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Victory Electric and CoBank Award “Sharing Success” Grant to Ford County Historical Society

The Victory Electric Cooperative, Assn., Inc., is pleased to announce Ford County Historical Society as the recipient of this year’s Victory/CoBank “Sharing Success” Grant. The Ford County Historical Society was awarded two checks totaling $10,000 – $5,000 from Victory Electric and $5,000 from CoBank – to help make repairs and restore the Home of Stone – Mueller-Schmidt House.

“The Ford County Historical Society is a group of volunteers who have come together to help preserve history and artifacts associated with Dodge City and Ford County,” said Sonya Hughes, treasurer of the Ford County Historical Society. “The Home of Stone - Mueller Schmidt House is one of the few remaining connections to the colorful characters of our past and remains a rare, original glimpse into our community’s rich history.”

Built between 1879 and 1881, Home of Stone - Mueller-Schmidt House is proudly perched atop a hill on Vine Street, just blocks from downtown Dodge City. Built to be one of the grandest homes in Dodge City, it remains the lone limestone house and is the oldest building in Dodge City still on its original site.

The home also has the distinction of only having two families to have ever lived in the home. German immigrant John Mueller, his wife Karoline and children, came to Dodge City from St. Louis in 1875. His boot shop on Front Street did well enough that he was able to invest in a saloon and three cattle ranches. In 1879, he started building his home. It took 18 months to build and was completed in 1881. After the great blizzard of January 1886, John Mueller lost all his cattle (75,000 head) and had to go back to boot making. After two catastrophic Front Street fires, he and his family returned to St. Louis. On March 4, 1890, the home and furnishings sold to Adam and Elizabeth Schmidt for $5,000. Ford County purchased the home in 1965, and opened as a museum in 1968.

“The Home of Stone – Mueller Schmidt House is a unique and important part of our local history and it’s great to support an organization dedicated to preserving that rich history and increasing tourism to our historic community,” said Shane Laws, Victory Electric CEO. “I’m pleased, on behalf of Victory Electric, to award this grant to the Ford County Historical Society.”

The annual “Sharing Success” grant opportunity, capped at $10,000, is made possible by Victory Electric’s governing board of trustees, in partnership with CoBank – a cooperative bank that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. CoBank believes strongly in the cooperative principle of “Concern for Community,” and partners with its customers to support worthy causes as a way to make a positive difference and fulfill its mission of service to rural America.

“Thanks to our board of trustees and CoBank, the ‘Sharing Success’ Grant has enabled Victory Electric to give back to the communities we serve,” Laws said. 

This is the sixth year Victory Electric has awarded “Sharing Success” grants to local non-profits. Applicants must be federally recognized as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The Bucklin Library received the grant in 2012 to help fund the construction of their new library building. In 2013, the Mission of Mercy dental clinic in Dodge City was awarded $10,000. The project funded in 2014 was the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma for their “Suits in Space” exhibit. In 2016, local shelter and food bank, the Manna House, was awarded the grant to repair and upgrade their facilities. And last year, the Depot Theater to upgraded their theater sound system.

For more information on the Victory/CoBank Sharing Success Grant or how your organization can apply, visit our website at victoryelectric.net/content/cobank-sharing-success-grant.

Pictured: (L-R) (front) Shane Laws, VEC CEO, Erica Land, Stone House manager, Kent Stehlik, Historical Society president. Second row: Don Wiles, Floris Jean Hampton, Jan Scroggins, city commissioner, JD Gilbert, county administrator, Amy Grasser, VEC manager of corporate services, Angela Unruh, VEC CFO. Third row: Ryan Miller, VEC operation manager, Kenny Wehkamp, VEC board trustee, Sonya Hughes, Historical Society treasurer, Wayne Keller, Historical Society member. Fourth Row: Chris Boys, county commissioner, Shawn Fletcher, assistant county administrator, Cedric Drewes, VEC board trustee, Denzil McGill, VEC IT manager, Shawn Tasset, county commissioner.

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