July 21, 2011
Tonganoxie Community Historic Site, 201 W. Washington St. near U.S. Highway 24-40.
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City leaders and area developers want to stay competitive when it comes to attracting new homeowners, but for now, they are waiting word from the Kansas Attorney General’s office before offering any tax incentives. During a work session Monday night, city leaders continued their discussion on a plan that would rebate a percentage of its portion of property taxes on new home construction. The Tonganoxie City Council is awaiting an opinion from Kansas Attorney General Steve Six on what kind of areas the city would be able to define as a revitalization district.
Monday night football couldn’t have been much better than it was this week. The Chiefs got mile high relief, and that wasn’t until the last minute. Considering the fact that it was 1982 since they defeated the Broncos there, it’s indeed something different. Also, lots of fun even as a fan. It took 16 months, countless government delays, and the lowering of the water line caused by the flood of 1993, but Leavenworth Aviation Services, Inc. is reopened for business. Started in 1990 by Wally Winstead, the airport, located on Sherman Army Airfield, Ft. Leavenworth, was enjoying a great deal of success until Mother Nature got involved.
From the column, “Direct from Denise,” written by Denise Sullivan, Leavenworth County Extension Agent for Home Economics: You have probably noticed the new food labels by now. They were directed to be in place by May of this year by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. The new labels have been met with mixed reviews — some find them to be quite helpful, others find them to be “clear as mud.”
Tonganoxie By the Numbers: 13.6 percent of registered voters actually voted in the Sept. 22 election. The special election resulted in voters favoring Sunday liquor sales. At noon Sunday, the doors at the three liquor stores in Tonganoxie opened for the first time. Crews are scheduled to start melting strips of thermoplastic into the fresh pavement atop a new Leavenworth County Road 1 beginning today. Once that striping is complete – by the end of the week, weather permitting – traffic will be free to drive unimpeded for the entire 5.62 miles between the intersection with U. S. Highway 24-40, just south of Tonganoxie, and the intersection with U.S. Highway 32. Tonganoxie Middle School’s cross country runners had a good time at the Tonganoxie Invitational on Sept. 22 as Warriors runners won three of the four races.
The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society will host a Kansas Humanities program on irrigation history during drought seasons for farmers and others during a special presentation next week. “The Irrigation Crusade,” a presentation and discussion by James Sherow, will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the TCHS campus, 201 W. Washington St. in Tonganoxie.
Tonganoxie by the Numbers – 3 – Number of people who have voted in advance of Tuesday’s special election. Traditionally, homecoming week at Tonganoxie High School is filled with fun events geared to fill students with school spirit. But this year, there was one homecoming event that filled the walls of the high school to the brim with Chieftain pride: Austin Stone was coming back to get his diploma. In March, Stone was hospitalized after complications arose from medical gas he received while having his wisdom teeth removed.
For years the Grinter family has been planting sunflowers. Once again, the sunflowers are in full bloom just off U.S. Highway 24-40 between Tonganoxie and Lawrence. Ted Grinter answers our questions about his family’s sunflower tradition.
A vehicle struck the side of Evans Real Estate on Friday in downtown Tonganoxie, causing damage to the west side of the building. The drive told police that she was putting her truck in park, but stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal and drove into the building.
At Tonganoxie High School, Tonganoxie celebrity and “Survivor: Guatemala” winner Danni Boatwright was on hand last weekend to help raise money for Team Tongie, an organization set up to help Tonganoxie students and their families in time of need.
There won’t be a Fourth Tuesday program this month at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site because the historical society is having its annual picnic this month instead. The picnic will be 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the historic site, 300 W. Washington Street. The historical society will furnish the meat (fried chicken this year), while guests are asked to bring a covered dish, salad or dessert. Visitors are welcome.
Humanities Kansas recently awarded $4,830 to the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society in support of “The Spring at the Fairchild Farm.” Joy Lominska serves as project director. The grant allows for research into the history of the spring on the museum grounds and will result in an outdoor display with signage about the spring and how such springs have supported life and spurred development. A grand opening is planned for April 2020.
A documentary about “riverkings” along the Kansas River will be shown Tuesday as part of the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society’s Fourth Tuesday programming. The documentary “When Kings Reigned,” which was produced in Lawrence, will be show at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site, 210 W. Washington St. The film begins with Jake Washington (a runaway slave) arriving in Lawrence just before the end of the Civil War. He sets up shop, building a fishing cabin on the banks of the Kaw River in Lawrence and is actively working the waters by 1870. The timeline of the riverkings runs from 1870-1970.
Two teams competed Saturday night in the match to see who would be crowned the champion of the Improv Thunderdome and earn a cash prize. One team included Garrett Kelly, a Kansas University junior and a 2006 Tonganoxie High School graduate, along with five other KU students. The other team included Benjamin Brest, a KU student and a 2004 Tonganoxie High School graduate, along with three other KU students. Benjamin Brest’s group won first place – Garrett Kelly’s group won second place.
The bitter cold and snow and rain and drizzle — and even short-lived hail — we’ve seen it all this winter and there’s still more to come. On the bright side, there are two more chili feeds to warm your tummy and your soul and they’re coming up later this week.
Wade Davis, independent scholar, will use his background in living history and interpretation to talk about the Delaware Indians who lived in the Tonganoxie on the Delaware Reservation before the founding of the town of Tonganoxie. He will talk about the day-to-day life of the Delaware, using historical objects and stories. Davis’ presentation, “The Grandfathers in Kansas: The Material Culture of the Delaware on the Frontier 1829-1867,” will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site, 201 W. Washington St.
Dorothy Dunlap was named Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. She has been an umpire for 35 years, most of that in Tonganoxie and one year in Eudora, “because they needed someone doing it,” Dunlap said. She has also umpired in Basehor and “different places” in the area. “I played ball when I was younger,” she said. “And I like doing things with kids.” Dunlap has also volunteered in the Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Bank for about five years. She is the shop’s treasurer and volunteers as manager on Saturdays. Half a century ago, Tonganoxie High principal and basketball coach Tom Beatty decided to start up a holiday tournament in town. A 1959 senior for THS, Kenny Hardy, played that first year. “What I really enjoyed was Coach Beatty,” Hardy said. “You could come in from halftime…you could be behind and down, and he could just say a few words and you’d just feel like tearing everything apart. You’d kill yourself for him if you could. He just had a way with players.” Pieces of hardwood from the former Tonganoxie High gym floor will be on sale this week at the Tonganoxie Invitational. The nine-inch long planks include the school’s “T” logo and the years for the gym, 1964-2000. They will be sold for $15 a piece.
Around 120 people attended three performances at the Leavenworth County Courthouse during Friday’s Christmas Open House. County employees and residents took on historical roles to teach guests about the county’s history. Historical figures included Carrie Hall, a Leavenworth seamstress, a 1950-60 prison guard at the Kansas State Penitentiary, and Mother Xavier Ross, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. Leavenworth County 4-H Junior Leaders president, Nicki Gee, helped club leaders Michelle McIntyre and Karen Grammer transfer cookies from a pan to a container. Every year, the Junior Leaders bake cookies to give to families in need during the holiday season. On Monday, the group sent off 1,233 cookies to the Good Shepherd Thrift Store and Food Pantry in Tonganoxie to distribute.
Around 120 people attended three performances at the County Courthouse during Friday’s Christmas Open House at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. County employees and residents took on historical roles to teach guests about the county’s history. Historical figures included Carrie Hall, a Leavenworth seamstress, a 1950-60 prison guard at the Kansas State Penitentiary, and Mother Xavier Ross, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.
Monday night, the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce proposed that the chamber become a permanent part of the city’s budget. The chamber has been an organization promoting city businesses and having events that promote the city, but lately they have been putting in a lot more hours trying to raise funds to keep programs such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting afloat.
A state archivist will share letters from John Brown and even some Tonganoxie-related items during Tonganoxie Community Historical Society’s Fourth Tuesday Program. Matt Veatch, Kansas state archivist, will present virtual highlights from the Kansas State Archives collections 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Reno Methodist Church on the TCHS campus, 210 W. Washington St.
Advance voting begins for Nov. 4 election. Advanced ballots will start being sent by mail today, but the return postage will be the voter’s responsibility. In the midst of learning about communities in their social studies class, third-grade students at Tonganoxie Elementary School took a short field trip last week to learn about the community in which they live. All six third-grade classes went to the Tonganoxie Community Historical Site last week for some hands-on learning about the history of Tonganoxie and the state of Kansas (Editor’s Note: By the time you read this, the 2018 third grade classes will already have traveled to the Tonganoxie Historical Museum – this year there are seven classes.).
Family and friends gathered Thursday at VFW Park to honor Ron Starcher. Cars that Starcher had worked on, as well as other cars belonging to people he knew, were on display as part of a remembrance to him. His daughter, Lindsey, estimated that 700 people attended a visitation that was held Wednesday, July 23.
Census numbers show a wide range in growth for area communities. Southern Johnson and northern Miami counties, as well as Basehor, experienced the most growth in the area. Lecompton, on the other hand, experienced no growth. Estimates show Tonganoxie having an increase of 3% over last year’s numbers. Candidate profiles in this week’s paper for the County commission race included two Republicans – Francis Hurla and Beverly Oroke.
More than 300 plainsmen, fur traders and backwoodsmen traveling from 12 different states across the Midwest peddled wares, held rifle and pistol matches, and dressed in period clothing last week in an annual pre-1840s-style encampment, held for the first time five miles north west of McLouth. Teepees and lean-tos began popping up for this year’s festival June 12 on Bill Karl’s property. Among the 135 campsites in the encampment Friday, men, women and children were found practicing archery and fashioning colonial and pre-Civil War era crafts.
St. Patrick may have driven the snakes out of Ireland, but the country’s patron saint wasn’t able to drive away the cold from Saturday’s parade in Tonganoxie. Hundreds of Tonganoxie residents dressed in their winter coats — some even wrapped in blankets — braved the 35-degree temperatures to watch the parade.
John Cass Lenahan recently had “Yesteryears III” published. His previous two books dealt with Tonganoxie life primarily in the 1800’s. The third installment basically runs from the 1920s through the 1940s, particularly World War II.
Three Tonganoxie High band members made school history when they were selected to the Kansas Music Educators Association 1A-4A All-State Band. Senior Ryan Wolfe and juniors Rex Hancock and Ryan Brammer became the first ever THS students to eve make the prestigious band.
Chamber of Commerce Secretary Connie Torneden was selected “Member of the Year” at the chamber’s installation ceremony. In addition to her responsibilities as chamber secretary, Torneden has been the organizational hub of Tonganoxie Days since its inception eight years ago.
A pop-up craft mall that includes an early bird sale soon will be coming to the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site.
Sunflowers are in full bloom and fans don’t have to travel far to take in their beauty. Ted Grinter has 27 acres of row after row of sunflowers on his farm southwest of Tonganoxie. Sunflowers are known to track the movement of the sun across the sky when they are in the bud stage. Once the flower blooms, however, it faces east and that could be the flower’s efforts to avoid direct heat. Kansas ranks third in sunflower production after North Dakota and South Dakota.
Tonganoxie skate boarders can rejoice as they get one step closer to getting a new skate park. At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted to accept the proposed 2008 budget, which included $100,000 for the construction of a new skate park. Several patrons spoke in favor of the skate park.
Some 600 motorcyclists made their way down Fourth Street in Tonganoxie on Saturday. The cyclists spent part of Saturday in Tonganoxie during the Kansas City Poker Run Rally. The rally raised money for the Urban Youth Strategies center in midtown Kansas City, Mo. Roughly $30,000 was raised.
The Tonganoxie Community Historic Site campus is open to the public three days out of the week this time of year. The museum and other buildings are open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays at 201 W. Washington St. Tours also can be arranged at other times by appointment. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated. Tonganoxie Community Historical Society meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month (except June and December) in the Reno Methodist Church building on the campus for a brief business meeting and a historical program. The meetings are open to the public and there is no charge. TCHS is a nonprofit organization, funded through dues, donations, memorials, building rentals, grants and fundraising activities.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2006 population estimate that showed Tonganoxie’s population increased 9.19 percent to 4,101, the biggest increase since the 2000 census. Tonganoxie had the third-highest percentage in growth in Kansas, following Westmoreland and Maize. The Historical Farmer’s Market will kick off at 7 a.m. Saturday in the Tonganoxie High School west campus parking lot. The market is spearheaded by Pete and Brenda Wood. The market will be open weekly from 7 a.m. until noon on Saturdays through the third week in October.
Kevin Freeman and his daughter Makayla were pictured as they worked to capture a swarm of 15,000 bees that settled on a dogwood in the Paul Mast home.
Alisha “Boo” Barnes, a 15-year-old Tonganoxie girl, landed this 60-pound flathead on a limb line Saturday morning with the help of her papa and dad. Alisha is no stranger to fishing, having fished with her papa, Rick DeMaranville, since she was 2 (Alisha is pictured in waders holding the flathead.). Phil Jeannin’s retirement party was attended by 200 people. The longtime teacher instructed students for 34 years. Jeannin was lucky enough to teach many children of his former students.
Local residents will meet in VFW Park on Sunday for a “Stand in for Peace” event. This is not a political gathering. The inspiration came from Sharon Mehdi’s children’s book, “The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering.” Susy Ross and Helene Miller are organizing the event, which also has some historical background. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” proposed to hold an annual Mother’s Day for Peace, to “promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, and the great and general interests of peace.
Seventeen college students from across the country and seven of their managers from College Pro Painters can be seen this week transforming the exterior of four Tonganoxie homes with a fresh coat of paint. Brothers Ryan Bowen and Aaron Bowen, are planning a springtime move for their Gambino’s pizza restaurant from Stone Creek to the former Mo’s Pizza. The Bowens also own Gambino’s in McLouth and Eudora.
Roofers worked under blue skies Monday afternoon on the south side of Tonganoxie Evangelical Friends Church. The 114-year-old church building at Fourth and Shawnee was struck by lightning June 30, 2005. However, the lightning didn’t damage the inside of the church. Tonganoxie resident Tim Tice will compete this weekend at the Kansas Special Olympics state basketball tournament in Hays. This past weekend, he helped his team, the Elites, win gold in Johnson County.
Weather has stalled the construction of Chieftain Trail in Tonganoxie. But once the ground thaws, work on the trail will begin in full force. The half-mile trail will extend from Fourth and Main streets to Chieftain Park and also will tie in with VFW Park. The new branch of First State Bank and Trust is open at 15506 Pinehurst Drive in Basehor. (10 years ago)
The upcoming pancake supper was discussed. It will be 5-7 p.m. March 18. It was decided to add fruit to the menu. Marilyn Oxley filled in for Rosie as program leader and Nila Denholm served as hostess and served ice cream sandwiches to members Elaine Gnasch, Marilyn Oxley, Faye Cleavinger, Frances Jeannin, Thamar Barnett and the Rev. Larry Grove. The next meeting will be March 17 and the group will set up tables and chairs for the supper.
The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society is having its soup and chili feed until 7 p.m. today at the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church.
A psychosocial nurse will discuss Missouri Order No. 11 and the Civil War during the next Tonganoxie Community Historical Society meeting.
Public invited to event
The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society will have its Christmas party next week.
A former governor is one character expected to come alive next week at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site. The historical society will have First City Performers And Story Tellers members at its October meeting. The public is welcome to attend the performance, which starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the historic site, 201 W. Washington St. in Tonganoxie.
John Brown has come to life in re-enactments at the Black Jack Battlefield in southern Douglas County and at other venues, including area classrooms.
The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society is inviting the community to its annual picnic, which is Saturday at the historic site.
The life of Kirby McRill will be explained next week.
Local residents will share their remembrances of Tonganoxie history Tuesday.
Wheat has long been a major part of Kansas History.