Scott County Historical Society

October 2021 News

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October 2021

Whew . . .we survived summer – and even September, which can sometimes be challenging.  Not too many days of high winds and dust/pollen-filled air this year.  How lovely to begin October with rain, and the arrival of those Blue October Skies!


And lovelier still to be able to look forward to gathering again to enjoy special events coming up this month and beyond.  By winter, we’re hoping to set up the jigsaw puzzle table in the foyer again.  We had many visitors who ‘got stuck’ on their way in or out, vowing they’d find just one piece . . .


Our annual Member Appreciation Day, hosted by the historical society board of trustees, will be held on Sunday, October 24th at 2:00 p.m.  Guest speaker will be the ever-popular Jim Hoy, who has entertained us with his Western lore on at least three previous occasions.  The topic of the day will be Cattle Trail Cowboys, which will tie in perfectly with Stephanie’s Pop Up Museum which will be available for viewing including hands-on interaction beginning October 12 and through October 24th

In 1866, over 200,000 head of cattle made their way out of Texas north.  Not only did Kansas Cowtowns profit, but the myth and legend that followed the men who drove the herds has lived on through today. 

What was life like on those cattle drives?  How did young men survive hours in a saddle and months on the dusty trail? What kind of danger lay ahead of them as they started up the trail? Explore these questions and more with the hands-on activities, songs, myths, and more!


Beyond that special event, we look forward to the Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 12th, with the Sugar Plum Sale running from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  The Sugar Plum Sale is our only fund-raiser of the year (well, except for Giving Day, but that’s another paragraph!) and we really need your participation – both to furnish holiday cookies and candies for the sale, and to buy plates filled with other folk’s delicious cookies and candies!  This sweet-treat shopping frenzy has been a popular holiday tradition at El Quartelejo Museum for 19 of our 21 years.  It was definitely missed last year. 


The annual Community Foundation sponsored Giving Day will be held on November 11th.  Last year’s response from our membership was fantastic – donations totaled over $6,000, which really boosted our spirits in a year that saw us closed for ten weeks in the spring, and with limited visitation through the rest of the year.   Watch for details on how to make your donations through this community fund-raiser.  It’s a great way to support many of your favorite non-profit organizations in our community.


We are pleased to be able to offer a place for the Quilts of Valor organization to make their presentations to our military veterans.  Another of those inspiring ceremonies will take place on Saturday, November 20th, at 2:00 p.m.  Please support this worthy cause with your presence at this impressive ceremony.


The SCHS memorabilia exhibit in the temporary gallery has been dismantled and a new exhibit will be in place by the time you arrive for the Member Appreciation Day on October 24th.  The exhibit will feature the philanthropy of area community foundations and their contributions.  This unique traveling exhibit is a great way to kick off a season of thanks-GIVING.


Please welcome new members, Kent & Kerri Johnson, Bonney Lake, WA; Ron & Ronna Cunningham, Kent, WA and Carol Bain, Ness City, KS.  And a sad goodbye to member, Keith Burgess, who passed away recently.


Upcoming Events – Put on your calendar now

Pop-up Museum – October 12-24

Member Appreciation Day – Sunday, October 24 ~ 2:00 p.m.

GIVING DAY – Thursday, November 11

Quilts of Valor – Saturday, November 20 ~ 2:00 p.m.

Sugar Plum Sale – Sunday, December 12 ~ 1:30-3:00 p.m.



August 2021

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It’s hard to believe this year is more than half over.  Did time go this fast last year when our lives were ‘on hold’?  It would be interesting to know how your life was affected by the Pandemic of 2020.  Maybe we should start collecting stories.  Do you have one to share? 

It seems like much of May was geared toward the first weekend in June.  But what a memorable weekend that was!  The all-school reunion brought scattered family and friends home to enjoy being together, but also to share in the excitement of the unveiling of the remarkable statue of our remarkable town founder, Maria DeGeer.  Jerry Thomas is known around the country as a fine artist, but he is making a new name for himself with his bronze sculptures.  Over 200 attended that unveiling, and another 150 were at the unveiling of new paintings and artifacts in the Jerry Thomas Gallery that same afternoon.

It has taken many years, and consistent promotion and education to see Maria DeGeer take her rightful place in the history of Scott City.  We are not aware of any other town in Kansas that was founded by a woman, and it has taken much too long for her name to be recognized locally.  She was an amazing woman, and we are proud to tell her story in her own exhibit at El Quartelejo Museum.  Come get acquainted!

We had many visitors through the reunion weekend, and were pleased that many of the duplicate copies of SCHS annuals we offered for a donation, found new homes.  We have a full set of annuals on our reference shelves, so if you need to look something up in one of those yearbooks, we’re happy to let you browse through them.

We can tell that CoVid restrictions have eased up considerably, as the museum visitation has increased.  Many of our visitors are camping in the State Park and they are truly awestruck by the beauty of that oasis on the plains, and the fascinating historic sites in the area.  Their amazement continues as they tour our galleries.  We are often told that El Quartelejo Museum and The Jerry Thomas Gallery are among the finest galleries in the state.   We are so fortunate to have the financial support of our local government agencies which makes it possible for us to present and preserve our unique history in such an excellent manner.

While there are no special events planned through the summer, our doors are open 1-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and there Is always something you may not have seen before.  We are looking forward to at least two and maybe three special programs this fall and winter, and we certainly plan to hold the ever-popular Sugar Plum Sale this year in December. 

               The SCHS Memorabilia Exhibit is still in place in the temporary gallery, but it will come down soon.  If you haven’t been out to see it, better come by. 

               We are sad to say goodbye to member, Larry Turpin.  We will miss his friendly smile.  And please welcome Linda See, a returning member.

El Quartelejo Museum/Jerry Thomas Gallery – Cool!

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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