Two families with deep community roots will be recognized at the Finney County Historical Society’s 2018 annual banquet.

The banquet, open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. April 21 in the fellowship hall of the Church of the Nazarene, 2720 N. Campus Drive. Charles and Audrey Collins will be honored, alongside Roy and Helen Fankhauser, with the 44th Annual Pioneer Awards.

Reservations should be made before April 13, and dinner is $18 per person. To register, call (620) 272-3664. Reservations also can be made in person at the museum, 403 S. Fourth St.

Over the past four decades, more than 122 families, couples and individuals have received the Pioneer award based on long-term presence in Finney County and significant contributions to community history.

Charles E. “Charlie” and Audrey E. Supernaw Collins arrived in Finney County in the mid-1930s. Initially employed at Garnand Furniture and Garnand Funeral Home, Charles opened Collins Furniture in 1944 and operated the business for more than 40 years.

The couple took roles in numerous community organizations and activities and belonged to the First Presbyterian Church. Charles also served four years on the city commission.

Before coming to Garden City, the couple lived in Pawnee County and Dodge City, working in education, farming and the restaurant business. Audrey died in 1982, and Charles died in 1996.

Married in 1929, the couple’s children include Robert “Bob” Collins and Sharen Ann Collins Altman. For more than 50 years, the Collins home on Chesterfield Drive was known throughout Garden City for a giant blue spruce tree festooned with Christmas lights.

Roy E. and Helen G. Beech Fankhauser came to Garden City in 1948 and built Fankhauser, Inc., parent firm of Cash and Carry Lumber, Masonry Products and Concrete Industries. They also operated a drugstore for eight to 10 years.

Roy served on the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was a charter board member of Security Savings and Loan and active in various organizations. Both belonged to the First United Methodist Church. Roy died in 1988, and Helen died in 2015 at the age of 101.

Married in 1934, the couple had two sons, Dan and Richard “Dick” Fankhauser, who joined the family business with his son, Alan. The family operated the business until 1996.

Dick and Dan donated the sculpture at Main and Grant Avenue of two boys, one swinging the other by his arms, in honor of their mother’s 100th birthday in 2013.

In addition to the Pioneer Awards, the evening’s agenda includes election of FCHS board members and a fundraising silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will support the historical society.


Contact Mark Minton at