Scyrenous F. Lewis

SCYRENOUS F. LEWIS represents a pioneer family in Saline County, where the Lewises located in 1871, when he was only eleven years of age. Most of his mature career has been spent within the boundaries of that county, though he also identified himself with the pioneer opening of Oklahoma and was a homesteader in that country for five or six years. Mr. Lewis has been a practical farmer and also a merchant at Bavaria, and is still in business at that town and is now serving as postmaster.

His grandfather Lewis came from Wales. His father, Enoch Lewis, was born in New York State June 6, 1824. At the age of twenty-four he removed to Portage County, Ohio, where he married and where he learned the blacksmith's trade. With that mechanical pursuit as his capital he removed to DeWitt, Michigan, where he lived and for many years conducted a blacksmith shop. He was married at Nelson Ohio, in 1848 to Miss Mary Larkcom, who was born in Portage County, Ohio, June 20, 1828, a daughter of Arvillus E. and Mary Larkcom, both natives of Massachusetts. While the family lived at DeWitt, Michigan, Scyrenous Lewis was born November 12, 1860. Enoch Lewis was elected and served ten years as a justice of the peace in Michigan.

In 1871 he brought his family out to Kansas, locating a tract of Government land in Washington Township of Saline County, ten miles southwest of Salina and 1 1/2 miles from the Town of Bavaria. He opened and established the first blacksmith shop at Bavaria, and conducted the business there three years. His later years were spent on his old homestead, and there the death of this honored pioneer occurred December 16, 1900. He also served as justice of the peace in Washington Township ten years, was a member of the school board twelve years, and always effectively performed his part and share in the burdens of community life. For forty-seven years he was a loyal member of the Masonic order, having taken his first degrees at Lansing, Michigan. His wife died at Bavaria, Kansas, September 6, 1903. They were the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. Scyrena and Sarah, both deceased; Scyrenous F.; and Arvilus, who was born in Michigan and is now a resident of Bavaria, Kansas.

Scyrenous F. Lewis was eleven years of age when he came to Kansas with parents in 1871, and he has many interesting recollections of pioneer times in this section of the state. As a boy on his father's farm he did the work assigned him faithfully and acquired his education in the local schools. He finally took the management of the farm and gave his time not without profit to the farming industry until 1896. In the meantime in 1889, he had gone to Oklahoma, participating in the opening rush for homes in that new territory. He acquired a tract of Government land in Logan County, and spent six years as a farmer and homesteader. He was also honored by election as a member of the first school board in that district. In 1895 Mr. Lewis returned to Bavaria, Kansas, and opened a store there, which he has now conducted profitably for over twenty years.

Various township offices have been given him as a proof of the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens and for many years he served as a member of the school board. In politics he is a democrat and in 1915 accepted the office of postmaster of Bavaria, having qualified for that office by civil service examination. Mr. Lewis is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

On July 29, 1884, at the age of twenty-four, he married Miss Alice M. Cronkite. Mrs. Lewis was born in DeWitt, Michigan, July 29, 1864, and has been a resident of Kansas since she was nine years of age. Her parents, Henry W. and Cornelia (Thornton) Cronkite, natives of Michigan, settled in Ellsworth County, Kansas, in 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have three children, two sons and one daughter: Bruce H., born December 5, 1886, was married June 24, 1916, to Miss Ida Sensy, who was born in Saline County, Kansas, in 1894. Mabel Claire, the only daughter, was born April 5, 1891. She has evinced special talent as a musician. She graduated from the Musical Conservatory of Bethany College at Lindsborg, Kansas, and finished her studies in the American Conservatory of Music, at Chicago, and is now a successful music teacher. Enoch A., the youngest child, was born while his parents lived in Logan County, Oklahoma, February 4, 1893. He is a graduate of the Kansas Wesleyan Business College at Salina. On June 20, 1915, he married Edna Sensy, and they have one child, Lloyd Milton, born June 19, 1916.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March 19, 1999.

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