From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be great days in the memories of dozens of old residenters. Memories of the horse and buggy days when Leavenworth was a truly pioneer city, the gateway to the west are revived.
Days when the prairie lay yet unbroken and only scattered cabins dotted the hills of eastern Kansas. Days of toil and hardship, nights when wolves and coyotes howled in the brush back of the homestead. Days of friendly neighborhood gatherings all come back to the old timers during Pioneer days.
An Indian fighter and a freighter with Custer, is George Beltz, 83, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 3,1853. He came to Leavenworth in 1855, by steamboat, with his mother, after the death of his father in Pennsylvania. He served as civilian teamster with General Custer, and freighted from Fort Hays to Fort Supply. Well he remembers his "brush" with Cheyennes near Fort Dodge. With his wife, the former Nora Foster, who now is 73, he well qualifies as a Leavenworth pioneer. With his daughter, he lives near Brighton. Howard Beltz, Twentieth and Vilas is a son. Another daughter, Mrs. Fannie Robinson also lives in Leavenworth.
"The building that collapsed on Cherokee street May 9, housed my father's furniture factory. He was in business there with Robert Keith," reports Mrs. Carrie Lysle Jeffers, daughter of the pioneer miller, James C. Lysle. She was born in Rochester, Pa., July 10, 1864, and moved to Leavenworth in June, 1867. Her sister, Mrs. May Lysle Chase was born July 26, 1862, at Mt. Vernon, Pa.
Seventy six and a half years old is Mike Halpin of the Planters apartments, who was born in Rollo, Phelps county, Mo., on December 17, 1859. He came to Leavenworth in 1865. At the age of 12 he carried water for contractors paving Leavenworth streets. In 1879 he joined the famous Ute Expedition, as a civilian teamster, and saw service as teamster, pack train driver, and personal messenger for Capt. John Laughton, chief quartermaster of the unit. After the Utes were moved to Green River he returned to Fort Leavenworth. He later served as deputy commissioner under Mayor Hacker and was in the police department for over 14 years serving under seven mayors. He was with the waterworks for eight years. From 1915 until 1919 he was superintendent of the county hospital. "I was a server at the dedication of the cathedral," he declares proudly. He married Elizabeh Donohue, daughter of Leavenworth pioneers, Martin and Mary Donohue. He has one daughter, Rosemary Halpin, of Leavenworth, and two sons, Walter, of Los Angeles, and Ed. of Colorado Springs
Mrs. Lyman Bishop, 310 Seneca, was born in Keokuk, Iowa, July 26, 1855, and came to Leavenworth county with her father Antone Hass, to live in Kickapoo neighborhood. Her father was one of the pioneers of the Mooney Creek neighborhood. She has five daughters and one son, including Mrs. Lenore Donoho, 312 Seneca, and Edward Bishop, 310 Seneca street.
Mrs. Eleanor Keeks, 80, 514 Pawnee, born on November 19, 1856 in Pennsylvania, and came to Leavenworth in 1858. Mrs. Keeks was born in a log cabin and came to the frontier west with her parents, William and Catherine Case, aboard a steamboat. She was married to John H. Keeks in 1873. Mr. Keeks died in 1929.
Mrs. Mary Stein Olive was born July 1, 1853, at Lexington, Mo., one of a pair of twins. Her twin brother died in infancy. She came to Leavenworth by steamboat to seek safety during the battle of Lexington in 1861. Returning to the Missouri town, her family found its home destroyed and decided to move what little they could salvage to Leavenworth. The family lived at the Planters upon their arrival, later moving to a house at Third and Seneca. She attended the first school of the Sisters of Charity, on Pottawatomie street. She married Daniel d. Oliver in 1870. Her brother Joseph L. Stein was a personal friend of Bill Cody. Concerning Lincoln's visit she says: "I was just a little girl standing in the crowd, and I said 'I'd like to shake hands with Lincoln.' A big man behind me said, 'So you shall.' And there was Lincoln right there beside me."
Zadok Lanahan, 68, was born at Main and Dakota streets, May 20, 1868. The house, built by his father, still stands. He is a veteran railroader, working for 12 years with the Missouri Pacific and for 35 years, the Union Pacific. Mr. and Mrs. Lanhan celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary on May 18.
John T. Rouse is a native Englishman, born in Yorkshire, May 20, (?). He came to the United States in (?) on the steamer City of Paris, coming directly to Leavenworth. In 1855 (probably 1885) he married Alice M. West, who was born on Market street, April 2, 1865. Mrs. Rouse is a graduate of the old conservatory of Music at Seventh and Congress. Her father, Jasper West, was a brick mason, who helped build many a building here. Mr. and Mrs. Rouse celebrated their golden wedding anniversary Jan. 1, 1935.
Mrs. Emile Myrick, 92, 304 Seneca, was born in Cincinnati Jan. 10, 1844. She came to Leavenworth at the age of nine, with her mother, to settle on a farm adjoining the Cody place in Salt Creek Valley. She has lived in the county since. She has four children, two sons and two girls.
In any selection of native Leavenworthians, the name of Mrs. Agnes Moonlight Murphy, 118 Fifth avenue, is always prominent. For 78 years she has lived here. She is the widow of the late E. E. Murphy, who came here in 1857, to become one of the city's best known politicians. Mr. Murphy organized the Leavenworth branch of the Modern Woodmen. Mrs. Murphy is recovering from a recent injury to her knee.
F. A. Walter, 78, 711 South Fifth street, was born in Chicago, Ill., July 8, 1857. He came to Leavenworth one year later with his mother to join his father, who came to the city in the early fifties. His father was one of the city's first candle makers. Mr. Walter attended the public schools here, and completed his education at the Pond Business school. At the age of 16, he started working in the old German Savings bank, which was located on the northwest corner of Third and Cherokee streets and later moved to the present location of the Crown Drug store. He worked at the Wulfekuhler State bank for 27 years. His wife and one child died a month apart in 1931.
Mrs. Caroline Geyer, 87, was born in Freeport, Ill., in 1849, and traveled from there in a covered wagon to Cedar Falls, Ia. In 1868 she came to Leavenworth with her brother, Jacob, and sister, Elizabeth, both of whom have since died. For 40 years she lived at Fourth and Vine and then moved to the Geyer fruit farm where she now lives.
"My father, John Wright, was the owner and operator of the famous Jarbalo sawmill which exploded over 75 years ago, killing eight men," declared William W. Wright, 75, as he registered. The accident occurred soon after William Wright's birth. The tragedy is one the most famous in the history of early-day Leavenworth county.
"In God We Trusted In Kansas We Busted," This slogan blazoned on the sides of many pioneer wagons, stands out in the memory of Mrs. Agnes Trollman Shalker, who was born in Weston, July 31, 1860. Her father moved to Leavenworth in 1862, returned soon to Weston and moved to Leavenworth to remain (?) On the election of Lincoln, her father John Trollman, tobacco dealer, (?) lighted candles in each window.
Mrs. Nancy Jane Taylor, 8?, born in Tennessee and moved to Leavenworth at the age of 20. She lives at the home of Mrs. (?) Nichols, 1313 South Sixth street.
Thomas Jefferson Potter, son of Joseph and Minerva (Wiley) Potter, natives of Kentucky, was born January 27, 1856, on a farm which later became the townsite of Potter, Kas., in Atchison county. He has lived in the Potter community his entire life and probably holds the record for long and continuous residence in Atchison county, as a native son of the county.
His parents moved from Buchanan county, Mo., and filed on 160 acres, upon which Potter later was built. His father erected a one-room log cabin on this site, in which Thomas Jefferson was born.
"I will try to be in Leavenworth for the celebration if I am able," writes Mr. Potter.
B. F. Thornburgh, 79, is the oldest native of Easton. He was born in Easton township, September 7, 1857. he has been a resident of Easton practically all his life.
Mrs. Martha Thompson, 91, is the oldest resident, The Transcript reports. She was born in Boone county, Indiana on March 18, 1845. She came to Easton with her parents when she was five years of age and has lived here for 86 years. She was well acquainted with Buffalo bill Cody and danced with him when he attended parties in Easton.
Charles Gwartney, 83, born in Indiana Oct. 30, 1853. Came to Easton with his parents when two years of age. Resided in Easton township since that time.
Miss Kate Evans, 75, born in Easton Dec. 31, 1860. A resident of Easton all of her life.
Mrs. Laura Adamson, 80, born in Missouri August 28, 1857. Came to Easton with her parents when four years of age. Resided in this vicinity practically all her life.
Charles Gist, celebrated his 79th birthday May 5, at his home in Bol(?). He was born in High Prairie Township in 1857, the son of John and Mary (Wilhite) Gist.
Mrs. Clark Byrns was born at Bellville, Ill., Feb. 16, 1854. In May 1855 her parents moved to Delaware city, later Delaware township. She now lives at 737 Osage street.
Mrs. L. V. Drennon, 814 Cherokee street, was born at Waldron, Mo. In March, 1869 she moved to Maywood, Kas. For the last 65 years she has been a resident of Leavenworth. Her husband, John Drennon, was a broom maker.
Mrs. Catherine Bonskowski, 81, recalls the long walks to school of her girlhood. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Olbary, lived near Greenwood cemetery. She came to the county as a small child.
The mother of 16 children, and a life-long resident of Leavenworth is Mrs. R. Fullam, 75, Shoemaker and Limit streets. Mrs. Fullam was born June 6, 1861, on a farm in Salt Creek Valley. her parents moved to the city when she was three years of age, and she has lived here since. She was married 59 years ago. Of her eight boys and eight girls ten are living. Mr. Fullam died 16 months ago.
John J. Senhausen, 1021 South fifth street was with the John T. Richards hardware firm and later with Crancer. He was born at Cape May, N. J., in 1854 and came to Leavenworth in 1857. After the death of his father in 1859, his mother sold a farm which had been purchased as a home, and continued to live in the town. He attended the Osage school and later the Morris school. He was an acolyte when Bishop Miege consecrated the cathedral on Dec. 8, 1868.
Bertha Baechle Hunnius, 88, was born in Rienfelden, Switzerland, in 1848. She came to America in 1852, landing at New Orleans. She came up the river to St. Joseph and in 1862 moved to Leavenworth, to a residence on Third street between Seneca and Shawnee. In 1869 she was marred to Ado Hunnius. She has lived in her present home, 610 North Broadway since 1872.
173! That is the combined age of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Gabriel, 223 Dakota street. Mr. Gabriel, 90, was born in Westfallan, Germany, March 16, 1846, and came to Kansas in October, 1855, living in Jefferson county. Two years later he came to Leavenworth county. He has been a resident of Leavenworth city for 54 years. Mrs. Josephine Gabriel was born in St. Louis, in 1853, and came to Leavenworth county in 1855. They were married in St. Joseph's church in 1875.
Mrs. R. H. Bell, 78, was born in Delaware township in Leavenworth county, October 5, 1857. Mrs. Bell has lived here all her life and for the past 45 years has resided at 519 Marshall street. Her husband, R. H. Bell, who operated the Bell Dry Goods store here many years died several years ago. She has three daughters. One of the daughters Mrs. Leland Wadsworth resides here.
Mrs. Caroline Ehlert, 91, was born in West Prussia, Germany, Jan. 19, 1945[1845 sic], the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Orlowski. She came to Leavenworth with her husband, John Ehlert, in 1873, living on Columbia avenue, and later moving to 723 Kickapoo. She now lives with her daughter, Mrs. John Happel, 720 Kickapoo street. Mr. ehlert died Dec. 21, 1907.
Mrs. Dora Tennal Goergen, 73, 926 Osage street, was born on South Third street, when a wilderness, on Jan. 6, 1863. Her parents, William and Eliza Tennal, who settled here in 1857, later moved to Fifth and Spruce streets, where the interurban barns and garage now stands. She was married May 7, 1879 to Jake Goergen, who died in 1916.
Dennis Green, 79, was born in Massachusetts, June 21, 1856. One year later Mr. Green came to Leavenworth and has since resided here. He followed the coopers' trade, and was employed for years at the J. H. Rothenberger Cooper factory, located between Sixth and Seventh streets on Short street. Mrs. Green, 65, also is living. They have been married 52 years. Two daughters, Mrs. Mary Pepperd, and Miss Agnes Green, reside here.
J. E. Williams, 83, of Fairmount, was born in Berry, Mo., 1853, and came to Leavenworth in 1861. He is a farmer, recently retired, and makes his home with his son, Tim Williams, at Fairmount. He has two other children, Paul and Laura, who live in California..