America was at war. The Eldridge Hotel had just been remodeled. Voters approved a new school and a new courthouse. And Kansas University's football team was 10-0.
The year: 1899.
The last time that Kansas University's football team went undefeated for so long, a "good meal" at a downtown restaurant cost 15 cents, a teenage trend of "progressive buggy rides" was emerging and Lawrence streets were being paved for the first time with brick.
It was just before the dawn of the 20th century. William McKinley was president. KU students had gone off to fight the Spanish-American War.
The Lawrence Daily World newspaper proclaimed the year "a golden one in the history of the city."
Voters had agreed to spend $80,000 to build a courthouse and $25,000 for a new school.
So many Lawrencians were using the telephone that the Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company had to substantially expand its workforce - from one operator to three during the day and two at night. The company hoped to build its customer base up to 500.
The Eldridge Hotel had just undergone major renovations, so much so The Lawrence Daily World declared it the "best hotel in the state." Rates were $2.50 per day.
Local businesses sold wood and coal for fuel. Carriages, buggies and road wagons were sold on Massachusetts Street. There were dry good stores, liveries and millenaries. The downtown had hitching posts and boardwalks.
Men wore three-piece suits and bowler hats, even when they were cheerleading. Women still squeezed into corsets.
Lawrence's population was about 10,000. The city was the business center of the local agricultural community.
"Farmers came in on the weekends to do trade. Mass Street was bustling from people coming in from the country," local historian Karl Gridley said.
Kansas University had 1,150 students enrolled that year. Bailey Hall was referred to as the "new chemistry building." The marching band with 27 members was a year old.
The top of Mount Oread had a handful of buildings, few trees and muddy roads.
"It was a rugged landscape," Gridley said.
The football team - which on Saturday will play Iowa State in Memorial Stadium - was less than a decade old. The team played on McCook Field (roughly where Memorial Stadium is today). When built, its grandstands could hold about 1,000, Gridley said.
Pictures show horse and buggies pulled up to the scrimmage lines.
Although young, the KU and Missouri University football rivalry was well under way. According to the 1900 yearbook, the Jawhawks' "invasion of Missouri" ended with the "Tigers outclassed and outgeneraled at every point."
KU won 36-6.
Many in the crowd would have been old enough to remember the real border wars.
"This wasn't ancient history for them. The Civil War was just four decades before. It was kind of the way the Vietnam War was to us," Gridley said.