100 years ago: Lawrence citizens vote for municipal ownership of water plant

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 15, 1916:

  • “The citizens of Lawrence yesterday voted to purchase the plant of the Lawrence Water company, by a vote of 1,885 to 1,082…. Every ward south of the river gave a good majority for the purchase of the plant. The two wards of North Lawrence returned a majority against the proposition…. The polls closed at 7 o’clock in the evening, and the result was known in a remarkably short time afterward. Shortly after 8 o’clock the returns from all the precincts were in and when people began calling the newspaper offices the results were ready for them. For several hours the telephones in the Journal-World office were kept busy, and there generally was an exclamation of approval at the other end of the wire when the result was stated. The large vote polled and the interest shown in the results showed the high pitch of expectation to which the town had been aroused over the important issue of the water purchase – one of the most important that the voters of the town have ever passed upon…. Lawrence is one of the last towns in the state to take its privately owned plant over to the municipal ownership and control, and it is confidently expected that the success which other towns have had in managing their water plants will be duplicated here.”
  • “In the city primary yesterday on the office of commissioner of finance the names of W. W. Holyfield and F. I. Carter were voted on. The primary election was in the nature of things a side issue to the water election, as it decided nothing except the strength the two candidates were able to muster. The names of both candidates will appear on the ballots of the regular city election in April. The theory of the city primary is that the names of all but the two candidates receiving the highest vote will be eliminated. As there were only two candidates for the place there was no elimination in yesterday’s primary.”
  • “Steel rods for re-enforcement are being placed in the concrete poured in the caisson for the second pier of the new Kansas river bridge. Working on high, narrow scaffolds above the river the men were employed yesterday afternoon in placing these steel rods in place. The work was rendered more difficult yesterday by the wind which was blowing…. The real work in the river commenced when the construction of the second river pier was started. Previous to this time almost all the construction work has been done on the shore with the exception of the barge work. The work is made slightly more difficult by the fact that the men are working over water. Two men have fallen from the caisson into the cold waters of the river this week while swinging spike mauls…. Occasionally a spike maul or other tool is dropped ‘overboard.’… The steady hauling of freight by the interurban for the bridge in the way of supplies, equipment and material shows to the public the largeness of the task of building the concrete bridge. Carload after carload of rock has been hauled to Lawrence…. The engineers are taking advantage of the present open and for the most part pleasant weather to push the bridge work with all speed consistent with a first-class finished product. A larger force of men than ever before is being employed. With a more or less complete lighting system construction continues throughout the night…. The picture presented by the river at night, the lights around the construction camps going, the columns of steam and smoke arising from the engines, barges and compression plants is causing the river side to become as popular a place for sight seeing at night as it has proven during the day.”
  • “General Wilder S. Metcalf has presented the Lawrence Country Club with a large American flag. The flag will be placed on the pole on the water tower on the country club premises. It will be used only on holidays and other special occasions.”
  • “Edward Larrance, the young son of Homer Larrance, suffered a severe accident Monday afternoon. The boy ran to meet his father when the latter was returning home in his milk wagon, and falling, was run over by a rear wheel of the wagon. The left leg was broken just below the hip. The boy is now getting along as well as could be expected.”