The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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which stood on the south side of the creek in what is now Dave Close's feed lot.  No one knows where he came from or where he went.  He was a traveling missionary.  He did not even disclose the denomination he belonged to

In the fall of 1878 Rev. Albright of Smith Center preached here for the Presbyterians and in August 1874 Rev. Clark organized the Presbyterian church here in a tent which was located at the rear of Case and William's old stone building.  This was the first church organized in the county.  They began with 9 members, Mr. and Mrs. Newell, Mr. and Mrs. Bruner, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, Mrs. Jarvis, Mrs. W. B. Jones and Robert Hutchinson.  The Methodist church was organized soon after by R. H. Seymour.

Rollin A. Seymour came here in the fall of 1874; moved his family here in the spring of 1876.  He was the first regular minister sent here by the M. E. conference.  He was born in August 1883 and had been a regularly ordained minister for many years in Kansas and other states.  He had been stationed in Ottowa [sic] county, Kansas, for some years prior to his coming to Norton county and was minister in charge for four years after coming here; at that time he quit the ministry and went into business in Norton.  It was rumored that the M. E. conference declined to allow him to preach for the church thereafter but this Mr. Seymour strenuously denies and he said he quit the ministry voluntarily.  We are unable to state what occurred between Mr. Seymour and the church authority at that time but he has never preached since.

In 1878 he branched out in general merchandise and shortly afterward opened up a hotel where the Grier House now stands.  Mrs. Seymour conducted a millinery store for several years and did a very successful business.

While in lousiness here Mr. Seymour was accused of selling whiskey and keeping women of bad repute around him and some of our people who claimed they did not live in "glass houses' themselves reported that they had seen a ladder standing at his window in the dead hour of night and that they had also seen some of our local angels ascending and decending [sic].  But the writer is inclined to doubt those stories and think they were probably started by Mr. Seymour's enemies for the purpose of injuring his business.

He is now localed on a farm near Ashton in Sumner county.  He is in very poor health caused from paralysis, his right arm being entirely helpless.

Mrs. Seymour died in February 1886 and later, the same year, he married Mrs. Simpson who is a sister to Adam Ramsey.  They left here in the spring of '87 and went to South Haven in Sumner county, Kansas, where he remained for some years in the hotel business.

When Mr. Seymour came here he brought with him an adopted daughter, Miss Rachel Wild by name.  The following is a letter from her, and her picture kindly forwarded by herself.  She now resides at 3519 Lafayette street, Denver, Colorado and is one of the leading officers in the Salvation Army.

peterson_rachel.JPG (31080 bytes) "I am of French and English descent, and was born at Woodbine, Harrison county, Iowa, on February 28,1860.  My father followed farming but in 1862 when President Lincoln called for volunteers to defend the Union he enlisted and did his part in putting down the great rebellion.  After the war was ended father returned home and shortly afterward he disposed of his farm and moved to Kansas in the spring of 1866.  Being so young, only 6 years old my memories of the war were limited, but I remember how glad we were to welcome father home after his service to his country

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