Cato Tour Oct. 12

The new cabin built in 2018 with Marilyn Coonrod Flagg, Jerry Coonrod, Susie Stelle with Maudine Picht in the front sitting in the chair.  Maudine is our only living teacher from the Cato School
The cabin was donated by the Coonrod Family
 Susie Jones from Ft. Scott was a presenter in the cabin for the school kids – showing her spinning in 2018.
Joe Maghe who was a presenter with his Civil War Artifacts – pictured with Don Miller from Ft. Scott and his friend, Karen Keen, from Overland Park.

Tours, reenactments of historic Cato to be held Sat., Oct. 12

Tours of Cato, the first town in Crawford County, are hardly new.

Susie Stelle, president of the Cato Historic Preservation Association, said she started helping John Spurling organize the annual Cato fall tour as far back as 1985. For several years prior, Spurling had given informal tours of the town, which is located northwest of Arcadia, KS.

This year, the Cato School will be celebrating it’s 150th Anniversary.

Organizers of the upcoming Cato Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, plan to take visitors back to the mid-1800s through music, history and re-enactments.

Activities on Saturday begin at 9 a.m. with registration in the Cato Christian Church and will continue throughout the day.

Ralph Carlson, a member of the Old Fuss and Feathers musical group and Cato member from Fort Scott, will perform at 9:30 a.m. in the Cato Church.

Presentations by Anna Portwood Swank and her sister, Elizabeth Portwood Thompson and husband, Jaime Thompson, will take place in the restored 1869 rock school.

Various souvenirs and homemade baked goods will be available at the “Cato Store,” headed up by Stelle.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration and preservation of the Cato School and Cato Christian Church, as well as a newly-constructed cabin donated by the Coonrod family.

At noon, ham and beans cooked by Bob “Buck” Rowland of Arma, will be served along with corn bread.

There will be an open fire for attendees who wish to cook their own hot dogs.

Drinks will also be provided, all for a nominal fee.

After lunch, at about 12:30., a quilt donated by Sue James of Galveston, Texas, will be given away as part of a drawing. James’ husband, Dale James, attended all eight grades at the one-room Cato School.

At 1 p.m., Cato member Joe Bournonville will offer hayrides to area cemeteries and other sites related to Cato’s history.

On Friday, Oct. 11, over 600 youngsters from area schools will have a field trip to Cato.

The trip is organized by Cato member Katharine Spigarelli. Schools attending from Bourbon and Crawford Counties will be Uniontown, Fort Scott, Girard, Arma, Frontenac, and Pittsburg. New from this year also will be students from Liberal, Mo.

A tour guide will direct groups of kids to various stations to observe living history exhibits such as blacksmithing, wagons, and farming, schoolhouse games, area history, Civil War weaponry and Native American culture.

For more information: visit

Short sleeve t-shirts and long-sleeved t-shirts will be on sale at the Cato Store

Any questions – contact:

Marilyn Flagg

794 190th St.

Ft. Scott, Ks. 66701 620-223-2541

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