Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Historians offer more local lessons

Richard Wellman, left, and Sandra Johnson spend every Thursday morning in the history corner of the Baldwin City Public Library. They are here to answer a few questions regarding the community's history.

Richard Wellman, left, and Sandra Johnson spend every Thursday morning in the history corner of the Baldwin City Public Library. They are here to answer a few questions regarding the community's history.

May 28, 2009

Q. In 1884, W. E. Washburn of Media (now West Baldwin) was granted a patent for a mechanical device. What was it?

A. It was a washing machine, called the “Eagle Washer.” The Baldwin Criterion of May 1, 1884, describes it as follows: “It is the best thing in the way of a washing machine we have ever seen. It works on the same principle of the old-back breaking washboard. Mr. Washburn offers to let any one take the machine and try it.”

Q. In 1918, Bishop Quayle’s house was being expanded from a small bungalow to his “Dream Haven.” How much was the expenditure for the house?

A. The Baldwin Ledger of Feb. 28, 1919, states that the cost was $8,000. The bungalow was incorporated into the expansion as the kitchen and maid’s apartment.

Q. What was the man’s name that was an early settler in Palmyra in 1857, opened a blacksmith shop on the Santa Fe trail and was one of the builders of Old Castle at Baker? He also lived to celebrate his 104th birthday in Baldwin City in 1919.

A. Arthur W. Webster. His 104th birthday celebration and later obituary are interesting reading.

Q. The “Soldier’s Home” was located near Leavenworth in 1888. How many soldiers were housed there?

A. There were more than 2,000 residents and they were receiving about 20 new applications per day. (Baldwin Ledger of Jan. 13, 1888)

Q. In April of 1917, the Epworth League of the M. E. Church entertained “all the persons of color” in the community with a musical program. How many persons would you estimate might attend?

A. Per the Baldwin Ledger of April 13, 1917, there were 40 guests in attendance. The article goes on to list the names of each of the guests.

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