Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome 2016

As the year ended, we learned that the Baldwin City Signal was ceasing publication.  Many citizens of our great city were not surprised, but were disappointed.  It was with this announcement that we decided to take the gamble and launch our newest online publication.  With that we introduce to you the Baldwin City Gazette.
We welcome your press releases, birth, engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements. As well as obituary announcements.
Announcements, press releases and obituaries will be published as submitted. Please remember to double check for spelling, dates, times, extra spaces, etc. Please make sure all service information is changed to read in correct tense for publication. When an obituary is placed by a family member, we require funeral home or crematory contact information in order to verify the individuals passing before publication.
Announcements and Obituary submissions are $15 regardless of length (per insertion), and pictures are welcomed and encouraged. For those wishing to place classified advertising with us, the charge will be $5 for one week ($10 with a photo).
So with the onset of the new year, lets make 2016 the best year ever.

Another Small Town Paper Bites the Dust

The Baldwin City Signal announced that today's (Dec 31, 2015) paper would be the last issue of the paper.  According to the article, coverage for the area would be done by the Lawrence Journal World.
The World Company is ceasing publication of The Baldwin City Signal and shifting coverage of Baldwin City news and sports to the Lawrence Journal-World.
- Baldwin City Signal
It further said that,
Elvyn Jones, news editor of The Signal, will become a member of the Journal-World’s reporting staff. Jones will become the new county and area reporter, which will include coverage of Baldwin City council, school board, Baker University and other Baldwin-related news, said Chad Lawhorn, the Journal World’s managing editor.
- Baldwin City Signal
However, nothing was mentioned about the one reporter that was seen by some in the area. Even though the article mentioned that the Journal-World would continue to cover the Baldwin City signal, no one had been seen at the the city council meetings that we attended from the now defunct Signal.
“Being a seven-day per week newspaper, we’re going to be able to provide news and information to the Baldwin City community in a more timely fashion than we could with the weekly newspaper,” Lawhorn said. “I’m very proud of the work Elvyn and the staff of The Signal have done over the years. We’re excited about including that coverage in the Journal-World.”
- Baldwin City Signal
According to the same article, the World company is closing the Chieftain, which had served the Bonner Springs and Basehor communities. At the same time they plan to expand the Shawnee Dispatch from a weekly paper to two days a week.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Financial Institution Branch Office in Kansas

photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Branch Office
1201 Topeka Boulevard, Opened October 19, 1950
The first branch of any financial institution the state of Kansas
 A very modern facility for the time, this office was one of the first anywhere to offer a new innovation in convenience, an auto teller window.
The 50th anniversary of this successful office was marked by the addition of an updated drive-up facility. This office was established under the vision and leadership of former Chairman and President Henry A. Bubb, a national leader in the financial industry.  A long tradition of service from this and many other office locations continues under the direction of Chairman John C. Dicus and President John B. Dicus.

Huntoon and Topeka

Handicapped Accessibility:
The plaque is accessible to all, just outside the front doors of this bank branch. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Medowlark Lemon and his Ties to Northeast Kansas

On December 28, 2015 we learned that Meadowlark Lemon had passed away.  He was absolutely the best known of any of the Harlem Globetrotters.  However, what many may not realize is that he had many connections to not only the fine state of Kansas, but the northeast corner in particular.

  • In 1954 he played with the Globetrotters developmental team Kansas City Stars, before actually joining the Globetrotters the next year.

  • His childhood nickname (and that of his professional career) is the state bird of Kansas.

  • His grandchildren attended school in Avondale West Elementary in Topeka.

  • In the late 1990's his son George owned the Topeka Knights indoor football team.

  • Sources:
    New York Times
    Kansas City Star
    Topeka Capital Journal
    Meadowlark Lemon Biography - Official Website
    Harlem Globetrotters

    Saturday, December 26, 2015

    Area Blood Drives

    Here are the upcoming Red Cross blood drives throughout Northeast Kansas.

    January 5, 2016
    American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter
    1221 SW 17th St
    Topeka, KS 66604

    January 16, 2016
    Rawhide Harley-Davidson
    725 N. Rawhide Rd.
    Olathe, KS 66061

    January 18, 2016
    Bass Pro Shop Olathe
    12051 Bass Pro Drive
    Olathe, KS 66061

    Indian Creek Branch
    12990 South Black Bob Road
    Olathe, KS 66062

    January 22, 2016
    17200 W. 119th St
    Olathe, KS 66061

    January 27, 2016
    Pleasantview Building
    3107 S.W. 21st St
    Topeka, KS 66604

    January 28, 2016
    Immanuel Lutheran Church
    2104 Bob Billings Parkway
    Lawrence, KS 66049

    January 30, 2016
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    2401 SW Kingsrow
    Topeka, KS 66614

    February 3, 2016

    Celebration Hall
    1737 S. Elm
    Ottawa, KS 66067

    February 5, 2016
    10 am-3:15pm
    Baker University
    618 Eighth St.
    Baldwin City, KS 66006

    February 6, 2016
    Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    2211 Inverness Dr.
    Lawrence, KS 66047

    February 10, 2016
    Washburn University Law School
    1700 College Ave.
    Topeka, KS 66621

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    Black Jack Historical Site

    Just three miles east of Baldwin City is the site of the Battle of Black Jack.  One of many pre-Civil War skirmishes that took place throughout eastern Kansas.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    This "battle" was part of the struggle to make Kansas a free state. In May, 1856, Proslavery men destroyed buildings and newspaper presses in Lawrence, Free-State headquarters. John Brown's company then killed five Proslavery men on Pottawatomie Creek not far from this spot. In retaliation Henry C. Pate raided near-by Palmyra and took three prisoners. Early on the morning of June 2, Brown attacked Pate's camp in a grove of black jack oaks about 1/4 mile south of this sign. Both sides had several wounded and numerous desertions before Pate and 28 men surrendered, Brown claiming he had only 15 men left. As evidence of civil war, this fight received much publicity and excited both the North and the South. 

    Erected by:
    Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission

    In Black Jack Park
    Marker is on U.S. 56 0.1 miles east of East 2000 Road.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    South of this park are 18 acres of virgin prairie. Purchased 1967 by Douglas County from Russell Hays for a permanent prairie preserve and historic site. Evidence of Santa Fe Trail plainly visible. Original site of D.A.R, marker was near pioneer town of Black Jack ½ mile east.

    (D.A.R. marker) Inscription:
    Santa Fe Trail
    1822 - 1872
    marked by the
    Daughters of the
    American Revolution
    and the
    State of Kansas


    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    This replica of a 19th century log cabin was constructed in the fall of 1969 and dedicated in January of 1971. The cabin was constructed for the benefit of the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society for meetings and to display historical artifacts. Construction was funded by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. The logs were provided by Wilson Counts and sawed by Will Hey Sr.; the project was directed by Harvey Booth and Dayton Van Tries.

    Erected by:
    Santa Fe Historical Society

    In Black Jack Park
    Marker is on U.S. 56 0.1 miles east of East 2000 Road.

    (main) Inscription:
    First Battle between Free and Slave States fought on these grounds June 2, 1856

    (secondary) Inscription:
    Erected 1913 by Post 40 Grand Army of the Republic Women's Relief Corps #102

    Deeded to Kansas 1917

    In Robert Hall Pearson Memorial Park. 
    Marker is at the intersection of East 2000th Road and North 175th Road, on the right when traveling south on East 2000th Road. 

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    Tennessee Town Mural

    On the south-facing wall of a building owned by WCW Property Management at Huntoon and Lane is one of the newest murals in Topeka.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    The building depicted on the left in the mural is the artists representation of what had been part of the shopping center on the same lot.  Though the building containing the mural is all that remains of the old shopping center, the artist wished to give an idea had been there.
    The building depicted in the center is Buchanan Elementary and is now the Buchanan Center.
    Then the building on the right side of the mural depicts the school at the center of  Brown v Board.
    Finally, the roads kind of gives a nod to the emerald city and is somewhat  of a metaphor to future growth.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Jaime Colon

    More Information:
    Topeka ArtsConnect

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    The Twelve Days of Christmas" will cost you 0.6 percent more than last year

    Each year we hear reports about what it would cost to actually purchase the gifts in the song "Twelve Days of Christmas." This year is no different. So what are these reports saying this year?

    According to each of the reports the cost would be $34,131.

    - Partridge, $25; last year: $20

    - Pear tree, $190; last year: $188

    - Two turtle doves, $290; last year: $260

    - Three French hens, $182; last year: same

    - Four calling birds (canaries), $600; last year: same

    - Five gold rings, $750; last year: same

    - Six geese-a-laying, $360; last year: same

    - Seven swans a-swimming, $13,125; last year: same

    - Eight maids a-milking, $58; last year: same

    - Nine ladies dancing (per performance), $7,553; last year: same

    - 10 lords a-leaping (per performance), $5,508; last year: $5,348

    - 11 pipers piping (per performance), $2,635; last year: same

    - 12 drummers drumming (per performance), $2,855; last year: same

    CBS News (provider of full list above)
    Fox News
    USA Today
    Now you know, in case you wanted to get them for your true love.

    Monday, December 7, 2015

    Baldwin City Christmas

    Most every city in the country has a tree lighting ceremony. Some may make an evening of it. With numerous events surrounding the lighting ceremony. However, in Baldwin City, it is an all day event.
    This year that day was on Saturday December 5, 2015

    Starting with Breakfast with Santa (9 am) at the Intermediate Center (100 Bullpup Drive). The cost for this opportunity was $7, which supported the Baldwin City Recreation Commission. Breakfast consisted of all you can eat pancakes (from Chris Cakes™), sausage links and Tang™.
    Don Pratt; Baldwin City, catches pancakes flipped by Brent; Louisburg of Chris Cakes™.
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Beginning at the same time (until 7pm) the Lumberyard Arts Center (718 High Street) hosted their annual Festival of Wreaths and Trees. Where participants decorate and donate one for display and silent auction, making a fun fundraiser for the Lumberyard Arts Center.
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Then at 10 am, the first run (another run was at 1 pm) of the "Santa Claus Express" began at the Midland Railway (1515 High Street). Riders were able to see Santa in his own specially decorated passenger car (built in 1898), take pictures of their kids with Santa, while enjoying hot cocoa or hot cider as well as fresh baked sugar cookies for each passenger. Coach tickets were $14 for children (under 11) and $19 for adults (ages 12 and up). While first class tickets was $23 for children (under 11) and $29 for adults (ages 12 and up). Other runs of the Santa Claus Express are Dec 6 (10am and 1pm), Dec 11 (7 pm), Dec 12 (10am and 1pm) and Dec 13 (10 and 1pm). Even though the train is not handicapped accessible, the staff will attempt to help those with mobility issues to board the train.
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    The annual Holiday Homes Tour began at 11am, tickets were $15 which supports the Baldwin City Community Emergency Fund. Which helps those in the Baldwin school district (USD 348) with assistance in times of crisis. That can include assistance with utility bills, rent, gasoline, food and medical expenses or aid after catastrophic events.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Another project at the Lumberyard Arts Center (718 High Street) began at 1pm (and 4pm) was the Gingerbread House Party. With two classes, allowing participants to build their own gingerbread house for $15 per house.
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Then at 5pm the annual Holiday Chili Supper was held at Ives Chapel Methodist Church for a free will offering. At the same time over at the Lumberyard Arts Center the Victorian Carolers sang a number of Christmas classics to a packed house enjoying cookies and hot chocolate.
    Santa arrives on an antique firetruck at the tail end of the parade
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    The days events began to culminate at 6 pm with the annual Festival of Lights parade near 8th and High. The parade ran through historic downtown Baldwin City and featured Santa Claus making his grand entrance on an antique fire truck. This year, the Grand Marshall was Dr. Dara Lowe,  who for the last four years has been a family physician at the Baldwin Medical Clinic (on High Street).  Her husband former city administrator Chris Lowe will be moving to Monument, CO, where he has accepted a new position as city manager.
    Christmas Tree
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    The tree lighting ceremony in the 700 block of High Street at 6:30pm and a spectacular first ever Baldwin City Christmas fireworks display, helped bring the night to the final events.  Where, kids had an opportunity to visit Santa, and have their pictures taken with the jolly old elf himself at 7pm. Not to mention the adults had a chance to win a raffle drawing for a 62" TV.  Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Baldwin City Emergency Fund.
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    Washburn Ichabod Statues

    Washburn University’s Mr. Ichabod mascot may be 75 years old, but he is proving he isn’t too old to step out on the town. The first in a series of 23 fiberglass figurines of Mr. Ichabod that will be placed outside Topeka businesses, organizations and schools was unveiled Monday morning in front of the Capitol Federal branch at 1201 S.W. Topeka Blvd.
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Each statue, which will remain in its location for a year, requires a $5,000 sponsorship by individuals or organizations. The cost covers the making, decorating, setting and maintaining of the statues, which are to be decorated in a unique fashion by a local artist.
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    The statue in front of the Capitol Federal location was painted by Topeka artist Barbara Waterman-Peters, who used the same tint of blue that the Capitol Federal building has on its trim and signage.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Santa Coming To Topeka by Train

    According to the Facebook event page, Santa Clause will arrive in Topeka via a Union Pacific Train at the Great Overland Station in North Topeka.   The time for this event is Sunday December 6. 2015.  Children will get to meet and have their photos taken with Santa for $3 per child, between 1 and 3.

    Date & Time:
    Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 1:00-3:00 pm

    701 North Kansas Avenue.

    “Friends of the Station” Members are FREE
    Children 12 and under are FREE
    Ages 13 and up is $3

    For more information:

    Sarah at 785-232-5533, ext. 13

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015


    When you drive down Highway 56 through Baldwin City, there is a historical marker just east of the city limits.
    Here, and for the next 300 miles west, Highway 56 roughly follows the old Santa Fe trail, and frequently crosses it. White settlement began in this area in 1854, the year Kansas became a territory, and in 1855 the town of Palmyra was founded. When Baker University was established on the outskirts in 1858 a new town sprang up. It was named for John Baldwin, an Ohio capitalist who in 1857 hauled a steam sawmill in over the trail. By 1863 Palmyra had merged with Baldwin.

    Local settlers were "Free~State" in the fight over slavery; several were captured in a Proslavery raid of 1856. Among Free~State leaders was Dr. Andrew T. Still, founder of osteopathy, whose theory of healing was developed here.

    Baker University, named for Methodist Bishop Osmon Baker, is the state's oldest four-year college. It houses the famous Bishop Quayle Bible collection and its first building, the "Old Castle", is now a museum.

    Erected by:
    Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission. (Marker Number 8.)

    US-56, Douglas County
    Roadside turnout about a half (.5 miles) east of  Baldwin City

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    Technically, there is no place to get out of your car. There is a place to exit the highway, to view the sign and then get back on to the highway.