Obituary Of William Andrew Heckman

William Andrew “Bill” Heckman, age 85, a resident of Bronson, Kansas passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018, at his home in Bronson. 
He was born January 17, 1932, in Hepler, Kansas, the son of Andrew Joseph Heckman and Mamie Leah Dunbar Heckman.  He married Pat Judd on August 17, 1972. 
Bill constantly kept busy.  He did farm work as well as mechanic work for many years.  He also mowed yards. 
Survivors include his wife, Pat, of the home; a son, Dustin Heckman of Lansing, Kansas and a daughter, Stacy Moore and husband, Rex, of Redfield, Kansas; five grandchildren, Alisa, Tyler, Dalton, Shelby and Hannah and a great-granddaughter, Kendall.  Also surviving are two brothers, Ether Spencer, and wife, Marsha, of Girard, Kansas and James Heckman and his wife, of California; two sisters, Frances Tewell, of Girard and Thelma Koons of Huntington Beach, California. He was preceded in death by an infant son, William Heckman, Jr., two brothers, Newton Spencer and Albert Heckman and a sister, Elizabeth Judd.
Rev. Marty Dewitt will conduct funeral services at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, January 17 at the Cheney Witt Chapel in Ft. Scott.  Burial will follow in the Paint Creek Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 P.M. Tuesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, Kansas.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary Of Rebecca Marie Murray

Rebecca Marie Murray

Rebecca Marie Murray, 66, of Fort Scott, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at the Olathe Medical Center.

She was born April 5, 1951, in Coffeyville, Kansas, the daughter of John F. and Madilyn Louise (Slater) Troutman. She married Wayne Murray July 10, 1982, in Fort Scott, and he preceded her in death July 3, 1999.

Rebecca worked for Fort Scott Community College for twenty-five years, and for Five Corners Mini Mart for the last fifteen years. She had a bachelor’s degree in English.

Survivors include her daughter, Amy L. Murray of Pittsburg, Kansas, her son Geoffery A. Murray of Fort Scott, Kansas; step-daughter Julie Workman of Girard, Kansas; her granddaughter, Stephanie Eastwood; a nephew, Jason Sack, and Kevin Taliaferro, who was like a son to her. In addition to her husband Wayne, she was preceded in death by her parents, and a sister, Kathryn Sack.

Bishop Walter Simpson will conduct funeral services 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 19, 2018, at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home with burial following at the Fort Scott National Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday evening, January 18, 2018, from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the FSCC Endowed Scholarship Fund 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

Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Update

Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

The kitchen refrigerator and cooler didn’t fit in the new law enforcement center. Twice.

“The first two that came in would not fit,” Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin said. “There was some miscommunication between the architect, the construction company or the company building the fridge and cooler.”

The refrigerator and cooler are custom built and have to meet certain requirements, he said.

The good news is, the custom-built refrigeration system has arrived and is being installed, Martin said.

Following installation, there will be a final inspection by the state fire marshall.

“It was delayed until everything is in place in the kitchen,” Martin said.

“We have some additional training once that is met, ” he said. “We should be able to open the door and have inmates the end of January to the middle of February.”

The new law enforcement center is located at 293 East 20th Street.

Sheriff Bill Martin in the command center of the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, October 2017.
Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, October 2017


Obituary of Ruth O’Dell

Ruth O’Dell, age 84, a former resident of Mapleton, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at the Ft. Scott Manor in Ft. Scott, Kansas.

She was born January 21, 1933, on the family farm near Lacygne, Kansas, the daughter of Clemmit Anderson and Edith Reynolds Anderson.

She married Donald Eugene O’Dell on February 28, 1953, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ruth lived in Kansas City for a time where she was employed by the Wonder Bread Bakery. She later worked at a service station in Ft. Scott and helped her husband with their own service station in Mapleton. She was a past member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Survivors include two sons, David Hearn and wife, Rosemary, of McPherson, Kansas and Claude O’Dell, of Ft. Scott and a daughter, Donna Thomas, and husband, Danny, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and three grandsons. Also surviving is a sister, Betty Hall, and husband, Allen, of Pittsburg and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Don, preceded her in death on October 30, 2004. She was also preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, Clarence, James, Howard and Henry Anderson and two sisters, Velma Miller and Viola Collins.

Jay Lotterer will conduct funeral services at 10:30 A.M. Monday, January 15 at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the Mapleton Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Lee’s Paws and Claws and may be left in the care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at


Patty LaRoche: The Prophet’s Error, Part 1

When I first read 1 Kings 13:1-34, I was frustrated. With each additional reading, I became more frustrated. God gives so many people second-and- third-and-fourth chances, but this poor guy gets one. And it’s not even his fault. Well, not much. He just lets down his guard for one teensy, weensy minute.

Throughout the entire chapter, this prophet is referred to as a “man of God.” No name. Just “a man of God.” Obviously, he’s done something right. As the story unfolds, this man of God travels from Judah and confronts King Jeroboam who is setting up worship at the altar at Bethel, defying God’s decree that there would be only one altar—in Jerusalem.

The man of God is there to rain on Jeroboam’s idol-worship parade and prophesies that one day a descendent of King David named Josiah will sacrifice priests on that altar. (This came true 340 years later.) For proof, “the altar will split in two.” As one who hates David’s dynasty, the enraged king points to the prophet and commands his attendants to arrest him. Immediately the king’s arm shrivels up and the altar splits apart. This is no minor detail. Proper ritual required the sacrificial ashes be disposed of in a “clean” place (Lev. 4:12; 6:10-11). Contact with the ground nullified the sacrifice. Big trouble for the king.

I can only imagine Jeroboam’s horror. He begs for the man of God to intercede to the Lord to restore his hand. God answers his prayer.

So far, the man of God has lived up to his name.

In return, the king invites the prophet to his palace for a meal and a gift. The man of God answers the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’”  The man of God obeys and takes another road home. Clearly, he desires to follow God’s directive.

Word spreads, and an old prophet in the area hears from his sons about the miracle at the Altar of Bethel. He saddles his donkey, chases after the man of God, finds him under a tree and invites him to return for a meal. The man of God reiterates what he has told the king.

The old prophet answers, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) So, the man of God returns with him and shares a meal.

Do you have the same questions I have? How was Prophet #1 to know he is being deceived? Why did Prophet #2 go to such efforts to seduce this man of God? Was it so he could brag to his friends that a celebrity had been in his house?

Trust me, there are no answers to these questions. All I know is, at this point I’m really ticked off at Prophet #2.

Let’s pick up in verse 20: “While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God, “This is what the LORD says: ‘You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”


No apologies. No “I’m so sorry.” No “I’ve really screwed up this time.” No “Lord, take me in this man of God’s place.” Nothing (except prophesying his visitor’s doom).

See why I find this frustrating?

If you’re needing a little more frustration, just wait until next week when we will look at the rest of the story.

Stained Glass Windows Discovered In Remodel Of Downtown Building

Stained glass windows are discovered in the renovation of the building at Wall and Main Streets. Pictured is Randy Lafferty, R and L Contracting LLC, the contractor for the remodel.

Since November workers have been remodeling the building at 2 North Main for Dr. Timothy Crawford.

During the remodel which will house Crawford’s future dental office, some architectural features have been discovered.

Above some columns and above the southern windows of the building,  art-deco style stained glass windows were discovered.

“It was a good find,” Randy Lafferty, R and L Contracting LLC, said.

Stained glass windows that had been covered up are being restored to be showcased in Dr. Tim Crawford’s future office at 2 N. Main. Randy Lafferty shows the location of the stained glass above the southern windows of the building. The windows opened in for ventilation originally. Current plans are to put lights behind them to show them off, Lafferty said.
The original marble tiles on the front of the old vault will be showcased in the future dental office, Lafferty said.

In the interior, marble was found on the outside of an old vault.

“We are going to keep the marble work and try to find a clock to fit (in the round hole where a clock once was), Lafferty said.

The remodel will produce an office area with 3,000 square feet, Lafferty said.

“Including going to the next office over, west, the old barber shop,” he said.

There is no deadline for the remodel completion at this time, Lafferty said.

Crawford’s current office is located at 1115 S. Main.

IF: Gathering Coming to Fort Scott Feb. 9 and 10

IF we believe God is who He says He is, why don’t we act like it?  Why don’t we share His love?  Why do we feel awkward inviting someone to church?

IF: Gathering is a gathering of about 3,000 women in Austin, Texas, which is simulcast to a few thousand places around the world, including Fort Scott.  Some are large gatherings in churches or theaters.   Some are small gatherings in people’s homes.  Some are women at home with their kiddos watching whatever moments they can squeeze in.   The goal is to point women to Jesus and the local church as the place to continue their faith journey.

In 2017, IF: Fort Scott included women from eleven area churches.

Register online now (see link below) to join us on February 9 and 10.  We will meet at Community Christian Church on February 9 at 6:30 p.m. to watch the first session and meet our conversation groups.  New this year—Saturday’s sessions will take place in individual homes for a more intimate setting. Registration is requested by January 31.

Questions?  Please call Jennifer or Marcy at 620.223.1500  or email

We want to give God away in the very places He’s put us, so we’re going to gather for the purpose of remembering why following God and making disciples matters.  We all get tired, we all wonder if what we’re doing matters, so IF: Gathering 2018 will be the reminder–it will be the celebration.  The work we’re doing to share the Gospel on the earth is worth it and God DOES move through the little things that nobody sees.  Join us.

IF: Fort Scott

February 9 & 10

Registration and details at 

Suggested donation $25

Bourbon County Sheriff Status Report

The current jail is located near the sheriff’s office in the Bourbon County Courthouse.

The following links are from the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office.

They are detailed reports of arrests and inmate status, as of January 10, 2018

sheriff status report jan. 10

sheriff report jan.10


Action Behind the Scenes Downtown

Papa Don’s Restaurant Manager Brita Rygmyr shares a light moment with attendees of the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet Tuesday morning at the restaurant. In her comments, he said the restaurant has a special event room for rent with or without catering by the restaurant. In the background is Dav Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental.

People with an interest in Fort Scott’s downtown area met at Papa Don’s Restaurant Tuesday morning to share news.

Here is a list of shared comments:

  • Holly Baker, Fort Scott National Historic Site Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management, will be leaving Fort Scott at the end of January for a position in Washington D.C.
  • Baker also announced a youth art exhibit will be displayed in February and March at FSNHS, and also shared the fort now has a mobile app for viewing the grounds with extra background history.
  • Bids and Dibs Consignment shop is seeking a place to give overstock items. “Anyone want to start a thrift store?” owner Angie Simon asked the group.
  • City Manager Dave Martin said the city is looking at ways to reduce tax amounts, indicating a visioning committee is looking at the issue.
  • Fort Scott Community Development Director Rhonda Dunn said one of her goals is to make Fort Scott a Christmas light viewing destination in the area. She stated she is soliciting unwanted Christmas lights and decorations for the project.
  • Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison announced the winners of the toy soldier decorating contest: Elaine Buerge, Deb Anderson, and Stacia Weilert. She said the downtown shopping brochure will arrive next week. There are leftover small business cloth shopping bags and doormats to give away, she said.
  • A Shiney Foundation representative announced there will be a feature film documentary 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Memorial Hall, with a dance party following.
    The film is  FREE to the community.If the person would like to attend with a VIP package ( light meal, drinks, film and post party)  it is a 35$ ticket donation.
  • The Beaux Arts Center now is a Common Consumption Center, owner Denise Duncan announced.
  • A Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative representative said broadband services will be offered soon to businesses in Fort Scott, then to residents.
  • Dave Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental, said the renovation of the building at 2 N. Main has uncovered some old stain glass windows hidden in the walls.
  • Owner Angela Simons said Bids and Dibs is undergoing a restructuring inside and a new security system installed. The business has over 1,200 consigners that contribute items she said.
  •  Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said this weekend a basketball tournament will be at the middle school, Buck Run Community Center and the high school.
Attendees of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce sponsored Downtown Quarterly Meet and Greet listen as each attendee was given the opportunity to speak about the entity they represent.

The Prairie Troubadour Tickets On Sale Now

 Early Bird Pricing On The Prairie Troubadour Ends January 15

Friends of the Troubadour,

One month from today on February 9, the Liberty Theatre in Fort Scott, KS will come alive once again with the joyful bustle of Catholic conviviality as discussion continues on the good life.  The line-up to date: Bishop James Conley, Fr. Paul Check, Chris Check, Joseph Pearce, John Cuddeback, William Fahey and the inimitable Kevin O’Brien leading a conversation centered on Field and Family: Reflections on a Healthy Human Ecology.

Tickets are going fast this year so book your tickets before the early bird pricing ends on January 15 to secure your best rate and guarantee a spot.