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Conference speaker encourages Stuco members to keep ‘eyes up’ while driving

Marais des Cygnes Valley Stuco members at the regional conference at Silver Lake High School, front from left, Bill Romi, Meka Freeman, Haylie Fine, Braylee Patterson, and Greyson Stephens, middle, Kelsey Rice, Akyra Traver, Kaylynn Todd, Taytum Gellhaus, Ella Reed, and Aubrey Vogeler, back, Olivia Lacey, Emily Criqui, Bella Reeser, Kate Patterson, Colbie Cormode, and Gracen Stahl. Not pictured are Montana McCurdy, Allie Reeser, and sponsor Lisa Reeser.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, the Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High and High School StuCo traveled to Silver Lake High School for the regional Stuco conference.

Keynote speaker was Ben Grannis, who shared with the students his message of ‘Eyes Up’; his mission of encouraging everyone to be a safe driver and keep their eyes on the road while driving.

After this, students broke up into groups for a general session and advisors had their own meeting. Following the conference, MdCV Stuco members enjoyed lunch at Red Robin before returning to school.

MdCV crowns 2023 royalty at Melvern homecoming celebration

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School 2023 Homecoming Royalty. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

MELVERN, Kan. – While Marais des Cygnes Valley High School couldn’t claim victory at Friday’s football game, Melvern still had plenty to celebrate during its 2023 Homecoming. Crowned as this year’s MdCV Homecoming Queen and King were Haylea Bethell and Corey Criss. In the crowning ceremony prior to the kickoff for the home game against Marmaton Valley, 2022 Homecoming King and Queen, Kyler Anschutz and Kyla Vogeler, presented the crowns to the new king and queen. During the homecoming game, the Wildcats claimed a win over the Trojans with a 60-0 score.

MdCV 2023 Homecoming Queen Haylea Bethell is the daughter of Jeff and Jo Bethell and Curt and Christi Allen. In high school, Haylea has been involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, class treasurer, track, band, and FFA. In her free time, Haylea enjoys hanging out with friends, helping her dad on the farm, and reading books.

MdCV 2023 Homecoming King Corey Criss is the son of Matt and Angie Criss. In high school, Corey has been involved in football, basketball, FFA, and Washburn Tech-Auto Service Technician. In his free time, Corey enjoys working at the Melvern Lake Marina, and fishing, hunting, and hanging out with friends.

Also serving as senior homecoming candidates were Olivia Lacey and Deken Colyer. Olivia is the daughter of Matt and Amy Lacey. In high school, Olivia has been involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, StuCo, FFA, FCCLA, FBLA, Band, Choir, class president, and NHS. In her free time, Olivia enjoys being a volunteer firefighter for Osage County Fire District No. 3, and “The Loft” youth group member at Mount Pleasant.

Deken is the son of Amanda and Carl Colyer. In high school, Deken has been involved in football, basketball, baseball, and in Washburn Tech-Electrical Technology. In his free time, Deken enjoys riding four-wheelers, hanging out with friends, and going to church.

MdCV hosts Marmaton Valley for 2023 homecoming Friday

Senior homecoming candidates, Olivia Lacey, Haylea Bethell, Corey Criss, and Deken Colyer. Lisa Reeser photo.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Homecoming will be Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. The Trojans face the Marmaton Valley Wildcats for this year’s homecoming game. Crowning ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.; kick-off for the football game will be 7 p.m.

Freshman attendants are Landon Traver and Mady Rose; sophomore attendants are Kadence Masenthin and Hunter Masenthin; and junior attendants are Trey DeCavele and Izzy Steggs.

Senior homecoming queen candidates are Olivia Lacey and Haylea Bethell, and senior homecoming king candidates are Corey Criss and Deken Colyer.

Wilks celebrate 40th wedding anniversary

Ken and Sally (Kuykendall) Wilk, of Osage City, Kan., will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with a card shower and family.

They were married on the family farm near Osage City, Sept. 24, 1983.

Their three children, Luke and Ellie (Wilk) Minnix, Scott City, Kan., Kurtis Wilk, Indianapolis, Ind., and Tracy Wilk, Omaha, Neb., along with their granddaughter, will join them in celebration.

Cards of congratulations can reach them at their home in Osage City, KS 66523.

Bow-angler breaks 40-year state record for spotted gar

BIG HILL RESERVOIR, Kan. – A lucky bow-angler from Parsons, Kan., has officially broken a 40-year state record for spotted gar in Kansas. Michael Starr Jr. was fishing at Big Hill Reservoir, Labette County, in late July when he successfully reeled in a 34.5-inch spotted gar weighing 7.98 pounds.

Michael Starr Jr. shows his state record catch, a 34.5-inch, 7.98-pound spotted gar. KDWP photo.

The previous Kansas state record for spotted gar was held by bow-angler Charles Harbert, of Arma, when he caught a 33.5-inch, 7.75-lb spotted gar from the Chetopa Dam in 1983.

Spotted gar derive the name from trademark dark, round spots on the top and sides of its head. Most are less than 30 inches long, but like other gar species, it’s covered with a tough armor of thick, heavy scales. There are three native species of gar in Kansas. The spotted gar is the smallest and can be found in the southeastern part of the state.

How state records are set

Trophy catches such as these end up as a Kansas State Record if:

  • The fish is a species recognized on the current list of Kansas state record fish.
  • The fish is caught by a licensed angler using legal means.
  • The fish is identified by a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks district fisheries biologist or regional fisheries supervisor.
  • The fish is weighed on a certified scale prior to being frozen.
  • The fish is photographed, in color, and a state record application is filled out.
  • The mandatory 30-day waiting period has passed.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas named first runner-up at national competition

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – 2023 Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2023, Daija Coleman, recently attended the Ms. Wheelchair America event, where she was named as first runner-up for the national title. Coleman joined  17 other women vying for the opportunity to represent women who are wheelchair mobile in the United States.

Ms. Wheelchair America 2024 first runner-up, Daija Coleman, of Atchison, Kan.

The annual event was held Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2023, hosted in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the Amway Grand Plaza. After an intense week of competition, networking, and empowerment, Coleman came away with the honor of being named first runner up in the pageant. She also gained memories, new leadership and advocacy tools, and a new sisterhood from across the nation.

Coleman, of Atchison, Kan., is the 19th woman to represent Kansas at the national competition since the creation of the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas organization in 2004. Coleman was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Kansas in March of 2023. Since receiving her title, she has worked to fulfill the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas mission, which is to educate, advocate, and empower all people on a state level. She has traveled and met Kansans of all ages, speaking to groups and participating in local events.

While at the national event, Coleman participated in two personal interview sessions, in which she was scored based on her accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. She also gave a speech on her chosen platform, “Why Not Us? Why Not Now? Be an Advocate in Your Community,” and heard from speakers on a variety of topics related to leadership and advocacy.

Zion Lutheran Church celebrates its heritage with annual Germanfest

Zion Lutheran Church, Vassar, Kan., will celebrate its German heritage with a special event planned by members 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. The community event is open to the public.

Members of Zion Lutheran Church from left to right, Toni Wendling, Donna Silver and Larry Wendling dressed in authentic German attire for the church’s Germanfest celebration. Courtesy photo.

German bierocks, potato salad and strudel will be featured menu items during the event. Live polka music by “The Alpen Spielers” will be provided during the day with a beer garden touting authentic German beer. Hand-crafted items will be offered for sale by local vendors. Also, a children’s area with German themed activities will be available.

There is no admission charge at the celebration, which is held on the square block area to the west of Zion Lutheran Church in Vassar.

The church was formally organized almost 130 years ago in 1893 as “Die deutsche evangelishche lutherische Germeinde ungeaenderter Augsburgischer Knfession zu Vassar, Osage County, Kansas,” translated to English, “The German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the unaltered Augsburg Confession.”

However, the beginnings of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church were in 1884. Several Lutheran families in the area of the not yet organized town of Vassar, which was platted in 1886, requested that the Lutheran minister Rev. F. Pennekamp from St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Topeka, Kan., come to preach God’s Word and baptize their children.

Osage County students named to SNHU president’s list

Southern New Hampshire University has announced two students from Osage County were named to the university’s Summer 2023 President’s List.

Tyler Smith, of Lyndon, Kan., and Sunie Thompson, of Osage City, Kan., were named to the list, which recognizes full-time undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.700 and above.

SNHU is a private, nonprofit institution which offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs for traditional-aged students and working adults, online and on its campus in Manchester, N.H.

Santa Fe Trail girls golfers on par for successful 2023 season

SFTHS golfers at West Franklin tournament on Sept. 6, included Braegan Buessing, Bailey Anshutz, Ashley Masters, Taylor Long and Shelby Garrison. Courtesy photo.

Santa Fe Trail High School girls golf team has been driving through regional tournaments, beginning their competition Aug. 24, 2023, at the Jeff West 9-Hole Invitational at Village Greens Golf Course, and placing fourth out of seven teams. SFTHS competitors in the tournament were Bailey Anshutz, Braegan Buessing, Addison Alvarez, Ashley Masters, Shelby Garrison, and Katrina Drury.

SFTHS golfers in the top 10 individual medalists were Anshutz, who shot 45 for 6th, and Braegan Buessing, who shot 44 for 3rd.

On Aug. 28, SFTHS competed in the Ottawa Open at Ottawa Great Life; competing were Bailey Anshutz, Braegan Buessing, Ashley Masters, Shelby Garrison, Taylor Long, Claire Greenfield.

Out of 53 competitors, SFTHS had two top 10 individual medalists., Buessing, with a score of 42, took 6th, and, and Anshutz took 3rd, shooting 39.

Aug. 31, SFTHS hosted a 2-person JV Scramble with Gardner and Osage City, which provided competition experience with new friendship opportunities. SFT girls took second place.

The Lady Charger golf team participated Sept. 6, in the West Franklin 9-Hole Golf Tournament, held at LaMont Hill Golf Course. SFTHS placed 2nd as a team out of nine teams. Earning congratulations for the win were Braegan Buessing, Bailey Anshutz, Ashley Masters, Taylor Long and Shelby Garrison.

SFTHS’s individual medalists in the tournament included Anshutz in 4th place, shooting 46, and Buessing at 2nd place with a 44.

Local Triple Threat team takes championship at MAYB nationals

Team members of the Kansas Triple Threat 9-10 girls Conklin basketball team, front, Allie Kneisler, Lyndon, Emery Speece, Osage City, Kayla Steinke, Olpe; back, Lily Skalsky, Olpe, Hattie Burgio, Burlington, Hannah Jenkins, Peabody, Kaelin Boss, Osage City, Jaylynn Weakley, Madison, and Madelyn Wilson, Chase County. Courtesy photo.

The local Kansas Triple Threat Conklin 9-10th girls  team took home first place in MAYB Division 1 National Championship, July 28-30, 2023, at Omaha, Neb. They went 6-0 that weekend.

Games played were: NE Lasers 15u – score 47-22; Sacred Hoops 15u – score 52-32; NE Mayhem – score 56-19; KS Lady PGU – score 52-42; IA Waukee Jam 2025 – score 45-42; MN Midwest All Starz 15u – score 44-24.

The team won the Division 2 Nationals two years ago, going 7-0, earned a silver medal 2nd place finish in Division 1 last year at 6-1, and headed back this year to win the Division 1 Nationals with a record of 6-0.

“I have been playing with this team since I was in 2nd grade,” said team member Kaelin Boss. “Since then we have always come together  as one big family.  It was such an honor to bounce back from getting second last year to getting first this year.”

“Being on this team means the world to me,” said Allie Kneisler. “We have become a family throughout the years we have played together.  This championship is what we have worked for from the beginning.”

Smithsonian exhibit coming to Ottawa’s Old Depot Museum

OTTAWA, Kan. – How far would you go to exercise your right to vote? In 1858, a group of Franklin County Free Staters were so determined to cast their ballots against the pro-slavery LeCompton Constitution in the Aug. 2, 1858, election that they let nothing – not even a high creek or lack of clothing – get in their way.

The story of the Naked Voters of 1858 is one of local stories that will be explored during the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, which will be on display at the Old Depot Museum, Ottawa, Kan., Aug. 19 through Oct. 1, 2023. The Old Depot Museum is one of only six exhibit host sites across the state and the only host site in northeast Kansas.

Voices and Votes considers the many ways Americans have worked to create a “more perfect union” throughout history. Using photographs and objects from the Smithsonian’s collection and multimedia interactives, “Voices and Votes” explores the history of American democracy, the struggles to obtain and keep the vote, the machinery of democracy, the right to petition and protest beyond the ballot, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

“Who has the right to vote? Who gets to participate in the democratic process? These are big questions we still grapple with today,” said Diana Staresinic-Deane, director of the Franklin County Historical Society. “We all have strong feelings about these questions, which makes voting and democracy hard to talk about. This exhibit gives us non-partisan historical context around which to frame meaningful conversations, something we desperately need at a time when so many of our conversations quickly become polarized.”

In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, Franklin County Historical Society will host a local companion exhibited called “Barely Made It: The Naked Voters and Other Franklin County Stories of Democracy”, and a countywide outdoor exhibit called “They Raised Their Voices: Rabble Rousers and History Makers,” both made possible with a grant from Humanities Kansas.

Special Hours

The Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St., Ottawa, will offer extended hours Aug. 19-Oct. 1. The museum will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays  The museum will also be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Labor Day (Sept. 4). Admission is free, though donations are always appreciated.

Grand Opening

The exhibit kicks off with the grand opening at the Old Depot Museum at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with live music from Ottawa Brass and remarks from the person responsible for all aspects of a democratic and legal election process in Franklin County – County Clerk Janet Paddock.

Vietnam gunship crash survivors: We’re still here because of our hero

An AC-119G Shadow flying over Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon, in 1969. Public domain photo.

Many heroes among us often go unrecognized for their acts of heroism. Such as it is for a former Air Force sergeant who saved two of his crewmates after an AC119G gunship crashed near Saigon in 1969.

Bill Slater, a former Air Force staff sergeant, now from Somerville, S.C., wants his former crewmate to know he will forever consider him a hero. Slater recently contacted Osage County News to tell about the hero who saved his and a crewmate’s lives.

Slater was the head gunner of a crew of 10 flying a night mission on AC119G Shadow 76, on Oct. 11, 1969, out of Tan Son Nhut Air Base, at Saigon, South Vietnam. Only three crew members survived when the plane crashed into a rice paddy and plowed into a residence not far from the end of the runway: Slater, A1C Gale “Pat” Jones, and Sgt. John Lelle, who now lives in Quenemo, Kan.

Slater and Jones give credit to Lelle for saving their lives.

“John saved both of us,” Slater said. “John came back for me, but couldn’t get to me. Pat hollered for help and John pulled him out. I was able to get on top of the wreckage and then John carried me away from the plane.”

Seven people on the plane were killed, Maj. Richard Knapic, Maj. Moses Lopes Alves, Maj. Jerome James Rice, Capt. John Hooper Hathaway, SSgt. Abraham Lincoln Moore, SSgt. Ellsworth Smith Bradford of the 600th Photo Squadron, and Vietnamese Air Force interpreter Lt. Biu Kien. A Vietnamese civilian was also killed when the crash hit a house.

Slater and Lelle were gunners on the flight; Jones was the illuminator operator. The AC119G gunships such as Shadow 76 were formerly built as cargo planes known as “Flying Boxcars”, but the Air Force had retrofitted the twin-engine aircraft into a gunship capable of carrying large amounts of ammunition along with crew and passengers.

The Shadow squadron was known for its nighttime missions and ability to light up a target area with flares and powerful spotlights. With its 7.62 “mini-guns”, it could rain down a hailstorm of rounds “every three inches and 50 yards wide” according to an article in the April 1968 issue of The Air Reservist, the official magazine of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve at the time. The 17th Special Operations Squadron motto was, “Deny him the dark,” which refers to the AC119G gunships’ ability to spot the enemy.

Willing Workers take on busy summer schedule

In preparation for the fair and to kick off the summer, Willing Workers 4-H Club members have been busy.

Visiting a friendly donkey during a tour of 4-H friends’ homes and farms were, front from left, Ruby Stucky, Clara Thielen, Kassie Thielen, Claire Newman and Mason Newman, back, Paige Thielen, Avery Thielen, Reese Wilcoxson, Lena Stucky, Kevin Whitmer, and Leila Wilcoxson. Willing Workers photo.

On June 25, 2023, the Willing Workers 4-H Club went on a club tour. The club visited each family’s home to see their 4-H animals and projects. They started at the Newmans’ home in Carbondale, where the club enjoyed seeing their many different types of animals such as pheasants, rabbits, chickens, donkeys, turkeys, and pigeons. The club was given refreshments afterward provided by the Newmans. Next the club traveled back to Osage City where they met the Bosses’ pigs and goats. Their third stop was the Whitmers, where the club met the sheep, ducks, and chickens. At the edge of town the club stopped at the Stuckys to meet their chickens and see their art projects. The final stop was the Thielens near Lebo. The club had a great time meeting 4-H heifers, pigs, bunnies, and a bucket calf. The club then traveled to the Osage City Aquatic Center for a pool party and potluck. Thank you members who participated in the club tour!

Chamber Chatter: Crouchers earn yard of month award for July

Even with the lack of rain and the hot days, many of the homes landscaping have been kept up with many hours of attention. Each month, the Chamber selects a yard to show appreciation of the beauty and hard work by the homeowners. The honorees receive $25 in Chamber Bucks to be used at an Osage City participating business. Announced as July’s winner was Gregg and Cheryl Croucher’s yard, at 834 Main St., Osage City. The beauty of their floral arrangements extends from the front of their home around to their back yard. The back yard includes a neatly kept garden, floral arrangements surrounding the house and out building. Gregg and Cheryl have lived in their home for 18 years.

Ribbon cuttings mark progress in area business community

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has been busy in the last month with ribbon cuttings celebrating new business ownership, renovations and reopenings.

June 28, 2023, COF Training Services held a grand opening of its newly renovated facility, which updated accommodations for individuals served. Renovations included a kitchen, alternative day programing area, updated restrooms, laundry facility, arts and crafts, exercise areas and contract work area.

New owners Kent and Erin Schaper cut the ribbon at Osage Building Materials.

Under new ownership, Osage Building Materials held a grand reopening and ribbon cutting on June 29, 2023. Kent and Erin Schaper are new owners of the Osage City hardware store and lumber yard. They also own Arrowhead Hardware, in Baldwin City. Kent and Erin said they are excited to be a part of the community and look forward to serving customers throughout Osage County for years to come. The event included a discount off all in stock, in store merchandise, participants enjoyed ice cream, give aways, refreshments, special offers and balloons.

Henry’s Coffee House: Owner Nathan Willis, center, with Chamber members Roger Mersmann and Joe Humerickhouse.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting July 6, 2023, for its newest member, Henry’s Coffee House. Henry’s is not a brand new business, having been open at 413 Market St. for a little more than two years. Joining the Chamber marks a milestone in Henry’s efforts to expand its business and make itself a central gathering spot for the community. Henry’s has added more food items to its lineup and has expanded its hours to be open seven days a week, and has future plans to expand to a larger space.

From the director: ‘You’re never too old to learn something new’

I invited Chamber members to submit an interesting fact about their business for me to include in my “Did You Know” article for this month. I had several responses and look forward to sharing them with you.

Osage County Fair wrap up: Winners’ skills and talent pay off in fun competitions

Winners of the fair’s annual Cornhole tournament were, from left, Louis and Christopher Brosch, second place, Chris and Brody Kirkpatrick, first place, and Jerry and Katy Graham, third place. Photo thanks to Jeanette Swarts.

By Jeanette Swarts

Mother Nature provided an enjoyable evening for the 2023 Osage County Fair Parade and entertainment, which were a success and enjoyed by many spectators. The parade had a variety of entries including the Boy Scout Troop leading with the color guard and then fire equipment, law enforcement, EMS, Mr. and Mrs. Osage City Bill and Sharyl Bolyard, Parade Marshal Naomi Brown, Honorary Parade Marshal David Haskins, with his mother, Darlene, and son, Ryan, Twin Lakes Cruisers, high school spirit groups, floats, golf carts and ATVs, the Shriners, city trucks, tractors, miniature train, and horses.

Following the parade was a variety of entertainment at Osage City Jones Park and fairgrounds. Inflatables and the hatchet throw were a hit with the youth as well as a train ride provided by Garrett’s Fireworks. Some people were playing bingo inside the community building while others were enjoying food served by the Lions Club and ice cream served by the Osage County Fair Association, and listening to Savannah Chestnut and the Field Hands live band.

The finale for the evening was the spectacular fireworks celebration provided by sponsors and the Osage City Chamber of Commerce. The fireworks celebration would not be possible without the generous donations given by the businesses and individuals within the community. Scott Farmer and his crew do a wonderful job putting together an enjoyable show. Assisting Scott on Saturday morning was a group of Chamber of Commerce members and Osage City citizens that volunteered to pick up all of the debris left from the show.

The Touch-A-Truck event held on Saturday and was a success with the various types of trucks, farm equipment, helicopter, and other equipment. The Osage County Farm Bureau Association sponsors this event with the assistance of Michelle Rickel.

Parade float winners were Community Covenant Church with first place and winning $125; and Countryside Baptist Church in second place and $100 prize money.

In the ATV and golf cart category, Chenoa Casebier was first with $30 award; second place was the Woodyard family, with a $20 prize.

The Chamber and Osage County Fire District No. 2 offered opportunity for children to color a picture with the anticipation of getting selected to ride on the firetruck in the parade. Selected were Taylor Lickteig, Tessa Keffe, Harper Lohmeyer and Logan Lohmeyer.

Horse category winner was “Red, While and Blue”, awarded for most creative horse and cart and most creative horse and rider, with $50 prize money for each category.

Pie contest winners were, adult category, first, JoAnn Bauman with a peach pie; second, Rita Jackson with her blue gooseberry; and third, Tammy Patterson with an apple pie. In the youth competition, Cruc Jackson was first and Kim Knauber was second.

Pie contest winners in the adult category were, first, JoAnn Bauman with peach; second, Rita Jackson with blue gooseberry; and third, Tammy Patterson with apple.

Mr. and Mrs. Bolyard honored as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City for 2023

Bill and Sharyl Bolyard wait for the July 21, 2023, Osage County Fair Parade to begin, when they were honored as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City. Osage City Chamber photo.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has announced Bill and Sharyl Bolyard have been selected as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City for 2023, and will be honored as dignitaries in the Osage County Fair Parade Friday evening in downtown Osage City.

Bill is a lifelong resident of Osage City and graduated from Osage City High School in 1968. He went to work for Goodyear Tire & Rubber, in Topeka, after graduation, working 37 years before he retired in 2006.

Bill was drafted in 1969 and served in the US Army during the Vietnam War until he was honorably discharged in 1971, returning to Goodyear until retirement.

Bill had volunteered many hours in the community on the Osage City Tree Board, Veteran’s Memorial Committee, and American Legion Bingo and pancake feeds. He also volunteered at the Topeka VA Hospital nine years, picking up and driving veterans to doctor appointments in Topeka.

Sharyl (Hutchinson) was born at Strawn, Kan., but relocated to the Lebo area in 1961 when John Redmond reservoir was built. She graduated from Lebo High School in 1971. Sharyl has lived in Osage City since 1983.

Sharyl worked at the US Postal Service for more than 30 years, beginning in 1978 and retiring in 2009. She served the communities of Reading, Carbondale, Burlingame and Osage City as postmaster during her career. After her retirement, Sharyl worked part-time until 2014 at Edward Jones, Osage City.

She had volunteered with Girl Scouts, Osage County Help House, Ecumenical Christian Action Team, and Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign in Osage County.

Bill and Sharyl have two children Cory (Tina) Love and Megan (Jeff) Schrumm. They have seven grandchildren.

They have helped with Kiwanis paper pick up, Smoke in the Spring, Meals on Wheels, and at Melvern Lake with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bill and Sharyl are active in the Presbyterian Church, and with the American Legion and Auxiliary, organizing the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags and veterans’ grave flags at local cemeteries.

Bill and Sharyl enjoy spending time with family, walking, boating and traveling.

The Osage County Fair Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City. The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route.

Haskins named as 2023 Osage County Fair co-honorary parade marshal

David Haskins, with Darlene and Ryan, was the honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair Parade. The recognition also marked the celebration of Haskins Oil’s 90th year in business. Osage City Chamber of Commerce photo. 

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has named David Haskins, owner of Haskins Oil, as a co-honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair parade, which will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City. Haskins shares the honorary marshal title with Casey Mussatto, Flint Hills Beverage. The parade will be marshaled by Naomi Brown, Marilynn’s Restaurant.

Haskins’ honorary title recognizes his service to the community and Haskins Oil Service’s 90 years in business. David Haskins has owned and operated Haskins Oil Service for the past 40 years. The Haskins’ business was originally started by David’s grandfather, Cliff Haskins, in 1933. Jack, David’s father, took over in 1955 with the bulk deliveries, but leased the station out for a few years.

Haskins Oil now has six employees, two full-time, and four part-time. Bob Hammarlund and Phil Crocker oversee all tire repair and servicing vehicles. Brandon Smith and River Davis work part-time when their schedules allow. Darlene Haskins has been working at the station since 1957 and is still active, taking care of accounts receivable and errands. Barb Haskins assists with all other general office work.

Haskins Oil has kept business local with a full service gas station, automobile maintenance service, tire repair, and service calls.

From 1933 to 1961, Haskins Oil Company was operated as a bulk tank wagon business, servicing filling stations and farmers throughout the county. In 1961, Jack and Darlene expanded the business to include the Conoco service station at 701 Market Street. In the 1960s, during a gas war, Haskins was the only gas station in Osage City that never ran out of gas, even with cars lined up one and one-half blocks away. When the Haskins started operating the service station, the price of gas was only 26.9 cents a gallon.

“The family business appreciates its customers and their patronage through the years.”

David and co-honorary parade marshal Casey Mussatto (read more) will be parade honorees. The parade marshal is Naomi Brown, Osage City businesswoman and restaurateur; read more here.

The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route. The parade is hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce; see the fair’s schedule of events here.

Mussatto named as 2023 Osage County Fair co-honorary parade marshal

Update: Mussatto will appear in the 2023 Christmas on Market Street Parade.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has named Casey Mussato, Flint Hills Beverage, as a co-honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair Parade. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City. Mussatto’s co-honorary parade marshal is David Haskins, Haskins Oil Service. Marshalling the parade will be Naomi Brown, Marilynn’s Restaurant.

Mussatto’s designation of honorary parade marshal recognize his company’s celebration of 90 years in the beverage wholesale business, serving the Osage City and surrounding area.

Mussatto Bros., which is now Flint Hills Beverage, was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City, Kan. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company. In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only five percent of the market at the time.

The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son Raymond and his wife, Juanita, bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife, Cheryl, took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 1990s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly, as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

In June of 2000, Casey and Cheryl along with Terry and Nina Dow purchased Campbell Distributors, in Manhattan, Kan., which were also Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in the Manhattan, Junction City, and Ft Riley area.

Then, on Jan. 1, 2013, Mussatto Bros. merged with Flint Hills Beverage. After the merger, the company became Flint Hills Beverage, named after the region it serves, and it continues operations in both cities.

Flint Hills Beverage is the leading beverage wholesaler in the Flint Hills region distributing a large variety of high-quality beverage products representing Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Nestle, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Talking Rain Beverage, Congo, Walnut River Brewing, Odell Brewing, and 40 other beverage producers.

Today, Flint Hills Beverage is the fifth largest Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in the state and serves 500 plus retailers spread over 15 counties and the people in the Flint Hills region who buy their beverage products from them.

“As we celebrate 90 years in business, we want to thank everyone who chooses to buy the beverages we sell and for the efforts of more than 40 dedicated employees!”

Mussatto and David Haskins (read more) will serve as co-honorary parade marshal for this year’s Osage County Fair Parade, and will ride in the parade as honorees. The parade marshal is Naomi Brown, local businesswoman and restaurateur; read more about Naomi here.

The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route. The parade is hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce; see the fair’s schedule of events here.

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