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The last country school

Phil Dunn, Valley Falls, attended Nichols No. 11 country school as a youth as did Betty Jane Wilson some years earlier. Barbara Tosh was the school’s last teacher. Nichols was one of 100 country schools that served the children of Jefferson County.

There are six school districts in Jefferson County. There used to be an even 100.

Those country schools were spaced so that a couple’s children didn’t have much over two miles to walk to get to school.

March 31st, 2014 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

Caring for lost souls: couple soon to complete Medina Cemetery restoration

Vicki and Pat Langton have spent the past 11 months restoring the Medina Cemetery. The chain saw carvers got married soon after graduating with the Perry-Lecompton class of 1977. “She’s the reason I took home ec,” Pat said.

Four weed eaters, 40 chain saw chains, five chain saw bars, and 11 months ago Pat and Vicki Langton started a journey packed with clarity and truckloads of hard work.

It was last April when the couple began the task of clearing and cleaning the long forgotten Medina Cemetery near Perry. The job is almost done.

March 31st, 2014 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

Book tells story of Psychological Field Station

Outsider Cover-web

Award-winning author and journalist Ariel Sabar, Washington, D.C., has just published a Kindle single e-book, “The Outsider: The Life and Times of Roger Barker.”

Barker was a University of Kansas professor who ran the Midwest Psychological Field Station in Oskaloosa from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. Barker and his wife, Louise, now lie buried in the town cemetery.

February 3rd, 2014 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

Floral, antique store grand opening

Dave sits at an antique poker table. In an earlier era, only cards and chips were allowed on the table. This style poker table has a disk at each corner for one to place other items, such as drinks. This was a common style in the late 1880s, though few exist today. This one came from a pub in Three Rivers, Minn.

This weekend marks the grand opening of a new enlarged facility for Colonial Acres Floral and Antiques on the south side of Oskaloosa.

January 29th, 2014 | Posted in Business,Featured,The Independent | Read More »

Fire destroys building in downtown Oskaloosa

Photo by Mike Tomlinson

A structure fire late Monday night destroyed two businesses on the Oskaloosa square.

January 24th, 2014 | Posted in Featured,The Independent | Read More »

Valley Falls museum: preserving the past

Betty Jane Wilson, Valley Falls Historical Society president, is seated in an upstairs room of the museum. Here, she sits on a piece of antique furniture and in the mirror behind her, there is a display of just some of the antiques the museum has to offer, including a crib, child’s nightgown, artwork, and different furniture pieces.

The Valley Falls Historical Society Museum has been fairly quiet these past winter months, but president Betty Jane Wilson hopes that as the weather warms up, the museum will once again be full of people with a hankering for history.

January 24th, 2014 | Posted in Featured,The Vindicator | Read More »

Meals on Wheels: A quick visit and a hot meal

Having a hot meal show up on one’s doorstep at noon each day is the primary mission of Meals on Wheels, but it comes with other benefits.

January 13th, 2014 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

House fire claims life

Metzger Fire.

State fire inspector Lamar Shoemaker and a few firefighters search through the smoldering embers of a house fire that took a life early Saturday, Dec. 30.

January 10th, 2014 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

The changing classroom: The age of the iPad

In today's classroom students are likely to be concentrating on one item—the iPad. This digital device contains their lesson plan, the textbook, a library, and tells them how many times they have been tardy this year. These history students from right to left are Brylee Coleman, Maclaine McKnight, Carly Tillery, and Sierra Vessar.

The great-grandparents of today’s students were given their own tablets, page-size slates with chalk and an eraser. They were tools for learning.

In the overall scheme of things nothing has changed. There’s a teacher with assignments followed by tests, but in the digital age the tools are remarkably different.

December 30th, 2013 | Posted in Featured,The Vindicator | Read More »

Area man finds happiness in Alaska

Nicholas Guy is preparing for the 2015 Iditarod

Life in America is supposed to be about the pursuit of happiness and there is at least one fellow we believe has found it.

Nicholas Guy left these parts in 2010 to be a handler for a sprint dog racer in Minnesota. From there he went to Alaska handling dogs for mushers in training for the Iditarod. He never came back.

In his own words posted online he states that he “never understood what there was in the world outside of my little box. I thought the path to happiness was lined with mega pixels, beautiful women and fancy stuff. I never thought I would be at my happiest dead broke, pushed to exhaustion and often fighting off frost bite.”

November 25th, 2013 | Posted in County News,Featured | Read More »

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