Harvey County Grain Elevators in Photos

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

At one time a grain elevator, along with the train depot, was an important part of a town.

Hesston, Ks, 1920. View of Missouri Pacific Depot, railroad tracks and grain elevator.

Located near railroad tracks, elevators stored the grain brought in by area farmers.


Zimmerdale, Ks.

The tall wood structure  is often the only remaining building of a town long gone.

Zimmerdale Grain Elevator, ca. 2000 prior to demolition.


C.C. Isley Lumber Co., Grain, Coal, Feed, 1910. Location unknown.



Burrton, Ks, 1920. Grain Elevator in the distance.

Hensley Oil & Feed Elevator, Burrton, Ks.

At the turn of the century, many of the wood structures were replaced with concrete silos with more storage capacity and less susceptible to fire.

Farmers Co-op Elevator, Halstead, Ks, 2002.

Today, the grain elevator, once a common part of the rural Kansas landscape, is disappearing.

Continental Grain Co., location unknown, n.d.


Mud of the Trenches: the 4th Liberty Bond Train

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

Throughout the fall of 1918, Harvey County was focused on the war effort in France.  The purchase of Liberty Bonds was one way to show support for war efforts at home.

Liberty Bond Booth, Fall 1918. Intersection of 6th & Main, Newton, Ks. (Kansas State Bank in the background)

“Crowds Expected to Gather”

To kick off the 4th Liberty Loan Bond drive, a train with a war exhibit stopped in Newton on Saturday morning, September 28, 1918. Across the nation, kick-off events were held to encourage the purchase of Liberty Bonds. As part of the promotion, twenty-four trains traveled from town to town reaching four towns each day.  On board, were “speakers and salesmen”  who received “subscriptions . . . as they moved place to place.”

In the days prior to the trains arrival,  the newspaper editor assured the public that there would “be ample space for the crowds expected to gather.”

“Mud of the Trenches”

On Saturday morning, the train under the guard of  three squads from Co F National Guard arrived and parked at east 6th. The train consisted of two flat cars, one box car and a Pullman.  Items on display were “all newly captured” at the front including German howitzers and siege guns. Together the objects “show . . . what our men are going through over at the front.” Many of the objects were captured during a battle at Hoboken on September 12, 1918 and arrived in Newton “with mud of the trenches adhering to their wheels.”

Wounded soldiers recently returned from the trenches in France also accompanied the train.



Evening Kansan Republican, 28 September 1918, p. 3.

The occasion was also marked with a parade of the Newton drum corps under that direction of Paul Hubner.

After completing the tour, “the war material, guns, bombs, were returned to France “to be used in the war on the Hun.” 

The editor of the Evening Kansan Republican noted:

“Perhaps no one thing could be picked out as of special interest, but it was all a display that brought the people into a feeling of closer proximity to the actual fighting.”

List of objects in the War Exhibit

Evening Kansan Republican, 28 September 1918.

4th Liberty Loan Drive

The week following was devoted to “education, publicity, and preparation.” Sunday, October 6 was declared “Liberty Loan Sunday” and subscriptions to the loan would take place October 7 through October 12. The quota for Harvey County was $688,000,000.

Newton Journal, 27 September 1918

The following week, October 14-19, was “devoted to cleaning up unfinished work and looking after slackers.”

A new button was created.  Earlier buttons had a metal base with a celluloid cover with a lithograph design.  Buttons for the 4th Liberty Loan did not have the celluloid due to expense and “the fact that it is needed for making explosives.” The design was lithographed on the metal at nearly half the cost. More than 30,000,000 buttons were ordered.

4th Liberty Loan Pin, 09/1918 HCHM # 91.19.53

“Over the Top”

The Saturday, October 19 Evening Kansan Republican reported that “Harvey County is nicely over the top in the Fourth Liberty Loan drive.”

Evening Kansan Republican, 19 October 1918.


Click the link below to watch President Wilson leading the 4th Liberty Loan Parade in September 27, 1918 at Pennsylvania Railroad Station, New York.



  • Evening Kansan Republican, 26 September 1918, 28 September 1918, 19 October 1918.
  • Newton Journal 27 September 1918.

Around the Farm: Barns

Barns are such an important part of farm life in Harvey County. We thought we would share a few photos from our collection.


Unidentified farm.

George Kline Family Farm

Macon Township, Harvey County, Ks

Kline Farm

Kline Family Farm

George Kline Farm, Macon Township, Harvey County, Ks

Lunch break, Kline Family Farm.

Barn Memories

“We used to put on theatricals upstairs in our barn.  One, especially, had a disappearing stunt in it and the only way we could disappear was to stand close to the hay chute and step backwards and slide down the chute and come out below in the cow’s manger. . . . we got stuck sometimes and a recess was declared and the cast disbanded to pull the unfortunate one out. . .”  Helen Purvis Johns Moore.


S. M. Spangler Family Farm

3 miles south on Old 81, Harvey County, Ks

S.M. Spangler Barn, ca. 1900. Located 3 miles south on old 81.

“Grandpa Spangler’s Manure Spreader on the S.M. Spangler Farm


Jacob Andres/Peter Claassen Barn, 1963.

1 mile west of Farmer’s Corner, west of Halstead to the right and west of the river.

Barn was built in 1876 by Jacob Andres and son Gustav. Later owners included Peter Claassen and C.F. (Fritz) Claassen.


Fred Klaassen Farm, 1938

Harvey County Extension Annual Report, 1938. “A view of the Fred Claassen home before undertaking rebuilding and landscaping.” Photo taken on October 23, 1938, by November 2 a foundation for the new barn was laid to the north & west of present barn.


  • Rogers, Ruth.   “The Emanuel Johns Family: My Life Story by Helen Purvis Johns Moore. The Homesteader, Harvey County Kansas Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 13, Issue 2, May 2017.