Category Archives: Business

Main Street Gallery: Six Businesses

Julie McClellan of Main Street Gallery and Gifts. Julie and son, Josh, are the owners.

Julie McClellan joined forces with her son Josh McClellan in 2000 to open a retail shop in Fort Scott.

The shop has moved from 8 N. Main to National Avenue across from the post office then to 24 N. Main. It was at this location they renamed the shop from Spice of Life to Main Street Gallery and Gifts.

“After 10 years at this location, we outgrew the space and bought the old J.C.Penney building at 23 S. Main,” Julie said.

Through the years they added more offerings for their customers.

Today they have gifts, home decor, custom and antique furniture, gluten-free products, a homebrew supply shop, herbs, essential oils and supplements in addition to an upholstery shop, picture frame and mat shop and additionally they rent out space to the Spoiled Brat Salon next door at 19 S. Main.

In the lower level of Main Street Gallery and Gifts is a flea market with many vendors.

“Josh’s wife, Rechelle, and my husband, Gene, and granddaughter Shelby help out in this multifaceted business,” Julie said.

Julie shows Josh’s “The Frame Up” shop located on the first floor of Main Street Gallery. He can do custom framing and matting.
Julie gets information from a customer about an upholstery project at Gene’s Upholstery, in the back of the store.
A homebrew supply shop is located in Main Street Gallery.
Essential oils, supplements, and gluten-free bread are also available at Main Street Gallery.
A flea market with several booths is in the basement of Main Street Gallery.
A booth in the flea market at Main Street Gallery.

Good Samaritan Auction and Dinner Today

Presbyterian Village, 2401 S. Horton, Fort Scott.

The Good Samaritan Auction and Dinner is today, Wednesday, May 2.

The annual event is to benefit senior citizens who have outlived their resources at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village.

Chicken Mary’s dinners are served from 4:30-6:30 p.m. along with homemade desserts and the auction begins at 5:00.

The village is located at 2401 S. Horton, Fort Scott, KS. Call (620) 223-5550 or stop by for meal tickets. Meal tickets were $8.50 in advance and $12 today. Carry out is available.

“We started this specific fundraising event in 2003 doing an auction and dinner, however, we have had a Good Samaritan fund ever since the first Presbyterian Manor opened,” Ginger Nance, executive director of the local assisted living facility, said. “Each year our fundraising event gains momentum as people learn more about the mission of our organization and how the funds are used.  Every dollar raised is used to help seniors who have a financial need to pay for the care that they need if they should outlive their resources, through no fault of their own.  All money stays local in Fort Scott.  We have never asked someone to move out due to lack of resources.  This is a commitment we make to people when they move in.”

All money donated to the Good Samaritan program is tax-deductible.

The Presbyterian Village is a not-for-profit, Christian mission organization.

Nance is asking the community to get involved.

“An event of this caliber cannot happen without the help of hundreds of volunteers who donate their time, talents and resources,” Nance said. “Our community understands that a program like this is only sustainable through the commitment of supporters… who reach out to help.  One never knows when it might be them who needs the help in return one day. ”

This year there will be a drawing to win a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Drawing tickets are $5 each or three for $10. One need not be present to enter this drawing.

The New Mexico adventure is into the beauty of 7,000-foot Rocky Mountain vistas of Santa Fe. Ancient native culture mixed with modern arts and legendary cuisine is part of the visit, according to information provided by Nance.
There are many attractions… numerous art galleries, historic sites, museums, shops,  and plenty of places to hike, cycle or climb nearby, and winter skiing at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.

“The donor of the trip is a local person who has supported the mission of the Village for many years,” Nance said. ” He and many others have seen firsthand the benefits that the Village can provide family members in their time of need.”

The auction, at 5 p.m. May 2, is a large one.

“We have many super great items for the auction,”  Nance said.  ” We have started lining things up but we are a long way from done.”

Pictured are a few of the auction items:

Items are still being accepted for the auction.

“If people have things they are no longer using, or simply don’t need, we’d love to have them donated to the auction,” Nance said. “Sometimes people have a boat just sitting around that they haven’t used, maybe a motorcycle, a vehicle, a piece of furniture, golf cart, tractors, you name it, we can use it!  We can provide a receipt to the donor and it is a tax-deductible contribution for them.  Everyone wins in this situation.  The person who donates their items, the person who buys a nice item they would love to own, and the seniors who benefit from this awesome fund.”

“More than anything, I hope people can understand that each person can make a positive difference in the lives of seniors in need Nance said. ” Every meal sold, every item donated, every ticket purchased, every item bought at the auction, every smile and word of encouragement means the world.  Come out and see what a great time it is!”




Art Festival Starts Today

Courtesy photos of the 2016 2nd Story Festival of Arts and Ideas by Lindsay Madison.
What started as a group composed of artists and city officials in 2015 has grown each year into an art festival that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.
This year the 2nd Story Festival of Arts and Ideas will be April 27-29.
All the events are located in or near the downtown area.

“Our inaugural festival in 2016 was held mostly in a couple of locations,” Jared Witt, spokesman for the group said.  “This year we have expanded our offerings and events and so have utilized multiple spaces in the downtown area.  The festival schedule lists where each event will be held.”

Anyone in the community, child and adult alike, who would enjoy expressing themselves creatively is welcome to come, he said.
Tickets can be purchased online at or at Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, 231 E Wall St.
For children artists the following activities are provided by Breann Martin and Laura Agee:
2nd Story Young Artist Visual Arts Show is for Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
“We currently have 64 participants, from schools in Nevada, Fort Scott, Uniontown, and Girard,” Breann Martin said.
The artwork will be displayed at Common Ground,116 South Main on  April 27-28 during business hours.
Winners will be announced at 2nd Story Arts Festival Finale, which is Saturday, April 28, 6:30 pm at Nate’s Place.
Art Workshops for Young People are as follows:
9:30-10:20 a.m. Saturday  – Oogly Monsters with Myrna Minnis: Unique and personalized clay creatures will be a make and take for $5 per person for ages 6-11and is limited to 20 people.
10:30-11:20 a.m. Saturday – Oogly Monsters with Myrna Minnis: Unique and personalized clay creatures ($5pp): Ages 12-18: limited to 20 people.
Myrna Minnis, a.k.a. “the oogly lady” is passionate about working with people and clay, according to information provided by Martin.
In 1989, she created the OOGLY kit as a simple tool to help students and adults transform feelings into a form using non-hardening clay.
In Myrna’s workshops, students learn to create a basic oogly, then Myrna gives them free reign to embellish and customize their very own unique oogly creature.
Myrna loves to watch people’s faces light up when they get their hands on clay. Myrna comes from the Overland Park area and is well known by many Fort Scott residents for her famous one-of-a-kind witches.
12:30-1:20 p.m. Saturday:  On the Fence with Allison Dey: stitching with metals and fabrics is another make-it and take-it event for $5 per person for ages 6-18 with a limit of 20 children.
Allison Dey is a modern day fiber artist, according to information provided by Martin.
Her sewing designs and embroidery patterns have been featured in magazines in the U.S. and Australia.
Allison’s artwork is inspired by found objects combined with her love for needle and thread.
In her workshop, students will bring old time skills together with unusual materials by cross stitching fabric strips onto a grid of fencing material to create a piece of mixed media textile art that fuses modern with traditional.
All workshops will be held in the event room at the Fort Scott Public Library, 201 South National.
These workshops are geared toward young artists ages 6-18.
“Thanks to a grant we received from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation we were able to include activities for young artists in this year’s Art Festival,” Martin said. “Our hope is to inspire young artists to create, give them a platform to display their artwork and expand their artistic skills. “
The festival as a whole is to encourage the importance of arts and innovation for the community and economic development, Witt said.
 The goals of the festival are to promote Fort Scott as a place where creative people and creative businesses want to be located, Witt said. ” So that means we want to encourage creativity among those already here.  But it also means that we want to persuade artists and entrepreneurs to consider relocating here.”
The keynote speaker is Marc Willson, who will be speaking at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Empress Event Center.
“From 9:00 to 10:30 Mr. Willson will present a workshop on Art as a Business,” according to Charles Gentry, a festival committee member. “This address targets professional and amateur artists with practical business advice to grow an art related business.
Private 15-minute sessions with Willson will be offered between 11 a.m. and noon, focusing on any specific questions and issues.
 2 to 3:30 p.m. Willson will on Creative Placemaking.
“This will explore the following: Does Fort Scott have an interest in incubating, nurturing and expanding artistic businesses in our town?” Gentry said. ” How could this best be accomplished? Are there places which have successfully developed artistic activity and what can we learn from them?”
Retail business owners and artists can signup for a  Willson half-hour onsite visit between 4 to 6 p.m. for ideas on display, marketing, and promotional setup.
“Marc Willson is an entrepreneur and nationally known speaker, who presents programs on art, business and community involvement,” Gentry said.
All sessions and consultations are free of charge.
Here is the festival schedule:

Schedule of Events
2-4pm     Art of Brewing, Tour and Tasting of Beer Flight $10 per person (must be over 21, ID required), non-alcoholic
tour & tasting $5 per person.

3-4: 30 pm Trolley Tour of Public Art in Fort Scott ($8pp), leaves from the Chamber, 231 E. Wall St. – limited to 22 people.

7 pm Improv Comedy at Common Ground Coffee Co. 116 S. Main, $5 suggested donation.  Join for a night of laughs as the Fort Scott High School Thespian Improv Troupe performs comedy sketches created on the spot using audience suggestions.  

9-10: 30 am Trolley Tour of Public Art in Fort Scott, $8pp, leaves from the Chamber, 231 E. Wall St. – limited to 22 people.

9-11am   Mimosas and Painting Workshop with Brittany Morris, Boiler Room Brewhaus, 102 S. National Ave. -south back entrance, $30pp, includes one beverage – limited to 25 people south back entrance, $30pp, includes one beverage – limited to 25 people.

9 am Enameling w/Kris Bohanon, First Presbyterian Church Zimmerman Hall, 308 S. Crawford$, 25pp – limited to 10 people.

9-10: 30 am Comedy Improv – Improvised Theatre Techniques And Games – FSHS Thespians and Director Angie Bin
will provide a 1.5-hour class. Have fun getting an introduction to creating comedic theatre on the fly! No experience necessary, Sleep Inn Conference Room. This is FREE but donations are welcome to FSHS Thespians.

9-10: 30 am “Art as a Business” by Marc Willson, Empress Event Center, FREE.

The Hair Bow Company gives a tour to attendees of the 2016 Festival of Arts and Ideas. Courtesy of Lindsay Madison.

9 am Block Printing workshop with Ripp Harrison, Papa Don’s Celebration Room, 10 N. Main St., $15pp -limited to 15 people

9:30 am Art Workshops for Young People Ages 6-11, FS Public Library. Oogly Monsters with Clay with Myrna Minnis: unique and personalized clay creatures,$5pp – limited to20 people

10 am Scratchboard with Chris Woods, Lowell Milken Center, 1 S. Main St., $25pp – limited to 15 people

10 am Literary Workshop:  Writing and Publishing Children’s Literature with Lori Baker Martin, Common
Ground Coffee Co., FREE

10:30 am Art Workshops for Young People Ages 12-18, FS Public Library
Oogly Monsters with Clay with MyrnMinnis: unique & personalized clay creatures, $5pp – limited to 20 people

11 am Block Printing workshop with Ripp Harrison, Papa Don’s Celebration Room, 10 N. Main St., $15pp -limited to 15 people

11:30 am   Literary Workshop: Writing for Tabletop RPG’s (Role Playing Games) with Bartholomew Kick, Common Ground Coffee Co., FREE

12:30 am   Art Workshops for Young People Ages 6-18, FS Public Library. On the Fence: Stitching with Metals & Fabric w/Allison Dey, $5pp – limited to 20 people

1 pm  Enameling with Kris Bohanon, First Presbyterian Church Zimmerman Hall, $25pp – limited to 10 people

1 pm   Scratchboard with Chris Woods, Lowell Milken Center, 1 S. Main St., $25pp – limited to 15 people

1 pm Literary Workshop: Romance Writing as an Exploration of Healthy Relationships with Lynn Caldwell, Common Ground Coffee Co., FREE

2-3:30 pm   Comedy Improv – Improvised Theatre Techniques and Games – FSHS Thespians and Director Angie Bin, 1.5-hour class.  Have fun getting an introduction to creating comedic theatre on the fly! No experience necessary, Sleep Inn Conference Room. FREE – donations welcome to FSHS Thespians.

2-3: 30 pm “Creative Placemaking: Building the Artist Community in Fort Scott” by Marc Willson, Empress Event Center, FREE

2-4pm     Art of Brewing, Tour and Tasting of Beer Flight $10pp (must be over 21, ID required), non-alcoholic tour and tasting $5pp.

6:30-8: 30 pm Festival Finale Event and Fundraiser at Nate’s Place, 750 S. National Ave., $25pp, includes heavy appetizers, dessert, and a liquor cash bar. This event will feature the awards for the Student Art Competition and art for sale by the artists participating in the 2nd Story Festival of Arts & Ideas.

2-4 pm  Art of Brewing, Tour and Tasting of Beer Flight $10pp (must be over 21, ID required), non-alcoholic tour and tasting $5pp.

2nd Story Arts Festival 2016 photo courtesy of Lindsay Madison.

The event is being hosted by the Fort Scott Festival of Arts.
Grant funding provided by the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.

Event Sponsors
Boiler Room Brewhaus | Bourbon County Arts Council | Citizens Bank | City of Fort Scott
Common Ground Coffee Co. | Empress Event Center | First Presbyterian Church | Fort Scott Public Library
Fort Scott Area Community Foundation | Charles and Martha Jane Gentry
Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes | Nate’s Place at the Lyons Twin Mansions
Sleep Inn & Suites Hotel | Jeff and Kate Sweetser

Visit the following websites for community information:
Chamber: CVB: City of Fort Scott:
Questions or need more information, contact the Chamber at 620-223-3566 or

The 2nd Story Festival Planning committee serves as a sub-group of the Bourbon County Arts Council, according to Witt.
“The BCAC has provided guidance and advice along the way, Witt said. The committee this year included Deb Anderson, Charles Gentry, Breann Martin, Dr. Randy Nichols, Jason Reid, Kathryn Salsbury, Kate Sweetser, Clayton Whitson, Lindsay Madison, Laura Agee, and Witt.
2nd Story Arts Festival 2016, courtesy photo by Lindsay Madison.

City State Bank To Be Remodeled

City State Bank, downtown Fort Scott is slated for a remodel.
An artist’s depiction of the future facade of City State Bank, following the remodel.

City State Bank is remodeling its downtown branch at 202 Scott Ave.

“The building was built in 1957,” John Hill, bank president said.”We are sticking with mid-century design.”

The canopy over the drive-in window will be replaced and a new ATM island will be installed in the drive-through, Hill said.

“It will be wider for easier access for automobile traffic,” he said.

This canopy will be replaced and the drive-through made wider, in addition, the ATM will be more accessible.

The remodel includes a new metal fascia system, new fabric awning, new wrap around awning, new stone entrance, new stone veneer and wall in the front of the building. Additionally, there will be a new sign.

Fifty-percent of drive-through transactions occur at the downtown branch, Hill said.

From 1957 to 2001, the downtown branch was the main facility.

Then a new facility was built at 1012 Hwy. 69, just south of Walmart.

“We’ve been here 18 years,” Hill said from his office at the Hwy. 69 address.

Work on the remodel will begin within 90 days and construction will take about 90 days.

“It should be completed by September 30,” he said.

Bartelsmeyer Estate Jewelry Sale Starts April 23

An event to share with friends and family!

The Semi-Annual Estate Jewelry Sale at Bartelsmeyer Jewelry is about to begin on Monday, April 23 and will continue through May 5.

All Estate Jewelry is 25 percent off including free ring sizing.

May 7th – 12th, any remaining estate jewelry will be marked down to 50 percent, however, ring sizing is not included at 50 percent off prices

Bartelsmeyer Jewelry is located at 1519 S. Main. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Stutesman’s Action Realty Hosts Chamber Coffee

John LeBeouf converses with Amanda Bourassa during the weekly Chamber of Commerce coffee Thursday morning. In the background is Bailey Lyons and Penne Moore. All three women are agents for Stutesman’s Action Realty, who hosted the event. In addition, Scott Tice is also an agent in the Fort Scott branch office.

Stutesman’s Action Realty was the host for the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce weekly coffee Thursday.

The event took place at the real estate office at 119 S. Main, Ste. A, just north of city hall.

Bourassa told the attendees its real estate agents provide professional services that include not only signing contracts but help with the loan services and the negotiation process.

“The Fort Scott businesses work together to make Fort Scott a better place to work and live,” Bourassa said.

Bourassa can be contacted at 417-684-5681.

Lindsay Madison, executive director of Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce videos the weekly coffee drawing that the hosts provide.





Amy The Welder

Amy Heitman, a welder at Niece Equipment LLC Kansas,  3904 Liberty Bell Road in Fort Scott’s Industrial Park.

Amy Heitman never imagined she’d grow up to be a welder.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” she told the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce weekly coffee attendees. “I took a welding course in high school, I grew to have a passion for it.”

Heitman started researching why there weren’t more women welders and found only two percent of welders are women, she said.

“In the war (World War II) women stepped in to do jobs,” she said. “When men came back, women were pushed back. In manufacturing now, it’s predicted there is a shortage of 400,000.”

Rosie the Riveter, an American iconic poster, featured during World War II.

“I’m a welder and I weigh 107 pounds,” Heitman said.  And “I’m building water tanks.”

“We are still building this world, if we don’t have welders and manufacturers, where does that leave America? ”

“I’m encouraging people to step up to non-traditional spots,” she said. “I want to help women know they can step up.”

Heitman welds and fabricates the metal pieces in water tanks that the Niece Equipment builds, she said in a later interview.

“I do some of the internal plumbing on the piping,” she said.

The facility she works in is climate controlled: fans in the summer and heat in the winter.

Heitman said there are 40 employees at Niece and of those, approximately nine are welders.

The salary range for the welding positions range from $15 to $19 per hours, she said.

Heitman, 25, and husband, Josh Heitman moved to Fort Scott from Austin, Texas in January 2018.

She worked for  Niece Equipment in Austin and was recruited to Fort Scott.

They have two children, Gabriel and Ayden. Because it was in the middle of the school year, Ayden stayed behind in Austin with his grandmother temporarily. Ayden has autism.

“Because of his autism, I didn’t want to bring him yet, into something completely new…it would throw him off,” Heitman said.

Her first impression of Fort Scott: “I was enchanted,” she said.

“This is the kind of place I want to raise my kids,” she said.

“There is not a ton of things to do like in Austin, but so many things the whole community gets involved in. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Heitman got connected with Fort Scott Community College and together they are working on a plan to talk to high school students that tour the school, she said.

She is going to try to solve the issue of getting more people into non-traditional careers where they are needed.

Amy Heitman speaks to the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce weekly coffee attendees Thursday morning at Fort Scott Community College’s Arnold Arena. City Manager Dave Martin listens in the background.