A bit of the past

Yesterday I showed you what my hometown looks like now--granted, the pictures were taken on a Sunday and that gave the effect of a ghost town. The old Main Street isn't far from that, but it still has some life to it yet. Here are some pictures of the town when it was in its prime. All photo rights belong to the Johnson County Library. Click pictures to see them in their entirety. Many are being cut off in small view.

A view of the bank 1906.

East side of Main 1906. Notice the hitching posts . . .

East side of Main about 1925.

Kuhn's grocery store. Great guy, had penny candy and great bottles of ice-cold soda. But the food itself rotted inside warm refrigerator bins. This picture is from 1992. Kuhn's closed around 1988.

A coyote hunt probably early 1900's. Melting ice from a recent storm covers the streets. I see about three or four dead coyotes being held up, and children among the group. Makes me sad, but I do understand the hysteria if any human or animal had been recently threatened. However, the truth is that these settlers invaded a wild place. The balance of nature (once kept pristine by the Indians who lived there) was destroyed, and as usual, the settlers took to eliminating any remnants of the wild prairie. A coyote would unfortunately be a symbol of the Indian, and the primitive lifestyle so many were looking to erase from society.

A barbershop and self-service library around 1954. Those ridged metal platforms are now level with a raised sidewalk.

The barbershop in 1954. The cabinet of books was, at the time, a self-service library. Records do not indicate the branch set up next door which my mother ran late seventies into the early 80's. They do not mention her service at all, most likely because she was not a professional librarian. And yet she opened the doors early every morning Monday-Friday, and provided library services as well as social services to the entire town for many years of her life. I should know : )

Thanks for reading.



  1. I work at a museum, so I love old photos. Thanks for sharing. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman!

  2. For some reason I'm getting no pictures; just blank white squares. I wonder why!

  3. OH! Must be some copyright issue, although it said these were okay to use if given credit. Sorry about that, Cro.

  4. Actually Amy coyotes are rather nasty little critters who like their lunch alive and squirming whether its someones dog or cat or lamb or calf etc... They also like to kill just for fun and then leave the carcass to rot. The settlers, while I agree were encroaching on wild territory, were just trying to survive. The coyotes were a threat to their livestock and their small children. Probably they were doing the coyotes a favour as they tend to overpopulate and then starve to death in the winter. (Dad was a trapper)

  5. Take no notice of Delores, Amy - Coyotes are no worse than any other predator, and a hell of a lot better than the humans who hunt them for sport. Nice photos!

  6. Amy I'm getting blank squares as well.

  7. I got them ok. They are fascinating. I love seeing old photos of places and the faces of the people living in them.

    Hopefully different times now re the Coyotes?

  8. Molly, it's too bad you can't see the pics. Just imagine a lot of black and white and dust speckles.

    Chris- I love seeing old photos too. I have a book of New York turn of the century (the other century) and it's very fascinating! I don't know if there are any more coyote hunts going on, but if a typical male in Kansas sees a deer running through a field, he gets a crazy look in his eye.

  9. Your mother sounds like she did an important service.

  10. Wow! How cool to have such a great insight into the history of your town! Thanks for sharing.

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