Category Archives: People

Meet a local 4-Her: Josie Thompson, sharing her 4-H experience with younger members

Josie Thompson, right, enjoys a moment with a fellow 4-Her.

Josie Thompson has been in 4-H for nine years, and currently serves as vice president of the Willing Workers 4-H Club.

Projects she has taken to fair include photography, foods, beef and pigs at the county fairs, and photography at the state fair.

She said her favorite 4-H activity has been attending 4-H camp at Rock Springs as a camp counselor. “I really enjoyed going to camp when I was younger,” she said. “It was fun to now go as a counselor and see the younger 4-Hers have just as much fun as I did.”

Her best 4-H memory was serving as the Osage County 4-H Queen. “I enjoyed handing out ribbons and helping 4-Hers in the show ring,” Josie said. “I also really like showing my animals at the fairs.”

Meet a local 4-Her: Charleigh Bean, cooking and sewing like Grandma

Charleigh Bean, a one-year member of Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club, entered a number of projects at the local fairs this year including meat goats, foods, and sewing. Her results were: Meat goat, Overbrook, blue; foods, Osage City, purple; foods, Overbrook, blue; sewing, Osage City, blue; sewing, Overbrook, blue

Charleigh’s favorite 4-H activity of the year was sewing and cooking with Great Grandma Betty Warren. She said her best 4-H experience this year was: “Having baby goats born at our house for the first time.”

Meet a local 4-Her: Savannah Davis enjoys learning how to raise goats

Savannah Davis, center, had fun with friends at 4-H camp this summer.

Savannah Davis is a six-year member of 4-H and served as president of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club.

Projects taken to the fairs this year and her results: Meat goats, Melvern, reserve grand champion; meat goat, Overbrook, blue; woodworking, Osage City, reserve grand champion; woodworking, Overbrook, purple; woodworking, state fair, blue (first time); sewing, Osage City, blue; sewing, Overbrook, blue.

Savannah’s favorite 4-H activity from the past year was raising goats. Her best 4-H memories this year were going to 4-H camp, and working on her first woodworking project with her stepdad.

Meet a local 4-Her: Gradey McNally, first-year member explores 4-H opportunities

Hi, my name is Gradey McNally and I am a first year member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club.  For my first year in 4-H I wanted to do beef, swine, visual arts and foods and nutrition.

In my beef project i bought two steers, Big Red, who was my Red Angus, and Herf, my Hereford.  I was able to show them at the Melvern, Osage City and Overbrook fairs. For my pigs, I had two that I was able to show at the Osage City and Overbrook fairs.

With this being my first year of showing in 4-H, I had so much fun working with my animals and showing them as well as meeting other kids who had the same projects that I did in the barns.

For cooking I made one of my favorite kinds of cookies, No Bakes, and got purples each time I entered them! For visual arts, I put a Lego kit together and entered that at two of the local fairs.

Besides the fairs, one of my major highlights was getting to go to 4-H Camp at Rock Springs!  While at camp I had so much fun crawdad fishing, swimming and playing gaga ball!  I also got to go to our district wide judging day, where I learned a lot about 4-H and different project areas such as FCS, horticulture, photography and the Skill-a-thon contest!

A few other activities I attended were our district’s officers training, since I was one of our club’s song and recreation leaders, County Club Days, where I gave a demonstration on how to read a pig’s ear notch, then I got to go onto Regional Club Days where I gave it again.

When I went to the to the southeast area contests, in Emporia, I was able to participate in the horticulture, FCS and crops contests!  I have also had the opportunity to attend the livestock judging contests that we were offered in the Frontier District.

I also participated in my club’s local activities such as our annual East Egg hunt, Christmas caroling, making Christmas packages for local men and women who are deployed overseas, and helping with the annual Melvern Thanksgiving dinner and our local Trunk or Treat.  I cannot wait to start my second year of 4-H and continue having fun while learning about my projects!

Meet a local 4-Her: Braelyn McNally, active, involved club member

Hi, my name is Braelyn McNally and I am a member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club, where I am serving as our club’s vice president. This was my third year in 4-H and again this year I wanted to do five projects. They were: Beef, swine, clothing, foods and nutrition and visual arts. In my beef project I bought two steers, Cubby, my club calf, and Sharley, my Charolais. I got Reserve Grand Champion with Sharley at the Osage City fair, and Reserve Grand Champion with Cubby at the Overbrook fair! For the Melvern Stockman competition, I got champion junior with my Charolais. For my pigs, I had two that I was able to show at the Osage City and Overbrook fairs. I had so much fun showing all of my animals and hanging out with my friends in the barns.

For cooking I made one of my favorites, lemon poppy seed bread, and I entered it in two of our fairs. For clothing, I bought an outfit that I have got a lot of use out of this past summer. For visual arts, I made a spinning painting art project and I painted a gourd that I entered at all three fairs.

Besides the fairs, I enjoyed 4-H Camp at Rock Springs, as well as our district wide judging day, where I learned a lot about 4-H and different project areas such as FCS, horticulture, photography, as well as a Skill-a-thon contest! That same day, I also participated in our favorite foods contest, where I received first place by making my favorite fruit smoothie that I like to make at home for my family. I created a cute centerpiece that coordinated with my smoothie theme.

A few other activities I attended were our district’s officers training, County Club Days, Regional Club Days and also our club events. When I went to the to the SE Area contests, in Emporia, I was able to participate in the favorite foods contest, and horticulture, FCS and crops! I have also had the opportunity to attend the livestock judging contests that were offered in the Frontier Extension District. I was really excited when I got first place in the junior division at the Osage City contest.

I also participated in my club’s local activities such as our annual East Egg hunt, making Christmas packages for local men and women who are deployed overseas, and helping with the annual Melvern Thanksgiving dinner and our local Trunk or Treat. My third year in 4-H did not disappoint and I can’t wait to start the next!

Meet a local 4-Her: Katie Lowry, a soft heart for frostbitten bucket calf

Katie Lowry, a four-year member of 4-H, serves as secretary for Burlingame 4-H Club. Projects she has taken to the fair include breeding heifer, bucket calf, horse, breeding swine and visual arts.

Her favorite 4-H activity from the year was participating in the fitting clinic and contest at the Overbrook fair. “It was fun and I learned a lot,” Katie said.

She said her best 4-H memory for the past year was “raising my bucket calf, Norman. He was born during blizzard like conditions and lost part of his ears because it was so cold!”

Meet a local 4-Her: Lauren Vande Velde, pie baker, photographer, quilter

The quilt Lauren made for her 4-H project received a blue ribbon at all three Osage County fairs.

Lauren Vande Velde is a member of Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club.

On projects I took to the fair, I received a purple ribbon for my strawberry/rhubarb pie at the Osage City fair, so I was able to enter it in the state fair in Hutchison. I earned a blue ribbon with the special honor of having my pie displayed throughout the entire time of the state fair. I learned that humidity can really affect the results of the crust.

I entered several photos in the Melvern, Osage City and Overbrook fairs, receiving blue ribbons. However, one of my photos of a yellow flower earned a purple ribbon so I entered it in the state fair, where I received a blue ribbon. I learned that the position of the sun in the sky when you take your picture can bring out more colors in your picture.

I also entered a quilt in all three county fairs, receiving blue ribbons each time. I learned it is extremely difficult to work with the satin sheet I used for the backing, but otherwise I had lots of fun with my grandma, who taught me how to sew.

My favorite 4-H activity from the year was selling mums as a fundraiser.

Meet a local 4-Her: Kinsey Vande Velde, purple ribbon cookie baker

Kinsey interviews with the judge at the Overbrook fair, where she was awarded a purple ribbon for her cookies.

Kinsey Vande Velde has been a member of Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club for one year.

On projects taken to the fair, I got a purple ribbon on my Oatmeal Crispies cookies at the Overbrook fair, but I am not old enough to take them to the state fair. I got a blue on my No Bake Cookies at the Melvern fair. I learned how to read recipes and measure out ingredients as this was my first time of making cookies. I had fun with my grandma, who taught me how to bake.

Her favorite 4-H activity from her first year in 4-H was selling mums as a fundraiser.

Meet a local 4-Her: Karley Lowry, calf cuddlin’ Cloverbud

Karley Lowry is a Cloverbud member of Burlingame 4-H Club. Projects she has taken to the fair include cooking, bucket calf, swine and visual arts. Her favorite 4-H activity the past year has been showing her bucket calf, Buttercup. Her best 4-H memory helping her club with the community food drive.

Meet a local 4-Her: Allie Reeser, friend of Cayuga ducks

My name is Allie Reeser, and I’m a member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club.  This is my fifth year in 4-H and my second year in poultry ducks.  In 2017 for my birthday, I received four babies Cayuga ducklings.  My dad built them a pen, and I began taking care of them every day.

This past spring, I received five more baby Cayuga ducks. Even though we have had to increase their pen sizes more and more, I love my ducks!

It was nice this year in having had one year’s experience of showing ducks, but I still didn’t feel like I knew enough, so we attended a conference in Manhattan on how to properly show and judge them. I have increased my poultry shows this year, participating in the spring poultry show in Burlington, where my duck received reserve grand champion; the Osage City fair, where my duck received grand champion; and at the Overbrook fair, where my duck received grand champion. I am becoming more confident in how to prepare my ducks for a show, so now I have begun to focus on showmanship and how to properly do this.

I am looking forward to expanding my poultry knowledge, and I have been studying for poultry judge at the Kansas State Fair. I can’t wait to see what next year holds for me in poultry!

Meet a local 4-Her: Bella Reeser, connoisseur of eclectic styles

My name is Bella Reeser, and I’m a member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club. This is my second year in 4-H and my second year in clothing buymanship.

Clothing buymanship is a project that I absolutely love!  The objective of this project is to pick out an outfit and accessories for the lowest price, while at the same time finding multiple uses for it.

My outfit this year is one I love! It was initially purchased for my dance recital-jazz class, but I have found so many other uses for this beautiful dress.  I’m an eccentric dresser, so I plan on wearing this on Sundays to church, and I’m going to use it for my Halloween costume this fall when I dress up as a 50s girl.

We bought the dress, gloves, and bow from my dance instructor for $65, and I had the shoes already at home; so I was able to put together this whole outfit, including accessories for only $65. My family is so impressed with all the different uses I have planned for my outfit, and I’m so excited about the fairs to be over, so I can start wearing my new dress!!

I took this project to all three Osage County fairs and received a purple at the Melvern fair, and a blue at the Osage City and Overbrook fairs. I also modeled it for the Osage County Style Revue and received a blue there as well.  I am so excited to begin shopping for my outfit for next year!

Meet a local 4-Her: Breckyn Peterson’s best 4-H experiences are at the fair

Breckyn Peterson is a member of Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club, currently serving as club reporter.

At the fair, Breckyn’s swine project received a blue. She also participated in open dog class and received a purple.

Her favorite 4-H activity of the last year was participating in the fairs. She thinks it’s fun to hang out with your 4-H friends. She said her best 4-H memory for the last year was at achievement night, watching Dalton get a pie in the face.

Meet a local 4-Her: Brynna Peterson, carpenter in the making

Gary DeForeest helps Brynna with her woodworking project.

Brynna Peterson is a two-year member of Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club. Brynna took a woodworking project to the fair, along with participating in the swine project.

Brynna’s favorite activity for the year was participating in the woodworking project meetings with Gary DeForeest. She looked forward to using all the tools he had in the shop.

Her best 4-H memory this year was spending time with friends at the fairs.

Meet a local 4-Her: Allie Kneisler enjoys new challenges

My name is Allie Kneisler and I just finished my fourth year of 4-H. I am a member of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club and the club vice president.

I really enjoy 4-H and have learned a lot in the last four years. I have participated in the livestock judging contest and the skill-a-thon. I also participated in the fashion review this year.

I really enjoy trying new things in 4-H. This year I tried the wildlife project and enjoyed learning about an animal. I also really enjoy learning how to sew – this year I made two quilts, a pillow and an apron. I like working with the animals and showing them at the fairs. This year I also went to the Kansas State Fair and participated in crop judging.

I think my favorite things about 4-H are club meetings and spending time with my friends at the fair.

Meet a local 4-Her: Ethan Kneisler, enthusiastic member, young leader

My name is Ethan Kneisler and this is my fifth year in 4-H. I am the president of the Osage County 4-H Council and the treasurer of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H club.

My favorite thing about 4-H is working on the projects and working with my animals. This year I showed a heifer, steer and pigs.

I also like the different competitions that 4-H offers, like the skill-a-thon, livestock judging, and the favorite foods contest.

This is the first year for me to be in the leadership project and to be a junior leader for livestock and electrical. I enjoy helping our younger members in the club with their projects.

I really enjoy 4-H and I plan to keep showing animals and working on my different projects. I also enjoy the 4-H meetings and hanging out with my friends at the fairs.

Republican women donate comfort items for local victims of abuse

Members of the Osage County Republican Women donated more than 600 household items to SOS Inc. in Lyndon, on Monday. The donated items included teen clothing, baby diapers, food, hygiene products and general household supplies.

Republican Women President Lois Butel, left, and project coordinator, Eunice Wedermyer, right, delivered the donations to Teresa Oliver, Osage County victim advocate, center, in two car loads.

SOS is a non-profit organization that assists adult and child victims of sexual and domestic violence, abuse or neglect in an effort to make their lives safer.

Kansas House honors Stephenson for his 100th birthday

Raymond “Lefty” Stephenson, of Scranton, center, was honored for his 100th birthday with a tribute from Kansas state representatives Ken Corbet, left, and Blaine Finch, not pictured; right is Raymond’s son, Terry.

An Osage County man achieved a major milestone in his life last week and was honored at the Kansas Statehouse for it. Raymond “Lefty” Stephenson, of Scranton, turned 100 years old on Sept. 22, 2019. As a tribute to Stephenson, two of Osage County’s state representatives, Ken Corbet and Blaine Finch, honored him with a tribute from the Kansas House on Thursday.

The official tribute document offered sincere congratulations to Stephenson from the representatives, Ron Ryckman, Kansas Speaker of the House, and the Chief Clerk of the House Susan W. Kannarr, and also summarized the World War II veteran’s service:

“’Lefty’ served 4 1/2 years in the Army 635th Tank Destroyer Unit, entering WWII during the Normandy invasion of Omaha Beach. He participated in 5 major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge, and mustered out with the rank of Buck Sergeant.

“Congratulations on this memorable achievement and best wishes for continued happiness,” the document reads.

When asked by spectators what he thought contributed to his long life, Stephenson said, “I didn’t smoke and I didn’t drink.”

Stephenson remains active politically as a member of the Republican Party, and he serves as a committeeman for the Scranton Precinct. He is known for his great sense of humor. He loves to go out to eat and tries to be as active as possible. He loves the Royals and Chiefs and teams of K-State and KU. He watches lots of sports, due in part to being a baseball player when he was younger. He played baseball for a farm team, as a left-handed pitcher and later as a center fielder, until he was 37, in Norton, Kan. He played baseball before, during and after his military career. He was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals after the war but wanted to stay home and continue to raise a family.

With Stephenson for the ceremony at the Kansas Statehouse on Sept. 26 were his daughter, Dana Webber, and son, Terry Stephenson, both of Scranton.

Hidden History: Mineral Springs gush healing waters at Carbondale-area sanitarium

A painting of the Mineral Springs Hotel, donated by the Jungmann family, hangs in the Osage County Historical Society museum, in Lyndon.

The Carbondale area was once home to Mineral Springs, a health resort that drew the attention of locals and others from far beyond the boundaries of the county that wanted to receive health benefits promoted by its proprietor. The resort, located about a mile north of the town, was founded by a man named Moses “M.D.” Merrill. Merrill’s Mineral Springs would go on to become a refuge for many seeking healing for more than 25 years.

M.D. Merrill purchased his land just north of modern-day Carbondale in 1859, a year after coal was discovered in the area. At the time, however, Merrill was living in Rock Island, Illinois, as a prosperous former land agent, newspaper editor, and railroad man. It wasn’t until 1884 that he moved to the north side of Carbondale and made use of springs located beneath his land. Local lore indicated that Merrill’s springs were located on an Indian camping spot, where they constructed dams across the beautiful stream flowing from the spring, calling this fount, “medicine water”. Merrill did not immediately realize the benefit that these waters held, however.

Within two years of his arrival, Merrill decided to find out the truth of the healing aspects of his springs and sought out the expert opinion of Dr. Albert Merrill, reportedly unrelated, of St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Merrill analyzed the water and reported that the water contained purgative salts that could be utilized in treating digestive disorders.

M.D. Merrill seized the opportunity to bring the healing waters to the public and started selling his water for curative purposes locally and shipping orders as far as New York. For a time, there were as many as 100 visitors per day to the springs coming in “vehicles of every description, from the barouche and road wagon to the typical Mexican burro, loaded with kegs, cans, big jugs, and little jugs to be filled with those marvelous waters”, as reported by the Carbondalian. The spring water was also sold and delivered at 15 cents a gallon by the Cooke Fuel Company, of Topeka, which also sold Osage County coal.

MdCV Stuco members learn to use resilience to face challenges

MdCV High School Stuco, front, from left, Madison Cormode, Kyla Vogeler, keynote speaker Heather Schultz, and Riley Spillman; back, MdCV Stuco advisor Tammy Vanderpool, Hailey Rose, Lindsay Johnson, Madison Flatin, Izzy Tobman, Sadie McGown, Brice Marsh, Cole Lacey, Bayleigh Lacey, Braden Reed, and Frank Warner. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

MELVERN, Kan. – On Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, Marias des Cygnes Valley High School and Junior High school student councils traveled to Seaman High School, in Topeka, for the Student Council Regional Conference. The morning began with some mixers in the gym, followed by introductions, and a performance by the Vikettes.

Overbrook Osage County Fair, Aug. 7-10, 2019, exhibition results

The Overbrook Osage County Fair Board has released the results of 4-H and open class exhibitions at the fair that was held Aug. 7-10, 2019, at Overbrook, Kan. Results are as follows. See abbreviation key for clubs and ribbons below.

Ottawa University awards Costlow prestigious Presidential Scholarship

OTTAWA, Kan. – Ottawa University announced that Otis Costlow, of Overbrook, Kan., is the recipient of one of three Presidential Scholarships awarded for the 2019-20 academic year.

Costlow is the son of Michael and Laurie Costlow, of Overbrook. He is starting his freshman year at OU’s Ottawa, Kan., residential campus.

Presidential Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship, as well as other benefits and honors, during their four-year educational tenure at OU, a value of at least $120,000. The recipient will be required to continue his or her academic and leadership excellence throughout that time. 

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