The Hesston Record
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Hesston, KS 67062
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Hesston Record 7.24


Hesston Record 7.24

Turkeys Get 'Royal' Treatment At Hesston Plant

Posted 11/25/2013

By Jackie Nelson

Editor’s Note: A very special Thank you to Elnor  for brining in several wonderful newspaper clippings and personal notes regarding the old Royal Turkey Plant.  This information made for very interesting reading and was perfectly timed with Thanksgiving.  We greatly appreciate her interest in local history and encourage readers to bring us story ideas and information. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

In writing this story The Record and several associates went on a wild turkey chase tracking down the date that the plant closed.

As of deadline, and many, many phone calls on Monday, Carl Boyer got us to the closest approximation of 1967 as the date the plant closed.  We would love to hear from Hesston folks who have a history with the plant, or are familiar with the plant and a date Hesston turkeys received official pardons.

 In January, 1946, Al Weaver and Roy Troyer had a vision, to open a turkey dressing plant in Hesston.  On Nov. 8, 1946, their dream became a reality with the opening of the Roy-Al Turkey Plant at the Hesston Mill.

While the turkey plant celebrated its formal beginning in 1946, Weaver, president of the company, had established the business over a decade prior.

“Weaver actually started the business back in the 30’s when he started doing some custom dressing at his far two miles south of Hesston. Then, shortly after World War II, Weaver and Troyer – who serves a secretary treasurer for the corporation – formally started their present business,” read an article in the Wichita Beacon, written by Joe Gilmartin. 

The first year, Troyer and Weaver employed 20 people and dressed 400 to 500 birds per day, according to the Hesston Centennial book, written by Murray Bandy.

Only 4,000 turkeys were processed the first season the plant was open.

Production swiftly increased to meet demand. According to the Wichita Beacon, the Royal Turkey plant, in addition to turning out turkeys, contributed greatly to the local economy. 

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Hesston High Singers Kicking Off Christmas Season

Posted 11/25/2013

Record Staff

 The Hesston Singers will be out spreading Christmas Cheer on Wednesday, Dec. 4

The Singers will begin their Holiday Tour at 8 a.m. at Hesston Elementary School with a performance for the Kindergarten class.

Following the performance at Hesston Elementary, the Singers will move on to Schowalter Villa, HCCC, Pine Village in Moundridge, to Newton, performing at Bethel for a life enrichment group.  The group will wrap up their tour at Kidron Bethel around 11:45 a.m.

According to Director Jessica Harrison, the Singers have a full schedule for the day.

“We will spend about 15 to 20 minutes with children groups. We plan to sing two songs of ours and then do a group sing-along of favorites with the kids,” she said.

When it came to performances for adults, Harrison said the Singers will have a wider repertoire.

“At the nursing homes, we sing three songs in each section we stop in.  At Schowalter Villa I believe we will be singing in three sections.  At Kidron Bethel, we will sing in each of the three dining rooms, since we will be there at lunchtime.  We will have Pine Villages performances in three or four different sections as well,” she said. 

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Arboretum Luminary Filling The Air With Light, Music

Posted 11/25/2013

By Jackie Nelson

Over the years, the Winter Luminary Walk at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains has become a tradition for many people in South-Central Kansas.

This holiday season, visitors are invited to take time to slow down and enjoy time with family and friends by being a part of this unique event that illuminates the natural beauty of our prairie gardens in winter.

 Arboretum staff will be bringing to life the story of "The Nutcracker" ballet. Complete with life-sized nutcrackers, dancing, singing, and the well-known music of Tschaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite”.

The luminary walk will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 29 and 30, and on December 6 and 7.  

The cost of the luminary walk is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $2 for children (ages 3-15).  Children under 3 years of age are admitted for free.  Proceeds help to maintain the 28-acre arboretum. 



As usual, on both weekends participants can warm themselves by the bonfires with s'mores. Cookies baked by the Hesston Women's Civic Club and hot almond tea will be served in the Visitor Center.  

In addition, a holiday open house of the Arboretum gift shop will feature the work of local artisans from 3 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 29 and 30, for those who wish to shop local for the holidays. 



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Hesston Chamber Hears From R.E.A.P.

Posted 11/25/2013

Record Staff

 The Hesston Chamber of Commerce met on Thursday, Nov. 21 and heard from Paul Downs, the Planning Director of R.E.A.P. (Regional Economic Area Partnership).

Prior to the meeting, several Chamber businesses had announcements.

• Passion for Pets announced on Saturday, Dec. 7, Santa would be at the store to take photos for dog and cat owners. A $10 donation is suggested for photos; $5 will be donated to Operation Christmas Child and $5 will be donated to Caring Hands Humane Society.

• Hesston College announced it will be hosting the year-end Chamber luncheon on Dec. 5.

• Chamber member and Hesston Wellness Center Director Jason Jones reminded Chamber members of the Chamber Food Drive.

Harvey County Administrator John Waltner introduced Downs to the Chamber.

“R.E.A.P. is an organization that encourages communities to plan for down-the-road 40, 50, 80  years from now. It is a big-picture organization that looks at transportation and infrastructure,” said Waltner.

Downs said organizations like R.E.A.P. prevent crisis and mandated change and steer communities toward proactive planning.

“We make changes for two reasons – emergencies and crisis based and if they are mandated.  R.E.A.P. is proactive.  We think of how topics touch each other. We are all familiar with department heads that come in and talk about the needs of their department or area. We have to connect the dots,” said Downs.

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