A look at Augusta's past



The Augusta area experienced a rather odd morning after Christmas bit of weather with lots of rain, hail, lightning and thunder. Some drivers were forced to pull to the side of the road due to the heavy downpour.

John Moyle had just purchased the remaining 65.7 acres of the Miltimore tract, just north of Augusta on the west side of Ohio. The price was $35 per acre. The rest of the tract was purchased by the City for the City Lake.

The Bisagno family was planning to show the movie “Laugh Your Blues Away” at a special New Year’s Eve midnight showing.

The Augusta High School Band hosted a New Year’s Day concert in the high school auditorium.



The Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission issued an official report concerning the recent fish kills in the polluted Walnut River. The investigation found that refinery waste discharged at El Dorado had been the cause. A formal hearing was planned to address the problem.

The 80th anniversary of the Indianola School was celebrated with a basket dinner and program.

Gene Scholfield announced that he had sold his interest in the Scholfield-Hurst Motor Co. to his partner, J.H. Hurst. The Ford dealership and partnership had been formed after World War II.



Dr. Joseph C. Phillips announced that Dr. Robert R. Whittaker of Eureka was joining his optometry office in the Augusta Plaza.

Mr. and Mrs. Eldon White of Douglass had been hunting for their dog that had been missing for 10 days. Wilford Darter had gone to feed his livestock and heard a dog whining from the bottom of an old well at the feed lot. He was able to pull the dog out and the Whites were reunited with their dog.

The Presbyterian Church was planning their annual Festival of Lights program. Those attending were asked to bring their old Christmas trees for the bonfire.



The City Council had commissioned A.C. Kirkwood and Associates of Kansas City to make a report on the city’s electrical situation. The report stated that the city needed to update the entire distribution system to meet requirements and standards.

Former U.S. President Harry Truman had died on Dec. 26th at the age of 88. President Nixon proclaimed Dec. 28th as a national day of mourning.

Oscar Applegate was sworn in as Augusta’s new mayor to replace Newton Male, who had resigned to begin his duties as District 77 State Representative.

Augusta’s first elevated water town which stood north and west of the junior high gym was gone. The old 50,000 gallon tank had been removed to make way for a new half million gallon tower.



Cal Purdin, 60, businessman, suffered a fatal heart attack while presiding as the city’s municipal court judge.

Clinton “Stinky” Stinnett was honored for his 36 years as Augusta’s oldest Santa Claus.



Firefighters from Augusta, Andover, El Dorado, Douglass, and Leon spent 4 1/2 hours battling a fire at the old Lunger Furniture Store under the U.S. 54 Overpass before bringing the blaze under control.

Irvin and Charlotte Cody of 1119 Ohio, were recognized as having one of the best decorated homes in town.

The Augusta High School band left on Dec. 29th to participate in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Ga.



New basketball goals purchased with monies from the Neil Riggs Memorial Fund were installed at the City Pool area.

Tokie and Ed Freeman celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a special reception.

Army Specialist Joseph Roberts of Augusta was named Soldier of the Year at Fort Hood, Texas. Roberts, along with his wife Becky, were going to be dining with the President of the United States at a special event.

Belinda Larsen is the Editor of the Augusta Gazette and can be reached at: lifestyles@augustagazette.com