Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2005

The oldest business in Lansing

January 20, 2005

What is the oldest continuous business with the same family name in the city of Lansing? I was thinking about this a while back, and I remembered how Glenn Linaweaver plowed my garden in the late 1930s with a team of horses named Babe and Jim. My garden was about 50 feet by 100 feet. If I remember right, he charged $1 or $2. He would also harrow it if you wanted it smoother to work the soil. I still remember the smell of the fresh earth as it was being plowed. His business just grew and grew.

Glenn was born the son of Claude and Margaret Linaweaver Oct. 28, 1915. He graduated from Lansing High School in 1933 and in 1936 married Dorothy Tuttle. They raised three children, Glenn Leo Jr., Jerry Blaine and Karen Sue.

As Glenn's business grew, he bought a 1941 Ford Ferguson tractor and expanded to digging basements for new homes. He also rented land to raise hay and corn. He bought a new 1945 Federal Stock Truck for hauling cattle and hogs to market for local farmers and also hauled grain to the Leavenworth elevators for the same farmers. Toward the end of World War II, they hauled cattle from the stockyards in Kansas City to the packing housing in Leavenworth, hauling 24 hours a day. Sue and Jerry rode with their mom while she drove the truck 12 hours during the day, and Glenn Jr. rode with his dad while he hauled cattle for 12 hours during the night. The reason was to get the meat to the troops overseas.

The business went from Glenn Linaweaver to Glenn Linaweaver & Sons to Linaweaver Construction, which is still in operation today. Son Jerry took over the basement digging in the mid-1960s while Glenn Sr. did the backhoe work. Later in life, he tore down old buildings and houses. He sold any salvageable items from this.

He was a coon hunter and raced dogs at field trials all over the United States. Glenn never retired. He died Oct. 7, 1990. The Linaweaver business is still going strong and looks like it will be for years to come.

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