Remember When: A Community Review for Oct. 14, 2020
25 years ago: Oct. 11, 1995
It’s been 100 years since Lem Evans started a real estate company in Tonganoxie, and Lem is still here selling real estate today. Well, not the original Lem Evans, but his great-grandsons, Lem and J.W. Evans, and great-great-grandson, John Evans II.
The original Lem Evans came to the Lawrence area when he was 13 years old from Illinois with his mother. Lem’s mother had two sons from a previous marriage who lived in this area, and upon the death of Lem’s father, they headed west. Lem got a job with a freighting company, and would make the trip from Ft. Leavenworth to Denver, usually on foot and sometimes on a horse. When the Civil War broke out, Lem went to Ft. Leavenworth and joined the Union forces.
As I See It, by Don Waterman. Is a pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable? Some of us at the The Mirror didn’t think Webster was right saying it is a fruit so we went on to Sy Nyhart for his thinking. He says the same thing which of course didn’t agree with out thoughts. At any rate, what we know now is that anything growing on a vine is fruit, like the pumpkin that has fruit surrounding the seed or the pea, which is the seed in the pod which is the fruit.
50 years ago: Oct. 15, 1970
Sunday, October 18, the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church will celebrate their 100th anniversary of Church-hood.
Mrs. Lottie Freeman celebrated her 90th birthday Sunday, Oct. 4, with a dinner at the home of her daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Hillers of Kansas City. Mrs. Freeman was born and has lived all of her life in Leavenworth County. She has lived on the same farm north of Tonganoxie for the past 60 years. This farm has always belonged to the Freeman family.
Anna Torneden brought a lilac bloom into our office today which she picked from her lilac bush. Mrs. Torneden stated that the bush has seven blossoms on the 14th day of October.
75 years ago: Oct. 11, 1945
With all of the major improvements happening in and around our lovely little city, we are pleased to report that the Tonga Royal Theater is set to reopen. V.I. Morey is finishing repairs and redecoration of the theater which was seriously damaged by fire a few months ago. Indirect lighting, new paint and decorations will provide an up to date theater for our patrons.
Calling all knitters. The Red Cross has received 30 pounds of yarn-that’s a lot of yarn-and knitters are needed. Please report to the Red Cross room from 2-4 on Saturdays.
Two former residents held in Japanese POW camps have returned to our area. Francis Dobbs of McLouth and Mark Seeman of Basehor were released and have arrived on friendly shores.
Lots of improvements are happening at the old Chevrolet building with new panes of glass, shelving and ceiling. It will have a fine modern looking appearance when it opens for business for an electrician company.
100 years ago: Oct. 14, 1920
For a number of years occasional attempts have been made to find gas and oil in Leavenworth county, but the finds have been too insignificant to induce the drillers who made the finds to extend their operations. A small flow of gas was found seven miles due southeast of here a few years ago, but several other holes developed nothing.
Operations now being undertaken in Leavenworth county seem to be more systematic and persistent than previous efforts, and are in the hands of experienced oil people. The two gas wells brought in on the Mackey and Ward farms in Reno township, though of no value in themselves commercially, give considerable hope of better finds, and have been of sufficient importance to warrant the company bringing them in to extend their field of operations. Two more wells are consequently to go down immediately. One of the new wells is to be about two miles southwest of Reno.
The oil and gas searches proposed that are of most value to Tonganoxie take in the territory north and northwest of here and are backed by successful oil people. For a number of months George Richardson, former owner and manager of the Missouri Valley Orchard farm, has been at work to start oil development. He and E.B. George, the present owner of the farm, is an oil man of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the two have joined hands to make the development.
They had a geologist make a searching survey northwest of here, and he spent two months working on this field. The geologist found a “structure”, the name applied to the geologic formation in which oil is found. The gentlemen interested spent over $1200 in the search. The report of the geologist was favorable enough to warrant making some tests and this will be done as soon as enough leases have been secured to cover the territory proposed to be developed.
Some 5,000 acres are now under lease without counting the Missouri Valley Orchard acreage, and about 1,000 more acres have to be secured to cover the territory. In most cases co-operation between the land owner and the drillers has been prompt and leases have been readily given, the land owners feeling that they have all to gain and nothing to lose. If there is any losing to be done the drillers will do it. The south line of the Missouri Valley orchard farm is the south end of the development area, and the leased land extends as far north as a mile above Neely and as far east as the Friendship Valley school house.
Mr. George has nine or ten drilling rigs and as soon as all of the leases are secured, he will ship one of the rigs to Tonganoxie to begin operations. Four test wells will be sunk, and these will be so distributed that they will be close to all the farms leased. The third test will go down on the Missouri Valley Orchard farm. The holes will go down to Mississippi lime stone, which the geologist estimates is down about 1100 feet, the depth depending on the dip in the stratum and whether the well is on top of a hill or in the bottom.
125 years ago: Oct. 10, 1895
Tonganoxie the Place Designated for the High School and the Voters will decide the matter Nov. 5 – Part Three, continued from last week.
S.J. McNaughton said the country people had drawn up petitions favoring the project. They had been presented to 541 persons and only ten refused to sign. He offered the following resolutions:
Whereas, The people of Leavenworth county in all educational questions are in favor of keeping pace with the times and allowing no county in the state to out-do us in educational facilities.
Therefore be it Resolved, That we, the electors and taxpayers in mass meeting assembled respectfully ask our county commissioners to “submit the question to the electors of Leavenworth county,” whether a county high school shall be established at Tonganoxie, Kansas.
To be continued…