William Erskin Marr of Scotland, sailed from Bristol, England to the Colonies in 1720. He jumped ship when they landed and added an "S" to his name before he settled in Little York, Pennsylvania.
The Mars Family
Two hundred years later Leo Raymond Marrs came to Kansas, by rail, to help a cousin start farming, south of Arkansas City. They unloaded on a siding at the west edge of town.
Leo was born near Bloomington, Indiana on January 8, 1899 to Greenup and Kansas Marrs but was raised by his mother's twin, America, after his parents deaths.
The year 1920 also brought the Mullett family to Kansas from Puttman, County Ohio. Their farm was also located south of town and it wasn't long before Leo had met the youngest daughter, Mildred. His plan to return to his home state the next year took a detour.
Leo rented a farm on Chilocco and early in 1923 he married Mildred Mullett. The farming operation was going well and by 1925 they had added Ray and Bob to the family. Their stay on Chilocco would soon end because of a burning desire to move to a new land. They sold everything at auction in 1926 and headed north to Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada.
The newly turned soil with the aid of irrigation produced bountiful crops but poor prices and cold, cold winters took their toll. The family returned to Kansas in October of 1929. The final move to a farm five miles west of Ark. City was made on the day of the stock market crash.
The three rooms were full because Bill had joined us in 1927, but by December Dick had joined us and early in 1931 our sister, Mildred was added to the family.
Dad started a dairy and we bottled the milk and delivered it to the employees at Chilocco. We all worked hard and by the mid-thirties the house was remodeled to fit the family and Dad bought the farm.
The depression had taken it's toll on the area but the drought that fueled the dust bowl was even more devastating. Dad never forgot the black dust clouds and was one of the first to plant tree-belts and build terraces on our farm. He also worked to bring electric power to our farm in the late thirties.
Dan was born in 1941, to complete the family, and I was preparing to leave the following year to become a Navy Pilot. The family had plenty of room from that point on because Bob and Bill would join the Navy to serve in the Pacific.
After the war the four oldest boys followed Dad in farming and Mildred and Dan went into education. Involvement in our church and community was very important to the family and that involvement led to our mother being honored in 1966 as "Kansas Mother Of The Year."
Mildred died in 1980 and Leo followed in 1986 but each day their lives continue through their six children and seventeen grandchildren.
Submitted by By K. Bay Marrs
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, pg 233.
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS