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RILEY COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO


From the Manhattan Nationalist
September 5, 1907: 

BUILDING NOTES
Improvements Observed by Our Special Reporter.
PROGRESS MADE ON RESIDENCES
Y.M.C.A. Building and College Work Going on – Busy Days for Carpenters
     These “field notes” are in every case written on the spot, and without the help of any previous surveyor.  If anyone would prefer to have their house more fully or more correctly written up, this scribe is ready to be held up and informed, so that the next monthly edition can be corrected and revised.
    There are more buildings in progress now than there were one month ago, and any old settler can start out to walk a block or two and be almost sure to come up on a pile of stone or dirt or sand at some unexpected corner where either weeds or corn have grown for several decades.  Not only buildings, but street improvement is going on every hand.

    (Note:  The article goes on to list some of the new improvements: new walks at the college, new pavement on Fremont, Osage, Laramie, Bluemont and Vattier streets “ready for travel, where once were only endless stretches of beautiful gr---mud.  Mud should be strictly confined to hog pens, which are licensed to remain in the city limits for the purpose of purifying the air and spreading typhoid fever germs.  Have we a board of health?”

     New buildings and other new features mentioned in the article follow. (The numbered streets were changed in 1908 so the current street number is given in parenthesis):

 

    House erected on the corner of Vattier and 7th (9th) by Mr. Duncan

    House erected at Kearny near 4th (5th) by G.W. Welch

    2 story, 8 room house, north side of Vattier between 7th (9th) and 8th (10th) by Mr. Gibson

    Barn at Mr. Goome’s at the corner of Vattier and 8th (10th)

    5 room cottage erected between 7th (9th) and 8th (10th) by W.H. Smith “the first on that beautiful block but will probably be followed soon by others.”

    Dial building at the corner of 8th (10th) and Moro “makes one think of the chateau of central western Europe.” (probably 1030 Moro)

    Mr. Cragg’s cottage on Kearny and 10th (12th)

    A new stone wall by the new greenhouses at the college

    New “woman’s building” at the college (now called Calvin Hall)

    Captain Shaffer’s house on Faculty Row (Also known as Park Row, N. 14th Street)

    Prof. Wheeler’s house on Faculty Row (Also known as Park Row, N. 14th Street)

    Hopper residence at Fremont and Manhattan Avenue, built with blue-brown brick and features a slate roof.

    Mr. Justin has excavated south of the park dormitories (Park Dormitories were on 11th Street between Fremont and Osage)

    Springer dwelling on west Leavenworth is finished (probably 1016 Leavenworth)

    Mr. Erickson’s cottage on Osage near 9th (11th) has been plastered

    The Round residence 8th (10th) and Osage is ready for siding.  “It is a gambrel roofed house of the type that is becoming so popular.”

    Mr. French’s house 9th (11th) between Leavenworth and Osage, is “ready for finishing touches.  It is a structure of seven or eight rooms, two stories, with an outside chimney, expressive of decided taste.  Walk around and see it.”

    Dr. Moffit’s large building is being framed (928 Leavenworth)

    Mrs. Hinds of Riley is putting in a first class two-story residence south of Leavenworth and west of 7th (9th) (probably 901 Leavenworth)

    Lawyer Evans is putting in a foundation for a residence on the lots south of Mr. Flemming who built on the corner of Fremont and Juliette. (Fleming house is probably 422 N. Juliette)

    John Akers is building a large two story home on the corner of Fremont and 5th (6th)

    Mr. Slocum is erecting a foundation for a home just east of Mr. Akers.

    Mr. Nicolet is pushing to complete a good residence on Humboldt west of 7th (9th) (probably 909 Humboldt)

    Mr. Findlay is building a large residence on Main Street.  It is a 2 story, 8 roomed building.

    Rev. Mr. Hanum is putting in the foundation for a strictly modern residence on lots north of the new church.  He will be on the corner of Laramie and 8th (10th) (The "new church" would be the United Presbyterian church at 1000 Fremont, currently the Mennonite Church.)

    John Winter’s new house on Bluemont between 5th (6th) and Juliette is being framed

Mr. Jones is beginning erection of a cottage between his two story dwelling and his brick house on Laramie near 4th (5th)

  

From the Manhattan Nationalist
September 19, 1907:

The Lees Like the Seventh

     The seventh cavalry of Fort Riley is furnishing husbands for all the daughters of Mrs. Fitzhugh Lee, widow of the famous general.  Miss Anne Fitzhugh Lee married Lieutenant Lewis Brown, now at Fort Riley.  Miss Ellen Lee, another daughter, married Captain Rhea, an officer of the seventh, but now stationed at Leavenworth.  And now is announced the engagement of Miss Virginia Lee to Lieutenant Montgomery, of Fort Riley, the wedding to occur on September 15th.  Besides these three daughters who have chosen officers of the seventh for husbands the son of Mrs. Lee, Lieut. Fitzhugh Lee, Jr., is also an officer of the regiment.  The Lees must like the seventh.

 

    (Note:  Major General Fitzhugh Lee was a United States and Confederate General.  He graduated from West Point in 1856 and resigned from the U.S. Army in 1861 to serve in the Confederate Army, eventually becoming a Major General.  He was elected Governor of Virginia in 1885 and was Consul General of Cuba 1895 – 1898.  The Spanish American War began during his term of office and he resigned to serve as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army.  In 1899 he was Military Governor of Havana.  Before his death in 1905, he was an early organizer of the Jamestown Exposition, held in 1907 in honor of the 300th anniversary of Jamestown.  
    Fitzhugh Lee also wrote a number of books, including a biography of his Uncle, Robert E. Lee.  I do not believe that Fitzhugh Lee ever served at Ft. Riley but he served under, and with, many who served there and clearly he had a number of family connections to Ft. Riley.  John Carter Montgomery, husband of Virginia Lee, participated in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, winning a bronze medal in the equestrian team event.  He finished ninth in the individual competition and twelfth in individual dressage.  He was also part of the team jumping competition that finished fourth.)