Monday, July 1, 2013

From,a Rich Hill Family Scrap Book

Says-Rich Hill gateway
This early day photo of the east entrance to Rich Hill's famous west park shows a number of men gathered. The occasion date and identity of the men are not known.The man on left might have been the town marshal as (by magnifying glass) a star is pinned on his shirt. The man fifth from left was wearing a type of badge,perhaps from a lodge.Maybe some of our readers can shed light on what this picture is all about. Photo Courtesy Bates County Museum of Pioneer History.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Story from Tom Perry

Exclusive Music Store
In 1887, Mr. John H. Freeborn launched into the musical instrument business in Rich Hill, which was unusual considering this community was composed entirely of day laborers, factory workers, and coal miners. However his guessing paid dividends in a short time and he had about all the business he could handle. Mr. Freeborn's place of business occupied all of the 25 x 100 ft. building where the American Legion Memorial is now situated, and was filled with all kinds of musical instruments, sheet music, etc. It seemed at the time he had used poor judgement in establishing a music store in the town, then but a few years old, but had plenty of customers from the first days opening. He was one of the most progressive men of the town and built for his home a large residence on South Eighth street, where the Mrs. Louis Vodry family lived in the 1950's. Unfortunately Mr. Freeborn dropped dead while alone in his store in the summer of 1889.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Town's response is the real tribute to Ken Kern (Rich Hill Mining Review Feb 15,1990)

(Rich Hill Mining Review Feb 15,1990)
Town's response is the real tribute to Ken Kern
By Randy Bell
One word summed up my reactions Saturday morning when I learned that Ken Kern had died.
How could it be? Just the day before we sat together at a Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting discussing civic plans and upcoming events.
 But,the more I thought about it,how could it have been other wise? Of course Ken Kern was actively involved in community affairs even up to the day of his death.He was involved everyday,day  after day, year after year.
Mayor, Alderman, Chamber of Commerce officer, business leader, Lions Club officer and active member ,civil leader, driving force of the Rural Housing Project,leader in the local Catholic Church, a key person in our town having the new Senior Center. The list could go on and on. There was little in our town that this man's life didn't touch.
 On first impression Kern had a gruff and abrupt manner and I admit that in my first couple of weeks here at the Review I was a bit pit off by those mannerisms. But also in those early days I noticed how often  our paths crossed. If, as a reporter, you were going to cover affairs of our community you were going to ran into Kern. If, as a citizen, you were going to take an active part in civic activities Kern  was also going to be there.I soon decided I needed to  get to know this man better.
I'm glad I did.I soon came to respect him. Respect for his knowledge and keen mind,respect for the devotion and efforts for the betterment of our town and respect for the countless hours he gave to Rich Hill . Very soon I came to see that the gruffness was not very deep and that underneath it was a kind heart and a generous nature. With the respect grew that most treasured item, friendship with Ken and Kathy.
I won't insult the memory of this fine man by making this tribute syrupy sweet. Ken was not a syrupy sweet guy.Many of us came to appreciate his importance in our community, but I doubt that any of us ever told him so.
That probably suited Kern. He was more interested in what we were going to do than say.
He would be much more moved by the work that went into the Catholic Church the last few days than this or any other tribute. Saturday morning word began to spread that we had lost an important person in our town.  There followed a few hours of numbness.
Then the idea grew that the new Catholic Church was not all that far from being completed. The church had been an important element in Ken Kern's life and he had looked forward to the completion of the new building.Saturday afternoon people began to showing to work. Each in their way did what they could to get the church ready for his funeral Wednesday.It speaks well of Ken,it speaks well of them.They tell me it was his heart that failed him and maybe physically that's true. But I think it was his heart that carried him and along the way brought a lot of good to our town.
He will be missed.

1923 Rich Hill Year Book

Link to  the 1923 Rich Hill Year Book

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rich Hill Mining Review (July 28,1966)part2

Part 2
City Pays Off Bond Totaling $40,000
The City of Rich Hill this week paid off $40,000 in Electric light works revenue bonds.These bonds had 10 years to run until time to be retired.This now leaves a balance of $4,000 in electric lights revenue bonds which become due February 1, 1967.
With the payment of the bonds in February 1967,this will leave the electric light works department of the City of Rich Hill free of debt.
The payment of these revenue bonds in advance of the date due shows the efficient way the City Officials handle the business of the city.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rich Hill Mining Review (July 28,1966)

Volume 86 Number 39
Standard Station Robbed of $70.00
Early Sunday afternoon thieves entered the office of the Standard Service Station on Highway 71 and Park avenue and made away with $70.00 from the desk drawer in the office.
Junior Hinton, owner and attendant at the station said he has no idea who thieves might be.He said for a time a car,1965 or 1966 Dodge,bearing a Kansas license, driven by a youth accompanied by another boy and some girls were parked near the station.He said he could not swear they took the money as he didn't see any of them enter the office.About a month ago thieves entered the station and took $323.00 in currency.
It is reported that the car load of young people were run away from Phillips Station across the highway from the Station across the highway from the Standard station by attendant after they were found rummaging through through a filing cabinet in the office. Les Carter,manager of the Phillips station was away at the time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Old Town

This was found in a group of things, supposedly from "old Rich Hill ",north of the present townsite, during the early coal boom. After a new Rich Hill boomed, this area was known as Ovid,then Shobe until its demise. Located in the southeast corner of section 25, New Home township,it sprawled over into northern Osage township,before they both faded away. Basically this area was two miles north of Park Avenue, in the present Rich Hill.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rich Hill History From the Wichita Newspaper Dec.1898

The Wichita Tribune December 24,1898
Killed in a Rich Hill Mill Collapse 
Rich Hill, Mo.Dec 21
A portion of the Rich Hill mill collapsed at 1 o'clock this morning.Homer Kimbrough a transfer man, was caught by timbers and crushed.The building was badly damaged.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Email on Droz and the USS Little Rock

I received this E-mail yesterday from the blog, the guys name is Tim Kavanaugh 

I served with Don Droz on the U.S.S. Little Rock CLG-4 (1967-68) before he went to Viet Nam. I was an enlisted man RD2 and he was an officer but I stood watches in Combat Information Center and on the bridge many times. He was a good officer. I remember him well. Unfortunately I did not know much about him. I left the Little Rock in 1968 and served on two destroyers on the east coast before returning home to Minnesota. I watched a program on a river patrol boat attack in Vietnam in 1969. I looked him up on the Little Rock crew roster, knowing he had been killed in Vietnam. Funny how those memories are so clear more than 40 years later.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From The Butler Weekly Times, Butler, Bates, MO - 1887

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1887
Another Case of Didn’t Know it was Loaded.

   This morning a report was circulated on the streets that Harry, the 17 year old son of Alderman Williamson had been shot. A Herald representative repaired to the residence of Mrs. Sick where the shooting took place, and from Will Burkhart, learned the particulars of the accident.
   “Harry Williamson and myself were staying with Herman Sick in Mrs. Sick’s absence and this morning when we got up, Herman picked up a revolver and was showing Harry what he would do should anybody break in the house and drew the pistol down on him and snapped it. I heard the report and looked around and saw blood running out of a hole in Harry’s head. I went up to him but he seemed like he was dead.”  The ball entered the forehead just over the right eye and lodged in the back of the head, the ball being that of a 42 calibre. The young man’s recovery is impossible, but at this writing, 11:30 he is breathing free.


   At 10 o’clock Saturday night, Dr. Gillett assisted by Drs. Winchell and Higgenbottom, extracted the ball which had lodged in the back of the head. When the bullet was taken out a large quantity of the brain oozed out. From the hour of the fatal shot, Harry was unconscious and so remained until death came to his relief. At 1:15 yesterday morning he quietly passed away
amid the sorrow of his parents and family.
   Herman Sick, the young man who fired by accident, the fatal shot is almost a raving maniac, and refuses to be comforted, even by the family of Mr. Williamson. It is said the boy’s condition is very critical.
                                                    ---Rich Hill Herald

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, Mar. 23, 1887- ---Rich Hill Review.

Shortly after 1 o’clock last Tuesday afternoon a 14-year old colored boy named Ben Wiley was run over by the north bound freight train. Ben, with several other boys, has been in the habit of boarding such trains just as they were pulling out from the city and thus securing a ride sometimes as far as Ovid, returning by the next train south. At other times the boys would jump from the train ere it got fairly started down the grade between here and the smelters. On the fatal occasion Ben was perhaps a little more careless or hazardous than usual and lost his footing. In pitching from the train the unfortunate boy struck upon his forehead, his right leg being thrown across the track by the fall; and the wheels, of course, passed over this, crushing the bone and severing the limb just below the knee. Ben was in intense distress and fear for a few moments after the accident, but the flow of blood from the lacerated member soon brought tranquility to his mind, and by the time the amputation took place he was quite reconciled. Dr. Allen, the railroad company’s physician, was on the train at the time the accident occurred, but got off as soon as the train could be stopped and promptly superintended the necessary arrangements for the surgical operation---ministering to the poor boy’s wants with his usual willingness in such cases.
                                                ---Rich Hill Review.

Thursday, January 24, 2013