Category Archives: People

4th Judicial District nominating commission submits three candidates for district judge

TOPEKA – The 4th Judicial District nominating commission has sent the names of three candidates for district judge to Gov. Sam Brownback, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the vacancy created by the Nov. 30, 2017, retirement of Osage/Coffey County District Judge Phillip M. Fromme.

The three candidates are: Meghan K. Morgan, Burlington, Kan., assistant county attorney, Lyon County; Darrel L. Smith, Emporia, Kan., assistant county attorney, Lyon County; and Judge Taylor J. Wine, Lyndon, Kan., district magistrate judge, Osage County.

Hidden History: Photographs and photo car make Lyndon’s Ford famous

By Wendi Bevitt

You might not recognize his name, but if your family lived in Osage County more than 100 years ago, you might have Harry Ford to thank for capturing your ancestors’ likenesses, or just glimpses into Osage County’s past.

Harrison “Harry” Ford came from the small town of Wright, Mich., which is near Grand Rapids. He served his country during the Civil War with Michigan cavalry and infantry units. He mustered out at the end of the war, having been promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.

Ford’s photo of a local family possibly includes the sister of Wyatt Earp (anyone who can verify this is asked to contact the author); photo published with permission of Paul Butler.

Harry’s arrival in Kansas was first noted in 1880 when he stayed at Patton’s boarding house in Burlington, Kan. Residents of boarding houses at this time would expect to pay from about $2.50 to $3.50 per week. While in Burlington, Harry made a name for himself as an exceptional artist and photographer, prompting some to declare him the best artist in the state.

By 1882, Harry was making trips north into Topeka with his photo car. Photo cars could be quite large at 10 by 28 feet and eight feet high on the inside, but lightweight enough to make travel easy on the mules that would be pulling the car. Sometimes photo cars were rented railroad cars converted for this purpose. Photo cars would be furnished with props, fashioning a portable studio. Skylights allowed for natural light and dark curtains were used to block light coming in from the sides. One side would be the location of the photographer’s sleeping quarters and the other a photo lab.

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club busy with fall activities; new members invited

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members were recognized at Achievement Night, from left, Josye Hutchcroft, Brynna Whitton, Reanna Marcotte, Breckyn Whitton, Ethan Kneisler, Garrett Shoup, Leanne Shoup, Allie Kneisler, Ryan Bones, Brayden Marcotte, Cade Shoup, Lara Shoup.

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter
Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had its monthly meeting on Nov. 4, 2017. The majority of the meeting consisted of the election of new officers for the upcoming 2017-2018 4-H year. The newly elected officers are: President Ethan Kneisler, Vice President Brayden Marcotte, Secretary Ryan Bones, Treasurer Allie Kneisler, Reporter Garrett Shoup, and 4-H Council representatives Ethan and Allie Kneisler.

New business included voting to do a hog raffle at the Lyndon basketball games this winter, as well as doing a $5 gift exchange after the Winter Festival in December. For recreation, the club did a Christmas wrapping contest. The wrapped boxes will be used to decorate the float for the Winter Festival parade in December. Following the meeting, club members attended Achievement Night in the Lyndon High School Auditorium at 7 p.m.

The next meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 2, 2017, prior to participating in the Winter Festival parade at 10 a.m.

OCHS theater to present comedy farce “Noises Off” (or “Nothing On”)

Actors in “Noises Off” or “Nothing On”, front from left, Claire Crawford, Adam Delekta, middle, Jolson Robert, Olivia Camarena, Colton Williams, Georgia Hutton, Karley Reece; back, Jade Potter, Wyatt Orender.

The Osage City High School theater department will be presenting the comedy “Noises Off”, by Michael Frayn, at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in the OCHS auditorium.

“Noises Off” is a farce play about a group of actors putting on the play “Nothing On.” Unfortunately, the drama is not confined to the stage. The love triangles, miscommunications, door slamming, and missed cues will leave the audience rolling with laughter.

Act One features a rehearsal of the play “Nothing On”, a British comedy, where things are not going well as they are rapidly approaching opening night. Act Two features a completely revolving set, which gives the audience a rare glimpse into what is going on backstage during a performance of a play. Act Three is a performance of “Nothing On” that goes terribly wrong.

The play cast includes junior Colton Williams as Lloyd the director of “Nothing On”; senior Georgia Hutton as Poppy, a stage manager for the show; and freshman Wyatt Orender as Tim, another stage manager. Junior Claire Crawford portrays both Dotty, an actress, and Mrs. Clackett, her British character in “Nothing On.” Other actors in dual roles include junior Jolson Robert as Frederick and Philip; sophomore Karley Reece as Belinda and Flavia; sophomore Adam Delekta as Garry and Roger; sophomore Olivia Camarena as Brooke and Vicki; and sophomore Jade Potter as Selsdon and the Burglar.

The crew for “Noises Off” includes junior Aliks Serna, stage manager; senior Dalton Shaffer, sophomore Dylan Shaffer, sophomore Lucy Martin, junior Kevin Lauber, stage crew; sophomore Ryan Lauber, sound board operator; and freshman Dani Kerns, light board operator. The play is directed by Kathy Camarena and Jaime McCoy. Bryan Sage built the set.

Admission for the play is $5 per person. If OCHS is playing football on either Nov. 17 or 18, there will not be a performance that night and the troupe will have its second performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19.

4th Judicial District Nominating Commission to interview nominees for district judge vacancy

TOPEKA, Kan. – The 4th Judicial Nominating Commission will convene at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in the Coffey County Courthouse, Burlington, Kan., to interview nominees to fill a district judge vacancy in Coffey County created by the Nov. 30 retirement of Judge Phillip M. Fromme.

The nominees are Samuel R. Feather, Topeka; Meghan K. Morgan, Burlington; Darrel L. Smith, Emporia; and Taylor J. Wine, Lyndon. Interviews are open to the public. The 4th Judicial District is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties.

The commission will select at least three nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. If there are not two nominees who reside in the district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the judicial district. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

Nominees for district judge must be at least 30 years old, a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least five years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school, and a resident of Coffey County at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen as the nonvoting chair, James R. Campbell and Jim H. Dale, both of Burlington, Craig E. Cole, Garnett, Janet C. Walsh, Lyndon, Thomas B. DeBaun, Osage City, Forrest A. Lowry, Ottawa, and Eugene E. Highberger, Westphalia. 

Unofficial results of 2017 Osage County school board, Extension council elections

The following unofficial results of the Nov. 7, 2017, school board and Frontier Extension Council member elections in Osage County were announced by the Osage County Clerk’s Office. Write-in votes were not tabulated as of the time of this report; projected winners are listed in bold:

Unofficial results of the 2017 city elections in Osage County

The following are unofficial results of the municipal general elections conducted Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Osage County, Kan. Write-in votes remain to be tabulated Tuesday evening; projected winners are listed in bold:

Halloween season flies by on a broomstick

Mt. Pleasant Community Church and its portable cowboy church was the winner of the Lyndon trunk and treat first-place golden pumpkin.

Cool fall weather moved in as Osage County celebrated Halloween over the past week. The sun was shining Sunday, though, as the Lyndon community held a trunk and treat at Jones Park, drawing several hundred trunkers and treaters. The festivity was even visited by the President with his Secret Service detail. Halloween fun events were held at communities throughout Osage County over the weekend and Halloween night.

Stained glass windows brighten Scranton church with rays of faith

By Paul Schmidt

Stained glass windows donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Towle in 1941 still shine rays of light onto the congregation at St. Patrick Catholic Church, at Scranton.

Michael Towle, 1859-1943, who was born in Waterford, Ireland, was a parishioner at the St. Patrick parish at Scranton. He and his wife, Mary (O’Brien) Towle, had 12 children, who all had interesting lives and occupations, including World War I veterans, teacher, author and a nurse. Three of the girls became Catholic sisters, and one of the boys, George, became a priest and ultimately a monsignor.

An interesting fact about Father George was his service in the U.S. Army as a captain and chaplain at Fort Leavenworth. It was there he served as the chaplain for what was to become the last mass execution in the U.S. – seven young German prisoner of war submariners were hanged.

The incident is recounted in Martial Justice (1971) by Richard Whittingham, and was also the subject of a 1997 History Channel one-hour documentary.

The Towle family windows represent a significant Osage County Catholic family and an amazingly heart wrenching episode of war, religion and justice.

The windows are on either side of the chapel, with one showing the chiro on the throne with the crown; the one on the north side is dedicated to and features symbolism of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To see the windows, stop St. Patrick Church is at 302 S. Boyle St., Scranton, Kan.

Poster winners spread fire prevention messages

The 2017 Osage County Fire District No. 2 fire prevention poster winners were Angelica Ruiz-Pineda, Kaylee Theel, Grady Tincher, Kenzie Bellinger, Sophia Brabb, Jada Ruiz, Brynna Burd, Kalen Conner, Lillian Lohmeyer, Harrison Bailey, Allison Sloop, Quenten Stark, Dakota Boss, Isaac McCoy, Sadie Shoemaker.

Osage County Fire District No. 2 gave fire prevention poster winners a ride to school in fire trucks Friday Oct. 13, 2017. Around 8 a.m., a crowd of proud parents and fire department personnel gave a send off to the poster winners as they departed and transported to Osage City Elementary School. Throughout the day Friday, firefighters gave fire prevention presentations to students at Osage City Elementary School, Three Lakes Preschool at Osage City, and Osage City preschool.

Student art show adds autumn colors to Lyndon Fall Fest

Hailey Houser’s fall apples painting won best of show.

The Lyndon student art show has become a traditional feature of the community’s annual Fall Fest, highlighting the talents of local young artists. Students in Hannah Wilson’s art classes at Lyndon schools entered fall-themed media in this year’s exhibition on display at city hall. Awards were given in three places and honorable mention in five class categories. Hailey Houser’s painting of fall apples was recognized as best of show.

Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell

Winners from the Fall Fest Art Show were:

  • 7th grade – First place, Aubrie Edington; second place, Brayden Marcotte; third place, Tara Green; honorable mention, Ethan Kneisler and Sarah Burrell.
  • 8th grade – First place, Mia Fischer; second place, Jada Seyler-Harting; third place, Darian Massey; honorable mention, Addyson Easter.
  • Art 1 – First place, Abby Criqui; second place, Katelyn McCoy; third place, Ethan Edington; honorable mention, Audrey Womack.
  • Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell; second place, Sydney Gross; third place, Nicole Hughes; honorable mention, Shayla Huffmeier.
  • Art 3/4 – First place, Gretchen Newberry; second place, Emma Kate Unruh; third place, David Moore; honorable mention, Noah Lozano.
  • Best of Show, Hailey Houser.

Longtime Osage County judge to retire in November

4th Judicial District Chief Judge Phillip Fromme

TOPEKA, Kan. – Chief Judge Phillip M. Fromme, who has served in the 4th Judicial District for 34 years, will retire Nov. 30, 2017.

Fromme was named a district judge in 1996 and since 2003 has been chief judge of the 4th Judicial District, which is composed of Osage, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties. He has overseen criminal and domestic cases primarily in Coffey and Osage counties.

“I’ve enjoyed working with staff, attorneys, and court personnel and will miss the judge work, but I plan to stay active with hobbies such as hunting, fishing, gardening and travel,” Fromme said.

A native of Hoxie, Kan., Fromme earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Washburn University. He served in the Kansas National Guard from 1970 to 1977. He was Coffey County attorney from 1973 to 1983, when he was appointed a district magistrate judge.

He and his wife, Kathy, live in Burlington and have three children and two grandchildren.

Judges in the 4th Judicial District are appointed through a nonpartisan, merit-based selection system. The district’s judicial nominating commission will announce when it is accepting applications for Fromme’s successor. After interviewing candidates, the commission will forward the names of three to five finalists to the governor, who will appoint the next judge.

Each of Kansas’ 31 judicial districts has a chief judge who, in addition to his or her judicial responsibilities, has general control over case assignments within the district, as well as general supervisory authority over the administrative and clerical functions of the court. They are appointed to two-year terms. The Kansas Supreme Court will name a new chief judge to serve Fromme’s remaining term, which ends Dec. 31, 2017.

National 4-H Week: Stylin’ 4-Hers show off fashion sense, sewing abilities

Participants in the 4-H Style Revue held at the 2017 Osage County Fair, front from left, Amanda Malone, North Osage; Allie Kneisler, Lyndon Leaders; Chloe Cannon, North Osage; Brealyn McNally, Melvern Jr. Highline; Cole Thompson, Willing Workers; Soloman Shultz, Clover Wrangler, back, Josie Thompson, Willing Workers; Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; Trista Anderson, Willing Workers; Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Keira Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Addyson Easter, Vassar Blue Ribbon; Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler.

Participants in the local 4-H clothing project hosted a public fashion revue July 1, 2017, at the Osage County Fair.

The clothing project is made up of two areas: clothing construction, in which the 4-H member sew their own clothes, and clothing buymanship, in which the 4-H member purchases an outfit.  With a theme of “4-H Clover Review”, 15 4-H members participated.

Grand and reserve champions were: Senior boys buymanship, grand, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler; junior boys buymanship – grand, Solomon Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve,  Brody Thompson, Clover Wrangler; senior girls buymanship, grand, Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Josie Thompson; junior girls buymanship, grand, Addyson Easter, Vasser Blue Ribbon, reserve, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; construction, grand, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers, reserve, Chloe Cannon, North Osage.

Osage City student wins statewide award for Put the Brakes on Fatalities poster

An Osage City student artist has been named as a statewide winner in the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day statewide contests.

Austin Lamb, of Osage City, Nora Ackermann, Andover, and Alyson Welch, Overland Park, were named as statewide winners in the poster contest. Each student was first selected as a regional winner and will receive a bicycle and a helmet donated by Safe Kids Kansas at presentations at their schools.

A total of 1,048 Kansas kids ages 5 to 13 participated in the poster contest. As statewide winners in their age categories, they will also receive a Kindle Fire tablet from the Kansas Turnpike Authority, a $50 gift card from the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas, a $50 gift card from Walmart and movie passes from AAA Kansas.

Winners of the two statewide contests were announced as part of the national safety campaign Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.

Multi-county nutrition program announces new executive director

Angie Logan

Long time social worker Angie Logan assumed the helm of Mid-America Nutrition Program as executive director on Sept. 20, 2017. Logan said she hopes to find ways to enrich the multi- county Meals on Wheels program by securing additional funding and working to create intergenerational relationships between the elders and school age youth.

“I am excited to join our program because I believe that we are the eyes and the ears of the homebound elderly thereby preventing premature admissions to nursing homes and undue emergency room visits,” Logan said.

She has worked in Kansas as a licensed master’s level social worker since 1999 and has worked in a variety of diverse settings. Throughout her career, she has engaged in policy, direct practice, research, teaching, grant writing and fundraising initiatives.

National 4-H Week: Former 4-Her honored as Osage County’s 4-H Alumni

Presenting the 4-H Alumni Award to Devin Ramsey, holding award, are, from left, Savannah Bean, Morgan Woodbury, Maddy Montgomery, Devin Ramsey, Casten Wirth, and Dalton Hook.

Osage County 4-H has recognized former 4-Her Devin Ramsey as the 4-H Alumni of the Year.

Devin, who was nominated by Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, was a member of the Carbondale Rustler 4-H Club for 12 years. Devin’s favorite project was the dog project, and since she has been out of 4-H she has been a dog project leader for Osage County, and helps the superintendent at the fairs.

The 4-H Alumni award is given as a way to thank former 4-Hers for giving back to their home county’s 4-H clubs. Ramsey was recognized for the award during the 2016 Osage County 4-H’s achievement night.

National 4-H Week: Club reviews exhibits during walking tour of county fair

North Osage 4-H Club on its annual tour of exhibits, from left: Wylie Young, Brock Robert, Alex Strother, Amanda Malone, Lynnea Nelson, John Sand, Gabe Butel, Dylon Harris, Gage Cannon and Chloe Cannon.

The North Osage 4-H Club held its annual club tour during the Overbrook Osage County Fair, Aug. 12, 2017. The tour, which consists of walking through the Coffman building and livestock barns, gives club members an opportunity to share and talk about their projects exhibited during the fair.

National 4-H Week: 4-H clubs rely on a little help from their friends

Awarding a Friend of the 4-H Award to Robyn Williams, right, are local 4-H members, from left, Garret Croucher, Dalton Hook, Morgan Woodbury, Gracie Croucher and Tracy Wilk.

4-H members and clubs are supported throughout the year by numerous individuals and businesses. Without such support, the 4-H program would cease to continue helping young people make a difference in the communities, learn life skills and develop leadership skills. To recognize the individuals who provide support, the organization annually gives out Friend of 4-H awards. Three people from Osage County were honored by Frontier Extension District 4-H clubs as Friends of 4-H, Chris Reno, Kelly Vandruff, and Robyn Williams.

Reno was nominated by Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, due to his graciousness in allowing the club to use his store front window for the past year and half. This has given the club the opportunity to promote Osage County 4-H and the club’s projects.

Vandruff was nominated by Burlingame 4-H Club, because she is always willing to help out with the club’s activities and community service projects. She also has offered fun and new ideas for the club to try.

Williams, of Edward Jones Investments, was nominated by Willing Workers 4-H Club. She has provided a generous cash award to the top two showmen in both age divisions of the Osage County Fair round robin showmanship contest since 2002. Whenever possible, Williams has attended the contest to personally present the award to the winners.

National 4-H Week: Hook family continues support for 4-H through generations

Osage County’s 4-H Family of the Year, the Don and Jenise Hook family, front from left, Melissa Bean, Charleigh Bean, Jenise Hook, Savannah Bean, Savannah Bean, back, Tyler Bean, Dalton Hook, Don Hook, and Adam Bean.

Don and Jenise Hook and their family were named as Osage County’s 4-H Family of the Year for 2017, continuing a rich tradition of 4-H in their family. Don’s and Jenise’s mothers were active members of 4-H in the 1950s, they both were active in 4-H as youth, and their four children, Adam, Tyler, Jamie, and Dalton, also continued in 4-H. The Hooks now have two daughters-in-law, one who was also a 4-H member.

Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club recognized the family’s continuous support to the local club, Frontier Extension District and the Kansas 4-H organization.

It was less than 10 years ago that the Vassar Blue Ribbon membership was surviving on a mere handful of members. The Hooks maintained a positive presence and leadership, kept their children engaged, and plugged forward. Today the club stands strong with 25-plus members and a slew of supportive parents. Fast forward to today, you will see the Hooks hosting meetings, leading committees, assisting families, and consistently supporting the greater 4-H community.

The Hook and Bean family’s combined years of 4-H participation totals 62 years. The Hooks’ granddaughter, Savannah Bean, represents the family’s fourth generation to participate in 4-H.

Back in Time: Whirlwind of land acquisition floods Marais des Cygnes Valley

Shown in a June 1975 photo of Melvern Lake, its then-new 12-story control tower is already a landmark on the water.

About 1972, Corps of Engineers attorneys obtained easement for the Melvern Reservoir in Osage County, Kan. The details involved in acquiring an easement for land to be flooded by the Melvern Reservoir in Osage County, Kan., is explained by a Corps of Engineers attorney, Ben Bonner, left, to sellers of the easement, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Evertson, of Topeka, Kan. The easement permitted flooding of 180 acres of the 350-acre tract owned by the couple. Exemplifying the speed of the process, the Evertsons received their check 10 days after signing the agreement.

MdCV FFA members keep busy as fall arrives

MdCV Adopt-A-Highway crew, front, Ethan Cannon, Gannon Schimmel, Tristen Duncan, Grace Bradely, Isabella Toman, Makayla Baker, Alaina Marsh, Chloe Volkman, Josey Weimer, Sadie McGowin, Koby Vanderpool, Alexis Hidalgo, back, Colby Vogeler, Dalton Hook, Frank Warner, Kaelin Criqui, H.B. Booth, Jevan Gregg, Kali Holt, Noah Criqui, Steven Clower, Haylee Miles, Bayleigh Lacey, Brice Marsh, Sarah Green.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members have been active as the new school year gets underway, with some attending the Greenhand Conference at Ottawa, joining a large group that cleaned the highway south of Melvern, and attending the Kansas State Fair. Here’s an update on the busy group’s recent activities:

Greenhand Conference

On Sept. 13, 2017, Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members Tony Cannon, Brice Marsh, Sadie McGowin, Izzy Toman, and Colby Vogeler attended the annual Greenhand Conference, at the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, Ottawa, Kan.

The conference is for first-year FFA members. Students participate in workshops that are presented by the East Central District officers, along with help from two Kansas State officers. Greenhands took a test over FFA history and information they learned in class. They participated in activities that included leadership building, official dress, career development events, and supervised agricultural experience programs.

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