Family of four, Two Parents, two kids

The Simpler Life

Sometimes you really do want to be where everybody knows your name. 

Or at least quite a few people. 

There are a lot of reasons Maggie (Sloan) and Curtis Beall moved from Kansas City to Maggie’s hometown of Pittsburg. Atop the list, however, are the people. Family. Friends. People who care. 

“We enjoyed living in Kansas City,” Maggie said. “We enjoyed all the restaurants and shops and all the people. But when we’d come back to Pittsburg for random things, everyone here would wave at you and you could wave back at them. They ask about your family, and you ask about theirs. After living in the city for a while, it was really exciting to be around people who truly care.”

Maggie started getting the itch to move home. Curtis, a Lansing native, was right there with her. Pittsburg was starting to feel like home to him, too. 

“I was introduced to Pittsburg in 2011 when the Pitt State football team was making its run to the national championship,” he said. “We came down for the playoff games, and it was just so cool to see the community come together for that. Then we’d started to get invited to other things, like the Gala, and you see familiar faces.

“Everybody knows everybody, which you think could be a bad thing, but it’s actually really great.”

“After living in the city for a while, it was really exciting to be around people who truly care.”

In the fall of 2021, now as parents of Gianna and George, they made the move. The time was right. And it was actually one of those small-town connections that helped them get here.

“When I was going through the DNP program at Pitt State, it was so much different than KU,” Curtis said. “I went from a class of 100 to a class of seven. I had my faculty’s phone numbers. They all knew me by name. They would tell us that they’d keep us posted if they hear of any job opportunities down here, and that’s what happened. They told us about a position in general surgery, and here we are.”

From the job opportunity to helping them find a house, Maggie said “everyone had a hand in helping us come back.”

“I think in a community like Pittsburg, you know everyone has your best interest at heart,” she said.

Dad and Mom smiling at young kids

“Everybody knows everybody, which you think could be a bad thing, but it’s actually really great.”

Maggie and Curtis both said they knew they’d be giving up a lot of options by moving from Kansas City, but that was actually one of the draws.

“In Kansas City, there are just so many restaurants and places to shop and different communities and churches,” Maggie said. “So many choices. After a while, though, it can feel like too many choices. Then we’d come home to Pittsburg and there would be one Catholic church, and it happens to be a church we really love. 

“There may not be as many options of places to go here in Pittsburg as there are in Kansas City, but we like that,” she said. “Plus, what we do have is really great. Our downtown is like its own bustling little city with all the restaurants and shops.”

Curtis said he thought he’d miss the variety that a big city offers, but he quickly found the opposite to be true.

“More isn’t always better,” he said. “Sometimes simplicity has way more benefits. You start to really appreciate what you have.”

Plus, he said, being a part of the Pittsburg community means more than just going out to eat and shopping.

“Here, you know the people who own the small businesses,” he said. “You want to eat here or shop there because you want to support these people. They took a risk to open these businesses that make Pittsburg what it is today, and you want to support that so the city can continue to thrive.”

Then, of course, there’s golfing. 

“We love to golf,” Maggie said. “My family are big golfers. We lived near a golf course in Leawood, but of course we couldn’t afford to go there, and they have all these fancy rules. Since we’ve been back in Pittsburg, we love going to Crestwood. We go eat, maybe get in the pool, and golf. It’s so much fun. 

“George actually learned to walk at the golf course,” she said. “That couldn’t have happened in Kansas City. So being back here, we’re able to enjoy all that Pittsburg has to offer while also making these wonderful memories.”

Mom smiling at young daughter