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McPherson County Commissioners Take Possession of a Hat Rack with Significant History


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON COUNTY, Kan. — McPherson County Commissioners took possession of a hat rack Monday, one that has a lot of history tied to it.

Retired Sheriff and former Commissioner Harris Terry a few years back came into possession of a hat rack that once belonged to James T. Griffin, who served as sheriff from 1927 to 1931. Back then, sheriffs served two-year terms, and it was common practice for the sheriff to live in an apartment at the jail, as he was responsible for feeding of prisoners. The sheriff would usually provide his own furnishings for that apartment.

In doing research of Griffin, he came across a 1944 newspaper article in connection with the 50th anniversary of the construction of the McPherson County Courthouse that revealed an important role he played in his main profession as a stone man. Griffin was one of the two people who set the cornerstone of the Courthouse in 1894.

Commissioners plan to obtain a plaque with that history to go with the hat rack.

During Monday’s meeting the commission approved replacement of windows in the Noxious Weed Department Shop. Alan Weis Construction of Lindsborg submitted the low local bid of 11,523 dollars, most of which was budgeted for this year with a little over two thousand dollars to come from a capital outlay reserve fund. Weed Director Dan Schrag said the window replacement should save the county money in the long run as they are having a lot of issues with leaky windows making it difficult to heat and cool the office and shop.

Schrag also reported an old truck from the department sold on Purple Wave for 4,300 dollars, and roadside spraying should be starting shortly.

Commissioners approved agreements with Prairie View and Valley Hope from the county’s share of an Opioid settlement. Each entity will receive 18 thousand dollars from the settlement, and per agreements the organizations have already signed they will be required to submit annual expenditure reports, to the county, which will be used on the annual report it has to submit on opioid funds to the state of Kansas.

The Commission approved the hiring of a new employee for the Register of Deeds Office, to start next Monday. The Commission also approved a promotion of an employee in the Public Works Department to Maintenance Worker 2 and an end of introductory period step increase for another employee in that department, and authorized a cell phone allowance of four dollars a pay period for that employee who works in the sign shop and handles callouts.

Public Works Director Tom Kramer also provided an update on the 27th Avenue project, which could be opened to thru traffic about any time.

Commissioners also appointed Mikayla Boge (BO-gee) to fill the vacant clerk position for South Sharps Creek Township, as recommended by the other two trustees of the township.