Rosalea Hostetler, President
Four Decades of Endeavor and D

Rosalea's  bullying brother switched her legs as he chased her up the stairs to bed while her quiet Mennonite parents (farmers)  watched in denial:  "Boys will be boys." In the 8th grade at country school,  her male cousin teacher encouraged a bullying big boy to  wrestle her during recess.   She was mortified and so angry with an adrenlian rush she pinned him  to the ground to win the match. Her classmates walked away in stunned silence.  She knew then she could survive almost anything in life even if she was nothing but a "dumb girl." 

Then the traveling rural principal told her that she had the highest scores in the county and would win a college scholarship, but on graduation night the award went to a boy.  Her older sister asked why and he said "A mistake had been made."  The chosen boy became a prominent attorney but about six years ago he died in a gutter from alcoholism.

The more she was attacked for being a "smart female who needed to be put in her place," she became suicidal and lost all self-esteem.  When she married at 21 to the last available  Mennonite boy she knew, she became even more suicidal by his taunts and jeers.  One dark night an angel pulled the steering wheel out of her hand as she turned towards an oncoming car.  She knew she had been saved for a reason and asked for help to go to a mental hospital where she  found support for the first time in her life.   It took years to undo the early damage but through tenacity and endurance she found  a way to put herself through the University of Kansas with a degree in design and moved to New York City where she set up a design studio.   After three years she moved back to her hometown to  purchase the historic hotel for only $1,500.  Within a month the Chief of Police accused her of drug dealing (only years later did she learn she was his scape goat for his own actions) and incited most of the town to turn  out at a city council meeting in an attempt to run her out of town.  After their failed attempt, violence towards her escalated and she had no police protection for the next four decades.

In rural America, rumors die hard.  Until the past year or so, the local folks believed the lies and rumors created by that law enforcement officer in 1968.  But  Rosalea's  Hotel became famous to the intellectuals, truthsayers and"hippies" who traveled America for about 20 years. Then violence by locals escalated again after a front page story in the Wall Street Journal in 1984.  She could endure no more and moved to Kansas City for a decade.  In 1994 she returned to try once again to help save her  historic hometown, and set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Balmer Fund.  This time around it was even worse.  When she was 68 year old she was arrested and put in jail.  The nonprofit organization lost thousands of dollars to attorney fees and making repairs to placate two city councils, only to have dirty tactics done to demolish two rare historic buildings, one in Anthony and one in Harper.  Presently there is a judgment by the City of Anthony to seize everything The Balmer Fund owns; a few months ago they seized the bank accounts.  What are they hiding to make her their Red Herring target?

Rosalea, now age 74,  knows local corruption is rampant and is learning social media with the hopes of finding a way to restore her beloved rare historic hometown so there is economic opportunity for citizens.   Her first project is to restore the 1883 Rosalea's (Patterson House) Hotel that  was a prairie icon in 1883 and again in the 1970s.   She has been targeted locally so severely that she has been deprived of earning a living, but she survives hate, prejudices, attacks, evil and wrong doing by staying  true to herself, laughing a lot and living frugally.  Her endurance to stand  up to  small town corruption and bullying is legendary.  She never gives up her Dream that what remains of historic downtown Harper Kansas America is still worth saving--only 40-minutes from Wichita, three highways, ripe for economic impact via tourism, very affordable housing, and a beautiful place to one day live in peace and contentment.   As more locals  and area folks become enlightened from reading the grassroots Prairie Connection that she edits, Rosalea knows that she is going to come out the winner, saving and rebuilding her hometown from nearly a century of corruption.


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