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Kansas Profile

Category: Community Journalism

Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Dick and Mary Beth Boyd, Norton Telegram

By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.

 

In Kansas, the Boyd family name is synonymous with newspapers. Today we’ll meet a Boyd family member and fourth-generation Kansas newspaperman who’s won numerous honors for his lifetime of dedication to his community.

Dick Boyd and his wife Mary Beth were owners and publishers of the Norton Daily Telegram for 32 years. He continues to write sports for the weekly Norton Telegram.

Dick’s great-grandfather, George Boyd, was the owner of the Kensington Mirror newspaper in the rural community of Kensington, population 473. Now, that’s rural. George’s son Frank learned the newspaper trade as a boy and then went to Kansas State University, where he met and married Mamie Alexander.

In 1907, Frank and Mamie Boyd bought the Phillips County Review in Phillipsburg. They had two sons: McDill, who was nicknamed Huck, and Frank Jr., who was nicknamed Bus. Both followed in their parents’ footsteps, attending K-State and then launching their own newspaper careers. Huck married Marie Kreikenbaum and joined the Phillips County Review. Bus married Mary Folwell Dexter and they published the Jewell County Record in Mankato, where Dick and his siblings were born and grew up.

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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Laura Martin, Sew Loved Quilt Shop

Laura was six years old. There was a big present for her under the Christmas tree. She excitedly opened the package and was delighted to find it was a sewing machine from her grandmother. Her interest in sewing grew, and decades later it became a sort of magic carpet which would bring her and her husband back to Kansas.

Laura and Ronn Martin live at Elkhart. They went off to the big city for their careers but came back to Kansas.

Ronn grew up at Elkhart. Laura grew up on a farm near McCracken, a rural community of 190 people. Now, that’s rural.

The two met at Tabor College in Hillsboro. Ronn earned degrees in computer science, and Laura earned degrees in psychology and counseling. They followed his career to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas where he worked in information technology. They also raised a daughter and son.

When Laura was a little girl, her mother had been a seamstress on the farm. “One of my earliest recollections was sitting on my mom’s lap while she sewed,” Laura said. One Christmas, Laura received the aforementioned sewing machine from her grandmother.  With help from her other grandma, she even did a 4-H sewing project. Laura loved sewing, but when her mother encouraged her to try quilting, Laura had no interest at the time.

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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Doug Anstaett – Kansas Press Association

On the wall of Doug Anstaett’s office, a large map of Kansas is adorned with stars. “Those stars are the newspapers in Kansas, and the color (of the star) tells me when I visited them,” Doug said. Staying in contact with newspapers is part of the lifeblood of his position, because he is the executive director of the Kansas Press Association.

Doug has been executive director of KPA since 2004. He grew up in Lyndon, where the weekly newspaper was the People’s Herald. Doug was 12 years old in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was shot. As were many of us, Doug was horrified and then captivated by the news. “I became a voracious reader,” he said.

Doug Anstaett has been executive director of the Kansas Press Association since 2004.
Doug Anstaett has been executive director of the Kansas Press Association since 2004.

He also became a writer and served on the high school newspaper. “We had a senior English teacher that kids didn’t like much because she was really tough, but I was thankful for her when I got to college,” Doug said. He graduated from K-State in journalism and began as a reporter for Stauffer Communications, working his way up to become an editor and publisher. He worked in four states before becoming editor and publisher of the Newton Kansan in 1987.

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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Matt Deighton – Molly and the Tornado

When a disaster strikes, what do we need? First aid, emergency help, transportation, supplies, and more. Maybe we also need something to lift our spirits, in the way that only a good dog can do. Today we’ll meet a remarkable Kansan whose dog’s role in disaster recovery has taken him into print, across the nation and beyond.

mattdeightonandmollyMatt Deighton is an entrepreneur and former volunteer coordinator in Greensburg. Matt has deep roots in rural Kansas. In fact, his great-great-great-uncle founded the town of Dighton, although the spelling was changed by a surveyor. Matt’s mother came from Stafford County and his dad came from the rural community of Rozell, population 176 people. Now, that’s rural.

When Matt’s dad became the Kiowa county road supervisor, the family moved to Greensburg where Matt finished school. He took engineering training and became Lane County engineer before joining some friends in Waco, Texas. Two important things happened in Texas: One, he co-founded a restaurant called Buzzard Billy’s which would become world famous, and two, he found a Dalmatian puppy named Molly.

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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Carl Koster – Regional Economic Area Partners

“You reap what you sow.” The truth of that timeless proverb has been demonstrated forever. Today we will learn about an organization serving south central Kansas which is helping to sow regional cooperation and reaping the results.

Carl Koster is the chair of the Regional Economic Area Partnership, or REAP. Carl is a member of the city council in Cheney, which is located near the Sedgwick-Kingman county line west of Wichita.

carlkosterreapCarl’s grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1884. In 1891, his grandfather bought a farm near Cheney. That land has been in the family ever since, and the farm has grown through the years. Carl grew up here, went to K-State, and pursued a career in video journalism but still lives at Cheney and manages his farm ground.

“My family was always public spirited,” Carl said. “My grandfather served on the school board and my dad was a township trustee.” Carl continued this family tradition. He got elected to the city council in Cheney and went on to serve as mayor for 12 years. He still serves on the city council today. Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Carl Koster – Regional Economic Area Partners”

Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Tad Felts – Tad Poll

Photo of Tad Felts
Tad Felts from Phillipsburg, Kansas.

By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.

Listen, I hear a Tad Poll. No, not a young frog. I hear a radio program called the Tad Poll which one legendary broadcaster has been doing for decades in rural Kansas. It’s today’s Kansas Profile.

Tad Felts is news and sports director at radio stations KKAN and KQMA in Phillipsburg. He has had an incredible career in community radio.

Tad has rural roots. In 1933, he was born at Oakley, a rural community of 2,106 people. Now, that’s rural. Tad’s family moved to Garden City where he grew up. When he was eight, Tad’s father was tragically killed in a hunting accident. Tad’s mother went to a typing class at Garden City Community College and got a job to raise her son. “I learned a strong work ethic from her,” Tad said.

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