21 November 2013

November 25th Meeting - Horse Racing - A Family Affair

November 25th Meeting

 “Horse Racing: A Family Affair”

On Monday, November 25th, Joyce Church, retired teacher and former girl jockey will present the program, “Horse Racing: A Family Affair,” to Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society members and guests at 6:30 p.m., at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, Wellington. Visitors are welcome; no charge for the program. For possible weather cancellations, contact SCHGS President Jane Moore at 620-447-3266.

In 1946, wearing maroon and pink racing silks, a skullcap, and wielding a bat, fourteen-year-old Joyce Riggs Church began her short career as a ‘bush’ jockey, racing her father’s thoroughbreds on small ‘bush’ tracks. Church and her sister raced in several Kansas towns, including their home town of Conway Springs, Anthony, Burden, Garden City, Emporia, and many other towns in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Missouri and Illinois. 

Church, a genealogist, was surprised to find that breeding horses and racing them was ‘in their genes.’ Her research turned up that not only had her grandfather bred and sold mules by the train car load, ancestors before him had also bred mules and pacing and trotting horses.

“Dad grew up in that atmosphere,” Church said, adding that it was her father’s dream to breed and race thoroughbreds and after her folks bought four colts and a stallion from a man in Fairfax, Oklahoma, her father needed jockeys, so he enlisted the help of his two daughters.

“Mother never wanted us to ride,” Church said, adding that although her father allowed them to race, her parents were very protective and she and her sister were not allowed to hang out with other jockeys in the barns where there was drinking and gambling.

“Racing was a family affair,” Church said, adding that the entire family traveled to the races with the horses. The horses traveled in the back of a wheat truck, and her mother drove the car. 

Church said that her mother packed picnic baskets with fried chicken and cherry pie, and the family picnicked on the race track grounds, and often spent the night in the back of the wheat truck with a tarp strung over the stock racks to keep off the rain.

Although Church went off to college when she was 16 years old, she came home on weekends to race, and at times lived at home and drove back and forth to school at Friends so that she could continue to ride. Church stopped racing when she was twenty-nine years old, and married in 1963.

“Before that, I ran around so much I didn't have time to get married,” Church said.

 Church said she “had had some accidents,” and been knocked out and taken to the hospital by ambulance, but had never broken a bone. But Church added that 1976 was a bad year for the Riggs family when her sister was killed in June at Churchill Downs at the age of 37, and her father died later that year.

Church will bring photographs and other racing memorabilia to share with the group, as well as the book “The Boys From the Bushes” by Lou Dean, a book about ‘bush racing’ that shares stories from Church and other ‘Bush’ jockeys.

19 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday - From Argosy Files for September 1952

Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy
From Argosy Files
Fifty Years Ago, September 1952

Higher enrollment in both the grade and high school was reported in the Milan public schools following their opening on September 2.

Two new teachers have been added to the grade school faculty. Mary Lee Craven, third and fourth grades, Alice McFarland, seventh and eighth grades.  Faye Allen, fifth and sixth grades and Mildred Ramsey, first and second grades, have been retained from last year’s faculty.

Wilma Sanburn, recording steward of the Milan church assisted Dr. Raymond Dewey district superintendent in opening the quarterly conference meeting.  Following reports of officers, election of officers were held for the coming year: church school superintendent, Herbert C. Ewing; trustee, Mrs. Harry Showalter; church treasurer Bertha Neal; treasurer of benevolences, Billie Roe; communion steward, Grace Jeffries; recording steward, Wilma Sanburn, Member of conferences, Violet King; other stewards, Mrs. Daryl Jones Mrs. John Aspedon, Mrs. Louis Muhlenbruch and Violet King.

The last free picture show of the season was shown at Milan on August 28.  The shows have been a weekly feature during the summer and have been out of doors.  They have been sponsored by the American Legion and co-sponsored by the American Legion and co-sponsored by the merchants of Milan and Argonia as well as interested citizens.

After the show on Thursday night, the Legion held their drawing for a television set and a radio.  The television was presented to Paul McIntyre, Wellington and the radio to Eugene Metzen, Mayfield.

12 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy - Star Files for November 1923

Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy
7 November 2013
From the Star Files – November 1923

The Cary Circle of Wellington invited the federated clubs of the county to meet at the Park House in Wellington last Thursday.  Because of the rain and bad roads only one car of Progressive club ladies went.  They were Mesdames James Snelling, Joe Shaffer, T. I. Guest, A. G. Small and Raymond Cline.

Several managers of neighboring telephone companies met at the city hall here yesterday as guests of E. J. Frantz, manager of the local company.  The state secretary of telephone managers is visiting various sections of the state since the national convention.

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Probst and son moved down from Wichita this week.  Bert is taking pharmacist exams at Lawrence this week after which he will take a position with Thew’s Drug Store.

“The Merchant of Venice” appeared here Tuesday night as the second number of the school lyceum course.  A big crowd attended completely filling the gym auditorium.

Mrs. Lida Shobe left Friday for an extended visit in Kansas City, MO., with her daughter Lola and Malvern Pepper and on to Murryville, Ill. To visit her sister, Mrs. Lottie Hart.  She will be away until Christmas. 

05 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Conway Springs Star Flashbacks - September 1933

Conway Springs Star - Flashbacks
reprinted 26 Sept 1933

Flashbacks from September 1933

Kenneth Beal, Roy Jenkins, Clyde Clark and Harold Lange of this place and Julius Miller of Clearwater returned last week from several days visit to the big fair in Chicago.  The boys made the trip in a Model T touring car.

Sam Scott has moved his store from next door to Ebersole Mortuary to the I.O.O.F. building which he occupied several years ago.  He is using only a portion of the building, the balance being used by Bicket and Staley Produce.

Averill Skiles is among the 57 students selected for membership in Southwestern's A Cappella Choir this semester.

The annual Presbyterian rummage sale will be held in the Myers' building Thursday and Friday of next week.

28 October 2013

Amanuensis Monday - February 1913 - Conway Springs (Kansas) Star

Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy
7 February 2013

From the Star Files 
February 1913

The Home Telephone and Water Company has closed a deal for a new water tower to be built on the site of the old one near the Missouri Pacific depot.  The work of the erection will begin just as soon as the weather will permit.  It will be higher than the old one and have a capacity of 70,000 gallons.  The old standpipe has served Conway Springs for 25 years.  The new one will be of a different model, a large tub supported by steel towers.

There will be a big stock sale at Viola Wednesday, Feb. 19 when Charles Dalbom and F. A. Little will sell a large umber of good horse and mules.

Tuesday and Wednesday were probably the coldest days we have had this winter, but with a heavy snow on the ground and no high wind, the wheat fields were protected and such weather was very beneficial to the country even if it was hard on coal piles.

Wm. Wycoff says this morning that there are some very deep snow drifts in the roads in some places and he is not delivering mail in his auto this week.

Conway Springs post office hours are 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Mails close mornings at 8:30 and 10:30; evenings at 6:45.

Joel Campbell was appointed city marshal when Mr McCollough could not serve and will probably remain on the job.

Martin Bolmer is now assistant Y.M.C.A. secretary at Coffeyville.  Martin is an earnest and energetic young fellow and he will be missed by his co-workers in the Methodist church here.

Mrs. A. L. Fullerton left Friday evening for DuBois, Neb., where she will visit her two grandchildren a few days, then go on to St. Joseph, Mo. to buy her spring millinery.

Mrs. Jacob Funk was here from Peabody the first of the week to attend the funeral of her mother, Mrs. A. (Lydia) Landis.

21 October 2013

Colonel George M. Boyd - Tuskegee Airman - to Speak on October 21st

On Monday, October 28th, 87-year-old former Tuskegee Airman, George M. Boyd, Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol and former Wing Commander of the CAP and Retired Major in the United States Air Force, Wichita, will present the program “Keeping Our Dreams Alive”, a program about patriotism and being American, to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 South Washington, Wellington at 6:30 p.m. Contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 in case of inclement weather.

See Programs for more information!

19 October 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Newspaper Flashbacks - Carry Nation smashes first saloon...

Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy
21 February 2013

From the Star Files
February 1933

Local thermometers registered 10 to 14 degrees below zero during the winter's worst cold wave which hit here.  High wind made that night and Tuesday morning most disagreeable.  The wind subsided Tuesday night but the thermometer went on down to 18 below, with 20 below Wednesday morning.  Failure of the local gas supply to meet the demand caused a lot of inconvenience in homes and places of business and caused school to be dismissed all day Tuesday.

I. R. Attebury, who is the new state superintendent for the Western Telephone Corp., was in Conway Springs last week making plans for State Office to be in operation here by March 1.

The Rev. J. W. Winrod of Wichita will speak here Thursday night at 7:30 in the Christian church.  Mr. Winrod was the bartender of the  first saloon which Carry Nation smashed.  Immediately after smashing his saloon, Mrs. Nation became world famous.  Mr. Winrod will tell his experience in the old saloon and how Carry Nation was instrumental in putting him into the ministry.  He has recently returned fro a speaking tour through Pennsylvania and New York state.  He has seen both sides ad says that Prohibition at its worst is better than the old saloon at its best. 

16 October 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Conway Springs Star - February 1923

From the Star files
February 1923
Reprinted in the Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy - 14 February 2013

Loyal Lads of the Christian Church organized Sunday morning.  This class has twenty-two boys ranging in age fro twelve to fourteen.  Liel Rice was elected president and Lawrence Showman secretary.

   Fred Burchinal, a recent CSHS graduate, is putting Milan on the athletic map.  His teams have done good work all year and last Friday the basketball team defeated Belle Plaine in a regular Sumner County league contest. 

   The Boy Scout band had its first rehearsal Wednesday night with twenty-four members present.  It is the desire of those interested to raise the membership to a fifty piece band.  Mr. Patton is the director.

   What's the matter with our village she-vamps? Do you realize that this town's bachelor list includes merchants, banker, a preacher, veterinarian, dentist, auto salesman, and a lot of other desirables and otherwise?

30 September 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Flashbacks from Milan and Argonia, Kansas

From Argonia Argosy Files
One Hundred Ten Years Ago, November 1899

Reprinted in the Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy 12 November 2009

Argonia Clipper History

   Milan is adding two rooms to the parsonage which will make it a very comfortable residence.

   At a meeting of the Christian church in Milan F. M. Shore was appointed elder and J. G. Bailey, Sr., Jesse Rhodes and Mrs. Shobe, deacons. At a meeting which closed Sunday night thirteen were received by confession, three reclaimed and five by letter.

   The ladies of the Milan Helping Union will give an entertainment at the M. E. church Thanksgiving evening.

   At a recent revival at the Methodist church in Conway Springs there were sixty conversions and sixty-four accession.

   Another item in the Clipper told of the organization of a county temperance league whose purpose was to raise $10,000 with which to suppress the joints and gambling dives in every town in the county where they exist.  Rev. Cunningham of Wellington was elected president.  None of the officers named were from Argonia.  The interesting name of the organization was "The County Law Lovers League."

Fast Forward to 1939
Organizations in Argonia in 1939 were: The IOOF organized in 1885 was an extremely active organization.  The Masons organized in 1913 are also active in the community. Eastern Star obtained their charter in 1921.  The Rebeccas were organized early but during the World War disband but reorganized in 1925 with a new charter.  The Junior Library Club was organized and sponsored by the Argonia Library Association.

Civic Club president is Howard Jones; vice-president, W. G. Buser; secretary-treasurer, Virgil Ingram.  City officials in 1939 were Mayor R. W. Karnahan; clerk, G. M. Pohlenz; treasurer, L. B. Mitchel. Councilmen: George Achelpohl, M. H. Haworth, A. O. Swan, Luther Phillips and M. H. Wooden.

Argonia business places in 1939 were Argonia Cleaners, Argonia Drug, Argonia Mill, Argonia Produce, Argonia Shoe Shop, Argonia Undertaking Company, Argonia Argosy, Bates Service Station, Badiger Lumber Company, Bettis Wood Shops, Bringer Implement, Brown Poultry, Buser Oil, Coffman and son; Copeland Creamery, Frank Cornwell, Dr. Craig, Harry Doll, Dutch's Quick Lunch, Elarton Garage, Factor Barber Shop, George's Market, Gingham Girls Cafe, Forrest Implement, Hamilton and Newby, Hammnd and Haworth, Hartle Garage, Haworth's Store, Hunter Milling Company, Hometown Grocery, Johnson's Cafe, J. B. Supply, Lee and Stehle, Lee's Repair Shop, Leu Variety, Logue Oil Co., Main's Store, Farmers and Merchants State Bank.

21 May 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Indian Papoose Grave Found on Bluff Creek

The Wellington Monitor
11 July 1890

The grave of an Indian papoose was discovered on an island in Bluff Creek near Caldwell by Sam Woodson and Dr. Noble last week.

It was protected by a basket-shaped cover, neatly woven of twigs and roots, and so carefully hidden away among the underbrush as to have escaped observation heretofore.

Old settlers think it was made as far back as 1876 during the Indian troubles at that time.

06 May 2013

Kansas Humanities Council Awards Grant to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society

Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society receives
grant from the Kansas Humanities Council

TOPEKA – The Kansas Humanities Council (KHC) recently awarded Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society of Wellington a $3,500 grant for the “Prairie Letters: Written in Rural Kansas in the Late Nineteenth Century” project.

Jane Moore, SCHGS president said that in 2012 the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society received a notebook containing the “Prairie Letters,” letters that had been written primarily in the 1870’s by Emily Sell, one of Kansas’ earliest setters. Sell homesteaded in the Rome, Kansas area with her husband.  Moore said that even though Kansas was opened to settlement in 1854 and became a state in 1861, there were only 22 white people living in Sumner County by 1870 (The Sumner County Story, Paul and Gwendoline Sanders, 1966, p. 9).  Sumner County was not fully organized until Nov. 7, 1871.

“When I saw that the first letters were dated 1870, and learned that there were only about 22 white people living in Sumner County in 1870, I couldn't imagine what life must have been like for those early settlers,” said Elaine Clark, Prairie Letters Project Director and grant author.

There have been histories written about other areas of Sumner County during this time period, but very few collections of letters have been discovered which give a first-person perspective,” Clark said,  “that makes this collection of letters a priceless, irreplaceable piece of Kansas history.”
“Transcription and preservation of these letters will give future historians, researchers, genealogists, and those interested in early settlement of the Midwest a first-person account of the hardships and difficulties of early homesteaders,” said Moore.

“Historical details about settlement in the Rome, Kansas, area are sketchy, but the town was officially organized in 1884,” Moore said, adding that  SCHGS members involved in transcribing Emily’s letters to friends and family are eager to learn about early-day settlement of Sumner County through the eyes and viewpoint of the homesteader and his wife.

Clark said she and her husband, Larry Clark, traveled to Jordan Cemetery recently to view and photograph Emily’s grave stone.

“I stood there and wondered what her life was like,” Clark said, adding that “these letters reveal much about the early days of Sumner County and the hardships and sorrows that families endured.  We tend to take food, warmth, air conditioning, doctors and medical care for granted, but these letters share the facts of everyday life for Kansas’ early settlers, babies that died because no doctors were available, weeks that go by before getting letters from family and friends, and children who can’t get an education because they live too far from school or they are needed to work on the farm.”

“These situations would seem foreign to today’s young people,” Clark said.

Clark said that some of the letters are almost unreadable because of fading, so it is imperative for the SCHGS to transcribe these letters as soon as possible. 

“This Heritage Grant from the Kansas Humanities Council will assist in preserving this treasure,” Clark said, “I can hardly wait to do the transcribing.”

Clark added that as the project progresses and they learn more about the contents of the letters, they will share information on the website at www.ksschgs.com, blog at www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com, SCHGS Facebook page and in area publications. 

“KHC Heritage grants encourage the preservation of local cultural resources,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “This transcription project will preserve these one-of-a-kind primary source documents for generations to come. What a treat to find out what stories these letters will tell.”

The Kansas Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that supports community-
based cultural programs, serves as a financial resource through an active
grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural
life of their communities. For more information, visit www.kansashumanities.org.


Amanuensis Monday - Flashbacks from the April 24th, 2013 Caldwell (Kansas) Messenger

Reprinted with permission from the Caldwell Messenger

April 19, 1883
Most astonishing claim yet of electricity - It has been proven possible to convey by its vibrations of light so that it is practicable not only to speak with a distant friend, but also to see him.

April 20, 1893
The proposed lottery plan for opening the Cherokee Strip to settlement was meeting with opposition.

The public well on South Main was being cleaned out.


April 23, 1903
County Attorney Wison cashed in a collection of mining stock certificates for $32,000.  They were acquired for a song while he was a Denver newspaper reporter from 1895 - 1897.


April 21, 1923
Dad's Cafe - Sunday
Soup, chicken with noodles, pork loin roast with brown gravy and horse radish, mashed potatoes, spinach garnished with lemon and eggs, apricot pie, Parkerhouse rolls 35 cents.

Airplane Exhibition and Passenger Carrying - northeast of Caldwell, all day Sunday.  $5 per passenger.

April 18, 1933
Oklahoma is taking drastic steps to aid schools.  In July, a tax of 2 cents on every dollar of retail sales will be assessed against all purchases in Oklahoma stores.  Also a tax of 3 cents a package on cigarettes should bring in $1,5000,000 annually - also to go to school aid.

Intramural punkin ball to start tomorrow.

Wheat again hits record high when it reaches 49 cents a bushel.  This is more than double the price offered in Caldwell less than four months ago.


April 19, 1933
Wheat prices up 2 cents more!


April 24, 1933
New Masonic Hall is now complete.  Believed to be one of the best in Sumner County.  Kitchen has hot and cold running water.


April 19, 1943
Job/wage freeze ordered for entire nation.  Will be backed by penalties as great as a thousand dollar fine and a year in prison.

Ration book No. 3 will be issued late in July.  Will be used primarily for shoes, sugar and coffee.


April 22, 1943
Bill Aakers, who joined the Navy last July, is now in North Africa.

A farmer who sells butter, lard, or any rationed food to a retailer must now collect ration points for the sale.

Less canned food to be available.  Compared with '42 there will be 11% less meat, 37% less canned shell fish, 21% less butter, 11% less cheese, 15% less canned milk, 51% less canned fruit, 27% less canned vegetables, 29% less coffee, and 60% less tea.


April 20, 1953
Presbyterian Church to celebrate 80th Anniversary.


April 19, 1973
Drury to be film site of Carradine movie. **

**  The filming of the David Carradine movie in Drury was literally the talk of the county for a short time, and many folks found themselves driving through Drury or nearby South Haven to try to catch a glimpse of David Carradine and wife Barbara.  SCHGS Vice President Sherry Kline and husband Norman and two of their cousins went to South Haven one evening on the off chance they might see Carradine.  They stopped at the little restaurant that was open then, and they did see Carradine and some of the other cast members.

04 March 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Caldwell Messenger Flashbacks!

"The Caldwell Messenger" Flashbacks Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Page 2, Col. 2

Here are a few tidbits - reprinted with permission from the 27 February 2013, Caldwell Messenger, Caldwell, Kansas.

February 22, 1883
The Oklahoma Boomers who went into the promised land from here began drifting back.  They found it no easy task to dodge the U.S. troops.

J. M. Thomas had money to lend to Sumner and Harper County farms at 10 per cent, plus commission.

R. Rue had a large lot of fresh burned brick for sale at lowest cash prices.

February 23, 1893
William Wykes, south of Caldwell, was appointed by Governor as a member of the board of Public Works at a salary of $1,000 a year and traveling expenses.

The station of Cicero, on the Santa Fe, south of Wellington, was discontinued.

Troop C. of the U. S. Army went south through Caldwell en route to El Reno. (Oklahoma Territory)

February 26, 1903
The Rock Island abolished the office of “foreman” and installed a “superintendent of shops.”

February 27, 1913
Mr. and Mrs. Abel Grimm and their two little girls were badly bruised in a runaway near Renfrow.

February 21, 1923
Flu epidemic is abating here.  The school has averaged four teachers a day out.
Meeting called for next Monday to form a cooperative association between Parents and Teachers.  It will be called PTA.

Sidebottom Brothers of Wellington have bought the restaurant business of Libby and Son on South Main.

February 23, 1923
Three arrested on bootlegging charges. One was bound over because the judge said he was persistently violating the liquor law.  Bond was $500.

February 26, 1923
Arrest six in raid on livery stable. City cops run in on “Crap” game Sunday afternoon after an anonymous complaint.

18 February 2013

Amanuensis Monday - George Linn Obituaries

Obituary: George Linn
April 29, 1926 Argonia Argosy - P. 8, Col. 4
Information collected from:
"Obituaries: Argonia, Kansas and Vicinity"
Volume IV; p. 606

George Linn, son of Jacob and Mary Linn, was born February 12, 1839 at Navarre, Ohio and died at the home of his daughter in Harper, Kansas, April 19, 1926, aged 87 years, 2 months and 7 days,  He was united in marriage to Helen Evangeline West, May 12, 1861.  

To this union were born five children, of which three survive, Mary Jane Keplinger, of Navarre, Ohio, Mrs. Helen Cyphers and Geore W. Linn, both of Harper.  Emma Ida Linn and Dora Blanche Clinton preceded him in death. 

He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren, his wife having preceded him in death May 15, 1924.

Obituary: George Linn
May 6, 1926 Argonia Argosy - P. 1, Col. 4
Information collected from:
"Obituaries: Argonia, Kansas and Vicinity"
Volume IV; p. 606

George Linn, an old settler of Argonia vicinity, was born in Stark County, Ohio, February 12, 1839, and passed away at Harper, Kans, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Paul Cyphers on April 19, 1926, aged 87 years, 2 months and 7 days.  He was the last of a family of fourteen to be taken in death.  

He was united in marriage to Helen Evangeline West, also of Ohio, on May 12, 1861.  To this union were born five children, three of whom are yet living.  They are Mary Jane Klepinger of Navarre, Ohio, Mrs. Paul Cyphers and George W. Linn, both of Harper.  Emma Ida Linn and Dora Blanche Clinton preceded both the father and mother in death. Besides his three children, he is survived by seven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.

He and his family lived in Ohio until 1885, when they moved to Kansas and settled on a farm near Argonia.

"Uncle George" as he was commonly called, was a good neighbor and was loved by all who knew him.  He was a member of the Argonia Lodge, I.O.O.F. and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.  Funeral services were held from the home in Argonia, Thursday, April 22, 1926, conducted by Rev. Alexander, Presbyterian minister of Wichita.  The I.O.O.F. lodge had charge at the cemetery.

Life's race well run,
Life's work well done,
Life's crown well won;
Now comes rest.

11 February 2013

Amanensis Monday - George Linn (Argonia, Kansas) Death Notice

George Linn Death Notice

The Argonia Argosy – Thursday, April 22, 1926, Page 1, Col. 3

George Linn, an old settler, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Helen Cyphers, at Harper, Monday morning, April 19, 1926, at the advanced age of 87 years, 2 months and 7 days. 

Mr. Linn has been in failing health for some time, and several months ago was taken to the home of his daughter at Harper where he gradually grew weaker until the end.

 He has been a resident of the Argonia community for a good many years, living on a farm 1 mile north and one half east of town. His wife died in May, 1924.

He is survived by two daughters and a son.  Funeral services will be held from the home in Argonia, Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock.  Burial will be in Argonia Cemetery (Lot #243).  The Odd Fellows Lodge will have charge of the service at the cemetery.  The Argonia Undertaking Company have charge of the arrangements.