Energy Education Center Groundbreaking 

Located at Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum

Board members of the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum picked up shovels and hard hats for an on-site groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.  

El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Phil Benedict, left, Museum Executive Director, Tiya Tonn, center, and museum employee Tyler Melugin, right, welcome attendees alongside an artist’s rendition of the future Energy Education Center.

A crowd of supporters gathered to witness Phil Benedict, Executive Director of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce,  the emcee for the event with Brad Nightengale, Senior Vice President of Vintage Bank, Caiden Bump, Sales Manager of El Dorado Building Systems, Bill Young, Mayor of El Dorado, and Loren Jack speak during the groundbreaking event.

Supporters excited to watch the Energy Education Center come to life were on hand to witness the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We are excited to share that it is for our new Energy Education Center,” said Jack.

The Energy Education Center, a new facility spearheaded by Loren Jack, Owner of Albert Hogoboom Oilfield Trucking and President of the Board of Trustees, will be an indoor event center equipped with exhibit showcases, tables, seating, a stage, technology for presentations, a kitchen with a service window, and a 14ft access door for special equipment. 

Pictured left to right are Executive Board Members/Building Committee Members President Loren Jack, Vice President Tim Myers, Board Member JR Hogoboom, and Treasurer Sean Maclaskey.

“This building will allow for interactive STEM activities that look to the future while honoring the museum’s mission to preserve the history of the oil industry,” said Jack.

The addition of the Energy Education Center will free up space in the Large Exhibit Hall to expand displays and add exhibit features from the Museum’s extensive historic collections.  The combination of these new features is estimated to bring 15,000 additional visitors per year to the Museum and El Dorado. 

To learn more about this project, visit www.kansasoilmuseum.org/energy-education-center

William Allen White and the KKK In Kansas

Beverley Olson Buller, author, educator, and Chair of the William Allen White Children’s Book Awards, will be at the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 2 p.m. as part of the museum’s Sunday Speaker Series.

Beverley Olson Buller, author, educator, and Chair of the William Allen White Children’s Book Awards

She will be speaking about El Dorado native William Allen White’s efforts to outlaw the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Kansas.   

As the editor of the Emporia Gazette, White was acutely aware of the growing presence of the KKK in Kansas following World War I, according to Buller.

The 1920s saw the re-emergence of the KKK across America, and sparked fear and violence against African Americans and other minority groups. 

During the 1924 Kansas Gubernatorial campaign, White observed that none of the candidates were free of Klan influence, and decided to run for the governorship to free Kansas from the disgrace of the Ku Klux Klan.

While he did not win, his efforts led to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the Klan in Kansas

Tickets can be purchased for a $10 donation to the museum at 383 E Central Ave, in El Dorado, or by calling (316)321-9333.

Dr. Jim Hoy to Speak

Life in the Flint Hills – Then & Now

Dr. Jim Hoy to share his recollections and reflections of the Flint Hills on Thursday, December 12th at 2 p.m. at the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum.

Dr. Jim Hoy is the author of the book, My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America’s Last Tallgrass Prairie.

His conversation, titled “Life in the Flint Hills – Then & Now,” will feature his experiences living and ranching in the Flint Hills of Kansas.  The Flint Hills are the last of the expansive bluestem prairie that once ranged from Canada to Texas.

Dr. Hoy will hold a book signing of his book, My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America’s Last Tallgrass Prairie, following the presentation. A $10 donation is suggested to attend the event but is not required.

Dr. Hoy is professor emeritus of English, Emporia State University, and director emeritus of the Center for Great Plains Studies. Among his many books are Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales from the Tallgrass Prairie, also from Kansas, and, with Tom Isern, Plains Folk: A Commonplace of the Great Plains.  His books can be purchased at the museum.

Cemetery Tours

This time of year brings trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards and haunted houses. However, a fun and unique alternative is to take a cemetery tour.  The Butler County Historical Center Home of the Kansas Oil Museum is hosting their annual event on the two Saturday’s leading up to Halloween, Saturday, October 16th and Saturday, October 23rd.

There are two primary cemeteries in El Dorado; Sunset Lawn and Belle Vista. A dispute has existed as to which cemetery is oldest but it is likely that Sunset Lawn is the oldest with its first burial documented in 1872. 

Belle Vista Cemetery Tour attendees in 2019 listen as a reenactor Tom Penning brings the story of Nathan Frazier to life. 

The tours in 2019 were held in Belle Vista Cemetery and there were no tours in 2020.  

This year, the tours focus on Sunset Lawns Cemetery.  Guests are invited to walk back in time, accompanied by a tour guide, to listen to reenactors of prominent El Dorado and Butler County figures as they tell their stories. 

Tours will be held at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. and are limited to twenty participants each tour.   

Tickets are available with a $10 donation per person and must be obtained in advance, in person, at the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum located at 383 E Central, or by calling (316)321-9333.

Wilbur Clayton Barrett, recently returned home after dying at Pearl Harbor, is one of the many people buried in Sunset Lawns.

Summer Concert on the Green

And National Night Out

The Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum is hosting a summer concert on the museum lawn on Tuesday, August 3rd at 7 p.m.

The family friendly event featuring the Treblemakers Gospel Singers is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.  Free ice cream will be served for the first 100 people.

The event also occurs on the same night as “National Night Out” which will take place at East Park from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

“National Night Out is an opportunity to bring neighbors and police together for an evening of fun,” according to the El Dorado Police Department. “It works to build a safer community and strengthen partnerships between the community and police.”

The community is invited to join the El Dorado Police Department for an evening of food, games and prizes and then walk over to the museum and conclude the evening with the “Summer Concert on the Green.”  

Fun and games at National Night Out in 2019
Food served during National Night Out in 2019 was prepared by the El Dorado Red Devil Chefs.