Page 579-580, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


H. D. Olmstead, a pioneer and prominent farmer and dairyman of Rose Hill, Kans., was born in Hardin, Alabama county, Iowa, in 1853. He is a son of Joshua and Mary (Walker) Olmstead, natives of Jackson county, Missouri. They were the parents of thirteen children, as follows: James Henry, Modale, Iowa; Leonard J., Perry, Okla.; Walter R., Liberal, Kans.: Frank, died at Douglass, Kans., in 1910; Mrs. Sol Wise, died in Kansas City, Mo., about 1882; Mrs. Percis Wise, widow of Fred Wise, deceased, is living in California; Mrs. Maria Pulver, Douglass, Kans.; Mrs. Flora Gayman—her husband died in Idaho; he was a pioneer of Butler county and took a claim, now known as the Dorr Carrollton farm on Pole Cat creek; Lottie May Sowers of Fort Sill, Okla.; Mrs. John Strock, deceased. Mr. Strock took a claim on Eight Mile, one mile west of Douglass; two children died in infancy; and H. D., the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Olmstead came with his father from Minnesota to Lyon


county, Kansas, with an ox team in July, 1866, and to Butler county in the spring of 1869. The father came in the fall of 1869, and the family followed, that winter. He took a claim two miles south of Douglass, now known as the old Dunn farm, and built the old water mill on the Walnut river. He died in 1875. He operated the mill until a short time before his death, and also ran a sawmill. His wife died in 1895. She was skilled in caring for the sick and took the place of a family doctor among the early pioneers, often riding many miles across the prairie, ministering to the sick.

H. D., the subject of this sketch, has lived in Butler county since 1866, with the exception of four years. Mr. Olmstead was married in 1866, with the exception of four years.[sic] Mr. Olmstead was married to Miss Jennie Olfrey, who died a short time after her marriage. In 1880 he married Miss Florence Holcomb. She was elected county superintendent of public instruction, and died shortly before her term of office expired in December, 1892. To this union were born three children: Harold LeRoy, a minister of the Christian church at Gallotin, Tenn.; Hershel Remisses, deceased, and Sarah Florence, who married C. F. Alley and lives at Derby, Kans. In 1893 Mr. Olmstead married Mrs. Ella Cottman. She had one child by a former marriage, Oscar Cottman, assistant cashier of the Douglass State Bank. Mr. and Mrs. Olmstead have four children: H. Deloss, farmer, Sedgwick county; Beulah Luella Reheis, Larned, Kans., a graduate of the Douglass High School, also a teacher for one year; Sydney Smith, a sophomore of the Douglass High School, and Joseph Emerson, freshman in the Douglass High School.

Mr. Olmstead has followed general farming all his life, and, at present, is engaged in the dairy business, milking eighteen cows. He owns a splendid farm of 240 acres in Pleasant township. His place is well improved with a stone house, silo, large barn and a dairy barn. He has thirty-eight acres of alfalfa, and his farm is leased for gas and oil.

Mr. Olmstead is familiar with the early days and remembers the following old timers of 1869 and 1870, in and around Douglass. Joe Douglass ran the first store, for whom the town was named; Uncle Johnny Long, John Stanley, old man Quimby, John Martin, the first blacksmith of Douglass, Dad Prindle, Mart Guffet, Birney and John Dunn, Wall Thorpe, old man Uhl and Martin, the Dunn brothers, one of whom was shot by Indians, with an arrow, and killed south of Douglass, about 1868. Mr. Olmstead has seen the arrow with which Dunn was killed, and which is still in the possession of the Dunn family.

Mr. Olmstead talks interestingly of early days and remembers of a dance at Birney Dunn's, south of Douglass, where plenty of whiskey was on tap. One man took up a board in the floor during the dance, and one of the dancers fell into the hole and broke his leg, but the incident did not break up the dance, only insofar as the fellow with the broken leg was concerned.

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