Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives

If you would like to obtain additional information on an item you see listed,

please email the museum or complete the research form.

Time Line

Fourtee later water pushed over the banks once more, leaving extensive damage to public and private property.Fourteen days after the tornado touched down, water pushed over the banks of the fishing river, leaving extensive damage to public and private property.alig
1881 First school opened by Mrs. Robert Caldwell
1886 Wyman school built
1888 Lincoln School "for Negroes" was built.
1890 High School established in Wyman, accredited the same year.

1890 First Isley school built.
1902 Isley School burned.
1903 Isley School rebuilt.
1913 First High School built.
1915

Addition, doubling size of high school, erected.

1915 Junior high school organized.
1929 Wyman School was condemned.
1930 Wyman School was razed.
1930 October 2 The first game played under lights at Roosevelt Field was October 2, 1930 against Higginsville. More than 1500 fans witnessed the 36-6 victory for the Tigers.
1931 Rock Island Railroad completed.
1931 November The Elms was infamous as well as famous in those wild days. Early one morning in November 1931 was one of the most intensive and exciting gun battles in Excelsior Springs' history. Bandits attempting to hold up the hotel escaped in a speeding car, followed close behind by a group of local law enforcement men dubbed the "shotgun squad". There was a gun battle in the hotel lobby and veranda, with bullets flattened against stone walls, breaking through windows, and denting cars. The four bandits were captured later in Kansas City, one of them wounded.
1932 Gangster Lonnie Affronti shot a woman and her husband in an ambush shoot-out on Highway 10 near town. Azelea Ross, was the chief witness in a narcotics trial against Affronti.
1933 April 7 The first beer since Prohibition arrived in Excelsior Springs at 1 a.m., April 7, 1933 from Goetz Brewery in, St. Joseph, and before sunrise 300 cases and six kegs of beer had been consumed. In the years to come, the return of beer proved to be a boon to the local economy, with an increase in hotel guests.
1933 Wabash Rail line was halted.
1933 Inter-urban railroad line from St. Joseph to Kansas City (stopping in Excelsior Springs) was abandoned.
1933 Highway 69 from Excelsior Springs to Kansas City was opened.
1934 Bonnie and Clyde made a brief appearance three months before they were killed when they passed along the outer edge of Excelsior Springs and made an uneventful stop at Phillips Tavern on Highway 69.
1936 First two school busses were obtained: a Ford V-8 "85" Chassis and a Chevrolet Chassis.
1938 April A fire destroyed the high school auditorium. Damage was estimated between $15,000 and $20,000.
1941 The Fishing River overflowed its banks, and before the flood ended 20 inches of water in the Hall of Waters basement did close to $10,000 damage, and water rose to the 32-foot mark on the sides of buildings.
1942 Joe Louis, world heavyweight champion, came to Excelsior Springs and addressed the USO at a meeting at the Elms.
1943 A flood hit and completely filled the bottling works and boiler rooms at the Hall of Waters.
1944 August The war seemed closer to home in when a young German prisoner of war escaped from an Orrick potato field and made it to a farm about five miles south of Excelsior Springs before he surrendered, tired and hungry, to Lucy Dillon.
1947 A tornado touched down at Lake Maurer and Crescent Lake, destroying residences and cabins.
1947 groundbreaking for the Pepsi Cola plant
1947 The 1947 high school football team was the first one to end the season with a perfect record, 10-0, and to win the Missouri River Valley Championship.
1948 The 1948 high school football team beat Mexico, Mo, in the first Mineral Water Bowl game. The Tigers won 21 straight games, and finally went to Chatanooga, Tennesee to play Augusta Military Academy in the Orchid Bowl high school classic. Excelsior Springs was completely outranked and lost 55-6.
1948 Harry Truman was elected president while staying at the Elms Hotel.
1951 December Lewis School was opened - then an elementary school.
1953 St. Ann's Catholic School opened with three classrooms at Kansas City and Leavenworth Avenues.
1953 New York Giants practiced for a week at Roosevelt Field
1954 Philadelphia Eagles came to Excelsior Springs.
1955 School integration arrived in 1955. Before that year, black students attended Lincoln school, which was built in 1888.
1960 Lewis School became a three-year junion high school.
1960 Elkhorn Elementary was built with a $135,000 bond.
1963 Washington Elementary obtained approval for two more rooms.
1963 Kindergarten for the 1963-1964 school year was discontinued because a bond issue failed to pass.
1964 A $350,000 bond was approved for constructing Westview Elementary.
1966 Police received reports of UFO's over the city. Flying Saucer Watch Parties were organized, and more than a thousand sightings were reported.
1967 A $380,000 bond was approved for additions to Westview and Lewis.
1969 Washington School district was annexed to Excelsior Springs.
1969 Hall of Waters flooded along with several other areas in town including the hospital. Many homes were evacuated until the waters receded.
1969 "Adam at Six A.M." was filmed. The script was written by Elinor Karph, daughter of local dentist Hadley Kimes, and her husband Stephen Karpf. Two-thirds of the movie was filmed at Excelsior Springs, with Michael Douglas in the lead and many local residents playing bit parts.
1969 The school board adopted a dress code that prohibited high school girls from wearing slacks.
1970 The first van ambulance was purchased.
1970 The city received honorable mention for community betterment by National Congress on Beautification in Washington, D.C.
1972 A $1.05 million bond was passed for construction of the new West High School.
1972 Two 11-year olds confessed to setting fire to Isley Elementary, doing $100,000 damage and forcing 200 students to move to temporary facilities.
1974 Floods caused $1.8 million damage. More than 30 cars were submerged, four bridges were damaged, water and sewer mains broke, more than 50 homes and two floors of the Hall of Waters suffered damage, and water was chest-high in Roosevelt Field.
1975 Conoco Bulk Oil facility caught fire. An explosion of a diesel truck started the fire. Residents were evacuated from their homes for fear that oil storage tanks would catch fire.
1977 A tornado hit Lake Maurer, South Marietta, and Seybold Road, ripping up houses and trees. Five people were injured, 11 homes were destroyed, and Excelsior Springs was declared a disaster area.
1977 September A flood caused $2 million in damage.
1977 November Arson fires burned down Foster's Cinema, Fun House Pool Hall Apartments, Tom's Pool Hall, and a home owned by the girls track coach.

If you would like to obtain additional information on an item you see listed,

please email the museum or complete the research form.


Last Updated 8/1/2013


Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives © 2013


Last Updated 10/16/2002