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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Home on the Range cabin 140th anniversary

  • Not only does this year mark the 140th anniversary of Dodge City, but it was also 140 years ago that Dr. Brewster Higley built a cabin about eight miles north of Athol, Kansas. That cabin, which is still standing today, is where “Home on the Range”, the state song of Kansas was written by Higley himself.


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  • Not only does this year mark the 140th anniversary of Dodge City, but it was also 140 years ago that Dr. Brewster Higley built a cabin about eight miles north of Athol, Kansas. That cabin, which is still standing today, is where “Home on the Range”, the state song of Kansas was written by Higley himself.
         In honor of this historic event Smith County is having a celebration on July 4 at the actual cabin, located at 7032, 90 Road, Athol, KS 66932.
         To begin the festivities Dodge City’s own Marshal Allen Bailey will perform cowboy music with the Ozark Alliance, and his wife Cowgirl Janey. Although he didn’t say, you can bet that one of the songs that they will perform will be “Home on the Range.”
         The Ozark Alliance is a professional music group from Sligo Missouri. Made up of Dennis Vaughn on banjo, Robin Vaughn on bass, Alex Vaughn on guitar, Jenny Vaughn on fiddle and mandolin, and Allison Vaughn on snare drum. Bailey has performed with them at past events.
         “I was so excited when I heard that the cabin was turning 140 this year,” said Marshal Allen Bailey. “I knew they would do something to celebrate and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.”
         Bailey’s performance is even more exciting because it will be the first time someone has performed at the cabin in front of an audience in the cabin’s history.
         The event will be a fundraiser for the cabin, which is in need of some drastic repairs.
         “Money raised at this event will go to restoring the cabin to as close to original form as possible,” said Bailey. “So generations to come can continue to enjoy this historical location.”
         In addition to Bailey and the Ozark Alliances’ performance there will also be other performers, story tellers and re-enactors to help make the history come alive, food and drinks will also be available throughout the day. The event is free to anyone who wishes to attend.
         Earlier this year the cabin was awarded $24,600 in grants to help with the restoration efforts, but more money is still needed to complete the project. Hopefully, after the 140th celebration there will be enough funds to fully restore the cabin.
         “I am so honored and excited to be part of this great event,” said Bailey. “To be the first people to perform in front of an audience at this location is really an incredible thing, and I’m so glad I get to experience it.”
           
    If you go
    What: 140th anniversary of the “Home on the Range” cabin.
    When: July 4.
    Where: 7032, 90 Road, Athol, KS 66932.
    Cost: Free.
    Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at Julia.kazar@dodgeglobe.com
    Page 2 of 2 - Born in Rutland, Ohio, Brewster Higley began studying medicine at La Porte Medical College in La Porte, Indiana at the age of eighteen. After graduating in 1849, he resettled in Pomeroy, Ohio and established his first medical practice. He briefly practiced medicine in Indiana and finally moved to Kansas in 1871 to claim land under the Homestead Act of 1862.  This year the Homestead Act turned 150 and the cabin Higley built turned 140.
     

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