Category Archives: Featured

Ruins of 160-year-old stage stop stand as monument to Osage County history

By Paul Schmidt

Located west of Burlingame, Kan., just off U.S. Highway 31, Havana Stage Station was a mail stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The stage station and hotel was built in 1858 and offered meals and lodging until 1869.

About 50 German and French families established a community on the site. A large brewery and distillery were also located there. By the early 1870s, most of the German settlers moved to the town of Alma, in Wabaunsee County, and the property was sold for taxes.

The ruins lie about 150 yards from the highway on private land, and the site is accessible only with permission from the landowner. Readers should note it is trespassing to enter private property without permission.

See more of Paul Schmidt’s photos of Havana Stage Station here.

4-H exhibitor results for the Osage County Fair, June 27-30, 2018

4-H clubs’ barn quilt contest placings: North Osage, 1st; Willing Workers, 2nd; Vassar Blue Ribbon, 3rd; Lyndon Leaders, 4th; Burlingame, 5th; Clover Wranglers, 6th; Melvern Jr. Highline, 7th. Photo thanks to Osage County Fair Association.

The Osage County Fair Association has released the 4-H exhibitors’ results of the 2018 Osage County Fair, held June 27-30, 2018. Keys for placing and 4-H clubs is at the bottom.

Open class results for the Osage County Fair, June 27-30, 2018

Canned goods, jams and jellies not only earned ribbons, they also will be used to stock the shelves of home pantries.

Placings of open class exhibitors at the Osage County Fair, held June 27-30, 2018, at Osage City, were released by the Osage County Fair Association as follows.

2018 Osage County Fair livestock exhibition results

Round robin winners and participants, from left, judge Lauren Prill, KSU Meat Science, Josie Thompson, swine division, Ainsley Corwine, goat division, Morgan Woodbury, beef division, Grace Croucher, swine division, Kinsley Garrison, goat division, Garrett Croucher, beef division, Addyson Easter, sheep division, and Shayne Miles, horse division. Photo thanks to Osage County Fair.

Winners of livestock exhibitions and the round robin showmanship competition have been released by the Osage County Fair Association, for the fair held June 27-30, 2018, as follows. (Ribbon key and 4-H club key are at the bottom.)

Red, white, blue and hot for the Osage County Fair Parade

Conklin Plumbing’s first place float was red, white and blue from top hat to bottom.

By Jeanette Swarts
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

The annual Osage County Fair Parade, sponsored by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, was Thursday evening, June 28, 2018. The theme for the parade this year was “Hats Off to Red, White and Blue”.

Diane Michael, parade chairman, did a fantastic job coordinating a variety of entries including the Boy Scouts of Osage City starting the parade as flag bearers, emergency vehicles, including city and county law enforcement, ambulance and fire department, parade marshal Mary Lou Estes, Mr. and Mrs. Osage City Jerry and Marilyn Giesy, floats, golf carts and ATVs, band, politicians, antique tractors, and horses. Even though the heat index was very extreme at parade time, participants were eager to have a great time and the spectators seemed to enjoy the entries.

Hidden History: Former Lyndon mayor, fire marshal orders sanity in Fourth celebrations

By Wendi Bevitt

In the early 1910s, commissioners at Kansas City, Kansas, started pushing for a sane Fourth of July celebration. Up to this time regulations were very limited. Fire related deaths had been reported as 4,500 in 1903, but with increasing fire awareness had dropped to 1,500 in 1914. Kansas City’s “Sane Fourth” model proposed limiting usage of fireworks as well as a cleanup day on the eve of the celebrations to remove trash and other fire hazards in urban areas. At this time, most buildings in Kansas were wood frame, and the chance of accidental fires was a real threat.

In 1915, newly appointed fire marshal Lewis T. Hussey adopted the Kansas City plan and started promoting its benefits in time for the July 4th holiday.

Lewis Hussey grew up in Coffey County, Kansas, graduating from Burlington High School in 1888. His family moved to Osage County, where his father, Jerry, became register of deeds and Lewis served as deputy until 1893.

Lewis eventually became city clerk and later mayor of Lyndon. As mayor, he led the way to the installation of a city water and sewer system, which had mixed reviews among the citizens of the town. He was also elected to serve as state representative from Osage County and also served as state oil inspector.

During his civil service, Lewis pursued a career in insurance, establishing the Metropolitan Accident Association. He then joined others in organizing the Osage Fire Insurance Company in 1908. His experiences as a civil servant and in the fire insurance field made Lewis a perfect choice for Governor Arthur Capper to appoint him as state fire marshal in 1915. Capper had already started instituting portions of the safety measures of the Kansas City fire prevention plan, such as a statewide clean-up day in April, but Lewis was the perfect person to enforce what had begun.

In his new job, Lewis took protecting Kansas citizens very seriously. He admonished that a “safe and sane” 4th of July celebration was the most consistent way for Kansas to observe the day and that it might be “too much to expect a complete return to sanity after the free range that has been indulged in the celebration in years past, but an effort needs to be made in most cities and towns for a more moderate and intelligent form of celebration.”

Operation Dry Water surveils for boaters under the influence

Heightened awareness and enforcement slated for June 29-July 1

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism game wardens will be on the lookout for boaters under the influence during Operation Dry Water, June 29-July 1, 2018. Operation Dry Water is part of a national effort to reduce accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol and educate recreational boaters about the dangers of BUI. While Operation Dry Water is a year-round national campaign, a heightened awareness and enforcement effort takes place around July 4th, a holiday known for the potentially deadly combination of drinking and boating.

KDWPT game wardens are responsible for patrolling the waters of Kansas and conducting boat accident investigations, boat safety inspections, BUI checks, safety programs, education classes and other boating-related activities. During Operation Dry Water, officers will be looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of 0.08. The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties. In Kansas, the consequences for BUI include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges. During the 2017 Operation Dry Water in Kansas, game wardens issued 26 boating citations, 35 boating-related warnings and recorded two BUI offenses.

Osage County has a blast during Independence Day celebrations

Fireworks at Lyndon Saddle Club arena. File photo.

Americans will be celebrating their independence across Osage County over the next few days until the Fourth of July. Here are some celebrations around the area:

Osage Nursing Center, Tuesday, July 3

Osage Nursing Center will have a celebration on July 3 to celebrate Independence Day. The public and residents are invited to enjoy activities, food, games, music, and fun for the whole family. The celebration will be 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, at Osage Nursing Center, 1017 Main St., Osage City.

Lyndon Fourth of July Celebration, Wednesday, July 4

Lyndon Fourth of July Celebration features a day of fun activities, with a spectacular fireworks show as the finale. The day begins with a pancake feed 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Lyndon Community Center; hosted by Lyndon Lions Club. At 10:30 a.m., a patriotic parade will travel down Topeka Avenue to City Park. The parade is open to all, including bicycles, horse-drawn wagons, cars, tractors and others.

At 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. will be a community picnic. Lunch is available for purchase from the Masons, or bring your own family’s picnic lunch. Free watermelon will be available 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., while it lasts. Games with prizes will be held 11:45 a.m-2 p.m., while free swimming will be available at the Lyndon Pool 1-6 p.m. At sundown, a fireworks show hosted by Osage County Fire District No. 5 will be at the Lyndon Saddle Club arena on the north side of town. Plenty of parking is available at the arena, or the show can be seen from the surrounding area. Bring lawn chairs and have a tailgate party.

Overbrook 4th of July Celebration, Wednesday, July 4

Annual Overbrook 4th of July Celebration, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at City Lake. The celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with the children’s bike parade; participants should meet at the old middle school. The city pool will be open for free swimming at 1 p.m. Free hot dogs and drinks begins at 6 p.m. at City Lake; everyone is asked to bring a plate of treats to share.

At dusk will be the fireworks display; everyone is encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, friends, and family for one of the best fireworks displays around. Handicap parking and accessibility is available by the tennis courts. All others are asked to park at the ball diamonds, the old middle school parking lot, or along city streets.

Arvonia 4th of July Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, July 4

At historic Arvonia, everyone is invited to bring a picnic for their family before gathering at 7 p.m. to enjoy ice cream provided by the Arvonia Historical Preservation Society. Following ice cream will be family games and other fun, and at dark will be a family-sized backyard fireworks show by AHPS. (No other fireworks allowed.) Grab your family, neighbors and friends and make sure everyone has a lawn chair, and join in some free, old-fashioned Fourth of July fun at Arvonia.

Osage County Fair: Hats off to the red, white and blue

Summer’s heating up just like Osage County’s fair season. With Melvern’s Sunflower Days completed last week, things are starting to sizzle at the Osage City fairgrounds for the Osage County Fair, starting Wednesday, June 27, and running to Saturday, June 30, 2018.

Thursday evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m., will be the annual fair parade, hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, with a patriotic theme of “Hats Off to Red, White and Blue.” While the fair officially ends Saturday, the chamber is also providing an explosive finale on Sunday in the form of a community celebration and fireworks display. Other fun during the fair week includes a pie-baking contest, cooking demonstration, backyard basketball tournament, kids’ games, pedal tractor pull, barnyard Olympics, antique tractor show, and finishing up with an ice cream social before the fireworks on Sunday. See the complete schedule below.

2018 Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair exhibition winners

Stockman competition buckle winners, front from left, Grady McNally , Braelyn McNally, Allie Kneisler, back, Dalton Hook, Hailey Gillespie, Tyler Gillespie, Ethan Kneisler. Photo thanks to Frontier Extension District.

Exhibitors at the Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair, held June 21-23, 2018, won ribbons and awards as follows.

Project, Area Exhibitor, Placing

Arts and Crafts

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers attend state convention

MdCV FFA members work on a service project during the FFA convention, packing meals for hunger programs, from left, Bayleigh Lacey, Grace Bradley, Koby Vanderpool, Alaina Marsh, and Frank Warner. Courtesy photo.

By Grace Bradley
MdCV FFA Reporter

The Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officer team attended the 90th annual Kansas State FFA Convention in Manhattan, Kan., May 30 through June 1, 2018. This year’s convention theme was titled “I Can, We Will.” The Kansas FFA had around 2,000 members in attendance from 199 chapters for the convention.

The officer team attended leadership workshops, convention sessions, and a career fair to help get them inspired and motivated for the coming school year. MdCV FFA President Chloe Volkman and Vice-President Brookelyn Janssen also served as delegates at the convention.

State delegates Chloe Volkman and Brookelyn Janssen represent MdCV FFA.

The members were able to speak with each other and bounce around ideas for things their chapter can do to grow their membership numbers. There were many speakers at the convention sessions including the state officers and motivational speakers from across the country including Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Education Commissioner, and past state officer Melissa Hildebrand-Reed, of Hildebrand Farms Dairy.

MdCV FFA members also participated in the national program “Something to Eat-Food Packaging Event” which members packed healthy, easy-to-prepare meals to be given out to hunger relief groups across Kansas.  

Sheriff seeks rural burglary suspect spotted in security video

Suspect in rural burglary in rural Osage County Wednesday. Images from Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in a rural residential burglary that occurred June 20, 2018.

The sheriff’s office took a report yesterday about the burglary that occurred that morning in the southern part of the county. According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect removed a rifle with a sling and scope from the residence.

A security camera captured images of the suspect – a white male with several tattoos on both arms, wearing a black ball cap, grey shirt, black shorts, and black athletic shoes. The man appeared to have a bandage and a hospital bracelet on his right arm.

Anyone with any information about the suspect or the burglary is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 785-828-3121 or Crimestoppers at 877-OSCRIME.

Summer arrives as fair season blooms with Melvern’s Sunflower Days

Just as the first day of summer arrives, Melvern is set to host the first county fair of the summer in Osage County. Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair begins June 21, 2018, and winds down on June 23 with the traditional parade in downtown Melvern, along with three days of fair favorites such as a carnival, bingo, ice cream, and the hamburger stand.

Melvern has been celebrating Sunflower Days in one way or another since 1877. The 2018 Osage County Fair Book provides a short history of the event as remembered by some longtime residents.

Sunflower Days History

Mrs. Hobson recalls that the first celebration was held July 4, 1877, in a grove east of Melvern. This became an annual gathering, which in reality was the beginning of the Sunflower Picnics.

The first celebration under the name Melvern Sunflower Days was held on Sept. 15, 1910. The days were named for the sunflowers, which grew in abundance along the roads. Captain Hughes started the celebration. At that time it was a family time with picnic dinners, perhaps a political speaker of note, and with races and the like for the younger set. After Captain Hughes’ death, the townspeople used to decorate Hughes’ grave in the Melvern Cemetery west of town on the first day of the picnic.

The 4-H fair became a part of the event in 1948. Don and Genieve Evertson and Bill and Effie Irey were the 4-H leaders at the time. Three large open barns were built to house the livestock and other community buildings were opened for the clothing and food exhibits.

The purpose of the fair is to help the Osage County 4-Hers do the best they can by providing competition and judges who have their interests at heart. In 1981, the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter was established at the high school and soon members of the chapter began showing livestock at the fair.

The 2018 Melvern Sunflower Fair Board and Entertainment Committee includes Dan Bowers, Danny Rice, Shannon Anschutz, Angie Treinen, Linda Irey, and Troy Treinen.

For information about all three county fairs in Osage County, see the 2018 Osage County Fair Book here.

Help House News: ECKAN ‘gives back’ to local community

By Raylene Quaney

Last month, Help House was a recipient of ECKAN’s “Giving Back Day” on May 24, a group of ECKAN employees, all from the Paola Head Start program, painted two of our outdoor storage sheds. A big thank you to Jamie B., Trish T., Kesha T., Caitlin M., and Kirby M. The sheds look great and your help and service to others was greatly appreciated.

Happy birthday, Help House

Help House will be 15 years old in July. A huge celebration is being planned for everyone in Osage County to come and enjoy a day of listening to local music groups, games for kids young and old, food, and lots more. More information will be available soon, so save the date, July 15, a Sunday evening from 3-8 p.m. It is going to be a great time. You won’t want to miss it.

Good Sense Budget Class

The next “Good Sense” budget class is scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018. It will be a one-day class. You must call to register and stop by and pick up pre-course work. Participants are to bring a sack lunch and beverage. The class is free and once complete the participant is eligible to receive assistance with heating or cooling bills.

Mobile food pantry

Mobile Food Pantry dates: Carbondale was 12-1 p.m. on the first Tuesday,  June 5, at  Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship;  Osage City is 10-11 a.m. the third Thursday, June 21, at Osage City Community Center; Melvern is 12:30 -1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday, June 21, at  Melvern Community Center; Burlingame is 10-11 a.m. on the third Thursday, June 21, at Burlingame Federated Church; Lyndon is 12-1 p.m. on the third Friday, June 15, at Jones Park on East Sixth Street. Participants in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time will be in the counted numbers when it is decided how much of each item each family will receive.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City Municipal Golf Course opens for businesses

Osage City Golf Course board members welcomed Chamber members for an “After Hours” in April; from left, Dave Wiley, Gordon Worthing, Kim Bergquist, Clint Silver, Richard Burkdoll, and Matt Harmon. Chamber photo.

By Jeanette Swarts, Chamber Director

The Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” is a quarterly networking event held for Chamber members and guests. Attendees have the opportunity to become acquainted with the businesses and patrons in the community.

The Osage City Municipal Golf Course hosted an After Hours Mixer on April 27, 2018. Approximately 20 attended the event. Everyone enjoyed delicious snacks and beverages and good conversation.

The course is in great shape and the golf board members would like to encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a game of golf. Available are a variety of memberships to join which include single, family and student. The spacious club house is also available to rent for meetings, parties and receptions. Sunday morning breakfast is also served during selected months throughout the year. Many tournaments are hosted throughout the year at the course.

Scheduled plans for future “After Hours” will be ECAT in July, Peterson’s Assisted Living in September, and Ramblin’ Rose in December.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards scholarships

Chamber scholarship recipients, Georgia Hutton and Carter Swindale.

This year, the Chamber received several excellent applications for the scholarships. The applicants demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievements and community service. The scholarship requires students to submit an application, two letters of reference, an official transcript, and an essay covering “the advantages of owning and operating a business in a small town.”

The revenue from the $5 that residents pay to be listed on the maps for the spring and fall garage sales goes directly for these two scholarships.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce was pleased to announce Georgia Hutton and Carter Swindale as the 2018 recipients of the $250 scholarships.

Kids can show off their water safety knowledge, win prizes in lake poster contest

The Melvern Lake Corps of Engineers is inviting kids to show what they know about water safety in this year’s water safety poster contest. Kids ages 6 to 13 are welcome to join the fun and create a poster promoting water safety.

Posters can be entered into any of these categories:

  • Wear your life jacket: Why is it important to wear your life jacket or personal flotation device?
  • Swim with a buddy: Why should you never swim alone?
  • Boat safety: What can you do or what should you bring to be safe on a boat?
  • Open division: What does water safety mean to you?

Artists can enter more than one category, but only one poster per category. Posters can be created using pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils, paint, or crayons. Include name, age, category entering, and contact phone number on back of each poster.

An 11 by 17-inch poster paper to use will be provided at the following locations – these locations are also the drop off areas of finished posters. If an 11 by 17-inch paper (preferably poster or cardstock type) is already available to youth, they are welcome to use that. Entries not on 11 by 17-inch paper will be excluded from the contest. Pick-up and drop-off locations: Lyndon Carnegie Library, Melvern City Hall, Osage City Public Library,  Coffey County Library, Waverly and Lebo branches, and Reading City Hall. Finished posters are due by July 20.

The entries will be judged on displaying correct water safety practices and reasons why, creativity, and clarity of the safety message being conveyed.

Young cowgirls, cowboys identified as cutest in Osage County

The Burlingame Rodeo Days Cutest Baby Contest revealed the cutest cowboys and cowgirls in Osage County. Winners were announced as, from left, first girls 0-6 months, Kisara Horn; first boys 0-6 months, Garret Smith; first girls 7-12 months, Addison Castro; first boys 7-12 months, Malik Walker; first girls 13-18 months, Kinsley Welch; first girls 19-24 months, Kenzie Sedan; first boys 19-24 months, Caden Walquist.

Malik Walker was named as the Overall Cutest Cowboy.

Osage County continues traditions of honor

Members of Legion posts countywide, join together for a Memorial Day ceremony on the Pomona Dam tower.

By Geri Schuler, American Legion Post 125

Osage County is full of military traditions and customs. The best part is young families beginning their own traditions, and honoring old traditions being handed down through generations.

Memorial Day is full of old traditions and honor, especially when it comes to the local legions posts. Through the years, new people ensure these traditions carry on.

Brandon Smith, left, welcomes Lt. Col. Ret. Sam Newland, who provided the prayer at Lyndon and Vassar Memorial Day ceremonies.

In the Lyndon area, the Smith family, with two younger girls and a boy (Jesina, Grady, Peyton), continue a tradition from another family in American Legion Post 125.  Brandon Smith is the vice commander of the Sons of the Legion Post 125. He volunteered, with his young family, to take over with the tradition of putting up flags for veterans. They went to three area cemeteries Friday.

Brandon said, “It is written that there is no greater love than for someone to lay their life down for another. Every small flag represents someone willing to do just that. They deserve our continued gratitude.”

This is a tradition he wants to continue in the future for his family to show gratitude.

In Burlingame is the Diver family with their young daughter. Aaron Diver and his father are both marine veterans. He brought his daughter, Adisyn, to Burlingame Cemetary to place flags with their community.  This was his way to show her the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifices not just her family made but that of other people.

Osage City High School commences with 34 graduating in class of 2018

Standing shoulder to shoulder, the OCHS class of 2018 gathers together one last time. Photo by Tony Heward.

In one of the never ending cycles of life, graduation season wound down in Osage County with the commencement ceremony for the Osage City High School class of 2018 on Sunday, May 20.

This year’s class of 34 graduates recognized two of their fellow classmates as honor students, Weston Littrell and Georgia Hutton, who encouraged them to overcome obstacles and live their dreams.

Hutton told the class that she wasn’t going to dwell on their memories in her speech, or the future.

“There’s been good times, bad times, and even really super weird times, but I’m not going to do that today,” Hutton said. She noted she had spent much time worrying about her future.

“As time went by and I evolved from one thing to the next, I soon came to realize that I was putting in so much time thinking about the future,” she said. “I was forgetting to just relax and live in the now.”

She urged her classmates to not forget their roots, but to live for their dreams.

“So what I’m trying to say, is that even though the stress of the scary impending doom we have thinking about how our life is going to go, we can’t forget to be who we are in the process,” she said. “In this world, we have so many opportunities, so whatever dream you have, either big or little, follow it. Nothing is stopping you from accomplishing your dreams, except your own mind.”

Hutton ended her speech by sharing one of her dreams, reciting a verse she had written specially for graduation.

Littrell pointed out, “It’s been a long road to get to this point, and yet the drive sure went by fast.

“Now, here we are, at the end of our school careers, about to begin the next journey of our lives and enter into the real world – Lord help us all,” he said.

He noted the class had already faced a lot of adversity.

“It’s no secret that our class loves sports, and there are many lessons on adversity that can be taught from them,” he said, comparing different sports to life’s struggles.

“Sometimes, life is like the game of football. It’s rough, yet fun, and you learn to tough it out by playing it.

“Life is like running a race. It’s not always a sprint or a long-distance race, but a lot of times it’s a mix of both. You have to know when to sprint and when to slow down to save your energy …  just get to that point and then I’m done suffering.

“Life is like baseball. It’s all about being patient and knowing what to do at all times. You always have to have a plan for every situation, and you need to be ready for action at any moment.

He challenged his classmates to work through adversity to find their success.

“No matter how many times you make a mistake or strikeout, you immediately put it in the back of your mind and get ready for the next play or step back up to the plate,” Littrell said. “There will always be hardships in your way, but the important thing is to forget about mistakes and never be afraid to step up to the plate. Always remember to keep an eye on the finish line, and if you ever get knocked down, get right back up again and get ready for the next play.”

Osage City High School Principal Tony Heward presented the class for graduation, and USD 420 Board of Education members Jay Bailey and Todd Peterson presented diplomas. Graduating as the OCHS class of 2018 were Whitney Dawn Camell, Jarrett Alan Combes, Ean Kyle Couch, Justin Scott Davis Jr., Timberly Kay Dunham, Cherokee Alexis Rose Everhart, Cole Eddward Fillmore, Cameron Allen Grass, McKenna Rose, Kacey Lee Hill, Faith Nicole Holmberg, Jordan Kay Hon, Jonathon Tomarcus Hutcheson, Georgia Shae Hutton, Cassandra Hope Jenkins, Brianna Elise Jones, Tucker John Kimball, Aiden Hongxuan Liang, Weston Cole Littrell, Faith Elizabeth Long, Robert Arlen McDaniel, Brayden Lee McDowell, Jordan Christine Middleton, Courtney Mae Mitchell, Rider Tristen Todd Nettleton, Peyton James Pearson, Molly Michelle Plinsky, Zoe Alexis Schmitendorf, Dalton Reid Shaffer, Jasmine Michelle Stevens, Brayton Scott Stromgren, Carter Alan Swindale, Emma-Lee Elane Taylor, Tyson Dean Wilkins.

Osage County veterans organizations to lead local honors over Memorial Day weekend

Veterans remember their fallen comrades during a past ceremony at Scranton Cemetery. File photo.

In remembrance of those who have given their sacrifices, local veterans organizations will lead ceremonies and honor guards at cemeteries around Osage County this weekend.

Lyndon American Legion Post 125 will hold honor guard ceremonies at the following times and cemeteries on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018: 10 a.m. at Lyndon Cemetery; 10:30 a.m. at Vassar Cemetery; 11 a.m. at Pomona Lake Dam; and 11:30 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo.

The Pomona Dam ceremony is conducted by posts from Osage City, Melvern and Lyndon.

Osage City American Legion Post 198 will host the Memorial Weekend Pancake Feed 6:30-10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at the Legion hall in Osage City.

In addition, the post will man the Avenue of Flags at the Osage City Cemetery Sunday and Monday. The flags will be raised and lowered as follows: Sunday, May 27, flags up at 7 a.m., flags down at 7 p.m.; Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, flags up at 7 a.m., flags down at 5 p.m. Flags are folded at the Legion hall after taking them down on Monday. Volunteers are always welcome and needed.

The post will conduct memorial services at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Osage City Cemetery, and then travel to Pomona Dam for the ceremony there at 11 a.m.

At Overbrook, Memorial Day weekend includes family fun and traditions.

The Overbrook Rural High School Alumni Reunion banquet is Saturday, May 26, at the Overbrook United Methodist Church; 10:30 a.m. – registration and social gathering; 11:15 a.m., meeting, awards; 12 p.m. lunch (meal reservations requested in advance.)

At Overbrook Cemetery, friends and neighbors will help set up the Avenue of Flags, starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 26.

At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27, the Overbrook American Legionnaires pay honor to departed and fallen veterans with the annual “Laying of the Wreath” service.

At Scranton Cemetery, Scranton VFW members will conduct a memorial ceremony at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 28.

The public is invited to any of the ceremonies.

Hidden History: Kansas county named in honor of Civil War private, Osage County native

Rev. Josiah McAfee, inset, as a Kansas legislator, honored the sacrifice of one of his recruits by naming Rooks County after him.

By Wendi Bevitt

Fifty-six Kansas counties honor the names of soldiers from the Civil War. Only two, however, bear the name of men who held the rank of private – Rooks and Osborne. Rooks County, while located in the western half of the state, is forever connected to Osage County as the recipient of the name of Osage County native, John Calvin Rooks.

John Calvin Rooks, familiarly called “Calvin”, was born in Pennsylvania and came with his family to Kansas in 1858. His parents, John and Delilah, set up their farm two miles south of Burlingame when the county was still known as Weller. The family became members of the Burlingame Baptist church and faithfully attended.

In mid-September of 1862, Calvin enlisted in Company I of the 11th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Many men from both Burlingame and Grasshopper Falls (modern Valley Falls in Jefferson County) were recruited into this company by the Rev. Josiah B. McAfee.

The new recruits were taken to Fort Leavenworth where they received brief military training and then were deployed to the battle fronts in Indian Territory and Arkansas. Company I saw action at Old Fort Wayne, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), on October 22 and then at Cane Hill in Arkansas on November 28.

Each time the company established a camp, a Thursday night prayer meeting would be held in a large Sibley tent, led by the Rev. Josiah McAfee, who served both as 1st Lieutenant of Company I as well as chaplain. Being a Christian man, Calvin attended each meeting. At the prayer meeting on December 4, Rev. McAfee was shaking hands with each of the attendees and asking them to relate his religious experience. Private Rooks told Rev. McAfee that from the age of nine, he had chosen to be a soldier for Christ.

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