Page 501-502, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Mrs. Louisa Black Kirkpatrick—In recounting the trials, hardships and adventures of the early pioneers who, by their courage, industry and foresight, laid the foundation for the development of the great West, it is a common fault of many historians to overlook, in a measure, the part played in that great drama by the American pioneer woman. Following that misconception we fall into the error of picturing the early pioneer as a man, wearing a buckskin coat and carrying a long barrelled rifle, or driving a team of oxen. We forget that the wives, mothers and daughters, who accompanied the small family expedition across the great plains in the early days, with no particular point of destination, were the dominant factors in the early settlement of the plains. When the women came, settlements became substantial. They were the anchors of the new civilization, and from that time on, the permanent settlements, upbuilding and development of the great American desert were assured.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who bore the maiden name of Louisa Black, may well be classed with those pioneer women, who bore their part nobly and well in the struggles of the pioneer days. She was born in Clinton county, Missouri, a daughter of William and Margaret (McClure) Black, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Virginia. The Black family located in Missouri about 1850, and in 1856 came to the territory of Kansas and settled in Morris county, where they took a government claim of 160 acres of land, and the father bought an additional 100 acres. In 1868 the Black family came to Butler county and settled on the Walnut river, near where Gordon is now located. Here the father took up government land and added to his original holdings until he became the owner of 480 acres. He followed farming and stock raising, and also was quite an extensive cattle dealer in the early days.

Louisa Black, whose name introduces this sketch, was united in marriage with Rufus Kirkpatrick, at El Dorado, Kans., in 1894. Mr. Kirkpatrick was born in Macon, Mo., in 1852, and was of Irish descent. He came to Butler county in 1868, and died in 1898, and his remains are


buried in Fairview cemetery. By a former marriage, the following children of Mr. Kirkpatrick survive: Ernest Kirkpatrick, a carpenter of Neosho, Mo., and Mrs. Ethel Farrow of Gordon, Kans.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick is one of the few women now living in Butler county who experienced the various vicissitudes and uncertainties of early day life on the plains. She was here during the devastation of the grasshoppers. She frequently saw the prairie fires which was one of the most dreaded enemies of the early pioneers, sweep over the plains, leaving the country a blackened and charred expanse of ruin, to be followed by days of black dust and cinders which made life almost unendurable.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick now resides in her cozy home at Augusta, well provided with an ample supply of this world's goods, being the owner of 146 acres of fertile valley land on the Walnut river, near Gordon, upon which is located several producing gas wells, and one oil well, producing 1,200 barrels per day, and other wells now being drilled.

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