John A. Rawlings

JOHN A. RAWLINGS, owner of the "Long Branch Stock Farm," which is located in Pleasant View township, is one of the early settlers and prominent citizens of the county. Since the spring of 1903, he has been a resident of Columbus. He was born in Rush County, Indiana, in 1844, and is a son of the late Coleman and Eliza (Decker) Rawlings.

Coleman Rawlings was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, and died at his home in Pleasant View township, Cherokee County, July 4, 1903, aged 87 years. At the age of 21 years, he accompanied his father, Aaron Rawlings, to Rush County, Indiana. In 1861 he moved to Champaign County, Illinois, where he followed farming until 1871, when he came to Cherokee County, Kansas, and made his home in Pleasant View township for the remainder of his life. He was a Democrat in his political views. He belonged to the Methodist Church. His wife died when John A. was in his infancy, and he married again. Of the eight children born to these two marriages, three were sons and five daughters. Rev. James Rawlings, a brother of our subject, was a school teacher and a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He taught school from the age of 16 years; he came to Cherokee County in 1867, and died here in 1899. He is survived by a widow and five children, who reside at Pittsburg, Kansas, and still own the farm in Pleasant View township. He assisted in the building on his farm of a fine church edifice, known as the Rawlings Chapel. A half brother of our subject, A. P. Rawlings, lives in Illinois, having formerly been a resident of this county. A sister of our subject, Sophia Hortense, married Walter Merrick, but is now deceased; another sister, Isabel, afterward became the wife of Mr. Merrick, and resides in Pleasant View township. Mrs. Lizzie Hickson (a sister of our subject) and two half sisters live in Illinois.

John A. Rawlings came to Cherokee County, May 16, 1866, and located in Pleasant View township, where he took up a "treaty right" of 160 acres. This he developed into a fine farm, adding to it until he now owns 440 acres in one body, which he leases as two farms. He was interested particularly in Shorthorn cattle and high grade Poland-China hogs, but has sold his stock since moving to the city, having conducted a very successful stock farm for many years. From 1896 to 1903, the Pleasant View post office was located on his land. His present handsome home on Minnesota street, Columbus, he erected prior to removing to the city.

John A. Rawlings was married in Illinois, to Sarah E. Rice, who was born in Wood County, Virginia, now West Virginia, and is a daughter of Shorthorn and Elizabeth (Brown) Rice. Mrs. Rawlings comes of old and distinguished ancestry,—from Revolutionary Virginia stock on one side, and from Plymouth Rock derivation on the other. Her grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War who lived to the age of 90 years, dying at his home in Virginia. The mother of Mrs. Rawlings was a descendant of the Carvers, one of the families represented on the Mayflower." Shorthorn Rice followed farming and stock-raising in Illinois, where he died January 11, 1863. Of his children, the survivors are, Mrs. Rawlings; David, a farmer in Illinois; and Mrs. Martha Lavina Harrison, of Los Angeles, California. A son, Arthur, died May 30, 1903.

Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings have had four children, all of them born in Cherokee County, namely: Oscar, who died February 23, 1873, aged five years; Frank, who died January 11, 1889, aged 19 years; and Cora, born in 1871 and Bertha, born in 1874, who are at home. These ladies are very accomplished musicians, and are social favorities[sic]. They have taught school, as did their mother, who prior to coming to Cherokee County was a teacher for three years in Champaign County, and for one year, in Platt County, Illinois.

Politically, Mr. Rawlings is a Democrat. Since 1870 he has been a member of the Anti Horse Thief Association, and has served as treasurer of the local organization for 25 years. Mrs. Rawlings is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5-97


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