A look at Augusta's past
70 YEARS AGO
Capt. William E. Hanes, 26, of Augusta, P 38 Lightning pilot of Doolittle’s northwest African Strategic Air Force, had completed 50 combat missions over enemy territory. Capt. Hanes had been awarded the Air Medal, 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
One of Augusta’s most prominent citizens, James A. Grant, 69, had died. He was a businessman, a civic leader, and had established a drug store with Dr. Howard Hill in the fourth block of State St.
About 125 people were at the Salvation Army Citadel for the burning of the mortgage on the building.
60 YEARS AGO
The first Community Night of the season for Gordon was held at the school house with a special program.
Marjorie Ruth Auer was named the Courteous Woman Driver of the Week by the Business and Professional Women’s Club.
The 54 Mobil Home Park at 310 W. 7th opened. Owners Eldon Tarman and Nevelyn Rawlings were also the owners of 54 Motor Company.
50 YEARS AGO
There was a new second gate to Worl Field would make it easier for football fans. The new entrance was off 7th St., north on Bluff and then west a short ways.
The Augustones performed at a Hootenanny. The group included Tom Mitchell, Dennis Malott, Rodney Lamb, Robert Drake, Paul Johnson, and Sondra Tinker.
Bricks were being removed from Walnut St. They had been place there in 1920. They weren’t from the old brick works along the Walnut River east of town, as the product was known as a soft or limestone brick, which were used in some of Augusta’s buildings.
40 YEARS AGO
Eight ministers whose churches were located in the vicinity of northwest Butler County exchanged pulpits for a Sunday. The churches taking part were located in Potwin, Burns, Whitewater, Furley, and Elbing.
Fred Petzold watched as his welding and machine shop equipment wa moved out of a building on Walnut St., just west of the Plaza Center. It was the end of approximately 40 years of doing business there. The area was going to be used as another entrance to the shopping center.
The possibility of having girls athletics in the Augusta school district was being taken before the Board of Education. Appearing on behalf of the program was Augusta High School principal James Ashcraft.
30 YEARS AGO
The Post Office was increasing the cost of mailing a letter from 20 cents to 23 cents.
Augusta’s Bobby Smith qualified for the 4A State Cross Country meet after winning the two-mile course in the 4A boys regional race.
Around 150 people attended a town meeting, promoted by the local Lions Club and Kiwanis Club, that focused on the drug problem.
After nearly 37 years, Wilbur Smith was retiring from banking. His last 15 years on the job were at Augusta Bank & Trust.
20 YEARS AGO
The body of a 20-year-old Wichita man was found dumped on a roadway west of Gordon. The case was being investigated by the Butler County Sheriff’s Department.
The local BOE made a public plea to parents to talk to their school-age kids on guns and drugs.
The destruction of the refinery had been taking place for 18 months. Next on the list was the bath house, the engineering office and the administration building. The demolition was expected to be completed by the first of the year.
10 YEARS AGO
Preparations were being made for the Second Annual Christmas Gala Concert, with the Festival Choir rehearsing for the program.
U.S. Marine Gavin Lewis of Augusta, met some of his third grade pen pals at Robinson Elementary School following the Veteran’s Day program. Lewis, a 1999 AHS graduate, returned to the U.S. that week after 234 days of active duty in Kuwait and Iraq.
Twelve-year-old Courtney Newton was being hailed as a hero for rescuing 17-month-old Matthew Moore from his neighbor’s pond.
Editor’s note: This column will run each Tuesday and we will run El Dorado’s history on Thursdays. Readers from other Butler County communities might consider researching and submitting history from their towns. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org