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.
Three homesteads stood atop Harrod Ridge during the last century. Within a hundred yards of the original homeplace, the pioneer settlers of the Fairmount Township buried the first among them to die.
Four of today's great-granddaughters recently visited the long abandoned cemetery. The oldest one recalled the large two-story farmhouse that stood at the end of a long tree-lined country lane. Tall pine trees grow in a cluster, the only reminder this fall afternoon of the headstones that once stood there.
"The decision was made to move the graves to Mount Muncie," Margaret Zoll Amos said of the 1940s reinterment. "I remember it as clear as day. It was a big thing and made a definite impression on me."
It is believed the headstones were piled into one of the open graves and covered with dirt. The topography of the former cemetery, however, indicates areas when once graves were dug.
Chapman and Nancy Tyler Harrod occupied the first homestead. They arrived from the turmoil of pre-Civil War Kentucky to settle in the Wallula community before statehood. They experienced the boarder conflicts of the Civil War, but Mrs. Amos was told neighbors banded together. Among them were the Gables.
"They would send word over to Harrod Ridge that Union soldiers were coming so they could hide. I Guess the soldiers didn't like it because they were from Kentucky," she said.
Not long after the war, the couple's son, Benjamin, married Sallied Harrod, a distant cousin and daughter of Moses and Mildred Ballard Harrod. The young couple settled on one of those ridges. The Zoll family enters Harrod Ridge when the couple's daughter, Emma, marries William Edward Zoll.
Two of Emma and William's children touch the sisters of today. Sallie Zoll was born four years before her brother, Benjamin Edward. Myrtle Zoll Douglas was the oldest of the three. Miss Zoll became a well-known elementary school teacher. She lived with her brother, his wife, Lela Thomas Zoll, and their five daughters. Miss Zoll bears the distinction of having a Lansing school named for Her.
Her only brother started the William E. Zoll Dairy in 1922. He delivered milk for 30 years. His daughters remember helping in the barn, doing the milking, washing and filling bottles and then delivering them on their way to school in Lansing.
"I wouldn't trade one of my girls for 10 boys," his daughters remember was his favorite saying.
On this brisk fall afternoon, Mrs. Amos is joined by sisters, Peggy Zoll Hill, Frances Zoll Kraft and Loretta Zoll Kimball. The last three still live within a mile of Harrod Ridge. Mrs. Amos and sister, Betty Zoll Russell, live in Johnson County.
They report another family burial plot is located several hundred yards from the first one. G. B. Harrod died June 13, 1891, at age 63. His headstone reads, "Tis hard to give him up, but thy will of God be done." Within four feet lies the base of another stone, the upper portion long lost.
All five sisters are in the process of going through Miss Zoll's accumulation of over 90 years. Since her recent death, the sisters have been connecting more than usual with their family history. Mrs. Amos and her husband, Gene, published a genealogy "Ancestry from A to Z, (Amos, Zoll and related families)" making them well acquainted with the past.
"We are proud of our heritage. We remember the stories we used to hear about the family coming from Kentucky and the hardship they encountered. It's like putting together the bits and pieces. I just wish we had listened more carefully when we were younger. There is so much we have forgotten," Mrs. Amos said.
Article donated by Debra Graden, President
Leavenworth County Genealogical Society, 1998