Kepley Family's Legacy of Love Continues


They were pioneers who have left their "mark" on Grant County. A mark that continues today as the descendants of those from so long ago continue to give back to their southwest Kansas roots.

Descendants of David and Amanda Kepley established a fund a few years ago in the Grant County Community Foundation to honor their ancestors who pioneered in Grant County in the late 1800s. The Kepley Family has fostered this legacy of community service throughout the years, according to a spokesperson for Grant County Community Foundation.

"Grant County history books are replete with examples of the courage and leadership provided by this pioneer family," the spokesperson said.

Investment income from the Kepley Family Fund was earmarked to benefit the school which bears their name - Kepley Middle School.

"The purpose of the fund is designated to support classroom projects and student enrichment," the spokesperson for the foundation said. "They have chosen this purpose to assure the annual gifts from the fund will be dedicated to student development and it is broad enough to stand the test of time as student needs change. In addition, since the Kepley's have been known for their love of the land and nature, they request a preference be given to projects that support an environmental component."

Kepley Middle School was presented a check earlier this month to continue the spirit of giving started by the Kepley family. The amount of the gift or what it was earmarked for, was not readily available.

David and Amanda Kepley had a homestead in southwest Grant County near the now extinct town of Golden in 1888, according to the Grant County Kansas history book.

Golden was once located on the North Fork of the Cimarron River. It was established in 1886 in what was then Hamilton County before Grant County was created. A post office was established there September 27, 1886.

The Kepleys moved to the area from Indiana, when their son, Edward Austin, was only 10 years old. The couple's other children included: Anna, Lida, Belle, Franklin, Viola, Emma, Stella, Elodie, Dolpha and Clarence. "David
and his sons" were once known as the "broomcorn kings."

Descendants who are mentioned in the history books have been credited with

Austin was noted to have been one of the first to "use deep well irrigation and other progressive ways". Also having spent some time as a teacher, he is said to have always had a "deep interest" in education.

Over the years, Kepley family members have been very active in various local organizations and serving on a number of boards. Kepley family members have operated businesses here, maintained the family farm and more. They have maintained their love for the community, particularly in the areas of education and farming.

And descendants are who are keeping the investment income going for the benefit of education and the youth of Grant County.

"When I was a kid, I loved coming to stay in Kansas every summer," said Ken Keusler. "My summers were spent in the warm embrace of people who loved their families and made their living farming the land. It is an honor for me to donate to this fund in memory of my mother, Eva Kepley Keusler.

The fund is an "established endowed fund", therefore, donations can be made to it in any amount, at any time.

"We hope our shirttail cousins and future generations of Kepleys will also donate to assure the fund increases each year," said Keusler.

The fund made its first gift to Kepley Middle School in the spring of 2019, with annual gifts to the school following.

"What a wonderful legacy from this fine family to the students who represent the future," the foundation spokesperson noted.

Lori Deyoe, President of the Grant County Community Foundation, said the fund is "an excellent example of philanthropy."

"I hope other families will follow their lead and establish a family fund in the foundation," Deyoe said. "You don't have to be rich to make a lasting difference for your community. You just need a caring heart. An endowed fund in the foundation can be started with as little as $2,000, and you have five years to bring the fund to $10,000, when it is permanently endowed."

For more information contact Grant County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 69, Ulysses, KS 67880, or call 620-356-2592 or 620-356-4233. You may also email them at


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