Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

Days gone by

April 19, 2007

7 years ago


April 2000

Tom Horner was planning a 140-acre manufactured housing development to contain 400 to 500 lots. Occupants would own manufactured homes, but then pay rent to Horner.

  • Fourth-grade students at Eudora West Elementary School got the opportunity to meet their pen pals whom they had been writing since September.
  • Eudora inched closed to bringing Royal Tractor Inc. into its business fold with the application of a Community Development Block Grant.

Royal was located in New Century and manufactured heavy industry machinery for use in airplane and automobile construction. The company wanted to move its operation to 12 acres at Intech Business Park and wanted the city to apply for a grant to aid its move and construction of a new building.

10 years ago


April 1997

The city of Eudora was 140 years old on April 17, 1997. An article was written about the history of the town. A group of German emigrants, weary of the fast-paced Chicago life in the mid-1800s, formed a committee to seek out their dreamland. When the committee reached a Shawnee Indian School and mission near the junction of the Kaw and Wakarusa rivers, they determined it to be perfect for building a town.

They set out to strike a deal with Paschal Fish, the Shawnee chief who oversaw 1,172 acres of land patented by the U.S. government. Fish offered the location committee a little more than 774 acres on the south bank of the Wakarusa near where it joined the Kaw.

The Chicago Germans had authorized Louis Pfeifer and Charles Durr to purchase the land from Fish in order to secure a perfect title. For the price of $10,000, the purchase was made in February 1857.

Word was sent back to Chicago for the families to start packing since a new home had been found.

On April 17, 1857, a company of 16 Germans stopped on the Fremont Trail in front of Fish's log-hewn cabin. Twelve of the men were married, and four had brought along their wives and children.

Eight more men and their families soon followed. Among the group were carpenters, stone cutters, cabinetmakers, a doctor and a businessman. They joined forces to carve out a new existence and build houses to form their own town.

The travelers were greeted by rolling prairies, wildflower fields, two mighty rivers and groves of fruit trees.

The first order of business was to name the town. Chief Fish suggested using the name of his 13-year-old daughter, and the new community was christened Eudora, which was said to mean beautiful.

Much had changed since Eudora was "born" April 17, 1857, and $2,200 was allotted to purchase a circular saw and a corn cracker to build log cabins and harvest the area's first crops.

Back then, the first house was an 18-foot-by-20-foot, one-story log cabin, which served as a common property for all the settlers. Twenty-four German families called Eudora home.

The Germans brought whatever money they had with them and pooled it together for the common good of their new town.

The first public building in Eudora was a town hall and school, erected a year after the founding of the town. The frame building served as a polling place, schoolhouse, dance hall and community room. When it was time for sport, men fished the Wakarusa, catching spoonbill catfish weighing as much as 80 pounds. They also organized the first buffalo hunt, in the fall of 1858.

Five men, Henry Basemann, Henry Basemann Jr., Lother Hartig, Ernest Ziesenis and Julius Fischer, loaded an ox wagon and a pair of two-horse prairie schooners. They headed west to Salina, where buffalo were plentiful. The hunters returned with a wagonload of meat, enough to last the long winter.

Eudora's first elected officials were a mayor, five councilmen, a justice of the peace, a city treasurer, and a city marshal. These were all chosen in 1859.

Source: "Eudora Centennial Magazine 1957" and "Eudora Data Sheet," produced by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing Business Development Division.

15 years ago


April 1992

Eudora Emergency Medical Service member Vicky Moreno was honored by the county commission and county ambulance service as Douglas County's First Responder of the Year.

  • The Eudora Board of Education approved 4 percent increases each for Nottingham Elementary School principal Tom Jerome, secondary principal Charlie Watts and Supt. Dan Bloom.
  • Eudora resident Dennis Eisele was recognized as a graduate business scholar by the Kansas University School of Business for the 1991 fall semester.
  • Kate McNulty, a fifth grader at Nottingham Elementary School, won second place in the 9-12 age group for the 1992 Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest, sponsored by Douglas County Emergency Preparedness.
  • Eudora High School senior Bill Starr, a student in printing technology, placed second in the graphic communications contest at the Kansas Skill and Leadership Contest, sponsored by Vocational Industrial Club of America.

Senior Mark Brunk, a welding student, placed third in the contest.

28 years ago


April 1979

The Eudora Historical Society Committee received a photo of Eudora's first Mayor, Fred Faerber and his wife, from a relative, Wayne B. Engel of Evanston, Ill.

Faerber served as mayor from March 10, 1859 to March 10, 1860. He was one of the men instrumental in building the 1884 Catholic Church.

  • Bids were opened at a special city council meeting for the new water improvement project.

Of the five bids proposed, Lawrence Construction offered the lowest with a base bid of $188,398. In addition, they proposed an alternate bid of $5,751.60 for the purpose of placing new filter media in the filters in the water plant.

No bids were accepted at the meeting. They were to be reviewed by the consulting engineers and accepted at the next meeting.

  • Frances Souders tripped over some uneven sidewalk in Ottawa and broke her wrist and several sinus bones in her face.

80 years ago


April 1927

The Farmers Union Elevator was sold. A new organization, to be chartered under the 1921 cooperative law of Kansas, purchased the elevator and planned to continue operations in the same manner as the old organization.

  • William Trefz Sr. returned from Parsons, Kan., where he attended A.O.U.W. Grand Lodge. He was the delegate from the local order.
  • Martha Hadle spent Easter vacation with her mother and brother in Kansas City.
  • Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Davis stopped at the George Votaw residence to help eat a young fried chicken, "a whole bunch of eggs" and other foods.
  • Sibyl White was absent from school because of the measles.
  • Volney H. Moore, Indianapolis, Ind., visited his sister, Mrs. J.F. Marley and family. He was headed west, where he planned to relocate.

114 years ago


March 1893

"O.G. Richards, John Kaegi and Harry Eaton of the Valley were passengers on the train Thursday morning for Lawrence."

  • Enos Weed of South Bend, Ind., who had been visiting Dr. Weed and family for a week, returned home.
  • C.H. Taylor of De Soto was among the new students at Hesper Academy.
  • Dr. Weed was very low with consumption.

150 years ago


April 1857

The first group of German settlers arrived at the Fish Hotel to live in the area and founded the town of Eudora.

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