Thursday, October 15, 2009

Olsburg Pride

The Kansas Pride program is a citizen‐based approach to improving the quality of life in the more than

60 enrolled communities in Kansas. Since 1970, the Pride program has grown and evolved, like the

Kansas communities, to meet their ever changing needs. Pride has assisted and encouraged

communities to prepare for the future by building on their past and forming a vision of the future. The

constant challenge to remain viable and provide a high quality of life can be achieved through the

comprehensive Pride approach. Pride encourages citizens to work together to identify community

improvement projects.

The program is co‐administered through the Kansas Department of Commerce and K‐State Research and

Extension. Kansas Pride Inc is a nonprofit organization.

Each year the Pride Program gives out tow awards, the first one is the Star Award, which recognizes

outstanding projects that address a community need, a higher level of citizen involvement and enhances

the quality of life in Kansas. The second of these awards, the Community of Excellence Award, is

awarded to communities that are following a community improvement process.

Olsburg is a small town nestled in the Flint Hills of Kansas. There are 192 people residing in the city

limits and approximately 200 or more in the rural area. According most historians, Olsburg was founded

in 1880 when the Kansas Central Railroad ran its line thru this area. Some historians can go back a far as

1853. Most of the original settlers were Swedes and Norwegians. It is said that Ole Trulson migrated to

the area in 1862 and some say he gave his name to Olesburgh. He also established the first post office.

Others say that when that when Ole Johnson established his drug store in 1880 that the town was name

after him. Burgh is the Swedish word for town. The name Olesburgh was anglicized to Olsburg

November 7, 1887.

The Swedish Methodist Church began in 1880, and then in 1881 a Swedish Lutheran Church was

established. In 1880 a school house was built then destroyed by a tornado and rebuilt in 1882. All the

churches took turns, holding their meetings in the school house, as it was the first public building. Many

of the buildings built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are still in use today. One of those buildings still

in use today is the crockery store which was build around the turn of the century. As the city came

together in the 1880’s Olsburg proved it was and still is a city that can come together for a good cause.

As the Topeka Daily Capital said in 1889, “Olsburg has always had that… element of big moral


The City of Olsburg joined the Pride program in 1979 but never extended its enrollment, then re‐enrolled

in 2001. In 2002 Olsburg won the Community of Excellence award for a variety of projects. Several

funding raising events were held to help fund the annual summer festival; sings were erected at the city

limits embellished with the Swedish Dala Horse. Also in 2002 the Olsburg Community Pride group came

together and painted the house of a deserving resident.

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