The Finney County Historical Society will conduct its 2023 annual meeting and banquet at 6 p.m. April 29 in the Christian Life Center of the First Southern Baptist Church in Garden City, honoring one local family with the 49th Annual Finney County Pioneer Award and marking the organization’s own 75th anniversary.
In addition to the dinner, as well as the Pioneer Award program and presentation, the evening will include an election for FCHS board members, a report on the society’s challenges and accomplishments during 2022 and a silent auction to raise funds for museum exhibits, plus FCHS programs, events, activities, and services for the community.
This year the itinerary includes a special presentation too, marking the FCHS diamond anniversary and recounting the history of the society over more than seven decades, including the founding in 1948, the opening of the Finney County Historical Museum in 1964, expansion of the museum in 1972-73 and 1994 and additional milestones.
The Pioneer Awards Program, initiated in 1974, has recognized approximately 130 couples, individuals and families whose long-term presence and contributions to local history have helped build, sustain and define the community.
This year, the Pioneer Awards Committee of the FCHS Board of Directors selected the William Joel Bryant and Edith Baird Garnand Family, which also encompasses the David and Kathryn Garnand Elsey family and the Pete and Lois Elsey Drevnick family.
Prior to receiving their award, the family’s history will be featured in a narrated PowerPoint program, incorporating photographs, highlights and information.
William Joel Bryant Garnand, an Indiana native, moved to Wellington, Kansas with his family, where he attended school; and then worked with a furniture dealer, mortician and casket-maker in Harper. He arrived in Garden City in 1910 and served in the A.R. Clark furniture and undertaking businesses.
Edith Baird, a teacher, met her future husband during a local Methodist Church youth class and the pair were married in 1914. Together they raised four sons and a daughter. The Garnands purchased both Clark businesses in 1918, later added another enterprise, overcame great adversity due to a major fire in 1938, eventually built the present Garnand Funeral Home structure and bought and used the historic Windsor Hotel for their furniture enterprise.
He lived until late 1975 and she died five years later. Members of their family went on to make names for themselves in a variety of endeavors.
RESERVATIONS DUE BY APRIL 19
The annual banquet is a tradition going back to 1949. The cost for dinner is $20 per person, by check or cash. Reservations are strictly due no later than April 19, seating is limited to capacity and information is available at 620-272-3664 or by visiting the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth Street in Finnup Park.
Check or cash payment will also be accepted for the evening’s silent auction, featuring a dozen or more items ranging from patio furniture, gift baskets and certificates to a variety of additional goods, including a mystery treasure box, all donated by Finney County businesses, individuals, couples and organizations.
The banquet and meeting are sponsored by Fry Eyes Associates and Homestead Assisted Living of Garden City. Additional support has been provided this year by the Bill Stephens Memorial Fund, which honors the life of a long-time FCHS board member who died last June.
The diamond anniversary celebration has also featured a recently concluded temporary exhibit in the museum’s Front Door Gallery, with photographs and a chronology of the society’s growth and change since 1948. Later this year, a public 75th anniversary reception will take place at the museum too.