Bissell Buzz 2015/07

July 25, 2015

There was no Fun Friday this week due to the Fair, as announced in the previous report and the joyful laughter of the children was really missed this week.  We were advised at the last minute that there was indeed a booth available for us at the Fair due to a cancellation.  We basically had one day to put things together and a salute to our President Connie Cox who pulled it off.   Instead of working to a specific theme, we tried to have items that represented each display area of the Fort.  An interesting item not displayed before, is the intertwined horns and skulls of 2 deer.  They died as a result of their fighting and getting their horns locked.  This item will be placed in the Critter Cabin after the Fair.

Fort Bissell is currently one of 20 nominees for the 3 Wonders of the Midwest, a competition run by Kansas Praise Radio.  After initially being third behind the Garden of Eden and Bowl Plaza both in Lucas, we jumped to first position on Friday.  Voting ends on Friday July 31st. We would appreciate every possible vote.  Voting is online at and one can vote every day.   We would be so proud if we could bring this award home.

Quite a few people visited the Fort this past week with their RV’s.  Without exception they have commented on the wonderful variety of exhibits that we have here on display.  Obviously our visitors have a love for history as well as for the old items.  When taking them through on a tour, there are a few items that we usually try and test their knowledge with.  Very few have managed to know what the items are.  To know what we am referring to, you need to come and visit in person!

Did you know this about Dr Mary Glassen?  December 4th, 1970 was declared Doctor Mary Day by the Phillipsburg Chamber of Commerce.  On this occasion President Richard Nixon sent her a personal telegram via Western Union with the wording: “Your pioneering efforts in urging the adoption of enlightened mental health care throughout the state of Kansas have been rewarded with a success that has earned you the admiration of all your fellow citizens. Your exceptional career as a pediatrician is a model of professional dedication, and your selfless willingness to perform so many necessary public health services in your county at a time when it lacked a public health office have won you the enduring affection and gratitude of those you have served. It is most fitting that Phillipsburg has declared a day in your honor in recognition of a debt that can never be fully repaid.  I am pleased to join in the sentiments of this occasion, and proud to express my personal admiration for your career. RICHARD NIXON.”   Her book “How to sleep on a windy night” written by Vera Chance Ward has many testimonials of distinguished people who also honored her.   On the dust cover it is stated: “At the age of 68 she still sees an average of 50 patients daily, delivers babies and makes house night calls.”  She most certainly was a woman of substance and one that Phillipsburg can still be proud of.   We have many items from her practice on display in Heritage Hall.

Our hours are Tuesday to Friday 9am – 4pm and Saturday 9am – 2pm.  Closed Sundays and Mondays. Regular updates and photos are posted on our Facebook page.  We can be contacted on (785) 543-6212 or by email at  Remember entrance is FREE. See ya at the Fort!!

Ruby Wiehman – Curator