The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
What’s this about Warrensburg having a sesquicentennial celebration in 2005? Weren’t we here a lot earlier than that? After all, the Old Courthouse on Main Street dates from the late 1830s. Well, it’s true – Warrensburg is over 150 years old, but not the City of Warrensburg, which was incorporated in 1855. Before then, it was a village. In any case, we’re going to have a celebration.
1855 was a very interesting time. The border wars over the status of Kansas were in full swing, and folks from this area were definitely involved. The Great White Arabia was the class of the steamboats plying the Missouri. Missouri was firmly in the hands of the Democrats, as the Whigs had collapsed, the No-Nothings never really got going, and the Republicans had not yet fielded a candidate in a national election. There wasn’t even a railroad here yet.
I understand that the plan for the celebration will include a lot of the usual activities, such as beard-growing and such. However, there is also the opportunity to adopt a persona or character from the era. Fortunately, plenty of information is available. The 1881 Johnson County History can tell us about the elected leaders and prominent citizens. We can learn more of how the people lived and dressed and spoke with a short trip down the road to Missouri Town 1855 over near Lee’s Summit. We can even find clothes from the era by visiting the sutlers’ tents at a nearby Civil War reenactment.
Now, as in any event, there is going to be a committee and someone is going to ramrod that committee. In this case it’s our City Clerk, Nancy Anderson. If you think this is going to be both fun and a good chance to showcase our town, drop by her office and put your name on the list. We did.
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