Girard Kansas Historical Events Profile and Resource Guide, City or community of Girard, Kansas Historical Events and Facts, Information, Relocation, Real Estate

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Girard, Kansas Historical Events

2003, October 5
Girard, Kansas landmark since 1869 burns to the ground
Flames engulf Circle E Feed in Girard, KS.

At approximately 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters from at least six different area fire departments were asked to respond to Circle E Feed at 309 E. St. John in Girard. At 11:30 p.m., firefighters were still desperately fighting to save the animal feed manufacturing plant and keep the flames from spreading to nearby businesses. The Kansas State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate the blaze.

The first structure on the site was built in 1869 and a brick edition was added in 1923. Both structures were completely destroyed in the blaze. Through the years the business passed through several incarnations, from an American Royal Feeds owned locally to Super Sweet feeds and later purchased by a company that would eventually become ADM.

The building became somewhat of a local landmark being one of the first sights of the city as people traveled West toward the town via US Highway 57. Circle E feed employed local residents and purchased some of the materials needed for producing its livestock feeds from local farmers. According to Antony Kavcich, who retired from the plant, he was employed on the graveyard shift for Super Sweet. When I started working there we had three shifts going all the time. Mr. Kavcich also said Some of the materials we used to make our feeds were hauled in like, corn from Iowa, and rice products from Missouri and Arkansas, but some of it was also purchased locally. Corn and Milo were bought from local farmers.

During the twenty years of his employment Mr. Kavcich stated they would produce about 3,000 tons of feed a month, some of hauled by Super Sweet trucks as far as the Flint Hills

The Appeal to Reason
The Appeal to Reason, a socialist newspaper was published in Girard, Ks. In 1913 the newspaper had a circulation of 750,000 the largest circulation of any newspaper on earth at that time. J.A. Wayland was the founder and publisher. Emanuel Haldeman-Julius came to Girard to run the Appeal to Reason after the death of Wayland. He conceived the idea of the "Little Blue Book" This brought many noted people to Girard, including Upton Sinclair, Clarence Darrow and Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Money for Library in Girard
Miss Jane Addams founder of Hull House in Chicago was sister to Mrs. S. Alice Haldeman of Girard. While Miss Addams was visiting her sister, she was shocked to find out Girard did not have a library. In 1905 Andrew Carnegie gave Girard $8,000 to build a library. Girard, at that time, was the smallest city in the world to have a Carnegie Library. It was rumored that Jane Addams was a friend of Andrew Carnegie and may have something to do with the money.

This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Girard and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.

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