It’s Your Museum--Enjoy!
By Carolyn A. Larsen, Curator

Fall, for me, has always been associated with
the smell of rich soil, tobacco drying in the barns
and apples being readied for sale. Thus, this
week, let’s learn a little bit about the early-day
apple industry in the area.
The local newspaper on August 9, 1895, stated
“Rumpel & Sons will commence soon to make
apple barrels for the Reese & Downing orchard
near Bean Lake. They will use between eight
and ten thousand barrels.”
August 30, 1895 C. Thorp announced: “I will pack
apples the entire season at Weston and Iatan.
Also contract car lots elsewhere. Want only hand-
picked, large matured apples. Remember I will
be ready to take your apples as fast as they are
ready and pay you a fancy price for fancy apples.”
Oct. 15, 1886, The Weston Chronicle noted, “C.
Thorp, that enterprising apple dealer of this city,
has opened another apple house, this time at
DeKalb. This makes four apple houses Mr.
Thorp is now running; one in Tracy, one in
DeKalb and two in Weston.”
From Paxton’s Annals the date of Sept. 1897,
“Reece & Downey who own 125 acres in apple
trees east of Atchison in Platte county, have for
three years in succession, sold their apples at
an average price of $120 per acre each year. The
land in that vicinity is worth $49 per acre and the
firm has therefore realized nine times the value
of the land during the three years.”
From The St. Joseph Daily News of April 26,
1900, “The Reese & Downing orchard in Platte
county, near the Buchanan county line, will
produce a record breaking crop of apples this
year unless something happens later than this
to injure the crop. Two years ago the apples
were sold on the trees for $16,400.”
“The Rumpel-Bless warehouse is a lively place
where Harpst & Rodenberg are packing apples.
About 30 carloads have been shipped and at
present they are loading four to five cars a day.”
The Chronicle of Oct. 12, 1911.
The same newspaper dated Nov. 14, 1913
noted, “Ed E. Brill and George Gunther have put
their cider mill in operation and are prepared to
make cider for the public. Take your apples to
their mill and get cider made of them. Prices
On Sept. 22, 1922 the paper read, “One of the
very pleasant busy spots in Weston at this
season is at the Main street tobacco warehouse
where barrels and loads of barrels of glossy
read apples are now being pack by Hunt Brother
of St. Joseph. B.E. Desplain is the manager with
J.W. Wright, Lee Treadway, William Large,
William Robbins and Potter Light as assistants.”
From the Platte County Cornhusker Edition, Nov.
1929, “Mr. L.B. Benner is the possessor of the
country’s ranking apple crop of the 1929 season.
In a tract of 100 acres, forty have been in orchard
twenty years. From this strip in Sept. were
harvested 3,000 barrels.”
Lastly, The Chronicle, of September 1943, “With
the Ed Brill new orchard coming into its first
heavy yield, the Vaughn Brothers making a
combination shipment and the large Benner and
Pepper orchards ready for the second picking,
the Jonathan apple crop of the Weston vicinity is
moving rapidly this week. L.B. Benner started the
ball rolling when about thirty-five hands went into
the orchards of himself and his son, Earl, where
sixty acres of apples were blushing beautifully.
The Pepper orchard was a close second, with
1200 bushels picked. Maurice and Walter
Vaughn are novices at the apple business but
are doing excellent work in managing the three
comparatively small orchards, those of their
father, Ed Vaughn, of Mayo Hardesty and John
That is just a little bit of the apple history we have
in the museum. Want more? Come see us. We’
d love to see you.
The Historic town of Weston has
many popular events scheduled
throughout the year.  
For more information
copyright 2009
Weston Historical Museum
It’s Your Museum--Enjoy!
By Carolyn A. Larsen, Curator

With the talk about cars, gas mileage, hybrids,
etc. I thought it might be fun to look back a few
years to automobiles here in Weston.
Autos were first permitted for Rural Mail Deliver
in May of 1906. Until then it was delivered
generally on horseback.
The July 8, 1910 issue of The Weston Chronicle
tells us that W.J. Rumpel opened an auto sales
room on Thomas Street. In a July 1, 1938 issue
we are told that Mahlon Gabbert bought himself
a new auto for his 81st birthday, trading in a ‘28
model for the newest Ford.
1913 newly weds, Mr. and Mrs. B. Frank Spratt,
were driven in a “jitney” by Gene Miller to Kansas
City. The trip only took four hours!
In June of 1916, E.W. Foley traded one of his
mules for a Ford. Two months later in August, B.
B. Pepper traded apples for a Ford touring car.
It was during March of 1922 that E.J. Thorn and J.
W. Cox left Los Angeles for Weston, arriving 8 1/2
days later, going as much as 300 miles a day!
Then there was Mrs. Billy Carpenter who got into
an auto for the first time in January of 1926. The
lady even made it a more special day by leaving
her house by the front door for the first time in
forty years!
C.A. Murdock and family went to Indianapolis
where Billy Winn, son of Nora Murdock and C.H.
Winn came in 9th place before a crowd of
150,000. Billy also won the Illinois State Fair 100-
mile race two years in a row. His record for the
hundred-mile racetrack was 1 hr., 14 minutes.
The Weston Chronicle issue of August 17, 1917
brought this Warning! from John Thorn, Mayor:
“Attention of drivers of vehicles, especially drivers
of automobiles, is called to ordinances of the city
making it a misdemeanor to run at a greater
speed than 10 miles per hour; to run with the ‘cut-
out’ open; to park except on the right hand side of
the curb; to turn around in the middle of the block
on Main street between Short and Market Streets
and on Thomas Street between Main and
Washington Streets; to turn other than to the right
on all streets; to stand or park within 10 feet of a
fire hydrant unless in charge of some person;
and to stand or park within 15 feet of an
intersection street.
These rules are for the safety and protection of
the public and must be observed.
This last warning is given that anyone violating
the above traffic rules will be arrested and the
marshals have been instructed to strictly enforce
Enjoy the photos of several “oldies”. There are
more of these in your museum. .
Your columnist is happy to report that six people
from Weston came into see their museum
between last Friday at one o’clock and Sunday
evening at 4:30. Keep coming in folks, this is
your museum and it cost you nothing but a little
time and it is a great place to see and learn a
little about your town. We do love seeing you!

Barbecue Shooting
We are on the search again. We are trying to find
the location of a business in downtown Weston
in the mid-to-late 1920’s.
In 1924-‘25-‘26 we find small, one or two line
advertisements that say: “Try our barbecued
sandwiches. You will like them. ROYAL SMOKE
An article in the August 1, 1924 issue of The
Weston Chronicle we find the following: “Ellis
Mann took charge of the restaurant Tuesday
morning, having bought the stock and equipment
and rented the building from Hat
Buckler, who recently bought the whole affair
from Mayor Waggoner. Mr. Buckler intends to
return to Kentucky. He has made Weston his
home for many years and has a number of
friends here.”
Then, in the February 18, 1927 issue we read:
“W.E. Cash has just built a brick oven back of the
Royal Smoke House, and here he is preparing
barbecued meats, principally ribs. This style of
cooking has become very popular in the last few
years, and Weston patrons will be glad to know it
can be procured now.”
You will note that in none of the three items is
there a mention of an address of the building
April 29, 1927 there appears an obituary for
Hatten Buckler who by this time is a widower
with two small sons. He had not returned to
Kentucky it seems. “Hat” as he was mostly
called, was shot to death in the Royal Smoke
House. Though I do not know the full story, Mr.
Buckler was shot by the night watchman, Don
Weigman. According to a hearing following the
shooting, Weigman told Hat to go home
(supposedly because Hat was a bit sloshed and
making trouble). Weigman and witnesses
thought Hat was going for a weapon inside his
coat. Weigman shot Hat dead on the spot.
Weigman was exonerated at the hearing.
Was the Royal Smoke House a place where one
could take their meats to be smoked? Perhaps it
was a restaurant? It would seem that it was a
restaurant according to the articles, but then why
would it allow someone to build a brick oven
right outside their back door to do barbecued
foods? Was it on Main Street?  Did it close after
the death of Hat Buckler? Does anyone know the
answers to these questions?
See what interesting things you find in your
museum? And, it is all for free, there are no
admission fees to come in and look around,
research a family, business, organization,
church or home. There is no charge to search
out and enjoy a real life mystery. C’mon in! We’d
love to see you.
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
Weekly columns written by a former curator
Carolyn Bless Larsen,

Click on the titles below left to read your past favorites!