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Road Trip

My grandfather, Edward Osmund Briles, had a very interesting life story. Since he died when I was four, I never heard him tell his story. Instead, newspaper articles are telling his story. One of those articles referenced him driving a service call for a ‘good fellowship’ tour.

Service Car Along
Trouble Auto Will Contain Extra
Supply of Gas, Tires, Air
and Mechanic
A service car from the Briles Garage, that will contain an extra supply of gasoline, extra tires, air, oil, and tools will be taken on the Chamber of Commerce, good fellowship tour on next Thursday, when more than twenty-five carloads of boosters will visit eleven different neighboring towns.
The trouble car will be taken along for the convenience of the boosters, in case they should have any tire or engine trouble, or run out of gasoline or oil. This will be a great convenience for those that should have trouble, and it will enable them to be on the road again within a short time.
The trouble car will be driven by E. O. Briles proprietor of the Briles Garage of Iola, and a mechanic will be with Mr. Briles throughout the trip.
Plans for the all-day trip, are being completed by A. L. Meisinger secretary of the chamber of Commerse. The trip is being taken for the purpose of boosting the Allen County Fair, which begins here Monday, and the new Junior College of Iola, which will open here next month.
Mr. Meisinger has arranged for nearly thirty cars to make the trip and there are still a number of merchants and car owners about the city who are planning to go. It has been asked that all those who can possibly make the trip, or those who have promised to go, and have later found it will be impossible to do so, call the Chamber of Commerce at once.
The trippers will line up on the square at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and the pilot car will leave promptly at 8:30. The boosters are expected to arrive back home shortly after 6 o’clock, after spending a short time for a band concert and speeches in eleven towns.

“Service Car Along,” Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 21 August 1923, pg 6; Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online January 2017).

Curious about what else I could find about this road trip, I did a search of Newspapers.com for entries dated in August 1923 in Kansas with the keyword, Briles. That search helped me find the article, “Briles Was ‘There'” in the 24 Aug 1923 issue of the Iola Register.

Briles Was “There”

A Trouble Man with Real Service
Helped Make the Trippers
Trip a Success

Briles was there.
That fact may have accounted for a share in the fact that the Iola trippers who were out yesterday boasting the fair and junior college made the trip on time, or with negligible delay.
“I’ll go,” said Briles when the trip was discussed recently and a trouble man was wanted.
Briles went.
When a car “threw” its wheel, Briles fixed it. When a car sustained a puncture, Briles fixed that. When a car wouldn’t start, Briles started it.
He was a real trouble man. The service he rendered was with no thought or request for pay.
Talk about public spirit.
Write the name of Briles into the record of that successful booster trop.
Great Trip Say McCarthy

Commenting on the trip Frank McCarthy of the McCarthy Motor Company, the man who spent a day driving the pathfinder and then made a second trip leading the caravan said: “It was a great trip. It was successful in more ways than one. It helped Iolans get acquainted with each other as well as get acquainted with other people. I liked Humboldt especially, though it was a sweet welcom we received in Colony, Moran Savonburg and all the other towns. But we were wondering what Humboldt would say and when we heard our welcome we could only ask Humboldt to come here some time so we could show just how we feel about it.
McCarthy is another one of those fine young business men who like to do things for the town in which they live.

“Briles Was “There”,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 24 August 1923, page 8; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 17 February 2021).

A search for the term ‘Trippers’ turned up the front page article about the trip.

Trippers Had A
Successful Trip

Large Crowds Met the Iola
Boosters

Who Cared for Dust?

Dirt Didn’t Bother Iolans
In the Least

Speakers told of the Allen County
Fair and of the New Iola
Junior College

It was a dusty and dirty, but never-the-less a happy and good natured group of Iola Boosters who arrived in Iola shortly after 6 o’clock last night, after completing nearly one hundred and twenty-five miles of driving and after visiting eleven different towns during the day.
The Goodfellowship tour of the Chamber of Commerce, that was made by seventy-three Iola folks yesterday in the interest of the Allen County Fair and the New Junior College at Iola, was very successful from every standpoint.
The trippers found good crowds waiting in the towns that were visited and they listened with interest at the short band program that was given in each city by the Rotary Boys Band, and to the speeches that were made boosting the Fair and Collège. There was not an accident on the entire route, and there was very little car trouble.
Through Clouds of Dust
The roads throughout the entire distance that was traveled were in excellent condition, but there was not a road that was not dusty. Clouds of dust rolled up after the first cars in the long line passed along the dirt roads, and every one on the trip was covered with dirt as the end of the journey neared.
But who cared for the dust? The Iola trippers did not, and they enjoyed every minute while on the trip, enjoyed the drive, and were more than pleased with the large crowds that were awaiting to receive them at practically every city that was visited.
The schedule that had been arranged for the Boosters, the time for them to arrive in the towns and depart, was carried out throughout the trip, and they were never more than ten minutes late in arriving in the towns.
The Rotary Boys Band, under the direction of their leader, Mr. J. V. Roberts, made a good impression upon their listeners in all the towns where they played a few selections. There were twenty pieces in the Boys band, and they were dressed in their new bright uniforms which were recently furnished by the Iola Rotary Club.
Talks at Each Town
At every town visited, two speeches were given, one in the interest of the new Junior College, and the other to boost for the Allen County Fair, which will open at Riverside park next Monday, and will continue for five days. Mr. A. M. Thoroman, superintendent of the city schools gave the talk on the Junior College, while Frank McCarthy, told the people in the towns visited of the Allen County Fair and gave reasons why it was “Bigger and Better than Ever.” this year.
At Moran, Yates center, and Humboldt, the Iola trippers were met before they arrived in those cities by the mayors and leading business men, who escorted the line of cars to their cities. At Moran, the Boosters found ice cold lemonade awaiting for them, and they were given cigars and chewing gum at Savonburg.
The towns visited yesterday included eleven cities near Iola in all four directions. The trippers drove first to Piqua where a short stop of fifteen minutes was made, and from there they drove to Yates Center. At Yates Center the Iolans were well received and were given a rousing welcome. After leaving Yates Center, the next stop was Neosho Falls, where another good sized crowd had gathered to listen tot he band and hear the speakers. Colony was the next town on the schedule and a stop of more than one hour was made here, for a short program and to allow the visitors to take dinner. Lone Elm was then visited, followed by Mildred and Moran. At Moran many people had gathered on the streets to receive their visitors. Elsmore, Savonburg and Humboldt followed in the order named, with another good sized crowd waiting at Humboldt when Iola arrived.
The Chamber of commerce road committee worked hard to make the Booster trip this year a success; and they have received much praise for their good work and well made plans. The committee desires tot hank all the Iola men who made the trip and for their splendid co-operation.
List of Trippers
The Iola people who went on the Booster Trip yesterday were:
Lloyd Young, L.E. Horville, J. F. Eastwood, Arthur Shannon, I. Q. Marsh, r. Trowbridge, W. F. Alterman, Fred McKenna, L. O. [smeared ink]
continued on page 8
R. Brown, K. P. Baughman, John V. Roberts, B. C. Lamb, J.W. Reynolds, Mayor Smith, W. A. Wheeler, T. H. Bowlus, Will King, Vern Moyer, R. L. Thompson, Frank McCarty, Robert Evans, Arch Wood, W. E. Rundall, Ray Enfield, E. O. Briles, W. A. Tinner, Mr. Russell, A. R. Sleeper, A L. Dygard, Ed Irving, Jos D Cos, Logan Hunsaker, A. W. Beck, Ira D. Kelley, W. B. Kelley, B. A. Sutton, Bernice Higgins, Vernon Dugan, A. Stewart, E. Van Hyning, Charles Greason. L. E. Burgess, A. L. Meisinger, A. M. Thoroman and Rev. E. W. Spencer.

“Trippers Had a Successful Trip,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 24 August 1923, pages 1 and 8; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 17 February 2021).

As these articles show, my grandfather had an interesting life.

One thought on “Road Trip

  1. I always wondered about where the “booster club” originated from and what the original purpose of them was. This was very interesting.

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