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Communities

Fifty years ago, a drive through rural Webster County wouldn’t have been complete without coming to a rural community. At one time, dozens of communities existed throughout the county, each filling a unique void in the puzzle. The list goes on and on: Forkner’s Hill, Olga, Bracken, Zenar, Prospect, Susanna, Rader, Lon, High Prairie, Ebenezer, Panther Valley are just a few of the names many rural residents remember well.

Although different in various ways, rural communities tended to share a few central elements, such as a local store, church, school and perhaps a post office. The store was one of the area’s gathering places, where locals would gather both to purchase items as well as catch up on the latest news.

Many of the communities began to disappear in the 1960s, when travel to town became easier through better roads and transportation. By the late 1990s, only two stores remained in rural Webster County: the Rader Store and the Cook Store. Both closed within a few years, but it ultimately wasn’t the end of the rural store. In 2009, the Kindall Store, located in the Olga community, was reopened and today has revived its legacy as a central fixture in the local scene.

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