Did You Know This About Geary County History?
By Dr. Ferrell Miller
Geary County Historical Society Board Member
“It’s Football Season”
It’s football season!!! Today’s article is a review of some newspaper reports on the football season in years past.
The first article found was dated 1894. The author had an obvious bias and concern about players getting injured when he wrote: “Football is, if possible, even more brutal and dangerous than prize-fighting. But it is now a popular fad and it is supposed it will continue in “favor” until some of our bright and sturdy boys are maimed for life. Thus far, in the season a player broke his arm. Numerous bruises and contusions were the extent of the injuries received by other local players. It was felt that parents and teachers would avert much future regret, if they would strongly use their influence against this barbarous pastime.”
By 1912, there was more acceptance of the sport. A football banquet was given by local merchants at the Bartell House at Sixth and Washington Streets. Twenty-one players and as many merchants enjoyed an evening of dining and hearing short talks given by Dr. Smiley (the team’s coach), Dr. Carr, Mr. Platt and Mr. Shideler. After the banquet, the boys were treated to free entertainment at the Lyric Theater.
A 1913 article related some changes to the rules of playing football. One rule change was that “neither the head coach nor anyone would be allowed to walk up and down the sidelines.” The words “running into the fullback after the kick” were changed to “roughing the kicker.”
The report of the 1918 Junction City versus Salina game was 32 to 2. JCHS lost! This game was the first game of the season. One of the suspected reasons for the Junction City High School loss was that several players (who had to provide their own transportation) had car trouble and were unable to get to the game during the first half.
It is football season and we wish all of our local teams the best – not only on the field, but also in using the many life skills that are learned from playing sports.
“The Brinkley Hospital-Jones Hospital and the KFKB Radio Station”
This is a follow-up to a previous article about Dr. John Brinkley, often known as “The Goat Gland Doctor”. Dr. Brinkley transplanted the gonads of goats into aging human (male) customers with the promise of masculine virility. The operations were performed at his hospital in Milford, Kansas. The “Milford Messenger” newspaper of September 1923 reported that “the examination of patients at the newly remodeled Brinkley-Jones Hospital in Milford, Kansas would begin on September 28th and the first operations would take place on Monday, October 1. John R. Brinkley, the famous Goat Gland Doctor, had stated that all available space for the hospital was filled. More appointments were being made every day for the months of November and December.
It was feared that Dr. Brinkley would not be able to accept all of the patients seeking admission, despite the fact that the large addition had been made to the hospital during the summer months. The nurses were returning from their summer vacations and everything was being set for the opening day.”
Dr. Brinkley also operated a radio station. The call letters were KFKB (Kansas’ First Kansas’ Best). Test programs were to be aired on the station beginning September 29th. Anyone who wanted to sing or play musical instruments for the radio broadcasts was requested to make arrangements for a rehearsal before being permitted to participate. Students from Milford High School and Grade School were to be organized into a philharmonic society to perform regularly on the Brinkley station. Telegrams from radio fans all over the country were received stating they had heard the test programs from KFKB. One telegram came from Captain Donald Walters, son of Al Walters, who was on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of New York.
There is more information online and may be found in books about the “interesting” life of Dr. Brinkley. There is even a movie being made about Dr. Brinkley, which at this time is without a title or a release date. The movie will be directed by Richard Linklater. Robert Downey, Jr. will play the lead as Dr. Brinkley.