Olathe, Kansas: Ensor Farm
The Ensor Farm, in Johnson County, Kansas, is known for its historic association with Loretta Ensor (1904-1991) and her brother, Marshall Hamilton Ensor (1899-1970), two of the most prominent radio amateurs who established one of the most complete amateur radio transmitting stations in America on their property during the early history of radio. The Kansas City Journal Post, on January 24, 1926, under the headline Kansas Has Lone Woman Radio Amateur in West, stated "Kansas boasts the only woman Amateur radio operator in the Middle West. Her name is Miss Loretta Ensor in the Olathe city directory, but to virtually every amateur within hearing distance---and these days that means clear around on the other side of the world---she is 9UA." The survival of Ensor Farm and its radio history was ultimately in Loretta's hands, who established the Ensor Farmsite & Museum so that others might see how things used to be on a working farm.
Both Marshall and Loretta Ensor were licensed radio operatives and operated a radio station from the farmhouse for 56 years (1917-1973). In 1913 Marshall Ensor built his first wireless or crystal radio set and followed that with a set using a spark transmitter in 1917. He received his Radio Operative License in 1917 and was assigned the identification or call letters 9BSP. In 1923 Loretta received her radio operator license and received 9UA as her call sign.
The radio station the Ensors founded remained inoperation after Ensor retired from teaching in 1964. After Marshall died in 1970, Loretta operated the radio station. The Young Ladies Radio league (YLRL) presented her with a 50-year member award in 1974. The Ensor Farm includes the original pioneer cabin built around 1875, the north peg barn (which now houses the Ensor Museum), the 1896/1900 cow barn, second one-room cabin brought to the property, meathouse, chicken coop and brooder house, machine shed, concrete silo and two 80 foot radio towers.
For more information on Ensor Farmsite
and Museum and the Marshall Ensor Memorial Organization amateur radio
club, please click here.
The club is dedicated to serve the interests of the museum.