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  Butler County
The Museum in Towanda
 

Third and Main, Towanda, Kansas 316-536-2500

Hours: 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
Free will offering

President: Gene Thomas, phone 536-2367
Vice President: Betty Wohlgemuth
Secretary: Ruth Burchard, phone 536-2345
Treasurer: Hank Burchard, phone 536-2345

The museum has pioneer relics and collections from early settlers, Towanda High School Memoriabilia, early photographs of Towanda and the surrounding area, Whitewater Valley Falls Farm memoriabilia, and special collection from other museums.

If your club or organization would like a special tour, please get in touch with Gene Thomas at 536-2367

Come in and meet us, look around and get a sense of Towanda's humble beginnings. We have lots to see and are always looking for more of Towanda's lore from yesteryear. If you have a story or even a memento we might be interested in, stop in and share with us. We are always interested and ready to learn more of our heritage from those that are willing to share. We would like to develop video memories to be able to share at events and functions from those that can remember these things firsthand. If you have some memories or know someone that does, please stop and set up a time when we could record your memories for later generations to enjoy. We would like to work with you!!!


History of the Museum

In May 1903, the Towanda Masonic Lodge #30 a.f. & a.m. purchased a lot on the corner of Third and Main streets in Towanda.

On June 2, 1904, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held, with Thomas G. Fiche, Grand Master, in charge. A number of articles were deposited in the cornerstone, scheduled to be opened June 2, 2004. The Methodist Church, the Christian Church, a band, and a choir all took part in the ceremony.

The lodge officers taking part were Andrew J. Ralston, Master; John J. Straw, Senior Warden; Samuel G. Huddleson, Junior Warden; Michael Orban Jr., Treasurer; Charles Davis, Secretary; U. S. Cupp, Senior Deacon; S. E. Cornelius, Junior Deacon; John Cappas, Senior Steward; Claude Green, Junior Steward; and James N. Robinson, Tyler.

In those early years the ground floor was rented out to various businesses such as an implement shop, a dry goods store and a post office which occupied the building until 1961. In 1947 the back room was partitioned off for the Library. In 1961 the Library expanded and used the large area that later became the dining area on the first floor where the Masons met for their meals. In January, 1996, the Towanda Lodge gave the building to the city to be used as an historical musuem.

One of the business men who rented the Masonic Lodge downstairs was the parent of our former member of Congress, Garner E. Shriver. His father was Ed A. Shriver, who owned a hardware and implement store. Garner E. Shriver was a member of Congress for 17 years.

City of Towanda   (316) 536-2243
110 S. Third / Towanda, KS 67144

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