February 8, 2016

HOMETOWN HEROS: Donna Bratton reflects on a lifetime in Edgerton

Donna Bratton

Donna Bratton Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com

WATCH VIDEO: Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com
Special to The Gardner News
March 3, 2014 – Donna Bratton has lived in Edgerton for 70 years. She sat down with me last week to share her memories of life in a small Kansas town. She recalls the days when people were more likely to walk downtown to the store or post office, rather than than jump in a car and drive as we all do today. When you needed to go to Kansas City, there was a depot in town and most people would make that trip by train. Donna described the old hardware store in Edgerton, which she liked to go to as a child because the owners had a parrot named Polly that went to work with them every day. She remembers landmark occasions, such as when the city first established public water and sewer systems, as well as the first fire department.
Donna’s maiden name is Brassfield. Her parents ran the Brassfield Sundries store for many years. She attended the Edgerton schools and graduated in 1956 in a senior class of six students.
Most people in town know Donna well, not just because she’s been there so long, but also because she was a school teacher. She said she never applied for the job. The principal came to her one day and asked her if she’d like to be a teacher. She said yes, and then taught for 31 years.
Donna regularly sees her former students around town today, including Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts, City Council Member Cindy Crooks, and Charlie Troutner , president of the Edgerton Historical Society.
Donna has contributed much to her town and deserves recognition as a Hometown Hero!


  1. Janell Englehaupt says:

    Her memories are great and all but what about my memories? Memories of being shaken and the bruises left on my arms. I know I wasn’t the only student this happened to. Plus this was reported by numerous parents and nothing was done. These memories made Me dislike school and scared of my future teachers. I hope she changed some where in her career and didn’t leave this impact on other students.

  2. While it is neat to hear about the history of Edgerton, Mrs. Bratton terrorized many first graders. She would get mad, turn red and pick them up and shake them violently. She yelled and screamed so much. I know I am not the only one who remembers this. I saw it so often….I wasn’t even in her class. Praise God I was in Mrs. Johnson’s class in ’80-’81….but my sister wasn’t so lucky the next year.

    It’s too late now to do anything that would hold her accountable for this…..but if ONE person whom she victimized sees this and realizes that they were not alone, so much the better.

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