The Belton Historical Society
P.O Box 1144 | Belton, MO 64012 | 816-322-3977

January 2020: Newsletter 1 Volume XL

Posted by Jason W on Wednesday, 01 January 2020 at 3:14 PM

A Letter From Our President

Rob Powell

2019-2020

Surprise!  I’m still president of the Society, entering my 5th year.  I seem to be the only person gullible enough to say “yes” when the nominating committee comes around.  This WILL be my last year, so if you are all interested in serving on the board, particularly President, please e-mail me (robpowell@sbcglobal.net).

We’ve had a successful 2019 for the museum and the Society, and including the following highlights:

  • The new outdoor sign was installed in May after a 2-year absence.
  • The Old City Hall was repaired and reopened after significant mortar issues.
  • Our stock account gained $20,000. We also had a successful audit!
  • Weldon Jackson’s family was highlighted in our first ‘family focus’ display, providing a unique look at Belton history AND a reason for a Jackson Family reunion.
  • Our museum committee provided several displays, particularly highlighting Belton artists.
  • We added 2 display cases in the carriage house that now contains the bulk of the Carrie Nation and Dale Carnegie displays.
  • Five Belton High School seniors received $1000 scholarships (for the 4th year in a row).
  • Belton Fall Festival was another success, with over 500 visitors to the museum and hearse.
  • The museum gained exposure via a radio interview on KCUR radio and a host for the Missouri Preservation Society’s “This is the Place” open house.
  • By-laws were successfully updated to reflect donation preferences.
  • Quarterly meeting programs on WW1, Puppy Mills, Belton history, and Ghost Towns were very popular.

In 2020 we have these goals:

  • Finish repairs to Old City Hall in conjunction with Belton Community Projects and Main Street Theater.
  • Build a handicapped-accessible entrance to Old City Hall.
  • Move forward with plans to digitize the Belton Star Herald newspapers in our ‘attic’.
  • Plan updates to the 2005 edition of “The First Hundred Years” for the 150th Belton anniversary.
  • Provide entertaining quarterly programs, as well as successful museum, scholarship, and research results.
  • Encourage more members to become museum docents.

We lost the following special people in 2019:

  • Ona Ruth Smith (docent)
  • Arnetta Johnson (donor)
  • Ray Wilbur (husband of Linda Jo Jackson Wilbur)
  • Dorothy Hoops
  • Cora Troxell

Finally, a word of caution: I’ve noticed that a lot of the jobs are being done in the Society by a relatively few members.  EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED!  We can use docents, researchers, open house volunteers, etc.  We also can use donations as we continue to take an active role in ensuring that the Old City Hall remains standing for another 100 years.

Happy New Year!  Rob

 General Meeting—Sunday January 26th —2:30 PM

In the Main Street Theater side of the Building

510 Main Street, Belton

“The Baby Tooth Project”

The January Meeting of the Belton Historical Society will be held in the room behind the museum, Main Street Theater.

Our January general meeting program will be by Rob Powell, “The Baby Tooth Project”.  If you grew up in the Midwest in the 1950’s and 60’s, you were exposed to radioactive fallout from US hydrogen bomb testing.  What does this have to do with baby teeth?  Why are Missouri mothers the focus of this huge project?  How much radiation did YOU receive AND was that TOO much?  Rob will provide answers and more during the January 26 general meeting.

Refreshments will be served following the program.  Please call Pam Powell at 816-331-6710 if you would like to help with refreshments.

Our October speaker was unable to attend our meeting due to an emergency illness of his wife.  We were honored to have member, Woodrow Dick address another WWI topic about the fate of a Belton warrior during WW I.  The story was poignant and will not be forgotten.   We will find another date to hear from WWI enactor, Kavan Stull.

Board of Directors Membership

Recently our member, Elaine Wilson, stepped down from her duties on the Historical Society’s Board.  We express our gratitude to her for the time she was with us, including her contributions to the Fall Festival and the  Scholarship Committee.  She was an officer on the Board, the Corresponding Secretary,  Per bylaws, the President appoints a replacement Board member.  Rob Powell has appointed David Stevenson to be a member of the Class of 2022, and has asked Pam Powell to assume the duties of Corresponding Secretary.  Don’t be a stranger, Elaine!

Museum Winter Schedule 2020

Traditionally  our  museum is closed during the winter months of January and February.  With threatening weather during those months common, it is just easier to close for the season rather than subject our docents to dangerous road conditions.  During the past few years, it has become our custom to update and refresh the exhibits in the Museum  so that our patrons have something new to look forward to in the spring.

If you have need to enter the museum for any reason, please call Rob Powell at 816-331-6710 to arrange a time for the building to be open.  Researchers are particularly welcome.

The docents will be called in late February and told the times and dates of training for the new year.  The docents will also be asked to help with “spring cleaning”.

We hope everyone can return in March refreshed and ready to share the story of Belton with others!  We will re-open on  March 3rd .

Docents can Enjoy a Show at Main Street Theater FREE!

If you are a docent and would like to enjoy a free show at MST, just volunteer to be in the museum for approximately a half hour before the show and during the intermission of the show.  This  opens the museum for theater patrons who might not otherwise know about the Belton Historical Society.  Norma Nelson along with Joe and Betty Robertson have taken advantage of this offer!  The next show is Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys in March.   Join the fun!   Call Rob Powell at 816-331-6710 if you are interested in this terrific offer!

Fund Raisers for Old City Hall

Our sister tenant, Main Street Theater, held two fund raisers during the year of 2019 to raise money for  our “landlord” Belton Community Projects, Inc.  First the Belton’s HOT Talent  Night in July and then the Olde Tyme Radio Shows in October, each with their own Silent Auctions, raised a total of $6,000. 

With these donations raised by MST’s supporters, BCPI has more money available to pay for the continued upkeep of the Old City Hall.  Consequently, the Belton Historical Society and Main Street Theater should be called on less frequently by BCPI to keep the building in good repair and from emergency closure by the city.

Whenever you have the opportunity to donate to BCPI  be assured that the money is going directly into this beautiful treasure, our building, Old City Hall.  Your gifts to BCPI are tax-deductible contributions to a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and you are safe in the knowledge that the money will be dedicated to this historic building.

Checks may be made payable to BCPI and mailed to BCPI, P.O. Box 424, Belton, MO 64012

Beacon Bible and Book Store to Close

We sadly report that the Beacon Bible and Book Store, located across Main Street from the Museum, is closing at the end of 2019.  Rachel Campbell, longtime owner, will be going out of business and not moving to a new location.  We especially appreciate Rachel for her support of the Historical Society – she has provided a ‘resting place’ for the Museum key for many years, befriended new docents, and kept track of museum openings.  Rachel has a strong faith and we pray that she continues her mission.  We’ll miss her!

Belton Ornaments

Many of you recall (and actually have) the Belton-themed Christmas tree ornaments sold by the Historical Society between 1990 and 2000.  Betty Robertson has taken on the task of identifying the artists who painted each design.  She has started a list, and would like your help filling in the blanks:

DESIGN

ARTIST

YEAR

Old City Hall

Sherry Joy

1990

Dryden Drug

??

1991

Star Herald

??

1992

Walnut School

??

1993

Belton Hospital

??

1994

Police Station

??

1995

Round Barn

Billy Bradshaw

1996

Crimson Diner

Joe Robertson

1997

Train Station

Jim Cunningham

1998

Belton Logo

Joe Robertson

1999

Gazebo

Joe Robertson

2000

Please get back to us with any info: beltonhistorical@att.net, piperval@aol.com, or robpowell@sbcglobal.net.  Thanks!