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The Oskaloosa Independent
Valley Falls , Kansas
August 27, 2015     The Oskaloosa Independent
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August 27, 2015

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THE OSKALOOSA INDEPENDENT THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2015 P. 5 NEWS by Rick Nichols What was left of the first Jeffer- son County Courthouse, a building numerous schoolchildren across Kan- sas had encountered in one of their history books through a photograph of the historic structure, was made available for purchase 55 years ago yesterday (August 26). Erected over a period of several months during the years 1867 and 1868, the picturesque courthouse E.D. Baldwin designed and Graham & Swain built was clobbered by a destructive tornado the evening of Thursday, May 19, 1960. Pictures taken afterward indicate that the cupola-topped roof and the second story of the two-story building, which measured 70 feet from front to back and 50 feet from side to side, fared the worst, but then it was on the second story that the brick walls had had to be reinforced with metal rods some years earlier. The cruel blow dealt by Mother Nature forced the county offices then located within the courthouse, already targeted for replacement, to be moved elsewhere, and by late July the Board of County Commission- ers was finally ready to decide the buildings fate. Meeting on the 29th, the three commissioners voted to let the state's oldest courthouse become history, so to speak, and on Aug. 26, what amounted to the remains of the building were offered for sale to the general public. In the seventh paragraph of the following story, which appeared in the Aug. 26, 1960, issue of the Lawrence Journal-World, Oskaloosa Indepen- dent publisher John W. Roberts, interviewed for the piece, mentions a plaque inside the courthouse that he felt needed to be saved because it contained information about the construction of the building. Having never seen such a plaque at either the current courthouse or Old Jef- ferson Town, I recently shared the story with some of the officers of the Jefferson County Historical Society, which operates OJT, and asked them if any of them knew anything about the plaque's whereabouts. No one did, but they forwarded my inquiry on to Dennis Reiling, Candace Braksick and others for consideration in the hope that someone out there might have a definitive answer. Unfortu- nately, no one in this second group Of people had an answer either. The same question was posed Monday afternoon to County Clerk Linda Buttron, who remembers the deadly '60 twister, but she, too, had no idea what had happened to the plaque. So the question remains ... has anyone seen the plaque? Oskaloosa Landmark Auctioned --$50 Gets Courthouse The oldest courthouse in Kan- sas, built in 1868 at Oskaloosa for $22,875, went on the auction block today and was sold for a mere $50. About 180 persons gathered at the south door of the Jefferson County Courthouse, which was heavily dam- aged by a tornado May 19. As Coun- ty Commissioner Fred Thompson opened the auction, Sheriff John W. Pence read terms of the contract. He then called for bids, but for several moments there were none. Then, from the back of the crowd, Les Shifflett of Atchison called out $50. After three calls, the landmark was his. Shifflett said he will salvage the wood and fixtures, and give the bricks to county farmers. He said it will be three weeks or a month before farm- ers can pick up as many bricks as they want at the courthouse site. Among watchers were two old- timers who have witnessed much of the history surrounding the 93-year- old landmark. One is John W. Roberts, publisher of the Oskaloosa Independent, who has been on the scene most of the time since 1882, and the other, Wyatt A. Gragg, county superintendent for 13 years, who is a lifetime resident of the county - since 1888. As both sat talking about days gone-by, they recalled that the court- house served as the county's center for political, church and social activi- ties. Roberts expressed interest in pre- serving a plaque inside telling about the building's construction. "While we've never found a cor- nerstone, we are sure there is one," Roberts said. "When the Masonic Lodge No. 14 was built in 1860 there was one." "We used to have dances on the second floor until Terry Critchfield built his opera house in 1888. Then it took over as the social center." "But many famous early Kansans spoke from the park here. The biggest crowd ever was here to hear Dr. John Brinkley," Roberts remarked. Gragg, who at one time was a member of the state school text adop- tion committee, was instrumental in getting a picture of the courthouse into Kansas history books. Besides strictly legitimate dra- matic events, often dramatic political conventions rocked the building. In the days before primaries, county politicians met there and selected their candidates. And since 1901, the annual Old Settlers Reunion has been held on the courthouse lawns. There were hitch- ing posts on three sides in the early days where visitors could tie up their mounts and buggies. The Fourth of July was the biggest every-day event at the courthouse, they recalled. Horseshoes was the favorite game before the turn of the century, and many county officials, workers and 1st Presbyterian Church Jefferson & Cherokee Oskaloosa, Kansas Decks, Windows, Siding Trim/General Carpentry Tracy Pierson (785) 863-3541 (913) 886-3837 11 tfl ,~ ~ ~~ = ~ a,,Serving all $ (~ of Jefferson ~ c County Worship 10 a.m. 11 -eow-ffc 'Neil Clinic Caring for you and your family Family Medicine Laurie Conway, M.D. Darrin Cox, P.A. Primary care for kids, adults and seniors Mammography screening services available at this location. Specialty Physician Visits OB/Gyn Kimberly Brey, M.D. Lincoln Center OB/Gyn, RA. Talk to your physician if you are interested in scheduling an appointment with a specialist in one of these areas. p Cotton-O Neil Clinic 209 W. Jefferson St. (785) 863-3417 Division of Stormont-Vail HealthCare 11-1R The first Jefferson County Courthouse, which was damaged by a tornado May townspeople could be found in the afternoon on the shady side of the building "tossing away." Roberts said there once were four wells, one at each corner of the square for public drinking. Then at two gates SECURITY COLUMN Childhood Cancer Awareness .Month By Norm Franker Social Security District Manager, Lawrence Cancer can affect any one of us, at any time. Sadly, thousands of under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it remains the leading cause of disease-related death for children. In Sep- tember, we honor the strength and courage of children who are battling the many forms of cancer, as well as the young Americans who have lost their lives to these terrible diseases. Social Security provides benefits for children who suffer from many disabling diseases, including some forms of cancer. These benefits could help with the additional costs of caring for an ill child. The Supplemen- tal Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled children who have limited income and resources. If you wish to apply for benefits for your child, you'll need to com- plete both an application for SSI and a Child Disability Report. The report collects information about your child's disabling condition, and about how it affects his or her ability to function. Here are the steps to apply. Review the Child Disability Starter Kit. This kit answers common questions about applying for SSI benefits for children, and includes a worksheet that will help you gather the information you need. You can view the starter kit at, child_eng.htm. The SSI program is a "needs-based" program for people who have low family income and resources. SSI has strict limits on the amount of income and assets you can have and still be eligible for SSI. Contact Social Security right away to find out if the income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits, and to start the SSI application process. Fill out the online Child Disability Report. At the end of the report, we'll ask you to sign a form that gives the child's doctor(s) permission to give us information about his or her disability. We need this informa- tion to make a decision on your child's claim. You can access the Child Disability Report at Social Security also has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to ap- plicants whose medical conditions are so serious that they obviously meet our strict disability standards. Social Security's Compassionate Allowances program enables us to identify diseases and other medical conditions quickly that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. The Compassionate Allowances list allows Social Security to identify the most seriously disabled people for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Com- passionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Supplemen- tal Security Income program. You can learn more about Compassionate Allowances at No matter what month it is, Social Security is here to provide bene- fits those with severe disabilities. If you or anyone in your family needs assistance, visit Thursday, Sept. 3 6 p.m. SHARP! (in the community 11008 3rd St, Meriden, KS of Rock Creek) OPEN HOUSE PREVIEWS: Sun., Aug. 23 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Thurs. Aug. 27 from 5 to 6:30 p,m. SELLING TO THE HIGHEST AND LAST BIDDER AFTER A MINIMUM OPENING BID OF ONLY$7,5OO.OO!!Help yourself to this handyman special in the community of Rock Creek just north of K4/K92 junction in the Jeff West school district.This 1.5 story home is on a corner lot and features a detached 35x30 garage/shop. The house is in need of work. Opportunity is knocking. Help yourself. Partial terms- $1,500.00 down as non-refundable earnest money at close of auction. Property sells as-is with positively no contingencies. Close on or before October 2, 2015. Buyers are required to conduct all due diligence prior to auction day. Full terms available at open house preview or by contacting auction company. AUCTION BY: Auctioneer/Realtor: Andy Conser, CAI I Broker: Becky Wise (-'Unite.d 785-806-6921 785-863-3322 email: andy@uchea I 19,1960. were two cisterns to catch water off the roof. "Our only fire equipment was two pumps at these cisterns to get our water, and they were hand pumps," Robert said. Brick for the building was fired just two blocks away," Roberts com- mented. And referring to the tornado, he said: "Most everyone who came up here for awhile took a brick away, but it looks like they didn't take enough." Then deep in thought he con- cluded:"We'll just have memories left now." County 4-H news Fairview 4-H Club The Fairview 4-H Club meeting was held Aug. 16 at the Ozawkie United Methodist Church. It was called to order by President Charley Carver by reciting the flag salute, 4-H pledge, and motto. Roll call was answered by members telling what their future occupation might be. There were 10 members present. Ashley Nelson, secretary, read the minutes from the July meeting. , Amanda Nelson led the:group Jn singing the "Happy Birthday" song to those with August birthdays. Members will do a window display during National 4-H Week. Pat Courtney will check on the location. Members will pay $40 on camp fees. The September meeting has been changed to Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. as some members will be at the state fair on the third Sunday. Election of officers will be held. The leaders reminded members to send thank you notes for the awards they received at the fair. Lewis Bolinger, vice president, took over the meeting. All members present reported on their fair projects. The club had nine members sending projects to the state fair and several others in fashion revue, judging contests, and giving talks. Gabe Robbins led the group in recreation. Members brought some of their projects and awards to the church and had them on display. A meal was served following church services. -- Garrett Casto, club reporter Open government laws training scheduled The Kansas Attorney General's Office and the Sunshine Coalition for Open Government will offer a free training session on Kansas open records and open meetings laws in Topeka next month,Attorney General Derek Schmidt has announced. The training session will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Memorial Hall Auditorium, 120 S.W. 10th Ave. Those wishing to attend should register on the attorney general's website at or call 785-296- 2215. For the past six years, the attorney general's office and the Sunshine Coalition have provided a week of training about open government laws at locations throughout the state. But a new law passed earlier this year by the Legislature places formal re- sponsibility on the attorney general's office to provide and coordinate train- ing on Kansas open government laws as well as to step up enforcement of violations. During this transition, the at- torney general's office is again coor- dinating a training series with the Sunshine Coalition to include several trainings to be held over the course of the fiscal year that will end June 30, 2016. "Many violations of the law are unintentional and can be avoided through proper training," Schmidt said. "As we move toward expanded training opportunities and enforce- ment required under the new statute, I encourage elected officials, public employees and members of the me- dia and general public to attend this training to learn more about what is required under these laws." The training about the Kansas Open Records Act and the Kansas Open Meetings Act will be conduct- ed by attorneys in SchmidCs office who specialize in open government laws. Panelists will include Kansas Sunshine Coalition members, local government officials, and media rep- resentatives. Schmidt said his office will an- nounce additional training opportu- nities at other locations in the state in coming months. Soybean Commission reappoints members elects officers The Kansas Soybean Comm~ssi0n reappointed its two members-a~zra~ge for another three-year term and elected its 2015-2016 officers during its fall meeting, Aug. 13 in Topeka. Jerry Jeschke, Robinson, and Lance Rezac, Onaga, will continue as commissioners-at-large. Their term coincides with that ofKurt Maurath, Oakley, who the soybean farmers in districts 1, 2 and 3 re-elected in March to represent them. The commissioners also conducted their annual officer elections. Den- nis Gruenbacher, Andale, will serve as chairman, with Lance Rezac, Onaga, as vice chairman. Maurath was re-elected secretary and James Zwonitzer, Horton, treasurer. The remaining commissioners are Ron Ohlde, Palmer; Kent Romine, Great Bend; Robert Haselwood, Ber- ryton; and Mike Bellar, Howard. Craig Gigstad, Valley Falls, who serves with Haselwood and Ohlde on the national United Soybean Board, is an ex officio, nonvoting counselor to the commission. Join the Arbor Day Foundation, get free trees Everyone from Kansas who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in Septem- ber will receive 10 free trees as part of the Foundation's Trees for America program. Through Trees for America, ev- eryone is encouraged to plant trees, which benefits the environment and improves quality of life. With nearly 1 million members and supporters, the Arbor Day Foundation is the na- tion's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Everyone joining this month will receive an eastern redbud, white pine, sugar maple, white flowering dogwood, pin oak, red maple, river birch, silver maple, northern red oak, and Colorado blue spruce. "This group of trees was carefully selected to yield year-round benefits in Kansas, including beautiful spring flowers, cool summer shade, spectacu- lar autumn colors, winter berries, and nesting sites for songbirds," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "These trees will also add to the proud heritage of Kansas' NULL Tree City USA communities," Harris con- tinued. "For the past 39 years, Tree City USA has supported effective urban forestry management across Kansas, and planting these trees will enhance the state's tree-planting tradition." The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12- inch trees are_guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Easy-to-follow planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees. New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will also receive The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care. To receive the 10 trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, 68410, by Sept. 30 or join online at september. School Calendar Oskaloosa USD 341 Aug. 27: Open House at Oskaloosa Elementary School, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28: Bearstock, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 29: Varsity high school vol- leyball at Wabaunsee, 9 a.m. Aug. 31: Junior high school volley- ball at Jackson Heights, 4:30 p.m. Sept, 1~ Varsity and junior varsity high schbbl Volleyball triangular at McLouth, 5 p.m. McLouth USD 342 Aug. 27: Academic Banquet, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28: Fall Sports Preview, 5" p.m. Aug. 31: Middle school volleyball triangular at Xavier, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 1: Varsity and junior varsity high school volleyball triangular, 5 p.m. Jefferson County North USD 339 Aug. 27:K-8 Parent Night, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28: Gatorade high school football scrimmage, 7 p.m. Aug. 29: Junior varsity high school volleyball tournament at Perry, 9 a.m. Aug. 31: "A" team middle school volleyball triangular at Everest, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 1: Varsity and junior varsity high school volleyball triangular, 5 p.m. Support your ]dferso. County Professionals. Call 785-863-2520 or e-mail O~ .... Allison M: Bi~ig 1" id d (_a9 lik'n-epen-ent--century" : ~1,~ ~ ~ lopeka,~6~14~ ~p~ 1931 Gage Blvd. ] to advertise in the ~ ~ Cell: 785-760-6932 [ Independent Professional Directory. :~ O~ce: 785-246-6955 TOPEKA ELITE, LLC A 16-week commitment is requested. ReeceNichots Unit N D R-e l E-E- -ate ,, Clinic 0skaloosa Animal Clinic 313~r~ {S0:side0fsquare) 863-3275 Jeannette Holland, O.D. Heath Holland, O.O. .... US Hwy 59" P.O. Box 638" Oskat ..... Ka .... 66066 ...... 10605 McCall Dr. ., .... 785.863.2000" Fax: 785.8'3.3333 ....~]~..]0"Z/'3] -,, w~wdKN0rtheastl(ans~(0m 1 mile North of Oskaloosa on Hw~. 59 X. Shera Chaloupka DVM 41-tI~ II ~'1 Family Dentistry I'~'1 II II ~klPreventive *Res~orative*~s~hetic II II ~ ~O~,,~er~,. O~oo~a ~0~ ~Jl__J Practice of Chiropractic 13 Hours: 9 a.m. - 6 p,m, 609 E. LAKE STREET ~il~'i MoLOUTH, KS 66054 Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9 a.m. to noon--Thurs & Sat. 0.n , ,sivt I t eE=$OXALIZt I Closed Sunday & Monday "Leah Hestoni Evening Hours .... NEW PATiENTSWELCOME ....................... 'MOST MA OR *NSUUANCES ACCEPTED By Appointment Accepting new patients of ALL ages! We are contracting providers with four major FLEXIBLE FINANCING companies, but we will gladly bill Office 863-2334 We understand that finances any ' yur insurance careers' AFTER HOURS-Home 832-1369~ are~always a concern. FAMILIAR FACES IN OUR STAFF ~, ~ Phyllis Carrie Angie Oskaloosa, KS 66066 4.,o ~ ~ Jeannette* Leah* Samantha 50-u