Throwback Thursday-We Never Are Ready

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

East side of the Butler square circa 1880.  M.S. Cowles Dry Goods store on the left. Photo from the Ed Robertson estate.

East side of the Butler square circa 1880. M.S. Cowles Dry Goods store on the left. Photo from the Ed Robertson estate.

March 5

1872-The Bates County Court establishes a new township in Southeast Bates County called Rockville township

1883-Sam Welsh and Milt Whiteley, who are prospecting East of Butler a few miles, strike solid rock bearing gold and silver at 84 feet.

1913-The Worland Coal Company is chartered.

1923-Radio station WNAR (We Never Are Ready) of Butler broadcasts a special radio program to Mrs. W. W. Clark of Clinton, MO between 5;30 and 6:00 PM and several of her neighbors crowd into her home to enjoy the program with her.

1945-Mr. Russell Cox has a party for the boys who have been killing sparrows for him. Those present are: Jr. Thompson, Don Grimes, Ralph Umstattd, John Umstattd, Max Hurt, Walt Pettus, Art Box, Leroy Grimes, Melvin Griffith, and Homer Gooden.

1947-For the first time in Bates County history, women’s names are called and sworn in for the jury panel  in Circuit Court. Mrs. L. D. Harper and Mrs. Edith Lincoln, of Adrian; Mrs. Elode Young of Butler, and Mrs. Laura B. Mullies of Rich Hill.


March 6

1820-The Missouri Compromise is passed in the United States Congress.

1862-Company C, 1st Battalion, Ohio Volunteer Cavalry camps near Butler.  Private Robert T. McMahan writes in his diary, “Butler clearly deserted building, principal ones burned down”.

1868-McClintock & Sons are erecting a woolen mill and carding machine, NE of the square, on Indiana Street. (Mill Street)

1880-M.S. Cowles & Company announce they are retiring from the dry goods business and Dr. Martin and Mr. McClintock will take over their old stand. (Present Security Bank location)

1890-The Bryant College, in Sprague, is increasing in number and enthusiasm.

1922-Rich Hillians are surprised to hear the news that a former Rich Hill Missouri Pacific Railroad station agent, William Carter, is in the Carthage, MO jail in connection with the destruction, by dynamite, of a big chat plant near Webb City, MO.

1937E.J. Kling buys the land south of the Post Office for his new monument plant.






Throwback Thursday-What Can You Expect For A Quarter?

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives:

One of the original clock faces from the Courthouse. On display at the Bates County Museum.

One of the original clock faces from the Courthouse. On display at the Bates County Museum.

February 19

1870-The cage ordered by the Bates County Sheriff from St. Louis should be arriving in Butler very shortly.  It is 13 1/2 feet long and 7 feet wide.  The cost is $1,000.

1870-Bates County Sheriff Smith (W.T. Smith) takes delivery on a custom made buggy from Hale, Evans & Co.

1876-The committee on a public library for Butler makes a survey and finds a willingness of citizens to donate books and money.

1905-J. A. DeArmond resigns as Butler City Attorney and Clerk J.F. Smith is appointed.

1907-The editor of the Bates County Record says, “The new street signs are the cheapest looking signs, ever.  But what can you expect for a quarter?”

1911-Ob Keirsey , of near Ballard, is in the Spruce area and takes one of the school marms ‘sleighing’. No one else sees any snow.

1914-At the wedding of Mary Alleene Arnold of Butler and William N. Mills of K.C., the Butler Mandolin Club plays softly during the ceremony.

The Butler Mandolin Club. From the Bates County Museum Collection.

The Butler Mandolin Club. From the Bates County Museum Collection.


James A DeArmond

James A. DeArmond, son of Congressman David DeArmond. He was an attorney and served as mayor of Butler.


February 20

1870-Among the many towns in Bates County, the latest is Altona that is booming. New buildings are started every week, and it’s going to be a large town with everything anyone would need.

1876-Tom Montgomery boasts that he has the biggest cow in Bates county.  She is only seven years of age and weighs 1,695 lbs.  Who can beat it?

1881-A large crowd attends the grand masque ball at the Palace Hotel.

1895-W.B. Carrico, of Papinville, publicly declares war on tree stumps with his new style stump extractor.

1902-The Bates County Democrat newspaper reports, ” the courthouse is up and all hope it will be topped out with a town clock.”

1906-The Butler Hunting & Fishing Club is organized, Ed S. Clark president.  They have leased the Cooper Lake, near Athol, south of Butler.

1927-The newly organized Harmony Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is confirmed by the National Society. It was organized December 12, 1926.

1940-Today is opening day of Mr.& Mrs. Chester Shelton’s grocery store located in the old Ballard Bank Building, in Ballard.  20 inches of snow on the ground.

The Bryan 4-H Club outside of the grocery store owned by Chester and Goldie Shelton in Ballard.

The Bryan 4-H Club outside of the grocery store owned by Chester and Goldie Shelton in Ballard.




Throwback Thursday-Counting Chickens

The Charles Denny store at 201 North Main Street in Butler.

The Charles Denny store at 201 North Main Street in Butler.

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

January 29

1841Bates County is officially organized.

1856-Joseph Smith is the new postmaster at Pleasant Gap.

1880-Robert Leech, one of the originators of the town of Mulberry, gives 2.2 acres for expansion of the town.

1886-Charles Denny is back in the grocery business, after rebuilding his East Side location, which was destroyed by fire on November 16, 1885.

1929-Bates County sheriff A. C. Hartley thwarts a jail break when he finds two window bars sawed through.

1945-Carl J. Henry, of Butler, is named chariman of the Bates County drive for the new state constitution.

Carl J Henry 1931 in Jefferson City

Carl J Henry in Jefferson City. Photo taken 1931.


January 30

1862-Captain Sydney Jackman’s Home Guard troops rout Kansas murderers from Dr. Walker’s house near Johnstown.

1862-Nickerson’s store, Lee’s store, and the dozen or so dwellings in Prairie City are burned by troops from Kansas.

1884-The cistern at the ‘poor farm’, 3 miles Northeast of Butler, is being enlarged as there are now 10 person living there.

1903-Miss Flora Frederick, a skilled osteopath, arrives from New York, to assist her sister, Dr. Harriet Frederick, in her Butler office.

1905-A gypsy woman gives birth to a baby on the sidewalk in downtown Rockville.

1920-Judge R. B. Campbell is in Butler visiting friends in the courthouse.  He has just completed the census enumeration of Pleasant Gap and says it’s some job to count all the chickens and eggs and measure the milk produced last year.

1989-Joanne Rush, president of the Butler Library Association, announces an endowment from the Robert and Virginia Heinlein Library Foundation is being established for the purpose of supporting the Butler Public Library.

Robert A Heinlein

Robert A Heinlein, the Dean of Science Fiction.




Throwback Thursday-It’s Coffee Day



The Radford Livery Stable on West Ohio Street in Butler.  (Corner Hardware Location)

The Radford Livery Stable on West Ohio Street in Butler. (Corner Hardware Location)

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

January 22

1861-Captain Thomas B. Cummings, of Johnstown, and his Border Guard meet Captain Warren’s Kansas-Cass troops who surrender to the Home Guard near West Point.

1906-After two weeks of repair and four weeks without street lights,  the Butler Light Plant gets back to generating electricity.

1910-Dode Worley is elected Police Chief of Mulberry.

1940-A spectacular blaze levels Noe’s Drug and Jewelry store on the North side of the square. Also damaged is the Lewis store in the Horn Building and Carolyn’s Dress Shop in the Arnold Building.

1945-Mrs. Esther Edwards has moved her Dr. Pepper bottling plant from North Main St. to the newly decorated building on North Delaware St.

1951-It’s “Coffee Day” at any Butler restaurant and café in Butler. Half of all the proceeds goes to the March of Dimes.

Interior Shot of Noe's Drug Store before the fire.

Interior Shot of Noe’s Drug Store before the fire.


Noe's Drug Store after a fire in 1940.

Noe’s Drug Store after a fire in 1940.


January 23

1816-By an act of the Territorial Legislature, the area between the Missouri River and the Marias des Cygnes River is made a part of Howard County.

1880-M.S. Cowles & Company take arrival of a fine, new safe but the combination was lost during travel.

1885-A special social hop is held at the W. J. Bard mansion near Vinton. A fantastic supper is served at midnight.

1885-Butler night watchman, John Dickerson, arrests Charles Simmons, who was full of  “bug juice” and waves a large pruning knife at the officer. Fined $59.19.

1906-L.S. Radford completes a large addition to his Ohio Street livery barn, making it the biggest in the county. (Corner Hardware location)

1924-The legendary, world renowned Blind Boone & Company appears in the Hume High School auditorium.

1949-Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Oberwether return to Butler from Washington D. C.  where they attended the inauguration of President Harry S. Truman.



Throwback Thursday-A New Weathervane and Underage Drivers

Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

The American Clothing House Daylight Store Advertisement circ


January 15

1882-A meeting is held in Butler to try and persuade Dr. Lee of Kansas to build his insane asylum here.

1895-The new Bank of Merwin opens with Asa Rosier, president; J. W. Hartman, vice-president; and Capt. J. C. Martin, cashier.  They are awaiting the 8,000 pound, burglar-proof safe they’ve ordered.

1907-The masquerade party at the Armory Hall is a success.  Butler. (Second floor of current Corner Hardware building).

1914-Bert Claunch has purchased the Square Deal Meat Market from W. J. Bullock and will take charge the 19th.

1918-The Hume branch of the National Surgical Dressing Committee makes its 6th shipment of 1,367 pieces.

1920-The American Clothing House, The Daylight Store,  is having a New Spring Goods Sale, up to 20% off.  (Present day Palace Building, first floor).

1935-The Butler City Council instructs City Marshal Ross Williams to stop all children under age 16 from driving cars on Butler streets.


Tintype of Asa Rosier.  Date unknown.

Tintype of Asa Rosier. Date unknown.



January 16

1855-The new Postmaster for West Point is Willis Feeley.

1872-The Great Western Hotel is undergoing thorough repairs under the supervision of J. J. Galoway.  Mr. Metcalf relinquished possession yesterday and is the new host of the Pickett House. (The Great Western was located on the Northwest corner of the Butler square.  El Dorado is currently occupies the lot.)

1884-Old Walnut, West of Foster, is experiencing weekly fires, as the business is decreasing as the new town of Foster is booming.

1895-Miss Anna C Hannah, daughter of Captain and Mrs. J. W. Hannah, owner of the Palace Hotel in Butler, is married to Charles Ross at the Butler Presbyterian Church, Dr. J. H. Miller , of Rich Hill, officiating.  A sumptuous reception is held at the hotel banquet room.

1901-The Kansas City Southern’s new eating stop is the Morley House Hotel in Merwin, so report the Merwin Mirror newspaper.

1905-Mr. W. B. Wrightman is the new station agent at the Kansas City Southern Railroad depot at Hume.

1928-The four new 500 watt bulbs, and the weather vane, put up by W. H. Hood, atop the Courthouse dome are drawing a lot of attention.


Carinda (right) and Anna (left) Hannah, daughter of John W. and Jennie (Willey) Hannah.

Carinda (right) and Anna (left) Hannah, daughter of John W. and Jennie (Willey) Hannah.

John Wesley and Jennie Hannah and family.  Photo courtesy of descendant, Pamela Wehr.

John Wesley and Jennie Hannah and family. Photo courtesy of Pamela Wehr.





Throwback Thursday-Fresh Bivalves and Robber Barons


Missour Pacific Railroad Depot in Rich Hill by moonlight

The Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot in Rich Hill by moonlight. Date unknown.


Courtesy of the Eddie Herrman Archives

January 8

1871-An ad in the Bates County Record states “Fresh bivalves (clams) served any hour, day or night” at the Pickett Hotel dining room.

1874-Mr. Rose moves his mill from on the Miami Creek to the Marais des Cygnes River 2 miles south of Bell’s Mill.

1885-The Confederate Vet Association of Bates County meets in the courthouse, P. Hackett, president.

1920-Lloyd Graves is the new manager of the Western Union Telegraph office  in Butler.

1937-About 7 a.m. several railroad cars are derailed south of Rich Hill, near Arthur, delaying trains into Rich Hill.

1973-The first baby born in the Bates County Memorial Hospital in 1973, is Cathrine Leslie Scott to Mr. & Mrs. John Scott of Adrian.  Attending physician is Dr. Curtis W. Long of Butler.

The Fraternal Inn building also know as the Hotel Pennell and the Inn Building circa 1920.

The Fraternal Inn building also know as the Hotel Pennell and the Inn Building circa 1920.

January 9

1882-Financier and railroad magnate, Jay Gould, passes through Butler at 1:30 p.m. on his special train of five coaches.  He’s one of the owner of the Missouri Pacific railroad.

1896-Manager Sanders of the Rich Hill Opera House announces the opening day will be the 23rd with The Hoyt Comedy Troupe.  It had burned on October 14, 1895.

1908-Rudolph Talbott opens a tailor shop in the west basement of the Hotel Pennell.

1922-In the past year of 1921, there were 42 divorces granted in Bates County.

1949Bates County is under a coating of ice and traffic is treacherous.

Interior shot of a Chautauqua being held in the Rich Hill Opera House.  Date unknown.

Interior shot of a Chautauqua being held in the Rich Hill Opera House. Date unknown.




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