• Last modified 732 days ago (Sept. 24, 2020)


Marion County RECORD

Hillsboro Star-Journal — PEABODY Gazette-Bulletin

Settling for a
virtual Old Settlers

Wallowing in self-pity over having to miss this year’s Old Settlers parade — and thereby losing my opportunity to editorially label it the best ever — I suddenly realized I hadn’t actually seen an Old Settlers parade since I was 10.

From ages 11 through 17, I couldn’t watch the parade. Like almost everyone I knew, I was part of it — showing off a pet, riding some contraption or other, or marching in a band.

Those days, bands from all over the county marched in events all over the county. They kept track of what other towns thought of them by whether they were scheduled to march before or after horses traversed the parade route, depositing gifts for subsequent marchers to tiptoe around. Archrival schools always showed up, but their bands inevitably brought up the rear, just before street sweepers.

College years followed. I tried to make it back for Old Settlers, but my college, KU, played football that weekend, and I once again was in the marching band. This was so long ago that, in my first year, the band still was all-male, if you can fathom such sexist stupidity. It also was so long ago that KU still had a decent football team. These days it’s hard to tell the difference between a COVID-limited crowd and a normal one.

Family and career followed. Half the time I couldn’t get away for an every-five-years class reunion 600 or more miles away. When I could, I once again was riding in, instead of witnessing, the parade.

Then came 2020. What COVID gave in the form of an opportunity to work remotely from Marion it promptly took away when this year’s parade was canceled.

A largely one-woman campaign by Elgin owner Tammy Ensey and her relatives means we’ll still have some events Saturday. But the real joy of being reunited with people from our past is hard to replicate safely in a time of social distancing.

I can’t walk up, for example, to former Record intern Don Westerhaus and thank him for teaching me how to develop film — a now lost art that occupied much of my time in junior high, high school, and even into college. In showing me how to use a bottle opener to pop the lid of what at the time was a relatively new invention — 35mm film canisters — Don also introduced me to a new name for the opener: “church key.”

Years later, at another Old Settlers, I was able to thank returning teachers Conrad and Lois Steinel — “Mr.,” as I continued to refer to him, for enduring eight years of my sousaphone playing and actually encouraging me to continue in college; “Mrs.” for doing what the best librarians and journalists do and valiantly battling political censorship.

Such encounters, and countless others, were the heart and soul of Old Settlers Day — much more so than any parade, games, or lunches might have been.

We have nothing against scaled-back events planned for Saturday — though we pray all involved think first of others, not of themselves, and wear masks to prevent a new round of COVID.

For our part, we’ve tried to replicate as much of the Old Settlers socializing and tale-telling as we can with a special section in this week’s paper.

In keeping with long-standing tradition of Old Settlers not becoming a commercial event, it’s most definitely not a moneymaker. Despite soliciting support from many institutions and businesses around town, we received about half the donations and advertising necessary to break even. So consider it a gift we hope you will enjoy.

We’d publicly like to thank major donors Marion Manufacturing and Animal Health Center, medium donor St. Luke Hospital, and other donor Case & Son Insurance for their financial support in lieu of advertising. We also would like to thank all the other community-spirited local businesses that helped sponsor the section with their ads.

If you enjoy Virtual Old Settlers, be sure to let the donors and advertisers know how much you appreciate their community spirit.

We’d also like to thank Marion Historical Museum for its invaluable assistance in the arduous process of reproducing class photos.

Any mistakes — and there are bound to be a few — are solely our fault. It may not be the “best ever” Old Settlers, but at least we tried.


arion.County RECORD

(USPS 329-780) ISSN 2159-4422

Hillsboro Star-Journal

(USPS 245-620) ISSN 2159-4368

PEABODY Gazette-Bulletin

(USPS 424-280)

Phone: (620) 382-2165

Fax: (620) 382-2262


Postal: 117 S 3rd St, Marion KS 66861


Marion County Record, Hillsboro Star-Journal, and Peabody Gazette-Bulletin are published weekly, every Wednesday, by Hoch Publishing, the county’s only fully accredited member of Kansas Press Association, and are the official newspapers of Marion County and all cities in the county.

Periodical postage is paid at Marion, KS; Hillsboro, KS; and Peabody, KS, and additional mailing offices. Circulation records are available for review by postal officials at Hoch Publishing, 117 S. 3rd St., Marion, KS. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 117 S. 3rd St. Marion KS 66861.

Subscribe for $34.99 a year online only, $39.99 a year in the Marion County area (ZIP codes 66838, 66840, 66843, 66850, 66851, 66858, 66859, 66861, 66866, 67053, 67063, 67073, 67114, 67123, 67151, 67154, 67438, 67449, 67475 and 67483), $44.99 a year elsewhere in Kansas, or $49.99 a year in other states. International rates on request. Single copies over the counter are $1. Subscriptions are transferable but not refundable and include applicable taxes.

PICK-UP: As an alternative to postal delivery, subscribers may pick up their papers in Marion at Hoch Publishing, 117 S. 3rd St., or at Marion Senior Center, Hilltop Manor, Marion Assisted Living, or St. Luke Living Center; in Hillsboro at Chamber of Commerce office, 110 N. Main; in Peabody at Scissor Cottage, 106 E. 2nd.

SUBMISSIONS: Letters, articles, images and other materials submitted for publication become property of Hoch Publishing for purposes of publication and are subject to editing. The newspaper welcomes brief letters to the editor (generally no longer than 400 words) that express an opinion on a currently newsworthy topic. The writer’s contact information must be included for verification. Letters that contain defamatory comments, open letters, third-party letters, letters sent to more than one publication, and letters that more appropriately would be advertisements, including Cards of Thanks, are unlikely to be published. One letter generally is allowed per writer per calendar month.

RATES: Full media guide available online at

COPYRIGHT: Hoch Publishing and each advertiser possess joint copyright over advertisements placed. Additional rights may be possessed by Metro Creative Graphics Inc. and others. No portion of this newspaper, either advertising or news, may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the publisher.

© 2020, Hoch Publishing


Eric Meyer


News editor Mindy Kepfield

Reporters Rowena Plett

Ryan Richter

Alexander Simone

Phyllis Zorn

Columnist Joan Meyer

Contributors Delbert Peters

Pat Wick


Sales manager Debra Steele

Office manager Cheri Bentz

Distribution Beverly Baldwin

Alan Bentz

Barb Creamer


President Eric Meyer

VP and treasurer Joan Meyer

Secretary Donna Bernhardt

Directors Melvin Honeyfield

Jean Stuchlik

ARTIFACTS: Stone tools likely were used by Wichita tribe centuries ago

From Page 1

that comes from mines in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. The high silica-content made it ideal for creating sharp objects, Blakeslee said.

Recognizing artifacts, particularly made from chert, can be complex because there is so much variation.

“It depends on what you’ve seen before,” Blakeslee said. “If you’ve seen the right stuff then it’s immediate. Otherwise you look at it and go, ‘That’s weird; I don’t know what it is.’ ”

Warneke’s artifacts include two knives for slicing jerky, a scraper for cleaning bison hides, and an unfinished spear-point, according to Blakeslee.

What interests Warneke about the artifacts is the history they hold, and what they might have been.

The tools were found with the scraper, the largest artifact, on top, Warneke said.

Finding them arranged in such a way indicates they were part of a cache and were being stored for later, Blakeslee said.

“There are recorded sights all in that area, so it’s not a surprise,” he said. “It’s from a place where people actually lived.”

Artifacts can become difficult to find in areas where no-till farming is popular, Blakeslee said.

While Blakeslee doesn’t support people tearing up land to find artifacts or destroying sites because of carelessness, he thinks the process can be done in a non-invasive manner.

“There’s nothing wrong with collecting,” he said.

Blakeslee hasn’t done any excavations in Marion, but he has visited the county, and there is precedent for finding artifacts in the area.

Arthur Rohn and Alice Emerson authored a book titled Great Bend Sites at Marion, Kansas that documented a 1984 Wichita State excavation from when the Army Corps of Engineers did a flood protection project.

The sites found 92 artifacts, ranging from pottery shards and rocks to crushed mussel shells.

Warneke’s artifacts come from outside the boundary, but they could have been as close as a few hundred feet from where excavations were done.

There have been several other local projects done over the years. The earliest documented dig site found apparent refuse mounds during 1879 south of Marion, according to Great Bend Sites.

Sorting artifacts requires a specific process that can vary depending on the institution, Blakeslee said.

Artifacts at Wichita State are given accession numbers written in India ink and placed in individual bags. The exact location where they were discovered, and any other information, is recorded and catalogued.

An arrowhead also is among Warneke’s artifacts but it likely is not Native American-made, Blakeslee said.

“It looks a little suspicious like maybe somebody modern made it,” he said. “It’s not quite the right design.”

Wichita tribe arrowheads typically are very triangular and feature small notches or none at all, while the one among Warneke’s collection has ones that are more apparent, Blakeslee said.


Another Day in the Country

On being American

© Another Day in the Country

I’ve been thinking about how we define ourselves in America. We are all so different and yet we come together as one country.

Often, it has been a great conflict — like war — that helps us stand together as one people, but we know how futile and destructive fighting can be.

You see, I can no more help that I’m white than you can help being born with darker skin. We just are! And I’m sorry that you were enslaved, mistreated, bought and sold, told you were less than, discriminated against. 

I can no more help that my parents were German than you can help being born Irish — all of us immigrants. And I’m sorry that you were humiliated, feared, persecuted, given lower wages, even hated.

For years, my heritage embarrassed me because they started two wars and harbored racial hatred.

I cannot help that I grew up in a protestant family that took the Bible literally, believed every contradiction of faith, and were deathly afraid of your church. And I’m sorry that they couldn’t see past the Pope or the prophet and the trappings of your beliefs, and that they disowned their children who married your daughters — but they changed.

I can no more help that I was born a girl than you can help being born male. That while you were encouraged to compete and given a birthright, I was taught to be subservient, and given no choice, and as a species not allowed to own property or vote for more than 100 years in a land deemed free, fair and democratic. And that even today in 2020, men in power discuss the functions of my body, make laws, and attempt to deny me the right to make my own reproductive choices.

I can no more help that my parents were poor than you can help that your parentage was affluent. I can no more help that my parents aspired for me to get two years of community college, while you went where your father had gone — to Harvard or Yale universities, and while mine hoped I’d secure my future by getting married by 21.

I can no more help that I was taught about God from the moment I breathed — as the divine power, different from yours, while you learned of no deity or many gods, vengeful or benevolent, spirits unseen, maybe prophets, making war with each other and those who thought differently.

And here we all are in this melting pot, resisting the heat, refusing to blend, or bend, to listen and then to imagine what the other may feel because our own feelings of being less than, shut out, disenfranchised, and just different, loom so large. What do we fear? Losing our sameness? Our status? Our privilege, however small, that we didn’t sometimes even know we had? Or maybe it’s losing our lives.

If your skin is darker than mine, if you are taller, more beautiful, richer, smarter, younger, older, more opinionated, louder or just more experienced, we are in this world together, breathing the same air. We inhabit the same planet with dwindling resources, citizens of a country with an indefinable number of differences because we come from all parts of the world. Yet, our founders had the audacity to try and give as much freedom as possible to everyone in our sphere.

It’s an insane divine dream to live in the land of the free with all the natural selfishness we cling to, the stupidity we harbor, proud of our refusal to change, while we poison the planet and each other.

Surely you know that freedom isn’t free! Our ancestors all paid a price, gave up something — a heritage, a homeland — and most of us came like beggars to a new place.

They gave up their language and learned a new one. They gave up their loyalties and flew a different flag. Now, we need to give up our prejudice. Every day, we are all called upon to learn new manners, form new friends, try strange food, and learn empathy.

America is a work in progress, always changing, and hopefully improving. Slowly the heat rises, there’s unrest in the streets, demonstrations for and against, some new threat hits the flame and the pot boils as politicians stir and spout steam and in the mix.

If we stay in the heat, if we are true to our highest self, we begin to blend, and a new flavor is born.

Hopefully it’s something we all can stand proud of and say, “I helped make that!” a new, truer breed, a finer generation, a blend of all our best traits.

Like potatoes, carrots, and onions, we all become part of the stew. The gravy no longer is just white, the stew is now colorful and exotic, neither light nor dark, but deliciously golden, having garnered the truest and best from all that we bring.

And then they can stop asking the question at the doctor’s office or the election poles, “What are you? White, Asian, Hispanic, African American, Native American, Other?”

It’s another day in the country, and I don’t want to be defined as male or female, old or young, single, divorced, married or widowed, all the old categories to check and new ones that we’ve just made up.

Let me just answer, “I’m an American!”

Let me stand by you to ‘fight for the right,’ everyone’s right — to breathe free, to be safe, and to enjoy another day in the country — OUR COUNTRY.

Sept. 23, 2020 — Page 2

Police find nothing amiss at death call

Hillsboro police found nothing suspicious when they were summoned to the 300 block of W. 3rd St. at 9:44 a.m. Monday with a report of a deceased man.

According to the police department, his death was reported by family members.

Tabor commencement coming next month

Tabor College’s 2020 commencement ceremony, postponed in May because of COVID-19, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 11.

More than 90 graduates will get their degrees in the ceremony at Joel H. Wiens Stadium at Reimer Field.

Author, professor, and 1977 Tabor graduate Stephen Wilkins will be commencement speaker.

To provide social distancing, attendance will be limited and tickets will be required to enter. The general public will not be permitted to attend this year.

Graduating students can get tickets at using their Tabor log-in credentials through 5 p.m. Oct. 7.

Last modified Sept. 24, 2020