The History of Eudora, Kansas
The History of Eudora, Kansas
Photograph to right: Early Eudora Veterinary Clinic staff
The city began building a water plant at Fifth Street, west of Main Street, near the Wakarusa River in 1970. Also new that year was Broers Auto Sales at Main Street and Tenth Street operated by Homer Broers, and Stan Bryne bought the pharmacy at 101 W. 10th Street from Alf T. H. Oleson. The Eudora City Council approved a long-awaited zoning ordinance in December 1971 that set up zoning regulations for city, business, residential, and industrial sites and annexed 67 acres at the southwest edge of the city. City ordinance 357 deleted Main Street as the main traffic way in the city and ordinance 358 established Elm Street as the main traffic way from Tenth Street to Nineteenth Street.
The City Council gave permission in September 1973 to use the park grounds between Main Street and Elm Street at Ninth Street for a library building. An October 1974 bond election provided $90,000 in taxes for the brick library designed by Robert Gould and completed in 1975. Several community groups also contributed funds, including one group that held an arts and crafts fund-raising festival in 1972. The Lions Club provided the flag and flagpole installed by Lion member Oscar Broers. Several library items, including a large stuffed horse in the children’s library, were provided in memory of Kevin Byrne.
Norma Lutz, head librarian for the first eight years, was followed by Linda (Crawford) Abel, and then Pauline Gilroy in 1976. Marlene Evinger became head librarian in 1984 and worked with assistants Gracie Hopkins, Darlene Miller, Judy Charbonneau, Willie Snow, Beth Tiner, Linda Weeks, Crystal Hinman, Terry Long, Heidi Elliot, and Rayna Hickman. Story Hour for preschoolers has been a regular feature of the Eudora Public Library and led by Linda Abel, Gloria Jacob, Lois Mersmann, Valerie Richardson, Delores Votaw, Betty Sisson, Crystal Hinman, Sharon Schehrer, Beth Tiner, Linda Weeks, Heidi Elliot, and others. Carol Wohlford, former Andover, Kan. library director, took the position Evinger vacated in 2012.
William "Bill" Long, who worked first as a Eudora reserve officer, then part-time police, was sworn in as chief of police on February 1, 1974. That same year Kaw Valley State Bank celebrated its 75th anniversary. Staff included James Hoover, vice president and cashier; Ruth Miller, assistant cashier; Amaretta Nichols, vice president; Donald Bagby, executive vice president; Kelvin Hoover, president; David Becker, teller; Geraldine Abel, assistant cashier; Judy Broers, assistant cashier Darlene Musick, assistant cashier, and Helen Blake, teller. Helen Sommer managed the bank’s Hoover-Bagby Insurance office.
Businesses during the decade besides mainstays such as Farmer’s Elevator where Larry Harris, Marvin Gibbs, John Rawlings, Kenny Jones, Shorty Guthrie, and Wesley Burr were paid an average wage of $3 an hour, according to 1976 time receipts, included the Dari Treat, owned and operated by Fred and Mary Stewart at Tenth Street and Main Street; Pete’s Garage, and an auto store owned by Glenn Gill, Desoto, at 1002 Ash Street, later bought by Jim and Dixie Gilmore, both of Tonganoxie, who renamed it “Jim’s Green Light.” Wilfred and Nell (who owned a hair salon at 1102 Main) Trefz opened a sideline business in their home at 1106 Main Street called Trefz Turquoise Gems and featured handmade jewelry made by Navahos in Arizona. Pat Watkins and her husband, Bill, opened Pat’s Café on Locust Street and Tenth Street in the former Dairy Treat operated by the Fulks family. The Watkins family continued to use the drive-in window for food delivery, and also served café meals indoor. The 30-foot by-40-foot metal building at Seventh Street next to Eudora City Hall was built in 1974 to house Eudora Auto Trim upholstering business owned by John Reese.
Other new businesses were the Eudora Animal Hospital, 521 Main Street, staffed by veterinarian Ron Lee, his wife, Donna, as receptionist, and George, a part-Siamese cat. Kastl Plumbing used the back of the building for its warehouse. Gary and Bettie Vermillion opened the Market Basket grocery, in 1977, in a building they obtained from Pete Lawson in 1977.
On the city front, a $126,528, L-shaped, 4,285 square foot swimming pool with bath house and wading pool was added to the city recreational complex in 1977. Built to accommodate up to 120 swimmers, the pool was funded by a federal grant, community development funds ($47,000), and monies left by Lucy Kaegi (more than $10,000) for a park. A playground, two grills, picnic areas, shelters, bike racks, and playground also were built in the complex.
The park adjoined the new football and track field to the north, Cardinal Field, dedicated in 1976 by school superintendent Charles Hill during Eudora High School's first football game of the season. More than 30 years later, this field was renamed Laws Field after Don Laws, a Eudora High School teacher and later razed for new construction.
A sign of the future Kansas City-Lawrence highway that easily would link Eudora to both, the Kansas Department of Transportation in 1977 opened a segment of the K-10 four-lane freeway beginning at Blue Mound Road east of Lawrence and extending east to old K-10 a mile east of Eudora.