KANZA Chapter of OCTA

~ Oregon-California Trail Association~

Regular Meeting Minutes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Riley County Historical Museum, Manhattan, Kansas

At 2pm


Officers in attendance:                          Board of Director Member in attendance:      

  __President – Pat Keegan                         _X_Don Cooper – past president – Board of Director Member

_X_Vice- President – Glenn Larson              _X_Ted Hopkins - Board of Director Member

_X_Secretary – Alicia Keegan                     _X_Lauranell Stewart - Board of Director Member

  __Treasurer – Marilyn Hines                       


Vice-President Glenn Larson presided over the meeting in the absence of Pat Keegan, President.


We welcomed Jim Ryan who is a KANZA member from Manhattan but is seldom seen. Jim passed out a Freedom Frontier Museum survey to be completed by the available membership.


Motion to approve the June regular meeting minutes as written was made by Duane I. and 2nd by Lauranell           


Treasurer’s report was given by Glenn: Marilyn had reported via email the total KANZA cash in account is $9,085.09.

Glenn turned in the bills: two for postage and post cards equaling $60.00 & another for the lap top battery $60.88.

Glenn will get these bills to Marilyn. Jim B. will send Marilyn his bills for the past 2 newsletters.


Committees – monthly reports:

  1. The Chapter recognized the Hopkins as our host for the meeting.
  2. Alicia reported that there was no July Rut Nut outing and there will be no August Rut Nut outing.
  3. Jim B. reported that the next newsletter will be in August; however, he will delay it for a brief time, for any possible articles & photos from the convention.
  4. Alicia reported that she has been getting the meeting notification out to the newspapers 2 weeks prior, and asked if anyone has not seen the notices. Lauranell reported that she has not seen notices in the Wamego paper and gave the name Mark Portell to use when sending in notices.
  5. Ted told us that through out his research on the Magraw Cutoff he has yet to find out how it came to be called such. On an 1857 survey, it shows the road and it is called the ‘California-Marysville Rd.’.
  6. Jim B. mentioned that at the Riley County Genealogical Society in Manhattan there is a book (vol #4) - about the Roushi Family History…when he looked up Henry it said to look in vol #2…he looked into the purchasing of these books and it would be under $100.00 with the highest booked marked at about $24.00.
  7. Glenn reported that the   KANZA web site has had no damage (by hackers), and he is going to be adding a page for links such as: OCTA’s credit card application, various similar groups/organizations.
  8. Duane I. spoke briefly on the OCTA credit card, by mentioning that if a person would apply for one the first purchase would result in OCTA getting $50. Then the following purchases a percentage of the amount credited would be given to OCTA.


KANZA‘s 2008 Award Nominees: Richard & Arlene Schmitz’s nomination for Friend of the Trail; Gary Naughton nomination for the volunteer award; have both received notification that they have been excepted.


A change in the number of yearly meetings to be held in the upcoming years was brought up at the June meeting. There was great discussion on this, and in the end those present liked the way things are and asked that it be left alone. There is a fear that cutting back will result in loosing persons. This was noted from a couple members with involvements in other groups that have done this. If you can make it you come, if not see you soon.


  1. Copies of the Trail Dust newsletter, Northwest Trails newsletter, & The Fifty-Niner newsletter/ the gold miners’ letter article / telecommunication tower facility in Westmoreland letter, were all made available and passed around to be read.
  2. In early June the chapter was contacted by Carol Sullivan, Project Manager of the RESCOM Environmental Corp out of Traverse City, MI; on the proposed tower project near the city of Westmoreland, Ks. They were inquiring about whether our organization is aware of any National Register Trail properties that would be potentially affected by the project. She had previously spoken with Lee Kreutzer, NPS, who directed her to the KANZA Chapter. A response letter has been mailed to the telecommunication tower survey company (RESCOM Environmental Corp.)
  3. KANZA report for the Convention Board Meeting has been sent in.

4.       The Pottawatomie Economic Development group has put up 4 signs under Rodney B. supervision at the Louis Vieux Elm, Westmoreland, Weststar Nature Park, and the other area was forgotten at this time in the conversation. These signs are plastic with a 10 year warranty on weather protection and are replaceable. They consist of images of the site they are depicting and trail history.


Laurenell is concern about having better signage & information on the cholera cemetery. It was told that there is a (sign) at the cemetery besides the one on the road. The road sign is her concern it is not eye-catching and we have this great find and no one knows. Visitors think the family cemetery is the Cholera Cemetery.


Announcements & Reminders:

  1. OCTA's newest adventure in film, In Pursuit of a Dream, got underway on Thursday, June 26. Be sure to follow the progress of our film by clicking on the "In Search of a Dream" link, which is also on our home-page at www.octa-trails.org. Our cast & crew are providing daily diary updates and the occasional video update.
  2. OCTA's new Affinity Visa card is now available. Duane I. had spoken on this earlier.
  3. We have a copy of the application Travis submitted for the National Trails Award, on the Gardner project. The project is complete except for the native grass & wildflowers, which will be planted in the autumn when the weather cools off a bit. (att.)
  4. Message from Bill & Jeanne Watson, Legislative Liaisons for the Oregon-California Trails Association: on new bill S-3213 - the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008. (att.)


The program was a self-guided tour of the Riley County Historical Museum; then guided tours of the outside of the Goodnow House; it is under maintance, and the Hartford House.


Motion for adjournment was made by Jim B. and 2nd by Duane I.


Next meeting will be at the Convention. Which Kansas residences are going? So far we know that the Wiekert’s, Keegan’s, Jim Ryan, & the Isle’s are going. Are you? See you there!











Email from Glenn Harrison

                     June 3, 2008


I am requesting that the next chapter newsletter in each chapter include the following article. (Sorry that it is long, but it is important.) Thank you. - Glenn

Many Advantages, But Play by the Rules
by Glenn Harrison, OCTA President

The Oregon-California Trails Association is the preeminent guardian and promoter of the inspirational story of the 19th-century American westward migration. However, individuals and even chapters sometimes forget the benefits and requirements of membership. This is a reminder that OCTA provides many advantages to support chapters and members, but chapters and members must play by the rules.
OCTA’s mission is to protect the historic emigrant trails legacy by promoting research, education, preservation activities, and public awareness of the trails, and to work with others to promote these causes. OCTA’s mission of preservation, appreciation, and enjoyment trails goes beyond any chapter. These are issues that must be dealt with in a consistent manner at the national level. To achieve its mission, OCTA’s Strategic Plan lists four goals with appropriate objectives and implementation actions:
1 – Preserve the historic emigrant trails,
2 – Be an effective historic trails organization through appropriate partnerships,
3 – Improve organizational and management effectiveness, and
4 – Keep OCTA’s base membership energized.

Key features of OCTA include:
• OCTA is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with affiliate chapters, and donations made to OCTA are tax deductible. However, the IRS requires an annual report from OCTA that includes financial information of the association and all of its affiliate chapters. If any chapter does not submit the necessary financial information on time, it could jeopardize OCTA’s tax exempt status, thus affecting all its members.
• OCTA provides blanket liability insurance while on any OCTA or chapter outing or activity, but our insurance company requires that a waiver agreement be signed for each outing or field trip. If an outing occurs without using the required signed waiver forms, the chapter, its officers and board, and the outing leader could be held liable for damages. Because there are legal and liability issues, only OCTA members and chapters that are in compliance may use the initials OCTA.
• OCTA conventions include speakers, tours, awards, and other activities. This year the convention will be held August 5-9 in Nampa, ID, so make your plans and turn in your registration form, which may be done online.
• OCTA and its chapters hold symposiums and other gatherings in different parts of the country. OCTA is sponsoring a major symposium on trails in the Southwest to be held from Friday through Sunday, Jan. 16–18, 2009, in Yuma, AZ. It will involve members of OCTA and several other trails and historical organizations and will be open to the public with a different registration fee for members and non-OCTA members. The Mid-year OCTA Board meeting will be just prior to this symposium. All chapters put on quality symposiums or other events.
• OCTA recognizes the importance of all western migration trails. Articles on these trails and emigrants who used them appear in OCTA’s Overland Journal. Speakers on a variety of trails have appeared at our national conventions. OCTA’s map, made in cooperation with the National Park Service, includes nearly all of the historic western trails—far more than are recognized by federal legislation.
• OCTA members receive the Overland Journal and News From the Plains. In addition to the OCTA magazine and newsletter, members may receive e-mails from OCTA and have access to OCTA’s Web site.
• OCTA Trail Preservation Workshops have been conducted in most chapter areas and were attended by many trail enthusiasts. OCTA’s Mapping Emigrant Trails (MET) manual is now used by all agencies for recognizing and mapping trails. When OCTA chapters participate in mapping and marking activities, OCTA should be provided with a copy of the quad maps. This helps keep track of all emigrant trails and what has been mapped.
• The value of mapping and other volunteer hours and expenses recorded by OCTA members is used to match grant funding for trail markers and cost share grants for other OCTA projects. It is an important figure submitted to congress each year to support NPS funding. Your donated time is greatly appreciated as is your support through dues, special donations, and convention attendance. You might consider donating your tax refund or rebate to OCTA.
• Each chapter president or a representative is a nonvoting member of the OCTA board. We appreciate having most chapters represented at each meeting. This chapter representation at each meeting is important.
• By holding one board meeting at the convention site and the Mid-year Board meeting in a different part of the country, the OCTA board is more accessible to the members.
• Any OCTA member may be a candidate for the OCTA board.







• As an outgrowth of OCTA’s Census of Overland Emigrant Documents (COED), Paper Trail is the expanded website database created by OCTA volunteers from thousands of 19th century trail-related documents. Paper Trail is at www.paper-trail.org. A committee is working on having this research information available as a member benefit.
• OCTA is developing “In Pursuit of a Dream,” an adventure video illustrating the difficulties and joys of the emigrant experience. It will be available for schools and television programs in 2009. Video clips will be available for educational opportunities as a part of this project. OCTA’s “Saving a Legacy” video illustrates what OCTA members do and may be used when addressing groups to talk about trails or emigrant migration.
• OCTA volunteers work with the U.S. Senate and House members in an effort to add migration trail routes and cutoffs to the existing National Historic Trails System. To increase our effectiveness, OCTA is part of the Partnership For The National Trail System, which is a coalition of historic and recreational trail organizations with similar interests.
• OCTA Members get a discount when purchasing at the OCTA store.

OCTA has granted charters to 14 chapters that agreed to fulfill the requirements of gaining and maintaining chapter status. If a chapter does not remain in compliance with its charter and OCTA’s policies and guidelines, it may be disbanded for failure to comply. Furthermore, OCTA’s bylaws state, “Only a dues-paying member of the Association in good standing shall be eligible to become a member of a chapter.”
If chapters adjust their membership year to coincide with the member’s OCTA anniversary month, then it is easier for members to renew or join OCTA and chapters. Individuals may become a member of one or more chapters by paying the chapter membership dues and may remain a chapter member so long as his or her membership in OCTA is current and the chapter membership dues are paid. We encourage you to pay OCTA and chapter dues at the same time by sending a check or other form of payment to OCTA headquarters. This practice has enabled members to join multiple chapters. (See www.octa-trails.org and click on “Join OCTA.”) When such payment is received, OCTA then sends chapter dues to the appropriate chapter.
Receiving a chapter newsletter shows interest, but is not membership. We need members who are willing to support OCTA’s efforts by joining even if they are no longer able to actively participate. When I was the Northwest Chapter president, we had a situation where a longtime member mailed in chapter dues but didn’t include OCTA dues. Even though she was 102, I made the contact and she paid her dues.
Since all chapter members must be OCTA members, if anyone is not an OCTA member they are not chapter members, even if they paid dues to the chapter. If someone is not a chapter member, they are not eligible to be a chapter officer. We can do more together than any of us can do alone.
I hope that the individuals who have done good work over the years as part of OCTA and one or more chapters will continue to participate as members of OCTA and continue that effort. It is important for members to participate in OCTA and chapter activities whenever possible. Thanks for your continued support of OCTA.









Patrick Keegan

KANZA Chapter of OCTA

                                                                            2666 D Rd.

Baileyville, Ks 66404-8465 



Kansas Department of Transportation

121 SW 21st. Street

Topeka, Ks



To whom it may concern:


We would like to have our organizations name entered into the drawing for free computers and laptops. It is our understanding that the laptops have already been awarded for this year, but we would like to be placed on a list for the next available laptops. Laptops would be nice for use in our field work. We could use 3 additional computers for the mapping chairman, research chairman, and the secretary.


We are an historical, educational and non-profit organization. Our tax number is ____________. The purpose of our organization is to walk, mark, map & GPS existing visible trail in northeast Kansas. Our mapping program requires gps information to be transferred to a program on a computer which then is shared with OCTA headquarters and the National Park Service, via internet.


We do research by reading diaries, journals and reminisces and by searching for materials at the Kansas State Historical Society Library and local libraries. We also search for sources on the internet. The communication between chapters and headquarters is mostly done via the internet. We share forms, documents and much more. We work with the NPS, AFHA, BLM and other organizations, and also with government officials at the state and federal levels.


We are looking to get computers for KANZA projects, so that these projects don’t interfere with our daily computer needs on our household computers.


Your help would be greatly appreciated,



Pat Keegan

President of KANZA Chapter of (OCTA)

Oregon-California Trail Association


Oregon-California Trail Association (OCTA)
KANZA Chapter of OCTA