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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

They Looked a Lot Like Each Other

Sometimes when I look at these old pictures from Simmons Studio, I'm struck by how similar people are.  Here's a photograph taken over 60 years ago of two powerful men.

Surely they are a father and son who were once famous in their neighborhood for their feats of strength.  I imagine they could be intimidating characters when they were angry.  I'd hate to have them come to my door wanting to discuss what my dog did to their lawn.

These young ladies, on the other hand, look as sweet as can be.

They are probably sisters.  They may not have been twins but they sure looked a lot like each other.

If anyone recognizes either of these couples, please leave a comment telling us who they are.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Check Out These Low Prices

I did a quick search on the internet and you can still get men's cloth coats on for about the same price.  They even look kind of the same as these coats - only shorter and not as elegant.  I think this is a picture of a store window at Rosenthals taken in the late '40s or early '50s - which, in my opinion, was the peak period for cool clothes for both men and women.

Modern cloth coat for $24.99 (See, it just isn't as cool.)

Speaking of great clothes and low prices.  Here's another picture from the same period.  

See the woman in the background.  Actually, I hate the skirt with the tiny pompoms around the knees, but I wish I had her waistline.

7-Up for 95 cents a case.  She should stock up.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life Goes By So Fast

One day, you're a cute kid posing for a school picture, and then a few short years later, you're part of the don't-buy-green-bananas crowd looking at images of your former cute self on a history blog.

Speaking of which - do you see yourself here?

I'd make fun of the bobby sox, but I still wear them.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

AMANDA UMBLE... More Info to Come Later!!!

Yesterday was a really great day of detective teamwork at the JCHS!  This group of (r-l) Dr. S. Mustakeem, Librarian Makiba Foster and two students Will and Zoe traveled from Washington University in St. Louis to seek information for an article Dr. Mustakeem is writing on an important person in Missouri history about whom almost nothing was known.  I'd like to share this great example of accidental history in action!

The goal of their visit was research of primary sources focused on a young woman, Amanda Umble, who was sentenced to hang for stabbing another woman over a man.  (Much like another case a few years later in Johnson County when one of the Heard girls from Bristle Ridge was killed by another with "an old case knife".)

Umble's case was a rallying cry for the rights of black women at the time, and Dr. Mustakeem's research had led her search to Johnson County where Amanda had later married a man named John Miller.   Miller was a hostler at T.E. Cheatham's which we discovered may have been the old Grover place in the 200 block of East Gay Street.   The group first searched through the card catalog, family files and city directories for any traces of Amanda Umble and her family.  She had proved difficult to locate before, but clues emerged from the files and records.

By afternoon all hands were employed in seeking out hidden tidbits.  The students continued combing the family files.  Herb Best went to find the graves of Miller and his son at Sunset Hill.  Betty Marr found a photo of the old Grover place.  Dr. Mustakeem and I went down to the archives and looked for a circuit court record of a divorce which was indicated in a census.   There was high glee when it was located!  The team reassembled in the Archive Room to intensify the search.  The photo above shows the group searching for mentions of the case in court indexes.

The afternoon ended with a trip to Sunset Hill cemetery to see the gravestones of John and his kin and then on to Trails Regional Library where I left the team looking at microfilm of newspapers more recent than those in our collection.   At Trails, Ms. Foster shared with me that she was so excited that their search had begun in the CARD CATALOG!   She has noticed, as have I, that younger generations are under the false impression that EVERYTHING is on the internet.  She is hoping to start a program that will encourage this generation of students to seek out these valuable and unique resources.  What a great day of delving into the informational treasures of the JCHS.   Thanks to all those  who have gone before us for creating this great trove of knowledge!!!   Lisa Irle, Curator

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Women in Costumes

It's hard to say what's a costume versus what are normal, everyday clothes.  I define a costume as anything you wouldn't wear to Walmart.  For example, the lady below is not dressed properly to go to Walmart.

Instead, she went to Simmon's Studio and had this picture taken.  I don't know why.

These women from the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority are also wearing costumes.  

I sent this picture to the Alpha Sigma Alpha Headquarters and asked them if they knew anything about this event.  I never heard back from them.

Do you have any information about either of these pictures?  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An Embarrassingly Awful Picture of Bruce Uhler

It all started when I found this picture in the collection of old negatives from Simmons Studio.

There was no record of a clothing store in Johnson County named Rosenthals, but Lisa Irle, who is a genius at finding little-known historical details quickly dug up a 1938 article that explained the connection between the Rosenthals and the famous Russell Brothers chain that originated and once thrived here:

"Negotiations are under way... for one of the buildings...[in Lexintgon in which the] Russell Brothers will establish their fouth major store...

"A buying and sales conference was held at the store here... Those here for the buying part were H.R. Rosenthal, president of the St. Joe Hat and Cap Company of St. Joseph, and Marice Rosenthal, sales manager...  When H.R. Rosenthal was on the road as a salesman, Mr. Russell gave his first order of merchandise to him and they have maintained a friendship since.

"The original H.H. Russell operated his clothing store at 123 N. Holden street back in the 1890s, then in March of 1915 when Mr. Russell’s sons Winfrey B. and Hawley H. Russell opened their businsess."

While Lisa was digging around in the Russell Brothers file, she came upon this picture.

The handsome lad in the bizarre clothing is Bruce Uhler. This picture was taken in the early 70s when people actually dressed like that. Although you would have to dig your way into the dustiest corner of an old thrift shop to find a costume like that now, it was the best in style back then.

However, if anyone feels embarrassed by this picture, this blog can be deleted for a mere $10,000 donation to the Johnson County Historical Society.