To the editor:
The recent Journal-World reported the death of another former Lawrence mayor, Jack Rose. Jack did many good things for our community. One of those, as mayor, which most do not know about: restoration of the Milburn Electric Automobile in Watkins Museum.
On a very cold 1973 January evening, Jack and another Lawrence city commissioner came to the Lawrence Region Antique Automobile Club meeting to see if the club would be interested in restoring an old, Lawrence city-owned, electric automobile. He did not have much information other than it was a gift of a former prominent lady of Lawrence, and that it had sat in a large metal storage building at the Indiana Street water works plant for many years. After that meeting, we went to view it, which was very difficult as it was covered with pipe, wood, bird droppings and miscellaneous junk.
The following club meeting in February, the decision was made to restore it, on the condition that the city of Lawrence would pay for all needed parts and display it ten years for public viewing, and the club would do all restoration work at no cost to the city. Restoration was completed and the Milburn was placed in Watkins Museum in March 1975.
Thanks to Jack Rose, we all have an opportunity to view Mrs. Henley’s automobile, as she drove it on the streets of Lawrence 95 years ago.