Cowley County Heritage Book

Pages

- 251 - 252 - 253 - 254 - 255 -


Cowley County Heritage Book Page 251


(continued from page 250) At this writing Guy's children have produced fourteen grand children, six of whom carry the Newton name and many great-grandchildren and a few great-great-grand children.

Only one descendent of Guy and Jeannie Newton now resides in Kansas. Leora died in 1971. The five surviving children return to their roots from time to time in Atlanta and the Flint Hills.

Submitted By Clayton A. Newton
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 251.

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William Newton

William Newton was born in Bristol, England, March 15, 1842 and died April 29, 1923 in Winfield, Kansas.

When a little child he came to America with his mother and settled in New York. It was necessary for him to support himself from youth and he eventually drifted westward and by strict integrity became a self-made man. He first went to the northwest, where he became a gold miner and later learned the harness trade, working in Omaha, St. Louis and other cities of the midwest. He went to Iola, Kansas in the early seventies and there married Miss Mary V. Rawson. Mr. and Mrs. Newton moved to Arkansas City in 1877 and to Winfield in 1878.

For over thirty years Mr. Newton was a merchant in Winfield, conducting a harness shop at 814 Main. He retired from active business in 1912. By sheer frugality and close attention to business, he amassed wealth and became one of the prominent landowners and wealthy citizens of the county. He held an interest in one of the largest financial institutions in southern Kansas, The First National Bank of Winfield, being a stockholder and director.

He was a man of strong character and will power, decided in his views and decisive in his judgment. He owned some of the best farm land in Walnut Valley and all was found on a farm of his north of Winfield near Rock, the field being known as the Newton field.

Mrs. Newton died in 1914 and Mr. Newton died in 1923. They had no children so Mr. Newton left a bequest to the City of Winfield, which resulted in the William Newton Memorial Hospital.

Submitted by Richard K. Wortman
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Nichols Family of Rock

Darrel Nichols, second son of Minor Thomas and Wanda Nichols of Rock, Kansas, and Jeanette Bielby, oldest daughter of William Scripps and Jean Elizabeth Bielby of Winfield, were married April 26, 1963 in Winfield and began their life together in Rock.

Darrel, born June 24, 1942, chose the oil field as his first love, and worked for short periods as a farmer and rancher. During the oil boom of the 1980's, he was owner of his own well servicing business and serviced wells in Cowley, Sumner, Butler and Sedgwick counties.

Jeanette, born April 26, 1941, chose the health field and became a registered nurse with employment in Winfield and Wichita.

During the time we raised three children: Darren (B. 2-8-66); Dale (B. 2-23-68); and Melinda (B. 2-29-72), I worked part-time. In 1972, I wrote and published the Rock, Kansas Scrapbook, a local history and worked at the Rock Cafe. I also worked as a photojournalist and news correspondent for area newspapers. Information has been gathered for a Udall, Kansas Scrapbook, which will be published later.

On August 24, 1978, the Nichols family and other Rock residents became world famous for the tragic accident at the Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Titan II site (533-7) south of Rock. The incident killed two airmen during a recycle which released nitrogen tetroxide in the air.

My interest in history afforded the opportunity to be selected as a board member of the Cowley County Historical Society. Today, I carry on a program, began by a former board member, of "Walking Tours". The varied programs are given at city festivals and meetings to bring to life the past events in Winfield with narration and a slide show using photographs from the Cowley County Historical Museum archives.

Another achievement I take pride in is my affiliation with Cowley County Civil Defense Auxiliary, I was elected president for 1989.

We welcomed two daughter-in-laws: Shannon (Peak) and Cheri (Shook) into the family and we have two grandsons.

Darren Nichols chose the ranch and farming career; while his wife Shannon, chose the health field working at the Winfield State Hospital and Training Center. Their son, born April 6, 1989, was named Cole William.

Dale chose the oil field and auto mechanics for a career; while his wife, Cheri, chose to work as a clerk. Their son Dustin Scott was born June 16, 1989.

Melinda chose the health field and became a Certified Nurse Aide at age sixteen and has been employed at the Good Samaritan Village in Winfield for the past two years.

Submitted By Jeanette Sue Bielby Nichols
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Porter Nichols and Blakely Family

Porter Nichols was born in Belvidere, ILL. in a log cabin. His parents were immigrants from Ireland. At age 36 Porter made his way to Cowley County, Kansas. In March, 1872 he staked his claim for the Northwest 1/4 Section 33 Township 31 south of range 5 in Osage Indian lands for 160 acres. The deed was signed by president Ulysses S. Grant June 10, 1873. The original Indian Territorial deed still remains in the family. He broke sod by hand and started a temporary shelter. He then journeyed to Kansas City, Kansas where he was united in marriage to Jenny Thompson.

Nichols gathered some necessary materials and with oxen drawn wagon he returned alone to his claim. He completed temporary shelter and did planting. In 1875 he returned to Kansas City for his family, they journeyed to Cowley County, in covered wagon, drawn by oxen. While crossing the Neosho river they were swept down stream, their wagon partly overturned. They lost part of their possessions, however, the oxen pulled them thru safely.

They lived in a small, temporary cabin while building the home where their children were raised. This home was erected in 1876, with lumber hauled from Wichita, drawn by oxen.

They were blessed with four children, namely; Frank, Fred, Fannie and William. The Indians often raided the home of breads and flour. In 1880 the New Salem Township was formed. The officers were J. Johnson, C Krow, and Porter Nichols. These names and pictutes may be view on the archway above the existing New Salem water pump.

Mother often spoke of going across the pasture, (where New Salem is) to bring in the cows. Porter and sons helped construct the Methodist church building. The Nichols children attended New Salem school.

Fannie Nichols was married to Earl Blakely, August 14, 1912 at Winfield, Kansas. To this couple were born four children. Unnamed daughter, died at birth, resting in Burden Cemetery. Floyd, James, and Lucille Blakely. When I was six months old our father disappeared. Mother and we children returned to the homestead, at New Salem. Mother cared for her aging parents, and worked the farm to make a living for the family. Jenny Nichols expired July 5, 1923, eighteen days later Porter joined her, both are in the New Salem Cemetery.

Mother remained on her portion of homestead ground, raising her children in the original home built in 1876. She and her children attended New Salem churches. We children attended New Salem school.

On March 11, 1954, while visiting with me in Tulsa, mother expired, she was laid to rest beside her first born in the Burden Cemetery.

Her portion of the homestead land was divided between her three children. They were the late Floyd Blakely, (retired general contractor and insurance adjuster), resting in New Salem Cemetery. He was father of two daughters, Linda and Carolyn of Winfield, and one deceased son Jimmie, at rest in New Salem Cemetery.

James Blakely of Dodge City, Kansas, owner of J. and L. Sales and Blakely Development Corp. He fathered two sons. Larry of Meridian, Mississippi, and Jerry of Eugene, Oregon.

Lucille Blakely Smith, Tulsa, Oklahoma, owner and instructress of Lucille and Robert Smith Dance Studio. I have one son, Robert Blake Smith, Tulsa Oklahoma.

Brother Jim and I still collect wheat from the homestead ground.

Submitted By Lucille Blakely Smith
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Nickel Family

There surely are days when residents of Cowley County consider the climate anything but dry. But in 1884 at least one family made Winfield its destination because they considered it drier than Illinois.

That was the family of John H. Nickel, a farmer and harness maker. Before 1884 John, his wife Mary, and two children Emma and J.Carl, lived near Beardstown, Illinois. But Carl was afflicted by asthma, and suffered greatly in the humid Illinois River country. At first the Nickels intended to move to Arizona, truly a drier climate, but then they met up with H. T. Trice, a promoter and real estate man from Winfield. He convinced the Nickels that Winfield was a better place to be than Arizona.

Nickel sold all but one piece of land in Illinois, and came to Winfield, where he established a harness business. It was the forerunner of a business that exists to this day in Winfield.

The older child, Emma, in 1910, married Earl M. Hartley, a Winfield businessman. They lived out their lives in the community. Young J.Carl Nickel, seven years old when he moved to Winfield, later became well-known as the proprietor of a business that bought and sold hides, tallow, and scrap metal. Carl Nickel died before he was 60 years of age, and the business continuity was maintained by his son, Grayson, and Carl's wife, Merle Nickel.

Merle Nickel became a fixture in the business world of Winfield, as she remained active with her son until her eyesight failed. She lived to within one month of being 100 years old, dying in 1983. Her son Grayson subsequently sold the business and remains a resident of Winfield.

Submitted by Robert D. Hartley
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 252


Bud & Jan Nitschke

Bud and Jan are the only Nitschkes in Cowley County and they have no other Nitschke relatives in the entire State of Kansas. Coming from farm backgrounds 300 miles apart, they first met in the fall of 1946 in their senior year in high school at St. John's Academy in Winfield. Bud came from the Texas Panhandle south of Perryton and Jan from northwest Kansas in the Oberlin area. She still owns part of her childhood farm near Traer, which was established by her parents, George and Blanche (Dakan) Leitner, in 1934. Both parents are now deceased.

Bud and Jan were married on December 26, 1951. The next two years were Bud's army years, and during part of that time, they lived in El Paso, TX and Philadelphia, PA.

Bud received his college degree at Wichita State University and Jan from Valparaiso University in Indiana. She later received a Masters Degree from WSU. They both had careers in Wichita that spanned a 32-year period. Sixteen of those years were lived in Wichita and the last 16 they communted from their ranch 15 miles east of Winfield, where they continue to live after retiring this past year from their city jobs. The ranch was originally purchased by Bud's parents, Sam and Martha (Kelln) Nitschke, in the mid-40s and they lived on the ranch for 13 years before moving back to Texas in 1967 to operate their farm there. Sam passed away in 1983 and Martha, age 84, lives in Spearman, TX.

During their careers in Wichita, Bud was an agent in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Due to required training in his career, they lived one summer in Oklahoma City and another summer in Washington D.C. Jan was a business teacher at North High School, where she sponsored an active Bible Club for many years. Her accounting classes enjoyed annual field trips to the ranch.

The Nitschkes have a son, George, age 35, in Seattle, WA (Engineering Degree from Wichita State University); a daughter, Ava, age 36, in Brownwood, TX, (Business Degree from West Texas State); and two grandsons, Jess, age 15, and Joseph, age 12.

Bud and Jan have enjoyed traveling in all 48 mainland states, Hawaii, Alaska, the Yukon, Canada, Mexico, Israel, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Bud (during his Sky Marshalling days with the Treasury Department) has also been to Scotland, Spain, Greece, India, Guam, Okinawa, Formosa, Thailand and Hong Kong.

They agree that the best place to be is on their Flint Hills ranch. Their house sits on a high bluff overlooking Grouse Creek Valley. Wildlife is in abundance. It is not uncommon to see deer stroll across the yard and the gobble sound of wild turkeys is a frequent occurrence. Occasionally, a mother bobcat and her young will come near the house. Excitement runs high at the sighting of an eagle. When one is seen, it soon swoops away in majestic flight. The Nitschkes have 17 different species of the area in taxidermic mounting.

"This year of 1990 is a milestone year in our lives," Jan says, "as we are now both 60. Our life together has been very good-not completely free of some trials and tribulations along the way (no one's life is), but what a blessing to know that all is in God's hands."

"Even eventual death itself," Bud adds, "should be a triumph, not a tragedy. A lifetime is such a short period of timewe travel so quickly from our earthly beginning to our home in Heaven, but for what more could one ask."

Submitted by Bud & Jan Nitschke
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O'Loughlin Family

Thomas Joseph O'Loughlin (1818-1919) was born in the Parish of Oughagower, County Mayo, Ireland. With his three brothers-Peter, Luke, and Michael-he emigrated to America in 184 1, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he married Margaret Day-born in County Limerick, Ireland-in 1848. They had four children-Peter, Thomas, Johanna, and John Edward. The family moved in I B57 to Coal Creek, Red Vermillion Township, Nemaha County, Kansas. Thomas served in the Kansas militia and also helped to subdue the Indians. He came to Hays, Kansas, in 1892.

Thomas' son, John E. O'Loughlin (1865-1933) found himself stranded near Hays, Kansas, April 1, 1885, when the Percheron stallion he sold for $1,200 died before delivery. Penniless, he found work as a stone mason in Hays-later becoming a farmer and rancher northwest of Hays. John E. O'Loughlin married 08-25-1890 Mary Ellen McIntosh (1870-1938) daughter of James and Cordelia Byers McIntosh. She was born in Henry County, Iowa. John served as a member of the Kansas legislature for two terms and became proprietor of one of the largest motor car agencies in Western Kansas.

Mary Ellen's father, James McIntosh (1843-1929), was born in Bantam, Ohio. He enlisted in the 184th Ohio Volunteers and served for the entire period of the Civil War. He was discharged at Bridgeport, Alabama 05-24-1865. He married Cardelta Byers 04-08-1867 and settled in Illinois. In 1884, with five children, the McIntosh family moved to Rome-west of Hays, Kansas.

John and Mary O'Loughlin had eight children: Thomas J., Margaret A., Kathryn E., Cordelia, Mary Jane, John E. Jr., Joseph J., and a baby girl. Kathryn Ellen O'Loughlin McCarthy, wife of State Senator Daniel McCarthy, became Sixth District Kansas Congresswoman-the first woman to be elected to Congress from Kansas.

Mary Jane O'Loughlin married B.A. Tubbs 01-05-1921 in Hays. There were seven children. Two died when infants: Charles Howard and Janice Eileen. The Tubbs family moved to Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1938 when B.A. purchased the Chevrolet dealership.

John married Ruby (Rusty) Van Brunt in 1946. Joe died single in 1960. B.A. Jr. married Beverly Trace in 1957. Mary Ann married Richard Wortman in 1953. Tom married Joan Zaworski in 1952.

John operated Tubbs Motor and retired upon its closing in 1989. He lives in Arkansas City.

B.A. Jr. had five children-Daniel, Joseph, Jerry, Steven, and Brian. He is presently living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Mary Ann married Richard K. Wortman and they have one child: Kevin Bruce Wortman. They reside in Arkansas City.

Tom had six children-Thomas, Mary Jo, Terrence, Timothy, John, and Janet. He resided in Sheffield Lake, Ohio.

Submitted by Mary Ann (Tubbs) Wortman
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Worley O'Neil Family

My father, Worley O'Neil, came to Highland, Kansas from Pennsylvania when he was sixteen years old. Two years later, in 1878, the family travelled to Douglass to the end of the railroad and on to Winfield by wagon. In 1880 they moved to their farm four miles west and one mile south of Winfield.

My mother, Lottie Soule, was eight years old when her family left Cattaragus County in western New York in 1880. Her father, Chester D. Soule, was influenced by his brother, Thomas, who was here in 1871 and staked a claim east of Winfield before returning to New York. They were descendants of George Soule of the Mayflower Company. Both my grandfathers served in the Union Army.

In 1891, Worley and Lottie were married. Six months later their house was destroyed by a tornado known as the Wellington storm, so they moved a mile north where their eight children were born. I was the youngest. This home was near the Mt. Zion Methodist Church that had an important place in our lives. Because of our student-preachers from Southwestern College, we became acquainted with many future ministers. We joined the First Methodist Church in Winfield when Mt. Zion disbanded in 1938. In 1914, my father became discouraged with farming here and sold the farm. He and two neighbors moved their families to Wyoming and he bought a farm at Bosler, near Laramie. Six months later we came back to Winfield, where we settled in the Kellogg community, and my father had to start over again here. Worley and my brother Harold were carpenters and built or remodeled many houses and other farm buildings in the community, working for $0.65 an hour. In 1919 they earned $1.25 an hour working on the new $10,000 Co-op Elevator at Kellogg. This enabled them to buy a new Ford from Stuber Brothers then located at 123 E. 9th. It cost $592 (war prices) plus $12 for an optional speedometer.

In 1924, we moved a mile south of 48 Schoolhouse, located where "South Vernon" is now; the school that my mother, her six brothers and sisters, her eight children, and most of her fifteen grandchildren, some nieces and nephews and some of their descendants, attended. The original building became part of the Soule Barn in 1894. And the building that replaced this became the machine shed on our farm in 1956 when the new South Vernon school was built.

Submitted by Ward O'Neil.
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 253


(continued from page 252) In 1942, I married Anefle Trumbull, who had come to Winfield from Dodge City to attend school. Our oldest son, Jerry (married to Alice Archer Stone from east of Winfield). lives two miles south of us and farms. Virgil is a driller and Rodney is an elementary school teacher. We bought and live on the place that my father bought in 1915, two miles west and threefourths mile south of Winfield. Our roots are deep in Vernon Township, Cowley County.

Submitted by Ward O'Neil
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Herbert B. & Helen (Aumann)Olmstead

Herbert (Herb) B. Olmstead was born near Udall, March 10, 19 1 0, to Benjamin and Cora (Townsend) Olmstead, one of eleven living children. He grew up in the Udall-Belle Plaine area and graduated from Winfield High School. He married Helen Aumann, May 16, 1932. They had two sons: Kent and Victor. Kent and family live on the ranch and are the parents of a daughter, Teri, and a son Justin. They are the owners of the Bluestem Booksellers store in Winfield. Kent is a computer engineer at Boeing in Wichita. Victor lives with his wife and son just east of Arkansas City. He is an electronics technician for Sears.

Herb and Helen farmed and fed cattle until Herb's death January 16, 198 1. Herb was a well known cattleman in Cowley County, attending cattle sales in the area to buy his stock, as well as travelling to other states, even to Old Mexico. He was a member of the Cowley County Livestock Association, which for several years held its annual picnic on the Olmstead ranch.

In 1963 a mobile home park was established for week-end recreation, and annual barbecues were held for the members, serving catfish (weighing up to 30 lbs.) from the river, ribs and chicken. There were always large crowds.

After Herb's death, I bought and moved into a double-wide mobile home, located about half a block from the ranch house, thus being able to still live at "home".

Submitted by Helen (Aumann) Olmstead
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Olmstead-Townsend

The Olmstead family arrived in America from England in 1632, being one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. There are few families in America that are both as old and expanded in such a large family tree as the Olmstead family. By 1640 there were several Olmsteads in the Hartford settlement. By the time of the Revolutionary War, seven generations of Olmsteads had been in America.

I will begin with Jeddadiah Olmstead, who it is thought was born near Terre Haute, Indiana about 1833. After his father's death, his mother placed him in an orphanage in Leavenworth, Kansas around 1840. It is thought he worked as a farm hand until around 1850. Sometime between then and 1855, he became a tinner. Around 1855, he married Mariah Corman, born in 1838 in Pennsylvania of German ancestry, whose great grandfather served at Valley Forge.

Jeddadiah and Mariah came to Kansas in 1855 and lived through Gen. Price's raid on Lawrence, where "blood ran through the streets". The panic of 1872 drove them to try another place to live, and in 1873, Jeddadiah staked a claim near Udall. They were the parents of eight children, one of whom was Benjamin F. Olmstead, the father of my husband, Herbert B. Olmstead.

Benjamin Olmstead married Cora Townsend June 17, 1895. Her father was Wm. Townsend, born in 1843 near Cameron, Missouri. He served with the Union Army in the Civil War. One of his letters tells of his company firing on Gen. Price's company which was camped at the foot of a mountain. It beat a hasty retreat, so the attackers then went down and ate the pork and beef that had been abandoned.

After the war, Wm. Townsend married Sara Jane Trice, sister of H.T. Trice. They made their home in the Winfield area cal their married life. They were the parents of eight children, one being Cora Alice, who was the mother of my husband, Herbert B. Olmstead.

Cora (Townsend) Olmstead and Benjamin F. Olmstead had eleven living children. They spent most of their married life in the Belle Plaine, UdaH, and Winfield area, with the exception of a very few years in Oklahoma.

Cora Olmstead would tell me of the terrible prairie fires that occurred when she was a child. One story was of a fire they saw coming, from the smoke filling the skyline, and of her father rushing out to plow more furrows around the farmstead. And of her mother making her and her small brother lay on the floor while she went outside and threw the washwater, left from the morning's washing, on to the house. Their home was saved.

Cora (Townsend) Olmstead Smfley died May 10, 1946. Benjamin F. Olmstead died December 5, 1950.

Submitted by Helen (Aumann) Olmstead
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Robert C. & Loyette Ann Olson

Robert C. (Bob) Olson was born on October 14, 1925 in Newton, Kansas, the second of three children born to Luther C. and Freda Aurrell Olson. His father was an early dentist in Kansas having graduated from dental college in 1914.

Robert was in the Navy from 1943 to 1946 as an aviation radioman. After the war, he earned his B.S. degree from Kansas State University and his D.D.S. from the University of Kansas City Western Dental College in 1954.

Loyette Ann Polhans was born on May 18, 1932 in Newton, Kansas, the second of two daughters born to Leo W. and Jean Turnpaugh Polhans. Her father was a crane operator for the Santa Fe Railroad in Newton.

Robert C. and Loyette were married on May 30, 1953 in Kansas City, MO. On July 19, 1954 they moved to Winfield where Robert opened his first dental practice in a little white building which had been the Shamrock Grill next to the Lagondo Hotel on East Ninth Avenue.

Their first daughter, Beverley Jean Olson was born September 19, 1955 and married Paul Buffer, of Newton, Kansas, on November 23, 1985. Their second daughter, Mary Margaret Olson, was born on December 1, 1966 and married Christopher Beach of Winfield, on September 28, 1986.

There are two granddaughters. Christa Mikeal Beach was born in Winfield in 1987 and Bethany Danielle Beach was born at Hill A.F.B., Utah in 1988.

Robert now practices dentistry at 107 College and Loyette works as Administrative Assistant for the Charlotte Hill Charitable Trust and the Sidwell Charitable Trust in the law office of Herlocker, Roberts & St.Peter.

Submitted by Bob & Loyette Olson
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John Raymond (Ray) Ore

In 1882, John Peter, originally from Kentucky and Illinois, bought a farm located one mile north and four and a half miles west of Burden, Kansas in Cowley County. He was to sell the land to his son, James Peter, in 1893. James then sold this land to the young son of an adjoining landowner in 1899. This young man, John Calvin Ore, brought his young bride, Ada Peter Ore, a school teacher, to this farm. They built a house and barn which are still used today.

They had six children: Mrs. Joe (Audrey) Mickley, John Raymond (Ray) Ore, Mrs. Harold (Ethel) Sphar, Mrs. Joe (Gotdo) Ridings, Mrs. Ross (Beulah) Bolack, and Robert L. (Bob) Ore. All six of John and Ada's children and spouses farmed in Cowley County for over forty years.

One of my most fond memories of this time is the annual birthday celebration of Papa (J.C. Ore). Papa's birthday was a family holiday, and on every July 31, the whole family came together for the occasion. Papi always fixed a recipe that was known only to him ... an unusual, delicious fried corn that he had learned to make in Illinois. The others carried in fried chicken, potato salad, cakes, pies and ice cream. Everything was put on the large dining table. Grandpa sat at the head of the table with Grandma at the other end. Joining them at the table were their sons, daughters, and as many of the men in-laws as the table would accommodate. After that group finished eating, the other in-laws and the grandchildren were called to eat. Johnnie Ore, Rex Bolack, Jimmy Sphar, Charles Ore, Ronnie Mickley and I never minded waiting because we were jumping and rolling in the hay in the barn or jumping off the chicken house roof on a rope swing, being caught just in time to miss the tree, by our big cousin, Raymond Sphar. He later died in the Navy during World War II. It was a time of daring and risk-taking and exploring the unknown.

When Grandma Ore died in 1946, Grandpa was 83. His eyesight and legs were failing him, but I can remember him "scooting" and planting his garden. Grandpa never considered leaving the home he loved and, fortunately, he didn't ever find that necessary. His son and daughter-in-law, Ray and Hilda (continued on page 254)

Submitted by Ava M. Ore.
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 254


(continued from page 253) Werling Ore, and his grandsons, John and Charles, lived close and cared for him until his death at 89 in November of 1952.

In 1953 Ray and Hilda bought the land from the J.C. Ore heirs and moved into the "big" house. Extensive remodeling has taken place, but the house is still the home of Ray and Hilda Ore today.

Ray quit farming at age 77 and sold his machinery to his nephew. His land is farmed by a cousin, Lewis Jordan, who is the son of Hazel Peter Jordan. Ray and Hilda will celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary in June, 1990, along with their sons, John and Charles, daughters-in-laws Isabel and Connie, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Written by Janna Ore Young and Submitted by Ava M. Ore
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Robert L. Ore

On November 1, 1893 in Cowley County, Kansas, a land patent signed by President U.S. Grant was issued to a twentytwo year-old man from Sangamon County, Illinois named Milburn Peter. This land was located one mile north and three and one-half miles west of Burden, Kansas, In 1882, Milburn sold this land to his father, John Nelson Peter, who had also migrated from Illinois, and then moved south to Indian Territory on land near, what is now, Perkins, Oklahoma.

Eight months later, John Peter sold the land to Calvin Ore from Morgan County, Illinois, In 1916 Calvin Ore gave the land to his only daughter, Margaret Ore Gilmore and her children.

The land was farmed during the next thirty years by William T. Gilmore, John Calvin Ore, John Raymond (Ray) Ore and Robert (Bob) Ore.

In 1946 Robert L. (Bob) Ore and Ava Medearis Ore bought this land. Robert's mother, Ada Peter Ore, was the niece of Milburn Peter, the granddaughter of John Nelson Peter, and became the daughter-in-law of Calvin Ore when she married his son, John Calvin Ore. It is evident that this farm has been in the family of Robert L. Ore since it was Osage Indian Territory.

Bob left college at Oklahoma Baptist University after two years to farm because he loved this land. He improved the land with waterways and terraces, clearing old building sites and drilling wells. The Ores built new buildings and the burn, with a rock foundation and walls, used rock from the land that his father and grandfather had chiseled their names on many years before. Bob added to the farm size by buying adjoining acreage, some of which also goes back to relatives as its original owners.

For over forty years, Bob practiced his reverence for the land loaned to him for a short time by God. He made decisions which conserved and nurtured the soil. Working the land was his passion, and he was never too tired to enjoy doing it. He was plowing in his garden when he died on May 25, 1981.

In 1983 Ava Medearis Ore established the Robert L. Ore Farm Partnership which included their daughters, Janna Ore Young and Mary Ore Cornett. Bob's son-in-law, Frank E. Young, now farms some of the land and the Robert L. Ore Farm Partnership strives to care for, and love the land, in the long tradition passed on to them.

By Mary Ore Comett, submitted by A va M. Ore
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The John Oringdulph Family

John Oringdulph came to Cowley County from Tennessee in the 1870's with his two daughters, Ellen and Eliza A. They settled in Beaver Township west of the Arkansas River.

Ellen was born October 9, 1850 and she married Isaac Nelson. Isaac died December 13, 1903 and Ellen died April 25, 1909. They had three daughters and three sons. One of the sons died in infancy. The other sons, I.E. and Robbie, lived all their lives in Cowley County. Robbie's daughter, Dorothy Nelson, married Walter Sheneman and still lives in Winfield.
Eliza was born July 19, 1857 and died August 6, 1932. She married George H. Hesket after coming to Cowley County.

John, his two daughters and their husbands are buried in Tannehill Cemetery.

Submitted by Mabel Resket King
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Arthur Orr Family

Arthur Orr was born near Armagh, Tyrone County, Ireland on February 27, 1845. He sailed with his parents, his two brothers, William and Tom and a sister Lizzie on the sailboat "Urgent" for America, arriving in the spring of 1851.

He served in the Civil War with the 30th Regiment of the New Jersey Volunteer Infantry and in Co. L, 2nd New Jersey Cavalry. He was discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi June 28, 1865.

In the Fall of 1869 Arthur moved to a location on Timber Creek, seven and one-half miles north of what is now Winfield, Kansas. He preempted 160 acres of land and established a home.

The story is told that about 1870 or 1871, Will Orr, (Arthur's brother) and his wife were expecting their fourth child, and Will's wife needed some help with the work around the house. The Will Orrs lived on a farm adjacent to Arthur's. Will had heard of a family by the name of Meece who had five daughters and lived about twelve maes to the north. It was decided that Arthur would visit the Meece family and ask for one of the daughters to come to work for Will and Harriet. So Arthur rode on horseback to ask for help. Although she had never worked away from home, Mr. Meece decided that twenty-three year old Christina, the eldest daughter, could go to work for the Orrs. So they put her clothes in a carry-all, helped her onto the horse behind this young stranger and thus a new life began for her.

"He is a man of high principle, and his success in life is due solely to his honest, open methods in business, and to the untiring energy which has characterized his active business career."

Descendants of Arthur and Christina Orr now living in Cowley County are a granddaughter, Florence Davis of Winfield, a great grandson, Gerald Weigle of Burden and a great granddaughter, Joy Eash of Arkansas City.

Submitted by Submitted by Joy Eash.
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 254.

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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 255


The Charles Orr, Sr. Family

Charles Orr, Sr. was born in Whitely County, Indiana September 11, 1865. He came to Cowley County with his parents, Mr. & Mrs. James Orr in 1878 locating on a farm southwest of Winfield.

As a young man, Charles worked as a cowhand on the 101 Ranch in the Oklahoma Territory. Until his death he was a member of the Cherokee Strip Cow Punchers Association.

On February 14, 1897 he married Miss Tennie Peden (born July 9, 1867) at Hackney. They established a home in a new log cabin two miles southwest of his childhood home in Beaver Township.

The log cabin, one of the first to be built in Cowley County, was built of cottonwood logs cut along Beaver Creek. They were squared in one of the first mills in the county. Cottonwood was also used for the walls, floors, and joists while sycamore was used for the sheathing under the shingles. The walls were calcimined. The stone fireplace was built of rock quarried near Arkansas City. Fred Brown and Sons were the builders.

It was in the log cabin that the Orr's three children were born: Donna, Opal and Charles, Jr.

For forty-one years Charles was a successful farmer. He was a member of the Church of Christ at Kellogg, the Blue Lodge of Winfield, the Topeka Consistory of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free-masonry, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Farmers' Union.

Charles died March 18, 1928 and his wife, Tennie died September 1, 1948.

Donna Orr, the eldest daughter was born August 8, 1898. She attended Tannehill Rural School and graduated from Winfield High School in 19 1 B. On October 4, 1919 she married Noel Bailey in Winfield, They had one daughter, Neola. Donna was a lifelong homemaker. She died February 19, 1989 at the age of 90 years.

Opal Orr, born January 31, 1902 attended Tannehill Rural School and graduated from Winfield High School in 1922. She was a career teacher having taught in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Teaching art was one of her special talents especially lapidary. She died February 3, 1965.

Charles Orr, Jr. was born July 10, 1904. He grew up on the family farm. At the age of six he moved with his family into their new two-story home on their farm.

He attended Easterly and Tannehill Rural Schools. In 1911 when he was attending Tannehill School, his teacher was R. Hazel Dielmann. The school board members were: C.C. Watts, B. Schwantes, and Birt Mentch. Pupils enrolled that year were: Sybil Watts, Bertha Schwantes, Halcyone Wright, Hazel Beck, Manel Mentch, Donna Orr, Curtis Watts, Edna Schwantes, Opal Orr, Etna Mentch, Charley Orr and Lucille Wright.

Charles often remarked that one year he was the smartest boy in school. He was the only boy that year.

Charles attended Winfield High School graduating in 1922. He went on to attend the University of Kansas where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1927. While at KU he was a member of Delta Upsilon.

After graduation he worked for Marland Oil Company in Ponca City, the City of Emporia and the Santa Fe Railroad Company in Topeka.

When his father became ill he returned to the family farm where he was a successful wheat farmer until his retirement in 1979.

During the Kansas Diamond Jubilee Celebration, Charles presented the family log cabin to the Friends University Museum. The original rag rug was still on the floor.

Charles was an avid bridge player and spent many hours playing cards with his friends. He died December 10, 1983 after a long illness. With the exception of Donna Orr Bailey all members of the Orr family are buried in Tannehill Cemetery, not far from their farm home.

Submitted by Florence Booth, a family friend
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 255.

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Albert M. & Anna Margaret Ott

Johann Gottfried Ott and Christina Catharina Pheil were both born in Kornwestheim, Germany, five miles outside Stuttgart in Southwest Germany where Mercedes Benz cars are now made. They married and later came to the United States in 1832. They settled in Columbiana County, Ohio where; John Godfrey, called "Peter" was born 7-27-1833. He married Mary Hoover 7-3-1856 and moved to near Macon, Illinois. To this union Albert M. Ott, second son of four children, was born 10-20-1866 in Jasper County, Illinois. In the fall of 1873, as a small lad, he came with his family in a covered wagon to Pottawatamie County, Kansas.

Ann Margaret Adams was born 12-23-1872 in Jefferson County, Kansas, the daughter of William and Emmaline Adams. She came as a small child with her parents to Pottawatomie County, Kansas.

Albert Ott and Anna Margaret Adams were married 12-231890. They started housekeeping in a log cabin near Onaga, Kansas and there the first child was born. A house was built on the paternal farm where they lived until coming to Cowley County. In 1899 they purchased a farm southeast of Winfield in the Prairie Ridge community, Liberty Township. Mr. and Mrs. Ott owned and donated the land on which the Prairie Ridge School was built. With the exception of two years spent in Ottawa, Kansas they made their home on this farm until retiring and moving into Winfield in 1945. They made their home at 1317 East 12th with Albert's brother, George Washington Ott, as his wife, Edith C. (Fox) Ott had died 4-30-1940.

Albert Ott's nephew, Dr. Ellis R. Ott, son of George Washington Ott, lived in and near Winfield in the early 1900's. He earned his M.A. degree in math from University of Kansas, Lawrence, and in 1934 a Ph.D. in math from Illinois University. He taught at Rutgers University from which he retired after 26 years as a member of the faculty. He was the author of two math text books and a book on quality control for use in industry.

The Ott's were members and attended regularly at First Baptist Church in Winfield.

Albert and Anna had five children. They are; Bertha married J.P. Haworth and are the parents of Prentiss, Richard, David, Calvin and Rayburn. Ollie Ray married Leona Blanche Bowen and are parents of Marjorie June (Ott) Williams, Mfldred Elaine (Ott) Moore and Carol Jeanne (Ott) Rhodes. ORie's twin sister, Ola Faye, married Wm. Yadon and are parents of Letha (Yadon) Tribbey and Arthur Yadon. Bill Ott married Bertha McCalister and are parents of Bill, Bob, Delores and Donna. Ivan married Eunice Haney and they had no children.

Albert M. Ott died 3-28-1946 and Anna Margaret died 4-51958. Both are buried in Highland Cemetery at Winfield.

Submitted by Carol J. (Ott) Rhodes, granddaughter
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 255.

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Ollie R. & Leona B. Ott

Ollie Ray, twin brother of Ola Faye (Ott) Yadon, was born 1-25-1894 in Wamego, Kansas and is the eldest son of Albert M. and Anna Margaret (Adams) Ott. Ollie was five years old when he came with his parents to the farm they purchased in 1899 southeast of Winfield, in the Prairie Ridge Community, Liberty township. He farmed with his father here until his marriage to Leona Blanche Bowen.

Leona Blanche (Bowen) youngest daughter of Warren and Sarah (Venning) Bowen, was born 3-8-1893. The following account is from her diary: "I graduated from 'common school' at Rose Valley and was given a scholarship to Southwestern Normal Academy, Winfield. This pleased my parents as they felt that quite a few of the high school students were very wild and I would be safer in the Academy.

"I enrolled for the fall term in 1907 at the age of fourteen. I took Latin, studying the book of Ceasar, Biology, Physics and Literature.

"I would go to my home in the country every Saturday. My father or mother would pick me up in the horse and buggy. We always had a good time together and I looked forward to each Friday. We had to get up at 5:30 am, sometimes earlier, if we wanted extra time on Monday morning. My home was ten miles from the Academy. Often I would fall asleep on the way to school after getting up so early. I had a room and cooked for myself in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Phillips. Their son was Professor of Math at the Academy. The Phillips were very good to me - just like a father and mother. The tolling of the bells at St. John's College awakened me each morning at 6:00 AM.

President Frank A. Mossman addressed the student body each morning with the admonition to "keep the morning watch." It was his way of telling the students to reserve some of their personal time for devotions. I still reserve some time for my morning devotions and prayers.

"I spent the next four years at the Academy. They were happy years. I received a life certificate to teach at age eighteen, graduating with the class of 191 1, along with Mildred (Branson) Stuber, Jennie (Elliott) French, Smith Haworth, Reba (Shaw) Muret and Herbert 'Curly' Vaughn for whom the tennis court in Winfield is named.

"My first school was the Prairie Ridge School, Here I met Ollie and we were married September 26, 1917, I also taught

Submitted by Carol J. Ott Rhodes.
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EMAIL Cowley County Coordinator
Karen Rodenbaugh ....Arkansas City, KS

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State Coordinators
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS
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tcward@columbus-ks.com