Old Hometown

Local writer Sarah St. John pulls from the Journal-World archives to compile reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence decades ago.

100 years ago: Lawrence opinion divided on pool hall issue

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 22, 1914:"The appearance of the anti-pool hall ordinance coming from a clear sky caused considerable excitement in Lawrence yesterday. It seems that the two sides of the question are lining up for the conflict. The pool hall owners are preparing to ...

40 years ago: Intruders hold couple while home ransacked

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 22, 1974:Armed robbers had held a retired farm couple hostage in their home for about four hours overnight while their rural home was ransacked and a small amount of cash taken. Mr. and Mrs. Homer C. Flory, both in their 70s, reported they had not ...

25 years ago: Family loses mobile home in quick fire

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 22, 1989:A family's mobile home, located about a quarter mile west of Midland Junction and two miles north of Lawrence, had caught fire about 6 p.m. the previous evening and had been gone in less than five minutes, according to Ed Erskin, the ...

100 years ago: Railway accuses KU geology students of trespassing while on hike

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 21, 1914:"As a result of a conference this morning between Santa Fe detectives and University authorities regarding the trespassing of a geology class on the right of way of the railroad Saturday, it was announced that the Chancellor would take up ...

40 years ago: Wescoe Hall opens today

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 21, 1974:After 2 1/2 years of construction, Kansas University's Wescoe Hall opened for full use today. The building's lower three floors welcomed students, faculty, and staff today, joining the fourth floor rooms which had been occupied since ...

25 years ago: Trafficway planners weigh latest EPA regulations

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 21, 1989:County officials were taking another look at the south Lawrence trafficway to see whether the proposed road would satisfy a new Environmental Protection Agency policy designed to keep the nation from losing any more wetlands. Mike Amyx, ...

40 years ago: Lawrence shoe warehouse to close its doors

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 20, 1974:The front page of the Journal-World this week carried a bulletin saying that Kansas Footwear, Inc., a distribution center located northwest of Lawrence, was to close in late September, 1974. The facility, located in the Santa Fe industrial ...

100 years ago: Lawrence street deteriorates to ‘a stretch of mud holes’

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 19, 1914:"Elliott [Fourth] street is in need of repair work. It has always been full of holes, but it has now become so bad as to be practically impassable. The holes were filled up with mud instead of cement and the result is to make the entire ...

40 years ago: Anonymous group urges Sen. Dole to run for Kansas governor

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 19, 1974:Sen. Bob Dole received a letter this week from an anonymous group of Eastern Kansas Republicans urging him to run for governor. The letter had been sent through local lawyer Jack Brand, Third District GOP chair and Lawrence Chamber of ...

25 years ago: County commissioners split on pay cut

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 19, 1989:Douglas County Commissioners this week were considering taking a voluntary pay cut that would reduce their salary by more than 20 percent. Commission chair Mike Amyx had brought the issue up for discussion at a previous meeting, saying ...

100 years ago: Successful young J-W printer to move to Chicago

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 18, 1914:"We often hear that 'a young man doesn't have the opportunity now that he used to have' and many people really believe that it is so, although if they will but look around they will see many young men and women who are forging to the ...

40 years ago: Liquor-by-the-drink defeated again

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 18, 1974:The controversial liquor-by-the-drink issue had met its death again in Topeka, at least for the 1974 legislative session. The amendment had fallen 20 votes short of adoption today in the Kansas House. There had been 64 votes in favor, with ...

25 years ago: City soon to close on riverfront mall deal

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 18, 1989:Lawrence city commissioners were working their way through a "flurry of paperwork" before closing could take place for a deal that would bring a riverfront factory outlet shopping mall to Lawrence. The center was planned for development on ...

100 years ago: Local union carpenters to demand 40 cents an hour this spring

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 17, 1914:"Up another notch goes the already High Cost of Building. The local lodge of the Carpenters Union has announced that beginning the first of May all journeymen carpenters in Lawrence will demand 40 cents per hour for their services. This is ...

40 years ago: Kief’s suffers large loss in ovenight burglary

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 17, 1974:A loss of several thousand dollars' worth of equipment was feared after an overnight break-in was discovered this morning at Kief's Discount Records & Stereo, 711 W. 23rd. A definite figure could not be set until inventory was ...

25 years ago: All Lawrence legislators will oppose state death penalty

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 17, 1989:Today's Journal-World reported the reactions from local legislators about Gov. Hayden's proposed death penalty legislation, which had been announced yesterday. All four Lawrence legislators said today they expected to oppose the ...

40 years ago: Lawrence elder recalls historic winter of 1886 on Kansas plains

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 16, 1974:In the wake of the recent near-historic cold snap, Lawrence resident Arthur B. Commons, 99, recalled surviving the Kansas January of 1886. Commons, who now lived at 1706 Learnard, had been 12 years old that winter and had lived with his ...