Category Archives: People

Hidden History: Homesteaders lay foundation for Osage County’s future

A cornerstone carved by William S. White reminds of the connection of the home’s past owners to its current inhabitants.

By Wendi Bevitt

Every home has a story. It is a standing memorial of the people that have lived and loved within its walls – each family tailoring it to meet their tastes and needs.

One Osage County family is seeing to preserve the original details that were lovingly added to their century-year-old home.

Michael and Sara Floyd bought their rural Osage County, Kan., home and 4.5 acres in 2014, and the home and barn were in much need of some love and attention. It is the Floyds’ goal to restore both structures back to their former glory.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members attend Washington Leadership Conference

Kathryn Vaught and Brookelyn Janssen visit Washington D.C.

Two Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members, Kathryn Vaught and Brookelyn Janssen, along with other FFA members from throughout the country, converged on Washington, D.C., this past summer to analyze their personal skills and interests, develop leadership skills and create a meaningful community service plan that will make a difference in their home communities.

More than 2,100 students participated in the 2017 Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student experience that the National FFA Organization hosts each year. June 13-18, 2017, Vaught and Janssen and other FFA members spent a week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff members. In workshops, seminars and small groups, FFA members focused on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters.

Students also analyzed the needs of their communities back home, developed a wide-range and high-impact community service initiatives, and implemented their plan with the help of their FFA chapter upon return home.

During their time in D.C., Vaught and Janssen also experienced the history of the nation’s capital, touring landmarks including the Washington Monument, War Memorial, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, among others.

When asked about their most memorable experience during the trip, Vaught said, “The WLC staff taught us how we can use everybody’s differences to work together and they also helped us set personal goals by teaching us how to set an achievable one.”

“Going to WLC was such a life changer,” Janssen said. “I definitely came back with an open mind and a better plan to make not just my school a better place but my community too! Seeing so many others that enjoy the same association as I do was amazing. I love meeting new people and watching how their eyes lit up when they talked about something they loved.”

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers work to serve wildfire-affected family

MdCV FFA members help cleanup after a wildfire, loading fire damaged posts onto a trailer.

The Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers worked on their leadership skills, organized the year of events, and assisted a family affected by recent wildfires during their annual officer retreat held July 5-7, 2017.

This year’s retreat began early Wednesday morning as officers Josey Weimer, Dalton Hook, Chloe Volkman, Kali Holt, Kathryn Vaught, Alaina Marsh, Brookelyn Janssen and Destiny Massey headed towards Wichita to tour Cargill Innovation Center, where they met with Kassie Curran, Cargill program director and past Kansas FFA officer, who spoke to the group about opportunities and the business at Cargill. This was followed by a tour of the facility.

The officers then spent the afternoon visiting the Sedwick County Zoo enjoying the various zoo animals. Afterwards they headed to Greensburg, where they visited the changes in the city in the 10 years following a devastating tornado. That evening the officers sat down to look deep inside themselves to reflect on personal growth and team unity as well as the importance of being positive role models at the school.

The next day, the officers headed to the Giles Ranch, located between Bucklin and Ashland, where the destructive wildfires destroyed thousands of acres, livestock, and the homes of the Giles daughters and their families.

The MdCV FFA officers spent the next two days helping out by picking up fire damaged fence posts after crews that were rebuilding over 200 miles of fence on the ranch. Members also helped reorganize a storage container of donated items for distribution.

Primary election whittles Burlingame school board candidates to 3

The only primary election in Osage County on Aug. 1, 2017, determined three candidates for a seat on the USD 454 Board of Education in the November general election.

In Tuesday’s election, four candidates, Jackie Diver, Bruce W. Love, Kylee Simmons and Donna Young, vied for a majority of votes to be on the general election ballot.

Unofficial results of this week’s election were released by the Osage County election office last night as follows: Young, 60; Diver, 44; Love, 21; and Simmons, 17.

The names of Young, Diver, and Love will be on the Nov. 7, 2017, general election ballot, in a race for the USD 454 Board of Education position No. 7.

Schaub to serve as Frontier Extension District horticulture agent

Ryan Schaub

Ryan Schaub will begin serving as the Frontier Extension District’s horticulture extension agent, effective Aug. 6, 2017. Working out of the district’s office in Garnett, Schaub will provide leadership for programing in Anderson, Franklin and Osage counties. Horticulture agents develop and deliver educational programs such as horticulture crop production, marketing and economics related to the horticulture industry, landscape design maintenance and improvement, conservation of natural resources and pest management.

Schaub earned a Bachelor’s in Animal Sciences and Industry from Kansas State University, and has most recently been serving as the agriculture and natural resources extension agent at Eureka, Kan., in Greenwood County. He grew up on a small farm in Franklin County and was active in the 4-H and youth development program.

Hidden History: Sac and Fox orphan ensures record of tribes’ life in Osage County

Julia Goodell, right, and her adopted daughter Fannie Baker both made their marks on the Sac and Fox tribes’ history in Osage County.

By Wendi Bevitt

Prior to their removal to Kansas around 1845, the Sac (or Sauk) and Fox tribes were located in Iowa. Most often they are mentioned together, but had originally been two distinct groups.

During the 1700s, French attacks on the Foxes (the Fox Wars of 1712 to 1733) in the Great Lakes Region caused the two tribes to join forces and form a close alliance that helped to affect unification.

The Sac and Fox reservation in Kansas was 435,200 acres located at the headwaters of the Osage River, the first agency being in Franklin County. In 1859, the agency was moved into Osage County, at Quenemo, with Perry Fuller (former employer of Frank James) as agent. The agency also employed an interpreter, John Goodell, to assist in government negotiations with the tribe.

John Goodell was of European descent and raised in New York. He became familiar with the language and customs of the Indians, and served as an interpreter for the government in both Iowa and Kansas.

In 1840, Goodell married Julia Mitchell. Julia was a member of the Sac and Fox tribes and was a survivor of the Black Hawk War. This war was an attempt by Sauk leader Black Hawk to lead the Sauk and associated tribes to resettle lands in Illinois that had been ceded by the tribes in an 1804 treaty. Finding a place to call home that was both acceptable to the tribe and the government was something that would plague the tribe continuously, and translating during these negotiations was the main responsibility for John Goodell.

John and Julia Goodell’s home at the Quenemo agency was an asylum for orphans, the sick, and needy. They adopted twins Fannie and Isaac Baker, children of Indian trader Isaac Baker and his Fox wife, who died after their birth. Mr. Baker pursued the fur trade, and eventually became a prominent banker in St. Louis, Mo.

In 1859, the Sac and Fox tribe paid for Fannie and a handful of other young people, including the daughter of the Indian agent, to attend Baker University. Baker University was the first college in Kansas territory having opened in 1858. Perry Fuller, the Sac and Fox Agency representative, was also living in Baldwin City at the time.

King-Orozco to be digital content assistant for sustainability publication company

TOPEKA, Kan. – Queren King-Orozco, originally of Osage City, has accepted a position with Ogden Publications, Topeka, Kan.,  as a digital content assistant.

King-Orozco will work across Ogden’s brands, managing social media accounts, creating e-newsletters and updating websites.

Participants revel in summertime fun during 2017 Osage County Fair parade

Conklin Plumbing was splish-splashing while taking a bath on their first place float in the 2017 Osage County Fair parade.

The annual Osage County Fair parade, sponsored by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, was Thursday, June 29, 2017. The theme for the parade this year was “Summertime Fun”.

Diane Michael, parade chairman, coordinated a variety of entries including the mounted color guard and 1st Division Infantry Band from Ft. Riley, Boy Scouts, emergency vehicles, including the city and county law enforcement, ambulance and fire department, parade marshal Ann Lusk, and Mr. and Mrs. Osage City Richard and Jeanette Swarts, floats, golf carts and ATVs, band, politicians, and horses.

The float entry awards were presented as follows: Conklin Plumbing, first place, $125; Friends of Pomona State Park, Going Retro, second place, $100; RCIL, third place, $75; Osage City Middle School cheerleaders, fourth place, $50. The golf cart and ATV entry awards went to: Osage City-Great Life Golf Course, first place, $30; Jody Lohmeyer Stark, State Farm Insurance, second place, $20; First National Bank of Osage City, third place, $10. The high school band competition first place prize of $100 was presented to  the Osage City High School band.

As Diane Michael stated, we are hoping that next year there will be more involvement of floats, school bands, etc., thus there will be have a larger parade for 2018. Your support contributes to the growth of our community.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce and Diane Michael, parade committee chairman thanked those that participated in the 2017 Osage County Fair parade and noted everyone that attended seemed to have a good time and enjoyed the entries.

Mr. and Mrs. Swarts named as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Osage City 2017 are Richard and Jeanette Swarts, (driven in a Corvette convertible by the Oglebys).

Richard and Jeanette Swarts represented Osage City in the  2017 Osage County Fair Parade as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City. They said they feel very honored and appreciative and would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for selecting them.

Richard has been a life-long resident of Osage City. After high school graduation, he attended Flint Hills Vo-Tech, studying automotive. He has held a variety of employment including DuPont, Buzz’s Automotive, co-owner of Buzz’s Automotive, and Kansas Department of Transportation. Upon retiring from KDOT, he now assists his brother-in-law with his farming operation.

Jeanette grew up in Burlingame and moved to Osage City after they got married. After high school graduation, she received a business-secretarial degree from Emporia State University. Retirement in 2012 concluded a combination 40 years of service with Hallmark Cards and Kansas State High School Activities Association. Jeanette has enjoyed supporting the community, where she has served on the school board for 12 years, recreation commission for 12 years, and treasurer for the Osage City Country Club. Jeanette continues and is enjoying the opportunity to serve Osage City as executive director for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce and Third Ward representative on the Osage City Council.

The couple is always looking for ways to improve and support the community. On June 28, they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. Together, Richard and Jeanette’s hobbies include attending car shows and traveling. They are active with the Twin Lakes Cruisers Car Group and organizing the annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Car Show. They enjoy spending time at The Lodge, in Branson, Mo., and attending Kansas State Football games as season ticket holders. They also enjoy spending time with their two sons, Shawn, Baker, Mont, and Ty and Jill, Shawnee, Kan., five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and four step-great grandchildren.

Osage County Fair honors Lusk as parade grand marshal

Ann Lusk was the grand marshal of the 2017 Osage County Fair parade; chauffeured by Lorraine Davis.

Longtime Osage City resident Ann Lusk was chosen as the 2017 Osage County Fair parade grand marshal.

Ann said that she is very honored and pleased to be asked to be the grand marshal. Osage City has always been an important place to her. She was born in a hospital in Osage City and lived on a farm near Olivet (now under the Melvern Lake). Osage City was the town where they went to buy tractors, groceries and clothes. She also enjoyed the skating rink and the regional basketball tournament.

After Harold and she were married, they opened a DeSoto dealership on Market Street. They bought the house where she lives now and where their children, James and Luree, grew up.

Harold was sheriff of Osage County and later chief of law enforcement for Kansas Fish and Game. When he retired, they began buying rental houses, of which Lusk Properties now has 25 rental houses in Osage City.

Ann has been president of many organizations, including Sorosis, Mothers’ Study Club, and Osage City PTA, and has been treasurer of just about everything. Ann said, “In 89 years you get a lot of things done.”

Ann said she would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for choosing her to be the parade grand marshal and it will be a treasured memory.

State judge association honors Osage County Magistrate Judge Wine

Judge Taylor Wine

TOPEKA, Kan. – Osage County Magistrate Judge Taylor Wine was awarded the Lee Nusser Award for Outstanding Magistrate Judge of 2017 by the Kansas District Magistrate Judges Association, during the association’s annual meeting held last month in Topeka.

Wine, who serves in the 4th Judicial District, also was re-elected first vice president of KDMJA.

Riley County Magistrate Judge Sheila Hochhauser, last year’s award recipient, presented the award and cited Wine’s work ethic and his role as legislative liaison.

“Taylor was chosen because he exemplifies what it means to be a caring and compassionate judge,” Hochhauser said. “The clerks in his judicial district wrote me a letter telling me all about that. Also, he received the award because he represents the KDMJA in an excellent manner at the Capitol during the legislative sessions.”

Wine, a native of Madison, Kan., in Greenwood County, earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University after graduating from Pittsburg State University. He was in private practice in Osage County until being appointed to the bench in October 2011. In the 4th Judicial District, he hears cases in Osage, Coffey and Franklin counties. He and his wife, Heather, have three sons and live in Lyndon, Kan.

Round robin contest tests exhibitors’ skills in the show ring

Winners of the round robin contest at the 2017 Osage County Fair, with division judge Bill Disberger, left, are Royce Cowan, Morgan Woodbury, Madison Smitha, Ainsley Corwine, Bonnie Young, Tracy Wilk, Akaylee Prunty, Grace Croucher, Kinsley Garrison, Garrett Croucher, and back, round robin superintendent Sally Wilk and Josie Thompson, 4-H junior leader.

By Sally Wilk

The ultimate goal for many 4-H livestock exhibitors at the Osage County Fair each year is to qualify for the round robin contest. Each individual livestock show includes a showmanship contest. Winners of the intermediate and senior age divisions of each species’ showmanship contest qualify for the round robin. During the round robin, each showman must show animals from each of the divisions, horse, sheep, swine, goat, dairy, and beef, to determine the best overall showman of the fair.

To prepare for the round robin, 4-H’ers work together to learn how to show the animals they normally do not work with. By doing so, they learn to communicate with one another, meet other 4-H’ers and work together, as well as learn something new. Becoming a champion in round robin is truly a crowning achievement for a 4-Her.

Winners this year included Royce Cowan, senior dairy division winner; Morgan Woodbury, senior beef division winner; Madison Smitha, senior swine division winner; Ainsley Corwine, senior goat division winner; Bonnie Young, reserve grand champion senior division, senior horse division winner; Tracy Wilk, grand champion senior division, senior sheep division winner; Akaylee Prunty, grand champion intermediate division, intermediate sheep division winner; Grace Croucher, reserve grand champion intermediate division, intermediate beef division winner; Kinsley Garrison, intermediate swine division winner; Garrett Croucher, intermediate goat division winner.

Fair association announces results of 2017 Osage County Fair

The Osage County Fair Association has released the results of the livestock shows held during the fair, June 28-July 1, 2017. Participants’ ribbon placing and 4-H club affiliation are listed as initials, with a key at the end.

To enjoy the outdoors, Agnes goes camping

Buckled in for a tour in a UTV, Agnes Green in the back seat with her nephew David Jones and Edith Chambers in the front, hold on as driver and ranger Rob Dunham prepares to take off.

POMONA STATE PARK – What do you do if you’re 91 years old and you suddenly get the urge to go camping? Well, if you’re Agnes Green, and a resident at Life Care Center of Osawatomie, you and a few friends pack up a bus and head to the lake!

That’s what happened Wednesday at Pomona State Park, when two buses of nursing home residents arrived to spend the night in cabins at the park and have a camping experience they wouldn’t soon forget.

Somewhat on the spur of the moment, the trip came together after Life Care activities director Tammy Conner was sitting with Agnes outside the center one evening.

“Agnes said she loved sitting outdoors and could sit out there all night,” Conner said. The two talked about being outdoors and Agnes said she would like to go camping again someday.

Conner, who is constantly seeking fun things to do for residents of the center, started thinking about how a camping trip for Agnes and some of the residents could happen. After an internet search, she came across information about Pomona State Park’s handicap accessible cabins. Noting the park was within easy driving distance of Osawatomie, she thought it could provide a great camping experience for the residents, even those with limited mobility.

Conner contacted the park about making reservations, and after talking with park staff, the plan really started to come together.

According to Debbie Rinzler, administrative specialist at the park, she and other park staff and members of the Friends of Pomona State Park began working to make it an unforgettable camping experience.

“We wanted to make it as fun for them as possible,” Rinzler said.

Several local businesses were contacted about providing some special treats, and as it turned out the campers had a late night pizza party by the campfire, courtesy of Green Acres Pizza & Sub, and warm cinnamon rolls for breakfast Thursday morning baked up fresh by Lamont Hill Restaurant.

Sunflower Days 4-H Fair offers exhibitors first chance of season to show their best

Exhibitors line up some of Osage County’s best cattle during the stockman competition at Sunflower Days 4-H Fair.

Exhibitor results of the 2017 Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair, held June 22-24, 2017, at Melvern, have been released as follows:

Lyndon Leaders now on display at city park

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members proudly show off their new sign at Lyndon City Park, front from left, Ryan Bones, Allie Kneisler, James Marcotte, Garrett Shoup, Morgan Young; back, Ethan Kneisler, Cade Shoup, Leanne Shoup, Kaelin Bones, Reanna Marcotte, James Marcotte, and Kendall Young.

By Leanne Shoup, Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had its monthly meeting on June 11, 2017, at the Lyndon City Park. Announcements included the upcoming fair dates and the club’s decision to help clean up Memorial Day flowers at the city cemetery on June 18.

The program included every member showing one project they plan to take for the fair. Some of the projects shown included woodworking and visual arts.

Following the meeting the club had a potluck meal. They ended their time together by taking a photo in front of the new sign the club donated to the “Welcome to Lyndon” sign at Lyndon City Park.

Local TOPS member becomes state queen

Laura A. Davis, of TOPS KS0289, Osage City, Kan., was crowned 2016 State Queen on April 22, 2017, at the TOPS State Recognition Days, in Wichita, Kan.

Davis lost 72 pounds to reach her goal. Along the way, she says that she has learned the difference between good carbs and bad carbs, and that calories in should be less than calories out.

“And to enjoy your journey!” she said. “If it’s cooking healthier meals, finding fun ways to move more, and attending the chapter meetings, just have fun with it.”

TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, and has helped millions of people to do that for more than 60 years. The organization is nonprofit and noncommercial and offers a network of thousands of weight-loss support groups across the United States and Canada. These groups, called chapters, provide a nonjudgmental place where people learn how they can make changes and get the support they need to reach their goals.

There are three chapters in Osage County. Meeting places and times are: Grace Lutheran Church, 310 Holliday St., Osage City, which meets on Monday at 6:30 p.m.; United Methodist Church, 1005 N. Maple St., Overbrook, which meets on Saturday at 7:45 a.m.; and Carbondale City Hall, 234 Main St., Carbondale, which meets on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Veterans, students make their ‘connections’ for trip to nation’s capital

Area veterans and their teenage guardians from Lyndon and Central Heights high schools take a moment at the World War II Memorial during their tour last week of Washington memorials as part of Honor Flight 17.

By Cleon Rickel

On Merle Marsh’s last flight to Washington, D.C., he was in the back of a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress.

“I was there once during the war,” Marsh, of Carbondale, Kan., said. “We were the crew of the week, so we got to fly into Washington.”

His return to Washington occurred June 5, when he flew in the front of another Boeing aircraft, this time a commercial 737 jetliner.

Marsh was one of three World War II veterans who were flown to Washington by Honor Flight 17, organized by high school students at Lyndon High School and Central Heights High School.

Marsh’s son-in-law, Don Forbes, also of Carbondale, and a Vietnam-era veteran, accompanied him on the flight.

Marsh went into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944 and was trained to be a tailgunner in the large four-engine bombers in Florida. The war in Germany ended before he was assigned combat missions.

“We flew four hours every other day,” he recalled.

Being a tailgunner was just a shade less dangerous than being in the ball turret in the belly of the big bombers. To get to the two 50-caliber machines in the tail of the bomber, the tailgunner had to crawl into a tight, cold and drafty space and sit on what amounted to a bicycle-type seat in a kneeling position and leaning forward on his chest parachute.

“It was a little scary but after the first time back there, it isn’t bad,” Marsh said.

The tailgunners had to be alert for fast, nimble enemy airplanes roaring up behind their bombers.

To prepare them for the speedy German Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf fighters, the tailgunners would train on Jeeps with shotguns attached at the back. As the Jeeps bounced along at 20 miles as hour or so, clay pigeons would be launched at or behind them.

Though it was Marsh’s second trip to Washington, it was the first for his son-in-law Forbes.

“The whole trip is awesome,” Forbes said. “It’s geared for the veterans but it’s nice to see a lot of young people. It’s heartening to see young people take such an interest.”

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers ‘transform’ at state convention

MdCV FFA officers, front, Kathryn Vaught and Alaina Marsh; middle, Chloe Volkman, Brookelyn Janssen, and Josey Weimer; back, Dalton Hook.

By MdCV FFA Reporter Kathryn Vaught

The 2017-2018 Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers were able to “Transform” their skills as leaders while attending the 89th Kansas State FFA Convention May 31-June 2, 2017, at the Kansas State University campus, with over 2,000 members and guests in attendance. This year’s convention theme was “Transform – Purpose to Action”.

MdCV officers Josey Weimer, Dalton Hook, Chloe Volkman, Alaina Marsh, Brookelyn Janssen, and Kathryn Vaught were able to attend workshops and teamwork skills, browse a career expo showing the plentiful amount of jobs throughout agriculture, and even represent their chapter as delegates.

While attending the convention sessions officers also listened to incredible speakers that included Tom Thelen, motivational speaker, and the 2016-17 Kansas state officers and their retiring addresses.

Janssen and Vaught were recognized as they received scholarships to attend the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference in June in Washington, D.C.

Hidden History: ‘Kiss the flag’ – Mobs enforce patriotism in Osage County

By Wendi Bevitt

The Great War may have just ended, but in November of 1918 emotions still ran high in Osage County regarding the duty to one’s country. Osage County made newspaper headlines all over Kansas for patriotism gone wild. The newspaper headlines read, “Osage County No Place for A Pro-German” and “Ben Kissed Old Glory”. Within those articles were the stories of two men that within a week had both been publicly corrected for their believed pro-German sentiment.

The “Ben” of the headlines was Ben Tucker, a farmer living three miles east of Scranton. Tucker was fed up with the government and had become so anti-government as to see no good in any of it. His frustrations led him to spout off to some Carbondale locals that he did not believe the reports of the German atrocities and he “would rather have his children taken care of by Germans than by these sons of … here”.

These men were aware that Tucker had neither participated in the recent Liberty Bond drive, buying war bonds to support the Allied effort, nor had he followed through on his contract to buy a $50 war bond previously, and they were incensed. So after the men parted ways, they resolved to teach Tucker a lesson.

The next time he came to town and the argument arose once again, one of the Carbondale men punched him. The fight was on, but Tucker came out on the losing end. With Ben bloody and battered, the winners encouraged him to retract his former statements and to kneel and kiss the flag. The promise made and the bloody flag as a testament, he was allowed to retreat home with the pledge by the patriots to not press charges against Tucker for disloyalty unless his lesson did not have the desired effect.

Spring graduates earn certificates, degrees at Flint Hills Technical College

Flint Hills Technical College held its 2017 spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20. Students from Osage County receiving degrees or technical certificates included:

Division of Health and Human Services, Technical Certificate

Dental assisting – Kady Nicole Akers, Scranton, graduating with honors; Keisha Marie Branine, Osage City; Claire Cecilia Feltner, Lyndon; Peyton Breann Workman, Overbrook.

Health occupations technology – Jennifer Grace Cox, Melvern, graduating with honors, National Honor Society; Bethanie Genae Gilliland, Osage City, graduating with highest honors, National Honor Society.

Practical nursing – Madeline Mart Burkdoll, Melvern.

Division of Technology, Technical Certificate

Welding technology – Colton Foster Tyler, Osage City.

Division of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree

Automotive technology – Dalton Theodore Gifford, Melvern.

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