Lincoln County Kansas Stories


Do you have a Lincoln County story? Perhaps you know of a pioneer tale or a story of courage, humor, tragedy or triumph involving the people who lived here? Maybe you have examples of daily life in Lincoln County that will open the minds, hearts and eyes of others. If you do and you'd like to share it with others send it us, Bill and Diana Sowers (sixsunflowers@yahoo.com)

A FEW GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING STORIES
1--Limit your story to less than 1,000 words.
2--You may write a story in your own words or quote it from another source such as a letter, a family story or an old newspaper article. But remember that some articles are copyrighted and you may have to get permission from the author or publisher if you include a lot of quoted text.
3--List your sources! Whether it comes from an old newspaper article or your Great Aunt May told it to you include this information. You can include as many sources as you know of.
4--Be kind. You can be factual without being too negative towards others, and never include possible slandarous statements about people still living!

LINCOLN COUNTY STORIES


[PROMOTING KANSAS IN 1873]

[Transcribed from the Lincoln County News, March 13, 1873 by Tracee Hamilton]

CELEBRATING THE FOURTH OF JULY IN LINCOLN, KANSAS
JULY 4th, 1876

(A newspaper article from the July 5, 1876, edition of the Saline Valley Register and covering the festivities of the U.S. Centennial Celebration in Lincoln. Transcribed from a microfilm copy of the paper by Bill Sowers]

WHY I CAME TO KANSAS

[Story by Waldo Hancock of Beverly. Taken from a 1933 newspaper article. Submitted by Joan Stevenson who got it from Kirk Painter - painterk@worldnet.att.net]

R. B. CLARK CORRECTS US

(Taken from The Lincoln Republican, October 31, 1901 issue. Submitted by Richard Wiesner, Richard Biddle Clark's great grandson --- email: rwiesner@sprintmail.com)

ST. PATRICK'S PARISH HISTORY

(Taken from The Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, date of issue unknown. Written by Helen Flaherty. Submitted by by Tracee Hamilton. If any of you are related to any of the families mentioned in this article Tracee would like to hear from you. Her email address is tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net)

A PRAYER FOR RAIN

[An article submitted by Arthur Waite, editor of the "Lincoln Beacon" for many years, to the Kansas City Star. This article is located on Woody Gap, family website for the Woody Family.

MEN WHO TARRED WOMAN IN A PANIC

(The following article, which comes from the November 11, 1911, edition of the Morning Oregonian, is a sad look at jealousy, gossip, misguided vigilanteeism and brutality. It was transcribed from a clipped copy of the Oregon newspaper by Scott Holl]

CITY ELECTIONS, 1881

(The following front page editorial, which comes from the AprIl 7, 1881, edition of the Lincoln County Beacon shows us that accusations of political shennanigans are not limited to larger governmental arenas nor to more recent times. An agressive editorial style is evident here as well, not seen much in today's newspapers. It was transcribed from a microfilm copy of the paper by Bill Sowers]

MEMORIES by C. C. Hendrickson

[A series of articles written by C.C. Hendrickson concerning the early days of Lincoln County, submitted by Clarence Suelter - email: suelter2@attbi.com]

A GERMAN WEDDING

(An account of the elaborate wedding of William Feldkamp and Louisa Heiser reprinted in the Feb. 6, 1958 Lincoln Sentinel-Republican. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

A STORM AND STARLIGHT WEDDING IN DENMARK

(An account of the wedding of Louis Timmerman and Anna C. Errebo, which was nearly interrupted by storm. From the June 11, 1908, Lincoln Sentinel. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

STORIES MY PARENTS TOLD ME

(Mrs. L.E. Shaffstall recalls the stories she heard as a child in the Sept. 21, 1939, Lincoln Sentinel-Republican. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

ARTIST FRANK COOPER PAINTS AN UNUSUAL MAP

(A story about a project undertaken by one of Lincoln County's most famous citizens, Frank Cooper, from the July 11, 1940, Lincoln Sentinel-Republican. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

GALLANT PIONEER SCOUT IS DEAD

(A recounting of the fascinating career of early settler and Indian scout J.J. Peate. His life story and obituary are from the June 30, 1932, Lincoln Sentinel-Republican. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

LINCOLN COUNTY EDUCATION IN ITS INFANCY

(Flora Baker Woody, an early country school teacher, recalls her days in the classroom. From the April 1940 Lincoln Sentinel-Republican. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

LETTER FROM AN EARLY BLACK PIONEER

(John A. Watts, one of a handful of blacks who were a part of the settlement of Lincoln County, reminisces in a letter to the Lincoln County Historical Society. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

ARIZONAN'S BOOK CAUSES SPECULATION: WAS IT LIZZIE OR WAS IT SHARLOT?

(A book about Sharlot Hall claims she was the first white child born in Lincoln County, which contradicts known local history. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

LINCOLN RESIDENT MADE THE FIRST KANSAS FLAG

(A story about Hazel Avery, whose niece recalls her aunt designing and making the Kansas flag still in use today. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

A PIONEER RECALLS THE EARLY DAYS

(Pioneer W.S. Rees recalls the early days of the county. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

OLD GOVERNMENT TRAIL

(The ruts from an old government trail that came through the present site of Lincoln were still visible 70 years later. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net])

OLDEST PIONEERS REMAINING IN 1932

(A call by the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican in 1932 to identify the oldest living settler in the county draws a good response. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton [email: tracee.hamilton2@verizon.net)

HE SAW PIONEER DAYS IN THIS AREA

(Memories of the Barnard area by William Charles Parsons. Printed in the Minneapolis Messenger in the mid 1950's. submitted by Glenda Garrelts Mattes.)

A SPRING THUNDERSTORM IN LINCOLN COUNTY

(A short article appearing in the Lincoln Beacon, May 19, 1881. Transcribed by Bill Sowers.)

OLD FRIENDS REUNITED AFTER QUARTER-CENTURY

(A short article appearing in the Sylvan Grove correspondent's column in the Lincoln Republican, Dec. 30, 1897, about Henry Mueller and Christ Meyer, who found themselves living just miles from each other after being out of touch for many years. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton.)

OLD SETTLERS REUNION OF 1886

(A short article appearing in the Lincoln Beacon, Sept. 23, 1886, describing that year's Old Settlers Reunion. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton.)

MEADE'S TRIP THROUGH LINCOLN COUNTY IN 1859

(An article from the Lincoln Republican, May 9, 1907, in which James R. Meade describes his trip through the area that became Lincoln County in 1859 and how several waterways got their names. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton.)

A BIG BUFFALO HUNT

(An article from the Lincoln Beacon, March 24, 1924, telling of a buffalo hunt he took with Thomas A. Walls in 1870. Both men were early settlers in Lincoln County. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton.)

A HISTORY OF THE ASKEY FAMILY

(An article reprinted in the Lincoln Sentinel on the history of the Askey family. Some of the Askeys were among Lincoln County's earliest settlers. Transcribed by Tracee Hamilton.)

BITS OF LINCOLN COUNTY HISTORY

(Articles from the Lincoln Sentinel of May 7 and May 14, 1903, tell how several places in Lincoln County got their names.)

FIRST WHITE CHILD BORN IN LINCOLN COUNTY?

(An article from the Lincoln Republican, March 19, 1902, about the continuing discussion over who was the first white child born in the county. This is a topic still being debated in the 21st century.)

GIRL KIDNAPPED BY INDIANS RETURNS TO LINCOLN COUNTY

(An article from the Lincoln Sentinel, Oct. 26, 1911, telling of a visit to Lincoln County by a Mrs. Woodward, who as a girl was kidnapped by Indians near the present site of Beloit. She and her sister were released in Lincoln County, where settlers eventually found them and took them to a nearby fort before they were returned to their parents.)

LINCOLN COUNTY BICYCLE CLUB

(An article from the 1926 Lincoln Sentinel-Republican recalling the heyday of the cycling craze that hit the county in the 1890s.)

LINCOLN GOLF COURSE DESIGNED

(An article from the 1923 Lincoln Sentinel telling of the nine-hole course in Lincoln being laid out by a golf pro from Salina.)

HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF LINCOLN COUNTY

(In 1876, Washington Smith gave a speech about the early days of Lincoln County. It was reprinted by the Saline Valley Register. See below for some corrections to that speech.)

HISTORICAL CORRECTIONS

(An article from 1906 by several original Lincoln County settlers corrects some errors in Washington Smith's speech given in 1876. See above for the full speech.)

TOM BOYLE'S LUCKY SHOT

(Tom Boyle was one of the first white men to set foot in Lincoln County and was among its first sheriffs. He also was a storyteller whose tales luckily found their way into the newspapers occasionally. This one tells of a lucky shot, or rather a lucky miss, while hunting buffalo.)

LINCOLN COUNTY FIRSTS

(Articles describing some of the "firsts" in county history, including when the first train pulled into Lincoln.)

LINCOLN WOMAN'S FAMOUS POEM

(An article from 1905 telling of the prize won by Lincoln's Bessie Stanley on "What Constitutes Success." This poem is still widely quoted and sometimes mistakenly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

READER'S DIGEST ADMITS MISTAKE

(An article from 1953 relating a letter from the magazine's editor apologizing for wrong crediting Bessie Stanley's poem to Robert Louis Stevenson."

REV. BRADBURY'S TRIP WEST


(In 1903, Rev. H.C. Bradbury visited the West Coast, stopping to see many former Lincoln Countians along the way.)

FERDINAND ERHARDT'S REMINISCENCES OF THE EARLY DAYS


(A speech written by Mr. Erhardt for an old settlers' reunion in 1906 and reprinted in the Lincoln Sentinel.)

ROENIGK REMEMBERS ERHARDT


(When Ferdinand Erhardt died in 1910, Adolph Roenigk was asked to write some of his remembrances of his old friend. Transcribed by Clarence Suelter, a descendant of Ferdinand Erhardt's.)

FIRST TRAIN IN LINCOLN


(Two gentleman asked the Union Pacific Railroad to settle a bet over when the first train arrived in Lincoln. The answer is Aug. 30, 1886.)

ADOLPH ROENIGK'S "PIONEER HISTORY OF KANSAS"


(A complete transcription of the book by Lincoln resident Adolph Roenigk is now available online.)

A TALE OF SKELETONS FOUND


(In 1907 a group of old settlers visited the site where Ferdinand Erhardt found a cache of Indian skeletons in the county's early days.)

THE SEMI-CENTENNIAL AT LINCOLN


(In 1914 Christian Bernhardt organized a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of the Moffitt brothers and two other men, the first settlers of Lincoln County who were killed by Indians in August 1864.)

A MARKER FOR JAMES H. STRANGE


(In 1933 C.C. Hendrickson writes of erecting a marker to commemorate the site where James H. Strange was killed, one of the victims of the 1869 Indian raid.)

ARTHUR J. STANLEY'S 1915 OLD SETTLERS' REUNION ADDRESS


(On Sept. 17, 1915, Arthur J. Stanley gave a speech to the Old Settlers' Reunion about live in the county in the early days.)

REMEMBRANCES OF N.B. REES


(In 1915 and 1916 the Lincoln Sentinel ran series of stories by Napoleon Bonaparte Rees on the early days of Lincoln County.)

PIONEER CONVERTS BRAVED ICY WATER AND BEAVER TRAPS


(A retelling of a story told by preacher J.A. Woody of some earnest pioneers who couldn't wait till spring to be baptized.)

A PILE OF STONES IS JUST A PILE OF STONES


(In 1935 a local editor investigated the mysterious pile of stones near the St. John Lutheran Cemetery and found out that is just a pile of stones, built by the sons of longtime Lutheran minister Rev. Hoyer to while away the summer hours. The pile is diminished somewhat but still visible today.)

LINCOLN OR LINCOLN CENTER?


(In 1937 an enterprising editor tried to get to learn what Lincoln's real name was.)

ED SKILES COMES HOME


(Ed Skiles, missing 33 years and long presumed dead by his brother and sister, reappears in Lincoln in 1936.)

A. BOYER REMEMBERS BOSTON CORBETT


(A. Boyer, former district court clerk in Lincoln, wrote a remembrance of his meetings in Yorktown with Boston Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. Corbett was an early-day settler in Cloud County, Kansas.)

HISTORICAL SKETCHES FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF J.J. PEATE:
LETTER FROM ELI ZEIGLER


(In 1932, the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican ran several experts from the scrapbook of early settler and scout J.J. Peate, who died that year. This exerpt is a letter from Eli Zeigler, a survivor of the 1869 Indian Raid. Eli's sister was Susannah Daily Alderdice, who was captured during the raid and later killed by her captors.)

HISTORICAL SKETCHES FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF J.J. PEATE:
OBITUARY OF THOMAS ALDERDICE


(In 1932, the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican ran several experts from the scrapbook of early settler and scout J.J. Peate, who died that year. This exerpt is the obituary of Thomas Alderdice, whose family perished in the 1869 Indian Raid.)

HISTORICAL SKETCHES FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF J.J. PEATE:
REMEMBERING THE EARLY DAYS


(In 1932, the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican ran several experts from the scrapbook of early settler and scout J.J. Peate, who died that year. The demolition of the Pioneer Hotel stirred memories in Peate of how that building began as a simple log cabin built in 1867 by John Hendrickson, and all the Lincoln County history that passed within and around its walls since then.)

M.B. BEST WITNESSES LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION


M.B. Best of Highland Township was a guard at Ford's Theater the night President Lincoln was shot.

A.W. WOODY RECALLS CONFEDERATE HARDSHIPS


Woody, a Lincoln County pioneer from Georgia, tells of the difficulties faced by Southerners after the war.

JOURNAL OF CLARA ANN HOBBS SPEAR


Clara Ann Hobbs Spear was an early Lincoln county settler. After her marriage, she and her husband went by covered wagon to Oklahoma. This is a transcription of her diary on that trip.

FIRST KANSAS FLAG STILL AT LINCOLN


Another article about the Kansas State Flag, which was designed by a Lincoln woman.

EARLY POST OFFICES


The closing of the Milo post office brings to mind some of the other early post offices in the county.

ERECTS MARKER FOR WAR COMRADE


In 1939, Charlie Crosson of Minneapolis erected a marker for his Spanish American War comrade, George D. Tipton, who was buried in Lincoln Cemetery.

EARLY CORNET BAND


An article about an old brass horn gives some history about the early cornet bands in Lincoln County.

CALVIN SKINNER RECALLS EARLY DAYS


Calvin Skinner, an early settler and a son of Thomas Skinner, one of the "Colorado Boys," reminisced about the old days during a visit to the County in 1949.

AN UNUSUAL WEDDING


Former Lincoln boy Walter Keith Harold weds at a home for boys in Ellsworth County.

FAMOUS EXPLORER, FAMOUS WRITER


Lincoln resident recalls some history of Lincoln boy Martin Johnson, including his travels with Jack London.

LOGHOUSES AND DUGOUTS


J.C. Ruppenthal of Russell, an early Lincoln County settler, recalls the days when timber was scarce and houses were come by creatively.

ROCKY HILL REMEMBRANCES


R.W. Greene relates early county history in his boyhood neighborhood.

DILLON FAMILY HISTORY


History of the Lincoln and Cecelia Dillon family, early settlers of Lincoln County, written by a daughter, Mrs. Fred Good.

FORT WALLACE HISTORY


Fort Wallace played a significant role in the early history of Lincoln County.

RUBE CURTIS: LINCOLN'S CLOWN


Rube Curtis recalls his 50 years as a circus clown.

LINCOLN LAD A HOLLYWOOD WRITER


Lincoln native Jack Curtis became a writer of Westerns for television.

MR. PEPPER'S POEM


Ed Pepper's poem from the early 1900s recalls many Lincoln names.

1868: BEECHER'S ISLAND


An account from the Plattsburgh (N.Y.) Sentinel about what has come to be known as the Beecher's Island fight between the military and the Indians in 1868. Some of the men involved were early Lincoln County settlers. [Donated by Lincoln County researcher Mike Day.]

1869: INDIAN RAID


An account of the 1869 Indian Raid from the New York Times. [Donated by Lincoln County researcher Mike Day.]

ALLEY FAMILY HISTORY


Louisa Alley Barnhill tells the story of her pioneer family's arrival in Kansas.

REUNION OF KANSANS IN SEDRO-WOOLLEY, WA


A visit by J.J. Peate led to a get-together of many of the Lincoln Countians who settled in one Washington State community.

DOOLITTLE FAMILY MOVES TO SEDRO-WOOLLEY, WA


In 1907, Mrs. E.H. Doolittle writes back to Lincoln to tell of all the familiar faces she found in Sedro-Woolley.

1915 REUNION OF FORMER LINCOLN RESIDENTS IN SEDRO-WOOLLEY


Cora Wales Cheney describes a reunion picnic held at Old Settlers Day in Skagit County, Wash.

STRANGE FAMILY'S CONNECTION TO ABE LINCOLN


The Stranges, Lincoln County pioneers, were neighbors of the Lincolns.

HOW JACK LONDON GAVE MARTIN JOHNSON HIS START


Lincoln native began his career as an adventurer as the writer's cook.

60th ANNIVERSARY OF MARTIN JOHNSON'S DEATH


Museum director writes of the Johnson's on the 60th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Martin.

NIELSON MASTER OF LOST ART


Former Denmark resident Viggo Nielson was one of the top ornamental penmen in the country (reprinted in the Lincoln newspaper from the San Diego Union).

FIVE GENERATIONS OF SHAVER WOMEN


On the occasion of Elizabeth Shaver's birthday, a bit of history about the family.

FRIGHTENING DELIVERY AT SCHERMERHORN RANCH


Pioneer woman tells of delivering a baby at the Schermerhorn Ranch while Indians attacked the nearby garrison.

BESSIE A. STANLEY'S THANKSGIVING POEM


Bessie A. Stanley, author of the famous "Success" essay, wrote this poem in 1907.

TRIBUTES TO ANNA WAIT


Mrs. A.G. Lord -- a noted advocate for women's rights -- and Lincoln's Dr. Sarah Cole wrote tributes to Mrs. Wait at the time of her death in 1916.

ANNA WAIT AMONG 'HUNDRED WOMEN OF KANSAS'


Mrs. Wait was named among the top women in the state's history in 1909.

A.W. WOODY FAMILY PREPARES TO LEAVE LINCOLN COUNTY


The Woodys moved to Oregon; this article includes a bit of history about the family.

O.N. GREENE'S KANSAS DAY ADDRESS


1986 article about Mr. Greene's speech on Kansas Day in 1911, giving some history of the first days of Lincoln County.

STONE PITCHER IS A BIT OF A MYSTERY


The origin of the unusual lawn decoration on North Fourth Street remains unclear.

DICK IS DEAD


When Rev. H.C. Bradbury's old pony passed away, he eulogized him as only the old circuit rider could do.

MARTIN JOHNSON MARRIES


Former Lincoln boy Martin Johnson weds; he and Osa would became famous explorers and filmmakers.

MOFFITTS SHOW APPRECIATION TO CHRISTIAN BERNHARDT


Family of slain men thank the Lincoln man who spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the pioneer monument.

JOHN CLINE RECALLS FINDING SLAIN HUNTERS


Cline was part of the group sent to find the remains of the hunting party that included the Moffitt brothers. He tells of that experience 50 years later.

PIONEER HOTEL SITE OF DRAMA IN LINCOLN'S EARLY DAYS


J.J. Peate recalls many events that happened in and around the Pioneer Hotel as that edifice faced its mortality.

SHARLOT HALL NAMED HISTORIAN OF ARIZONA


Former Lincoln woman's life is interesting, but story repeats the line that she was the first white child born in the county.

FIRST WHITE CHILD QUESTION SETTLED?


Corrections fly but Ms. Hall makes no claim to the title and Anna Wait settles the question as only Anna Wait could do.

LIST OF COUNTY "FIRSTS" FROM 1913


First settlers, first marriage, first school, first newspaper...

TRIBUTE TO REV. BRADBURY


A tribute to Rev. H.c. Bradbury written by Harry Stover, with Rev. Bradbury's reply.

LINCOLN HAS FIRST CLAIM ON MARTIN JOHNSON


An article calling the famed explorer an Independence boy leads to recollections of JOhnson's boyhood in Lincoln.

LIST OF COUNTY "FIRSTS" FROM 1913


First settlers, first marriage, first school, first newspaper...

AFFIDAVITS SHED MORE LIGHT ON EARLY INDIAN RAIDS


In 1923, the Lincoln Republican reprinted two affidavits taken by Lincoln attorney John J. McCurdy. One is from John Cline in 1912, detailing the hunt for and discovery of the bodies of the four men killed in the raid of 1864. The second, from Tom Alderdice in 1911, gives more information about what happened when the Lincoln County man returned to find most of his children killed and his wife captured.

FROM LINCOLN COUNTY TO THE LITTLE BIG HORN


In this article, Dr. Jefferson Broome, author of "Dog Soldier Justice," discussed how the Indian conflicts of the late 1860s -- including those in Lincoln County -- helped mold Custer's 7th Cavalry before its final battle.

TOM ALDERDICE'S APPEAL TO LIBBIE CUSTER


Dr. Jefferson Broome writes of Alderdice's visit to Leavenworth, Kan., to seek help in rescuing his wife from her captives, and then explores the lives of Tom and Susannah Alderdice.

LETTER HOME TO GEORGIA FROM LINCOLN SETTLER M.C. ROBERTS


Posted off-site, this letter was brought to my attention by Dan Pierce, a descendant of early Lincoln settlers James H. Pierce and Hulda Roberts Pierce. A photo of the Pierce family can be found here.

SUNDIAL STILL WORKS AFTER 50 YEARS


John Black of Barnard receives a report than a sundial he constructed in Scotland before he came to America was still in working after more than 50 years.

JOHNSON BIOGRAPHERS' VISIT UNCOVERS ARTIFACTS


After a visit to Lincoln by explorer Martin Johnson, artifacts of his school days surface.

PHIL NOON RECALLS EARLY DAYS, INCLUDING VISITS BY CUSTER


Early settler Phil Noon recalled visits to Lincoln County by famous frontier figures, including Custer, Hickok and Cody.

MEMORIES OF THE ELKHORN BAND


Ernest Obermueller recalls Elkhorn band serenading Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rahmeier and receiving a keg of beer as thanks.

HAZEL AVERY, F.A. COOPER MADE FIRST FLAG


Telling of the making of the Kansas State flag by Lincoln County residents.

DEDICATION OF SCOUT CABIN IN LINCOLN PARK


The stone structure was built by NYA workers during the Depression.

EMMA LEWIS AUTOGRAPH ALBUM FROM 1891


This is a lovely example of an old-fashioned autograph album. Some of the pages are difficult to read because of fading ink. The book belongs to Kirk Painter.


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