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Membership lists fill 1937 Greensburg time capsule

  • Associated Press
  • Published Friday, July 6, 2007, at 1:36 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

— No money or important documents. Instead, a 70-year-old time capsule found in the tornado wreckage of Greensburg High School held newspapers, membership lists and other ties to the city's past.

Ruth West and Elgeva Kerr, both 1937 graduates of the high school, opened the small copper box and pulled out the sheaf of documents as part of the city's Fourth of July festivities.

West said no one knew what school officials had placed in the capsule in 1937 when they entombed the box in the cornerstone of the school's new auditorium.

The capsule was apparently forgotten until workers discovered it while clearing away the debris left by the tornado that destroyed most of Greensburg on May 4.

Among other things, the capsule contained membership lists for the 1937 school board, an American Legion post, the Masonic Lodge, the Methodist Church and a band that played at that year's Kansas State Fair. It also had copies of the Kiowa County Progressive Signal and the Greensburg News.

School board member Ki Gamble said the capsule's contents showed the town's past support for education, an important reminder as officials are planning a new school.

"Things change and are rebuilt and will go on, but it's also good to emphasize our history and our past," Gamble said.

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