Page 522-524, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


S. M. Etnire, a Butler county pioneer, now deceased, was a native of Warren, Ind., born in 1841, a son of Jacob and Mary (Swingler) Etnire, natives of Pennsylvania, and of English descent. S. M. Etnire grew to manhood in his native State, and when the Civil war broke out, he enlisted in Company F, Seventy-second regiment, Indiana infantry, at the age of twenty-one, and was promoted to corporal during his term of service. He participated in many of the important battles of the Civil war and a great many skirmishes, and was mustered out of service after the close of the war, at Indianapolis, Ind., August 6, 1865, after having served his country faithfully and well for a period of three years, during the most trying days of its history.

Mr. Etnire married Miss Isabelle Mahaffie at Williamsport, Ind., and in 1878, came to Butler county with his family, and bought


120 acres of land, four miles west of Augusta. Mrs. Etnire was a native of Ohio, and her parents were pioneers of Indiana, removing from Ohio to that State when she was five years old. After coming to Butler county, Mr. Etnire engaged in farming and stock raising, and was very successful. They left the farm and removed to Augusta in 1906, and, at that time, owned 200 acres of land, besides a fine home in Augusta, which Mrs. Etnire still owns. To Mr. and Mrs. Etnire have been born the following children: Harry J., died in infancy; Effie L., died at the age of twenty years; Mrs. Gertrude L. Dill, died at the age of twenty-five years, leaving two children, Kenneth and Gail; Mrs. Ladessa Schock, Oxford, Mich.; Aetna B. Etnire, Mercedes, Tex.; Mrs. Grace Dill, Leon, Kans.; Mrs. Bertha B. Chase, Frederick, Rice county, Kansas; Benjamin L., Augusta, Kans.; Quincey B., Augusta, Kans., and Maudene, resides at home with her mother.

The Etnire family experienced much of the pioneer life of Butler county, and while Mrs. Etnire has many recollections of the hardships that the pioneers endured, she also has a store of reminiscences of the amusing circumstances, and the little pleasures of frontier life which fully counterbalance the grief of the early days on the plains. When she first came here, she was considerably disappointed when all of her chickens died. That doesn't seem much of a loss, now, but it meant considerable to a pioneer family, who had no income in their little cabin on the plains, and who were confronted with the stern realities of living without anything to live upon. Another time she felt terribly grieved over the loss of some peach butter which she had laboriously prepared, and spilled through an accident. She looks back with much amusement on these little incidents of early life, which, at the time, she magnified to such an extent that they made lasting impressions on her mind.

Indians frequently visited the Etnire place, but never had any more lofty mission than begging or stealing, and Mrs. Etnire was never impressed with the high standard of the Indian character. She says that spring wagons were a rare luxury when they came here, and most everybody went to church, and most every other place, where they went, with a heavy lumber wagon, and only the select few had even spring seats. The Entires[sic] had a spring wagon when they first came here, but it was smashed up in a runaway, which would make it seem that the country had not yet reached the stage of civilization where it was safe for a spring wagon. But strange it may seem. Mrs. Entire[sic] has lived through the period in which spring wagons have come and almost gone, in Butler county, for they are so universally succeeded by the automobile, and are getting as scarce in this year of 1916, as they were back in the early seventies. Mrs. Etnire is one of the interesting old ladies, who belong to that faithful band of pioneer wives and mothers, whose coming to the great West to homes of an uncertain future, laid the foundation not only of Butler county, but of the West.


Mr. and Mrs. Etnire were active members of the Methodist Episcopal church from the first, and attended at the old stone church, built in 1875. Mrs. Etnire is still an active member.

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