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Olivet farmer still busy with lifelong job after 50 years with highway department

Soybeans have been a major cash crop for Kathy and Glen Tyson on their farm near Olivet, in Osage County. Courtesy photo.

Working one job for half a century is a major accomplishment but Glen Tyson has been in his “second profession” even longer.

“Well, after 13,331 days, February 28, 2022, was my last day with the Osage County Highway Department,” Tyson said.

During those five decades, the Olivet man has also been what most would also consider a full-time farmer.

“I’ve had two jobs, a day job and an evening and weekend job,” Tyson admitted. “I was farming before I worked for the highway department, and I plan to keep right on farming.”

Announcing his retirement officially publicly with a Facebook post, Tyson instantly got a complimentary rebuttal. “All those hours on the official clock don’t include your overtime nights and weekends, Saturday and Sundays,” an acquaintance posted.

“It was all part of the job, which worked well with the farming,” Tyson said. “My last day was tough saying goodbye to a bunch of very good friends and employees. They’re the ones who’ve been so important in making my career much more than just a job.”

LTE: Car show cooks up business during annual cruise-in

Dear Editor,

What is the economic benefit of the Twin Lakes Cruisers’ Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show to the community? It is bringing in over 250 vehicles (with approximately two people per vehicle) and 1,000 plus spectators to the downtown area in a six to eight hour period of time. Purchases of food, items of interest, future return shopping, the exposure of the business community is tremendous. It creates a fun atmosphere of viewing all types of vehicles, old and new, good music, entertainment, people visiting and having an enjoyable time.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, marked the 18th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto show sponsored by the Twin Lakes Cruisers. The downtown streets were rumbling with the thunder of cars, trucks, vans, classic, muscle, antiques, street rods, rat rods and motorcycles ranging from the 1929 and before to the 2000 and after eras. We were excited this year to include in the show two electric cars in the mix of the other vehicles. They were a 2021 Tesla and 2015 Tesla. The drivers made a weekend trip starting from Colorado Springs and Littleton, Colo., on Friday, arriving in Topeka Friday and coming to Osage City Saturday for the show and traveling back to Colorado on Sunday. They were very interesting to visit with, and were anxious to share information and enjoyed answering questions about the electric cars with the interested spectators. They even gave a couple of the group a ride after the show.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers welcomed approximately 275 entries coming from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and all parts of Kansas. Throughout the day included approximately 1,000 plus spectators that enjoyed viewing the vast array of vehicles that lined both sides of Market Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street and also the side streets on Sixth Street.

Arvonia School kicks off 150-year celebration with outdoor concert

The Arvonia Historic Preservation Society has plans for several events for the 150th anniversary of Arvonia School. The celebration will begin with a concert by Tina Barrett and Zak Putnam.

Everyone is invited to attend the outdoor concert 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2022, in front of the Arvonia School, and bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic, snack and refreshment of choice.

Located in the Welsh settlement of Arvonia, Kan., is the Arvonia School. Built in 1872, the school is one of the few remaining buildings designed by pioneer Kansas architect John G. Haskell. It is one of the earliest-known architect designed schools in the state. The building was constructed by Welsh craftsman James Rice. It has become a Kansas icon, immortalized in the art of photography and legend of the region. The school is on the Reigister of Historic Kansas Places and the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been restored in the past several years.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the township hall. For more information, contact Susan Evans Atchison at 620-794-3917. Arvonia is located four miles north of Lebo and is on the southwest side of Melvern Lake.

More activities are planned this year to celebrate the beautiful historic school building, including another concert in the fall.

BBQ Celebration: Spring winds blow clouds of smoke into Osage City

Last Call Heroes BBQ, Travis Duffy, Emily Wickstrom and their dog, Bernie, accept this year’s grand champion award at Smoke in the Spring, Osage City. Courtesy photo.

A strong Kansas wind blew more than 94 barbecue teams into Osage City last weekend. Only one team headed home as Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion. Claiming this year’s title in the April 9, 2022, contest was Last Call Heroes BBQ, with head cook Travis Duffy, of Pierre, S.D.

Duffy described winning Smoke in the Spring as a “bucket list” contest.

“It only takes one look at the past winners of this contest, the caliber of cooks it draws to the event, the community impact the event has, the size of the check you get for winning, it makes this one of the biggest KCBS contests of the year,” Duffy said. “We’ve struggled a bit here in the past, but it takes a very technical cook and some luck to have a chance in a field of both teams and judges that are tough. But we just keep diggin’!”

The South Dakota team competed against 93 other teams from 11 states in the Osage City contest, which celebrated its 19th year this year.

Last Call Heroes BBQ won the grand champion designation with 700.0228 points, taking first place in ribs, fourth place in chicken, 28th in pork, and 37th in brisket. With the win, the team also won recognition for placing in the “700 Club”, which means they earned over 700 points in the competition.

Taking the reserve grand champion spot was a team from Gardner, Kan., High i Que BBQ, with Randy Vanslyke as head cook. The reserve champ team won by placing 43rd in chicken, fifth in ribs, fourth in pork, and 15th in brisket, totaling 699.9772 points.

Winning third place was another team from Gardner, Fergolicious BBQ, with head cook Richard Fergola, a veteran Smoke in the Spring competitor. Fegrolicious took 40th in chicken, seventh in ribs, 20th in pork, and secured their third place spot with second in brisket, totaling 699.3600 points.

Hidden History: Deaf education helps early settlers cope with silence on the prairie

Photo of the printing class from History of the Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, 1893.

Perry Barnes and his wife Lizzie, like others anxious to take advantage of the newly opened Sac and Fox reservation lands, moved to Osage County in 1866. However, Perry and Lizzie were unlike other settlers – they were both deaf and non-speaking.

Perry and Lizzie settled south of Osage City. While they were different than other settlers, Perry and Lizzie were also not like many other deaf individuals at that time. Both had been educated at schools for the deaf, and Perry had even taught at one. Because he was given a chance at education, Perry became an avid reader and also a successful farmer and stockman.

Even though Perry and Lizzie left Osage County by 1870, evidence of his time here remains, the name of the creek adjoining their property became known as Mute Creek.

Educational possibilities for the deaf in Kansas started with the Kansas Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1861, which was only a small house school in Baldwin City at that time. While the founders desired to impact area deaf children, it was quite some time before their services would be made more widely available. And so, the deaf of the Kansas interior at the time were left adrift in society and few had the knowledge of how to best meet their needs.

In some cases, deaf individuals were cared for at the county poor farm or floated about. One young Burlingame boy was reported in 1883 to have been given a bottle of whiskey and a cigar as he wandered the neighborhoods.

National Deaf History Month is recognized and celebrated every year from March 13-April 15 to recognize the accomplishments of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

The deaf school became established in 1866 at Olathe and reached a period of growth and outreach in the 1880s, when it changed its name to the to Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. At this time it and began working on integrating deaf students into society instead of merely separating them from it.

The school in Olathe offered free tuition to students and did not charge for board or clothes washing, which put an education within the grasp of most young deaf or hard of hearing people. Students were accepted as early as age 8, enrolled for a 10-year course of study. The school year ran from September to June, and the students would board at the school during that time. At the end of the term, the students often would be carpooled (for a fee) back to their homes across the state.

Within a decade of growth for the school after its expansion in the 1880s, the school doubled in size. There were 17 teachers in the literary departments, and trades like cabinet making, shoe making, harness making, printing, and baking were taught to the boys, and home skills or the arts to the girls.

Ads ran in Osage County newspapers promoting the school, and many families started to take advantage of the offer. Among the first students from Osage County to attend the deaf school in Olathe were Constance Morell, of Osage City, and Fred Allen, of Burlingame.

Like many at the school, Constance was not born deaf, but due to accident or illness, lost her hearing when she was about six. Her parents first sought out assistance from a doctor in Atchison to no avail. She began attending the institute in Olathe in 1887 and excelled in the art of drawing and painting under the direction of teacher Jessie Zearing, an Osage City native.

Lyndon Lions thank local businessmen for longtime support

The Lyndon Lions recently recognized Jerry Giesy and Steve Giesy, of Jerry’s Thriftway, Osage City, Kan., for their support to the Lyndon Lions Club through the years. Club members presented a plaque to thank the Osage City grocers. Plaque presentation included, from left, Lions Gary and Barb Schattak and Bill Karr, Jerry Giesy, Steve Giesy, and Lions Ferne Tasker and Nancy Karr.

Eat Well to Be Well: Grocery shoppers can use money saving strategies as inflation soars

Stocking up on healthy staples and reducing food waste are just a couple of strategies to help you with rising prices

Soaring inflation is hitting many consumers hard while buying groceries for their families. From snack foods like chips and cookies to everyday items like milk and meat, food prices are rising up and down the supermarket aisles across the United States. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs have had some of the highest price increases. According to the latest Consumer Price Index data from early 2022, overall inflation rates rose to 6.8 percent over the previous year, marking the fastest annual increase in the inflation rate since June 1982.

Depending on where you live, many shoppers are also dealing with countless food product shortages, often due to widespread supply chain disruptions. This double whammy of inflation paired with food shortages is particularly concerning since eating is a basic human need.

Even before inflation arrived, many families struggled to feed their families nutritious foods. Now, with food prices continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever to have a plan of action on ways to cut costs and still eat healthy.

Here’s at look at shopping strategies to help save on food while still making nutritious meals:

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA gets ready for spring after busy winter

MdCV Floriculture Team members celebrate their third-place win in a district career development event at Louisburg this month; front from left, Josie Wheeler, Mason Rose, Hailey Ingle, Emma Ankerstjerne, Kelsey Rice, Haylea Bethell, Emma Marsh, and Mary Ingle; back, Corey Criss, DJ Johnson, Justin Brinkely, Madison Cormode, Alyssa McCurdy, Lindsey Johnson, and Olivia Lacey. Courtesy photo.

The Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA began its new semester with a Kansas State University intern, Hunter Smith. Smith comes from Chaparral High School and FFA program. He has done an outstanding job thus far and the members and agriculture students have welcomed him with open arms.

In January, the MdCV FFA chapter started 2022 FFA activities with a game night. Several games were going on, from board games to cards to several highly competitive games of cornhole. The natural resource management class received a presentation from Matt Peek, Kansas wildlife furbearer specialist on trapping and fur harvesting. The same students also received their Kansas trapping certification.

Beginning in February, MdCV FFA officers were asked to interview with KOFO, in Ottawa, Kan., in celebration of the upcoming National FFA Week. Smith and the agri-science classes traveled to Paola and competed in the Milk Quality Career Development Event. The group was awarded eighth in A Team and third in B Team, with Colten Woodson receiving a third-place medal and Allison Reeser receiving 11th place.

Later in the month, the MdCV FFA celebrated National FFA Week with activities including Drive a Tractor to School, Ag Olympics, Ag Career Presentation to the elementary school, staff breakfast, Mini Milk Quality Contest to the Junior High, FFA apparel day, FFA bingo, FFA scavenger, and breakfast pizza for members.

OCPR Update: Gearing up for spring and BBQ

With spring just around the corner, Osage City Parks and Recreation is getting ready for spring sports and barbecue. Baseball and softball leagues are forming this month. The Osage City community is preparing for the annual pilgrimage of BBQ cooks and judges, and BBQ lovers to the town for Smoke in the Spring 2022. The event starts off April 8, 2022 with the Taste of Osage City, a giant barbecue party in Jones Park, where everyone is invited to use their BBQ Bucks to taste the fare offered by a select group of competition chefs. The next day, April 9, will be the championship BBQ contest, celebrating its 19th year.

OCPR Flint Hills League Youth Baseball & Softball
Baseball and Softball Divisions – 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 15U

  • Players who are not 5 years old by May 1, 2022, are too young for the 6U Boys/Girls Divisions.
  • The 6U and 8U Divisions – Coach Pitch
  • All other Baseball/Softball Divisions – Kid Pitch

$30 per player (Baseball/Softball). Signup forms can be found online at www.osagecity.com and the City of Osage City Facebook Page or sent out by request.

Signup deadline, March 27.

Smoke in the Spring, April 8-9, 2022
Jones Park, Osage City, Kan.
For updated event information, visit our Facebook page:

Taste Of Osage City, Friday, April 8
5 p.m.-“Until The Food Runs Out”
Presented by Edward Jones

Live Music, April 8, 7-10 p.m. OCPR Building
Sponsored by the Osage City Fraternal Order of Eagles #3890
The Party Rock and Guitar Chaos of “Chance Encounter”
Bringing 80s and 90s hard rock covers!

Firework Demo Display, April 8, 9 p.m.
South area at Jones Park
Provided courtesy of Garrett’s Fireworks, Osage City, Kan.

Hidden History: Kentuckians seek Kansas townsites to escape bigotry of their homeland

At the time Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in 1854, there were two prime spots on the Santa Fe Trail in what would become Osage County – the crossings at Switzler Creek and 110 Mile Creek. Both locations had been actively used for trade by the Shawnee Tribe until their removal from the area that year. These crossings were quickly snapped up by the earliest settlers in the county to be used for their access to trade.

Switzler’s crossing became the location for Council City, a predecessor to Burlingame, and was established by Northerners intent on making Kansas a state free from slavery. The crossing at 110 Mile Creek would be settled by Southerner Fry McGee. Not long after, other settlements with similar hopes sprung up nearby along the same trail corridor. These towns were established by individuals also with Free State motivations, but seeking freedoms from other discriminations as well.

When the first counties in Kansas Territory received their boundaries in 1855, the northern most part of what would be Osage County was included in Shawnee County (although the county would not be officially organized until 1858), and Burlingame had aspirations to become the county seat or even the capital of the future state. Another developing city that desired to become the county seat for Shawnee County was Prairie City (not to be confused with the Prairie City that was located in Douglas County).

Prairie City was borne out of a desire to live without fear. In August 1855, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, an election day erupted in anti-Catholic violence that became known as Bloody Monday. The riot was led by local Democrats and followers of the Know Nothing Movement, who in their proclaimed patriotism shunned those that were not like them. The Know Nothings were originally known as the Native American Party, a group that sought to organize native-born Protestants and promote traditional values. In Louisville, this manifested itself in anger and discrimination against Catholics and anti-slavery advocates, causing a series of riots and deaths of many German and Irish Catholic immigrants.

Governor issues declaration of disaster emergency due to threat of wildland fires

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of disaster emergency yesterday, March 3, 2022, due to the potential for wildland fires in the state on Friday and Saturday. The declaration will allow the state to preposition aerial firefighting assets from the Kansas Forest Service for a quicker response to any fires that may begin.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will activate the State Emergency Operations Center, Topeka, to a partial level Friday morning to keep in contact with county emergency offices and monitor weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service Office, Topeka, strong winds and low relative humidity with an abundance of dry vegetation will once again cause extreme fire danger across central Kansas Saturday afternoon.

“I urge all Kansans to be vigilant,” Kelly said. “Even a single spark is enough to touch off a fire that can spread rapidly and destroy farmland, homes and public infrastructure.”

“Conditions for significant wildfires are at an historic high across Kansas,” said Mark Neely, Kansas Forest Service fire management officer. “Any ignition source could cause a wildfire that will grow rapidly and burn aggressively. Help your local firefighters by checking and rechecking previously completed brush piles to make sure they are completely extinguished.”

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Comforting tomato veggie split pea soup

Take stock of what makes soup so soothing and satisfying

A warm bowl of soup is a classic comfort food. Just the sight, smell, and feel of holding a cup of steaming soup makes cold winter weather pleasantly cozy. No matter what season, soup is always a good choice. When brimming with nutritious veggies, soup makes a wholesome, hearty vegetarian meal with great texture and taste. Pair soup with crusty bread making it an easy meal when in a hurry.

At this point, go ahead and jump to the recipe, if you like. But, if you want to know why a warm bowl of soup is special, read on. A pot of soup simmering on the stove offers more than a spoonful of comfort. It’s also a satisfying and nourishing meal loaded with health benefits. Here’s a look at what soup has to offer:

Small voter turnout imposes 1/2 cent countywide sales tax to build new jail

Osage County voters approved a countywide 1/2 cent sales tax in Tuesday’s election, which is proposed to pay for design, construction, and furnishing costs, and the first years’ payments on a 35-year bond, for a $20 million detention center and law enforcement center.

With a vote of 1,149 yes votes to 505 no votes, the sales tax will go into effect July 1, 2022, to pay for the construction and startup costs of the proposed $20,295,000 facility. The project is to ultimately be funded by a 35-year bond issue, with Osage County responsible for payments of $937,667 per year, with total amount paid in principal and interest projected at $36,569,045.

The number of voters in Tuesday’s election equaled about 10 percent of Osage County’s population of 15,949. The number of yes votes represented about seven percent of the population.

See related story: Osage County voters to decide sales tax question for law center and jail

Osage City Junior High girls win championship at Olpe

The Osage City Junior High School Lady Indians played in the Olpe Junior High Invitational Tournament Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. They beat Marais des Cygnes Valley 50-22, Hillsboro 43-20, and Olpe 49-24 to win the championship.

Osage City Junior High basketball champs, front from left, Addison Watson, Emory Speece, and Kaelyn Boss; back, Coach Tyler Speece, Jewelia Kitselman, McKenna McFarlane, Peyton Pitts, and Coach Mike Pitts.

Help House gets warmed up for annual Souper Bowl

It is time once again for the Super Bowl, which means it is also time for the 6th Annual Souper Bowl Soup-a-Thon, at Help House.

Help House is asking all local supporting churches and other clubs and organizations to help stock the pantry with cans of soup and boxes of crackers.

Anyone can be a part of the contest fun or just participate by helping out. Food should be delivered to Help House by Feb. 21, 2022. Trophies will be given for top three collection amounts.

For more information, see Help House online at www.helphouse.online, call 785-828-4888, or stop by at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan. Help House appreciates and depends on the financial and prayer support from local churches and communities. We could not continue this ministry without it.

Thank you,
Raylene Quaney, Help House

Hidden History: Barclay, Osage County’s forgotten Quaker community

A Quaker influence has been in Osage County since the state was opened for settlement in 1854. Even before that time, however, the Quakers were active in Kansas Territory as missionaries to the Native American tribes. Quakers took the belief of “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” literally and believed that all races were equal. At the Kansas Quakers missions, followers sought to bring the Christian faith, as well as education, to the tribes.

Their position in the missions gave them early access to the newly opened lands after the signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Their early presence here also put them in position to take a role in laying the groundwork for Kansas to be admitted as a free state. Nearly from the time slavery was introduced to the United States, the Quakers had objected to the institution of slavery. Quaker beliefs prohibited them from any force in the matter, so they found another way to take an active role in the fight against slavery – such as the Underground Railroad. In our area, Quaker missionaries were in Osage County early on, but later moved into Wabaunsee County, where they established known stops for the Underground Railroad.

The next major influence of the Quakers in Osage County would not occur until more than a decade later. When a treaty in 1859 shrunk the Sac and Fox reservation, nearly 140,000 acres of the premium parcels of the former reservation lands were snapped up by government officials and land speculators. The largest portion went to Seyfert and McManus Company, acting in conjunction with the Reading Iron Works, of Reading, Pennsylvania. John McManus was also tied to the railroad, and because of his varied interests, sought to open coal mines in the county.

Feb. 8, 2022: Osage County voters to decide sales tax question for law center and jail

LYNDON, Kan. – At a special election Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, local voters could determine whether future duties of the Osage County Sheriff’s Office will include operating a 120-bed detention center proposed to be built in Lyndon.

On the ballot is a special question, which if approved would establish a 1/2 cent countywide sales tax to pay costs to “design, construct, equip and furnish a new law enforcement and public safety center …” The tax would pay for the startup costs of a proposed $20 million county jail and law enforcement center, and initial payments on bonds issued to finance the project.

In a series of community meetings held around the county since last summer, Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells has promoted a proposal for a new law enforcement center and a possible 140-bed jail. Wells said, “Something has to change” at the current sheriff’s office and jail in Lyndon, Kan.

The sheriff’s office occupies a building that used to be a nursing home that was built in1964. In 2004, the building was condemned because the roof had fallen in. Promotional materials from the sheriff’s office said Osage County purchased the building in 2005 as a temporary solution for lack of room at the sheriff’s office, then housed in the jail by the courthouse.

The sheriff’s outline of problems at the office include black mold, rotting floors, holes in the floors, moldy evidence room, three full file rooms, unsecure dispatch room, leaking roof, rotting ceilings and attic space, need of paint, and outdated wiring and plumbing.

On a recent tour of the sheriff’s office, many of the problems the sheriff listed last summer still existed – mold on ceilings in some storage areas, spongy floors in some areas, apparent roof leaks. In a mildew-smelling room called the armory, where surplus items and longs guns were stored, mold was visibly growing on the guns’ wooden stocks – some of the guns were evidence from past crimes, the sheriff said.

The evidence rooms shown during the tour were overflowing with shelves filled with boxes and file cabinets almost everywhere they would fit. One room shown was filled with what appeared to be personal effects, almost so full the door couldn’t be opened. Wells said he was uncertain of what was stored there.

Literature provided by the sheriff’s office says the current jail was built in 1985 with 25 beds, and when the sheriff’s office moved in 2006, 10 beds were added. Though the jail was built to be expanded with an upper level, foundation issues have since excluded that option. The foundation problems have also caused several cells to be inoperable, and flooding occurs in some cells. The current jail also has mold issues and lack of storage space. Wells said several inmates have filed lawsuits against the sheriff’s office and the county due to conditions in the jail.

The upcoming election question is for a 1/2 cent countywide sales tax for four years, but it is tied to the $20 million proposal for a new law enforcement center and jail, which is based on a plan for the county to issue bonds to be paid off over 35 years. According to calculations provided by the Osage County Clerk’s Office as additional information for the ballot question, a project cost of $19,997,500, with added $297,500 in fees would total $20,295,000 for the amount of the bonds issued. An interest rate of 3.28 percent would cost the county $16,274,045 in interest by the end of the 35-year term. Annual payment amount for the county would $937,667. The total amount paid in principal and interest after 35 years would be $36,569,045. The half-cent sales tax for startup costs is expected to generate $791,173 per year for four years.

5th-6th grade Lady Indians head to state championship tournament

Osage City’s 5th-6th grade Lady Indians finished 3-0 at Wamego, Jan. 15, 2022. The wins qualified the team for the Kansas State Basketball Championship, a state tournament for youth town teams, which will be March 4-6, at Wichita, Kan.

At the Wamego tournament, the Lady Indians beat Concordia (61-2), Nemaha Central (37-17), and Clay Center (43-8). The team includes, from left, Brynlee Harmon , 5th; Jayla Jenkins, 5th; Kaelyn Boss, 6th; Cheyenne Wiley, 6th; Sawyer Serna, 5th; Kenzie Bellinger, 6th; and Harmony Linton, 5th.

Courtesy photo.

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