2017 Summer Newsletter
13th Annual Heartland Art Guild
Miami County Genealogy & Historical Society 12 East Peoria Paola, KS 66071 Return Service Requested
Presort STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit #2 Paola, KS 66071
The Summer 2017 Edition Newsletter of the
E-Mail: info@think miamicountyhistory.com
1 3th Annual Heartland Art Guild International Miniature Paintings & Sculptures Art Show
Place address label in this area
Officers and Directors 2017 Officers
President- Colleen Ewan Vice President- Larry Lybarger Secretary- LeAnne Shields Treasurer- LuAnne Debrick
913-294-5051 913-294-9769 913-710-1767 913-259-5027 913-837-8220 913-294-4113 913-259-5027 913-849-3366 913-557-3000 785-869-3246 913-755-4646 913-755-2391 913-755-3504 913-294-3312 913-294-2779 913-710-1767 913-849-3278 913-963-1112 913-244-4587 913-294-5051
G ift C orner Pg 3 Letter from the President Pg 4 Library Pg 4 Mini Minutes, Pg 5 Volunteers report Pg 6 Stanton Giant Pg 7 Jack Dalton Story Pg 8 Prelude to WW1
Board of Directors
Louisburg - Jack Burcham
Marysville Township - Mildred Haley Member at Large - LuAnne Debrick Miami Township - Nina Gerken Middle Creek Township - Hannes Poetter Mound Township - Donna Darner Osage Township - Ann Davis Osawatomie City- vacant Osawatomie Township - Ben Maimer Paola City - Ann Roark Paola Township - Elsie Cordle Richland Township - LeAnne Shields Stanton Township - Lloyd Peckman Sugar Creek Township - Nancy Kline Ten Mile Township - Patsy Bortner Valley Township - Colleen Ewan Wea Township - Larry Lybarger
Pg 9 - 10
Chamber Coffee Miniature Art Show Vera Dakin’s Birthday
Pg 12 - 13
Pg -14 Pg 15 Pg 16
Henness Obit Lions 100th
Vern Kesslor Story Pg 17 Exciting Indian Artifacts Pg 18 - 19 Old newsletters excerpts Pg 20 - 21 Publications for sale Pg 22 Heritage Walk Bricks Pg 23 Art Show Photo Back cover
913-294-9769 Genealogy Society Coordinator- Betty Bendorf 913-557-2485 Newsletter - Roger Shipman 913-259-9219 Financial The Miami County Historical Museum is a Non-Profit Organi zation with a tax exempt status allowed by the Internal Revenue Dept. Gift and donations received by the Societies are deductible for Income Tax purposes. For additional information or questions regarding Endowments, Trusts, etc., Please contact us at 913-294 4940
Notice To The Membership The Miami County Historical Museum mem bership dues are $25.00 Make checks out to: Miami County Historical Museum 12 East Peoria, Paola, Kansas 66071-0123
A Newsletter of the Miami County Historical Museum & Genealogy Society
Volume 32 - No.2
Miami County Historical Museum 12 E. Peoria, Paola, Kansas 66071
E-Mail: info@think miamicountyhistory.com
Web address; www.thinkmiamicountyhistory.com Museum Hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Visit our gift corner We have books, out of print museum books on DVD, brochures of local attractions, numerous historical Paola photos suitable for framing, tee-shirts, hats and some free stuff
Hours for the Museum Open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Closed Saturday with the exception of special occasions For appointments call:
913-557-2485 816-392-0605 913-294-9769
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One of our objectives is to bring to our members an interesting and informative newsletter. In order to do this, we need your help! The primary question is: What do you want in your newsletter? Secondly, are we currently including the type of material that interests you the membership? Third, do we need to include more/or less of a specific subject matter. Think about what you would like to see in the newsletter and let us know. Our e-mail address is: info@think miamicountyhistory.com Our web page is: www.thinkmiamicountyhistory.com lf you are a Facebook member: Just like us on Facebook. Our mailing address and telephone number is: Miami County Historical Museum 12 E. Peoria Paola, KS 66071 913-294-4940 Thanks in advance,
The Museum is always needing help Stop by and sign up to volunteer.
President’s Letter The Miniature Art Show of the Heartland Art Guild is going on at the museum right now! It will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The Reception and Awards Ceremony was held July 15th. from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. A Paola Chamber Coffee is scheduled for Friday July 21st. at 10:00 AM We also have an extensive collection of World War I artifacts and an extensive exhibit telling the story of World War I - especially the involve ment of Miami County soldiers. Our new Indian Room is still somewhat of a “work in progress”. Every week something new is being added. Stop in and check it out. Volunteers and new members are always needed. Hope you will come join us.
Library Research The following are walk-in researchers to the library recent ly and surnames or information being researched. Wendi Bevitt (Miami Mission, Fontana area) Bert Shaffer (Hatten, O’Brien, Indianapolis School) Kenneth James (Grewell) Bates County Museum (Ayres court cases)
LIBRARY We received from the family of Joyce Lang quite a li brary of books of the states of Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North and South Carolina and Kentucky. They represent certain counties in those states. Joyce used these books in doing her family research. Contact us for the complete list. These books are in per fect shape, most are hard back but a few are paperback. It would be great to get them in your library. These books are for sale to intersted persons I would like to say, Joyce was a long time member of the Genealogy Society and for a number of years was the one to put out our Quarterly. She helped us do research in the Library. We definitely missed her when she couldn’t come in anymore. Betty Bendorf, Librarian Alice Joyce Lang 1921-2017 Alice Joyce Lang, 96, Osawatomie, died March 10, 2017, at her home. Service at 1 p.m. today at Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home, 203 Main St., Osawatomie, followed by burial in Osawatomie Cemetery Memorials to Osawatomie First Baptist Church or Osawatomie Senior Center, send c/o Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home, P.O. Box 430, Osawatomie, KS 66064.
Mary Alice Bergfeld (Roberts) John Hinkle (copies of obits) Jim Sutherland (Sutherland Store photos) Don Everhart (Ephraim Bair) Lois Pearce (Bowen)
Richard Jeck (newspapers on film and records on line) Rosalie Brisky Sode (Bucyrus History, Trail of Death)
These researchers came from the states of Kansas, Missouri and Arizona.
TOMORROW IS ANOTHER TOWN The Anatomy of a Circus An autobiography by James R. Patterson A history of the Great Patterson Shows when the circus maintained winter quarters in Paola. Tax included price is $28.00 A great gift. How to purchase on page 22 The Museum has reprints of past Newsletters for sale at #2.00 an issue.
MINI MINUTES The following are highlights of Director meetings, for your information, and a way to let you (a member) in on the workings of the museum. FEBRUARY W e have a renter for the upstairs unit. It is MC/TV which is Paola’s TV Station. We will have electrical up grades and some other improvements. Jim is working on the exhibit honoring the anniversary of the start of WW I. It will be shown during this sum mer. We will schedule a Chamber coffee for the occa sion. We are considering opening on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm during the summer. Asking all Directors to sign up to take turns for a Sat. Betty has finished a Manual of instructions to the assets in the Library, where research items are located and how to get information from them. Also on the steps on how to do accessioning of artifacts. This is all for people who are not familiar with the procedure. MARCH Larry is working on adjustments to insurance coverage on the buildings. Bids have been taken on some track lighting for the back of the Indian room. Lloyd reported that Clarence Hayward has passed away. Discussion on filling Directors positions for ones that cannot attend meetings any longer, Larry motioned that we create position of Honorary Board member, passed. This will be added to the By-laws New display panels have been ordered for the WW I dis play. APRIL L uAnne got final schedule for Sat. volunteers worked up, They will start in May. The WW I exhibit will move to the military room during the Miniature Art Show during the month of July. Larry motioned that $500 be allowed for posters. LeAnne added that the money could be used from the Vision Room balance. Motion passed. The dis play panels have arrived. The strip lights have been added to the indian room. Some years ago a collection of books from Bill Kelly was accepted into the Library. They were the genealogy re search books of Hazel Marie Ward Kelly. Hazels daugh
Queries Erica Derr wanted pictures and history of Louisburg Cider Mill. Carol Evans wants obit for Sterling Morgan who died here in 1872. John Pierson wants obit for Abraham Pearson who died here in 1879. Laurie Gwinn is searching for information on Wil liam Bronson Cummins and wife Lucy Ellen “Luella” Brookhart Cummins and daughter Myrtle Louella. Gene Wheeler is looking for location of town “Upton” in Middle Creek Township in 1875. Susan Toman needs an obit for Elizabeth Brown Gor don. Susan Murry wants information on Jeremiah F. and Christopher C. Ryan, both patients at Osawatomie State Hospital. Susan Toman is looking for newspaper article of May 26 1910 of death of Rufus L. Gordon killed in an ex plosion. Shirley Willard is interested in Clarence Haywards book, The Lost Years Miami Indians in Kansas. Charles Powers wanted an obit for Rozina Elwell who died in March 1926. Richard Bauman hopes to find something about Susan Fell who was a patient at Osawatomie State Hospital and died in 1898. Jane Deterding wants any information on Marguerite Irene Hawk who died at Osawatomie State Hospital in 1929. Laurel Bradshaw wants death record for Elizabeth Jane Crose in 1908 who was a patient at the Osawatomie State Hospital. Lori Clark is looking for William T. Little, a patient at State Hospital in the late 1800s. Kayleena Boyd wants information on property at 403 E. Shawnee St,Paola. Abbey Bodiford wants information on property at 7140 K 68 Hwy, Louisburg. Unknown inquirer wants to know about George Al dridge, a patient at Osawatomie State Hospital. (email with no return name) Linda Hardin wants obit for Albert Folks. These Queries have been researched by Iris Kluber
Con’t on Pg. 6
VOLUNTEER and VISITOR REPORT January through June 2017 Volunteers - 17 Hours - 2,637 Betty Bendorf, Patsy Bortner, Jim Bousman, Vera Dakin, Luanne Debrick, Ed Dennerline, Pat Er ickson, Colleen Ewan, Nina Gerken, Mildred Haley, Iris Kluber, Larry Lybarger, Lloyd Peckman, Theresa Read, Ann Roark, Leanne Shields and Roger Shipman. FiveBoard Meetings Members in Attendance -12 average at each meeting Total Hours - 22 Several Executive Board Meetings Visitors - 360 States Represented - 18 Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnestoa, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming Countries Represented - 2 Brazil, Brisbane Australia A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, ‘When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah’. The teacher asked, ‘What if Jonah went to hell?’ The little girl replied, ‘Then you ask him’.
Mini Minutes cont.
ter was in the Museum recently and after discussion of Bill Kelly death and the fact that Bills daughter is a DAR it was decided that the collection be returned to the family. A motion was made to release the collection and passed. Lloyd again commented about Clarence Hayward passing and that the family wants to donate about 60 of his books for us to sell. Nancy Kline suggested that possibly Boy Scouts work ing on Eagle badges might be able to help on some mu seum projects. MAY More volunteers needed to work on Sat. Ona Neuenschwander and Bettie Ore have resigned as Di rectors and will become Honorary Directors. Larry reports that WW I research is complete and now are working on the displays. A Chamber Coffee is planned for Friday June 23 at the Museum at 10 a.m. Betty reports that the Kelly family has picked up the Collec tion of research books. LuAnne plans to have a table again this year at the Paola Alumni to sell books and newsletters. The family of Joyce Lang has brought in a nice selection of research books. These books were used by Joyce in doing her family research. We will put them out for anyone to purchase for a very small amount. See “Library” article. ARE YOU WORKING ON YOUR GENEALOGY? ARE YOU HUNTING FOR ANCESTORS? We have people here at the museum that will be glad to help you in your search. You can give us a call (913/294-4940), send us an e-mail (info@thinkmiami countyhistory.com) or drop by and chat. We are open 10:a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
Stanton Giant Roamed Hills Before Becoming Celebrity RANTOUL, Kan. — Many legends have originated about the Stanton giant, an eight-foot, six inch Kansan who used to roam the rugged hills of the Devil's Backbone beside the Marais Des Cygnes River in Miami County, Lloyd L. Griffith of Rantoul, probably the best living author ity on the giant's history, is a recognized collector of his torical data about the old frontier community of Stanton where the giant was born and lived until 14 years of age. The giant, Louis Wilkins, who was destined to entertain be fore the crowned heads of Europe was; born of normal size parents. Stanton pioneers. Wilkins also was a special guest of the czar of Russia before his untimely death at 24, Grif fith relates. The story has it, Griffith recalls, that Wilkins, at 10, was tall as any man in the valley. He soon became too big and awkward to attend school with other children of his age. His understanding parents let him roam the hills with Pot tawatomie Indians camped at nearby Indian Springs. Tales Spread Tales of the 415-1b. giant who lifted horses and carried 200-1b. hogs on his shoulders, and whose legs were so long they dragged the ground when he rode horse-back, began to circulate far beyond the valley. To escape the eyes of the curious, the crude banter, and the Jokes aimed at his gangling legs, Wilkins took to the back trails and wooded areas more and more, to be seen only by those he knew well. His exclusiveness caused legends about him to become increasingly exaggerated. Stories about Wilkins began to appear in eastern newspa pers. In 1890, a circus was playing in nearby Paola, Griffith says, and the circus agent sent for Wilkins and talked him into Joining the show. Reprinted from the Museum quarterly vol 14 no.3 1999 which was copied from pg. 2F of the Wichita Eagle - Beacon. Sunday morning, June 11,1961. People drove from miles around to glimpse Wilkins.
At that time Wilkins was 14 and already had grown to 8 foot 6 inches. It may well he that he grew considerably tall er and heavier before his, death, Griffith speculates. Wilkins toured with the circus both in America and Europe. It is told that the Stanton giant fell in love with a Russian princess while in Russia to appear before the Czar. How ever, his love was thwarted and he allegedly returned to America with a broken heart. During the voyage home he became very ill. An ambulance was summoned upon docking in New York but the patient was too large to be placed in it, and a beer wagon was com mandeered to take Wilkins to a hospital. The giant died soon after reaching the hospital — of a bro ken heart, legend has it. Griffith stated that Wilkins was buried in Oklahoma where he had purchased a home for his parents. According to Griffith, the show owners offered Wilkins' family $10,000 in gold for the giant's body, but all offers were refused:
Miami Republican, February 8, 1901 J ack Dalton returned to Miami County last Saturday for a visit of a week to his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Jo seph Dalton, in Osage Township. Jack was raised in Miami County, but for upwards of twenty years has been in the northern country. He opened the famous Dalton trail in the Klondyke and was among the first to explore the Kiondyke and Alaskan gold fields. The Dalton trail cost him a great
Dalton’s pioneering trail crossed Arizona, Oregon and Washington before he headed north in the 1880s. He punched cattle, drove stages and then between 1886 and 1889 took his string of horses to the north ern territory. In Alaska, he also took the first coal out of the Chickaloon mines and helped survey the routes for the Alaska and Copper river railroads.
deal of money to make it reasonably passable, and it proved to be a profitable investment by collecting tolls. He has men constantly at work on the trail, keeping it open. He says it does not pay him the dividend it did a few years ago, as the railroad is fast pene trating Alaska. Mr. Dalton has been visiting the principal
Mr. Dalton was a son of the late Joseph and Johanna Cunningham Dalton, Irish pioneers of Osage town ship, who came to Kansas in the early seventies. The pioneer trail blazer left home in his youth, responding to the call of adventure in the wild west and north west, and he never returned here to reside. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. U.S. Grant, of San Francisco, and two sons, Ensign James Dalton, USN, and Jack Dalton, Jr. of Los Angeles. Brothers and sis ters of the deceased are Jennie Dalton, of Kansas City, Mrs. Lawrence Moran, of Fulton, Kansas; Sarah, Kitty, Mike and Dan, of Fontana, and James Dalton, of Paola. Miami Co. Genealogy Society, Paola, KS, Vol. 10, No. 1 Page 2 For more information about Jack Dalton go to this web site. http://www.sheldonmuseum.org/vignettes/jack-dal ton-dalton-trail Jack Dalton, shown here with one of his pack horses that was trained to wear snowshoes on the snowy Klondike trails VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Front Desk (1/2 or full day), computer input, arrang ing displays, moving help, grant writers, interview ers, history researchers
cities and points of interest in Europe since last Sep tember. He has the contract for carrying supplies to the American and British troops who are located in the interior of Alaska. Mr. Dalton has a number of gold claims in various parts of Alaska and says some of them are valuable. He says a man may put into his claim thousands of dollars and not strike anything worth working, while on the next claim a poor man with his pick and shovel may strike it rich. He intends going back from here to Seattle, from where he will ship a large drove of cattle and take them into the interior of Alaska. Miami Republican, December 1945 PIONEER ALASKAN TRAIL BLAZER DIES Word of the death of Jack Dalton, one of the most colorful of the early Alaskan sourdoughs, the man who cut the famous Dalton trail to Haines in the Alas kan Territory, has been received by relatives in this county Mr. Dalton died December 16 in San Francisco at the age of 89 years and his body Was taken to Seattle for burial on December 23.
Prelude to the Great War By Jim Bousman I f it is possible to fully understand the circumstances sur rounding the beginning of World War 1, it would require a thorough understanding of European History dating back to ancient times. However, the study could start with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Chapter one of Mi chael Howard’s, The Franco-Prussian War, gives what he called, “The Technical Background” to the war. With the fall of Sedan, France knew the war was over. As a result, France lost the great natural resources of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine; which would remain in German hands until the end of WW1. With the rise of the German Empire after the Franco-Prus sian War and its desire to become a major power in Europe, Germany needed a navy to increase its colonial holdings in order to obtain natural resources and markets for its prod ucts. Although Germany and England had been on peaceful terms, tension between the two countries heightened be cause England’s control of the “waves” was threatened by the increase in German naval power. Germany’s industrial and financial might lead to the build ing of the Berlin to Baghdad railroad for commerce with the Middle East.* Germany then set her eyes on North Africa. These moves threatened the colonial empires of Great Brit ain, France and other European countries. Into this stew pot of political and economic intrigue must be thrown the Balkan States, Ottoman Empire, Japan and Russia. A good source to get a feeling for the basic players in all this in trigue is Catrine Clay’s book King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War which tells the relation ship between the three monarchs and their role in the lead up to war. Between 1871 and the late 1890’s the tension in Europe caused by the ambitions and conflicts of interest divided the antagonist into divided camps. Seeking to maintain a balance of power, Germany, Austria and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. England, France and Russia (Russia
Entente and other countries became the Allies. (Italy did not join the war on August 1, 1914 because Germany and Austria were not attacked.) In 1888, Otto von Bismarck said, “One day the great Euro pean War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans”. Bismarck’s prophesy was fulfilled when Arch duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie were killed by a Serbian assassin on June 28, 1914. Thus, when Germany invaded Belgium on August 4, 1914, Germany and Austria were at war with Belgium, England, France, Russia, and Serbia.
In the United States the majority of people were against becoming involved in European affairs. As a result of such strong public opinion, on August 4, 1914 President Wood row Wilson declared the United States a neutral country. However, President Wilson believed in the freedom of the seas and the right of neutral countries to engage in com merce with all countries. In order to maintain this spirit of neutrality, on August 15, 1914 the U.S. decided not to provide loans to the belligerent countries. The first arrest of German saboteurs by U. S. Officials was in Maine on February 2, 1915 for attacks in Canada. German saboteurs and spies infiltrated the U. S. through Mexico causing damage across the United States. On July 30, 1916, German agents set fire to a complex of warehouses and ships at Black Tom, New Jersey to halt the movement of ammunition to France, England and Russia. The explosion rocked New York City, windows shattered in downtown Manhattan and the noise was heard as far away as Mary land. The property damage was estimated at $20 million (around $377 million today). In March 1917 an explosion at the U. S. Naval Yard at Mare Island, California involved barges filled with munitions, killing 6 and injuring 31. Mili tary Intelligence agents tracked the cause of the explosion to German saboteur Lothar Witzke, who was caught and Page 9
support Serbia if attacked by Austria) formed the Triple En tente. In each alliance, the countries pledged to come to the aide of the other if at tacked. Britain also pledged to aid Belgium if Germany vio lated her neutrality. By 1914, the Triple Alliance became the Central Powers and the Triple
imprisoned in 1918. A series of events on the high seas began to change the government’s opinion of Germany. By early 1915 the U. S. was honoring the British blockade of goods sent to Germa ny. On February 4, 1915, the Germans declared unrestrict ed submarine warfare. February 24, 1915 Present Wilson issued a warning to Germany that the U.S. would not toler ate any sinking of neutral U. S. merchant ships at any time. The sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 was the turning point toward the end to neutrality. President Wilson sent a strong protest to Germany and coupled with his earlier warning, the Germans ceased unrestricted warfare until January 1917. On June 3, 1916 the U. S. National Defense Act was passed by Congress. The Act expanded the Army and the Nation al Guard. It created the Officers’ and an Enlisted Reserve Corps, and created the Reserve Officers Training Corps. The Act also allowed the Army to create an Aviation arm. In ad dition, the federal government took steps to immediately increase the production of wartime weapons and equip ment. The importance to Miami County is the fact the Act expanded authority to federalize the National Guard, with changes to the duration and circumstances under which the President could mobilize the National Guard. On March 24, 1916 a German submarine severely damaged the French owned Sussex, a cross channel steamer, caus ing the evacuation of the crew and passengers. Fifty were killed including several celebrities: one a Persian prince. The attack on the Sussex enraged the U.S. population to the point where a heated diplomatic exchange was made between the U. S. and Germany in which President Wilson threatened to break off relations with Germany. On May 4, 1916, in order to keep the U.S. out of the war, Germany is sued the Sussex Pledge. They pledged to call off unrestrict ed submarine warfare on all cross channel passenger ships. On January 19, 1917 the British intercepted the Zimmer man Telegraph. The telegraph said Germany would pro vide financial aid to Mexico, if Mexico invaded the U.S. and after the war, Germany would return to Mexico their original territory in south western United States. Germany also requested Mexico to ask Japan to join in the invasion. (Japan joined the Allies in order to be awarded German possessions in the Pacific, China and Indo-China.) The final events leading up to the declaration of war. January 31, 1917 Germany announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare. February 3, 1917 The U.S. severs diplomatic relations with Germany. March 1, 1917 The British provide the U.S. with a copy of Zimmerman Telegram. April 1, 1917 The American steamship Aztec is torpedoed without warning by a German U-boat as it entered British waters. April 2, 1917 President Wilson goes before a joint session of Congress stating that the world must be made “Safe for Democra cy” and asks for a declaration of war. April 6, 1917 The day after an overwhelming majority in the Senate votes for war, President Wilson signs the Declaration of War. The U.S. quickly mobilizes the country for war. Going from a standing army of 133,000 men without almost any heavy artillery, millions of men were inducted into the
* An essay about the Balkan, Ottoman Empire, Russian, French and English intrigue in the Middle East can be found at: http://davidsjournal.com/WW1/baghdadrr.html (Ever wonder why our troops are in the Balkans and Mid dle East today.)
The Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King Convent, Kansas City MO visting the Indian room.
The museum held a “coffee” for the Chamber of Commerce June 23rd. This was to inaugurate the opening of our WW 1 exhibit de picting the role of Miami County during the years 1917 and 1918. Museum volunteer Jim Bousman spent many hours researching the historic material for the display. The exhibit will be in the military room till the end of July as the main room now contains the min iature art show.
1 3th Annual Heartland Art Guild International Miniature Paintings & Sculptures Art Show
Vera Dakin, one of our longtime volunteers, celebrated her 90th birthday on June 25th. Vera began her career as the County Health Nurse and in 1975 she began to get interested in genealogy and soon found herself volun teering for the Museum. Her passion has beenworking on obituaries, which are the best condensed stories of family history. Vera has always lived in Miami County, just outside of Drexel, and she faithfully drove to Paola four, five and six times a week to volunteer. When she first began to volunteer, the museum was just beginning to collect obitu aries of those with Miami County connections and of the 43,000 plus obituaries we have now, Vera has probably cut, pasted and filed most of them. Her knowledge of County History is tremendous. In 2000 she had to cut back her trips to Paola but still faithfully comes in every Monday. Lft - rt LuAnne Debrick, Vera Dakin, Colleen Ewan, Ann Roark, Alice Grandon, Patsy Bortner, Mildred Haley and Lila Jones.
Elnora Louise Henness, age 87, Elnora Louise Henness of Osawatomie, died June 1, 2017, at Life Care Center of Osawatomie. Elnora was born June 14, 1929, in Orlando, Oklahoma. She was the fourth of eight children born to Newell Fillip and Nora (Pinnix) Michael, and had five half-siblings as well. She grew up in the Orlando and Delaware, Oklahoma area, at tending grade school at the Potter one room school house and high school in Delaware. After school, Elnora was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Osawatomie, the United Methodist Women or ganizing numerous funeral dinners, the Osawatomie Food Pantry, VFW Auxiliary #6397, Miami County Historical Soci ety, the Osawatomie Museum Foundation, Business Profes sional Women, NARVE, and Fontana Old Settlers. In addition to the various organizations she was active in, Elnora loved traveling with Mel. They purchased a home on Pomme de Terre Lake near Hermitage, Missouri, and spent countless weekends there with family and friends. She en joyed genealogy taking many trips to Salt Lake City and the Truman Library to do research. Elnora’s mother and siblings eventually settled in California, so they made numerous trips with their daughters to visit as well as sight seeing all across western United States. She and Mel had a close knit group of friends they loved
spending time with, whether it be traveling, get-togethers for holidays, having a fish fry, Friday night at the Elks Club, or hosting many basement parties. She was preceded in death by: her husband, Mel; her parents; brothers, Ralph, Rex, Dean, Ted, Clyde, Loyd and Sherwood Michael and Orville Wood; sisters, Stella Desene Portlock, Lavonna and Winifred Michael; brother’s-in-law, Wayne E. Henness and Doyle B. McQuay; and. sister-in-law, Phyllis Henness. Survivors include: Daughters, Joyce (John) Bumgarner, of Osawatomie, Jea nette (Elvin) Troutman, of Stilwell, Kansas, Patty (Mark Mar quez) Henness, of Osawatomie, and Linda (Jay) Beadle, of Olathe, Kansas; nine grandchildren Lincoln (Heather) Keen, of Bevier, Missouri, Luke Bumgarner, Ottawa, Kansas, Amy Johnson, of Osawatomie, Michelle Marcum, of Arlington, Texas, James (Shannon) Troutman, of Olathe, Tiffany (Matt) Hamblin; :of Overland Park, Kansas, Lindsay (Ryan) Russell, of Osawatomie, Melanie Trout¬man. Portland, Oregon, and Haley Beadle, of Olathe; 13 great-grand¬children, ; sister, Joann McDaniel, of Modesto, California; and sister in-law, Merna Kay McQuay, of Bolivar, Missouri; along with rumenous nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Services were held on Monday, June 5, 2017, at the Ed dy-Birchard Funer¬al Home. Burial: Osawatomie Cemetery
LIBERTY BELL TOUR I n April of 1917, as the U. S. moved closer to war it was de termined that a war bond drive was needed to raise funds to save the world from the German menace. Billions were needed and quickly. The government was desperate. The Committee of Public Information came up with the idea of using the Liberty Bell as a tool to raise war bond support and help develop loyalty and support for the war effort. The 2,080 pound bell had been silent and almost aban doned in Philadelphia when it was no longer our capital and Washington, D C had became the seat of our government. The bell had been cracked in 1844 after being rung at an an niversary of Washington’s birthday. From the Revolution ary days it had been sparingly rung even though it was the original bell in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed. After the crack de veloped it was worked on by Philadelphia city workers to try to strengthen it for future use but the crack continued to be present and was a detriment for its use as a bell. It was taken on several trips to display in the 1800’s to Chica go, St. Louis and a few other cities for exhibition. But it did not have the recognition as a symbol of America until it was used in WWI.
A grand plan was developed to send the bell on a “National Tour” from coast to coast. Over 1/4 of the nations citizens made the effort to view the bell as it toured America. It stopped in 275 cities (including Topeka, Atchison, Leaven worth, Kansas City). Many more went to railroad lines to see it pass as it moved across the nation. The bell became a unifying symbol to a nation previously divided on entering the war. The train was called the “Lib erty Bell Special”. After the tour on Flag Day, June 14, 1917, the bell was rung and the sound carried by a new national telephone system throughout America. That was followed by ringing of bells in every community in America: church bells, schools bells and public buildings. With the ringing of the bells, it was a call to America to come buy bonds and support the war. Thus began the greatest adventure and a phenomenal fund raising effort for WWI. Over 17 Billion dollars was raised in War Bonds and millions of Americans came to venerate and make the Liberty Bell our unifying symbol of America. The tour and use of the Liberty Bell was one of the great est achievements for the war propaganda ever completed. (Stephen Fried wrote of the bell in the April 2017 Smithso nian from which most of the information was taken.) Larry Lybarger
Lions are 100 years old
1917 was the beginnings of WW I for the United States and was the start of In ternational Lions Clubs. Lions was started in Chicago under the lead ership of Melvin Jones as a service organization to improve the life and welfare of the local communi ties and life of the citizens of the world.
use in a picnic table and gazebo setting for the Gardens. These are planned for construction in the very near future. The fencing was from the Paola City Square Park that surrounded the water fountain in the early 1900’s. The Museum also has provided sev eral programs to the Lions for their meetings over the years. The Lions in turn have supported the Museum with a donation to assist with the renovations of the Indian Room and to the general fund. So, the Lions Club has been a great partner for our Museum and both have sup ported the Paola Community. The Lions motto is “We Serve”. Which could well also apply to the Museum, the “Story of Us”. Some of the projects include clean up of a section of highway #68, sponsor of Farmer’s Market on the square in the sum mers,-Lion’s Park at Lake Miola, scholarships to PHS seniors, swim lesson scholarships, support for Boy’s State, eye glasses for needy adults, Halloween treats for the square parade, and a host of other community projects. The Lions meet twice each month on the 1st & 3rd Friday mornings at 6:45 at Circle C Cafe. Several Lions members are also members of the Museum and vol unteer as well. And no one else in all this world is searching for this man, So I play gene-solitaire to find him, if I can. I’m told he’s buried in a plot with tombstone he was bless ed, But the weather took the engraving and some vandals took the rest. He died before the county clerks decided to keep records. No family Bible has emerged in spite of all my efforts. To top it off this ancestor who caused me many groans, Just to give me one more pain…bethrothed a girl named Jones. Author Unknown……..
Lions began in Paola in 1942 (thus our local club’s 75th year). The Paola Lions Club has part nered with the Miami County Museum on projects in the past. The Museum donated two original metal gas light poles to the Lions for their use on the Courthouse grounds. The Courthouse Gardens are co-sponsored by the Lions and the Miami County Master Gardeners. The Museum also donated metal wrought iron fenc ing to the Courthouse Gardens for
THE ELUSIVE ANCESTOR I went searching for an ancestor, I cannot find him still. He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will. He married where a courthouse burned, he mended all his fences. He avoided any man who came to take the U.S. Census. He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame. And every twenty years or so, this rascal changed his name. His parents came from Europe, they should be on a list Of passengers to the USA, but somehow they got missed.
Vern Kesser Story - US Army Prisoner #15876
I n August 1918 Verne Kessler was formally drafted into the U S Army. He was married with no children and was working as a farmer and laborer in Pratt County in the small community of Sawyer, Kansas. He was a member of the Sandcreek District of the Church of the Brethren(Old German Baptist known as “Dunkards”.) He regis tered for the military as was required of all young men. Upon his exam by the Pratt County Draft Board members, he was de termined to be eligible for service. He was asked to report to FT. Riley Kansas at Junction City. He being a “C O”, conscientious ob jector, could not in his heart fight or train for military purposes. He was segregated from other inductees and placed in a barrack with others of similar beliefs---other Brethren, Amish, Menno nites, Quakers. These were historically recognized as being op posed to all forms of warfare. Most “C O”s were looked upon with great contempt, more so than criminals. But he knew his rights under the Constitution and knew the President’s order for the draft to meet the needs of the military. Many “C O”s were de ferred to serve on farms, hospitals or in other non-combat rolls, but that took time to arrange. While waiting they were asked to submit to Army rules. Upon being given an order to drill and put on a uniform, he refused. He was cursed and then ordered to clean the company toilets---he did not refuse that task. He was considered an abnormality and placed in a tent colony. He was assigned KP duty while waiting for interrogation to determine his
Vern Kesslor- 18 Years About 1910
sincerity and the possibility of a farm furlough. His military officers made efforts to encourage his acceptance of military service and promised better treatment if he served. When not doing KP, Verne helped clean up the camp grounds, which he accepted. On September 27, 1918, he was ordered to clean up the parade grounds, which was acceptable to him but was told he would also put on a uniform and do parade exercises. He said he could not do that. He was placed in the guard house. The commanders determined since he and others like him refused their orders, they would face a military court martial. The guard house became his temporary home. The guard house was infested with bed bugs, lacked adequate heat and food was limited. One “C O”, John Wolfe, another Brethren died while confined. In December Verne was taken for mili tary trial at Camp Funston, there he was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order. In the trial he said “he did not willfully disobey the order, but obeyed the will of my Father, which art in Heaven”., He said he would do all that was expected of him to do in his duties in sanitary work or yard work but could not wear a uniform or take training. The commander said “ you will do whatever you are told to do.” Verne said he did not feel guilty for in his eyes he committed no crime, “my conscience is clear toward God”. He was convicted, the penalty would be 25 years of hard labor. He was sent to Fort Leavenworth Kansas to the military prison. On December 30 he began life as a convicted prisoner serving with other criminals who had broken military rules or laws. While in Leavenworth he did KP duty, worked at the dairy farms and prison yards or other duties assigned. He did not reject the work and much preferred that to being alone in his cell. In June of 1919, with the War over, he was granted clemency and was released to go home to Sawyer and rejoin his wife and family. His ordeal had passed.
The information was obtained from his personal accounts he wrote in later life.
He was my great Uncle. Larry Lybarger.
EXCITING ARTIFACTS ADDED TO MUSEUM INDIAN ROOM
On June 24, 2017 we received on loan 11 cases of a total of approximately 40 cases of Indian artifacts from Miami County. These cases will-be displayed and it is hoped made into a permanent addition to our museum if funds become available for their purchase. This is a special collection that has been accumulated for over 25 years. The owner has decided he can no long con tinue his efforts and wishes to place the items where they will be shared with history patrons. The collection has items from Christmas Dagenette’s headright farm, Miami Village near Block, Wea camp and home sites south of Paola, items from Indian farms that were in the county. Items include
jewelry, tools, household items, arrowheads, bullets, trin kets, all commonly found in possession of the early Indi ans that lived in our county during the reservation period (1830’s to 1870). Our Museum would love to add these to our collection per manently, as we are very lacking in visual artifacts from the Miami Indians as well as the Wea and other tribes that once lived here. Our County was named after the Miami Indians and this is a unique collection that reflects that early history. Lloyd Peckman has played a major role in obtaining these items on loan for us and is our Miami Indian history buff here in the Museum.
Articles – A look back over the Years Instead of writing something new, I thought it may be interesting to look back over the years and reprint articles appearing in earlier editions of the quarterlies. I will randomly select a quarterly and then pick an article or two for reprint. The first two in this series are from Vol. 8, No. 2, 1993 and Vol. 19, No. 3 2001. Note: The following are brief descriptions of farms and their owners compiled by the editor of The Republican, 1878, of the area around Fontana, KS. JOS. S. WHITAKER—Further east and north of Mound creek, we came to the residence of Jos. Whitaker. He owns a farm of 220 acres. He is a native of Kentucky, came to Miami County in 1859. Has 120 acres of corn, besides small grain. Mr. Whitaker says his corn crops have averaged 40 bushels to the acre—pretty good for a dry country. W.H. MOORE—Near Liberty school house lies Mr. W.H.Moore’s farm. He moved from Union county, Georgia, to Illinois and from there to his .present residence nine years ago. He owns a beautiful quarter section of land, enclosed with a handsome hedge and otherwise well improved; has an orchard of 3 acres and 90 acres of growing corn as fine and uniform in appear ance and growth as can be found in the country. Mr. Moore is a good farmer and is making money. His corn crops for nine years have averaged 40 bushels per acre. MRS. E. J. WILSON—who has resided in Miami 18-yrs, has one of the best apple orchards in the township—trees 17 years old. DAVID WRIGHT—North of Liberty school house a half mile lives one of Osages’s best citizens and most successful fanners, David Wright. He was raised in New Jersey and moved to Miami in 1873. He has a most excellent, well-furnished and fin ished residence. The farm consists of 160 acres of land enclosed with a good hedge. Has 75 acres of fine growing corn. His corn crops have averaged 40 bushel. He is now feeding 17 head of 3-year-old steers and 40 head of hogs. He thinks Kansas is a splendid country and Osage township the garden spot. Mr. Wright is a model farmer and business man and is getting rich. He deserves success. O.P.TENNY—A half mile east of Mr. Wright’s is the residence of Mr. O.F.Tenny, a native of New Jersey, and a citizen of Osage 28 years. He owns a farm of 240 acres, cultivates this year 85 acres in corn. Has an orchard of 350 trees—a large part of them 17 years old; milks 16 head of cows and Mrs. Tenny makes choice cheese and butter. He likes Kansas “better than any country he ever saw.” T.C.ENGLISH—Across the road south from Mr. Tenny’s lives Hon.T.C.English, one of Osage’s substantial and honored citi zens. Mr. English was raised in New Jersey, has lived in Miami 12 years, owns a farm of 280 acres, has an orchard of 500 bearing trees. On his farms are 180 acres of corn. Last winter he fed 80 steers and 140 hogs. Deals largely in stock as a shipper. He thinks Kansas is the “hub of the world” and Miami the best spot in Kansas. JOHN LOWE—One-half mile east and a little north of Mr. Tenny’s, is the residence and farm of John Lowe. He was raised in the land of Wm. Tell. Has been in America 25 years and in Osage 3 years. His farm comprises 160 acres. He has 80 acres in corn, 18 in wheat and 9 in oats, all splendid, and an orchard of 120 trees. Mr. Lowe is one of your good farmers and a most excellent citizen. SAM WALTHALL—East of Mr. Lowe, half a mile on the right of the Fontana road, is the farm of Sam. Walthall, one of Osage’s substantial men, who have made this township “bloom as the rose.” Mr. Walthall was raised in Indiana (can’t remember whether or not he was from Posey county) and lived in Miami 20 years. Owns a farm of 130 acres. He has 50 acres in corn, 5 in oats and 5 in millet, 300 fruit trees and 2,000 cultivated forest trees. Mr. Walthall says “he likes Kansas better than any place on earth.” He treats his farm and neighbors well, and his farm treats him well. Long may he prosper. Rambling in Osage township, Miami County, KS - - Miami Republican, July 19, 1878 J.D.STEVENS—who is just opening out a nice farm of 80 acres.
FRED MATHEWS—Going east a mile from Mr. Walthall’s brings you to the hospitable mansion of Mr. Fred Mathews, the “cattle king of Osage.” Mr. Mathews was raised in Erie county, New York, and came to Miami county 18 years ago. He has a well improved farm of 640 acres, a large stone residence, cultivates this year 150 acres in corn, 10 acres in millet, and has 30 acres set to blue grass and red top. He has an orchard of 300 trees. Fed 150 steers last winter, bought and shipped 125 more. He has on hand 60 head of fat steers and has just purchased 202 head for next winter’s feeding. Likes Kansas well, and well he may, for Kansas likes him and has been generous to him. M.S. RUBLE—Goin north from Mr. Mathews, next on the left, is the splendid farm of W. S. Ruble. Mr. R. was not at home and we obtained no statistics. Mr. Ruble is favorably known as one of Osage’s good citizens, has a well improved farm of 160 acres and knows how to farm it. Hon.Wm .McCONNER—Opposite to Mr. Ruble is the farm of Wm. McConner, who has served one term as County Commis sioner, and the only complaint made of him, and by only a limited few, was that he was inflexibly honest. Mr. McConner was raised in Cayuga county,N.Y.,has lived in Osage 10 years, owns a farm of 160 acres, all under a good hedge fence, has fine residence, 90 acres in corn, 26 acres in wheat, orchard of 200 trees and 1 acre of vineyard. Says he “would exchange Kansas for no country he ever saw.” Z. COOPER—Going north one-half mile brings you to the splendid mansion and farm of Mr. Z.Cooper. Mr. Cooper is a native of Penn., moved to Iowa in 1863 and to Miami county in 1876. He purchased the splendid improved farm of Wilson Palmer, 160 acres. There are over 3 miles of good hedge, an orchard of 300 trees, vine¬yard of 350 vines and all kinds of small fruit. The residence of Mr. Cooper is one of the best in the township. We enjoyed his hospitality a day and night and never was hospitality more cordially dispensed. JONAS KING FARM—One-half mile north of Mr. Cooper’s on the Jonas King farm, resides Mrs. E. A. McClanahan, who has recently purchased it. Mrs. McClanahan with her two sons and daughter, live therein great comfort, surrounded by an orchard and vineyard of 20 acres. ALEXANDER BROWN—Opposite Mr. Cooper’s lies the farm of Mr. Alexander Brown—160 acres--100 of it in corn and 13 in oats, 3 acres in forest trees and an orchard of 325 trees. Mr. Brown was raised in Indiana, has lived in Osage 21 years and declares Kansas the best country he ever saw. The Republican is the first county paper he ever subscribed for. YODER FARM--On the Yoder farm resides Mr. Thos. P. Henness and Albert Johnson. They have a nice farm and both indus trious good citizens. JAMES REDDING—North of the Dr. Yoder farm Joe Dalton has a good farm, also Mr. Nelson Ayers and Mr. Cook. These we had no opportunity of examining. A half mile further north is the residence and farm of James Redding. Mr. Redding was raised in county Douegal, Ireland, came to American in 1849 and to Miami county in 1859. His farm contains 370 acres, 150 being the very finest of timber on the Marias des Cygnes river. It is a splendid farm and from the residence every rod of it can be seen, where not obstructed by timber. 0. MATHEWS--Immediately north of Mr. Redding, lies the farm of O. Mathews. Mr. M has a nice farm of 120 acres well improved with a large, fine, commodious barn. Mr. M. was raised in N.Y. and has resided in Kansas 18 years. Has ‘55 acres in corn, 12 in wheat and an orchard of 300 trees. Has lived in five States and “thinks Kansas the best.” J. J. MURPHY--Mr. Murphy was raised in Indiana and has been in Osage 4 years. His farm contains 320 acres. This year he has cultivated 120 acres of corn, besides small grain; has in timothy and clover 20 acres and an orchard of 400 trees. His corn crop for four years has averaged 40 bushels per acre. In all our travels through Miami Co. we have not seen a more handsome farm than Mr. Murphy’s, situated in the Dutch bend of the Marias des Cygnes river and level as a floor with a good drain-to the river. It is rich and fertile. To our great surprise Mr. Murphy informed us that he was anxious to sell and would sell at a low price, as he wished to retire from farming. HUSHPUCKANY: On the headwaters of this creek, in the northwestern portion of the township, resides THOS. BATTERSBY - - of Lancaster,England, on a snug 80-acre farm. South a half mile resides Geo. Ogden, on one of the best 80 acres in Osage. Est of Mr. Ogden’s on a 160 acres, resides ENNIS DODD--Mr. Dodd has a well improved farm and is an old citizen.
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