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Thursday, June 26, 1986


PIX #1 - Berniece Weissinger still Kansas resident.

PIX #2 - Weissinger Sotre in Kansas was popular place

PIX #3 - Kansas United Methodist Church

PIX #4 - St. James Catholic Church

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Kansas series, with today's installment has reached six. There is still material and photos which have not been published and needs to be to make the history of that village complete. Therefore, today's article will terminate the series for a few weeks. I intend to take some time off to rest, clean and rearrange my office, pull weeds, do some planning and who knows what else as the spirit moves me. When I get back in the harness the rest of the Kansas material will appear in print.


In the early days of the village there were four churches there. Today there are only two, both shown in the accompanying photos. Both are kept attractive and used by the residents in that area who are either protestant or catholics.

The Catholic church is currently pastored by Jeffrey Sikorski, and the United Methodist church by Joe H. Patterson.


Many readers will still remember the Weissinger Store in Kansas, especially Berniece Weissinger, daughter-in-law of C.C. Weissinger, the owner of the store.

One of the photos with today's article shows the store with a group of men conggregated there; also showing the horses and buggies parked at the side. Weissinger was also the village coal dealer.

The following people were in the picture snapped that day: Charles Chubb, store clerk; James Montross; Silas Cruan, operator of drug store and post office; Elsie C. Jarvis, store clerk; James Anderson, railroad agent; Ed Ash (with beard); Henry Cornelous, farmer; C.C. Weissinger, store owner (with coat on); James Shaw, farm owner.


Article No. 4 in the Kansas series, carried a photo provided by Vivian Craun, a native of Kansas, now living in Bowling Green. She had furnished a photo of women gathered in front of the Odd Fellows Building, which appeared in Article No. 4. In her latest letter she included a revised list of the names of those in the photo:

Front row, from left: Edith Jones, Lola Brandeberry, Melissa Sprout, Helen Diller, Wltha Shontz. Second Row: first two unknown, Pearl Seiger, Mary Turner, (next unknown), Ora Feasel, Mrs. Mowry, Mrs. Reese. Third row: Emma Gross, Ada Hill, Mrs. Null, Anna Hinesman, Olive Craun, (last unknown).

Craun mentioned in her last letter that there were four churches in Kansas at one time, which I didn't know.

Here's the rest of her letter, which many readers will enjoy, especially those who ever resided in Kansas:

"The last day of school picnics, and the Christmas programs were special. The church programs were done by the children. I sanf a solo in one when I was five or six years old". I remember it too.

"The best part of the church Christmas programs was the jingle bells when Santa made his entrance down the aisle of the church with his pack. There was always a sack of candy for each one...the old fashioned sugarcreams in colors of white or pink, or maple flavored and some colored hard candy with picutes in the center".

"The sack usually had a few nuts. Often there was a popcorn ball...and of all things, special was the orange for they really were scarce items in those days".

"Our Santa was a Mr. Shuman, and he was the best Santa Clause of all times... and looked just like a Santa should. This Shuman family lived on the street running north and south. I have always believed or thought he was the father of Cliff Shuman, the mayor of Fostoria a few years ago".

"I'm looking forward to the next edition".


One printed photo which came to my attention which could not be reproduced, showed the Kansas band as it appeared in 1890.

At that time the band had 11 members: Charles Craun, Clinton Humber, Alvin Lewman, Tim Freese, Jacob Ash, Nelson (Cob) Lanning, Nick Bollinger, Burton Lewman, John Bolling, John Leiberger and John Ash.

Trombones, cornets, tuba and drum seemed to be the instruments shown in the old photo.

The band made many appearances in the village activities, including the annual Fourth of July celebration.


How many years Kansas had a baseball team is unknown, but one printed picture showed the team of 1908. It was not good enough to reproduce.

The members of that team were: Ocsar Heinsman, Charles Shuster, John Chubb, Ed Lewman, Clyde Rex, Claude Shaull, Joe Neidlinger, Esdres Lewman, Jan Craun, Otto Day, Claude Chubb.

Baseball was a very popular sport back then and every small community had a team, playing for the fun of it by the team members, and for the pleasure of the watchers.

There are some events in the history of Kansas which only the older residents there will still recall, or younger readers may have heard mentioned. Here are several which I came across in reviewing old newspapers.


The ordinary calmness of early last Saturday morning was broken by the continuous blowing of the village fire whistle, its intensiveness brought the whole population to the streets to learn the home of D.A. Lanning and family on Chestnut Street, east, next to the old chicken coop factory, was in ablaze and one whom the whole community loved was slowly being consumed by fire in his home, little Don Lanning.

"Mr. Lanning arose Saturday morning and as usual lit the oil stove in preparation for breakfast, then left for his fathers home to get milk, a short distance away".

"Five-year old Don and his brother Dick were awakened shortly after 7:30 with smoke pouring into their room on the second floor they ran to the room of their uncle, Benson McDole. McDole threw open the window catching Dick Lanning by the hand, was lowering him to the ground outside when little Don in fever of excitement pushed against him, overbalancing McDole, pitching him head first through the window".

"The home was completely destroyed and the chared body of little Don was found in the ruins near a burned bed spring".


In the early days of Kansas, the village had a smallpox plague and scarcely a family escaped, Mrs. Violet Brown Day a resident recalled in a printed news item. She recalls that so many were stricken that it was a problem to care for them.

The trains made no stops at Kansas during that time. They just whistled and went right through.

It was during the winter that the plague hit, and the ones who succumbed were carried to the cemetery on sleds.

Dr. Young, the town doctor, lost his life from the disease after administering to the ill.


McDole one of the well-known persons in Kansas was once described thusly: "He was probably the most renowned man in Kansas. A tall thin man, he was six foot six inches tall with flashing brown eyes, dark curly hair and long side burns.

He was the justice of peace, notary public and postmaster. He also took care of the legal affairs for the town and heard the small civil cases.

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