2020 Fall Edition Newsletter

EARLY RESIDENTS OF PAOLA Samuel Shaw Giffin was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on October19, 1865. He was the sixteenth child of John and Margaret Giffin. At the age of four, his family moved to Lee’s Summit, Missouri. They took up residents on a half-section of land that his father and two older brothers had earlier homesteaded for a year before their arrival. Sam’s father died in 1871 and he lost 2 brothers to a ty phoid epidemic. When Sam turned 18, his mother sold the farm and the family moved to a property northwest of Blue Mound, Kansas. Sam often made trips to Paola to visit his brother and on one occasion he met Delpha Lenora Goodrick. He courted her for a while and during that time he presented her with a folded paper heart. It was a marriage proposal and she said yes. Sam and Lenora were married on January 4, 1889 in Paola. Lenora was the daughter of Joel and Sara Goodrick. She was born in Miami County on January 28, 1870. She re ceived her early education in Paola public school and fin ished her studies at Ursaline school for girls. She excelled at elocution and rhetoric and also studied classical languages such as Greek and Latin. After she and Sam got married, they moved to a farm near Blue Mound. This is where their first two children were born. In Autumn of 1900, Sam and his nephew John went to check out Oklahoma as a new place to live. Sam loaded in supplies for his family to live on, hitched up the wagon, and he and his nephew, with each having $1000 in the pockets, headed off for Tulsa, Oklahoma. They made it to Bristow, Oklahoma and decided to camp for a week. They found 320 acres of land that they could split. They decided to talk it over, sleep on it, and decide in the morning. Their decision

Osage street in Paola ran east and west through that community called Oakwood. The Oakwood Methodist church was a cornerstone of the community. Lenora Giffin was a faithful member of the church. She taught Sunday school classes there for many years. Her husband, Samuel Giffin, joined the church in 1916. Lenora and Samuel had three sons, Earl, Clyde, and Luther. Earl was the oldest and at this time he and his wife were living in Colorado. Clyde was a soldier in the army and stationed in France. Their youngest son, Luther, was now 14 years old and lived at home to help run the family farm. Sam Giffin bought ad ditional farmland in 1917 in the Oakwood community to expand his homestead. A portion of the newly acquired land ran along what is now Osage street. in the 1920’s, all of the boys and their families had moved back home to the Oakwood community. Sam’s three sons helped him build a large barn and several other outbuild ings along Osage street. In 1927, Sam and his family de cided to build a new house. The boys helped Sam take the screened in porch off the old house and put it on the smokehouse. This is where they lived until the new house was built. The new house was a bungalow style with lap board siding, painted white and it had a large front porch. There were 2 bedrooms, living room, and a large kitchen. Sam and Lenora decided to buy a Model T automobile with a convertible top and then his sons built him a garage to put it in. They had many joyful rides in that car that they called a “hoopie”. In 1929, Sam’s oldest brother, Daniel, decided to sell his farm in Nebraska and move to the Oakwood community to live with Sam and Lenora. He had lost his wife a year earlier and he had no children. He was an elderly Southern gentleman with a mustache and a goatee. He had a good sense of humor and he was very proper in his manner isms. He joined the Oakwood Methodist church and was well versed in bible knowledge and other religious matters. Daniel Giffin died at his brother’s house on December 14, 1931. He was then moved to Pawnee, Nebraska for burial. In the following years, Sam fell ill and after never recover ing, he died on September3, 1941. He was buried at Blue Mound, Kansas. Lenora and her son Earle took care of the farm and family affairs until she fell ill and died on April 9, 1957 . She was buried by her husband at the Blue Mound cemetery. Their gravesites actually overlook the place they once lived when they were first married.

was that Kansas looked better so they packed up the wagon and come back home. In 1901 Sam moved the family to the Oakwood community in Paola. This is where their third son Luther was born. Sam and Lenora did well on the farm. Sam became a dealer in mules and even furnished several for use in World War I.

Vincent Thorpe

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