City Holds Both Ends Of Record

1 decade 2 years 7 months ago Tuesday, July 17 2007 Jul 17, 2007 Tuesday, July 17, 2007 11:23:58 AM CDT July 17, 2007 in News

When you think of Columbia, you think the University of Missouri. When you think of Jefferson City, you think state government. And when you think of Warsaw, Missouri, you probably think of Truman Lake.

The dam changed Warsaw when it was built in 1980 - and resident Darace Eaton said not everyone was happy about it.

"There's a few people that didn't like it, but probably 75 percent thought it was good, and it has proved to be good," he said.

Eaton used to sell farm tractors in Warsaw. His son Randy is a banker, Jim Drake is in the title insurance business, and Carter Kincade is retired.

"My family, Jim's family, all the families were homestead families," Kinkade said.

These families can bring a story to the table.

"It got so dry you could wade across the river, and it got so cold you could drive across the ice on the lake, and with those extremes you don't forget. It's part of our history," Kincade said.

One of those extremes hit on a memorable day for him.

"I was married on June 19, 1954. It was 119 degrees, so I remember it quite well," Kinkade said. "It was the happiest day of my life. I was young, I didn't know any better."

There was no air conditioning in 1954, and Drake can still remember.

"I was 14, it was hot. 118 degrees!" he said.

Sure enough, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Missouri was July 14, 1954, in Carl Hoepfinger's Warsaw backyard.

Hoepfinger would record temperatures himself, Randy Eaton said.

"When it was raining, he would take his umbrella and take those readings," Eaton, a Warsaw banker, said. "It was difficult for them to take a vacation because he didn't want anyone else to take the readings. Kind of crazy, but that's the way it was."

Something else crazy happened in Warsaw. 

"My great uncle, Jr. Smith, kept the records from 1899 to 1911. In February 1905, on the 13th, is when the record happened. Minus 40, he actually has minus 44 here," Drake said.

For a state with nearly 70,000 square miles, the highest and lowest temperatures were both recorded in the same small town.

However, Union, Mo. tied that high temperature of 118 degrees on the same day in 1954.

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