Donna Bratton, former teacher and citizen of the year, was selected Grand Marshall of the parade this year.
“We’re happy to have Donna Bratton Brassfield (Edgerton) as the Grand Marshal of this year’s Johnson County Fair Parade,” said Jason Camis, Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce. “Donna, a retired teacher, was recently named Citizen of the Year by the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Gardner due to her service and commitment to the children and community of Edgerton.”
Bratton has lived in Edgerton for 70 years.
Bratton donated her family home to Edgerton in 2004, and it was moved to its current location next to city hall in 2005 before opening in 2013  as home to the Edgerton Historical Society. The home was built in the 1900’s in the “shotgun” style and served as a home for railroad wokers. Bratton’s family bought the home in the 1940’s. It was previously located at 315 E. Martin St.
Formerly selected as a “Hometown Hero” by The Gardner News, Bratton recalls the days when people were more likely to walk downtown to the store or post office, rather than jump in a car and drive as is done today. At that time, there was a depot in Edgerton and most people would make that trip to Kansas City by train.
Bratton recalls 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 I town know Bratton 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.
Bratton regularly sees her former students around town, including Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts, City Council Member Cindy Crooks, and Charlie Troutner, president of the Edgerton Historical Society.
The chamber chose Bratton as Citizen of the Year at their annual dinner, held May 3 at Mildale Farms, Edgerton.