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lawrence history edition




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Nathan Pettengill Shelly Bryant Jenni Leiste




Jenni Leiste Amanda Nagengast Leslie Andres Fally Afani Frank Barthell Melinda Briscoe Amber Fraley Kelly Gibson Brian Hall Carolyn Kaberline Paula Naughtin Cheryl Nelsen Eric Melin Sarah St. John Darin M. White



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A sepia-tinted photograph of the dam and mill area on the Kaw River with a group of young people fishing in the river. Date unknown. Photograph Courtesy Watkins Museum of History

WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL HISTORY-THEMED EDITION OF LAWRENCE MAGAZINE that combines our regular magazine sections, a day-by-day almanac of events from Lawrence history, and our selection for the 12 Greatest Lawrencians from history. We approached this project with the understanding that Lawrence’s past is enormously layered and too nuanced to be defined by any one compilation, this project included. Our goal is to present a multitude of voices and sources to illuminate the city’s best and worst moments—as well as the daily routines that define life in Lawrence for any given time. As with any study of history, our chronicle of Lawrence will contain some mistakes and bias— either on our part or rooted in the source material. We apologize in advance for the mistakes, but have worked to keep them to a minimum through review of sources. While space does not allow us to print a citation for each entry, we do include a bibliography at the end of our almanac. As anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time with historical sources can tell you, most sources from the past now speak to us with certain prejudices and shortcomings that we would find appalling if encountered today on Massachusetts Street. We recognize there will be aspects of bias in our chronicle and ask forgiveness for the parts where—when read now or in the future—we have failed in intelligence or empathy. We, however, weren’t let down in preparing this work by the writers who compiled it. Thank you to our contributors listed on this issue’s masthead for their patience and diligence. Thanks also to artist Lana Grove who created fresh, original illustrations of great Lawrencians. We are also particularly grateful to the panel created by writer Mary Gage for their input into the 12 Greatest Lawrencians. These panel members included: Katie Armitage, Brittany Keegan, Virgil Dean, Julie Mulvihill, Judy Sweets and Bill Tuttle. They graciously contributed their time and expertise without any conditions on what our final selection list for the 12 Greatest Lawrencians would be. Also essential was the guidance of staff members from the Watkins Museum of History, the Kansas State Historical Society, the Lawrence Public Library, the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art and the Kenneth Spencer Research Museum. We hope you enjoy what we have been able to create with their support and dedication to Lawrence history.

Nathan Pettengill, editor


Lawrence Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of Ogden Publications, Inc.




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13 | LM Bookmarks History becomes literature in new releases by Lawrence authors

14 | LM Screen Two solid performances for winter viewing

16 | LM Flavor A TASTE OF MEMORY, A TASTE OF TRIBUTE Charity organizers prepare for

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the third-annual Jay’s Dinner

18 | LM Gallery APPROPRIATION-MAN The history and whimsy of Roger Shimomura

21 | People TRANSFORMATIONS CHARITY GALA BRINGS ON THE MEN Heading into its sixth year, the charity-benefit stagecompetition embraces the roots of drag with an all-men show

27 | LAWRENCE ALMANAC Milestones, tragedies, triumphs and the Greatest Lawrencians in local history

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ON THE COVER Five individuals from the “12 Greatest Lawrencians” selections. Illustrations by Lana Grove.


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HUGHES AWARDS Entries for the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Awards close on December 22, 2017. Co-sponsors Lawrence Arts Center and the Raven Book Store will hold a celebration on February 1, 2018, to mark Langston Hughes’ birthday and honor the 2018 winners. For updates, contact event organizers at or BALAKIAN The Hall Center for the Humanities presents an evening with Peter Balakian, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, novelist and translator who penned the lines, “But still, history is a boomerang, / and the aborigines never threw one without a shield.” Balakian’s February 22 appearance at 7:30 p.m. in Spooner Hall is free and open to the public. BOOK CLUB The Lawrence Public Library hosts a senior-adult discussion on mysterygenre authors of color at the library on January 21, 4 p.m. Pre-discussion reading is requested. For more information call the library at (785) 843-3833 or go online at

STORY BY Kelly Gibson

THE MAN FROM THE TRAIN Told in the fact-by-fact, conversational style a reader expects from writer and legendary baseball statistician Bill James, The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery is as much informative as it is gruesome. James teamed up with his daughter, Rachel McCarthy James, to piece together a string of unsolved murders across the country, all committed by one man. Not for the faint of heart, but perfect for readers who enjoy true crime at its best, The Man from the Train is a meticulously researched, powerhouse of an investigation reaching back to the clues left from the communications, transportation networks and criminal forensics of the early 20th century. FLIGHT The convoluted Lebanese Civil War of the 1970s–1980s demarcated the Mediterranean, pluralistic nation with shifting checkpoints, no-man’s-lands and enclaves of shelter. In her newest novel, Flight, Lawrencian Jean Grant chronicles how these years of urban warfare also rewrote the borders of normalcy for family life, blowing up fragile friendships and marriages and injecting kidnappings and bombings into the scenery of grocery runs and beach outings. Grant, who lived through portions of the war from the relative safety of Beirut’s American University campus, sends her characters scurrying in various directions, some to the romance of the French countryside, and others into the capital city’s contested killing zones. Most survive and some escape, but even those who survive and escape are not spared—they are the ones forced to justify the peace they seek to claim for their own lives beyond the war.


History becomes literature in new releases by Lawrence authors

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The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

lin c Me i r E / with n e e scr elin Eric M Y STOR


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load Buy th Down eB luray

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The typical Vince Vaughn smart-ass comic persona disarms adversaries by spewing wisecracks at the speed of light. With his role in the new grindhouse-style action drama Brawl in Cell Block 99, however, Vaughn plays a hulking badass who takes people out not with his wit, but with his bare hands. It’s a startling reinvention for Vaughn, and one he convincingly explores while drawing on his acting experience to define the film’s masterful mix of shocking violence and affecting drama. We meet Bradley Thomas, Vaughn’s bald, tattooed, character, as a recovering alcoholic, ex-drug dealer, and man of few words who is laid off from his job at an auto shop. On that same day, his wife (played by Jennifer Carpenter) admits to cheating on him. Naturally, Thomas channels his primal rage in the way he knows best, by calmly sending his wife into the bedroom—and out of harm’s way— then destroying her car with his bare hands. It’s a stunner—the first of many moments that mixes ferocity with a darkly funny sense of humor. And this sequence is just the first of several one-take combat scenes. In each of them, you can see the influence of writer/director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk), who likes to do things old-school. That means placing Vaughn front and center in brutal, elaborately choreographed fight scenes. Practical and in-camera effects give the fights a visceral realism, while hellishly violent long takes in hallways give us the distinct Stream fre e p impression that Vaughn’s Ski Re convict is navigating something like the levels of Dante’s Inferno. As much action as there is, this savage beast of a film doesn’t sacrifice moments of strong character development either. It uses its lengthy two hours and 12 minutes to slowly build up empathy for Vaughn’s convict who returns to running drugs and ends up in prison, only to become trapped in another scheme. And when it’s revealed that the only way for Thomas to get out of prison is to cause enough trouble (i.e., bone-crushing barbarism) to get put in a new cell block, the plot contrivance somehow rings true in context. Zahler takes his time with Thomas, and Vaughn imbues the character with a believable moral code amidst all the craziness. Brawl in Cell Block 99—available on streaming and VOD platforms now—pushes the prison movie genre to new heights. The fact that there’s a very small amount of an original score and a large amount of suspense speaks to Zahler’s skill at building and sustaining anxiety. Oh, and did I mention Don Johnson is in it? This Cell Block is one to remember. nt


Listening is a skill that few people master, but the men of the Meyerowitz family are particularly awful at it. There’s probably no one worse at listening than recently retired art professor Harold Meyerowitz (played by Dustin Hoffman), the self-centered patriarch of writer/director Noah Baumbach’s latest NYC-set dramedy The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), streaming on Netflix now. We see this in the second act, as Meyerowitz’s son Matthew (Ben Stiller) tries to talk to him about important financial matters, but Harold talks over him at every turn—obliterating the idea of the word “turn.” Harold does the same with his other adult son Danny (Adam Sandler) though he’s even more cruel and dismissive. All three of the Meyerowitz men are varying degrees of dismissive of Harold’s daughter, Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), although they seem to be aware of this as if it’s an accepted family dynamic. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) returns to the artistic-cultural NYC world explored in Baumbach’s last two NYC dramedies, While We’re Young and Mistress America. And the director’s newest release is most certainly in the mold of his breakout 2005 film, The Squid and the Whale, a semi-autobiographical drama about a sniping family of Manhattan intellectuals. What is remarkable in this script is how much sympathy Baumbach generates for his characters, who in lesser hands would be one-dimensional brutes. Hoffman, Stiller, Marvel, and especially (I can’t believe I’m writing this) Sandler are up to the task, creating memorable portraits of insecurity that will linger long after the closing credits. It’s appropriate that The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) has a literary mouthful of a title, not only because of its setting but also because it’s initially structured as semi-selfcontained short stories, concentrating on one relationship at a time. Near the end of the movie, these story lines converge in a hilarious and emotional climax that’s not unlike the endings of Baumbach’s other Stream fre e p Ski Re NYC dramedies. One could accuse Baumbach of repeating himself, but when the writing and directing is this sharp, who cares? The neuroses and contradictions of the Meyerowitzes go beyond their specific milieu and become relatable to anyone who’s had a difficult relationship listening to or being heard by their family.

Brawl in Cell Block 99

ESCAPE THE WINTER HASSLES Picture yourself by the warm fire....... not shoveling snow, with wonderful meals provided and relaxing in your beautiful apartment!


flavor STORY BY Paula Naughtin


Charity organizers prepare for the third-annual Jay’s Dinner

THIS FEBRUARY, the community food resource program Just Food will hold its third-annual Jay’s Dinner, a fundraiser and tribute to Lawrence chef Juan Carlos “Jay” Tovar-Ballagh. The dinner taps recipes and ideas for recipes created by Tovar-Ballagh, now prepared by his friends and fellow chefs. A brilliant and innovative chef, Tovar-Ballagh left a legacy of signature dishes when he died suddenly in November 2015. Ken Baker was the owner and head chef at Pachamama’s when TovarBallagh worked for him as a pastry chef. Baker easily lists dozens of desserts that he says Tovar-Ballagh “created to perfection.” These include a Kansas Paw Paw Lassi, Flourless Chocolate Torte, RumBlack Cocoa Almond Cake, Goddard’s Farm Feta and Candied Bacon Ice Cream. “Jay was an anchor for our kitchen. He had a quiet yet confident bearing that masked his intense passion and drive. Jay was always one to step up to any challenge and enjoyed talking about his craft. He loved to push his boundaries, although it never seemed like he was stretching too far, due to his innate talent,” says


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Juan Carlos “Jay” Tovar-Ballagh

Baker. “And most importantly, he cared very deeply for those he was preparing food for. Jay likely never knew or understood the vast impact he had on our lives.” Tovar-Ballagh went on to become chef de cuisine at Hank Charcuterie, where he worked under owner-chef Vaughn Good, who describes Tovar-Ballagh as an intuitive talent and good friend. “Jay had a big impact on the lives of people around him. Whether it was at work, through cooking or with music and his bands, he was an inspiring individual that always took the time to teach and mentor others,” says Good. “I think that Jay was just starting to hone in on his voice as a chef, and the culinary world will miss out on the potential he had.” It is that potential that Lawrence chefs seek to honor and bring to the tables at the annual event benefiting a charity organization that Tovar-Ballagh had supported during his life. For more information on the 2018 Jay’s Dinner, call Just Food at (785) 856-7030 or go online at

“He had a quiet yet confident bearing that masked his intense passion and drive.” —Ken Baker on Juan Carlos “Jay” Tovar-Ballagh

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STORY BY Darin M. White

The history and whimsy of Roger Shimomura

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP General Shimomura, American Infantry #6, Oriental Masterpiece #1, American vs. Japs #3

All works above acrylic on canvas, courtesy Roger Shimomura


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oger Shimomura holds many titles and honors: the state’s first Kansas Master Artist, a 2011 fellow of the distinguished United States Artists association, a featured guest of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History and a University of Kansas Distinguished Professor of Art Emeritus. His works hang in the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and, closer to home, the Spencer Museum of Art. He is, quite simply, a major international artist who happens to live in Lawrence. But from his studio off Bob Billings Parkway, Shimomura skips over all of these titles and honors to identify himself as an “appropriator,” which is, at first, a strange, negative term—but highly descriptive of the work that has come to define him. “While many Asian and Asian-American artists choose to make works that speak to the beauty of their Asian heritage,” says Shimomura, “I prefer to make work that is an outgrowth to my experiences living as an Asian American.” Capable of many styles and genres, Shimomura frequently takes and inverts images of Mickey Mouse, Superman, other symbolic pop culture icons and even highly stereotyped figures in a very specific naturalistic graphic comic style. The grandiose collision of cultures is intentional. Shimomura was reacting to typecasting when he created Oriental Masterpiece painting, the first in a series of works that he would often revisit throughout his career. As Shimomura recalls, he was talking with a good friend in 1969, not long after relocating to Lawrence; a stranger entered the conversation and assumed Shimomura was from a different country because the thirdgeneration Japanese American and former U.S. army field artillery officer did not conform to that person’s preconceived notion of how an American should look. Shimomura’s response was to purchase a comic book with strong Japanese stereotypes and take some of these images as the inspiration for Oriental Masterpiece as an over-the-top stereotype painting. In the original Oriental Masterpiece, Shimomura layered images of stereotyped but seemingly unrelated themes from Japanese culture in a stacked plane. A stark brick wall representing “metaphors of Western environments” cuts across the image from the bottom left side of canvas, rising toward the opposite corner only to be covered by either a Japanese god of thunder or perhaps a Chinese or Japanese dragon, whose big-toothed grin and wide, wild eyes look down at the emblematic geisha and her aristocratic white

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face. There are also references to classic Japanese woodblocks and landscapes—and all in a Western comic-book style. The response to this work was overwhelmingly positive, but not always in the way that Shimomura intended. Many viewers, not realizing that the painting was about the fundamental misunderstandings placed on many Japanese Americans, Shimomura included, told Shimomura that they thought the image represented him. Assumptions like these, say Shimomura, can make a person feel homeless, which is a theme he explores in another series of works examining the internment of some 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, an internment he experienced for two years as a child. Shimomura’s work is inherently “In this day and age disturbing—an exploration of some of the we are seeing that nation’s darkest moments and our culture’s history can and will worst treatment of people in a joyous riot of colors with razor-sharp lines. repeat itself.” Art critics have often wavered in —Roger Shimomura describing Shimomura’s style from lighthearted social satire to blunt critiques of American society, sometimes within a single work. Critic Tom Rose has written of Shimomura, “What to call an individual who through the subject and form of the work creates a dialogue with history and the interpretation of historical events? Is this person a historian, cultural interpreter, or a sharp stick in the eye of a complacent society?” Shimomura himself does not back away from the label of social critic. Some of his latest work has been very direct in appearing to equate current immigration and detention policies with the JapaneseAmerican internments. “In this day and age we are seeing that history can and will repeat itself,” warns Shimomura. But it is also a mistake to dismiss the wit in Shimomura’s work. Even when he is fighting a stereotype, he does so by honing in on its ridiculous nature, owning it and disarming it. If you take the time to explore the work of Roger Shimomura, you will see iconic appropriated images arranged as in a play, layered with symbolism, infused with cynicism, injustice, stereotypes, identity, comedy, hate, love and a plethora of human emotions and conditions, including hope. Through his work, he calls us to remember, to think, to see a better way.

charity gala brings on the men

Heading into its sixth year, the charitybenefit stage-competition embraces the roots of drag with an all-men show PHOTOGRAPHY BY Brian Goodman

Reid Bรถrk for


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Scott Ireland for

Bill Gollier for

Felix Rodriguez for

Matt Llewellyn for

Allan Bunch for

Clay Carlan Burkhead for

Jay D. Wachs for

Tyson Combs for

Don Engel for

Deja Brooks

Brandon Eisman a.k.a.

the men of




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or its first five years, the annual Transformations show featured women representatives of Lawrence nonprofits paired up with a female impersonator to create over-the-top stage personas. The winner would take home a prize of nearly $10,000 for the nonprofit she represented, the audience would enjoy some of the most sequined and glittery performances in Lawrence stage history, and the 43 charitable groups represented over the history of the event would have a chance at a portion of secondary winnings as well as a forum to promote their missions. After the 2017 five-year anniversary all-star show in the Lied Center, Transformations now returns to its original home stage at Liberty Hall with a major alteration—dudes in drag. “We’re going back to Liberty Hall and back to what drag is originally about,” says founder Brandon Eisman. “Transformations has been about channeling your inner-diva, but this is truly about a transformation in terms of the original drag—men dressing and performing as women—a stage act with roots in Shakespearean times.” Eisman says the general format of the show will remain unchanged: a group opening act, an individual talent performance, a gown competition and a question-and-answer segment. As before, the Q+A portion of the show will focus on the nonprofit groups being represented, including four groups represented for the first time: Baby Jay’s Foundation, LMH Endowment Association, Sunrise Project and Lawrence Schools Foundation. “The $10,000 prize is great,” says Eisman, “but we are also getting the word out there on these charities. If we can get out the word on the missions of these groups and of the hundreds of other charities in Lawrence, then we are doing something.” Ticket reservations and more information about the event can be found online at Lawrence Magazine will cover the January 27th event through social media with additional information about the mission of the participating Lawrence charities.

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Navigating the almanac …

Immigrant Pride Inventions

The following pages are set in standard almanac format—that is, they run chronologically by month and day, but jump around from year to year upon consecutive entries. For example, the entries for March 1 contain incidents that occurred in 1869, 1898 and 1919. And then on March 2, the entries jump back to 1915 before leaping forward to 1991.


You can read the pages in different ways depending on your preference. You can flip through them as you would a book, reading day-by-day through the pages from January 1 to December 31, or you can jump around to see what happened on events important to your life (such as your birthday, a family celebration or an anniversary).


Some of the calendar entries and all of the “Greatest Lawrencian” biographies include icons identifying themes from that event or life. The icons are identified on the right-side of this page and, looking at them both collectively and as they appear throughout the pages, you can see certain patterns and strong forces running throughout the history of Lawrence. We’re a river town, an education town, a drinking town, an anti-drinking town, a sports town, a town where animals roam, and a town where we often fail—but often succeed—in overcoming differences.


Best wishes for your time-travels through these pages.


University of Kansas Law Love Story

Military Native Nature

Race Relations Railroad Rotten Missourians Sports Strong Women



Women’s Rights




JANUARY 1, 1914

Postcard view of Massachusetts St. early 20th century.

January I N L AW R E N C E

January 1 1880



The Lawrence Turnverein (a social club of the German-American community) dances the old year out and the new year in. A Lawrence Daily Journal reporter is feasted and feted “so late that he only had time to say that the occasion was a most delightful one” before rushing off to meet his deadline.

January 2

January 4



A large snow covers local ice skating rinks at the city’s three junior high schools, Lawrence High, Central Park and Potter Lake.

Lawrence Firefighters form Local #1596— in part as a push to get more modern equipment, more firefighters, insurance and better retirement policies.

January 5

1914 Lawrence east-west cross streets are officially reclassified from names of early American patriots, such as Winthrop and Henry, to numbers such as Seventh and Eighth.

January 2 1907 R.F. Outcault, creator of the comic strip Buster Brown, gives a “chalk talk” in Lawrence.


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1920 The school board suspends use of a 50-year-old clock in the high school tower.

January 6 1987

Haskell Institute stakes off space for a new sports field with 5,000 seating capacity. Students are set to do much of the work.

A lawsuit has been dismissed from a KU student who was suing the university after suffering a severe injury while sledding down a campus hill near Ellsworth Hall in 1985. The university says it cannot prevent students from sledding, but stops allowing them to check out lunch trays as sleds.

January 11 1991


Ten University of Kansas ROTC candidates receive their commissions for active service. They join full military service as war looms, with only four days until the expiration of a United Nations’ mandate for Iraq to remove military forces from Kuwait, an event that would lead to the First Gulf War.



1917 Approximately 4,000 people attend the dedication of the new $200,000 bridge across the Kaw. Floods had destroyed previous bridges in 1876 and 1903. This bridge would stand until construction began on a new one in 1976, opening in 1980.


Lawrence’s black community holds a large dance at Sigel Hall.

January 7

January 9



As the Civil War enters its last months, business booms. Massachusetts Street is filled with shoppers and 65 wagons of local produce.

Opening of “New Vaudeville Theatre”—five piece orchestra accompanying show at 824 New Hampshire. The 10- and 20cent shows are deemed rather risqué by college officials.

1895 Sam Jeans—dubbed Lawrence’s Sherlock Holmes— becomes city marshal. The African-American law officer would become chief of police.

JANUARY 8 1911

Death of George “Nash” Walker, international vaudeville pioneer with ties to Lawrence.

January 8 1918 Twelve Red Cross ambulance trucks, bound for the battlefields of France, parade through Lawrence. The new ambulances are designed to carry four heavily wounded soldiers, or as many as 12 slightly wounded men. It is the first time many in Lawrence see a motorized ambulance.

1963 The Lawrence post office successfully delivers a letter addressed only to: “Uncle Jake / Haskell Institute / Lawrence Kansas / Oklahoma” to a Jacob Harjo, a Haskell staff member. The letter was written and sent by his two nieces, ages 7 and 8, who live in Oklahoma.

January 10 1910 Council member Edmund Kasold kills a bill favored by the city’s health officials that would have taxed owners of milk cows and established a city dairy inspector.

1920 Two Lawrence police officers searching for an automobile thief late at night wind up walking back to Lawrence from Eudora after getting their police car stuck in a ditch. The police chief says his officers “were too lazy to get out and see where they were backing, they deliberately went in the ditch and could not pry Lizzie out.”

January 12 1948 Kansas football coach George Sauer denies reports that he is leaving KU for University of Washington. Sauer was telling the truth, at least about not going to Washington. Instead, he takes a job coaching the Navy team.

January 13 1917 The Theo. Poehler Mercantile Co. of Lawrence purchases a Topeka coffee manufacturing and roasting plant. The expansion comes at the company’s 50th anniversary.

1961 Ten white and nine black students are arrested for a sit-in protest against racial discrimination at Louise’s Bar.

January 14 1911 A sleet storm keeps Lawrence blacksmiths occupied sharpening shoes and replacing worn ones. On Winthrop [Seventh] Street, two grocery wagons are marooned at the bottom of the steep ascent to Massachusetts. The horses had managed to skid down the hill all right, but their shoes were worn too smooth to make the ascent on the icy pavement.

Images (p. 28, from top): Postcard view of Massachusetts St. early 20th century, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; members of Lawrence’s Turnverein, date unknown, Lawrence Journal-World; promotional poster for Buster Brown, public domain. Images (p. 29): Postcard view of Lawrence Kaw River bridge, early 20th century, courtesy Watkins Museum of History.


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January 14 1967 Haskell’s Indian Club now has some 40 members who preserve dances and songs. Sponsor Elmer Blackbird says Native youth want to retain traditional customs.



January 15 1999 Several Lawrence churches decide to continue the previous year’s first community-wide service celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “We try to get a theme that would suggest not only the Martin Luther King dream, but to challenge the community to come together,“ says Rev. Leo Barbee Jr. of Victory Bible Church.

January 16 1856 Edward P. Fitch’s Free School forms. This is the beginning of public education in Lawrence.

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1866 John Mercer Langston, head of the National Equal Rights League who would become a U.S. Congressman and key figure in Reconstruction politics, addresses an audience at Liberty Hall. He also had a strong connection to Lawrence’s future as the great-uncle of James Mercer Langston Hughes, also known as Langston Hughes.

January 17 1921 Lawrence Memorial Hospital opens. Miss Albertine Sinclair serves as the hospital’s superintendent over a staff of two nurses and a custodian.


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January 18 1932 The Lawrence Daily Journal-World reports that 295 businesses are in operation in the city. In addition, the University of Kansas has more than 500 employees while Haskell Institute employs approximately 90 people. Lawrence also boasts 13,000 residents served by three major railroads and “excellent bus service and unexcelled highways running in every direction.”

JANUARY 23 January 19 2002

2 2 7 William M.“Billy” Mill


William M.“Billy”Mills

(b. 1938) Billy Mills was born and spent his early life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He was orphaned by the age of 12, and in 1953, when just 15, he arrived in Lawrence to attend Haskell Institute. At Haskell, Mills’ athletic talents surfaced in boxing and track and field, and he began to get noticed as a runner. As a senior in 1957, he broke a long-standing high school state record for the mile, and he was widely recruited before choosing to study and run at the University of Kansas. Mills went on to win titles in cross country and track events in the Big 8 for KU, and he placed in the top six in the NCAA Cross Country Championship. He was named three times as an All-American by the Associated Press during his college career, but his biggest success was still ahead of him. After graduating with a BS in education, Mills joined the Marine Corps where, among his other duties, he began running marathons and competing in 10,000 meter races. When he qualified for the Olympics Games in Tokyo in 1964, he was a relative unknown who wasn’t expected to do well, let alone have a chance at winning. In what has become known as one of the great sporting upsets of all time, Mills ran from behind and won the 10,000-meter race in the last few seconds, setting a new Olympic record and winning the first (and only) gold medal in that event for the U.S. His victory catapulted him to instant fame, and many accolades have followed. In addition to being inducted into the KU Athletics Hall of Fame, Mills has been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the United States Olympics Hall of Fame. A movie, Running Brave, and a documentary have been made about his life. He’s written two books and in 2012 was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal. Mills helped coordinate the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame at Haskell in Lawrence and was inducted into it in 1978. He is a motivational speaker operating his own speakers’ bureau, and he is the founder and national spokesman for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization that supports Native Americans with their basic needs and helps develop self-sustaining opportunities.

The KU Alumni Association hosts a surprise party for Bob Billings. Chancellor Robert Hemenway and men’s basketball coach Roy Williams speak in honor of Billings, who came to KU in 1955 to play basketball for Phog Allen and remained in Lawrence where he developed the Alvamar golf course and other projects.


Lawrence purchases some of the city’s earliest Euro-American settled land, claimed in May 1854.

January 24 1857

The new Bowersock Opera House opens with the play Bright Eyes.

About 40 women march on the town’s saloons then form the Temperance Vigilance Committee to prevent the sale of whiskey in Lawrence.



Lawrence residents and Kansas Highway Troopers Carl Gray and Burris Millson are part of the Kansas governor’s motorcade in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Presidential Inauguration Parade. They are followed immediately by a 66-piece Kansas cowboy band.

January 25

January 20 1912

January 21 1861 Word reaches Lawrence that the U.S. Senate has passed a bill to admit Kansas into the Union as a free state.

January 22 1886 A U.S. Circuit Court judge effectively closes a loophole used by a Lawrence brewer to sell beer as a “Stomach Invigorator.”

1946 Death of John Levi, one of the greatest athletes in the history of Haskell Indian Nations University. Levi was legendary for his strength across many sports; while competing in a baseball game at Drake University, he took breaks between innings to win the shot put, high jump and discus competitions being held at the same time. Levi declined a chance to compete in the 1924 Olympics in order to accept an offer to play baseball with the New York Yankees. Levi was inducted posthumously into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.

National suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony speaks at Liberty Hall.

1923 A Lawrence man, wanted in Kansas City for the theft of a $75 electric blanket, narrowly escapes police who discovered the blanket while searching his mother’s barn at 740 North Seventh Street. As Officer Flory moves to grab the man by his suspenders, he makes a flying leap, losing his suspenders but gaining his freedom.

January 26 1863 Rebecca Harvey and children arrive in Lawrence as part of a group of more than 100 former slaves. Harvey would reunite in Lawrence with her husband and settle on a farm south of the city where they and their descendants would become community leaders.

1967 County officials warn about the spread of noxious plants, such as the nodding thistle.

January 28 1861 Word reaches Lawrence that the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to admit Kansas as a free state.

Images (p. 30 from top): WPA street repair crew in 700 block of Massachusetts Street, Lawrence Studio, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; John Mercer Langston, courtesy Library of Congress. Images (p. 31) Illustration of William M. “Billy” Mills by Lana Grove.


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January 27 1938 Former Lawrence resident and KU graduate Jerome Beatty stops for a visit in Lawrence en route to Europe. Beatty would later become famous for his Matthew and Maria Looney series of children’s sciencefiction books released in the 1960s.

January 29

January 31



Kansas officially becomes a state and Lawrence holds widespread celebrations.

Two teachers at Deerfield Elementary School have joined the sixth-grade band. Shaun Trenholm, the PE teacher, plays trumpet and Paul Corcoran, a math teacher, plays flute. Neither are experienced musicians, so they practice and learn alongside their fellow student-musicians.

January 30 1994 Approximately 400 people gather to trade and buy sports cards at Holcom Center. A top item is the 1993 Derek Jeter rookie card.

Essential Lawrence History

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We asked Lawrence Public Library’s Information Services Coordinator, Melissa Fisher Isaacs, to share her advice on the top five introductions to local history. 1. Lawrence, Douglas County Kansas, An Informal History ; David Dary, Allen Books, 1982 2. Pictorial History of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas; David Dary, Allen Books, 1992 These are our top-two, go-to books. They are a great place to get started and hit the high-points in terms of why Lawrence was founded, who the major players were, how the downtown has evolved and how the university has evolved.


3. Embattled Lawrence: Conflict and Community; Barbara L. Watkins and Dennis Domer, University of Kansas Continuing Education, 2001 This grew out of a KU continuing education program and digs a little deeper into the conflicts. It gives a good sense of how issues have shaped our community.

4. Cows Are Freaky When they Look at You; An Oral History of the Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers; Susan Brosseau, Roger Martin and David Ohle, Watermark Press, 1991 I think maybe Lawrence is a little less weird than it used to be, but some of the things that have made Lawrence special and different from other communities are here. It’s a classic taste of “Keep Lawrence Weird.” 5. This is America? The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas; Rusty Monhollon, Palgrave, 2002 This also focuses on some of the conflicts. But things that happened here in the sixties and seventies were so reflective of the national culture as well.

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Images (from top): Book cover for Matthew Looney’s Voyage to the Earth, Jerome Beatty, Avon Books, 1980; group of librarians at Lawrence Library, circa late 1800s, courtesy archives of Lawrence Public Library.

February 6 1993 Lawrence police fear the city is becoming a no-man’s land for gangs from other Kansas towns. They believe some violence can be traced to the gangs arriving to party on neutral ground and then colliding with one another.

February I N L AW R E N C E

Bishop John A. Gregg, holding a koala, visits with American troops.



City commission gives advertisers 24 months to remove billboards from town.

Accompanied by four children, approximately 20 women—who would become known as “the February Sisters”—enter and take control of the University of Kansas East Asia Studies building. Their demands include the creation of an affirmative action program, daycare center, comprehensive women’s health care at Watkins Hospital, creation of a women’s studies department and an end to wage inequities and unfair employment practices as well as more women faculty and administration positions. Overnight negotiations are held and the Sisters exit the building on the following morning cheered on by about 60 other supporters and claiming victory. Hilltop Child Development Center, the women’s studies program at the university and the women’s health clinic on campus can all be traced to this occupation.

President Woodrow Wilson stops in Lawrence. He is greeted by the Haskell band and an enthusiastic “Rock! Chalk” from KU students.

February 3 1897 Taking advantage of cold weather, about 100 men are busy collecting ice in North Lawrence. Some 600 spectators watch them cut and load ice blocks.



FEBRUARY 17, 1953

February 4




February 1

February 2


February 7

Actor Danny Glover performs “An Evening with Langston” at the Lied Center to honor Langston Hughes and the release of a postage stamp dedicated to the writer.


Pryor Wallace is born into slavery at an unknown location in the South. He and his wife settle in Lawrence at the end of the Civil War and establish a shoe cobbler shop and boarding house that becomes a stopping point for many formerly enslaved starting a new life in Kansas.

February 8 1995 More than 100 residents attend a meeting organized by group opposing city’s sale of its hospital to a private firm.

February 9 1886 Firefighters respond to flames at a small frame house on Massachusetts and Lee (now 13th) streets. The home is occupied by the same resident who was also at a house on New Jersey Street when it burned down five days previous. The fire chief and the mayor confront the suspected arsonist with an ultimatum to either leave town or go to jail.

February 10 1899 The first KU home basketball game is played at a skating rink in downtown Lawrence with 50 spectators. KU beats Topeka YMCA 31-6.

Mr. Brown wants Mr. Reed’s boots back, please. On the night of the fire at Shanklin’s store, he handed Mr. Reed’s boots to someone to hold. He doesn’t know who that was, but would like them to return the boots to Mr. Reed.

Creating a naturally beautiful smile designed specifically for you! February 11

February 15



Evangelical clergy gather to discuss a union under the “Great Revival,” a Protestant movement also known as “The Third Great Awakening” of spiritual healing and social reform.

Heavy storms flood the Kaw which floods North Lawrence.

1951 Lawrence resident John Ise finishes mailing off his Christmas cards … some ten months early.

February 12 1870 Lawrence is having unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures in the 70s and at least one person being treated for sunstroke.

February 13 1937 Sergei Rachmaninoff, worldfamous Soviet pianist and composer, performs at KU.

1975 Community Mercantile Co-Op temporarily turns away new members after an explosive growth of membership. Begun in January with some 50 members, the foodbuying cooperative soon expanded to 100 members and then to 350. Molly Van Hee, the group’s only employee, attributes the growth to a renewed interest in healthful foods.

February 14 2010 An unauthorized work crew paints a blue pattern approximately 20x10 feet with the words “Shout Peace” on the upper, campusfacing façade of The Oread, a new high-end hotel at the northern edge of campus.


16 1916 Lawrence resident A. Henley buys an electric car—a Milburn electric, Model 151 Roadster—for the price of $1,045, plus $3 extra for cover. Electric cars were popular in Lawrence at this time, particularly among women drivers who preferred not to hand-crank the motor as was required with combustion engines. Electric cars were somewhat slower, though Henley was known to receive fines for speeding.

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4828 Quail Crest Place 785.832.1844 Images (p. 34-35, from left): Bishop John A. Gregg, holding koala, visits with American troops stationed in the Pacific during World War II, courtesy Library of Congress; 1916 advertisement for Milburn electric, public domain.



Making Lawrence Families Smile for Over 20 Years.


February 17 1953

February 18 1911

Death of John A. Gregg, AfricanAmerican Kansas native who served as lieutenant with 23rd Kansas Volunteers during SpanishAmerican War before enrolling at KU. In Lawrence, he worked as the city’s lamplighter and as a janitor while also enrolling in ministry of African Methodist Episcopal Church. He rose up to become a bishop of the church, served as the president of Edward Waters College in Florida and then as president of Wilberforce University in Ohio. He earned the Army’s Award of Merit for his service during WW II as a presidential-appointed clerical ambassador to black troops.

1990 Kennedy Elementary student Elizabeth Suzanne Simmons wins the state’s American History and Good Citizen contest sponsored by The Betty Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

A fire destroys the Bowersock Opera House. Opened in 1882, it had become the town’s leading venue with many well-known performers and speakers of the day appearing there. Also lost in the blaze was the production plant of the Lawrence Journal valued at $25,000, the F. W. Morris second hand store valued at $2,500, and the fine law library of G. J. Barker, valued at $3,000.

February 19 1914 Some Lawrence women are threatening to boycott bakeries that do not wrap their bread in oiled paper before sending it to stores.

1951 KU Basketball Coach Phog Allen says college sport leagues need a national czar to combat the impact of gambling.

February 20 1863 Governor Thomas Carney signs a bill requiring the city of Lawrence to provide 40 acres of land for the creation of a university and to deposit $15,000 with the state treasurer as an endowment fund for the university. The decision ended intense political lobbying between Emporia, Manhattan and Lawrence for rights to host the school.


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Images (from top): Illustration of James Naismith by Lana Grove; Old North College building of University of Kansas in 1867, photographed by Alexander Gardner, courtesy Library of Congress.

JaJa mm thth eessN Na aiissmmi i (1861–1939) In 1891 during a cold Massachusetts winter, James Naismith was a physical education teacher at the YMCA International Trading School in Springfield. In an attempt to direct the rowdy energy of his young students into a constructive activity, he came up with a game he called basket ball. He had no inkling that his invention would become a worldwide multi-billion dollar spectator sport in the decades to follow. The game caught on quickly and soon spread across the country through the branches of the YMCA network. Naismith had moved on to Denver where he taught and acquired a medical degree. In 1898 he was hired by the University of Kansas to be a PE professor and chapel director. That year, he began the university’s basketball program. Opponents in those first years—before Big 8 and Big 12 athletic conferences existed—were primarily YMCA teams, but included other local and regional teams such as Haskell Institute and William Jewell College. Naismith was the basketball coach until 1908 when one of his former students, “Phog” Allen, took over. Naismith remained in Lawrence and stayed at the university as a professor and university physician. In 1919 he began his twodecade reign as the Kansas University athletic director. Naismith lived to see the game he invented become an official Olympic sport in the 1936 Summer Games. With money raised by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Naismith was able to travel to Germany for the games and hand out the medals to the winning teams, as well as accept the award of being named honorary president of the International Basketball Federation. In 2010 Naismith’s original “rules of basket ball” sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $4.3 million, the most ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia. David Booth purchased and donated the rules to the university where they are the centerpiece of the new DeBruce Center. Naismith’s designation as the Father of Basketball and Allen’s as the Father of Basketball Coaching has led to Lawrence’s christening as the Cradle of Basketball.

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FEBRUARY 20 1888

High water and ice in the Kansas River heavily damage the Bowersock Flour Mill.

February 24 1897 An undeliverable letter is returned to the Lawrence post office, 14 years after being mailed to Boston.

February 21 1917 A few men were observed sadly parting with their last legal drinks as the state passes a strict “bone-dry” prohibition law.

February 25 1967

The fire department saves the German Methodist Episcopal church from burning down in a grass fire.

Some 24 Holsteins were rounded up on Peterson Road after running away from a dairy on 15th and Iowa streets.

February 23

February 26



February 22 1917

Lawrence Junior High’s basketball team is allowed to sleep in after their latest win that gave the junior high basketball and football teams 24 straight wins and zero losses for the school year.

Police are on the lookout for a thief who stole 13 pairs of shoes from a store north of town.




More Great Lawrencians (in alphabetical order, numbers 1-10)

Frederick Barteldes (1852–1933) A civic leader and owner of the successful Barteldes Seed Company that boosted region’s agricultural and economic growth, Barteides also helped found the city’s Elks Club. Leo Beuerman (1902–1974) He overcame extreme physical disability to live a self-sufficient life and was a familiar sight in Lawrence in the 1950s and 1960s. A short documentary about his life was nominated for an Academy Award. Robert G. “Bob” Billings (1937–2003) A KU basketball player who remained in Lawrence as a property developer, Billings shaped the city’s westward development while supporting charities and Lawrence-KU ties. John Brown (1800–1859) An abolitionist who moved to Kansas in 1855 and led raids against area pro-slavery groups in 1856. He brought “freedom seekers” to Lawrence in 1859 and recruited for Harper’s Ferry while staying in town. Hugh Cameron (1826–1908) Early abolitionist settler, electionfraud buster, long-distance walker and Pinckney-region woods hermit, Cameron was Lawrence’s original high-minded eccentric. Ann “Petey” Cerf (1913–1996) A community activist and philanthropist who helped found Audio Reader, Kansans for Improvement of Nursing Homes, the Ballard Center, Cottonwood Inc., and other supportive organizations.

Richard Cordley (1829–1904) A Quantrill’s Raid survivor, he wrote A History of Lawrence, Kansas in 1895, was the pastor at Plymouth Church for nearly forty years and the president of the Lawrence Board of Education for several years.

1943 Some 21,000 No. 2 ration books are distributed over a period of 5 days.

February 28 1936 Lawrence celebrates the KU Jayhawks and Lawrence Lions basketball teams both winning conference titles on the same day.

Mary Dillard (1874–1954) A suffragette, prominent African American teacher and principal, Dillard also appears to have served as a housemother for a traditionally African-American KU sorority.

George Docking (1904–1964) A two-term governor of Kansas, Docking was appointed by President Kennedy to direct the Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C.

Lucy Tayiah Eads (1888–1961) Trained as a nurse at Haskell


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Images (p. 38, from left): Young boy receives a No. 2 ration book, February, 1943, location unknown, courtesy Library of Congress; Hugh Cameron, circa 18901908, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society. Images (p. 39): Unknown men on Massachusetts St., Lawrence, with car advertising raccoon plaster foot treatment, circa 1920s, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

Institute, Eads was the first elected female tribal chief of the Kaw Nation. (See numbers 11–20 on page 42)


MARCH 11, 1926


March 1 1869 The Head Center Hose Company holds its organizational meeting. This is the city’s second fire company. The first company, Republic Engine Company #1, was a volunteer brigade from 1858 to 1862, when it had to disband because its members left to fight in the Civil War or work on farms.



West Junior High School hosts a wheelchair basketball tournament with proceeds benefiting the establishment of the accessible-for-allchildren Ryan Gray playground.

A Green biplane performs the first aerial acrobatic stunts over Lawrence.


March 3

One of the largest fires on KU campus erupts after lightning strikes the power plant. The fire department is unable to help as the campus did not have hydrants.


1919 Mr. Settle, one of the 1.3 million American soldiers recently discharged from duty, will be the instructor for the new Lawrence junior high general science class.

March 2 1915 Members of four high school fraternities in Lawrence agree to disband.



Commercial auto show on Massachusetts St. circa 1920s

The Second Missionary Baptist Church—established in 1862—receives the deed to 847 Ohio Street. Here, it becomes Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church, which continues as a cultural, social, intellectual and political center of the city’s African-American communities.

2005 A consulting firm is hired to survey some 200 residents on the safety of 23rd St. “I feel like I may have a wreck every time I go down there,” says one resident.

March 4 1886 Swindlers are active on the Union Pacific train between Topeka and Lawrence. A farmer reports that a young woman came up to him distraught because she had been passed a bogus greenback and asked if he could show her a real bill for comparison. She compared the bills until the train pulled into the station, at which point she ran off with both bills. On other news, Mr. Search—the spiritualist from Wichita who has made large sums with séances—has been exposed as a fraud.

1977 International politics spill onto the KU campus. Students rally and call for the expulsion of a student who they say is an agent of the Iranian secret police and spied on and attacked a fellow Iranian student.

The Lawrence Public Library’s “fine-free week,” the first in a decade, results in the return of some very overdue books, including The Best Plays of the Modern American Theatre, which had been due in 1956.


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March 5



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Eli s zEalibza nksin i t k ata ebtehthMMilillle errWW

Elizabeth Miller Watkins was small when she settled in Lawrence with her parents in 1872, but by the time she passed away in 1939, her legacy here was larger than life. Watkins’ early life was shaped by circumstances that prevented her from finishing her education. Although her father was a physician, the depression of the 1870s strained his patients’ finances, and often they were unable to pay. Consequently, financial difficulties strapped his family as well, prohibiting young “Lizzie” from finishing a preparatory course at the University of Kansas. Instead, at a time when professional jobs were rare for women, 15-year-old Elizabeth Miller earned a secretarial position at the J. B. Watkins Land and Mortgage Company in order to supplement the family’s income. After coming to Lawrence by way of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois, J. B. Watkins started a small real estate title and loan business in 1873. With its headquarters in Lawrence, the business eventually established branch offices in Dallas, Louisiana, New York and London as it expanded into farmland, railroads and banking to become a multi-million dollar company. Working by his side as an employee, and ultimately as his wife, Elizabeth Miller Watkins was an integral part of the business. J. B. Watkins lauded her “natural ability and instincts,” which profoundly contributed to the prosperity of the company. After 48-year-old Elizabeth Miller and 64-year-old J. B. Watkins were married in 1909, they built a three story, twentysix room Colonial Revival-style home they dubbed “the Outlook” at the east end of the KU campus. Elizabeth Watkins hosted Eleanor Roosevelt at this home, and it was

later bequeathed to the university for the chancellor’s residence. When her husband died in 1921, Watkins turned her attention to fulfilling the philanthropic vision the couple had planned and she continued to develop. Perhaps because her own education had been cut short, she began with higher education. Always supportive of the university students who trudged up the hill and past her front porch on their way to campus, Watkins had a special regard for female students with a financial need. “It has been my dream,” she stated, “to aid self-supporting girls to get an education.” Watkins Scholarship Hall for women, made possible by a donation from Elizabeth Watkins and one of the first of its kind in the country, opened to students in 1926. A few years later, she funded Watkins Memorial Hospital, providing the first full-service hospital on campus. Her donations continued, supplying funds for building Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and later, Miller Hall, another scholarship hall for women. She became known as “Lady Bountiful” and Lawrence’s “Fairy Godmother” as her support for students and the community continued. Upon her death in 1939, the bulk of her estate went to Kansas University and the KU Endowment Association where it continues to provide scholarships and growth in higher education.

1869 The city council of North Lawrence purchases land that would become Maple Grove Cemetery.

1949 The unexpected popularity of a KU arts conference for high school students results in the university housing more than 100 students in Robinson gymnasium.

March 6 1967 Famous sports writer Frank DeFord, in town to cover a Kansas basketball game, declares, “Kansas cheerleaders are the best in the land.”

March 7 1902 Fireman G. Schultz is surprised when the alarm bell rings and the address given is none other than his own house. His fellow firefighters save his home.

1989 Some 70 people, including a group of protestors, turn out for the groundbreaking of the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza. Mayor Bob Schumm praises the project as a rebirth of the riverfront area; protestors criticize the project’s destruction of cottonwood trees where bald eagles nested.

March 8

1940 Lawrence High School’s all-black basketball team, The Promoters, ends one of its most successful seasons with a 21-16 victory over the Topeka Ramblers.

March 8

March 9



Approximately 150 KU students stage a sit-in strike at Strong Hall office of Chancellor Clarke Wescoe to protest racism. The students demanded an end to sanctioned segregation of some campus organizations, a ban on advertising segregated rental properties in campus publications, and an end to allowing education students to student-teach at segregated schools. More students joined the protest, which extended into the following day and ended once the chancellor signed the “All Student Council” civic rights bill and promised to work with students in ending racial discrimination.

The Kansas House of Representatives sings “John Brown’s Body” after approving over $14,000 for maintenance and improvements to a memorial park in Osawatomie dedicated to the Kansas abolitionist with strong Lawrence ties.


10 1867 Ralph Waldo Emerson, revered American poet and essayist, speaks at the Lawrence Unitarian Church and Frazer’s Hall.

March 10

March 11



Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg meets with KU law students. The Justice, known as a champion of women’s legal rights, tells aspiring lawyers about her days as a Harvard law student, when the lecture buildings did not even hold a women’s restroom.

Ferdinand Fuller dies at his home in Lawrence. He designed the first University of Kansas building and is credited with naming Mount Oread after Oread Seminary in Worcester.

1926 Twelve Lawrence car dealers stage the city’s first Automobile Show, lining up 81 new models from the 700 to 900 blocks of Massachusetts St. The new Chevrolet Superior Series V model seems to be a crowd favorite.

Images (p. 40, clockwise): Illustration of Elizabeth Miller Watkins by Lana Grove; Students sit-in strike at Strong Hall, reprinted December 31, 1965, Lawrence Daily Journal-World; Promoters basketball team, LHS yearbook Red & Black, 1949. Image (p. 41): Ralph Waldo Emerson, courtesy Library of Congress.


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More Great Lawrencians

1922 “Flapperdom will be served” announces Drescher’s women’s apparel shop at 815 Massachusetts Street in unveiling their new line of spring fashion. The “swank” look of the Roaring Twenties’ close-fitting dresses and short hair bobs are all the rage in Lawrence.

(in alphabetical order, 11-20)

Gurdon Grovenor (1830–1914) Mayor of Lawrence who oversaw reconstruction of city after Quantrill’s Raid. He was instrumental in creating and maintaining Oak Hill Cemetery in honor of the raid victims.

Rebecca Harvey (unknown–1918) Rebecca Harvey escaped enslavement during the Civil War to settle south of Lawrence with her husband and children to became successful farmers and community leaders.

Nancy Hambleton (1924–2015) Extensively involved in civic and volunteer work, Hambleton became the city’s first female city commissioner in 1971, and Lawrence’s first female mayor in 1973. John G. Haskell (1832–1907) Designer and architect of many important buildings in Lawrence and throughout Kansas, including government and university buildings, schools, churches and hospitals. Takeru Higuchi (1918–1987) Lauded as “the father of physical pharmacy” by his peers, he was a regent’s professor of the KU School of Pharmacy, and inventor of the time-release capsule. Sam Jeans (1858–1904) An African-American police officer and City Marshall in the 1890s, Jeans earned the nickname “Lawrence’s own Sherlock Holmes” from his ability to solve crimes.

John McLendon (1915–1999) As a student at KU, he convinced KU to integrate the University swimming pool in the 1930s. Later, he became the first African American head coach in a professional sport.

Franklin Murphy (1916–1994) Chancellor of the University of Kansas from 1951–1960, Murphy grappled with civil rights issues and political strife. He went on to gain national stature as chancellor at UCLA and CEO of the Times Mirror Corporation. Clarina I. H. Nichols (1810–1885) Journalist and passionate advocate for women’s rights, she was involved at the national level in the women’s suffrage movement. Akira Yamamoto (born 1940) Emeritus professor of the Department of Linguistics at KU, Yamamoto is recognized as a leading scholar in preserving Native American languages. (see numbers 1–20 on page 38)

March 12

March 14



Quincy School is fumigated after a student is discovered with diphtheria. The disease, which broke out in many Kansas communities in the late 1880s and early 1900s, seemed to be subsiding and the state’s infection rate was considerably lower than the national average for 1912.

Two people die in a head-on collision south of Lawrence today as snow continues to fall and the number of accidents in one day—30—establishes a new record. A police officer says drivers wrongly assume they are comfortable with the winter conditions, “but you can’t predict ice.”

March 13 1941 Approximately 3-5 students are leaving Haskell Institute each week to take up jobs, many vacated by men drafted into service. Haskell Superintendent Warren Spaulding notes that these are good-paying jobs, with stenographers, for example, earning “not less than $90 a month.”

March 15 1920 A visitor from Perry is arrested at the Santa Fe train station for possessing two pints of alcohol. He is sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $100—adding to the $16 he lost paying for the liquor, which is now in the city laboratories.

MARCH 16 1890

1968 The Lawrence post office hires its first female classified substitute mail carrier, “Mrs. Wayne Puckett, a Vinland mother of seven.”

Haskell Institute has put together a powerhouse baseball team that has “defeated every club that it has met,” including the State University in Lawrence (now KU). In the following two decades, the club would do summer barnstorm tours around the Midwest.

March 15



Lawrence loses a beloved icon as Joe Smith, the founder of Joe’s bakery, dies. His bakery was an iconic institution that provided late-night donuts and snacks to studious (and all other late-night) KU students.

Dr. W.E.B. DuBois gives a free lecture at Ninth Street Baptist Church. The author of The Soul of Black Folks and celebrated American scholar argues against American blacks returning to Africa and urges the nation to address its racial crisis at home.

1969 Some 150 people close down the food service at Holiday Inn hotel to protest discriminatory hiring and work rules.

March 17 1922 The city begins outfitting garbage men with official badges in order to combat “slop bootleggers,” people who gather trash to feed their pigs.

March 18 1908 Lawrence’s Jeffersonian Gazette speaks out against a universal language: “If we all spoke alike, we would soon all get into a family scrap ... So long as we cannot understand what the other fellow says about us, our feelings are not hurt, even when he calls us bad names.”

March 19 1916 The cornerstone for Plymouth Congregational Church’s parish house is laid. Placed inside is a copy of Rev. Cordley’s History of Lawrence, as well as a history of the church and yearbooks.

March 20 1927 Bowersock premieres Lawrence’s first talking picture—The Canary Murder Case. The film screen was punctured with small holes to allow sound from mammoth backstage speakers to pass through it.

March 21 1951 A municipal police and fire building is dedicated at 8th and Vermont streets. The building’s hose drying tower is topped with an 1872 bell that served as the town’s fire alarm.

March 19 1914 Stage actress Eva Tanguay, the former teenage actor who became a scandalous and popular performer known as the “I Don’t Care Girl”—appears at the Bowersock Opera House.

Images (p. 42, from top): Jo Everhart, Lawrence Studios, circa 1920s, courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society; Rebecca Brooks Harvey, unknown date, courtesy Kenneth Spencer Research Libraries University of Kansas; Haskell Institute baseball team, 1917, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society. Image (p. 43) Eva Tanguay, public domain.



March 22

Strong winds blow down and destroy the roller coaster at Woodland Park.

March 26

March 30



Ground-breaking ceremonies are held at the site of the new Lawrence High School building, located on the southwest corner of 19th and Louisiana streets.

The first major confrontation between Missourians and Kansas settlers occurs as nearly 800 armed Missourians descended on Lawrence to cast illegal votes.

1967 1945 Officials announce that a prisoner of war camp will be established in Lawrence.

March 22 2016 The documentary Listeners premieres at Liberty Hall. Directed by KU professor Bob Hurst, the film chronicles suicide prevention hotline volunteers at Lawrence’s Headquarters Counseling Center.

March 23 1973 The Kansas Union installs the university’s first pay phone designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.


1985 County Commissioners approve Lawrence annexing an area now just north of Bob Billings Parkway, between Wakarusa Drive and Monterey Way. The lone dissenting vote says developers are taking a “nickel and dime” approach in westward expansion without a city plan.


March 25

March 29



A KU law student walks onto campus wearing checkered pants. After being heckled on the front lawn for the gray slacks with red and black stripes, he disappears and returns wearing slacks acceptable for the time period.

Quincy High School, the first high school in Lawrence, opens. Classes are held in the office of The Emigrant Aid Company. Three days later, classes are moved to the nearly completed Unitarian Church on Ohio Street.

March 31 2006 Death of George L. Brown. The Liberty Memorial and KU graduate went on to study at Harvard, serve as a Tuskegee fighter pilot in WW II, work as editor of the Denver Post and win election as lieutenant governor of Colorado. In Lawrence he was also remembered as the daring AfricanAmerican boy who would sneak into the city’s segregated swimming pool at night, splash away segregationist taboos and pass by the waters the next day to remark: “They are swimming after me.”

March 28

The Kansas Daily Tribune doesn’t have an endorsement in the city’s mayoral election, but urgers voters to reject “Mr. Facing Bothways, Mr. By-Ends and Mr. Ax Grinder.”



March 27

Fewer dandelions can be found in Lawrence as KU’s fraternities and sororities held “Dandelion Day,” a Greek Week service tradition of digging out dandelions. The tradition began strong in 1941 with 93,000 pounds of dandelions removed.

March 24


Taking part in a national day of protest, a large gathering of students and residents gather against the Vietnam War.


The Jewish Community Congregation of Lawrence holds Passover Seder at its recently completed addition that includes a kitchen that allows for the congregation to prepare a kosher meal on site.


31 1921 Gerrit A. Beneker, artist behind the popular Liberty Bond poster, “Sure, we’ll finish the job,” appears in Lawrence to talk about his work.

Images (from top): German prisoners of war in Kansas, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; Gerrit A. Beneker’s WW I Liberty Bond poster, courtesy Library of Congress.

April 4 1940


APRIL 2, 1946

The Danforth Chapel on KU campus

Some 70,000 to 80,000 people gather in downtown Lawrence to celebrate the premiere of the movie Dark Command, loosely based on Quantrill’s Raid. Gene Autry leads a downtown parade, which also features new movie star John Wayne.



April 1 1921 The Lawrence branch of the NAACP holds a fundraising to apply for a national charter. Thirty-five people pay $1 each, and one person donates $2 to send to the national office.

1929 Lawrence has chance to see Close Harmony, the all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing movie starring Charles “Buddy” Rogers, a former KU student and husband of Mary Pickford.



It wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke … a sixteen year-old Lawrence High School student finds a purse containing nearly $12,000 in cash and jewelry. She takes it to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office, allowing officers to reunite the purse with its owner, who had lost the purse by setting it on top of her car and driving away.

April 2 1914 Fifteen Lawrence merchants debut the “First Annual Fashion Show,” featuring the latest clothes.

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April 3 1920 Miss Estelle Northrup announces her reelection candidacy for the office of the Register of Deeds. When she was first elected there had not been a woman in the Douglas County Courthouse for years.

1988 Lawrence erupts in celebration after Danny Manning leads the sixth-seeded University of Kansas men’s basketball team to an 83-79 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. More than twenty years later, even Oklahoma fans were still marveling over the upset win by “Danny & the Miracles.” The Oklahoma City Oklahoman would write, “Manning certainly was majestic that night, with 31 points and 18 rebounds. And everyone remembers the way Kansas controlled the second half. … The most frenetic basketball ever played on college hoops’ grandest stage.”

April 4



Danforth Chapel is dedicated on the University of Kansas campus. Constructed as a Christian GothicRevival style chapel to honor those who died in World War II, much of the structure’s mason work was done by German prisoners of war.

1939 The Granada holds a goldfish swallowing contest. The winner downs 50 goldfish in eight minutes.

1857 A meeting is held to organize what becomes Trinity Episcopal Church. The new congregation is partially funded by Amos Lawrence, namesake of Lawrence. A chapel is erected in 1859 and the church is completed around 1870, at its present location of 1011 Vermont. There was an interruption of services from 1861 to 1864 when nearly all male members of the church joined the army. Rev. Charles Reynolds followed the male members of the church to war and served as chaplain of the Second Kansas Cavalry.

APRIL 5 1987

A few boat owners test out the new marina at Clinton Reservoir before the official opening on May 1.

April 6 1999 Lawrence voters elect three commissioners committed to starting a citywide public transportation system. “Every other city in America that’s our size has public transportation,” says one voter who backed the pro-bus candidates.

April 7 1857 The Lightfoot becomes the first steamboat to visit Lawrence after the lifting of a blockade imposed by pro-slavery forces.

1901 The police and a hostile crowd prevent Carrie Nation from carrying out one of her “hatchetations” in Lawrence.

April 9 1980 The Lawrence school board approves spending $9,972 for six computers to help develop a high school writing center.



April 10 1961 Cpt. Robert Reese of Lawrence bails out of his fighter plane when it collides with another jet over central Texas.

April 11 1877 Largest catfish taken from the Kansas River in Lawrence weighs in at 250 lbs.

1890 Francis Huntington Snow takes over as chancellor of KU at a starting salary of $4,000 a year.

Images (p. 46, clockwise from top): Danforth Chapel, Lawrence Magazine; promotional poster for movie Dark Command; Charles “Buddy” Rogers, courtesy Library of Congress. Images (p. 47, from left): Carrie Nation, courtesy Library of Congress; illustration of Charles and Sarah Robinson by Lana Grove.


April 8

Ch aha lrele ss & & C

With 2.1 seconds left on the game clock, Kansas guard Mario Chalmers sinks an improbable threepointer, allowing his Kansas Jayhawks to erase a nine-point deficit and force the opposing Memphis Tigers into overtime play in the final game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The Jayhawks would go on to win the game, 75-68, and send thousands of KU fans pouring into downtown Lawrence in celebration. Looking back on Chalmers’ shot, head coach Bill Self said, “It will probably be the biggest shot ever made in Kansas history.”

son n


Sar ah

Sa rah

bin o R

o ns i b Ro

Charles (1818–1894) Sarah (1827–1912) Charles and Sara T. D. Robinson were instrumental in successfully establishing the new settlement of Lawrence. Additionally, their actions and leadership helped ensure Kansas would enter the Union as a Free State. Charles Robinson, who was to become Kansas’ first state governor, was born and educated in Massachusetts. He was a young doctor in 1849 when he spent a few years joining thousands of other emigrants rushing to the California gold fields. As he traveled through Kansas Territory, he noticed the fine prairies and hills of the Kaw River valley. It was an observation that endured when he returned to Massachusetts and influenced the location of a town site for Lawrence. In 1854, Charles Robinson led the first group of the New England Emigrant Aid Company back to the site that became Lawrence in the Kansas Territory. In the turbulent early years of settlement, as free state and pro-slavery agitators clashed and occasionally battled, Robinson led the defense of Lawrence and organized the Free State Party. He was imprisoned by territorial officials for several months in 1856 along with other Free State Party leaders, but emerged from prison to guide Kansas into the Union as a free state in 1861. He was the state’s first governor and survived an impeachment attempt spearheaded by his political rival, James Lane.

Robinson championed reform throughout his life, including women’s and AfricanAmerican suffrage. After his term as governor, he served in the Kansas legislature, as a superintendent of Haskell Institute and a regent of the University of Kansas. Sara T. D. Lawrence was the classically educated daughter of a prominent attorney in Massachusetts when she married Charles Robinson in 1851. She was distantly related to Amos Lawrence, the wealthy sponsor of the New England Emigrant Aid Company after whom the town was named. Robinson joined her husband in the new settlement of Lawrence in 1855, braving the harsh realities of pioneer life. An ardent champion of free state convictions, Sara Robinson was also a gifted writer and astute observer. A witness to violence and upheaval when Free State and slave state proponents clashed around her, she recorded the dramatic events in her immensely successful book, Kansas: Its Interior and Exterior Life. This eyewitness account of “Bleeding Kansas” included the destruction by fire of the Robinsons’ first home on Mt. Oread. The book was considered to be of major importance to the abolitionist cause. The Robinsons lived to see Lawrence grow and prosper, spending all their lives in the city they helped establish. Although childless, they bequeathed their land to the University of Kansas, a gift that allowed many future generations to benefit from their courage and generosity as they stroll down Jayhawk Boulevard.


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April 12

April 17



The Herald of Freedom newspaper reports on the completion of Eldridge House, also called the Free-State Hotel, at the corner of Massachusetts and Winthrop (7th Street). The 50 ft. by 70 ft. hotel boasts three stories and 50 separate apartments. Also, notes the paper, “The outhouses are of the neatest kind.”

In a second trial, Margaret “Sis” Vinegar is found guilty of murder in the first degree. Her detention was connected to a killing that led to the lynching of three black suspects. One of these suspects, Vinegar’s father, Peter Vinegar, was not in Lawrence at the time of the murder; historians believe him to be innocent. The role of Margaret Vinegar, who was about 16 at the time, was never clearly established, though the newspaper Western Recorder would argue that justice was not to be expected from a system that refused to place even one black man on the jury. “We will always believe that ‘Sis’ Vinegar is innocent of the murder ... and to send her to the penitentiary for life, or to hang her as the case may be, is no less a crime than was the hanging of her father before her,” wrote the Western Recorder. Margaret Vinegar’s lawyer and prison guards petitioned for her release, which was never granted. She died at Lansing Prison in January 1889. Lenna M. Cady Seamans, who was born a year after the incident, recalled that children in North Lawrence grew up telling stories about Peter Vinegar’s unjust killing: “Do you know if you go out to the cemetery at midnight and walk around Pete Vinegar’s grave saying, ‘Pete, Pete what did they hang you for?’ Pete will say, ‘Nothing, nothing, nothing.’”


12 1911 The first recorded tornado hits Lawrence, nearly destroying the 600 block of Massachusetts and causing severe damage in Old West Lawrence and North Lawrence. The tornado killed two, injured nine and caused $200,000 in damage.

April 13

April 14

April 15




Public Library Board of Lawrence holds its first organizational meeting.

Lawrence citizens debate the city’s new fireworks ban at a municipal meeting. Some claim the ordinance restricting the sale of fireworks inside the city is too drastic and not backed by state law. Others point to medical studies showing the loss of life and injuries directly caused by fireworks.

Lawrence’s most recent home development at East 19th & Maple Lane features three different styles of bi-level homes: the Cedardale, the Elmwood and the Greenbriar, all new to Lawrence.

1920 Lawrence trap shooters defeat the Topeka Gun club, 217 to 212.

1945 All businesses close on Massachusetts Street and a community worship service is held to honor President Franklin D. Roosevelt who died on April 12.

1972 A downtown improvement plan is unveiled and includes “sawtooth” curbs, new parking meters, three mid-block pedestrian crossings, 210 new trees and new lighting.

April 16 1988 Lawrence Community Nursery celebrates its 40year anniversary. The school, at 645 Alabama, was formed as a co-op to provide low-cost and racially integrated childcare.



April 18 1880 Dedication of original Lawrence High School building at 9th and Kentucky streets.

1897 Twenty horses die in a fire at Donnelly’s Big Livery Barn; Donnelly and his brother also nearly died trying to rescue the animals, including a favorite trotting mare named “Sprattle.”

1943 Two fighter pilots in the 314th Squadron of the 57th Fighter Group, led by Lieutenant Colonel William K. McKnown of Lawrence, each shoot down five enemy planes during a battle over the Sicilian straits.



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A major fire erupts at Trinity Episcopal Church, collapsing the roof and causing a loss of $115,000.

April 19

April 22



Sheriff Samuel Jones arrives in Lawrence to arrest Samuel Wood for aiding in the rescue of Free-Stater Jacob Branson.

The Varsity theater shows its first talking movie, Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer.

April 20 1964 John Ingalls, Lawrence police chief since early 1932 and member of the department since 1921, announces his resignation. He retires with honors.


April 21

An explosion erupts at KU’s Kansas Union causing millions of dollars in damage, but no loss of life. Believed to be a firebombing, the event came against a backdrop of heightened racial and political tensions in town and was followed by three days of curfew enforced by the National Guard.

The city authorizes $1.5 million in bonds to expand the water plant.

April 23

April 27




Police foil a lynching attempt by some 250 Topekans, helping the Shawnee county sheriff escape to Lansing state penitentiary with the detainee.

In one of the first Take Our Daughters to Work Day, Erica JohnsonWanzer skips school to attend work with her mother, Cathy Johnson, at Douglas County Bank.

Lawrence voters approve a new commissionermanager form of government.

2006 Roger Hill Volunteer Center is saluted in the USA Weekend magazine for making a difference in the community.

1867 The city’s earliest recorded earthquake strikes at 2:57 p.m. and lasts from 10 to 30 seconds. The quake was centered near Manhattan, Kansas.

April 21 1991 Lawrence police shoot and kill a Native-American man. Police would be acquitted of any wrong-doing, but the incident worsens relations between the Native community and local law enforcement.


Massachusetts Legislature approves a measure setting up a charter for the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company, which will later become the New England Emigrant Aid Society. The group sends Charles Robinson and Charles H. Branscomb to Kansas, and they select a site that becomes Lawrence.


April 24

1882 Lawrencians pay $1 to see legendary Irish playwright Oscar Wilde perform The English Renaissance in town.


April 25 1946 Eighty-eight members attend the annual meeting of the Kaw Valley Garden association in the basement of the Lawrence community building. “Interest in gardening, especially flower gardening, has increased this year because of the ending of the war,” says Mrs. Sherman Bourassa.

1992 KU hosts Peoplefest ’92, a multicultural city-wide fair featuring musicians, a gospel choir and a street dance.

Images (p. 48-49, from left) Tornado devastation in Lawrence, April, 1911, Lawrence Journal-World archives; old Lawrence High School on 9th and Kentucky, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; Oscar Wilde, Library of Congress; postcard of Lawrence’s Old Windmill, courtesy Watkins Museum of History.

April 28 1942 Boys and girls of Lawrence take over city government as part of a Boys’ and Girls’ Week sponsored by the American Legion. Boy Mayor Bill Conboy and Lawrence Mayor C.B. Russell make a joint address at the Eldridge hotel.

April 29 1956 Haskell Indian Institute wins the Class-A division of the annual Baker University relays. Haskell got its biggest boost from a 1-2-3 sweep of the mile race. Future Olympian Billy Mills finishes at 4:32.0 on a muddy track to take the gold.

1969 Some 200 people march down Jayhawk Boulevard and call for the removal of the ROTC from campus.

April 30 1905 The Old Windmill, a landmark since it was constructed in 1863 by Swedish immigrants, burns down.

April 30 1984 A site selection committee votes 16-9 to locate a second Lawrence High school on eighty acres of farmland just northeast of 6th Street and Wakarusa Drive.


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May I N L AW R E N C E

May 1 1887 A Lawrence brewer receives 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for violating the liquor law.

1903 Theodore Roosevelt makes a quick speech while his train stops in Lawrence.

May 2

MAY 4, 1915

Postcard of Massachusetts St., early 1900s

May 4

May 7



J.D. Bowersock buys Liberty Hall and begins its transformation into Bowersock Opera House.

Some 200 students throw rocks at University of Kansas’ military science building to protest the Vietnam War. This prompts the Kansas Highway Patrol to send in officers who were met by approximately 100 students blocking the highway.

1915 Lawrence’s “auto population” is estimated at 400 city cars and 300 country cars.

May 5 1856

1979 A bulldozer crew working in the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street uncovers a 100-year old tombstone for Peter Westerhouse, a Prussian immigrant and Douglas County farmer who received a formal court pardon in 1864 for helping slaves escape to Kansas.


Douglas County grand jury indicts Charles Robinson, Andrew Reeder, Jim Lane and five other city leaders for high treason. Some escape, some are arrested in town, some flee but are captured. Lawrence effectively loses its leadership.

May 6 1975



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A.T. Osborn, the “Mushroom King,” encourages Lawrencians to help with wartime food production by raising mushrooms in their basements.

May 8

The pie-throwing fad arrives in Lawrence after a senior KU student hurls a pie—chocolate cream—at a professor of psychology.


County officials pay a bounty on eight wolf scalps rounded up in the region.

1856 Fearing assassination or arrest by mobs of pro-slavery Missourians, former Kansas governor Andrew Reeder flees Lawrence, hiding in a ravine for the entire day until he is able to escape on horseback to a safe house outside the city. For the next weeks, he continues his journey in disguise, arriving in Illinois on May 27 as a hero. It was a crucial moment in the life of Reeder, who had been largely sympathetic to slavery and Southern politics until his experience in Kansas.


9 1967

James R. Cooper, 19 years old, becomes the first Lawrence resident killed in Vietnam. He had been in Vietnam only sixteen days before his death.

1970 A dozen African-American students disrupt services at First United Methodist Church to demand $75,000 compensation for Lawrence’s black residents. The church rejects the demands but appoints a committee to explore ways to resolve problems facing Lawrence minorities.

1856 A. U.S. Marshal orders Lawrence to shut down its Free-State centers: its two newspapers and the Free State Hotel at 7th and Massachusetts.


In a packed courtroom, Mary Baldwin is charged and convicted with what newspapers described as “naughty conduct.” This came despite supporting testimony of her “exemplary” conduct from several women who lived in the same house with her.

Shalor and Thomas Eldridge, who had moved from Kansas City to lease the Free-State Hotel, approach Governor Shannon camped with a pro-slavery force near Lawrence and offer to surrender every gun in Lawrence to federal troops if those troops would be stationed in Lawrence to prevent violence. Governor Shannon refuses.

May 12

May 14



City commissioner Tom Gleason calls for “reconciliation” after surviving Lawrence’s firstever recall vote.

Californiabound emigrants camp on the Wakarusa River just south of what is now Lawrence. The emigrants had 55 wagons and were joined the following day by 17 more wagons—one of many parties that passed through at the time.

May 13 1993 Family of Tony Coffin, former athletic director of Haskell, arrives for dedication of totem to honor Coffin.

The Herald of Freedom newspaper says Lawrence residents face a “reign of terror” brought about by clashes between pro-slavery and Free-State forces and that “no earthly power can prevent a bloody collision.”

1915 The new Lawrence baseball team, The Odd Sox, loses an away game to Williamstown 145. The team blames a rough field and the “bad hops” the ball took.

May 17 1973 Lawrence’s train depot is a bit more dry as a federal court rules that liquor by the drink cannot be sold on Amtrak trains passing through Kansas.

May 18

Joel Palmer crosses the future site of Lawrence while on his way to Oregon. He describes a land of streams, timber and prairie with “fine bottom covered with heavy burr oak and walnut timber.”

May 11




MAY 11

May 18

May 16

May 10


May 15

1925 Rebuilding of Eldridge Hotel begins. The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce had initiated a fund raising campaign that produced $50,000 for the landmark’s renovation.

May 19 1856 Violence escalates as pro-slavery forces roam the countryside, steal cattle and kill a young boy. Images (p. 50, from top): Postcard of Massachusetts St., early 1900s, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; gray wolves, Shutterstock. Images (p. 51, clockwise from top) portrait of Andrew Reeder in his “escape” costume, courtesy Kansas Historical Society; exterior of Eldridge House, 1867, Alexander Gardner courtesy Library of Congress; illustration of Free State Hotel, circa 1850s by Robert Gibbons, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.


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MAY 21


May 20


1855 The Emma Harmon becomes the first steamboat to arrive in Lawrence. It carries supplies and approximately 50 passengers. Rates between Kansas City and Lawrence were seventy-five cents per hundred pounds of freight, four dollars for passengers going upstream and three dollars for those going downstream.

1859 Well-known New York publisher and editor Horace Greeley visits Lawrence and records it having “500 dwellings and perhaps 5,000 inhabitants.”



1917 Four ice cream vendors get into a fight over disputed territory in the 700 block of Rhode Island Street. Apparently the rival street merchants had a longstanding disagreement over who could sell in which areas of town, but this was the first time their argument turned violent. City officials say that if these incidents continue, then nobody would be allowed to sell ice cream on the streets.

A second steamer, the Financier #2, arrives in Lawrence bringing needed freight and frame buildings ready for assembly.


Dedication ceremony is held for First United Methodist church at 946 Vermont. The congregation had been meeting since 1855.

1968 Over 50 black students present LHS administrators with eight demands, including Black History courses and the hiring of black teachers.

May 22 1855 Territorial governor Andrew Reeder calls for a new state election after the first was marred by Missourians crossing the border, stuffing ballots and intimidating voters.

May 23 1914 The Raymond Drug Store’s formal opening draws a crowd of more than 2,000 people. In addition to punch and music, customers were given, “little toilet preparation combination boxes.”





May 24

May 21


Pro-slavery forces under the direction of Sheriff Jones destroy the offices of The Herald of Freedom and Kansas Free State newspapers. They also fire a cannon on the Free State Hotel, then set it on fire. Homes and stores are ransacked.

Lawrence merchants are being robbed, not as much with guns as with pens, says an attorney general aide advising businesses on avoiding forged checks.

Images (from top): Ruins of Free State Hotel, illustration in Sarah Robinson’s Kansas: It’s Interior and Exterior Life, public domain; illustration of Margaret Stockton by Lana Grove.

MaMrgaa rg occkkto tnon raertetSStto (1894–1966) Margaret Stockton was known as one of those people in Lawrence who could accomplish things. Her leadership and involvement in a wide variety of community services were often the driving force to successful outcomes. Stockton, who graduated with degrees in philosophy and sociology from Indiana University, moved to Lawrence in 1924 with her husband, Frank Stockton, the founder and first dean of the Kansas University Business School. As her two sons grew up, she was involved in local and state Parent Teachers Associations. In 1940 she helped organize the Lawrence Recreation Council, the precursor of the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, in an effort to organize and sponsor activities in the summertime for school children. Under the auspices of the Recreation Council, Stockton organized Lawrence’s first-ever Kansas Arts and Crafts Festival, which endures as an annual Lawrence Parks and Recreation event every September. In 1943, Stockton established the Council of Social Agencies in Lawrence and for 22 years was its acting secretary. Organizations represented on the Council included the Health Department, the Salvation Army, PTAs, the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross. When renowned educational psychologist and community leader Dr. Bert Nash died unexpectedly in 1947, Stockton was one of the driving forces who honored his work by helping to found the Bert Nash Mental Health Clinic. Opening in 1950, the clinic carried out Nash’s passion to provide mental health services to children and adults in the community. The Bert Nash Community Health Center remains an integral health service today for the Lawrence community. Stockton continued her work with her involvement in the Lawrence Humane Society, the Red Cross, the Kaw Valley Heart Association and the Kansas League of Women. In 1963, Stockton was recognized by the Kiwanis for her consistent and outstanding contributions to the community.

May 25 1944 Due to the war draft, the Haskell printing shop—which prints the Indian Leader newspaper and several books—is being staffed almost entirely by female students. They are doing a fine job of it, notes the staff supervisor.

May 26 1854


Charles Stearns arrives in Lawrence and erects the first log cabin built on the new town’s site. The house was located just south of the present intersection of 6th and Massachusetts streets.

The fire chief and all firefighters resign after city officials decide to save money instead of honoring promises to purchase horses to pull essential firefighting equipment.


Kaw River begins to overflow its banks. The Union Pacific train service is abandoned and Lawrence water works and gas works go under water. This was Lawrence’s worst recorded flood until 1951.

The Unitarians, who had been meeting since May 1855, lay a cornerstone at 943 Ohio for what is believed to be the city’s first permanent church building.


May 27

May 28

May 30




A jury deliberates 8 hours, but fails to deliver a verdict on vehicular homicide charges against a Lawrence man who ran over and killed a Native American man. “Let them die in their own racism here,” says a representative of the United Indian Nations of Oklahoma, who added he would urge people not to send their children to Haskell Indian Junior College because “not only are you not protected here; you’re not wanted here.”

Young people make South Park a place for “rendezvous at any time of night.” The Advertiser paper suggests bright lights would discourage the gatherings.

A monument is erected in Oak Hill Cemetery to the victims of Quantrill’s Raid. Famed newspaper editor William Allen White calls it “The Kansas Arlington.”

1948 Lawrence Memorial High School graduates 169 students.

May 31 2003 Clinton Lake hosts its first kitesurfing festival.

May 29 1869 A New York City opera company presents the state’s first opera in downtown Lawrence.


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JUNE 24, 1926

Bea Ackerman of Ziegfeld Follies

June 4 1856 John Brown leads a raid on pro-slavery town of Franklin, just southeast of Lawrence. His force returns with captured rifles and ammunition. A second raid on August 12 returns with the “Old Sacramento” cannon that was fired on the Free State Hotel during the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces in May. Franklin was sold at auction in 1889 to satisfy a mortgage, and is now a ghost town.

1912 Miss Johns and her domestic economy students prepare some 250 meals for public schools during commencement week. Proceeds fund repairs of school kitchens and purchase of new utensils.

June 5 1928

June I N L AW R E N C E

June 1

June 3



The Kaw Valley Bosnian Refugee Committee meets to prepare for relocation of a Bosnian family displaced by war.

Abolitionist John Brown leads the victory over and capture of 28 pro-slavery gunmen in the Battle of Black Jack south of Lawrence.

June 2 1954


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A Lawrence man is detained for public drunkenness and painting on pavements. It is believed he is connected to two other men arrested the previous week for painting TNE at various spots across the KU campus. TNE is believed to be the name of a secret drinking society.

F.S. Hester receives a special delivery order from Washington of the new Valley Forge stamp, believed to be the first ones to arrive in Lawrence. The redink stamp shows General Washington kneeling in prayer and commemorates the 150th anniversary of Washington leading his troops through a difficult winter at Valley Forge.

1978 Disco has become so popular that a local dance hall, Shenanigans, is requesting special zoning permission to expand 19 parking spots in a neighboring lot of 901 Mississippi Street. Residents in the area respond with a petition to stop disco’s takeover of the block.

JUNE 6 1905

1867 A Lawrence Library committee charged with finding missing money in a “temperance fund” reports that “nothing can be found of such fund.” The report is accepted and the committee is discharged.

1961 Lawrence’s racially integrated swimming pool opens.

A rattlesnake bites the middle finger of Mrs. Adam Schuermann’s right hand as she is picking strawberries. Her arm is badly swollen but Mr. Schuermann says what amazes him is the amount of liquor his wife was able to drink to stop the swelling without showing “any symptoms whatever of intoxication even after half a pint had been hastily swallowed.”

1883 John Lewis Waller, an attorney and editor of the Western Recorder newspaper, criticizes the city for not including black war veterans in recent Decoration Day celebrations. “There are more than a hundred colored soldiers in and around Lawrence,” writes Waller, “but neither they nor their families have anything to do with the deliberations of this most solemn occasion.”

1914 Lawrence Fire Department retires Rowdy, the horse who has served for 11 years. Rowdy will be given a back stall and used for emergency runs.

June 8 1963 A big “D” has been painted on 25 Lawrence elm trees, signifying they are struck with Dutch elm disease. The city’s forester reports that the disease killed off 200 Lawrence trees last season, but he fears as many as 800 will fall to the disease this season.

June 9 1918 Four Lawrence residents are arrested during a latenight raid and charged with violating the bonedry law. The law does allow for possession of communion wine, but these residents were not holding communion.

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June 9

June 7

2001 A heating lamp being used to warm piglets is believed to have caused a fire that destroyed a rural Lawrence barn and left some $4,500 in property damage. The piglets escaped the fire unharmed.

(1814–1866) In his first four decades, James Lane practiced law in Indiana, served as lieutenant governor of that state and then as its representative to the United States Congress. He would soon gain more distinction, as well as notoriety, after arriving in Lawrence in 1855. His participation in the “Bleeding Kansas” years and the Civil War was often applauded, sometimes disparaged, and gained national attention. Soon after landing in Lawrence, Lane became one of the leaders of the Free State Party and anti-slavery activists dubbed “jayhawkers.” He helped fortify the town and fight against the invading pro-slavery Missouri “bushwhackers” during the 1855 Wakarusa War and throughout the years leading to the Civil War. His volatile personality and intense oratory often led to clashes with his own associates, most notably fellow Free State Party leader Charles Robinson. Lane was elected as Kansas’ first senator in 1859, but he was unable to take his seat officially until Kansas became the 34th state in 1861 when it entered the Union as a free state. During that year, soon after Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington D. C. to take office as president, Lane organized the Frontier Guards to protect him. Amid assassination threats and Southern hostility just days after the fall of Ft. Sumter,

Lane rallied his men, many from Kansas and veterans of the border wars, to serve as Lincoln’s personal guard in the White House until Union troops arrived to protect the city and president. Lane was appointed brigadier general of volunteers by Lincoln later in 1861, and he proceeded to wage war on the borders of Kansas and Missouri against secessionists and slaveholders. After being defeated in Fort Scott, Kansas, by the Missouri State Guard, Lane’s forces fell back and sacked Osceola, Missouri, freeing hundreds of slaves, but looting and burning most of the town’s structures. Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence was said to be, in part, retaliation for the destruction of Osceola, with James Lane singled out as one of the primary targets. He narrowly escaped the raiders by dashing through a cornfield in a ravine near his home, but just hours later, he was leading a pack of bedraggled survivors in hot pursuit of the raiders. As the war proceeded, Lane recruited the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers, one of the country’s first African-American regiments, and the first to see action in the war. He returned to the Senate in 1864 and was re-elected to the office in 1865, championing western expansion. Lane’s turbulent life ended in 1866 when he faced mental strain and committed suicide with a gun.

June 10 1955 A gasoline price war erupts after one station begins selling gas for 21.9 cents per gallon, well below the average of 23.9 cents per gallon.

2005 The Lawrence Journal-World has set up an internet bird-cam focused on a nest of American robins. Visitors to the site can see the parents feeding their young nestlings without disturbing the birds.

June 11 1873 KU holds its first commencement with four students graduating.

1917 KU confirms that while it is allowing a herd of cattle to graze on campus as part of a wartime food program, the cows should not abuse KU’s patriotism by drinking from Potter Lake.

Images (p. 54-55, from left): Color reproduction of Bea Ackerman publicity photo, circa 1920s, courtesy; illustration of James Lane by Lana Grove; piglet, Shutterstock.


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June 11

June 13

June 15

June 16





After nearly two years of construction and a cost of some $300,000, an underpass opens for traffic in North Lawrence that will take drivers underneath the Union Pacific railroad line. Until this day, the trains crossing on the road has frequently delayed traffic for long lengths of time.

It’s estimated that 100 men are engaged in fishing the Kaw River this summer.

June 12

Lawrence eagerly awaits the new five-story Bowersock Mill that features a viewing glass to allow the public to watch the mill’s wheels go around.

It seems to be the height of summer job-seeking season for young students. The most soughtafter job is tending a soda fountain. Second most popular is making bike deliveries.

Crews begin driving sheet piling for the first pier of the new $3.7 million Kansas River bridge. It will feature a 1,118foot Vermont Street span and a new 1,144-foot Massachusetts Street span.

1845 Col. John Fremont and an expedition of almost 40 persons spend the night camped on the top of what is now Mt. Oread. Fremont had been ordered by the government’s Topographical Bureau to survey the Kansas and Platte rivers and was guided to the campsite by legendary scout Kit Carson.

June 14 1911


12 1911 Albert McNish has just purchased a new Sampson auto truck for delivering up to one-half ton of soda pop from bottling factory. It’s the first large local delivery truck.



Souvenir hunters visit Massachusetts Street this week during a downtown improvement project, helping themselves, with the city’s blessing, to old Lawrence-stamped bricks. However, some brick scavengers got carried away and dug up bricksalong the north side of 9th Street.

Lawrence Public Library holds its first book sale. Only two book categories were deemed necessary: 1) children’s literature and 2) adults’ literature. The Girl Scouts helped, selling soda pop and pushing the final tally to $1,748.




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1910 Jay Mars, a 33-yearold aviator from Topeka, fails to fly his airplane from Topeka to Kansas City following the Rock Island Railroad tracks and the Kansas River; no one had flown that distance before. Decades later, Geneva Kunkle McKinley would recall seeing Mars and his plane, “It looked small, and wobbled like a bird flying against the wind. The plane was flying very low, not far above the roof of the railroad station and the tops of the trees [before it landed in a cornfield near Midland Junction.] It looked like pictures of box kites we had seen and people said it looked so flimsy they didn’t see how it could get up in the air and stay there. Mr. Mars was not hurt—except for his pride.”

1991 Lightning strikes, ignites and destroys KU’s Hoch Auditorium.

June 17 1909 Members of the Lawrence Auto Club entertain visitors to Haskell’s QuarterCentennial by giving them rides in their autos through the city. Lawrence boasts approximately 100 automobiles.

June 18 1892 The colored Knights of Pythias of Missouri and Kansas hold a grand conclave at Lawrence.

Images (p. 56) Interior of soda pop factory in Lawrence, circa 1920s–1930s, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; postcard of fishing boat on Kaw River, courtesy Watkins Museum of History. Image (p. 57): Harper’s Weekly illustration of Quantrill’s Raid, public domain.

June 19

June 22



The Dam Squawker, a camp newspaper written by CCC Companies 1764 and 2734 located at Lone Star, reports that William Jacka became a world champion bed hurdler after his sleep was interrupted by a snake. He felt the clammy, slick creature slithering over his chest and wasted no time clamoring over the camp beds. The snake’s bite was described as “of no serious consequence.”

National Guard troops depart Lawrence for Fort Riley, with the ultimate destination of the Mexican border. The Lawrence Daily Journal World describes the scene: “Tears outnumbered smiles at the Union Pacific station this morning…. There were smiles among those in the crowd, to be sure; but the tears of mothers and dear ones to the soldiers quieted all but the faintest of smiles. This thing of going to war is altogether a serious business. It was a quiet goodbye.”

1981 A tornado strikes southwest Lawrence. It kills one person, injures 33 people and causes $8–10 million in damage.

1982 St. John’s Catholic Church holds its first Mexican Fiesta. Billed a “mini-fiesta” the first year, the church soon realized “mini” was a misnomer, as it attracted at least 700 visitors. A mariachi band from Topeka entertained the crowd as fiesta-goers feasted on homemade tacos, enchiladas and refried beans.

June 20 1936 Mr. and Mrs. Fellers, who raise exotic game birds in their backyard of 919 New Hampshire St., have rare birds such as the Melanistic Mutant and the Lady Amherst pheasants. Their favorite bird, however, is a bob-white named Little Pal, who goes for walks with Mr. Fellers and gobbles up grasshoppers whenever Mr. Fellers sees one and whistles.

June 21 1892 There is a man in Lawrence who attends every session of every court that is held in the city. The Lawrence Daily Journal speculates the man has nothing better to do.

1966 A 170-pound black bear is shot by sheriff’s officers after it approaches homes south of Lawrence. “This is, of course, something extremely rare,” says Douglas and Shawnee County Game Protector George Schlecty. “It’s like seeing an elephant walking down Massachusetts Street.”

June 23 1922 Blueprints are revealed for the new section of the KU administration building. The plans include the university’s first elevator.

JUNE 24 1926

Former Lawrence resident Bea Ackerman stars in Ziegfeld Follies production of No Foolin’.

History’s Mysteries Steve Nowak lists 5 Unknowns of Lawrence’s Past There will always be unknowns in history, particularly in local history. Sometimes, information is missing because a natural disaster wiped out records; other times, people simply didn’t have an opportunity to write down events or they didn’t consider the details to be remarkable. There are several historic events and artifacts of Lawrence history that seem significant, but we simply don’t have their whole story. Watkins Museum of History Executive Director Steve Nowak shares five such mysteries of Lawrence history. Who was killed in Quantrill’s Raid? We don’t know exactly the names of all the victims. There were people visiting town at the time, and all the remains were not identified. What was the damage in Quantrill’s Raid? We don’t know the full extent of the damage. For example, many buildings were recorded as being burned, but we don’t know if they were burned to the ground or partially damaged. Did Clyde Barrow rob Lawrence? Clyde Barrow, the “Clyde” in the famous bank-robbing duo of “Bonny and Clyde,” might or might not have pulled off a bank robbery in Lawrence. An early associate of Clyde Barrow, Ralph Fults, claims that he assisted Barrow in robbing Lawrence’s First National Bank in 1932, but no other record or report of the robbery exists. What’s the story with J.B.’s Bathtub? Nestled between the third floor and the mezzanine level of the Watkins History Museum is a bathtub surrounded with wood paneling. Staff and local experts assume this was part of small hideaway for J.B. Watkins, who built the building and owned the bank—but the building’s original blueprints have never been found, and the position of the bathtub places it behind an area that would have held documents and working papers. What happened to Hugh? Why, in 1881, at the age of 55, did Lawrence resident Hugh Cameron suddenly choose to stop cutting his hair and beard, withdraw from society, live in a tree house near the Kaw River and become the “Kansas Hermit”?


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June 26


1914 Lawrence children enjoy an annual Woodland Park picnic sponsored by the Lawrence Railway & Light Company and the park management.


The executive director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum visits the studio of Lawrence artist Kelly Miller to check on progress of bronze sculptures of baseball greats such as Buck O’Neil and Andrew “Rube” Foster to be included in the museum.

June 27 1854 Samuel N. Wood, newspaper correspondent for the National Era at Independence, Missouri, visits Lawrence and describes the immigrants arriving. He notes that “a man, though poor, if he can and will work, can do well here. A man with only a team is independent. But to those who have no means, who can’t or won’t work, Kansas is no place for you.”

1987 Bulldozers and backhoes tear down eight houses in the 800 block between Tennessee and Kentucky streets. The demolition, denounced by one neighbor as “wholesale murder” of a group of historic houses, was defended by Douglas County Bank officials as necessary for a bank expansion.

June 28 1943 The Red Cross calls for experienced knitters to help finish turtleneck sweaters and gloves for troops.

1971 Lawrence Vietnam Veterans Against the War hold a gathering in South Park to answer questions about serving in Vietnam.

June 29 1883 Met with applause by spectators, the city council approves an “occupation tax” that places a tariff on any non-Lawrence business (except farmers and market gardeners) doing business inside the city.

June 30 1913 Lawrence police say they will enforce new city regulations that forbid the sale of firecrackers and similar Fourth of July explosives inside the city limits. They are also not going to tolerate any shooting on Massachusetts Street or placing of explosive caps on the streetcar rails. “It’s going to be a big battle between half a dozen police officers and several thousand young Americans,” says Chief of Police E. E. Meyers.



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JULY 6, 1858

Pikes Peak, as it appeared in late 1800s.

July I N L AW R E N C E

July 1 1987 Kansas’ long-awaited liquor-by-the-drink law takes effect, marking the first time in 106 years that Kansans in 36 “wet” counties can walk into a bar and buy a hard drink. Johnny’s Tavern in Lawrence prepares to expand its kitchen in response to the law.

July 2

July 4

July 5



A six-member band helps Lawrence celebrate its first Fourth of July.

Lawrence YWCA officials are refusing to provide the names of at least two KU students believed to be part of an undercover research operation in Denver. They say that the women’s anonymity allows them to freely assess working conditions for women at the industrial sites where they have secured jobs.

1863 The first commercial ferry opens across the Kaw River to connect Lawrence and North Lawrence.


1917 David Horkmans, a KU graduate and wounded combat veteran, is appointed assistant postmaster of Lawrence. Horkmans served with the Kansas “Fighting Twentieth” in the Philippines and was wounded during the Battle of Caloocan. He also served as the model for the soldier on the SpanishAmerican War memorial located in Lawrence’s Oak Hill Cemetery.

The cornerstone of the Douglas County courthouse is laid. The structure, located on the southeast corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets, is built at a cost of $80,000.

1996 Lawrence city commission extends a skateboarding ban on sidewalks and parking lots throughout the Downtown district. One commissioner says the policy for skateboarders is now: “Skate on Massachusetts Street. I don’t feel safe about it, but it is permitted.”

July 3 1934 Someone has stolen two birdbaths from a Lawrence lawn. The Lawrence Journal-World nominates this thief for the distinction of being “the meanest chap in Lawrence.”



1919 Lawrence crowds gather to hear telegraphed reports of hometown favorite Jess Willard, the Pottawatomi Giant, defend his world heavyweight title against Jack Dempsey. Willard loses the fight, but remains a legend and will be admitted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Images (p. 58-59, from left): John Lewis Waller, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; photochrome of Pikes Peak, William Jackson, 1899, courtesy Library of Congress; cover of Sports Illustrated January 13, 1964 retrospective cover of Jack Dempsey vs. Jess Willard.


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July 6

July 9



While traveling in Colorado, Julia Archibald Holmes, a Lawrence abolitionist and suffragette, is recorded as the first woman to climb Pikes Peak.

1957 Two Lawrence women test the beneficence of the Kansas Turnpike, less than eight months after the roadway’s official opening. Forgetting to take a ticket upon entering the turnpike in Lawrence, the day-trippers asked the guard if they could pay the standard 45-cent fare for Lawrence-Kansas City trips. The guard told them the turnpike authorities knew they had entered at Lawrence, but would still charge the maximum $7.20 rate for lost tickets. Turns out the turnpike wasn’t very beneficent.

A grand view of the Kaw River opens up from newly paved Fifth St., west of Tennessee St.

1997 The death of Fletch, the cat companion of 13 years to Lawrence author William S. Burroughs. Poet, artist, author and legend of the Beat Generation, Burroughs was also intensely devoted to his cats. James Gauerholz, Burroughs’ friend and literary executor, speculated that Fletch’s departure hastened Burroughs’ own death, which would occur within a month’s time.

July 10 1879 Wheat State? Lawrence newspapers and farmers speculate that Kansas could become the Wool State. The cheapness of corn, hay and pasture has helped triple the numbers of Kansas sheep over a one-year period.

July 7 1974 City workers pump out water from an old cistern on Massachusetts Street and fill it with sand. The 20-foot-deep hole, lined with brick, had been found in the middle of the 900 block during a downtown improvement project. Such cisterns, filled with river water, had been the main source of water for early Lawrence firefighters.


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At least ten automobiles full of “Bonus Marchers” and their families stop in Lawrence on their way back from Washington D.C. The Bonus Marchers were part of a national protest movement of military veterans seeking unpaid benefits. They were forcibly removed from their D.C. camps by armed troops at the end of July.

After spending hours looking for a carjacker in the woods south of town, Lawrence police call off the search when the alleged victim confesses he made up the story to hide from his girlfriend the fact that he was in a bar fight.

July 13 1857 Citizens of Lawrence adopt a city charter in defiance of the territorial government, whose governor responds by marching into Lawrence with 400 U.S. dragoons, establishing martial law and occupying the city.







Haskell students have grown and harvested a summer crop of oats and grain. Some 115 male students are staying over the summer at Haskell, and many of them are kept busy with daily farm chores.

July 12 1860 Extremely hot weather hits Lawrence. Thermometers record temperatures of 115 in the shade. The heat dries the Kansas River and closes off steamboat travel. Many crops fail this summer, causing several farmers to leave the area.

The Kansas River floods much of the city, particularly North Lawrence, where some 2,000 residents are evacuated. Estimates for total damage range from $4 million to $6 million, though no lives are lost in Lawrence. Other communities along the Kansas River are not as fortunate. In all, 24 people die and some 500,000 are left homeless in what is still considered the worst flood in Kansas history.

July 14 1925 E.E. Robinson, a rural mail carrier, says he plans to return to a certain spot along the Wakarusa where an enormous catfish lives. Robinson and his wife tried to catch that fish days prior using their hands and a sack, but the fish knocked them down and got away.

July 15 1886 The telephone has been removed from the Haskell Institute. The official reason provided is that the U.S. government could not afford to pay for the cost of the line, but the Lawrence Gazette believes the director of the school—then run under harsh, military discipline that would be investigated by the end of the decade—was simply tired of answering calls from the community and had “no use for the people of Lawrence.”

July 16 1946 The Lawrence city council changes Lawrence’s status from a secondclass city to a first-class city (the highest population category in Kansas).

Annie LaPorte Annie Le PorteDiggs Diggs


(1848–1916) When young Annie LaPorte settled in Lawrence in 1873 and married postal clerk Alvin L. Diggs, she appeared to be following the trajectory of most 19th-century women in the role of wife and mother. Her independent voice and reforming spirit, however, would soon carry her into journalism, politics and the national arena. Diggs became active in the Populist movement during the 1880s and began writing articles related to its positions and causes for various local newspapers including the Lawrence Journal and the Topeka Commonwealth as well as national publications. Her pioneering work as a female journalist expanded as she and her husband began publishing the newspaper The Kansas Liberal in 1882. Later, she became associate editor for the Alliance Advocate, a prominent reformist publication. In addition to writing about her causes, Diggs was an accomplished orator who spoke in venues throughout the country about Populism, temperance, suffrage for women and other social justice issues. With her prominence she gained notoriety. Critics bestowed the title of “Boss” Diggs upon her, labeling her activism as “petticoat politics.”

A leader in the women’s suffrage movement, Diggs not only spoke out for women’s right to vote but also followed up with action. In 1887, when women were granted the right to vote in municipal elections in Kansas, she promptly asserted that right and became the first woman in the city’s history to register to vote. As her work in the Populist Party progressed, she led a delegation to the National People’s Party Convention, the first woman to do so for a national convention. She held leadership positions in the Woman’s Alliance in Washington, D.C., the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, the Social Reform Union, and she was elected president of the Kansas Women’s Press Association in 1905. Perhaps her highest honor was to serve as Kansas State Librarian from 1898–1902, the most prominent government office held by a woman in Kansas at that time. Diggs continued to fight for women’s suffrage throughout her life and was rewarded when, in 1912, a few years before her death, Kansas sanctioned the right of women to vote. It would take until 1920 for the 19th Amendment, granting white, but only white, American women the right to vote, to become law.

Activist Rick “Tiger” Dowdell, a 19 year-old AfricanAmerican and lifelong Lawrence resident, is shot dead by police. His killing sets off days of unrest in a city already tense with racial and political strife.

July 17 1854 The first Emigrant Aid Company party leaves Boston for Lawrence.

1909 Soda pop seems to be the popular drink for summer as stands are appearing throughout Lawrence. In some neighborhoods, children have set up two or three stands in the same block.

July 18 1951 The city commission temporarily relaxes all restrictions on homes taking in guests and boarders in order to accommodate the number of families made homeless by the July 13 flood.

July 19 1941 U.S. Army activates the 99th Pursuit Squadron, precursor to the famed Tuskegee Airmen units that would become the nation’s first black combat air pilots and include one Edward C. Gleed from Lawrence who would serve as Group Operations Officer for the 332nd Fighter Group.

July 20 1970 Riot conditions continue in Lawrence as police shoot tear gas and bullets into crowds near campus. The clashes result in the shooting death of a 19-year-old KU student.

July 21 1970 Governor Robert Docking calls recent deaths of KU students “appalling” and temporarily prohibits the purchase, sale or use of weapons and ammunition in Lawrence except by police or on one’s own property.

1995 A Rodeo Parade is held down Massachusetts Street with classic cars, wagons, an armored personnel carrier and horse-mounted groups. Images (p. 60-61, from left) Postcard of Haskell Institute, circa early 1900s, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; flood waters in North Lawrence after July 13 flood, Lawrence Daily Journal-World; illustration of Annie LaPorte Diggs by Lana Grove; Edward C. Gleed, Group Operations officer, 332nd Fighter Group with plane in Italy, March, 1945, courtesy Library of Congress.


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July 22 1882 Russian roller skaters and French Aerial Cyclists come to Lawrence as part of W.W. Cole’s Circus.

1971 The Gay Liberation Front files a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force KU to recognize the group.

July 23 1926 Two men are in jail after police catch them loading up bottles of liquor from a cornfield in North Lawrence.

July 24

July 26

July 28

July 29





The Women’s Equity Action League files a large discrimination suit against the University of Kansas. The group cites numerous disparities, such as the fact women are employed in only 4 of the 10 departments with faculty salaries over $15,000 and that the School of Education’s student body is 77.3 percent, but its faculty is only 25.6 percent female.

The first car of the Kansas City, Kaw Valley and Western railway crosses the bridge and enters Lawrence to begin regular connections.

The sharptongued Kansas populist, suffragette and hero of the working class, Mary Ellen Lease, seems to have lost her “glory,” reports the Lawrence Journal-World. Known for colorful phrasings such as “raise less corn and more hell,” Lease spoke quite mildly in a recent interview. “The worst word she used was ‘bosh,’” the paper notes with disappointment.

Lawrence delegates to the state convention join the majority in adopting a Free-State constitution.

1935 It’s an aeronautical honeymoon as a couple flies off from Lawrence Airport in a red-winged, graybodied Waco airplane decorated with “Just Married” signs. Both of the newlyweds are pilots.

1945 Lawrence police are making a large number of arrests for public drunkenness and drunk driving. One report estimates that more than half of the work of the city police department is the result of liquor.

July 25

July 27



Dogfennel breaks out across Lawrence; the tall weed flowers in streets and sidewalks.

As U.S. forces face bloody battles in North Africa and Italy, nine more Lawrence men are inducted into the Army.

July 30 1855 Lawrence citizens approve a law “for the suppression of drinking houses and tippling shops” by a vote of 74-1.

July 31 1950 A decision to include college students in the U.S. Census report results in Lawrence growing from 13,000 to 18,638 official residents between 1940 and 1950.

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August 7 1955 Lawrence begins dial telephone service for its 9,500 phone lines. Previously, connections were made through operators.


August 8 AUGUST 9, 1885

Lawrence residence of J.B. Watkins


August 5 August 1 1854 The first Emigrant Aid Company group from Boston camps on Mount Oread.

1876 The Douglas County Normal Institute, a training school for teachers and educators, opens in the Lawrence Business College at 7th & Massachusetts. It continues until August 22, 1924.

August 2 1866 The Kansas Daily Tribune reports that its staff discovered “a box of magnificent blackberries, directed to Mr. John Speer, with the compliments of Mrs. A. D. Searl, and the information that they were grown in her garden. They were of enormous size, ripe and luscious. We eyed them a moment, and finally yielded to the temptation. … Many a man’s soul has been lost for a smaller thing than one of those berries.”

1981 Vandals strike an art installation near the KU campus, spraypainting “Icky-poo” and other comments on a 35-foot sculpture-in-progress. The sculpture, placed near 16th and Illinois streets had already been criticized by residents as “a railroad bridge across the Wakarusa.”

August 3 1970 The President’s Commission on Campus Violence sends a five-member team to Lawrence to investigate recent clashes between anti-war protestors and police.

August 4 1993 The program Crime Stoppers launches in Lawrence. The phone number 843-TIPS, still in use to this day, offers a cash-incentive for information leading to arrests.

1997 KU becomes Coca-Cola country after university officials sign a $21 million deal with the soft drink giant for exclusive vending rights on campus.

1916 City officials donate old iron lampposts to the school district for making new playground swing sets.

1978 So much construction is going on in Lawrence that crews temporarily run out of cement. Local suppliers say the situation is “just about a catastrophe.”

August 6 1891 The Lawrence Daily Journal reports Ed Campbell is raising some fine pears “and he is not stingy with them either as the large number of cores lying about the Journal building attest.”

1980 A $3.5 million gift from a pair of 1944 graduates allows KU to plan construction of new buildings for public radio station KANU, student radio station KJHK and the AudioReader program.

1996 Thanks to the recent growth in Lawrence and the explosive increase in pagers, cellular phones, computer lines and fax machines, Lawrence gains a new telephone prefix: 331.

August 9 1895 Banker J.B. Watkins receives a business delegation from Boston.

1967 The Lawrence City Commission votes unanimously to lease the Four Seasons swimming pool until Labor Day for the sum of $10 and allow all residents access. This action was taken after owners of a private pool refused to racially integrate the facility.

August 6

1999 KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway steps into ongoing evolution debate in Kansas public schools, signing a letter warning that antievolution standards approved by state education officials “will set Kansas back a century.”

Images (p. 62-63, from left): Advertisement for W.W. Cole’s Aerial Cyclists, Kansas Daily Tribune; postcard of J.B. Watkins’ residence, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; early dial phone, Shutterstock; mosasaur skeleton at KU Natural History Museum, Lawrence Magazine.


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August 12

August 14

August 17





Death of Henry Copeland, a black Union army veteran and civic leader who had received the endorsement of one of the city’s papers in his unsuccessful 1880 bid to for city constable.

Actual Settlers Association, formed before the arrival of the first emigrant parties from Boston, enacts rules to secure land claims in the area that becomes Lawrence.

Lawrence erupts in celebration at approximately 6:00 p.m. when President Harry Truman announces Japan’s surrender to U.S. forces and the effective end of World War II for the United States. Auto horns erupt across the city, followed soon by the tooting of steam whistles from the waterworks, the papermill and the university. By 7:00 p.m., a parade of an American Legion drums and bugle corps, hundreds of cars and several hundred people line up from Sixth Street and proceed to South Park where they celebrate, dance and congratulate one another. Some 8,000–10,000 people are estimated to have joined the celebrations that continue past midnight. No arrests are reported.

A former Jayhawk with no acting experience appears in the Western movie The Cheyenne Social Club, currently playing at Varsity Theatre in Lawrence. William Davie had just finished his graduate studies in geology when movie producers noticed him coming out of a church in Santa Fe one Sunday morning. Apparently, they thought Davie—and his Old West-style beard—would be the perfect fit for the movie’s role of a town drunk.

1971 Douglas County makes final amendments to its fallout shelter plan, with 58 shelters in Lawrence, most of which are in the “central business district.” North Lawrence residents are expected to go west on the turnpike, exit on Iowa St., then head back east into the city for shelter.


11 1819

Zoologist Thomas Say stops in an area that would become Lawrence on his way to the Rocky Mountains. He notes the area has ravines, rattlesnakes and nasty flies.

1892 Merchants are attributing a two-fold increase in business over the past year to the prosperity of farmers around Lawrence.

August 13 1867 New settlers are realizing something about this region—it’s hot and dusty in August. “It is doubtful as to which is the most annoying—hot, sultry weather, or thick clouds of dust whirling through the air,” writes the Kansas Daily Tribune, adding this region has both—“at the same time.”

1989 Television star Michael Landon, in the area to film Where Pigeons Go To Die, jokes that he has met the entire population of Lawrence. “I spent about 21/2 hours going up and down Massachusetts meeting people and signing autographs. They’re nice people.”

August 15 1945 The Lawrence Ministerial Alliance holds worship services in churches across the city to honor peace and the end of World War II. Workers at the Sunflower Ammunition Plant outside of Lawrence are given a 48hour holiday with only a “skeletal crew” of 450–500 to maintain and guard the ammunition facility.


August 11 1895


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August 10

Judge Solon O. Thacher passes away. He was one of the signers of the anti-slavery Wyandotte Constitution and served in the state senate.


1879 A two-week national temperance meeting opens at Bismarck Grove in North Lawrence. Possibly as many as 100,000 people attend.

August 18 1892 Women of Lawrence are being asked to gather wild fall grasses such as millet and sorghum to be used in the frieze for the reading room of the Kansas building at the World’s Fair.

1973 Lawrence faces a beer shortage. Local distributors, who had been rationing sales all summer, blame a production plant shortage and influx of KU students. Most liquor stores are limiting sales to two six-packs per customer.

August 19 1972 Douglas County begins to use computers to help store and organize information. The first task, expected to take months, is to store and record some 25,000 property records on processing cards.

August 20 1899 Dedication is held for Lakeview African-Methodist Church. The church had been active since 1893, but was eventually sold in 1952. Many of its members were buried in the Lewis Cemetery, between Lecompton and Lawrence, which was restored in 1998.

1993 A KU faculty-student dating ban goes into effect. Many object to the policy, saying it was dictated without their input.



1995 The Lawrence JournalWorld, after more than 100 years, switches from an evening- to a morning-delivery paper. The paper also becomes accessible online, with daily updates at 2 p.m.

August 22 1828 Napoleon Boone is born to Daniel M. and Sarah E. Boone in a log cabin with a view of Mt. Oread. The grandson of the famous Kentucky pioneer would become a farmer, living and trading with the Kanza people.

August 23 1975 KU officials are forced to set up temporary housing—including bunks in ironing, utility and storage rooms—to accommodate a record fall enrollment of students.


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1863 A force of Confederate irregulars headed by William Quantrill rides into Lawrence, takes hold of key areas of the town and begins a massacre of inducted soldiers, civic leaders and men of fighting age. At least 143 people are killed and 25 wounded. Three persons reported missing are never found. Property damage is listed as somewhere between $750,000 and $2.5 million.

August 24

(1842–1922 )

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A man of talent and ability, J.D. Bowersock was a prominent player in the growth and development of Lawrence in the later part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. When Bowersock came to town in 1877 after living and pursuing business interests in Ohio and Iowa, Lawrence was struggling through an economic downturn. The town’s growth had remained stagnant for a decade, and attempts to power local industry with a dam on the Kansas River failed time after time as dam infrastructure was breached by flooding and ice breaks. One of those washouts occurred just days before Bowersock arrived in Lawrence and the Water Power Company was forced to go into receivership. Bowersock purchased the bankrupt company and oversaw the dam’s repair and operation. The new dam proved to be a strong and reliable source of mechanical power. By the mid-1880s, twelve water wheels connected to cables and pulley stations powered multiple industries and manufacturers including two flour mills, machine shops, printing offices, twine and shirt factories, a paper mill and several other businesses. By the end of that decade, the water power of the river began to generate the newest technology,

electricity. Several local businesses continued to use the power generated by the dam until as late as 1972, after which the energy was sold directly to Kansas Power and Light. The success of Bowersock’s dam not only spurred steady economic growth in Lawrence and earned Bowersock the moniker “Master of the Kaw” but also provided him the opportunity to expand into other businesses. He established a flour mill, began the Lawrence Paper Company, was a major investor in the Consolidated Barbed Wire Factory and built Bowersock Opera House, now known as Liberty Hall. He went into banking and rose to president of the Lawrence National Bank and also served as president of Lawrence Iron Works and Griffin Ice Company. Bowersock’s invested his formidable energy not just in Lawrence business pursuits but also in service to the community as mayor, state representative and state senator. In 1898 he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives where he served four terms. By the time of his death in 1922, the Bowersock legacy in Lawrence was considerable. Bowersock Mills and Power Co., Lawrence Paper Co. and Lawrence National Bank continue to thrive as integral parts of the city’s economy.

Dry weather, construction projects and garbage trucks create a perfect storm of huge, lingering dust clouds on Highway 24. “Anymore, you don’t know what you’re eating— food or dust,” complains a resident.

August 25 1893 A contract supply dispute leads to Lawrence’s water supply being shut off. Railroads start pumping water from the river while Haskell and KU begin looking into emergency water supplies. The incident leads the city deciding to drop privatesector water suppliers and set up a municipal-owned system.

August 26 1866 John Speer, editor of the Daily Kansas Tribune, shares his excitement with readers about the new strides in global communication: “Our readers will find in our telegraphic columns dispatches from London, Liverpool and Paris, dated yesterday noon! These messages were received here at nine o’clock last evening. We are not living in a wilderness, by any means. Telegraphs and railways have brought us directly into the center of the world.”

1982 Seeking to boost student attendance at an upcoming game, KU Athletics Department announces it will provide free pre-game beer.

Images (p. 64, from top): 50th-Anniversary gathering of Lawrence Survivors of Quantrill’s Raid, Lawrence Journal-World; First-annual temperance gathering at Bismarck Grove, 1878, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society. Image (p. 65): Illustration of Justin DeWitt (J.D.) Bowersock by Lana Grove.


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August 27

August 29



The Lawrence Journal-World begins receiving news beamed from a satellite 23,000 miles above the equator to a receiving dish on the roof of the newspaper building.

The second group of Emigrant Aid Company settlers leaves Worcester, Massachusetts, with 67 persons bound for Lawrence. The party is headed by Charles Robinson and Samuel C. Pomeroy, both future leaders in Kansas.

1983 More than 500 people march across the city to honor the 20th-anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

August 30 1910

August 28 1988 Hospitals and blood banks say fear of AIDS is causing residents to bank their own blood for upcoming surgeries.

A storm destroys the first aero glider created and tested in Lawrence. The motorless craft, built by Ogden Jones and Frank Pryor, was modeled on crafts developed by the Wright brothers.

1990 City officials announce a new service to dispose of old tires in response to a statewide dumping moratorium.

Humane Society fountain at its present location in South Park, Lawrence Magazine.



1910 On a visit to Lawrence, former president Teddy Roosevelt, dedicates the Humane Society fountain at New Hampshire and Warren [9th] streets.


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SEPTEMBER 23, 1953

Historical reenactment at McAllister schoolyard.

September 8 1950 Kansas Power and Light Company announces a five million dollar construction project north of Lawrence. It is currently the Westar plant.

September 9 1881

September I N L AW R E N C E September 4 1865

September 1

1888 The Bismarck Fair opens for annual races and shows.

1909 Walter Fisher is shot and killed from an accidental discharge of a gun placed on a counter during the Harvest Home Picnic at Brown’s Grove southeast of Lawrence.


September 3

Police jail a man for robbing the Perkins’ melon patch and threatening to shoot both the gardener and neighbor.



A certain gentleman was observed in Lawrence early in the morning hastily crawling out of a sky-light, making “tall time over the roofs of some of the adjoining houses” and then jumping onto the roof of a shed and then onto woodpile. It was a cold morning and the gentleman seemed to be carrying most of his clothing under his arms. The Daily Kansas Tribune says this raises many questions, including whether the man caught a cold.

Officer Patchen was out on duty overnight when two men broke into his cellar and stole cans of fruit. His wife, however, was home—and she shot and wounded one of the intruders as they attempted to run away.

September 2 1951 The jail is overflowing with people arrested for liquor law violations. Officials must keep some of the unprecedented 38 detainees in hallways.



Several companies of the 17th Illinois arrive to camp in Lawrence. They join the 48th Wisconsin already in Lawrence.

September 5 1997 Kathy Davis, a Hillcrest Elementary teacher of 13 years, is one of 1,500 American teachers named as a 1997 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.

September 6 1944 Sunflower Ordnance Works has an acute shortage of workers. The military rocket propellant plant is offering health insurance, transport and housing to fill vacancies.

September 7 1916 Lawrence boardinghouse keepers have agreed to a price of $4.50 as the lowest weekly rate to charge boarders. They say rising food costs force them to raise the weekly rates by 50 cents from the previous year.

All sorts of snacks can be had at the Bismarck Fair, according to the Kansas Daily Tribune, including “pea-nuts” and “nice temperance drinks (with the temperance left out).”

September 10 1955 A fire of undetermined origin nearly destroys Plymouth Congregational Church. Every member of the 25-man city fire crew is called to fight the blaze.

September 11 1854 The Savage brothers, John and Richard, arrive in Lawrence. They would be the core members of the Lawrence band, believed to be the first organized musical group in Lawrence. The band provided entertainment to settlers and briefly served as a military ensemble during the Civil War. The band’s last performance was in 1879, given by the surviving members as a special onetime performance to mark Lawrence’s 25th anniversary.

Images (from top): Pioneer cooking demonstration at McAllister schoolyard, the event is believed to be connected to be part of Lawrence’s centennial anniversary celebrations, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; Promotional poster for Bismarck Fair, 1888, public domain.


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September 20 1906

12 September

September 17



In Lawrence Junior High School’s home room 103C class, students compete to carry beans balanced on knives across the room.

The city’s fire teams respond to gasoline leaking on the engine of an auto owned by Dr. H.T. Jones. Unfortunately, this was their first auto fire and they did not know how to treat this type of emergency.

September 14

Lawrence Humane Society loans out its executive director, Midge Grinstead, to help tend to animals injured by Hurricane Katrina. She and her husband are based at an emergency triage center in Gonzales, Louisiana, where volunteers care for an average of 500 animals daily.

Several Lawrence families join a ceremony in Topeka to welcome their loved ones returning home after serving in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment. All guard members returned safely.

September 15 1879 Old Settlers Meeting celebration sees numerous guests, including famed poet Walt Whitman.

September 16 1939

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The first term of Kansas University, then known as “State University,” begins. Tuition for the year of two twenty-week terms is $10 in the Preparatory Department and $30 in the Collegiate Department, but soldiers’ orphans are admitted free and clergymen’s sons and daughters are admitted at half price.

September 13




C.E. Decker, who has been at Weaver’s since 1903 and has held part ownership since 1918, says he will remain in Lawrence but retire and sell off his shares to A.B. Weaver. The Weaver family credits Decker for playing a key role in the steady growth of the popular downtown department store.

It is cool and the streets are muddy in Lawrence, but the rain has finally stopped and in a letter to her friend, Mrs. Anna B McGee, Sarah from Lawrence speculates that her plants will probably bloom on the next day.

September 21 1900 Officials at the Lawrence train depot open a freight car after hearing loud noises coming from within. They find two men who had hopped a ride in Denver and became sealed shut in the car. The men are safe, but hungry and grateful for a meal provided by the city.


September 18 1854 The two Emigrant Aid groups join together, adopt a constitution and form a town association that becomes Lawrence. The city is about three square miles. Its streets are named at this time, with thirty-two running north and south named after several states. All streets are eighty feet wide with the exception of Massachusetts Street, which is 100 feet wide.

1882 Bowersock’s New Opera House opens, featuring Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance as its first show.

September 19 1964 The atmosphere in Lawrence is “electric” and “exciting,” which the Lawrence Journal-World attributes to the city hosting two powerhouse football teams: the LHS Chesty Lions who have just won 24 games in a row and, of course, the KU Jayhawks led by the legendary Gale Sayers.



September 22 1942 The Lawrence PTA begins plans for students and teachers to gather scrap metal and other materials for the war effort. The LHS football coach volunteers the muscle power of his players to drag a decorative World War I cannon from South Park to the junk yard for scrapping.

September 23 1953 Lawrence marks the town’s centennial anniversary with two days of celebrations, including parades and historical reenactments.

1968 Thirty-seven students walk out of Lawrence High School with demands including a course in Black History, more black teachers and administrators, and elimination of biased disciplining.



1972 The Lawrence Public Library describes a marvelous new material soon to be available: “Through a unit which attaches to a regular television set, cassette tapes can be inserted and shown on the television screen. The unit also can be used to record anything broadcast on the screen and then played later.” These “television cassettes” are expected to be incredibly affordable, about $25 each compared to the $100 cost of a movie film.

September 24 1912 The Oread High School, begun as a laboratory for KU education students, now has an enrollment as large as the average Kansas high school and boasts its own instructors and athletic teams.

September 25 1854 The first hotel in town, The Astor House, is opened. The building is 50 feet long and 25 feet wide, and about 15 feet high at the center. Its roof is thatched with prairie grass and the sides and ends covered with cotton cloth. Price of board for town association members is $2.50 a week.

1951 Animals who were separated from owners in the June floods continue to make their way home. In response, the Douglas County Humane Society has established coordinators to reunite people and lost pets.

GG eeoorrgg eerr k k l l a a W W Na h ee N s h as



(1873–1911) Born in Lawrence in 1873, George Nash Walker became an internationally famous entertainer and successful, groundbreaking producer of allblack musical productions. He began performing as a child in minstrel and medicine shows, and by the age of 20 he had made his way to San Francisco where he would meet his performing and business partner, Bert Williams. The duo billed themselves as Williams and Walker, and their vaudeville comedy act became popular throughout the West. They performed across the country, and ultimately made their way to New York City where fame, fortune and Broadway awaited. The success of their vaudeville act prompted a craze for the cakewalk, a dance of AfricanAmerican origin, enabled them to record a phonograph as some of the first documented black voices, and led to the creation of their own theater company. The partnership of Walker and Williams generated many successful shows including The Gold Bug, Sons of Ham, In Dahomey and Bandana Land. In 1903, In Dahomey was the first full-length musical completely written and performed by blacks to run on Broadway. The

original music, intricate sets and the connected storyline of this landmark production met with such success that a tour of the United States and Britain, including a performance at Buckingham Palace, extended its run. Walker’s business acumen guided the success of the production company. Black writers, performers and stage workers found creative outlets and well-paying jobs within his productions. Walker worked to increase professionalism in black theater and organize the social and professional support for black entertainers with events and networking opportunities. In addition, his productions sought to expose white audiences to African-American themes and fight against racism and racial stereotypes. Amid his fame and success in 1902, Walker made a visit to his hometown of Lawrence and was welcomed with excitement as the paper proclaimed, “Nash Walker comes in a Blaze of Glory.” His success allowed him to buy a house in Lawrence for his mother on the 400 block of Indiana Street in 1904. His death just a few years later in 1911 would bring a racially diverse overflow crowd of mourners to the Ninth Street Baptist Church.


A third Emigrant Aid Company party of 160 people arrives in Lawrence.

September 27 1942 Five Woodlawn school students gather and donate five tons of scrap metal for the war effort.

September 28 1862 A dedication service is held for Freedman’s Church of Lawrence, a congregation of mostly former enslaved citizens of Lawrence. Rev. J. W. Fox preached from the text: “They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat.”

Images (p. 68-69, from left): Old North College building of “State University” (KU) in 1867, photographed by Alexander Gardner, courtesy Library of Congress; Lawrence students gather scrap metal, circa fall 1942, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; postcard of Lawrence Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe train depot circa early 1900s, courtesy Watkins Museum of History; illustration of George Nash Walker by Lana Grove.


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Three Returns of

Langston Hughes

September 28

September 30



When Lawrence’s connection to Langston Hughes (1902–1967) is mentioned, it is frequently followed by the remark that though Hughes described how the city shaped his life (both good and bad), the acclaimed writer lived here for only a few years, 1909–1914, and never by choice. Hughes did, however, choose to visit Lawrence on at least three separate occasions, each time as an honored guest. Here are excerpts from coverage of each of those appearances.

Lawrence’s drinking fountain for horses at the intersection of 9th and New Hampshire streets is moved to the northwest corner of Robinson Park. The increased use of automobiles has meant the fountain is used more often to cool steaming radiators than to water thirsty horses.

Charles Stearns abandons his claim to land that will become the townsite for the Emigrant Aid Company and of present-day Lawrence.

March 9, 1932 From the March 10 edition of the University Daily Kansan and the event program: Reading poetry in a languorous tone of voice, Langston Hughes, Negro poet, entertained an audience in Fraser theater last night. Mr. Hughes, though young, has made his life making his poetry because of interesting travels but continually facing hardships. Traveling in Europe, going to Africa on a freighter, living in Mexico and always combating the problems which confront one of the prejudiced race are the things which have characterized Hughes’s poetry by joy, sorrow and pathos. Mr. Hughes stopped his narrative long enough to tell how he wrote his poetry. “The first three lines come easily, generally,” he said, “But other times I have to work for all the lines. Of course, I write and tear up more poetry than is ever printed, but my habit is to always write down whatever comes to my mind whenever it comes.” In the second part of his program, Mr. Hughes told of the prejudice against his race found in Africa, Cuba and Haiti. “You can still find forced labor in some of these places,” Mr. Hughes said, “which is really slavery. A certain sum for taxes is demanded of tribes each year and if the tribe can’t pay, men are sent to work it out.” “White Shadows” expresses the poet’s feeling toward such situations. The poem causing the deepest thought and feeling from the audience was “Cross,” the last two lines of which were: “Wonder where I’m going to die, Being neither white nor black.”

October 7, 1958 From the October 8 editions of the Lawrence Journal-World and the University Daily Kansan: Langston Hughes returns to Lawrence to speak to nearly 1,000 students in the Kansas Union ballroom in a public lecture at KU. When asked if he was one of the Beatnicks [sic] supposedly invading Kansas University, Langston Hughes, former Lawrencian, famous poet, playwright and author, laughed and said, “No, not me. I’m way before the Beat Generation and I was writing jazz poetry clear back in the 1920s.” “My first memories are of Lawrence and the schools I went to—Pinckney and old Central. In fact, my first novel, Not Without Laughter, uses Lawrence as its background,” said Hughes. His lecture included readings of his poems, some accompanied by jazz music provided by the Don Conard Quartet, a group of KU jazz musicians, as Hughes kept time to the background music by tapping his foot. April 28, 1965 From the spring 1980 edition of Kansas History, A Journal of the Central Plains and the April 29 edition of the University Daily Kansan : Langston Hughes appeared at the SUA Poetry Hour in the Forum Room of the Kansas Union, in front of an audience of 300. He wove episodes of his life into his poetry readings, including reminiscences about his ambitions as a young boy in Lawrence. “I didn’t think about being a writer ever,” said Hughes. “I thought I might like to be a doctor, you know, or else a streetcar conductor, is what I most wanted to be, because at that time you had a belt line, I think, that went all around town. … That was a sort of a major pleasure ride for me for a nickel in those days. You know, I thought I’d like to drive a streetcar or be a conductor on a streetcar the rest of my life.”

September 29 1879 Augustus Holdman of Dunkirk, Ohio, writes to Kansas Governor John St. John: “I desire to emigrate to the State of Kansas and wish for information as to the best part to go into. … I am a colored man and have a family of four boys growing up.” Holdman’s letter was part of the Exoduster movement, an influx of African-Americans seeking a new life in Kansas that peaked in 1879 and was supported by St. John.

1860 Bishop John B. Miege, formerly Papal envoy to the “Diocese of the Native Americans,” dedicates a small stone parsonage in what is now the 1200 block of Kentucky to serve as the first Catholic church and rectory. The first known Catholic service in Lawrence was held three years earlier, “in the early fall of 1857,” when a priest (recorded as “Magee,” but quite possibly the same Bishop Miege) who was visiting Lecompton was invited into the town to lead a worship service. Learning that a Catholic priest was in the city, a small mob gathered and sent an ultimatum that the priest had to leave by sundown—a demand rejected by Mr. Donnelly who was hosting the priest. That evening, Colonel Babcock— who owned and operated the wooden bridge across the Kaw—aligned himself with Donnelly and rallied other residents to protect and support the small Catholic community.


William Reinisch is awarded “Fireman of the State Award” for his efforts to create firefighter insurance funds and relief associations; he would become Lawrence fire chief in 1901.

Image: Langston Hughes portrait by Gordon Parks courtesy Library of Congress.

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OCTOBER 1, 1918

Student Army Training Corps on KU campus

October I N L AW R E N C E

October 1 1854 The first recorded EuroAmerican Christian worship service and funerals are held in Lawrence. Moses Pomeroy, described by fellow immigrants as “a fine young man, an only son” is buried after succumbing to “an Illinois fever.”

1879 Work crews discovered cartridges, bullets and other remnants of the fort that once crowned Mount Oread.

1918 As Lawrence papers report the German emperor calling on his people to give “their blood and wealth until their last breath in defense of the Fatherland,” KU holds a large induction ceremony for the Student Army Training Corps.

1949 The Social Service League purchases 66 pairs of new shoes and 28 pairs of glasses for impoverished school children.

October 2

October 4



The Lawrence chapter of the American Red Cross is established.

A Lawrence man is taken to court and fined $1 for leaving his motor car standing on the street overnight. It is the first known enforcement of a new rule forbidding “using the streets for a garage.”

1979 An Amtrak passenger train derails at approximately 6:15 a.m. near Fourth and Ohio streets, killing two and injuring dozens. Approximately 125 passengers are taken for treatment to an emergency station at the Lawrence Community Building.

October 3

01 October

1906 Barteldes Seed Co. is sponsoring big cash prizes totaling $25 for vegetables grown from the Lawrence company’s seed packages.


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1866 The Daily Kansas Tribune speculates that grasshoppers seem to like Lawrence. Worse yet, they frequently seem to be “conjugally engaged in making arrangements for an increase of family.”

October 5 1857 A Kansas Territorial election to select new legislators is conducted. The outcome—a victory for Free-State forces—is considered a turning point in Lawrence and Kansas history.

October 6 1854 The city officially adopts the name “Lawrence” to honor Amos A. Lawrence of Boston, a philanthropist and key figure in the Emigrant Aid Company’s settling of the town.

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October 6

October 8



Some citizens are calling for signs reading “Danger—Slow Down” be placed at dangerous traffic points in the city.

Responding to widespread complaints, Lawrence’ mayor says he is ordering a strict enforcement of the law against spitting on sidewalks and in public buildings. Fines range from $1-$10.

1921 The Lawrence branch of the NAACP is granted a national charter.

October 7 1966 Centron Corporation, a Lawrence-based documentary film company, wins “outstanding geography classroom film” at Columbus Film Festival.

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1966 Saying it does not want to cut into game attendance, Shawnee Mission East High School imposes a 2-hour embargo on radio coverage of its home football game with Lawrence High. In response, the Journal-World sets up a special news hotline to pass on the latest score at the end of each quarter. Chesty Lion fans can call VI-3-1000 to break the embargo.

October 9 1971 A huge blue egg rolls to the 50-yard line during halftime at KU’s homecoming game. Out pops a strange creature, later known as “Baby Jay.” The hatching, witnessed by thousands of spectators, was the brainchild of KU sophomore Amy Hurst, who had worked all summer on the costume’s original 25-pound fiberglass frame.

October 10 1916 Lawrence authorizes purchase of a 500-gallon pumper, which becomes the first motorized truck for the Fire Department at a cost of $6,400.

Images (p. 72, clockwise from top) KU Student Army Training Corps Ceremony, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; Amos A. Lawrence, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; postcard for Barteldes Seed Co., courtesy Watkins Museum of History. Image (p. 73) Baby Jay, running strong more than 45 years after her birth, Lawrence Magazine.

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1927 KU dedicates a new auditorium that will later be named Hoch Memorial Auditorium.



October 15

October 11


1929 Lawrence dedicates a 10-foot, 23-ton red granite boulder as a monument to the city’s pioneers at a place of honor in Robinson Park. Known as the Shunganunga boulder and believed to have been sacred to the Kanza, the rock was—in effect—stolen away from its resting spot near Topeka before plans could be realized to place it in the Kansas capital and without consulting the Kanza nation.

October 12 1866 A man who bragged about having been a Confederate rebel is knocked down and nearly set upon by a crowd before being pulled away from harm. He is knocked down again, however, when he starts a fight with his rescuer.

1929 The 67-acre Lawrence Municipal airport is dedicated with some 6,000 people attending the opening air show with military formations and aerial acrobatics.

October 13 1987 It is learned that fire has destroyed the main building of the WW II prisoner of war camp. Constructed in 1945, the building had served as a barracks for German POWs brought to Lawrence to help with the potato harvest and other work. At its peak, the camp had held about 125 prisoners.

October 14 1897 Haskell beats KU 6-0 in a football game at Bismarck Grove with 5,000 in attendance.


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Em r Em iliylyT ay ylloor Ta

Sweat baths are now available— and not just from the Kansas heat—as J.H. Smith has opened a Turkish bath house at 908 Massachusetts Street.

October 16



Dr. Emily Taylor made local news in the 1970s when she broke the sex barrier at the Lawrence Chamber Annual Mixer by marching in—uninvited—to attend the event with a group of women. The band struck up “When the Saints Go Marching In” as they strode into the room, and by the next day, the board voted to allow women at the mixer from then on. Taylor was already a well-known advocate for women. In her role as Kansas University’s dean of women from 1956 to 1975, she led the way for greater autonomy for female students and helped open doors for women in academic and other professional careers. Born in 1915, Taylor grew up on a cotton and pecan plantation in Alabama. She graduated with a PhD in education from Indiana University and held teaching and administrative positions in Montana, Ohio and Indiana before accepting the post of dean of women at the University of Kansas in 1956. During her tenure at KU, Taylor founded the Women’s Resource and Career Planning Center, now the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity. She was involved in programs for minorities and the establishment of fine arts and co-ed dorms; she founded the first university commission on the status of women in the U.S., and for four years she produced and moderated a radio show called “A Feminist Perspective.” Her reach went nation-wide when she went to Washington, D.C. in 1975 to become the director of the Office of Women in Higher Education for the American Council on Education. The program she developed to identify women for high-level administrative positions at universities successfully placed hundreds of women in leadership spots throughout the country. Known as a brilliant leader and outstanding mentor, Taylor returned to Lawrence after retirement where her considerable skills benefited the community. She continued to travel, lecture and consult on women’s issues, but she also became involved in the Kansas LIFE project through which she founded the Lawrence Caring Communities Council on end-of-life issues.

Death of Edward S. Harvey, the Lawrence native and U.S. congressional staffer was the first black student to play football for KU.

October 17 1866 Lawrence hosts the Kansas Convention of Colored Citizens whose delegates endorse a broad platform focusing on removing white supremacist language from the state constitution, guaranteeing “absolute legal equality” and the inalienable right to vote.

October 18 1954 The first issue of the Kansas Pioneer, the first newspaper published in Douglas County, is released. It was printed in Medina, Ohio, because presses in Kansas City and Leavenworth refused to associate with editor John Speer’s abolitionist views.

October 19 1891 KU’s athletic board selects crimson as the official color for the football team. This was also Harvard’s color and it was somewhat selected because of claims that KU was “the Harvard of the West.”

1922 Lawrence city offices, including offices of the Lawrence Fire Department, erupt in flames. The fire started in the coal bin and caused a total loss of $7,500, plus embarrassment.


17 October

1902 Dyche Museum is dedicated; the natural history museum is named in honor of Lewis Lindsay Dyche—a professor, zoologist, explorer and sometimes harpoonist. The museum eventually becomes the KU Natural History Museum.

October 20 1916 Savannah Madrid, a Haskell student stationed with the First Kansas Regiment and training in Texas, has written to Haskell to tell about his daily life as a soldier, including the news that his regiment has adopted a young fawn as their mascot. They call him “Kansas,” but the fawn also answers to “Buddy” and eats everything from grass, hardtack, coffee grounds and onions.

2016 City of Lawrence observes Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time as “an annually recurring event in the city.”

October 21 1942 Lawrence’s War Industries and Manpower committee plans to open two childcare centers for 60 children so that women can fill warindustry jobs. Urgent vacancies exist for women with training in chemistry.

Images (p. 74-75, from left) Pioneer Rock dedication ceremony, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; illustration of Emily Taylor by Lana Grove; Lewis Lindsay Dyche, posing with Arctic clothing, gear and harpoon, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

22 1907

A schedule change on the Santa Fe line means that diners will now stop at the Emporia Harvey House for dinner instead of stopping in Topeka as it once did. Emporia is apparently “tickled to death” by the change, but then again, notes the Lawrence DailyWorld, “it doesn’t take much to make Emporia get ‘tickled to death.’”





October 23

October 27



The Free State Constitutional Convention is held in Topeka and elects Charles Robinson of Lawrence as governor, setting him on a collision course with federal authorities.

One of the year’s last buffalohunting excursion trains passes through Lawrence on its way to Hays. Organizers of the four-day, $8-ticket trip boast that “ample time will be given on the plains for slaying ye noble bison.”

October 24 1981 Lawrence school district lunch sales fall by 5 percent after a cost increase. This decline is less than the national 15-30 percent decrease after the first round of Reagan-era federal spending cuts.

October 25 2007 Lawrence Humane Society holds an open house for its renovated facilities with 7 new adult dog runs and a new room just for kittens.

1892 McCook Field opens for the KU football team to beat the University of Illinois squad 26–4. The field no longer exists.

October 26 1996 The Spencer Museum of Art opens an exhibition of work and collaborations by William S. Burroughs as part of a series of cultural events honoring the famed Beat writer who has made Lawrence his home since 1981. The festival culminates in a Lied Center event billed as “The Nova Convention Revisited” on November 26. It is the first time that organizations in Lawrence sponsored a wide-scale, public event to recognize Burroughs.


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October 28 1986 The Committee to Elect a True Amphibian is mounting a popular write-in campaign for their candidate, Agnes T. Frog, for county commissioner, to highlight environmental issues related to the proposed southern Lawrence bypass. KU zoologist Joe Collins says that the environmental impact statement had ignored the wetlands, that Agnes should fit right in with other “slippery” politicians, and that he was hoping for a good rain on Election Day to bring all of Agnes’ relatives out to the polls.

October 29 1921 Memorial Stadium hosts first football game. KU beats Kansas State 21–7, and then defeats Missouri 15–9 in its next home game.

1989 A strong ammonia smell from Farmland Industries, described by one resident as being “like a thousand wet diapers,” is plaguing east Lawrence. Several residents say this is a recurring problem.

October 30 1926 The Haskell football stadium opens and the entry arch is dedicated as the first tribal World War I memorial. Senator Charles Curtis, a member of the Kaw nation who would become the vicepresident of the United States in 1929, formally presents the stadium on behalf of the Native elders whose donations made its construction possible. Dances, a football game and a bison barbecue feed were also held. The events were opened the previous day with a parade of Native riders and dancers in full regalia, Haskell students and dignitaries. At the time, this parade down Massachusetts Street was believed to have been the largest such event in the city’s history.

OCTOBER 31 1977

Quarter-midget racing is becoming popular in Lawrence. The miniature race cars can cost as little as $200 and compete at speeds of 15-45 mph. Races are held for drivers 5-15 years of age.

Images (clockwise, from upper left): KU and K-State football game at new Memorial Stadium, courtesy Kansas State Historical Museum; dancers in Native regalia for Haskell Stadium Arch dedication ceremony, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; illustration of William S. Burroughs by Jason Barr for Lawrence Magazine.

NOVEMBER 6, 1896

Editorial cartoon against Populist Party.

November I N L AW R E N C E

03 November

November 1 1867 Running over a temporary bridge, the locomotive Ottawa makes the first rail crossing to the south side of the Kansas river.

1888 The Central Committee of Associated Charities of Lawrence meets; this is the predecessor to the Social Services League organization and would become a combined effort of 25 local charities, including the Congregational Church, Presbyterian Church, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the Masons, the Grand Army of the Republic, the Knights of Honor and the City Council.



1911 William Jennings Bryan appears at Lawrence’s Fraternal Aid Hall and is greeted by one of the largest crowds in city history to date.

1929 Lawrence police hand regional authorities a man suspected of passing fraudulent checks. He was first noticed by a clerk at the Royal Shoe Store at 837-839 Massachusetts St. for presenting a check with the home address 521 New Hampshire St. The fraudster, it was learned, was from Topeka and evidently did not realize that there is no 500 block of New Hampshire Street.

1970 CBS’s 60 Minutes televises a report on the Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers, a duespaying Lawrence union of individuals who regularly pick wild Kansas hemp or cultivated marijuana.

November 2 1880 Kansas passes a prohibition amendment to the state constitution. In Douglas County the vote is 2,711 for and 1,602 against.

November 4 1913 Susan and Lathrop Bullene celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary. The couple came to Lawrence in 1857 and opened a mercantile business that survived Quantrill’s Raid and at least two fires. In 1885, they sold their business to an employee who had also become their son-in-law, Arthur D. Weaver. He operated the business as Weaver’s, the name it continues to use into the present, having survived the Great Depression, the shopping mall boom and internet retail competition. Images (from top): 1896 Puck magazine illustration lambasting People’s Party (also known as Populist Party), public domain; early map of 1850s Lawrence by Wheeler Holland, public domain; the Bullene family with grandchildren, circa 1885-1895, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.


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November 4

November 8

November 11




The University Senate condemns “profane or vulgar language” in student chants and yells.

Two different Veterans Day parades in Lawrence reflect a nation divided by the Vietnam War. A traditional parade with a military honor guard and cars with American flags and hand-painted signs reading “Up With Apple Pie” are first to go down Massachusetts Street. They are followed by a group of more than 200 people calling for an end to the war in Vietnam.

1986 By a vote of 489,646 to 325,505, Kansans approve a constitutional amendment allowing liquor by the drink sales to begin on January 1, 1987.

November 12 1890



1986 Legendary punk group Sonic Youth plays at The Outhouse, a powerhouse music shack east of the city.

November 6 1896 The Republican Party stronghold of Lawrence is miffed that state election results brought a resounding victory for the Populist Party. The Lawrence Daily World compares Kansas politics to someone holding “an elegant cup of coffee with a fly in it.”

November 7 1974


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Well-known local entrepreneur Leo Beuerman, 72, passes away. Beuerman had been a familiar sight in Lawrence, selling pencils from his ground-level perambulator which gave him additional mobility in spite of his disabilities. He had commuted from his home on a farm about eight miles from Lawrence each day on a tractor, built to be operated solely with his hands, but he had given up his business late in 1969 when his failing eyesight had made it impossible to drive into town.

Agnes T. Frog dies. The rogue political writein candidate of the 1986 Douglas County Commissioner’s race became the amphibian face of resistance to plans calling for the construction of a byway through the Haskell Wetlands. Her death came days after the highway was completed and was announced by Stevi X Stevens, a member of Committee to Elect a True Amphibian, which had backed Agnes and supported her opposition to the highway for three decades.

November 9

Hooray! KU football plays its first intercollegiate game. Boo! KU loses to Baker, 22–9.

1961 About 100 people attend the dedication and consecration of the new Jewish Community Center at 917 Highland Dr.

November 13 1869 Responding to a fire on Massachusetts Street, fireman George Leyton climbs up to the roof with a hose, misses his footing and falls 25-30 feet to the ground, breaking both legs. He receives no compensation and is asked to resign for being unfit to work.


1909 A poor harvest of staple fruits has led to large quantities of grapes being shipped to Lawrence. At first, Lawrencians were eating Michigan grapes; now New York grapes are arriving by trains.

November 10 1999 Construction workers tear down the south addition of Plymouth Congregational Church—one of the city’s oldest—to begin construction of a new addition.


Production and maintenance workers go on strike at the Cooperative Farm Chemical Association nitrogen plant. The walkout follows a two-month old wage dispute.

November 15 1886 Residents near Bismarck and North Lawrence hear loud howling of wolves late into the night. Judging by the noise, people think that there are at least a dozen wolves in the area.


A Naturalist’s Timeline of Lawrence and Douglas County 250–350 million years ago Limestone bedrock forms at the bottom of an ocean covering Douglas County. Shales begin forming as the sea shallows. Sandstones develop around beaches and riverbanks. Coal veins develop as the waters recede. 700,000 years ago Glaciers reach the Kaw River, pushing it into the Wakarusa River valley, which then widens from the huge volume of water released from a giant lake to the west that is created by the glacial ice dam. These glaciers also carry 2-billionyear-old quartzite rocks from South Dakota and Minnesota. These rocks can still be found littered across the northern half of the county.

The Lawrence Fire Department gets a second station. The new station has one pumper assigned immediately with a crew of three men.

2005 The Saint Luke African Methodist Episcopal church receives certification for the National Register of Historic Places. The AME church was founded in 1862. The present building, dedicated in 1910, was recalled by Langston Hughes who attended it as a youth and said the rhythms of the church’s sermons and songs influenced his poetry.

1886 The original Snow Hall, KU’s new natural history building, is dedicated. Dissatisfied with the structural integrity of the building, officials would begin dismantling it in 1930.

12,000-18,000 years ago Giant dust storms deposit about a meter of windblown soil.

November 17

1850 A.D. Euro-American settlers arrive to a region that is about 83% prairie and 17% woodlands. 2017 Less than 0.5% of the county remains as native prairie remnants and 3–4% of county remains as native woodlands. —Compiled by Ken Lassman, author of Wild Douglas County and owner of that posts weekly updates of natural cycles and regional ecology.

November 21



Lawrence High School football defeats Derby 20-0 in the state championship game. The win gives LHS football 27 state titles in its history.

Charles Dow, a Free-Stater who came to Lawrence from Ohio, is killed in his cabin near Lawrence by pro-slavery men. The incident sets off a series of attacks known as the Wakarusa War.

November 20 1901 Billy Moys and Billy Rankin take the day off to hunt and manage to tree a squirrel. After using all their ammunition on it, they decide to have Moys climb the tree and bring the squirrel down. That’s when Moys discovers the squirrel had been dead for days. Moys and Rankin dispute the particulars of this account, but the Lawrence Daily World implies there were witnesses.

1916 The Lawrence commission approves contract fees, right-of-way laws, and access to the Kansas River bridge, opening up the possibility for an electric train line between Lawrence and Kansas City.

November 16

18,000 years ago During the peak of the last ice age, Douglas County resembles what is now the boreal forests of Canada, full of evergreen and hardwood trees.

6,000 years ago The region has more or less transitioned to a mosaic of tallgrass prairie and woodlands of oak and hickory trees.

November 19

1908 Lawrence’s population has grown by nearly 1,000 over one year—from 19,195 to 20,120 according to a private-company listing of all residents and businesses.

November 18 1911 A coffee urn explodes at a popular downtown Lawrence restaurant, blowing out the front and back rooms. The incident occurs at 4 a.m. and as people learn of it there are the inevitable jokes about “strong coffee.”




20 1983 The made-fortelevision movie The Day After airs. The story, much of which was filmed in Lawrence with several residents playing the roles of extras, follows the fate of families after a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. It contains the lines of a character broadcasting on a shortwave radio trying to establish contact with other survivors: “This is Lawrence. This is Lawrence, Kansas. Is there anybody there? Anybody at all?”

November 22 1838 Ezekiel Andrus Colman marries Mary Jane Wendell in Salem, Massachusetts. The abolitionist couple would join the fourth Emigrant Aid Company group to Lawrence and would settle a farm outside the city that contained a secret room to hide people escaping enslavement.

1995 Former Lawrence residents Chuck Meade and Shaw Wilson have found huge musical success in Nashville with their country music band BR5-49. Meade says his goal is to hear BR5-49 songs played on AM radio “between the hog futures and the trading post.” Images: ( from left) Sonic Youth in concert, 2005, public domain; costume for Agnes T. Frog, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; Lawrence film production for scene from The Day After, courtesy Watkins Museum of History and Lawrence Peace & Justice Coalition; portraits of Mary Jane Wendell and Ezekiel Andrus Colman, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.


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November 23

1879 Lawrence businessmen organize the Western National Fair Association. It is the basis for fairs at Bismarck Grove over the next several years. A Bismarck fair in 1880 attracts 5,000 to 10,000 people on the first day with crowds swelling to 25,000 on the second day and 30,000 on the third.

1879 The city’s plan to demolish old sidewalks and require owners to fix sidewalks if they do not want to walk in the mud meets objections from at least one citizen who writes to the Lawrence Daily Journal that no provisions are made for tenants: “How is the tenant to escape ‘walking in the mud’ unless he either fixes it himself (a very improbable case) or removes to some more favored locality?”

November 24 1885 The first display of electric lights goes up in Lawrence’s business district.

November 25 1881 A full moon is coming and that is good news, says the Kansas Daily Tribune, particularly for anyone who needs to head out at night and walk on “some of our horrid side walks.”

November 26 1935 Some 200 black CCC workers are at Lone Star and ready to begin work creating Lone Star Lake. The workers are Company 707 of the CCC and have recently completed a lake project in Reading, Kansas.

1864 The first locomotive arrives in Lawrence.


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Lu L cu (1833–1910)

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r ycyHH s Taylo obb

A pioneer for women when professional options were few or nonexistent, Lucy Hobbs Taylor was the first woman in the United States to obtain a doctorate in dentistry in 1866. She practiced dentistry in Iowa and Chicago before moving her practice to Lawrence. Hobbs Taylor, who was one of ten children, was born in New York in 1833. She followed the traditional route available to single women at the time and taught school for ten years in Michigan. Nonetheless, her enduring interest was to pursue a profession in the medical field. In 1859, she attempted to enroll in medical school in Cincinnati, and though she was turned away because she was a female, her determination led her into private study with a recent graduate of the school and later, to an apprenticeship at the Cincinnati dental office of Dr. Samuel Wardle. Hobbs Taylor opened her private dental practice in 1861 at the age of 28. After moving her practice to Iowa in 1862, she garnered enough trust and respect from patients and colleagues that she was admitted to the Iowa State Dental Society and served as a delegate to the American Dental Association Convention. Her accomplishments propelled another attempt at a professional advanced degree, and in 1866, after being admitted as a senior on the basis of her prior experience, Hobbs Taylor earned her doctorate in dental

surgery from the Ohio College of Dentistry. Hobbs Taylor married James M. Taylor in 1867. From her, he learned dentistry, and together they moved west to the nascent town of Lawrence and began to see patients. They built a combination office and residence at 809 Vermont and established a large and successful practice. Their work often focused on women and children, and the highly respected Hobbs Taylor became known to many as Dr. Lucy. Hobbs Taylor retired for several years after her husband’s death in 1886 and concentrated on causes such as women’s rights and suffrage, as well as charitable works. In 1895 at the age of 62, Hobbs Taylor reopened her practice and saw patients until her death in 1910. After her passing, the Lawrence Daily Journal described her as a “striking figure” in town who “occupied a position of honor and ability.” Although Hobbs Taylor credited opportunity for success to living in “the West,” her determination and intrepid spirit opened the door for women who sought degrees and careers in the medical field. Today, the Lucy Hobbs Taylor award is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the American Association of Women Dentists.

The first fatal car accident occurs in Lawrence as a high school senior skids on a bridge and his car tears away protecting rails before overturning and falling twenty feet.

November 27 1907 The Missouri Valley Knights Templar association holds a regional gathering in Lawrence for the black Knights Templar societies in the Missouri valley region.

November 28 1967 By a margin of 544 votes, Lawrence agrees to issue bonds for a new municipal swimming pool that would be racially integrated.

November 29 1854 The first Congressional delegate election is held in Kansas Territory. Fearing the loss of Free State support, the Lawrence town association forbids any member to leave town before the election on pain of forfeiting their interest in the town.

November 30 1854 The first recorded murder in Kansas territory occurs. Free-Stater Lucius Kibbee kills Henry Davis in selfdefense after Kibbee confronts Davis and other pro-slavery men who had set fire to a small building.

1855 Word reaches Lawrence of proslavery forces at Franklin and along the Wakarusa River. Both sides prepare for battle.

1918 Training ends for KU’s Student Army Training Corps, Section B. The students began their month-long session as World War I continued, and ended it one week after the Armistice.

DECEMBER 6, 1882

L. Frank Baum, years after he performed in Lawrence


The Carnegie Association for the Lawrence Library, Inc. is founded to provide funds to support the mission of the Lawrence Public Library. In 1977, the group becomes Friends of the Lawrence Library.

December 6


1855 Abolitionist settler Thomas Barber is shot by a group of pro-slavery men southwest of Lawrence. Barber becomes a Free-State martyr and is eulogized in John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “The Burial of Barber.”



December 1 1912 Three boys on a hike from Santa Cruz, California, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, pass through Lawrence. They have been walking for 68 days as a marketing promotion for the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce.

December 2 1859 Lawrence residents gather to honor John Brown on the day of his execution and to “testify against the iniquitous slave power that rules this nation.”

December 3 1913 Lawrence police begin enforcing “a war on loafing” to prevent boys from skipping classes and smoking.

December 4 1884 Thaddeus Fisk arrives in Lawrence for his first shave in 24 years. The 73-year-old county resident had vowed in 1860 that he would not shave until a Democrat was elected as president, a wish that has come true with the election of Grover Cleveland.

1920 Lawrence Memorial Hospital opens in a house in the 200 block of Maine St.

1950 Lawrence witnesses a new type of basketball game, “the Kansas Keep” introduced by KU coach Phog Allen in the season opener win against Creighton. Instead of having the Jayhawks shoot every free throw as is the custom, Allen instructed his players to take the ball out of bounds on single shots and do the same for the second shot in the case of double free throws. Coach Allen, who says current rules favor the team that fouls, is trying to get the foul rules changed. The crowd, however, seemed baffled by the approach and noticed only that it slowed down the pace.

L. Frank Baum, who would author the Wizard of Oz books, finishes the second of two Liberty Hall stage performances of his play The Maid of Arran.

1888 The city library is selling year-long library cards for $1.

1915 Mayor W. J. Francisco’s office says police officers will rigidly enforce an anti-spitting ordinance in the interest of public health and common decency.

December 7 1855 Wearing broadswords and pulling a wagon loaded with rifles and other weapons, John Brown and his sons walk into Lawrence to create a militia known as the “Liberty Guards” for the city’s defense against amassing proslavery forces. The Browns leave on December 12 after a temporary truce is negotiated. Image: Portrait of L. Frank Baum, courtesy Library of Congress.


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December 7 1941

December 7

Ninth-grade student Valentin Romero is doing homework at his house in Lawrence when his sister, who had heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, comes into his room and tells him, “Brother, we’re in war.” Their older brother had just enlisted in the Navy and the family often would often say in the coming days “the picture doesn’t look good.”

1904 The KU mandolin club performs. The Lawrence Daily World calls the group “the best musical organization set out by the university” and notes that all accompanying “stunts,” including the juggling, is done by students.

December 8 1921




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The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce hosts a football banquet to honor the KU, Haskell and LHS football teams. Photos from this past year’s games will be shown with narration by KU’s former football and new basketball coach Phog Allen.


Quirky Revelations from Lawrence History

For many years, writer and researcher Sarah St. John has shared historic findings through a daily column “On This Day: A Daily Look at Lawrence History.” We asked her to identify five of her favorite quirky revelations about the city’s unchanging character that she has learned from her regular immersion in the city’s past. 5. Lawrence Finds a Way to Share Politics and Sports In the days before television and radio, the Journal-World came up with inventive ways to share telegraph reports immediately with the public. On Election Day, 1910, the Journal-World newspaper office flashed the latest news updates by placing a stereopticon (an early threedimensional image slide projector) from its building and shining news-bulletin slides across the street and onto a twenty-five-foot square canvas on top of Zuttermeister’s building. Important football games, such as the 1911 KansasMissouri match, were relayed to the Journal-World office by Western Union and then “megaphoned” to the crowd on Massachusetts Street, where each play was reproduced on a device invented by C. V. Leigh. As the paper described, “The ball was arranged so that it could be turned and shown by the colors whether it was Kansas’ ball or Missouri’s ball. Every minute that vast crowd kept its eyes on the ball, and how they cheered when it neared the goal line.” 4. Lawrence is Amused by Bright, Adventurous Students Each year, they have come to Haskell or the University of Kansas. They go the wrong way on one-way streets, and they are sometimes too eager for their own good. But you have to admire their enthusiasm; in 1910, Mabel Edith Ransom, from Perry, Oklahoma, rode her pony 350 miles to Lawrence to enroll. “As I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my saddle pony at home, I just decided to bring him along with me,” she told the JournalWorld in September of that year. Among her adventures, she reported staying overnight at farmhouses along the road, eating once at a restaurant, taking a short cut across a 3,500-acre pasture and riding through a herd of 2,000 mules being driven by cavalry troops.

3. Lawrence is Obsessed with Lawncare From sidewalk debates to property rules, we’ve always paid a good deal of attention to issues that affect our lawns and how to care for them. Take, for example, the Gustafsons. In October 1911, the Lawrence JournalWorld reported that the Gustafson family at 942 New Hampshire had the ingenious idea of using their pet rabbit who “worked industriously” at nibbling the grass down to an appropriate height as its cage was moved systematically around the yard. Tragedy struck, however, in 1912 when a “Big Dog was seen loitering about,” and the family pet disappeared. 2. Lawrence Pays a Price for Fashion From today’s “Style Scout” section in the newspaper to numerous historic discussions on the proper time to open up the fall wardrobe, Lawrence, though a practical Midwestern town, has always had one eye on fashion—and the demands it extracts. In March 1911, for example, nine members of the “Aphrodite Society” attempted to create personalized dressmaking forms by covering themselves with plaster of Paris from their shoulders to their knees. While the women stood motionless for the hardening process, it was discovered that “unfortunately the modiste did not use enough sodium chloride with the mixture and it failed to harden in the proper period. Some of the women stood the strain for more than an hour and then two of them promptly fainted.” 1. Lawrence Loves Smart, Cute Animals Even chickens. Particularly chickens. From the Lawrence Journal-World, August 13, 1910: “A chicken is a wise old bird. Perhaps that is the reason the fowls in North Lawrence have learned to meet the motor train on the Union Pacific. Sounds a little odd for chickens to meet the trains, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what happens daily…. What is the answer? Grasshoppers. For several weeks the broad scoop-like fender of the motor train had come into town literally wiggling with grasshoppers…. They are of all varieties and form a delectable repast for the hungry fowls…. The chickens have learned this condition, and apparently are able to distinguish the motor train’s whistle. Depot employees who have watched the gradually developing intelligence of the chickens assert that they begin to loaf around the railroad yards half an hour before train time.”

December 9

December 13

December 17

December 19





A Lawrence constable accidentally fires off his sixshooter as he transfers it from one pocket to another in a pharmacy. The bullet hits the pharmacy stove while its casing strikes a man in the chest as he reads a detective magazine.

Congressman Justin DeWitt Bowersock proposes that veterans should receive halfprice rail fares. The Lawrence Weekly World notes the novel proposition “hardly looks like legislative business,” but nonetheless endorses the idea because “there is no sentiment in the country against the old soldiers.”

The first passenger train arrives in Lawrence.

Corpus Christi Catholic Church solves its mystery of missing Christmas presents. For the past two years, items being donated as Christmas gifts for needy residents have disappeared from the church property, but this year the church installed a secret camera and identified a thief on video. Police detained the individual and say he is suspected in a series of similar crimes.

December 10 1910 Uncle Tom’s Cabin is performed at Bowersock Opera House with cast of fifty people, bloodhounds, ponies, donkeys, and “Eva’s Chariot”

December 11 1916 Electricity goes out across the west side of town, forcing residents to spend an evening in pre-electric times and sending scores of students to the university library which had power from a direct connection to the campus power plant.


Corporation papers for the Chamber of Commerce are certified.

December 11 1910 The managers of the Missouri Valley conference meet to tweak the basketball rules for the coming season. Four— not five—personal fouls will disqualify a player. Charging, rushing, shoulder-blocking and tackling are banned. These new rules conform to the style of game that has been played by KU, but go directly against the style played by Missouri.

1916 Western Union Telegraph notifies Lawrence employees they will receive a Christmas bonus based on their salaries. For messenger boys who have been with the company for one year, this means a huge $25 payment.

December 20 1855 Ice covers the Kansas River Bridge. It will remain there until March.

December 14 1971 After much debate and revisions, the Lawrence city commission unanimously approves a plan to place sidewalks in the Indian Hills neighborhood, but not in the area’s cul de sac sections.

December 15 1900


December 18

The first Belgian hare show is held at the Douglas County Poultry and Pet Stock Association.




20 December 21 1942

The city’s first broadcast radio station, KFKU, goes on air from the KU campus.

The Douglas County Red Cross reports 150 women have volunteered to prepare surgical dressings for soldiers wounded in the war, but that at least 50 more volunteers are required to complete the project on time.

December 16

December 22



Isaac Tichenor Goodnow writes that he will sell his piano and possessions at his home in Rhode Island to gather money and leave for Lawrence in order to help the FreeState cause. Goodnow follows through with his plan, but ends up spearheading settlement of another Free-State city in Kansas, Manhattan.

D.W. McCabe’s famous black opera company opens a two-day performance at Bowersock Opera House.

A presidential election has all sorts of consequences. One Lawrence man bet his girlfriend that Benjamin Harrison would win this November’s ballot—and lost. Now he must buy the woman an oyster meal at Wiedemann’s and watch her eat it as he stands on a chair at the other end of the dining hall. Apparently, says the Lawrence World, the woman has been waiting for the busiest time of year to schedule her meal and her boyfriend’s humiliation. Images (p. 82, from top): Group of unknown musical trio believed to have been taken in Lawrence, circa early 1900s, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; Phog Allen, 1932, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society. Images (p. 83, from top): Group of unknown musicians, believed to have been taken in Lawrence, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society; Red Cross recruiting poster, courtesy Library of Congress.




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December 22

December 25



Lawrence mail carriers are receiving so many Christmas packages that they have devised an ingenious method for sorting them. They have drawn a map of the city streets on the basement floor of the post office and place the packages on the corresponding delivery area to figure out the best combination of loads for sorting and delivery.

A crowd of Lawrencians celebrate Christmas night with a masquerade at the “Palace Rink.” The Lawrence Daily Journal writes the clever costumes made it “difficult for any one to recognize friend or foe.”

December 23 1916 County Attorney J.S. Amick and Solon Emery have the honor of driving the first automobiles across the new Kaw River bridge.

1969 A teenage boy is treated for a bullet wound and released from hospital after being shot by a driver for throwing snowballs at cars near the corner of 10th and Missouri streets.


24 1970


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Police and sheriff’s personnel report hearing a periodic “Ho, Ho, Ho” on the law enforcement radio frequencies beginning at about 10:30 p.m., but nobody pinpoints its source.

n Hughe gsto s an L (1902–1967) Langston Hughes, acclaimed poet, playwright, journalist and author of novels and children’s books spent much of his youth in Lawrence. Many of the experiences he had here while growing up shaped his life and found their way into the poems and stories that gained him worldwide renown. Born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902, Hughes came to Lawrence at an early age. His mother left him in the care of his maternal grandmother in Lawrence, a woman whose first husband had died fighting with John Brown in the raid on Harper’s Ferry. Hughes lived with his grandmother on Alabama Street, attended St. Luke AME church on 9th and New York and was enrolled in Pinkney and Central schools. Some of his early trials with segregation and racism in the local schools and in the community would find their way into his writing. One of those anguishing experiences happened when he was just 8 years old. In 1910, the paper declared a city-wide “Children’s Day” with a free carnival and treats for all Lawrence children. Later it was clarified that black youths were not expected to participate. The hurt and disappointment of this incident were chronicled in his autobiographical novel Not Without Laughter and illustrated in the 1942 poem “Merry-Go-Round.” Hughes lived in Lawrence from 1905 to 1913. He moved to Illinois and Ohio to live with his mother

after his grandmother died, and he later made his way to New York City and Columbia University. It was there that the lively jazz and blues and culture of Harlem molded his creative style. He became known as one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. His writing about everyday African-American life was unique and innovative with a rhythm reminiscent of the beat of the music of the Jazz Age. His first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926. He went on to write sixteen books of poetry, novels, plays, screenplays, short stories and autobiographies. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a longtime columnist for the Chicago Defender. Hughes wrote prolifically about African-American culture and race consciousness at a time when black voices were just beginning to be heard. He was invited to lecture across America and throughout the world, and he was a visiting professor at Atlanta University and the University of Chicago. Lawrence’s newest grade school, Langston Hughes Elementary, was named in honor of the poet and author. In 2004, the Academy of American Poets named Lawrence a national poetry landmark in recognition of Hughes’ childhood home. A few lines of Hughes poetry, “We have tomorrow/ Bright before us/ Like a flame” at the entrance to City Hall pay tribute to this gifted and influential man.

1920 Sheriff J.R. Wood provides his six prisoners with a quality Christmas dinner of baked chicken with dressing, baked sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, bread and butter, rice pudding and coffee.

1945 Valentin Romero, who was a 9th-grade Lawrence school boy doing his homework when he learned of Pearl Harbor, arrives in Le Havre, France, for a Christmas dinner before moving on with the Army’s 78th Division to serve in the Allied occupation force in Berlin.

2008 Little Luke the hedgehog arrives as a Christmas present for an 11-yearold Lawrence resident who had gained national attention with his successful two-year campaign of lobbying city hall to lift a ban on pet hedgehogs.



December 30

December 26

2002 Crowds of guitar-players, kazoo-blowers and placard holders filled the city commission chamber room to protest a proposal by the mayor to ban signs, applause and anything that could be construed as shouting in the council chambers. The proposal had been roundly criticized as unconstitutional and undemocratic. Protestors presented the mayor with a 5-foot high placard saying the mayor was “the best mayor we’ve ever had!” after the proposal was withdrawn.

1913 Capt. James B. Shane dies. The Union war veteran had lost a leg in battle and opened a popular railroad car photography studio on Massachusetts St. that was continued by his daughter and her husband.

1993 Against the backdrop of a major retrospective show, Lawrence painter Robert Sudlow, who helped popularize Kansas landscape scenes for a modern audience, describes his connection to the land: “From the beginning I identified with nature,” says Sudlow. “The landscape freed me and it’s still that way.”



December 27

December 29




Ticket sales open early for the Lawrence appearance of stage legend Fay Templeton, an opera singer and comic performance artist who built on the operatic tradition of “trousers role,” where a woman performs and sings as a male character.

December 28 1966 The worst fire of the century hits downtown Lawrence causing 3 injuries and over $1 million in damages.

1973 Court hearings are held for four men caught up in Kansas Attorney General Vern Miller’s Lawrence drug raid. The head state lawyer had hidden in a car trunk and popped out, jack-in-the-box like, to make arrests.

Lawrence shrugs off a nationwide rise in coffee prices. In one year, a poor coffee bean crop has sent national averages for a pound of coffee from an average of $1.29 to $2.67. A bottomless cup of coffee at some Lawrence restaurants has now risen to a new high of 35 cents. But retailers note coffee is not very popular in Lawrence. Some gourmet shops don’t carry it and an employee at The Merc describes coffee as “a minor item.”


The Lawrence Daily Journal defends its decision to run a personal notice from a local widow that she is considering candidates for remarriage: “Any woman in Douglas County can get married if she wants to do so.” In fact, the paper adds, it received such a flood of letters in response that a second widow has asked if she can review any letters that the first widow chooses not to keep.

Images (from left): Illustration of Langston Hughes by Lana Grove; Fay Templeton, courtesy Library of Congress; Robert N. Sudlow, Winter Fields, 1983, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Museum purchase: Friends of the Art Museum, Lawrence Lithography Workshop Archive; Captain James B. Shane, courtesy Kenneth Spencer Research Libraries, University of Kansas.

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Bibliography The Advertiser (Lawrence, various years and dates); American Indian Sports Heritage, Joseph B. Oxendine, 1995; Annals of Kansas, D.W. Wilder, 1886; Annual Report, State Board of Health, State of Kansas (various years); “Athens of the West: African American Associational Life in Lawrence, Kansas,1861-1948,” Paul Fowler III, 2016; The Big Sea, Langston Hughes, 1940; Bloody Dawn: The Story of the Lawrence Massacre, Thomas Goodrich, 1991; “A Brief Account of The Great Revival in Lawrence, Kansas: A Reenactment of the 1872 Great Revival of Lawrence,” Lawrence and Ottawa Women’s Aglow Fellowship, 1988; A Century of Jayhawk Triumphs, Blair Kerkhoff, 1997; “Cole Bros. Circus Photographs, Historical Sketch,” Indiana Historical Society, 2014; Cows Are Freaky When They Look at You; An Oral History of the Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers; Susan Brosseau, Roger Martin and David Ohle, Watermark Press, 1991; The Daily Gazette (Lawrence, various years and dates); Daily Kansas Tribune, Feb. 28, 1872; The Dam Squawker (Various years and dates); Diary of Andrew H. Reeder, reprinted in the Publications of the Kansas State Historical Quarterly, 1886; “Douglas County Kansas and World War II: The Home Front and Beyond 1941-1945,” Judith Sweets; Embattled Lawrence: Conflict and Community, Barbara L. Watkins and Dennis Domer, University of Kansas Continuing Education, 2001; The Junior (Various years and dates); Haskell Indian Leader (Various years and dates); Highlights of Haskell Institute: A Brief Sketch of the Half Century of Indian Education at Haskell Institute, Lawrence Kansas, William Ames, 1936; “The Histories and Cultural Roles of Black Churches in Lawrence, Kansas,” Dorothy Pennington, 1982/1983; A History of Lawrence, Kansas: From the First Settlement to the Close of the Rebellion, Richard Cordley, 1895; Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, various years and dates); The Jeffersonian Gazette (various dates and years); Kansapedia,; Kansas State Historical Society; Kansas City Star (various years and dates); Kansas City Times (various years and dates); Kansas Daily Tribune (various years and dates); Kansas Baseball: 1858-1941, Mark E. Eberle, 2017; “Kansas Veterans of World War II Oral History Project,” various interviews, Kansas State Historical Society and Watkins Museum of History; Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs, James Grauerholz, editor, 2007; Lawrence Daily Gazette (various years and dates); Lawrence Daily Journal (various years and dates); Lawrence Daily Journal and Evening Tribune (various years and dates); Lawrence Daily World (various years and dates); “Lawrence/Douglas County African-American Oral History Project,” 1977; “Lawrence/Douglas County African-American Oral History Centennial Project,” 2003-2004; Lawrence Fire Department History 1859-1975; Phil Leonard, 1976; Lawrence Gazette (various years and dates); Lawrence Journal (various years and dates); Lawrence Journal Tribune (various years and dates); Lawrence Journal-World (various years and dates); Lawrence, Douglas County Kansas, An Informal History, David Dary, 1982; Lawrence Magazine (various years and dates); Lawrence Public Library staff archive file on history of Lawrence Public Library and Friends of the Lawrence Public Library; “Lawrence, St. John the Evangelist’s Parish,” Father Michael T. Hoffman, 1937; “Memories of Alberta Brown” undated oral history from vertical files of Watkins Museum of History; Lawrence: Survivors of Quantrill’s Raid, Katie Armitage, 2010; No Applause—Just Throw Money: The Book that Made Vaudeville Famous, Trav S.D., 2005; “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Saint Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church, 173-5880-0157,” 2005; One Hundred Years of Lawrence Theaters,Emory Frank Scott, 1979; Peter Westerhouse: The Challenging Journey of a Prussian Immigrant in America, Jay J. Cress III, 2017; Pictorial History of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, David Dary, 1992; Postcard collection, correspondence written on (various dates and writers) Watkins Museum of History; “Proceedings of a Convention of Colored Citizens: Held in the City of Lawrence,” October 17, 1866; Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay, Andrew L. Erdman, 2012; Red and Black, Lawrence High School yearbook (various years); “St. John the Evangelist Lawrence, Kansas; Dedication of the Altar Blessing of the Chair and Ambo” brochure and program event; “Seeking a Home Where He Himself Is Free,” Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 31, Autumn 2008, Katie H. Armitage; “Selected Chronology of Political Protests and Events In Lawrence, 1960–1973,” Clark H. Coan, 2001; Sports Illustrated (January 13, 1964); This Is America? The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas, Rusty L. Monhollon, 2002; Vertical files of Watkins Community Museum (various subjects); Various correspondence records from the digitalized collections of the Kansas State Historical Society; Vertical files and collections of the Kenneth Spencer Research Museum, University of Kansas (various subjects); Voices from Haskell: Indian Students Between Two Worlds 1884–1927, Myriam Vuckovic, 2008; Wonderful Old Lawrence, Elfriede Fischer Rowe, 1971.


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View of the A.C.P.A. Parade on Massachusetts St., 1904; courtesy Watkins Museum of History

Lawrence Almanac | Lawrence Magazine winter 2017  
Lawrence Almanac | Lawrence Magazine winter 2017  

A special history edition of Lawrence Magazine, featuring day-by-day almanac of Lawrence history, our pick for the 12 Greatest Lawrencians a...