The need for change

Mark DeLap
Posted 3/1/23

Weekly Editorial by Mark DeLap

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The need for change


In 1829, Isaiah Rogers, wowed the country with his unique and into the future Tremont Hotel in Boston. It was the first hotel to have indoor plumbing and became the first of many. It didn’t really catch on in a lot of homes and people thought it out of their scope to have something that seemed so “foolish” when you could simply walk out the back door and go 30 feet to the family outhouse.  

It is widely known that before electricity, people took baths once a week, usually Saturday nights so everyone would be fresh for Sunday morning church. The family used the same bathwater. By the end of the 1930s, more and more farm families started to use indoor bathrooms and running water for baths and washing dishes and clothes.

It took 101 years. A century came between the modern conveniences of an in-home bath with running water and flush toilets. Privacy. No trudging out to the family “two-holer” through a foot of snow and then sitting in subzero temperatures.

Part of the reason for the lack of change was waiting on electricity. The other part was the majority of people who had every excuse in the book for “poo-pooing” the stool. The cost would be prohibitive, the taxes would most likely go up, there would be too much maintenance, “my father and his father never had this new-fangled extravagance, and if it was good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.”

That’s the thing about change.

To live in communities where nothing changes and there is no progress is similar to an enclosed pond with no outlet. Stagnation takes place. At some point in a town’s history you can simply look at the buildings and know what period of time they decided to stop and take a break from all the improvements. Or perhaps there was a council that couldn’t be creative enough to move forward. Or perhaps they just got tired.

Somewhere along the line Platte County began to see the vision that was set before them and their life was creating a legacy for their children. As you watch people jogging our trails, swimming in the pools, biking the paths, you have to thank a former city government who fought against great odds to make it all happen.

Today Platte County speaks for itself. It is a sought-after place to live and to grow a family. It’s one of the most desirable spots to retire, it has everything you’d need for athletics, movies, theater and so much more.

Although some might like to question some of the things the councils may be moving on, but rest assured, they are taking care of your children and your grandchildren. If we pay a few dollars more in taxes, figure it as an investment in the future and your children.

Just as I close the door to the water closet, and as the weather outside is frightful, I have to thank someone who pushed for indoor plumbing in the midst of all the adversity.