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


May 2021

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May 2021

Hopefully, you were among those who attended the annual meeting of the historical society on April 25th, and who helped celebrate our 90th anniversary.  If you weren’t here, you didn’t get the information that although 90 years is surely some kind of record, we found out that there are some local organizations that pre-date us by many years.  The Anthem Masonic Lodge No. 284 and the Scott City IOOF and Rebecca Lodges were established in 1886!  Isn’t that amazing!  And of course we know there are several churches in the community that have already held centennial celebrations.

Nevertheless, we celebrated our long history in this community through Stephanie Fisher’s excellent program which linked many of our earliest settlers with their homestead claims, several of whom were original members of the Scott County Historical Society.  And, of course, we also enjoyed a special (and delicious) celebration cake made for the occasion by our own Tava See.

The business meeting included election of officers to the Board of Trustees, returning Alan Graham and Ruth Dunn to the board, and adding new member, Barb Wilkinson, who replaces Marian Nolan.

And now it’s on to the exciting events of the week of June 4th-6th.  The All-School Reunion will bring in friends and family from around the country to enjoy the usual activities, but there are some very special events taking place during this reunion.

FIRST:  At 1:00 on Saturday, June 5th, the long-awaited unveiling of the statue of our town founder, Maria DeGeer, will take place at the location of Maria DeGeer’s original homestead claim shanty, between First National Bank and Lawrence Reality.  This will include a speech from Mrs. DeGeer herself, presented by reenactor, Marla Matkin. The 7’ bronze statue of Maria DeGeer is the creation of Scott City’s own multitalented artist, Jerry Thomas.

The site will include the Scott City Historic Walking Tour which will feature historic buildings and sites in the Main Street Area.  Tour maps, brochures, and an App information will be featured on the interpretive sign at DeGeer Corner.

SECOND:  At 3:00 p.m. Jerry Thomas will be unveiling 15+ new paintings and artifacts displays featuring one of a kind National Treasures in the Jerry Thomas Gallery at 905 West 5th Street (El Quartelejo Museum) 

The museum will be open selected hours during the reunion.  Schedule is as follows:

Friday, June 4th: Regular hours 1-5 p.m.

Saturday, June 5th:  2:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 6th: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

We have many duplicate copies of SCHS annuals, which will be offered for a donation during the reunion.  Be sure to check for any you might wish to own.

The March newsletter contained a long list of members lost over a very short period of time.  Add to that list another of our faithful members, Florence Daubert.  Along with the families of Lloyd K Fouser, Kay Mohler, Dean Fairchild and Mary Armstrong, Florence’s family designated the museum as the recipient of her memorial gifts.  Our sincere thanks to these families and the many others who have honored us this way across the years. 

We have gained some new and renewing members, so please welcome   Paul and Mary Kasselman, Fred and Jana Brittan, Marilyn Krebs, and Darrel and Marilyn Miller.  Our membership currently stands at around 230.  Pretty awesome for an organization which began with only 29 members 90 years ago!   The Scott County Historical Society is alive and well! 


March 2021 News

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March 2021

Celebrating 20 Years at the Museum


90 Years as the Scott County Historical Society!

     Everyone agrees that 2020 was an unprecedented year – and surely everyone agrees that the second week of February 2021 was equally unprecedented!  Well, at least historically frigid temperatures we had not experienced since December 1990.  But, being Kansas, it wasn’t long before clear sunny days returned, and very quickly the first signs of spring popped up – bright green spikes of crocus and tulips.  But, being Kansans, we know better than to count Mother Nature out.  March can be full of surprises!

     With continuing lowering of corona virus cases throughout the land, perhaps we can begin to look ahead to special events this year.  After careful consideration, the historical society board decided to schedule the annual meeting of the society for Sunday, April 25th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Museum.  There will be a short business meeting, including election of board members, and Stephanie Fisher will bring the program, “The Story of Us in Maps.”  Refreshments will be served including a cake celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Scott County Historical Society. Please put this on your calendar now.  We look forward to seeing you!

     Since so few have seen the current exhibit in the temporary gallery, we will leave “America’s First Ladies” up until after the annual meeting.  This display was such fun to create and we want you to enjoy it before we focus on a major exhibit for the all-school reunion rescheduled now for June 4-6th.

     We have been saddened by the loss of too many faithful members in the past few weeks.  It has been very hard to say goodbye to Dona Dee Carpenter, Larry Huck, Marilyn Mealy, Arlene Cauthon, Kay Mohler, Dean Fairchild, Mary Armstrong and Gertrude Brown. These folks were dedicated volunteers and/or great supporters.  The families of Kay Mohler, Dean Fairchild and Mary Armstrong designated El Quartelejo Museum to receive their memorial gifts.  What a lovely way to honor those whose loyal support added greatly to the development of the museum.  We thank them, and we thank those of you whose gifts will be used in special ways to remember their devotion to the museum and the historical society.


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