Legacy of August Kassebaum should be honored, not become a QT

Letter to the Editor


To the editor:

I attended the online public meeting regarding the early plans to build a QuikTrip at 5040 Lemay Ferry Road after reading in the news that the historic building may be torn down.

“That’s a firm ‘no’ from Big Jake,” I said to myself as I prepared two questions to ask in defense of my favorite local landmark, the Kassebaum building.

The first was about the role of the county in the decision. After hearing about the $3 million cost to renovate as well as the owner’s desire to sell, I reminded myself that government is about rights. At issue in this case is the right to receive fair compensation for one’s property without interference from government.

Question 2 related to our rights as residents to experience the unique character of the place we’re from — would QT be willing to compensate for this loss by making a substantial contribution to historical preservation efforts in the area?

I bid high on the call and suggested they donate $200,000 to a local effort to move the John Sappington log cabin to the site of the Thomas Sappington House — a GoFundMe for the project has raised only several thousand of the $200,000 needed.

The representative from QT showed a design for a decorative brick piece that would feature the “Kassebaum” stone carving currently affixed to the top center of the building; as a resident who understands the realities of real estate but is still disappointed, I would like to see QT contribute something even bigger.

A man who served as a local postmaster, judge, businessman and financial professional, August Kassebaum’s legacy represents well-roundedness, public service and enterprise. Whatever the outcome of the proposal, may we commemorate not only the classic building but the virtues it stands for.

Jacob Anderson-Little