Category Archives: Lexington

Bad news from the old hometown of Lexington, MO:


By Max R. Weller

See the report in the Kansas City Star here: After 137 years, Wentworth Military Academy and College to cease operations . . .

Current Lexington mayor, Jerry Brown, is a former superintendent at Wentworth.

Years ago, when Jerry Brown was still a part of the WMA administration, he made a secret deal with then-Lexington City Administrator Abie Tempel to allow Wentworth’s delinquent sewer fees to slide; at the same time, the City of Lexington was trying to turn off the water of citizens who were behind on their sewer fees. The WMA amount was in the thousands of $$$, and most citizens were in arrears for only hundreds.

Of course, it was discovered and City Council back then put a stop to it immediately.

Moral of the story: Don’t trust anyone from either Wentworth or Lexington City Hall.

Since then, the city has purchased the local water utility, which had been privately-owned, and in part this was done to gain leverage over delinquent sewer fee accounts — “Pay up pronto, or we’ll shut off your water!”

But, it seems that taking on the responsibility of providing water to Lexington citizens is too much for Mayor Brown’s administration to handle. See Exhibit A below:

Would you want to drink, do laundry, or bathe in water that looks like the politicians have been peeing in it? (Note: this image was posted on a Facebook page by a concerned Lexington resident, but was then deleted by the admin without explanation.)

The mayor’s apologists stand by what has become the creed at City Hall in the old hometown since the 1970s — “Everything is fine, and if it isn’t fine, then just pretend that it is.”

I refuse to give up hope, and will take every opportunity to urge folks in the old hometown to register and vote for CHANGE at City Hall in the elections next April. Of course, I’m also urging good people to run for mayor and for each one of four city council seats that will be up for grabs then.

Throw the bums out!


Overnight tent city in my old hometown:

This is in the old Goose Pond in Lexington, MO — which served as campsite for participants in the Big BAM 2017 cycling event.

Makes me realize how easy it would be to set up a homeless tent city anywhere with enough flat space (Goose Pond could easily accommodate a football field). Rather than tents, think Tiny Houses as in Madison, WI:

Protest Movement Turned Into A Commitment to the City’s Homeless


Views and top posts all-time


By Max R. Weller

Views and visitors by month:

Screenshot from 2014-11-15 13:55:53Click on image to enlarge

Top posts all-time:

Screenshot from 2014-11-15 13:57:39Click on image to enlarge

Once in a while, I like to look at some of the stats from this blog, to remind myself of how unimportant the critics in Boulder, CO really are in the overall scheme of things.

Views by country all-time:

Screenshot from 2014-11-15 14:09:18Click on image to enlarge

This last screenshot is, of course, my favorite . . . LOL!

‘A Reminiscence of War Time’ by Nicholas Haerle in 1910

Lafayette_County_Courthouse,_Lexington,_MissouriLafayette County (MO) Courthouse

“It was in 1861. I was the manager of the German Turner Hall at Lexington, Missouri. The sentiments for and against the Union clashed bitterly in the border states. Lexington was at fever-heat. On the 3d of May 1861, a pro-Union meeting at the court house had been called. With others, I went to attend the same, and soon the hall was crowded. Several speakers had made their appearance to address those present. As soon as the first orator began to speak, he was interrupted by noise and hisses, and suddenly all the lights were extinguished. Pandemonium reigned. A mob thronged to the rostrum and seized the Union flag which had been placed there. Quickly I rushed between the men and took the flag from them. I tore it from the staff and hid it under my vestcoat. During the melee I was shot in the leg and beaten over the head. While I was being taken to my home two old citizens knocked me again over the head with their canes. The next morning, six men, heavily armed, came to my residence and ordered me, in the name of Jefferson Davis and the Southern Confederacy, to leave town at once. My faithful wife told them that my condition did not allow my leaving home. The men answered that I would be hung on the nearest tree, if I should be found in town the next morning. What could be done? Early the next day friends brought me across the Missouri river, and, accompanied by Captain Fred Nest, I took a train of the Hannibal & St. Joe for St. Louis. Here I found a good position in the war relief office. In 1865 I returned to Lexington where I have lived ever since, for the last twenty-five years retired from business. By-gones are by-gones. I always was a peaceable citizen, and I bear no hatred or grudge against my enemies of those days. They now count among my best friends. I have forgiven. The little flag — we do not see the like today, the stripes sewn together and the stars fastened upon the cloth — is still in my possession. A battered and torn little flag, of no value to others, but priceless to me. I have saved its honor; it shall be with me as long as I live, and it shall lie with me after I am dead.”

Posted on the Facebook page I remember when . . . Lexington, MO by Bill Sellers. Many thanks to him for bringing us this great story in Nicholas Haerle’s own words.

Lafayette County (MO) Courthouse and old homes in Lexington, MO

By Max R. Weller

My negative feelings about the old hometown’s denial of slavery as the primary source of wealth for those who built beautiful homes in the pre-Civil War era is well-known, and I won’t belabor the point with more of my comments here.

Instead, I’ll concede that the buildings themselves are lovely. Beginning with the Courthouse and its celebrated Confederate cannonball:


lexington cannonball


Highland Avenue Historic District

old home #1

old home #2

old home #3

old home #4

old home #5

Of course, slave quarters meet a different fate than historic preservation to attract tourist dollars. Read Historic structure to be demolished in Lexington from The Concordian. Quoting from the article below:

Lexington is perhaps best known for its Civil War battles with unique remnants of that time still visible. This riverfront town was primarily comprised of southern sympathizers, and approximately one-third of its more than 4,000-person population during the time of the war were slaves.

Soon, a reminder of that time will no longer exist.

In May, Lexington’s Preservation Commission — a group of city residents appointed by the mayor — approved a request by Ralph and Rebecca Browning to demolish a slave quarters on their historic property. In addition to being the property owner, Rebecca Browning is the acting secretary of the preservation commission.

The structure’s condition is the prevailing reason for demolition. The commission’s meeting minutes noted the building, which is believed to have also served as a summer kitchen, is dilapidated, has weak rafters and there is no mortar between bricks. It was also recorded that the exterior stucco is cracking. Repair estimates reportedly exceed $30,000.

Although the commission approved the demolition of the structure, other experts in the field voiced their disagreement since only 1 percent of the more than 13,000 slave quarters built in the Little Dixie region remain.

A public service announcement issued Thursday by Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation stated: “The board members of the Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation have agreed that it is unfortunate the city of Lexington has not yet realized the historic importance of its African American slave quarter architecture and continues to ignore these sites.”


I have nothing to add to that . . .

Why I refuse to romanticize antebellum life in the old hometown (Lexington, MO)


By Max R. Weller

The slaveholding state of Missouri never seceded from the Union, thanks to the valiant efforts of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon (below), but a sizable portion of its population was openly in favor of the Confederacy. I grew up listening to the locals endlessly praising the beautiful old homes built in the antebellum period — but nobody mentioned that the wealth which paid for these homes was created by the labor of African slaves.

Bust view, Cap. U. S. A., Brigadier General of Volunteers, date unknown

In the past 40 to 50 years, as a great variety of businesses have closed their doors in downtown Lexington, the town’s upper crust has insisted that tourism with a focus on Old South “charms” and revisionist history — whitewashing slavery — is the way to revive the local economy. It hasn’t worked, and Lexington has lost population since the 1960s when it had over 5,000 residents. Those citizens, like me, who have told it like it really was in the pre-Civil War era have been excoriated and our proposals to pursue an industrial park for job creation ignored. Wal-Mart built a new Supercenter in neighboring Richmond, MO and many from Lexington shop there for goods unavailable in the hometown.

Recently, I came across a most interesting document, which I posted on the Facebook page I Remember When . . . Lexington, MO. This is that document:

Address to the people of the of the United States . . . Quoting very briefly from it below:

“That portion of Missouri which borders on Kansas contains, as nearly as can now be ascertained, a population of fifty thousand slaves, and their estimated value, at the prices prevailing here, is about twenty-five millions of dollars. As the whole State contains but about one hundred thousand slaves, it will be seen that one-half of the entire slave population of Missouri is located in the eighteen counties bordering on Kansas, the greater portion of which is separated from that Territory by no natural boundary, and is within a day’s ride of the line.”

As this was written in 1855, it’s clear what the future held in store: a terrible, bloody conflict in which the end of slavery was inevitable.

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” — Abraham Lincoln

How can anyone cling to a romantic view of the so-called peculiar institution, or deny its inherent evil?

Back in 2000, during a reenactment of the 1861 Battle of Lexington, a group of Confederate reenactors sought permission from the Second Baptist Church (a predominately black congregation) to camp on church property, complete with the Confederate Battle Flag being flown at this encampment. This group and its supporters could NOT understand why many people, including yours truly, were outraged. It took a pointed letter-to-the-editor of The Lexington News from the pastor of the Second Baptist Church to enlighten a few of ’em, but others remain clueless to this day.

Nothing good will ever come from this fascination with a fake history of Lexington, nor will any prominent business ever want to come to a town which remains so BACKWARD.

Extreme ballot issues 67 (Personhood) and 105 (Food Labeling) defeated, and more


By Max R. Weller

Read Colorado election roundup in the Denver Post.

President Obama (D) has demonstrated that he’s NOT a statesman like President Clinton (D), who was willing to work closely with House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R). Also consider the relationship of President Reagan (R) and House Speaker Tip O’Neill (D), who worked well together.

The worst mistake I ever made as a voter was casting my ballot for Barack Obama in 2008.

Check out these prices on the menu (1970s?) from a popular eating establishment in Lexington, MO — no longer in operation:


Great name, too:


Peckerwood defined. “Cracker Club” just wouldn’t have had the same ring to it . . .

How I crave a pork tenderloin sandwich now! Hold the salad, please.

Congratulations to the new Lafayette County Associate Circuit Judge (Division II):


Russell J. Kruse

That’s all for now, folks.