JOSEPH E. PLUMMER               PHOTO LATER IN LIFE                        

The Chanute Daily Tribune, Dec. 15, 1916








They went Through the Struggles of 

Pioneers and Then Enjoyed the

Indian Summer of Prosperity

--An Active Soldier.


 The funeral service of Joseph E. Plummer, the first settler on what is now a part of the Chanute townsite will be held in the First Methodist church at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon.  They will be conducted by the Rev. J. R. McFadden pastor of the First Methodist church of Wichita, if it is possible for him to come.  The Grand Army of the Republic, The Sons of Veterans, The Odd Fellows and the Rebekahs will have charge.

  Mr. Plummer died at 10 o'clock yesterday morning after a long illness.  Death was caused by a general breakdown because of age.  He was so stalwart and robust that he withstood his malady for a long while, but finally had to surrender.

Came Here 47 Years Ago.

  Mr. Plummer was almost 79 years old.  He was born in Peeble county, Ohio, January 22, 1838, and came from Whitley county, Indiana, to Kansas forty-seven years ago.  September 23, 1869, Mr. Plummer and his young wife crossed the Neosho river in a "dugout" near the site of Osage City, the first town in the county, and stopped first night with S. E. Beach.

  They at once took possession of the claim upon which they have lived ever since, and which is now largely built upon as a part of the city of Chanute, settling on their land, October 14, 1869.

A Pioneer Home.

  Mr. Plummer erected a box shanty of native lumber within a few feet of the site of his subsequent home.  The 16x20 cabin, when ready to occupy had just about exhausted his modest supply of cash.  Cottonwood boxing sold at $40 and pine flooring at $60 a thousand feet, and shingles were correspondingly high, so that the house of a pioneer, however modest, was worth more than his land, reckoning land at its value in those days.

  The first season Mr. Plummer broke out a part of his claim, but raised nothing on it, so the following winter he and his faithful wife took a job of grubbing for their first acquaintance, Mr. Beach, starting from home before daybreak, walking three miles and returning home after dark when the day's work was done.

Waded Through Ice.

  At another time Mr. Plummer spent the winter making rails on shares.  His work was on the other side of the river and he would walk to the stream, pull off his boots, wade across through the mush, ice often floating down, work all day and return in the evening in the same way.

  When the various rival towns were included in the consolidation by which Chanute was formed merged, Mr. Plummer obtained employment in town as a stationary engineer and was so occupied for nine years or more while his wife managed affairs on the farm.

City Sprang Up On Land.

  In the early '70s the east eighty acres of their farm were exchanged for $500 in money, some stock and implements necessary to cultivate the remainder of the farm, this being the first stock of any description which came into their possession after the date of their settlement in the county.

  Their strenuous pioneer days were succeeded by an Indian summer of prosperity.  The spread of the city enhanced the valued of the land, and made them wealthy.  Mr. Plummer was one of the original stockholders of the First National Bank of the city.

Enlisted Early.

  He was a soldier of the Union in the Civil war, enlisting April 21, 1861, as a private in Company E of the Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, under Colonel, afterward General Wilder.  His regiment became a part of the Army of the Cumberland and remained with the Fourteenth Corps from the fall of 1861 until the end of the war.

  January 4, 1863, Mr. Plummer veteranized at Pulaski, Tenn., and was stationed at Chattanooga with the First United States Veteran Engineers when the war closed.

Saw Much Fighting.

  He was in 200 different engagements and took part in thirty-seven of the real battles of the war.  In February of 1863 he was detailed a scout and served as such until August 2, 1864.  He was elected and had been recommended for a lieutenancy, but before he could be commissioned the surrender of Lee ended the war.

  He had the distinction of serving longer in the Union army than any other soldier enlisted from Whitley county, having been in the service four years, five months, and five days.

  He was one of the first rural route carriers in Neosho county, beginning service August 15, 1900, on Chanute route No. 1 and serving for a number of years.

Married Fifty Years.

  Mr. Plummer married Martha A. Spangler in Whitley county, Indiana, November 15, 1866.  They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary a month ago today, at which time about 200 of their friends called upon them to congratulate them.

  Mr. and Mrs. Plummer had but one child, a son who died in infancy in 1867.

Voted for Lincoln.

  Mr. Plummer cast his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas, but the issues of the war made him a Republican, and when he saw an opportunity to vote for Lincoln in 1864 while in the field he did so in the name of "John Smith" of the Eighteenth Ohio, which regiment was stationed near his own, the state of Indiana having no law which permitted its soldiers to vote while in the field.

  Mr. Plummer was the Tioga township member of the Republican county central committee for two terms, and had served two terms as constable and two terms as road overseer.

  He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic and had attended most of its national encampments.  He also belonged to the Odd Fellows and its kindred societies.

  He is survived by two brothers and two sisters and a number of nephews and nieces, most of whom live in Kansas.  W. A. Plummer of this city is one of the nephews.