Massachusetts Street:

Monuments and Milestones


1920 - 1949

900 block of Mass St., ~1920.
Von Williams Candy Store, ~1920.
Kress Dime Store, east side of 900 block Mass St., 1921.
View of the east side of 800 block of Mass St. during a parade, 1925.
Masonic Temple, southwest corner of 10th and Mass St., 1925
Lawrence Police displaying product of prohibition raid, 1927.
Lawrence 75th Anniversary Parade, east side 800 block Mass St, 1929.
Lawrence National Bank, northwest corner of 7th and Mass St, ~1930.
1000 block of Mass St, 1932.
Clarks Clean Clothes, 1931.
Interior of Safeway Supermarket, 947 Mass St. (now Ingredient), 1935.
Granada Theater, 1020 Mass St., 1945. Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.
          The 1920s are well known for the start of prohibition, but prohibition had been enacted in Lawrence since 1880. Residents had their own methods of hiding, bootlegging and secretly delivering the illegal alcohol. Elfriede Rowe, author of "Wonderful Old Lawrence," recounts that milk trucks were used to transport alcohol in bottles painted white. She also writes that anyone could identify a bootlegger upon walking in the house because gnats or fruit flies would congregate around the front door.
          Mrs. Frank Banks, a resident of Lawrence during this time, recounts that "Love was not quite as expensive a business as it is now." The Patee Theater offered shows for a nickel, then afterwards, young men could take their dates to Wiedmann's for ice cream, sodas, and sundaes for a dime each.
          Lawrence was not exempt from the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but it was mainly the wheat farmers who took the hit. Many banks closed, many were unemployed, and wages and prices declined. Kansas lost more than 100,000 residents.
          In the 1940s, Lawrence saw an increase in business during World War II. Sunflower Ordnance Works, a large munitions plant, was built east of Eudora near DeSoto. 3000 new residents came to the area and made Lawrence a boom-town almost overnight.
Important dates during this time period:
1920 – 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote/Prohibition of alcohol enacted
1927 – Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic
1929 – Stock market crash
1933 – Prohibition repealed
1939 – Start of World War II
1941 – Bombing at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii/U.S. enters the war
1945 – Bombing of Hiroshima, Japan/Germany and Japan surrender
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