The FULLER Family
Jim & Mabel Fuller Family
James L. (Jim) Fuller, 12th child of Oliver Perry and Elizabeth Narcissus Adelaid Hicks Fuller, was born in Mahaska County, Iowa, Oct. 14, 187 1. When he was seven years old his parents moved to a farm three and one-half miles N.E. of Winfield. The stone building, which his father hired a stone mason to build before they came, still stands and was his first home in Kansas. He grew up in this community.
Jim spent his younger years playing with and training horses from the time they were colts. When about 18, he made the first of many trips to Oklahoma Territory with horses and wagon. At age 20, he staked a claim and on his 21st birthday was first in line at the Land Office in Weatherford to file. He proceeded to "prove-up" on the 160 acres and received the deed at the end of a year but had found the mineral water in the area was detrimental to his health, so traded the farm for livestock and machinery and returned to Winfield.
Jim married Laura Mabel Orr, daughter of Christina and Arthur Orr, January 6, 1897. Three daughters were born to them, Delphine, August 15, 1897; Florence, January 27, 1899; and Lucille, November 23, 1900. In 1902 the young couple took the opportunity to own 160 acres of fertile virgin prairie-land in Caddo County, Oklahoma Territory. In the following 9 years Jim and Mabel transformed the prairie into a fine farm and Oklahoma had become the 46th state. They helped establish a school but desired greater educational opportunities for their children.
They sold their home and returned to Winfield. For several years Jim worked as a carpenter, then bought a grocery store with his brother-in-law, Ollie Shelley. Within a year he knew he was not a grocer so sold his share, bought a farm north of Winfield and moved there in 1914. During WW I the government was in need of workers in many occupations. Jim took a Civil Service examination and made a perfect score. He was offered a rural mail route, accepted, and continued until retirement at age 65.
Jim and Mabel were active supporters of the First Christian Church. Jim served as an Elder and Mabel was an officer in the Women's Society. After retirement Jim kept busy working on his farms and home property, and making walnut furniture for his daughters and grandchildren. He transplanted buffalo grass from a farm to his yard, kept it weedless and received many compliments on its beauty.
Delphine, Florence and Lucille graduated from Winfield High School and attended Southwestern. Delphine married Emil Randall, Florence married Harold Davis and Lucille married Harold Bender. All daughters lived away from this area most of their adult lives but all returned for retirement.
Jim had two brothers and one sister living here. The were O.P. who was Judge of the District Court for 21 years and a builder; John a pioneer architect-contractor and Adella, a homemaker married to Oliver Shelley.
Jim was totally honest and always paid cash for whatever he bought. He was a small-wiry-quick person, neat about his person and his property, courteous and hospitable.
Submitted by Florence Fuller Davis
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, pg 174 & 175.
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS