Sandra Johnson and Richard Wellman, historians at the Baldwin City Public Library, have been doing a series called “Questions and Answers” for the past year. This is their latest version. They can be contacted at the library for additional information.
Q. The electric generating system for Baldwin City was installed in February 1907 to provide two services. What were they?
A. Seventy-two houses were connected for lighting service and six for fan rental and operation.
Q. In what decade did Baldwin City implement the practice of numbering houses?
A. 1900-1910. The ordinance that specified a system of numbering for houses was published in the Ledger on June 21, 1907. Even numbers are to be on the east and north sides of the street.
Q. Did Baldwin City ordinances permit cows within the city limits in 1923?
A. Yes, with conditions. Ordinance section 219 read: “That it shall be unlawful for any person to keep any cow, bull, steer or calf within 50 feet of any dwelling house or place of business in the city of Baldwin City; any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than two dollars, nor more than fifty dollars.
Q. How many lodges/clubs that were in Baldwin City in 1929 can you name?
A. A 1929 newspaper listing identifies the following: I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows), Rebekahs, Eastern Star, A.F. & A.M. (Masons), Royal Neighbors, G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), W.R.C. (Women’s Reserve Corps), K & L of S (Knights & Ladies of Security), M. W. A. (Modern Woodmen of America), Garden Club, Philamatheon, The Leisure Club, Kensington Club, Rook Club.
Q. Long distance telephone service connection reached Baldwin City in what year?
A. The Baldwin Ledger of May 5, 1899 announced that Baldwin City residents could now talk to persons in 26 different states. Cost of a call to Lawrence was 50 cents and to Ottawa was 25 cents, for five-minute calls. (That 50-cent call in 1899 would be equivalent to costing about $50 in today’s money.)
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