From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.
Researched and compiled by Amira Coleman, L&T Reporter
Warren Hotel welcomes long-term, permanent guests
The well-known and loved Landmark Center, home of the Salty Dog and many local businesses, was going through quite a bit of change in 1963. The Times’ front page sported a black-and-white picture of Bob and Billie Ross, the new management of Warren Hotel.
The couple came from a hotel in Monett, Mo. The Ross couple introduced a new policy that enabled long-term and even permanent residencies to occur.
“School teachers, single persons and couples seeking the convenience of a downtown residency will be given choice of rooms or suites and choice of location within the building,” Mr. Ross told the paper.
The USD 480 Board of Education met to discuss with their architect on the building program getting started. Overcrowding was a concern to the board then and still is today. So was the cost to taxpayers.
Numerous small changes were made to the contract, resulting in around $1,650 getting shaved off the original plan. Progress was being made, as the kind of overhead heaters to be used in the new buildings had been chosen. An investigation on the procedure of issuing no-fund warrants to cover both equipment and furnishings of the building was underway.
The Liberal City Commission called a meeting to hear alleged complaints from the public due to a complaint lodged with the state attorney by a four-man delegation from Liberal. The meeting was called after a lengthy conversation with commissioner Ralph Warren and Seward County Attorney Harold Greenleaf.
The whole situation seemed a rather big mess, with Warren pleading that he was not a complainant, but admitting to attending a meeting with Kansas Attorney General William Ferguson in which “efficiency in city government” was discussed.
Mayor Charles Brisendine asked Warren, “Is there something that should be brought before the commission? I think we need to know what the situation is. I don’t know how to answer people.”
Apparently, the people of Liberal had an issue with how the city commission was conducting itself, but nobody actually wanted to describe the problem publicly, or give specific details. Those who weren’t in the loop had to wait until the meeting to find out what all the fuss was about. As of Oct. 1, 1963, the paper had not succeeded in getting more facts to the public.
As it does today, the newspaper occasionally featured odd or remarkable news from around the world.
A photograph on the front page of the Times featured a young lady named Marjorie Louise Speichinger, who was the sole survivor of six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Speichinger on Aug. 8, 1936. The other five sextuplets were stillborn. There was only one other reported case of sextuplets, none of which survived. Marjorie, the only living sextuplet in the country was still living with her parents at the age of 27.
Closer to home, a pipeline blast northeast of Plains killed two men Oct. 4, 1963. One of the deceased, Alvin R. Smith, was from Liberal, and the other, James P. Cox, was from Plains. Another Liberal man, John A. Plummer, was injured from the blast.
According to reports from the scene, the men were working on a Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. crew, and were attempting to repair the main line when it ruptured, instantly killing both Smith and Cox. The cause of the rupture was unknown. Both bodies were brought to the Miller Mortuary.