Remember When: A Community Review for June 9, 2021
25 years ago: June 12, 1996
Last Wednesday around 9:35 p.m. sirens sounded off around Tonganoxie warning people to take cover for threat of a tornado. A tornado was confirmed to have touched down on County Road 30, 3 miles west of Tonganoxie. It left a damage path of 800 yards long and wielded winds up to 100-110 mph. Les Babcock witnessed the storm’s power first hand. He, his son Casey, and Kristen Asher went down into the basement after hearing the sirens and hail. “By the time we got down to the basement, the roof came off and it sounded like an explosion because all the glass came into the front room, rocks were penetrating through the walls of the house…it was pretty terrifying.”
In a unanimous vote, the Tonganoxie School Board approved the use of $6,500 to go towards elementary school playground equipment. This was $2,500 over the amount that would have matched funds with the $4,000 PTA had already raised for the project.
50 years ago: June 10, 1971
The completed census showed Tonganoxie is up to almost 2,000 residents.
A front-page photo of a 64-year-old man was bicycling through town on a trip that started in Pennsylvania with final goal of reaching California in two months.
The Mirror listed new attractions and features of the Tonga area including the swimming pool’s new bathhouse and expanded grounds to visit during the holiday.
The quote of the day from May Sarton, “It sometimes seems to me that we learn everything too late”.
75 years ago: June 6, 1946
Due to several night burglaries, a meeting of the Tonganoxie Community Club is considering a night watchman to patrol our streets and buildings. The problem as they see it is the lack of lighting in the business district after dark. Once the shops are closed, the criss cross lights go off and a burglar basically has full run of the place. In order to ensure that the watchman would be doing his job, various punch clocks could be used to indicate times he was on patrol. A survey of merchants will be conducted to see if there is much interest in hiring someone for this position.
The bakery strike has many cities on edge as their bread orders go unfilled. But, Musil’s bakery is as busy as a beehive baking loaf after loaf to keep our citizens fed and happy. Many of the folks from big cities have turned to our small hometown bakery hoping to get at least one or two loaves before it sells out.
Arthur Dupont, Nevada’s most married man, has become the defendant in his 12th divorce. And the woman who is cutting him loose is Marguerite McMillan, an accountant for TWA in KCMO. She is the daughter of Mrs. R.P. Wagaman of Tonganoxie. Seems that she, along with eleven others got fed up with him.
A rabbit ran right up Fourth Street this past week and with no dogs around to chase it, the little hare got pretty far. A young woman reported some large lizard crossing her path just last week in the same location. Seems things are getting a little wild around here.
100 years ago: June 9, 1921
At the Commercial Club special meeting Friday it was decided that the thing most needed in the community was an adequate building for the holding of every kind of gathering of public character. As chapter 69 of the session laws of Kansas for 1920 provides a way for the building of a Township Hall, the Club decided to have circulated petitions requesting the township board to call an election to vote bonds for the erection of a $20,000 building.
The assessed valuation of Tonganoxie township is $4,071,370, which with an assessment of eight-tenths of a mill tax would more that pay off the first bond and the interest on the entire issue, after which the assessment would be less each year.
As will be seen in the law as quoted below, the proposition must be carried by a majority of the electors who voted for secretary of state at the last general election, the total of which was 652 votes, making it necessary that 327 votes be cast in favor.
This law was passed by the legislature giving the different communities of the state a method of raising funds to build an adequate building as a memorial to the soldiers of the World War.
Tonganoxie township will show her appreciation of the sacrifice of these soldier boys, whether they died in the service or came home broken in health. Petitions will be in the hands of the Grange, the American Legion and in places of business to be signed by those favoring the proposition.
125 years ago: June 11, 1896
The fame or notoriety of the itinerant joint that is being fitted out in Tonganoxie seems to have penetrated the uttermost parts of the county.
This joint is something new in the efforts to evade the prohibitory law of Kansas. Heretofore fast women from the cities have tried this method of roping in idiots in country neighborhoods and all kinds of petty thieves have tried the same way to making a living. Jake Pierce is the originator of the new scheme. Jake was making the shekels heap up in his pockets in Tonganoxie by selling whisky, but the city swooped down on him and gobbled up all his profits.
Like all inventors, Jake is enthusiastic over the new invention and already sees visions of the fat profits in dreams. His joint is 8x16x7 feet high, sets on four iron wheels and the door is next to the horses. It has a small window in the rear and left side. It would not surprise us much, if some neighborhood did not have a nice bonfire before the leaves of autumn fall.
The Tonganoxie Creamery Association has purchased the Balliet barn for a creamery upon one condition — if a sufficient quantity of water is found at a new well being drilled, the building will be accepted.
The Association was offered the building at a sacrifice. The dimensions of the barn are 50x56. It has a large mow and is one of the best constructed barns in the county. The interior can be altered for creamery purposes at a very light expense.