It may still be the middle of winter, but the Osage County Historical Society is preparing for spring and the society’s annual Heroes and Legends program, which celebrates the professional and social contributions of accomplished members of the community.


The Historical Society began its annual Heroes and Legends recognition program in 2016, and the 2020 honorees will be the fifth group to have their contributions to the life of the county celebrated. The 2019 honorees included artist Cha’ Tullis of Hominy, Pawhuska lawyer W. Robert Wilson, Pawhuska and Barnsdall businessman Milton Labadie, Skiatook businessman and aviation enthusiast Chester “Chet” Reyckert and the late Mabelle Kennedy, a Pawhuska business and political figure.


The Historical Society’s board of directors said last Thursday night that 2020 honorees will include the Rev. Kenneth Woodhams of Pawhuska; Osage artist Wendy Ponca of Fairfax; veterinarian Jan Johnston of Pawhuska’s Johnston Veterinary Clinic; John David Israel of Wynona, a western-goods craftsman known for his high quality spurs and bits; and the late Kenneth M. Taylor of Hominy, a decorated World War II veteran who is known for having helped to defend Pearl Harbor from aircraft launched by the Japanese fleet on Dec. 7, 1941.


The Osage County Historical Society is planning its 2020 Heroes and Legends dinner and program for the evening of Thursday, May 7, at the Ag Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds. The event consists of a catered meal, introductions of honorees and remarks by honorees or their representatives. The program helps to spread knowledge of the accomplishments of distinguished residents of Osage County, and to create an historical record of the value placed on those accomplishments by the community as a whole.


The Osage County Historical Society Museum is located at 700 Lynn Avenue in Pawhuska. Call 918-287-9119 with questions about museum hours and historical collections.