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The Death of Chelsea, Kansas

Story ID:7493
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Person:Sad Chelsea Kansas Kid
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The Death of Chelsea, Kansas


For just a few of us old timers
Chelsea, Kansas soon will cease to matter
The Chelsea School House, Chelsea Church, Chelsea Elevator
They’re under forty feet of water.

Another part of History
The Chelsea Santa Fe train Depot
That at one time thrived
Was closed many years ago

The Chelsea Cemetery is still high and dry
Tucked away beside a piece of, no longer, Hi way ‘13’
Left to the ravages of time
Volunteers help keep the Cemetery neat and clean.

Now it’s a big lake
For needed water for El Dorado and the refineries
For the many jobs they provide
And the salaries

That are needed to provide a good life
In the city of El Dorado
I worked at the Skelly Refinery
Many years ago.

I attended Chelsea School
From first grade to the eighth
Walked to school in good weather and bad
From early thirties to 1938

Loved my teachers
Loved the games we played
Loved Barbara and Melda
Loved it when I graduated

Sunday morning after chores
We bathed and dressed in our best
You must go to church on Sunday
In that little church in the mid-west

I worshiped in the Chelsea Church
Attended, there, Sunday school
Sang along with the congregation
Those old hymns we sang were jewels

The old Organ was usually slightly out of tune
Some of the ivories were off the keys
Mattie Holderman could play and sing
And God was there as we prayed on our knees

After combining for hours
And the grain that was in the accumulator
Was discharged into two one hundred bushel wagons
And hauled to the Chelsea Elevator

I’ve hauled grain to the Chelsea Elevator
In Pickups, trucks, and tractor and mule pulled wagons
Down that old gravel and dirt road
Some times those Mules behinds were draggin

Been to the Santa Fe Depot
Dad and I, at Chelsea
Picked up some freight
Seems like yesterday.

Chelsea Kansas you may be under water
But I remember those fields of corn
Alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye and flax
In this place where I was born

The lush Prairie grass-Plenty of game
Fishing for food
Animals for their pelts
Living there was good.

Chelsea Kansas you’ll live on
Until us old timers are gone
Monte L. Manka 10-6-11