Rooks County Museum
921 South Cedar, Stockton, KS
Rick Gianni – Coordinator
The current museum, dedicated in 1994, was preceded by the original museum located at the fairgrounds. A limestone statue of a draft horse from the Woodston Big Barn graces the front of the museum. The statue was carved by Pete Felton, a well-known Hays, Kansas artist.
Frank Walker, a local farmer and businessman, donated the building and many items to the Rooks County Historical Society allowing them to complete what has become one of the nicer museums in Northwest Kansas.
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and by appointment by calling the number below.
Phone: (785) 425-7217
Admission: Free (donations accepted)
Features of the Museum
The museum features one of the largest displays of dolls in the area. The dolls are part of a personal collection donated to the museum by Lloyd and Zelma (Atherton) Rader. Zelma grew up in the Bow Creek area of Rooks County.
Lorenzo Fuller was one of Rooks County’s more famous residents. Born and raised in Stockton, Lorenzo was awarded a scholarship to Julliard School of Music, was in the cast of several Broadway shows, toured Europe in the cast of “Porgy and Bess” and appeared on the CBS weekly program, “American Musical Comedy Theatre.” Some instruments are on display in the museum.
A true old-timer could also appreciate the display of farm tools, clothing, machinery, and even some items used to handle law breakers. You might be surprised at how many items take you back to a time in your life when things were a little simpler.
Other displays at the museum include items from a one room schoolhouse, information and pictures about the Big Barn near Woodston that met its demise when struck by lightning, and numerous pictures from each of the county’s towns.
The museum also has many records available on obituaries, genealogy, newspapers, yearbooks, land and schools. Several books and other souvenirs are available for purchase and hundreds of brochures available on travel opportunities in Kansas.
For genealogy information, the museum has numerous sources available, including computers specifically set up for genealogy research. Classes are also held to help with research techniques.
Make it a point to visit the museum whether you are a traveler just passing through or a local resident who wants to know more about the history of Rooks County.