Historical Society Gazette
Volume 8, Issue 3
Winter 1999



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Autumn Notes


As summer ends and weather cools, I look forward to the last quarter of the year. The Carroll Mansion will soon be in holiday condition, the Christmas Candlelight Homes Tour is moving along nicely, and Living Museum will once again inform and entertain hundreds of school children.

The Museum has new yews planted in front of the porch, and there are two 1885 Phoenix Foundry benches in the front and back yard. We have developed and catalogued more images from the Everhard Collection of photos, and they had a successful debut at Riverfest. A Wayside

Historical Marker on Fifth Avenue homes is being installed in front of the Museum. I have purchased an old home and moved to Leavenworth, along with my wife Linda and my dog Elsie, both of whom enjoy walks along South Esplanade as much as I do. Seriously, I am very happy with the hard work of my co-workers, Christine and Wanda, and the wonderful support of the volunteers and membership. I am particularly appreciative of the support and encouragement of the Board of Directors of the Leavenworth County Historical Society, my predecessors Brother Robert Holt and Victoria Erbe, and the assistance of local officials on all levels. If you have any suggestions or concerns regarding the Museum, please feel free to contact me.


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Financial Support

The Historical Society has been most fortunate to receive major bequests, donations and grants.

Wilma Hoefener, widow of Raymond K. Hoefener, left a sizable sum to the Historical Society in her will as a memorial to her husband’s parents, Albert E. and Julia Hoefener. Albert Hoefener was a longtime barber who operated a shop at 107 N. 5th St. from the early 1890's until his death in the mid 1930's. The bequest has been invested and serves as a long term financial basis for the acquisition of a separate facility for archival and collection storage.

Dorothy (Mrs. John) Murray donated $5,000.00 to the Museum on August 17. Mrs. Murray received a "Key to the Museum" along with our profound gratitude.

Hallmark approved a grant in support of the Living Museum program in the amount of $3,000.00. Hallmark continues to be a major supporter of the Museum. Many thanks.

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Bench Dedication

On Tuesday, August 10th the culmination of a year’s work resulted in the placement of two historic iron benches on the museum grounds. These benches were manufactured in Leavenworth by the Phoenix Foundry at 782-786 Seneca St. for the Old Soldiers’ Home. They are in wonderful condition with the original lettering cast on the front of the seat "M BURNS PHOENIX IRON WORKS LEAVENWORTH KANS". One bench overlooks Fifth Avenue and the other looks toward the herb garden in the back yard. They date from about 1885.

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Dorothy I. Murray, longtime member and benefactress of the Historical Society, passed away on October 26th at the home of her son, Richard L. Murray. She was the widow of John H. Murray, longtime Leavenworth attorney. In addition to her work with the Historical Society, Mrs. Murray was active in Republican Party political organizations, the First Presbyterian Church, the Philomathean Club, the Carnegie Arts Center, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Order of Eastern Star. The Society extends its condolences to her friends and family.

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Vintage Homes Tour Tickets Available


Tickets are now available for the Vintage Home Tour, on Sunday, Decembe 12, 1999. Tickets are $10.00 each (or $10.50 each if mailed). There are 8 Vintage Homes plus the Carroll Mansion on this year’s tour.

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Window to the Past

from the Leavenworth Times, February 26th, 1886

"The elegant reception given last evening by Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Scott at their handsome residence on Fifth Avenue was the most brilliant affair of the season and a brief description, such as the present article necessitated, will fall far short of doing it justice.

"Outside, the walks and verandas were carpeted and illuminated with gas, while inside the house was a blaze of light, flowers, perfume, music and everything else that is beautiful.

"Floral decorations were in profusion and in most artistic arrangement, while every guest was presented with a lovely bouquet-for corsage or buttonhole-of cut flowers. The lower rooms were given up to dancing, accommodating seven sets.

"The supper rooms, three or four in number, were in the second story, and the tables were covered with embroidered linen and set with rare china, handsome silver and choice crystal and were also decorated with fruits and flowers.

"The menu was most elaborate, being served in courses by a corps of trained waiters in full dress, white gloves and buttonhole bouquets. A tea room for the ladies was also an attractive feature, while the gentlemen enjoyed cards and other luxuries in another apartment. In fact nothing was lacking that could in the least add to the enjoyment of the numerous guests. The gentlemen were in elaborate evening costumes, with a few bright army uniforms enlivening the scene. The ladies were in ravishing toilettes, the following being a brief description of them:

"Mrs. Isabel Farrell, cream surah and red satin, garniture of lace and red roses.

"Mrs. J. C. Graham, white satin and moire embossed in colors, ostrich trimming, point lace and diamonds.

"Mrs. Lucien Scott, lavender satin with overdress of black guipure lace and diamonds.

"Mrs. D. R. Anthony, white silk flounced with black Spanish lace, corsage, bouquet of white flowers and diamonds."

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Book Review by Mark H. Bureman

Kansas Central Narrow Gauge--Slim Rails Across the Midlands by I. E. Quastler

Although Leavenworth was served by seven different railroads by the end of the 1800's, perhaps the most unusual was the Kansas Central Railway. Founded in 1871 the new line was designed to run from Leavenworth to the Colorado border, where the line would join one built by Colorado investors. The main proponents for the new rail line were Leonard T. Smith, owner of the Planters’ House, and Lucien Scott, president of the First National Bank, and later owner of the present Carroll Mansion. They became president and vice-president of the Kansas Central Railroad, respectively.

During the 1870's there was considerable support for narrow gauge rails, which were three feet apart, rather than the four feet eight inches of standard gauge rails. Narrow gauge lines were thought to be cheaper to construct and operate, and hence offer greater profits to stockholders. Even with the Leavenworth County Commission and the voters granting $150,000 in support of the new railway, the project moved forward much slower than planned. Instead of completing the line across the state in 30 months, the Kansas Central only reached to Holton by August 1872. By then a nationwide depression made westward construction nearly impossible. By 1877, new construction reached 28 miles west of Holton to Onaga. Despite strikes by unpaid track workmen and lawsuits, by 1882 the railroad reached Miltonvale, 169 miles from Leavenworth. Jay Gould, railroad magnate, had bought a controlling interest in the Kansas Central, which was in direct competition with his Union Pacific. No more Kansas Central track would be built. In 1890 the narrow rails were widened to standard gauge, but traffic continued a permanent decline. The last segments of the old Kansas Central line were abandoned in 1974.

Mr. Quastler’s book is an interesting telling of how railroad planning, financing, and construction occurred in the last century. There were many people involved and the numerous machinations described are most enlightening. The book is wonderfully illustrated, particularly of engines, and regional town scenes. The book will be available at the Museum gift shop by November 1.

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Grounds and Gardens

A thank you coffee was held at the museum on October 20th. The work of these dedicated Master Gardeners made a significant contribution to the appearance of the museum.

All the trees around the museum have been thinned, pruned and trimmed. Thanks to the city we have new one hour parking signs on 5th Avenue. The front door of the museum has been stripped and refinished.

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Collections News

Cataloguing, accessioning, and deaccessioning have continued all year. Much progress has been made. We have received a $2,000 grant from Hallmark to purchase the Past Perfect museum software and will be doing all cataloguing and accessions work on a database soon. This grant will also enable us to purchase a new digital camera for the imaging of our collections.

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Quilt Fundraiser


The "Sewing on the Line Quilt Guild" recently made and donated a quilt to the Historical Society. The quilt is a double Irish chain quilt in pink, brown, and turquoise tones, measuring 83 inches by 102 inches. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. It is currently on display in the museum parlor. The drawing will be held after the Herb Market fundraiser on May 6, 2000. Please stop by and purchase an opportunity to win this lovely quilt today!

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From The Old Newspapers

An anti-chewing gum association has been formed among some of our young men, by the constitution and bylaws of which no member is permitted to go with a young lady that chews gum. The penalty for each violation is one dollar. There are ten members. The secretary's report at the first meeting after its organization, showed for fines collected for violations, ten dollars. The association starts off well.

Leavenworth Daily Chronicle  July 27, 1884

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By Edgar A. Guest

You may boast of the maiden of summer
And brag of the maiden of June;
Your winter girl may be a hummer
To skate with and lovingly spoon;
You may boast of the lassie bewitching
In hobble skirt, store puff and curl,
But give me the maid of the kitchen —
The reliable Thanksgiving girl.
For you be the maiden entrancing
With eyes that are soulfully brown.
I’m married and done with romancing,
Past forty and settled down.
No foot for the dance or the mazy,
Delightfully soul stirring whirl,
But I tell you, my lads, she’s a daisy —
The gay, buxom Thanksgiving girl.
I’m forty; there’s no use denying,
The lassies no longer attract
Or set me to woefully sighing,
I’m sordidly matter of fact.
I’ve long ceased to notice their dresses.
I’m crabbed, perhaps, and a churl,
But at forty a fellow God blesses
The gay, buxom Thanksgiving girl.
The girl who can get up a dinner
Of turkey and stuffing and pie
And set it before an old sinner —
Well, just such a sinner as I —
And smile at the kids while I’m carving
Is a lulu, a peach and a pearl.
Here, Nellie, although I am starving,
God bless you, my Thanksgiving girl!
— Detroit Free Press

Ft Leavenworth News, November 15, 1913


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Thank You

The Historical Society would like to thank:

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Barton & Mary Cohen Everhard 3/99
May Thomas General Fund 3/99
Anonymous Everhard 3/99
Iva Fern Parsons Herb Market 4-99
Arthur J. Stanley, Jr Everhard 5-99
Wanda Holder Herb Market 5/99
Pam Kontowicz Garden Fund 7-99
Marianna Spain Garden Fund   7-99
Sue Gervasini Garden Fund 7-99
Joy Kozak Set of garden chairs 7-99
Joyce & Norm Arnold Everhard 7-99
Brother Robert A. Holt Hund School Registration 7-99
Arthur J. Stanley, Jr. Everhard 7-99
Hallmark Living Museum 7-99
Dorothy L. Murray General Operations 8-99
Rear Adm. Harold C. Donley Collections 9-99
Anonymous Landscaping 10-99

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From For Date
Wilma A. Hoefener Albert E.& Julia Hoefener 6-99
Terry & Joann Norman Catherine Chism 7-99
Leavenworth Garden Club Catherine Chism 7-99
Bro. Robert A. Holt Helena Stonebraker 7-99


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Upcoming Events

  • November 26th 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Victorian Holiday Party (for Children of all Ages) R.S.V.P.
  • December 3rd 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Christmas at the Carroll Mansion. Please join us in a holiday gathering in appreciation of your support. R.S.V.P.
  • December 12th 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. Christmas Candlelight Homes Tour $10.00 ($10.50 by mail) Eight vintage homes plus the Carroll Mansion in Holiday splendor.
  • December 13th Museum closes for winter renovation until February 1, 2000.


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Mark Bureman, Museum Administrator
* Grey Ink, Designer
John H. Johnston III, Volunteer Editor
The Historical Society Gazette is published quarterly for members of the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum
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