A look at Augusta's past
70 YEARS AGO
Motorists were being warned against people posing as Highway Patrol and KBI, and claiming to be investigating the use of gasoline coupons. Officers were not engaged in the practice and the impersonators were looking to bilk others out of their gas coupons.
The Western Union office was moving from the Augusta Hotel on State St. to the lobby of the Fifth Ave. Hotel.
Lt. Howard Hamilton and Lt. John Wedding, both of Augusta, had been engaged in shuttle bombing the Axis-held territory. They would leave England with bomb loads, unload them and on to North Africa. There they picked more bombs, dropped them again and returned to base in England.
60 YEARS AGO
Community Night was held at the Indianola School and a covered dish dinner was enjoyed.
The Douglass Rodeo attracted over 1,000 people one night and over 2,000 the next night. There had been a parade and concert, all sponsored by the Douglass Saddle Club.
Lenn Tibbetts of Augusta, was teaching music in 9 rural schools.
The new minister of Central Baptist Church was Robert Spindler.
Downtown streets were cleared and concessions and rides were set up and ready for the Augusta Annual Fall Fair and State Championship Truck Rodeo.
50 YEARS AGO
A new attendance record was set at the Augusta swimming pool for the summer with 42,746 people making use of the pool.
About 4,000 spark plugs were stolen in a weekend robbery at Miller Parts Co., 330 E. 7th.
Kansas Gas & Electric was constructing a new office building in El Dorado that would receive about 80 percent of its required heating from the building’s lighting system.
40 YEARS AGO
George Smith, 96, a founder of Prairie State Bank, builder of Augusta’s first electric plant, owner of the first ice plant in Augusta, community leader, had died. Local businesses closed for the funeral.
Virgil Strickler was celebrating the first anniversary of the opening of Strickler’s shoe store.
The Augusta High School debate team was small. Members were Elizabeth Purdin, Sherry Anderson, Mike O’Brien, and Frank Miller.
The Jr. Outlook Club donated toddler swings to the Garvin Park playground.
30 YEARS AGO
Sherri Simmons’ Chianina heifer was judged best of breed during the 4-H Beef Show at the Kansas State Fair. Simmons was a member of Lily Lake 4-H Club.
Lee Ann Griffith, a K-State University student from Augusta, had been chosen as one of eight girls for The Wildcat Dancers, a pom pom squad performing with the K-State band.
The Augusta High School band directed by Carl Schminke, marched to a 1 rating at the Kansas State Fair.
20 YEARS AGO
Rupert Hays was installed for the fourth time as the president of the local Optimist Club.
Investigators from the Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment (KDHE) detected a small leak in the city’s diesel fuel line to the power plant. The line was changed out and the contaminated dirt was removed.
Augusta Centennial Silver Jubilee buttons and t-shirts had gone on sale in preparation for the town’s big celebration scheduled for Oct. 8-10.
10 YEARS AGO
The hometown IGA was changing its major food merchandise supplier. It was switching from the bankrupt Fleming Foods to the Associated Wholesale Grocers. The store’s name would change to Apple Market.
The Prairie Mesa Restaurant located on W. 7th in the old Lehr’s building had closed.
In its second year, Augusta Downtown, Inc. was looking for a successor to first-year Executive Director Mary Knapp.
Frank and Laree Watson were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.