Fieldstone: The Kind of Place You Can Make

Starting with a stone barn and a big dream, Ken Krause shows what ambition, energy and a few strategic decisions can create.

| September/October 2007


In 1909, this stone structure housed livestock for a local Mennonite farm family.

Diane Guthrie

Overbrook, Kansas – In the beginning, Ken Krause dreamed of a stone barn, nothing more, as he worked selling dental supplies. “Driving around Kansas I’d see these rock barns. I’d visualize, fantasize about what I could do with rock buildings,” he says.


Fantasy steered toward reality when a newspaper ad led to a barn he could call his own: built in 1909, with 22-inch walls and filled with manure. A 140-acre farm came attached. Over the course of three decades, Ken’s dream expanded to include seven cascading ponds, an array of “profit centers,” and an elegant barn home that doubled as a bed and breakfast.


Today, at 80, Ken is about ready to retire from the farming game in favor of leisure time, summer vacations and less responsibility.


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