Scott County Historical Society

National Register

The Battle at Punished Woman's Fork was designated in 2007 as a historic location on the National Register of Historic Places.   The historic event took place on September 28, 1878~~~the last major Indian battle in Kansas. The battle site is located just North of Scott City at the South edge of Scott Lake State Park.  El Cuartelejo Archelogical District was placed on the Register much earlier, in 1966.

Become a Member of SCHS!

The Scott County Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of the Scott County area and educating the community and visitors about the function of El Quartelejo Museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection.

Throughout the almost 90 year existence of SCHS, individuals, families, and businesses have supported the Historical Society’s efforts. These generous people help to continue the work of the Historical Society and assist in maintaining the building and grounds, keeping the facility open to the public, guiding group tours, hosting programs for all ages, and raising funds for improvements.

There are three membership categories:

Individual    $10.00

Family         $20.00

Business     $50.00

SCHS Board of Directors

The first meeting of the Scott County Historical Society was held on January 12, 1931. A number of Scott City, Kansas citizens and early settlers were interested in perpetuating the early history of Scott County and Western Kansas, which led them to meet at the old Steele home to make plans for a new organization.


The following officers were elected:    


President: Elmer Epperson

Vice President: J.K. Freed

Secretary: Mrs. Clarence Dickhut

Treasurer: E.E. Coffin


For almost 90 years, Scott County residents have shared a common dream: to have a museum building in which to preserve and exhibit Scott County's rich and unique history. Thousands of hours from volunteers and the generous donations of Scott County residents and interested persons have kept the dream alive, and brought much of it to fulfillment.  The work continues, with inspiration from those members who have watched the growth and development of the society and grounds for many years, and with the ideas and efforts of new advocates.

Those serving presently on the Board of Trustees of the Scott County Historical Society are:

Patsi Graham, President

Alan Graham, Vice President

Ruth Dunn, Secretary

Ernie Smith, Treasurer

Jerry Thomas, Artist in Residence

Marilyn Dryer

Richard Duff 

Marian Nolan


Fall Newsletter

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Fall 2022

Plans shaping up for Fossil Lab!

Something Super is coming to the museum!

Kris Super, local High School Science Teacher, has partnered with us to put together a Fossil Preparatory Lab. Kris has some amazing fossils to share with us including his recent HUGE find, a Plesiosaur. This large marine reptile once swam in the Western Interior Seaway that had covered Kansas.

We are most excited for this joint venture where we can experience, learn, study, and research the fossils from this seaway and others.

Special thanks to our supporters, donors, and to Kris! It is truly SUPER!

Walk with the Spirits; Hike with Historians, Sept. 25

Join us as we commemorate the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork at the National Historic Site on Sunday, September 25th from 3—5 pm (at your own pace).

Experienced historians will be stationed around the site to visit with you and convey the stories of those who were caught up in this exodus. Hear, view, and engage in their accounts as you hike the Battle Site.

This will be our observance of the 144th Anniversary of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork which took place on September 27, 1878. It was the last Indian battle in Kansas between the Northern Cheyenne and U.S. Troops.

Water, hat, walking shoes, and sunscreen recommended. Weather can change this time of year, so be prepared with a jacket as well.

In Memory

Friends and Family said “Good-Bye” to

Marilyn Kendrick in July. Marilyn worked for several years at the museum and gallery. She was gifted at arranging displays and our gift shop.

"Heaven is a beautiful place to be, full of beautiful people having a beautiful time."

Jerry Thomas Named Artist of the Year; Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association for 2022 & 2023

Jerry Thomas was once again featured on the cover of the Greasy Grass Magazine as Artist of the Year. Greasy Grass is a publication of the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association.

"Just Ahead" depicts Lt. Col. George A. Custer and Seventh U.S. Cavalry troopers as they pause, gazing upon the horizon, hoping to determine what lies ahead and what awaits them beyond.

"Just Ahead" is proudly featured on the cover of the 2022 "Greasy Grass" Magazine for the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association! Thank you to Jerry’s good friends, Ted Heath (President) and Em Hurley (Editor), for the opportunity to create "Just Ahead" for the special new issue! It is a wonderful magazine with great authors, fascinating history and information.

“Big thanks to my good friends, amazing actors and Custer historians , Bill Rini and Steve Alexander, whose wonderful and expert knowledge helped in putting together the painting!” - Jerry Thomas

Honored to be the 2022 Artist of the Year for the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association, Jerry presented and displayed his new artwork in Hardin, Montana June 22-25, 2022 for the CBHMA Convention.

Jerry’s artwork which shows not only his dedication and passion for keeping history alive, inspires others to know the stories of the past. Because of this, he has been selected to be the 2023 Artist of the Year! Congratulations, Jerry!

New Wildlife Painting Selected for 100th Anniversary of Western Assoc. of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: Watchful Eyes

Jerry was selected in a juried Kansas wildlife contest to unveil his beautiful new painting, Watchful Eyes, at the 100th Anniversary of WAFWA held in July at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It was an honor to be selected to represent the beauty of the State of Kansas by the Association at the nationally acclaimed institution of Western art, heritage, and culture.

Watchful Eyes was inspired by scene on a winter day where Jerry captured a photo of a fox walking by. He added the cardinal after he had stepped outside on another day and was greeted by the striking red bird; a reminder of his dear dad, Clyde.

You can view both of Jerry’s newest works in the Gallery and Collection along with another Western painting he brought in recently, Lawman.

Special points of interest

· Sept. 17: Constitution Day with come-and-go activities hosted by Daughters of the American Revolution, 1—4 pm.

· Sept. 25: Walk with the Spirits; hike with historians at the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork National Historic Site, 3—5 pm

· Sept. 27: 144th Anniversary of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork

· Sept. 28: Maria DeGeer Founders Day

· October Volunteer Work Day, TBA:   give us a much needed Fall spruce up and winter prep.

· Oct. 23: Membership Appreciation Day @ 2 pm with guest speaker, Stephen Morefield author of But the Blood; a Novel based on the True Story of America’s Bloodiest County Seat Battle.

June 2022 Newsletter

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Last Month for Life in the Trenches

A Special Exhibit in the Temporary Gallery, Life in the Trenches, from the Smoky Hill Museum is now on display from April 1,2022 – June 29, 2022.  Hours to view the exhibit are Tuesday – Saturday, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The exhibit explores the human face of World War I and the miserable nature of trench warfare.   A very special thanks goes to Scott City Travel and Tourism for helping make this exhibit possible.

Welcome New Members

The support of our members through dues and donations is much appreciated.  You are the reason we are here!  Thank you and welcome to these new members:  Bobby & Jolene Baker, Lynden & Cammie Landholm, Randy & Karma Huck, Ken Anderson, Derrick Kysar, and Pamela Stewart.

In Memory

We were sad to say  “Good Bye” to member Dan Hutchins and long –time dear friend, Mershon Jones. 

"Friendships formed in life are broken in death. The love we shared remains unbreakable."

Tour Guide Workshop Coming June 18th!

We are hosting our first Tour Guide Workshop which will focus on The Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork, June 18, 2022 from 9 AM to Noon. 

9 AM, Meet at the museum and gallery for introduction to the story of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork , experience the history of the peoples who were part of the battle, and see/learn about the artifacts that tell their story.

10 AM, Travel to the National Historic Battle Site and explore where it all took place.  We will walk the site and retell the story of what happened there, see the rifle pits, pack horse canyon, and sanctuary cave.

Experienced historians will train you to convey this account that has been chronicled and recorded in our archives and through our exhibits.

Call us today for more information or to register, (620) 872-5912 (reservations required)

Water, hat, walking shoes, and sunscreen recommended.

For more information, call or email Stephanie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Family Fossil Field Trip

Saturday June 25th, 9 AM—Noon

Join us for this Family Fun Day with Science Teacher, Geologist and Paleontology enthusiast, Kris Super, as we hit the Kansas Chalk and hunt for fossils. 

· Learn about the Geology of Western Kansas

· Explore the chalk

· Find Fossils and learn how to identify them.

We will leave from the museum parking lot at 9:00 AM and return by noon.  You will need provide your own transportation.  Wear sturdy shoes, and bring water, sunscreen, hat, and maybe a snack.

RSVP by Wednesday, June 22nd by calling (620) 872-5912. 

For more info, call us or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Artifacts of the Month

WWI Lobby 2Our lobby case features WWI artifacts from our collection. 

¨ Photo of WWI Home Guard featuring Paul Ruth and Chet Rhiley.

¨ Hat and Photo of Dr. Preston Palmer.

¨ Photo and medals of Earl Lindemuth

¨ Photo of Chester Beaumguard

¨ Photo of Carrie Epperson who served as a nurse

¨ Metal Helmet and Gas Mask issued to James Force

* The Banner bearing three stars was hung in a window and signifies that three young men were actively serving their country in harms way.   (James Force/Ruby Force Rodenbeek Collection)

 Quilts of Valor Presentation

The High Plains Quilts of Valor will be honoring local veterans with quilt presentations on Saturday, June 11th at 2:00 PM.  This reverant program wraps veterans with patriotic quilts in recogniztion of their service in protection of our country.  Join us as we honor these service members.  Reception to follow presentation.

 Museum Update

Welcome our new High School Summer Interns!  We are excited to offer a new grant funded program to local High School students who are interested in history and the museum field.  This summer we welcome Annie Talbert and Kairae Berry to our team.  They will be helping with guest services, museum archiving, programs and more.

Thank you to the Scott Community Foundation and the anonymous donors who are supporting this wonderful new program.  We hope to continue to fund this annually.

 Gallery Update

Jerry Thomas has been honored by being named #1 Art Gallery in Kansas by Things to do KANSAS!  It is not hard to see why the Gallery and Collection would be selected.  Jerry’s amazing masterworks are paired with a unique and rare collection that cannot be seen anywhere else. 

Congratulations, Jerry Thomas!

 Dates and Special points of interest

· WWI Traveling Exhibit, Life in the Trenches, on display now through June 29, 2022.  Sponsored by Scott City Travel & Tourism

· June 4:  DeGeer Corner Intro to Scott City Historic Walking Tour, 6—8 PM at Legacy, Maria DeGeer Statue, 5th & Main St.

· June 5:  Historic Bus Tour, Reservations required by June 4, 620-872-5912

· June 11, 2:00 PM, Quilts of Valor Presentation

· June 18:  9AM—Noon, PWF Tour Guide Workshop

· June 25:  Family Fossil Field Trip, 9 AM—Noon. (page 2)

· July 1—30, 2022 :  Artist, Linda Slack, Exhibit, A Sketch in Time.

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