My great-grandfather David Franklin McPherson spent the last 20 years of his life around Winfield, KS. He was born in Virginia, raised in Ohio, pioneered in Michigan and Missouri before going to Cowley County, KS, in the fall of 1878. At the age of 56, he took his wife and five of his eight children still at home to western Kansas, arriving first in Winfield.
The McPherson Family
His son, M. L. McPherson, wrote this account in 1935: “Dad went 18 miles northeast of Winfield, stopping on land owned by Sam Phoenix and John R. Thompson. Dad filed on 160 acres one mile north of the Phoenixes. Richland Creek was one mile south and Dutch Creek one mile north and also one mile west as it curved around. “About six months after Dad moved here, he was assigned as postmaster in Wilmot. In the fall of 1880, he established a small country store along with the post office. “Five years later, the railroad was completed from Beaumont, Texas, to Winfield and it missed Wilmot by about 3 miles. “Dad sold his farm and moved his post office and store to the railroad. There he built a house and store building.”
In 1887, their daughter and son-in-law, Theodore and Mary Louise Heineken died and in July, the McPhersons took care of their two granddaughters, Pearl and Ettie, ages 4 and 2. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Carthage, MO, where David bought another boarding house. In 1889, Sarah fell off a chair while hanging wallpaper and broke her right hip. She was in a rocking chair the rest of her life but scooted around in that. And she still raised the two girls. But she wasn't able to run a boarding house.
Photo of David & Sarah McPherson
The family moved in with their oldest son Wilton and his wife Mary in Webb City, MO, in 1890. Later they moved in with their son Ellis and his wife Louise on their claim near Tonkawa, OK and then to their son M. L. in Oklahoma in 1895.
They moved back to Winfield in August 1895. In January 1899, M. L. took them 20 pounds of butter and a dressed hog that weighed 200 pounds. David insisted on cutting up the hog himself. Shortly afterwards, David took ill and died in June 1899 at age 76. His wife Sarah moved to Kansas City to live with her daughter, Allie. When she died in April 1905, the family buried her next to David in the Wilmot Cemetery.
Submitted by Bertrand Macpherson
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS
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Nancy Trice, Madisonville, KY