Newspaper Items


County Surveyor R. B. Glass is laying off the Lakin cemetery.  Potter's field is a strip 60 feet wide on the extreme east of the ten acres.  A drive runs west of Potter's field around the whole ground, which is divided again by two cross drives, with circular corners in the center, with a thirty foot circle in the center at cross drive.  The west half is being divided into 700 lots 10x20 feet which will be sold to Lakin township residents at $1 each.
(The Advocate ~ Lakin, KS ~ Thursday ~ July 7, 1892)



Lakin, Kan., April 28 --- The worst wind storm of the season passed over this section today, after a very stiff blow of eight to ten hours.

The wind was directly from the north and windmills, stables and street awnings were prostrated.  The loss to property holders will amount to several hundred dollars.  The effect of the storm on fruit will be very severe.

Local freight No. 44, east bound on the Santa Fe, was severely wrecked five miles west of this place about 4 o'clock this afternoon.

A fearful blast of wind struck one of the empty cars and hurled it from the track, carrying seven other cars with it.

Two tramps were in the cars but were not injured.  A wrecking train is now at work, but all trains will be delayed from eight to ten hours.

All wires of the Postal telegraph were broken by a failling stable.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Wednesday ~ April 29, 1896)

I desire to call the patrons attention to the Lakin cemetery, as it has been neglected since it was bought by the township until now.  The township board has dug a well and put up a wind mill, and I would suggest that the churches and societies take hold and assist the township in its good work by giving socials, the proceeds to be used in improving the cemetery.  I think this would be appreciated by the people.  I would also suggest that all who have friends buried there would place the name on the head board, as there are some buried on the wrong lots, as it would assist me greatly in getting it straightened up.  Any assistance would be appreciated.   M. J. COLLINS, Township Trustee.
(The Advocate ~ Lakin, KS ~ Thursday ~ July 27, 1899)

Mr. and Mrs. John Miller re-interred their two children in Lakin cemetery on Monday last.
(The Advocate ~ Lakin, KS ~ Thursday ~ March 29, 1900)


In Lakin, Mrs. Hope's Clothing Caught Fire From a Stove.

Lakin, Kans., Nov. 13 --- Mrs. I. Hope, a pioneer resident of this town was burned to death about 4 o'clock today.  She was building a fire when her clothes caught in the flames.  She rushed out into the yard and was fatally burned before help arrived.  Mrs. Hope was 84 years old.  She has children and other relatives living i Chicago.
(Lawrence Daily Journal ~ Friday ~ November 13, 1908 ~ Page 1)



Garden City, Kas., Aug. 6 --- Fleeing the country after having shot to death Sheriff O. H. Hefner, of Kearny County, Walter Tunis, 23, of Mason City, Iowa, a motor car thief shot himself Wednesday above the heart after being wounded by a member of a posse which surrounded him about one mile north of Holcomb, six miles west of Garden City.  Tunis died while he was being brought to Garden City by Sheriff Lee Richardson and members of the posse to which he had surrendered.

Tunis had been near Lakin but a short time working on a farm two miles east of town.  He was driving a new Dodge Brothers car when he reached there, and he had attempted at various times since his arrival to dispose of it.  Yesterday afternoon Sheriff Hefner was notified that Tunis was wanted in Texas for the theft of the car, and he went to the farm to serve the warrant.

When Hefner arrived at the place, the family was eating supper, and after being notified by the sheriff that he was under arrest, he asked time to change his clothes and get ready to accompany the officer back to town.  As Tunis reappeared he opened fire with a .45 automatic, one of the bullets striking Sheriff Hefner in the abdomen, and he died soon afterward from the wound.  As soon as Hefner fell, Tunis turned his automatic upon the members of the family, holding them at bay while he backed from the house and made his escape.

As soon as the alarm was given, officers in all directions were warned.  Sheriff Richardson immediately deputized a number of men and others formed a posse, starting west to scour the country, with the result that the young desperado was surrounded near Holcomb.  One of the members of the posse shot Tunis, breaking his left arm.  He at once shot himself over the heart, knowing that his chances for escape was hopeless.
(Wichita Beacon ~ Friday ~ August 6, 1920 ~ Page 3)


Boy Who Was Rescued From Kidnappers Has Share in Father's Property

Olathe, July 15 --- Orval McKinstry, 11 year old son of Albert McKinstry, ranchman killed at his home near Lakin last February, who yesterday was recovered from kidnappers at Globe, Arizona, will be heir to a part of the large estate of his father was the information made public here today by Frank Hodges, Olathe lumberman and administrator of the estate.

McKinstry left land and other property valued at between $300,000 and $400,000 it was said, part of which is involved.  The boys probable share was placed at $100,000.

Hodges said he was made administrator of the estate at the dying request of McKinstry a former resident of Olathe.  McKinstry was shot to death at his ranch home.  W. H. Wise, employed at the ranch, was tried on a charge of having done the shooting but was acquitted.  According to Orval McKinstry, the shooting was witnessed by the two men who kidnapped him and took him west with them.
(Lawrence Journal-World ~ Friday ~ July 15, 1921)



Result is the Organization of Commercial Club and Many Other Activities

Lakin, Kans., June 14 --- One of its accomplishments of the last year to which the Lakin Woman's Club "points with pride" is the organization of the Lakin Men's Commercial Club.  The women first proposed that the business men organize and it was largely through their influence with their husbands that the men did so, Women's Club officers assert.  But first the women demonstrated the value of organization by the success of their own club, which is now but a year old.

Lakin is now a community center in more than local sense, having a county high school and a consolidated district grade school attended by boys and girls from thirty miles around.  So the women decided to form a club as a medium for developing civic enterprise.  It was the first organization of its kind in Kearny county, which is in extreme west-central Kansas.

Club members feel that they have accomplished much in a single year.  Virtually all their suggestions have received the hearty cooperation of the city commissioners.  Here is a partial list of what the club as done:

Induced the city to purchase land for a city park, and to build a one-story frame building for a community rest room for women from the country, the place being maintained by the club.

Established a county and city library with an initial contribution of 150 books, and accured additions from the state traveling library.

Effected removal of the city's common dumping place from one of the most picturesque places on the Arkansas river bank to a more secluded place.

Conducted periodic sales of cooked foods and fancy work as means of raising club funds.

Sponsored first Fathers and Sons banquet ever held here.

Accepted work---investigation of charity cases and distribution of supplied to the needy.

Supervised the local cemetery under authority delegated by mayor and council, keeping weeds and grass trimmed.

Launched movement to organize Boy Scout troop next fall.

Gave a three-day art exhibit and art lecture.  With the proceeds the club bought a suitable framed picture for each school room in the high school and the grade school.

Mrs. Lewis F. Hopkins was the first president.  The officers for the ensuing year are:  Mrs. Virginia P. Hicks, principal of the Lakin high school, president: Mrs. Curtis A. Hossman, vice-president; Mrs. Ralph Beaty, secretary, and Mrs. Forrest Thomas, treasurer.

The club has forty members, including a number of teachers of the Lakin schools.  The population of Lakin is about 600 and that of Kearny county less than 3,000.
(Iola Register ~ June 14, 1924)


Lakin --- A double-barrel cemetery proposal will be voted on in Kearny county at the election Tuesday.  If it carries three townships and the town of Deerfield would take over and maintain the Deerfield cemetery; while three other townhips and the city of Lakin would take over the Lakin cemetery and maintain it.
(Hutchinson News ~ November 3, 1940 ~ Page 13)


Lakin --- A 13-year-old Deerfield boy on parole from the Colorado boys industrial school at Golden gave Kearny county officers a wild night after stealing a motor car, attempting to break into a drug store at Deerfield, and later abandoning the wrecked car.

The boy, Jerry Lee Durbin, finally was found by the father in the Durbin hog house.

Jerry Lee had wrapped several blankets around himself and was sound asleep.  His father brought him to Deerfield and placed him in custody of Sheriff Ted Prather.

Adventure began for the boy about 8 p.m. when he stole the car belonging to Probate Judge Lewis Keeler here.

The boy drove the car for a while before going to Deerfield.  There he attempted to break into the Bacon drug store.  Several Deerfield men noticed the car and went to investigate.

The youth fled, but not before Fred Fulton was able to obtain the license plates on the car.  Sheriff Prather checked the tag number, learned the car belonged to Judge Keeler and advised the later of its theft.

The father had been searching for the boy, noticed the wrecked car in the ditch near the Durbin place, and notified officers.

Official at the Colorado institution were notified and made immediate plans to return young Durbin to the institution as a parole violator.
(Hutchinson News ~ January 27, 1948)


Lakin -- Plans to construct a modern hotel in Lakin in order to cope with housing of transient persons are being considered by business men, real estate men, and contractors.

With the tremendous growth of the pat year and a half Lakin ha practically doubled population and may double agian in a short time, should the Stanolind Hydrocol plant be located within 30 miels of here.

A meeting to discuss plans and methods of financing was being held here Monday night in the community room of the court house.
(Hutchinson News ~ January 27, 1948 ~ Page 13)


Lakin, Kas. --- A head-on collision of a pickup truck and a car killed two persons and injured four others seriously near here Fridy.

Killed were Mrs. Carl Millsap, 71, and her brother-in-law, J. R. Millsap, 78, both of Syracuse, Kas.

The injured were Carl Millsap, 71; Richard Luckey, 26, and his 17-year-old wife of Woodward, Okla., and John B. Blakeslee of Ten Sleep, Wyo.  They were admitted to the hospital here.

Blakeslee was driving the pickup.  The Luckeys, hitchhiking to California, were riding with the Millsaps.
(Atchison Daily Globe ~ May 11, 1952)


LAKIN, Kan. --- Kansas authorities say they have arrested a man believed involved in a marijuana smuggling ring that has been making narcotics drops over the state since Thanksgiving.

Charged Monday with the possession of marijuana with intent to sell is John Edward Braddock, 22, of Emporia, Kan.  Kearny County Attorney Ted Morgan said Braddock's bond was set at $100,000.

Morgan said a Kearny County officer found 680 pounds of marijuana at the Lakin airport Sunday night after a plane landed there about 10:30.

Braddock and a second man were later arrested in Topeka, but the other man was released.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Fred Howard said the marijuana seized at Lakin would have a street sale value in excess of $100,000.  He described the find as the largest single seizure of foreign-grown marijuana in the history of the state.

The KBI director said investigation of a possible ring began in late November when a quantity of marijuana was discovered by agents after a chase in Reno and Rice counties.  He said agents acted on a tip received Friday that a shipment of the week was to be flown into the state from Texas over the weekend and distributed to several Kansas locations.

Howard said wrappings on the marijuana found at Lakin was similar to that found at the airport at Tribune, Kan., about a month ago.

The KBI says the plane believed to have been flown to Texas was rented late Friday in Topeka.  Officials believe the plane dropped off marijuana at several Kansas locations before it was spotted at Lakin.  They say it was then flown back to Emporia, where it was abandoned.

Officials say the persons involved then drove in a car to Hutchinson, where a second plane was rented.  It was flown to Topeka, arriving there about 8 a.m. Monday.
(Atchison Daily Globe ~ February 1, 1972 ~ Page 14)


MR.  AND  MRS.  DOUG  SMART,  320 V street, had a houseful of company last week when daughter Sharon brought home 16 of her fourth grade students from the Lakin elementary school in southwest Kansas.  Midway through the Bicentennial field trip, the kids reported they were having a "terrific" time.  Posing with the youngsters above on the steps of the Smart home are (at the top) Kenny Singleton, Miss Smart, Mrs. Donna Howk, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Adams and Butch Anderson, field trip chaperons.---Globe photo.

Lakin on U.S. 50 in southwest Kansas is about 24 miles west of Garden City or 45 miles east of the Kansas-Colorado border, depending on whichever way you may be traveling through the Sunflower State.

Last week, a busload of fourth graders from the Lakin system, United School District 215, visited eastern Kansas and the home of their teacher as part of a Bicentennial field trip.

The teacher is Sharon K. Smart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doug Smart, 320 V street, and a 1975 graduate of Benedictine College.  Lakin is more than 400 miles from Atchison.

Miss Smart had several assistants on the Bicentennial journey to help her with the 16 students who were able to make the trip.  Five students stayed at home.

Kenney Singleton, Lakin's elementary physical education teacher, served as bus driver.  Parents Butch Anderson, Mrs. Donna Howk and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Adams also shared the chaperoning duties

The bus left Lakin around noon last Wednesday and the travelers were scheduled to return home Sunday night after visiting Abilene, Topeka, Atchison and Kansas City.

At Abilene, the youngsters and their chaperons visited the Eisenhower Center and Old Abilene Town.  Later they toured the capital building at Topeka and pulled in to Atchison Thurday evening.

Friday morning, the fourth grade students were special guests at Franklin school.  The third graders of Mrs. Wilma Whitney, Miss Smart's supervisor during practice teaching, put on a play and sang some song for the visitors.

The kids from southwest Kansas established pen pals with the fourth graders of Rogena Richards at Franklin.

Madon Hawk's fifth and sixth graders showed their guests some dinosaur models they had made, read reports and presented them with special dinosaur data books.

JoAnn Hays, librarian, showed the Lakin students soe science filmstrips before the group ate lunch with the other Franklin school youngsters and departed for an afternoon tour of the Benedictine College North and South campuses.

Saturday was the day many of the travelers had been waiting for.  They went to Kansas City, visited Crown Center, the Nelson Art Gallery, Worlds of Fun and capped off the day and trip at the Royals baseball park.

The trip was financed by a series of bake sales, car washes, jewelry sales, card sales, cosmetic sales, a drawing for a side of beef, and odd jobs the students took on to earn expense money.  Altogether, the students raised around $1,300 for the field trip, the first in several years for a Lakin school.

A movie camera recorded the trip on film and the students kept log books of their daily activities  A full report will be made to the Lakin board of education at its next regular meeting.
(Atchison Daily Globe ~ May 5, 1976)

News reached here this week from Lakin, Kan., of the narrow escape from death that Barney O'Connor and Alex McKinney met with there.  It appears that McKinney, who is a deputy U.S. Marshal, went out there last week to arrest Hal.  McClure, who is charged with taking a pair of mules from some one in Wyoming Territory last year, a reward of $500 having been offered for his arrest.  Accompanied by Barney O'Connor, McKinney was returning to Lakin with his prisoner.  O'Connor was sitting in the middle driving, McClure being on one side and McKinney on the other.  McClure slipped a pistol from O'Connor's pocket and had it pointed at McKinney's head, when O'Connor threw up his arm and received the ball in his left arm, near the shoulder, thus saving McKinney's life.  McClure did not get away, and was taken to Lakin and started from there to Wyoming.
(Barbour County Index ~ Friday ~ February 5, 1886 ~ Page 3)


Lakin, Kan., March 3 --- The first installation of the German colony, composing the Alameda Grape Growing association, that purchased 21,000 acres of land near Lakin, arrived yesterday, and went out on their land.  They are delighted with the country, and will commence improvements immediately.  They will be followed by others, and within thirty days several hundred of them will be upon the ground.  They believe that for grape culture southwestern Kansas will equal the best grape growing sections of California.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Thursday ~ March 4, 1886 ~ Page 1)

LAKIN  ADVOCATE:  S. R. McConnon, one of the early settlers of Kearny county but for the past year residing in Garden City, came up to spend Monday and Tuesday with relatives and friends here.  Mr. McConnon is planning to leave Garden City the fore part of this month, going to visit relatives in New York, Pennsylvania and other eastern states.
(Garden City Telegram ~ Thursday ~ June 8, 1922 ~ Page 6)


I visited the Deerfield Cemetery last week and I was appalled at its condition.

There are dried flowers and silk flowers which the wind has blown all over the cemetery.  It looks as if it hasn't been cleaned since last summer.

We have had a lot of good weather days this winter and work could have been done out there.

I understand that several of the new trees have died for the lack of water.  Even if the drip irrigation system hasn't all been installed, couldn't hoses have been used or buckets of water been carried to the trees?

The worst thing I saw was the large mound of dirt in the southwest corner of the cemetery.  This dirt is covering some of the headstones of the Russian-German workers who died in the flu epidemic of 1918-1919.

There are headstones among the dirt and headstones piled by a tree.  Out of the original 28 markers, there are only 16 left standing.

I have great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, father, granddaughter and husband buried in the Deerfield Cemetery.

If you have loved ones buried in the Deerfield Cemetery, I suggest you visit the cemetery.

I feel the graves of the Russian-German workers have been desecrated.

If you feel as strongly as I do, please contact the ceemtery board members and demand that this desecration be stopped.

That dirt needs to be removed and the headstones put back in place.

I am hoping when I visit the cemetery in March that the dirt is gone, headstones in place and the cemetery cleaned.

It would be nice to have the cemetery looking like it did 10 years ago.

(Garden City Telegram ~ March 4, 1996 ~ Page 4)



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