Burdett, Kan. recognizes Pluto discoverer on 113th birthday

BURDETT, Kan. (KWCH) In a small town with less than 300 residents, lived a legend who discovered Pluto.

On Monday, February 2, 2019, Clyde Tombaugh would have turned 113 years old.

The city of Burdette continues to honor his legacy.

Tombaugh was born in Illinois but moved with his family to Burdett in 1922. That's where he continued his interest in astronomy, where he built his first telescope and honed his skills of scanning the skies.

"He was a small town boy, did small town things, but yet he was interested in astronomy, he built his own scope by himself out on the farm," said Burdett resident Don Cloutman.

He says it's those skills that led to his discovery of Pluto in 1930.

Cloutman still treasures the moment he met Tombaugh back in the 1980s when this historical marker was built in his honor.

"He seemed to be a pretty low key individual, you know, pretty modest. just a regular guy," said Cloutman.

A regular guy with big dreams. Till this day, residents of Burdett pride themselves on what Tombaugh did in the world of astronomy.

They even named a park in his honor.

"They renovated it here just a few years ago. and kind of set it up with a motif of planets in honor of Clyde," said Cloutman.

On his birthday, he continues to inspire anyone who's been raised in a small town.

"It doesn't matter where you grew up, you can make something out of yourself," said Cloutman.