A new book about Augusta’s merchants of the 1870s has been recently published by LaRoux Gillespie, a former Augusta High School graduate.
The 200 page history, “Merchants of Augusta, Kansas, 1870-1880” is drawn from courthouse records, newspaper clippings, census facts, and details from the Augusta Historical Museum. It is the first look at the businessmen and business women of early Augusta. The book includes maps of the early city and plots of the locations of the businesses.
He has drawn from all known sources of information on early merchants, but is aware that some Augusta descendants may have additional details, photos, letters and stories to add to his work. He encourages readers to add to his work by visiting the museum, reading the history and speaking to museum director Rachelle Meinecke about more details. Gillespie will also record any details and include them in follow-up publications.
LaRoux is the author of 32 books and over 260 technical publications. He is an industrial consultant on finishing edges of metal parts and travels internationally for that work. He is a graduate of Kansas University, Utah State University and Meiji University in Tokyo and recently received an honorary doctorate from Don State Technical University in Russia for his metal finishing work. He recently finished his term as president of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and in 2012 was honored with KU’s Distinguished Engineering Service Award. In 2011, he married a high school classmate (from 53 years ago) and they live in Derby.
For copies of the book, visit the Augusta Historical Museum, 303 State St.