Butler County,  Kansas

The Burns Citizen


Newspaper Tidbits


1926 - 1933






January 1926 – The Citizen had hoped to announce as to who would be our new Postmaster this week. The candidates for the office are R. M. Palmer and C. A. Godding. As in the case both candidates have their partisan, which figures pretty strong as to who is who. These appointments are supposed to be made on a Civil Service basis, however this also makes one wonder as to the political factor. (Note: C. A. Godding was chosen)




February 11, 1926 – Oscar Bruington has received notice of his appointment as 4th rural route carrier.




March 1926 – The first annual basketball tournament for grade schools of Marion Co., was given under the auspices of the Burns Community High School.




March 11, 1926 – Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of the invention of the telephone. The first telephone installed in Burns was in 1901 in the residence of E. E. Stroup, on which line was bridged a pay station located in the Post Office. The line was built from Peabody by Wells and Sawtelle who operated the Peabody Exchange. Later in the year 5 or 6 business men of the city built their own lines and connected to Mr. Stroup’s line. The first of these being Dr. E. S. McIntosh. In 1903 the Wells and Sawtelle installed a switchboard and took over the operation of all service in Burns and continued to operate until the Bell system took over. In an effort to make known when the telephone first came to Kansas, the best data obtained indicates its arrival to Topeka, Manhattan, Lawrence, and Leavenworth sometime in 1877 or early 1878.




April 1926 – The Whitewater Center Church burned April 13 or 14 during the night. It was first noticed by an oil field worker who was passing by about 11 o’clock, Friday night. It was beautifully finished and was the pride of the community. It has been the victim of vandalism several times.




June 17, 1926 – The transmission of the Burns electric system was voted upon Tuesday, June 15, and carried with a wide margin. The vote was 117 for and 25 against, so it will be sold to the Kansas Gas & Electric Co.




September 2, 1926 – When Roger Lilley had finished loading a railroad car with grain from the elevator and was about to close the car door, he accidently tripped backwards and fell on a broken window, running a 3 inch sliver of glass into his hip. He was rushed to Dr. McIntosh’s office by a railroad attendant and necessary treatment was received. Had he not gotten immediate help he might have bled to death.




January 28, 1927 – A couple of small oil field houses were moved from Burns to Cassoday recently. They were left untenanted by the ebb of the oil development to where they might be useful.




The people of the Whitewater Center Church are busy planning on rebuilding their church that was burned 2 or so years ago.




April 14, 1927 – The School Board recommended $17,000.00 for all school purposes for the next year.




July 21, 1927 – Chicken thieves have been operating rather extensively in the country east of town lately. Some folks have lost $40 to $60 worth of poultry.




May 3, 1928 – The first electric range to be installed in Burns was wired in at the Methodist parsonage for Rev. E. W. McNiel on May 2.




May 30, 1928 – Vestring Brothers bought the Exchange State Bank building and the former Hugh Markey property at public sale Saturday.




July 9, 1928 – The firm of B. C. Reaugh & Son have sold their store business to W. H. Squires. They are closing out business and stock. The Reaughs came to Burns 20 yrs. Ago.




May 24, 1928 – Activity in road building on the new routing of the federal highway 77 indicates the road north out of Burns will be ready for public use before many weeks. 2 miles of the 4 miles to be built have already been graded. The present indications are that the highway from Burns will follow the east side of the railroad from the Butler Co., line to DeGraff . Information is that 77 will be the next highway to receive federal aid benefit in Butler Co.




October 11, 1928 – The Earl Green residence on the old I.N. Smith farm 3 miles east of Burns was entirely destroyed by fire, and all in it destroyed too.




December 13, 1928 – Seems as though chicken and turkey thieves are still on the loose, as Calvin Heyman found ten big turkeys had disappeared during the night of Dec. 12.




September 12, 1929 – A party of surveyors running the line for the permanent location of the Federal highway from El Dorado north have been working out of Burns the past week. There are ten men in the party. The line has been run north to the Marion-Butler line, and from there on through town. The idea seems to follow the railroad as closely as is practicable.




November 7, 1929 – The women’s clubs of Burns and vicinity are sponsoring a Community Public Library. Any donation of books, magazines or cash will be greatly appreciated.




November 14, 1929 – Books either old or new are wanted for the Community Library. Books of fiction, reference books or books for children are needed.




January 2, 1930 – The Community Library is growing right along, though not very fast. There are now more than 350 volumes on the shelves. Quite a few new books have been donated.




February 20, 1930 – The editor states: We don’t know that Burns ever did such a trick before, but the community shipped some home grown potatoes last week. A whole truck load – 6,125 lbs., was shipped to the south part of the state.




April 3, 1930 – Two nights last week the thermometer registered 18 degrees. But that was last week; we have a different story this week. The temperatures reaching 80 degrees.




August 7, 1930 – The Williams Construction Co., unloaded a large ditching machine the first of the week, and put it to work on the pipe line job. It was put to work scraping dirt down to the rock for the pipe line trench. This is a cross country pipe line – 24 inch line for the Missouri & Kansas Pipeline Co. The company relocated in Cottonwood Falls, Ks.




October 2, 1930 – The school enrollment at the High School and grade school is 272.




January 15, 1931 – The A. Funke & Co. dissolved after a quarter of a century, and will now be two businesses. Charles has taken over the grocery and meat market of the old firm, while Edward will be sole owner of the dry goods, clothing and shoe section. A partition has been built dividing the large store room into two modern sized sales rooms.




Feburary 12, 1931 – The Burns Farmers Union Co-op announce a change in management of the store. Mr. David Thomas, who has been here eight years, will be replaced by Mr. Harold Bender of Winfield.




May 14, 1931 – The gas will be turned into the Burns lines in about a week or ten days. Those desiring our services may call our office in the Vestring building. Central States Gas Utilities Co.




November 19, 1931 – During the rain Monday evening Glenn Riggs had occasion to use the telephone. While talking, a bolt of lightning struck somewhere on the system and he received a severe shock. His arms were numbed and he suffered severe pains in his head so that he was unable to go to work at the bank.




December 17, 1931 – Due to the death of C. A. Godding, Glenn Riggs has been appointed temporary postmaster. He will take over the job Dec. 22. Applicants will be required to take examinations sometime in January 1932.




January 14, 1932 – Fire destroyed our neighboring town of Elbing’s Post Office building and ruined the Bank building. The town, had no fire protection, so little could be done. Fire trucks from Newton, Peabody and Whitewater responded to calls for help. The loss is set around $10,000.00. All the valuables and mail were saved from the Post office and money and valuables in the vault of the Bank were not damaged.




The McCready store in the Watchhorn oil field between Burns and Peabody was also damaged in a fire Monday night. The fire was discovered about 2 a.m. Store and building were insured.




February 18, 1932 – Someone apparently stole a bag of change amounting to $7.00 from Wm. Stackley’s produce house Tuesday afternoon. The money was in a cigar box in a handy place and taken while Mr. Stackley and F. I. Bell who was helping him, were both absent from the room. This is the boldest of several petty thieving jobs that have been pulled off this winter in this community.




December 1, 1932 – Postmaster wants patrons to know that printed cards, unsealed, can be sent for 1-1/2 cents, only sign your name, no message. Sealed and regular rate 3 cents.




January 26, 1933 – The Southwest Kansas Stage Lines now have a bus going through Burns.




June 22, 1933 – Two cent postage goes into effect for first class mail beginning July 1.




September 7, 1933 – The old Burns Hotel is being torn down. Joe Eggan bought the old property at tax sale recently and the job of wrecking the building is going forward this week. The original hotel could lay claim to being nothing but a boarding house, though perhaps dignified by the name “hotel”. It was built by a man named Moore over 50 years ago. About 1883 it passed into the hands of J. H. Eakin. His wife established the reputation of being a good hostess and land lady. Business increased as new settlers moved into the community. In 1885 the old building was moved back and remodeled and large three story addition was built in front. The third floor was used as a lodge hall. Sold to Mr. McDowell – to W. G. SmithCale Heath – to Frank Stroup in the early 1890’s and he kept it for some 15 to 20 years. Since that time the hotel business in Burns fell upon evil days and went from bad to worse until nobody wanted the property. Now people are curiously viewing the remains.




September 14, 1933 – The Funke Grocery has announced a closing sale beginning Saturday. Charles Funke, owner, is opening a store in Kingman.




October 5, 1933 – A branch of the Byrd funeral home in El Dorado will be opened in Burns soon. The Burns branch will be under the management of Harry Harris, a member of the firm. The F. L. Giddings home has been completely decorated inside and out. Mr. Harris and family will make their home here.




November 16, 1933 – Frank Black’s have sold their ranch northeast of Burns to Orlando Jolliffe of Peabody. It consists of the south 720 acres of the former Heath Ranch. The dwelling is a commodious modern residence. A big spring in the basement of the house furnished water which is pumped to all parts of the house by a hydraulic ram. An electric plant furnishes light and power for the house and barns.


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