To the Editor:
Congratulations to the City of Baldwin and the Bell Automotive owners for allowing the installation of a telecommunications tower on the lot at Sixth and High. That shows we are planning for the future.
What an honor it will be for Oliver Johnson, a very early citizen of Palmyra, 1856, previous owner of a hotel on the Santa Fe Trail, promoter of education, (his home was used as the first school), and a forward looking citizen.
It was Oliver who moved into the new settlement south of Palmyra, named Baldwin City, and established a new hotel, the Johnson House, at the southeast corner of Sixth and High. He operated it from 1884 until his death in 1889, when his wife took charge until March 1901.
The original register, with over 5,500 signatures can be seen at the Baker archives or a copy is available in the Baldwin City Public Library.
According to the 1883 Andrea's History of Kansas, the hotel was described as a white frame, two story structure. It would be nice if someone could find and old picture for us.
In 1920, when the building was no longer in use, J.A. Holliday, the former postmaster of Media, bought the corner lots and tore down the building using the lumber to construct his new home in west Baldwin.
As always, there are protesters but look at our electrical system and our beautiful library! Would you like to be without them?
Let's not fight progress.
Katharine B. Kelley