Mrs. Hunt, a native of the County, was born on the family farm in Middle Creek Township
    and was graduated from Paola High School in 1918. From 1940 to 1969, Mrs. Hunt ably
    served the County as Clerk of the District Court. Mrs. Hunt's lifelong interest has been in
    the preservation of Miami County history. It was through Mrs. Hunt's untiring efforts to
    finance the purchase of the original building, which housed the Miami County Historical
    Museum and its collections, that the Museum became a reality. She served as Treasurer for
    the Society for the first ten years of its existence.
    Mrs. Hunt, with the assistance of Mrs. Mildred Russell, established the Library on the
    second floor of the Museum. Mrs. Hunt rescued countless records from the Courthouse,
    when it was restored, which otherwise would have been destroyed. The Library has all the
    early marriage licenses issued by the County beginning in 1878, shortly after Kansas
    became a State, and all rural school records since 1900. The Atlas collection, dating from
    1878 to 1927, shows land ownership and changes in ownership during those years. Ezra
    Robinson's early history of the organization of Miami County is on file in the Library.
    An unofficial county historian, Mrs. Hunt has been responsible for researching Courthouse
    and newspaper records for hundreds of people all over the country who have requested
    information concerning their ancestors who were the original settlers of Miami County, and
    for sending to them her findings. The Library at the Museum, for which credit for its
    establishment is Mrs. Hunt's, provides a fountain of information for historians and
    genealogists, and the material is available to all who wish to use it.
    Without Mrs. Hunt's dedication to establishing an historical library at the Museum, it is quite
    possible there might not have been one. The County is deeply indebted to Ethel Wise Hunt.
    Our Museum is proud and honored to dedicate this Website to its Volunteers.
    It started out with two remarkable Miami County women whose many years of service
    toward the preservation of Miami County history and the establishment of the Historical
    Museum cannot be underestimated.
    Sister. M. Charles McGrath, a member of the Ursuline Community and a former president
    of the Community, was one of the original leaders in organizing the group influential in the
    restoration of the Courthouse.
    She was an incorporating member of Lakemary Center, a founder and director of the Senior
    Citizens Center, attended the White House Conference on Aging in 1971, and was
    instrumental in organizing the Meals-on-Wheels program. Sr. Charles has served as
    president of the Miami County Historical Society and was one of its founders.
    Sr. Charles was an organizer and member of the Miami County Cultural Arts Council, a
    member of the Board of Directors of ECKAN, and of PACA, the Paola Association for Church
    Action. Sr. Charles was honored by Governor Robert Docking with the Senior Citizen Award
    of Kansas.
    The five acres of Ursuline property on which Medicalodge is located was given by the
    Ursuline Order, thanks to Sr. Charles. The Day Care Center on the grounds of Lakemary
    Center was also Sr. Charles' idea, and she was instrumental in its organization.
    In 1976, Sr. Charles edited The Church History of Miami County, and is the author of “Out
    of the Sunset”, a historical novel based upon her family's coming to Miami County.
    For 44 years, Sr. Charles taught French, English and Journalism at the Ursuline Academy
    and Junior College. Her contributions to the welfare and betterment of Miami County and
    to Paola, and her influence for good are of the greatest significance to this community, and
    to Sr. Charles, the Historical Society pays homage.
    Ann Davis
    Belinda Wolf-Whitaker
    Ben Maimer
    Bernice Chitwood
    Bettie Ore
    Betty Bendorf
    Carl Buchman
    Carol Everhart
    Charles Ayers
    Chris Keuser
    Colleen Ewan
    Darlene Sutherland
    Darrell Williams
    Eleanor Richardson
    Elizabeth Zacharias
    Elsie Cordle
    Fran Burcham
    Hannes Poetter
    Iris Kluber
    Jeff Hartl
    Jim Bousman
    Joan Mueller
    JoAnn Curran
    LeAnne Schields
    Lloyd Peckman
    LuAnne Debrick
    Mildred Haley    
    Natalie Franz
    Nina Gerken
    Noah Franz
    Ona Neuenschwander
    Pat Erickson
    Phil Reaka
    Rob Roberts
    Roger Shipman
    Sheila McNerney
    Tim Brown
    Vera Dakin
    Our Volunteers
Ethel J. Hunt
M. Charles McGrath
Hannes Poetter Design and Sponsorship - all rights reserved
Miami County Historical Museum - 12 E. Peoria, - Paola, KS 66071 Phone: 913-294-4940
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