Sep 12, 2021 11:25 AM

The Decades: 1900s

Posted Sep 12, 2021 11:25 AM

As we celebrate the 150th birthday of Hutchinson and Reno County, we want to go through the years, decade by decade, to see how things have changed and — remarkably — how they have stayed the same. This would not be possible without the efforts of Steve Harmon, the Reno County Museum, and the Hutchinson Public Library, who have made a great effort to supply us with the information and photos that you’ll see in this 15-part series. We hope you enjoy it.

As we turned to the new century, Hutchinson and Reno County continued to grow. Here is a look at the happenings from 1900 to 1910.

1900: Another railroad begins service in Hutchinson as the first Missouri Pacific train arrives in the city. In this modern age of the pandemic, a Pretty Prairie man is arrested for resisting being quarantined for smallpox. Building permits are required for the first time in Hutchinson. 

Missouri Pacific Railway Station Depot - S.W. Corner of Ave. C & Main - c. 1918 (Built 1900 for $25,000.) Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Missouri Pacific Railway Station Depot - S.W. Corner of Ave. C & Main - c. 1918 (Built 1900 for $25,000.) Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

Three people are killed when a street car and train collide. City council passes an ordinance slowing trains down through the city and a watchman is posted at the Main Street crossing. Presidential candidate Teddy Roosevelt visits Hutchinson. Population of Hutchinson tops 9,000.

Hutchinson National Bank - S.W. Cor. 1st & Main - c. 1900. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Hutchinson National Bank - S.W. Cor. 1st & Main - c. 1900. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1901: Vern Wiley arrives in Hutchinson from Emporia and teams up with A.C. Rorabaugh to form the Rorabaugh Wiley store. The store is in a small room on Main north of 2nd Avenue. They start with a staff of eight store clerks. Carey salt is shipped by railcar to Winfield. On Jan. 7, Reno County Undersheriff Ed Metz is killed when he’s run over by a passenger train. A public library opened with 500 books. The Fair Association is formed with A.J. Sponsel elected president. 

Carey Coal & Salt & Hutchinson Ice Co's  1906 - 216 S. Main (founded 1901)  by Hirst. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Carey Coal & Salt & Hutchinson Ice Co's 1906 - 216 S. Main (founded 1901) by Hirst. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1902: Telephone service reaches Sylvia. The Supreme Court upholds Reno County law allowing the selling of land for non-payment of taxes. The sheriff’s tax sale is still held in October. Reno County farmer William Kilbower is owner of the first automobile in the county. On Oct. 26, the Shaw Theatre opened and the Central Kansas Fair was a big hit, but changes are coming.

Wells Fargo & Co. Express - 216 N. Main  c. 1900 (Ext.) (Now Jillian's). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Wells Fargo & Co. Express - 216 N. Main c. 1900 (Ext.) (Now Jillian's). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1903: The area is hit with two major floods. Reno County High School is built in Nickerson. E.B. Smith is the principal. City namesake C.C. Hutchinson pays a visit to the city. He was living in Portland, Oregon, at the time. City council passes ordinance prohibiting hitching posts downtown. All automobiles must drive on the right side of the road. And, over the objections of the city of Topeka, the process starts for making Hutchinson the home of the Kansas State Fair. Population of Reno County tops 30,000.

1903 Flood - Poehler & Co. Drugs - 124 N. Main (by Mcinturff first on left). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
1903 Flood - Poehler & Co. Drugs - 124 N. Main (by Mcinturff first on left). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1904: Reno County adopts a pension plan for the disabled. The city begins a large-scale paving project of city streets. George Gano built the first concrete grain elevator in Hutchinson. City council agrees to build a flood canal 150 feet wide at the bottom. Andrew Carnegie library opens at 5th and Main. City population tops 11,000.

Carnegie Library - 427 N. Main - 1909 by Bailey (built 1903). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Carnegie Library - 427 N. Main - 1909 by Bailey (built 1903). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1905: Harsha Canal is finished at a cost of $30,000. Franchise agreement is granted for the first electric street car. The company was headed up by Emerson Carey. A.D. Vint opens the first dry cleaning plant. New Medora Junction is platted one and a half miles from the original Medora after the Rock Island moves its depot. Turon is named a third class city.

Harsha Canal - Cow Creek Drainage Canal - N.W. of Hutch - c. 1910. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Harsha Canal - Cow Creek Drainage Canal - N.W. of Hutch - c. 1910. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1906: First natural gas is piped to Hutchinson. A city council ordinance prohibits the sale or gift of cigarettes to minors. Hutchinson raises $1,000 to help with the relief efforts of the San Francisco earthquake. The city has all-electric trolley cars now replacing horses and mules. Hutchinson purchases the first automotive fire truck. The city of Partridge is incorporated. 

Kansas State Fair - Earliest photo found to date -  c. 1900 (either when at Glendale Park or the move to 13th & Walnut). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Kansas State Fair - Earliest photo found to date - c. 1900 (either when at Glendale Park or the move to 13th & Walnut). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1907: Emerson Carey buys 156 acres of land from Woodson Estate for $20,000 to start a new town southeast of the city. Today, it is Careyville. The Rock Island builds a new depot but it doesn’t have the hotel that was in the plans. Morton Salt plant in South Hutchinson lays claim as largest salt facility in the world. A man in a Ford automobile drives from Kansas City to Hutchinson in 19 hours. It was a hot summer as the temperature hit 118 degrees. It didn’t stay that way as lots of schools and businesses close when natural gas supply proves insufficient when the temperature hits -13 degrees.

Opening of Hutch, Ks. Interurban Railway - Sept. 1st 1906 (Electrified Trolley Cars). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Opening of Hutch, Ks. Interurban Railway - Sept. 1st 1906 (Electrified Trolley Cars). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1908: Amy Alexander becomes the first woman elected into office as she becomes the Reno County Court Clerk. Hutchinson High School seniors strike when a teacher is suspended. A fire in the town of Abbyville destroys all of the town's stores. A gas-filled airship flies over the Kansas State Fair. A new post office opens. Emerson Carey won the state senate seat. City council passes ordinance for milk inspection. Central State Bank was opened by Sam Puterbaugh.

Ave A & Adams - looking S.E. from  Power Plant Stacks - c. 1905. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Ave A & Adams - looking S.E. from Power Plant Stacks - c. 1905. Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

1909: Sylvan Park established. Speed limit in the city is set at 10 mph. Boxer John L. Sullivan referees a wrestling match in the city. H.R. Nickerson passes through in a private railcar but does not stop to visit the town named after him. Hutchinson Ice Company organized. The company is a subsidiary of Morton Salt. A new bridge is built near Avenue A and Main Street.

Stewart's Hospital - Original Bldg. - 722 N. Main -  c. 1900 (by Bailey). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.
Stewart's Hospital - Original Bldg. - 722 N. Main - c. 1900 (by Bailey). Photo courtesy of Steve Harmon.

The Decades are brought to you by:
Hutchinson Funeral Chapel
Rothe Family Flooring
Hutchinson Public Library

Check back next Sunday for the next part in this series.

CLICK HERE FOR THE 1870s
CLICK HERE FOR THE 1880s
CLICK HERE FOR THE 1890s

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