Category: Rural by Choice

A sense of community, low crime rate, friends that are more like family, these "Rural by Choice" features show what it means to Live in Lincoln County. (The phrase, Rural by Choice, and the logo, are used with permission of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. For more information, visit

Jim & Faye Metz


Jim Metz took the long way home. After graduating from Kansas State University, and spending time in the Peace Corps, Metz took a job working at a resort in the Pacific island nation of Samoa. There he met his wife Faye, and just two years ago they decided to return to Jim’s hometown to raise …

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Jason & Annie Dohl

Jason Annie Dohl

Jason and Annie Dohl returned to Jason’s hometown of Sylvan Grove in the early-2000s to raise a family and pursue their dreams of owning their own businesses. “We wanted to raise our children (Valden, 12; Vance, 9; Tevis, 7) in a small town,” Annie said. “We wanted to allow our children to feel safe and …

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Jude & Rachel Stecklein


The Steckleins made their lives and raised their family in Sylvan Grove. Jude has served as an administrator for Unified School District 299 for the last 33 years. His wife, Rachel, recently retired as the Sylvan Grove city clerk after more than 29 years in that role. Jude says Sylvan Grove has provided a great …

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Grant & Felicia Heller

Grant Heller returned to the area he grew up in to practice chiropractic and after a year he purchased the Lincoln practice in 2014. His wife Felicia is a sales associate with Farm Bureau Financial Services in Lincoln. The couple both enjoy traveling the area rodeo circuit, Grant as a steer wrestler, and Felicia as …

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Brennan and Allison Johnson

Brennan and Allison returned to her hometown of Lincoln a little over three years ago when Allison was offered a job as a Speech Language Therapist based at the Lincoln County Hospital. While Allison’s home base is in Lincoln, she travels across North Central Kansas to visit patients. Brennan started his own construction company, Elite …

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TJ & Sheri Jonsson

It was 14 years ago when TJ and Sheri Jonsson moved to Lincoln so TJ could take a physical therapy position with the Lincoln County Hospital. His wife Sheri serves as a dietitian and nutritionist at nearby Ellsworth County Medical Center, and she says the proximity to Wilson Lake, the beautiful rolling hills and limestone …

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Cody Robison & Beranda Pickering

Cody and Beranda started BC Diesel in Lincoln less than a year ago and have already expanded to five full-time employees. Beranda says Lincoln County’s centralized location and proximity to major highways were two key selling points. “As a native of Lincoln County, I knew how much this community had to offer both our business …

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Dan and Traci Bates

Dan and Traci both grew up in small towns in Kansas, but after living in Kansas City for a number of years they relocated to Lincoln to get back to the rural lifestyle. “We both worked full-time jobs, with long commutes that took away from time with our boys,” Traci said. “I wanted to be …

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