Summer 2017: “Who is the Catfish Capital?” Sneak Peek!


Posted on June 6th, by admin in Magazine, Places. No Comments

Who is the Catfish Capital?
Burlington or Chetopa? We’re breaking down these Southeast Kansas towns’ long-running catfish-catching rivalry

“My God, it’s gone!”

Fifty-one years ago, Burlington’s beloved Catfish Capital of the World trophy had been stolen on Mayor Charles S. Foster’s watch, and he wasn’t happy. According to a December 1966 article in the city newspaper The Daily Republican, “The mayor could see no reason that this Christmas season, when the hearts of all are filled with love and good will, that anyone would stoop to such a dastardly deed as stealing.”

Photo courtesy of the Coffey County Historical Museum in Burlington

Mayor Foster might not have understood it, but he surely thought he knew who was responsible for it: Chetopa. The battle between the two towns to decide which was the rightful Catfish Capital of the World had been raging for most of 1966, and now with the mysterious disappearance of that trophy, it was showing no signs of quitting.

But how did Burlington and Chetopa, more than 100 miles apart, find themselves in this catfish-catching rivalry in the first place? Let’s start from the beginning…

Want to keep reading about the Catfish Capital of the World contest between Burlington and Chetopa? Check out the summer issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.





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