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‘Soule’s Folly’ next FCHS history presentation

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The Finney County Historical Society’s next pair of free public lecture programs in Garden City will provide the story of the ill-fated Soule Canal, a 96-mile irrigation ditch dug across Ford and Gray Counties in the 1880s by patent elixir promoter Asa T. Soule.

“Soule’s Folly” is scheduled at noon Wednesday, March 9 and again at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15 in the Mary Regan Conference Room at the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth Street, adjacent to Lee Richardson Zoo.

The presentations are part of the History at High Noon and Evenings at the Museum series, which include noon programs on the second Wednesday and 7 p.m. programs the third Tuesday of January through April, as well as September through November.  

Those attending should use the north entrance of the museum and are welcome to bring their own lunch or dinner, if desired. The host organization will provide cookies and beverages.

“Soule’s Folly” is presented by Montezuma resident Howard Koehn, a Southwest Kansas researcher and history enthusiast who has conducted previous programs about the homesteading of Santa Fe, Kansas, and about the 2,100-mile trek of the U.S. Army’s Mormon Battalion from Iowa to California in the 1840s.

Attendees are advised to use their own best judgement in terms of virus precautions and immunity. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available but not required.

Series Spring Conclusion

The series will conclude for spring at 7 p.m. April 19 with “William Allen White and the Ku Klux Klan” by Winfield native Beverly Olson Buller, an author, lecturer, and leader of the William Allen White Book Awards Program.  She will explain how the nationally-known Emporia Gazette editor’s efforts, during the 1924 Kansas governor’s office race, led to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the KKK in Kansas.

Buller’s program is offered in partnership by the FCHS and the Humanities Kansas cultural organization, which provided grant funding for her appearance, and it will be preceded April 13 with a noon program by Museum Education Coordinator Johnetta Hebrlee about the history of militant and vigilante groups in Kansas.  

The museum is also preparing for the 9th Annual Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair, scheduled at 9 a.m. March 12 in the Finney County 4-H Building.  

Pre-registration for the keepsake and heirloom-sharing show is under way at the museum, where exhibit hours are 1-5 p.m. daily.