Butler County Times Gazette
  • Belinda Larsen: Augusta's Yesterdays 12-3-13

  • A look at Augusta's past
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  • 70 YEARS AGO
    1943
    Christmas trees were selling fast and many residents who lived alone were foregoing the trees to homes with children.
    In order to help in conserving fuel, the Augusta Theatre was cutting back on shows during the winter months.
    Word was received that Lawrence Alley, Army Air Corps, had a narrow escape with death at an airfield in Texas. Alley, with two other flyers, were in close formation when they struck a heavy tropical storm. Visibility was cut completely off and Alley's altimeter read 1,000 feet instead of the 5,000 which they had been flying. He bailed out and noticed his parachute had been cut in half. He landed in a corn field and was injured and taken to the hospital to recover. The other two pilots were killed in their planes when both crashed.
    60 YEARS AGO
    1953
    The latest rage for duck hunters were electric socks.
    Augusta High School band director Max Hendrickson had organized the first fifth grade band class.
    Clare Patterson, Jr., had been selected state winner in the 4-H Junior Division in Soil & Water Conservation projects.
    The new school building in Douglass was dedicated with an open house and program.
    The Augusta Chamber of Commerce kicked off their home Christmas decoration contest by offering cash prizes for the best decorated home exteriors.
    50 YEARS AGO
    1963
    The Bloomington Methodist Church was holding a 50th anniversary service followed by a covered dish dinner.
    Keith and Ruth Lonberger had opened the Char-Broil Diner at 209 E. 7th St.
    The city and nation was still reeling from the assassination of President John Kennedy. Many of Augusta's churches held special services and all the papers were filled with news linked to the event, even a week later. A copy of the special Nov. 22nd Gazette edition had been mailed to Mrs. Kennedy.
    40 YEARS AGO
    1973
    City Manager John Mercer was recommending ways for the city and its residents to conserve energy in light of the nation's energy crisis. There would be no downtown holiday lighting and residents were asked to turn off lights not being used and "rolling back" furnaces to 68 degrees.
    A grandfather clock once belonging to the late John and Eunice Skaer-Cooper was donated to the Augusta Medical Complex and was displayed in the lobby of the hospital.
    Andover High School was leaving the Chisholm Trail League for the Seven Star League.
    30 YEARS AGO
    1983
    Page 2 of 2 - The first snow of the season fell with a 3 inch total.
    John Bachtel at 316 S. Osage had harvested turnips and dug up a 12 pounder in his garden. It was the largest turnip he had grown in his 60 years of gardening.
    Mobil Oil Corp. announced that it had sold its Augusta refinery and terminal facilities to Williams Pipeline Co. of Tulsa.
    20 YEARS AGO
    1993
    Augusta High School was hosting the Second Annual Senior Citizen's Appreciation Day and featured a special band/vocal concert.
    Augusta's oldest resident, 105 year-old Eliza Mae Clark, had died. She had been born in 1888 in Hancock County, Ill.
    The city's Inspection Office had moved downstairs at city hall and the administrative assistant's office had occupying the former building inspector's office. The moves were related to the installation of an elevator.
    10 YEARS AGO
    2003
    Basco, the 3 year-old Belgian Malenois canine, had his training and was being introduced around town as Augusta's new K-9 officer.
    The newly finished St. James Catholic Church was formally dedicated by parish and church officials.
    On a Sunday morning, a squirrel got into the substation near the power plant on E. 12th and knocked out power to all circuits in the community. Most church services continued in the dark until electricity was restored.
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