Weekly columns written by a former curator
Carolyn Bless Larsen,

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Past Articles

Apples Apples
Barbeque Shooting

CCC Camp

Did You Know
Drunken Kitchen

Football Game

Hello Girls
Itasca Highway

Misc File
Mish Mash

Organ Concert
Spring Street
Tobacco Show
The Historic town of Weston has
many popular events scheduled
throughout the year.  
For more information
Weston Historical Museum
Carolyn’s Column
September 16, 2011

September 24th is National Museum Day
and participating museums are offering free
admission that day to their individual
institutions. Please visit www.
smithsonianmag.com and you can print off a
special admission pass that is good for two
people at one museum.
The World War I Museum in Kansas City is
one of the participating museums and they
just opened a special exhibit this week called
“Coming Home.” There are five or six of the
postcards/photos from Weston of Co. K
coming home to Weston and the large
homecoming parade planned and put in
honor of Company K and others at that time.
Go enjoy a truly wonderful museum,
experience the sights and sounds of war and
information about the years, the men, the war
machines, and the families. You can also
enjoy the knowledge that your own museum,
Weston Historical Museum, is represented
there. Earlier this week, the special exhibit at
the Truman Library closed that held many
artifacts and a few documents from your
museum also.
In September 1985 The Weston Chronicle
had this item: “Trauma Trends 1985” was
held at the Sheraton Hotel in St. Joseph, Mo.,
Friday, September 20th.
An all-day seminar for nurses, paramedics
and Emergency Medical Technicians
involved in pre-hospital emergency care, the
event was sponsored by Heartland East
(formerly St. Joseph Hospital.)
Five members of HELP, Inc., attended the
informative sessions to upgrade their
education and earn 5 Continuing Education
Units toward renewal of their licenses. Those
attending from Weston were Daisy Beavers,
Ruth Ann Lautzenhiser, Donald Pepper,
Janis Southward and Carolyn Larsen.”
January 1991 brought us this item from the
same newspaper: “The Newer Colossus,
Give me your tire newspaper, your poor cans,
your huddled plastics yearning to be
The wretched refuse of your teeming garage.
Send these, the homeless glass bottles,
tempest-tossed to me: I lift my recycling
center beside Washington Street.
The Weston-area recycling weekend is this
Saturday and Sunday, a great opportunity to
put those waste products from your home or
office back into circulation again.
Products accepted are: glass bottles (please
rinse), tin cans, aluminum cans, newspaper
(minus inserts) and household plastics.
Hours are 9 to 4 Saturday and 1 to 4 Sunday
at the Christian church parking lot on
Washington Street.
Organizers will be assisted this month by
West Platte High School students who are
part of the new volunteer program.”
Another item in this issue is a list of Military
Addresses for young men and women who
were serving in Operation Desert Shield.
Those listed were: Johnny Reese Johnson
A/C, PFC Kip M Crawford, LCPLRonald A.
Mann, CPL Roland J. Wilson, PFC Patrick D.
Jones, SPC Justen G. Byrne, EMFA M.A.
Shenefield, KCPL Brian Hill, 1 Lt. Scott D.
Hamby, LCPL E.L. Mosier, LCPL C.J. Tharp,
and RM3 Philip A. Levingston.
Do come in and see your museum. These
lovely cool days have been drawing people
out to see more interesting places, including
Weston and the museum here. Bring in your
families and friends, we are a kid-friendly
museum and love seeing your smilin’ faces.  
August 31,  2011 column

It’s Your Museum—Enjoy!
Our special tour of the Truman Library was a
wonderful and very successful event on
Saturday, August 27th. Thanks to the
wonderful cooperation between Clay Bauske,
Curator there, and our committee of Marsha
West, Judy Juergens, Susan Grinlinton and
Ruth Marr all went smoothly with the bus, the
catered meal and the special tours give by
Clay himself.
We boarded the bus, after enjoying an aperitif
from a recipe of Bess Truman’s. We were on
our way by three o’clock. Arriving about an
hour later at the museum, we were given a
greeting and information by Clay and then
enjoyed some time to hit the gift shop before
it closed at 5:00.
We also enjoyed a walk through, with Clay, of
the “Steamboats to Steam Engines: George
Caleb Bingham’s Missouri, 1819-1879”
which included a number of items loaned  
from your very own Weston Historical
Following the closing hour of 5:00 no one but
our group were left in the museum and we
wandered, at will, seeing so many of the
informative and interesting exhibits and
The group then enjoyed a lovely catered
buffet meal, followed by tours of the behind-
the-scenes workings of the museum.
All in all, it was an once-in-a-lifetime event
that all of us will long remember and enjoy.
The diary of Andrew S McClure, published by
the Lane Historical Society of Eugene,
Oregon continues:
“The country as far as I have penetrated is
very broken and not fitted to any except
grazing for which it is well suited. We are
encamped near a public wood leading to
Platte City. It has been frequented today by a
number of ladies and gents from Weston
and Platte City according to a statement of a
number of persons across in the territory
affords sufficient grass for the support of our
animals. Some of the sick are very weak but
are in a situation to mend but the exposure
incumbent on a camp life renders it difficult
for a person of worn out constitution and who
has been accustomed to the ease of a
comfortable home to mend rapidly.
Today we have an opportunity of seeing
some of the pleasures and as I thought
much of the frivolities and follies of life. We
have seen many persons both black and
white from the low situations of the work
worn slave to the fine gentleman riding in the
easy seat of the two hundred dollar carriage.
This pasture is so large that we cannot get
our cattle into camp more than once a day to
milk and feed them.
We understand that this pasture has been
engaged by a driver with some two or three
hundred cattle, if so we will move further back
and seek further accommodations by going
back a few miles. This is a hard hole to buy
grain and if they think a man only wants a few
articles, they will ask him three or four prices.
It seems that the emigration will be large and
many for Oregon. He atmosphere has the
appearance of rain.
Monday April 18. This day has been spent, I
may say, in doing washing. . . Some of the
boys went out for corn again for the cattle
were kept tied until night when they were
milked, fed and turned loose. We have put up
hard bread and replaced our provisions. . .
There is much confusion and too much
selfishness. . .We cannot get into the way of
all acting in concert. It is the intention to cross
the river tomorrow and by that means will
miss all the letters of our friends. That will be
unpleasant loss but emigrants must not
stand back on stops for trifles. The main
object is to push ahead and not hesitate. The
Missouri is falling very fast. Another striking
(item?) about this remarkable river—when it
commences rising and rises very fast, and
when it commences to fall, it falls very fast.”
October 14, 2001

IT’S Your museum. . .
Carolyn’s Column
Today we have a mish-mash of items from
different years of the local newspaper.
The Weston Chronicle brought us this in
March of 1913: “Miss Nettie Lamb has
accepted a position in the millinery
department at Doppler’s.”
Another item in that issue reads, “O.B.
Mitchell, Burney Mitchell and Hugh Nichols
this week sold their garage building on Main
Street to John Harpst for $3,200. Mr. Harpst
also intends to remodel his warehouse on
Thomas Street and will use the two buildings
for garage purposes.”  
Another article in an issue during 1913 talked
about several fires: “Friday evening about 8 o’
clock as Henry Hellman was coming to town,
he noticed a small blaze in the three story
brick warehouse of B.J. Bless on
Leavenworth Street. The fire had been
started just inside of the iron doors and had
very little start. With the assistance of R.L.
Kirkpatrick he extinguished the fire before any
damage was done to the building. That the
building was purposely set afire is certain but
as far as we can learn no one was seen
about the premises after dark. The
warehouse is rented to the Royal Brewing
Company and all three floors are filled with
cooperage stock, cases, cartons and barrels
and if the fire had gained a little more
headway it would have made a “hot time in
the old town” that night. There was some
insurance on the stock but none on the
A fire in Dearborn was also reported in that
issue: “Quite a destructive fire did
considerable damage at Dearborn Thursday
night of last week. At about 11:30 o’clock that
night a fire was discovered in the livery stable
of A.V. Ratcliff which had gained
considerable headway and this building with
its contents was destroyed including six
horses and several vehicles.  The residence
of M. Vitluck and the office of Dr. E.A. Shikels
also burned. An automobile belonging to A.C.
Leavel was in one of the buildings and was
destroyed. The town of Dearborn has no fire
fighting apparatus and it was hard work to
check the fire with a bucket brigade. The loss
is over $10,000 with about $4,000 insurance.
The origin of the fire is unknown.”
An item in The Weston Chronicle of July 19,
1940 read, “H.S. Quinley and Son this week
completed the job of redecorating the
spacious home of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Murphy
on Spring Street. It was painted white and
trimmed in a touch of green. The Quinleys
last week completed the restoration of the
interior of the Stadholt’s Bakery. The kitchen
was painted white and the confectionary
room was papered with light paper.”
A second item in the same issue brought us
this: “Miss Percy Stultz will present a part of
her class of piano students in a recital at the
Methodist church next Friday night at 8:10.
Everyone is welcome to attend.”
The issue of May 5, 1950 gave us this: In
spite of the rain a good crowd was out Friday
night to witness the senior play, “The
Campbells are Coming,” a three-act farce
comedy held in the auditorium of the high
school. Each senior in the class was given
an assignment in the play and they all played
their parts to perfection.
Between the acts Royce Johnson and Edna
Vandrell entertained the crowd by singing
popular songs.
After Mr. Taylor’s curtain talk, the class
presented their sponsor, Mrs. Marjorie Page,
with a red carnation corsage. The credit for
the success of the play goes to Mrs. Page
who coached the play.”
That same issue gave us this: “Twenty-five
hundred school children will play in their
respective bands in the Apple Blossom
Parade to be held in St. Joseph today. The
Weston band dressed in their new suits will
be taken in the school bus by Mr. Cox. A
number of mothers plan to go and will assist
Mr. Cox in looking after the younger children.
Before the parade is formed all bands will
meet at the Civic Center where they will play
“The Star Spangled Banner” together. Treats
in store are a free picture show at the Electric
Theatre, free lunch and free rides at the
That is it for now. C’mon in and see your
museum. We love seeing your smilin’ faces.
Carolyn Larsen, Former Curator of the Museum
check out her informative book,
We Too Lived: Recovering Lost Histories of Black Americans in the Midwest
available at  the Museum Nostalgia Store
Weston Historical Museum
601 Main Street - Weston, MO  64098
a German Lithograph painted late 1800's, depicts Weston, Mo when the town was a busy river port