Miami County Time Capsule | People

100 years ago (1922)

Sheriff George Lamm and County Attorney Roy Lowe were informed some time ago that a still was operating in an old house in Richland Township, 13 miles northwest of Paola. Officers had conducted a quiet investigation and Sunday Sheriff Lamm, Deputy Adda Doan, County Attorney Lowe, Dr LA Van Pelt and JL Lowe surrounded the house at noon. On the ceiling, the search team found two copper stills, one 20 and the other 25 barrels in capacity, with half-inch and one-inch copper coils, seven barrels of mash ready to distill, five empty barrels and lots of jugs and bottles. Officers had attended the scene Thursday evening and found the barrels and mash, but the stills were not there at the time. It is assumed that the stills had been brought from Kansas City on Saturday evening to pour the mash on Sunday.

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John Fury, residing with his family on West Wea Street and well known to Paola, went missing on Wednesday last week and his family and friends are very worried about him. On Wednesday morning, he chopped wood in a clearing in the bend of Bull Creek west of the town cemetery above the twin railroad bridges and returned home for dinner. After dinner he came home and since then we haven’t heard from him. Researchers found a spot where it appeared someone had slipped down a steep bank and through ice that had since frozen. About 40 men gathered there and four dynamite shots were detonated, two shots there and two shots about 300 yards up the creek. This broke the ice and the stream was dragged, but nothing was found. Further research will be carried out.

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The Greasy Bend Oil Co. on the Jacob Hoffman lease six miles west of Paola tapped its first two crude reservoirs last Tuesday. They plan to drill additional wells in the spring.

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Sanford Sinkey, Paola’s pioneer car dealership, got the agency for the Durant car. This car proves very popular in the East and generates a lot of enthusiasm wherever it is introduced. When tested in the Mission Hill neighborhood, it performed wonderfully, negotiating the steep spots with no shifting.

75 years ago (1947)

Osawatomie is overwhelmed with pipeline workers. Around 300 employees from two construction companies landed here. Whitaker Construction Co. is building an 18-inch loop line to replace two 6-inch lines between Iola and Dickerson Farm, northeast of Osawatomie. A small booster station at Dickerson Farm is moved from the flooded area. Oklahoma Construction Co. is building a new line from Centerville to Cleveland, Mo., for Stanolind Pipe Line Co. This line parallels the old Sinclair-Cudahy line, now owned by Stanolind, through the southeast corner of the county. Working headquarters was set up in Osawatomie because quarters could not be obtained in La Cygne, which is closer to the pipeline.

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“John Deere Day” will be celebrated at the HT Smith Tool Facility in Drexel with a free lunch at noon. Mr. Smith started this annual vent when he had a big business in a small place in New Lancaster and continued it into his biggest business in Drexel.

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Charles N. Willis, who recently retired as district foreman of the Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line, is the “daddy” of shale gas development in Miami County. He has been officially recognized as part of the company since February 1, 1928. Before Shippey, Madden & Parrish moved in to develop the shale gas industry, they sent Mr. Willis in the lead. He worked for the partnership and continued when the Missouri-Kansas Pipe Line Co. was organized. This later became the Panhandle Eastern. Shippey, Madison and Parrish came here with few means but with a good idea and vigor. For a time, their office was at the Jackson Hotel or in their car. It’s a far cry from the humble beginnings of the billion-dollar pipeline company. Charles Willis was with the organization from the start.

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At the annual meeting of the Missouri Pacific Rod and Gun Club, held in the office of EH Hawkins at Osawatomie, these officers were elected: HJ Wade, Osawatomie, president; CE Steele, Paola, Vice President; EH Hawkins, Secretary-Treasurer.

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Frank Newsome, an Army veteran with three and a half years of service, is the new assistant instructor at Paola-Osawatomie Airport. He spent 18 months overseas in the Pacific theater and flew C-47 and C-46 aircraft. Melvin M. Minden began his training this week at the airport.

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A regular locomotive whistle has been installed on the boiler of the Paola Butter Co. Bud Ellis plans to put it out through the roof and announce the time to “start work” and “stop work”.

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The Breckenridge store in Paola is undergoing extensive refurbishment to accommodate a large new stock of merchandise. The shoe department will be set up at the back of the store.

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Jim Clemens’ little cocker spaniel puppy named “Fighter” made things interesting the other day by chewing on a $10 bill.

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About 6,000 acres are expected to be sown to flax this year in Miami County. This is about double the amount planted last year. Last year the market price was $3.30 a bushel. The new government support price is $5.50 and the current market value is $7.50 per bushel. Last year, the county’s average yield was 6.1 bushels per acre, but many farmers had yields of 12 to 13 bushels per acre. Since there is a strong demand for flaxseed oil, Joe Buckman thinks the price of flaxseed will remain high for some time. He says it takes about 100 pounds of flax to make 35 pounds of flaxseed oil.

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On Monday evening, the Lane Lions Club, sponsored by the Paola Lions Club, held a charter night and 47 people from Paola attended. Approximately 175 Lions members from surrounding clubs attended the meeting. Monday evening, the Paola Club will be sponsoring the Louisburg Lions Club Charter Night. The following week will be the Gardner Club Charter Night. The Paola club organized three clubs in less than six months, a record for the state.

50 years ago (1972)

On Thursday, a delegation of 20 ratepayers appeared before the Board of Commissioners to urge the completion of the Osawatomie Road at Drexel Corner. Last year the road from Osawatomie to Block was paved and now the group wants the asphalt to stretch from Block to Drexel Corner.

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Incidentally, the newspaper office has Paola’s first computer, even though he only types text.

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In the past two weeks, Miami County lost two of its oldest landmarks when two old homes were razed. Both were located in the community of Antioch. One was a two-story native stone house, known as the Old McIntosh House. I was located a mile north and west of the Antioch store. It was built in 1872 by a stonemason and featured elaborate carvings in the exterior stonework. The other was the Bedwell House, a two-and-a-half-meter tall stone dwelling, a mile south and a quarter mile west of the store. Bedwell House was completed in 2865 by Anderson Bedwell after two years of rock excavation for its construction. For the next 97 years, three generations of Bedwells lived in the house.

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Triangle Builders, Inc. employees add the metal sides to the new American Legion home adjacent to Little Russell Field on Delaware Street in Paola. The building is 60 feet wide and 120 feet long. It will house the meeting hall, a club room, an auditorium and a kitchen for the members of the Legions and the Auxiliaries of the Legions.

25 years ago (1997)

Yielding 186.74 bushels of corn per acre earned Gary Gerken third place in the dryland Class A division of the 1996 National Corn Growers Association corn yield contest in Kansas. Gerken’s son, Rusty, also had a high-yielding cornfield in the contest, as did his brother, Kelly Gerken. The Gerken brothers farm in conjunction with their father, Leland Gerken, who has sold Pioneer brand seeds for many years in Miami County.

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Charlie and LeAnne Smith of Paola purchased a commercial building on the west side of Paola Square from Dick and Jack Kaiser of Paola. The Kiser family has owned the building since the 1940s and it housed their furniture store for decades.

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Bids totaling more than $6.4 million were accepted Thursday for the construction of a new elementary school in Osawatomie $367. The total project was valued at $6,464,800, said commercial manager Jay Hastert.