Saturday night at the Veteran’s building, approximately 75 people came out to the Hamilton County Historical Society’s Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Induction. It was a big night that began with museum director Hunter Rodriguez welcoming guests. She has been doing wonderful things with social media, her column in the Syracuse Journal and much more. Rodriguez said, “This year’s Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Induction turned out great. I think it was a memorable night for everyone.”
It was memorable – complete with laughter, joys, and tears. A multigenerational gathering included Garland Smith’s family, Michael Lennen and more.
Mark Davis shared his donation to the museum of the bell from the first horse drawn fire engine that Dorothy Scott, City Clerk from 1948 to 1974, saved from being discarded. He encouraged others to find pieces of Hamilton County history and donate it to the museum for all to see.
After a delicious meal of chicken alfredo catered by Bulldog Pizzeria, two people were inducted into the Hall of Fame - Garland Smith and Lori Lennen.
Henry Herrmann read a note Wanda Smith wrote about her son, Garland Smith.
Some of the speech included how Garland learned to run equipment at a young age, how he loved to help people and how much fun he loved to have.
Wanda was a bit teary eyed as her son was remembered fondly for his service to the community, his huge heart, and his love of life.
Mike Lennen, Lori’s brother, spoke of the history of Coolidge and how their father saved a lot of the historical buildings from being torn down.
Mike said, “Our dad, Chuck, always had the hope and vision of beginning to preserve the history and restore some of the vitality that had once characterized Coolidge. The limestone buildings I knew as Conard’s Store, Christiansen Mercantile; the old Do-Boy Cafe; right beside the Do-Boy there was a building that had served as an IOOF hall and the Trexler Grocery Store. The premiere acquisition was Potter Opera House - which was being systematically dismantled. As Lori put it, ‘Dad bought these old buildings to save them.’ And, that became one of her missions.”
He spoke highly of his sister being the mayor of Coolidge and how their grandmother Blanche Thornburgh was mayor of Coolidge in 1941.
“All of this has been accomplished in full accordance with our state Ad Astra per Aspera motto - to the stars through difficulties. Just in the last year, for example, there have been two tornados that almost, but not quite, touched down in Coolidge, but did come close enough to lift and damage new roofs on the log cabins, the B&B itself, Cousin Eddies, the Opera House, and the home where she lives. Somehow she is not discouraged by these challenges and very promptly figured out what needed to be done and moved forward. The roofs are all now repaired.”
Lori had returned for a short while planning to return to Arizona but life had other plans.
Lennen added, “One thing she wanted to make clear was that none of her efforts could have succeeded without the friendship, the encouragement, the help, and the support of many others - a number of whom are here this evening, that help run things.”
Joanice Jantz was also honored for her serving as Museum Director for 14 years.
Jantz recalls, “My favorite memory of the museum was the kids. I remember one young boy seeing a bone plate asking if it was a dish for macaroni. It just made me smile.”
John Antonio Smith’s wife, Angela, walked out of the Hamilton County Courthouse on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 6th saying, “It’s not fair.” Tuesday morning John Smith appeared before Judge Wendel Wurst with his attorney Steve Cott requesting to... [More]
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Tedders from Walsh, Colorado, purchased Hilltop Lanes. While Brittany and Matt Tedder may live in Walsh, Colorado, they have grown up in and around Syracuse near Matt’s relatives, Rod and Dona Tedder. Of all the bowling alleys around,... [More]
Veterans Day is a holiday which honors everyone who served or is currently serving in the military, regardless of how long or whether they served during war time. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, marking the end of WWl on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day... [More]
Who could have imagined a hat could connect fellow soldiers from Vietnam some 40 years later. Marvin Weis served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 in the U.S. Army as 2nd/8th Mechanized Infantry. “Janet and I were visiting my brother and were at an auction, I was wearing... [More]
On Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at the Hamilton County District Court, John Smith was set to be sentenced from the August 25th court date when he took the Alford plea, pleading guilty to - Aggravated indecent liberties with a child; Indecent liberties with a child; and Sexual... [More]
Last Wednesday, Wayne Craig and Shelby Padgett loaded 400 pounds of ground beef into a red pickup to drive over 300 miles from Amarillo, TX to Syracuse, KS, with one mission, help get protein to the Hamilton County Food Pantry. And not just a one time donation, but a regular... [More]
Over 200 people came out to the 27th annual Classic and Antique Fly-In held at the Hamilton County Airport. It was hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 277. The Fly-in was a success with 35 airplanes flying in from Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Kansas. Featured... [More]
Joy Bezona has handed over the reins and leashes to Ra Vernon for the Animal Control Officer position for the City of Syracuse.
Bezona said, “I loved every minute of it, but it is time to start a new chapter.”
Ra Vernon began last month and is enjoying it. She said, “Joy did an excellent job, and I don’t know anyone who could have done it better.”
Vernon, mom to seven kids, grandmother to ten, is a busy woman. She does bookkeeping from her home, serves as lay leader at her church, and is on the Hamilton County Food Pantry Board as well as the Hamilton County Research and Extension Executive Board.
“I chose the job because it has flexibile hours and that suits my life. I like dealing with dogs.”
Right now there are seven animals at the shelter, five blue healer mix puppies that are four months old. They were surrendered to the shelter and don’t have much time left. They are great farm and ranch dogs, and great at working cattle.
If anyone is interested, call Ra at 620-384-4841.
I am writing this Wednesday morning after spending yesterday at the courthouse listening to testimony about sexual abuse. Right after the newspaper goes to print, I am headed back to the courthouse to listen to a different trial about sexual abuse. It’s... [More]
I am writing this on the last day of November, 2022. Snow flurries fell for quite a while yesterday and it began to feel like Christmas was upon us. I woke to 9 degrees outside. But was grateful for no wind, and heat in my home. I have been thinking a lot about... [More]
Happy Thanksgiving! Last weekend we did something we haven’t done as a family in what seems like forever. We stayed home. We took care of catching up our accounting, cleaning, putting things away, going through things, taking a family walk, watching movies,... [More]
Snow fell Monday morning. It was beautiful, wet snow showers that continued for several hours. It was joyful to see the ground wet, to see the white flakes glisten on trees and vehicles. And it was sad when it ended. We live in an area well known for drought. We cherish... [More]
I got to work a little early on Wednesday morning. Since the wind was going to blow 60 mph I got to skip doing my hair because what is the point? Ha! I am writing this the morning after the election. Some things went my way, some didn’t and some are still undecided. ... [More]
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Welcome to western Kansas where it is 26 degrees at night and 85 in the daytime. I went for a walk with my dogs and a good friend. I wore four layers on top and two on bottom, a hat and a hoodie. By the time I returned home I was shedding the layers and deciding what season... [More]
Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]
The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]
Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]
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Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]
One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]
Substate began and ended quickly but these Varsity teams left it all out on the court. In heartbreaking last second baskets, our basketball season was over. The boys lost by two points in the last five seconds and the girls lost by three. A wrap up of the season will come in... [More]
Roy Alvin Newman, 87, of Syracuse, Kansas passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Sunday, December 3, 2022 at the Hamilton County Long Term Care. He was born on June 29, 1935 to Phyllis Elizabeth (Provo) and Fred Alvin Newman in Madison, Kansas. He married... [More]
Richard Ray Lennington, 56 A hard-working skilled HVAC technician with 9 lives, finally cashed in on his 10th and final life on Monday. Richard Ray Lennington was born on August 1st, 1966, to Arnold Lennington and Mary... [More]
Charles Earl Willis, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at the age of 97. He was born May 15, 1925, in Syracuse, Kansas to Charles Earl and Dora Elizabeth (Quillen) Willis. When Earl was four years old, the family moved to Garden City. He attended school there and... [More]
Carol Lenore Dikeman, 86, of Topeka, passed away Tuesday, November 15, 2022. She was born January 8, 1936, in Chappell, Nebraska, the daughter of Daniel Edward and Lenore (Gilbert) O’Connor. She graduated from Syracuse (KS) High School in 1953. Carol married Larry... [More]
Ethel Marlene (Novis) Brownlee passed away on Tuesday, November 9, 2022 at the age of 84 at the Seasons Memory Care in Kansas City, Missouri. She was born on December 16, 1937 in WaKeeney, Kansas the daughter of Laurence Wayne Novis and Helen Jane (Simpson) Novis. Marlene began... [More]
Martha Lois Beauchamp, age 90, of Canon City, Colorado, died November 6, 2022, at Hildebrand Care Center in Canon City, Colorado. The oldest of five children, she was born May 2, 1932, in Syracuse, Kansas, the daughter of Carl E. and Henrietta M. (DeWeese) Graves. Martha... [More]
Claudia Dee Miller, 58, of North Little Rock, AR passed away on Monday, October 17, 2022. Claudia was born to the late Manuel and Katherine Guerrero in Syracuse, KS. She is survived by her husband Michael Miller, daughter Ashley Foster, sisters Rhonda and Roxanne Guerrero,... [More]
Joe Lee Bird, age 72, died on October 16, 2022 in his home. He was born on July 3, 1950 at Syracuse, KS, the son of James "Jim"Walter Sabin & Beatrice "Bea" Juel (Barnes) Sabin and stepfather Wilburn "Leo" Bird. Joe lived in several places - Illinois, California,... [More]
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