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Spring, 2008 Issue

Riley County

Memoirs of John W Bartleson: Chapter Two: Part Two - Battle and Capture!

Battle mapI kept up with the company. I always have thought that one-fourth of the men dropped out or suffered sunstrokes during the six-mile run. The companies had been reduced from the Red River expedition and from sickness—we had only thirty five or forty of the hardiest members left. We crossed Tishaminge Creek [Tishimingo] and came to Brice Cross Roads, a church, cemetery, some stores and shops and a few buildings. The firing was only a short distance away and was drawing nearer. Indicating that our forces were falling back. We were ordered to stack our haversacks with rations, blankets, coats and everything except gun, cartridge box and fort[y] or fifty bullets, and the canteen, which was indispensable. We rushed south a run, then east, then turned north into a small field, called Porter field; this was nearly half a mile from the cross roads before mentioned, had woods in front and cleared land to the west. The right of our regiment was on the edge of the woods on the south. Other regiments of the brigade were stationed along the fence.


More Than a Train, a Trackless Train!
Kaw Valley Express Re-energizes Childhood Dream


As a young boy, John Vinsonhaler would stand beside the singing tracks of the Rock Island Railroad in Smith Center to watch one of its most famous trains pass through. It was the Rocky Mountain Rocket, a streamliner passenger train on a 19.5-hour run from Chicago to Denver and on down to Colorado Springs, pulled by a pug-nosed scarlet engine built for power and speed. The sight never failed to move him. It was the genesis of his interest in railways, an interest that took a backseat to the necessities of a career and raising a family, the mundane things people do when dreams can’t put food on the table.

Clay County

The Eiznhamer Motor Company:
A Studebaker Dealer and the Town He Served

Bill Eiznhamer owned the Studebaker Dealership in Clay Center Kansas from late 1945 until his death in 1952. He died in the winter of 1952, the result of a heart attack while helping the local body shop owner dig his wrecker out of a snow bank. I did not come along until the 1958 model year, but I have always been interested in antique cars and trucks. When my aunt (Bill’s wife) passed away in the spring of 1968, my grandparents got the job of cleaning out her house and preparing for an estate sale. I was only too willing to help, having heard numerous stories from my grandparents over the years, about the Studebaker dealership.


A Golden Theatre Is Reborn in Independence

Outside the BoothPatrons worn suits and evening dresses, and the evening as an occasion, an event, a night on the town. The was an a era in which going to the theater was about much more than popcorn and Raisinets. Independence is home to one of the last existing examples of this “Golden Age of Movie Palaces”, which reigned during the 1920’s. This distinctive time in history fostered the beginning of the motion picture industry. The Booth Theatre was the first and only movie theatre in Independence, Kansas, for more than 53 years, starting in 1927. It represents a time when going to the movies was a complete experience, and many of the movies shown paled in comparison to the theatres themselves. The lavish art deco style, in conjunction with the public fervor for motion pictures, made the Booth Theatre the hot spot for social gathering.


Alan David and his Audichron Collection

As you travel thru Kansas and meet people, you learn about some pretty interesting hobbies and collections. Alan David of Elmdale, Kansas, has one such unique collection. Alan collects and restores antique Audichrons. Most people do not even know what an Audichron is. Alan David certainly knows one when he sees one, and has gone out of his way to preserve a little bit of telephone history.


Rediscovering a Treasure and a Time of Movies and Stars

Northrup OutsideWalk inside the Northrup Theatre in Syracuse and you step back in time. Inside the wooden framed glass doors is a world of dreams and fantasies. A small red and blue neon light hangs from the center of the lobby. Concessions are located along the south wall. Stroll through the red curtains that separate the lobby from the auditorium, and instantly, you are surrounded by an eclectic form of stylish modernism known today as the Art Deco movement of the 1920s and 30s. The steeped forms and sweeping curves along the walls of the theater show off the mathematic geometrical shapes consistent with a structure from that period: The Great Depression.


Special Accommodations Provided for Four-legged Travel Companions at Central Kansas Ranch Resorts

The Hilton®, Super 8® and Holiday Inn® are all recognizable motels and hotels for people. But is there a demand for horse motels? As two families accidentally found out there is quite a demand for an overnight accommodations for the hoofed members of the “family.”


Midland Junction Farm Store: A Nostalgic Look at an Agricultural Gathering Post

Midland owner /farmerJust north of Lawrence and out into rural Douglas County, the early morning sun casts long shadows across the grain elevators of Midland Junction. Farmers from the countryside begin to congregate inside the historic farm and feed store that stands to the northwest and beside the railway. Inside this quaint and nostalgic locale conversations are accompanied by a free cup of black coffee. Grain prices are scratched on the blackboard that hangs behind the counter and the static filled radio plays the country and western sounds of Hank Williams. Midland Farm and Feed has been a gathering post for farmers and other rural residents living in the northeastern corner of Douglas County for many generations. Today it continues to be a reminder of life as it was generations ago and is a destination for individuals who want to continue to share in that experience.


German Workers near Lake WabaunseeGerman Prisoners of War and Lake Wabaunsee

Seeing a German Police dog and a guard with a gun in our fields and at our country dining room table was a sight my eyes shall never forget. I was a small child during World War II, but those images are etched deeply in my mind. The prisoners were housed in barracks at Lake Wabaunsee and trucked to our farm for hire.

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Last Updated October 16, 2008
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