Digital Rose Hill

Rose Hill, Kansas

100 Year Anniversary
Collection: No Collection

Title

100 Year Anniversary

Subject

Centennial (Rose Hill, KS) - 1887-1987
Rose Hill, KS (City) 1887-1987

Description

Contains information regarding the centennial of the city of Rose Hill, KS.

Creator

Mitchell, Lois, Rose Hill, KS

Source

Douglass Tribune, Douglass, KS
Rose Hill Reporter, Rose Hill, KS

Publisher

Rose Hill Public Library, Rose Hill, KS

Date

1887-1987

Contributor

Douglass Tribune, Douglass, KS
Rose Hill Reporter, Rose Hill, KS

Rights

Reproduced with permission from the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Type

Scrapbooks


Document Viewer


Citation
Mitchell, Lois, Rose Hill, KS, “100 Year Anniversary ,” Digital Rose Hill, accessed September 18, 2019, https://rosehill.digitalsckls.info/item/42.
Text

The community of Rose Hill was nearly! an asterisk in Kansas’ history, but the first 100 years of Rose Hill has seen huge strides by a community which was established by early day settlers from "back East" locations like New York.
. Rose Hill was established at its present location in l887T2meyeing established several years earlier when the area was opened for homesteading in 1870. This week, during Rose Hill’s annual community celebration, the Rose Hill Fall Festival, 100 years of progress will be recognized and a second 100 years ushered in by community leaders. The Fall Festival will be Friday through
Sunday, Oct. 9-11.
J - • -■ *
Rose Hill very nearly became an asterisk but the City Fathers agreed Rose Hill would prosper only if it was sitting next to the tracks which carried the "Iron~Horses.’’ Progress by the r Santa Fe Railroad, which built a line in f887 to connect Mulvane and ’Augusta, caused the move because Rose Hill was ± silting about a mile south of its present location. Progress called^the Rose Hill pioneers listened and picked up the entire small community and moved it 3jK>nh because of the advantages the railroad had to offer.
Rose Hill has its beginning roots entrenched deeply in Richland and Pleasant Townships* where the first white settlements in the area were founded in 1860 in the Eight Mile Creek .valley. '■
When the area was opened to homesteading in 1870, the first land claim in what was to become Rose Hill was filed by Mr. MacBride in an area located u southeast of the present community. Three years later, another early-day pioiieer, Bob Hodgen filed the last claim in the area across from the Friends Church.
A horticulturist from New York, J.H. Lowery, is the man most agree was responsible for giving Rose Hill its name. He laid claim to a homestead along the wagon trail which meandered from Douglass to Wichita and planted many rose bushes along the lane which led to his home. According to one historian, Lucille Cox, Lowery also opened a nursery from which he ;sold trees and shrubbery to other area pioneers.'He decided to call his place Rose Hill Farm after his hometown of Rose Hill, N.Y.
As history would have it, Lowery planned a store and post office on his property and in 1873. ne'asked a friend, S Levi M. Williams, to apply for a post office on the Williams homestead with the idea that it would be moved to Rose Hill Farm in the future. That dream, like the dreams of many oioneers. never materialized because drought, blizzards
and grasshoppers took their toll of Lowery’s nursery stock and he eventually returned to New York. And although his dream was smashed, it was the beginning of another as the flowery "Rose Hill” name stayed behind on the one-room postoffice on the Williams homestead.
Rose Hill basically grew up around that post office.
Today, Rose Hill is a thriving community of more than 2,100 citizens, and much of that growth has been achieved in the last 10 years. Just 10
years ago, Rose Hill’s population was approximately 650.

Almost from the start, schools have played a large role in the community. A “subscription school” was the first education institution in Rose Hill's history, having been started in the early 1870slie small school became a one-room schoolhouse in the late 1870s which gave way in 1908 to a new Rose Hill Consolidated High School.
All three of Rose Hill’s schools are built on the same complex next to each other on property where the old Rose Hill Consolidated High School once stood. The high school was built in 1968 and the elementary school was built in 1958. Enrollment has grown to 1,256 students district-wide.
There are several errors in this artcle ;
1. Railroad was not built by Santa Fe. It was built by the Chicagc
Kansas and Western Railroad. First land purchased for right-of-way was Feb 18, 1887 Ref, Mitchell Abstract
Sold to Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe on April 10, 1901 and recorded July 16, 1901. It was known as the Augusta Extention and the selling price was $90, 300. The distance of 20.8 miles
2. Rose Hill was sitting a mile east of present location, not soutl-
3. Rose Hill was moved one mile to the west, not to the north.
4. The land on the west side of Rose Hill Road was homesteaded by Leonidas C. Ellis, a single man, on Dec. 1, 1874 and was recorde
June 17, 1876. where the present town now sits, xhe east side of Rose Hill Road was homesteaded by J.G. BERRY.
Post Office was established June 23, 1874 and was not temporary and could not be moved unless authorized by the Post Office Dept
• •
Rose Hill school was established in 1873.
According an article in a 1908 Douglass TRibune, Rose.Hill was named by the Quakers for all the wild roses which bloomed in the spring. This is also the story told by old timers, Jaben Cox, Gracie Silknitter, etc
1.
2.
3.
4.
Rose Hill 100
years
The year was 1887C The
By Susan Shaw
Staff Writer

the elementary school for entries is noon the pageant fills ear-
So folks in Rose Hill packed up their r' J W* Zhair^or ^h Otto at 776-town and moved it one mile to the west to *y\;70 en*er’ 03 ^ rec
west,
be near the new railroad line in southwest Butler County.
That’s how Rose Hill native Marshall Futhey tells it
•f ;• >' |
FUTHEY SAID people around Rose Hill call him a local historian, "but I don’t know if I claim to be or not ”
Though the origin of the town’s name is a matter of dispute, and it was only incorporated as a Kansas city 32 years ago, a two-day celebration will begin Friday, honoring the 100th anniversary of the year the
city moved to its present site. £e t^n^bei^compiled but is not avail-
/ This weekend's activities will combine *
the annual Rose Hill Fall Festival with a aDie 4* Jfc* 4 Z centennial celebration. There will be One person in the town’s beginning days dances Friday and Saturday, a parade Sat- wanted to call it Sunflower City, he said, urday morning and fireworks on Saturday! The town may have been named for night Squier Rosa, an early postmaster, according
A selection of Rose Hill souvenirs will be to the book "Kansas Place Names.' available, and there will be other added: Futhey disputes that idea. *
attractions to mark the centennial, say fes-. "There _was a man from New York who tival organizers. The theme of the celebra- cahie out there and planted a lot of roses,” tion is "Heritage 100.” he said. "He had a kind of a stopping station
A big birthday cake baked by Rose Hill for travelers. He grew a lot of flowers,
2561.
Otto, who works in the financial aid office at Friends, said he decided to try to obtain the scholarships as prizes to commemorate the centennial. Both Friends and the city of Rose Hill count Quakers among their founders.
T-shirts, balloons, mugs, plastic cups and belt buckles commemorating the city’s centennial will be available at the festival. A belt buckle auction will besat 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the school.
Futhey, who collects historical pictures of Rose Hill, says that a written history of
— *- AAmniiA<f hiit u not avail*
resident Louise Long will be displayed at the Rose Hill Elementary School gymnast
especially roses.”
The city was incorporated in 1955. Be-
um, 315 S. Rose Hill Road. "Well probably tween lj&fijp and 1970, the town’s population eat it right after the talent pageant,” said quadrupled from 3§7 to 1,557, making it one Ole Pederson, one of the festival leaders. !>f the fastest-growing in Kansas. The popu-
L lation is now 1,850.
THE TALENT pageant, ^Wch includes trophies and $3,000 in scholarships to Friends University as prized wil) be at w
The year 1887 the first land was purchased to start a railroad. It was purchased by Chicago, Kansas and Western Railroad Co. It was sold to Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe, in 1901 for a sum of $90,300. for the line from Augusta to Mulvane A distance of 20.8 miles, work still being done in Sept 1887.
Rose Hill was incorporated Feb 1955
/o
There was never a Postmaster at Rose Hill named Squier Rosa.
( National Arcives, Washington D.C.)
U.S. Postal Service
According to Douglass Tribune the population of Rose Hill in 1960 was 273
\
1
Rose Hill’s Roots
'rlV,
w

Smt
?;T*.
Sfe
First White Settlements
By *«•« Mwry WeD« , t„
[This Is the first of a “Centennial Series’* of articles written by Reporter staff
writer Rose Mary Wells. The articles will take yon through die Important dates the history of Rose Hfll (and the aspects of the community which bays mode
Rose WB grow, Rose wifi be celebrating its JWth Rose HUl Festival of Roses scheduled for Oct. 1M2,
3
____
The City of Rose HUl vifUl celebrate its 100th birthday with Centennial festivities the weekend of Oct. 10th and 11th, 1987, but the roots of Rose Hill go farther back than 100 years. The history of Rose Hill has its beginnings in the history of Richland and Pleasant Townships, where the first white settlements in the area were founded in the 1860s in the Eight Mile Creek valley.
Those were hard times for pioneers, with Indian raids, horse thieves and loneliness taking their toll, but one-by-one the settlers’ cabins were erected in the area. As more Indian land was opened to white settlement in the West, the trickle of immigrants became a flow and Richland apd Pleasant Townships got their share of settlers also...Baker, Dunlap, Skinner, Dinnet, Pray, Staley, Hodgen, Meeker, McCluggage, McWilliams, Love, Perry, Cox, Silknitter, Showalter--the list of famUy names could go on and on. Ancestors of many current Rose Hill residents, these pioneers paved the way for future development of the fertile lands of Butler County.
When the area was opened to homesteading in 1870, the first land claim in what was to become the Rose HUl community was filed by a Mr. MacBride, in the area southeast pf present-day Rose Hill. An early-day writer describes the area as “the promised land” and “a garden spot of the earth.” The last claim in f the area was filed by Bob Hodgen in 1873. across from the Friends Church. A major setback for these early settlers occurred in 1874, when hordes of grasshoppers plagued the. area. Things got so bad that the settlers were forced to ask for charity from more affluent friends and relatives “back East.” But the hardy pioneers hung on, and by 1884 the area was so prosperous that residents of Richland Township were able to contribute a “full train car of No. 1 corn” to flood victims in the Ohio Valley.
One early settler of Richland Township was J.H. Lowery, a horticulturist from New York who laid claim to a homestead along the wagon trail which led from Douglass to Wichita, about a mile south of present-day Rose Hill. According to ? Lucille Cox, a local authority on early-day Rose Hill, Lowery planted many rose bushes along the lane which led to his home, and also opened a nursery from which he sold trees and shrubbery to other area settlers.
, Lowery decided to call his place Rose Hill Farm, after his hometown of Rose HUl, New York. Lowery also planned to build a store on his fhrm, and to establish a post office there. WhUe the store was still in the planning stage, Lowery asked his neighbor, Levi M. Williams, to apply for a post office on the WUliams homestead, with the idea of moving it to Rose Hill Farm as soon as the store was comoleted. With this in mind, WUliams applied for the post office in 2 1873. j
g Lowery’s plan tn move foe post nfficq to his farm never materialized, however. After blizzards, drought and grasshoppers devastated his nursery stock, Lowery shelved his plans and eventually returned to New York. Although Lowery had gone, his flowery name stayed behind and the little post office at the Williams homestead continued to be called Rose HUl.
WUliams’ daughter, Luella WUliams Holcomb, described this post office in a 1933 letter to The Douglass Tribune: “...for years the little one-roomed house remained Rose Hill, with my father or mother subject to ?call at any hour of the day or night. The laws do not require this, but if a neighbor had been to Wichita with a load of wheat and was ‘till all hours getting home, it might save a delay of several days for him to come by and get his mail, or a young homesteader, riding horseback to a dance or party, must stop on his return trip.” When H.C. Staley buUt a general store on thaGcorge]Clark7farm in abou£l§Z9, the post office was moved to that location) The name, however, remained the same and the town of Rose HUl grew up around the store and post office. k,
It’s not too common today for a whole town to just pick up and move, but that’s what the town of Rose Hill did in 1887-and that’s what Rose Hill is celebrating in this Centennial year of 1987.
The change in the town’s location came about because of progress-in the form y of the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1887, the Santa Fe built a line connecting Mulvane and Augusta, bypassing by a mile the small Rose Hill community. Undaunted by this, the hardy settlers moved themselves, their families and their businesses a mile west to meet the railroad. There they re-established the town of Rose Hill in its present location to better enjoy the advantages the railroad had to offer.
From these small beginnings, Rose Hill has grown from a temporary post office in the homestead of Levi Williams to a city of more than 2,100 residents. Among those residents echo the names of some of the pioneers who sowed their crops along Eight Mile Creek more than 100 years ago. '
(Some of the information for this article was obtained from material in the collection of Rose Hill historian Marshall Futfiey.)
/ The filing of the last claim by Bob Hodgen in 1873 can not be true the land where the west side of Rose Hill was claimed in 1874. (
sight where Rose Hill sits at present.
Post Office applied for Post Office March 26, 1874 Post Office established June 23, 1874 National Archives, Wash D.C.
Rose Hill telephone System insta lied 1905
3 Post Offic :e was moved to town of Rose Hill 1880.
y Rail Road was built by Chicago, Kansas and Western, not Santa
Fe. They bought it in 1901 for $90,300.
Post Office was not a temporary office. It was established by
the United States Postal Service.
(NovemDer 1/, lybO --------------
100th Is
Ahead for
Rose Hill
By Susan Shaw
Staff Writer
It’s almost time to say, “Happy birthday, Rose Hill.”
The city in the southwest corner of Butler County will celebrate its birthday in 1987. Plans are way for a centennial celebration in the fall, and maybe a Fourth of July fireworks display in Rose Hill’s honor.
Ole Pederson and his co-workers on the Rose Hill Fall Festival Committee have started figuring out how to make their annual October basil into a centennial celebration, too. ' ’
100th
under
- “We’re trying to locate any people that have any information or past history on the city that we can compile into a book,” Pederson said.
Pederson said he is looking for historical information dating back to 1887, the year that railroad officials moved the Santa Fe depot a mile west and the city was estab-; lished on its present site.
Rose Hill originally was settled in 1870 a mile east of where it is ! now, he said. i
He said people who want to help ^ plan can attend a festival commit- I tee meeting at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the I Rose Hill State Bank, 107 N. Rose Hill Road. Interested people or those who have historical informa- ' tion also can call Pederson at 776-2276 or co-chairman Andy Gayer at 776-2590.
i
as
The
Voice
Rose Hill contracts with Sedgwick By Sara Kempin County Emergency Medical Ser-
Staff Writer vices. So there are a lot of ties
An organization of Sedgwick ^ere already. Much of what hap-County mayors will discuss next P®05 *n Sedgwick County area Saturday whether Rose Hill in But- counties. It was self-
ler County should be allowed to destructive that they didn’t limit join the group’s lobbying effort in tiie motlon to just admission of Topeka. Rose Hill and Andover.””
The Association for Legislative Rose Hill still wants to join be-Action for Rural Mayors is the cause it identifies more closely lobbying group for small Sedgwick Sedgwick County cities than County towns in the Kansas Legis- w*th other Butler County towns, lature. Weidman said. Andover officials
Rose Hill has been trying for a ^ they’d need more information year to join ALARM, said City ab°ut the group before they could Council President Jan Weidman. decide whether to join.
But an attempt last spring to
change the group’s bylaws to allow ROSE HILL officials heard cities in other counties to join was ut^ut ALARM a year ago while unsuccessful. talking to city officials from other
towns, Weidman said.
“It makes sense for Rose Hill to Rose Hill, like several other But-be interested because of its prox- jer county towns, does not have an imity to Sedgwick County,” Weid- '*
man said. “Our three-mile planning zone extends into Sedgwick County. Our school district extends into Sedgwick County, too.”
administrator to keep the City jricil abreast of what the Legis-
lature is doing, she said.
“ “We sometimes have problems getting informed on issues because Mac Manning, Valley Center ad- we don’t have a similar group in ministrator and secretary of Butler County,” she said. “Speak-; ALARM, said sortie members had ing from Rose Hill’s standpoint, wanted to open the membership to our representative is from Win-other counties and change the field. And the concerns of Win-group’s name to Legislative Action for South-Central Kansas. But he said other members were con-
cerned that letting in Butler County cities might weaken the group's effectiveness.
THE ISSUE came up again at the group’s organizational meeting in November, when members discussed the obvious ties to Wichita of Rose Hill and Andover. Man
field aren’t necessarily the concerns of Rose Hill.”
Rep. Dorothy Flottman, R-Wln-fiekl, who represents the 78th District, which includes parts of Cowley and Butler counties, said she * knows Rose HiM has different needs and interests than do cities in Cowley County.
“I have tried to be especially receptive to the concerns of Rose
ning said he was asked to find out Hill because I realize they are in a
whether the two cities wanted to nearly associated with Wichita,
join the group and then report They identify more readily with
back at the January meeting. Sedgwick County than Cowley
“The one point that was brought different county from where I
live,” she said. “I can sympathize with them because they are so
up was that both cities probably have more economic interests in _ .
Sedgwick County than in Butler £0UntJ’ ,®nc^ lts only 1°8,cal mat County,” he said. “For instance, ,ffi®y do.
The Association tor Legislative Action for Rural Mayors, a lobbying group lor small Sedgwick County towns, may soon expand its membership to include Butter County communities.
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HOPE
ANOALE
SEDGWICK COUNTY
• VALLEY CENTER MAIZE .PARK CITY
RDEN PLAIN
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COLWICH
>GODDARD
VIOLA
CLEARWATER
BUTLER COUNTY
• WHITEWATER
.ROSE
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• DOUGLASS
Article from Douglass Tribune 100 anniversary
Written by Ruth
The streets of Rose Hill were avenues of mud and dust when Mrs. Ruth Dunlap arrived in the area from Illinois. The year was
1891. She was six years old. She has remained in the vicinity of Rose Hill since.
Her recollections of the town at the turn of the century and of Rose Hill’s subsequent growth provide a unique look at a part of Kansas’ history. She has witnessed schools, churches and businesses rise and fall and rise again into the familiar structures of Rose Hill today.
Mrs. Dunlap’s earliest years in Kansas were not without their moments of wonder and terror. She can vividly recall the year following her parent’s arrival to a farm just north of Rose Hill. Appropriately, her initiation to Kansas’ temperamental weather patterns occurred on April Fool’s night of
1892.
Nature’s joke turned cruel in the hours just before midnight. It also turned out to be frighteningly real to Mrs. Dunlap. The hot, dead silence was scarcely a warning of the twister which dropped suddenly from an ink-black sky and left a wake of destruction that engulfed her father’s barn, obliterated a neighboring farm, and sucked away the old Harmony School house.
Miraculously, Mrs. Dunlap recalls, none of the cattle in her father’s barn perished. The family house, which stood just a few yards from the barn, remained untouched.
It was not the last tornado Mrs. Dunlap saw that year. In August, she watched another one dip from a black whirling doudbed east of Wichita. A house was demolished in seconds. “I saw the lumber
Dunlap, retired
go up in the wind.” Looking forward a few years, Mrs. Dunlap remembers when the roads around Rose Hill became a bit wider in order to accommodate a new mode of transportation. Fading gradually into memory and folklore were the spring wagons, carts, and top buggies clattering down narrow country lanes.
The first car that Mrs. Dunlap saw was an Old-smobile outside Rose Hill although she and her husband owned the first Ford in the area ‘‘complete with side curtains.”
No one seemed to object to automobiles in those years, she said, though horses “were a little skittish at first.” The railroad, however, was subject to some local criticism.
“I believe it was in 1888 when it first went through Rose Hill,” she recounted.
The regularity of freight and passenger runs through town were sufficient to cause a noisy pause in Sunday services at the Methodist Church. “Church-wise,” adds Mrs. Dunlap, “the railroads proved a problem.”
In 1929, Mrs. Dunlap and her husband moved from their farm east of Rose Hill to their new home on Main Street. A few commercial buildings lined the street then, including a hlacksmith’s shoD.
“I’ve always liked the open spaces,” she said.
At one time, the Dunlap home marked the southeast corner of town. “But as you can see,” she said with a laugh, “we got all hemmed in.”
During the 1940s, she was appointed postmistress for Rose Hill and remained in that position until 1958. She has observed many changes in the postal service since then, mostly
postmaster
in terms of convenience for postal employes.
“I had to do everything,” she remembered.
Following a regular day of public service, she was responsible for cleaning the office. Keeping a stove in operating condition during the winter months was routine.
“I was finally assigned some help,” she recalled, and this allowed more time to complete the quarterly reports on schedule.
Most of the modern postal conveniences appeared soon after Mrs. Dunlap retired from active service. “A new typewriter and a canceling machine were probably a big help to new employes, but then I had left by then.”
Mrs. Dunlap observes the Rose Hill community today and remembers a time when she used to know “everyone within a 10-mile radius.” The community seems younger now. New faces show up all the time, she remarked.
Nonetheless, many people still know Mrs. Dunlap. A recent open house in honor of her 90th birthday brought friends and relatives from as far as California. The open house was held at the Methodist Church by Mr. and Mrs. Edron F. Waples of San Clemente, Calif., and Dr. and Mrs. E. Dale Dunlap of Shawnee Mission, Kan. The guest book was full. Mrs. Dunlap is not sure how many names were listed, but she believes the number may approach 150.
Although no gifts were requested for the open house, the colorful array of flowers presented was as abundant as those who honored her. Numerous bouquets, a gloxinia in a straw pot shaped like an upturned hat, and a cor-
sage with five rosebuds with each bud representing a grandchild, are just a few of the floral displays which now blossom in her living room. Together they attest to the endurance of memory even though time may pass and faces change.
They also reflect Mrs. Dunlap’s attention to the garden in her backyard on
Main Street. Rising from neatly-padded flowerbeds are roses, iris, phlox, and with the passing of another mid-July in Rose Hill, “tiger lilies just commencing.”
Hayden watches hometown grow
By Randy Fogg
DAjlY REPORTER EDITOR_____
Rose Hill grew at an unbelievable 300 percent rate in the 1970s. While that rate has slowed considerably in the 1990s, the city has grown in other ways.
In the 1990s, Rose Hill has added 248 homes and businesses, for an average of 35 a year, said Kirk Hayden, public works
superintendent for the city.
Hayden is a rare breed. After growing up in Rose Hill, Hayden left the state to go to college. Upon graduation, he decided his hometown was the place he wanted to live and raise a family. -
He rioted that of his class of 45, about a dozen live within a few miles of the city.
Rose Hill went through a housing boom in the '70s, Hayden noted. In the mid-1980s that growth stopped, but it is starting to pick up.
"Twelve homes are being built in Rose Hill right now," Hayden said.
The city of about 3,000 residents is changing:
■ A new high school was constructed two years; The
116,000-square-foot facility can handle up to 650 students. The school also features an auditorium that can hold 600 people and a full-service kitchen.
■ A sports complex is being constructed. Hayden said workers are about two-thirds of the way completed with the 20-acre complex. Workers have completed two soccer fields, a baseball field and a softball field. Work is continuing on a second softball field.
"It's coming together," Hayden said.
■ The park system is growing. The city is building a second "neighborhood" park. The city has three other parks that consist of baseball and softball fields.
■ Work on the city's wastewater treatment facility should be completed by late spring or early summer, Hayden said.
■ A senior center was built in
1990.
■ Rose Hill has a couple of major celebrations. The Rose Hill Fall Festival takes place the second weekend in October.
"Every5 year its bigger and better," Hayden said. "We have a craft show and a street dance." There is a also a citywide cel-
"W
ebration for the Fourth of July, including a street dance. v *
History
Hayden noted that the Santa Fe railroad played an important part in early Rose Hill. The city had a stockyard.
"As a kid, I remember bringing grain to the railroad," Hayden said. "There are people now who say the railroad has brought problems."
He added that the depot closed down in the 1960s.
The oldest part of the town is south of the railroad tracks.
Rose Hill is growing to the north and east.
"We're still a bedroom community," Hayden said. "Most of the people who live here work in Wichita."
He added that people are involved with military at McConnell Air Force base or work for an aircraft-related company.
Still, Hayden said the residents of Rose Hill have a strong sense of community.
"It's a very gentle and supportive group of people who like to live in the atmosphere of a smaller community," Hayden said. • 1 ;
"It's a nice, quiet community," he added.
Rose Hill Mayors
Glenn CarrJr.« 1955-59
G. E. Cox 1959-60
Roy Showalter 1960-61
Berlin Cox 1961-69
Carl Poston _ 1969-71
Gomer Jones 1971-74
* lv t97S3&
Dayle Showalter 1974-75
Steve; Whetstine 1979-83
W85=6B
John Ewing 1983-85
Robert Westwood 1988-89
Richard Young 1989-93
Dan Woydizak 1993-cur
Section F - Page 2 - The Daily Reporter, Wednesday, February 26, 1997
Quakers name Rose Hill
A newspaper story added: "The people of Rose Hill greeted the 'air mail' with enthusiasm, said^Miss Nettie Silknitter, postmistress, for it was their first mail in two days. Central road east of the aviation field was drifted with snow five feet deep for several miles and traffic on it absolutely impossible ... However, the county engineer has men clearing the road, and it hoped travel may be resumed today."
By Randy Fogg
DAILY REPORTER EDITOR________
How did Rose Hill get its name?
There are a couple of versions out there.
Lois Mitchell, a former Rose Hill postmaster and local history buff, said members of the Quaker church came up with the name due to all the wild rose bushes growing in the area.
Mitchell discovered that account in an article published in the Douglass Tribune. The hrticle quoted some older Rose Hill residents.
A Friends Church, was founded in 1869 in ^Pleasant Township. Mitchell said her research showed that ,this_church was the "mother church" for all of the other Quaker churches in the state.
"There is no way to find actual proof," Mitchell said about the city's name.
Mitchell discounts another version. Back in the days when there werefrural postal drops, at one stop near the city, there was suppose to be a man who lived on a small hill and he grew rose bushes.
Mitchell has gathered six volumes of Rose Hill history. She has gotten her information from three Douglass newspapers, Butler County records and the National Archives.
Mitchell had been postmaster at Rose Hill for 26 years.
"I lived here since 1942," Mitchell noted. "My husband
lived here all his life. His father and grandfather lived here too.
"I enjoy it," she said about her research. "I have a lot of fun dpr ingit." 7"
Rose Hill did not start out at its current location. The town was located just east of the Rose Hill Cemetery. It was platted in December of 1887^Mitchell said her research showed there were three general stores, a blacksmith shop and a school at this location.
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas & Western Railroad completed its railway near Rose Hill. Within a few years, townspeople decided to move the town closer to the railroad.
In 1901, Chicago, Kansas sold the railway to Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for $90,300.
Rose Hill was incorporated in February of 1955.
Based on the information she has gathered, Mitchell said one of the biggest stories about Rose Hill she had found happened in March of 1926. ______
The first air mail flight out of Wichita went to Rose Hill. It usually took a driver one hour, 10 minutes to reach Rose Hill, but it only took 10 minutes by air.
A severe snow storm kept F.D. Long from delivering his mail for two days. Long, who was 70 at the time, was reportedly not worried about his first airplane ride. He brought 11 sacks of mail with him.
"It's a lot better than driving that old Ford," he was reported to have said after the trip.
This isn't exactly what I told this reporter. I told the Quaker Church was the Mother Church of this area. I said nothing to him about a postal drop".
I told him the present location was platted in 1887.
The error of "Miss Nettie Silknitter" came from the article printed in the Wichita Eagle. It should be Mina Silknitter

UI ■ ■ BLACKSMITH SHOP
thlan»?°a s ®!acksml,h a"** General Repairing shop was located on north Rose Hill Road where the,City Building now sits. Pictured are Virgil Cox, Herb Lawson, Glen Carr and Winlleld OrrelL
(Photo courtesy Lois Mitchell)
ROSE HILL ROAD
This street scene of Rose Hill is looking north on the main street. The team of mules belonged to Ernest Clinger. The P.R. Kinsey story building, on right, was built in 1909. — (Photocourtesy lo. MichoiD
ROSE HILL SCHOOL
Rose Hill Consolidated School opened in 1901 with 146 students. It was studnets in grades sixth through 12th. It was buit with funds from a bond issue of $10,000. — (Photo courtesy Lois Mitchell)
Correction" School built in 1909, grades 1 thru 12
AIR MAIL SERVICE
C.E. Clark flew F.D. Long from Wichita to Rose Hill to deliver the mail in March of 1926. It was suppose to be the first.air mall flight out of Wichita. Roads to Rose Hill had been blocked by big
The city of Rose Hill has hired a full time building inspector, Larry Osterhout, to keep up with building inspecti'ons, code changes and to help with the zoiimg administration. J-
Osterhout has a strong background in fire service having spent many years with fire departments in Hutchinson and Wichita. He also has experience with codes and yicp lations as he has been on-various building code committees and practiced code enforcement as a Lt. Fire Inspector in Wichita.
Osterhout said that, after many years in fire service he felt he could do more service for people by being a proactive code enforcer. When he finds a problem he will respond to it and mitigate it.
“City codes are the kind,of reading that will put you to sleep.” he admits. But it seems to be his bread and butter. He said as a pencil pusher he feels he will do a good service to Rose Hill.
He will research and recommend new codes to the Rose Hill City Council in his new capacity. Osterhout said that there are only 5 or 6 counties out of 105 that have adopted codes in Kansas. His job will be to update Rose Hill’s to conform and be consistent with those counties.
Osterhout will review building plans, issue permits, do on site inspections, and ride honcho over environmental codes concerned with junk vehicles, weeds and health hazard in the city limits.
He’s been on the job for three weeks now and seems genuinely enthusiastic about the job and Rose Hill. He said if the job continues and he sees some longevity, he and his wife, Fran, will move to Rose Hill.
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He said he will, “Enforce city codes with the council’s approval and grant a level of

working on. “It will show what direction the city will progress in for the pleasure of the people who live here,” he emphasized.
safety that the citizens of Rose Hill deserve.
New tity Inspector Lari ~
Ty Osterhout
Osterhout said he is excited about the comprehensive plan the new City Administrator is
Rose Hill Reporte June 29, 2000
Year 2000, Population 3300
By Sally Rathburn
, . A new bank here, a larger church there, new shopping strips here, many, many new homes there. That has been the scene in Rose Hill during the past few months. The little rustic town is shaking the dust out of her older areas and sprouting new growth everywhere.
The population increase has been the motivation behind the growth. Developers have added three new housing additions to Rose Hill in the past year, Primrose, Cedar Crest IV and Sienna Ranch. All told they opened up 200+ new lots for construction.
Rose Hill Christian Church built their initial church thinking it would last at least five years. The building was meant to hold 300 people. Within two or three months the congregation reached 250 people. They held meetings, discussed the situation and prayed on it long and hard. “Finally,” according to secretary Liz Dock, “ We decided to bite the bullet and build on to the existing church.”
Anyone passing this awesome structure in the 300 block of N. Rose Hill Rd can’t help but notice the immensity of its size.. When it’s finished it will hold not only the church sanctuary but classrooms, a good sized gymnasium and a stage with seating for 800 people. There will also be an updated sound and audio system for musical presentations and videos. It should accommodate future growth for some time.
- The Rose Hill United Methodist Church haS purchased land south of town and will bpbUllding a new and biggerchurch sometime in the near future.
Last summer the strip mall holding Jamey’s Sports Bar, That’s My Style Beauty and Tanning Salon and the Red Rooster Gift Shop opened and have enjoyed a good business. Businessman Gene Miller has built another strip mall just to the north of it. Guido’s of Rose Hill will be moving into one of the new stores by August 1.
Prairie State Bank put in a new branch during the past year. According to bank vice president of marketing Bryan White, the Prairie State Bank “targeted rural areas where they expect to see future growth. New bank branches go where they predict the growth will be. And Rose Hill’s population is growing.” White said that if Prairie State hadn’t moved in here, another bank would have as the city is of a size to support two banks.
Rocky Waitt, president of Rose Hill Bank, has expanded his facility on Rose Hill Rd. The bank recently selected a new logo and Waitt said, “ We wanted to update our building and our logo and utilize our facility
better.”
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A new office has been added to the south end of the building and a metal roof overall. The original Rose Room has been changed into offices. Offices for loan processing and
bookkeeping have been added along with a training/nieeting room. Bathrooms and the employees kitchen have been updated.
Waitt said he has noticed more activity at the bank in the last year and wanted to have the space and personnel to accommodate it. A new branch has been opened in Augusta to serve customers in that area.
Armstrong said the ground floor would house the fire equipment and offices.and the second floor would hold living quarters for on duty firemen. He said the best scenario
will be to occupy the new building within
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two years.
The city is also expanding its services to accommodate the new growth. A full time city inspector has been.hired to help cope with building inspections, building codes,
environmental codes, and assisting with the zoning administration.
* The new 500,000 gallon water tower will be put in just east of the high school and football field. According to City Engineer Bob Edwards the 400 day construction time has already begun. The storage tank will made at a plant and constructed on site.
“People should be able to spot ground activity out there during the last week of August or September,” Edwards said. The finished product will be up and running by late summer next year.
Edwards and Professional Engineer Consultants spent many fnonths straightening out the old water system in Rose Hill. It culminated in a new water pump station being built north of Rose Hill by 150th St.
Within the next year the Rose Hill Fire Department will be signing a contract with an architect to design a new two story fire station. Correction. Fire station/Police Station/EMS Station. The new station will be located at 911 N. Rose Hill Rd. south of Jamey’s Sports Bar.
Armstrong said not only will it house fire equipment and firemen, the police department and EMS personnel, there is a possibility that the Butler County Sheriff’s Department will keep an office there, also. This area of the county is becoming busier and busier and the sheriff’s officers would have a base to work out of in Rose Hill.
The new growth is not just about new buildings and houses. And it’s not without it’s pains. The school system is struggling to keep up with burgeoning classrooms. A task force met over a period of months to form a plan to deal with the crowding The recommendations were given to the school' board for consideration. The entire ideal plan would have cost $40 million dollars. The school board is left with the job of paring that huge cost down to something'Realistic and do-able.
Rose Hill, little town on the prairie, we
Rose Hill Repor June 2®, 2000
Hie cox brothers
In our mention, of Jabin and Clarke Cox last week, it read they were charged with having a still and a car load of booze, as well as -other wet goods—they were charged with having stolen tires and acting as a fence forother stolen goods. Th :ir bond was f*5?vd at $2,000 each. Their friends and neighbors heie made 3 or 4-trips—Co-Wellington last week with ample bonds but the authorities of Sumner county found some flaw every time, Saturday, when some one came in with a cash bond, but failed again; the excuse this time was the sheriff was out of town.
As to the booze charge we tried to say that if they had had a still and a car load of booze, and killed one or two men in resisting arrest, their I bonds would probably not been any i higher,- and they would have been al- ( lowed to go cut and hunt bond.
It is claimed that all the testimony j against them was furnished by confessed thieves. They swore they, with their leader took the goods to Wichita' and the leader disposed of the goods, | and told them he had sold them to Cox brothers, and he gave them their part and went away.and they don’t knew where he is, or what his name is, but Blacky is all the name they know for him. Thieving is supposed to have been done by two young boys in Sumner county and Oklahoma under the leadership of Blackie: . The Cox Brothers both lived near Rose Hill until they were married. They have been operating the Hasty Baggage andJTransfer Business on St Francis in Wichita, for over two years and later they have been doing some garage work and handling ascessories and tires.
They were raised By Quaker parents and have always bore the very best of names and have the .perfect confidence of every one who knew them, as has been attested by the effort to get their bonds. They aren’t dene yet, but. will take it up again this week. No one at Rose Hill will believe either of 4he boys guilty of doing wrong until they confess, or are proven guilty by different evidence to what is being used by the State'so far as! reports have it.
Douglass Tribune October 5, 1923
to allow bond. Their bond is fixed at $2,000 each we are told. They are said to have owned an illicit still and a car load of booze and killed a dry officer or two. Their bond would not''be 'any higher if they could go out unattended to raise the bond. No one at Rose Hill thinks, it is anything but a frame up, after' investigating the case.'"-But on the other hand if they are proven. guilty they will get no sympathy, as they have both lived perfectly -clean lives and have good educations and have no excuse for becoming criminals. All Rose Hill is anxiously awaiting the. outcome, and will not believe any of the char until they have teen proyen guilt