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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.

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.”

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 Thielen, and Paige Thielen, back, Bo, Emilee Burkett, Avery Thielen, Claire Newman, Lena Stucky, Kaiden Bosse, Kevin Whitmer, and Gene Roberts. Courtesy photo.

By Avery Thielen, Club Reporter

On March 1, 2023, the Willing Workers 4-H Club went to Custom Meats, in Osage City, to learn how livestock are processed. The 4-Hers were given a tour of the Custom Meats facility by Gene Roberts, Emilee Burkett and employee Bo. Gene did a great job of entertaining the group while educating them on the steps of processing animals. Many of the 4-H members show livestock at the county fair. This tour helped them understand what happens to their animals after they sell them. Even members who do not show livestock found the tour to be informative. It is important that people understand where their meat comes from. Thank you Custom Meats for the tour.

Zion Lutheran youth serve up the spice for Lenten service

March 1, 2023, the Zion Youth Group served a freewill donation enchilada meal to congregation members before the Zion Lutheran Church’s Wednesday night Lenten service. The Vassar church’s youth group has begun fundraising to attend the National Youth Convention, in New Orleans, in the summer of 2025. Youth group members serving are, from left, Chase Silver, Reed Silver, Kiefer Haney, Allie Reeser, and Dylan Haney. Not pictured were Caleb Anschutz, Jensen Sturdy, and Bella Reeser. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

Silver Haired Legislature election slated for March 10 at local nutrition sites

Election of Silver Haired Legislators for Osage County will be 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2023, at three locations in Osage County: Burlingame Senior Nutrition Site, 116 W. Lincoln Ave., Burlingame; Carbondale Senior Nutrition Site, 228 Main St., Carbondale, KS 66414; and Osage County Senior Center, 604 Market St., Osage City.

Voting instructions and ballots will be posted at each voting place. Date and times will be the same for each site. Those voting should give the following information to the poll worker: Name, address, city or town, and age, and voters should be 60 years or older.

Silver Haired Legislature candidates from Osage County who have filed for election include:

Melody Hoffsommer, Overbrook

  • Candidate statement: Transportation, healthcare costs, safety, and isolation are a few of the problems facing senior citizens today. As a caring member of my community, I would like the opportunity to help create policies, plans, and programs that would benefit retirees and society as a whole. I’ve earned a BA in Political Science and an MSE in School Counseling. Currently, I am a member of Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel, on the Board of Directors of the Appanoose Area Preservation Society, and belong to Northeast Kansas BeeKeepers Association. Your vote would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Betty Hughs, Osage City

  • Candidate statement: I will spotlight the treasure we as a people have in the mature persons of Kansas. We still have much to contribute to those coming up behind us. Diversity of life experiences is vast and unique in our age group. I will clearly show just because one is over 60, one should not be considered useless. Many of we “seniors” who want to work, are rudely shoved aside due to age. The goal is to show we seniors have much more to give and are extremely worth the effort, for the Silvered Haired Legislature to stand in the gap.

Roxanne Wendt, Melvern

  • Candidate statement: For the past 35 years I have worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools. In my professional career, I have worked diligently to ensure that my students developed a strong voice for themselves. Early in my career, I witnessed the importance of being able to express to others your personal needs and to feel a sense of being heard. Now, as I am nearing the end of my professional work career, I realize my work is far from over. At this time, I believe it is now my responsibility to advocate for the needs of my fellow senior citizens living in Osage County, Kansas, as our voices deserve to be heard in the Kansas Capitol.

The election is conducted by East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging, Ottawa, Kan.; call 800-633-5621 for more information.

Melvern Jr. Highline members take top awards at District 4-H Club Days

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at Central Heights High School, the Frontier 4-H District held the district 4-H Club Days.  Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club was represented by four members, Braelyn McNally gave a speech on Sustainability in the Beef Industry and received a top-purple; Gradey McNally presented a multimedia presentation on The Art of Composting, receiving a top-purple; Allie Reeser’s multimedia presentation on Anti-Heroes received a top-purple; and Bella Reeser preformed a solo dance to the song “Shake the Room”, and received a top-purple.

All four Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members earned the opportunity to participate in Regional 4-H Club Days, Saturday, March 25, at Gardner High School.

Judge Wine swears in McWilliams as new Osage County Clerk

Osage County Chief Judge Taylor Wine, left, swore in Julie McWilliams, center, as the new Osage County Clerk, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. McWilliams was nominated to the position by the Osage County Republican Central Committee, represented at the swearing in by Dana Webber, OCRCC chairman. McWilliams will fill the unexpired term of longtime Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets, whose resignation was effective Feb. 20. Courtesy photo.

Melvern Jr. Highline attends 4-H Day with K-State Women’s Basketball

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members attended 4-H Day with K-State Women’s Basketball, at Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan. With their admission fee, club members and their families enjoyed the KSU vs. Oklahoma women’s basketball game, free T-shirts, and a $10 food ticket. Club members in attendance were Bella Reeser, Braelyn McNally, Harper Melton, Landon Roy, and Gradey McNally.

Willing Workers enjoy fantastic foods

Willing Workers 4-H Club members enjoy pancakes after learning how to make them, left, Clare Newman, Kassie Thielen, Avery Thielen, Jack Ferrer, Ruby Stucky, Mason Newman, right, Leila Wilcoxson, Charlotte Ferrer, Paige Thielen, Clara Thielen, Lena Stucky, and Reese Wilcoxson. Courtesy photo.

By Avery Thielen
Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club is always keen to learn about new types of food. Every month the club gets together for a meeting hosted by Pam Whitmer. Unlike monthly meetings held for all members, she teaches members in the cooking project how to cook certain foods and baked goods.

The last cooking meeting was Jan. 29, 2023, at the Osage City Lutheran Church, where the members learned how to make pancakes from scratch. The 4-Hers always have a fun time learning new forms of cooking.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School crowns 2023 Queen of Courts

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School 2023 Queen of Courts royalty, front from left, Ryder Naber and Izel Traver, middle, Gracen Stahl, Kyla Vogeler, Queen Madison Cormode, Olivia Lacey, and Evie Stephens, back, Katie Parker, Jayden McClintic, Isaac Hockett, King Joey Del Percio, Mason Rose, Dallen Flatin, and Max Davis. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School crowned seniors Madison Cormode and Joey Del Percio as 2023 MdCV High School Queen of Courts queen and king during last Friday’s basketball game. 2022 King Max Davis and Queen Katie Parker, and kindergarten attendants Izel Traver and Ryder Naber, assisted with the crowning ceremony during halftime of the boys game against Cair Paravel.

Osage City’s Moulin spells his way to championship at county spelling bee

Osage County’s top spellers of 2023, front, from left, Kenzie Bellinger, Mady Rose, Haley Fine, Alaina Richardson, Malachi Samson, back, Jack Moulin, Iris Sherry, Nolan Wolfe, Kynlee Ard, and Averi Doan. Osage County News photo.

LYNDON, Kan. – In a “gargantuan” win, competing against nine other accomplished spellers, Osage City seventh-grader Jack Moulin took the top spot at the Osage County Spelling Bee, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at Lyndon High School auditorium.

Competing in the bee, hosted this year by Lyndon Middle School, were champions and alternates from five schools in the county, each having competed in their respective school’s competition. Competitors were Iris Sherry, 6th grader, and Nolan Wolfe, 7th grader, from Burlingame; Alaina Richardson, 6th, Kynlee Ard, 7th, Carbondale Attendance Center; Averi Doan, 8th, Malachi Samson, 7th, Lyndon; Mady Rose, 8th, Hailey Fine, 5th, Marais des Cygnes Valley; Jack Moulin, 7th, Kenzie Bellinger, 7th, Osage City.

Reesers celebrate 50th wedding anniversary

James and Judy (Fitzhugh) Reeser, Lyndon, Kan., were united in marriage Jan. 27, 1973, in Little Rock, Ark.

Jim and Judy Reeser

Jim is the son of the late Jack and Genevieve Reeser. He grew up in the Olivet and Melvern communities and graduated from Melvern High School in 1967. He attended Emporia State University and then joined the United States Air Force, which took him worldwide and brought him to Little Rock, where he met his future wife. They were wed and moved back to Lyndon to be near his parents.

After 38 years of working at the Goodyear Tire plant, in 2007, Jim retired. Jim now spends his time fiddling with his antique gas engines, hunting and fishing with his son Tim, and spending time with his grandkids.

Judy is the daughter of the late Walter and Ellie Mae Fitzhugh. She grew up in Lonoke, Ark., and graduated from Lonoke High School in 1966.

Judy was a homemaker for several years until deciding to return to school and become an LPN. In 2011, after 17 years of working as an LPN, she joined Jim in retirement. Judy now spends her time working in her flowerbeds and garden and helping care for her grandkids.

After 50 amazing years of marriage, they reside in Lyndon. Their daughter Kristie, her spouse, Katie Schmidt, and their children, Bethanie and Dawson; son, Tim and his wife, Lisa, and their daughters, Allison and Isabella, wish them all the happiness on their anniversary and many more.

Anniversary wishes can be sent to Jim and Judy Reeser, 603 E. Eighth St. Lyndon, KS 66451.

Young Lyndon auctioneer wins auctioneers association newcomer scholarship

An up and coming auctioneer from Lyndon was named as the recipient of the Kansas Auctioneers Association’s New Auctioneer Scholarship. Cole Pitts, Lyndon, Kan., was presented the award at the association’s annual winter convention, held Jan. 20-22, 2023, at Salina, Kan. Pitts also competed in the association’s rookie contest, in which he took second place.

Pitts received a $175 scholarship toward auctioneer school. He is a junior at Osage City High School, and started in the auction business with Wischropp Auctions and continues to work with them.

Elvan Schrock, of Haven, Kan., was named as champion of the rookie competition. The association also held its first ringman championship competition during this year’s convention, with JB Robison Jr., Owasso, Okla., winning the championship.

The Kansas Auctioneers Association is a trade association whose members abide by its constitution and strict code of ethics. The association is dedicated to the promotion, advancement, protection of the auction profession.

Lacey named to President’s Honor Roll at Butler

EL DORADO, KAN. – Cole Lacey, Melvern, Kan., joined more than 900 students to receive academic honors for the Fall 2022 semester at Butler Community College. Lacey was named to the President’s Honor Roll, which lists students who have earned a 4.0 GPA.

Butler Community College is at El Dorado, Kan. Lacey was a 2022 graduate of Marais des Cygnes Valley High School.

MdCV spellers compete for school title; Mady Rose heads to county bee

MdCV Schools’ spelling bee contestants, front from left, Brayden Traver, Mady Todd, Abi Hines, and Koltyn Sturgeon, middle, Meka Freeman, Greyson Stephens, Landon Roy, Sammi Spillman, Carolyn Penner, Ryne Cormode, and runner-up Hailey Fine, back, Chase Vogeler, Josh Ulupano, MdCV’s 2023 spelling champion Mady Rose, Jordyn Duncan, alternate Emily Criqui, Harper Melton, Landon Traver, and Bella Anderson. Lisa Reeser photo.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Schools held its annual local spelling bee. Each class from grades fourth to eighth was represented by four of their best spellers. It was a hard battle, but after 10 rounds, it was down to three final spellers, Emily Criqui, seventh grade, Hailey Fine, fifth grade, and Mady Rose, eighth grade. After four additional rounds of head to head competition of these remarkable spellers, Mady Rose ended victorious spelling the word “Chicago” correctly.

Mady and Hailey will represent MdCV, with Emily as the alternate, at the Osage County Spelling Bee, which will be held at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at Lyndon High School.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Schools held its annual local spelling bee. Each class from grades fourth to eighth was represented by four of the best spellers. It was a hard battle, but after 10 rounds, it was down to three final spellers, Emily Criqui, seventh grade, Hailey Fine, fifth grade, and Mady Rose, eighth grade. After four additional rounds of head to head competition of these remarkable spellers, Mady Rose ended victorious spelling the word “Chicago” correctly.

Mady and Hailey will represent MdCV, with Emily as the alternate, at the Osage County Spelling Bee, which will be held at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at Lyndon High School.

John Brown and early town of Lane topic of Franklin County Historical Society meeting

John Brown, ca. 1856-1858. Photo courtesy Franklin County Historical Society.

OTTAWA, Kan. -The Pottawatomie Massacre was over in a matter of hours, but its effects rippled throughout the world long after. Grady Atwater, site administrator for the John Brown State Historic Site, will present “John Brown and Lane, Kansas,” as part of the 86th annual meeting of the members of the Franklin County Historical Society, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. This year’s meeting will be available both in person at the FCHS Archives and Research Center, 2011 E. Logan St., Ottawa, Kan., and online via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Atwater holds a Master of Arts in History from Emporia State University and wrote his master’s thesis on John Brown, titled “John Brown, Religion and Violence, Motivation in American History.” Atwater also writes “History and Heritage,” a weekly column in the Miami County Republic. During his program, Atwater will present the story of John Brown’s raid against proslavery settlers near present-day Lane and establish the event’s national and international historic importance.

The Jan. 29 meeting will open at 2 p.m. with a review of 2022 and preview of 2023, with a short intermission before Atwater’s presentation, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Online attendees may participate via Zoom (registration required) or watch via Facebook Live (no registration required). For more information, see, call 785-242-1232 or e-mail

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School names Queen of Courts candidates

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School will crown the Queen of Courts in a ceremony during half-time of the varsity boys game Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, when the Trojans take on Cair Paravel. Varsity game time is 7 p.m. Senior candidates for the court are, from left, Joe Del Percio, Madison Cormode, Kyla Vogeler, and Isaac Hockett. Freshman attendants are Jayden McClintic and Gracen Clower, sophomore attendants are Dallen Flatin and Evie Stephens, and junior attendants are Mason Rose and Olivia Lacey. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club hits the lanes to bowl in the New Year

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club met at Fusion Alley, in Ottawa, Kan., and enjoyed an hour of bowling. At 4:01 p.m., the 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. Secretary Allie Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘Would you rather have butterfly wings or a horses tail?’ There were eight members and six adults present. Allie read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read.

In correspondence, Allie shared two letters; one from Extension agent Jo Hetrick-Anstaett wishing the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club a Merry Christmas. The second letter was from Don and Ann Becker, thanking the club for coming to their house to Christmas carol.

Treasurer Landon Roy read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report.

In council report, council representative Braelyn McNally said re-enrollment is past due, please renew ASAP.  4-H Day with Wildcat Women’s Basketball is Feb. 12. District Club Days is Feb. 18, at Central Heights High School. Regional Club Days is March 25, at Gardner. Blue & Gold Sales have begun; return to Extension office by Feb. 27. Livestock camp will be March 4-5 at Camp Chipawa. Beef weigh-in will be at Overbrook fairgrounds 4-6 p.m. March 29. Small animal weigh-in at Osage City fairgrounds will be 4-6 p.m. May 2. Osage City Fair will be July 18-22. Overbrook Fair will be Aug. 2-5.

In leaders’ report, leaders Caleb McNally and Lisa Reeser reminded club members to enroll in the new 4-H year by Dec. 1. Also, we received a letter from the Extension Office, all our 2021-2022 financial reports were in order. There was no old business and no new business. In program and for recreation, members and parents bowled before the meeting.

At 4:09 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, Feb. 5, 2023, at Melvern Community Center. Members enjoyed snacks of nachos and pop while they were bowling.

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