Thursday, October 8, 2015

Little Families

Sometimes a family consists of only a parent and a child.

And then, for the parent, that one little child is the whole world - their one reason for living.

For years these pictures may have hung on someone's wall.  Now they may be preserved in someone's scrapbook.  Please let me know in the comments if you recognize either member of this little family.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brown Telephone Company

My sister, Sue Nuckles, was a telephone operator for United Telephone for years. Although this picture was probably taken before she was born, she was very familiar with this old switchboard.

Here's what she had to say about it:

 I worked on that cord board. I think at the time it was nearly 100 years old and it was still working when they took it out. 

 It could do more than the computerized crap they brought in to replace it.  With the old cord board, somebody could call in and say "I can't get Mom's phone to ring.  I'm worried about her."  We could force the phone to ring by dialing the number over and over.  We would tell the customer that he/she would not be able to hear us but we were working on the call, close the key and put up the call over and over until we could get the phone to ring.  It was complicated but it worked.  We might have 20 cords up and we had to keep checking each one to see if the phone was ringing.  Once we got it to ring we would move the waiting customer to that circuit and take down the rest of the cords. When they brought in the computerized boards, we couldn't do that anymore.  The customers were mad. 

Then there was a change at the CEO level.  He was from Ohio.  The Warrensburg office was going to be the call center for the entire US.  This guy moved it to Ohio.  He said the Ohio operators were not going to be laid off. So, the Warrensburg operators were laid off.  

United Telephone started out in the 20's as Brown Telephone Company, founded by Clayson Brown.

Clayson Brown built his company offering service to farmers and little towns that Bell and the other big companies didn't want.  If a farmer wanted a telephone in the middle of a corn field, he would put the phone in the middle of the field.  All the neighbors knew it was there and would use it too.  In those days, they didn't put up poles, they just ran the cable on the farmer's fence posts.  Laws were later passed preventing the use of fence posts.

The name of the company was changed to United Telephone sometime in the '70's I think.  I remember when United Telephone completed the buyout of Sprint.  Because Sprint was a more recognizable name, they started using it.  Everything became United Telephone dba Sprint.

Here is another informative website.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Two Families

I found two interesting family pictures in the Simmons Studio Collection of negatives.  One family seems so jolly,

After seven children and upteen thousand years together, Mom and Dad are still sitting close together. Dad's even taking the opportunity for a little elbow feel. Happy Dad.

The other picture is also of a couple and their adult children.

Everyone in this family is so serious.  They've made it through the Great Depression and now they have a son in the service.  They've been through a lot.

Does anyone recognize either family.  If you do, leave a little story about them in the comments.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Wonderful Bond Between a Parent and an Only Child

Some of the pictures from the Simmons Studio collection tell a heart-warmng tale about the special love that parents feel for their only child.

Look at this happy family:

The joy they've found in their only child is apparent, but it's nothing like the bond that has formed between this boy and his loving parents.

He's relaxed into his father's arms, but he's exchanging an impish glance with his mother that leads me to believe they share a charming secret that Dad isn't wise to.  Kind of like, "So Dad still hasn't realized that the chocolate you gave him this morning was really Exlax?"

If anyone knows the identity of either happy trio, please leave a comment on this page

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Williams Drugs

Do you remember Williams Drugs?

Lots of people called it "The Courthouse Drug Store" and for good reason.  Murry F. Williams bought the store which stood at 203 N. Holden, in March 1947 from Roy Courtney (Courtney - Courthouse.  Get it?). Rather than remove the old Courthouse Drug Store signs, Williams just put his sign up with the others.  

It wasn't until December 2, 1960 that he remodeled the building and formally opened the store as Williams Drug Co.  
Maybe that's when he removed the Court House Drug Store lettering done in concrete below each window. In 1962, the business phone number changed from 101 to 747-3551 so the sign in the upper left hand corner had to be changed, too.

Here's an excerpt from The Daily Star Journal written on Dec. 1, 1960:

"Mr. Williams...purchased the store in March 1947... Later that year, Mr. Williams' father, the late Murray Q. Williams, sold his interest in the Vernaz drug store to his partner, Reynolds Archauer, and assisted his son in what is now known as the Williams Drug Company.  Mr. Willaims died in June 1954.
"Mrs. Williams, the former Jacqueline Hogan of West Plain and their son, Jack, now are in the store and another salesman is C.A Kanoy.
"Clarence Harvey, Negro, has served as porter in the store for many years."

Here's what that building looks like today.

I wonder where those concrete Courthouse Drug signs are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ma Brown's Q-S Lunch

Many people may have memories of Ma Brown's, a little sandwich-and-beer shop on the courthouse square.  Buddy Baker certainly does.  He spent a lot of time there when he got back from following the pipeline that was being built across the nation just after World War Two.

(Warnick Dodge stood to the east of Brown's and Harmon Motors was to the west.)

He had made friends with another pipeliner from Warrensburg, Billy Brown, who was the son of Laura "Ma" Brown and her husband Hick.  Hick was a trucker who hauled cattle from this area to the Kansas City Stockyards leaving Brown's Q-S Lunch for his wife to run.

When the two young men got back to Warrensburg, Buddy joined the 52-20 club. (The government gave World War Two vets a 52-week pension of $20 a week allowing them to take a year off to recover from the trama of war.)  Buddy and Billy spent their free time at the restaurant.

Buddy remembers it as a friendly place where college students and factory workers congregated for lunch. Some people came in to wait for the bus that ran several times a day between Warrensburg and Whiteman Army Airfield until the airbase was demobilized.  There were booths and a Seeburg Jukebox.  A yellow cat named Seeburg greeted the customers.

The Brown family even introduced Buddy to another regular custormer, Francis Walz, who would later become his wife of 50 years.

Ma Brown's is now Old Barney's on the Courthouse Square. Notice that the top of the facade has been removed so that it is now lower than the building to the right of it.

Does anyone else have any memories of Ma Brown's Q-S Lunch?  If you do, we'd love to hear them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Help Harold Remember Madelyn's Pavilion!!!

Hello Everyone!!! We got a letter today and I would like to share it with you and see if anyone has ever heard of the place in question. It's a great memory from Harold G. who is trying to write his memoirs and wants to make sure he gets it right... Please, help us help him???
"Dear JCHS,
I was stationed at Sedalia Army Air Force Base in 1944 and 1945 and was able to visit my wife often in a rented room in the home of the county attorney in Warrensburg. The bus, which I rode from the base, let me off in the middle of town. I would walk past a place called Madelyn's Pavilion to get to the county attorney's home.
Decades later my nephew was stationed at the base which became Whiteman AFB. He met and married a girl from Warrensburg named Paula S. She told me she never heard of "Madelyn's Pavilion." I don't think I just dreamed about it. It looked like it could have been a baseball park sometime in the past. On Saturday evenings, as I would pass, joyful sounds came from it. It was a place where Afro-Americans had great entertainment with music."

Does anyone have any recollection of this?
Peggy Nuckles, please ask Buddy for goodness sakes : ).
Hope we can help Harold.