Harold Dermont Arend – 1997 Inductee

Harold Dermont Arend was born October 3, 1893, on a farm northwest of Downs in Ross Township, Osborne County, Kansas.  The son of Franklin and Susanne (Bowers) Arend, Harold,  or “Dutch” as he was known all his life, attended the local schools and graduated from Downs High School in 1913.  Between 1914 and 1917 he taught school in Osborne County at Greenwood Rural School, District Number 44, and in the Osborne city school system.  He was a student at the University of Kansas in Lawrence when the United States entered World War I in 1917.  Dutch enlisted and became a fighting “doughboy” in the American Expeditionary Forces to France, where as a first lieutenant he saw action in the Argonne Forest and elsewhere and was a Purple Heart recipient.  After his discharge in 1919 he was employed for a time by the McPike Drug Company of Kansas City, Missouri.  On June 28, 1926, he married Hildegarde Krobst in Kansas City.  Hildegarde had experience in the ladies’ ready-to-wear business, so the couple settled in Dallas, Texas, where they operated a wholesale ladies’ ready-to-wear house for ten years.

In 1937 the Arends moved to Beloit, Kansas, and opened a ladies’ ready-to-wear shop.  Later Dutch also operated the 24 Grill restaurant.  A life member of both the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas and the Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers, Dutch also became a major figure in local affairs, holding membership in the Beloit Lions Club (as charter member and past president), the Masonic Lodge, the Order of the Eastern Star in Downs, and the Mystic Shrine at Salina, Kansas.  He was a member of the board of directors for the Beloit Community Hospital and was active in both the Boys Scouts and American Legion organizations at the local, district, and state levels.  Dutch also served three terms as president of the Beloit Chamber of Commerce and was a director in the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member and chairman of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Industrial Council.

“H. D. Arend has probably given more time and talent to state and community work than any other one person in Mitchell County.  He was selected in 1950 for the Who’s Who in the Midwest and the reason for the choice is [that] he was among the best known men and women of the Central and Midwestern states in all lines of useful and reputable achievements and was selected on account of special prominence in the creditable lines of effort.” — Beloit Daily Call, October 3, 1955.

In August 1942 Dutch began serving the first of three terms as Mitchell County Representative in the Kansas legislature.  In the legislature he was noted both for his wisdom and school experience in working with the various committees that dealt with school district reorganization and for his term as chairman of the House Committee on Education.  For ten years he was the local Home Service Director for the American Red Cross, and in July 1947 he was appointed Mitchell County Probate Judge to serve out an unexpired term of office, which ended in November 1948.  A stroke in 1951 slowed down his busy life, possibly brought on by over-exertion in his zeal to serve his fellow citizens.  He was in and out of hospitals after that, and spent a year in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in hopes of improving his health.  Harold Arend died in Beloit on February 11, 1956.  He was buried in the Downs Cemetery.

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