Friday Finds

Have you used microfilm to locate obituaries? With deep Kansas roots, I took advantage of the newspaper microfilm collection at the Kansas State Historical Society to locate many obituaries of my ancestors and cousins. Those early days of research produced hand-written notes that may or may not have been word processed.

While I’m able to access some of those same newspapers on to get digital images, a few of those newspapers are yet to be digitized. Thus, I’m relying on those old notes and/or documents. As I was reviewing Mentzer data, I found that those old notes are the only source I have for the obituary of George Edward Mentzer (1911-1986)

George Edward Mentzer
George Edward Mentzer came to gladden the home of his
parents, Ernest and Edith Mentzer April 9, 1911 in Woodson
County. He departed this life Oct. 7, 1986 at the age of 75
years, five months and 25 days while visiting his family in
Reno, Nev.
He will be greatly missed by his family of three sons,
two daughter-in-laws and two grandchildren, Bruce, Carol,
Ben and Morgan, Stanley and Teresa of Reno, Nev., and Scot
of Kansas City, Kan. He also leaves six brothers, Tye,
Newton, Iowa; Austin, Ensign, Kans; Keith, Reno, Nev.;
Burdette, Yates Center; Norryce, Wenatchee, Wash.; Donald,
Reno, Nev.; and one sister, Juanita Baldwin, Middletown,
Conn. He was preceded in death by his parents, two
brothers. Laddie and Lovell, and one sister, Fleta
Ed’s childhood was spent in the West Owl Creek
Community He received his education at the Oakland School
and Yates Center High School. He was baptized in the Yates
Center Methodist Church at an early age. He started working
on the Missouri Pacific railroad at Durand, Kan., during the
1930s and worked there until he joined the U.S. Army in the
770th Railway Operating Battalion, March 10, 1942. He spent
most of his time while in the service in the Pacific
Theatre. After his discharge on Dec. 23, 1945, he returned
to Wichita where he continued to work as a baggage man on
the railroad express.
Ed had his first heart attack in 1975 while living in
Kansas City. At that time, he moved to Yates Center and
made his home here until his death. He really enjoyed
getting reacquainted with all of his old friends.
After eye surgery in 1980, he was totally blind.
However, that did not stop many of his activities as he kept
up with all the football and baseball games and all of the
news going on. Of course his favorite past time was visiting
with all of the people who came to see him.
Heartland Genealogy
Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct. 11, 1986, at
10:30 a.m. from the Campbell Funeral Home. Place of
internment Yates Center Cemetery. Memorial to Meals on

5 thoughts on “Friday Finds

  1. There’s an obituary that I’m looking for and last I checked, that year was not yet digitized. Been thinking of a trip to Kansas to check the microfilm one day.

    1. mcphilbrick

      Digitized Kansas newspapers are in several places: Chronicling America, and on public library sites hosted by Advantage Preservation. The historical society used to have a list that helped figure out whether a paper has been digitized but I can’t find said list. Kenneth Marks does keep a list of FREE digitized newspapers. Be sure to check the local public library to see if they either have the papers or have digitized them. Many libraries have paid for the digitization and most but possibly not all will be on Kenneth Marks list.

      1. Thank you! I checked again. I’m looking for a post 1923 paper from Beloit, KS and it’s been microfilmed but I can’t find it digitized yet. It may be a copyright issue.

      2. mcphilbrick

        No promises, but I might be able to make a trip to Topeka and get it for you. I would need details. You can send them to me via email at mcphilbrick at

      3. Thanks! When I get back in town, I will check my research log for details. I’ll be on the KS-CO border today to see family but that’s as far into KS that I usually get.

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