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Hidden History: On a quest for a place to call home, all roads lead to Osage County

The Elmer Duff family at their cabin in Montrose County, Colorado. In the 1870s, with the expansion of railroad lines, access to Kansas and points in the western part More »

OSU mascot honors frontier lawman, sharpshooter, former Kansas resident

“Pistol Pete” is the widely recognized Oklahoma State University mascot named after early day lawman Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton. By Frank J. Buchman Oklahoma State University’s “Pistol Pete” mascot More »

Willing Workers tour Osage City meat processing plant

Willing Workers 4-H Club visits Custom Meats, Osage City, front from left, Clara Thielen and Ruby Stucky, middle, Leila Wilcoxson, Jaiton Bosse, Mason Newman, Reese Newman, Hadley Bosse, Kassie More »

Caution: KDOT to begin survey of U.S. 75 bridges in Osage County

Beginning Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, the Kansas Department of Transportation will conduct a field survey on two bridges on U.S. 75 in Osage County. The bridges go over state More »

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy horses and bulls

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The Cowboy’s Kind” of horses and bulls.

When breeding, raising, and selling a couple dozen Quarter Horses annually, they were advertised as “The Cowboy’s Kind.”

That description became symbolic of the ranch offering increasing the appeal to certain buyers. There are different opinions of what “The Cowboy’s Kind” means.

Original intention was that the horses were the kind working cowboys would want to use in ranching operations.

This contrasts with horses that were strictly show horses looking pretty when in horseshows. Not that the horses weren’t nice looking, but they were specifically for working cowboys.

That doesn’t mean only cowboys could ride the horses because they had all-around ability. The horses worked well for racetrack, barrel racing, pleasure classes, trail riding, parades, and as family horses.

Still, there’s something about calling a horse “The Cowboy’s Kind” that made them appealing to diverse clientele. For some reason, many people seem to have an inner often denied desire to be a “cowboy.”

But there is a wide variation in people’s definition of who a cowboy really is. Dan Webster lists different meanings for cowboy: 1. One who tends cattle on horseback. 2. One having recklessness, aggressiveness, independence. 3. A person operating in an uncontrolled, unregulated manner.

So, a lot of people actually have the desire to be somewhat reckless, aggressive, uncontrolled at certain times. They appeal to “The Cowboy’s Kind.”

Hidden History: On a quest for a place to call home, all roads lead to Osage County

The Elmer Duff family at their cabin in Montrose County, Colorado.

In the 1870s, with the expansion of railroad lines, access to Kansas and points in the western part of the United States was made much easier. Individuals in places like Pennsylvania with similarities in climate started looking west for opportunities. Farming in Kansas reportedly involved less labor than points east, and land was cheaper and easier to purchase in large parcels. The Duffs, who had lived in western Pennsylvania, was one of the families that made that trip.

Elmer Duff came to Kansas with his parents, James and Mary, and six siblings in the spring of 1871 on a three-day trip via the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe from Mercer County, Pennsylvania, to Osage City (at that time the ATSF was only completed to Emporia). From Osage City they loaded their household goods on spring wagons and completed the trip to Lyndon. James bought 160 acres outside of town, and built a house with only one small window and two doors until a bigger house could be built.

Elmer married Laura Gill, in 1887. Laura’s family had also made the trek from Pennsylvania to settle at Lyndon. The couple set up a household on the Duff family farm, but after a few years Elmer needed to create a space for his own family. While Osage County was the place their parents settled, the population boom of the 1880s made it a bit crowded. Elmer and Laura started looking elsewhere for greater opportunities, open spaces, and a place of their own.

The territory of Oklahoma was opened for settlement in 1879, and the fourth and largest land rush in Indian Territory was in September 1893, drawing the attention of several Lyndon citizens.

Elmer and Laura took a large wagon and joined a group of others leaving from Lyndon intending to make their race from Arkansas City. The plan was to stick together as much as possible in making any land claims. Other members of the group, Lew Huber and George Fleming, had racehorses in hopes of giving them a leg up on the Sooners, those who entered the newly opened lands before the appointed time.

The Lyndon group joined 100,000 others in a dash across the Cherokee Strip for approximately 40,000 homestead sites. Despite their best efforts, the Duffs weren’t able to acquire a parcel and returned to Lyndon.

Annual Soup-a-Thon helps stock food pantry shelves at Help House

St Patrick’s Church, Scranton, named as winner of annual competition

Help House has announced the winners of its annual Souper Soup-a-Thon food drive. St Patrick’s Church, Scranton, took first place and the gold award with a donation total of 468 items, soup and crackers.

In second, for the silver award, was Overbrook United Methodist Church, with a donation of 367 items. The third place bronze award went to Christian Church Fellowship, Carbondale, with 248 items.

Help House’s annual soup drive pits churches against churches to see which can collect the most cans of soup and other food items to help stock the food pantry.

Honorable mentions went to other contributors in the competition, Community Covenant Church, Osage City, First Baptist Church, Lyndon, St. Patrick’s Church, Osage City, and United Methodist Church, Melvern, which together gathered 629 items. The overall total was 1,712 items, and included many cans of soup, boxes of crackers, and other food items for Help House’s food pantry.

Help House offers a big thank you to everyone who donated to the food pantry during this year’s Soup-a-Thon.

Help Wanted: 4th Judicial District seeks Trial Court Clerk II, Grade 18

Notice of Employment Opportunity

Location of Employment: 4th Judicial District, Osage County, Kansas 66523

Classification and Grade: Trial Court Clerk II, Grade 18, $16.43 hourly

Kansas Judicial Branch Benefits – State Employment Center – Benefits (ks.gov)

Job Duties: This is a clerical position responsible for processing various types of case filings within the office. Other duties include utilizing the computer to document case activity, issue summons, notices, receiving and recording fees, answering inquiries and furnishing information to the public and attorneys and performing other related work as required.

Required education and experience: Graduation from high school and six months clerical experience. Knowledge of modern office procedures and practices. Skills with computers and operation of standard office equipment.

Preferred qualifications: Experience working in a computerized office, knowledge of computers and financial transactions. Excellent customer service skills. Knowledge of court procedures and policies desirable.

Application deadline: Open until filled. To apply visit www.kscourts.org/Public/Court-Careers

The Americans with Disability Act ensures your right to reasonable accommodations during the employment process. A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunity for employment with the Judicial Branch. It is your responsibility to make your needs known to the Judicial Branch at ada@kscourts.org. TDD users may call through the Kansas Relay Center at 800-766-3777 or 711.

Dennis Richard Craig, 84, Topeka: June 28, 1938 – March 10, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. – Dennis Richard Craig, 84, passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, at Brookdale Assisted Living, Topeka, Kan. He was born June 28, 1938, in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Warren and Mae (Taddiken) Craig.

Dennis grew up in Iowa and lived in Topeka, Kan., for many years.

Dennis served in the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962 as an Airman First Class, Medical Specialist, with the 815th Medical Group, at Forbes Field, Topeka. He graduated from Washburn University in 1968 with a business degree. He found his calling in the copy machine business while he worked for Wolfe’s Camera Shop during college. Dennis went on to co-found Century Business Systems, a photocopy and business machines company serving Manhattan, Kan., and the surrounding areas; where he retired as president at the age of 70. He was a member of Lowman United Methodist Church, Topeka. Dennis was a member of AA for more than 30 years.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, March 10 – March 16, 2023

The following information was compiled March 10 to March 16, 2023, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Now Leasing: Apartments in Osage City, Morningside Plaza

Now Leasing! 1 bedroom ground level apartments at Morningside Plaza Apartments, located at 1000 Main St., Osage City. All utilities paid. Central heating. Newer remodeled apartments have central cooling. Older models are window unit air conditioning. Maintenance provided. Laundry on site. Leasing located at Dogwood Glen Apartments at 519 N. 12th St., Osage City. Contact Heather today for an application at 785-528-3626. This establishment is an equal opportunity provider.

Gladys Elaine Woodyard, 70, Osage City: March 23, 1952 – March 4, 2023

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – With the paint finally dry on her eternal home in Heaven, God embraced Gladys Elaine Woodyard, 70, into his loving arms on March 4, 2023. Gladys was born March 23, 1952, to Harley Merle and Iva Jean (Griffin) Ard. She was the second of nine children.

Gladys attended Osage City Elementary School, and graduated from Topeka High School in 1970. At 13 years of age, she was invited to an evening service at the Calvary Assembly of God Church, in Osage City, Kan. While there, she met 15-year-old Boyd Alan Woodyard. It was a love created by God himself. They were married in Topeka on July 6, 1969. Shortly after graduating from high school, Gladys would join Boyd in Germany. It was here that they would start their family of four girls (Marci, Misti, Mandi and Autumn).

While attending middle school in Burlingame, Kan.,, Gladys discovered her lifelong passion for sewing. Her daughters often joked that they were material girls living in a material world, because of all the fabric she collected for sewing. Her children were proud of the clothes she made knowing they were often one-of-a-kind creations. She altered and made dresses for numerous weddings and countless proms. She also did alterations and sewing for people throughout the surrounding communities. In her later years, she would take up the hobby of upholstery. She also enjoyed collecting clocks and learned how to repair them.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club plans picnic table refurbishment project

By Club Reporter Bella Reeser

At 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5, 2023, at the McNally House, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club met. Under the guidance of club leader Caleb McNally, together the members refurbished one of the picnic tables from the Melvern fairgrounds.  At 5:04 p.m., the club’s  meeting was called to order by President Gradey McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Gradey.

Reporter Bella Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, “Would you rather jump in a pool of chocolate pudding or strawberry ice cream?” There were six members and six adults present. Bella read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. There was no correspondence.

Treasurer Landon Roy read the treasurer’s  report; it was approved as read. Bella said she submitted three article to the newspaper. In historian’s report, Historian Levi Arb read the History of 4-H. In council report, council member Braelyn McNally reminded club members Blue & Gold orders will be delivered March 13; Regional Club Days will be March 25, at Gardner; Beef weigh in will be 4-6 p.m. March 29  at Overbrook fairgrounds; small animal weigh in will be4-6 p.m. May 2, at Osage City fairgrounds; drop or add deadline is May 1; Osage City fair will be July 7-9; Overbrook fair will be Aug. 2-5. There will be a fair grievance policy this year. In leader’s report, leaders Caleb McNally and Lisa Reeser reminded club members to enroll in the new 4-H year.

There was no old business. In new business, a motion was made and seconded to hold the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt again this year at 1 p.m. April 8, at Melvern City Park. It was discussed, then a motion was made and seconded for the club to refurbish the remaining two tables at the Melvern fairgrounds before the Melvern fair.

In program, Braelyn gave her speech on the beef industry, and Gradey gave his multimedia presentation on composting. In songs, song leader Gentry McNally led the group in singing “Red Kingdom”. At 5:27 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, April 2 at Melvern Community Center. Members enjoyed snacks provided by the McNally Family. For recreation, members and parents enjoyed the playground equipment at the McNally house.

Osage County Jail Log, March 16 – March 18, 2023

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Carryout sacks, bags, boxes

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.What happened to the brown grocery store carryout sacks?

Children today don’t have a clue what brown paper sacks are. The only thing they know are the plastic bags filled with whatever the purchase is.

Back in the day, there were at least a half dozen sizes of brown paper sacks. Size of the purchase determined which sack was used.

When there were many items, of course, a large sack was required. Sometimes several of the largest sized brown paper sacks were required. Fewer items purchased, smaller the sack.

Uncertain or can’t remember how sacks were identified for size, maybe they weren’t, just big enough to carry the contents.

Nowadays, plastic bags seem to all be the same size, and sometimes a dozen or more are needed for large purchases. If the items are heavy, like a gallon of milk, two or three plastic bags are used together for increased strength.

Certain wholesale grocery items, such as five and ten pounds of sugar or flour, came in larger heavier paper sacks. Those extra strength, often multi-colored, sacks were retained for use to carry more items purchased. They worked best for carrying heavier items, big cans, milk, sugar, flour, potatoes.

Canned merchandise typically arrived from the wholesale warehouse in cardboard boxes with wide variation of sizes and shapes. The boxes were stored away several packed together with another and worked especially well for carrying out large heavy items.

Library presentation to celebrate women educators of Osage County

In honor of Women’s History Month, local historian Wendi Bevitt will bring to light stories of four women who had a passion for education, and impacted the youth of Osage City, Osage County, and beyond. Bevitt’s presentation will be 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the Osage City Public Library

Bevitt uncovers history on the Great Plains daily through her business Buried Past Consulting. She lived in Osage County for 20 years and is passionate about the history of her adopted county.

March is celebrated as Women’s History Month to commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

For more information, contact Jeanette Stromgren at 785-528-3727, or stop by the library at 515 Main St., Osage City, Kan.

Naomi Jean Wirth, 92, Shawnee: Sept. 9, 1930 – March 10, 2023

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Naomi Jean Wirth, 92, Shawnee, Kan., passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, at Colonial Village, Overland Park, Kan. Naomi was born Sept. 9, 1930, in Lyndon, Kan., the daughter of James and Virgie Sims.

She attended Lyndon High School, then moved to Topeka, Kan., to start her career at the Hallmark Card Co.

She met Chuck Wirth, and they were wed Nov. 4, 1951. Naomi and Chuck had two children, Debbie and Mark. In March 1973, she and Chuck moved to Shawnee, where she began as a teacher’s aide at Shawnee Elementary School.

Judi Hanson, 75, Sun City West, Ariz.: July 14, 1947 – March 2, 2023

SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. – On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Judi K. Hanson, loving wife, mother and grandmother, sadly passed away in Sun City West, Ariz., at the age of 75. Judi was born July 14, 1947, in Herington, Kan., the daughter of Gerald and Mabel  Villee.

On Sept. 26, 1970, Judi was united in marriage to Robert L. Hanson.

Judi did clerical work at Menninger’s and Westar Energy. After retirement, she and Robert relocated to Arizona, where she explored her passion for art while enjoying the Arizona sunsets and warmer weather. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother who was always there when needed. She had many friends, and was a well-loved member of the community in Sun City West.

Limited time only – Kansas Tobacco Quitline offers 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy

TOPEKA, Kan. – For the first time in the 20-year history of the Kansas Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is offering all phone coaching enrollees eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy while supplies last.

Participants who are 18 years and older that want to quit smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco, and enroll in the phone coaching program, can choose a lozenge, gum, or patch that will be mailed directly to their home if they enroll by midnight on Sunday, April 30.

“We want all tobacco users to know that although quitting is hard, they can do it,” said Matthew Schrock, cessation coordinator. “Individuals who smoke often try to quit several times before succeeding, but proven treatments and services are available that can improve your chances to quit for good. We encourage all Kansans to try to quit, and if they want free help, take advantage of this opportunity.”

The Kansas Tobacco Quitline is a free, 24/7 resource available to Kansas residents to help them quit smoking. The Quitline provides help such as counseling, a personalized Quit Plan, and quitting support by phone and through online services. A survey of Quitline users highlighted that 90 percent of participants were satisfied with the Quitline coaches and counselors. The Quitline can be reached by calling 800-QUIT-NOW or 800-784-8669.

Osage County Jail Log, March 7 – March 10, 2023

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

OSU mascot honors frontier lawman, sharpshooter, former Kansas resident

“Pistol Pete” is the widely recognized Oklahoma State University mascot named after early day lawman Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton.

By Frank J. Buchman

Oklahoma State University’s “Pistol Pete” mascot is named after a real Wild West lawman cowboy. Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton was born October 26, 1860, in Hartford, Conn.

At the age of eight, Frank moved with his family to Twin Mound, Kan. Twin Mound is now a ghost town in western Douglas County. It was named for two natural mounds that rise gently from the landscape.

The famous scout, sheriff, gunman, working cowboy, passed away April 8, 1958, age 97,  at Perkins, Okla., with burial in Perkins Cemetery.

According to Frank’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth Wise, “[Frank’s] dad, my grandpa, was shot in cold blood by six former confederates. They had served during the war with the Quantrill Raiders.”

The six men, from the Campsey and the Ferber clans, rode with the vigilante Southerners. After the war, they called themselves “Regulators.”

In 1868, Mose Beaman, his father’s friend, said to Frank, “My boy, may an old man’s curse rest upon you if you do not try to avenge your father.” Beaman then taught Frank how to handle a gun, Wise said.

At the age of 15, Frank Eaton visited Fort Gibson, Okla., to learn more about shooting guns. Although too young to join the Army, Frank outshot everyone at the fort.

“He competed with the cavalry’s best marksmen, beating them every time,” Wise said.

The fort’s commanding officer, Colonel John Coppinger, gave Frank a marksmanship badge and a new nickname, “Pistol Pete.”

Edward ‘Pete’ Peterson, 91, Osage City: Dec. 15, 1931 – March 8, 2023

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Edward “Pete” Peterson was born in Basehor, Kan., on Dec. 15, 1931. Ed was taken to heaven March 8, 2023, joining his wife, Patricia Peterson, who left us in 2017. He is survived by his eight children, Ed (Re-Pete), Kent, Carol, Susan, Anne, Todd, Morgan, and Mary; and 20 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Ed grew up on a farm with his parents, six brothers and one sister. Many family gatherings with his parents, siblings, and their families over the years made for great memories.

Ed married Pat in 1953, and they started their family in 1954. Ed owned and managed a feed store and restaurant in Basehor until 1964, when he moved his family to Osage City, Kan. He bought the Osage Grain elevator and created a liquid feed for cattle, which was distributed throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. He provided jobs for many people from Osage City, and the elevator was also a gathering place for many “after hours” parties – the ensuing fun and funny stories are endless and continue to provide many memorable anecdotes. When he left the elevator business, he worked for KP&L, buying easements from farmers across the state.

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