Category Archives: Featured

Check the facts, don’t spread rumors

The Kansas National Guard needs your help to dispel a rumor that is being shared on social media platforms. Individuals are receiving a letter or graphic that falsely claims the Department of Homeland Security will mobilize the National Guard to enforce a national quarantine.

The Department of Homeland Security does not have the authority to mobilize the National Guard as described in the graphic. Additionally, there is no discussion of a nationwide quarantine.

There might be National Guard men and women seen working in communities. There are 72 Guardsmen on state active duty status currently supporting the COVID-19 response conducting warehouse operations, commodity distribution, planning, access control, mailroom support, and manning the State Emergency Operations Center with interagency partners.

Members of the Kansas National Guard live, work and raise families in the communities they serve. It truly is neighbors helping neighbors. Any help you can provide in dispelling unfounded rumors would be helpful to all of us as we battle COVID-19 together.

Please help us to stop this rumor.The National Guard is messaging it on all of its social media platforms but we need everyone’s help to reach a wider audience.

Hashtags #KSRumorWatch, #SpreadFactsNotFear, and #StoptheRumors are being used to help stop the rumors.

If people have questions about whether something is legitimate or not, they are encouraged to contact the Adjutant General’s Department, Topeka, Kan., 785-646-0092.

KDHE confirms third COVID-19 case in Osage County

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – In its daily  statewide COVID-19 update today, March 31, 2020, Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed a third case of coronavirus in Osage County. A post on social media by the Osage County Health Department said all parties involved are in quarantine and anyone who is considered a potential exposure risk will be identified and contacted.

Yesterday, OCHD announced a second case in Osage County involving a 46-year-old female, and the virus was confirmed from testing sent to KDHE’s laboratory. On Friday, OCHD confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Osage County; a 48-year-old female had tested positive through KDHE testing. The age and sex of the third individual has not been reported.

Osage County has been under a stay at home order since Monday of last week in response to the pandemic; Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide stay at home order effective at 12:01 a.m. March 30.

Osage County declares public health emergency

Osage County Sheriff’s deputies wait inside the entrance of the county courthouse to check the medical conditions of all visitors and employees.

LYNDON, Kan. – With conditions seemingly changing by the minute, Osage County has joined other counties across Kansas in declaring a public health emergency in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At a special meeting called March 17, 2020, Osage County commissioners also took action to limit access to the courthouse and conduct a health screening of all who enter, including employees.

Also Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state’s efforts against the virus will include the closure of the state’s school buildings for the remainder of the school year and ordered that group gatherings across the state be limited to no more than 50 people in a single area.

Osage County’s emergency declaration followed the state’s declaration of March 12, and once enacted it authorizes the activation of the county’s local emergency response plan.

At Tuesday’s special commission meeting, with most of the county department heads in attendance, Osage County Health Department Director Jackie Patterson, who is also the county’s health officer, outlined then current statistics on coronavirus cases in the U.S. By March 18 the total had risen to 7,038 total cases in the U.S. with 97 deaths; and in Kansas, 21 positive test results and one death.

Patterson reported Tuesday there was one person under investigation from Osage County.

“This is a person who has been identified as someone who qualifies to be tested,” Patterson told the commissioners. “As of this morning, we still don’t have the results back.”

She explained that although testing for the virus was now underway in the U.S., it could take several days to get results back.

Patterson said the Osage County resident and her family are under a 14-day quarantine. She said the reason the person was tested was because they had traveled.

“We don’t have any local spread yet,” Patterson said, noting no known positive cases in Osage County at that time.

Beat back COVID-19 with foods that boost immune health

As Coronovirus (COVID-19) continues to crisscross the globe, each of us should do our part to help stop the spread of this potentially deadly virus. Aside from vigilant hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, and staying home when sick, a strong immune system is an important ally in keeping you healthy and well.

Strong immune functioning begins by eating a healthy diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of nutrient-dense foods to choose from such as crunchy vegetables, succulent fruit, hearty whole grains, and energy-rich beans, nuts, and seeds. However, there are certain top-notch foods ready and willing to duke it out with the germs, viruses or microbes wanting to cause you harm. Thanks to their antioxidant-rich powers, these foods kick it into high gear helping your immune system work as efficiently and diligently as always.  Not only are they health-promoting but are also available any time of year, providing peak performance for protecting your body from microbial harm.

Consuming these foods several times a week increases your odds of enjoying more healthy and disease-free days than someone who rarely consumes them.  Of course, other factors that help strengthen immune functioning are regular exercise, adequate sleep, minimizing stress, and avoiding smoking. Basically, practicing good health habits is more likely to enhance immune health, increasing your chances of fighting off COVID-19 along with other illnesses.

Best foods for boosting immune health

Citrus fruits

No matter what time of year, citrus fruits are always a winner for promoting immune function. Whether you choose to eat oranges and grapefruit, or lemons and limes, these citrus fruits grown in warmer climates will bring that ray of sunshine into your home on the bleakest of day.

Citrus fruits will also bring to your immune system a healthy dose of the water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C.  Oranges and grapefruit are particularly abundant in vitamin C as they can contain as much as 70 milligrams in one piece of fruit.

Osage City 3rd grade boys win league tournament

The Osage City Indian 3rd grade boys basketball team won their league tournament, finishing 8-1 for the season. From left, Coach Clint Silver, Chase Silver, Braxton Kooser, Noah Wood, Lincoln Senft, Kacen Keeffe, Devyn Theel, Layne Martin, Grady Bellinger, and Coach Jimmy Bellinger.

Osage City 3rd grade girls finish undefeated

The Osage City Lady Indian 3rd grade basketball team finished their season 10-0, tallying 7-0 in league play and 3-0 in their tournament. From left, Brynlee Harmon, Kaiden Bosse, Amelia Stark, Reece Wilcoxson, Harmony Linton, Hayden Lieber, Kaylee Theel, Lena Stucky, Taber Gantenbein, Jayla Jenkins, and Sawyer Serna. Coaches were Corey Linton and Natosha Jenkins.

Renowned livestock auctioneer Verlin Green closes bidding on record breaking career

After nearly six decades working the auction barn, Col. Verlin Green, Perry, has become a most familiar sight in the auction box selling cattle.

It’s a livestock auctioneering career likely qualifying for the Guinness Book of World Records.

When Col. Verlin Green dropped the gavel July 24, 2019, it was culminating climax of 57 years serving the auction block.

Claiming he’s completed his lifetime profession, the nearly 84 years old Perry, Kan., auctioneer’s official last day of work was at Overbrook Livestock, at Overbrook, Kan.

“I’d worked there 26 years, but I’ve also sold at a couple handfuls of auction barns through the years. Several longer than that, plus a lot of farm sales and other auctions,” Green reflected.

“It was time to stop while I was still satisfying the sellers, buyers and auction barn owners. This’ll give me more time to run the hounds,” Green added.

In apparent sound health, good voice, hearing and eyesight recovering nicely from cataract work. “I’m doing quite well,” he assured.

“It’s been a good day. A friend and I just ran seven hounds for five hours or so. I just love their music when they pick up a scent,” Green claimed.

Brief clarification, Green takes his beagles out three or four times a week, usually four female dogs of his own. “They’ll get on a rabbit, start howling and get that rabbit circling until he goes into cover,” Green explained.

It’s all for the sport of the chase watching and listening to the hounds, not bagging the prey. “I’d never shoot a rabbit, and then there wouldn’t be any more excitement for the chase,” he smiled.

Growing up at Perry, Green said, “My dad handled cattle, did some buying and selling, I’d go to the sales with him. The auctioneers fascinated me, and I’d practice auctioneering on my own, act like I was selling cattle.”

He’d also sometimes get to ride around with Johnny Ross, a local trucker who heard him practicing the auction chant.

“Johnny said, ‘Verlin you’re really good for a kid. You ought to take up the auction profession.’ And by gosh that’s what I decided to do,” Green reflected.

County foundation continues its mission by helping local organizations

Kenna Burns, center, of ECKAN, receives a check from Osage County Community Foundation board members Joe Humerickhouse, Michael Pitts, Jodi Stark and Casey Mussatto, as part of the foundation’s 2019 end of year grants.

The Osage County Community Foundation recently finished its benevolence of the last decade by awarding its 2019 end of the year grants to three area organizations.

Recipients during the latest grant round were: East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation, which received $500 to assist with expenses associated with its prom boutique, an annual event that provides dresses of all sizes to girls for prom night or other formal events; Osage City Chamber of Commerce, $1,000 to help with the cost of rebuilding a portable stage used for the Osage County Fair, Smoke in the Spring, and other community events held at Osage City’s Jones Park; and the Ecumenical Christian Action Team, $1,000 for roof repairs and to help with the cost of a small storage shed.

Spangler claims Osage County spelling championship for 2020

After 16 rounds of fierce competition, eighth-grader Tristan Spangler, representing Carbondale Attendance Center, claimed the title of Osage County’s championship speller for 2020, during the countywide spelling bee held Feb. 5, at the Osage City school auditorium.

Tristan competed against nine other champion spellers chosen from five school districts in Osage County at their own school bees. Tristan and the Osage County runner-up, Dylan Theel, sixth-grader from Osage City Middle School, will represent the county at the statewide Sunflower Spelling Bee, March 21, 2020, at Newman University, Wichita, Kan.

Tristan Spangler, left, is Osage County’s champion speller for 2020; Dylan Theel is runner-up.

Competing Wednesday at Osage City were Lyla Sterbenz, fifth grade, Burlingame Elementary School; Taneal Stevenson, seventh grade, Burlingame Junior High School; Tristan Spangler, eighth grade, CAC; Colt Jones, fifth grade, CAC; Samantha Cole, eighth grade, Lyndon Middle School; Nathan Roll, seventh grade, LMS; Olivia Lacey, eighth grade, Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School; Emily Criqui, fourth grade, MdCV Elementary School; Sawyer Dorsey, fifth grade, OCMS; and Dylan Theel, sixth grade, OCMS.

The first round of Wednesday’s bee was successful for all competitors, but the second round started the steady drop off of contestants with incorrect spellings – “savvy” and “boycott” stymied two competitors. Round three “whisked” away another. In round four, seven competitors were whittled down to four with incorrect spellings of “dawdle”, “squirm”, and “treadmill”.

Hidden History: Osage County settlers planted churches, seeds of abolitionism

The making of Osage County’s history was not limited solely to those individuals who maintained permanent residence here. Such is the case of John Rankin, an Ohio resident and the man who established the Presbyterian church in Lyndon, Kansas.

John Rankin was originally from Tennessee. Rankin was influenced by the period called the Second Great Enlightenment, which was a revival of the Christian faith that led many to realize slavery was incompatible with their beliefs.

Rankin became ordained as a pastor in 1814, and soon after joined a local Anti-Slavery Society, a branch of a nationwide group that believed prejudice in any form was offensive and that African Americans were entitled to the same rights and privileges as the white man. Rankin’s involvement in the Anti-Slavery Society was influential to famous abolitionist radicals such as William Lloyd Garrison.

Garrison is quoted as saying, “It was reading the productions of [Rankin’s] pen that awakened my mind to the enormity of the crime of slavery.”

Rankin’s opinions on slavery and his outreach to those that were oppressed caused his neighbors to create an environment that was increasingly dangerous for him and his family. Local mobs beat him and shaved his horse’s tail and mane, in addition to other instances of cruelty. Elders in his church encouraged him to move safely north if he was to continue to preach against slavery.

He moved his family first to Kentucky, where he organized an Anti-Slavery Society, and then across the river into Ripley, Ohio. The house at Ripley sat on a bluff 300 feet above the Ohio River and served as a beacon and refuge for those seeking freedom.

One such freedom seeker, a woman named Eliza, crossed the river one winter, jumping from one block of ice to another with her baby boy on her back. Her pursuers watched amazed at her every leap, expecting her to slip and succumb to the icy current, but Rankin’s awaiting hand reached down on the other side to assist her off the riverbed. Rankin later secured her passage with others to Toronto, Canada, and safety of freedom.

Help House News: Soup up someone’s February with Soup-a-thon

By Raylene Quaney

Help House is beginning the year with the fourth annual Souper Bowl Soup-a-thon.  We’re inviting all area churches, scout troops, school and civic organizations to participate this time. All you have to do is collect cans of soup and boxes of crackers from now until Feb. 2, 2020. The group with the most items donated will win the traveling trophy for either first, second or third place, along with bragging rights until next year. Start collecting soup now and then bring into Help House 4-7 p.m. Monday evening Feb. 3 or on Tuesday, Feb. 4. As soon as all items are counted, the winner will be announced and trophy awarded. Let the games begin!

Need increases

Last year we continued to see the number of households in need in Osage County increase. Those household numbers served by zip code in 2019: 66413, 67; 66414, 71; 66451, 71; 66510, 58; 66523, 190; 66524, 32; 66528, 62; 66537, 28; 66543, 27; 66856, 5.

Giving the gift of happiness

Over the holidays, there were 82 Thanksgiving dinners given out. The Christmas store saw 20 children shopping for 16 adults. There were 60 parents or caregivers shopping for 190 children and 97 adults. The grandparents had an opportunity to shop for the grandchildren in their lives with 64 shoppers looking for just the right gift for 206 children. We would like to thank all the businesses, churches, organizations and individuals that donated to the Christmas Store so that the children, parents, grandparents and guardians could have a wide selection of gifts to help make their Christmas special. A special thank you to Mrs. Claus for visiting with the children during their special shopping day while Santa’s elves helped them shop and more elves wrapped their gifts for them to take home and put under the tree.

Bell ringers

We would like to thank the business that allowed us to place the Red Kettles during the Christmas season. The Salvation Army Kettle collection for 2019 totaled $5,705.61. The bell ringers add so much to the meaning and purpose of why we do this. Eighty-six percent of every dollar given comes back to Osage County to help with various emergency needs. Help House is the local designated distributer of Salvation Army funds.

Eat Well to Be Well: Take a look inside a health-promoting refrigerator

Before reading any further, get up, open your refrigerator and take a look inside.

What did you see? A peek inside your refrigerator can be a revealing look at how well your health goals are being met. Is it clean, well-organized and stocked with plenty of healthy foods? Or is it more of a disarray of takeout containers and old produce rotting in a drawer, while soda, juice, creamy dressings, and packages of hot dogs grab your attention first?

If it’s the latter, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there and it only goes to show, there’s always room for improvement. When trying to be healthy by losing excess weight or managing a health condition, it begins by placing healthy eating within reach whenever you open the refrigerator door. Besides, your chances of eating a nutrient-rich diet are only as good as your food supply.

Here’s a look at smart tips to makeover the inside of your refrigerator for successful healthy eating:

Lion Joann Pouch named as Melvin Jones Fellow

Lion JoAnne Pouch receives the Melvin Jones Fellowship from Past District Governor (2018-2019) Patrick Laham, at a surprise gathering. Courtesy photo.

Lion JoAnne Pouch, of Lyndon, Kan., has been named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation in recognition of her commitment to serving the world and her community. Named for the founder of Lions Clubs International, Melvin Jones, the fellowship is one of the foundation’s highest recognitions, honoring the commitment to humanitarian service.

Pouch is a member of the Lyndon Lions Club. She recently received a commemorative plaque and lapel pin acknowledging her dedication to the foundation’s humanitarian goals. As a Melvin Jones Fellow, Pouch becomes a part of the growing network of individuals who are committed to improving the quality of life for people locally and in communities around the world. The Lyndon Lions club has been in operation since chartered in 1953.

Pouch received the award from the district’s most recent Past District Governor (2018-2019) Patrick Laham, of the Augusta Lions Club. Pouch was joined at her surprise celebration by local Lyndon Lions and many district and state Lions dignitaries.

The Melvin Jones Fellowship is a recognition presented to those who donate $1,000 to Lions Clubs International Foundation or to people for whom a donation was made by others. It is the backbone of the foundation, providing 75 percent of its revenue. Contributions can be made by individuals, including non-Lions, clubs or districts.

This award was given to Pouch for her years of service to her community and years of dedication and hard work. She has been the club secretary continuously since 2005 and sometimes acted as club president or treasurer at the same time. She has spearheaded many community events, including pancake breakfasts, teacher luncheons at the high school, chili suppers, spaghetti suppers, taking tickets at the high school football games, and many other activities.

Working together to learn

By Bella Reeser
Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club

The Melvern Jr. Highline and Lyndon Leaders 4-H clubs teamed up for a joint cooking class on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at the Frontier District Office, in Lyndon. In this class members from both clubs not only worked on their cooking skills, but also on their team building and life skills. 4-Hers created bread bowls with broccoli cheddar soup inside. Thank you to the Extension office for providing our 4-Hers this great opportunity.

Participants of a recent joint 4-H club cooking class were, front from left, Bella Reeser, Gradey McNally, Amelia Arb, Charley Bean, Ellie Sowers, Colt Sowers, and Levi Arb, back, Ella Reed, Paige Gebhardt, Morgan Young, Braelyn McNally, Allie Reeser, Kendall Young Allie Kneisler, Savannah Davis, and Extension agent Chelsea Richmond. Courtesy photo.

Annual Frontier Extension awards recognize dedication of local volunteers

Peggy and Gary DeForeest, Frontier Extension District Appreciation Award winners of Osage County. Courtesy photo.

The Frontier Extension District gives awards annually to show appreciation to persons in Franklin, Anderson, and Osage counties who have made important contributions to the district’s programs. The 2019 Frontier Extension District Appreciation Awards were presented in November at the district’s annual board dinner, at Princeton, Kan.

Recognized as the 2019 Frontier Extension District Appreciation Award winners of Osage County were Peggy and Gary DeForeest, of rural Scranton.

In 1986, Peggy began working as the office professional in the Osage County Extension Office. She became a district office professional when the Frontier Extension District was created in 2010, and she specialized as the district’s bookkeeper.

As the first impression of the local Extension, Peggy was always quick to welcome everyone who called or entered the office in Lyndon with a friendly greeting. Customers soon found that she was very knowledgeable and would go the extra mile to help respond to their needs. Peggy was a jack of all trades and master of them all. Her strengths included her initiative and creativity, ability to problem solve, her attention to customer requests, and willingness to try something new. She always supported 4-Hers and over her career worked with nearly 100 fairs in Osage County.

Peggy retired in June 2018, having served 32 years as an office professional with Osage County and the Frontier Extension District.

Gary was always there to support Extension in many ways. As an industrial arts teacher and gifted carpenter, he used his skills to build several shelving units and publication racks for the local offices, and frequently judged woodworking and electricity at local fairs. He always donated his judging fee back to the 4-Hers. Gary is currently a registered 4-H volunteer and a 4-H woodworking project leader for the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club. Through his leadership, the woodworking project continues to grow, and the woodworking projects that the 4-Hers complete are remarkable.

Hidden History: Legislating the dogs of Dogtown

Founded in 1869, Osage City built its foundation on the industry of mining veins of coal that ran under the earth. As the town grew, small communities of people of many nationalities sprang off of the main townsite, such as Craig on the southwest side and Dogtown on the northeast. The name Dogtown has been thought by some to be a derogatory reference to citizens who inhabited that area of town, but instead it referred to the large population of dogs that originated in that neighborhood.

Early in Osage City’s history, Dogtown earned its moniker due to a man named John “Jack” Kidd, who had many dogs. When Jack heard of the gold being found in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874, he left coal mining for the potential of more profitable mining. When he left, though, his dogs stayed behind.

As the town increased in size, Jack’s dogs, joined by more brought in by other citizens, also grew in numbers. After many years of a rapidly growing dog population, in 1889 the city hired a “dog policeman” by the name of George Russ. George was a well-liked man of color, who had worked in the local mines.

When George assumed his position, there were an estimated 1,000 dogs within the city limits of Osage City. Dog owners were expected to pay a tax of $1.50 for male dogs or $3 per females. George was given the authority to shoot any dog without taxes paid, no excuses.

By July of his first year, George had killed approximately 120 dogs, and only $62 had been paid from city pet owners. By the middle of his second year, George had dispatched 140 dogs, and only collected $66 in tax. George’s progress on curbing the growing population of rogue dogs was halted, however, when he was found to be violation of prohibition laws against selling “fire water,” which led to his prompt resignation.

Osage County communities share holiday cheer

The Christmas season has arrived in Osage County and the city of Burlingame joined other communities across the county in greeting the season Saturday. Osage County Fire District No. 6 volunteers decorated trucks for the evening’s annual lighted Christmas parade, the finale of the town’s daylong festivities.

Photos courtesy of Osage County Fire District No. 6.

Melvern celebrates community Thanksgiving

Melvern community members enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at the community center. Photo by Natalie Melton.

The Melvern community celebrated Thanksgiving early with its annual free community dinner on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2019, at the Melvern Community Center. Joining with other local volunteers, members of Melvern Pride and Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club helped guests with serving, carrying trays, filling drinks, and cleaning tables.

MdCV FFA members attend national convention in Indianapolis

MdCV FFA members at Churchill Downs, front from left, Tristen Duncan, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Braden Reed, Sadie McGowin, Brice Marsh, back, Chisolm Woodson, Frank Warner, Bayleigh Lacey, Kaelin Criqui, Koby Vanderpool, Izzy Toman, and Cole Lacey. Courtesy photo.

Some of the Marais des Cygnes FFA members had the privilege to attend the National FFA Convention and Expo, Oct. 27-30, 2019, in Indianapolis, Ind. Members selected to attend were Koby Vanderpool, Frank Warner, Tristen Duncan, Kaelin Criqui, Bayleigh Lacey, Chisolm Woodson, Braden Reed, Brice Marsh, Cole Lacey, Izzy Toman, Wyatt Lingenfelter, and Sadie McGowin, with advisor Danny Rice and Terry Rice.

The students went through an application process and earn points to be able to attend.

Throughout the trip, they enjoyed many restaurants that were special to the areas they stopped. The trip started early Sunday morning when they began their journey to St. Louis, Mo, where they visited the Gateway Arch and Museum. They then traveled on to Louisville, Ky. On Monday, they visited Louisville Slugger, the home of the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat, and Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

Heading out the next day from Louisville to Indianapolis, they stopped at Blue Springs Caverns, billed as the largest underground navigable river in North America, taking a boat tour down in the cavern.

On the last leg of the journey, they finally made it to Indianapolis, where they visited the Indianapolis 500 track and museum.

On Wednesday, members attended the opening session of the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo and Career Show. There were more than 65,000 members and guests in attendance at the conference.

Bixby School students reunite, reminisce about the day the school burned down

Bixby School students and teacher, 1949-1950. Courtesy photo.

By Ardis Ann Diehl

Twelve students comprised the student body of the one-room Bixby School during the term of 1949-1950, along with their teacher, Clara E. Christesen. After 70 years, six of those students met Nov. 6, 2019, at Lamont Hill Restaurant for dinner and an enjoyable evening of talking about times at Bixby – mostly everyone’s memories of the day of the fire.

‘Twas an eventful day in March 1950 – Bixby schoolhouse burned to the ground. Embers from the burning trash in the furnace had floated up the chimney and out onto the wood roof. Of course, it was a typical day of Kansas wind which contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze.

I remember sitting at my small desk, looking up between the spaces in the ceiling boards and seeing flames in the attic and hearing the crackling sound. At the same time, the teacher was cranking the “four longs” general ring on the party line telephone and shouting, “Bixby schoolhouse is on fire!”

None of the patrons who picked up the call acknowledged they had heard it – they all headed to the school in a rush. So the teacher kept calling the alarm, thinking no one had heard, all the while we 12 students were still sitting in our seats.

We all got out and were safe. Older students went back into the burning building and rescued some of the rows of runners of desks, coats from the cloak room, and yes, the lunch pails with our not-yet-eaten lunches. The neighborhood men arrived and the upright walnut piano (weighing enough to take four men and a horse to move) was saved, along with the heavy teacher’s desk.

One of the horses in the horse barn spooked and ran two and a half miles home at full gallop. Students, teacher, parents, and community folks stood at the far edge of the school grounds and watched the fire entirely consume the District No. 53 education building.

One month of the eight-month term of school was left that spring. We finished the year at Lone Elm School on Highway 68 and had the typical last day of school picnic. The teacher and all of the students of the last school year of Bixby School are shown in a photo taken that day, April 22, 1950.

Those attending the reunion dinner, along with their spouses, were Donna Miller Young and Marvin, of Quenemo; Leo Williams and Gloria, Osage City; Garry Niehoff and Lila, Topeka; Jim Niehoff and Diane, Baldwin City; Carolyn Burkdoll McMillin and Gerald, Lyndon; and Ardis Ann Diehl and Clyde, Lyndon.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club dedicates picnic table in memory of Casten-Downing

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H members dedicated this picnic table, created in memory of Jill Casten-Downing, located in Melvern City Park; front from left, Joycelynn, Chelsea Green, Harper Melton, Bella Reeser, Gentry McNally, Gradey McNally, Tanner Totty, and Landon Roy; back, Anna Arb, Amelia Arb, Allie Reeser, Justin Brinkley, Levi Arb, Ella Reed, Tara Green, Natalie Green, and Braelyn McNally.

By Bella Reeser, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club Reporter

In June 2019, it was proposed at a Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H club meeting to create a memorial to Jill Casten-Downing, a former club member. 4-H parent Eric Melton volunteered his time in undertaking the task of creating a picnic table in memory of Jill. With generous support from Lyndon Building Materials in supplying materials, Hastings Awards for supplying the plaque, and Eric Melton his time and talents, the project was completed in just a few short months.

It all came together on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, when the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club met with the Casten family at the Melvern City Park. Here they dedicated this picnic table in memory of Jill Casten-Downing and all her involvement in the Melvern community.

All this wouldn’t have been made possible without Lyndon Building Materials, Hastings Awards, and Eric Melton.

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