July 19, 2016
For use: Immediate
Finney County Historical Society
Contact: Steve Quakenbush, 620-272-3664
TWO NEW HISTORY EXHIBITS OPEN AT FINNEY COUNTY MUSEUM
The Finney County Pioneer Exhibit, located next to the museum gift shop in the main display hall, honors the 2016 recipients of the annual Finney County Pioneer Award. “Take Your Seat” is the latest in a series of revolving Front Door Gallery features, located just inside the main entrance.
No one knows whether the first place to sit in Finney County was a simple bench, an ornate chair hauled by wagon or train, or just a spot on the ground where one of the community’s founders decided to dismount and rest awhile. There have been thousands of places to take a seat since the community’s founding in 1879, however, and the Front Door Gallery exhibit offers about a dozen examples.
Those include a pair of rotating stools familiar to 20th Century lunch counter patrons, a colorfully painted child’s chair from the 1940s, and a Mission oak rocker that once stood in the Fleagle family home. There is also a plush living room chair from the 1930s, at least two pieces labeled “Garnand’s Good Home Furnishings, Phone 26, Garden City, Kansas,” and seating from both the Windsor and Warren Hotels.
There’s even an 80 year-old example of the kind of little chair that many toddlers still encounter during their toilet training. The Front Door Gallery offers changing exhibits throughout the year, and previous 2016 displays have included “Signs of the Times” and “Images of Native America.”
The Finney County Historical Society has selected more than 100 recipients of the Finney County Pioneer Award since the annual honor was initiated in 1974, and this year they include the Albert and Cecil Algrim family and the Gilbert L. and Eliza Jane Holmes family. Pictures and memorabilia from both have been incorporated into the cabinet-based Pioneer exhibit.
The Algrim family, which arrived in Finney County in 1932, has been involved in farming for multiple generations. The family’s members have devoted themselves to fields ranging from education to health care, as well as military service and church involvement. The Algrims helped host a local visit from President Dwight Eisenhower more than 50 years ago, and two Garden City streets are named after family members.
The Holmes family moved to Garden City in 1884, and farmed near town co-founder C.J. Buffalo Jones. Members served in the Civil War and the local Grand Army of the Republic post, played roles in early community development and helped fund the soldier’s memorial erected over 100 years ago at Valley View Cemetery. They have involved themselves in community and church activities for six generations, as well as providing service in the U.S. military.
The honor is based on long-term presence in the community and significant contributions to local history. The exhibit will remain in place for a year.
The museum is located at 403 S. Fourth in Garden City’s Finnup Park, and hours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. In addition to the two new displays, there are more than a dozen additional features in the museum’s main hall, Spirit of the Plains Gallery and Temporary Gallery. The museum gift shop is open simultaneously with exhibits, and the historic William Fulton House inside Lee Richardson Zoo is open 2-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, with summer tours supported by the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau.