by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
This week I have chosen a photograph, but I cannot tell you when or from whom we received it. I chose it because of the beautiful stained-glass window at the Christian Church on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets. Built in 1910 and dedicated in June, 1911, it was destroyed by fire on January 17. 1972.
Because the seats were at an angle, it is difficult to read the names at the bottom of the window. The name in the middle is “Cannon” and a former church member remembers that the window was a gift from Bill and Adie (Cannon) Minter. The smaller window to the left bears the name “Mr. & Mrs. John Gregg.”
I believe the photo was taken in 1946 or early 1947, as the child in the second row, Danny Elliott was born in 1945. At the time this group was assembled they were probably known as the Ladies’ Aid.
Later they were known as the Women’s Council and finally as the Christian Women’s Fellowship. Over the years, these ladies provided funds to the church and were known for their benevolent work both within the church and within the community of Grain Valley.
If you are a long-time resident of Grain Valley, you may remember some of these ladies. If you are new to our town or a regular reader of this column, you may recognize a name or two. Jewell and Edgar Graham owned an apple orchard north of town. Bill and Adie Minter ran a grocery store. Mae Raines lived on Yennie and gave piano lessons. Jean Rowe, well into her nineties, lives at St. Mary’s Manor in Blue Springs. Danny Elliott (grandson of Lucy Rowe) graduated from GVHS in 1963 and is the retired Dean of Students at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. Ruth Fine was the postmaster in Grain Valley through much of the 1950s and 60s.
Lula Preston was on the school board in the 1950s, but I remember her best as the “fairy Godmother” to first graders at Grain Valley for many years! She would often come and read to us or bring us cookies. Madge Warren lived in the big house near the west end of Walnut Street and her husband was president of the Bank of Grain Valley.
I knew nearly all of these ladies and I’m even related to a couple of them. Come visit at the Historical Society any Wednesday. I’ll tell you “the rest of the story!”
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society at 506 S. Main on Wednesdays from 10am—3pm and Saturdays from 11am—3pm, or online at www.grainvalleyhistory.com.