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Revitalizing Hoisington should be high priority for county
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To the editor:

I read the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “Commission to talk Hoisington revitalization” (Jan. 31 issue, posted online Jan. 30). I am very supportive of more attention being paid to the city of Hoisington and its revitalization.

While the town got a lot of county, state, and even national attention when the devastating F-4 tornado hit the middle of Hoisington in April 1991, it has largely been ignored since then. Or, at least, fallen out of the limelight. My mother Gloria (Riedl) Marples was still alive and I remember driving around Hoisington many weeks later seeing the devastation. My mom was especially thankful that the historic St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church was spared. One of the stained-glass windows along the north wall was financially sponsored by the family of Ignatz Riedl, who was one of my mother’s relatives.

While a new school and many other businesses have thrived, some have not done as well as others. I enjoy seeing the older buildings in downtown Hoisington such as the Masonic Lodge, the Knights of Columbus hall (I happen to belong to both fraternal orders – just not in Hoisington), banks, repair shops, and various stores. One thing that I have always wished for was better signage along U.S. 281 from Great Bend going northward to “boost patronage” of various Hoisington goods, services, businesses and attractions.

In my viewpoint, this wouldn’t hurt Great Bend one iota; in fact, it might induce both cities to survive by showing citizens places they can go for the people and products they seek. Hoisington shouldn’t merely be known as “the town where U.S. 281 and K-4 intersect.” I think it is best to promote the best of the old, and provide incentives for not only growth, but also tourism. The various churches of all denominations in Hoisington can play a pivotal role in this. Farmers depend on grain elevators and, of course, banks. Good smooth roads and high-quality schools in a small town can’t be beat. Those are some of the many virtues of Hoisington.

Let’s hope Barton County accentuates the positive aspects of Hoisington. May its future be pleasant, productive, peaceful and prosperous for all.

James A  Marples