Honoring the perseverance, resilience, and sacrifice of our ancestors is an American tradition on Memorial Day. To shed light on these inspiring stories, the Trego County Historical Society Museum is currently hosting two exhibits that takes a look at life in a rural community and recreating a monument to Trego County men and women who have service our nation.
Crossroads: Change in Rural America
The Trego County Historical Society Museum has joined with five other Northwest Kansas museums to host a special Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit, called Crossroads: Change in Rural America.
Our installation coordinates with the main Smithsonian exhibit that is on display at the Gloria Nelson Cultural Arts Center in Norton, Kansas from May 1stto June 13th. As part of the larger five-part, regional exhibit, WaKeeney’s installation, along with Hoxie, Oberlin, Colby, and Goodland, explores the future and sustainability of small towns through the local events that have affected our Northwest Kansas communities. Local exhibitions, public programs, online resources, and the Smithsonian exhibition is meant to inspire thought-provoking questions as we consider the future of America’s rural communities.
During your visit to WaKeeney’s museum, don’t forget to pick up an exhibit passport to collect stamps while visiting the other participating museums. Once you’ve filled your passport, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a prize awarded by the participating sites.
The Veterans Honor Roll
The Trego County Museum has recently been busy recreating a military monument that once stood in Downtown WaKeeney’s Courthouse Park on the corner of Russell and Main.
The original Trego County Honor Roll was built in 1944 by the WaKeeney Lions Club to honor the men and women who served in World War II. The memorial included over 600 names of those that served during the war. In the late 1960’s, the Honor Roll was replaced with a new memorial under the direction of the WaKeeney Jaycees. This memorial still stands in the courthouse square.
The 16’ x 10’ replica is constructed of wood, with a marble stucco design that resembles the original honor roll from the 1940’s. The new Honor Roll will include the names of those that served from Trego County, starting with WWI to the present day.
Accompanying the monument is a Roll Call book with each service member’s name, years served, and their military branch. The exhibit will be a permanent addition to the military collection at the museum and curators are currently gathering names to add to the board. Some records are unavailable, so if you would like to add the name of your loved one, please, contact the museum to find out how.
The Trego County Historical Society Museum is open Tuesday – Friday 10am to noon and 1pm to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday by appointment. In May, the museum is open on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and will be open on Memorial Day from 11am to 3pm.