Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Captain Readic Comer

Hello Friends,
It has been a while... but we are still here and finding more out about our beautiful county all the time.  If you have ever been in our Heritage Library, you may have seen a painting on the wall of Captain Readic Comer, a Warrensburg resident who was once a Buffalo Soldier.  

We have also mentioned that Ben Pierce donated a huge collection of large format negatives from the Simmons Studio (also Burr and other photographers in the space).  Some are glass, some film.  We sorted them and recently found out from our friend Peggy Nuckles that we can simply photograph the negative with our phone, turn it into a positive and there you have it.  
Well, here is Captain Comer, in the time between his service in the WWI era and the distinguished portrait that hangs in the library.
 A very exciting find.  Thanks for your service, sir!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our upcoming program at our annual meeting on September 29, 2013 features some of the strangest history in Johnson County, to some people.  It has been written about since the happening in state reports and in our Bulletin.  But as yet, as far as we know, no one has tried to replicate the event. 
Paul Landkamer, entomophagist, will guide us through the program. We still need cooks who want to show off their wild edibles and participants. This feast is inspired by the 1875 grasshopper feast which actually happened here in Warrensburg. It's also the plague featured in Laura Ingalls-Wilder's "On the Banks of Plum Creek". Since we couldn't schedule another plague, we opened the feast up to any wild edibles --of course, concentrating on the insects.  Please contact us if you are interested. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Great Memory

It has been five years since Carol Berkland, who was looking through old  newspapers online, showed me a pile of printed out references to Johnson County that she had found.  Many interesting tales, lots of railroad news, and this one.    From the Kansas City Star 1919, it just happened to be a drawing of W.A. Tompkins, my great grandfather which we printed in the Bulletin at the time..  I had hoped that there would be room in the newsletter for the rest of the story, but alas there wasn't. 

So, now, the end of the tale.   I took the newspaper clipping to my brother Mark who lives on the Tompkins place.  It was a cold January day, much like today, but he said, "Do you want to see where that is?" and we took off across the field.  I have had bad luck with cameras and memory cards over the past few years, but  found that I hadn't lost all this morning when I stumbled across the file. 
Please consider this a tribute to the generations of farmers of Johnson County, MO, you know who you are, the unsung heroes, the careful stewards of our  precious resource, the fertile earth.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Answering the Donkey Trolley Question

Thanks to our fans!!!... (this time that's you, Bruce) we have answered a question posed on page 65 of our book, Warrensburg and Johnson County (Vintage Postcard Series) from Arcadia Publishing, 2004, by Carol Berkland, Herb Best and Lisa Irle.  The JCHS collection contained this postcard with notations in ballpoint ink on the back concerning the last trip of a horsedrawn trolley that once made the newspapers in New York city for its annual trip to prove it existed.  The back of the card was full of informations about the "other resort" in Warrensburg -- Electric Springs.  The building didn't look at all familiar, nor did the name of the photographer.  Now, thanks to Bruce and his searching on the internet, we can conclusively report that this postcard came from Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas and had nothing at all to do with Electric Springs here in MO.  Beware those handwritten notes of history, always double check.  That was the lesson.  Glad we hedged our bets on the caption written 8 years ago.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So Much To Do

Davis Store before removal of bricks on Northwest Corner

    Much work remains to protect our historic structures from the ravages of time and weather.  Mike Shaw, Pres. of the JCHS, is working to uncover the extent of repairs which the old buildings require. 

The "Davis Store" (above) has been donated to the JCHS in the past year.  Many have asked -- what will happen to the building?: over the past several years.  And now that the JCHS is in command, the first order of business (after all the legalities, assessments and what not have been completed) is to assess the needs of the structure and determine whether it will be cost effective to preserve.  Loose bricks had to be removed from an old repair before decisions could be made.  We still are not sure of the outcome, the one thing that is sure is that we will need financial help from our Members and Friends to get the work done correctly.

The "Old Courthouse", purchased in 1965 by the Historical Society and on the National Register of Historic Places has been a labor of love for the Society for the past 50 years.  The stones used in the initial restoration have deteriorated over the years and to better understand the requirements of replacing them, they had to be removed. 

Hard work for our President.   Please consider assisting the JCHS either with your own work as a volunteer or financially.  We would welcome your interest in our projects!
South Threshold of the Old Courthouse

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Historical Happenings

The JCHS has just established a publishing venture --the Johnson County Historical Society Press.
The first book is now available.  Old-Time Fiddling:  Hal Sappington, Missouri Fiddler is available (with 56 Tune DVD).  Written by R.M. Kinder (Rose Marie) and Kristine Lowe-Martin, the book is an affectionate look at a fine fiddler and his musical community.  $25 / $30 including postage.
It's a lovely book about music in and around Johnson County!!!  Check it out.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Don't Forget

Our Civil War Series We Were Neighbors:  The Civil War in Johnson County Missouri, in conjunction with the UCM Lifelong Learning Series and with help and sponsorships from a lot of folks ( many thanks to the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the grant!)  will begin on Tuesday, with Joseph Beilein on Guerilla Men, Rebel Women and Household War in West Central Mo....  Few know these stories.  Join us in the Old Courthouse , the next three Tuesdays (October 4, 11, and 18)  at 3 p.m.
*In case you didn't know, the Old Courthouse was built beginning in 1838 and was the the center of Warrensburg and Johnson County until the railroad came to town at the end of the 19th Century Wars.