The Bentley Block

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator


Did you recognize the scrolls on the building at 601 Main?

Prairie Harvest, 601 Main, 2015.

This weekend Prairie Harvest is celebrating their 17th Anniversary of business.  Enjoy this history of the building at 601 Main, Newton through photos. Which one do you remember?

The Bentley Block, 1880s

Bentley Block, 601 Main, Newton, Ks, 1883.

1885 Newton City directory lists the following businesses at the location: German National Bank (601 Main); Bentley & Perde Real Estate Brokers (601 1/2); Bowman & Bucher, Attorneys (601 1/2); J.W. Murphy, Real Estate (106 W. 6th); Gross, Boyd & McConnell, Barbers (104 W 6th); E.E. Sellers, Cigars (104 W 6th).

Hanlins Department Store: “The largest Cash Department Store in the State” ca. 1905.

Postcard, 600 Block of Main, west side, 1905. (The Opera House tower is visible at far right.)

Hanlins Department Store, 601 Main, ca. 1905.

West side of the 600 & 700 Blocks on Main Photo by Stovall Studio for booklet, “Newton, Kansas: Past & Present,Progress & Prosperity Souvenir,” 1911.

Hanlins Mercantile Gets a New Look  in 1911.

The front of the building was significantly altered, changing the main entrance and adding an imposing front facade in 1911.

Booster Day Parade, October 42, 1911.

Hanlin Lewis Mercantile, 601 Main, ca. 1911.

The Era of J.C. Penney & Co and more Changes, 1957

J.C. Penney Co., 601 Main. 1957.

500 & 600 Block of west Main, Newton, 1957.

More changes for the front facade when the cornice was removed sometime in 1957.

Harvey County Fair Parade in front of J. C. Penney Co, 601 Main, 1957. (can you find the graffiti left by the NHS class of 1957?)

More drastic changes  in the 1960s/early 1970s when metal siding was installed over the front facade of the building at 601 Main.

Chisholm Trail Parade in front of J.C. Penney Co, 601 Main, 1991.

Businesses since J.C. Penney & Co closed.

Stage, 601 Main, 1997.

Dollar Super Store, 601 Main, 2002.

A Revitalized Building and a Return to the older facade.

Prairie Harvest, 601 Main, 2015.

The Best Playing Court in Kansas: Lindley Hall

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

On Sunday, October 15, HCHM will host Jordan Poland, Director of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. He will present Athletic Cathedrals of Kansas. Poland will explore some of the more memorable venues in Kansas,  building them and their role in the community. Newton has it’s own sports cathedral in Lindley Hall.

Built in 1934, Lindley Hall was home to some of Newton High’s most successful basketball teams under the leadership of Frank Lindley and later John Ravenscroft. The new building could seat from 2,200 to 3,000 people for basketball games.  When used as an auditorium it could seat 1,250 on the main floor and 1,600 in the balconies.

The problem of what to name the new structure was easily solved.

“Acting upon scores of requests from students and townspeople, the board of education . . . formally adopted [Lindley Hall] . . . as a tribute to Frank Lindley in recognition of his long years of service to Newton high school as athletic coach and principal.”

The building measured 122 feet wide by 143 feet long and 44 feet in “extreme height.”  The building materials used included 430,000 bricks, 65 tons of steel and 5,000 sacks of cement.

“The best lighted gymnasium and playing court in the state of Kansas”

Over the court, the wide span of the beams, 121 feet, allowed a roof with no pillars anywhere in the building. A new type of goal was also installed. The goal was designed so that it could be drawn up to the ceiling when not needed during games, giving versatility to the space. With 54 recessed ceiling lights, each with a potential 500 watts, Lindley Hall was “the best lighted gymnasium and playing court in the state of Kansas.”

Interior Lindley Hall, 1934.

In addition to the basketball court, there was a stage, with storage underneath, and two dressing rooms.

Basketball practice in the new facility started November 27, 1934.

A program of dedication for the new $80,000 gymnasium-auditorium was held December 14, 1934.

Frank Lindley was the Newton High School men’s basketball coach from 1914-45.  He was one of the first to use the zone defense. Lindley finished his coaching career with a record of 594-118, 8 state titles and 8 state runner-up.  He also served as Newton High School principal from 1921-1951.


  • Evening Kansan Republican, 28 November 1934,
  • Program: The Dedication of Lindley Hall, Newton Public Schools, December 14, 1934. HCHM Archives.

“With Deepest Sympathy:” Lt. Loy A. Hege

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

During the Great War, chemical weapons were used on both sides. The French were the first to use gas grenades of xylyl bromide against the Germans in August 1914. In October 1914, Germans used a gas that caused violent sneezing fits, but it was not fatal. Chlorine, a poisonous gas, was introduced to the war in April 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres by the Germans.  Mustard gas was developed by the Germans and in use by September 1917.  This gas was a nearly colorless, odorless gas that caused internal and external blisters.  Soldiers in the trenches were always on the look out  for an attack and the army provided them with gas masks for protection.

The wearer of the mask breathed entirely through his mouth, his nose pinched shut by a clamp attached to the mask.  The wearer had to hold their breath 6 seconds while the mask was adjusted.  With only four breathes a soldier could inhale enough poison gas to kill.

The bag containing the gas mask and respirator was a constant companion of the soldier and there are several in the collection at HCHM.  In a letter home dated October 4, 1918, Lt Harold M. Glover wrote: “It is my opinion that the gas is the most horrible part of the whole business.”



Loy A. Hege, a Harvey County native, died as a result of inhaling gas during battle  in France in August 1918. Hege was born near Halstead, Ks.October 2, 1893 to Mr. & Mrs. G.A. Hege.   As a young man, he  moved to Emporia and graduated from Emporia High School in 1912. He continued his education at Emporia College and received his B.S. Degree from the Kansas State Normal in 1916. He then taught at Abilene High School, Abilene, Ks.  He met  Jane J. Lewis and they were married at her home on 506 Market in Emporia.  Hege completed officer’s training in August 1917 and was a  2nd Lt, Co. A, 355 Infantry.

A Letter Returned

His family in Harvey County kept in contact with him during the war. Sadly, one letter was returned to his Aunt Kate, after his death in France.

Envelope of letter returned to family of Loy A. Hege.


Letter from Kate, Halstead, Ks to Lt. Loy A. Hege, 25 August 1918, copy of original.

“With Deepest Sympathy”

Lt. John Richards  had the difficult task of writing to Hege’s relatives in Kansas.

“It is with deepest sympathy that I write you of the death of Loy Hege, a noble and ever-inspiring officer, a true friend and a pal to all.”

Richards goes on to describe what happened to cause Hege’s death.

“The position occupied by our Company was opened on with shrapnel and gas shells the night of August 7th and he was severely gassed.  He was taken to the hospital about 6:30 am where nurses and doctors did all in their power for him, but to no avail.  He died on the afternoon of August 15th.  He realized the day before his death that he was to go and his last thoughts were of home and home folks.”

Lt Hege was buried in the military cemetery north of Toul, France, grave number 191.

Twenty-six days later his wife gave birth to his daughter.

His body was returned to Emporia, Ks on July 22, 1921. A funeral was held at the home of his widow at 5th and Market in Emporia on July 25, 1921. He was buried at Maplewood Cemetery, Emporia, Ks.


  • Letter from Kate, Halstead, Ks to Lt. Loy A. Hege, 25 August 1918, copy of original. Original in possession of Hege Family.
  • Evening Kansan Republican: 10 September 1918.
  • Hodge, Robert, Find A Grave, Lieut Loy A. Hege,#42193268