The Alma Bottling Works, located in the 1000 block of Ohio Street in Alma, Kansas, was purchased by James and Dora Barger in 1908, shortly before the photo for this real photo postcard was taken. The Bargers are seen here with their son, Norman.
The Limerick coal mine was located near Mill Creek in the Park Valley addition on the northeast corner of Alma. The Limerick brothers were bankers, land speculators, and the owners of this mining operation at Alma. Henry Hutton is listed as the engineer for the mining operation. This view, circa 1890, was donated to the WCHS by Fred Herrmann.
This view of the Alma Salt Works, located in the 600 block of Grand Street in Alma, was taken from the northeast, looking southwest. Dated 1874, the original Wabaunsee County courthouse, Meyer Store, and Germania Hall (now Palenske Hall) are all visible to the left of the derrick. Salt was extracted from brine water by boiling the well water, extracting the salt in large iron vats.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe depot was constructed in 1880 as part of the Manhattan, Burlingame, Alma Railway which provided connecting service between Burlingame and Manhattan, Kansas. In 1898 the railroad suffered financial collapse, and in the reorganization, 22-miles of the track between Alma and Manhattan was discontinued and removed. In 1974 the ATSF closed the line, and the track and depots were sold.
A large group of World War I draftees stand at the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific depot at Alma, Kansas, awaiting transportation to an induction center. This was the second of three depots that the CRIP had at Alma, and was located on the very south end of town near the grain elevator.
This 1880s view of the flour mill located on the Mill Creek on the south end of Alma was taken by Alma photographer, Louis Palenske. When Palenske took this photo, the Pauly brothers owned the mill which was constructed in 1858 by Gottlieb Zwanziger, the founder of the City of Alma. In 1902, Louis Palenske purchased the mill and was its final owner before its closing in 1913.
George Miller constructed this building in about 1913 on the lot formerly occupied by Falk’s Opera House at 123 West 3rd in Alma, Kansas. When the building opened, it was the home for Miller’s Ford dealership, but in later years the building was owned by the Haller family who operated a Chevrolet dealership in the building.
Members of the Alma Brass Band stand in the center of Missouri Street in this Gus Meier view, circa 1900. At the far right one can see Peter Degan’s hotel, now known as Palenske Hall, as it looked before the building’s facelift in 1907.
John Hasenbank of Alma, Kansas drives his team of oxen down Missouri Street in this 1910 view, while his son, W.C. Hasenbank is seen in the doorway of 204 Missouri, as he is purchasing the building from Dick Thoes (with papers in his hand). In 1890 this building was built for Louis Palenske for the location of his Alma State Bank, and the Palenske family lived in the second floor of the structure.
This view of Alma, Kansas photographer Gus Meier was taken in his studio located at 210 Missouri Street in Alma, Kansas, circa 1910. Meier purchased his photography studio from Louis Palenske in 1888 and lived with the Palenske family for many years. Meier practiced the photography trade until his death in Alma in 1941.
The Farmers National Bank was formed in 1913, acquiring the assets of the Commercial National Bank, located directly across the street. The new bank operated in this building, located at 227 Missouri Street in Alma, until its closing in 1932 when the Farmers bank became part of the 1st National Bank of Alma. In this 1920s view, cattle and a single horse are being driven down Missouri Street. Otto Meyer constructed this building in 1906 on the site of the first courthouse in Alma. Meyer’s brother, Dr. A.A. Meyer operated a drug store and offices in the south half of the building when this photo was taken.
This Louis Palenske photograph of a parade on Missouri Street was taken from the roof of the Palenske Block, located at 204-210 Missouri, looking north. In this view, circa 1886, the first Alma, Kansas courthouse is seen to the left of center, sporting a 2nd story porch and balcony, while just to the north of the courthouse building one sees the Bank of Wabaunsee County. At the far right one can see the sign for the Western Hotel.
Otto Meyer constructed this new building in 1906 on the site of the first Wabaunsee County Courthouse in Alma. In this view, circa 1907, the U.S. Post Office occupied the north half of the storefront, and Dr. A. A. Meyer operated offices in the south half. This real photo postcard image was provided by Michael Stubbs.
A group of men stand in front of the Bank of Wabaunsee County, located at 301 Missouri Street in Alma, Kansas in this view by Alma photographer, Louis Palenske, circa 1884. To the north of the bank one sees a group of frame and stone buildings, most of which would disappear by 1910. The large pole in front of the bank is a former ship’s mast, and it was later removed for fear that it might fall on a building.
This 1928 Gus Meier view of the White Eagle gas station, located at 301 Missouri Street in Alma, shows Ronald Faulke (left) station operator, and Elmer Ringel, a station employee, in front of the gas pumps. The station was first known as the Degenhardt-Stuewe station, and was owned by the Degenhardt family for many years.
This real photo postcard, circa 1908, shows the Limerick block in Alma, which contained the Bank of Alma, Alf Umbehr’s racket store, a furniture store, and Fred Crafts’ drug store. Built by the Limerick Brothers, the buildings have been a cornerstone for the Alma business district for more than 125 years.
This Brandt Hotel opened on December 13, 1887 as the largest and finest hotel in Alma. The proprietor, Joseph Brandt, had formerly operated the Western Star Hotel, located in the 200 block of Missouri, and he operated the Brandt hotel until 1896 when he sold the hotel to Jacob Horne. The Horne family operated the hotel for almost 35 years. In the 1930s and 40s the hotel was owned by Clarence Gnadt. Today, the hotel is owned by George Terbovich. In this real photo postcard, circa 1908, rows of trees protect the building from the afternoon sun.
Schubert’s Gun and Machine Shop, located at 401 Missouri Street in Alma, Kansas was constructed in the late 1870s and is the last remaining frame building in the Alma, Kansas downtown district. Pictured left to right are Mary Schubert, Barbara Schubert, Carl Schubert and an unidentified man.
This interior view of an Alma, Kansas soda shop was taken during World War II, and a note on the back of the photo says, “Hope you look just like this when the war is over.” Advertisements on the wall show sandwiches for 10-cents and bacon, eggs, toast and coffee for 35-cents.
This real photo postcard from 1907 shows the St. John Lutheran Church, center, and St. John Lutheran School, far right, as they looked just before the church was demolished and a new church constructed in 1908. The church seen here was the second St. John Lutheran Church in Alma, replacing a small frame building which this building replaced. Photo courtesy St. John Lutheran Church.
In this real photo postcard from 1908, the St. John Lutheran Church is seen under construction with scaffolding surrounding the steeple. Stonemasons had not yet installed the buildings spires along the roofline and the windows had not been installed when this view was taken. Photo courtesy St. John Lutheran Church.