By Allene Maloney
The fire at Laredo on Sunday, Feb. 23, destroyed the home of Bill and Darlene Beverlin. Unlike the fire that destroyed the Darby home in Spickard recently, no lives were lost and the fire happened during the day so someone quickly notified the fire department. Unfortunately, the fire was already too widespread for the mansion to be saved.
But like the Darby house at Spickard, the L.V. Woods three-story home was the largest house ever built in Laredo on six lots and was over 100 years old. It was built by Charles H. Cook, father of Sarah Catherine Cook, who married L.V. Woods in 1887.
Mr. Cook was born on May 31, 1833, in Maryland and moved to Grundy County when 21, purchasing 1,000 acres of land for 75 cents an acre at Lindley and made the first of his fortune at farming and merchandising. He married Nancy Elizabeth Dobbins in February 1859. In 1885, they moved to Trenton, built the big brick mill on College Avenue and engaged in milling and banking for 20 years. He was one of the principal stockholders and officers of the Trenton National Bank and the Cook & Vencill Bank at Galt. For two years, he served the city as mayor. In 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Cook moved from their beautiful residence in Trenton to the quietude of their big Lindley farm where he died on June 4, 1910 before the house in Laredo was completed in 1913. Mrs. Cook died on Sept. 17, 1925, in Laredo.
Larkin Vaughn Woods was born near Laredo on Sept. 2, 1863. He attended the old Humphreys College and Gem City Business College at Quincy, IL. He taught schools for a time, but always had farming interest. L.V. was married June 5, 1887 to Kate Cook and established a hardware store in Laredo. On Oct. 22, 1891, twins Charles and Ruth were born. After selling the store in 1896, he assisted his father-in-law in running a flour mill in Trenton.
Two years later, the family moved back to Laredo, where he accepted the position of cashier of the Commercial Bank, which he helped organize. He was the first city clerk and held the office for a large part of his life. He operated his farm, an insurance and real estate office, was a notary public and justice of peace for many years. He died on Jan. 14, 1942 at age 79. In 1944, his widow moved to Denver to live with her daughter, Ruth. She died on March 27, 1958, in Denver.
When I was born in Laredo in 1927, my dad, Truman Maloney, owned a truck and cut and hauled wood from the L.V. Woods farm to their home for the fireplace. In 1933, we moved to a farm two miles northwest of Laredo and dad still went to the Woods farm to cut wood and haul it into Laredo with horse and wagon.
In 1937, dad drove a school bus into Laredo and, after delivering the students to school, he went by the Woods home, stoked the furnace and removed the clinkers. In the afternoons, he again stoked the furnace and removed the clinkers before picking up the students. L.V. would have been 74 years old. In the winter, when we went to Laredo on Saturday evenings for mother to do her trading (exchange eggs and cream for flour, sugar and kerosene), dad would stop by the Woods home to take care of the furnace. We would stay in the car, parked under the huge portico (built to accommodate horsedrawn carriages) while dad dashed in a side door to the basement to prepare the furnace for the night.
Everyone who grew up in or near Laredo has fond memories of the Woods home at 215 W. Main. Roberta (Owens) Brick remembers her mother telling of a special closet for storing fur coats and the ballroom on the third floor. Mary Ann (McClain) Stalder remembers the beautiful lawn and huge trees that also shaded the sidewalk so children riding their bikes enjoyed the shade on hot summer afternoons. In the spring, the blooming redbud trees and spirea bushes added to the beauty.
Anna Lou (Mack) Martin’s grandparents, William H. and Lula Paramore, moved into the house in 1946, when they traded their 160-acre farm north of Dunlap to Edward W. Thomas and wife for the house on Main Street, 60 acres of farm land north of town and two buildings downtown in Laredo. Ed Thomas had bought the properties in 1944. In 1960, when the Paramores’ health was failing, the house was sold to William E. and Mildred Larson. The Larsons sold to Jackie Keller in 1974 and it was sold on the courthouse steps in Trenton to Joel F. and Cyndee Chrisman in 1982. The Beverlins became the owners in 1995. These dates were confirmed by Carolyn Whitney of Best Abstract & Title Co.
Ms. Martin tells that as a teenager she was awe-stricken each time her family visited the home. The front door opened to a broad hallway leading to a large stairway to the second floor. On either side of the hallway were open entries to rooms. The one on the right was a large room that probably was L.V.’s office and library. To the left was the grand living room with a high ceiling decorated with beautiful paintings of flowers and leaves in a circular pattern around the chandelier. In the northwest corner of the room was a magnificent fireplace and to the right of the fireplace were huge double doors opening into the formal dining room. Straight down the hallway from the front door and past the stairway was the kitchen area. This large room was where most of the family informal gatherings were held. From the kitchen was a servant’s special stairway to the second floor and a door to the enclosed porch.
Along the north side of the property was a garage and a chicken house. The garage could be entered by a driveway from the street along the west side of the estate, or the driveway that continued around the house from the portico on the east side.
Since 1944, the Woods house has changed ownership six times, but is still the L.V. Woods mansion to us. Laredo, like Spickard, will never be the same after the loss of these beautiful and grand houses.
Editor’s Note: Persons who have a memory to share about any topic related to Trenton and the surrounding area are asked to do so by e-mailing the Republican-Times newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories should include the writer’s name, address and telephone number along with a short bio of the writer. Stories are to be submitted by e-mail only and will appear periodically in the newspaper.
There are 23 acts scheduled to perform at the first ever “Trenton’s Got Talent” youth showcase, scheduled for Saturday, March 15 in the Trenton Middle School gym.
Investigation is continuing today into the cause of a fire that extensively damaged two downtown Gallatin business structures on the east side of the square on Wednesday afternoon.
The State Fire Marshal’s office is looking into what might have started the fire in which the Shelter Insurance and Farmers Insurance buildings received extensive damage while two other businesses, Flowers Unlimited and Subway, suffered smoke and water damage.
Fire officials said that a call was received around 1 p.m. reporting the fire, which is believed to have started on the bottom floor of the Shelter Insurance Agency office, located at 113 N. Main St. Flames could be seen shooting from the windows of the business as firefighters arrived.
Gallatin Fire Protection District Chief Doug Hamilton said that the fire broke through the ceiling of the Shelter Insurance building and into apartments on the second floor of the structure. While the initial knockdown of the fire on the first floor happened quickly, the lack of a ladder truck on the scene initially kept firefighters from making progress on the second floor.
The Trenton Fire Department, responding through mutual aid, brought its ladder truck and helped extinguish the fire on the upper floors. Trenton was one of 14 agencies working for more than two hours to put out the fire, which officials said was under control about 3 p.m.
The apartments located above the Shelter Insurance office were vacant and all businesses along the east side of the square were evacuated without incident. No injuries were reported, although a member of the Gallatin Fire Department was struck by debris. He was treated at the scene.
Firemen remained on the scene most of the day and into the evening to make sure flames did not reignite. Trenton Fire Chief Rick Morris said Trenton firefighters, along with the Grundy County Rural Fire Protection District, were at the scene for around five hours.
Other buildings on the east side of the square will remain closed until an inspection can be conducted to check structural safety of the buildings.
The Princeton City Council approved rate increases for its water and sewer charges during a meeting on Wednesday night.
Mary June (Summers) Foster passed peacefully from this life to her eternal home in heaven March, 4, 2014, at Kansas City Hospice House.
She was born May 28, 1923, to Myrtle Blanche (Linney) and John Jewell Summers at the family farm near Crooked River. She grew up in Hardin and graduated from Hardin High School in 1941.
June joined the World War II effort by moving to Kansas City, where she was employed by North American Aviation’s Kansas City, KS Bomber Plant from 1942-1944. She stripped, cleaned and reassembled .50 caliber machine guns on the “Mitchell” Medium Bomber B25-D, just before the planes were delivered to the front line troops. Against policy, one of the gunners allowed June to test fire a gun…the only woman ever to do so at that plant. It was there she met and, four short months later, married the man she loved the rest of her life – William Joseph, Foster of Trenton. June and Bill were married on June 11, 1944.
After their daughter, Tanna Terle (Terry), was born in July, 1945, June and Bill moved to Trenton. In the coming years, they added to their loving family daughters Tabitha Lee (Tobi) in 1949 and Candice Linney (Candy) in 1951, and finally their son, William Joseph Jr. (Joe) in 1953.
June was happy to be a stay-at-home mom while their children were young. She enjoyed coffee and visiting with neighbors and friends. When their children were older, June worked for Whisler Jewelers, Fair Drug, JCPenney and as a bookkeeper for Bill when they owned the Phillips 66 Station on Ninth Street. Her family remembers fried chicken, chocolate meringue pie with a melt-in-your-mouth crust, pea and cheese salad, homemade noodles and deviled eggs as being some of their favorite things she cooked.
June found a talent and passion for playing bridge that continued well into her late 80′s.She was recognized nationally as a master bridge player. June became an avid golfer in her 30′s. She would play with anyone, anytime, anywhere. She loved the Elks Ladies luncheons and Elks family nights.
June and Bill spent many hours dancing at the Elks Club. They traveled together to Elks Conventions in New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans and Honolulu. They also took cruises to the Caribbean and golfing vacations to Myrtle Beach, SC, Biloxi, MS and Clearwater, FL.
June was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, where she was a founding member of the Mary Searcy Circle. She was a lifetime member of the Trenton Elks Ladies and a very proud member of the Dorcas Richardson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
June moved to Sunnyview Nursing Home in 2012 where she was loved and treated like family.
June was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bill; her Mom and Daddy, Blanche and John Summers; her brothers, John Morris Summers and his wife, Fern and W.B. Summers and his wife, Chrystine; and her sister, Lois Imogene Frazer and her husband, Junior. She was also preceded by Bill’s parents, Lena Belle (Porterfield) and Robert Earl Foster; his sister, Margaret Louise (Peggy) Foster Sanders; and her son-in-law, Robert Moschgat.
She leaves to celebrate her life and memory her favorite son, Joe, and wife, Lori, of Trenton; her favorite daughter, Candy Tucker of Leavenworth, KS; her favorite daughter, Tobi and husband, Jim Hosty, of Westerville, OH; and her favorite daughter, Terry and husband, Mike Klipp of Burkburnett, TX. She was a proud grandma to Lynda and Dan, David and Debbie, Lee and Cindy, Eric and Kim, Tim and Andrea, Kelly and Kevin, Kevin and Nichole, Erin and Bryan, Emily and Steve, Ryan and Tammy, Colin and Christy, Jason and Misty and Jessica and Brian. She was Grandma June to Terry’s grandchildren, Josh, Drew, Devin, Brendan, Trenton, Sadie and Darin, Sarah and Josh, Bethany, Caroline June, Katie Gail and Hank; Tobi’s grandchildren, Landyn, Cameron, Owen, Paige, Ian, Morgan, Brogan, Dylan and Raegan; Candy’s grandchildren, Keely, Stevie and Kota; and Joe’s grandchildren, Kevin, Dylan, Gwyneth, Kameron, Lexi, Maddy, Livy, Erin and Chelsea.
Her brother-in-law, Peggy’s husband, Bob Sanders; sons-in-law, Babe Wynne and Randy Tucker; daughter-in-law, Vicky Christenson; and many nieces and nephews also survive her.
A private family memorial service was held for June.
For those who would like, donations may be made to Kansas City MO Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Road, Kansas City MO 64145, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
The website for the Trenton Republican-Times is undergoing changes!
Two NCMC students have been awarded Robison scholarships from the North Central Missouri College Foundation. Freddy Pannell of Trenton and Brooke Parton from Independence are the recipients. The Jeanette Hoffman Robison Scholarship was established by alumni and supporters of NCMC in memory of Mrs. Robison, who was born and raised in Trenton.
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