Category Archives: Featured

Poinsettias present a yuletide challenge for plant enthusiasts

By Randall Kowalik

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The poinsettia can be found everywhere right now – florists, nurseries, grocery stores, large-scale retailers, even hardware stores. As common as they are, you might wonder how to choose plants with confidence and care for them so they won’t droop before Santa drops down the chimney.

The poinsettia is probably the most familiar form of a specialized leaf known as a bract. The bracts are bright red, and they surround the very small flowers, which are usually yellow. When shopping for a poinsettia, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Ward Upham suggests looking for the brightest yellow flowers, as those tend to be fresher.

“Make sure that the green leaves are intact and straight, not drooping over,” Upham said. “The bracts should be brightly colored. Check the undersides of the leaves for insects. The soil in the pot should be moist, but not waterlogged.”

Poinsettias are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. Transporting the plant from the retailer to your home really is a do-or-die mission.

“Any temperature below 50 degrees F for any length of time could damage the plant. Florists will often have a plastic sleeve over them – if you buy one from another retailer, it’s not a bad idea to put a bag over it. And then go from the store to your vehicle, and from your vehicle into the house.”

Place the plant where it can receive plenty of bright, indirect light. Avoid drafts – cold drafts, warm drafts, all of them.

“A place near an outside door is just as bad as a place near an air vent,” Upham said.

Frontier Extension District honors local supporters with annual appreciation awards

The Frontier Extension District recently presented its annual appreciation awards to five people who have made outstanding contributions to Extension programs. Honored were Mike and Sharon Kilet, of Anderson County, Ken and Lori Kuykendall, Osage County, and Jo Ellen Arnold, Franklin County. The honorees were selected by the Frontier District governing board and awards were presented Nov. 28, 2017. Meet this year’s award winners:

Hidden History: Photographs and photo car make Lyndon’s Ford famous

By Wendi Bevitt

You might not recognize his name, but if your family lived in Osage County more than 100 years ago, you might have Harry Ford to thank for capturing your ancestors’ likenesses, or just glimpses into Osage County’s past.

Harrison “Harry” Ford came from the small town of Wright, Mich., which is near Grand Rapids. He served his country during the Civil War with Michigan cavalry and infantry units. He mustered out at the end of the war, having been promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.

Ford’s photo of a local family possibly includes the sister of Wyatt Earp (anyone who can verify this is asked to contact the author); photo published with permission of Paul Butler.

Harry’s arrival in Kansas was first noted in 1880 when he stayed at Patton’s boarding house in Burlington, Kan. Residents of boarding houses at this time would expect to pay from about $2.50 to $3.50 per week. While in Burlington, Harry made a name for himself as an exceptional artist and photographer, prompting some to declare him the best artist in the state.

By 1882, Harry was making trips north into Topeka with his photo car. Photo cars could be quite large at 10 by 28 feet and eight feet high on the inside, but lightweight enough to make travel easy on the mules that would be pulling the car. Sometimes photo cars were rented railroad cars converted for this purpose. Photo cars would be furnished with props, fashioning a portable studio. Skylights allowed for natural light and dark curtains were used to block light coming in from the sides. One side would be the location of the photographer’s sleeping quarters and the other a photo lab.

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club busy with fall activities; new members invited

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members were recognized at Achievement Night, from left, Josye Hutchcroft, Brynna Whitton, Reanna Marcotte, Breckyn Whitton, Ethan Kneisler, Garrett Shoup, Leanne Shoup, Allie Kneisler, Ryan Bones, Brayden Marcotte, Cade Shoup, Lara Shoup.

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter
Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had its monthly meeting on Nov. 4, 2017. The majority of the meeting consisted of the election of new officers for the upcoming 2017-2018 4-H year. The newly elected officers are: President Ethan Kneisler, Vice President Brayden Marcotte, Secretary Ryan Bones, Treasurer Allie Kneisler, Reporter Garrett Shoup, and 4-H Council representatives Ethan and Allie Kneisler.

New business included voting to do a hog raffle at the Lyndon basketball games this winter, as well as doing a $5 gift exchange after the Winter Festival in December. For recreation, the club did a Christmas wrapping contest. The wrapped boxes will be used to decorate the float for the Winter Festival parade in December. Following the meeting, club members attended Achievement Night in the Lyndon High School Auditorium at 7 p.m.

The next meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 2, 2017, prior to participating in the Winter Festival parade at 10 a.m.

Help House News: Annual quilt raffle builds funds

You could win this quilt and assist Help House at the same time.

By Raylene Quaney

Help House is holding another quilt raffle for a full-size quilt made by Vicky Lawrence, of Overbrook. Tickets are $5 for one ticket, or three tickets for $10. Ask any volunteer to purchase a ticket, or call the center at 785-828-4888 for information or to order tickets by phone.

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign has begun, and kettles have been placed in area businesses throughout Osage County.

If you, your family, organization or group would like to volunteer to be a bell ringer this year, please call Help House at 785-828-4888 to leave your contact information. We will be in touch soon. The fundraising goal set last year for our county was $5,500 with more than $7,000 raised. We are hoping to exceed that amount this year. Remember when giving that 86 percent of your donation stays in Osage County to help with emergency assistance.

Amazon Smiles

Remember when shopping for Christmas, if you are ordering from Amazon, you may donate a percentage to Help House through Amazon Smiles; look for the link on Amazon’s website.

Christmas stores

Help House has begun collecting new toys, and gifts for men and women for the Christmas stores.  If you are dropping off items at Help House, please do not leave them in the shed, bring them into the center during business hours.

Osage City opens Christmas season with annual Market Street celebration

Sawyer Serna, daughter of Joe and Tammy Serna, was the honored guest at Osage City’s Christmas on Market Street parade on Saturday evening, Nov. 25, 2017. Sawyer, assisted by Santa Claus, switched on the downtown Christmas lights, signaling the start of the parade and Christmas season in Osage City.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce sponsored the the annual event that opens the Christmas shopping season, with numerous events and activities held downtown during the day.

Parade participants included: Color guard by Boy Scout Troop 106 Osage City; Osage City Police Department; Kansas Highway Patrol; Osage County Fire District No. 2, Osage City, with passengers on one truck including coloring contest winners; Osage County Emergency Medical Services; Twin Lakes Cruisers Car Club; Osage Family Care, second place float; Osage County Girl Scouts; Osage City High School band, cheerleaders and dance team; Flint Hills Beverage; State Farm Insurance; Osage City Public Library, fourth place; Osage City Golf Course; Osage City taxi service; Harmon Dental; Theel’s; Bunting Ranch; J.P. Tree Service, third place float; Willing Workers 4-H Club, first place float; Branded Graphics; Osage City Kiwanis Club; and Santa Claus with special reindeer.

Cold water safety and hunter safety go hand-in-hand

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With cooler weather upon us, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District emphasizes safety while enjoying seasonal recreation opportunities.

“Fall and winter months provide additional opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy our lakes,” said Zach Wallace, park ranger at Pomme de Terre Lake, near Hermitage, Mo. “It’s important to remember the dangers associated with colder seasons like hypothermia and hunting related activities. Accidents can happen and it’s vital all visitors take the appropriate steps to ensure a safe experience.”

Low water temperatures pose risks such as hypothermia. The human body cools 25 times faster in cold water than it does in air.

“You should expect the unexpected, dress for the weather and always wear a life jacket in or around water,” Wallace said.

With thousands of acres of public hunting land at 18 lakes throughout Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, the Corps also encourages hunters to take precautions this winter.

“Public hunting can present a challenge,” said Wallace. “There is a chance others are hunting in the same location and could be camouflaged in a tree stand, blind or behind brush. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and follow state and federal rules.”

The Corps urges outdoor enthusiasts to consider these additional tips.

Unofficial results of the 2017 city elections in Osage County

The following are unofficial results of the municipal general elections conducted Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Osage County, Kan. Write-in votes remain to be tabulated Tuesday evening; projected winners are listed in bold:

Osage City plants seeds of love for trees

Girl scouts proudly show off the tree they just helped to plant.

The Osage City Tree Board celebrated Arbor Day with local scouts. On Oct. 17, 2017, Osage City Cub Scout Pack 106 planted a Sienna Glen Maple provided by the tree board. Jason Hodge demonstrated the correct way to plant a tree and care for it. The scouts finished the job by filling in the hole and adding bark and water.

On Oct. 19, board member Bob Plinsky demonstrated the correct way to plant a tree to Osage City Girl Scout Troop 30149. The scouts finished by watering Sienna Glen Maple.

Each scout received information on tree care and planting along with a red bud seedling from the board.

Vassar celebrates fall’s arrival with cool day of fun festivities

Vassar’s annual FunFest features cars on display with the historical one-room schoolhouse as their backdrop.

Despite chilly weather, Vassar schoolhouse was the place to be to have fun Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, with a costume parade and contest, car show, pie contest, and other activities. The historical one-room schoolhouse, which now serves as Vassar’s community center, and its surrounding park were the center of the day’s activities during the annual fall event.

Halloween season flies by on a broomstick

Mt. Pleasant Community Church and its portable cowboy church was the winner of the Lyndon trunk and treat first-place golden pumpkin.

Cool fall weather moved in as Osage County celebrated Halloween over the past week. The sun was shining Sunday, though, as the Lyndon community held a trunk and treat at Jones Park, drawing several hundred trunkers and treaters. The festivity was even visited by the President with his Secret Service detail. Halloween fun events were held at communities throughout Osage County over the weekend and Halloween night.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City’s first fall festival celebrates local nature trail

Bikers tank up at a refreshment station set up by the Osage City Chamber during Rush the Rails. Photo by Kareen King.

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

October 7, 2017, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the Flint Hills Nature Trail Fall Fest, which also included the Dirty Kanza Promotions Rush the Rails event. The event ran from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with more than 100 bicycle riders and eight relay teams, traveling through Osage City during the day.

Three starting locations designated the length of the route chosen by the participants: Osawatomie, full distance, 96 miles; Vassar, 54 miles; Admire, 25 miles; finish line was at Council Grove.

Dave Azwell passes out cookies to rejuvenate bikers and hikers.

The Gilday Gas Station was the designated stopping point for the participants coming through Osage City. Nourishing refreshments, drinks and first aid were provided at the stop. The Osage City Kiwanis Club hosted the refreshment area. Dave Azwell, Kathi Webster and Kareen King were great ambassadors for Osage City as they greeted and served the participants. There were numerous activities taking place throughout the Santa Fe Park, Santa Fe Depot and Theels’s vacant lot. The day included business sidewalk sales, a bouncy house, food vendors, ice cream social, children’s activities, craft show, restorative and stretching sessions, and a fine arts display.

Dirty Kanza Promotions plans to make this an annual event, so the Chamber is looking forward to having a bigger and better event for 2018.

Photos thanks to Kareen King.

Scranton parish celebrates 150 years of St. Patrick’s blessings and 100-year-old church

St. Patrick Church, at Scranton, Kan., has served its parish for 100 years.

By Paul Schmidt

St. Patrick Catholic Church, at Scranton, Kan., is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a church building and 150 years as a parish in 2017.

Catholicism in early Kansas goes back to the mid 1500s with the explorations of the Spanish Franciscan friar, Fr. Juan de Padilla, who accompanied the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado.

Statue of the church’s Patron Saint: St. Patrick.

Catholics had settled around the Scranton area as early as 1855. The first mass was celebrated near Scranton in 1855 in a private residence. Scranton was a distant served mission until 1876 when a more permanent, regular Catholic presence was established.

On Aug. 15, 1877, a lot was acquired in Scranton at the corner of Boyle and Mercer streets for the purpose of establishing a Catholic church building. A frame church was built on this location, serving about 120 people.

During Scranton’s boom, there was also a parochial school serving Catholic youth from 1885 to 1889.

The church’s bell was originally in the frame church building that existed until May 21, 1916, when the last mass was held in it. That bell is currently housed in the present church building.

Cornerstone of St. Patrick Church, Scranton: Celtic shamrock motif indicates s strong Irish presence in the parish’s history.

On June 7, 1916, the first spade was turned for the new St. Patrick Church in Scranton, to be located on the same site as the 1877 wooden structure. The cornerstone was laid in ceremony Oct. 2, 1917, officiated by then Archbishop John C. Ward of the Archdiocese of Leavenworth.

The strong Irish presence in the church is exemplified by the Celtic cross design graphic in the cornerstone as well as the shamrocks within the cross on the end corner stone. St. Patrick church has had strong Irish, German and Hispanic presence over its history.

Another prominent feature of the church’s chapel are the stained glass windows donated in 1941 by the Michael Towle family. The windows are on either side of the chapel, with one showing the chiro on the throne with the crown; the one on the north side is dedicated to and features symbolism of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Stained glass windows brighten Scranton church with rays of faith

By Paul Schmidt

Stained glass windows donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Towle in 1941 still shine rays of light onto the congregation at St. Patrick Catholic Church, at Scranton.

Michael Towle, 1859-1943, who was born in Waterford, Ireland, was a parishioner at the St. Patrick parish at Scranton. He and his wife, Mary (O’Brien) Towle, had 12 children, who all had interesting lives and occupations, including World War I veterans, teacher, author and a nurse. Three of the girls became Catholic sisters, and one of the boys, George, became a priest and ultimately a monsignor.

An interesting fact about Father George was his service in the U.S. Army as a captain and chaplain at Fort Leavenworth. It was there he served as the chaplain for what was to become the last mass execution in the U.S. – seven young German prisoner of war submariners were hanged.

The incident is recounted in Martial Justice (1971) by Richard Whittingham, and was also the subject of a 1997 History Channel one-hour documentary.

The Towle family windows represent a significant Osage County Catholic family and an amazingly heart wrenching episode of war, religion and justice.

The windows are on either side of the chapel, with one showing the chiro on the throne with the crown; the one on the north side is dedicated to and features symbolism of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To see the windows, stop St. Patrick Church is at 302 S. Boyle St., Scranton, Kan.

Hidden History: Congenial ghosts haunt Osage County socialites’ Halloween parties

“If a girl walks down the cellar stairs backwards peering into a mirror, she will see reflected therein the likeness of her future husband.”

By Wendi Bevitt

The year 1902 brought society’s newest fad to the east coast just in time for the Halloween season – the ghost party. Ghost parties were proclaimed as the “next best thing since ping pong” which had made its arrival 20 years prior. These parties were to herald the beginning of the Halloween season for the next few decades, making their appearance in Kansas in the middle of the decade.

Both young men and ladies would attend most times with the intention of making love connections. According to syndicated entertainment columnist Madame Merri, these parties would be announced by elaborate invitations either containing masks for the attendees to wear, or suggesting a costume to wear upon arrival to ensure unbiased matchmaking.

The host’s house or public venue would be decorated for fall or Halloween. Nellie Craig, of Osage City, hosted a ghost party decorated with jack o’ lanterns and fall leaves. Ethel Kelley, of Burlingame, transformed her parents’ spacious new barn into a “veritable bower of rustic beauty”, serving refreshments of apples and doughnuts, pumpkin pie and coffee. Some parties could even be decorated with just a simple white sheet for the table covering and candles to light the room.

Ghost party activities included dancing and Halloween games such as passing spooky items – a mechanical bug, a potato stuck full of toothpicks, a piece of fur, a Japanese snake, a piece of ice, a wet glove filled with sand – all thoroughly chilled for 12 hours.

C.S. Oliver, of Burlingame, held a party that included spooky activities in the cellar and attic. These parties also perpetuated superstitious games, such as one portrayed in the Charlotte News, Oct. 31, 1902, that suggests on Halloween, “If a girl walks down the cellar stairs backwards peering into a mirror, she will see reflected therein the likeness of her future husband.”

Poster winners spread fire prevention messages

The 2017 Osage County Fire District No. 2 fire prevention poster winners were Angelica Ruiz-Pineda, Kaylee Theel, Grady Tincher, Kenzie Bellinger, Sophia Brabb, Jada Ruiz, Brynna Burd, Kalen Conner, Lillian Lohmeyer, Harrison Bailey, Allison Sloop, Quenten Stark, Dakota Boss, Isaac McCoy, Sadie Shoemaker.

Osage County Fire District No. 2 gave fire prevention poster winners a ride to school in fire trucks Friday Oct. 13, 2017. Around 8 a.m., a crowd of proud parents and fire department personnel gave a send off to the poster winners as they departed and transported to Osage City Elementary School. Throughout the day Friday, firefighters gave fire prevention presentations to students at Osage City Elementary School, Three Lakes Preschool at Osage City, and Osage City preschool.

Caution on the road: Deer-vehicle crashes increase in fall

Mating season and the quest for more secure habitat have deer on the move this time of year, increasing the chances of vehicle collisions.

Typically, the greatest number of deer-vehicle crashes are in mid-November when the rut, or mating season, peaks. In addition to the rut, deer are also on the move in mid-fall seeking new food sources and shelter as crops are harvested and leaves fall from trees and shrubs, leaving them less secure than in their summer habitats.

“The deer population has stabilized over the last five years, so areas that have had deer likely still have them,” said Levi Jaster, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism big game coordinator. “Young animals are dispersing to find new areas and breeding season is approaching. More animals moving means more of them are going to be crossing roads, so be extra cautious and reduce speed, especially in areas with good deer habitat.”

Student art show adds autumn colors to Lyndon Fall Fest

Hailey Houser’s fall apples painting won best of show.

The Lyndon student art show has become a traditional feature of the community’s annual Fall Fest, highlighting the talents of local young artists. Students in Hannah Wilson’s art classes at Lyndon schools entered fall-themed media in this year’s exhibition on display at city hall. Awards were given in three places and honorable mention in five class categories. Hailey Houser’s painting of fall apples was recognized as best of show.

Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell

Winners from the Fall Fest Art Show were:

  • 7th grade – First place, Aubrie Edington; second place, Brayden Marcotte; third place, Tara Green; honorable mention, Ethan Kneisler and Sarah Burrell.
  • 8th grade – First place, Mia Fischer; second place, Jada Seyler-Harting; third place, Darian Massey; honorable mention, Addyson Easter.
  • Art 1 – First place, Abby Criqui; second place, Katelyn McCoy; third place, Ethan Edington; honorable mention, Audrey Womack.
  • Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell; second place, Sydney Gross; third place, Nicole Hughes; honorable mention, Shayla Huffmeier.
  • Art 3/4 – First place, Gretchen Newberry; second place, Emma Kate Unruh; third place, David Moore; honorable mention, Noah Lozano.
  • Best of Show, Hailey Houser.

All aboard: Embark on historical journey at Osage City Santa Fe Depot

Unique open air waiting porch projects from the southwest elevation of the depot.

By Paul Schmidt

The unique train depot in Osage City, Kan., was constructed 1911-1912, typical of Santa Fe depots built in the Spanish Mission style during the time period. It was built by Stivers Harvey contractors, of Kansas City, for about $13,000.

The depot is beautifully detailed in dark red brick against light creme concrete walls to recall stucco. The parapet features original Santa Fe Railroad identification complete with cross and lettering.

The Osage City Santa Fe Depot is located at 508 Market St., where it was built parallel to the now Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks that dissect the town from southwest to northeast.

It is one of two such Spanish Mission style Santa Fe depots left, with the other one located in central Texas at Coleman.

National 4-H Week: Stylin’ 4-Hers show off fashion sense, sewing abilities

Participants in the 4-H Style Revue held at the 2017 Osage County Fair, front from left, Amanda Malone, North Osage; Allie Kneisler, Lyndon Leaders; Chloe Cannon, North Osage; Brealyn McNally, Melvern Jr. Highline; Cole Thompson, Willing Workers; Soloman Shultz, Clover Wrangler, back, Josie Thompson, Willing Workers; Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; Trista Anderson, Willing Workers; Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Keira Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Addyson Easter, Vassar Blue Ribbon; Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler.

Participants in the local 4-H clothing project hosted a public fashion revue July 1, 2017, at the Osage County Fair.

The clothing project is made up of two areas: clothing construction, in which the 4-H member sew their own clothes, and clothing buymanship, in which the 4-H member purchases an outfit.  With a theme of “4-H Clover Review”, 15 4-H members participated.

Grand and reserve champions were: Senior boys buymanship, grand, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler; junior boys buymanship – grand, Solomon Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve,  Brody Thompson, Clover Wrangler; senior girls buymanship, grand, Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Josie Thompson; junior girls buymanship, grand, Addyson Easter, Vasser Blue Ribbon, reserve, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; construction, grand, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers, reserve, Chloe Cannon, North Osage.

National 4-H Week: Former 4-Her honored as Osage County’s 4-H Alumni

Presenting the 4-H Alumni Award to Devin Ramsey, holding award, are, from left, Savannah Bean, Morgan Woodbury, Maddy Montgomery, Devin Ramsey, Casten Wirth, and Dalton Hook.

Osage County 4-H has recognized former 4-Her Devin Ramsey as the 4-H Alumni of the Year.

Devin, who was nominated by Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, was a member of the Carbondale Rustler 4-H Club for 12 years. Devin’s favorite project was the dog project, and since she has been out of 4-H she has been a dog project leader for Osage County, and helps the superintendent at the fairs.

The 4-H Alumni award is given as a way to thank former 4-Hers for giving back to their home county’s 4-H clubs. Ramsey was recognized for the award during the 2016 Osage County 4-H’s achievement night.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas