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: Finally, Lawrence will have street signs

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 5, 1914:"Orders for 823 street signs, at a cost of $205, for use in the City of Lawrence have been placed with a Chicago firm to be delivered at the earliest possible date. These are the street signs which the Federation of Women's Clubs asked the ...

40 years ago: KU basketball players appeal to fans to stop throwing debris

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 5, 1974:In a Letter to the Editor this week, the members of the Kansas University men's basketball team appealed to fans for their help to stop the throwing of debris that had been occurring during games at Allen Fieldhouse. The letter read in ...

25 years ago: Record-breaking cold grips Lawrence

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 5, 1989:Freezing pipes and non-starting cars continued to plague shivering Lawrence residents this week as cold temperatures continued to break records. The Kansas University weather observer reported a trace of snow had fallen on the city ...

100 years ago: City replaces ‘ancient hovel’ of a city jail

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 4, 1914:"Another ancient landmark has been wiped off the townsite. The old hovel back of the city hall that served the purposes of a city jail for many seasons has passed away. In the same site today stands a modern structure of brick and concrete ...

40 years ago: County warning sirens not all functioning

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 4, 1974:Some sirens in the county's emergency warning system did not function when the system was tested this morning. Three sirens had failed to sound in the initial test, according to H. H. Belote, civil defense director, and there had been an ...

25 years ago: Record low of 9 below keeps plumbers, tow-trucks busy

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 4, 1989:An onslaught of true wintertime cold arrived in Lawrence today, with an official morning low hitting a record of 9 degrees below zero. In addition to the usual problems of trying to keep themselves warm, local residents experienced trouble ...

100 years ago: Pool halls, billiards rooms, bowling alleys to face city ban

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 3, 1914:"POOL HALLS OUSTED. -- Pool halls, billiard rooms, and bowling alleys must cease business in the city of Lawrence on January 1, 1915. By a vote of 6 to 4 the city council last night passed the ordinance ousting these places from the city. ...

40 years ago: Editorial questions motives of liquor-by-the-drink opponents

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 3, 1974:From the editorial page: "Why is it that the people of Kansas and legislators turn their heads in mock virtue when the subject of liquor-by-the-drink is discussed? Why is it the public makes no clamor for another vote for repeal of the ...

25 years ago: Lawrence braces for cold front

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 3, 1989:Lawrence residents were enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures this week, but the vacation from wintertime cold was about to come to an end. An arctic front was expected to move in, plunging the mercury into the single digits and bringing ...

100 years ago: Speaker urges rural families to allow children more free time

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 3, 1914:"Prof. W. A. McKeever in an address before Grant Township folks in the White School House last night urged the country folks to pay more attention to the social side of their life, to pay more attention to the matter of recreation for the ...

100 years ago: Fire chief tests speed of response team

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 2, 1914:"To answer some charges that his department was not showing proper speed Fire Chief W. F. Reinisch tested out his men and horses this morning. The chief sent in a a 'still alarm' from the Holloway Grocery this morning and just 5 1/2 minutes ...

40 years ago: Local resident praises young “long hair” people

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 2, 1974:A letter to the editor today from a Lawrence resident praised the large turnout of young people at the South Park Recreation Center during a recent blood drive. "All had long hair and scattered among them were all degrees of hirsute ...

25 years ago: State legislators consider child abuse bills

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 2, 1989:In Topeka today, state legislators were discussing child abuse prevention. Many cases of abuse could be stopped, a Lawrence senator said, if parents could obtain more affordable day care. "One of the things that causes people to abuse their ...

100 years ago: ‘Tango artist’ reveals his true identity

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 1, 1914:"The Mystery of the Tango and the Tango Artists is no longer a mystery. What was a rumor yesterday was declared a fact today when Emmet Crozier, alias Karl Wingate, offered a confession. It was a joke that was too good to keep and ...

40 years ago: County turns to microfilm to preserve old records

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 1, 1974:Douglas County was considering a $25,000 microfilming contract that would preserve the contents of 640 of its big ledgers. Officials of Lockwood Co., Atchison, who had presented the contract, recommended that the county keep one copy of the ...

25 years ago: New parking meters unpopular with Lawrence drivers

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 1, 1989:Lt. Dave Cobb, the Lawrence Police Department officer who was in charge of overseeing downtown parking meters, was receiving more complaints than usual these days. "I put a dime in and the stupid thing didn't show the time," read one note ...

100 years ago: ‘School of Commerce’ to be started at KU

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 31, 1914:"A four-year course in a School of Commerce probably will be offered soon by the University of Kansas. Edw. T. Hackney, president of the board, is fostering the plan for this new line of work in the University.... It is the purpose of this ...

25 years ago: Local mumps outbreak still a puzzle

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 31, 1989:An investigative team from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta had recently completed its three-week study on a mumps outbreak in Lawrence, but their findings were inconclusive. The outbreak, which had begun in early October, had ...

100 years ago: KU Orchestra grows in reputation

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 30, 1914:"It was demonstrated last night at Fraser Hall that Lawrence and the University have developed a Symphony Orchestra which is not merely a commendable organization of students, but a real instrument for expressing the musical life of the ...