The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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4, 1872.  Willie W. born April 3, 1879; Murlie born February 1. 1889 and died February 7, 1885.  While Alvin Smith lived here he took an active part in public affairs and was an officer in the school district he lived in from the time of its organization.  He was a Leota man during the county seat contest, and was a republican in politics.  He left home on August 20, 1885 and has never been seen nor heard of since, except once some time in the fall of 1885 F. M. Lockard met him in Lyons, Kansas.

No reasonable excuse has ever been offered for his strange actions as his home surroundings were of the most pleasant and agreeable character.  Mrs. Smith was left with a family of small children and with all the property encumbered for more than its value; yet by good management and hard work she has managed to keep the wolf from the door and has raised a family of children that would be a credit to parents in better condition and circumstances.  She resides at this time in Norton.

irwin.JPG (36068 bytes) Robert Duncan Irwin was born in Greenfield, Ohio, March 21, 1851; moved with his parents to Fremont county, Iowa in 1854.  He received a common school education.

He came to Norton county accompanied by his cousin, Oscar Duncan, in the spring of 1875.

He took a homestead and timber claim three miles north-east of Almena where he remained until October 1885 when he moved to Almena and engaged in the hardware and implement business with Mr. Peterson; this business he has found to be both pleasant and profitable, and has continued it ever since.

During the county seat contest he was a Norton man, has always voted the republican ticket and was the nominee of his party for sheriff in 1891, but was defeated at the polls by Henry Joint, the democratic nominee.

When Almena was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1893 he was chosen mayor.  He is a son of a veteran, his father having served in the war.

His mother came to Norton county in February 1893, and is keeping house for him; he never married.

His cousin D. O. Duncan left here in the fall of 1875 intending to spend the winter in Missouri; but got homesick and drove all the way to his old home in Ohio before he stopped.  He has since married and lives near his old home at Greenfield in that state.

wright_j_s.JPG (34949 bytes) Jessie S. Wright was born in McDonough county, Illinois, July 13, 1855.  In 1856 his parents moved to Wayne county, Iowa, where they remained until 1862.  While they lived in Iowa his brother, Joshua F. was born August 16, 1859.  On March 24, 1863 his only sister, Eliza, was born.

Their father volunteered in company F. 34 Iowa Infantry and died while in service.

Mrs. Wright raised her children on a 

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