Category Archives: Notions

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go ahead do it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Can’t is over in the ditch.”

That was first grade teacher Mrs. Gibson’s response, 62 years ago; when classmates said something couldn’t be done.

“Don’t say it can’t be done; just find another way to get accomplished what’s needed.”

That was coworker Sean Carter at the recent Farm Profit Seminar when somebody said there was no more display space.

While not always completely accurate in either scenario, both statements encourage efforts for finding solutions when quitting is easier.

Looking around the ranch front, office situations, community needs, and seemingly unconquerable projects everywhere, “can’t” is a common analysis.

An excuse of one kind or another can be determined for nearly every project that requires extra effort, coordination and cooperation.

In grade school long ago, it was easy for any kid to readily contend: “I can’t do that.” Whether printing their name, erasing the chalk board or adding one and one, the teacher proved everyone could do it.

Finding places for late arriving sponsors at last week’s seminar was as simple; crowd together, share areas, use smaller tables. Can’t was sure not the solution when all originally planned sponsorship areas were filled.

Of course, getting everything accomplished that the majority first insist can’t be done isn’t always nearly that easy. Still all things considered, generally, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” quoting a common longtime philosophy.

That’ll require a bit of give and take from everybody involved. Certain ones are not going to get exactly their method. It must be united effort for best results.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cold night healthcare rewarded

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Could you please come help a heifer with a prolapse from birthing her calf?”
It was 2 o’clock in the morning, below freezing, winter moisture, herdsman calling the veterinarian 25 miles away.
Less than an hour, not smiling but ready for her job, the bundled-up animal health doctor arrived.
Heifer and wet but alive newborn were in protection of the barn. That is a major deal compared to the wet, cold, snowy mud dim shadowy corral.
Or, in the middle of the half section pasture miles from civilization with pickup headlights and low-battery flashlights. Through the decades there have been all of those scenarios thankfully with understanding yet inner-grudgingly cooperating veterinarians.
Such medical assistance is difficult in the best of environment softened some being inside despite tightness of confinement. Sanitation is of obvious importance with barn straw bedding considerably better than sloppy germ-ridden barnyard conditions.
Sure not knowing much about the physical aspects of it all, for the even less informed, simple explanation seems appropriate. Mr. Webster said, “Prolapse is to slip or fall out of its proper place in the body.”
What comes out must go back in, stay there, combat any infections which might arise, and heal up. The very good doctor adjusted, manipulated, pushed, medicated and got everything in place again sewed up tight.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Are medicines really needed?

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Evidently, the ranch ought to become a pharmacy. That would be a “drug store” decades gone by, but it might get wrong connotation nowadays.

Boldface headlines daily target law-breaking news about “pills” and other such consumptions, unknown to ranch life, for “recreational” purpose.

“Getting high,” it’s said, although really wouldn’t know. Horseback ride on a brisk winter morning serves that purpose here.

Perhaps, giant medicine chest would be more accurate description of the mudroom and kitchen.

Except, most of the always very high dollar “supposed preventives, treatments” recommended health improvements aren’t in a cabinet. They’re here, there, wherever, ready for immediate use upon need or suggestion.

Now, this includes both livestock and human medication, or definition derivative thereof, maybe painkiller, to use old timer’s common terminology.

It’d be hard to know which requires more medicine these days: cattle, horses, and cats, or the ranchers. Counting all of the bottles and packages, there’s actually quite a bit more for critters.

That said, neither required such health “necessities” half century ago, can’t remember hardly any. Oh, a colt might get kerosene lard if a cut swelled up, but that was it.

Grandma, when she was in her 80s, would take one of Carter’s Little Pills. Dad was on high blood pressure tablets, and took one whenever he remembered. Mom never had any medicine period until terminal diagnosis.

Help House News: Prom closet opens for upcoming enchanted evening

By Raylene Quaney 

Help House will open its Prom Closet 4-7 p.m. Monday, March 4, 2019, and it will be open each day during regular hours until the selection of beautiful dress have been chosen by girls thoughout Osage County for their special night. We will also have jewelry available to enhance the evening wear. All girls are invited to come in on March 4, and be among the first to find their dress for that big night.

Good Sense budget class

The next “Good Sense” budget class will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, March 11, at Help House. This is a one-day class. Call 785-828-4888 for more information and to register.

Volunteer training scheduled

Help House’s annual volunteer training will be held on March 18. Registration begins at 9 a.m. All volunteers are asked to participate in this training at least once. If you have thought about becoming a volunteer and would like to know more about Help House, you are welcome to attend. Call the office to register.

Mobile food pantries

Mobile Food Pantry dates: Carbondale location is Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship, 12 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday, March 12; Osage City distribution is located at Osage City Community Center at 10 a.m. on the 3rd Thursday, March 21; Melvern Mobile Pantry has been cancelled until further notice; Burlingame distribution is held at the Burlingame Federated Church at 10 a.m. on the 3rd Thursday, March 21; Lyndon distribution is located at Jones Park on East Sixth Street, at 12 p.m. on the third Friday, March 15. Recipients in the mobile pantry are asked to be in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time to be in the count to determine how much of each item each family will receive. Help House sponsors the Lyndon and Carbondale mobile pantries.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedication receives right reward

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There were five drooling coyotes on the pond dam this morning.”

That was the son-herdsman’s report in the back door after another check on the first calf heifers in the corral.

In the frigid cold, the varmints were anxious for a warm tasty breakfast of afterbirth should a baby arrive. Obviously, they knew the flavor and somehow instinctively readily came into the barnyard in anticipation of free easy taking.

Should a calf arrive when nobody was overlooking the herd, the wild ones would all pounce for food without manners.

If new momma is attentive to her newfound duties, generally the baby wouldn’t be in initial harm. That can change if mother moves away from a cold shivering one or there is apparent newborn weakness.

Attentiveness to assist first calvers is a major ordeal, let alone worrying about hungry canines. It’s an every three hour task day and night confirming if help is required. Having gone through that dreadful ranch task, fortunately the younger stockman and his mom will still do the work.

Typically, especially in the subzero chill index, if there are telltale signs of an arrival expectant momma is moved inside. That far from eliminates problems but reduces elements harshness.

Hidden History: Melvern doctor breaks restraints of public service

By Wendi Bevitt

In 1885, Osage County elected its first candidate of African descent to a county office. Quintus M. Hutcherson was born into slavery in Tennessee in 1850. He was a newcomer to the county, having escaped the deteriorating conditions in the south after the end of post-Civil War Reconstruction, the time during which political and social transformation of the southern states was being overseen the newly rejoined federal government.

Reconstruction concluded with the Compromise of 1877, which removed federal troops from the south and allowed any gains made during Reconstruction to be undone, particularly leading to deteriorating conditions for those of African descent.

The outspoken, and Republican, Dr. Hutcherson eventually made many enemies in his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, and finding that residence there was neither safe nor pleasant, moved his family west.

Quintus and his wife settled in Melvern, Kansas, the only family of color at that time in town. While he settled in the area and took up farming, Quintus had been trained as a doctor. Formal training for African Americans at this time could only be obtained at certain medical universities. Eclectic physicians, a persuasion similar to modern day chiropractors, however, did not necessarily require formal schooling. It is uncertain which category Quintus’s medical experience was in, but it was not requirement for the public office. It would assist him, though, in besting his opposition.

The Republicans of Osage County were eager to back a candidate that would gather the African-American vote. Quintus was agreeable but hesitant, “I am not in any hurry for an office, although if I could get it, I would take it and do the best I could.”

The Republicans knew the potential for a winning African-American candidate was there. In 1871, shortly after people of color were given the right to vote with the 15th Amendment, a much-esteemed man of African descent from Burlingame, Kansas, Moses Turner, had run for the office of county clerk and narrowly missing being elected. So when nominations for county offices were made, the party discarded their previous candidate and heartily threw their backing behind Dr. Hutcherson.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Calving by nature’s plan

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature does exactly what she wants.”

Cows work just like her. When momma decides to give birth she’ll do it, or do her best trying. Contrarily it’s almost impossible to predict when that’ll be despite telltale signs often turning out differently.

First of February is sometimes considered beginning of spring calving season, although ranches have varying philosophical datelines. Certain operations set later times to begin, and some producers calve in the fall, summer and even summer.

Not nearly as many as used to be, but several cow-calf managers have babies arriving year around. It’s determined when the bull is turned into the cowherd.

Everything being just right, cow is romanced by the bull that day maybe even within minutes fertile embryo starts growing. A baby calf should be on the ground nine months, nine days, nine hours, nine minutes, nine seconds later. It’s seldom exactly that precise and often not even close.

Uncountable tribulations can come into play in this mating game. At the beginning of the season, Mr. Bull is eager and ready to go. Certain sweet, fancy, foxy, young heifers on high nutrition feel the same anticipating action.

More mature mommas, baby at side taking breakfast, generally aren’t so fast. By nature’s intent, inner body parts need a bit of rest, relaxing, healing before starting the process again.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Songs tell county’s history

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hello. This is Monte Selby. I have a grant to write and sing songs about Morris County. Several people suggested I talk to you. Could I come by your office and visit?”

Sure, that’ll be fine.

Reflections from growing up in a farm town became one song Monte and Martin Selby presented in concert.

Laura Mae

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

My whole life, I’ve ridden my horse
Love to be a cowboy – rope and ride
Nearly 50 years, had the time of my life
But back as a kid, I had to bide my time
Mama had work, gotta bide my time

You see, Daddy had an accident on the farm
So Mama said we gotta make money somehow
A few years later what mama found was a
Grocery store in the middle of town
Right on Main Street, middle of town, they’d say….

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

Girl Scouts share warmth during Soup-a-Thon; help fill local food pantry

Osage City Girl Scout Troop 30149 participated in the Help House Soup-a-Thon during the month of January. With the community’s help, the Scouts collected and donated 230 cans of soup and 35 boxes of crackers on Feb. 4, 2019. They also received a tour of the site and learned more about the mission of Help House.  

New 2019-2020 Kansas transportation maps available

Whether you want to find the closest airport, discover new places of interest or travel along a scenic byway, the new 2019-2020 Kansas Official State Transportation Map has it all.

The map, published by the Kansas Department of Transportation, highlights numerous tourist and scenic locations, including state parks and lakes, as well as the recreation areas across the state.

City and county indexes and a distance map allow motorists to pick the best route to their destination. Visitor resources, helpful phone numbers and websites, and locations of museums and hospitals are also provided.

On the back of the map are inset maps of Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and 13 other cities. There is also road condition information and details on how to get roadside assistance.

Finch: New governor looks to KPERS refinancing for boost to state budget

By Kansas Rep. Blaine Finch, Speaker Pro Tem

As I write to you we are approaching the end of week three of the new session. This is a session of significant change as we have 27 new members in the Kansas House and a new governor beginning her term. In these first few weeks, it may seem there isn’t a lot happening very quickly but in committee rooms and offices around the Capitol ideas are bubbling up, bills are being drafted and things are beginning to move.

I predict we may end up with fewer bills this year but there are still some big issues that will need to be addressed. None of those issues is bigger than the budget. With a new governor we are seeing new budget priorities and some retreads when it comes to how to make ends meet. The biggest of those is the idea of reamortizing our public retirement system, KPERS.

In 2013 the state set out on a path that would have 100 percent of our public pension system fully funded by 2033. It was ambitious but vitally important if the state was to honor the commitment to those who made it their vocation to serve others. In 2017, our last governor proposed reamortizing or refinancing the pension system to reduce current payments and extend the term of the payoff. Some have compared this to refinancing a house where the loan is extended but the payments go down. That is an oversimplification, but it is true that pension refinancing reduces the payments for a short time, takes longer to pay off, and like that home refinance means you pay a lot more in interest over the long term.

The new governor has proposed a refinance of KPERS that would add $7.4 billion in cost and extend the time when the state catches up on payments clear out to 2048. This is a bad idea. So why has it been proposed? Because of those lower payments in the short term. The governor’s plan would see annual KPERS payments go down by about $145 million in the first few years before skyrocketing up to total over $1 billion per year. That short-term infusion of cash would allow for the extra spending proposed in the governor’s budget but will leave our children and their children paying for that spending. We will see how that issue fares in upcoming hearings and possible debate.

In other news, I have taken on a new role in the legislature this year as Speaker Pro Tem of the House.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Slow better than ditch

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Weather can change in the blink of an eye.”

Forecasts had been fairly consistent for several days from one predictor to the next.

“It’ll be above freezing with rain turning to snow.”

Exact timing when transitions were to take place varied moving later in the day with the snow.

“If it starts snowing or the sky looks like it’s coming soon, hit the road.” That was the plan.

Nearly everybody had already left the office early with the holiday weekend.

With most work done best possible and procrastinating on the reminder, headed out the door 45 minutes early.

It was raining, had been off and on, throughout the day, now steady, yet not all that hard. Dashboard temperature gauge read 36 degrees.

Obviously others had followed trend leaving work ahead of time with highways pretty much jam packed.

It was moving fast and smoothly with cruise fixed well above posted signs but generally allowable by the cherry top. (That’s what they used to be called when law enforcement was readily identifiable like Andy and Barney.)

Driving with little thought other than get riding done as soon as at the ranch, eat supper and do nothing.

All of a sudden out of nowhere seemingly passing a semi-truck, the roadway became covered with snow and apparent slickness.

With the help of friends, Lyndon Leaders create place for friends

Euclid Lodge 101 and Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members welcome all to sit and enjoy the new bench on Lyndon’s main street. Courtesy photo.

By Lara Shoup

A couple years after establishing their club, the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club wanted to help their community in a big way. They set out to improve an area of Lyndon, and were able to secure an empty lot, near the corner of Sixth and Topeka Avenue.

Improvements began in the summer of 2016, which included trimming overgrown bushes. They could see the project was going to require a lot more time, materials, and work, so they recruited help from a local Catholic Youth Missions Program, in the summer of 2017, to work alongside the club.

The site dramatically changed in the matter of weeks, as they tore out existing grass, installed pavers donated by Lyndon State Bank and Doug Shoup, dirt donated by Wildcat Feeds, landscape rock for the flowerbeds donated by T-Bones Trucking, and a fresh coat of paint to match the restored Phillips 66 stripes across the street.

The next phase of the venture included filling the flowerbeds with plants and a bench for people to come sit and enjoy. To club members’ surprise, they were contacted by the Euclid Lodge 101, of Lyndon, as they asked how they could help contribute. The Masons agreed to donate the bench, which was installed in Dec. 31, 2018. Club members were thrilled with the lodge members’ willingness to help, along with all the other people who gave their time and donations to make the project a reality.

The club hopes to install new landscaping to complete the endeavor this spring. Club members are excited for accommodating weather so they can finally see the completion of their mission, which started from a small goal almost three years ago.

Thank you: The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club would like to sincerely thank everyone, again, who helped make the project possible, and they hope it will be an enjoyable new place for all passersby.

Artist’s assistant fondly remembers painting Bearcat mural at Burlingame High School

David Weiss has good memories of his after-high-school job, which took him around the United States as driver and assistant to a freelance artist who painted murals at roller rinks, restaurants and school gymnasiums.

A school gymnasium is the memory that brought Weiss’ thoughts back to Osage County, because sometime in 1975 to 1977 he helped mural artist Marvin E. Norton paint a Bearcat mural on the gym wall at Burlingame. In addition, the two-man team painted another Bearcat head on the press box at the football field.

Weiss recently contacted Osage County News inquiring about whether the mural still exists. He explained he has been trying to find out if any murals he helped Norton paint are still on display. He estimated he helped Norton paint as many as 100 murals around the United States. Weiss said he had photographed most of the murals, but a house fire destroyed all of his photos.

Weiss said at the time he was in Burlingame painting the mural, the local newspaper came to take photos and published a story. He said the mural painted at Burlingame was about 30 feet long on one wall of the gymnasium.

Weiss, who lives at Butler, Mo., is asking that anyone who might have memories of the mural or have knowledge of it to contact him. He can be reached through Facebook or by email at [email protected].

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wet waste growth tomorrow

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“This is sure going to waste a lot of feed.”

After a day of rain, then five inches of snow overnight, everything was a mess.

Livestock must be fed despite weather and more so when there’s icy cold water topped with snow.

Better off than another rancher who reported an inch of rain covered by 10 inches of snow.

So, load up the feed and head to the bellowing cows rambling on wet prairie begging for bales.

Always try to find the lowest quality in the hay pile to unroll on the sloppy ground. Greedy, acting like they’re starved, no hay for 24 hours or less, mommas dive into the free food.

No respectful appreciation for the breakfast, rudely stomping hay into the wet snow more than actually being consumed.

Outsider unaware of actual working ranch conditions would air opinions of better methods for less loss.

“Put the hay in a big baler feeder, so they don’t tromp it.” That’ll work with a small herd sometimes, even those 40 replacement heifers in the growing lot.

But for 260 cows in the Flint Hills such really becomes almost impossible.

A Missions Project Story: Through the hearts of children

By Audrey Cop

How does a small group of children at a little church in a little town called Melvern, Kansas, serve God in a really big way in the world? In this instance it happened through a missions project that started in the hearts and minds of a handful of children in a small Sunday school class, in a small local church.

Around the first part of August 2018, several children at the Melvern United Methodist Church Sunday school class came up with an idea to help people in Africa have safe drinking water for their families. The children had learned that many of the young children in these countries were dying from diseases caused by contaminated water. The parents have no source of water to provide for their children – other than the contaminated rivers and streams around them. So, the children started giving their Sunday school donations to a designated clean water project just for this purpose.

Then, the idea expanded to include the children, age kindergarten through fifth grade, at that church’s weekly after-school ministry, called “The ROCK”. The program’s name stands for Reaching Out to Christ’s Kids. This program is available to all children in the area, regardless of whether they attend that church; it meets after school on Wednesday evenings. Then there were about 20 total children involved in the missions’ project.

The children’s group decided to expand their clean water project to include sustainable food sources for people in Africa. The children had also learned how so many other children are hungry and malnourished because there is not enough food for these families. They expanded the mission project to include purchasing chickens for eggs and dairy animals for milk and cheese to provide to the families. The families could consume the eggs, milk and cheese and sell any excess food to provide much needed additional income for their families.

As a group, we prayed for God to bless this project and help us raise the money to help those in need. The children set a goal of $500 to be reached by April 2019.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy never slept in

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I’ve always liked to get up early, there was always lots of work that I needed and wanted to do.”

Generally the day started way before daylight, horse waiting at the gate to be saddled and off to pasture work.

Cowboy has always been his first profession, although Kenny Muller certainly has been successful in many agriculture endeavors.

Slowed down a bit the cowboy still rises at dawn anxious to pursue plans in his sharp forever active mind.

Family was joined by friends of a lifetime for Kenneth Muller’s 90th birthday celebration. Most know him as Kenny.

Moved from the ranch to town residence, it’s been awhile since horseback, but the pickup gets daily use. Conversation always centers on heartfelt cowboy life in the Flint Hills.

Kenny was a grocery store carryout boy’s first and always hero-idol-mentor; wanted to be a cowboy just like him.

Perfect image always properly shaped hat, clean cut, sharp dressed, friendly, outgoing with saddled horse in the trailer.

In high demand for day work, Kenny assisted cattle owners over a wide area with roundup, branding, whatever needed.

Horsepower is essential for top cowboys and Kenny always rode the best. Whether cutting a stray from the herd or roping a sick one for doctoring, his horse knew the job. They were ranch raised result of Kenny’s horse breeding program headed by top stallion power.

Proof of quality came first with local winnings followed by recognition nationwide. Kenny’s horses claimed halter championships then as pleasure riders soon earning reining and cow work awards. Collecting trophy saddles, Kenny put them to good use in his life’s trade.

Help House News: Start stocking up now for Souper Bowl Sunday

By Raylene Quaney

Now that we are into a new year it is time for Help House’s annual Souper Bowl Soup-A-Thon. We encourage churches, school organizations, youth groups, civic organizations, businesses to get involved. See which group can collect the most number of items to be donated to the Help House Food Pantry. We suggest organizations collect cans of soup and boxes of crackers, each counts as one item. Set a basket or tub out in your entryway, by your front door, or ask members to bring an item or two when they attend a game or a meeting. Send your members out into their neighborhoods to collect.

The winners will receive one of three awards, a silver, bronze or gold ladle, which is returned the next year to be passed along to the next winners, along with recognition in Help House’s newsletter. So start collecting now, and the contest will end on Feb. 3, 2019, Super Bowl Sunday. Soup and crackers collections can be brought to Help House the following week to be counted and entered into the contest.

Volunteers make the difference

During the Help House annual board meeting in November a number of volunteers were recognized for their dedication. John Neill received volunteer of the year award after giving 340.75 hours of his time to serve others at Help House in 2018. Additional awards were given to those donating over 200 hours, including Lance Jones, with 220.5 hours, and Raylene Quaney, 286 hours. Those with more than 100 hours were Joetta Asbury, Patty Colson, Carolyn Hamman, Joan Hazelton, Ted Hazelton, Ann Hladky, Lisa May, and Bev Russo-Willard. As we have said many times we could not open our doors without our amazing volunteers. Collectively, 6,128 hours were given during 2018 by more than 115 volunteers.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Jake dedicated to rodeo

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Roll ’em. Come on. Get down on that bull. Put your legs down.”

Jake must have said that a jillion times in his lifelong loving career as a rodeo stock contractor.

The show must go on, no wannabe cowboy wimping around. Chutegate could just open ready or not.

“The Rodeo and Sale Barn World has lost a great man. John B. “Jake” Jacobsen, 89, rural Delia, passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at his home.”

Obituary opening is the most accurate description one could ever make.

Many have wanted to be rodeo contractors, but none had the business closer to their heart than Jake.

He lived, literally, to produce rodeos with the best livestock for a quality family show.

It’s been more than four decades, but like right now. Rodeo announcer Max Stowell introducing, Jake always rode in the grand entry.

When the national anthem concluded, Jake headed to the bucking chutes, unmounted, bareback riders better be ready.

Jake always opened the chutegate for the rough stock events, no cowboy piddling, rodeo spectators wanted action.

A family business, Jacobsen Rodeo Company contracted rodeos in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Their small trailer house was home as they’d arrive with livestock two days ahead of rodeo time.

Welcome smile drooling lip of snuff, always a bit round, Jake with Pearl, Dale and Sis were friends of everybody.

Nothing makes a rodeo producer grin wider than his livestock bettering cowboys.

Jake beamed to one champion bronc rider, “I don’t know how many you’ve ridden. But, I can tell you every one that bucked you off.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kindness is most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Life’s changes for betterment ahead are the optimistic blueprint many consider at year’s end.

Annual resolutions are being developed and revised so they won’t be short lived as always before.

Listed for majority are make more money, diet, increase exercise, lose weight and live healthier.

Frequent others include manage debt improving finances, enhance family relations, become higher educated, get a better job, and reduce stress.

Without exception, New Year’s resolutions will be broken, but if only one is partially fulfilled it’s better than before.

Regardless of personal philosophies about all of the vast annual hype of the season, let’s help somebody now.

What else is there in life other than health, happiness and eternity than doing for each other, sincerely?

This is actually very easy, quite simple, yet more uncommon all of the time.

Why not try to make life better for another? Talk to more and different people, even strangers on the street. With few exceptions people like to talk and for others to know about themselves.

Ask how their life truly is? Then listen, look them square in the eye, be interested, and be concerned if there’s that need.

Then, comment, offer thoughts, even suggestions, perhaps points for guidance if sought in the least form.

Make a telephone call to an acquaintance of long ago, or a neighbor living alone, perhaps in an assisted care facility.

Everybody just loves to get mail in the box, write a note, and send a card. It’ll make a day and a memory never ceasing. Go ahead send a text, an email, or other social media to make contact.

Hidden History: The Kid, The Pimp, and the Osage City lawman

By Wendi Bevitt

Osage County had a crime problem. It was the summer of 1883, and hardly a town in the county was untouched by some sort of criminal activity. The economic and population boom brought by the railroads and the coal mines had also brought a surge of individuals looking to make a profit via unsavory means.

Burglars, also known as “sneak thieves”, frequently broke into residences, and horse thieves were plentiful. Citizens were encouraged to protect themselves, which led to the formation of vigilance committees or posses to protect towns and retrieve stolen goods.

Town streets at night were hazardous for pedestrians. The dark was cover for those who wanted to disappear into its shadow. People of questionable character would gather on both sides of the sidewalk, singing, whistling and swearing at passersby. Street walkers and prostitutes were common. Respectable women, in particular, were afraid to walk on the streets at night for fear of being harassed.

Frequent lawbreakers became infamous in the county papers. Johnson, “The Pimp”, and his one woman employee wandered from town to town searching for clients, frequenting the streets and local establishments to the point of annoyance. He and others of the same profession would also take up residences at vacated properties for seclusion.

When Pimp Johnson set up a tent along Salt Creek as his headquarters, a public outcry went out to push them into the creek, promising the support of the community for the people following through with disposing of the couple.

Another character known as “The Kid” was a gentleman gambler that dressed in the highest style, from his matching clothes to his fine gloves. The Kid, like Pimp Johnson, would patronize the saloons and other establishments that allowed gambling. The Kid’s amiable nature gave him a certain leeway with the authorities, and when he and his friends were locked up, they would sing, dance and cause such a commotion that houses neighboring the jail would be kept awake until the wee hours of the night.

While most of the county’s towns were affected by this crime wave and used their best attempts at law enforcement, Osage City’s law officer stood out as an example of the quintessential lawman of the time. Marshal Jack Williams worked hard to control the undesirable element within the Osage City limits.

Marshal Williams assumed the office of Osage City marshal in 1880. He was fair, just, and a strict enforcer of the law. Williams wasn’t frightened by angry mobs or other men of money and influence that tried to affect his pursuit of enforcing the law and keeping the peace.

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