Tom and Mary Agnes Gallagher had married in April 1930. They were home from their wedding trip. Now it was back to everyday life – work, children, and family.
The stock market had crashed six months earlier. How did that affect our families in Sedalia and Junction City?
In 1930, Will and Josie Riley were living at 1406 West Broadway. They had lived in this house for 18 years.
Their son William lived at home. He was age 31, and worked as a bookkeeper at an auto dealership.
Tom and Mary Agnes Riley Gallagher lived at the Riley house, as did Tom’s two children Kathleen, age 6, and Tom “Buddy”, age 3. The census listed Mary Agnes as Riley, as it was enumerated April 8, just two weeks before Mary Agnes and Tom married.
The census reports that Polly Bryant, age 9, also lived with the Rileys. She’s listed as a home servant, that was crossed out, and then as a lodger. I don’t know Polly’s story or situation.
Cole’s Women’s Shop
The crash of the stock market had sent shock waves through the national economy, but hadn’t had much effect on jobs or businesses in Sedalia. Cole’s Women’s Shop was doing fine.
In March, Tom Gallagher and Cole’s celebrated their 10th anniversary in Sedalia. The store had just been enlarged and updated, and Tom would announce one of the biggest sales in store history.
Tom was a good manager and a valuable asset to the Cole Brothers. Both Tom and Henry Gallagher had worked for the Coles for over 15 years. Tom had a good job, and the business mood at Cole’s was one of optimism.
Cole’s was always finding new ways to increase customer loyalty. In 1930, Cole’s added a hose-mending department. If you bought your hose at Cole’s, you got free mending of tears and runs. And with new hose selling for $1.00, that was a great value. It was well worth shopping at Cole’s.
While Tom Gallagher and Cole’s were doing fine, the picture wasn’t as rosy for Will Riley. He continued his newfound career as an insurance agent, but it was difficult to build an insurance client base at age 67.
A year earlier, Will had taken a loan against the family home at 1406 West Broadway. He was having a difficult time paying off the balance.
Will had advertised the home for sale in late 1927, but had not found a buyer. It was still for sale.
By summer 1930, the Riley’s loan was delinquent. The loan was in danger of being foreclosed. Facing the inevitable, the Rileys and Gallaghers moved. They rented a house at 402 Dal-Whi-Mo Court, just a few blocks from their West Broadway home.
Kathleen and Buddy
Tom Gallagher Jr. had been called Buddy since he was an infant. He was age 3, with his 4th birthday coming up on October 28.
Kathleen Gallagher was age 6. Her birthday was October 5, so she would turn 7 later in the year. Kathleen attended school at Sacred Heart School.
Kathleen and Buddy grew up in a crowded and busy household. Kathleen remembers Mama Riley (Josephine) fondly, and credits her as the person who made it all function.
First Communion and dance recitals
On May 9, Kathleen celebrated her first Communion, along with several of her cousins. A few weeks later, Kathleen and her cousins’ dance school presented a dance recital.
In December, Buddy Gallagher had joined Lylian Hurley’s dance school, and was in the Christmas recital with Kathleen. Buddy was a Christmas page boy, Kathleen a candle.
Christmas, as always
1930 ended. Like they had done for many years, the Rileys hosted a Christmas celebration with relatives. A mid-day get-together included the youngsters, Hurley and Gallagher cousins. In the evening, Tom and Mary Agnes hosted a dinner for grown-ups, followed by tables of bridge.
It had been an eventful year.
Meanwhile, in Junction City
Henry was the manager of Cole’s Junction City store. In 1930, Henry had been with Cole’s for 18 years. He was a good store manager and a loyal employee. Henry was active in Junction City’s social circles.
Mike and Ellen Gallagher lived at 233 West Sixth Street in Junction City, having moved there in 1924. Their son Henry lived at the same address. Henry helped his parents out, both financially and physically.
Mike Gallagher was age 67 and in poor health. Ellen was age 63 and was healthy and vigorous. Ellen often accompanied Henry on trips to visit friends and relatives.
Tom and Jim Gallagher and Nell Gallagher Donahoe often visited their parents and brother Henry in Junction City. Nell and her children even came for a stay of several months. Mike and Ellen had visited Nell in Sedalia a year earlier and stayed several months.
Marjorie Lucille Moody was born on May 14, 1905, in Riley County, Kansas, just north of Ogden and west of Manhattan, Kansas. Her father, Caleb, was 38, and her mother, Fanny, was 39. Marjorie had three brothers and two sisters.
When Dan Sage Spencer was born on November 27, 1904, in Junction City, Kansas, his father, George, was 37 and his mother, Anna, was 35. Dan was the youngest of four children, with one brother and two sisters. His father, George, was a dentist in Junction City. The family lived at 404 West Fifth Street.
Dan Spencer and Marjorie Moody married in 1926.
1930 had been an eventful year for Dan and Marjorie Spencer. They had been living in Clay Center, Kansas, but moved back to Junction City in April. They rented a house at 204 South Madison Street.
Dan took a new job in sales for W.A. Bingham Clothing Company, a long-time clothing store on north Washington Street.
In December, Dan’s car had been stolen from in front of the Bingham Clothing store. It was later abandoned in Oklahoma.
Amidst all these events, there occurred a very special one. That was the birth of a son to Dan and Marjorie Spencer. Dan Sage Spencer, Jr. was born Sunday, August 3, 1930, at 10:30 am.
- Image – 1930 Building and ticker – The 1930s – History – https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/the-1930s-video
- Newspaper articles – The Junction City Daily Union – various dates – newspapers.com
- Newspaper articles – The Junction City Republic – various dates – newspapers.com
- Newspaper articles – The Sedalia Democrat – various dates – newspapers.com
- 1930 Census – Riley and Gallagher families – Sedalia, Missouri – ancestry.com
- Image – Tom “Buddy” and Kathleen Gallagher – c 1930 – Teply Family Documents
- Images – Riley houses in Sedalia – Google maps – 2022
- Family Tree – Dan Spencer and Marjorie Moody – ancestry.com
- Census – Mike, Ellen, and Henry Gallagher – Junction City, Kansas – 1930 – ancestry.com
- Image – W.A. Bingham Clothier – building facade – 1899 – Our Town On the Plains – J.J. Pennell’s Photographs of Junction City, Kansas – James R. Shortridge
- Image – Dan Sage Spencer and Marjorie Moody – separate photos from The Pow Wow – Junction City High School Yearbook – 1923 – ancestry.com
- Image – Christmas dinner – Amba Hotel Christmas Dinner – https://www.amba-hotels.com/en/zhongshan/offers/content/christmas-and-new-years-eve-special
- Music – Hello Baby – Bert Lown Orchestra – 1930 – 78rpm Collection 1920s 1930s Popular Music – Internet Archive – https://ia800503.us.archive.org/26/items/BertLownCollection1925-1935/HelloBaby1930BertLownOrchestra-HitOfTheWeek1021.mp3
Always fun to read.
Glad you’re enjoying it.