Letter to the editor: Kansas hero

To the editor:

With the passing of Alice Cavender, who died Dec. 29 at the age of 71, one of the unheralded heroes of the Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park is gone, and her passing cannot go unnoted. Alice was the owner of the 40 acres that is now the park, and in 2003 sold the land to the small group of preservationists who later formed the Black Jack Battlefield Trust. She feared that the only offers that she would receive when she put the land up for sale would be from developers who would demolish the Robert Hall Pearson House and not respect the land or its history, so when she discovered that we would establish a battlefield park and preserve the house, she was overjoyed. She gave us significantly more time to come up with the down payment and secure a mortgage than another seller would do. It is without exaggeration to state that if it were not for Alice Cavender, there would be no Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park, and what is now enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year would be a housing development, the Pearson House would be a distant memory, and the only public access to the battlefield would be the old quarter-acre Robert Hall Pearson Memorial Park. Anyone who has visited and enjoyed the Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park has Alice to thank. In her unassuming way, she was and is one of the great heroes of Kansas preservation.

Kerry Altenbernd,



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