Augusta Historical Society and Museum

Augusta Historical Society and Museum We cannot improve our tomorrows without first understanding our yesterdays.
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Augusta Historical Society and Museum
05/14/2019

Augusta Historical Society and Museum

Jesse Bell (J. B.) Taggart was born August 17, 1834 to James and Elizabeth Bell Taggart, one of nine children. J.B. was appointed as Postmaster of Laurel Bluff, Kentucky on November 27, 1863. And, on April 18, 1865 he enlisted in Company D, Kentucky Middle Green River Infantry Battalion. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on July 11, 1865 and mustered out on September 17, 1865, so he served 5 months towards the end of the Civil War, and in 1892 there is a record of him filing for Civil War pension.
There are a couple of interesting tidbits of information on J. B. found in the Annals of Kentucky and in the History of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. One entry states that in 1864, the Jake Bennett ‘band’ made its way through the county and into Greenville. They came in from the southern part of Muhlenberg County, where they captured Jesse Taggart, who was a leader of the Home Guards and a very active Union man. Bennett shaved Taggart’s head, then turned him loose, and made his way on to Greenville, where they broke into a store, helped themselves and left town, headed north. In about an hour a company of Federals were in pursuit but did not overtake the Bennett band. The second interesting entry is from June 12, 1865 where it indicated that General Palmer refused to surrender Jesse Taggart to the civil authorities for trial in Muhlenberg County for killing Philander Welbourne – claiming ‘exclusive jurisdiction for military courts’ because Taggart was at the time a soldier, and alleging it ‘the duty of the military to protect him from a possible trial by disloyal courts and juries’; he must have ‘evidence that judges, juries, commonwealth’s attorneys, etc. charged with the administration of justice, are loyal to the government and would give to persons employed by the government a fair trial,’ before he will give up any such for trial by the civil courts.
In 1870, J. B. came to Augusta and was employed by Dr. H. D. Hill to haul a load of lumber from Manley’s mill near Walnut City. The story goes that he started early in the morning and was returning west of the river when night overtook him. He got lost on the prairie and as a storm was threatening, he decided to unhitch the horses and ride to Augusta where he arrived after ten o’clock. Taggart put up the horses and made his way to Mitchell’s hotel (across from the C. N. James Cabin) but the hotel was full. Because of the weather, Mr. Mitchell decided to find a spot for J. B. After eating a bite of supper, Mr. Mitchell led him upstairs to a room where mattresses made of gunny sacks were scattered on the floor. Each bed had 3 occupants, except one. Mr. Mitchell threaded his way to the bed, grabbed the leg of one of the occupants, pulled him around and made room for the newcomer. It cost J. B. $2.00 for the night, $2.00 for his horses and $1.00 for a bushel of corn to feed the horses. The next day when he delivered the lumber to Dr. Hill, he figured Dr. Hill would ‘kick’ about paying the $5.00 for his charges. But Dr. Hill put his hand to his vest pocket, pulled out a bill and handed it over to J. B. without a murmur.
J. B. also told the Augusta Journal the story that he built a house for about $400 including the lot and rented it for $100 for three month and then continued to rent it for $35 per month. He said the house paid for itself twice over in three years when he sold it.
In 1872, J. B. went into the furniture business with Mr. G. B. Palmer. They set up their business at 503 State and later that year J. B. bought out Mr. Palmer’s interests. He advertised in the Gazette as a ‘manufacturer and dealer’. The ad also said ‘undertaker’. Burl Allison noted that to combine the calling of undertaker with that of home furnishings was quite common in many small towns and Burl remembered seeing displays of caskets on one side of a furniture store with sofas and dressers on the other side.
The next information we have of J. B. is his marriage to Jerusha (Rusha) A. Poole on September 24, 1877. Over the next few years, J. B. and Rusha had two sons, Earl and Howard, and a daughter, Fannie Belle. The Augusta Journal of July 27, 1900 said that Mr. J. B. Taggart was recognized as one of the substantial businessmen of the city and he resided with his wife, two sons and a little daughter in one of the city’s most comfortable homes. He served as Mayor of Augusta in 1901. J. B. died on November 5, 1906 and Rusha died on May 26, 1918. Both are buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

(Unfortunately, we don't have any photographs of the Taggart Family, only an old newspaper clipping photograph of J. B.'s store.)

Jesse Bell (J. B.) Taggart was born August 17, 1834 to James and Elizabeth Bell Taggart, one of nine children.  J.B. was...
05/13/2019

Jesse Bell (J. B.) Taggart was born August 17, 1834 to James and Elizabeth Bell Taggart, one of nine children. J.B. was appointed as Postmaster of Laurel Bluff, Kentucky on November 27, 1863. And, on April 18, 1865 he enlisted in Company D, Kentucky Middle Green River Infantry Battalion. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on July 11, 1865 and mustered out on September 17, 1865, so he served 5 months towards the end of the Civil War, and in 1892 there is a record of him filing for Civil War pension.
There are a couple of interesting tidbits of information on J. B. found in the Annals of Kentucky and in the History of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. One entry states that in 1864, the Jake Bennett ‘band’ made its way through the county and into Greenville. They came in from the southern part of Muhlenberg County, where they captured Jesse Taggart, who was a leader of the Home Guards and a very active Union man. Bennett shaved Taggart’s head, then turned him loose, and made his way on to Greenville, where they broke into a store, helped themselves and left town, headed north. In about an hour a company of Federals were in pursuit but did not overtake the Bennett band. The second interesting entry is from June 12, 1865 where it indicated that General Palmer refused to surrender Jesse Taggart to the civil authorities for trial in Muhlenberg County for killing Philander Welbourne – claiming ‘exclusive jurisdiction for military courts’ because Taggart was at the time a soldier, and alleging it ‘the duty of the military to protect him from a possible trial by disloyal courts and juries’; he must have ‘evidence that judges, juries, commonwealth’s attorneys, etc. charged with the administration of justice, are loyal to the government and would give to persons employed by the government a fair trial,’ before he will give up any such for trial by the civil courts.
In 1870, J. B. came to Augusta and was employed by Dr. H. D. Hill to haul a load of lumber from Manley’s mill near Walnut City. The story goes that he started early in the morning and was returning west of the river when night overtook him. He got lost on the prairie and as a storm was threatening, he decided to unhitch the horses and ride to Augusta where he arrived after ten o’clock. Taggart put up the horses and made his way to Mitchell’s hotel (across from the C. N. James Cabin) but the hotel was full. Because of the weather, Mr. Mitchell decided to find a spot for J. B. After eating a bite of supper, Mr. Mitchell led him upstairs to a room where mattresses made of gunny sacks were scattered on the floor. Each bed had 3 occupants, except one. Mr. Mitchell threaded his way to the bed, grabbed the leg of one of the occupants, pulled him around and made room for the newcomer. It cost J. B. $2.00 for the night, $2.00 for his horses and $1.00 for a bushel of corn to feed the horses. The next day when he delivered the lumber to Dr. Hill, he figured Dr. Hill would ‘kick’ about paying the $5.00 for his charges. But Dr. Hill put his hand to his vest pocket, pulled out a bill and handed it over to J. B. without a murmur.
J. B. also told the Augusta Journal the story that he built a house for about $400 including the lot and rented it for $100 for three month and then continued to rent it for $35 per month. He said the house paid for itself twice over in three years when he sold it.
In 1872, J. B. went into the furniture business with Mr. G. B. Palmer. They set up their business at 503 State and later that year J. B. bought out Mr. Palmer’s interests. He advertised in the Gazette as a ‘manufacturer and dealer’. The ad also said ‘undertaker’. Burl Allison noted that to combine the calling of undertaker with that of home furnishings was quite common in many small towns and Burl remembered seeing displays of caskets on one side of a furniture store with sofas and dressers on the other side.
The next information we have of J. B. is his marriage to Jerusha (Rusha) A. Poole on September 24, 1877. Over the next few years, J. B. and Rusha had two sons, Earl and Howard, and a daughter, Fannie Belle. The Augusta Journal of July 27, 1900 said that Mr. J. B. Taggart was recognized as one of the substantial businessmen of the city and he resided with his wife, two sons and a little daughter in one of the city’s most comfortable homes. He served as Mayor of Augusta in 1901. J. B. died on November 5, 1906 and Rusha died on May 26, 1918. Both are buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

(Unfortunately, we don't have any photographs of the Taggart Family, only an old newspaper clipping photograph of J. B.'s store.)

We like to end our tea with a beautifully tasty mint and send our patrons home with a gift. We try to keep both, in them...
05/12/2019

We like to end our tea with a beautifully tasty mint and send our patrons home with a gift. We try to keep both, in theme with our tea.

We are so lucky that we have the talented Monica Ford to make our mints. Jan Templin used her creative genius to put together pretty hat pins for all patrons to take as a parting gift.

We will just keep saying it! We are very lucky to have such talented and wonderful volunteers to help us pull off this event!

05/12/2019

It takes a village to make our Annual Spring Tea happen. We would like to thank our Director and our Board for their time, talents, and hard work.

We also couldn't pull off this fabulous event without all our volunteers. In addition to those we've thanked in previous posts, we'd like to add these wonderful people!

Tea Volunteers:

Jamie Barton
Jennifer Payne
Emily Condella
Debbie McHone
Deann Triboulet,
Valetia Arnold
Sandy Kolesar

Food Donations:

Lisa Daniels
Betty Roy
Rose Ridder
Charlene Towne
Cindy Meinecke
Jennifer Payne
Judy Riggs
Evie Shriver
Jill Greenwell
Carolyn Price
Joy Leatherman
Susan Lytton
Jamie Barton
Ginger Small
B&B Apiary
Shirley Childres
Butler County Special Education Interlocal #638
Lucy Clifton
Monica Ford
Valetia Arnold
Norma Agard
and Museum Board Members

05/11/2019

We had a wonderful time at our Annual Spring Tea! Our tea table decor was Amazing!

We would like to thank the following individuals who provided their time and talents for the Museum and our Patrons by decorating the Tea Tables:

Susan Bartel
Sandy Kolesar and Vicki McDonald
Judy Haynes
Charlene Towne
Debbie McHone
Kay McCollom
Sue Jones
Kathy McClure
Jane Mathias
Jennifer Payne
Jamie Barton

Everyone who attended the tea voted on their favorite table. The table favorites were:
1. Sandy Kolesar - Table #5
2. Kay McCollom - Table #3
3. Charlene Towne - Table #9

Augusta Post OfficeYou’ll remember reading in the article on Silas G. Hindman a few weeks ago, who at one time owned t...
05/06/2019

Augusta Post Office
You’ll remember reading in the article on Silas G. Hindman a few weeks ago, who at one time owned the Opera House located on the southwest corner of 5th and School Streets, that it was demolished in 1934. At that time, the Post Office was located behind the 5th Avenue Hotel on the northwest corner of 5th and School Streets (see picture).
By the spring of 1938, construction was underway by the Department of Treasury to erect a new Augusta Post Office on the lot where the Opera House once stood. At a cost of $65,000 the new building was open for business on December 29, 1938.
The building was heated by steam heat from a low-pressure boiler burning coal. A woman’s bathroom was installed off the work room if by chance Augusta may at some time have a woman clerk! H. G. ‘Slim’ Ward was the successful candidate for the job as fireman at the new post office. Harvey Weeks was selected as janitor. The Postmaster at the time was John C. Cox.
The mural ‘A Kansas Gusher’ hanging above the office of the postmaster was commissioned during the summer of 1939 and installed in February 1940. The mural is one of the factors cited for the Augusta Post Office to be nominated for a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Federal buildings received special artwork during the New Deal era. The Treasury Department’s fine arts section was organized in 1934 to provide artwork through anonymous competitions for the many federal buildings constructed under the New Deal. Augusta’s mural was done by Donald K. Silks and depicts a south-central Kansas landscape combining cattle, wheat and oil. ‘A Kansas Gusher’ is an oil on canvas mural and divides the landscape by color groups of greens, golds and browns, with all activity oriented toward the gusher.

Pictures are of the Post Office on School Street, and construction of the new building from different locations. Early Augustans might remember the Coca Cola plant behind the new building on School Street. Also, they will note the homes located across from Dunsford Funeral Home (prior to the Safeway building).

05/05/2019

Miss Augusta - Sierra Bonn, sharing her musical talents with our Spring Tea patrons.

Thank you to Miss Augusta - Sierra Bonn, Miss Butler County - Jetta Smith, and Miss Augusta's Outstanding Teen - Anna Ho...
05/05/2019

Thank you to Miss Augusta - Sierra Bonn, Miss Butler County - Jetta Smith, and Miss Augusta's Outstanding Teen - Anna Holman for serving tea and mingling with our patrons. We enjoyed your time with us and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Our Spring Tea attendees enjoyed food, fun, and gorgeous Spring weather! We loved seeing everyone fill up the Cabin.
05/05/2019

Our Spring Tea attendees enjoyed food, fun, and gorgeous Spring weather! We loved seeing everyone fill up the Cabin.

We had such fun today! Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Spring Tea. We look forward to seeing you agai...
05/04/2019

We had such fun today! Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Spring Tea. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Thank you Miss Augusta, Sierra Bonn, for joining us and entertaining us. You are fantastic!
05/03/2019

Thank you Miss Augusta, Sierra Bonn, for joining us and entertaining us. You are fantastic!

Thank you for attending our Tea today. We had so much fun. Everyone looks fabulous.
05/03/2019

Thank you for attending our Tea today. We had so much fun. Everyone looks fabulous.

Thank you to B & B Apiary for donating honey sticks for this year's Tea!
05/03/2019

Thank you to B & B Apiary for donating honey sticks for this year's Tea!

We are excited for our Annual Spring Tea! We have fabulous tea treats for our guests. We look forward to seeing everyone...
05/03/2019

We are excited for our Annual Spring Tea! We have fabulous tea treats for our guests. We look forward to seeing everyone who purchased seats. We appreciate your patronage!

Chester Wright Hatch was born July 1, 1823 In Montpelier, Vermont, an only child of Lewis and Dorcas Hatch. Chester was ...
04/28/2019

Chester Wright Hatch was born July 1, 1823 In Montpelier, Vermont, an only child of Lewis and Dorcas Hatch. Chester was a mason and a farmer before he became a merchant and then a doctor. Chester graduated from the Hartford Medical College. He practiced medicine in all of the New England states with the exception of Maine and Rhode Island.

Chester married Hannah Fish on November 21, 1848. They had 5 daughters and 1 son together. Hannah died November 1, 1870 at the age of 44.

While Chester was married to Hannah, he joined the Iowa 26th Infantry. He mustered into service in August 1862 and fought under General Sherman as a Color Guard. He was promoted to Full 6th Corporal on October 21, 1862. Chester was injured in the Cold-Water River battle in Alabama on December 1, 1862. He was picked up early the next morning and carried on a stretcher to Vicksburg. He was at the Battle of Fort Hindman in Arkansas near Pine Bluff. The battle was fought January 9-11, 1863 resulting in a Union victory. Chester was mustered out on February 19, 1863 at Young’s Point, Louisiana.

Mary Couse, Chester’s second wife, was born on September 13, 1829 in Delaware, New York. She married Jarvis McIntyre on September 4, 1844 and they had 4 daughters and 2 sons together. Jarvis died on March 25, 1863 at the age of 41.

Seven months later, Mary and Chester married on June 13, 1871 in Tipton, Iowa. Chester and Mary had a daughter and a son. In 1873, he and Mary came to Butler County. Dr. and Mrs. Chester Hatch resided in Augusta for several years during the 1870s and 1880s. For a time, they were residents of other states but returned to Augusta in the late 1890s and made their home here. They were members of the Free Will Baptist Church.
The July 27, 1900 Augusta Journal wrote that while he had retired from active practice, he made a specialty of treating chronic diseases and had been particularly successful. He was a strong devotee of the science of magnetic healing and found time to exercise skill on cases which had baffled other physicians.

Mary died on February 11, 1908 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Chester made his home for the next few years with his daughter, Helen, from his first marriage to Hannah, until his death on April 16, 1911. He also is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

(Photos are Dr. Hatch as a young man with his bayonet in his military uniform (colors were not chosen until later in the Civil War); his second wife, Mary; his daughter from his first marriage, Helen; and, a photo of him in later years.)

Address

303 State St
Augusta, KS
67010

General information

We always offer FREE admission to those visiting our museum. Come learn about the history of Augusta, while standing in the very first building built in Augusta, Kansas. We are open Monday - Friday from 11a - 3pm. We are open Saturdays from 1p - 4p from April - October. If you are unable to visit during our regular hours, please contact us to schedule a time to visit!

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 11:00 - 15:00
Friday 11:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(316) 775-5655

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