Butler County Times Gazette
  • Belinda Larsen: Augusta's Yesterdays

  • A look at Augusta's past
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  • 70 YEARS AGO
    1943
    Mrs. Cassie Reison and Mrs. Mickey Maness opened the Cozy Lunch diner on State St., just north of the Frisco tracks on east side of the street.
    Carolyn Voran was crowned Augusta High football queen of 1943 at the last game of the season by captain Dick Dunsford.
    The City Council gave City Superintendent John Hime orders to plant trees at the city lake. A number of residents had donated the trees.
    60 YEARS AGO
    1953
    Several El Dorado businesses were drilling their own wells in an effort to obtain sufficient water for operational needs during the city’s critical water shortage. Some wells were successful, but one well went down 125 feet without finding water.
    An honorary dinner was planned at the Elks Lodge for Richard Schneider, Augusta’s returned Korean War Prisoner of War. All of Augusta was invited.
    Well known Augustan Charles Kiker, 65, had died. He had been the owner of Kiker’s Market for about 17 years.
    50 YEARS AGO
    1963
    The 70-year-old opera house building in downtown Douglass was destroyed by fire. At the peak of the fire, the flames were visible from the highway at the top of the hill just south of Augusta. The fire was contained to the old opera house itself. The three-story building had been built in 1884 and remodeled in 1900 after a fire had damaged part of the interior.
    Augusta school superintendent James Benjamin announced plans to resign. He was in his fourth year and had followed H.H. Robinson.
    The annual mother and daughter banquet of the First Christian Church was held in the Western Room at Lehr’s with almost 200 present.
    40 YEARS AGO
    1973
    Over five inches of rain fell in a weekend and again the rivers were up and residents were “sandbagging.” The city had entered November with an excess of 15.03 inches of moisture.
    The City of Towanda had been awarded a $64,600 grant to go toward the construction of a swimming pool, wading pool, and bathhouse.
    AHS Coach Richard Poage announced 30 Orioles had lettered for the 1973 football season. Bob Wesbrook was the leading ball carrier, Dennis Roberts the leading scorer, and Darrell Leonard led the Orioles’ defensive unit.
    30 YEARS AGO
    1983
    With the closing of the refinery, the Mobil sign was taken down and the Phillips 66 sign was up at 54 Motors. At one time, Nevelyn Rawlings of 54 Motors was one of six Mobil station operators in Augusta.
    Page 2 of 2 - Senator Bob Dole came to Augusta to participate in the dedication of the B-17 Bomber memorial sign at the Augusta Municipal Airport. Members of the B-17 E-Rat-Icator crew and crew members from other B-17 planes came from all over the U.S. to attend the ceremony.
    Dennis King, 14, of Augusta, won first place in the high school division of the Wichita Area Piano Teachers’ League Concerto Auditions. He was the youngest person in the history of the Wichita area contest to win the high school division.
    20 YEARS AGO
    1993
    Matthew All of Augusta was one of six University of Kansas students nominated to compete for Rhodes or Marshall scholarships or both.
    Four Augusta High volleyball players were selected to the Chisholm Trail All League team; Elizabeth Canon and Jamie Hubbard wee named first team, and Amie Shelton and Jayme Pocock were picked to the honorable mention list.
    Augusta’s holiday theme was “A City for All Seasons.”
    10 YEARS AGO
    2003
    St. James Catholic School students began using their new playground. The McClure family helped donate funds for construction of the playground in memory of Alan McClure.
    Augusta soccer mid-fielder Justin Hanzlick was named to the Kansas Soccer Coaches Association All-Region Soccer Team.
    A fire destroyed the medial offices, as well as office records of Dr. James E. Clay, at Broadway and Lulu.
    AHS Oriole Travis Camac was named Mr. Football 2003.
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