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5th-6th grade Lady Indians head to state championship tournament

Osage City’s 5th-6th grade Lady Indians finished 3-0 at Wamego, Jan. 15, 2022. The wins qualified the team for the Kansas State Basketball Championship, a state tournament for youth town teams, which will be March 4-6, at Wichita, Kan.

At the Wamego tournament, the Lady Indians beat Concordia (61-2), Nemaha Central (37-17), and Clay Center (43-8). The team includes, from left, Brynlee Harmon , 5th; Jayla Jenkins, 5th; Kaelyn Boss, 6th; Cheyenne Wiley, 6th; Sawyer Serna, 5th; Kenzie Bellinger, 6th; and Harmony Linton, 5th.

Courtesy photo.

Willing Workers 4-H Club celebrates holidays by giving back to community

Caroling at a local nursing home, front from left, Charlotte Ferrer, Clara Thielen, Kassie Thielen, Jack Ferrer, Ruby Stucky, Hadley Bosse, Lelia Wilcoxson; middle row, Paige Thielen, Reece Wilcoxson, Kaiden Bosse, Lena Stucky, Avery Thielen, Colleen Stucky; back row, Brody Thompson, Kevin Whitmer, Grace Croucher, Jaiton Bosse and Dustin Stucky; not pictured, Julian Ferrer and Cole Thompson.

By Avery Thielen, Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club have been busy celebrating the holidays, providing a lot of volunteer time to the club and community. To kick off the holiday season, the members celebrated Candyland Christmas in Osage City on Nov. 13, 2021, by having a bake sale in the morning and riding a float they decorated for the evening parade. The club’s Candyland float receive second place in the parade.

On Nov. 20, members took turns throughout the day volunteering to ring the bell for the Salvation Army in front of Jerry’s Thriftway, at Osage City.

On the afternoon of Dec. 5, members spent time decorating sugar cookies. Those cookies were then the treat given out the evening they went Christmas caroling at Vintage Park Assisted Living, Park Place Apartments, and Peterson Assisted Living.

The Willing Workers 4-H Club wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Lyndon football champion celebrates a life of winning

By Jack Bowen

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. While Americans fought for democracy overseas, a team of Kansas farm boys from the Lyndon area, who would soon join that fight, was finishing an amazing run at the old football field on the north side of Lyndon High School.

The Lyndon team had back-to-back perfect seasons in 1943 and 1944. The only surviving member of that Lyndon Tigers team is 95-year-old Raymond Goldsmith, who now lives on his farm halfway between Lyndon and Quenemo.

“I never knew what it was to lose. Can you imagine?” said Goldsmith recently during an interview at his home.

Raymond played left tackle next to his brother, Curtis, who played guard, both on offense and defense. He said teams learned to never runs plays on the Goldsmith side of the line.

“They didn’t go through our side. If they tried it, they didn’t get very far.”

It wasn’t just the daily practice under school principal and football coach R.B. Wellborn that made them tough as nails. It was also the daily regimen of farm work that started every morning at 5 a.m. for the sons of Clyde and Laura Goldsmith on their farm on the east side of Lyndon. They worked hard and played hard when there was time.

In 2021, Raymond enjoys winning at retired life on his farm east of Lyndon. Courtesy photo.

Goldsmith pointed to a hill there, saying “That’s where me and Curtis and our brother Gerald would use a large grain shovel to sled down the hill when there was snow.”

Who was the toughest team the Lyndon Tigers beat during those two undefeated seasons?

“Oh, Burlingame up here was pretty tough, but they played pretty dirty,” the veteran Tiger said. “That’s the one that knocked the wind out of me – Dad ran out on the field. He thought I was gonna die or whatever.”

Goldsmith said this was back in the days when local teams played only against teams in the county. There was no long distance travel to faraway games. The downside was that teams were often matched against much bigger schools, not only in the number of athletes available, but also in physical size.

“Osage City was a lot bigger than Lyndon, but we beat Osage, and boy, they couldn’t take it,” he remembered.

Goldsmith missed the first part of his last game as a Tiger in 1944. He’d volunteered to join the U.S. Army. Uncle Sam required him to take a physical exam in Leavenworth on the day of that game. He arrived back in Lyndon by bus that afternoon, then walked to get to the field in the fourth quarter.

Hidden History: Newspaper ad reunites Uncle Wash with family more than a century later

When he was an octogenarian, “Uncle Wash” was observed as being a “pleasant faced appearing old man, whose gray eyes, hair, and beard [gave] him a venerable appearance, not much unlike the typical Uncle Tom”, as was quoted in the June 9, 1892, Osage County Chronicle. Wash’s story, however, was much different than the Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

George Washington Irving had been held in slavery near Springfield, Missouri, one of about 20 slaves owned by a Mr. Fulbright. Possibly John Fulbright, who with his family, in 1829, brought 30 slaves with them to Greene County, Missouri. Fulbright was “a very hard master” and Wash and the others enslaved by the Fulbright family were submitted “to the lashings of a cruel and capricious owner.”

When General James Lane led a campaign into southwest Missouri in the fall of 1861 with his Kansas Brigade, Wash’s family was one of the hundreds of others the troops freed during their time in the area. Wash would later recount an attempt by the local slaveholders to dissuade their slaves from leaving with the Army, telling them that if they left, they would be sold by the government to pay the debts of the war. However, Wash and others tired of their bonds figured it was worth the gamble and took the soldiers at their word.

These formerly enslaved families became “contrabands” or recently freed individuals taken under the care of the Army. When the refugees became too numerous for the frontier Army to handle, Lane sent many of the contrabands, dubbed “The Black Brigade” to the safety of Kansas under the care of Army chaplains. The refugees took with them all of their earthly possessions, sometimes using their former master’s livestock to transport the loads. The troop traveled day and night on this journey, with little opportunity to rest and limited protection in this pro-slavery area of Missouri.

Wash and other refugees who formed the Black Brigade first arrived in Kansas at Fort Scott. Many then ventured on to Lawrence by the fall of 1861, where some found livelihoods and settled. Wash worked as a teamster in the free-state town during his time there.

In 1863, he weathered the fury of Quantrill’s raiders when they sacked the town. The following year, Wash and his family moved to Burlingame, Kansas. It was there that he found a job performing labor at the Burlingame Cemetery. During his career, he was said to have dug more than 1,000 graves at the cemetery, earning $2 per excavated grave.

Osage County students conferred at Flint Hills Technical College 2021 Winter Commencement

Flint Hills Technical College conferred nearly 50 students at its 2021 Winter Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Humanitarian Center in Emporia, Kan.

Graduating students from Osage County included:

  • Isabella Felicia Nasca-Peer, Burlingame, technical certificate in practical nursing.
  • Joseph Whitmer, Lyndon, graduating with honors, technical certificate in power plant technology.
  • Chase Michael Orear, Osage City, Associate of Applied Science in Network Technology.

Sherry Willard, 190th Air Refueling Wing Command Chief for the Kansas Air National Guard, gave the commencement message. Earlier in the day, the practical nursing program held its pinning ceremony on the FHTC main campus, where nursing students were recognized.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club goes caroling for December meeting

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly club meeting at the Melvern Community Center. At 5:06 p.m. the meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Braelyn.

Secretary Amelia Arb called roll; members and parents were to answer with “What is your favorite gift you gave someone?” There were 13 members and eight adults present. Amelia read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Gradey McNally read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles to the newspaper. In historian report, Historian Allie Reeser shared “History of 4-H”.

In leader’s report, Lisa Reser reminded members to enroll in the new 4-H year, and it’s never too early to start thinking about District Club Days.

In new business, it was moved and seconded to adopt a family, and send care packages to soldiers.

In program and songs, the club went caroling to six local houses in Melvern. Nathan Ferris led the club in singing “Frosty the Snowman”.

At 5:27 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday Jan. 9, 2022, at Melvern Community Center.

Club members enjoyed caroling for recreation and refreshments provided by the McNally and Reeser families.

Marais des Cygnes students spread holiday cheer, one penny at a time

Junior high students at MdCV Middle School promote contributions to their penny collection, during a recent school competition. Courtesy photo.

Recently, students at Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High and Senior High schools competed against each other in a junior high versus high school competition, Penny Wars, to spread their holiday cheer.

Students brought in loose change in hopes of collecting the most money for their class. The contest awarded each class points for pennies and bills for each cent donated, but “silver” coins, such as nickels, dimes, and quarters took points away. The classes were allowed to sabotage their opponents by throwing silver coins into their opponent’s buckets.

MdCV High School students help spread Christmas cheer with a friendly change collection competition.

The total amount of money collected was $1,114.19, which was to be donated to a charity of the winning class’ choosing. The junior high class came up with $455.24, and donated their portion to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office’s toy drive. The high school class, collecting $658.95, decided to divide their collection between Special Olympics and the local Mayes House, each receiving $329.47.

Students also demonstrated their holiday spirit throughout the week by decorating classroom doors, participating in holiday trivia contests, and dressing up for Spirit Days.

Letters to Santa from Lyndon second graders

Students in Mrs. Hurt’s second grade class at Lyndon Elementary School wrote letters to Santa this year and Santa shared their Christmas spirit with us.

Dear Santa,

Why do reindeer pull your sleigh? Is Mrs. Claus magic? Where does snow come from? Where do reindeer come from? Does the mailman deliver our cards or do you just know what we want for Christmas? I want magic tracks and Spiderman powers and a servant robot. Please and Thank you.

Love, Ryker

Dear Santa,

How do you get your reindeer to fly? Do you have night vision? How much snow do you have? I will give Rudolph carrots.  What time do you get at my home? I want a remote control Santa and KU stuff.

Love, Jaxson

Frontier Extension agents take on new jobs within district

The Frontier Extension District has announced three agents have taken over new positions and responsibilities within the district. Ryan Schaub is now serving as the new crop production and farm management Extension agent; Janae McNally is the new adult development and aging and family resource management Extension agent; and Jessica Flory is the new 4-H youth development Extension agent.

Ryan Schaub – Crop Production and Farm Management

Ryan Schaub is now serving as the new crop production and farm management Extension agent for the Frontier Extension District. Schaub officially began his new position Sept. 1, 2021, and has been with the Frontier Extension District for four years.

This position consists of research-based programs for crop production farm management issues, including but not limited to, tillage methods, irrigation, sustainable production techniques, agriculture law issues, land management and ownership, weed and insect control, fertilization practices, and more. For assistance with any of these issues, contact Schaub at the Garnett Extension office at 785-448-6826 or [email protected].

Janae McNally – Adult Development and Aging, Family Resource Management

Frontier Extension District has announced that Janae McNally is the new adult development and aging and family resource management Extension agent. McNally officially began her new position Sept. 1, 2021, and has been with the Frontier District for seven years.

This position will consist of providing primary leadership in the development, dissemination and implementation of research-based educational programs to support successful families and the systems that serve them in communities. Programs include chronic disease management, caregiving, long-term care and end of life issues, family budgeting and more.

To contact McNally at the Lyndon Extension office, call 785-828-4438 or email [email protected].

Jessica Flory – 4-H Youth Development Agent

Jessica Flory is the new 4-H youth development Extension agent. Flory officially began her new position Nov. 1, 2021, and has been with the Frontier Extension District as the 4-H program assistant/manager for the last 10 years. She has a great passion for youth development and the 4-H program. While attending Kansas State University, she worked at Rock Spring 4-H Camp during summer breaks. Since graduation in 2009, she started working for the Frontier District in May 2011. Jessica took a break from Extension in 2013 to work for her church as preschool, children ministry, and youth director. She returned to Frontier Extension District in 2015.

Her position will consist of leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive 4-H youth development program for school-aged youth in cooperation with residents and Extension colleagues. Programs include supporting community clubs, out-of-school programs, school enrichment, volunteer management, and more. She will work with families and volunteers in Anderson, Franklin and Osage counties’ communities. Contact Flory at the Ottawa Extension office at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected].

It was a Candyland Christmas at Osage City: Winners of events

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has announced the names of winners of various events and activities during last Saturday’s Christmas on Market Street. The lighted Christmas parade was the finale event of the day, with floats and parade entries celebrating this year’s theme of “Candyland Christmas”. Winners are below:

Christmas on Market Parade Winners


  • First place, Osage City Nursing Center, $125
  • Second place, Willing Workers 4H Club, $100
  • Third place, Osage City Public Library, $75
  • Fourth place, Branine Chevrolet-Buick, $50

Golf Carts/ATVs

  • First place, Gladys and Boyd Woodyard, $30
  • Second place, April Peet, $20
  • Third place, United Methodist Church-Lyndon, $10

Retail Poker Run, 78 Participants

  • First place, Penny Staufenburg, $20
  • Second place, Karen Hinck, $15
  • Third place, Nettie Jordan,  $10

Window Decorating

  • First place, McCoy’s RadioShack
  • Second place, Ramblin’ Rose
  • Third place, Osage Hardware

Chili Cook-Off – 11 Entries

  • First place, Kim Thompson, $50 Chamber Bucks
  • Second place, Jan Ogleby, $30 Chamber Bucks (Donated to senior center)
  • Third place, Stevie Penn, $20 Chamber Bucks

Business Window Decorating

  • First place, McCoy RadioShack, $50
  • Second place, Ramblin’ Rose, $40
  • Third place, Osage Hardware, $30

Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk

Jenny Wilcoxson won the Best Costume/Sweater – received a $10 Chamber Buck Certificate.

Adult first overall were Chris Wecker (male); Angie Speece (female); they received Michelob coolers. Youth first overall were Tate Smith (male); Jaiton Bosse (female); they received sparkling ice water. Prizes were courtesy of Flint Hills Beverage.

Willing Workers recognized at 4-H Achievement Night

Willing Workers 4-H Club celebrate their achievements: front, Clara Thielen, Kassie Thielen and Ruby Stucky; middle, Paige Thielen, Hadley Bosse, Avery Thielen, Lena Stucky and Jaiton Bosse; back Cole Thompson, Kevin Whitmer, Josie Thompson, Brody Thompson, Kaiden Bosse and Grace Croucher.

By Avery Thielen, Club Reporter

On Nov. 3, 2021, Willing Workers 4-H Club members attended the county 4-H achievement night at the Lyndon school. Many of the club members were present and received recognition for their year of hard work.

Members who completed their record book received a membership pin. Members receiving their membership pin were: Paige Thielen, 1st year, Lena Stucky, 3rd year, Kaiden Bosse, 4th year, Avery Thielen, 4th year, Kevin Whitmer, 5th year, Jaiton Bosse, 6th year, Brody Thompson, 6th year, Cole Thompson, 8th year, Grace Croucher, 8th year, Kayden Barrett, Cloverbud, Hadley Bosse, Cloverbud, Ruby Stucky, Cloverbud, Clara Thielen, Cloverbud, Kassie Thielen, Cloverbud, Leila Wilcoxson, Cloverbud.

Leaders receiving their membership pin were Dustin Stucky, 2nd year, Pam Whitmer, 3rd year, Josie Bosse, 6th year, Amanda and Chris Croucher, 8th year, Kara Thompson, 10th year) and Bruce Schoepflin, 14th year.

That night one member from the county was recognized for their project record report. Kevin Whitmer received the project award for foods, plant science and poultry. Lena Stucky received the project award for clothing and textiles, communications, stem and visual arts. Reece Wilcoxson received the rabbit project award. Two officers were recognized for their officer books. Brody Thompson received the historian award and Trista Anderson received the secretary award.

Kara Thompson was named the 4-H Alumni Award winner. She has spent 14 years serving the 4-H community and currently serves as one of the Willing Workers 4-H Club leaders.

“4-H brings kids together to help their community,” said Kara, who believes so strongly in the organization. As a former member from her youth, the Willing Workers were excited to see her receive this award.

The Whitmer family was named 4-H Family of the Year. Pam, Jeff and Kevin Whitmer are a very active 4-H family in the county. Pam serves as one of the Willing Workers 4-H Club leaders and their family goes above and beyond helping keep the club active in the community. Pam grew up in a family that was very involved in 4-H.

“4-H keeps us together as a family,” said Pam Whitmer. The Whitmers are very deserving of this award for their continued dedication to the organization.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club: Members enjoy fall as they get ready for Christmas

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly club meeting at the Melvern City Park. At 5:14 p.m., the meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn.

Secretary Amelia Arb called roll, members and parents were to answer with “What are you thankful for?” There were 11 members and six adults present. Amelia read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Gradey McNally read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles to the newspaper. In the historian report, Historian Allie Reeser shared “The Story Behind the 4-H Clover”.

In leader’s report, leader Lisa Reeser reminded members to enroll in the new 4-H year, and congratulations to everyone at Achievement Night.

In new business, it was moved and seconded at the December meeting to go Christmas caroling at three or four houses in Melvern, Adopt-A-Family, and send care packages to soldiers.

In program, the club tie-dyed their new club shirt.

In songs, Nathan Ferris, led they club in singing “God Bless America”.

At 5:40 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Melvern Community Center.

Club members then enjoyed playing at the park for recreation.

Unofficial results of the Nov. 2, 2021, school elections in Osage County

The following are the unofficial results of the Nov. 2, 2021, school elections in Osage County. Write-in votes are not included in this report. Results will not be official until canvassed.

KBI issues statewide Silver Alert for missing Wichita woman

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. – The Wichita Police Department requested that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation issue a statewide Silver Alert for a missing Wichita woman who was last believed to be near Kinkaid, Kan.

The whereabouts of Patricia Knafla, 70, are unknown, and the public’s assistance is requested to help locate her.

Last contact with Knafla occurred at approximately 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. She is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 lbs., with gray hair, and green eyes. She wears glasses. Additionally, she was scheduled to work Monday but never arrived, and may be having a mental health crisis and in the need of assistance.

She is traveling in a gold 2000 Ford Taurus with Kansas tag 418 CDM. Investigators learned she was in the Kinkaid area at approximately 10:50 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Knafla, or anyone who sees her, is asked to call 911 immediately.

Candidates face races in school board elections across Osage County

The following school board candidates will be on ballots for the Nov. 2, 2021, general election, for school districts in Osage County.

Who are you going to vote for? Candidates vie for council, mayor spots in city elections

The following candidates will be on city ballots for the Nov. 2, 2021, municipal elections in Osage County.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA starts off fall with highway cleanup

Marais des Cygnes Valley school groups worked together to pick up trash along state Highway 31 south of Melvern. Helping were, front from left, Chaz Simpson, Kelsey Rice, Alyssa McCurdy, Emma Marsh, Olivia Lacey, Care Hockett, Destiny Moore, and Allie Reeser; back, Domonic Knight, Jaxson Dorr, Cole Lacey, Max Davis, Jake Weimer, Kyler Anschutz, Braden Reed, Jacob McGowin, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Lindsey Johnson, Montana McCurdy, Justin Brinkley, Hannah Foxworthy, Dylon Haines, Dalton Bechtle, Avary Simmons, Haylea Bethell, and Ed Mora. Courtesy photo.

By MdCV FFA Reporter Jace Stucker

On Sept. 29, 2021, the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA, FCCLA, and FBLA chapters participated in the annual highway cleanup. Twenty-six members cleaned the highway from the Interstate 35 exit towards Melvern. After cleanup the members met back up at the school and enjoyed pizza!

FFA Drive-In Movie Night was Sept. 17, 2021, following the football game against Crest. We had approximately 20 FFA members enjoy the movie San Andreas. We viewed the movie on the ag shop garage door.

At the East Central District Greenhand Leadership Conference, we had 17 MdCV FFA and agri-science students participate. More than 600 ECD Greenhands attended. There were several workshops, including goal setting, official dress, teamwork/problem solving, first impressions, and agriculture career choices.

Hidden History: Doodlebug, the little train that touched ‘every person’s life’ in Melvern

Photo of the Doodlebug M.177, in 2011, at Los Angeles, Calif., by Jd from RR Picture Archives.Net.

When Leona Knight Shaffer was a young girl in Melvern, Kan., in the 1930s, her father, Edward, was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad as a section laborer. One of the rewards for her dad’s labors was a pass issued to him, his wife, and minor children.

For a long time whenever Edward or his family wanted to go anywhere on a train, they had to order a pass, but later passes were issued annually with the eligible names on the pass. With the passes, the family had the opportunity to travel wherever the passes were honored.  Most of the time the family rode on the local Doodlebug.

Doodlebug M.177 was a passenger train that was built in 1929 and designated by the number M.177. It ran from Emporia to Lawrence, 1930 to 1933 and  in 1936, Kansas City to Newton, in 1937, and Burlingame to Alma,  1941 to 1943.

The following is Leona’s account of Melvern’s “Doodlebug”, which “touched every person’s life” in Melvern, she said.

The little train, or “doodlebug,” as we called it, made a daily run through Melvern, between Emporia and Lawrence. This train was the only mode of transportation for most of the people in this small town, because of the majority of the men worked on the Santa Fe in some capacity, and most of them didn’t have automobiles.

The little train was pretty small, but we all thought it was “just right.” I can recall the train having an engine, coal car, baggage car, and the passenger car. At the back of the passenger car was a railing where people could stand if they wanted to. There was no need for a larger train. If a person were going anyplace very far, there was always more passenger trains that were available. Most of us were not going anyplace other than the little towns close by.

One thing on the little train that fascinated us smaller children was the fact that there was a real honest to goodness modern toilet at the end of the passenger car. None of us were used to such a modern convenience. All we had was a “path” to the outhouse behind the house. As soon as we got on the train and got our seats, one of us would have to go to the toilet. It was so nice to sit on a nice modern stool seat with some water in the bowl. We were used to just an old hole and it was a smelly place at that. We all took turns going to the restroom.

The wives of the Santa Fe employees got the most use of the doodlebug. On Saturday afternoons after payday, the women rode the little train over to Ottawa to do their shopping. Some bought their groceries, others got clothing or household items, others just went for the ride to get out of town for a while. This was a pretty good form of recreation. The ladies could catch up on all the gossip because most of them didn’t have a telephone. A few had radios, but lots of them did not even have electricity, and of course the wonderful invention of TV was unheard of. For many of the ladies, this was the only time that they met for conversation, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

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