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Miami County Obituaries


Obituary of Nathan Childers. Information provided by Shirley Brier (email address not posted by request), 27 Jan 2005. Obituary from the Western Spirit, 9 Feb 1894

Old Settler Gone

"Nathan Childers, one of the oldest settlers in the county, died at his home six miles southeast of Louisburg, Tuesday night, the 6th inst. of dropsy. For several years he has been thus affected but during the past six months the ailment began to develop into its worst form and for the past two months he was not able to lie down. All the while he lived propped up in a chair. Suffering was intense.

Mr. Childers came with his wife to Kansas in 1856 from Virginia and settled on the place where he died. This place he bought at the land sales in 1857. Here the last years of his life were spent, and well spent, too. he was a good citizen, a good neighbor and always a strong Democrat. He reared a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, five of whom live in the same neighborhood. Besides a small farm he leaves to his wife and children the legacy of an honored name. We contemplate with sorrow the sundering of lives of citizens like Mr. Childers who have been the bone and sinew of the county, but death lays all ranks low. The aged must die but their examples of worthiness, like the brook, go on forever.

On Wednesday many neighbors and friends gathered at the home and paid him homage with heads bowed in sorrow, and followed the remains of the good man to their last resting place in the Cashman cemetery."


Obituary of William Ross Wagstaff. Information provided by John A Jackson, jajacks62@yahoo.com, 7 February 2006. (Reference: The Miami Republican, 16 Feb 1894, page 3)

Hon. W. R. Wagstaff.

Wednesday morning, February 14th, 1894, at one o’clock, closed the life and earthly work of Hon. William Ross Wagstaff. The announcement of his death, although a great shock to the community, was not a surprise to his family and immediate friends, as his condition was such that they had long since given up hopes of his recovery. About four years ago, while in Washington city on business, he had an eppolectic stroke, from which he never fully recovered his health. Two years ago he was taken with dropsy, and since then had visited several of the famous springs and resorts of the country in the vain hope of finding a cure. During most of the time for the past eight months he was confined to his residence on his farm adjoining Paola on the south, where his death occurred.

Judge W. R. Wagstaff had a most eventful career. He was born in Allegheny co., Pa., July 18, 1823, a son of James and Eva Ross Wagstaff. His forefathers were soldiers of the Revolutionary war and the war of 1812. He went with his parents to southern Ohio, where he received a common school education, and subsequently took a four year course in the Muskingum college at New Concord, Pa. He studied law at Cambridge, Ohio, and was admitted to practice in 1849, at Wooster, at a session of the supreme court of Ohio. He continued the practice of his profession one year, when he purchased the Guernsey Jeffersonian, a Democratic paper, which he conducted two years. He then sold out and resumed the practice of law at Cambridge, continuing until 1857, when he came to Kansas, locating near Paola in 1858. On his arrival here he purchased considerable property and started a saw mill. He also opened a law office in Paola. He was appointed general agent for the town site of Paola, which position he filled until the business was closed up. In the meantime he formed a law partnership with Hon. B. F. Simpson, which continued until the breaking out of the war in 1861.

In 1859 he was elected on the Democratic ticket a member of the Territorial Legislature representing the counties of Miami and Linn. The balance of the Democratic ticket was defeated, but by his popularity he won over his opponent by 880 votes.

In 1861, without opposition, he was chosen to represent Bourbon, Linn and Miami co’s. in the Legislature. He was one of the board of managers on the impeachment trial of State officers and made the opening argument on the final trial of the Secretary of State.

In 1862 he was a candidate for Governor on the anti-Lane ticket, with John J. Ingalls the candidate for Lieutenant Governor, but was defeated by Thomas Carney, the Republican nominee. At different times afterward he was nominated by the Democrats for Associate Justice and for Chief Justice of the supreme court, but each time was defeated, with his party associates. During the war he was aid-de-camp on the staff of Gov. Robinson, and under his authority organized a force in defense of Kansas, and served from the beginning until the winter of 1864.

He was one of the original corporators of the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf R. R. Co., now the Memphis route, was for five years a director of its management and two years an attorney for the road. In 1881 he was elected Judge of the Tenth Judicial district defeating Judge Stevens and the regular Republican nominee, being the first Democrat elected to the Judicial branch in Kansas.

Judge Wagstaff was a member of the Masonic order since September 10th, 1850, when he was initiated in Cambridge lodge No. 66, State of Ohio, and was one of the seven charter members of Paola lodge No. 37, of which he was the Master for a number of years. He was a member of Paola chapter No. 20, Royal Arch Masons, a member of St. Elmo commandery No. 22, Knights Templar, also a 14th degree Scottish Rite Mason. Some years ago he was made a life member of Paola lodge No. 37.

He was married in Lexington, Ky., to Mary J. Redfield Torey, who with two daughters, Flora Torey Wagstaff and Mrs. George Kemp, survive him and to whom the sincere sympathy of the community is extended.

W. R. Wagstaff was a man of great strength physically and mentally, as a lawyer ranking high in the profession. Both in the early struggles of Kansas and in the later years of her prosperity he was a striking figure, and did the State service of inestimable value. Although a Democrat and one of the men that gave life to the party in this State, he was a warm personal friend and admirer of the late Senator Plumb and of other leading Republicans of the State, who in return held him in high esteem for his sterling qualities of heart, mind and character. In public and private life he was the same even-tempered, high-minded and held the esteem and confidence of all, and by all his death will be sincerely mourned.

The funeral services will be held at the Presbyterian church this Friday, afternoon. Paola lodge No. 37 will conduct the usual Masonic ceremony. St. Elmo commandery will act as escort. The remains will be laid to rest in the Paola cemetery, besides those of his brother Albert Wagstaff, who died a number of years ago.

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