Category Archives: People

Hidden History: Osage County hospitality served with side of Southern pride

The road to Santa Fe was forged right through the middle of Osage County, and by 1822 the route was secured, opening travel for wagon traffic. Starting in 1825, the route was surveyed and mapped, treaties were made with the Native American tribes to secure safe passage, and modifications along the route such as bridges were constructed for easier travel.

After the establishment of the trail, the land in what would become Osage County became part of a tract land reserved for the Shawnee. The Shawnee favored settlement along waterways and had long been active in trade with Euro-Americans, so trail crossings like those at Switzler and 110 Mile Creek were a natural location for settlement.

The name for 110 Mile Creek, originally called Jones Creek, received its new name indicating its distance along the Santa Fe Trail from Fort Osage, in Missouri. The location was lined with a considerable amount of timber and had a few Shawnee houses with their fields nearby. The grove at 110-Mile Creek was well known to the military and saw regular use as a camping spot.

Aside from those of native blood, no other individuals were supposed to enter reservation lands without ties to the local Indian agency or the military. Some, like a man named Richardson and his compatriot who settled at the 110 Mile crossing, found their way around this by taking wives among the Shawnee. The pair had conducted a toll stop on the trail at that location, built a story and a half tall building and another smaller one near it.

The Richardson claim was sold to a man named Fry P. McGee in the summer of 1854 in anticipation of the land being opened up for general settlement. McGee had spotted the location on a return trip from Oregon where he had previously taken his family. McGee, apparently not content with the land, returned the following year and acquired the property in Kansas Territory. McGee assumed Richardson’s claim but retained the name Richardson for the area. McGee’s arrival was not only one desiring the favorable location, but a move intent on helping secure Kansas’ admittance to the Union as a slave state.

Despite life’s abnormal situation, Melvern remembers the fallen for Memorial Day

Volunteers place flags on veterans’ graves Saturday. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

2020 has not been as normal as most people would have hoped due to COVID-19.  Yet in the Melvern community this didn’t stop community members both young and old, from coming together Saturday morning, May 23, to help the Woodward-Belt-Hellman-Arb American Legion No. 317 and Ladies Auxiliary  prepare Melvern Cemetery for honoring all of our fallen veterans. Volunteers helped place individual flags on all veterans’ graves and then hung flags along state Highway 31.

Osage City 2020 seniors honored in virtual awards ceremony

The following awards were presented to Osage City High School seniors during a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

  • American Legion Post 198 Scholarship – Leslie Hultgren
  • American Legion Post 198 Honor Awards – Runner up, Leslie Hultgren; runner up, Dylan Shaffer; award winner, Kenna Butterfield; award winner, Ryan Lauber
  • Osage City High School Alumni Association Scholarship – Kenna Butterfield, Olivia Camarena, Jade Potter, Jordan Sage, Britney Wilkins
  • Conrad Carlson Memorial Scholarship – Taylor Lamb, Walker Stromgren
  • Chapter IQ PEO Scholarship – recipient not yet named
  • Sorosis Club Scholarship – Kenna Butterfield
  • Osage City Kiwanis Club Scholarship – Kenna Butterfield, Taylor Lamb
  • Osage City Kiwanis Club Richard Dick Lindbloom Memorial Scholarship – Britney Wilkins
  • Osage City Booster Club Scholarship – Kenna Butterfield, Jade Potter
  • Lions Club Scholarship – Leslie Hultgren
  • R.E. French Family Educational Foundation Scholarship – Kate Heiserman, Elizabeth Lowery, Dylan Shaffer
  • Osage City Chamber of Commerce Scholarship – Kate Heiserman, Dylan Shaffer
  • Osage City High School Spanish Club Scholarship – Kate Heiserman
  • Osage City Band Boosters Scholarship – Jade Potter
  • Rudd Foundation Scholarship – Blake Murphy
  • International Thespian Society Members: Olivia Camarena, Adam Delekta, Elizabeth Lowery, Jade Potter
  • National Honor Society Members: Kenna Butterfield, Olivia Camarena, Kate Heiserman, Leslie Hultgren, Daylia Kautzman, Ryan Lauber, Elizabeth Lowery, Tyler Medlen, Blake Murphy, Jade Potter, Jordan Sage, Dylan Shaffer, Tayler Wessel, Britney Wilkins
  • Technical College Students: Devon Lincoln, Power Plant Technology, Flint Hills Technical College; Britton Hamman and Ostin Howland, Diesel Technology, Matthew Barranco, Tyler Medlen, Caden Reed, and Sam Wamser, Welding, Washburn Tech
  • Kansas Scholars Curriculum Completers: Kenna Butterfield, Carleigh Gardner, Kate Heiserman, Lucy Martin, Elizabeth Lowery, Blake Murph, Britney Wilkins, Dylan Shaffer, Ryan Lauber
  • Community Service Awards: Kenna Butterfield, Kate Heiserman, Lucy Martin, Dylan Shaffer, Jade Potter, Britney Wilkins, Dawson Butter, Olivia Camarena, Elizabeth Lowery, Skyler Karns, Taylor Lamb, Devon Lincoln, Walker Stromgren
  • Citizenship Awards: Olivia Camarena, Ryan Lauber
  • Honor Student Awards: Cum Laude – Dylan Shaffer, Britney Wilkins; Magna Cum Laude – Kate Heiserman; Summa Cum Laude – Kenna Butterfield, Ryan Lauber, Elizabeth Lowery, and Blake Murphy

Carbondale spring plant sale brings out May gardeners

Larry and Susan Raby, honored Carbondale supporters.

The 9th annual Carbondale flower and plant sale benefited a local equine rescue organization and the fire department, and also recognized a couple of longtime community supporters.

The sale was held at the Carbondale fire station Sunday, May 3, 2020. There were many choices of annual flowers, vegetables, hanging baskets, planters, and succulents, along with a truck full of compost from B&C Equine Rescue for gardens.

The event also recognized local volunteers Susan and Larry Raby. Susan organizes the Carbondale Community Garden, and she supports Carbondale in many ways with several organizations. Susan and Larry were recognized for their commitment to making Carbondale the best it can be.

Sheriff’s office offers delivery patrol for homebound

Deputies, volunteers to deliver necessities to those in isolation

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is implementing a new program to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sheriff’s office staff and pre-approved volunteers will pick up prescription medications, necessary groceries, and other items within Osage County for those that are unable to leave their homes. Assistance will be available 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We, like many others, want to help our community the best way possible, especially for those who can’t get out,” said Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn.

When calling in for this service, callers are asked to use the sheriff’s office administrative line, 785-828-4657.

The sheriff asks that prescriptions have been prepaid. For groceries, provide a list – such as bread, milk, eggs – and be willing to accept alternate brands. A deputy or volunteer will come to your house and pick up a list, cash, or a check. They ask that you fill out and sign the check other than the amount. Put the cash or check in an envelope or zip-lock type bag. They will not use debit or credit cards. Receipts will be returned with your order. If you need assistance from Help House, call them and schedule a time and they will pick it up for you.

The volunteers or deputies will not be able to pick up at Harvesters due to the time in line for pickup.

When calling in, provide your name, address, phone number, and what you need assistance with. The sheriff’s office will schedule a time and a deputy or volunteer and let you know who it will be.

If you’re ill or in isolation, let them know when you call. They will ask questions about your health for safety reasons. If you’re ill or in isolation, deputies or volunteers will be wearing protective clothing and equipment. They will meet you outside of your house and return your items outside your house unless you need assistance carrying items.

Everyone is asked to pass this information on to neighbors or those who might not see this announcement in other places.

For more information, contact the Osage County Sheriff’s Office on its administrative phone line, 785-828-4657. (This administrative non-emergency line does not ring into dispatch.)

MdCV Junior High Quiz Bowl heads into league competition undefeated

MdCVJH’s Quiz Bowl team members, from left, Chaz Simpson, Brianna Huffman, Olivia Lacey, Clare Hockett and Allison Reeser. Courtesy photo.

Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School Quiz Bowl team has gone undefeated so far this season, but goes up against league opponents at the Lyon County League Quiz Bowl on March 4, 2020.

The MdCVJH team claimed first place at the school’s own invitational Quiz Bowl on Feb. 26, defeating teams from Hamilton, Lebo, Waverly and Burlingame. The win was the team’s third first-place finish this season.

MdCVJH’s Quiz Bowl team members are Chaz Simpson, Brianna Huffman, Olivia Lacey, Clare Hockett, and Allison Reeser, and the team’s coach is Maureen Warner.

Teams competing at the LCL Quiz Bowl next week will be Olpe, Waverly, Lebo, Hamilton, Hartford, MdCV and Burlingame.

Osage City 3rd grade boys win league tournament

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

Osage City 3rd grade girls finish undefeated

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

Osage County sends its best grapplers to state competition this week

BHS’s Culbert to compete in first girls state wrestling tournament

Osage County will send its best wrestlers to state wrestling competitions this week, including a competitor in Kansas’ first girls state wrestling championship.

Gianna Culbert, of Burlingame High School, will have a public send off today at the school, and is slated to wrestle Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Salina, at the girls state wrestling competition.

Everyone is invited to join BHS faculty, staff, and students around 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, Feb. 26, as they send state qualifying wrestler Culbert to the state wrestling tournament. Everyone will line the hallway of the school from the high school office down to the elementary gym to wish her good luck. The band will lead her through the hall starting at about 3:10 p.m.

From Osage City High School, Dane Whalen, Noah Smith, Elijah Collins, and Connor Collins will be wrestling Friday and Saturday in Hays at the boys state wrestling championships.

Everyone is invited to help send off the four state qualifying wrestlers at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when they will be leaving from Osage City High School. First, the school’s drum line will escort them down the main student hallway, and everyone will line the halls to cheer them on. The Osage City Police Department is to escort them from the school parking lot east from the school to Sixth Street, then north to Market Street, from where they will head west out of town. Everyone is invited to line the streets and send off the wrestlers and their coaches as they work this weekend to bring home state titles.

At Santa Fe Trail High School, qualifying for the state wrestling championship were Christian Rowe, Stephan Roberts, Dakota Garrison, and Evan Dean.

National trucking company honors Quenemo driver for dedication to job

Billy Gilbert, of Quenemo, Kan., is NCI’s driver of the month for January 2020.

National Carriers Inc. has named Billy Gilbert, of Quenemo, Kan., as the company’s driver of the month for January 2020. Gilbert has run with NCI’s Hide division for six years and has shown himself to be a mainstay in all aspects of his work.

National Carriers is a diversified motor carrier servicing all 48 states in the continental United States and Gilbert hired on to run a dedicated route.

Gilbert said at first he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stick with the job.

“I thought a dedicated route would be boring,” said Gilbert. “But a friend of mine in the Hide division had recommended the job, and I figured I’d give it a try. As time went by, I got to know the people on my route and the folks I worked with. The scenery constantly changes, and frequently, I notice new landscapes for the first time. It’s not boring at all.”

Outside of NCI, Gilbert serves as a staff sergeant in the Kansas Army Reserve, from which he’s scheduled to retire this summer. But he said he has no plans to leave trucking anytime soon.

Renowned livestock auctioneer Verlin Green closes bidding on record breaking career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zion youth participate in annual catechesis retreat

On Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, the youth from Zion Lutheran Church, Vassar, Kan., attended St. John’s 12th annual Catechesis Retreat, in Topeka, Kans. The Retreat was titled Dying and Living in Your Baptism and ran from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. During the evening, youth participated in Ice-breakers, a pizza dinner, speakers, and group games.

Zion youth in attendance included, from left, Caleb Anschutz, Keifer Haney, Dylan Haney, Allie Reeser, Bella Reeser, Lyndall Whitten, and Wyatt Whitten.

Information and photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

A Cowboy’s Faith: ‘The Cowgirl’ everybody’s friend

Faye Heath rode Waldo to win the rodeo barrel race sponsored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association at Longford.

“Certain people have a definite lifetime positive impact on others.”

Faye “Peck” Heath was one of those who had such an influence on so many through the decades. Her recent passing created a heart drenching void as fond reflections of Faye for nearly 60 years flowed freely.

A true heroine, Faye was a very real cowgirl who did more horseback than any cowboy then or now.

At the first “shodeo” ever attended, horseshow like rodeo, no broncs but pleasure riding and racing events, Faye was entered.

With her best friend Rosie “Rezac” Clymer, they won all of the team events. Faye personally won every individual performance class and speed competition that day and for years to come.

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.At a Saturday night Emporia yokel shodeo a year later, Faye and Rosie were shy a relay team member. As they often did before and after, the smiling cowgirls would ask any young person wanting to ride to join their team.

Osage County Republican Women install new officers

Dana Webber, Osage County Republican Central Committee chair, installed new officers for the Osage County Republican Women at its meeting Jan. 21, 2020. From left, Webber swears in Lois Butel as vice president, Shari Weber, secretary, Judy Marten, president, and Donna Silver, treasurer.

Spangler claims Osage County spelling championship for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orthography season: MdCV picks spelling champs to vie for title at county bee

MdCV champion spellers for 2020 are Olivia Lacey, eighth grade, and runner-up Emily Criqui, fourth grade.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, Marais des Cygnes Valley Schools held its annual local spelling bee. Each class from fourth to eighth grades was represented by four of their best spellers. It was a hard battle, but after six rounds, it was down to two final spellers, Olivia Lacey, eighth grade, and Emily Criqui, fourth grade. After three rounds of head to head competition, Olivia ended victorious spelling the word “design” correctly. Both Olivia and Emily will represent MdCV at the Osage County Spelling Bee, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at Osage City.

Franklin County’s Civil Conservation Corps topic of historical society annual meeting

Four enrollees at a C.C.C. camp northwest of Ottawa. Photo thanks to Franklin County Historical Society.

OTTAWA, Kan. – From 1933 until 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed millions of young, unmarried men in jobs related to conservation and natural resource development as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Tod Bevitt, of Oskaloosa and formerly of Overbrook, will explore how the C.C.C. impacted Kansas and Franklin County during a presentation at the 83rd annual meeting of the members of the Franklin County Historical Society, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at Neosho County Community College, at Ottawa, Kansas.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was arguably one of Roosevelt’s most successful New Deal programs. The C.C.C. was a program of conservation and construction that changed the lives of more than three million men and their families by offering employment opportunities during the Great Depression. For the past 10 years, Bevitt has been studying the C.C.C. in Kansas, researching the men, their camps and the projects they completed. In 2018, he and his wife, Wendi, contracted with the Kansas Historical Society to document what remains of the C.C.C. camps in Kansas. His presentation will give an overview of the C.C.C. and specifically its impact in the Ottawa area.

Tod Bevitt is the owner and principal investigator for Buried Past Consulting LLC, performing cultural resource investigations throughout the state of Kansas and the Great Plains. Wendi Bevitt has more than 20 years of experience conducting historical research and genealogy and is the author of “Hidden History of Osage County,” a monthly column in the Osage County News.

The Jan. 26 program will begin at 2 p.m. with a review of 2019 FCHS activities. Tod Bevitt’s presentation will begin at approximately 2:45 p.m. This program is free and open to the public. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. The Old Depot Museum will be closed on Jan. 26 so that all staff members and volunteers can participate in the annual meeting.

For more information, contact the Franklin County Historical Society, 785-242-1250.

Lion Joann Pouch named as Melvin Jones Fellow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lyndon High School 2019-2020 first semester honor roll

Lyndon High School released its first semester honor roll for the 2019-2020 school year. Honor roll designees are listed by name, grade level, honor, and grade point average.

Osage County students earn degrees, certificates from Flint Hills Technical College

EMPORIA, Kan. – Flint Hills Technical College conferred more than 60 students at its 2019 Winter Commencement ceremony, held Dec. 20, 2019, at the Humanitarian Center, Emporia, Kan., including three students from Osage County.

Graduates from Osage County were: Christian Scott Orear, Osage City, with a Division of Arts Technical Certificate in interactive multimedia design; Anna Nichole Quaney-Murphy, Burlingame, Division of Health and Human Services Technical Certificate in practical nursing; and Kathryn Joanne Welch, Burlingame, Division of Health and Human Services, Associate of Applied Science Degree in healthcare administration and management.

Information thanks to Flint Hills Technical College.

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