Orville Grant Guttery – 2001 Inductee

Orville Grant Guttery, son of Charles and Victoria A. Doak Guttery, was born May 4, 1886, at Alton, Kansas. Later she married Louisa May Conn at her home east of Alton on April 15, 1908.

Grant, or “Crackie,” as he was both known as, was instrumental in saving much of the early history of Osborne County. In 1928 he canvassed the entire county to discover all marked and unmarked graves of Osborne County military veterans, saving many from oblivion in the process, and led a campaign to place military markers on their graves. For 40 years he took photos of Osborne County rural schools and homes. Many of these are now the only known images left of these places, and are preserved in the Osborne County Museum. Grant also led the movement in 1930 to place a proper monument on the grave of fellow Hall of Famer and noted early Osborne County resident Hiram C. Bull.

Grant was 50 years ahead of everyone else in his thinking. As such Grant was considered a little odd or different, by even his own family. He had a variety store in downtown Alton where he repaired shoes in the back, and sold antiques and milk from a single cow. He had penny candy up front for the kids. He was an antique dealer long before there was such a thing. On the window of his store was the word “RELICS” to describe what he sold. He was a member of the Woodmen Lodge of America and was a devoted church worker in the local Methodist church. He drove a Model A coupe and derived a great deal of pleasure collecting used frames and lenses for the organization known as “Eyes for the Needy,” having sent hundreds of frames and lenses to them.

Grant’s collection of scrapbooks is on file in the Osborne City Library, Osborne, Kansas. Between these covers are many historical articles on the city of Alton and of Osborne County in general.

Louisa Guttery passed away on January 20, 1957. Grant lived alone after the passing of his wife until he also passed away, on December 16, 1959.

In 2011 Grant’s collections of stories and letters concerning the early history of the town of Bull City – later called Alton – were gathered from his scrapbooks and posthumously published by Ad Astra Publishing under the title Tales of a Town Named Bull City.

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