Friday, April 10, 2020
 History of the Noxious Weed Department
  • 1937 - was the 1st year of the Kansas Noxious Weed Law
  • 1939 - was the 1st year of the Nemaha County Noxious Weed Department
    Annual Budget: $6000.00
    Director: Ed Becker
    Sodium Chlorate (salt) was the 1st chemical used
  • 1947 - 2,4-D was released for experimental trial in weed control
  • 1963 - when Musk Thistle work began and was the County’s biggest weed problem
  • 1969 - is when 2-4,D was first used (also 2-4 5 T)
  • 1973 - was the 1st year that County Weed Directors had to be licensed
Department Director History:

Ed. J. Becker 1939-1950

1939 Annual Salary = $570.00

Annual Budget = $ 6,000.00

Chemicals used were Sodium Chlorate

Equipment used was a dry spreader

1950 Annual Salary = $ 854.00

Chemicals used were Sodium Chlorate, Borascu and 2,4-D

Equipment used was a dry spreader and a duckfoot,
he later added a sprayer.

Verona Roggenkamp, Lucille Olberding, Lucille Allen,
Bernice Haug, and Alice Stallbaumer served as secretaries.


Lawrence J. Olberding 1951-1969

1951 Annual Salary = $ 1498.00

Chemicals used were Sodium Chlorate, Borates, and 2,4-D,
2,4,5-T, Benzoic and some Propazines, Amazine and Dalapon.

Equipment used was a dry spreader and a sprayer.

1969 Annual Salary = $ 5000.00

Chemicals used were 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T

Equipment used was a dry spreader and a sprayer.

Allice Stallbaumer, Eileen Olberding and
Norma Jean Olberding served as secretaries.


Dale Roland 1970-1989

1970 Annual Salary = $ 4550.00

1975 Annual Salary = $ 7200.00

Annual Budget = $ 52,410.00

Chemicals used most were 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, and Tordon Beads.
He also used some Benzabor, Dalapon, Amazine, MSMA,
Princep80W, Sodium Chlorate, Treflan, and Bromacil.

Equipment used was a portable sprayer and a larger one with
booms mounted on a truck.

Evelyn Roland served as secretary.

Tom Deters 1990-1994


Todd Swart 1994-2018

Diane Sowers and Denise Koch were previous secretaries.
Patty Schmelzle (1996) was the office manager.

Equipment used is a 500 gal. truck mounted spray tank with
roadside nozzles, and a 4 wheeler with spray tank booms and


Mixie Vance 2019-
Patty Schmelzle (1996-    ) is the current office manager.



Nemaha County Commissioners in the early years:
1941-1944  E.R. Burkey
1945-1947 E.R. Burkey, George Ray, R.B. Sheeley
1948 E.R. Burkey, George Ray
1949 Gale Brownlee, George Ray, R.B. Sheeley
1950 George Ray, R.B. Sheeley
1951 George Ray
1952 George Ray, R.B. Sheeley
1953-1956 Gale Brownlee, George Ray, R.B. Sheeley
1957 Gale Brownlee, Ed Boeding
1958 Gale Brownlee, Ed Boeding,  Lloyd Nightingale
1959-1963 Ed Boeding,  Lloyd Nightingale
1964-1968 Ed Boeding,  Lloyd Nightingale, Oscar Strahm
1969 Lloyd Nightingale, Oscar Strahm
1970-1971 Lloyd Nightingale, Oscar Strahm, Matt Rettele
1972  Lloyd Nightingale, Matt Rettele
1973-1976 Matt Rettele, Harvey Rokey, Frank Meyer, Jr.
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