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MEETING: DECEMBER 5, 2013
Starts at 7
p.m. Business meeting; Christmas Fellowship
(please bring treats to share and a
"gift" for the facility if you can,
i.e. kleenex, bottled water, tp or other
Polk County Family Histories Book 2!
Deadline for stories was
You can still order a book at the pre-sale price.
Click Polk County
Family Histories Book 2 for more
on our website:
Aids updated November 2013
Info. on 2013 set coming soon!
2012 Ornaments and Puzzles are NOW
The 2012 editions feature the Simon
Bolivar statue, located in mid-town Bolivar at
Neuhart Park (on Springfield Ave.)
ornament is $5.00. Shop Now!
48-piece puzzle is $8.00. Shop Now!
The microfiber cleaning cloth is $2.00 Shop Now!
BOOKS FOR SALE:
County Strays Book 1835-1848, $25.00 Shop Now!
Grove Cemetery, Polk County, Missouri, $15.00 Shop Now!
you see this icon, click on it to leave our site
and go to the online map.
Visit PCGS to pick up your free commemorative map
BOLIVAR BOTTLING WORKS
The journey of an empty
This week a young lady, named
Elysse Kuchta, found an empty bottle at a
She brought the bottle to me because it had
markings on it tying it to Bolivar, MO and she
wanted to know more. So, Elysse, here is the
In 1908 a gentleman named
William Wallace Lamb (born in New Jersey) moved
County from Illinois and opened a general store
in Cliquot, MO. Within two years he moved
to Bolivar and in 1911 started the company called
Bolivar Bottling Works in the basement
of Whites Furniture store (now the south
end of the CMH building on the east side of the
Bolivar Square). Lamb claimed to use the purest
water that Bolivar could supply and the
purest syrups and flavors. The company soon
outgrew this location and in 1912 it moved
to the newly built Dunnegan building on East
Broadway. (This building was located behind
the CMH Administrative Center. The Dunnegan
building burned about 1947 and was
replaced by Lakeland Telephone, which later
became Missouri Telephone and is now the
location of Windstreams telephone switching
On November 20, 1913 the Bolivar
Herald reported on Lambs improvements.
"One of the
neatest and best appointed places of business in
Bolivar, and one that for three years has
been doing a large business, is the Bolivar
Bottling Works, of which Mr. W. W. Lamb is the
proprietor and manager and John M. Pickel (his
son-in-law) as bottler.
establishment makes soda water of a high grade,
and has a territory
twenty miles in each direction from Bolivar. The
machinery and other appliances in this
establishment are all of the very best and latest
model. A brick building, concrete floor
and clean and sanitary surroundings all make of
the place a most attractive establishment.
Mr. Lamb is one of the progressive and energetic
business men who gives the public a
class of goods and a class of service that makes
friends while it makes patrons. He is
one of the useful business men who make friends
for the town by giving people a strictly
square deal in his goods.
"Mr. Lamb also handles coal
in a variety of the best grades. He carries coal
for all purposes
and has made a study of the subject so that he is
fitted to give people the very best coal
value possible and the kind they like the best.
He also handles wood and is ready at any
moment of the day for coal and wood delivery to
any part of the town."
So enough about where he was
creating soda, lets talk about the heavenly
created. The Bolivar pop factory made mostly
fruit flavor-based pops. Mr. Lamb and Mr.
Pickel made all of their soda syrups in house
with flavors such as strawberry, grape and
cream. I talked to John M. Pickels
94-year-old son John W. Pickel of Kansas City,
Missouri about the soda operation and he
remembered that the bottles were embossed
with "Bolivar Bottling Works" and they
had no label but the bottle cap told what flavor
contained. I asked John what his favorite flavor
was and he said, "All of them!" John
told me his father and grandfather "would
only use pure cane sugar as neither of them
thought beet sugar made the best tasting
In 1917 Mr. Lamb briefly
advertised "Orange JooJ"
(Johnstons Original Orange Julep)
syrup manufactured in St. Louis. I found it
amusing that their advertising tag was
Cloudy - Thats the Fruit." This was a
soda that claimed to be made of fruit juice but
busted in 1917 by the FDA for containing no fruit
juice at all. The FDA reported the following,
"The article was an orange juice sirup (sic)
and was made of oranges, whereas, in fact and
in truth, it was not an orange juice sirup (sic)
and was not made of oranges, but was a
substance consisting principally, in the case of
the Louisiana shipments, of cane sugar,
glucose, water, artificial coloring, salicylic
and benzoic acids, flavored with orange
and in the case of the remaining shipments, of
cane sugar, water, artificial coloring, and
benzoic acid, flavored with orange flavoring, and
containing little, if any, orange and further
more found added deleterious ingredient which
might have rendered it injurious to health."
Mr. Lamb quickly stopped handling the product and
went back to mixing his own orange
One could buy a bottle directly
from the shop or by the case. In 1922 Mr. Lamb
filed a suit
against a store for not paying its bill. This
allowed me to see that the wholesale cost of a
case of pop in 1922 was $0.60. (2013 conversion
The companys soda was very
popular here and they set a personal record on
July 4, 1925
when the factory had a record day of 367 cases of
In 1927 the CoCa-Cola company
opened a branch here in Bolivar and by June of
Lamb sold the bottling works to Ben Harrison, the
owner of a chain of ten Springfield stores
called "Model Markets." At the time of
the sale they were turning out about 150 cases a
Mr. Lamb cited his failing health and advanced
age as the reason for the sale. He then
announced that he would be helping his wife at
her managers job at the O.K. Lunch Room
on the north side of the square.
The new owner Mr. Harrison lost
no time in upgrading the plant and installing
machinery. He hired L. E. Gilbert as manager and
T. M. Frazier to handle the bottling.
These men apparently closed or moved the shop,
possibly to Springfield, as the only year
that they had a city license was in 1931 with no
renewal shown for 1932.
Thank you, Elysse, for finding a
fascinating piece of our history!
For more stories on Polk County's
history, please click here
If Bolivar schools are closed because of weather,
the library will also be closed.
There will be no night meeting, either, if school
is closed on a Thursday.
If bad weather develops on a Thursday afternoon
before the regular monthly meeting,
members can call 417-777-2820 to find out the
status of the meeting.
Click here for school
closings list at ky3.com
DATES FOR 2013:
Monday, September 2, for Labor Day
Thursday, November 28 through
Friday, November 29, for Thanksgiving Break
Wednesday, December 25 through Thursday,
January 2, 2014, for Christmas Break
PCGS will re-open at 10 a.m. on Friday,
January 3, 2014.