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Thanks for telling us how to pronounce "pick-way."
Kathy Kajinami
McPherson, KS
SE Kansas
Piqua Explorations
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Buster Keaton Memorial Museum

Address: 302 S. Hill Street
Piqua, KS 66761
Telephone Number: 620.468.2385


About this Exploration:

 Watch this You Tube video about Buster Keaton.

"Joseph F. 'Buster' Keaton was born in Piqua, Kansas on October 4, 1895. Buster's parents, Joseph and Myra Keaton, were appearing in a traveling medicine show with stock company on a bill which included the later famous magician Harry Houdini.

According to the story, Joseph later told interviewers, a cyclone struck Piqua and blew away the circus performance tent. When he returned to his boarding house, after chasing around the countryside looking for a tent, he found his wife had given birth to their first child. Buster Keaton made his first stage appearance when he was just 24 hours old in the Catholic Hall, which was serving as a substitute theater for the evening's performance. When he was five years old, his family began touring vaudeville as 'The Three Keatons'.     

The Buster Keaton Memorial Museum was very fortunate to be granted the opportunity to meet and become a benefactor of “Buster’s" widow "Eleanor".  Mrs. Keaton traveled to Piqua through the alliance of the “Buster Keaton Celebration” held each year at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola. From the beginning of the relationship there was mutual admiration. She fell in love with us and us with her. Sadly, Eleanor passed away in 1998. She made the Buster Keaton Memorial Museum a benefactor of several movie stills and memorabilia.
Buster never forgot he was born in Piqua and made several attempts to find us! The following account is courtesy of Eleanor Keaton:. They were traveling through Kansas on U.S. Highway 54 one day on the way to the Kansas State Fair at Hutchinson. Eleanor was driving and Buster was sleeping in the backseat of the car. She saw the “Piqua” sign on the highway and slammed on the brakes, throwing Buster onto the floor of the car.  He sat up, rubbing his head and said “What happened? Did we hit a cow?” Eleanor replied “No! We found Piqua!” They were in a hurry that day, but they drove through town, with the intention of coming back someday. Buster passed away before that could happen. But Eleanor came back many years later and several times, to our great fortune!
Keaton was recently honored to be on of the 24 finialist in the 8 Wonders of People of Kansas. Although he didn't win in the top 8. He is always in # 1 in Piqua!!

The picture is of an actual cast of Keaton's face.  It is one of the exhibits in the museum.

contact info
Shelia Lampe
108 N Scott
Piqua, KS 66761
Phone: 620.468.2825
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas