Authors Posts by Mary Rupert

Mary Rupert


The Wyandotte Daily News is interested in news of your community event in Wyandotte County. Send information to and include your name and phone number. Please send in planned events by about a week before the event if possible. In the event of inclement weather, call the sponsoring organization to see if the event will be held.

Strawberry Hill Museum open for holidays
The Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, Kan., has opened for the holidays and will remain open on weekends through Sunday, Jan. 26. The museum, decorated in Victorian style, is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with special tours available by appointment. The cost of a tour is $7 for adults and $3 for children 6-12. Call 913-371-3264 for more information or to make reservations. Holiday parties also may be booked. For more information, see

Food giveaway to be today at 65th and State
Kansas City Kansas Community College is once again a partner with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Harvesters for food giveaways this month. A food giveaway is scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at KCKCC-TEC, 6565 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Food will be given to families on a first come, first serve basis. There are no income restrictions to the food giveaway. Food will be given to families based on the number of people in the family, and will be given out while supplies last. Cars can line up prior to 1 p.m. in the KCKCC-TEC parking lot. However, if participants arrive early, there is no restroom availability at the TEC during the event. In addition, those attending are asked to be prepared to wait in long lines. For more information or to register to be a volunteer online, visit Information is also available by contacting Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas at 913-433-2080.

Project Feederwatch continues
Project Feederwatch continues at the Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road. The bird count is planned each Saturday when people sign up in advance. For more information, call 913-299-2384.

Winter craft projects offered at library
As part of Winter Craft Week, the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd, will offer various winter craft projects today for children 4 to 11 years old. Groups of six or more must call ahead to the library at 913-596-5800, Ext. 1016. The craft projects are free and open to the public.

Enroll for health insurance today

Help with open enrollment for health insurance will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the South Branch Library, 3104 Strong Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Staff from Community Health Council of Wyandotte County will help with open enrollment, and there will be assistance in Burmese in the morning and assistance in Spanish in the afternoon.
The West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd, also will offer help with enrolling for health insurance from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in the library’s auditorium.

Craft program offered on making holiday purses
A children’s and tweens’ program on making no-sew holiday purses will be offered from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Main Kansas City, Kan., Public Library, storytime-craft room, 625 Minnesota Ave. The event is for ages 4 to 12. Registration is requested to 913-279-2216. The class is limited to 20 persons.

Blood drive scheduled Dec. 24
A Community Blood Center blood drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 24 at Providence Medical Center, classrooms ABC, 8929 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan. Other blood drives coming up include one from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Haley Bernard Honorary Blood Drive Training Room, 13001 Metropolitan Ave.; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 at the University of Kansas Hospital Francisco Lounge, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, Kan. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 816-753-4040 or visit

Programs offered for Spanish-speaking women
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers these programs for Spanish-speaking women: Grupo de mujeres: les invitamos a disfrutar, compartir, recibe apoyo, con lideres Mary Ellen Rodriguez y Ana Maria Sauer, 6, 13, 20 y 27 de enero, 10-11 a.m. Grupo de salud emocional para la mujer, ofrecido por MOCSA, los martes, 1-2:30 p.m. Para registrarse contacte a Marie Alcocer, Llame 816-285-1357.

Program offered to help with chronic disease
Registration is currently being accepted for a free program beginning Jan. 7 that will help persons manage chronic disease or diabetes. The public is invited to attend the workshop. This program will start at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at the Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central, Kansas City, Kan. Workshop dates include Jan. 7, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, and Feb. 11. Each session will be from 1 to 3:30 p.m. At the workshop people will learn about what they can do to deal with their chronic disease or diabetes. To be discussed are practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue, learning about better nutrition and exercise choices, understanding treatment choices, and finding better ways to talk with the doctor and family about health. The workshop is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact the K-State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County Office, at 913-299-9300 or email Lori Wuellner, or Nozella Brown,

‘Optimizing Your Health’ offered beginning Jan. 7
“Optimizing Your Health,” a six-week program designed for those who suffer from chronic illness or are caregivers, will be offered from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 7–Feb. 11, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Topics include: “Ways to Reduce your Pain, How to Deal with Fatigue, Frustration and Isolation, How to talk to your Doctor about Your Health, How to make Choices about Your Treatment.” Presenters are Nozella Brown and Lori Wuellner of K-State Extension Consumer Sciences. Call 913-906-8990 to register. Materials will be provided at no cost to participants.

Parenting class begins Jan. 7
“Real World Love and Logic,” a three-part series, will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 7-21, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. To register, call 913-906-8990. Child care is available on a limited basis if requested in advance. The class is free.

Personal finance workshop offered Jan. 8
“Planning Your Spending Budget” will be presented by Wells Fargo Bank in partnership with Heartland Habitat for Humanity, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave, Kansas City, Kan. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Fairfax group to meet Jan. 8
The Fairfax Industrial Association will hold a general meeting from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8. The cost of the luncheon meeting will be $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For more information or for reservations, email Melissa Clark at

UG Ethics Commission scheduled to meet Jan. 8
The United Government Ethics Commission is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Jan. 8 at Division 18, old county commissioners’ chambers, in the Wyandotte County Courthouse, second floor, 710 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan.

UG Commission to meet Jan. 8
The Unified Government Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. The meeting will be in the Commission Chambers, lobby level. Planning and zoning items are expected to be included on the agenda. The agenda may be posted online a few days before the meeting at

Downtown Shareholders plan luncheon meeting Jan. 9
The Downtown Shareholders are planning a luncheon meeting at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Board of Public Utilities offices, 540 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Guest speaker is Doug Bach, Unified Government administrator, who will discuss projects happening throughout the county and downtown Kansas City, Kan. Admission to the lunch is $20 and includes a meal. Reservations are required to Chuck Schlittler, director, at by Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Grinter Place schedules ‘Saturdays by the Grinter Stove’
“Saturdays by the Grinter Stove” is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at Grinter Place Historic Site, 1420 S. 78th St., Kansas City, Kan. Those attending will hear a Kansas City area history presentation and stay for lunch prepared on the Grinter wood stove. This series continues each month through March 14. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than 12. For more information, visit

Support group for caregivers offered
A support group for caregivers is offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave. Kansas City, Kan. The facilitator is Jackie Tigges, MSW, LSCSW. Caring for a loved one who is ill or dying may be difficult and it helps to be supported by others. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Support group for those with addictions offered
All Addictions Group, a support group for women dealing with any kind of addiction, at any stage of recovery, meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Call 913-906-8990 or register on-line at

Leavenworth Road Association to meet Jan. 13
The Leavenworth Road Association will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Eisenhower Recreation Center, 2901 N. 72nd St., Kansas City, Kan. A potluck dinner and social time at 6 p.m. will be followed by the program at 7 p.m.

Fundraiser planned Jan. 17
Resurrection Catholic School, 425 N. 15th, Kansas City, Kan., plans a fundraiser, “A Taste of KCK,” on Saturday, Jan. 17. The guest speaker will be Lamar Hunt Jr. A social time at 6 p.m. is followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a program at 8 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. For more information about registration and the event, visist

Raptor Days scheduled Jan. 24 and 25
The Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library and the James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road, will be hosts for Raptor Das Jan. 24 and 25. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 24 and noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Schlagle Library and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 24 and noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Davis Hall. Eagle and water fowl viewing, crafts, and a presentation about eagles, hawks, owls and falcons by Operation Wildlife are included. Sponsors include the library, Operation Wildlife and the Board of Public Utilities.

Counseling offered
Keeler Women’s Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers individual and couples counseling to women and men who might otherwise not be able to afford counseling. Nothing is billed. Donations are accepted. Call 913-906-8990 for information or to do an intake and schedule an appointment.

Students at Kansas City Kansas Community College have been volunteering at the community food giveaways held this month at the KCKCC-TEC, 6565 State Ave. One is scheduled for today.

Andrica Wilcoxen, outreach and prevention coordinator at KCKCC, said 400 families were served at the food giveaway held at the site earlier this month. There was a one-hour wait in line at that event.

Some of the recipients of the free food are KCKCC students, and there are also a lot of student volunteers from the college.

Wilcoxen said many students want to give back to the effort, and are volunteering their time.

Among the KCKCC students who have been volunteering were members of the soccer team, the girls basketball team, students in the psychology classes who have a service component in their classes, and the honors student group at the college.

“I’m pretty proud to see our students giving and not just receiving,” Wilcoxen said.

The food giveaway is scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at 65th and State in Kansas City, Kan. It is free and open to the public. Persons are encouraged to arrive early; there might be a wait at the site.

Those attending will receive free groceries on a first-come, first-served basis, and the amount of groceries is based on the number of people in the family. There are no income restrictions. The program is sponsored by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Harvesters food bank, with KCKCC a partner in the effort.

Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are among the groceries that are given away.

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Joe Vaughan
Joe Vaughan

by Mary Rupert
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Joe Vaughan, has written a new historical book, “Thomas Johnson’s Story and the History of Fairway, Kansas.”

Vaughan said his book covers Shawnee Mission history that actually started in the 1830s in what is now Wyandotte County.

When the mission started in 1830, it was in the Turner area of what is now Kansas City, Kan., he said.

After President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, requiring all native Americans to move west of the Mississippi, some churches started missions to the new area. The Methodist Church summoned the Rev. Thomas Johnson, the namesake of Johnson County, to start a mission, Vaughan said.

Johnson had 27 people in his first class. In those days he said, it was an aggressive movement by the churches to “Christianize and Americanize” the native Americans. Vaughan said his book’s wording remains true to the terminology used at the time, referring to the Shawnee Indian Mission.

The mission was originally in the Turner area because it was thought that trails coming west from Santa Fe and Independence would follow the Kansas River, he said. The missionaries knew that in 1831, Moses Grinter was going to set up the ferry crossing for the military between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott at what is now 78th and K-32 in Kansas City, Kan.

Johnson picked what is now Turner, on high ground around 55th and Metropolitan, to start his mission, Vaughan said. A historic marker currently is at the site, he added.

Possibly the first settler here to leave and move to Johnson County, Johnson and the mission left when it became apparent in 1839 that trails were going farther south. It also was difficult to haul water uphill from the Kansas River to downtown Turner, and the mission moved to where it is now on a little creek that moves through Fairway, Kan., according to Vaughan.

Johnson became a very powerful person, in the vacuum of any governments being in the area, he said. He was in the area before there was a city, county or state government.

The book traces the Shawnee Mission through the years of the territorial Legislature and into Kansas statehood in 1861.

“People talk of the strangeness of politics today,” Vaughan said. Johnson sometimes was on all sides of the issues. For example, he owned slaves but he eventually supported Kansas as a free state in the territorial elections.

The Shawnee Mission was closed in 1862 after statehood occurred. Johnson later moved to an area that was south of Kansas City, Mo., of the time, and lived on a 600-acre farm. It is believed he was murdered in 1865 in something resembling a home invasion by people who thought he had $1,000 at the house, Vaughan said. Apparently, it was not true that he kept money there, and the debt had already been paid off, Vaughan said.

Besides the history of Johnson, the book also covers historical information about Fairway, Kan., which was named for three golf courses surrounding it, he said. It was part of a J.C. Nichols development.

Vaughan remarked that resources for writing this book were very different from his previous book about the history of Kansas City, Kan. With the Kansas City, Kan., book, he had the use of photo resources at the Wyandotte County Museum, which was established in 1889.

For his latest book, the Johnson County Museum was not established until 1974 and did not have the same sorts of early photo resources. Also, there were no photos before the Civil War to show the early days of the Shawnee Mission.

Besides the current book, and the photo history of Kansas City, Kan., Vaughan has written a book about the history of radio in the area, and has written 50th anniversary books for the cities of Westwood and Mission, Kan.

The new book is 160 pages and sells for $21.95 retail. It is available at the Wyandotte County Museum book store and also at Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan.,

Vaughan attended four Wyandotte County schools, Mark Twain Elementary, Northwest Junior High School, Wyandotte High School, and Kansas City Kansas Community College. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

A former radio broadcaster, Vaughan is CEO of Joe Vaughan Associates in Prairie Village, Kan., and is a Prairie Village resident. He also serves on the Johnson County Water District No. 1 board. Currently, he is the chair of the United Way campaign in Wyandotte County.

He has several ties to historical groups, and is a past historian and past treasurer of the Wyandotte County Historical Society. He has been named historian of the year by the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum.