Scott County Historical Society

Summer 2012 Newsletter

SUMMER IN SPADES---It’s doubtful that any of us will soon forget those last couple of weeks in June 2012!  Triple digit heat, high winds, and no rain made for a miserable early summer.  And then. . .well, it’s Kansas, and it’s SUMMER. Thank goodness for Air Conditioning.  Many of our long-time members can well remember the “good old days” when the most important thing you held in your hand in the summertime was a cardboard fan fastened to a flat wooden stick!

June was a stellar month here at the museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery.  The first ever June Jaunt, originated to celebrate Highway 96, brought in an overflow crowd to hear Keen Brantley tell the story of the Fleagle Gang.  Nearly 200 people enjoyed the two presentations on Saturday afternoon.  In addition, a busload of 20 or more folks enjoyed the historic park bus tour and the Duff buffalo pasture tour on Sunday afternoon.  Scott City offered great activities for the June Jaunt and something fun was planned for every age.  We’ll do it again next year!

Before we could get our feet back on the ground, the group known as Grandmother’s Horses were in town.  We partnered with Travel and Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, and several interested individuals to host their activities here.  We learned about “Indian Time,” which was sometimes hard on those of us who live by the clock, but we found our guests to be warm, friendly and appreciative of every thing that was provided for them.  The public reception held on Friday evening brought in another 60 people.  Some of our local riders accompanied the group on the ride from town to Battle Canyon, where healing ceremonies for the battlefield were led by Grandmother Margaret Behan, the Cheyenne/Araphoe leader of this year’s tour group.  A handmade, beaded headdress and medallion given to us by Thomas Smittle, is on display in the museum gallery.  A special thanks to Rod and Kathy Haxton for the excellent newspaper coverage of this historic event.

In spite of the triple digit heat wave and the high gas prices we have had visitors nearly every day.  It’s interesting that except for local visitors, most of those who sign our guest book are from out-of-state, and even out-of-country, with recent guests from Canada, South Korea, Brazil and Mongolia.

Once again we teamed up with the Scott County Library summer reading program.  A book was placed in each of the galleries and many kids came out to look for them.  Most of them got hung up on the fossil dig and played happily in the sand until their moms tugged them away.

The temporary gallery is once again featuring the Roy Browning collection of hand-carved buildings, farm machinery and animals. This large collection fills all five of our display cases and is a truly remarkable example of folk art.  We are so grateful to Mr. Browning’s family for donating his work to the museum.  Come out and enjoy this unique display.

By the way – we’re always looking for local collections to display in the temporary gallery and would welcome hearing from you if you have something you would like to share with the public for a period of about three months.

It’s always exciting to receive historic items for the museum collection, but we have recently been given several one-of-a-kind treasures.  Some of these are so rare, we’ve had to do extensive research to identify them.  Thank goodness for Google!  Some of the more interesting items are now in the display case in the foyer of the museum, including a vintage Magic Lantern, an early electric negative print box, a wicked looking hair clip to create those luscious waves associated with the Flappers of the 30’s - well, you get the idea.  Come on out and see.

New paintings and many more artifacts have been added to the outstanding collection in the Jerry Thomas Gallery. If you haven’t been out in the past few months, you have some catching up to do.   Our young visitors often describe our galleries as really “cool” – so if you’re looking for a place to spend a comfortable afternoon, we can guarantee that you’ll find it to be ‘cool’ out here in more ways than one, and you’re always welcome.

Our summer hours are from 1-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  We know it’s hard for those of you who hold regular office hours to visit us, but maybe you can come by on a Saturday afternoon between now and September 1st.  We’ll return to weekday afternoons at that time.  Off-hour tours may be arranged is staff is available.  Call 872-5912 (museum) or Dennie 874 1559

Regarding payment of dues:  Dues reminders are sent annually on the month your dues were paid.  Example: August 2011 members will be notified by mail in August 2012.  Some dues have not been paid up for a couple of years or more.  If you’re not sure about your membership status, just give us a call at the museum.  Dues remain modest at $10 per member, $20 for a family membership, and $50 for a corporate membership.  Granted, you don’t get much for your money, but you can take pride in being a member of a local organization that is alive and well at 80 years, and still growing!  The Scott County Historical Society is a member of the Scott City Area Chamber of Commerce and works closely with Scott City Travel and Tourism to promote Scott City as a tourist destination.





Spring 2012 Newsletter

March came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb – a roasted lamb! It’s not often that March 31st hits a high temperature of 90+ degrees! It looks like Spring has sprung, and now we are being blessed with April Showers.

One sure sign of Spring here at the museum is the increase of daily visitors. It was a long, dry spell through January and February, but we’re enjoying visitors nearly every afternoon now. It remains to be seen what the ever-increasing gasoline prices will do to summer travelers.

A couple of exciting events are coming up soon. The first of which is THE ANNUAL MEETING of the historical society. The date is: Sunday, April 29th, at 2 p.m., at the El Quartelejo Museum. We will have a short business meeting and will consider a change in one article of the constitution. More about that later. Our program will be The History of Nicodemus, brought by Angela Bates, a great-great granddaughter of one of the original settlers of the only remaining all-black settlement west of the Mississippi. Ms Bates is a Nicodemus historian, an author, and the executive director and past president of the Nicodemus Historical Society. This program is made available to us through the Kansas Humanities Council. It promises to be a delightful afternoon and we urge you to join us. Oh – and we need cookie bakers . . .please.

The other special event involves not just Scott City, but virtually all the towns along Highway 96. June 1-2-3 will be the first-ever June Jaunt, a celebration of Highway 96, from Tribune to Ellinwood. Each town on that stretch of Highway 96 will provide some type of celebration or entertainment during those days.   Scott City is planning all types of events for all ages. You will be hearing much more about this in the weeks to come. El Quartelejo Museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery are planning to present “Heartland History on the Highway,” featuring some sort of historical presentation on the grounds. There will be plenty of advance information going out to the public later on, and we’ll be posting updates on our website and Facebook, but put those dates on your calendar now.The Jerry Thomas Gallery was closed for a period of time this winter in order to complete a storage room for the gallery and to add some interesting new items to the gallery exhibit.   More lighting has been added and visitors are enjoying the new displays.

The Jerry Thomas Gallery was closed for a period of time this winter in order to complete a storage room for the gallery and to add some interesting new items to the gallery exhibit.   More lighting has been added and visitors are enjoying the new displays.

There have been additions in the museum gallery too. The Indian display now features two Native American mannequins in full costume. They are very lifelike and add a great deal of interest to that display. Our sincere thanks to some very faithful members of the historical society for their financial support of this project.

The four high school Biology classes were here on March 26th, for a full day of tours for our staff and volunteers. We appreciate those teachers who make arrangements for students to see and hear the history of Scott County, and enjoy the fine artwork of Jerry Thomas.

The temporary gallery held a display of artwork from our local high school students through the month of March. Such amazing talent! We would have kept it longer, but the students had spring competitions to enter.

The temporary gallery is now being prepared for a new exhibit which we hope to have ready for the annual meeting. “A Stitch in Time,” will showcase our own collection of vintage quilts and maybe some other handiwork. Some of our quilts are too fragile to be hung, but we’ll display them some way. They are all beautiful and special. Several are “Friendship” quilts from early Scott City social clubs or church groups. If we have room, we will consider showing quilts that are not a part of our collection. If you have a quilt you’d like displayed, please contact the museum soon.     872-5912

Our gift shop is a good place to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind gift items. We have two new travel guides you might want to pick up before the summer traveling season begins. One is Marci Penner’s 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook, and the other is An Explorer’s Guide to Kansas, which includes places stay overnight and places to eat, as well as places to visit. We carry Kansas postcards, other Kansas items, many books and toys, and of course, a full range of Jerry Thomas prints.

Winter Newsletter


The reference library at the El Quartelejo Museum includes a nearly complete set of Scott Community High School annuals, going back to 1921.   We are missing a few issues.  These books are valuable resources which are used by the museum staff, as well as the public.  We would really appreciate receiving a donation of the following yearbooks: 1956, 1963, 1965, 1997, 2004, 2007, 2009, and 2010.  If you can add to our collection, please bring them to the museum at 902 W. 5th Street, Scott City, or call 620.872.5912.  Thanks so much in advance!


We have started our new Winter hours, Mon. thru Fri. 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Marilyn Kendrick is now a full-time employee.  Darlene Arnold has also been hired as custodian. Volunteers have been filling the extra weekend hours as well, and how we appreciate YOU!  Call the office (620) 872-5912.

Tina Walker has been hired at the El Quartelejo Museum/Scott County Historical Society as Marketing Director.  She currently is the Marketing Director for Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection.  Please contact Tina with any ideas or events that you think would be beneficial in promoting the El Quartelejo Museum/Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection.  Tina can be contacted at 620.874.0174 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read more: Winter Newsletter

Fall 2011 Newsletter

November! I can’t decide whether to start with events just past, or to press on to those special events still to come. Either way, it seems incredible that this year is already drawing to a close.

SUMMER VISITATION: Perhaps this is a good place to begin. In spite of high gas prices and a noticeable decrease in highway travelers, we had a good summer. Two major Saturday events boosted our summer count considerably, with Bike Across Kansas in June (126 visitors) and the All America City Celebration Day in August (100). The Bike Across Kansas folks love coming to Scott City, and were grateful to find iced tea and cookies waiting for them here at the museum. They all rode away wearing our new Museum/Thomas Gallery buttons.

MEMBERSHIP APPRECIATION DAY: A good crowd showed up for Membership Appreciation Day on October 2nd and enjoyed the program, which was brought by the two authors of a new book about the Northern Cheyenne saga. Since part of that story includes the battle between the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans right here in Scott County, we are always intrigued by new historical information. James Leiker and Ramon Powers signed copies of their book, The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory. More than twenty people also took the historic bus tour to Battle Canyon before the meeting. Currently we have around 250 members. Membership dues are only $10 per year, per member, and we encourage you to invite your friends and family to join us at any time.

SCOTT COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL DISPLAY: The Scott County Arts Council has once again asked to use the temporary gallery to display local arts and crafts as a part of the Merchant’s Open House, on Sunday, November 13th from 1-5 p.m. The museum and Thomas galleries and our gift shop will be open as well. The Arts Council will be serving cookies. We have so many talented folks in this community and this is always an interesting display so make this one of your stops that day. This display will only be up about a week, as we will need the exhibit space for our own holiday displays.

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Our own Holiday Open House and Sugar Plum Sale will be Sunday, December 4th, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Our holiday theme will be “A Victorian Christmas” showcasing the beautiful, fully-furnished Victorian dollhouse recently given to the museum by Barbara and Gilbert Knipp. The exhibit in the temporary gallery will feature DOLLS and we need your help. If you have a treasured doll you’d like to display we will welcome her (him? them?) to share the spotlight through the holidays. We need those dolls soon, so please bring them out before November 23rd, when we will be putting that display together. It has been some time since we displayed dolls, and it was one of our more popular holiday exhibits. And we also need COOKIES & CANDIES for the Sugar Plum Sale. If you can provide some goodies please let us know. 872-5912

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IDEAS: We have added a new supply of interesting and unique items to the gift shop for this holiday season. We have a large number of children’s books, toys and games, including lots of popular dinosaur items. How about a kit to excavate a small fossil, or a dinosaur egg? Do you have a budding geologist in your family? We have rocks and minerals. We have a sampling of Kansas products, from soap to nuts – have you ever microwaved popcorn on the cob? Some of our gift items will make great stocking stuffers. And of course we always stock the popular horsehair pottery items, historical novels and other books of historical interest, unique lariat art, Scott County historical playing cards, the Scott County DVD and other Scott County items, and a full range of Jerry Thomas prints.

Summer 2011 Newsletter

Okay – so it’s been awhile since the last newsletter - like – before Christmas?!  Will it make you feel any better through this heat wave, to remember the bitter cold winds of winter?  Probably not.  Apologies for the long silence.   We’re always busy and there are always projects in the works, some of which we’ll highlight in this newsletter.

SUMMER HOURS:  We extended weekend hours for the summer and hired Marilyn Kendrick to work part time.  Darlene Arnold has also been hired as custodian.  Volunteers have been filling the extra weekend hours as well, and how we appreciate YOU!  We still have part of July and all of August weekends to fill – can you help now and then?  Call the office 872-5912.

TEMPORARY GALLERY EXHIBITS:  Some of you may not know that this is the 80th anniversary of the Scott County Historical Society.  The temporary gallery is currently displaying some of the historical happenings from those 80 years.  If you haven’t seen that display yet, you need to get out soon, as we’ll be changing that display in a couple of weeks.

The next exhibit is going to be fun to put together and fun to see.  An article in Popular Mechanics listed 101 gadgets that “changed the world” – and we’re going to gather up as many of those as we can for the display.  We have many of them in the museum collection, but do you have: an electric toothbrush, a stopwatch, an old mobile phone ( bag phone or earlier), a Sony Walkman, an old fire extinguisher, a bonnet hairdryer, a lunchbox (possibly early Disney character type), a Coleman lantern, an 8-track player?  Perhaps you have other interesting gadgets that might not be on the list – bring them out and we’ll see if we can use them. Items will be in the display for about three months.

Read more: Summer 2011 Newsletter

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