Museum Re-Fueled With New Exhibits For Summer

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The 2019 season at the Benton County Museum began in April and will run through October. Two new special exhibits are featured this season. The first is Dr. Guss Salley, Warsaw physician for over 40 years, who also served as Warsaw mayor and Missouri State Representative. The second exhibit is entitled “Lincoln, MO 150 Years.”
Dr. Salley’s lasting legacy is the delivery of over 5,000 babies, many who were born at the Benton County Clinic in Warsaw that he opened in the 1930s. He used his photographic skills to take pictures of mothers and babies and organized and displayed them into a three-volume set of books entitled “Baby Births 1940 through 1950.” Two of these volumes are on display in the museum. Dr. Salley was also a magician who loved to demonstrate his skills using his “Dr. Salleys Book of Magic.”  Dr. Salley was born in 1898 and died in 1981. 
Carter Kinkead, historical society board member, is preparing a special gathering for Dr. Salley friends and interested parties at the Community Building in Warsaw, on Sunday, June 8, at 2 PM. The doctor’s son, Phillip Salley, will be in attendance and provide everyone the opportunity to discover more information about the doctor and the times he served the citizens of Benton County.
The City of Lincoln is having a sesquicentennial celebration this year and the Benton County Museum display was completed in April. It displays special historical exhibits tracing Lincoln’s creation in 1869 as a railroad town to the current time. When it celebrated its Centennial on July 4, 1969, Mayor Truman Eken received congratulations from such dignitaries as President Richard Nixon, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, U.S. Senators Stuart Symington and Thomas Eagleton, Governor Warren E. Hearnes, Secretary of State Kirkpatrick, Representative Guss C. Salley and State Senator James Noland. 
The Lincoln exhibit includes pictures of the Skelly Truck Stop and Restaurant that was completed in 1962 and destroyed in 1995 by fire. There are also photos and information on the original Farmers Bank built in 1914.
Also on display this summer is a case of finished Mozarkite, an attractive rock, predominantly green, red, or purple and found in Benton County. The rock was adopted as the official state rock in 1967.
Other displays remain from past years with updates that Marsha Eaton, museum curator, makes each year.
Historical Society President Jim Weaver estimates that the average visitor count to the museum in the last three years has been 1,000. Out of the 700 that actually signed the register when they visited, 40 percent were from Benton County, and 46 percent were from Missouri, outside of Benton County. The remaining 14 percent were from out of state.  He said that the Historical Society is always working on getting more Benton County residents to visit the museum. But, he said he chuckles because they are already in the seventh year at the “new” museum.
The museum is located at 1660 Hilltop Drive in Warsaw. It is open Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Sunday from 1 to 4 PM. There is no charge for members. Adult admission is $3;  seniors and children 4-12 are admitted for $2; and children under 4 are free.
For more information about the museum, go to