Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Stories: History of McPherson County, Part 4

A HISTORY OF MCPHERSON COUNTY

The following was an essay done for school credit by John Kramer.

In 1913 Arthur Precinct took steps to secede from McPherson County. On August 25, 1913, and August 27, 1913, Charles E. Foster and W.V. Hoagland appeared before the McPherson County Board of Commissioners to settle whether or not Arthur precinct would secede. Charles Foster was against the secession of Arthur Precinct while W.V. Hoagland was for the secession of Arthur Precinct. The minutes of the meeting do not state what action was taken by the board, but Arthur Precinct soon became known as Arthur County.
By 1915 most of the “Kinkaiders” had settled up on their claims and the population in the county began to decline. The businesses that remained were more solidly rooted and commercial centers had started up at Flats and Ringgold. By 1915 all parts of the county were connected together by telephone lines and the only serious handicap to development was the lack of good roads and transportation.

In 1917 the McPherson County High School was organized. The first teacher was Mrs. Clara Nichols Woods and the first class, which consisted of five pupils, graduated in 1921. In 1920 the first high school building was built. Prior to this time the pupils attended class in the I.O.O.F. building. The first pupils to graduate from McPherson County High School were Leo Cash, Viola Dahlin, Mathilda Doyle, Aubrey Warren and Nettie Winters.

In the early 1920’s many people owned an automobile and in 1920 the first state road was built. It consisted merely of a layer of mud on top of a bed of graded sand. Roads of similar nature were made to Mullen, Arthur, and North Platte in the later 1920’s. The building of these roads caused many people to buy automobiles and by 1925 most people in the county owned an automobile.
The Tryon Leader was sold to A.L. Fuller on February 15, 1923, by J.C. Heldenbrand. It came known as Fuller’s Cash Store until 1928. It was then sold to Marvin and Dan Platt and called the Platt Mercantile Co.

A band was organized in 1924 and remained active until the late 1920’s.

The Tryon Graphic changed ownership on June 12, 1924, when J. Warren Snyder took over the business from his father, Mullen B. Snyder.

Silent movies were shown in the Tryon Garage by S.W. Warren from 1924 until the late 1930’s. They were a unique form of entertainment and never failed to draw a large crowd.

The McPherson County Fair was organized on May 9, 1924, and the county’s first fair was held in August of that year.

A new courthouse was built in 1925-26 to replace the one-room sod courthouse that had thus far served the county. It had proven inadequate for a number of years for the rapidly growing county business. An attempt had been made in 1918 to build the courthouse, but sufficient funds could not be raised.

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