The laying of the cornerstone of the Norton Memorial Church took place on Tuesday, May 8, 1906. The ceremony was on a bright and fair day, but somewhat windy. After the invocation by the pastor of the Reform Church, the Doxology was sung by the congregation. Rev. E.S. Stockwell read the 87th Psalm and verses from the New Testament by Rev. S.A. Fulton.

CORNERSTONE LAID FOR NORTON MEMORIAL CHURCH

The laying of the cornerstone of the Norton Memorial Church took place on Tuesday, May 8, 1906. The ceremony was on a bright and fair day, but somewhat windy. After the invocation by the pastor of the Reform Church, the Doxology was sung by the congregation. Rev. E.S. Stockwell read the 87th Psalm and verses from the New Testament by Rev. S.A. Fulton.

Then came the memorial address by Mrs. Walter Roe of Colony, O.T. Her address concerned the life of Mrs. Norton, whose name the church bore. Immediately after the address, the deposits were made in the corner stone. They consisted of a Bible, manual of the church, women’s executive committee list, history of the enterprise, copies of the Christian Evangelist, and the Shawnee News.

The movement of the Reform Church began about a year earlier and through the earnest efforts of hard working Christians.

SCHOOL BOARD SELECTS EAST SIDE SITE FOR NEW SCHOOL

The School Board met on May 8, 1906, at the City Hall. After several motions about various things in the construction of the building, another was made concerning the location. The decision for the 11th and Draper site was chosen. The school would be called Horace Mann.

THIEVES TAKE HEAVY TOLL IN SHAWNEE

Thieves got to work in earnest in Shawnee on the night of May 9, 1906. There was one actual robbery, one attempt to blow a safe, and a third robber was caught as he attempted to pry open the door at the Fulton Meat Market.

Patrolman John Hewett got the last offender, catching him in the act of prying the door of the meat market on north Broadway open with a piece of timber. He was quickly carted off to the city jail. He was then “sweated” as to his connection with the other robberies.

At McKay’s Billiard Hall, the thief was either hidden in the building when it was closed for the night, or he had a key to the rear door. He secured about $4.70 in cash, a box of cigars, a gun, and a few smaller articles. The rear door was found open by an officer, who phoned for the proprietor immediately, and the loss was discovered.

At the Burke Grocery on east Main Street, the thieves took a plate of glass out of a skylight, dropped 12 feet into the store, broke the bars on the rear door, to make their escape easier, and then began to work on the store. They tore open the cash drawer, which contained nothing except pennies, that they ignored. The fixtures on the safe were removed and preparations made to blow it open. However, they were apparently frightened away before they did the work. Nothing was missing.

Chief William Sims issued an order to arrest every hobo and vagrant in the city. He proposed to “run the loafers out of Shawnee.” By this plan, he believed that the robberies would cease. The Chief also appealed to the merchants to place two incandescence lights in the alleys in each block. This would allow the police to investigate in the alleys at night.

He said the city had no funds to do that and the merchants must bear the cost until the city could secure the new tax levy.

BOY KILLED BY FALLING POLES

One of the most deplorable accidents that ever happened in Shawnee occurred on May 11, 1906, at about 8 AM. It caused the death of Jimmie Young, the four-year-old son of a well-known Rock Island shop employee.

Jimmie, who was a favorite of his grandfather, Jack Watkins, of south Broadway, often accompanied him about his work. On this day he went with his grandfather to a new bridge over Happy Hollow, south of the Katy and east of the Rock Island tracks.

Watkins was picking up broken timbers to be used for kindling wood, and had driven his team onto the bridge, while the little boy was walking down below. Suddenly, the team backed against a loose heavy timber, and it fell from the bridge, striking Jimmie on the head, and inflicting terrible injury.

Watkins immediately placed the boy in the wagon and drove to his home. Every possible attention was given to save his life. However, he died a few moments later. His skull was badly crushed as a result of the blow from the heavy timber.

SHAWNEE HIGH FINISHES SCHOOL YEAR

The closing week of the Shawnee schools began with the preaching of the Baccalaureate sermon on Sunday, May 20, 1906, for the Senior Class. The class was composed of: Myra Mabel Davis, Edward Rodgers, Nellie Mae Crossan, Myrtle Nicholson, Mamie Pulley, and Myrtle Brill. The exercise took place at the Becker Theatre.

In those days, the “ending exercises” included a whole week of activities. May 21, was the Senior Play; on the 22nd, was the Junior-Senior Reception; and on Thursday was the Alumni Reception.

SHAWNEE BASEBALL TO STAY IN THE LEAGUE

A baseball meeting was held in the Council Chamber of City Hall on the evening of May 29, 1906. The purpose of the meeting was to reorganize the local team on a sound financial basis. The meeting was attended by many local businessmen and baseball enthusiasts.

It was decided to incorporate a stock company to be known as the Shawnee Baseball Association, with a capital stock of $2,500. The stock would be divided into 500 shares at five dollars each.

Manager Joe B. Roe was present and offered to assign his league franchise and leases of the ball property to the new company and to assist the new company in every manner in his power.

The following people were selected to make up the Board of Directors for the franchise: President, Roy Congdon; VP, Charles F. Barrett; Secretary, C.B. Robertson; along with the other members: D.N. Kennedy, L.G. Pitman, John Rorer, Joe B. Roe, F.M. Blakley, John Garrett, William F. Sims, and R.J. McKay.

(These, and hundreds of other stories make up the comprehensive history of the city of Shawnee. Look for them in the publication of “Redbud City,” in 2018 or early 2019.)