Bud and Alice Mae (Howard) Rodgers, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Bud and Alice Mae (Howard) Rodgers

Meandering column by Bev McCollom
from The Gyp Hill Premiere October 22, 2007

I became a daily patron of the Sweet Shop in 1945 when it was purchased by Bud Rodgers. I was in high school, as were all my friends, and the Sweet Shop became the place to go.

The songs of that era - and the artists - couldnít be beat. We didnít go to the Sweet Shop with dates; we were there altogether and took turns dancing with different partners.

Over those three years we particularly enjoyed Accentuate the Positive by Johnny Mercer; Iím Beginning to See the Light by Harry James; Rum and Coca Cola, the Andrews Sisters; White Christmas, Bing Crosby; Oh, What it Seemed to Be by Frankie Carl; the Old Lamplighter, Sammy Kaye; Ole Buttermilk Sky, Kay Kyser; Prisoner of Love by Perry Como; I Love You for Sentimental Reasons by Nat Cole; Anniversary Song, Dinah Shore; Ballerina, Vaughn Monroe; Five Minutes More by Frank Sinatra - and many, many more.

Bud Rodgers was the first son born to Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Rodgers in El Dorado, Kansas. He graduated from Medicine Lodge High School in 1935. On October 5, 1938, Bud was married to Alice Mae Howard at the First Christian Church in Anthony by the Reverend Rinehart, who had been pastor at Medicine Lodge.

Alice Mae Howard was born in Nash, Oklahoma, on November 10, 1919, the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Howard. The Howards moved to Medicine Lodge, where Mae attended school for 10 years. Then they moved to Sharon, where she graduated from Sharon High School in 1937.

Bud was working for Barbara Oil. Then in 1941 the family moved to Hutchinson, where he worked for Lane Wells Company. They moved back to Medicine Lodge in 1942, as Bud had joined the Army. He served with the 78th Infantry, seeing action in Italy and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge. When Bud returned to Medicine Lodge 14 months later, he bought the Sweet Shop. A few years later he sold it, went back to the oil business, but business for himself had great appeal.

In 1959 he bought the DeWeese Grocery at the corner of South Main and Highway 160. The name was changed to Rodgers Grocery, and the Rodgers successfully ran their Mom and Pop store for 20 years.

The Rodgers had five children. Terry, the oldest, served three years in the Army.

He received his Masterís Degree from Emporia State and served as a counselor in the St. John schools. He then had his own insurance company in Garden City. He and his wife have two children. Jerry, who was tragically killed in 1979 by a falling tree, obtained his BA, then attended Mortuary School in Dallas. He owned two funeral homes - one in Monte Vista, the other in Del Norte. Colorado. He and his wife had two sons.

Two daughters, Sue and Jan, both attended Emporia State, then were married.

They both live in Dodge City. Sue had three children and Jan had two. Randy, the youngest, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kansas State University, then received a Fellowship to study at the University of Wisconsin, where he received his Masterís Degree in Wildlife Biology. He became a wildlife biologist for the Kansas Fish and Game Commission.

Bud and Mae lived at 211 East Lincoln, where Mae still resides.

Budís parents, Forrest and Leontine, were pioneers in the oil and gas industry in Barber County. Short, as Forrest was known by all, started working for Barbara Oil in El Dorado in 1915. In 1928 Short was brought here to help bring in a well for Barbara Oil, which led to the oil field by that name.

The Rodgers lived in the Union Chapel area where they raised their five children, Viola, Warren, Stanley, Barbara, and Joan. Short worked for Barbara as superintendent and was there when another big field, the Rhoads Pool was developed.

Then in 1946 Leontine became the first florist in Medicine Lodge. They had moved from Union Chapel into town. Rodgers Floral, a florist shop, greenhouse, and nursery serviced 10 cities or more in the area. Leontine loved to design, and she gained national recognition when one of her float designs was selected for the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

In 1956 when poor health caused Short to retire, the Rodgers sold the flower shop so they could spend summers in Colorado and winters at home in Medicine Lodge. When Short died in 1966, Leontine continued with her needlework.

More next week...

(From the list of graduates of Medicine Lodge High School, it appears that Bud's given name was Warren Rodgers.)

Thanks to author Bev McCollom and publisher Kevin Noland of The Gyp Hill Premiere, Medicine Lodge, Kansas, for permission to republish the above column.

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