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March 9, 2018

2018 / Spring Johnson County Missouri Historical Society Newsletter

Spring 2018
Oxford Place, Holden, MO

OCTOBER 1, 2017                          

Greetings to one and all from The Little Gift Shop on the Old Towne Square
by Fran Billings
What a wonderful first year to celebrate and to have enjoyed. Old Friends came to visit and to shop; new friends came too. What a pleasure to see the smiles of delight and recognition as visitors discovered small treasures and free gifts throughout the year. Such fun it has been to share early sweethearts and marriages of Johnson County, May Pole dances at the first schools in our small communities, our Patriots of the Revolutionary War and 1812 resting here in our Johnson  County and recipes from yesteryear, “Granny’s Recipes an Ageless Gift.” And of the artwork of Johnson Countians is special with something for all ages.

Bob Wyatt, Leeton, Mo Author
History is an adventure made of real life people. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes ugly and everything in between. The Little Gift shop is proud to share bits and pieces of who and what has gone before. At our First Anniversary celebration, we were most pleased to have Bob Wyatt, (pictured above) local author, for a program and book signing. Bob was privileged to have been part of bringing together, integrating and setting into book form from a vast array of information the Josse Flasschoen family story; a true story of love and courage for country and family. Europe was a harsh, grievous place for many people during the Second World War years. Three family members survived the holocaust although Josse did not. An added pleasure to our celebration was to enjoy the favor of Josse’s daughter-in-law being with us for the afternoon. A remarkable family, a remarkable story with ties to our community. A must read book!

An added pleasure of the afternoon was to present the 2017 Christmas Ornaments to the mayors of our small towns for the community Christmas trees. City halls are a great place to display the ornaments for all to enjoy.

Many of the artists supplying the Little Gift Shop attended the celebration,  It was good to introduce them to the Annual Meeting attendees and fun to hand an ornament to each! The Grand Gift drawing turned out well for Ron Rupsdorf who received the three Courthouse ornaments to grace his home this Christmas past.

 Donna Holt, Loretta Millstead, & Fran Billings present awards to participating artists.

And didn’t we have the prettiest little runner delivering gifts with a smile.
Thanks, Emma Garza! (shown above with Fran Billings.)
Come visit the Little Gift Shop, enjoy a chat. Share a story from your own history. Buy a piece of local art or a lovely card sure to bring a smile to someone. Receive a free gift with historical notation. Bring a friend along and double the fun of an outing. We will watch for you on the Old Towne Square.
P.S. Spring is in the air. Old Drum Days and Festival is approaching. Join in the festivities and surprises. Saturday, April 14 at 9 AM - 6 PM CDT Old Courthouse Square on Main.
At day’s end you will be tired but happy!

Volunteers Needed!
The Little Gift Shop on the Old Town Square would like volunteers for Tuesday and Friday, 1:00-4:00  and one Saturday each month 1:00-4:00. ONLY 3 hours a day in a pleasant surrounding meeting interesting people.

The Music Studio of Warrensburg 2018 Season of Shows at the Old Courthouse Grounds
Getting to Know: The Sound of Music (May 25-26, June 29-30)
Xanadu, Jr. (June 1-2, June 8-9
The Little Mermaid, Jr. (June 15-16, June 22-23

Tickets are on sale at

Kenneth and Marian Glazebrook
Legacy Gifts to the Johnson County Missouri Historical Society
The Glazebrook Endowment Gifts
The Historical Society just recently received two amazing gifts from the Glazebrook endowment. Kenneth a Glazebrook’s will directed that his gift not be released until his wife, Marian Glazebrook, passed and her donation went through probate. While the Historical Society board members had a rough idea of how much was coming, they didn’t know the exact figure until the checks arrived. Mr. Glazebrook’s donation was $113,000 and hers was $120,000. The money arrived just in time to make some much-needed repairs to the old Davis Store. Kenneth was born May 16, 1923, on a farm south of Concordia, Mo. the son of Grover and Maude (Venable) Glazebrook. Kenneth was a graduate of Knob Noster High School class of 1941. He worked for Missouri Public Service Company and retired in 1983 after over 35 years of service.
Marian H. Glazebrook, was born Oct. 27, 1924, in La Monte, Missouri, the daughter of Ernest L. and Bertha (Hunter) Jones. She and Kenneth Glazebrook were united in marriage on March 18, 1949, in La Monte. He preceded her in death on April 10, 2013. Marian was a member of the La Monte Methodist Church. She attended two years at CMSU in business. She worked as a secretary at Whiteman Air Force Base. She later worked for the federal government as an accountant and did payroll for the US Marine Corps in Kansas City.
Marian is survived by one brother, John Jones, of La Monte; close friends, Marc and Robin Meador, of Warrensburg; and Rob Lawrence and wife, Wendy Stallins, of Warrensburg; and several nieces and nephews.
What an incredible, wonderful legacy from Kenneth and Marian Glazebrook!

The Old Davis Store Gets a New Roof
The Davis Store roof has been leaking badly for years causing a lot of structural damage.  It had reached a point where Historical Society Administrator, Mike Shaw feared that it couldn’t be saved.  The board was able to use some of the recently received Glazebrook gifts to hire Flynn Construction from Marshall to do the most urgent repair work at a cost of $46,000.  Flynn Construction removed the old roofing back down to the original 1867 rafters. They were amazed to find that many of the old rafters were just 1” boards.  The roofers used a string line to ensure that there would be no low places when they added new rafters beside the old wood. Finally they added new particle board and then new torch down (rolled roofing). The long-term goal is to open a grocery store again in half of the building. This would generate income for the Society and return the building to its historic purpose  The Genealogical Society still has an interest in renting the other half for their organization. However, many more repairs need to be done first. In the meantime, the new roof means much-needed storage space for the growing historical collection.
Two New Members Join Our Board
James R. Duncan is the man behind the Music Studio performances on the Historical Society grounds that were such a hit last summer. He is a performer himself and has sung for 24 years with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus under the direction of Grammy-winning choral conductor Charles Bruffy and Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern. He has performed with such notable conductors and celebrities as Doc Severinsen, Nicholas McGegan, David Lockington, and Paul Salamunovich.
Students of Jim's have consistently earned high ratings at festivals and competitions. Many of his students have gone on to careers in music education, performance, and worship music. Jim studied piano under Dr. Wesley True, Dr. Richard Smith, Dr. Richard Zimdars, and Dr. Franklin Koch. He studied organ under Dr. William McCandless and voice under Marcille McCandless and Dr. Phyllis Robertson.
Joyce Simmons Dorrell is a singer/songwriter who has been entertaining the masses for two decades. In 1994, she won honors for CCMN's Top 25 Regional Musician Award and also took home the Best Trio Trophy. Joyce is also a sales associate at Reece and Nichols Realtors.
When asked what persuaded her to contribute her time to the Historical Society she answered.  “Many things really. I remember first recognizing a civic duty to preserve our history back in the ‘70s. My sister wanted to marry at the old church in Columbus, Mo. The church was in shambles then. Our family and friends spent weeks repairing it for her wedding. The community was able to use it again. We started gathering there for many events after that.
We brought back to life the Ms. Columbus pageant and Columbus day activities. The Haile family that financed the original school building there were my great grandparents. My family took a big role in getting the old Elm school moved to Old Courthouse grounds.  Our family still has property there and some of us live in Columbus and Elm area still. We still keep active there and host events for the community when we can.
We also started Old Drum Days before we had a fairground. Back then, just a few of us were involved but it quickly caught on. John and Shirley Simmons, Nancy Bell and John Muirell played huge parts in making us an organization recognized by the Missouri State Fair Association. I attended many  events in Columbia preparing us as an official group. In the early 90's I was involved with reopening Blind Boone Park. I found the Wind Harp in an alley in St. Louis, tracked down it's owner and then negotiated purchasing and moving it here.  I have had my eye on the Davis Store since childhood and dreamed of seeing it back in its glory. I grew up on West Gay St. and always felt a connection with old town. I have worked with Mike Shaw for several years in hopes of protecting the store and procuring grants to progress the work on it.  It takes many to accomplish these projects and I am proud to be a new member of the Historical Society.
Long-time Historical Society members Natalie Halpin and Lisa Irle have finished a book about Natalie’s parents, Natalie Wilson (Captain Nat) and Max Prussing.
FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, from 1917 until 1942, Camp Carry-On provided a wilderness retreat for girls every summer. Located in Camden County (and later Mountain View), Missouri, the camp taught a variety of physical and character development skills outdoors to girls of all ages, under the direction of Captain Natalie Wilson Prussing, also known as “Captain Nat”. Surviving several transitions, growing and moving as dams flooded once wandering streams, Camp Carry-On provided lasting friendships, with reunions held decades later. Nat’s friend, and later her husband, Max Prussing, surveyed the Bagnell Dam site, built camps and, as commissioner, designed the new town of Camdenton during southern Missouri’s genesis as an energy producing, recreational playground. The Captain and the Judge – Building Camps, Forts, Dams, Bridges and Character Across the Ozarks tells the story of Camp Carry-On and the lasting love between Nat and Max. Read The Captain and the Judge and learn about the first camp for girls in the Ozarks, the creation of “the Lake” and the fascinating lives of this couple who influenced so many! Authors Natalie (Jr.) Prussing Halpin’s intention when she began writing stories about her parents was to introduce the world to two incredibly kind and hard-working individuals who had excelled in adventurous and groundbreaking careers, never seeking recognition. Educated in her home town and at University of Arizona in Tucson, Natalie Jr.’s journey would lead her to a fashion career in New York City and an FBI agent she would marry. Like Captain Nat and Judge Max, her path would eventually lead back to the beautiful Hurricane Hill where she grew up and the Prussing farm four miles away. She has happily exchanged “pearls and high heels” for “cowgal boots and bandanas.” Natalie Jr. has recorded her memories of family stories, and also of her own upbringing. She joined the Warrensburg Writer’s Circle in order to perfect her writing style so the inspiring lives of her parents might inspire others. The roots of her lifelong love of horses and the farms she still frequents will become apparent in these stories. Lisa Irle, author of two books about the history of Warrensburg, Missouri and Johnson County, is a graduate of McPherson College and received a Master’s degree (M.Ed.) from University of Missouri-Columbia. An avid reader, Lisa was a bookseller for several years. Her tenure as the curator of the Johnson County Historical Society lasted for 16 years. In addition to caring for the collections and assisting patrons at JCHS she often served as editor of the newsletter, directed historical reenactments and worked to encourage the preservation of local history through writing, music, and drama. Natalie Jr. asked Lisa’s assistance to organize her stories and design and implement the project of completing her book. This included sifting through and digitizing or transcribing ephemera of the lives of the Wilsons, Prussings, and Halpins. Lisa researched outside sources, as well, and wrote intervening passages connecting the stories and memories of this talented and beloved family.
Praise The Captain and the Judge is an interesting and important story about Natalie Wilson—the Captain—who established Camp Carry-On in the Ozarks for girls and young women from 1917 to 1942 and who later directed the Girl Scout camp at Knob Noster State Park from 1949 to 1952. The book also details the life of Judge Max Prussing, who married Wilson in 1935 and who later served as a county official in Camden County and, more importantly, as the engineer who oversaw the construction of Fort Leonard Wood. The book makes an important contribution to the existing literature on how the Ozarks became a destination point for outdoor recreation in the first half of the twentieth century and how the Ozarks continued to develop as a recreational destination point.
—Jon E. Taylor, Ph.D., University of Central Missouri, Professor of History

Hardcover: 256 pages Retail Price: $24.95
You can buy the book directly from Lisa Irle Lisa Irle Facebook
or Nat Prussing Halpin 660 422 0094

506 W. Gay Street
 506 ½ W. Gay Street
The Board took advantage of an opportunity to add to their grounds and give the Society an additional source of revenue. Until now, the Society owned the entire city block surrounding the Old Courthouse Square except for three rent houses on two lots facing Gay Street.
Lee Younce, the owner of two of those houses, 506 W. Gay, and 506 ½ West Gay, offered to sell the houses for $99,000 and then donate $10,000 of that money back to the Society.  According to Mike Shaw the houses are in good shape and will be managed by an outside company..
We love giving tours - they’re a great way for the Historical Society to connect with the community. Here are a couple that stand out.
In September, 132 1st graders, divided into two separate groups, toured the museum and grounds. A week later some of the teachers came back for a separate tour. Several stated they didn’t know this place was here.
February of 2018, Dr. Tom Goldstein (above, taking photo) of the UCM History Department brought some of his students to learn local history.
Rosemary Ballenger - One Afghan of Warrensburg
Harold (Pete) Beard - Miscellaneous historical items and photos
Sandra D. Cline - Picture of her Grandmother, Nancy Price Robinson, State Normal School 1918
Stanley Garnett - German prayer book and other books owned by Anna Feldman Brockhaus
Justin Graham -  5 letters from the Kenneth Robinson Family from the ‘20s and 40s and two scrapbooks
Nancy and John Hamlin - Sweeney Family Photos and letters
Walter Kephart - $500.00
Thomas Ketterman - $300 (Boeing will match ½)
Mrs. James H. Moon - The Old Drum Story by Icie F. Johnson

Karmann Nelson - Rhetor and Arrow yearbooks from the 1920s to 1950s
Shawna Newman - Extension records from the township of Columbus, MO
Linda Pietela - Photos of Johnson County families and events from the 1940s.
Larry and Georgiana Richardson - Six Indian points and arrowheads found in Johnson County
Don Riffle - 5 High school yearbooks and one History of Johnson County with some of Holden’s notorious people
Annette Scroggs - Clothing worn by Bill Scroggs at Silver Dollar City
Duane Sterling - Items from the desktop of Nellie Hart Sterling
Michael Stratton -  photos (Methodist Episcopal Church 1901 and others)
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia donated Why the Solid South a book written and autographed by George Graham Vest. Jack also donated some incredible old photos of the Crossley Home and Sam Baston Insurance Photos. They will soon be shared on the blog and can be seen of course at the Museum.
Lee Yonce - $10,000.00 Thank you, Thank you Lee!

Jan Jones, Johnson County’s Recorder of Deeds recently received a grant to digitize all of the deed records located in the basement of the Historical Society. This February, representatives from U.S. Imaging spent 3 days at the Historical Society photographing old land records. Jones reports that these digitized images will be available to the public. They won’t be on the internet, but interested individuals will be welcome to come into the recorder’s office and use a public computer station to view them.

Second Saturday in April
April 7 2018, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Old Courthouse

Some of our Most Popular Johnson County
History Articles Published on the Internet

Brown's Tennessee Rats Baseball Team

Sen. Erret Lobban "E.L." Cord, industrialist Born 1894 in Warrensburg,  10,185 views

(ret) Major Earl Dean Uhler, Jr., 1923-2017

And some other all time favorites
We welcomed our 1 millionth visitor to our blog this weekend.
Followers from all the world are reading our 600 stories we share.
Our Facebook page has 2150 Followers. Please Like and Share!
In the last 30 days we have had over 78,000 blog visitors
Thanks to Bruce Uhler, Johnson County history blogger.

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