Sisters Lindsey Marshall and Morgan Marler grew up in Peabody, and like many people of their generation raised in small towns, moved away after school. But both have found their way back home and opened businesses in Peabody.
Marshall moved to Fort Collins, Colo., for three to four years after school. There she joined a couple of bands, recorded an album, and worked at a couple of bars. She moved back to Peabody for a time, saving money for a move to Nashville, Tenn.
After a time in Nashville, she moved back to Peabody again, to spend time closer to family, especially her father, Bob Marshall, whose health was declining. But she didn’t know what she was going to do when she got back to Peabody.
An opportunity presented itself in the Coneburg Inn bar and restaurant. The previous owner had fixed it up, but hadn’t been able to make things work. Marshall had always enjoyed working with people, and she had experience with bar and restaurant business, so she took a chance and took over the Coneburg.
“Why commute to Newton or Wichita when I can work in Peabody?” she asked.
She soon found that there is a community of restaurants, clubs, and bars, both in town and in the area, that try to cooperate and avoid stepping on one another’s toes.
Marshall said the best part of having the Coneburg is providing a place for the community. She tries to keep it as a family-friendly place where people can get a meal and a drink.
“I like the fact that they feel safe bringing their kids in here,” Marshall said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I feel like I’m doing something for my community.”
With her background as a musician, she has a good idea of what types of crowds different musicians will attract, so she focuses on bringing in music that will fit the atmosphere she tries to keep. She said she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out after her music career.
“I really did a whole lot,” she said. “I wanted to put my roots down, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better place to do that.”
She has found that there is a core of people who are working very hard to make Peabody the best community it can be, and she is happy to do her part.
After she finished school, Marler spent time teaching at Cowley County Community College. She moved back to Marion County in 1999, taking a job with the City of Hillsboro.
She loves Marion County, and she thought there were more opportunities for her and husband Shane to focus on the things that are important to them: family and a sense of community.
In 2010, she and a business partner — who has since left the business — opened Flint Hills Gypsies, a shop that focuses on unusual antiques, oddities, and strange vintage items. The shop opened after Baker Furniture moved out of Peabody. They wanted to do something to brighten downtown, so “things didn’t look like a ghost town,” she said.
She wanted to do something funky, something to showcase the potential for other shops to go in the former Baker buildings. Her parents had run auctions for years, so she had a ready inventory of oddities to start the business.
Marler travels out of the country once a year and always finds unusual items to add to her inventory. She also attends auctions and estate sales, looking for things that are out of the ordinary. Flint Hills Gypsies has even developed enough of a reputation for carrying weird merchandise that people call her to let her know about interesting finds.
Marler’s shop isn’t all bizarre merchandise. She also features Peabody-branded items and the works of local artists and crafters. With the eclectic selection, she has found a base of repeat customers from Peabody and out of town.