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June 29, 2011 Grenola Now and Then
News today is from the museum. Last Monday evening, during a storm, the electric pole just outside the office was snapped off by the wind. Westar set a new pole and Patrick Perkins installed a new meter box so the museum is open again.
One visitor to the museum came from a contact on Facebook. Amber Simmons of Newton posted a question about a relative named Norma Conner who once lived in Grenola. Since we have quite a lot of information in the museum about the Owen O’Conner and John Hall family, I replied to her query. She was not able to visit on the weekend when the museum is open, but made arrangements with Dorothy Keplinger to visit on Monday along with her two sisters, Anita Heckerman, and Autumn Adams and her son, Israel. They toured the museum and copied files concerning their ancestors, then went to visit Bud Beechner in Moline, who had been married to Norma before until her death in 1991. Norma Munsey Beechner graduated from Grenola High School in 1948. She and Bud were charter members of the Grenola Historical Society and Bud continues to be an active member.
On Tuesday, the twenty first, Forrest Helmick of Clovis, California, called and made arrangements with Dorothy to visit the museum. His father, William H. Helmick had been a teacher at the Pleasant Valley School. There were no lights, but he was able to see most of the exhibits. He was pleased to see the School building restored as a one room school and enjoyed touring the rest of the museum.
Priscilla Rivers keeps the museum open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, she conducts tours helps with genealogy research and helps find plots in Greenlawn Cemetery. Recent visitors were Ed and Jennie Carr of Johnstown, Colorado. They were searching for the family of Peter H. Hand. They enjoyed the museum, and looked through the files. After they left, Priscilla found the Hand monument in the cemetery and the name of his wife, Sarah as well as more information to send them. They sent a letter expressing their appreciation and plan to visit the museum again.
Gerald and Velma Hoffman of Udall visited another day when Priscilla was there, seeking ideas and methods for cataloging, displaying, and storing items for their museum in Udall. They were pleased with our museum too.
This past Sunday Vance Hamill was a visitor at worship at the Grenola United Methodist Church. He remembered the old church when his grandparents, Bud and Ethel Hamill attended there. Vance is the son of Merlin and Mabel McAlister Hamill and grew up in Coffeyville. He was here attending Crazy Days in Moline with his mother, Mabel Kinnaman who lives in the Kansas City area. They had spent the night at the Crooked Creek Lodge in Moline and he could not visit the museum as he was on his way to pick up his wife in Wichita, then take his mother home before leaving for their home in Pennsylvania. He was pleased to see that his grandparent’s home had been kept in good condition by the present resident, Helen Sprague.
Helen is doing well with her therapy after breaking her ankle and hopes to return home soon.
Joyce Hull is also feeling much better.
The museum open on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5:00 p.m. It is a great place to take visitors from out of town or you are welcome to drop by yourself. The office is air conditioned. The officers of the Grenola Historical Society are seeking someone to paint the Independent School building. Please see the ad in this edition, you may call Dorothy at 358-3241 or Shirley at 642-6525 with questions.
Priscilla gave a report on the total rainfall in Grenola for the month of June. In spite of some brilliant lightening displays, dark clouds and damaging winds, there was only 3 ½ inches of precipitation.
The Kansas Ametuer Softball Association State Tournament was held in Wichita this past weekend. There were ten teams that played off for the state championship in eachage group. My granddaughter, Abby, was pitcher for her team, the Lady Irish from Chapman. They took fourth place in the age twelve and under category. One of her team mates broke her leg sliding into a base on Friday evening. Charlie Ellis’s team, the Diva Warriers was one of the top ten in the fourteen and under age group. His daughter, Bailee played on the team that competed in a sports complex on the west side of Wichita.
Though it was plenty hot, the girls had no trouble playing and enjoying the game. Eleanor Elsheimer Mercer called to report that they survived a temperature in Amarillo, Texas on Sunday of a record breaking 111 degrees!