City council accepts family’s donation of park property
The city of Tonganoxie will soon have additional park space near the swimming pool thanks to a donation.
On Nov. 7, the Tonganoxie City Council agreed to accept an offer from the three sons of Harry and Margaret Gallagher to take deed to family property at 301 S. Main St. The couple purchased the family home in 1938, and ownership passed to their sons, Larry, Robert and Harry Gallagher, with Margaret’s death one year ago.
Rather than sell the home or use it as rental property, the brothers opted to donate it to honor their parents, with the first choice of recipients being the city.
The brothers, however, placed stipulations on the gift of property immediately south of the city pool. Those were:
• The property can be used only for a recreational park.
• The city will build only recreational structures on the property, such as a shelter house or tennis courts, and will not use the property for storage of construction equipment or similar items.
• Only 20 percent of the property can be used for parking, and an asphalt or concrete parking lot must be restricted to the east side of the land.
• The family be allowed to place a commemorative plaque on the property at its expense.
Although council members praised the Gallagher for the offer when it was first brought to them Oct. 24, they had additional questions.
Councilman Bill Peak wondered if the house, which he said was one of the few in the community dating to the 1870s, should be preserved.
During subsequent talks with the Gallagher brothers before the Nov. 7, meeting it was learned they did not want the house to remain. And with the city’s acceptance of the property, it will be removed at the city’s expense.
Possible uses suggested by council members were a rose garden and an entertainment venue with a bandstand.