Throwback Thursday-Christmas Edition

Christmas Postcard to James Bell from his Aunt Dora 1911


From the Eddie Herrman Archives

December 24

1862-At 3 PM, a man named Slater, who was captured by Major White and his troops while foraging along the Grand River in northern Bates County, is executed with 6 bullets in his heart, in front of I. N. Davidson’s store, on the west side of the Butler square.

1874-Butler jeweler John Duff presents the editors of the Bates County Record and Bates County Democrat newspapers with gold toothpicks.

1879-A shooting match is held at Stumptown, winners getting turkeys.

1883-The Rich Hill City Council authorizes Mr. Raeder to purchase an electric fire alarm for the city.

1890-The community wide Christmas celebration at Amoret is a huge success.

1920-Gratz M. Scott, Field Director of Jerfferson Barracks, writes to the Junior Red Cross in Butler, thanking them for the parcels of canned fruit and jellies sent to the Post Hospital.

1934-Judge P. A. Bruce sees a meteor flash across the sky from his window at the Southern Hotel.  He find it the next morning on South Fulton Street. It weighed 7 pounds.

Original Calico Ball Invitation printed on calico fabric.


December 25

1873-The Grand Calico Ball is held in the Courthouse.  The invitations are printed on white with green stripe calico.

1875-People on the square notice business signs have been switched around.

1879- A notice around Butler, “On Christmas day and after I shall give free lunch and hot coffee to my farm trade, at the old Regulator, right South of the Courthouse. Filar Sackett. ”

1907-Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Pennell host a party for the young people of Butler, at the Hotel Pennell.

1916-Mrs. W. E. Walton of Butler receives a Grand Knabe Piano as a Christmas gift from her husband, W. E.

Christmas poem date unknown


For more information on the Slater execution;









Throwback Thursday-Suffered By Beast and Man

Whizzo the Clown


Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

December 18

1861-Confederate troops move toward Butler and another toward Papinville as Union troops march from Johnstown.

1879-Advertised in the Bates Co Democrat newspaper “Aaron Hart, of Levy & Company, is prepared to sell dry goods.” East side of the Butler square.

1882-William E Walton has purchased the hotel property of Dr. Lansdown, just west of the new Opera House, and expects to enlarge it. Laclede Hotel.

1899-The Bates County courthouse is condemned and the occupants begin removing equipment as the walls seem ready to fall.

1902-In the Mound items in the Butler paper; Our new mail man is punctual even when the roads are horrid. A minstrel troupe is selling patent medicine and is doing well at Passaic. AND is Mount Olive church going to have a Christmas tree? Passaic is having one.

1915-The annual meeting of the Border Protective Association is held at the Hume Opera House, J. Gasaway, president.

1955-The first sermon is preached in the new church building of the Amsterdam Baptist Church, James A York, pastor.  Materials from the old church building and old school building were used.

1965-Whizzo, the clown, of Kansas City television, appears at King Arthur’s Bargain Barn in Butler.

December 19

1848-Southeastern Bates County is reeling from the six weeks of continuous sleet and the conditions with it.  Cattle are dying and many broken bones have been suffered by beast and man

1859-Jim, in the care of Harvey G. Hicklin, in Northwest Vernon County, slips away a during the night goes to John Brown’s fort, just west of Bates County’s Spy Mound, in Kansas. He tells Brown the slaves in his neighborhood were soon to be taken to Texas for sale and implores Brown to intervene.

1869-Daniel Cowan Jacking, owner/proprietor of the general mercantile business in Hudson City, dies in his sleep. (Hudson City was located in the northeast portion of section two in Hudson township)

1873-Someone puts arsenic in feed at the Crayton Owen farm, near Altona, poisoning 110 head of cattle and horses. Several die.

1883-Mrs. Ella Leabo, formerly Miss Ella Yoakum, apparently drowns herself in the family well near Foster. (See last week’s post for more details regarding this case.)

1890-One of the Cheverton Bros. Meat Market turkeys sails through one of their heavy plate glass windows this morning.  The Brothers say “this proves their meat is fresh.”

1896-When the Butler Masons enter their hall tonight, they find two gasoline chandeliers have been installed by Brother Morrison of Rich Hill, at a cost of $15 each. It is much brighter.

1932-Butler Mayor Frank Holland calls on the Butler banks to close for 30 days to readjust their distressed condition.  The Farmers Bank, Peoples Bank, and Duvall Trust Company do it.


The Farmers Bank on the east side of the Butler Square.  It was built in 1888 and torn down in 1919.  The Catterlin house can be seen on the left of the bank.  Security Bank is presently in this location.

The Farmers Bank on the east side of the Butler Square. It was built in 1888 and torn down in 1919. The Catterlin house can be seen on the left of the bank. Security Bank is presently in this location.









Throwback Thursday-The Coercive Influence of the Law

One of two original Jefferson Highway signs in the Bates County Museum collection.

One of two original Jefferson Highway signs in the Bates County Museum collection.

From the Eddie Herrman Archives

December 10

1877-Charles Robinson, who was injured November 26 at the Powers Saw Mill, dies of lockjaw. At his deathbed he confessed his real name was Richard Tuttle and he had run away from his Vernon County home several years ago.

1879-J.C. Clark, take collector, say that unless the delinquent taxes are paid by the 1st of January, “the coercive influence of the law will be brought into requisition”.

1883-Newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. John Leabo, of the Foster community by a $2,100 life insurance policy on each other. (The body of Mrs. Leabo would later be found in a well.  John Leabo would  go on trial for the death of his wife and be acquitted on a technicality by the Supreme Court.)

1917-The Hume School building is partially consumed by fire.

1934-Highway representatives from 5 states assemble at Joplin.  They are suggesting a 4 lane highway from Canada to New Orleans, using Highway 71 from Kansas City to Arkansas.

1908-Tramps and vagrants are blamed in the fire that destroys the large club house at Athol, owned by a group of Kansas City hunters.

December 11

1861-In a nighttime raid by Kansas jayhawkers, Parkersville, founded in  1857 by Wiley Parker, is utterly destroyed. (South of Burdette in East Boone township)

1869-Theophilus Freeman, convicted murderer of James Westbrook, escapes from the Bates County jail.  He was to be hung the 17th.

1871-A mass meeting is held in the new courthouse to squelch rumors that Bates County is to be divided.

1882-Professors Johnson and Epstein open a music conservatory at the new Walton Opera House, southwest corner of the Butler square.

1883-J. C. Brook cannot make bond of $500, as he is charged with the shooting of Mr. Condre, Postmaster at Cornland, a short time ago.

1907-Rich Hill votes wet in the local option election, 415 wet, 270 dry.

2004-Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer Frank White is the Grand Marshall of Butler’s Christmas Parade.






Throwback Thursday-Tramp in the Henhouse


Bates County Courthouse built 1870

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

December 4

1882-Gentlemen appointed ushers for the opening of Walton’s Opera House are; Sam Levy, Henry Levy, Joe Meyer, Ed Carnes, William Pyle, C. F. Burns, Robert Grierson, and Tom Petty. Butler.

1905-Major Falloon is erecting a massive hennery at his Mound township ranch, Southwest of Adrian. (Major Falloon’s home would later become known as “Young’s Mansion”.)

1915-Mrs. George Fresh, of Hume, apprehends a tramp trying to steal some eggs from her henhouse.

1934-Mrs. Susan Shannon & Mr. John Barrows, both of Rich Hill, present to the Bates County Court, a picture of Freeman Barrows, first county officer, unanimously elected County Clerk, Recorder, and Treasurer in 1840, serving until 1853.

December 5

1861-George Thomas, of Lone Oak township, is kidnapped by outlaws. Never heard of again.

1879-McReynolds & Schwenk, boot and shoe makers, are now in their new building on the North side of the Butler square.

1881-The new arc lights on top of the Bates County Courthouse, in Butler, are drawing huge crowds each night.

1913-Lorand O. Tabler is Altona’s new postmaster.

1934-The Grover Gilbert Chevrolet Company, on West Ohio street, displays the death car of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.  Noted criminologist, C. Wiley Stanley lectures of the couple’s demise.


Freeman Barrows