• Last modified 970 days ago (Nov. 18, 2021)


Award surprises Peabody woman

Staff writer

Kansas Sampler Foundation conspired with Susan Mayo to surprise Peabody resident Marilyn Jones with a We Kan! award Monday for her services to Peabody and Kansas as a whole.

Jones helped restore Morgan House, started Peabody’s farmer’s market, and got Peabody on the National Register of Historic Places. She is the vice chair of Sunflower Theatre and a member of Flint Hills Counterpoint Coalition, Peabody’s historical society, and Peabody’s library board.

She has run a bed and breakfast, a commercial greenhouse, the Maysville Mercantile antique store, and Jones Sheep Farm. In September, she met with the Land Institute and planned an edible plants and wildflower tour.

Marci Penner, head of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, knows Jones from her wool spinning demonstrations at Kansas Sampler Festivals, which Penner staged at her farm.

“I just kept my ears open and heard all the things she’d done,” Penner said.

Since 1993, 10 We Kan! awards have been given away annually to people who help preserve Kansas. In 2021, it was reduced to five awards because of the pandemic in the early half of the year.

“It’s an honor to pick people,” Penner said.

The awards used to be at the Sampler Festival, but since 2018, Penner has organized flash mobs to surprise award recipients.

More than 30 people appeared outside Peabody Township Library at the end of their board meeting Monday and sang “Home on the Range” to bring Jones outside. Penner gave her the award — a plate with the line “You made a difference!” arching across the top, made by Elk Falls Pottery — and explained what was happening to Jones, the crowd, and a Facebook live stream watching them.

“This is usually something you’d do for us!” a member of the crowd said to Jones.

A reception with snacks, cookies, and wine in the library board room followed.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2021