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

  • A look back at Augusta's past
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  • 70 YEARS AGO
    1944
    Hundreds of acres of lowlands in the Augusta area were flooded and crops damaged after several days of hard rains. Highways south and west of town were closed for awhile. Basements in town were flooded, as well.
    Augusta High School shop classes were working on an airplane engine from the Sedalia, Mo. airfield.
    Capt. John F. Wedding had completed 25 missions over Axis-held Europe from his base in England.
    The Whitewater pump station and welding shop of the Socony Pipe Line department, just east of the Whitewater bridge southwest of Augusta, burned to the ground. The building, pumping unit and welding outfit were an entire loss.
    60 YEARS AGO
    1954
    A family of 8 was found living in a car on the banks of the Whitewater River west of Augusta. It was learned that they had traveled from Great Bend. The Augusta Police Department made sure they were fed, warm, and clothed.
    The Kansas Turnpike Authority voted to proceed with plans to construct a 234-mile turnpike to connect Kansas City with Oklahoma City. The 4-lane super highway was estimated to cost $140,000,000.
    A park board was being created to study the Augusta parks and playgrounds, with a specific study of the municipal airport and golf course.
    50 YEARS AGO
    1964
    The undefeated Orioles were preparing to meet Wichita North in the second game of the semi-final round of the Class AA regional at WSU. A pep rally was held downtown for the entire community. The Orioles went on to defeat North 55-50.
    The Fowler Newsstand had been sold to John A. West. The stand had the contract for Western Union since 1949.
    Augusta’s summer theater group was in the process of incorporating and would soon be under the title of Augusta Community Theater, Inc.
    40 YEARS AGO
    1974
    Thomas A. Riley had been appointed pastor of St. James parish. He ha been serving as “de facto” pastor for the past 14 months.
    Don Worley had presented his letter of resignation as principal of Garfield Elementary to the Augusta Board of Education. He had served as principal for six years and in the district for nine.
    Although spring had officially arrived, winter took a final shot at Augusta and surrounding area. Snow hit and temperatures plummeted.
    Rick Hess was named to the all-tournament team in the annual Biddy Basketball All-Star tournament in Wichita.
    30 YEARS
    1984
    Page 2 of 2 - Former Augusta mayor Roy T. Evans, 70, had died. He had served as mayor from 1956 to 1959.
    Gary Lundy was named Augusta Oriole head football coach and Richard Ebel was named head girls basketball coach.
    Michelle West, sixth grader at Lincoln, was the winner fo the building spelling bee and Mindi Gibbs was runner-up.
    Lincoln students, Josh Bartel, Tim Chappell, and Martin Steiner participated in a Kansas Association of Teachers of Math regional contest.
    20  YEARS AGO
    1994
    Gus Garcia, Sr., said goodbye to teaching and coaching wrestling after 25 years. He was honored at the annual wrestling banquet. In his 13 years at Augusta, Garcia produced eight state champs and 13 second place finishers. His son, Gus Garcia, Jr., was a state champ in 1988.
    Diana Finley and Jan Arredondo were the doubles champs at the Augusta Women’s Bowling Association Tournament.
     

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