years, the work was delayed.
The 1947 report of Ralph Stinson, state high school supervisor, stated that the quality of work done at the school was class “A” but that the building, which could be ued only one more year, was rated “M”.
In 1948, because of increased building costs, it was voted to double the amount for both schools. Sealed bids were offered on August 14, contracts were let on August 21, and bonds dated September 1, 1948 were issued.
By the time school started in the fall of 1949, the new building was finished. In 1959 an addition on the east included a cafeteria, kitchen, music room and two class rooms. In 1968 an extension to the west added the kindergarten and two class rooms for the grade school. This completed the building as it stands today.
On May 11, 1966 a tornado, passing through the north part of Linn, destroyed the vocational agriculture shop and damaged the east part of the main school building. When the shop was rebuilt it was enlarged and more class rooms, one of which was an industrial arts room, were added.
In 1966 unification changed the name from Linn Rural High School to Linn High School. Students are drawn from the Barnes, Greenleaf, and Palmer areas. The faculty has increased to more than twenty teachers, a principal, Dick Funk and a superintendent, M. Dale Carlson. The unified office was at Greenleaf for awhile but later was moved to Barnes. The first superintendent was James Fisher, then Keith Bray, and mow Mr. Carlson who has held that position for several years.
At the time the high school was built E.W. Duitsman, M.A. Raven, Henry Kuhlman Sr., C.A. Johnson, F.C. Conklin, and A.D. Van Petten were on the board. B.P. Bowman was the principal. The grade school board at that time included: Charles Buch, D.L. McGregor, Ed Doupnik, and Charles Singular. Melvin Hatesohl was principal of the grades.
The school has had many good years with nice things happening. In 1938 a basketball team composed of Veryl and Loren Wurtz, Kenneth Long, Ervin Duitsman and Marvin Berger, and coached by Elvon Skeen, won a spot in the state tournament. In 1971 a football team, coached by Jerry Ewing, went through the season undefeated and unscored on. The Future Farmers of America boys, with Don Flenthrope as their advisor, won innumerable first places in a wide variety of competitions. In 1957 and 1963 they won the national land judging contests. Kenneth Wurtz was high individual in that contest in 1960. In 1959 Larry Reith placed first in the national livestock judging contest and Mr. Flenthrope was named one of the top four vocational agriculture teachers in the nation. For this, Larry won a prize of $2000 and Mr. Flenthrope received $1000. The Thespians, guided by Gaylord Ukena, Rodney Mapes, and Nelson Warren, have won many gold medals in state championship.
United Methodist Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Linn was organized in 1871 by J. Schyler and S.C. Chester. Rev. Levan, who homesteaded six miles west of Linn (or Summit as it was then called), was the first Methodist pastor. He was a circuit preacher with pastorates in several locations in the area.
The Methodist congregation flourished and by 1882 there were about thirty members with Rev. J.W. Porter of Greenleaf as the pastor. Although there was no church building, a strong Methodist organization held regular services in the Bedker school room. (It was in this room in the Bedker home that Mrs. Alexander Spiers taught the first school in Linn Township.)
According to old church records, the present building was constructed in 1887. The original church has a high steeple and spire but, after lightening had destroyed the steeple several times, the congregation decided to remove it. Later the bell and belfry were taken down. With some changes at the front entrance, the outside appearance of the church building remains much the same today as it was when built in 1887.
According to reports taken from the Linn Digest, when the new parsonage was built n 1918 ladies and girls of the congregation, under the leadership of Mrs. Kate Roche, put the lath on the walls as fast as the men could wield the plasterer’s trowels.
Due to a fire in the early 40s, after which the church was vacated while repairs were made, services were held in the school house. The basement, Fellowship Hall, was finished and dedicated in 1945.
Before the basement was added, the women’s society met in the sanctuary and quilted and prepared their lunches in what is now the west annex to the church. At that time the west annex could be shut off from the main sanctuary and was used for Sunday School classes.
During the early 1970s the interior of the church was modernized and redecorated. The building was insulated, central sir conditioning and new stained glass windows were installed.
Union with the Evangelical United Brethren Church has changed the name from Methodist Episcopal to United Methodist Church. Terry McGuire, present pastor, has been with the congregation since 1975. The total membership is now 105.
One young lady, Miss Carol Moore, served her church by teaching several years at Vashti, a Methodist mission school for troubled girls in Thomasville, Georgia.
Organizations within the church include: United Methodist women, 22 members; and Youth Group, (combined with St. Paul’s Lutheran), 15 members.
The two churches, St. Paul’s Lutheran and United Methodist, are a splendid example of ecumenism. They operate a joint Sunday School, a joint summer Bible School (last summer Bible School was held in Palmer with St. Paul’s Lutheran of Palmer), and their youth groups meet together. For several years they have collaborated in their Christmas and Easter cantatas.
Advent Christian Church
The Advent Christian church was organized at Sherman Center, a stone school house located south of the present site of Linn, in December, 1874 by R.F. and M.J. Clark. There were eighteen charter members. Meetings were held in this building for several years.
In 1885 a parsonage was built on the three lots, 11, 12, 13, which had been purchased for sixty dollars from C.F.Schwerdtfeger and his wife Margaret. In 1890 Mr. Schwerdtfeger gave the lots immediately north of the parsonage and a church was built. Money for the building was raised by subscription among church members. The church was wired for electricity in 1917 at a cost of $16.70 for materials. The labor was donated.
Services were held regularly in the church until 1929 when the dwindling congregation decided to discontinue. In 1938 the property was purchased by the school district and the building was remodeled for grade school classes.
Among the fifteen ministers who held pastorates of the church were: M.J. Clark, one of the organizers; G.M. Finch, T.E. Glendenning, F.E. Warman, Simpson Clark and V. Sizemore.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
In 1868, a group of faithful German Lutheran Christians from Filsen in Hanover, Germany, threatened with approaching military service, immigrated to America and settled in Plattesville, Wisconsin. The next year some of the men came farther west to search for land; they came to Washington county Kansas, and filed claims on quarter sections of land in Linn Township. In 1869 the group including Henry Gross, H. Hatesohl, J.D. Kappleman, Friedrich and Dietrich Laue, and John Raven settled on their land. From a different location in Germany, Claus Hinck joined the others in Wisconsin and came to Kansas with them. He, too, took land in this area.
The first church services were held in the Bell school house. By the time that C.F. Schwerdtfeger arrived in this community in 1881, the German settlers in this region were sufficiently strong to feel the need of a church building of their own. In Germany they had, presumably, been members of the Prussian State Church the parallel of which, in this country, was the Evangelical Synod of North America. Mr. Schwerdtfeger was a member of that church and, finding that some of his neighbors would support him, he donated seven acres of land to be used for a church site.
On August 30, 1885 St. Paul’s church was organized by Rev. Lehmann with the following charter members signing the constitution; William Buch, C. Ebeling, R. Fleicher, Henry Gross, Herman Gross, John Gross, E. Hennerberg, Claus Hinck, Ernest Hoerman, H. Holle, J.D. Kappleman, H.C. Lehman, Louis Lohmeyer, Richard Meschner, Albert Peterson, Emil Pfeiffer, Ed Pfeiffer, Herman Raven, John Raven, f. Schraeder, J. Schneider, C.F. Schwerdtfeger, H.C. Schwerdtfeger, H.L. Schwerdtfeger, J. Schwerdtfeger, John Thoms, William Thoms, August Thrun Sr., August Thrun Jr., P.J. Tonges, Henry Westphal, and William Zappe.
Two acres of land were set aside for the building site of the church and parsonage, five acres for the cemetery. The church and parsonage were enclosed with a three-wire fence; the cemetery with five wires. The cemetery was laid out in lots 12 feet by 24 feet to be sold at $10.00 a lot. Individual lots were $1.00.
A room was provided on the north side of the parsonage to be used as a school room. Here confirmation instructions were given four times a week from October until Easter and daily for two months in the summer after the closing of the public schools. Services and activities of the church were in the German language until 1933 when they changed to English.
After the church building was completed in 1886, a 400-pound bell was installed. For many years deaths in the congregation were announced by tolling the age of the deceased. Likewise, the bell was tolled while the funeral cortege was proceeding to the cemetery. On Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. the bell reminded the people of Sunday services. Although tolling and Saturday calls to worship were discontinued years ago, on Sunday mornings in 1977 this same bell calls the congregation to worship.
C.F. Schwerdtfeger donated the first organ in 1887, Ella Westphal and J.C. Lehman were the organists. J.D. Kappleman, J. Thoms, J.J. Peterson, Ed Pfeiffer, and August Thrun were on the first church council.
Although Pastor Lehman organized the church in 1885, the congregation did not join the Evangelical synod until 1905. It was formally incorporated by the state of Kansas under the name Evangelisch Lutherische St. Paulus Germinde in Linn, Washington County, Kansas.
In 1881, Ella Maria Carolina Emma Jeshke was the first child to be baptized in St. Paul’s. In 1885 Dietrich Oestreich, Anna Margaretha Katharina Raven, Freidrich Dietrich Bacher, and Lily Louise Bertha Wolf were baptized.
Some of the early records of the church were lost but it is known that one of the early confirmation classes included; Sophia (Raven) Meierkord, Lena (Kappleman) Dietrich, Tillie (Kissling) Schwerdtfeger, Anna (Hoerman) Marcoux, Ernest Hoerman, and Fred Lippert.
The church building, although remodeled and enlarged, has served as a house of worship for 92 years. The first parsonage was remodeled and modernized and used for many years until, in 1956, it was sold and a new one built.
In 1916, under Rev. Otto Bergfelder’s leadership, St. Paul’s joined the Evangelical German Lutheran synod of Nebraska. Since 1960, with the merger of the Augustana Synod and the United Lutheran Church in America, this church is known as the Lutheran Church in America or the L.C.A.
One of the most exciting things that has happened to St. Paul’s congregation in recent years was their sponsorship, in 1975 of a Vietnamese family which had been displaced by the war. The following year was an interesting one for both the congregation and their Vietnamese.
The family, consisting of An Dang and his wife Vang, their three small children Quoc, Suong and Trang, and Vang’s nineteen-year old brother Tom Nguyen, have been a pleasure to the congregation in spite of the surprises and misunderstandings that ensued.
St. Paul’s congregation rallied to their responsibilities when the newcomers arrived late in June of 1975. They provided food, living quarters, warm winter clothes and moral support. For over two months the church also supported the refugees financially. The support was withdrawn as soon as An’s paycheck covered their needs.
For more than a year now An, formerly a boat mechanic, has been working for Myrl Merritt in the Phillips 66 station where he is learning auto mechanics.
There was (and to a certain extent, still is) the language barrier. When the family arrived Tom spoke a few words of English, An spoke almost none, and the rest of the family spoke none at all. Volunteers pitched in and gave the family a crash course with the result that now, to a certain degree, the whole family can speak and write English. The two who are in school, however, have made the most progress -- Quoc who is in the first grade and Tom who is a student at Beloit vocations Technical School. From time to time language teachers continue to coach all of them.
The Dangs and Tom have adjusted well. They became Christians and are now members of St. Paul’s. Their home in Linn is a charming mixture of Vietnamese and American cultures. Following traditional habits, Van uses chop sticks when cooking rice; but they use western-style table service. Of course, all wear western-style clothing.
The following is a list of pastors who have served at St. Paul’s:
Rev. Peter Lehman 1885-1888 Rev. A. Leutwein 1888-1890 Rev. K. Landengast 1890 (3 mo.) Rev. H. Limper 1891-1893 Rev. L. Reinert 1893-1895 Rev. G. Nagel 1895-1899 Rev. G. Schultz 1899-1903 Rev. G. Theo. Hemplemann 1903-1906 Rev. Otto Kuhn 1906-1909 Rev. F. Hansen 1909-1909 Rev. H. Grosse 1909-1912 Rev. L. Birnstengel 1913-1914 Rev. Otto Bergfelder 1916-1917 Rev. Paul Otto Spehr 1917-1919 Rev. W. Lobsien 1919-1922 Rev. A. Urban 1922-1923 Rev. H. Henrichs 1923-1926 Rev. E. Wm. Nussbaum 1927-1931 Rev. Edwin Hirsch 1933-1934 (student supply since 1931) Rev. V. R. Pietzko 1935-1937 Rev. E. H. Pett 1937-1940 Rev. Rudolph Moehring 1941-1942 Rev. Harvey Bernhardt 1942-1949 Rev. C. H. Kemper 1950-1951 Rev. J. N. Marxen 1952-1955 Rev. A. H. Klickman 1955-1956 Rev. Carl R. Schneider 1956-1960 Supply pastors 1960-1962 Rev. Gunnar Alksnis 1962-1968 Rev. Clinton McDonald 1969-1974 Rev. Allen G. Pitts 1974-Present
Zion Lutheran Church
In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s a number of Lutheran families settled in and near Linn, Kansas. In 1885 Rev. J.G.B. Keller, Pastor of St. Johns Lutheran Church, Palmer, Kansas, began holding services in an old rock schoolhouse (former School District No. 59) just south of Linn, approximately the northwest corner of the Wm. Wiechman farm.
On March 17, 1887 under Rev. Keller’s guidance Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized and adopted a constitution. The twelve charter members were: Fred Weeke, G.V. Kanke, F.R. Vogelsang, G.H. Kanke, H. Schroeder, J.H. Helling, August Lohmeyer, Henry Kappelman, Dietrich Lohmeyer, George Purtzer, Henry Lohmeyer, and Franz Kappelman. The schoolhouse and one acre of land became Zion’s first property, purchased April 18, 1887. But in 1888 Mr. Fred Weeke gave a number of lots in the Weeke Addition to the congregation; these are a part of the present church property. Here Zion decided to erect a new church. The building, 22x38 ft., was built at a cost of $620 by Mr. J.H. Helling. Dedication was July 20, 1888.
The congregation applied for a pastor, but Pastor Keller continued to serve for 2½ years until Candidate E. Wendt accepted the call in 1889. His salary was $400 per year.
As the church membership grew the need for a new church was felt. The old church was moved and the new church built on the old site. It was 32x50 ft. and erected at cost of $4200. Dedication was Dec. 15, 1907. This church was remodeled several times, first in 1940 and again in 1947. The present church was dedicated Jan. 31, 1965. It seats 380 with additional seating up to 500, includes a wing with the pastor’s office, a meeting room, mother’s room and restrooms on the ground floor. The full basement is used for Sunday school rooms, restrooms, a kitchen and a large auditorium. This church was built at a cost of $102,000.
The first parsonage was built in 1891, remodeled and extended several times. In 1954 it was found to be beyond repair and a new modern home was erected where the old parsonage stood. In 1972 a new 26x24 ft. double garage was built.
Pastors who have served Zion are: Rev. E. Wendt (1889-1900); Rev. Chr. Germeroth (1900-1904); Rev. H. VonGemmingen (1904-1909); Rev. C.F. Lehenbauer (1909-1923); Rev. K. Karstensen (1923-1939); Rev. W.G. Biel (1939-1957); Rev. Eugene Eckhardt (1958-1961); Rev. Harlan Meier (1962-).
From Zion have come these pastors; Rev. Wm. Lohmeyer, Dr. Clarence Peters, and Rev. Carrol D. Ohlde. Those who are now studying to be ministers are: Keith Kohlmeier, Joel Heisterman, and Mark Peters.
Those who have become Lutheran school teachers; Alma (Fahsholtz) Juergensen, Leona (Stunkel) Brueggeman, Luella (Lindhorst) Neil, Mary(Rahe) Lange, Marilyn (Brueggeman) Stelljes, Arlene (Uffman) Warenko, Judy (Guenther) Clay, Ann (Boerger) Herrs, Fred Ohlde, Milton Brueggeman, Mary (Rodehorst) Hartman, Ruby (Uffman) Hauder, Ellanita (Lohmeyer) Menz, Ruth Lohmeyer, Donald Duitsman, Freda Lohmeyer, and Jim Duitsman. David Ohlde is an instructor at Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Nebraska.
Zion in its 90th year has a membership of 410 baptized souls, of which 327 are communicants.
Just a few highlights of Zion’s history include the organization of the Ladies Aid in 1900, the Walther League in 1923, Dorcas society in 1937, Men’s Club (Lutheran Layman’s League) in 1939, LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) in 1951 and the Parent Teacher League in 1960. In 1935 a Sunday School of 21 pupils was begun with three teachers; Edna Kohlmeyer, Helen Kuhlman, and T.L. Juergensen. By 1943 it had expanded to six classes. At present there are also six classes of 68 pupils and two Bible classes.
A very special part of church worship is music. In 1909 Zion purchased their first pipe organ: Mr. Wm. Peters served as the first organist. On December 31, 1947 the congregation was shocked by the untimely death of Paul Pronske and his son, Lowell, in an airplane accident near Linn. In loving memory, Mrs. Malina Pronske and daughter, Nadine, gave the church a new Reuter pipe organ. It has been moved to the new church.
Seemingly Zion has always made provision for its departed members, the church maintains a cemetery located ½ mile north of town. The earliest death on record is that of the son of Henry and Mary Lohmeyer (born March 18, 1886; Died August 16, 1886). Today 261 souls rest there.
Another vital part of our church has been Christian education for its young. This dates back to the rock building which was used for both church services and Christian Day School, being conducted first by Gerh. Kanke, then theological Student P. Toerne who was Rev. Keller’s assistant. When the new church was built in 1888 the new building again served both as church and school until 1907 when the third church was constructed. The second church was moved to the southeastern corner of the property and remodeled into a regular school. During these years pastor’s duties also included teaching. But in 1913 school enrollment reached 40; it was too much work for the pastor and the congregation called their first teacher, Ed Stuewe. By 1946 enrollment reached 51 pupils and the congregation bought and moved the Star schoolhouse to Linn and opened a second classroom. In 1950 a modern 50x60 ft. brick school was built at a cost of $31,800. The building contains two regular classrooms, an office-confirmation room, rest rooms and full basement.
Linn Lutheran School Association
After exploratory talks with area congregations in 1966, Zion Lutheran Church and Immanuel Lutheran Church formed the Linn Lutheran School Association during 1967. The association consists of voting members from both congregations who set up guidelines for the school and have the final authority. The school board members are elected representatives from the two congregations according to communicant membership.
Facilities consist of the Zion Lutheran School. The basement was remodeled to add two more classrooms and restrooms; the office now includes library and study facilities. School began in September, 1967, with 104 pupils and four teachers; this year there are 93 pupils. Curriculum is identical to public school instruction with the addition of religious instruction each morning and Chapel on Wednesday mornings. Activities include a vocal choir for lower grades and another for upper grades, a recorder choir, band participation at the public school, girls volleyball (6-8), basketball (6-8), and track. Federal funds cover the cost of a remedial teacher, certain visual and audiovisual aides, and hot lunch program at the high school. Children ride public school buses as a courtesy of District 223.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
In the spring of 1916, the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church at Greenleaf accepted a call to go elsewhere and the congregation was unable to obtain a pastor from the Nebraska Synod. The majority of the members decided to join the Missouri Synod but several families chose to remain in the Nebraska Synod.
In 1917 those who joined the Missouri Synod organized as the German Evangelical Lutheran Bethlehem Congregation. The first officers were: Henry Hatesohl, president; Herman Hatesohl, secretary; and Dietrich Oestreich, treasurer. The church was incorporated under the laws of Kansas. The newly-organized church wanted a central location; Herman Hatesohl donated four acres of land and the first church was built in 1917. It is located between Greenleaf and Linn on highway nine.
Charter members of the congregation were: Henry, Herman and Ernest Hatesohl; Fred, William and Ed Lohmeyer; Dick and Fred Oestreich; Dick and George Laue; John Schroeder, August Dittbrenner, and William Kohlmeyer.
As soon as the church was finished, a parsonage was built and a cemetery laid out.
The first baptism recorded is that of Marvin Heinrich D Lohmeyer in 1916. The first marriage united George Laue and Anna True in 1920. The first funeral was that of Dietrich Laue in 1918.
In 1919 the congregation, interested in Christian education for their children, built a school south of the church In 1949, due to the lack of a pastor, the school was closed but the building was put to good use as a Sunday School. In 1952, Saturday School was organized and has been continued ever since for grades first through eighth.
In the beginning services were alternately in English and in German with most special services, such as Easter, Lent and Christmas services, being in German. In 1942 German was dropped entirely from the regular services.
A new church was built and dedicated in 1953. In 1956 and in 1965 new pews were installed.
In 1975 a parish hall was erected complete with kitchen and restrooms. At the same time the church basement was converted into class rooms. The pastor’s study was also enlarged and an area built on the east side for the organ and a personal worship center. These improvements were planned, constructed and finished by members of the congregation with some outside help.
The three most active service organizations in the church are the Men’s Club (active since 1948), the Ladies Aid LWML (organized in 1930, members of LWML since 1951), and the Walther League (since 1940).
The Christmas season has been especially inspirational at Bethlehem the past few years since the young people have presented an impressive live nativity scene several times in the weeks before Christmas. On cold winter evenings, when the air is crisp with chill, visitors remain in their cars while, with music in the background and a narrator giving the Christmas story, the pageant is presented continuously from 6:30 to 9 o’clock p.m. Many visitors have signed the guest book.
Several members of the congregation have entered the service of the church; John D. Laue is a teacher and Janice Rahe, Sue (Nelson) Meyerhoff, and Elfrieda (Hateshol) Lehman became parish workers.
The following is a list of the ten pastors and seven vacancy pastors who have served at Bethlehem:
C. F. Lehenbauer (vacancy) 1916-1918 Otto C. Mueller 1918-1925 Theo. Stolp 1925-1938 O. A. Bohnert 1938-1940 Homer H. Kurth 1941-1944 Wilbur Klattenhoff 1945-1949 R. M. Lammers (vacancy) 1949-1950 Paul R. Heckmann 1950-1954 C. Larson (vacancy) 1954-1955 Hugo Hoyer 1955-1957 C. Larson (vacancy) 1957-1958 John Kovac (vacancy) 1958-1959 Ray Hasbargen 1950-1960 John Kovac (vacancy) 1960-1962 Arnold Bernthal 1962-1969 A. C. Leimer (vacancy) 1969-1970 Darrel F. Thalmann 1970-1976 B. N. Vasek (vacancy) 1976-1976 Delbert H. Meyer 1976-
The church records show 316 infant baptisms, 64 deaths and 78 marriages. Starting with eleven members in 1916, there are now 260 baptized members and 214 communicants.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Holy Communion was celebrated and 8 chldren were baptized on May 26, 1874 when Pastor Matthias came from Hermansburg (near Bremen) to conduct the first service which was held in the Peats Creek school house. Pastor Matthias soon left Hermansburg but his successor, Rev. Pfeifer, came at intervals to conduct services. History records that he was paid 35 cents per trip for his services but money was so scarce in pioneer times that even this small sum sometimes had to be borrowed.
As more Lutherans came to this region, the congregation began to hope for a pastor of their own. Through an advertisement in a German language magazine in which the congregation frankly admitted that they were not able to support a pastor, an elderly minister from Missouri decided to follow this call to Kansas and offer his services. This was Rev. F.J. Th. Jungck who bought a farm here and, in 1878, was installed as pastor.
In the years that followed the congregation grew rapidly, chiefly through immigrant families from Germany and others coming from eastern Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. During the first few years the Lutherans of Strawberry Township attended church services at St. John’s. On foot they regularly journeyed the distance of 10 to 12 miles, often singing well-known hymns on the way. After the services they usually were invited to dinner in the homes of fellow-Christians living near the church. Corn bread was often the main item on the menu.
At first services were conducted in the homes of members but in 1878 the first church building was erected. This 18 by 24 foot building, with all labor donated, was put up at a cost of $150. Rev. Jungck built the altar and pulpit out of dry goods boxes.
In 1883 an annex was added to the front to gain more room for the growing congregation. After a few years, in 1888 the enlarged church was much too small and a new one was built at a cost of $3,000. The former church, then, served as a school house until the 1896 tornado laid both the church and school in ruins.
Three months later the congregation finished and dedicated a new 36 by 60 foot church. In 1903, at the 25th anniversary of the congregation, a new pipe organ was dedicated in this building.
Then the night of May 24, 1905 misfortune struck again. A bolt of lightening set fire to the church and reduced it to ashes. Undaunted, the congregation decided to rebuilt on the same location. Dedication of the new edifice took place on October 22, 1905, five months after the disastrous fire. Before the end of the year the church was paid for.
This fourth church building has served as a house of worship for over 71 years. In 1952, looking forward to the 75th anniversary of the congregation, the building was completely remodeled and a 24 by 46 foot annex was added at a total cost of $22,000.
Due to fire, tornado and increase in membership, the parochial school at St. John’s, too, has been rebuilt several times. Classes have been continuous for 90 years.
Service organizations in the church include the following; Men’s Club, 48 members; Tabitha society, 30 members; Ladies Aid, 11 members; Walther League, 22 members; and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 33 members.
Members of St. John’s are now planning for their 100th anniversary which will be September 22, 1978.
Believing strongly that “Our mission is to send workers out to spread the word of God”, this congregation has sent out 12 pastors and 21 teachers. Those who have entered the ministry include: William Meyer, Otto Hornbostel, Otto Keller, William Meyer, Otto Meyer, Melvin Meyer, Ervin Rodehorst, Everette Meier, victor Lehenbauer, Robert Tewes, Merlin Reith, and Wm. R. Voelker. The teachers are: Herman Meyerhoff, Henry Osthoff, Roy Oelschlager, Ernest Riekenberg, Lucy Keller Meyer, Otto Meyerhoff, Wilmer Hornbostel, Wilbur Heitman, Loma Meyerhoff Meyer, Doris Lehenbauer Ness, Mardell Meyer Beier, Ruth Meyerhoff Senske, Wilbur Tewes, Jean Voelker Tegtmeier, Rodney Voelker, Allen Schade, Howard Voelker, Patricia Voelker, Ted Voelker, Idonna Voelker, and Mark Koch.
Pastor B.N. Vasek, at St. John’s since 1973, now pastors a membership of 314. There are 67 in Sunday School.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
“Every Beginning is Difficult”
How true the above quote of Rev. Paul Stolp was in regard to the establishment of this congregation of 278 souls on the Kansas prairies! The spring of 1872 brought the first immigrants from the Hermannsburg, Germany, region; namely; H. Herrs, H. Kohlmeier, and H. Schroeder. They had arrived in the United States several years earlier in the Crete, Illinois area; but, ironically, the price of land was beyond their means, and they chose to follow the westward movement to Kansas where H. Herrs found a homesteader willing to sell his claim for $20. That was all the money H. Herrs had to his name, but at least he had a dug-out and land. Life was harder then. To purchase supplies for their families meant a 24-mile hike to Waterville (then the end of the railroad line).
But even more that their poverty and lack of physical comforts, these people deplored the lack of a Lutheran church. Contact was made with other German Lutheran families living south of Palmer with whom they had become acquainted and who found themselves in the same situation. Now, more than a year had passed, and already the second Christmas was approaching. Both groups felt even greater need for a church.
Reports of a German pastor at Marysville prompted Wm. Hornbostel and the three above mentioned pioneers to borrow a team and wagon to check out this possibility. But only more disappointment. It was not a Lutheran service. From here they were directed to Pastor J. Mathias at Hermansberg, near Bremen, Ks., arriving just in time for the Christmas Eve service, and at last a true Lutheran service. This pastor promised to conduct a service in their midst, but this service didn’t occur until May 26, 1874, at the Peats Creek Schoolhouse south of Palmer. Seven children were baptized at the service.
In 1878 the Rev. F.J. Theo. Jungck came to Palmer. The president of the Western District of the Missouri Synod installed him as a full time pastor, and at last, the Lutherans had a pastor living in their midst. October 6, 1878, St. John’s congregation invited Strawberry Township Lutherans to join them. Under the circumstances, they deemed it wise to do so.
Immigrants continued to arrive, and among those from Concordia, Missouri, were the Reith, Lindhorst, Moorman, and Brandt families. From Chicago came the Kuhlmans and the Peters.
During the winter months the ten-mile walk to St. John’s was quite strenuous for the women and children, and it was requested that Pastor Jungck conduct services here every three weeks. The first service took place in 1881 in Strawberry Township in a schoolhouse about ½ mile north of the present-day church; another in a schoolhouse two miles east.
The trials of these pioneers were countless. H. Reith, having bought two eighties of land for $600, was living in a dug-out, and the income from the small corn crop brought him 9-11 cents a bushel. He felt certain that in an entire lifetime he could not earn $600 and decided to return to Missouri, unless he could sell one of the eighties for $300. No one single person had this sum, neither could they let Reith leave. Since they were thinking of buying some land for church ground, the eighty was bought in 1881. The deed settlement led to adopting a constitution and to adopting a resolution to apply for a charter of incorporation. This done, a deed to the land was given the legally incorporated congregation. Thus, Immanuel Lutheran church was organized on March 22, 1882.
With the arrival of about fifty immigrants by railroad coach in Palmer, were the Heisterman, Lange, Helms, Bokelman, Ohlde, and Bisping families, bringing quite a boost to St. John’s and Immanuel; so much so that Immanuel built their first church the summer of 1882. How these people raised enough money for this undertaking is an unsolved riddle.
Obtaining their own pastor was the next step. They successfully applied for a “student” who would not only preach, but would teach their children as well. G.D. Dongus arrived in December of 1882; he was succeeded by C.D. Pflug. Each received $100 for seven months of teaching and preaching. The first full-time pastor, A. Alexander, began his ministry June 29, 1884. He also served Clay Center every three weeks until 1888.
Immigrants arriving at about this time were the Wilkens, Beikmanns, Kolles, Dammans, Prusers and Bekemeyers.
For the next 21 years Rev. E.A. Frese faithfully served the congregation. The new church was built in 1900. October 18, 1909 rev. Paul Stolp began his ministry at Immanuel which lasted 33 years!
The school, as well, was greatly blessed. Under the guidance of H. Linse, the first full-time teacher, a choir and band were organized. The old school was replaced with a new school in 1912. Enrollment averaged 65 pupils, far too many for one teacher, so Pastor Stolp undertook the teaching of the first three grades until 1919. From then on it was a two-room school. Paul Mueller was the teacher with the longest record, 1917-1939. God gave Immanuel many blessings in these devoted men.
Various building projects of the congregation included; a new parsonage in 1918; enlarging and redecorating the church in 1925; installation of a pipe organ which remained in use until 1957, Immanuel’s 75th anniversary, when a new Reuter pipe organ was dedicated. In the spring of 1944 war bonds were bought to finance a new school. The people’s thankfulness for the safe return of all its World War II servicemen was demonstrated by the erection of a brick structure memorial which was dedicated November 22, 1947. With electricity coming into the community that same year, the church facilities were wired. In 1948 the parsonage was moved onto a new foundation with full basement. The new teacherage was built in 1950 and enlarged and remodeled for the Edward Merz family in 1957. The church was painted and redecorated in 1951 and, in 1974, an extensive remodeling and enlarging of the church was completed.
It was in 1932, during Rev. Stolp’s ministry here, that the decision was made to offer a worship service in the English language one evening a month. That began the slow change-over to all-English services that the church now has.
Immanuel’s earliest pastor (the Reverends Jungck, Alexander, Frese, and Stolp) have been mentioned earlier in this article. The following pastors have served the congregation since Rev. Stolp: Otto Praeuner (1943-1947); W.A. Moose (1947-1949); B. Hobratschk (1949-1953); John D. Kovac (1954-1963); Harlan Meier, vacancy (1963-1964); Andrew Maken (1964-1966); H. Meier, vac. (1966-1972); Robert Hoehner (1972-1975); H. Meier, vac. (1975-1976); and Richard Flath (1976-present).
Sons and daughters of the congregation who have served as church workers are:
Rev. Wm. Bekemeyer (deceased)
Rev. Otto Mueller
Rev. Theodore Stolp
Anna Mueller, teacher
Mrs. Otto Brinkman, teacher
Mrs. Olen Rogge, teacher
Mrs. Elden Wilkens, teacher
Mrs. Neil Bisping, teacher
Mrs. Arnold Beier, teacher
Edward Merz, teacher
Ruth Merz, teacher
Carol Herrs, parish worker
Immanuel’s organizations include Men’s Club, 23 members; Immanuel society, 24 members; Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 11 members; Walther League, 15 members. Current officers of the congregation are; chrm., Neil Bisping; elders, Marvin Moorman, Vernon Helms, Edgar Helms; sec. Harold Beikman; treas., Larry Reith; vice pres., Elden Wilkens.
There is so much of us buried in the past that we cannot write a history of the community without considering the cemeteries. The history that actually lives in those old graves is there to remind us that as today was built on yesterday, so tomorrow will be built on today.
It is inevitable that as soon as a group of people cluster together to form a colony, it will not be long before a burial ground will be needed. The early churches sensed this need, and many of the Linn dead lie in the several church cemeteries; some were interred on their homesteads; others are in the Spiers Cemetery which, since 1913, has been under the authority of the city.
When in 1872 Mr. and Mrs. Alex Spiers donated two acres of land to the community for the purpose of maintaining a grave yard, the Linn Cemetery Association was chartered. At first there was no charge for lots. Later lots were sold for fifteen dollars but it soon became apparent that it would take more money than that to keep the grounds in good condition. When perpetual care became a factor, lots with space for four interments were sold for twenty-five to forty dollars depending on location and arrangements for care.
Early records show the following people to have been active in the Linn Cemetery Association at the turn of the century:
J.M. Elliott, president
C.V. Haworth, vice-president
J.E. Clark, secretary
P.P. Murphy, treasurer
J.Q. Adams, sexton
As time went on it became apparent that the cemetery association could not operate without more funds so, in 1913, the association dissolved and turned the cemetery over to the city. Lots are now priced at fifty dollars for a ten by twenty foot lot, space for four graves.
As one walks through the cemetery, history rolls back a good many years. One of the oldest stones is marked “Hial B. Smith, Died 1873, Age 71 years”. Another one “Robbie, son of A. and M. Trumbull, died 1883, Age 3 years, 9 months”. Who were they, Hial B. Smith and little Robbie, son of A. and M. Trumbull? If the tombstones could talk, what tales they could tell!
The entrance to the cemetery, through Spiers Memorial Arch, discloses a panorama of well-placed headstones leading up to the flag pole which Mrs. Charles singular gave in memory of her son, Junior F. Pauley, who was buried there in 1973.
Mrs. Singular also headed a committee, with Mrs. Zoe Cross and Mrs. Letha Johnson, for improving the cemetery. Contributions were solicited from those who had relative and friends buried there. The call was successful; they had nearly one hundred percent response so were able to install a handsome chain fence, repair the Spiers Memorial Arch which had been badly damaged in the 1973 tornado, and set out trees around the south and east edges of the grounds.
A few years hence, the trees will make a beautiful setting for this quiet spot. They are all maples, sixteen of them, set out in rotation; red maple, sugar maple, northern maple and silver maple.
Additional land was purchased recently and the cemetery now comprises three acres. The sexton, Eldon Odgers, deserves credit for the well-kept appearance of the grounds.
There are older graves here than those fund in the cemeteries for there were people traveling through this prairie wilderness long before the first settlers came. The forty-niners dug graves along the way and, centuries before them, the explorers who came through undoubtedly buried some dead. Then later, but before there were any cemeteries, the early homesteaders buried their dead on their own farms.
Many of these lone graves are unknown to the public but the farmers who cultivate the land honor them by not plowing over them. One such lone grave located one mile north and two and three-fourths miles west of Linn is on the Clarence Ohlde farm. After more than a hundred years the stone, although standing crooked and obscured by a small tree and a clump of weeds, is still there. By pushing the vegetation aside one can read the inscription:
Wife of George W. Hess
Born 1853 – died 1871
In her nineteenth year”
Mayors of Linn
1911-1913 Ed Collins 1913-1915 H.J. Meierkord 1915-1918 Dr. Robert Algie 1918-1921 C.A. Johnson 1921-1933 H.J. Meierkord 1933-1935 E.C. Peters 1935 (served briefly) Oscar Kasper 1935-1937 F.C. Conklin 1937-1940 Dr. F.E. Rogers 1940-1941 W.A. Buch 1941-1945 A.L. Higgins 1945-1951 Henry Kuhlman 1951-1957 C.A. Johnson 1957-1963 A.L. Higgins 1963-1965 William Timme 1965-1967 Ed Doupnik 1957-1969 LaVern Heitman 1969-to present James Herda
Linn Officials, 1976
Mayor James Herda City Council Myrl Merritt, Richard Oestreich, Charles Dieckmann, Delbert Beikman, Neil McGregor City clerk Betty L. Meier Municipal judge James Herrs Treasurer J.R. Moore Chief of police Richard Lohmeyer Fire chief Charles Dieckmann City Superintendent Eldon Odgers Director of housing Mrs. Malinda Gross
Charles Frederick Schwerdtfeger
1835 – 1918
C.F. Schwerdtfeger, the man whose vision and generosity prompted him to sponsor a town around the Linn depot and to donate lots for schools, business firms and churches, was born December 10, 1835 in Indiana, lived in Illinois for a time, and came to Kansas in 1881.
No one really knows the reasons for Mr. Schwerdtfeger’s generosity in giving the newly-conceived city such a good boost. Perhaps, coming from the Chicago area where he saw the value of his land increase by leaps and bounds as the city grew, he may have envisioned this little town of Linn on the Missouri Pacific Railroad making similar spectacular growth. Or he may have merely wanted to help the town get a good start.
Whatever Mr. Schwerdtfeger’s motives might have been, Linn is deeply indebted to him for all the help he gave in early times. Without his help the schools and churches might not have survived.
An unpretentious man of simple tastes, one would never have guessed by his deportment that he was one of the most affluent men in the area. At the time of his death in 1918 he owned about 3600 acres of land at Linn and at Goodland. About $14,000 in currency was found in his home, some in a safe and some in wash basins and buckets stored under the safe. One wash basin was heaped with silver dollars; gold certificates and gold pieces were in the safe.
Mr. Schwerdtfeger was married twice. His first marriage to Miss Charlotte Langguth ended with her death nine years later. She was the mother of Henry and John Schwerdtfeger and Catherine Lehman. After his first wife’s death, Mr. Schwerdtfeger married her sister, Miss Margaret Langguth. Six children were born to them: Charlotte Lehman, Fred Schwerdtfeger, Matilda Pfeiffer, Louis and Edwin Schwerdtfeger and Amanda Alexander.
At the time of his death he was survived by nine children, forty-three grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
Dr. R.W. Maintz
1863 -- 1923
Every town has, in its roster of key figures, a certain few who have made vital contributions to its development. One of the important early day figures in the Linn community was Dr. Roscoe W. Maintz who spent 34 years of his life serving our people, both in medicine and in civic affairs.
Dr. Maintz died in 1923 at the age of 59. Few men have been on as many committees for community betterment than he. From the time that he arrived until his last year when his health failed, he served his community in every way he could. Coming from Missouri, he joined the Linn business circle in 1889 when he purchased the Ferguson drug store which was situated about where the Linn store now is.
During his years here Dr. Maintz served as postmaster, was a member of the school board, was city treasurer, and served as representative in the State Legislature. During his tenure as postmaster of Linn the post office was in his drug store. Next door west of the drug store, at the present site of the Record Publishing Company, he operated the Edison Electric Theater, first movie house in Linn. In hot weather the movie projector was moved to an area behind the drug store where installment after installment of “Blake and Bessie” and the “Perils of Pauline” were shown on Saturday nights.
Like many of his time, he was lodge-minded; he was a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellow, Workman and Eastern Star, all active orders in Linn at the time.
Tragedy struck the Maintz family in 1912 when their only child, a son, was killed by falling off a train when he and other young people were returning from Greenleaf where they attended high school. Mrs. Maintz, who never recovered from the shock of seeing her dead son carried off the train, died the following year.
In the last year of his life, Dr. Maintz suffered a breakdown in health and financial reverses, and he died practically penniless. The Maintz’s are buried in unmarked graves in Spiers Cemetery.
Henry J. Meierkord
1871 – 1943
Henry J. Meierkord, former mayor of Linn, was born in Hache, near Bremen Germany in 1871. When a boy of sixteen he came to the United States. After several years of doing farm work in the summer and going to school in the winter, he achieved enough knowledge of the English language to attend the Atchison business College where he studied for two years.
For a time he worked for Fred Hoerman in the elevator and in 1892 he became bookkeeper and clerk in the Exchange State Bank of Linn which had opened a few years earlier in 1886. In 1893 he was named cashier of that institution, a post he held until, during the Depression of the thirties, the bank was closed in 1932.
Mr. Meierkord was postmaster for three years from 1894 to 1897 during which time the post office business was conducted at the bank. He was a member of the grade school board for about thirty-five years and was one of the instigators of the Linn Rural Telephone. From 1913 to 1915 and from 1921 to 1933 he was mayor of Linn.
Mr. Meierkord’s greatest achievement, however, was his promotion of the dairy business in Washington County which culminated in the fine dairy herds of the community and the organization of the Washington County Co-operative Creamery Company of which he was manager from 1921 to 1935.
George E. Raven
1897 – 1941
George Raven was one of the most loyal boosters the Linn community ever had. Familiarly known as “Snorts”, George was involved in every project for community betterment that came up. From his first business ventures when he was but a lad (picking up and selling empty beer bottles near the Blind Tiger Saloon and shinning shoes in the barbershop), to being an insurance broker and field man for the Washington County Co-operative Creamery, George was always civic minded.
His first job in adulthood was a bookkeeping position in the Beaty furniture store and undertaking business. After that he was a bookkeeper for H.C. Hoerman for a couple of years. When he wasn’t busy balancing ledgers, he spent the time candling eggs. In those early days, the candler merely rejected those eggs which showed a chicken inside.
In 1918, George became affiliated with the Exchange State Bank where he handled the insurance business. Along with this he was field man for the Washington County Co-operative Creamery, manager and co-owner of the Forum, manager of all city basketball and baseball teams for several years, secretary of the Booster Club, and city clerk for 21 years. Because it was through his efforts that we have the grandstand and the ball park, as well as the trees and other improvements, he was called the “Daddy” of the city park.
With all his other accomplishments, George had a beautiful singing voice which made him much in demand at parties and programs. He was a frequent soloist at funerals.
The personality of this dynamic man was so keen that one seldom remembered his handicap. Afflicted with infantile paralysis at the age of 4, George was on crutches all the rest of his life. While his handicap kept him from active participation in manual labor, it did not dampen his enthusiasm. He was always present to encourage and help organize every civic endeavor.
The slogan “Let George Do It” was in constant use in Linn for many years.
Henry C. Hoerman
1863 – 1929
Mr. H.C. Hoerman whose greatest achievement was the establishment of one of the most successful poultry and egg packing plants in this area was introduced to farm produce early in life. Born in Illinois in 1863, he spent his boyhood on a farm where he hauled produce into the Chicago market. He was 16 when his family moved to Netawaka, Kansas. Here, breaking prairie sod with a yoke of oxen, he farmed for six years and later operated an elevator for six years.
In 1891 he moved to Linn and went into the implement business. After about a year and a half, he sold out to Burch and Loney. In 1893 Mr. Hoerman and his brother Fred Hoerman opened a foundry located slightly west of where the west unit of the Co-op elevator now stands. In connection with this, they also operated a machine shop and they made windmills. John Kappleman was one of their employees.
After only a year in this location, the town of Washington offered a bonus to have the business moved there. This was done in 1894.
For various reasons, this business proved financially unsuccessful and was sold to another company. Following this, Mr. Hoerman moved back to Linn and went into the produce business, the story of which is found elsewhere in this book.
Eddie Calvin Collins
1867 – 1950
E.C. Collins was Linn’s first mayor. He took office in 1911 shortly after the town was incorporated.
Mr. Collins was born in 1867 near Bussey, Iowa. When a lad ten years of age, he came to Kansas with his parents. Later they spent some time in Colorado but soon moved back to Kansas where they settled on a farm a mile west of Linn.
In 1890, he married a neighbor girl, Miss Cora Wallace. One daughter, Fern was born to them, Mrs. Collins died in 1894.
After spending the following year in Colorado, Mr. Collins returned to this community where he eventually married Miss Maude Wallace, his first wife’s sister. They had a daughter who died in childhood.
In 1895, in partnership with L.A. Kingsbury, Mr. Collins purchased the Kappleman Hardware Store in Linn. A few years later, he took over his partner’s interest and, in 1900, built the quarters which housed his store for many years. This is the building in which Bert Peters’ Universal Supply is located.
Mr. Collins’ second wife died in 1942. Shortly afterward he moved to Topeka. He died there in 1950 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. S.F. Lull.
A man of great integrity, Mr. Collins was one of Linn’s oldest business men in point of service to the community. Throughout the nearly fifty years that he was in business, he served the public satisfactorily and well. He was on the grade school board for thirty years.
1885 – 1976
Clarence Johnson, one of the past mayors of the town, saw a lifetime of history unfold in Linn for he was in business longer than anyone else. Born in 1885 on a farm north of town, he was active in the business life of the community from the time he moved to Linn in 1913. Anything that was good for the town always had his support. For many years he was one of the directors of the Linn Rural Telephone Company; he served on the high school board for some time; and from 1934 until his death he was president of the Linn State Bank. Through the years he spent considerable time encouraging the youth of the community by helping them organize ball teams and other projects.
People brought their prescription medicines from Clarence and his son, Lowell, both registered pharmacists, over a period of sixty-three years.
Clarence’s father, Frank Johnson, purchased the drug store in 1913 from Dr. Robert Algie who practiced medicine in Linn. At that time the north half of the building was a meat market and the Algie Drug Store occupied the south half. Under the new ownership, the north half was converted to a doctor’s office and a dentist’s office, and the Linn Pharmacy was in the south part. Still later the partition was removed and the pharmacy occupied the entire building as it does today.
Clarence bought the store from his father, Frank, in 1933. Then in 1959 Lowell became the owner when he bought it from his father, Clarence. Thus, three generations have been owners of the Linn Pharmacy. After Lowell’s death in 1969, Clarence continued on alone in the business which has been such and asset to the community.
For a long time, the store was known as a gathering place for school ‘kids’ and a place for the young people to meet and plan their activities. In the days of bulk candy it was probably well known as being the place where you could get the most for a nickel.
For many years, landlords came and went at Linn’s hotel but when Mrs. Dedie Hoerman took over the reins she came to stay. In fact, she continued on with business long after the traveling men ceased to come in by train and stay until the next train went out. By that time, she was taking care of convalescents. At the age of eighty, she was looking after people many years her junior.
The hotel probably was built around 1882. We are not sure who the first proprietor was but it may have been a Mr. Rohlf. In the 1890s he advertised a hotel with barber shop in connection. Through the years, the hotel was managed by twelve different landlords and had four different names. It was called Rohlf’s Hotel, Linn Hotel, White Way Hotel and, for a while, just Hotel.
Mrs. Hoerman operated the white Way Hotel for forty years. She became owner and manager in 1927 when H.J. Meierkord, the banker, asked her to takeover the reins. Linn had voted to gravel the streets and there were to be several crews of workmen in town so it was necessary to find adequate food and lodging for them.
“I had run a boarding house in my home for two years,” Mrs. Hoerman said in a newspaper interview in 1963, “Owners and managers of the hotel had come and gone. The town was desperate to find someone to run it. I decided to give it a try and I have been here ever since.”
There was a time when Mrs. Hoerman served meals to as many as seventeen regular boarders – three meals a day seven days a week – plus any others who might come in unannounced at mealtime. She frequently served dinners to groups and organizations numbering as many as fifty-four.
“I used to feed the Business Men’s Association here once a month,” she said in the same interview. “Then there was carnival time and that always ran into a lot of work. And when they built the creamery, I housed and fed quite a number of their workers.”
At that time, it was customary for the teachers to room in private homes and many of them took their meals at “Ma Hoerman’s.” Bachelors, too, who worked at the two industrial plants were regular diners there. Several business men and their wives took their Sunday dinners at Dedie’s table.
What delicious cakes and pies she put out! What light, fluffy bread and what succulent roasts and steaks! She served meals for thirty-five cents; and charged a dollar and a half for a room or seven dollars a month.
There was a time when she paid five cents a bar for laundry soap but most of the time Mrs. Hoerman made her own soap for washing the linens. It was a way of utilizing all the waste fat that accumulated from cooking so much bacon and pork.
In her back yard she had a large vegetable garden which provided her with vegetables to use fresh and to can. She put up hundreds of cans of beans and tomatoes every year.
There was no running water when Mrs. Hoerman took over the hotel. There were no inside toilet facilities; they had an outside shanty for that. The ground floor of the building was heated by a large coal stove that kept some member of the family busy putting in coal and taking out ashes all day. There were smaller coal stoves in some of the upstairs rooms too.
As the years passed the Hoerman’s modernized the hotel. Gas heat replaced the coal-burning stoves, a bathroom was installed, and the kitchen was remodeled. It was Dedie’s home and she wanted everyone in it to be comfortable.
Mrs. Hoerman always had help at the hotel. Her usual crew consisted of two girls who made beds, washed dishes, cleaned rooms and waited tables. After his retirement, her husband, John Hoerman, helped too.
“I could hire help for three dollars a week,” she told the reporter. “I baked my own bread, pies, cakes. Why, my dresses used to wear out across the back from so much bending over to take things out of the oven.”
In 1959, thinking she would go live with her son who was an osteopath in Gainsville, Missouri, Mrs. Hoerman closed the hotel for a time. That didn’t last long through. At the end of a month she was back in Linn opening up the old place again. From then on, she kept a few steady boarders, mostly convalescents, and any others who happened to be stranded in Linn for one reason or another.
Both Dedie and the old White Way Hotel are gone now. The Hotel was demolished in 1973 by the tornado which took so many of the old buildings. But Dedie lived until 1976 when she died at the age of 91. She had out-lived all of her three children. She gave up the hotel in 1967 and was in the Washington County Hospital the last four years of her life.
Indian John, although he never lived in Linn, was an integral part of the early community because of service rendered to the settlers before medical doctors were available. Coming here before the county was settled, he was on of Kansas’ oldest residents by the time he died in 1924 at the age of ninety-two.
At one time he lived southwest of Palmer but, in 1896, a tornado destroyed his home and he relocated a short distance south of Fact. Here he lived for many years giving out home-made remedies, made the Indian way with locally grown roots and herbs, to all who came to him in time of sickness. He had a wide reputation for curing supposedly incurable diseases, and every day he mailed medicine all over the United States. So widely had the reputation of the old Indian doctor gone forth that his mail included letters from every state in the union.
His real name was John Derringer but that was about all anyone knew about him. Some thought he might have been a white baby stolen by the Indians and reared in the red man’s traditions. Others told that he came from the Sioux tribe and as punishment had been abandoned in this territory. Indian John kept his own counsel. He did indicate, however, that the ancient skill in selecting herbs and treating diseases came from the ancestral knowledge of the Sioux.
Yarns about Indian John’s curative powers and prophecies made him a legend in early Kansas. For some years he was a traveling medicine man and he stayed in the homes of his patients. Then in his later life he practiced in his home and let the world come to his door. People flocked to him.
A visit to Indian John’s cabin was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. In fair weather the gentle silent man, with long flowing hair and wearing moccasins, might be found outside the house stirring and tasting and concocting over the big steaming iron kettle which boiled on three stones. Or, if the weather was bad, his cabin would be pungent with the odor of the brew cooking on his small stove.
The old Indian said he could cure anything except old age and cancer. He also claimed a fantastic gift of prophecy.
In the hearts of our older people, old John still lives in legend. His grave in Idlewild Cemetery south of Fact bears this simple inscription:
1832 – 1924
The Abandoned Baby
Ninety-eight years ago Mary and John Raven lived in a dugout on their homestead two miles north of Summit. One day a covered wagon stopped near the dugout and a man came to the door asking if he could get some water.
Mary and John were always ready to help anyone who came along but this red-haired man was disturbing; he had a very evil-looking face. She felt a quiver going down her spine but she told the man that he was welcome to fill his jugs.
Then she saw a movement inside the wagon and realized that there were women in the group. She invited him to bring the women inside for a cup of coffee. Showing a set of big yellow teeth, the man snarled his refusal. It was a relief when, after adjusting his load, he got into the wagon and drove away. As they passed the door of the dugout, Mary heard the faint cry of a new-born baby!
After a brief pause in the ravine west of the house, the heavy Conestoga wagon headed westward without a backward glance. Mary watched it until it slid out of sight below the horizon.
The rest of the afternoon she was busy with household chores so thought nothing more of the incident.
Late in the day she took her two-year old daughter for a walk and they noticed that their pig was rolling something around with her snout. It looked like a bundle of rags; but who, in this land where every scrap of cloth was utilized, would throw away a bundle of rags? The people in the covered wagon must be rich, she thought, to discard so much. She needed so many things; dish rags, cleaning cloths, even shirts for babies could be made out of bits and pieces. She could wash those rags, boil them and get them real clean and…
With a start, she saw a little foot protrude; then a hand came out and, with it, the realization that it was a tiny baby wrapped in a dirty blanket!
By this time, the pig’s snout was already exploring the baby’s cheek! Mary grabbed the bundle away just in time. A weak wail was proof that the baby was alive.
When John came in from the field, he was amazed to find a new-born baby on the bed. The little girl was in good condition except for a grasshopper bite on her cheek.
The big problem was to find food for the child until they remembered that an acquaintance of theirs had given birth to a still-born baby a few days before. She agreed to nurse the foundling for a few days until the Ravens could locate a source of milk. Fortunately John’s cow freshened and they had plenty of milk so the baby was brought back to the dugout.
One day John went to the Washington settlement on business and he met a couple from the Hanover settlement who were yearning for a baby. They asked John about the motherless little girl in his home. They were an elderly couple, married late in life, who would never have children of their own.
It was hard to let the baby go but Mary gave her up the day before her second daughter was born. Although Hanover and Washington are not far apart, it was a great distance in those days. Mary never had the opportunity to go to Hanover but she hears, through people traveling back and forth, that the old couple adored the baby and that they were taking good care of her.
A year or so later the evil-looking man returned. He didn’t mention the abandoned baby but he questioned Mary so thoroughly about her own baby’s age that she was certain that he was trying to determine whether or not she was the baby he had left in the ravine. Mary was terrified; she made it clear to him that Lou was not a foster child. She did not, however, reveal the whereabouts of the little foundling.
Eighteen years later, at an old settler’s reunion in Washington, a beautiful red-haired young lady came to Mary and introduced herself as the baby who had been found in the ravine. Life had been good to her, she said: she had been reared in a good home. Her foster parents had lived until she was almost eighteen years old. She was now happily married.
In the following five sketches Mrs. Ruth Johnson Smith recalls incidents concerning her grandparents, the J.M. Elliots and the T.F. Johnsons, her great grandmother Mrs. Maria Elliott. Ruth Johnson was born and reared in the Linn community. Now the wife of Calvin Smith, she lives near Oakley.
How excited we used to be on Memorial Day! Our Grandfather Johnson was a member of G.A.R. and that organization had charge of the Memorial Day and Decoration services.
Early in the morning Grandpa would cut basketsful of roses, cedar, and asparagus. Then we all sat around making and tying bouquets.
After dinner the little girls dressed in white dresses, and we went to town in the surrey. The girls were let off at the armory. There were gathered there the band, members of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), and 50 or 60 little girls all dressed in white. Some member of the G.A.R. pinned a bright colored badge on each little girl. Then we formed a line and paraded to the Methodist church where the services were to be held. The G.A.R. sat on one side of the platform, the choir on the other, and the little girls down in front.
After the service, all sent to the cemetery. Everyone gathered around a wooden altar representing the grave of the Unknown Soldier – everyone except the G.A.R. and the little girls. One G.A.R. member and four little girls, each with a bouquet, went to each veteran’s grave. The old soldier stood at the head of the grave and two girls on each side. At a signal from the altar, the girls placed their flowers on the grave. Then all marched back to join the crowd. A short service was held there, and each soldier placed a bouquet on the altar. With the benediction the service was over, and people went to their homes.
“Fill the barrels!” shouted Grandfather as he passed the house with his team on the dead run.
Grandmother and the children hurried to the open well and began drawing water with the rope and buckets. Soon the barrels were filled and in the wagon. One of the boys came running with old sacks and things and put them in the wagon.
Grandfather and the boys drove away as fast as they could. For a prairie fire had been discovered. When they arrived at the fires, they dipped the sacks and things into the water and beat the fire with them. They, with all the neighbors, worked long and hard until they were black, burnt, and tired. Nevertheless, they were happy because they had saved their home from the red demon, the prairie fire.
“The Other Wise Man”
In our town was a man who was a doctor, ran a drug store, and book store combined, was postmaster, and had been a representative to the state legislature (Dr. R.W. Maintz). He wore a goatee, a cut-away coat, gloves, and spats and carried a cane. He called all the women “Sister,” and made a great to-do when he went to wait on a customer.
One day my Grandmother was looking at the books on the shelves when the doctor came to her assistance. He bowed, smiled, rubbed his hands together, and asked, “Is there anything I can do for you, Sister?”
Grandmother said “I was looking for ‘The Other Wise Man,’” The doctor bowed a little lower, rubbed a little harder, smiled a little broader, and asked, “Won’t I do?”
My great grandmother Elliott was a Quaker, even to using “thee” and “thou” in her conversation. She was a tiny woman, good-hearted, and never turned from her door anyone who needed help.
One time she heard a knock on the door. When she opened it, there stood a tall Indian, indicating by gestures that he wanted something to eat. She invited him to come in and went about getting food for him. He walked into her kitchen, and behind him came six other big, strapping Indians. She gave them everything she had to eat in the house, and they still indicated they wanted more. The only thing she had was some buttermilk, so she offered that to them. The chief tasted the buttermilk, didn’t like it, so he spit it out on the kitchen floor.
My grandfather Johnson lived in Illinois. He had fought on the Union side in the Civil war and had been mustered out. In 1868 he decided to come to Kansas to take a homestead. He secured a covered wagon, traded his horses for a team of oxen, and started out.
When he reached his land, he decided to build a dugout. He dug a place in the hillside not far from the creek, then from the timber cut trees and prepared logs for building his house. After he had the logs ready to use, a prairie fire swept through and burned all of them. He cut more trees, made more logs, and built his house on top of the hill.
In 1892 Stephen and Rosella Hankins with their two children, Addie and Earl, were traveling by covered wagon on their way to join relatives ad Ness City. The trail took them through the Linn area. Rose was so impressed by the abundance of fruit in the orchards of the settlers that she talked Stephen into locating here.
They bought 160 acres of land two miles west of Linn. C.F. Schwerdtfeger financed them and the terms of the mortgage called for repayment in gold coins.
On this farm another child, Vera, was born to them. Stephen died in 1897 and Rose paid for the farm after his death by carrying a small panful of gold coins to Mr. Schwerdtfeger’s home.
Rose and her family moved to town in 1902. Vera (Mrs. A.L. Foster) still lives here.
By Pam Meyer
Most of the information for this story came from my grandmother, Elsie Wienck, who had the recipes and from my grandfather, Butch (Edward) Wienck, who added small details and jokes that grandma had forgotten.
The first recipe that they gave me was for “Metwurst”, a German word for what we today call summer sausage. This recipe is nearly 100 years old and originally came from my great great grandmother Rodehorst who came to this country from Germany.
They started out by telling me how they smoked their meat. Smoking was necessary in those days as there was no refrigeration; and the smoking was usually done in the winter months because the cold was better for the meat.
Here is the recipe that has been handed down through the years:
Summer Sausage (Metwurst)
10 lb. sausage meat
2 tbl. Pepper
5 tbl. Salt
2 tbl. Sage
1 pint water
Mix these ingredients together and pour it into casings. Naturally my first question was “What are casings?” Grandpa laughed at my ignorance and explained that they were really pig guts. I made a sour face at that remark and he went on to say that he could remember his grandma using a long pointed stick to turn the casings inside out. They did this because the insides were full of manure and scales or pig fat. He said that it was a very smelly process.
This recipe would fill 10 or 12 of these two-foot long casings which would then be tied together in a loop with and old curtain string.
A trench, approximately 10 or 12 feet long would be dug in the ground and covered with tin. A fifty-gallon bottomless barrel, with the sausages hung in it and protected by a lid, would be placed at one end of the trench. At the other end a fire would be built. The smoke from the fire would crawl through the trench and come up the barrel to smoke the sausages. A direct fire on the sausages would have burned them. Grandpa added that some people even had smoke houses for this purpose but most families, like his, couldn’t afford one.
This process would take place early in the morning and at sundown the sausages would be brought in the house overnight to prevent animals from eating the meat. The next morning they would be brought back out to finish smoking. The entire smoking process usually took around two days. Then they would be stored in the cellar after being dipped in liquid smoke to prevent molding.
The second recipe that they gave me is that of blood sausage. Grandpa said that he could remember back to when he was a small boy, and a day when they made blood sausage. It was a cold and blustery winter day when he and his father and his cousins loaded up a nice fat hog on a sled and dragged him up over snow banks to the grain shed. Once inside, they stuck a knife into the animal’s neck and quickly held a huge dishpan to catch the blood.
They then rushed the pan to the house where the women added salt and pepper and diced pork to the blood. They thickened it with flour and poured it into casings and then cooked it. Sometimes, for a special treat, raisins would be added. In the days to come the sausage could be eaten either hot or cold.
My other grandmother, Emilie Meyer, recently had some of this sausage. I had one small piece and, believe me, it tastes as bad as it sounds!
Then they told me about making knipp. My folks still make this today and we usually serve it for breakfast about once a week.
Cook two cow hearts and two cow tongues in separate pans. Save the liquid from the hearts; let cool and then skin the tongues. Grind the hearts and tongues together.
4 lbs. hamburger
2 tsp. all spice
4 tsp. salt
2 quarts of the water from the hearts
Cook this mixture in a skillet and add oatmeal to thicken it. If it’s not thick enough, add more oatmeal; if too thick, add more of the water from the hearts. Pour this mixture over the ground hearts and tongues. Mix together. Then either pour it into fruit jars or put into containers or bags and freeze them.
This knipp is very good for breakfast along with toast and eggs. Sometimes if desired, pork can be used in place of some of the hamburger.
As an addition to this recipe, Grandpa said he could remember a story my Great, Great Uncle Ernest Rodehurst told him: “In the old days the day before a special occasion, such as a wedding, would be spent in preparing food for the wedding guests. Usually a big washtub full of knipp would be made. If it was in the summer time, the heat might affect the knipp and it would start to rise and bubble in the pan. But the wedding guests would eat it anyway and more than half of them would go home with diarrhea!”
But to get back to the story. My Grandma said that one of her favorite foods as a young lady was liver loaf. Here is the recipe her mother used. It is very similar to our meat loaf today.
Cook the liver in water and then grind it up.
¼ lb. pork
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
½ cup milk
½ cup bread crumbs
1 ground onion or season with sage
Form into a loaf and bake. Slice and eat hot.
Grandpa had another story that I thought was quite interesting. Back in the early years when there wasn’t much money, such things as sugar were considered a luxury. So they couldn’t can fruit as we do today because it took too much sugar. Instead they would pick the peaches from their orchard and lay them on top of a small shed which had a tin roof. Since the tin would get very hot from the sun, this would dry the peaches so they could be kept without the usual canning. Sometimes it took quite a few days for the peaches to dry. Depending on the weather, and then they had to crawl up on the roof each day to turn the peaches so they would dry evenly. There was always the chance of ants and other bugs eating the peaches, so they had to sort the peaches and sort out the bad ones.
So, as you can see, there were many types of food my grandparents ate as youngsters that many people wouldn’t even dream of touching today. Some of the things were very different than what we eat today; and some are still old favorite family recipes.
Armistice Day, 1918
Like July 4, 1899 when blacksmiths John and “Sport” Kappleman put gun powder between the anvils and ‘let ‘er go’, Linn observed Armistice Day November 11, 1918 the same way. Bill Timme remembers his father and “Dutch” Kappleman carrying the anvils out into the street and shooting off gun powder at intervals during the day. Wm. Timme Sr. owned the blacksmith shop which was situated where part of Kuhlman’s Hardware Store is today.
As happy as everyone was that day, there was a touch of sadness mingled with their joy when they remembered the two who would not return from the war. Ira Austin, originally a Palmer lad, had been a barber in Linn and George Kohlmeier had been a farm boy before Uncle Sam called them into service for their country. Both lost their lives.
Linn was the first town in Washington County to be ravaged by one of several tornadoes which ripped through this area on Tuesday evening, September 25, 1973.
The tornado hurled its terrifying force into the city from the south with the main part of the storm moving north across the east edge of town. The center of it passed directly through the water tower, over the old creamery building, the Linn Enterprises, the old hotel and on north.
Fortunately no lives were lost but many homes, garages and cars were a total loss; others were nearly demolished and many suffered extensive damage. The Missouri Pacific depot was blown completely off its foundation and much of the debris landed far away. Alvin Kuhlman’s blacksmith shop was a total loss. The Linn Enterprises, housed in the old Hoerman Produce Company building, was completely gutted, its heavy steel beams twisted with the tearing apart of the roof and walls. The main creamery building was badly shaken. Rice-Johntz Lumber Company had heavy damage. Other business buildings with extensive damage included: Nutrena Feeds, near destruction; post office, roof off and windows out; Linn State Bank, roof and glass damage; Kuhlman’s Garage, roof and glass damage; the school house, some damage.
Help arrived en masse soon after the storm was over. Farmers from the area and residents from Greenleaf, Palmer, Washington and Barnes hastened to aid in preventing fires and seeing that everyone was safe.
The tornado hit Linn at 7:05 p.m. and Greenleaf was hit as 8:55 p.m. Many Greenleaf citizens were helping in Linn when they were notified that their own city had been demolished.
Emergency crews snapped into action and by the following evening many of Linn’s homes and businesses had lights, gas, water and telephones again. Soup kitchens were set up to feed the homeless and others who came to the area to help with the clean-up.
By Thursday of the same week, some businesses were back in operation; many had to set up temporary headquarters in other business houses.
The following compilation of damage to real estate in the tornado was published in the Linn-Palmer Record: 9 businesses and 16 homes totally destroyed; 19 businesses and 64 homes partly destroyed.
The storm was a major catastrophe for the city. Property damage was extensive and, had not the volunteers been here to help, the labor involved in cleaning up would have exceeded $35,000. Linn is grateful to the individuals and church groups who came from far and near to be of assistance.
This was the second tornado to strike Linn in recent years. In 1966 a storm of lesser magnitude struck the north part of town. Arlo Reed’s house was completely destroyed and the school house excessively damaged. Other homes and buildings in the city had lesser damage although there was considerable rural devastation. The Willis Billings home west of Linn was completely torn up and the Herman Pfeiffer home had considerable damage. As in 1973, no lives were lost and volunteers pitched in and helped clean up the debris in a minimum of time.
Although the storm of 1973 was a big blow to the city, Linn went on just as she had weathered the dust storms, and the depression of the thirties. Through good times and bad, Linn has always gone on.
Let’s Take Them On A Tour
If the old settlers could visit Linn now, what a change they would see! Imagine us taking them on a tour of the little city to show them what has been happening in the last hundred years.
We will start at the intersection of the two main business streets and point out the Co-op elevator first. This and the elevators in the east part of town are the Linn branch of the Farmers’ Co-operative Elevator Association of Greenleaf, Linn, Washington and Morrowville. Larry Lehman is manager of the Linn conglomerate.
One of the most important businesses in town, the elevators provide storage facilities for 454,000 bushels of grain, 225 tons of liquid fertilizer, 500 tons of dry fertilizer and 200 tons of anhydrous. There is a continual turn-over of the fertilizers. The overall business totals approximately 3 million dollars annually with the business totals approximately 3 million dollars annually with the feed sales alone running about ¾ of a million dollars per year.
Other employees at the elevators include: Allen Kohlmeier, Donald Woodward, Roland Tiemeyer, Marshall Jones, Michael Woerner, and Olive Foote.
Ed Doupnik was manager of the Linn elevators from 1948 until his retirement in 1973.
Across the street east is another co-operative, also under the management of the Farmer’s Elevator Association. This is the Co-op filling station. LaVern Meyerhoff is manager; Charles Long assists him. Lawrence Oestreich is a petroleum salesman. This filling station was built in the early 1920s by Paul and Malinda Pronske. In 1949 LaVern Heitman took it over; after his death in 1975, Mrs. Heitman leased the business to the Co-op.
Heitman’s Café, owned and operated by Mrs. LaVern Heitman since 1972, is the first door east of the filling station.
Walking east a little way, we find the Linn Recreation parlor, Linn’s Mayor, Jim Herda, has been owner and operator for 25 years. He is assisted by his wife, Anna May. They also own and operate the Linn Coin Laundry located on the corner of 4th and B streets.
Next stop is the Leiszler Retail Liquor Store, Del Leiszler, proprietor. The business was started in 1949 by Estol Eveland. After Estol’s death in 1973, Del purchased the business. Orphia Feldhausen is a clerk in the liquor store.
Del has been a part of the Linn business circle for many years. He was in the oil business from 1931 to 1973, a total of forty-two years.
Phil’s Gun Repair and Supply comes next. Phil Balch has been owner and operator since 1975.
The Record publishing company, occupying what used to be the old Forum, is our next stop. Here we find tom Mall, owner and operator since 1962. The Linn Digest was established in 1897. In 1924 Albert Higgins consolidated the Linn digest and the Palmer Index and called the paper the Linn-Palmer Record. Tom has one full-time employee, June Rahe, and two part-time; Judy Lehman and Marlene Ohlde. This is a family business and Toms children work after school hours and in the summer.
The Linn Store and Locker System owned and operated by Mr. and Mr. Leroy Alexander is between the Record office and the barbershop. Leroy and Nola are ably assisted by their daughter and son-in-law, Beverly and Chuck Dieckmann.
Leroy bought the Linn Store from Anna Raven Guiles in 1945 and moved it to the present location where he had erected a new building. He added the locker system and butchering plant in 1946.
Chuck Dieckmann worked for Leroy in the Linn store when he was a lad in high school but it was not until 1958, after a short time of working as a mechanic, that he became a full-time employee at the store. After a few years in the grocery section, he transferred to the butchering department.
In 1971, Leroy installed a smokehouse and since that time Chuck has devoted much of his time to the curling of meats, a field in which he has received considerable recognition. In 1974 at the state locker convention in Wichita, he placed first in the bacon and dried beef show and third in the ham show. The following years, 1975, he placed first in all three categories. In 1976 he placed first in dried beef and second in ham and bacon.
Linn Locker products are marketed all over Kansas. They have sent smoked turkeys as far away as Boston.
Chuck’s smoked hogs, also, are in demand over a large territory. In 1974 the National Guard sent a helicopter to pick up two smoked hogs for a Christmas party at Topeka.
Chuck is greatly in demand as a caterer. His barbecued hogs have been served at fairs, centennial celebrations, church dinners, and weddings all over this area. He barbecues pork for 500 or 1000 persons with the greatest of ease.
Other employees at the Linn Store and Locker System include: Nancy Beikmann and Jackie Dieckmann in the store; Rhonda Mueller, Stanley Reed, Terry Lehman and Anita Weiche in the meat department; Kenny Tiemeyer is the butcher.
Noel True operates the barbershop one day a week.
The Linn State Bank, with O.D. Mack as cashier, is on the corner. This bank, organized in 1934, was the only new bank started in Kansas in that depression year. Letha Johnson, Vi Lobough and Beverly Blaha are clerks here.
Bank employees are looking forward to moving into the new building which us under construction directly north of the old one on the opposite side of the tracks. This structure will be modern in every way and a decided asset to the town.
At the bank we will turn and go south. When we open the next door, we are greeted by J.R. Moore, owner and operator of the Moore Agency. In business here since the early 60s, he handles real estate and insurance. His employees are; Mary Lou Bevitt and Joyce Winter, full-time; and Betty Meier and Dorothy Hatesohl, part-time.
The House of Beauty, Gladys Stone, proprietor, is in the same building as the Moore Agency. Ann Brandt is in her employ.
At the next corner we find the B. and B. Farm Center housed in what used to be the telephone building. LaVern Bechard, owner, has one employee, sue Mueller. He deals in feed concentrates, pre-mixes, liquid supplement and anti-biotics.
Zita’s Beauty Salon is one and a half blocks south of the B. and B. Zita Pfeiffer, owner and operator, started the business in 1932.
Across the street from Zita’s and about a block north we come to the part of the old creamery building which came through the 1973 tornado intact. It now houses Associated Milk Producers Inc., a receiving station for milk to be sent to Hillsboro for processing. Arlo Reed is in charge here. Field men are Bill Hiltgen, Dale Wells and Hiriam Burdick. Albert Rodehorst, Loren Mueller and Harold Weimers collect milk from farmers and haul it to the receiving station in refrigerated tank trucks.
Across the street north, where the Hoerman Produce Company once stood, is a large steel building which houses Linn Enterprises Inc. Rick Fischer is manager. Started in 1972, this firm I s owned by nine business men. They manufacture all kinds of agricultural equipment including trailers, bale haulers, loading shoots, and hog and cattle panels. Six men have full-time employment here: Rick Fischer, Virgil Funk, Lonnie Edgar, Alvin Kolars, Firman Brandt, and Lester Ayers. Ann Herrs is bookkeeper.
The new Linn post office, built in 1964 by LaVern Long, is on the next corner north. Jack Anderson is postmaster; Richard Weiche is a clerk here.
Turning east at the post office, we come to the Pruser Electric shop. Living in Clifton where he also operates a business, Melvin Pruser is fairly new I the Linn business circle. Mr. and Mrs. Pruser run the shop with the help of Delbert Beikmann and Ron Bechard.
The rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, now owned by the Hardman Lumber Company, is next on our itinerary. This, too, is an old landmark which was restored after the 1973 tornado. Alvin Herrs is the present manager. Richard Rodehorst is his assistant and Sophia Buch keeps the books. The lumber yard, started around the turn of the century, has seen many managers come and go. Among them were: Ben Flyr, Floyd Hayes, Lowell Wallace, Lowell Fasholtz, F.N. Rood, and A.J. Kirkendall.
North of the lumber yard and slightly to the east we find Mueller’s Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. Emil Mueller is the owner.
The Linn Post and Pipe Supply Inc. is located across the tracks and slightly west of the ready mix plant. Emil Peters is president with Louis Bierbaum co-owner. Founded in 1974, this concern now has seven employees. They specialize in feed lot fencing and also do custom manufacturing.
Alvin Kuhlman is in the next door west. He has been Linn’s blacksmith for 44 years, since 1932 when he took over the business from William Timme Sr. Alvin’s shop was completely demolished in the tornado but he has rebuilt and is going stronger than ever.
The new bank is going up on the corner west of here. This where O.D. Mack and his staff expect to set up for business as soon as the structure is finished.
Kuhlman’s garage and service station is west of the new bank. Kuhlman’s occupy the whole west side of this block. Hen Kuhlman, owner and proprietor of the conglomerate, went into business for himself in 1935 when he bought the garage and service station from Archie J. McBratney. At that time he took on the Ford and Chrysler agencies.
In 1944, when Ed Collins retired, Kuhlman bought the Collins Hardware Store and moved the stock into the structure he had built adjoining the garage on the north. He also bought the old Farmers’ State Bank building from Viola Lohmeyer who had been operating a store there, and connected this with his hardware store. For awhile the new acquisition was used to house an appliance shop but now it is a garden center.
That Kuhlman also has an extensive implement business can be seen by the various implement yards scattered over town. He represents Massey-Ferguson, Case, Krause, Hesston, and Noble. His implement show room is across the street west of the hardware store.
In the busy farming season, mechanics and repair parts are available twenty-four hours a day at Kuhlman’s.
Employees include: Helen Meyerhoff, Lawrence Lehman, Edwin Beikmann, Raymond Rahe, Lola Lohman, Cherryle Reed, David Dankenbring, and Nathan Meyerhoff.
Proceeding north we find Ralph’s Grocery on the next corner. Ralph and Ruth Hatter, owners and operators, started business in Linn in 1954. The store has been a family business with all the children helping, but now the children are all married and Ralph and Ruth are alone.
The Universal Supply, Albert Peters, proprietor, is the first door north of Ralph’s. Bert started his business there in 1948. In addition to his appliance stock, he has an extensive T.V. repair service.
Next comes the Linn Body Shop. Orville Long opened this business in 1946. He employs his son, Don Long. Along with body work of all kinds, they also do general repair work and tune-ups and they handle used cars.
Now we turn back south and cross the street. On the northwest corner, across from Kuhlman’s garden center, we find singular’s furniture store with a second building the third door south. Charles singular is the owner of this furniture complex; his son, Don Singular, is manager. Charlie bought the furniture and funeral business from Paul Herda in 1933. The store was then located in the old Maintz building on the lots now occupied by the Linn Store. Charlie built a new structure on the site of the old harness shop and has been doing business there ever since. He now has two furniture stores in this block with over an acre of floor space. His south store, located in the old Buck building which he remodeled and modernized, was opened in 1969. He uses the Club Royal building, the old Masonic lodge hall, and the hatchery building in the east part of town as warehouses for his extensive stock of furniture.
The Singulars has two employees: Neil McGregor and Don Winter.
The Singulars also have a modern funeral home around the corner west of the Coin Laundry. This is on the site of the old Armory Hall which Charlie used as a nucleus for the up-to-date funeral facility he has today. In 1934 he bought the Armory (which originally was used by the G.A.R. and the Sons of Veterans) and converted it into a structure suitable for a funeral home. In the years since, he has improved the building and enlarged it twice.
The Singular Funeral Home is well-staffed. Charles Singular is a licensed mortician; Don and Gertrude Singular are licensed funeral directors.
The Linn Pharmacy, along with Kuhlman’s show room, is situated between the two singular stores. Until his death in September, 1976, Clarence Johnson had been in business here for over 63 years. Although closed now, this business was unique in that three generations of Johnsons had operated the store.
Several businesses are scattered along the outskirts of town. The M. and W. Soybean Processing Plant, Loren Wollenburg owner and operator, is one of these. It is located at the northeast edge of Linn. This plant has been in operation since 1971. Designed to serve much of the northeast and north central Kansas and southern Nebraska, this operation is based o the growing preference for soybeans as a farm crop and cattle food. At full capacity, the plant handles 2,000 pounds of dry beans per hour.
The Farmland Hog Buying Station, also at the northeast edge of town, is outside the city limits. Craig Schmitt is manager of the business which opened in 1975.
The Linn Legion Restaurant and Club is located at the east edge of Linn just off of Highway 15. Delbert Beikmann is manager.
The restaurant, with dance floor and private bar, is equipped to serve 200 diners at one time and up to 600 can be served in relays.
Myrl Merritt operates a Phillips 66 service station in the north part of town. He has managed this business since 1965 and has one employee, An Dang. In addition to the filling station, Myrl does general repair work and also operates a bulk truck for delivering fuel to farmers.
Another block north we find Ervin Duitsman’s place of business I his home. He represents the Aid Society for Lutherans.
Clarence Dammann also works at his home. He has a furniture refinishing and upholstering shop in his back yard. Clarence is busy all the time.
Emil Wilkens, dealer in Moorman’s Concentrates, operates his business from his home in south Linn.
LaVern Long, contractor, has built many of the newer buildings in and around Linn. He went into business for himself in 1962 after Ed Mildfeldt’s death. Some years ago LaVern bought the old high school auditorium which he uses as a shop and warehouse. The Long Construction Company employs: Michael Applegarth, Ivan Long Sr., Ivan Long Jr., Gary Stolte, Gary Helms, Richard Weiche, and Stanley Ohlde.
The Linn Rural Telephone Company is the first door east of LaVern Long’s shop. Dick Ostrich is the manager and lineman.
William Timme’s garage, located next door to his residence in west Linn, is another successful business which adds much to the town. He opened his business in 1947. Bill specializes in general repairing, brakes, ignition, carburetor tune-ups, and Briggs and Stratton motor repair.
The Linn Community Nursing Home located on a three-acre tract also is in west Linn. The 50-bed installation has been operating since 1970. At the present time, a 27-bed addition is underway, plus two cottages designed to provide individual living quarters for several persons with food facilities and nursing care coming from the home. Raymond Guiles is the present administrator and Vicki Meyer is the registered nurse in charge. Licensed practical nurses, nurse’s aids, cooks, laundresses, housekeepers and custodians bring the total number of employees to forty.
Across the street south from the nursing home, Linn’s housing complex for the elderly was financed and built by the Housing Authority of the City of Linn in co-operation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Located about three blocks west of Linn’s main business district, the project occupies almost tow acres. The 12 apartments of quality construction were specifically designed to provide comfortable living for the elderly at economical rates.
Mrs. Malinda Goss is executive director of the housing project.
As this book goes to press late in 1976, Linn is preparing to enter her second century. Just how the little city responds to the changing times remains to be seen. We feel confident, however, that our town with a population of 471 hardy souls is composed of people of high caliber who will meet all challenges with courage and endurance. Whatever happens, there will always be a Linn!
Linn Digest, 1899
Mr. Carpenter, salesman for Dr. Baker’s medicine, broke his wagon down Wednesday four miles south of town and had to walk in.
Mr. N.S.Leuszler was breaking a fine span of young mules Saturday.
For Sale! The right to run the general stand on the celebration grounds the Fourth of July. There will be but one general stand with the privilege of selling anything except lemonade, pop and ice cream. $25 is the price will take a little less. Come to this office to get a bargain.
Grand celebration, basket picnic and temperance convention in Linn July 4, 1899. M.E. Sunday school assisted by other Sunday schools in southern part of county. Linn citizens will celebrate in a manner in perfect accord with the sentiments of the day.
Hopfer’s Store! Prices to suit the long man who is short, the round man who is square, the crooked man who is straight, as well as the man of regular size who is either regular or irregular in his habits.
La Grippe is again epidemic.
Cyclists of Linn and Palmer had a bicycle picnic at Palmer’s bicycle tract. Liberal prizes where given to ladies and men for the fastest riding. They had a grand parade in the forenoon. All bicyclists in the county were invited.
See Meierkord and Roche for cheap Washington County farms: 80 acres -- $900; 160 acres -- $20 per acre;160 acres -- $2600; 240 acres -- $4000; 160 acres -- $3000.
Coming! Art Cole and his popular comedy company. Cake walk; comedy singer; Negro singer; Master Robert, the youngest character comedian on the American stage. Plus Moving Pictures!
John Schwerdtfeger has been dehorning cattle throughout the country. He sawed off nearly 200 horns this year making a total of 7,000 horns sawed off in the past four seasons.
The bicycles are keeping the roads hot since the mud dried up.
Edward Neider is improving since he has taken upon himself the obligation of trying to live a more moral life than in the past.
Ruby Geraldine Brunner tipped the scales at 16 ½ pounds this week. Pretty good for a two-month babe.
The box supper at George Henselman’s school house last Thursday proved to be one of the most successful events of the season. An enjoyable program was well rendered. Owing to the kindness of Messrs Troup, our obliging liverymen, a crowd of Linn young folks were enabled to attend.
Miss Anna Freeborn returned from Baldwin Monday where she has been attending Baker University for two years. She will teach school in the coming year and then return to finish the course. She tells us that Snowden Parlette, who was one of Linn’s charming lads a few years ago, graduated from there this spring at the age of nineteen.
Last Sunday was the first time Linn was ever canvassed by a book agent on the Lord’s Day. He gave the people to understand that he was a preacher who worked hard to sell his books until the church bells rang. Then he went to church. As soon as the service was over he continued to canvass until he left for Clifton on the three o’clock train.
W.T. Roche, insurance agent. Insure wheat, oats, rye, barley or flax for $2 to $8 per acre. Insurance rate is only 4 percent; thus insuring for $2 per acre will cost only 8 cents per acre; and at $8 would cost but 32 cents per acre.
Mr. and Mrs. A. Hambleton made their adopted daughter, Miss Leta Jones, a present of a fine new organ. Dr. Hambleton of Chicago, brother of A. Hambleton, made the selection from the wholesale house there and the instrument is up-to-date in every particular.
Miss Mary Simmons has 250 chicks and eighteen hens haven’t ‘come off’ yet.
The Linn Grade School teachers this year are A.C. Krebs, upper grades and Lottie Bedker, lower grades. There will be eight months of school. A wooden sidewalk has been built along the west and north sides of the school ground and it is connected to the platform in front of the building.
Dr. A.M. Pickett, noted lecturer and specialist is at the hotel in Linn and has been lecturing to good-sized audiences at the school house. Lectures are given from skeletons, manikins, skulls and painting. Dr. Pickett treats all forms of chronic diseases very successfully. Consultation and advice free of charge. All cases treated very cheap by the month.
Mr. Haney’s dog went mad Sunday night and showed them a nice time before they could kill it. After an successful attack with fire arms which, as reports have it, lasted for several rounds, the vicious animal was killed with an ax. No one was hurt but their other dog was bitten by it and was also killed. If cases of small pox were half as numerous as mad dogs, everybody would be terribly frightened while it is not half so dangerous and far less fatal.
Lightening was fierce Wednesday night. E.A. Hopfer was so shocked in his home that he fell senseless to the floor and it was some time before he revived. The next day he still felt the effects in one knee joint.
Prof. Pickett closed his lectures and work in hypnotism Tuesday night. His audience kept growing to the last and all enjoyed watching his hypnotic exercises the last two evenings. His lectures are fine, being along lines that are instructive and beneficial and make lots of fun for those who like it.
Statistics for Linn Township, 1899:
Inhabitants – 975 in township, 244 in town
Horses – 585
Mules – 106
Cows – 106
Other cattle – 1892
Sheep – 20
Hogs – 3078
Corn on hand – 60250 bushels
Value of poultry and eggs for year - $4055
Butter made in the family – 20240
Butter made in factory – 27760
Amount of personal property - $33, 160
Number of marriages – 12
Number of births – 26
Number of deaths – 9
Linn Digest 1900
Wanted!! Eight good strong men at $1.10 per day to begin work. Frank Jonson, carpenter & builder.
The Linn comedy Company gave an entertainment at Strawberry Saturday night for the benefit of the Woodman lodge. They had a good house and entertained the people in a satisfactory manner.
Farmer’s Institute Picnic! Music by home choir and Greenleaf band, D.M. Boyer will speak on “How to Raise 100 Bushels of Corn to the Acre”. Prof. H.M. Bainer of the agricultural college will attend. J.A. Totten will speak on “Society as Effecting Farmers and People Living in Country Homes”.
Empty syrup pails if in good condition, five cents in trade at any store in Linn.
The case of the state of Kansas vs. Conrad Meineke which was called Monday before Squire Elliott was continued until Tuesday morning at nine o’clock for the purpose of getting a jury. No one seemed inclined to be very severe on the defendant and the matter was thoroughly considered by the prosecution, resulting in a dismissal of the case, costs being paid by the defendant, who also entered into an agreement that he would not, in the future, engage in the liquor business. It saved the county a big expense and was perhaps the best solution of the matter.
Prof. A.D. Wilcox, state lecturer for the Kansas Temperance Union, spoke to a large crowd at the M.E. Church Tuesday night. He is a very able speaker and handled his subject “What is a Man Worth?” in a very pleasing manner.
Local market as of January 4, 1900
Hogs - $3.90 cwt.
Hay - $3.00 a ton
Corn - $ .21 a bu.
Wheat - $ .45 a bu.
Flax - $1.15 a bu.
Oats - $ .17 a bu.
Butter - $ .15 a lb.
Eggs - $ .15 a doz.
Hens - $ .04 a lb.
Spring chickens - $ .04 a lb.
Linn Digest, 1906
D.F. Perkins went to Clifton Tuesday to attend the picnic, to seek political support from the live ones, and to sell tombstones to be placed at the heads of those gone before.
One of John McGregor’s horses took sick in town last Saturday and it was impossible to take the animal home until the following day.
Linn Digest, 1914
Basketball game at Aggie’s Hall (where Mrs. Hulda Rahe’s house now stands). Linn’s alumni vs. Topeka All Stars. Score was 29 to 13, Players included Ray Smith, George Hoerman, Dave Griffis and Ben Gardner.
Linn Digest, 1915
J.T. Van Petten wasted a keg of perfectly good beer Wednesday by pouring it on the ground in the presence of a hoard of thirsty bipeds who would have soaked it up quicker than the wet earth if only given a chance. Why, shaw, J.T., that was an act of cruelty to animals!
Linn Digest, 1918
Carl Oestreich was Street Commissioner and city marshal of Linn.
W.W. Beaty inaugurated a ‘store on wheels’ – at first horse-drawn, later a truck, - to take goods to surrounding country for selling. Ed Poersch was the traveling salesman who maneuvered this vehicle.
Ira Austin, former Linn barber and native of Palmer, was reported killed in France.
Joe Hemmy is conducting a private auto school in Linn. For $5.00 a term a course on automobiles, gasoline engines and electricity is available.
Herman Raven went to Greenleaf Monday to consult a dentist about his store teeth. He says he can’t keep them anchored in their proper place.
‘Dutch Kappleman followed Carl Oestreich as city marshal.
Thursday evening a squad of twilight harvesters composed of a doctor, a dentist, a druggist, a harnessmaker, a lumberman, a bank clerk, a poultry and cream buyer, an elevator man and a printer went to the L.W. Lohemeyer farm where the put in shock 35 acres of wheat and oats in a little over an hour.
On Friday evening, with the addition of five more recruits, the squad went to the Eilert Duitsman and Chris Hartman farms and shocked 35 acres of wheat and oats.
Then on Monday evening John Laxton put out an SOS for the squad and 40 more acres were placed in shock.
On Wednesday, Oscar Wallace hoisted the distress signal and twilight shockers were ‘Johnny on the spot’ to harvest his 19 acres.
Members of this squad are either too old or too young to get into the fight with the Kaiser and they prefer to work any way they can.
Linn Digest, 1919
Dr. Maintz is giving free shows two nights this week at the Edison electric Theater.
August L. Stuenkel’s car overturned and spilled out a load of boys.
The senior class play which was first advertised to be given in the Methodist church will be given instead in Buck’ Hall (where Singular’s south store is now located).
Linn’s three mail carriers, Houston Johnson, Allen Bond and Herb Roche, report muddy roads.
Harry Otwell of the Otwell Broom factory was out selling brooms a few days last week.
Giff Michel’s team got a little unruly Saturday and, in the mix-up, broke the buggy tongue.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1930
Washington county Co-operative Creamery butter won first prize at the State Fair at Hutchinson.
Lawrence Bishop, Linn’s aviation enthusiast, went on several barnstorming trips recently. He also has a number of student fliers who are learning his expertise.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1932
The Printer’s Devils played the Kansas City Monarchs, a colored team, one of the best in the country. The Monarchs won but by a very close margin. In an eleven inning game, the score was 4 to 3.
Boys were given free tickets for the Saturday evening movie in exchange for cleaning Linn’s streets and alleys.
John Thoms was city marshal.
At a meeting Tuesday night the Lions Club was organized with twenty-three men becoming charter members.
The Linn Packers played in the Kansas AQ.U.A. Basketball championship tournament. The Packers have been playing four years and have won 111 out of 140 games played. At the tournament, they were victorious over the Omaha league and over the Citizen’s State Bank of Topeka team.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1933
The Linn Booster Club is issuing thousands of dollars worth of “Christmas Cheer Money” to be distributed by merchants to their customers. Over a hundred dollars worth of merchandise will be auctioned off the last three Saturday evenings before Christmas and paid for with this bogus money.
Gasoline prices of 11 cents and 12 cents per gallon include the 2 cents state and federal taxes.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1934
Linn suffered the worst dust storm in years on Thursday of last week. Most of the dust coming in was of foreign origin, coming from the dry lands of the northwest. After a day of inhaling somebody’s farm from up in Nebraska or, possibly, South Dakota, it was a relief when the murky haze cleared.
C.A. Johnson has been elected president of the North Central Kansas Baseball League. In the 1933 season, the Linn team won the pennant in the tournament.
The Linn community enjoyed the unique distinction of having no high school or township tax to pay as no levy had been made by the high school board or the township board.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1935
During these depression years residents of Linn, like those of all Midwest towns, are visited by a rash of back-door callers asking for something to eat. With the provision that they work one hour for their meal, the city council has made provision to care for and feed these men.
The worst severe dust storm in the history of this community came last Friday. Dust rolled in from the southwest and by ten o’clock it was almost impossible to see areas across the street. Not a great deal of wind accompanied the storm but fine particles of dust entered the tightest homes and left a thick coating everywhere. Within an hour and a half the severe part of the storm had passed although dust hung in the air throughout the day and into the night.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1936
An ordinance has been passed permitting the sale of beer in the city.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1939
Linn’s A Pinochle team took second place in the North Central Kansas League.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1941
Miss Ruth Johnson, a member of the Kansas Author’s Club, publishes poetry in books, magazines and newspapers. A recently published book, “Wings Over the Classroom”, contains one of Miss Johnson’s poems “A Teacher’s Soliloquy”. One of her early poems “In Bed With the Flu” was published in 1918.
Out of thirty-four samples of creamery butter sent to Omaha to be tested for keeping qualities, the butter from the Washington County Co-operative Creamery ranked first.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1957
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Groom of Clay Center, who were married in Linn in 1901 and had their wedding reception in the Linn Hotel, came back for their 50th anniversary dinner in 1951. Last week they were back at the same place to celebrate their 56th anniversary. Mr. Groom was a barber in Linn at the turn of the century.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1959
The bond election to enlarge the school facilities carried with a good majority last week.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1960
The Missouri Pacific passenger train made its final run through Linn on November 14, 1960.
Linn-Palmer Record, 1964
Gaining forty new residents the past year, Linn has now passed the 500 mark.
Roster of Linn Business Men
1881 – 1976
1897 – W.T. Roche
1899 – Roche & Bennett, Law Firm
1900 – Mr. Schwindaman
1913 – Harry Faris
1927 – Art Harz
1930 – Arnold Thompson
1932 – Bakery, Joe Drurey
1897 – Tonsorial Artist, R.M. Elwell
1899 – Tonsorial Artist, “Clean towels, Clean shave”, Harry Peppel
1901 – City Barber Ship, R.H. Groom
1905 – J.A. Sisemore, barber
1906 – W.F. Blaske, Tonsorial Parlor
1906 – E.W. Brown, barber
1913 – Corner Barber Shop, Wm. Rogge
1913 – Barbershop, R.M. Shields
1916 – Barber Shop, Roy Blake
1917 – Linn Barber Shop, Ira Austin
1918 – Linn Barber Shop, M.O. Hellman
1919 – Linn Barber Shop, Elmer Bennett
1922 – Linn Barber Shop, Fred Dey
1922 – White Way Barber Shop, Charles Boal
1924 – Barber, Howard Hogaboom
1924 - City Barber Shop, A.L. Foster
1925 – Barber Shop and Pool Room, Charles Boal
1929 – Pfeiffer barber Shop & Pool Room, Alvin Pfeiffer
1947 – Barber Shop, C.A. Nelson
1956 – Barber – three days per week – Junior Pauley
1956 – Linn Barber Shop, Newell Vathauer
1959 – Linn Barber Shop, Chas. Crum
1959 – Dick’s Barber Shop, Richard Latham
1965 – Vern’s Barber Shop, LaVern Meyerhoff
1972 - Gary Shaver, barber one day a week
1976 – Neil True, barber one day a week
1886 – Exchange State Bank, M.F. Southwick, organizer & first Linn banker
1887 – Exchange State Bank, August Soller, cashier
1890 – Exchange State Bank, Ed Lehman, cashier
1893 – Exchange State Bank, H.J. Meierkord, cashier
1914 – Farmer’s State Bank, Le Roy Bishop, cashier
1934 – Linn State Bank, Raymond Oltjen, cashier
1940 – Linn State Bank, Charles Chizek, cashier
1961 – Linn State Bank, O.D. Mack, cashier
1926 – Marcelling – Tuesdays and Fridays at Timme’s Barber Shop, Edna Timme
1931 – Marjorie Jean’s Beauty Shoppe, Mrs. A.L. Savoie & daughter Marjorie
1932 – Zita Carroll’s Beauty Shop
1933 – Zita Pfeiffer’s Beauty Shop
1941 – Linn Beauty Shop, Ellen Heinen
1971 – House of Beauty, Gladys Stone
1900 – Blacksmith Shop, John & Sport Kappleman; every 4th of July at dawn the brothers put gun powder between two anvils and set it off.
1913 – Wm. Timme Sr., The Blacksmith Shop
1915 – “Dutch” Kappleman, blacksmith
1924 – Timme’s Blacksmith garage
1930 – F.C. Pauli, blacksmithing
1931 – Kuhlman’s Blacksmith Shop, Albert Kuhlman
1932 – Alvin Kuhlman, blacksmith
1946 – Linn Body Shop, Orville Long
1939 – Bowling Alley in Forum Building, A. Cote
1881 – Matthew’s Coal House
1890 – James & Fox Coal Dealers, John T. Fox, mgr.
1964 – Coin Laundry, Betty Herda
1971 – Coin Laundry, James & Anna May Herda
Cafes and Restaurants
1899 – Rholf’s Restaurant
1913 – Restaurant, H.B. Blanken
1913 – Restaurant, Guy Riggs
1918 – Restaurant, V.A. Dunnic
1918 – Restaurant, O.Z. Randall
1924 – City Restaurant, J.J. Erhard
1926 – Seams’ Restaurant
1929 – Charles Boal Lunch Room
1930 – Hamburger Inn, Mrs. Ruby Boal
1932 – Hamburger Inn, Mrs. E.C. Kohlmeier
1932 – Ted’s Lunch Room, Ted Lohmeyer
1933 – Pete’s Lunch Room, hamburgers 5 cents
1934 – Allick’s Café, Kenneth Alexander
1941 - Club Royal, Mr. & Mrs. Harry Faris
1942 – Club Royal, Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Kearns
1943 – Club Royal, Mrs. Viola Lohmeyer
1946 – Club Royal, Mrs. Blanche Herda
1946 – Club Royal, Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Oestreich
1946 – Bill’s Café, Mr. & Mrs. Wilfred Hiltgen
1949 – H and T Café, Mr. & Mrs. Harley Wiggins
1950 – Tip Top Café, Mr. & Mrs. August Hartig
1951 – T and M Cafe, Theodore Rogge
1957 – Busy R Café, Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Rogge
1958 – Blaske’s Café (Club Royal), Mr. & Mrs. Harold Blaske
1965 – Len’s Café, Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Rahe
1965 – Linn Café, Virginia Hiltgen
1970 – Legion Club Café
1972 – Heitman Café, Mrs. La Vern Heitman
Carpenters and Builders
1897 – E.B. Clark
1899 – Charles Thrun
1900 – Frank Johnson
1900 – Sam Horn
1914 – Peter Leuszler
1918 – J.P. Morgan
1930 – C.I. Shannon
1930 – Edward Mildfeldt
1932 – V.V. Van Campen, bridge builder, champion checker player in five states.
1962 – La Vern Long
Cleaning and Pressing
1930 – Linn Cleaners, Delmar Saidon
1930 – Linn Cleaning Shop, E.M. Ivey
1932 – Cleaner and Clothier, Marvin Bond
1933 – Cleaner and Clothier, Glen Van Blaricom
1935 – Suitatorium, Gordon Bond
1938 – Foster Cleaning Shop, Vera Foster
1951 – Schurr’s cleaning and Pressing
1970 – Cleaning and Pressing, Virginia Hiltgen
1900 – Mr. Hutton
1905 – Mr. Selby
1913 – D.A. Hubbard
1919 – Carl Lizenberry
1925 – O.C. Diegel
1927 – Berry Scott
1940 – L.F. Smith
1941 – Lester Simpson
1949 – Merle Martin
Physician & Surgeon
1887 – Dr. J.W. West
1889 – Dr. R.W. Maintz
1898 – Dr. F.P. Stapleton
1902 – Dr. Robert Algie
1906 – Dr. Mitchell
1919 – Dr. Jesse A. Naylor
1923 – Dr. H.J. Rossiter
1923 – Dr. R.P. Webster
1925 – Dr. J.H. Dittemore
1930 – Dr. R. Bruce McVey
1935 – Dr. Fred E. Rogers
1941 – Dr. DeMerle Eckart
1959 – Dr. S.A. Scimeca
1916 – Dr. C.M. Kelly
1922 – Dr. L.C. Taylor
1933 – Dr. W.C. Gausmann
1953 – Dr. Fred L. Golden
1941 – Dr. Chester Peeples
1923 – Dr. J.A. McKee
1946 – Dr. H.R. Hein
Dray and Transfer
1910 – Wm. H. Wells, dray, livery, drove for Dr. Maintz
1913 – Emil Lehman
1915 – L.D. Lohmeyer
1916 – Henry Volberding
1921 – Elliott and Abrams
1921 – Ed Poerch
1922 – Archie Abrams
1923 – Tony Wurtz
1923 – H.P. Beeman
1923 – W.E. Poerch, trucking & hauling
1925 – Albert Kuhlman
1926 – Charles Long
1930 – Leo Thoms, hauling & trucking
1930 – Emil Schwerdtfeger, dray
1940 – Marvin Boerger, trucking
1940 – George Wieters
1945 – Dress Shop, Florence Higgins
1884 – Ferguson Patent Medicine Store
1889 – Maintz Drug Store, Dr. R.W. Maintz
1902 – Algie Drug Store, Dr. Robert Algie
1913 – Linn Pharmacy, Frank & Clarence Johnson
1933 – Linn Pharmacy, Clarence Johnson
1959 – Linn Pharmacy, Lowell Johnson
1881 – Cummins Elevator
1897 – Fred Hoerman
1899 – Claus & Henry Hinck
1900 – Higgins & Raven
1906 – West Elevator, E.F. Adams
1910 – Farmer’s Elevator, Fred Slipsager
1911 – West elevator, Homer Gray
1913 – F.H. Hoerman
1917 – C.E. Crum
1918 – Don Crum
1924 - T.E. Walsh
1925 – Farmer’s Elevator, H.H. Gausmann
1928 – Farmer’s Elevator, John Bell
1949 – Linn Co-op Exchange, Ed Doupnik
1973 – Linn Co-op Exchange, Larry Lehman
Feed, Fertilizer, Farm Supplies
1957 – Moorman’s Concentrates, Emil Wilkens
1967 – Bisping Bros., Fertilizer & Implements
1971 – M and W Soybean Processing Plant, Loren Wollenberg
1972 – B and B Farm Center, LaVern Bechard
1975 – Farmland Hog Buying Station, Craig Schmitt
Florist and Seedman
1897 – L.H. Cobb, florist and seedman
Furniture, Undertaking, Appliances
1899 – Kingsbury & Collins, furniture & hardware
1906 – Troup Bros., Furniture Store
1908 – Anderson Bros., Furniture Store
1912 – W.W. Beaty, Furniture Store
1924 – Paul Herda, Furniture & Undertaking
1933 – Charles Singular (first licensed embalmer in Linn) Furniture & Undertaking
1948 – Universal Supply, Albert Peters
1949 – Pronske Home Gas Company, Bob Worthington & Ken Bolley
Furniture Refinishing & Repairing, Clarence Damman
Garages & Dealerships
1915 – George Rebbeke (built first garage in Linn)
1921 – White Way Garage, R.J. Kasper
1922 – White Way Garage, C.E. Meyer & Son
1923 – White Way Garage, Herb Schriner
1926 – White Way Garage, Wm. Timme Sr.
1927 – Timme & Tewes, Garage
1927 – Garage & Service Station, Alvin Steltzer
1927 – Pronske Motor Co., Paul Pronske
1928 – Timme & Raven, Whippet & Willys Knight
1930 – W.E. Otwell Motor Co.
1931 – Rueben Dittbrenner Garage
1931 – Oliver Hoerman Garage
1932 – Wm. Poerch, car repair
1932 – Archie J. McBratney, garage & service station
1934 – Ed. Poerch, auto parts
1934 – Wm. Poerch, garage
1935 – Kuhlman Garage & Service Station, Henry Kuhlman
1945 – Kuhlman Motor Co., Henry Kuhlman
1947 – Wm. Timme Jr., garage
1949 – Bokelman Garage, Ernie Bokelman
Phil’s Gun Repair & Supply, Phil Balch
1880 – Matthews Hardware Store
1882 – Mahone Brothers’ Hardware Store
1895 – Kappleman Hardware Store
1895 – E.C. Collins & L.A. Kingsbury purchased Kappleman’s store
1900 – Collins Hardware Store (Collins purchased partner’s interest)
1944 – Kuhlman Hardware Store
1897 – Gus Jungck, harness maker
1899 – C.E. Meyer, Harness & Saddlery
1915 – John Lohmeyer Harness Shop (fur coats & robes made from horse or cow hides)
1924 – Harness Repair, Wm. Hoerman
1925 – Hoerman Hatchery, H.C. Hoerman
1928 – Hoerman Hatchery, V. Sizemore
1942 – Hoerman Hatchery, Ed. Doupnik
1948 – Hoerman Hatchery, Olen Ayers
Hotel (same building all the way through)
1882 – Hotel
1897 – Rholf’s Hotel, Barber shop in connection
1998 – Linn Hotel, Mr. Schwindaman
1900 – Linn Hotel, Walter Edleng & O.M. Troup
1913 – Linn Hotel, H.B. Blanken, restaurant in connection
1914 – Linn Hotel, E.G. Gaither
1914 – Linn Hotel, M.O. Jackson
1915 – Linn Motel, Mr. & Mrs. J.J. Erhard Sr.
1919 – White Way Hotel, J.J. Erhard
1920 – White Way Hotel, A.J. Erhard
1922 – White Way Hotel, Mr. & Mrs. Beeman
1924 – Hotel, Mr. & Mrs. Henry White
1925 – Linn Hotel, Mr. & Mrs. A.J. Erhard
1926 – White Way Hotel, A.J. Erhard
1927 – White Way Hotel, Mike Long
1927 – White way Hotel, Mrs. Dedie Hoerman (closed in 1967)
1969 – Linnview Manor, Malinda Gross, director
1949 – H.F. Pfeiffer
1949 – Henry Wilgers
1949 – Walter Stuenkel
1959 – Ernest Stolte
1913 – T.J. Johnson, ice dealer
1925 – Paul Pronske, ice dealer
1891 – H.C. Hoerman, Implements
1893 – Burch & Loney, Case Implements
1899 – Kanke & Stuieue, Implement Dealers
1906 – W.S. Ransom Implement Company
1915 – W.W. Beaty, implements
1924 – Linn Implement House, Ed Schwerdtfeger
1928 – Casper Implements & Hardware, J.A. Casper
1930 – Casper Implements & Hardware, H.D. Lohmeyer
1936 – Wm. Poerch, Case Implements
1946 – Kuhlman Implement Company, Henry Kuhlman
1967 – Bisping Brothers, Implements & Fertilizer
1899 – W.T. Roche
1924 – George Raven
1935 – Meierkord & Raven
1951 – H.L. Faris
1956 – Don Flenthrope, Farmers’ Mutual Insurance
1958 – Life Insurance, Marvin D. Rogge
1959 – Farmers’ Insurance Group, Otto H. Lange
1963 – The Moore Agency, Dick Moore
– Aid Association for Lutherans, Ervin Duitsman
1898 – Jeweler & Watchmaker, Peter Tonjes
1913 – Watchmaker & Jeweler, M.T. Hunt
1914 – Jewelry Repairing, R.A. Campbell
1921 – Jewelry Repair, H.C. Otwell
Junk and Hides
1913 – Elmer Boyer, hides, furs, market gardener
1918 – M. Quinn, dealer in rags, iron, junk
1918 – George Morgan, hides & furs
1941 – Elmer boyer, pelts, rabbits skinned or unskinned
Liquor Store and Saloon
1890 – Blind Tiger Saloon
1949 – Retail Liquor Store, Estol Eveland
1973 – Retail Liquor Store, Del Leiszler
1899 – Livery, feed & sale stable, D.C. Troup
1906 – Livery Barn, Troup Bros.
1913 – Linn Livery & Feed Stable, R.V. Corning
1916 – East Linn Livery Stable, W.J. Montgomery
1878 – Riley & Garome Lumber Yard
1881 – Mahone Brothers Lumber Yard & Hardware Store
1887 – Linn Lumber Yard, R.L. Foster
1906 – Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, E.A. Hood
1914 – Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, Ben H. Flyr (F.E. Damman was replacement while Ben was in army – 1918)
1920 - Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, Floyd Hayes
1943 - Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, F.N. Rood
1949 - Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, A.J. Kirkendall
1952 - Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, Lowell Wallace
1963 - Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, Lowell Fasholtz
- Rice-Johntz Lumber Yard, Alvin Herrs
1890 – Lindeman Creamery
1892 – Otwell Broom Factory, Wm. Otwell (rural)
1893 – Foundry, Henry & Fred Hoerman
1919 – Washington County Co-operative Creamery
1935 – Pronske Broom & Mot Mfg. Co., A.G. & Paul Pronske
1972 – Linn Enterprises, Rick Fischer
1974 – Linn Post & Pipe Supply Inc., Emil Peters
1897 – Milliner & Dressmaking, Anna Boyer
1913 – Sophrona Kleinfelter, milliner
1925 – Mrs. C.W. Lohrengel, milliner
1889 – Linn Gazette, J.H. Armstrong
1890 – Linn Lyre, J.H. Dowd
1896 – Linn digest, Publishers 1896-1923: L.H. Cobb, Don Elliott, A.J. Freeborn, W.T. Roche, J.W. Mahaffey, Bert Benson, Arnold Oran, D.C. Troup, Anderson brothers, J.M. Best & John Jenkins, Chas. Cook, Frank Seelig, W.T. Logan, Robert Delhotal, O.P. Smith, A.J. Gauger, and Albert Higgins.
1924 – Linn-Palmer Record, Albert Higgins
1962 – Linn-Palmer Record, Tom Mall
1918 – Dedie Hoerman, practical nurse
1970 – Linn Community Nursing Home, Raymond Giles, administrator
Paint & Paper Hanging
1899 – L.S. Saxton
1914 – A.L. Oliphant
1915 – A.J. Coder
1930 – Paul Coder
1940 – O.C. Austin
Plumbing, Heating, & Electrical Services
1924 – Plumbing & Pump Work, Emil Schubert
1930 – Plumbing & Heating, Albert Schwerdtfeger
1931 – Electrician, Emil Schwerdtfeger
1964 – Gross Electric & Plumbing, Verlin Gross
1975 – Pruser Electric Shop, Melvin Pruser
Poultry Cream & Eggs
1894 – Lindeman Produce Station, cream, eggs, chickens
1899 – Ben Beeson, Cream Station
1900 – Continental Creamery Co., L. Kappleman
1913 – Poultry, Cream & Eggs, G.A. Rebbeke
1913 - Poultry, Cream & Eggs, H.C. Hoerman
1916 - Poultry, Cream & Eggs, W.J. Peters
1918 - Poultry, Cream & Eggs, Johnson & Clark
1919 – Fairmont Cream Station, Mrs. Charles Long (Alma Laird)
1919 - Poultry, Cream & Eggs, Wilson Produce Company, Guy Riggs
1920 – Fairmont Cream Station, Mrs. Ollie coder
1924 - Fairmont Cream Station, Wm. Roche
1936 - Fairmont Cream Station, Charles Buch
1939 – Miller Produce
1942 – Long Produce, Mike Long
1956 – Poultry Buying & Culling Service, Ernest Stolte
1969 – Associated Milk Producers, Arlo Reed
Ready Mix Concrete
1966 – Mueller’s Ready Mix Concrete Inc., Emil Mueller
1900 – Meierkord & Roche, Farms for sale
1923 – Riggert Realty Company, Adolph Riggert
1935 – Real Estate & Insurance, Wm. Timme Sr. and Ernest Kohlmeier
1918 – Pool Hall, Warren Riggs
1920 - Pool Hall, Ernest Peters
1925 – Pool Room in barber shop, Charles Boal
1929 – Pool Room bin barber shop, Alvin Pfeiffer
1944 - Pool Hall, Joe Jandra
1949 – Linn Recreation Room, George Herda
1953 – Linn Recreation Parlor, James Herda
Radio Sales & Repair
1927 – Radio Repair Shop, Walter Otwell
1928 – Timme & Tewes, radio repair
1930 – Radio Sales & Repair, Wm. Timme
1930 – Radio Repair, Francis Crimmins
1948 – Universal Supply, radio & TV sales & service
1924 – Home Oil Company, Paul Pronske
1929 – Bond Service Station & Garage, Marvin Bond
1931 – Philip Service Station, Del Leiszler
1932 – White Eagle Filling Station, Clarence Lohmeyer
1933 – White Eagle Filling Station, John Cook
1934 – Skelly Service Station, Gordon Bond
1934 – Anderson Garage & Filling Station, Charley Anderson
1935 - White Eagle Filling Station, Gordon Bond
1935- White Eagle Filling Station, Hugh Marquis
1935 – Kuhlman’s Service Station & Garage, Henry Kuhlman
1936 – Walt’s Service Station, Walter Langrehr
1936 – Dixie Oil Company, Herbert Wohler
1936 – Kohlmeier Service Station, Ernest Kohlmeier
1936 - White Eagle Filling Station, H.H. Kohlmeier
1938 – Sinclair Service station, Earl Cozine
1938 – Conoco Station, Frank Lange
1938 – Pfeiffer Service station, Walter Pfeiffer
1946 – Pronske Service Station Ernest Bokelman
1947 – Dixie Garage & Service Station, George Moddelmog
1949 – Heitman Oil Company, LaVern Heitman
1959 – Phillips Service Station, Neil Shannon
1965 – Phillips 66 Station, Myrl Merritt
1975 – Co0op Service Station, LaVern Meyerhoff
1919 – E.C. Hankins, Shoe Repair
1924 – Wm. Stover, Shoe Repair Shop
1940 – Kohlmeier Shoe Repair Shop
1949 – Edwin Herrs, Shoe repair
1949 – Meyer’s Shoe Shop, Alfred Meyer
1916 – Linn Stock Yard, H.F. Trute
1917 – B.F. Beeson, live stock
1920 – E.C. Peters, live stock buyer
1927 – Linn shipping Association, Frank Harz
1881 – Cummins Store, Mr. Cummins
1897 – General Store, E.A. Hopfer & Sons
1898 – Dry Goods & Groceries, Kappleman & Son
1908 – Linn Store Company, W.P. Cook
1910 – Peter’s Store, Gus Peters & J.C. Hornbostel
1913 – General Store, Buck & Wildstack
1914 – Wildstack & Company, Henry Wildstack
1915 – Linn Store Company, W.W. Beaty
1924 – Dry Goods & Groceries, E.C. Peters
1925 – Linn Store Company, H.J. Meierkord & Anna & George Raven
1929 – Peter’s General Store, Ernest & Otto Peters
1929 – Linn Store Company, Paul Anthony
1930 – Linn Store Company, F.L. Walburn
1932 – Linn Store Company, F.H. Schmersey
1942 – Linn Store Company, Anna Raven Guiles
1945 – Linn Store & Locker System, Leroy Alexander
1913 – Groceries & Fresh Fruits, Henry Precht
1924 – Groceries, Art Lehman
1926 – Lohmeyer Grocery, Elsie Lohmeyer
1927 – Lohmeyer Grocery, Viola & Clarence Lohmeyer
1930 – Bishop’s Grocery, Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Bishop
1936 – Thoms Grocery, Della Thoms
1940 – Red and White Store, Olaf Juergensen
1941 – Rucker’s Food Market, Henry Rucker
1946 – Kearns’s Store, George Kearns
1949 – Groceries & Meats, Ruth Poerch
1951 – North Side Grocery, Herb Brueggeman
1954 – Ralph’s Grocery, Ralph & Ruth Hatter
1898 – E.D. Korte
1899 – Parlor Meat Market, C. Meineke; John Erhard, meat cutter
1906 – A.L. Stuenkel Meat Market
1913 – J.M. Roche Meat Market
1913 – Riggs & Johnson Meat Market
1913 – Southside Butcher Shop, Nathaniel Morrison
1915 – Potter & Roche Meat Market
1924 – People’s Meat Market, Art Lehman; Herman Lehman, meat cutter
1930 – People’s Meat Market, Wurtz & Buch
1931 – Buch & Buch Meat Market, Wm. & Chas. Buch
1913 – Opera House or Aggie’s Hall, Aggie Schwerdtfeger; there was a blacksmith shop on lower floor. This was located on the site now occupied by Mrs. Ed. Rahe’s house.
1920 – Dr. Maintz Opera House known as the Edison electric Theater
1927 – Movies in the high school auditorium, Chas. Swiercinsky
1941 – Fox Theater, high school auditorium, E.C. Peters
1946 – Joan Theater, G.M. Lederer
1949 – Linn Theater, Frank Reising
Windmills & Well Drilling
1897 – Well Drillers, Jones & Stewart
1898 – Windmills, Pumps, & Buggies, Kanke & Stuive
1925 – Windmills, Towers & Pumps, Henry C. Schwerdtfeger, “Turkey Hank”
1930 – Windmill & Pumping Repair, Ed. Schwerdtfeger
Early Settlers In Linn Area
(Some were homesteaders; others bought land from settlers who were leaving)
Because of the difficulty in obtaining information, the following chronologically arranged list of settlers in this area is far from complete. If the name of your ancestor is not given, please make this list more meaningful to you by writing his name in the proper place.
John D. Kappleman
John S. Leuszler
J.L. Van Petten
Mrs. L.M. Elliott
James K. Knight
Joseph P. Molby
William H. Molyneaux
George W. Hess
Charles A. Whaley
A.J. Van Campen
S. Van Campen
Willis P. Cook
John Von Lehe