History fills Easton, Langley cemeteries
by L. Candy Ruff, Times Lifestyle Editor
Leavenworth Times, Sunday, Aug. 14, 1987

Brief History of Easton Cemetery


Last Name First Name Maiden Name Birth Date Death Date Age Source Remarks Contact
Asbury Eve Alice Humphries   6921       Shelly Rose-Pinelli
Kelsey James Benton   ERR 15674 63 Obituary    
Martin James A.   1841 13-May-23 82 Obituary    
Searles Edward C. II   05-May-1919 03-Jan-1998 78 Obituary    
Searles Edward C. III   06-Mar-1948 19-Nov-1997 49 Obituary   Sue Rush
Searles Steven   24-Sep-1960 24-Sep-1960 0 Obituary    

To submit additions or correction, contact the Leavenworth County Host.

This page was created by Leavenworth County Host, Judy Richardson on Thursday, October 25, 2007.


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.

Graveyards are history books in which the headstones are the pages. The Easton and Langley cemeteries in northern Leavenworth County are filled with pages of that community's past.

The first burial in the Easton Cemetery was of an Army paymaster from Fort Leavenworth. Lt. J. N. Walkup was in Company G, 9th Regiment of the Kansas Cavalry. He died in the fall of 1855 after being stricken with cholera. Many soldiers at the fort died during this time, but Walkup took a secret to his grave that remains unsolved today.

Folklore and history are mingled in the telling of Walkup's death. He and his cavalry company were headed to Fort Riley and other western forts, ready to pay soldiers who hadn't been paid for several months. Encampment the first night out was made at Martinsburg, located three-fourths of a mile south of the present steelbridge over Stranger Creek.

Walkup hid the gold. However, during the evening he became ill and before a replacement paymaster sent out from the fort could find the money, Walkup died. Legend has it, the gold was never found.

Martinsburg wasn't far from Easton, and when Armistead Dawson heard of the death, he suggested a burial site. Dawson had founded Easton in 1854 and owned and operated a hotel there. He also had farm land just outside the small community.

Dawson selected a burial site overlooking the Stranger Creek valley and the soldiers carried their commander's body to the top of a hill. Dawson helped bury the lieutenant, and afterwards allowed others in the community to bury their loved ones there.

By 1856, Dawson had donated the land for use as a community cemetery, and over the years, a strip of ground to the west was donated by William H. P. Bristow and another to the south by Charles Winfrey.

Dawson died in 1858 and was buried in e cemetery, but for many years his grave went unmarked. Today a stone monument and plaque stand in honor of Easton's founder and four oak trees surround the site. Walkup's military headstone is not far from Dawson.

Just a year before Dawson's death, a young pioneer couple homesteading northwest of Easton faced the worst grief parents can. Michael and Lydia Langley lost their 8-month-old son, Franklin, in July of 1857. They needed a place to bury the infant and chose a hill west of their cabin in full view of the cabin window.

Young Franklin was the first person buried in the Langley Cemetery. The Langleys had purchased their land from the government in 1856 after moving in a covered wagton to the Kansas territory from Page County, Iowa.

Langley is often mentioned in the early history of Easton and over the years became known as a prosperous farmer and helpful friend. The old Rapp home stands where the original Langley homestead was located.

The Langley family extended their generosity to others and as their neighbors needed burial places, the Langleys were asked to share their land. The cemetery became known as the Langley Cemetery and burials continue there today.

Article donated by Debra Graden, President
Leavenworth County Genealogical Society, 1998