Friday, April 28, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Town and Country Shoes

I came across a negative from the Simmons Studio collection of this United Shoe Workers of America Charter.  It's dated 1945 which is baffling.  The only local factory to which it could apply is Town and Country Shoes.

However Buddy Baker worked there in the early 1950s and he says it wasn't a union shop back then.

Here's Buddy running a pullover machine at Town and Country Shoes in the early 50s.  

The factory started out in the basement of the old National Guard Armory and then moved to its permanant location on North Main Street.
It's closed now, and they've put a fence up around it.

Ruth Holtz wrote a very interesting article about it back in 1967.  Three Hundred and Twenty Five employees at $100,000 a month.  That comes to an average wage of about $307 a month. That's the same as making $2,258 a month 2017.
Here's some of the people who worked there in 1967.

Sometime in the early 1970s, the factory closed,  They had a reunion for former employees. 

Buddy didn't go.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lock the Door, Bolt and Latch It...

...Here comes Carry with a brand new hatchet.

Carry Nation wasn't dangerous when she lived in Holden and then in Warrensburg.  That was way before her temperance days.

 She was born in Garrard Couty, Kentucky Nov. 25, 1846, but her parents moved six miles north of Harisonville in Cass County when she was young. Her mother, who believed she was Queen Victoria of England, insisted on seeing her family by appointment only and wandered about the house looking for her septer.  Later in life, Carry's mother was committed to a state mental institution in Missouri where she died in 1893. Carry also had an aunt who, during certain lunar phases, clambered up on the roof to be a weather vane, and a cousin who at the age of forty unexpectedly returned to all fours.

She married a drunkard named Dr. Charles Gloyd in 1867 and moved with him to Holden, Mo.  Dr. Gloyd was also an excessive smoker and a Mason.  Her years with him turned her against drinking, smoking, fraternal societies, corsets, short skirts, and foreign foods.

The Gloyds had a daughter, Charlien. When Charlien was young something appeared on her jaw that ate her flesh so that some of her teeth could be seen through the hole.  She later suffered from lock jaw and they removed some of her teeth ii order to get a tube in to feed her

After Dr. Gloyd died, Carrty moved to 500 N. Holden in Warrensburg where she attended the Normal. A few months after getting her teaching certificate, she married David Nation a lawyer and a fluent writer who had once been editor of the Holden Enterprise.

He came to Holden at the close of the Civil War and served as the City Attorney there from 1868 to 1870.
Then he moved to Warrensburg, where he partnered with Allen H. Cruse in the law office of Nation & Cruse. Later he bacame part owner and editor of the Warrensburg Journal Democrat.

The rival (Republican) newspaper, the Standard Herald was very critical of him.  In1875, the Standard Herald had this to say about him,

"We have branded him publicly to his face, as a liar and a dirty dog... He is a coward and a poltroon. His reputation for truth, and his general character is so infamous all over Johnson county, but particularly in Holden and Warrensburg, that it is a waste of time and space to repeat these things and we now DROP HIM."

Back then Republicans and Democrats didn't get along very well. In fact, they got along so poorly that the Standard Herald either hired a boy to throw a copy of their paper at the rival editor or they wrote a tongue-in-cheek, humorous article claiming that they did.

Nation Assassinated

It was about dusk, Friday evening.  Nation was standing at the foot of the Journal stairs... The boy could be seen coming in, and coming out of the shadows, as he stealthily approached his unsuspecting victim.  All at once the boy ran his hand in his pocket and with lightning like rapidity produced, and with unerring aim sent a Standard straight between his victim's eyes.  He fell and a long low moan came from his lips, and as he was passing away he said: 

'Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness!...'

"At this moment a loud cry rent the air, and Judge Middleton was bending over his beloved chief, 'Them Standard men done it, and now what'll become of the Journal?' and he sat down and smoked his pipe."

Mr. Nation wasn't really killed. In fact, he lived on to marry Carry two years later.

David was nineteen years older than Carry when he married her in 1877.  After the wedding, she taught in Holden schools for about four years.

The Nations moved to Texas and then to Kansas where they had a lot of other interesting adventures especially with the Temperance movement.  If you would like to read about them, go to the Historical Society Gift shop and buy the booklet pictured above by Mary L. Rainey.  It's worth the price

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I published this picture from the Simmon's studio collection of negatives on this blog about two years ago, but at that time, I was showing where Simmon's Studio was. Shively and the car just happened to be in the picture. Today you need to ignore the Simmon's Studio sign and the car (Alan Summers believes it's a 1950 Ford) and the little boy and concentrate on Shively's - and the fascinating woman who helped to run it.

It opened just after WWII.  Maybe this is a picture of its grand opening.
I'm not sure, but I do know that to attract a crowd like that, you have to be giving away something - and that's what happens at grand openings.
They stayed in business until the mid-70s which was the time of the most horrible men's fashion disaster since the 1500s when men wore those short shorts that were simutaneously provocative and appalling.  

But I digress - I wanted to talk about Mrs. Shively.
She left Warrensburg and went to Nixa, Missouri where she was so happy she lived to be 103.  A long life has some drawbacks. She outlived two of her four children - Jack and Marilyn. Here's some more pictures of Mrs. Shively. 
Dana Dyer with her grandmother Margaret Joanne Shively aged 101

With Carron Hairabedian

She wrote a book.

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You can buy it on

I'm sorry I never met her.

Carron Hairabedian 
Back in 1979, Joanne, her daughter Sally Dyer (who recently passed away), Dana (Joanne's grand daughter) and I all lived on Duncan Road together in Blue Springs... one of my favorite years ever! We called it Dyer's Dorm. Dana and I worked at Red Lobster on Noland Road in Independence. Joanne lived to be 103. All those girls ~ very special people. 

Joann Cross 
I went to WHS witht the Shively girls --all beauties. I have Mrs. Shively's book and it is a pleasure to read. I wrote her about the book and she responded and I still have her lovely letter.

Lisa Irle My great aunt Lora Harrison worked at that Shiveley's store before she moved to Fosters just down Pine Street. I remember seeing Mrs. Shively altering clothes in a little room at the back of her store!

Here's a picture posted by Bruce Uhler of the Annex Restaurant that the Shivelys reopened in 1942.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Club 15

This painting by Morris Collins hangs in the basement of the Johnson County Historical Society.

Beside it is the history of Club 15:

"It was the only black club in town, one that inspired the Nace Brothers to write a song about it and name an album after it.

The club was named for its 15 original members," said Spencer Taylor of Warrensburg.  Starting in about 1970, Taylor was one of those 15.  "Most of the members are gone now," he said.  "The owner Verlon Ewing, is gone." Taylor said Ewing had peppermint sticks and bubblegum for about 2 cents, 25-cent hot dogs, soda pop, barbeque and 3.2 percent beer.

Club 15 was located on the corner of Marshal and Warren streets in Warrensburg.  The building is gone, but David Nace remembers the times he used to walk past the old barbecue and social club on his way to Reece Elementary School when he was eight or nine years old.

"In the day, when all the kids walked past, he was always kind to the kids," David said. "He had candy and he would let us have a charge accout up to 25 cents."

When the members got together, Club 15 changed from a candy and barbecue store into a nonprofit organization. "We paid dues and we had a charter. We held parties and had dances."

In the spring, they boarded a bus and went to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play baseball.  They went Omaha, Nebraska to watch the horse races and they went to Springfield to visit Silver Dollar City. 
"We just went everywhere," Taylor said.

They also went to various churches around town to donate some of the proceeds they made from dances.  The club was too small for the dances, so they would rent the armory on Gay Street or other places in town.
Then the membership bagan to dwindle and the club ended up closing in about 1985.

Herb Nelson joined Club 15 in the 1980s after his father, Mack Nelson.

"It was a pretty good club," Nelson said.

He remembers helping churches, giving scholarships to students, and especially the bus trips.  The club put on chili suppers and hosted New Year's Eve parties, Nelson said.

"We had a jukebox and some guy would come in and put in new music all the time." he said.

Club 15

i woke up this morning from across the track
one arm out the window and a pain in my back
and that old train whistle
was a lonely sound
and when I opened my eyes, my head started to pound.
Now everybody wants to see
what's the big mystery.
You know what I mean. I'm talking about the Club 15

It's just a broken down shack
on the poor side of town.
Nobody knows what they are putting down.
i used to see 'em on the back porch
having a time
playing low down blues and drinking moonshine.
Now everybody wants to see
what's the big mystery.
You know what I mean now. That's the Club 15

mama said,
"Don't go around that place any more
to high a price- to pay."
That's what the old man will say
He said every day,
"Hey, hey, hey, hey."

I was feeling cray and brave
late last night.
I went up to the back door
take a look in side
when an old black man said, "Boy, drink from my cup."
i Imade it back out to my car
and that's when I woke up.
Now everybody wants to see
what's the big mystery.
You know what I mean, inside the Club 15

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rundle Rexall Drug

Martha Baile's best memory of Rundle's Drug Store is of sitting at the counter sipping pineapple soda. Buddy Baker remembers when it was called Rundle and Ream and didn't have a counter to sit at and drink soda.
Rundle's evolved over time.  It started out at the turn of the 20th century when "Rags" Ream... Well here's his story.

He was a partner with John E. Clark who soon died. About the same time (1903), George O. Rundle came to Warrensburg and purchased the interest of the late Mr. Clark.  Thus began the partnership of Rundle and Ream.  They were still in business together in 1927.  Here's their entry in the phone book for that year.

George O. Rundle, died May 8, 1938 and left his half of the drug store to his son Oliver.  Here's part of George Rundle's obituary:

The many friends of Mr. Rundle were shocked to learn of his death as few could realize the seriousness of his illness.  Mr. Rundle had friends among all classes, business associates, customers, scores of small children and others who appreciated his evident sincerity.  Particularly was he liked by sportsmenas many of his spare moments were spent in the out of doors.  In spring and summer fishing and in the winter hunting.  He was a lover of nature in all its forms and took great pride in Mrs. Rundle's flowers.
Born in Colchester, Ill., he was a son of William and Emma Wakefield Rundle, both of whom were born in England.  He entered Hyde Park College in Des Moines, where he graduated in pharmacy. He married Lillian Davis of Manitou in 1909 and they were parents of two children, Oliver, now of Windsor and Elsie who died a few years ago.
Mr. Rundle had a large and varied collection of arrow heads which he had collected upon his fishing excursions.  Recently he devoted his spare moments to wood carving and had made three figures which were expecially noteworthy.  One, characteristically is a fisherman carrying his basket of fish and his pole and line.
As a measure of respect, the retail committee of the Chamber of Commerce has asked all drug stores to close between 2:15 and 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon.

George's son Oliver continued the partnership with Mr. Ream until 1942 when he bought out the older man's interest.
I think the picture below is of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Rundle.

For the next few years the business was known simply as Rundle's Drug Store.  
Then it became Rundle Rexall Drug. Here's the 1959 phone book.

Then it closed in 1960.  Here's some more pictures of the store developed from negatives found in the Simmon's Studio collection donated by Ben Pierce.

If you have any memories of Rundle Drug Store, please share them in the comments below so they can become part of the history of this long-time Warrensburg business.

Friday, December 16, 2016

He Hung Himself and She Burned to Death

A few weeks ago Bruce Uhler asked me to do some research on the Cheatham House.  This one at 414 South Holden.
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It's the house that UCM just bought.

I couldn't find anything about the house but Bruce did.  Here's a link he found to a Facebook page with some amazing photographs and stories about the home.

What I found in my research was that the above home wasn't the only Cheatham house in town.  There was once this one at 204 Grover.

Here's a really interesting story about the old house.

In case you can't (or don't want to) read the tiny print in this article, here's part of it:   
"There has been a great deal of happiness, sorrow and tragedy in the house.  The first owner known to me was a Mr. Howard.  He hung himself from the stairwell.  Some years later as Mrs. Howard and her children, John and Mable, were getting ready for bed, she pulled the hanging oil lamp down to extinguish it - it fell and set her nightgown on fire.  She burned to death."
I guess that proves that having a fancy house isn't necessarily a key to happiness.

Thanks to Bruce Uhler for providing current pictures of this house: