Fankhauser, Collins families to be recognized at FCHS banquet

The public is welcome to join members and guests in attending the 2018 annual Finney County Historical Society banquet set for 7 p.m. April 21 at the Church of the Nazarene fellowship hall, 2720 N. Campus Drive.

Two families with deep roots in the community will be recognized with the Finney County Pioneer Award: the Charles and Audrey Collins family and the Roy and Helen Fankhauser family.

Reservations are necessary before April 13. Dinner is $18 per person. Call (620) 272-3664.  Reservations may be made in person by visiting the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth St., where exhibit hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily and office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The FCHS has been honoring local pioneers annually since 1974. Over the past four decades, more than 122 families, couples and individuals have received the award, which is based on long-term presence in Finney County and significant contributions to community history.  Selections are made by the Pioneer Committee of the FCHS Board of Directors.

The Collins Family

Charles E. “Charlie” and Audrey E. Supernaw Collins arrived in Finney County during the mid-1930s. Initially working for Garnand Furniture and Garnand Funeral Home, Collins opened Collins Furniture in 1944 and operated the business more than 40 years.

The couple took roles in numerous community organizations and activities and belonged to the First Presbyterian Church.  He served four years on the city commission.  Before coming to Garden City the couple lived in Pawnee County and Dodge City, working in education, farming and the restaurant business. He lived until 1996 and she died in 1982.

Married in 1929, their children included Robert “Bob” Collins and Sharen Ann Collins Altman.  For more than 50 years, the Collins home on Chesterfield Drive was known throughout Garden City for a giant blue spruce tree festooned with Christmas lights.

The Fankhauser Family

Roy E. and Helen G. Beech Fankhauser came to Garden City in 1948 and built Fankhauser, Inc., parent firm of Cash and Carry Lumber, Masonary Products and Concrete Industries. They also operated a drug store for eight to 10 years. He served on the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce Board, was a charter board member of Security Savings and Loan and active in various organizations. Both belonged to the First United Methodist Church. He lived until 1988 and she died in 2015 at the age of 101.

Married in 1934, the couple had two sons, Dan and Richard “Dick” Fankhauser, who joined the family business along with Dick Fankhauser’s son, Alan. The family operated the business until 1996.  The sculpture at Main and Grant Avenue of two boys, one swinging the other by his arms, was donated by Dick and Dan Fankhauser in honor of their mother’s 100th birthday in 2013.

Board Elections

In addition to the Pioneer Awards, the evening’s agenda includes election of FCHS board members and a fund-raising silent auction. Those attending will receive printed reports highlighting the society’s accomplishments during 2017, as well as a report by the executive director. Those who belong to the FCHS may vote in the board election.

​The auction, taking place over the course of the evening, will include a variety of gift baskets, artwork, a mystery treasure chest and other donated items, with proceeds going to support the society’s mission of preserving the past to enlighten the future.

The event is sponsored by Fry Eye Associates and Homestead Assisted Living, both of Garden City.