Scott County Historical Society

Annual Meeting of SCHS & Program

TV Cowboys

The Scott County Historical Society invites you to our Annual Meeting and Program on Sunday, April 7th at 2:00 pm.  Dr. Sara Richter, Dean of Liberal Arts at Panhandle State University, will present T.V. Cowboys!  This is a free event open to the public and an opportunity to see what the Historical Society is all about.  The museum and gallery will be open as well.  Join us for an afternoon of refreshments and conversation.

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

Marily Dryer, Secretary

Ernie Smith, Treasurer

Jerry Thomas, Artist in Residence

Richard Duff 

Ruth Dunn

Marian Nolan


August Newsletter

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August 2019

Wow!  Summer in Spades!  Hmm, I wonder what that means.  If you know, give me a call.

Of course it’s hot.  It’s August.  It’s Kansas.  And, just between you and me, I’ll take this over ice and snow any day. . .


Summer visitation has been good, and the guest book has been signed with folks from many states, but also by visitors from the U K, Spain, Wales, Brazil, South Africa, Italy and Japan.  We enjoy spending time with our visitors, often around the table with coffee cups in hand.  Without exception, they express appreciation for our beautiful galleries and our unique history.


The June Jaunt brought a nice crowd out to hear Matt Bain give us the latest progress report on Little Jerusalem, our newest Kansas State Park.  Everyone is eager to get onto that site, but it is still not open.  Possibly by Labor Day.  We’ll get the word out when that happens.


The local Quilts of Valor organization held another ceremony honoring military veterans in our meeting room in July.  It is our privilege to be able to furnish a place for these ceremonies to be held.  Forms for nomination of veterans to be recognized may be picked up at the museum.  And in that regard, we still want photos of service men and women, in uniform, for our photo collection.  Any era, any branch of service.  We do not need to keep your originals, but please, please help us preserve this historic collection.


Stephanie Fisher and Linda Armstrong designed and conducted a three-day Pioneer Camp for kids at the end of July.  The One Room Schoolhouse theme was carried out by creating such a classroom in the temporary gallery.  Old school desks were on loan from several families, and the gallery cases were filled with old schoolroom memorabilia; a display created by the children during their classroom time.  A reception was held on Saturday afternoon, so the public could view the display.  Guest speaker, Deb Lawrence, shared her extensive research into Scott County’s many one-room schools, and explained the project currently underway to restore the old schoolhouse (the Epler School) near the south entrance of the State Park.  It was a delightful afternoon, and the one-room school display will remain in place for some time.  Be sure to come check it out.


We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the sculpture-in-progress of Maria DeGeer.  Our own ‘local’ artist, Jerry Thomas, will be working on that statue in the Jerry Thomas Gallery, and we are all invited to watch him create the statue of our town founder, which will be unveiled during the all-school reunion next June.  We’ll let you know when Maria gets here!


Another first-time-ever event to look forward to is the display of artwork by local artists, beginning November 29th and ending December 8th.  Sponsored by the Scott County Arts Council, any local artist may be included in this showing.  Artwork will be placed throughout the museum gallery.  Rules and entry forms are available in The Scott County Record, or for more information contact Glenda Graham, 620 872-5728.


But that’s way down the line, with plenty of summer left and many good days for you to visit El Quartelejo Museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection.  We know that you, as members of the historical society, have visited both galleries; some of you regularly, but we encourage you to invite your friends and family to come spend some time with us.   And keep in mind our lovely gift shop – unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for all ages, and the ever-popular Jerry Thomas prints, as well.  We may be the only place in town selling Kansas post cards. 


Fundraising is a top priority for both the Maria DeGeer statue and the schoolhouse restoration project.  These are important historic projects for our community.  Donations may be made to either or both through the Scott Community Foundation, 210 West 4th St., Scott City, KS 67871.


We are saddened by the loss of members, Carol McKinney and Loren Janzen.  


Please welcome new members Bob McCullough of Phoenix, Arizona, and Travis and Melissa Herbelin and family, who are new residents of Scott City.


We may not say it often enough, but we are so grateful for everything you do to support the work we do.  Your gifts of time, service (cookies) and funds are equally vital and we thank you!

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