Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Theodore Clarence Rush

THEODORE CLARENCE RUSH. A permanent resident of Johnson Township, Ness County, since 1879, Theodore Clarence Rush first saw this frontier section the year before. He is a contribution from Champaign County, Illinois, and has been extensively and successfully engaged as a ranchman, farmer and fancy stock breeder, his prosperity having been brought about through his preseverance[sic] in the face of hardships, his hard and well directed labor and his good business management.

Theodore C. Rush was born near Columbus, Ohio, February 24, 1851, and was brought up in the Town of Reynoldsburg, that state, until the death of his father, when he lived with an uncle for three years in the county. He then returned to his mother and went to school in winter, while he worked out in the summer months, being employed at 50 cents per day for three years by the same man, Thomas Koontz, who was a good example for any boy. His first farm work was with a yoke of oxen for his uncle, and when the family moved to Illinois he drove three yoke of oxen in breaking the land. His stepfather was his father's brother and was a carpenter by trade, and Mr. Rush learned to use tools and do building, and this knowledge has since been of great value to him. He remained at home until reaching his majority and was then furnished land and teams on shares, but after a few years turned his attention to the nursery business in Champaign County, which he followed for two years. Not being satisfied with the progress he was making in this business he resumed farming as a renter and continued to be thus engaged until he came to Kansas as noted.

Mr. Rush's father was George Rush and his stepfather David Rush, the former born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. They were of Pennsylvania Dutch and German ancestry and were sons of Daniel Rush, who died in Franklin County, Ohio, and was regarded as an adept with the violin. His children were: George; Solomon; David; Simon; and Margaret, who married John Lazier. The mother of these children was a member of the Parkinson family. George Rush married Abigail Wheaton, who died September 10, 1906, a daughter of "Squire" Wheaton, who came from near Seneca Falls, New York. George Rush died October 17, 1859, aged thirty-three years, and of his children Theodore C. was the only one to grow up.

Theodore Clarence Rush came to Kansas as a young married man, making the journey by train to Larned and then completing the trip by way of wagon. He homesteaded the east half of section 6, township 20, range 25, this being one-half timber claim at the time, and his closest neighbor was two miles away. Among those who settled here about that time were Fred Roth, Paul Stull, James Anderson and J. P. Johnson, the last named an older settler than Mr. Rush. Mr. Rush started to engage in farming with four horses and a cow, which he had shipped from Illinois to Larned and led across the prairie. His first work here was the building for his family of a dugout, a one-room home, 16 by 16 feet, which was covered with boards and sod and plastered, and with a window and a door, quite a pretentious structure, although for a time it had no floor. His next work was the planting of seed potatoes he had brought from Illinois, but these never sprouted because of lack of moisture. After he had completed his preliminaries he began breaking sod for the planting of his trees, in compliance with the ten-acre law. Mr. Rush made an effort at farming, but the result of his operations was nil and he resorted to work away his farm to provide the necessities of life. He freighted from Dodge City to Ness City, hauling an occasional load, but this source of income was cut off with the coming of the railroad, and he turned his attention to the raising of cattle. Mr. Rush has never sold but one calf during all the time that he has engaged in stock raising, for he found that the calves would grow into better money, and that he had an excellent market for his butter in the range men and the trailsmen passing through from Texas to the Union Pacific Railroad. Mr. Rush built up a herd of Shorthorns to a good bunch and was then employed by J. G. Arnold, one of the best known men of this section, who had come from Doniphan County, Kansas, later served as county treasurer of Ness County, and was a banker and financial plunger. He established a Shorthorn ranch near the farm of Mr. Rush, and which is now owned by the latter who was foreman of the ranch, fenced in 15,760 acres, located seven wind mills and developed a herd of 1,500 Shorthorn cattle. When Mr. Rush finished his connection with Mr. Arnold he was ready to start life over. He began it with eleven head of cows and his one-half section of land. Deciding to experiment with other breeds, in 1901 he changed from the Shorthorn to the Galloway, securing the nucleus for his herd from the Hay ranch in Newton, Kansas. It was unregistered but full-blooded stock that he has since been raising and selling for breeding and beet,[sic] and his demand for the former has been good. Through this means he has won his financial success in Kansas. He took second money on a carload of range steers at Kansas City, showing how well he has kept up his stock. Mr. Rush now has 360 added acres to his half-section, and his ranch of more than ten sections includes a large body of leased land. His connection with public affairs has been merely a general interest in local or state matters and in helping to elect the best man. He served in an early day as a justice of the peace and is now treasurer of the township.

Mr. Rush was married in Champaign County, Illinois, in 1879, to Miss Mattie Justice, who died in 1885, leaving the following children: Jessie, who is the wife of Ernest Ebert, of Ness County, and has four children, Ethelyn, Juanita, Minorva and Reuel; Mattie, who married William Wilde, of Hutchinson, Kansas, and has two daughters, Dorothy and Alberta. Mr. Rush was again married, in Ness County, August 8, 1893, to Miss Estella Robison, who was born in Storey County, Iowa, November 10, 1864. Her father was Joseph P. Robison, who homesteaded land in Johnson Township, Ness County, and proved it up, subsequently becoming a grocer at Ness City. He was born in Scott County, Iowa, and fought Indians at times, in California while he was living in that state, during the progress of the Civil war. His death occurred September 23, 1903, when he was sixty-six years of age. Mr. Robison married Miss Elizabeth Tichenor, a daughter of Joseph Tichenor, of Bureau County, Illinois. She was born December 28, 1838, and died September 8, 1918 in Ness City. To Mr. and Mrs. Robison there were born children as follows: Rosetta, who died as Mrs. Frank Yates in Iowa, and left several children; Raymond, a resident of Ness City; Mrs. Rush; Carrie, of Ness City, wife of Albert Law; Miss Edna, county superintendent of schools of Ness County, and one of the early teachers here; Maud, who married William Johnson, of Perry, Iowa; and Roy, of Ness City.

Mrs. Rush enjoyed good educational advantages as a girl and completed her education at the Kansas State Normal School, following which she taught a few terms of school in Ness County, some of which experience was secured in a sod schoolhouse. She had taken a claim in Ness County before the family had moved to Kansas, and this she proved up while living in a small stone dugout located on her claim. To Mr. and Mrs. Rush there have been born three children, namely: Zola Estella was married August 8, 1917, to Grover Zuehlke, and to this union one son, Willard, was born July 11, 1918, and Mrs. Zuehlke died July 22, 1918; Ross died at the age of nine years; and Evelyn Launa is attendiing[sic] the Ness City schools.


Pages 2493-2494.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 5 - Table of Contents

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