Cowley County Heritage Book

Pages

- 276 - 277 - 278 - 279 - 280 -


Cowley County Heritage Book Page 276


(continued from page 275) She was much help to our mother. Her best friends were Lucile (Bish) Dixon, Louise "Cookie" (Robertson) Grag, and Margarite and Jim Dill. These friends lasted a life time.

She married Lester Albert Rhodes Sept. 20, 1930. They had four children: Charlotte Joan, born 4-20-1932; Larry Phillip, born 8-22-1934; Phyllis Lavone, born 12-12-1937; and Wallace Leon, born 2-3-1944. Lester worked at the A.C. Flour Mill in Ark City and Boeing in Wichita where they were living during WW II. They moved back to Ark City where he started in the carpenter, cabinet making business. After retiring from this in 1974, he worked in his garden and fished. Through the years Nevada gave a helping hand to everyone. She was a kind and loving mother, sister, daughter, and daughter-inlaw.

Charlotte married Herbert Fultz July 24, 1948. They had two children: Angela Lynn, born 4-23-1954 and Bradley Clayton, born Oct. 16, 1956.

Larry married Rogena Hutchins June 14, 1953, and they had three boys: Larry Douglas born Sept 16, 1955, known as "Doug"; Aaron Quin born Dec. 12,1957; and Kevin Drew born Oct. 31, 1959. Kevin died on Oct 17, 1977, and is buried in Riverview Cemetery.

Phyllis married Roger Yocom on Aug. 3, 1956. They had one boy and two girls: Steven Kent born June 3, 1960; Deborah Lynn born Sept. 15, 1964; and Kathy Diane born May 21, 1963.

Wallace married Jane Grover on July 10, 1968. They have one boy and two girls: Sean Everet born Feb. 3, 1968; Tara Leigh born Sept. 11, 1970; and Heather Colleen born July 14, 1975.

Nevada and Lester have five great-grandchildren: Adam Arnold Mooney, Amber Margariete Rhodes, Troy Phillip Rhodes, Crystal Ann Rhodes, John Anthony Fultz and Brandi Lea Fultz.

Lester died Jan. 27, 1988 and Nevada died Jan. 5, 1989. Both are buried in Riverview Cemetery here in Arkansas City.

Nevada was like a second mother to me. We miss her. "Thanks "Vada" for ironing my little ruffled dresses."

Submitted by sister, Barbara Jean (Dixon) Holt
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 276.

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Winthrop & Jane Sowers Richards

Winthrop, born in 1911 in Canton, Mass., and Jane, born in 1913 in Chicago, are both graduates of New Trier High School, Winnetka, M. Winthrop graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1933 and Jane graduated from Northwestern University in 1935.

Winthrop was employed from 1933 to 1970 by Lammert and Mann Co., Chicago, and Lammert Industries, Addison, Ill., manufacturers of commercial and industrial oil and gas burners, serving during the period cis chief engineer, director and vice president of sales and engineering.

In 1970, the Richards and Jane's mother, Mrs. Alva (Nina) Sowers, moved to Winfield where Mrs. Sowers died in 1986 at the age of 99. In 1970, Winthrop joined Gordon & Piatt Inc., which became Peabody-Gordon-Piatt, as a design and combustion engineer. Since 1982 he has been an engineering conswtant for Webster Engineering and Mfg. Co., Inc. of Winfield.

Jane was employed by Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago, and Pioneer Press, Wilmette, ID. She was elected to the board of the Northbrook (ID.) Public Library in 1961. After moving to Winfield, she was employed by the Winfield Daily Courier.

The Richards are members of the Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, and she is a member of the board of the Winfield Oratorio Society, the Sister City Committee and the Friends of the Winfield Public Library. They have three sons, Donald of St. Charles, Mo., James of River Forest, III,, and Robert of Villa Park, Ill., two grandsons and two granddaughters.

Submitted by Jane Richards
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 276.

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Leroy & Edith Ridings Family

Leroy P. Ridings was born in 1864 at Scotch Grove, Iowa. He moved with his parents to Dickinson Co., KS when a young man. The family then came to Sumner Co., KS in 1888 where his father, James Ridings, died July 25, 1888 and is buried near Milan, KS in the Milan Cemetery. Charlotte Sutherland Ridings, wife of James, died July 28, 1900 and is buried at Milan.

Leroy P. Ridings moved to Cowley Co. in the spring of 1892. He married Edith Blanche Burt, born October 29, 1870, daughter of Joseph Jr. and Elizabeth Burt of Eatonville, KS on February 16, 1898. Edith Ridings came to Cowley County with her parents in 1871 when they homesteaded a farm in the Eaton Community.

Leroy and Edith Ridings lived on a farm near Eaton, KS. They left the farm and moved to Burden, KS in November 1943. Leroydied 2-3-44 and Edithdied 6-13-61. Bothareburled in Highland Cemetery, Winfield. The children of Leroy and Edith are Joseph B., Fred S., Florence E. and Harold C. Both Fred and Florence are deceased. The children attended grade school at Eaton and high school at Winfield. They walked 1 1/2 miles or drove a horse and buggy to Eaton School and also to buy groceries at the General Store operated by Bob and Effie Sandborn. The family were faithful church attendants traveling by horse and buggy until a car was purchased about 1917.

Joseph B. Ridings married Golda Ore. They lived on a farm west of Eaton. A son, Calvin Leroy, was born to them. Their son died at the age of 2 1/2 years. Later Joe and Golda moved to a ranch near Latham, KS and lived there until they retired and moved to Winfield.

Fred S. Ridings married Velma Nimrod and they had a daughter, Marjorie. She married Lloyd Lockwood and lives at Edmond, OK. Fred died in 1964.

Florence E. Ridings stayed at home with her parents and cared for them until their death. She then moved to Winfield where she died 3-6-90.

Harold C. Ridings married Luciel A. Kingsbury. They lived in the Dexter, KS community until moving to rural Cedar Vale, KS in 1942. Their children are James A. Ridings of Ft. Pierre, South Dakota and Marcia Bacon of Oologah, OK. Harold and Luciel have eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Harold and Joe ranched and farmed together until Joe moved to Latham. Harold continued farming and ranching and did custom combining with son Jim for about 14 years, making the run from southern Oklahoma to the Canadian border. Harold quit the custom combining business in 1968 and purchased land in South Dakota where son Jim now lives. Harold and Luciel still live on their farm north of Cedar Vale and Harold travels to South Dakota to help with farming and wheat harvest each summer.

Submitted by Mrs. Harold C. Ridings
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 276.

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Oscar Otto & Bessie May (Fell)Riggs

Oscar Otto (Ott) Riggs was born 6 Aug. 1896, possibly in Coffeeville, KS to Gilbert Wesley and Emma Leann (French) Riggs. Ott's father died when he was about two years old. As a child he lived in Burden, and Conway Springs, KS.

Bessie May Fell was born 4 Dec. 1898 in Floral, KS to Isaac Wesley and Ada Sedell (Hoyt) Fell. Her father was killed near Perry, OK in 1908. As a child she lived in Floral, Winfield, Arkansas City, KS, near Perry, OK, and Conway Springs, KS. She walked across the pasture of the 101 Ranch to go to school.

Bessie and Ott were members of Conway Springs Christian Church and both sang in the choir. During their dating years, Ott would leave Conway Springs to pick up Bessie, about a mile in the country, and give out a loud whistle, which he was known for, and Bessie knew he was on his way. Bessie and Ott married 20 April 1916. They rode in the caboose of a freight train to Wellington, KS to get married. They moved to Winfield where Ott drove a livery wagon delivering groceries and merchandise. Ott farmed near Burden and worked for a farmer. They moved to a form called the Rice place east of Frog Hollow, and in the Dexter area. Ott worked on a dairy west of Winfield, and at the McKnab farm, north of Winfield, taking care of race horses. Around 1950 they moved west of Caldwell, KS and worked for Bessie's uncle Arthur Hoyt farming. Ott also farmed for himself. Bessie was always busy quilting, tatting, and always had a big garden. She filled the cellar every year with canned goods. Ott was known far and wide as a square dance caller.

After retiring they lived in Caldwell, where Ott mowed lawns for several years. In 1978 moved to Arkansas City for their remaining years.

Bessie died 26 Dec. 1980 of a heart attack. Ott died 17 Aug. 1987, Both are buried at Highland Cemetery, Winfield, KS.

Bessie and Ott had seven children: Helen Louise (Mrs. Lee W. Johnson), Winfield, KS; Esther Elizabeth (Mrs. Paul Kincheloe), Arkansas City, KS; Clyde Vernon, Elm Creek, NE; Robert Cecil, Fountain Hills, AZ; Doris May (Mrs. Walter Ball), Arkansas City, KS; Vesta Lucile (Mrs. Johnny Doolittle), Norwich, KS; Harriet Irene (Mrs. Lee Thompson), Ft. Worth, TX.

Submitted by Glenda L. Martin, Granddaughter
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 276.

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Lewis Augustus and Adeline(DeCamp) Rising Family

Lewis Augustus Rising s/o Robert Augustus Rising and his first wife Sarah Jane Fagg, was born in Chillicothe, MO, 9-21-1862, He moved from Missouri, coming to Cowley County in 1877 with his father and step-mother, settling on a farm near Tisdale.

The immigrant ancestors of Lewis were early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Colony of Connecticut in the 1620's and 1630's. His grandfather moved west ca. 1831, and settled in Adams Co., Indiana, where the family lived when they removed to Cowley Co.

Lewis was married on 6-3-1895, to Adeline "Addie" DeCamp, of Grand Summit, KS, born in Adel, IN, 2-22-1870. Adeline, d/o Emmett Woodworth DeCamp, B. Connorsville, IN, 2-27-1832, d. Dallas Co., IA, 9-3-1917, and Ann Eliza Howe, b. Ithaca, NY, 9-9-1842, d. Springfield, MO, 12-27-1909.

Ann was a distant cousin of Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine. She descended from a family who after much suffering and cruel persecution with the massacre of the French Protestants on S. Bartholomew's Day, 24th August, 1572, fled for safety to the Netherlands and later to England. Her immigrant ancestors, found their way to New Amsterdam (New York), ca. 1650, and settled in New Jersey. Later generations removed to Ithaca, NY, thence in Indiana and Iowa. (continued on page 277)

Submitted by Gale J. Bunner
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 276.

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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 277


(continued from page 276) To Lewis and Adeline were born eleven children, one died young and two sons, Robert Byron, d. age eleven, and Olin Dean died, age twenty-two. Lewis and Addie were engaged in general farming and lived in the Tisdale, Atlanta, Burden, and New Salem communities before retiring and moving to Winfield ca. 1943. Lewis died on 10-6-1947 and Addie on 8-281972, both are buried in the Burden Cemetery with their infant child and two sons.

Eight children were married and raised a family, Hettie Mae, the oldest m. 10-10-1917, Riley Dee Bunner, b. Newton KS, 7-20-1886, two children Leo Tracy and Gale Joseph; Jessie Myrtle, m. 5-24-1916, Harvey Archibald "Archie" Brannan, b. Fredonia, KS, one child, Marvin Lowell; Iva Adeline, m. 4-15-1919, George Earl Grey, b. Cedar Grove, MO, one child, Dorothy Lorene; Lewis Emmett, m. 6-20-1926, Letha Pearl Archer, b. Winfield, KS, one child, Lillian May; Olive Pearl, m. 6-12-1928, Howard Ring, b. Burden, KS, four children, Phyllis Maxine, Kenneth John, Sharon Marlene, and Stanley Dean; Ernest Wayne, m. 10-22-1947, Leola Langston, b. Louisiana, two children, Thomas Jacob and Robert Wayne; Bryce Lamoni m. 6-20-1936, Helen Sickles, b. New Salem, KS, six children, Richard Eugene, Beverly Joan, Norman Gerald, Lowell Lamont, Evelyn Dianne and Derryl Leon; Leonard Leroy, m. 9-20-1940, Dorothy Craig, b. New Salem, KS, one Child Judith Lee.

Submitted by Gale J. Bunner
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 277.

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Charles W. & Mabel H. Roberts

Charles Willis Roberts was born on November 13, 1866 in Mahaska County, Iowa, and came to Cowley County with his parents in April 1871. Details of their settling here are contained in the biographies of John C. and Elizabeth Roberts. He grew up on the Roberts homestead and attended Maple Grove School which adjoined. After graduation from Winfield High School, the second graduating class, he attended Southwestern College. He then read law in the office of Col. Fink and was admitted to the Bar in 1892. As a boy and young man, he rode his pony back and forth to high school, college and to Col. Fink's office. He did not enjoy farming and was determined to earn his livelihood in another way. He retained an interest in and love for the land, however, and accumulated considerable acreage before his death. His law practice had a solid base of farmers as a clientele, although he also represented a number of the major oil companies operating in Cowley County. He became interested in the oil and gas industry during its early days in Cowley County and was an authority on oil and gas law. His obituaries indicate he was instrumental in persuading several of the major oil companies to invest in Cowley County. He had the reputation of being an honest, fair and able lawyer.

His first law office was upstairs in a building located at approximately 120 E. 9th. After this building burned, he bought the building at 119 E. 9th in which Winfield Electric is now located. His office was again upstairs, because lawyers in those days did not believe it was proper to have downstairs offices.

On September 21, 1898, Charles married Mable Hutchinson. She had come to Winfield to attend Southwestern College. They one child, Lloyd S. Roberts, whose biography is separate.

Charles Roberts was an active worker in the movement to secure the Carnegie Public Library and served as a member of the first library board. He organized Highland Cemetery Company for Col. E. C. Manning, was one of the founders of the Winfield Country Club, a charter member of Rotary Club and as lawyer for Wm. Newton he helped establish Wm. Newton Memorial Hospital and served as president of its board until his death. He died June 29, 1941 at the age of 73, having practiced law for 49 years. One of his obituaries said of him: "He was a keen lover of his fellowman and in him many of them found an adviser, good listener, companion and benefactor."

Mabel H. Roberts was born at Pine Island, Minnesota, May 13, 1876. She came to Hutchinson, Kansas in 1888 when her father established a medical practice there. Later she attended Southwestern College, met and married Charles Roberts. She was active in civic work, especially the American Red Cross. She was responsible for the formation of a civil defense unit during World War I and the Winfield Community Council, of which she was the first president. She died December 25, 1954.

Submitted by Kay Roberts Light
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 277.

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James Jordan-Forrest Roberts Family

James Jordan came to America from Ireland in 1872. After working awhile in New York, he heard glowing accounts of wide prairies where land was cheap. He moved to Caldwell, Kansas where he married and had three daughters, Maud, Ethel, and Olive. His wife died and he married his chfldren's school teacher, Montra Vaughn.

In 1902 he bought 400 acres of land on Silver Creek and moved his family to Cowley County in a wagon. Their home was six miles east, three south and two east of Winfield. At that time it was a very wooded area and had many apple trees. In 1906, the two arch stone bridge was constructed across Silver Creek to become known as the Jordan bridge. Bill Yadon, a teen-ager of that time and pioneer in the county, helped with the construction. This bridge was declared a National Historic Site in 1985 through the effort of James Jordan's granddaughter, Montra Roberts Bergdall and husband Bill. Through the years the Jordan-Roberts Silver Creek ranch brought many people from miles around to picnic and swim down by the old Jordan bridge.

James Jordan used to drive his horses to a wagon or buggy to go the twelve miles to the Presbyterian Church in Winfield.

While James Jordan's new home on the west side of Silver Creek was being built he moved his family to Winfield and served as the town Marshall in 1909.

Their daughter Maud married Sam Wilson, son of Dr, R.S. Wilson, early pioneer doctor of Cowley County. Olive Jordan never married.

Ethel married Forrest M. Roberts of Oklahoma in the family home on Silver Creek, November 15, 1915. They had four children: Ruth Louise, Montra May, Audrey lean and Donald Jordan.

Ruth Louise married Warren Scott in 1940 and they moved into their home in Tisdale Township. They have four children: James of Hillsboro and Winfield; Joan who married Lowell Hotdorf and lives in Aurora, Colorado; Steven lives in Wenatchee, Washington; Susan married Bill Sudsbury and lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Montra May married Bill Bergdall in 1942. They have four children: Benton lives in Overland Park; Beverly married Jerry Johnson and lives in Rogers, Arkansas; Randy lives in Redding, California; Bonnie married Gregg Unruh and lives in Olathe, Kansas. Montra and Bill Bergdall moved to Rogers, Arkansas in November 1989.

Donald, always a Cowley County resident married Milly Jones. They had three children: Becky lives in Dallas, Texas; Rex in Washington; Cindy is married to Steven Grimes and lives in Arkansas City, Kansas. After Milly passed away, Don married Erma Handlin.

Audrey Jean is married to Earl Green.

The Jordan Ranch was sold during World War II in 1945 when it became too much to handle. Then Ethel and Forrest moved northeast of Winfield where Jean and her husband now live.

Ethel Jordan Roberts passed away in 1974 at the age of eighty-six and Forrest Roberts in 1987 at the age of ninety-six.

The families have been active in church and many community activities in Cowley County for many years.

Submitted by Roberts Daughters
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John C. & Elizabeth Roberts

Among the early settlers of the Winfield area were John C. Roberts and his wife, Elizabeth. They and their four children, Emdy Jane, loa Araminta, Cary Carlos and Charles Willis came by covered wagon from Mahaska County, Iowa near Oskaloosa. They arrived April 14, 1871 and spent their first night in Cowley County on the old Cochran claim in the bottom northwest of the state school. A few days later, they preempted a homestead in Section 12, Township 32, Range 4, where the old Maple Grove School stood. Winfield had been established the year before, but there were only a few families living in the area. The countryside was still rangeland occupied by buffalo and occasional Indians.

John had served in the Union Army, was wounded in the hip and decorated for bravery. In 1889 he was fatally injured in an accident involving a runaway horse. Following the accident, he was taken to the farm home of his daughter, Emily Jane. A doctor operated on him on the kitchen table. He died on April 12, 1889 at the age of 52. Elizabeth remained on the homestead until 1907 when she moved to town and lived at 1007 E. 8th, next to her daughter, Emily Jane, who was married to Moses Asbury Graham. Elizabeth lived until August 6, 1920. The homestead burned down in the twenties, although the land remained in the family until recent years.

Two of the children left this area after they grew up. Ioa, who was born October 28, 1860, moved to Nebraska, taught school and then was admitted to the Bar in Nebraska in 1890. She married Robert Benton Likes September 27, 1886. They later moved to Iowa. She was one of the first women attorneys west of the Mississippi.

Cary, who was born December 23, 1861, moved to Oklahoma at the time of the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893. He was involved in the oil business and at the time of his death lived in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He married Wretha M. Edwards in February of 1890. She died March 23, 1920. Cary died February 16, 1930 of complications following an emergency appendectomy. He was 68. Family lore is that he was a very large, colorful man, who in his younger days served as a body guard to an Oklahoma territorial governor.

The youngest child was Charles Willis Roberts, born November 13, 1866, who became a lawyer in Winfield. His biography is separate.

Submitted by Kay Roberts Light
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Lloyd S. & LaVerne S. Roberts

Lloyd S. Roberts was born March 14, 1900 in Winfield, Kansas, the only son of Charles W. and Mabel H. Roberts. He attended the Winfield public schools, graduating from high school in 1919. His friends called him "Gus," to his mother's dismay. She had deliberately chosen a name which did not have a nickname. The nickname came from a comic strip entitled, "Gasoline Gus and His Jitney Bus." Gus loved cars. When he was a youngster, he and his friends built a car in his parents basement. After finishing it, they couldn't get it out of the basement without tearing it apart. Later, Gus went to Kansas University and graduated from there in 1925. His graduation was delayed a year while he recovered from a fall from a second floor window of his fraternity house. He and his friends were horsing around and decided to leave quickly when they heard the study hall proctor coming up the stairs. They left by jumping out the window onto the fire escape. Gus being the last one out, closed the window nearest the fire escape and jumped from a farther window. It had been raining. He slipped and missed his grasp on the fire escape and fell two stories. Luckily, he survived.

The oil boom hit Cowley County while he was growing up. His father was involved as a lawyer with the oil business. Gus was fascinated by the search for oil and wanted to make it his career. (continued on page 278)

Submitted by Kay Roberts Light
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 278


(continued from page 277) His parents discouraged it. After graduation from KU, he enrolled in law school at Washburn University, Topeka, and graduated in 1927. The oil business remained an important part of his life and until his death, he was actively involved.

At Washburn, he met LaVerne Snyder, a Topeka girl attending Washburn. He married her August 9, 1928. They had one daughter, Kay (born January 20, 1932) who is married to Miles B. Light (see Light family biography).

After graduation, Gus returned to Winfield, became "Lloyd" to most people, and practiced law with his father, Charles W. Roberts. The firm was known as Roberts & Roberts. Their practice was primarily probate, oil and gas and title work. Gus enjoyed people and loved to chat, He cared about his legal work, strived for accuracy, Like his father before him, he had a reputation for honesty and good judgment. (See Charles W. Roberts biography). He was not a born litigator and believed that settlements were often preferable to lawsuits.

LaVerne was born February 13, 1900 in Belleville, Kansas. Her father, Guy Snyder, died of a ruptured appendix when she was quite small. Her mother, Nellie, later married C.W. Horn, a prominent Topeka businessman. LaVerne graduated from Topeka High, worked as a secretary and then entered Washburn. Her family decided to move to Long Beach, California in about 1927. She went with them. She loved her life in California, but married Gus and returned to Kansas. She was always supportive of his endeavors. She spent most of her married years as a housewife, but from time to time she worked in the law firm as a secretary.

Lloyd S. Roberts died unexpectedly October 11, 1968. LaVerne took care of her granddaughter, Melissa, until she was disabled by a stroke and Parkinson's disease. She died January 3, 1986.

Their daughter, Kay, graduated from Kansas University and from Kansas University Law School. She was admitted to the Bar in 1956 She practices law with the firm of Herlocker, Roberts and St. Peter, P.A.

Kay and her husband, Brad (Miles B. Light, III) have one daughter, Melissa, who is a student at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. She was born July 15, 1968.

Kay Roberts Light
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Wiliam T. & Barbara A. Carttar Robison

Among newcomers to Cowley County are "Jack" and Barbara Robison. They have roots here which go back several generations, however.

William Thomas Robison, son of William T. and Lillian Mai Wilson Robison, was born in Franklin, Tennessee. His father had died in December of 1915 before the birth of his tenth child May 5, 1916. Named for his father, at home he was called "Jack," at school "W.T.," in college "Robbie," and in the Army Air Corps "Bill." His ancestors were early settlers in Middle Tennessee in the late 18th Century.

Jack remained close to home, helping with the family dairy, until he finished Vanderbilt University, After three years of teaching he entered Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. Interrupted by his stint in the Army Air Corps, he completed his theological studies in 1947. In 1948 he arrived in Bolivia to start his career in Ancoraimes on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

Barbara Ann Carttar, daughter of Donald M. and Edna Tennery Carttar, was born in Wichita June 8, 1926. Her schooling was in Wichita and Clearwater, culminating with graduation from CHS. In 1948 she finished her degree in Home Economics Education after two years at Southwestern and two at Kansas State.

That summer she left to teach home economics at a Methodist mission school in La Paz, Bolivia. She soon met lack Robison, and they married in LaPaz on December 14, 1949.

Their home was in Ancoraimes for sixteen years during which their five children, Nathan, Price, Ann, Helena, and Daniel were born. They did educational and pastoral work there, in other villages, and in La Paz for thirty-three years. Always they worked among the Aymara Indians native to the area. Their children studied in Bolivia, and then they returned to the United States for their university studies. Most of the children chose to return to Latin America to work.

The Robisons have lived in Winfield since their retirement from Bolivia in 1981.

Their children are: Nathan Carttar Robison: b. December 2, 1950, La Paz, Boliva; married, two children, lives in La Paz. Charles Price Robison: b. January 13, 1953, La Paz; lives in Palatka, FL. Ann Tennery Robison Farah: b. November 21, 1954, La Paz; married, one child, lives in Bogota, Colombia. Helena Elizabeth Robison Peacock: b. November 30, 1956, La Paz; married, lives in rural Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Daniel McKinley Robisoni b. July 28, 1960, La Paz; married, lives in Cali, Colombia.

Submitted by Barbara C. Robison
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 278.

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Melvin Roessler Family

Melvin and Gladys Roessler moved to Winfield in 1945 when Melvin was hired (is Social Welfare Director for Cowley County. They moved from Kingman where he had held the same position. Melvin retired from welfare work in 1966. During this time he was also very active in Lions, Scouting and Red Cross. He served as secretary to the Winfield Lions for many years and also had 30 years of perfect attendance. He was district governor one year and was a director on the Kansas Lions Sight Foundation until shortly before his death in 1988. For many years in Scouting, Melvin was awarded the Silver Beaver.

The Roesslers enjoyed fishing and spent many weekends and holidays at Roaring River, MO fishing for trout. They also frequented Silver and Grouse Creek and farm ponds in the Cowley and Chautauqua County areas.

Melvin was born in Barber County in 1901 and Gladys was born in Laclede County, Missouri in 1903. They both graduated from high school in Kansas. Melvin attended Kansas State University and Wichita State when it was still Fairmount College. They had four children, Gwen McKenna of Kingman, Bob who was killed in the Korean War in 1951, Bea DeVore of Arkansas City, and Ramon of Bentonvflle, AR. They also have 14 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Gladys died in 1971. Melvin re-married in 1974 to Esther Wadsworth of Wichita.

Submitted by Bea De Vore
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Go West, Young Man: Chris & Kathy Rogers Family

Chris and I are not natives of Cowley County. Instead we are twentieth century pioneers from New York State! Our passage out west in the fall of 1971 was not made in a covered wagon, however, but in a station wagon complete with two babies, a wire-haired mutt named Hombre, and a bulging U-Haul trailer holding all our possessions attached to the back. The idea to move to Kansas took root early in Chris' life with a boyhood yen to cattle ranch coupled with a lifelong distaste of cold, snowy winters which were unavoidable in central New York. Two years after we were married in July of 1967, Chris graduated from Syracuse University College of Law and began serving as Assistant District Attorney in Syracuse, New York. I was at home with our first two children - Karen (7/25/69) and Clinton (9/15/70) - after teaching for the first two years after our marriage. When we made the decision to go west at this time, our biggest regret was moving away from out parents (Stephen & Athenia Rogers and Alfred & Polly Fischer) who were now proud grandparents and living nearby in Fayetteville, New York. Out specific destination was unknown when we left, but we headed for cattle country around southeastern Kansas. Upon arrival, Christ knocked on several doors of surrounding ranches until he found work on a ranch near Douglass, Kansas. This ranch not only needed an extra farm hand, but had a vacant tenant house for us as well.

Our transition from New York suburban life to Kansas farm life was immediate and delightful. Chris readily learned the do's and don't's of Kansas cattle ranching including roundup on horseback, on-the-spot veterinary care, hay hauling, tractor navigation and inventive machinery repair. Within two years after our arrival west, we had the good fortune to be able to purchase the Ernest Briscoe farm ten miles east of Winfield on Silver Creek. This farm remains our home today and has provided the most glorious place for countless adventures and blessings bestowed upon our family including the addition of two more children - Joanna (5/26/77) and Gretchen (6/28/78).

Our first two children are now students at Kansas University and our two younger daughters attend school in Winfield. Chris continues to divide his time between farming, training Standardbred horses on a hall mile track behind our house and maintaining his law practice at 117 College in Winfield. I have spent most of my years since our arrival in Kansas as a wife and mother, a teacher in the Winfield schools, and as an active member of our nearby country church - Tisdale United Methodist. Our family ventures in cattle ranching have expanded beyond cattle at various times during the years to include chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigs, sheep, horses ... even two buffalo! Chris' boyhood dreams of farming out West have surely been fulfilled, but his hopes for mild winters with little snowfall have often been foiled - to his chagrin - by the unpredictable Kansas winters!

Submitted by Kathy Rogers
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 278.

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Rosecrans & Wooddell

Philo Judson and Matilda Rosecrans came from Ruthern, Iowa to Winfield, Kansas. They arrived in 1900. Although Matilda was a Quaker, the move was made so their children could attend Southwestern College, a Methodist school. The children were Ellis, Stella (who died early in life), Eva, Mabel Grace and Vincent. Mabel Grace was barn Feb. 6, 1866. She met a young man by the name of George Benjamin Wooddell at Southwestern and married him on August 12, 1908 at her parents' home.

George Benjamin Wooddell was born August 13, 1881 in a cabin near Ness City, his parents having come to Kansas from West Virginia. His parents, Davis Franklin and Sarah Gabbert Wooddeh took their family to help settle the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma. The family settled in Amorita, Oklahoma and ran a store and meat market and also had cattle and crops. George Benjamin came to Southwestern with a baseball scholarship. He completed the couege's two-year business program. In 1916 his parents arrived in Winfield to live. He came from a Mennonite background as Sarah was a Mennonite. George Benjamin had three sisters: Mae, Effie, and Carrie.

Benny, as he was known around Winfield, farmed, ran Community Sale for years, sold Farmer's Insurance for hail, etc. for period of time. With Ira Plank, he helped start Cowley County Fair. He was known as an active and enthusiastic member of local Democratic Party. We remember Benny as a friendly man with a sense of humor, great honesty, and a belief in equality of all. Benny and Mabel's children are: Josephine Hoelscher, Bernice Kindt Parmenter, Philo Wooddell, Betty Jack, and Richard (Dick) Wooddell. There was also a son who died in infancy. All of Mabel and Benny's children are living with the exception of Betty who died in an auto accident.

Josephine married Harold Hoelscher in 1931. They had met at Southwestern when Harold came to college. They were married in her parents' home, 1505 East Ist. Josephine taught school at Hudson, Kansas prior to marriage. The Hoelschers (continued on page 279)

Submitted by Submitted by Josephine & Harold Hoelscher
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 279


(continued from page 278) lived at Brownell in Ness County for three years where Harold taught math, science, manual training and couched. He spent nine years teaching at Hartner, Kansas and moved to Kingman.

When World War II began, they moved back to their farm near Winfield, where Harold grew 100 acres of alfalfa at direction of the Selective Service, for the war effort. The alfalfa was ground and a drug extracted which was an effective blood coagulant. They continued to farm but Harold taught again at Kingman, followed by 10 years in Clearwater. He retired after 26 years of teaching.

The Hoelschers have two daughters. Anne graduated from Southwestern in 1956 and taught school. She married Marshall Hendrickson. They have two children: Riley works in Denver and Melinda lives in Olatha. Janet graduated from WSU and taught speech therapy. She married Carl Elkins and they have two children, Jennifer and Amanda.

The Hoelschers have lived on a farm south of Winfield since 1944.

Submitted by Josephine & Harold Hoelscher
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Aileene Rotha

I was born 7-2-15, the seventh and last child of Elmer and Rose Kingsbury, when they were living on a farm near Ashton, KS. Our family moved to a farm about 4 1/2 miles northwest of Dexter in 1920.

My parents were determined that all of their children have at least a high school education. We all graduated from Dexter High School. I then attended Arkansas City Junior College and Pittsburg State Teachers College, earning a BS (1937) and a MS (1943).

I attended Prairie Ridge Grade School which was about 1 1/2 miles west of our home. I walked, drove a horse and buggy and the last two years, I rode horseback.

Our saddle horse's name was Lola. She loved to run especially when headed home. One time my sister, Ora, and I were riding her bareback. Ora was mounted and when I tried to get on behind her, I caught my foot in Ora's coat pocket. Ora fell off on one side; I fell off the other side; Lola ran home and we had to walk.

I recall a terrible snowstorm we had. My sisters and I had gone to school driving a blind horse and buggy. The road had drifted shut so we started home across a field. Since the horse was blind, she floundered in the deep snow. We turned around, returned to the school house and spent the night at the neighbor's house. The next day, Dad rode a horse to the school, brought our lunch and got us home.

I grew up during the depression and remember packing our food (we called it our grub box) and clothes to go to Dexter on a Sunday evening to stay a week and go to high school. We cooked our meals and if we had 50 cents cash, we felt rich. Generally we would need to buy bread (10 cents a loaf) and maybe milk before Friday evening came.

I taught school in Kansas for seven years and then entered civil service in Washington, D.C. (1945) on a war service appointment. When it became apparent I would have difficulty establishing permanent status, I left government employment and worked for North American Van Lines, Fort Wayne, Indiana 1947-1973. Due to reorganization, my position was phased out so I accepted early retirement and moved to Winfield.

In 1954 I married Powen (Sam) Rayburn. "Sam" was his nickname after Speaker of The House, Sam Rayburn, a distant cousin, whom we met in the Speaker's office. Powell died of a heart attack in 1958.

In 1969 I married Albert Ludtke. He died of lung cancer in 1972.

In 1974 I married Max Rotha, He grew up in the Cambridge and Burden areas and attended Burden High School. He left this area during WWII and lived some 30 years near Half Moon Bay, CA. We traveled rather extensively by motorhome and tours. After his death from lung cancer in 1983, I continued to travel when I could. Max is buried in the Burden Cemetery.

Submitted by Aileene Rotha
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Rowe-Ibach Family

Harvey Rowe, third of the sixteen children of the Bert Rowe family of rural Winfield, attended the Rose Valley school near home, then Winfield High School where he was on the basketball team. However, in the spring of his sophomore year, he quit school to plant crops after his father broke his leg. After working several years for farmers and batching, he did county road work, then took a job driving a delivery truck for the Ranney-Davis Company. He roomed in Arkansas City with the Frank Nichols family. (Mrs. Nichols was sister-in-law to his sister, Esther Glass of Dexter.) It was there that he met Marian Ibach, friend of Carol Nichols, both students at the junior college.

Marian, daughter of J.D. and Myrtle Ibach, finished junior college and taught one year of rural school before she and Harvey were married in 1930. They lived on rented farms for several years, then moved to the Ibach farm where they lived with her farther and her brother Paul's family until about 1940, after her father's death and Paul's purchase of the farm.

They spent approximately two years, rich in experiences, but unsatisfactory economically, in Arkansas and Missouri before returning to Cowley County. They farmed and Harvey worked for neighbors until he ranked third in the state on a test for work for the State Highway Department. After a stint on Hwy. 166 in Sumner County, he got the care of the stretch of Hwy. 160 through Cambridge, to which they moved.

Daughters Alberta and Carol had been born in their early years on a rented farm, and Myrna was born while they lived on the Ibach farm. The girls all graduated from Cambridge High School.

Seeing no chance for further advancement working high- ways, Harvey found employment with Cities Service pumping station, first at Welch, Oklahoma, to which he commuted weekly, then at the local station. In May 1954, at fifty-four years of age, Harvey died suddenly in his sleep.

That August, Marian started back to college and was graduated Cum Laude from Southwestern College in 1956. She taught four years in Cambridge High School, then went to Emporia and earned a Master's Degree in Library Science in 1961, That fail she became librarian at El Dorado Junior College, the duties were shared with another librarian. Marian retired to the home in Cambridge where she prepares a monthly church newsletter, established a small community library, and gardens.

Alberta and Joe McChesney, now retired from employment with Cities Service and its successor companies, live at Dexter. She is the family genealogist. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Carol and Roland Jordan live at Grenola, where he farms and she works at the Winfield State Hospital. They have four children and ten grandchildren.

Myrna took nurses training at Newton Memorial Hospital, married the divorced Jack Walton, and is a surgical nurse at Wesley Hospital in Wichita. She has one son.

Submitted by Marian Ibach Rowe
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Rural Albert Rowe Family

Bert and Mabel (Fisher) Rowe married in Liberty Township, Cowley County in June 1896, Bert came to the county in the mid 1880's from Missouri. His family settled in this country in Virginia in the early 1600's, moving to Ohio after the Revolutionary War and then on to Missouri after the Civil War.

Mabel's family were early settlers of Cowley County, coming from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Her father, Justus Fisher, had taught at the Shawnee Mission Indian School in Kansas City, Kansas for a time before moving to Cowley County in 1876 or 1877 and marrying Esther Williamson.

Bert and his older brother, Ben, were in partnership for a few years until their families started to grow, then they dissolved the partnership.

Bert and Mabel farmed, raised cattle, and mules. They also raised sixteen children. Morris, Lena, Harvey (my father), Esther, Reed, Howard, Carol, Oscar, Cleo, Earl, Justus (who drowned at twelve or fourteen years old), Violet, Donald, Paul, Cecil, and Nita.

The Rowe boys liked to hunt and one winter two of the younger brothers, Donald and Cecil lived in a canyon cave and hunted and trapped. Oscar, Donald, Paul, and Cecil served in the Armed Forces during World War II.

There are three daughters and one son living today. Violet married Howard Speer, had one son and two daughters, and still lives in Cowley County. Carol became a nurse and married Charles Lilly, who passed away in 1980, they had five sons and she lives in Midlothian, Illinois. Paul and his wife Angeline (Angy) live in Sedan, Kansas and Nita and her husband Frank Brown live in Oxford, Kansas. They have one son and two daughters.

The remaining members of this extended family are in touch each year when they attend a family reunion in Island Park the Sunday before Labor Day.

Submitted by Alberta Rowe McChesney
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The Rowe Family

The Rowes were first known to live along the Dee River in northwest England. They had been natives of England for centuries. About 1611 some of the family immigrated to the Virginia Colonies along the eastern seaboard. William Rowe, Sr., of the Virginia Colony, had a son, John, who married Jane Walker, of the Walker family who originated the Walker Strain of fox hounds and Johnnie Walker Whiskey. They moved west through the Cumberland Gap into Tennessee, then later to Kentucky. When the Indian Treaties of 1795 and the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 offered land, John and Jane (Walker) Rowe's oldest sons joined with the Truman family and others for the westward parade to Ohio, stopping in Fayette County, where they lived for 50 years. It was here that Morris Bigelow Rowe, born in 1827, grew to manhood, married and was called into "The War between the States." About 1866 the Rowe's(continued on page 280)

Submitted by Bill Rowe
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Cowley County Heritage Book Page 280


(continued from page 279) crossed the prairies, settling near Independence, Mo. One of the Truman young ladies married a Rowe, and had a son, Moses Truman Rowe. In 1870 the Morris Bigelow Rowe family moved south to Dade County near Springfield, Missouri. In the spring of 1882 or 1883 the Rowe families were on the move again. Morris Bigelow Rowe's oldest son had been to Texas and helped drive cattle north "on the old Chisholm Trail" to Abilene, Kansas. Relating the stories of free land and tall, lush grass to the Rowe families, they started west across Kansas. The families settled at Cambridge, except the Morris Bigelow Rowe family, who moved on west to Medicine Lodge. In the spring, around 1900, Morris Bigelow Rowe's sons, Benjamin and Albert, returned to Cowley County where they purchased land, in Liberty township, southeast of Winfield. The family thought they had found their "Garden of Eden."

Another pioneer family from the eastern seaboard had moved westward to Prospect, Marion County, Ohio. Their son, John H. Mounts, born at Prospect, also fought in the Civil War. They moved to Cowley County by way of Sedan, Kansas, in Chautauqua County, and John Mounts married a young lady of the Royer family. Years later in Cowley county, one of their daughters, Carrie Alice Mounts, met and married Benjamin Davis Rowe. Their first son, Guy married Nina Engelhardt. They were the parents of Phyllis, Harold and Herbert. Daniel Merle, their second son, married Veryl Archer and they were the parents of Charlyne, Virginia, Kermit and Danny. Duane Rowe, their third son, married Sylvia Huff; their children are Bill, Nelda, Norma, Joan and Carl. Their fourth son, Charles Rowe, married Marie Peterson.

Benjamin and Albert Rowe started farming as partners. Around 1908 the partnership dissolved and Benjamin bought a 160 acre farm in Liberty Township. His sons farmed in Liberty Township, except Charles, who became a chiropractor in Wichita. They purchased a thrashing machine in the early 30's and began custom thrashing. In 1937 they bought a new John Deere thrashing machine, which is still in the family. Although combines became popular, they still did a lot of thrashing kaffir corn out of the stack. In the early 1940's Merle Rowe bought a grinder and did custom grinding for the neighbors.

Duane's family farmed approximately 200 acres, and maintained a herd of 20 dairy cows and 50 stock cattle. Duane and Sylvia moved to town in the early 60's; Duane passed away in 1969 and is buried in the Rose Valley Cemetery. Sylvia resides in Winfield now. Their children are still in Cowley County. My wife, Norma, and I purchased a farm near Winfield in the early 60's. We have a partnership with our daughter and her husband, Raylene and Bob Mattocks. They live in Great Bend with their two daughters, Shelley and Mindi. Raylene is a Probation Officer and Bob works at the Barton County Community College. (The Rowe Brand is the R with a horizontal bar - across the center)

Submitted by Bill Rowe
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Grace Genetta (Brooks) Ruggles

Grace Genetta (Brooks) Ruggles, born October 12, 1901 was the sixth child born to Thomas Jasper and Rebecca Jane Miller Brooks. She was born in Canon City, Colorado. When she was nine months old her family moved to Winfield, traveling in a covered wagon. Her family settled on a farm east of Winfield. She attended South Walnut and Frog Hollow rural schools. In this close knit community, the families who had more than one daughter would "lend" a daughter to a neighbor at canning time. Grace was the "canning-daughter" of their neighbor Luetta Scott. Grace went to work at sixteen for the Bob Johnson family. They had five children and the youngest, Aaron was about six weeks old.

Grace married James Walter (Bill) Ruggles October 12, 1929. They traveled to McPherson, Kansas so their friend Walter Bynum could perform the ceremony. Walter had just graduated seminary and had been given a church in McPherson.

Grace and Bill farmed in the Burden area most of their married lives. Grace was known for her homemade bread and often took ribbons at the Eastern Cowley County Fairs.

Grace and Bill have four children, James Maurice, born December 19, 1931, married Marjorie Lee Martin, June 19, 1954; Melvin Walter, born October 28, 1934, married Pearl Mae Rule, born October 12, 1957 (Grace & Bill's 28th wedding anniversary); Marcia Janiece, born may 16, 1939, married Willis Francis Andes November 24, 1957; Leora Jean, born December 21, 1942, married Marvin Lee Bland September 24, 1960. They have fourteen grandchildren.

Submitted by Pearl M. Ruggles
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James Elbert Ruggles

James Elbert Ruggles was born February 23, 1836 on Cabin Creek in Lewis County, Kentucky the son of Silas A. Ruggles, Sr. (born February 14, 1813-died July 30, 1881) and Matilda Roberts (born December 13, 1811-died September 8, 1897). James Elbert was a Civil War veteran, enlisting in Company "K," 23rd Regiment of the Kentucky Infantry (Kentucky Volunteers) in 1861. According to his military records, James Elbert Ruggles had been an infantryman for only fifteen days when he lost his left index fingers and half of his middle finger from an accidental discharge of a gun. he continued his service and fought by his younger brother until Samuel was killed May 21, 1862 at Pulaski, Tennessee. James Elbert fought in many other battles, including the Battle of Chickamunga, in which he was wounded in his left thigh. He was mustered out December 27, 1865 at Victoria, Texas and returned to his native Kentucky. On November 20, 1867 James Elbert Ruggles married Eliza Mary Eritt (born February 6, 1848) and for a few years lived on a farmstead on Cabin Creek in Lewis County, Kentucky. In the late 1870's he moved his family to Kansas and in 1880 settled on a farm in Liberty Township (Southeast Quarter of Section 8, Township 33 South, Range 5 East), which is now owned by Larry Dixon. Silas Anderson Ruggles, Jr., and his family soon followed his brother and settled on a farm also in Liberty Township (Northwest Quarter of Section 8, Township 33 South, Range 5 East) which is now owned by Dr. Chandy Samuel.

The children born to James Elbert and Eliza Mary Eritt Ruggles were: Marcellus, married and moved to Missouri to work with the railroad; Annie Laura, married Ambrose Smith and moved to a farm near Latham; James Elza Ruggles, married Edith Genevia Bowser and continued to live in Liberty Township.

Eliza Mary Eritt Ruggles passed away February 8, 1903 and was laid to rest in Rose Valley Cemetery, Liberty Township. James Elbert Ruggles died September 10, 1905 and rests beside his wife.

Written by Pearl Ruggles
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James Elza Ruggles

James Elza Ruggles was one of the children of James Elbert Ruggles and Elza Mary Eritt. James Elza was born in Lewis County, Kentucky December 20, 1876. His family came west to Kansas in a covered wagon when he was four years old. The family settled on a farm in Liberty Township and he spent most of his life in this area.

He married Edith Genevia Bowser October 25, 1893. To this union the following children were born: Edna M., born June 28, 1894, died July 1, 1894: Urdeen Luella, born September 19, 1895 married Arthur Abildgaard September 14, 1942, died August 10, 1971; Iva B., born March 15, 1897, died June 25, 1898; James Walter (Bill), born November 2, 1898, married Grace Genetta Brooks October 12, 1929, died June 3, 1897; Elizabeth Ione (Doll), born March 11, 1901, married Harold Lauppe May 22, 1932, died October5, 1956; Ethel Vina (Babe), born August 16, 1902, married Glenn Franklin Miller October 15, 1935, now living in Winfield; Lillian Beatrice, born August 7, 1905, died August 14, 1905; Violet Audrey, born December 12, 1910, died July 29, 1921.

James Elza farmed, and broke and trained mules for his livelihood. He worked closely with his son Bill, often going to town for feed and supplies. The hills in that part of Liberty Township were steep and if the load was heavy, the wheels had to be blocked so the horses or mules could rest. The horses and mules also liked to run down the hills. Bill liked to tell the story about when he and his father were going down the hill to Badger Creek taking the wagons to town for feed and supplies. Something spooked the horses hitched to the wagon Bill was driving and they took off on a dead run around James Elza's wagon, clipping the wheels on his wagon, as they headed for the creek. When the run away team came to the creek they bolted across. The king-pin came out of the wagon tongue and the wagon stayed in the creek while the horses continued on. Bill let go of the reins only after being jerked from the wagon. The horses continued running for another two miles. A neighbor who lived just north of Badger Creek, saw the run away team and went to see if he could help. The horses were rounded up and hooked up to the wagon. No one was hurt and the pair continued on to Winfield.

Submitted by Pearl Ruggles
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 280.


James Walter Ruggles

James Walter Ruggles is the third generation of Ruggles to live in Liberty Township, Cowley County, Kansas and the first generation to be born there. His grandfather, James Elbert Ruggles, came to Kansas by covered wagon in the late 1870's and settled on a farm in Liberty Township. James Walter (continued on page 281)

Submitted by Pearl Ruggles
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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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