Category Archives: Bourbon County

The Future Of Bridal Veil Park Is Weighed

The view from Second Street looking northwest into Bridal Veil Park.

Fort Scott City Manager Dave Martin is seeking input from the community on what to do with Bridal Veil Park.

The park is located just west of the Marmaton River on Second Street on the west side of town.

It is a low-lying area encompassed by an attractive, low rock fence on the south.

History of the park

Three concrete picnic tables, a pavilion, and numerous large tree stumps, with a meandering dirt road, are all that’s left of an area that was at first two community swimming pools, one for girls, one for boys.

“It began as Napp’s Park in the 1880s,” Fred Campbell, a local historian said. “It had a large artesian water well in the southeast corner of the park, 40 yards from the entrance. It flowed mineral water. As the water shot up about 20-30 feet from the spring, it looked like a bridal veil.”

Three concrete picnic tables that have survived since the 1930s at Bridal Veil Park.

In 1936, the Works Progress Administration of the federal government built a new community swimming pool at the current site on Main Street, said Don Miller, a local Fort Scott historian.

“At that point, the (Bridal Veil Park) swimming pools were turned over to the African-American community,”  Miller said. “Segregation was the law until 1954.”

After desegregation became law the swimming pools were filled in, Miller said.

In 1986, a flood swept away the brick shelter house at the site, he said.

The current pavilion at Bridal Veil Park. The original brick one was destroyed during the flood of 1986.

“After that, it was used for a hang-out place,” Miller said. “There was a lot of illegal activities going on.”

Keep or sell the property?

Fast forward to 2017.

Martin said there is still “suspicious activity” for the Fort Scott Police Department to investigate at that location and it floods easily because of its location near the Marmaton River.

The cost of maintaining the park is approximately $5,000 to $10,000 a year, Martin said.

“Taking care of that park, is it a vision for the future of our city?,” Martin asked in an interview with

“There is a vision to have a hookup between Gunn Park and Riverfront Park in the long-term,” Martin said. “We will try to keep an easement for that,” Martin said.

The vegetation overgrowth prevents a view of the Marmaton River, on the east edge of Bridal Veil Park.

Input requested by November 21

“I’m wanting input from the community between now and November 21,” Martin said. “I talked to people who feel it would not be a good idea to sell the land.”

At the November 21 city commission meeting,  a decision will likely be made, he said.

Emails can be sent to or call Martin on his cell phone at 620-644-2498.

“I think it will be good for the city to sell the property,” Miller said. “But save the picnic tables. Those were built by the WPA, they have historical value.”



3rd Saturday Downtown Marketplace Tomorrow

North Main Street in downtown Fort Scott Thursday afternoon. October 21 is the 3rd Saturday Downtown Market Place when this street will be lined with vendors.

Last month a collaboration of Fort Scott Farmer’s Market, Chamber of Commerce, city personnel and downtown merchants led to the first ever 3rd Saturday Fort Scott Marketplace.

The September event went well, according to Lindsay Madison, executive director of the chamber.

Tomorrow the North Main section of the downtown area will once again be cordoned off for vendors. This will be the last marketplace this year.

“This is the second one,” Madison said. “The plan is to set it up for May to October next year. Which is when Fort Scott Farmer’s Market is open.”

Fresh produce vendors, downtown merchants, and other organizations will take advantage of the warm weather to sell their wares from 8 a.m. to noon.

Papa Don’s Pizza, 10 N. Main will take its turn doing “Breakfast on the Bricks,” which is the breakfast offering each farmer’s market day.  On the menu are breakfast pizza, cinnamon rolls, coffee, and juice.

Breakfast on the Bricks gets its name from the brick Main Street in Fort Scott.

Downtown merchants The Iron Star and J & W Sportshop will be open early for the event.

A free spinal screening will be offered by Hartman Spine and Joint.

Other vendors will be Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, and Gold Canyon Decor, to name a few.

Continuing from last month, city golf carts will be available to transport people or purchases to their cars, say, for instance, produce vendor Ronnie Brown’s pumpkins.

One of the goals of the chamber is to boost the benefit of the downtown stores and farmer’s market, Madison said.

October 28 will be the last Fort Scott Farmer’s Market for 2017.




Fall Fun At Fort Wise

Fort Wise Pumpkin Patch will be a hub of activity, this weekend.

Two races and a Fort Scott organization’s social gathering are on the agenda.

The seasonal business has been in operation since 2015 and is owned by Chad and Melissa Wise.

Since the couple opened Fort Wise Pumpkin Company, they have geared up for each weekend in October when they open their property to the public for family fall activities.

Activities such as pumpkin chunking, a corn maze, a corn pit, an obstacle course, a slide, and a hayride on an army truck are available at this fort. Food, pumpkins and Stewart’s Mums can be purchased as well. The large mums are $10 until sold out.

The entry fee to Fort Wise is $5 person, with kids under two-years-old, free.

Fort Wise is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sundays in October.

Patriotic 5K/1 mile fun run

This weekend, there will be a 5k/1 mile competition to benefit Wreaths Across America,  a non-profit organization that puts live wreaths on the graves of military veterans in December each year, to honor those who served in the military.

This is of interest to the couple because Chad Wise just retired from military service in May 2017.

The local group of this organization is hosting a Wreath Ride Patriot Pumpkin 5K/1 Mile Fun Run at Fort Wise for Saturday, October 21. Registration is at 8 a.m. Costumes are requested. The 5K run starts at 9 a.m. with the one-mile fun run starting at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded at 10:30 a.m. Preregistration for the event is $20 for the fun run and $30 for the 5K. The day of the race, each race registration fee will increase $5.

The runners/walkers will be traversing the 40 acres of the Wise property, which has some hills.

December 16 is the National Wreaths Across America Day, with Fort Scott National Cemetary as the local site for the ceremony to honor military service men and women.

For more information: 620-224-8933, 620-215-2174 or

Young Professional Social

In addition, Fort Wise is hosting a Young Professional League Social  Sunday.

“This is for YPL members and their families,” Melissa Wise said.

From 4-5 p.m. the families will enjoy the activities at Fort Wise. From 5-6 p.m., after Fort Wise closes to the public, there will be a safety briefing on firearms, then a competition on shooting targets.

During both Saturday and Sunday activities at Fort Wise, it is open to the public from 11 a. m. to 5 p.m.

The gate to Fort Wise Pumpkin Company, six miles west of Fort Scott on Maple Road.

Gunn Park To Expand

Fort Scott Parks and Buildings Supervisor Todd Farrell works to subdue the overgrown vegetation on the newly purchased seven-acre property at the entrance to Gunn Park.

Fort Scottian Frank Halsey is a trailblazer.

He has worked in the last decade to mark and prepare trails through Gunn Park so he can mountain bike.

His passion for this sport has led to over eight miles of bike trails for public use.

He has spearheaded construction of trails that meander around the edge of the park and most recently helped the City of Fort Scott purchase more land for public use trails.

The acreage addition to the park began about two years ago when Halsey noticed a “for sale” sign near the entrance to the park.

“I inquired about the property about one-and-a-half years ago,” Halsey said. “Over the last two years, the price has become doable.”

Halsey learned of  Timken Industries grants to communities. The business has a plant in Fort Scott’s industrial park.

“Where they have plants, they have grants to help the community,” he said.

“Gunn Park Trails was able to acquire the grant to help pay for the land,” Halsey said. “We were able to get awarded $10,000 to buy property.”

The City of Fort Scott got on board.

At a recent Fort Scott Commission meeting, the city agreed to allocate $10,000, which along with the grant of $10,000 allowed the purchase of the seven-acres from the owner, Jerry Jackman, Iola.

“The corner lot (of the property) is an ideal location for pump tracks,” Halsey said. “Pump tracks are like a skate park for bikes.”

The six acres behind the corner lot is ideal for more trails, he said.

Halsey will begin work soon.

“Winter is a good time to build trails,” he said. “There is not so much vegetation. We hope to have it completed by the spring of 2018.”

For more information see the website www.gunnparktrails.com

Fort Scott Parks and Building Supervisor Todd Farrell mows the newly acquired acreage Monday.

KState Extension: Why Do I Have Branches All Over My Yard?

You may have asked yourself this exact question recently. After closer inspection of the branches, your next question is probably what in the world caused this buzz saw look to every one of them? It’s the handy work of twig girdlers – a longhorned beetle (Oncideres cingulate).

The adults have a grayish-brown body that is stout and cylindrical. One has but to look at the head of the twig girdler to realize that it is well-equipped for the girdling task. The head is compressed from front to back, and somewhat elongate from top to bottom. This makes it just right for allowing it to fit into the V-shaped girdle it creates.

Twig girdlers have a wide host range including hickory, pecan, oak, maple, hackberry and elm. While hackberry is listed as “high” on the lists of hosts, in Kansas, most reports of littered lawns occurs beneath elms.

So why do they girdle branches? The beetle has a one year life cycle. Late in the growing season, the female deposits eggs in small scars it has chewed through the bark and then chews a continuous notch around the twig girdling it. The notch is cut below the site of egg deposition apparently because the larva is unable to complete development in the presence of large amounts of sap. The larvae of twig girdlers require a “drier wood” for their growth and development.

Girdled twigs die and fall to the ground where the eggs hatch. Girdled twigs look like a beaver has worked on it only in miniature. The outside of the twig is smoothly cut but the center of the twig has a broken appearance. The larvae begin feeding on dead wood inside the twigs the following spring and continue through most of the summer. Pupation takes place inside the feeding cavity. Development is completed during August when the adult emerges to repeat the cycle.

The good news is twig girdlers cause minimal damage the tree – just annoying work for us picking up cut branches! Chemical control is impractical because the adult emergence is lengthy, spanning from August into October. The best control option is to gather up fallen twigs and dispose of them in the fall or spring. This will destroy the larvae inside the twigs. Natural mortality is generally high due to excessive drying of fallen twigs or too many larvae per twig. However, this does not mean that twig girdlers won’t be a problem the following year.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District.

She may be reached at or 620-244- 3826.

City/School 2017 Election Forum Oct. 26

Fort Scott Livestock Market is where the candidate forum will be located Oct. 26.

New council and board members are a possibility in the towns and schools in Bourbon County.

A candidate forum for the November 7 election is slated from 6-8 p.m., October 26, at Fort Scott Livestock Market, 2131 Maple Road. This forum is to let voters learn about the people who are running in the election for town and school positions.

The names of the candidates and the position for which they are candidates are as follows:

USD #234 School Board Positions: Geoff Southwell and David Stewart will vie for position four; Gary Billionis is unchallenged for position five; Jamie Armstrong is unchallenged for position six.

USD #235 School Board Positions: Brian Stewart for position four, Mike Mason for position five, and Tyler Martin for position six are all unchallenged.

Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees: John Bartlesmeyer, Elizabeth Meyer, Tina Rockhold and Kevin Wagner are on the ballot. The three persons receiving the highest number of votes will be elected.

For the City Commission of Fort Scott, the two candidates receiving the most votes will receive a four-year term. The candidate receiving the third greatest number of votes will receive a two-year term. Those competing for the position are Cheryl  Adamson,  Carol MacArthur, JoLynne Mitchell, and Robert Nichols.

In the City of Bronson, the mayor and the two candidates for council that receives the most votes will receive a four-year term, the next three candidates for council that receives the most votes will receive a two-year term. Those running are Clearsia Botts, Geraldine Reeder, Charlotte Stewart, Kathaleen Stewart and Michael Stewart.

Alan Stewart and Lee Roy Whitcomb are running for mayor of Bronson.

For the mayor and council members of Fulton, Mapleton, and Uniontown, no candidates have filed for these positions.

When no candidates file for a position “it will be a write-in,” Bourbon County Clerk Kendall Mason said. “The most votes will win.”

In the City of Redfield, Clarence “Ed” Guss is running unopposed for mayor, while Michael Beerbower, Wilma Graham, Clarence “Ed” Guss, Kirby Martin, and Richard Smith have filed to run for council.

For the Southwind Extension District Board, Ethan Holly and Terri Williams have filed.

Local Author, Local Story

Recently, Joyce Love has published a novella about life in the Fort Scott area at the turn of the last century.  But writing is nothing new to her.

In her years as the librarian at Eugene Ware Elementary School,  Love wrote skits and short stories for the library students, using puppets to act the stories out, she said.

She also wrote articles for the Fort Scott Tribune magazines “She” and “Ageless” and for her church denomination (Church of God) magazine, “The Gem.”

This summer, Love finished her first historical fiction novella, “A Kansas Sunset,” and will have a book signing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at Fort Scott Public Library.

The book is the story of a 17-year-old girl, circa 1901, who comes from Chicago and stays in Fort Scott before heading to Pawnee Station, southwest of Fort Scott. Scenes for the story were taken from newspaper articles she found during her research in the Genealogical Society library in the basement of Memorial Hall.

Some photos in the book were loaned to her by local historian Don Miller.

The book cover is a photo of a Kansas sunset she took and features her granddaughter, Adriana Love, daughter of Jason and Kelly Love.

Love and her husband, Bob, live on a farm near the site of the fictional story.

Love is also the author of a children’s  book completed this year, “The Three Little Pigs, Retold by Joyce Love.” That book will be featured in a children’s story time at the Fort Scott Public Library in the future.

Publishing books

Many aspiring book writers wonder about publishing their work.

Love chose to publish her books through Create Space, owned by Amazon.

“They print on demand,” she said. “I had an editor who formatted the book and I submitted it through Create Space. It’s available on Amazon and Kindle.”


Stutesman’s Action Realty Opens Office in Fort Scott

Amanda Bourassa, broker, and Scott Theis, associate broker, of Stutesman’s Action Realty Fort Scott.

Stutesman’s Action Realty, Nevada, Mo., opened an office on Fort Scott’s Main Street in August.

“This is an opportunity to get back and work with people I have known for years,” Amanda Mahlock Bourassa, broker, said.

She is a 1997  Fort Scott High School graduate, and a 1999 graduate of Fort Scott Community College.

“I love Fort Scott and this is an opportunity to help grow our town and community,” Bourassa said.

Theis is excited to be in Fort Scott because he sees the city as a community moving forward, he said.

“It’s exciting for me to be able to provide service to help with that agenda by helping individuals and families achieve their real estate goals,” Theis said.

Their agency provides residential and commercial property real estate service, provides property management (handling maintenance and rent duties), and provides relocation services.

The business is located at 119 S. Main, Suite A, between Fort Scott City Hall and Crooner’s Lounge. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and after hours and weekends by appointment.

Bourassa can be reached at 417-684-5681 or

Theis can be reached at 417-321-0929 or


KState: Do you really know what you are feeding your livestock?

Submitted by Christopher Petty, KState Southwind Extension

How will you know how much protein and energy your cows will get when you start feeding your hay and silage this winter, or how will you know how much supplement to feed?

According to University of Nebraska Forage Specialist Bruce Anderson, correct sampling techniques, followed by lab tests of forage quality, are necessary for cattle producers who want to get the most value from their forages and profit from their animals.

Maybe the most important step in sampling hay, and sometimes the most difficult step, is deciding which bales and stacks should be included in each sample. Ideally, each sample should include only bales that were produced under nearly identical conditions.

Obviously, the place to start grouping is to separate different types of hay, like alfalfa or CRP or fescue or native prairie hay. But each cutting of hay probably is different from the other cuttings also, so there is another separation. And no two fields are ever exactly the same, especially if they were cut more than two days apart, so that makes another grouping. And what if part of the field was rained on before it was baled? The hay made without rain damage probably will be different from hay with rain damage.

After you’ve made all these separations, which could result in quite a few groups of similar bales, then and only then are you ready to sample. From each group gather a dozen or more cores from different bales or stacks and combine them into one sample. Be sure to use a good hay probe that can core into at least one foot of the bale. Check your local Extension Office to see if they have one you can borrow.

Finally, send these samples to a certified lab for tests of energy content and protein, maybe nitrates, and any other nutrients of interest to you. Then use this information to feed your cattle as profitably as possible. For more information contact me at 620-223- 3720 or by e-mail at

Mary Eastwood Back After “Catch-Up” Month

Mary Eastwood reclines on a chaise lounge in her shop that she recently custom upholstered.

Mary Eastwood, owner of Here We Go Again, a custom upholstery shop in historic downtown Fort Scott,  reopened  Oct. 3 following a month of “catching up,” she said.

“I didn’t get caught up, but I finished 13 chairs and a whole bunch of pillows,” Eastwood laughed.

A child’s recliner chair that Mary Eastwood recently upholstered.

Eastwood’s workspace is in the back of her showroom at 9 N. Main.

In addition to custom upholstery furniture and decorative items, Eastwood has consignments from area artists.

“I have unique gifts for sale,” she said.

Mary Eastwood shows customer Colleen Murrin the new consignment aprons she received from area artist, Allison Day.

Eastwood started upholstering furniture in 1976 and continues to use her original machine, she said.  Her business first started from her home and she has been at her current storefront for several years.

Store hours are 10 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Custom pillows.
Here We Go Again upholstery shop at 9 N. Main.

Bourbon County Jail Public Viewing

The public was allowed a viewing of the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday.  The project took one year to complete and will house 74 inmates.
Residents, employees, and dignitaries mill around prior to the ribbon cutting at the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday afternoon.
The project summary of the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center was on display at the public viewing.
A pod for inmates at the new correctional center. Inmates should be at the new facility by the second week of November, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows the command center at the new law enforcement center during a tour Thursday afternoon.
Corrections officers get a look at the inmate recreation area at the new center. Daylight and fresh air must be provided inmates daily. The huge fan at the top, center, will provide the air intake for the room.
The sallyport area where inmates are brought by vehicle into the center is shown by Sheriff Bill Martin.
At right, Steve Smith visits with Sheriff Bill Martin. Smith is the president of Universal Construction, the general contractor for the project.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows a handicapped accessible pod with special safety features.
Sheriff Martin shows an honor pod, for model inmates who are allowed to work in the community with supervision. Model inmates will also prepare meals for the center with supervision, something not feasible at the old jail.
An interview room at the center for inmates and attorneys.
Employees, interested Bourbon County residents and dignitaries line the sidewalk in front of the center to prepare for the opening ceremony. The area surrounding the center is being seeded with grass, therefore there was no standing off the sides of the sidewalk.
The address sign on the outside of the center at 293 E. 20th Street. It is located on the south side of Fort Scott.
Signs upon entering the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.



G & W Is Changing Things Up

G & W Foods Manager Will Rayburn works on paperwork Wednesday in preparation for changes coming to the grocery store.

G & W Foods is adding to their store name, re-shelving and moving products around preparing for a change in the way they do business.

The change for the grocery store is starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 through Oct. 17. The store will reopen at 7 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Following this brief time of closing, the store, at 911 E. Sixth, is taking a different direction, and will then be known as G & W Cash Saver.

The big change will be that the public will pay the cost price to the store of each item, plus ten percent added to the register receipt, plus the required tax Rayburn said.

“This will be a more cost-effective option to our customers,” he said. “It will be noticeable.”

The staff will remain the same, said store manager Will Rayburn.

Currently, there are 45 employees.

“It’s the same people, just changing direction,” Rayburn said.

Sometime in the near future, there will be a grand opening, Rayburn said.

Also in the future are new user-friendly gas pumps.

“I know a lot of people will be interested in that,” Rayburn said.