Shopping, dining, entertainment, recreation — Cowley County has it all. Our historical downtowns are lined with locally owned boutiques, specialty shops and culinary establishments — perfect complements to your favorite department- and chain-store shopping.
Cowley works — Cowley Works for You!
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What do residents have to say about Cowley County?
Anthony Stonerock – Making a Home
I moved to Cowley County a little more than a year ago. I grew up in Southeast Kansas in the small town of Girard. I graduated from high school there and then attended Pittsburg State University. It was some training for a new job that first brought me to Cowley County. As I made the drive from southeast Kansas, I watched as the flat fields gave way to the rolling terrain of the Flint Hills and I remember feeling like I had stumbled upon a hidden gem of natural beauty concealed within a state stereotyped for its lack of scenery. My training lasted three days, but within that small time frame, the atmosphere of the communities and the people themselves had made a lasting impression. Cowley County, although completely new and outside the comfort zone of my friends and family, felt like a place I could call home. When I returned from my trip, I told my girlfriend how much I enjoyed Cowley County, the people in those communities, and how I couldn’t wait to take her there sometime. As fate would have it, in less than two years I would accept a position with Community National Bank & Trust in Winfield, while my girlfriend turned fiancé, Taylor, simultaneously accepted a job offer from William Newton Memorial Hospital. Taylor and I married three months after moving to Cowley County, and we will be celebrating our year anniversary on Oct. 5 in a community we look forward to making our home.
Eddie Weigel – Getting Unstuck
Like my parents, I was born and raised in Cowley County. My mother grew up near Atlanta, and my father lived in the house my great-grandfather built back in 1895, on the family farm five miles west of Burden. Having gone to early grade school at Country View, graduating from Central-Burden, and graduating from Southwestern College in 1993, I have been blessed to have great number of people I can call my friends from all parts of Cowley County. After Southwestern, I graduated with a masters in science from Kansas State in 1997, and then moved to San Antonio and began working at Southwest Research Institute. I spent the next 15 years working on various NASA and ESA spacecraft instrumentation. I have worked on several projects through the years: the Mars Curiosity Rover, Cassini-Huygens, New Horizons mission to Pluto, and the International Space Station. Even during this time, I was a small-town Burden kid ‘stuck’ in the big city. Then I met my wonderful wife, Stephanie. As our daughters grew, returning home and getting the girls into a smaller school, near family, really pulled at us. We set in motion our plan to relocate to Kansas. In November 2012, Stephanie and girls packed up and moved to Burden, while I finished up work in Texas. In July 2013, I was finally able to join them and move back home to rural Burden. I started a software engineering company called Big Head Endian, out of Burden, which continues to work on spacecraft missions. Since returning home, it has largely been like I never left. I have picked up on friendships where they left off several years ago. I feel blessed to offer the wholesome, Midwest lifestyle to my daughters; Julianna, Angelina, Gracelea and Lilea. We have been back a short time, but all of them already consider Raider-country their home.
Amy and Curt Massey – Sweathearts return home
Curt and I started dating in middle school. According to our parents, we were ‘married’ in kindergarden at the old bike trails off of Fifth and Kansas Avenue. After we graduated from Ark City High School, we made the decision to attend Coffeyville Community College, mainly so Curt could play football, but also because we wanted nothing more than to ‘get out of Ark City!’ After Coffeyville, we moved to Topeka, where we both attended Washburn University and Curt played football. I graduated in 2006 with my bachelor of social work degree and went on and earned my master of social work degree in 2007. I immediately began working for a foster care contracting agency in the area. Curt graduated in 2008 with a bachelor degree in physical education. He began working at a private elementary school as a PE teacher and began coaching football and track at a private high school. Lynlee was born in 2007 and the twins, Cason and Cooper, were born in 2010. While living in Topeka, we refused to let our children play outside. It was not uncommon for police sirens and random break-ins to happen within blocks of our home. Ark City was different. It was a place where we knew most of the people and had great childhood memories. We were so lucky that our local school district had two openings that would allow two alumni to return to the area and do what we both love doing. Curt now teaches at IXL and Francis Willard and is an assistant coach for ACHS football and track. I am one of three counselors at ACHS and I also help coach at ACMS for volleyball. Since moving back, we love that the kids can go out back and play, and we don’t have to hover over them like we would have in our previous city. Our daughter can ride her bike to her friends house, and we aren’t afraid to let the kids roam around the neighborhood with all the other kids and play. Ark City is full of great traditions; a place where we will always call home.
Myles Grant – Coming Home
I was raised in rural Cowley County just outside of Arkansas City, graduating in 1994 from Arkansas City High School. With the world at my doorstep, I elected to complete an associate’s degree at Cowley College before heading to Kansas State University to complete my bachelor’s degree in milling science. While attending Cowley College, I worked part time at the local flour mill. It was there I realized my career path. After graduating from KSU, I began my career with ADM and had the opportunity to live in several places around the country. Fast forward 15 years or so, and when the chance to bring my wife and children to my home came, we discussed the opportunity and came to one conclusion. It has been great returning to the area, which we believe is an excellent place to raise a family.