Council Grove

(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas. And you know Frank when I first moved
to Kansas 20 some years ago, one of my favorite places to visit was
Council Grove. And going down to eat at the Hays House, stay at the
Cottage House Inn and just see all the historic sites. And really a famous
site along the Santa Fe Trail and that has remained one of my favorite
sites. And one of these days when I get around to it, I want to do a story
on Daniel Boone and his impact on opening the West. And of course his
great grandson was Seth Hays who opened the Hays House Restaurant. His…I
can’t remember now, son or grandson was an Indian agent back in the day
even before this was a territory, up around Perry. There’s a highway
marker there, historic marker on Highway 24, just a little northeast of
Perry that talks about his being an Indian agent to the Kaw or the Osage
that were right there. There’s lots of connections and so, I was in
Council Grove. Always a good time when we go to Council Grove. But had a
really good time a couple of weeks ago and I want to share that with you.
(Frank) And I have some history there too because Kit Carson, my Great
Grandmother was Kit Carson’s niece. (Deb) Really? (Frank) And he traveled
the Santa Fe Trail. (Deb) He sure did. (Frank) Many times. (Deb) Many
times. (Frank) Anyway, let’s talk about Council Grove. (Deb) For folks who
love the American West, Council Grove might be considered the heart of the
story. The last jumping off place before travelers headed for Santa Fe,
Council Grove and Morris County have a past full of stories and
personalities. It is the quintessential western town, in the
quintessential western landscape. In July, hundreds of believers came
together to celebrate that identity. The Morris County/Council Grove
Chamber sponsored a concert by Michael Martin Murphey, joined by his son,
Ryan, and western artist/musician Gary Roller, to raise both money and
awareness. Council Grove resident Frank Goodrich is the president of the
Murphey Western Institute, founded to further the study of the history and
culture of the American West. The multi-award winning and multi-million
record-selling Murphey is a champion of ranching and western history and
supports so many causes in Kansas he might as well be a Kansan. He lends
his name and talent to raising funds for the Home on the Range Cabin and
its projects near Smith Center and often appears at the Prairie Rose
Chuckwagon in Benton. Murphey spoke about his love for the West and the
significance of this area at a pre-concert dinner at the Hays House, a
local landmark. While folks enjoyed the legendary buffet, Murphey spoke
about his own life experience, growing up in Texas and his path to success
in music. Later, his concert was sprinkled with tidbits of history and
stories of his songs. He also confirmed what many in the crowd know but
it’s nice to hear someone else say: this place they call home has an
important place in American history and so many of the people who have
passed into legend were right here. That is a story worth sharing. The
crowd loved his music and his message, crowding the table for his
autograph and CDs after the show was over. Diane Wolfe, chamber director,
and Dave May, emcee for the night’s event, hope this will mark the
beginning of many live music events that celebrate the heritage and the
spirit of community. They are off to a great start.