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Riley County Ramblings – 100 Years Ago


From the Manhattan Republic

May 10, 1907:


High Game of Golf
    The Manhattan men who play golf are going to have some high old games of golf this summer.  They have laid out links on the top of Bluemont and the range of mountains to the west and will jump and skip and knock about from crag to crag like wild goats or other mountainous creatures.  At these dizzy heights they expect to find the purest ozone and while the balls may strike an occasional cloudlet, it is not thought that many cloudbursts will result however, and those that do come will not be very dangerous.  Of course there is some danger that these golfers will be taken for a part of the same crowd that Rip Van Winkle discovered bowling among the Catskill hills but as there will be no flagons along, visitors will not be put to sleep, that is not to stay.

    The golfers are anxious for an appropriate name for their grounds and are considering everything from the “Heights of Parnassus” to “High Ball Alley.”

Note:  “Bluemont” refers to Bluemont Hill, where today the letters “Manhattan” are displayed and there is located a scenic lookout..  Bluemont was reputedly named by General John C. Fremont.  When Isaac Goodnow arrived in March 1855 to select a town site, he climbed to the top of Bluemont Hill to survey the area.)



May 17, 1907:


His Semi-Centennial
   Jesse White of Riley is spending this day with his sons and celebrating the semi-centennial of his arrival in Manhattan.  Fifty years ago today when he came into town along with his father’s family, there was not much here but a name.  His father, mother and seven children came with team and wagon and were ferried across at the foot of Bluemont by M.J. Gove, Gove’s ferry it was called.

   Pipher’s (sic) were then running a store on Purcell’s corner and Miller where Houghton’s livery now is.  The Whites settled on Mill Creek and multiplied and replenished the land, the family now being very numerous.

    The next winter the elder Mr. White made shingles for the Methodist church and had his choice of ten dollars in gold or a sack of flour for each thousand.  They got their meat that fall from a great buffalo herd that was grazing where Clay Center now stands. 

    Mr. White has seen the ups and downs, the good times and bad, but feels that the fifty years have been well spent and the reward pretty good.

Notes:  M.J. Gove was father of Lew Gove, the Civil War soldier for whom Gove County, Kansas is named.  M.J. Gove and Lew Gove are buried in Manhattan’s Sunset Cemetery.  Purcell’s corner is the south west corner of Third and Poyntz, where E.B. Purcell’s bank and general store were located after 1866.  The Methodist Church was originally located where Seven Dolors Catholic Church is now, at the corner of Juliette and Pierre.  Jesse White was born 10 July 1844.  He was 13 when he came to Kansas.  He died 20 August 1926 and is buried in Grandview/Mill Creek Cemetery.)



May 31, 1907:

    Contractor I. Eversole of the Y.M.C.A. building has completed the work of excavating and is pushing the concrete and stone work of the basement to the utmost.  The soil was unusually hard and compact, which retarded the excavating probably a week, but in a few days the walls will begin to show on a level with the ground.  Mr. Eversole has not, as yet, decided where he will get the heavy ashlar stone for the outside of this basement story above ground. (copied from the Industrialist)

Note:  The Y.M.C.A. building is now the home of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and is located on the northwest corner of Eleventh and Fremont.)