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RILEY COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO

From the Riley Regent
July 11, 1907:

CHALLENGE

    We, the Single Men of Riley, hereby challenge the Married Men of the town to cross bats with us on the Fair Grounds Diamonds next Tuesday, proceeds to go toward procuring suits for team that is to be organized here.  Challenge must be accepted by noon Monday, leaving word at Regent Office.  Choice of officials left to married men, with exception of Physicians, whom we hereby name, Dr. Mackender, H.D., Chief Physician; Dr. Rabert Masterson, Assistant.

 

    (Note:  The Regent reported in the July 18 addition that the married men (Enoch Hassebrock, Tom Brown, Bill Noble, Charley Sargent, John Jacobsen, Lee Noble, Chas. Kaup, Linn Conner, and John Conkright) were trounced by the single men (Nels Noble, Dock Sargent, Fritz Kinninger, Grant Montgomery, Parfin Griffin, Fred Hanson, Pink Myers and Vern Sargent) by a score of 27 to 9.  
    Did the single men play with only eight players?   Eight names were listed in the report.  The umpire was Jim Cross, whose sympathies were said to be with the married men and that he gave them several runs or the score would have been even more lop sided.  The fair grounds mentioned were at Riley, as the town hosted a fair each fall in this period.)

 

From the Manhattan Republic
July 12, 1907:

George Southern Honored.
    George Southern received an appointment Wednesday from Governor Hoch as one of the three members of the new State Board of Embalmers which board was created by an act of the last legislature.  Joseph Johnson of Osawatomie and William Johnson of Hutchinson are the other two members of the board.  This is quite an honor for Manhattan’s undertaker as this new board will have supervision of all the undertakers in the state.

    (Note:  The name of the State Board of Embalmers was changed to Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts in 1985.  George Southern was born in 1866 and arrived in Manhattan about 1886.  He first worked in a carriage trimming business and then opened a kerosene delivery operation, becoming known as “Coal Oil Johnnie.”  In 1894 he closed the coal oil business and opened a new and second hand furniture store, expanding it with D.C. Hulse to include undertaking in 1898 under the name of Southern and Hulse.  In 1903 Fred Wahl bought out Mr. Hulse and the company was known as Southern and Wahl until 1906 when Mr. Wahl took over the furniture line and Mr. Southern continued the Funeral Home, renaming it Southern Funeral Home. 
     George Southern served on the Kansas Board of Embalmers eight years.  He also served as President of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association in 1918.  He was a charter member of the Manhattan Commercial Club and the helped organize the Manhattan Elks.  He served as Riley County Coroner three terms.  He died in November 1927 from complications from choking on a chicken bone.   
    His widow continued operation of the business until 1940 when she sold to Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Courser and the name was changed to Courser Funeral Home.  
    In 1951 the Coursers constructed a new building at 1317 Poyntz.  Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Miller bought the business in 1972 and changed its name to Parkview Funeral Home.  The Parkview Funeral home bought the Conroy Funeral Home (established in 1934) in 1976.  In 1985 Arlene and Dennis Irvin bought Parkview Funeral Home, renaming it Irvin - Parkview.  See www.irvinparkview.com for photos and information about this funeral home and their predecessors.)

  

From the Manhattan Republic
July 19, 1907:

CHAUTAUQUA NOW OPEN.
Thousands of People are Attending Attractions Good.  Tenting Popular.
    The first Manhattan Chautauqua was formally opened Wednesday by the famous Kilties band from Canada.  About five thousand people were in attendance during the afternoon and evening.  The evening concert was by far the better, but it is only just to say that the band was not up to its advance notices and many people were disappointed.  It was worth the money but it did not render Scotch music nor give the vocal programs advertised.  Yesterday the crowd was much smaller but the program was very much better.   Col. Ham’s lecture was a rare treat and the thousand people who heard him did not want him to stop and he did talk over two hours on “Synollygster in Politics.”  It was full of sense, pleasing with nonsense.  The Wilbur Star Concert Co. made good and gave a program both afternoon and evening that pleased the large audiences.
    The programs grow better and better as the season progresses, all the lectures will be very fine.  
    Everything seems to be working smoothly and Rev. Thurston and Mr. W.W. Hutto are to be congratulated on the successful result of their hard work.  Here’s hopin’ that their reward will be commensurate with the energy expended.

    (Note:  The Chautauqua was held July 17 through 26 in Sarber’s grove (in 2007 roughly where Walmart is located.  The Republic July 12 full page advertisement described the Chautauqua as a “Splendid program of oratory, music, magic, chalk talks, moving pictures etc.  Amusement and instruction for old and young alike.  Not a dull moment during the whole ten days.”  Season tickets were $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children, those under 10 were admitted free with accompanying parents.  Single admission was $.25 for the morning, afternoon and evening programs each day.   Participants were encouraged to camp on the grounds and tents were rented for $10, $8, and $6.00.
    The Chautauqua was evidently a success, as they sold about 1,000 season tickets and 6,000 single admissions.  Total attendance was estimated at 30,000 over the ten days.  The event apparently brought more than Chautauqua visitors, because in the July 12 Republic City Marshall Boller warned Manhattan residents to be careful about leaving their homes open during the event as “pickpockets and sneak thieves were apt to gather on such occasions and take advantage”.)