Obituary For Virginia Chambers

Virginia Marie Chambers, 90, of Fort Scott, and formerly of Hiattville, Kansas, passed away Thursday evening, December 28, 2017 at the Country Place Memory Care in Fort Scott.

She was born July 31, 1927, in Girard, Kansas, the daughter of Don and Imo Irene (Rogers) Salmon. She married John Joseph “Joe” Chambers May 28, 1950, in Hiattville, Kansas, and he preceded her in death June 24, 1995.

Virginia graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1944 and during her time there was able to take courses from Fort Scott Junior College, graduating with sixteen college credit hours. She continued her education in the summers and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Pittsburg State University in 1957. In 1963, she received her Master’s degree in School Administration from PSU.

Virginia taught in rural schools including Hepler Elementary in Crawford County and in the USD 234 and USD 235 schools for thirty-nine years, the last eighteen as a Title I Reading Teacher at West Bourbon Elementary. She retired in 1985. She also worked for the Economy Book Company training teachers to teach the phonics method of reading.

Virginia was a member of the Hiattville United Methodist Church where she served as pianist and organist for over sixty years. She was instrumental in writing and directing the annual Christmas Program, and she also served as Choir Director, Sunday School Teacher, as well as helped with Vacation Bible School.

After moving to LaCygne, she transferred membership to the LaCygne United Methodist Church and remained an Associate Member of Hiattville United Methodist. She was a Lifetime Member of the Ideal Chapter #369 Order of Eastern Star which merged with Olive Chapter, the Kansas State Teacher’s Association, and the Bourbon County Retired Teachers Association. She received the Kansas East Conference Denman Award for Evangelism.

Survivors include close friend and heart-adopted daughter Regina Woodworth and husband Tom, of Iola, Kansas; brother Harold Salmon and wife Segrid of Placerville, California; sisters-in-law Juanita Long and Shirley Chambers, both of LaCygne, Kansas; numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband Joe, Virginia was also preceded in death by her parents.

Rev. January Kiefer will conduct funeral services Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, with burial following at the Fort Scott National Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Tuesday evening, January 2, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fort Scott Community College endowed scholarship, Hiattville United Methodist, or LaCygne United Methodist, and left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, PO Box 309, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary For Lewis William Lucas

Obituary for Lewis William Lucas

Lewis William “Bill” Lucas, age 85, a resident of Humboldt, Kansas, passed away Thursday, December 28, 2017, at the Heritage Health Care, Chanute, Kansas.

Bill was born on May 3, 1932, in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Lewis Edward and Thelma (Weddle) Lucas. Bill was a Veteran serving his country with the United States Army. He worked as a welder and an over the road trucker.

He married Charlotte Stephens on April 25, 1981. Bill enjoyed tinkering and loved his animals.
Survivors include his wife, Charlotte of the home, a daughter, Karon Schnichels of Fort Scott, Kansas, a daughter-in-law Mandy Lucas, of Redfield, Kansas, ten grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Eric Lucas, a daughter, Melody Ann Lucas and a grandson, Ernest Owen Lucas.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Thursday, January 4, 2018, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the U.S. National Cemetery Fort Scott, Kansas under the direction of the Cheney Witt Chapel.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Memorial are suggested to the Lewis Lucas Memorial Fund in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main PO box 347 Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Sharing Ideas For Downtown Fort Scott


Lindsay Madison at the Christmas Parade 2017 which the Chamber of Commerce sponsors.

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison has been the executive director since October 2010.

On January 11, 2011, Madison initiated the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet.

“I started it to provide a platform for downtown business owners and any interested party to network for ideas related to downtown,” Madison said.

The Meet & Greets are held the first Tuesday of each quarter from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise announced.

Usually, approximately 18 to 25 people attend, with the host business invited to tell about their business and any future events, she said.
” City representatives (Dave Martin or Rachel Pruitt) usually give a city update and a Fort (Scott National Historic Site) representative usually announces upcoming fort events,” Madison said.

Some of the projects and ideas that have come out of the meetings include:

  • A new downtown shopping brochure was completed in 2017.
  • The Toy Soldier Project was started Christmas 2017.
  • Businesses are encouraged to decorate windows for special events, i.e. patriotic for Symbols of Sacrifice, Naturalization Ceremony, etc.
  • There is a discussion about co-op advertising opportunities for retailers to go together on, i.e. TV ads, etc.
  • A new parking sign was installed on Wall Street in the city parking lot where the depot is located, to promote additional parking downtown.
  • A short-term parking sign was installed in front of Papa Don’s, following discussion of the group.
  • Ideas for downtown events and promotions are discussed, such as 10% off items on Kansas Day if shoppers wear a sunflower, the Halloween parade, the Christmas parade, and Downtown Open House events, Sales Tax Holiday (first weekend in August), 3rd Saturday Marketplace events, including when to hold the events.
  • Informing attendees of grants/incentives available to downtown businesses.
  • A scarecrow contest was held in the past to create fall decorating.
  • New downtown banners for the light poles were the result of discussion at the meetings.
  • Ideas for new murals, for instance, to replace Star Emporium mural at the north end of Main Street.
“We are always soliciting new ideas and volunteers to help organize any type of events or promotions,” Madison said.

On January 9 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. the meet and greet will gather at Papa Don’s Restaurant, 10 N. Main to share ideas once again for the downtown area.

The goal of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is to be a premier chamber of commerce in the region, acknowledged for leadership effectiveness, member-focused services and success, and being a go-to resource for business and community, according to its website.

For more information:


Obituary for Benjamin H. Coe, Jr.

Benjamin H. Coe, Jr.
Obituary for Benjamin H. Coe, Jr.

Benjamin H. Coe, Jr., age 94, a lifelong resident of Ft. Scott, KS, died Wednesday, December 27, 2017, at the Franklin House, Ft. Scott. He was born July 17, 1923, in Ft. Scott, the son of Benjamin H. Coe, Sr. and Katherine Bittner Coe.

He attended St. Mary’s Grade School (one of the first classes to attend), Ft. Scott High School, Ft. Scott Junior College, and Pittsburg State, graduating in 1948.

He served in the United States Air Force from 1943 to 1945 as a bombardier and was wounded over Southern France. He received the Purple Heart.

He married Alberta L. Taylor on May 23, 1953, in Ft. Scott. Ben worked for the Western Insurance Company for 38 years, retiring in 1986.

He enjoyed woodworking and refinishing items found at auction. He was an avid sports fan, always supporting his children’s and grandchildren’s activities. He was a member of Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife Alberta; six children, Ben Coe and wife Lanza, McKinney, TX, Kevin Coe and wife Kim, Wichita, KS, Keith Coe and wife Carla, Newnan, GA, Marianne Garrison and husband Jon, Ft. Scott, KS, Pat Coe and wife Mitzi, Warrenville, IL, and Janel Blackburn and husband Lee, Ft. Scott, KS; a sister, Mary Elizabeth “Zibbie” Grove, Kansas City, MO; 18 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and special buddy, George at the Franklin House. He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Coe; and his parents.

Father Robert Wachter will conduct the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM Wednesday, January 3, at the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church. Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided. The Rosary will be prayed at 5:30 with the family receiving friends from 6:00 until 8:00 Tuesday evening at the Chapel. Memorials are suggested to St. Mary’s Catholic School and may be left in the care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

A Healthier Workplace

Fort Scott Firefighter Colten Hoggatt works out at the Fort Scott Fire Department fitness room Wednesday. The City of Fort Scott has implemented a wellness policy to incent its employee’s  to get fit.

Recently, the City of Fort Scott Commissioners implemented a  policy to engage employees in becoming more fit.

This was in response to the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team challenging businesses to develop wellness policies, Deb Needleman, human resources director with the city, said.

Other entities challenged to promote wellness and physical activity were Fort Scott Community College, Mercy Hospital, USD 234, USD 235, Peerless Products Inc., McDonald’s Restaurant, Landmark Bank and Ward Kraft Inc.

“Fort Scott Community College passed their policy recently, too,” Jody Hoener,  administrator for the Bourbon County Healthy Pathway Grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas Insurance, said. “I talked to (FSCC President) Alysia Johnston, who said they have started painting the room where their (fitness) equipment will be,” Hoener said.

“We are setting up policies to encourage employees to exercise at least three hours per week,” Needleman said. “We’ll be rolling the policy out in January to our employees.”

For her part, Needleman has started CrossFit training.

“The policy will encourage me to do CrossFit three times per week,” she said. “But any moderate physical activity that gets the heart rate going,” will work.

If she continues her fitness program for the whole month, “The following month I’ll get an incentive, a $20 reimbursement in expenses,” Needleman said.

This money can be spent on “fitness club membership, shoes, a new tire for a bicycle or anything related to physical activity”, she said.

The outcome of the policy implementation is expected to be an increase in the level of activity which is intended to help the bottom line of each entity that participates.

“When you have healthy activity, employees are more productive, there are lower health care costs and lower employee absenteeism and higher employee retention,” Needleman said.

For the incentives, employees must meet the criteria set forth in the policy, and Needleman acknowledges that not everyone will.

The policy is not mandatory, Needleman said.

Still, the city has set aside $9,000 to $15,000 in its’ budget to incent employees to get more active.

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team will survey the city staff in August or September 2018 to find out if the level of activity has increased and thereby are approaching or meeting national standards, Needleman said.

“We will look at and re-evaluate the policy at that time,” Needleman said.

“We were about one-half of the national standard,” when surveyed prior to implementation of the policy,  she said.

Increasing activity is the goal of year one of the policy, Needleman said.

“Year two, we will look at nutrition,” she said. “Healthy eating, food choices in the workplace.”

“Year three we will look at tobacco cessation,” she said.

Each worksite is eligible for $10,000 to implement a wellness policy  Hoener said.

Firefighter Colten Hoggatt, 25, pictured, works out even on his days off for about one hour, he said. The fire department has a separate building on site that it uses as a fitness room.

Fort Scott Fire Department Captain Dale Bolinger said the fire department currently tracks physical activity of each employee and that information is included in their employment evaluation.