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Fourth of July in Beaver City, 1897

The Kid, a four-page newspaper once published semimonthly at Beaver City, covered local news only and was so named for its young editors, Willie and Jay Green. From the July 10, 1897, issue: "Beaver City celebrated the Fourth of July on Saturday, July 3. The celebration was opened by the street parade in which the band led, followed by a wagon load of the prettiest and smallest girls in town. Then came different wagons with the advertisements of the several merchants and druggists, and last of all two clowns, one riding a baer [sic] and the other leading it, which of course was gotten up to advertise Peter Baer & Co.

"After the parade had marched around the square, they at once marched to the court house, where a large crowd assembled under the shade of a large tent and a bowery to listen to Rev. L. S. Boyce, of Hiawatha, Kans., formerly a pastor of the Beaver City Presbyterian church, make the first oration of the day. Next came Hon. G. W. Norris, after which the crowd dispersed for dinner.

"In the afternoon the first thing was a number of races which did not come off for some good reason. This was followed by some glass ball shooting by Prof. W. T. Collings, after which the crowd gathered on the hill east of Dr. Butler's residence to witness some range riding by Col. Bill Webber, and an Indian Massacre of which the Col. was in charge. During the massacre the chief accidently ran into some barbed wire, throwing the horse and rider. The rider escaped injuries but the horse will not be ready for use for several weeks.

"The next thing was the balloon ascension by Prof. L. Brownie. He had bad luck with his furnas [sic] in filling the balloon and at once went to work on a new one and after supper he made his ascension. It was so dark that it could hardly be seen, so he will try it again this afternoon, and we hope he will have better success this time."

However, the young editors may have had second thoughts about Professor Brownie's activities. The succeeding issue of The Kid, published on July 24, included an article headed "A La Beaver City," consisting of Walt Mason's lampoon of aeronauts.


(June 2003)



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