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From: The Caney Chronicle, May 22, 1969, Article Transcribed by Don Sullivan
Havana Centennial Celebration

Havana - - A centennial celebration has been planned for May 31 at Havana. There will be events at the ball park and at Grange Hall and grounds. There will be sack races, egg races, 3-legged races, fiddle music, pony-pulling contests and ball game. The evening attraction will be a bean supper and dance in Youth Center.

The public is invited to don centennial clothes and join in the observance of Havana's 100th birthday.

City officials are R. L. Powell, mayor; A. M. Hough, city clerk; Alvie Wilson, treasurer, and Henry Beair, D. M Wade and George Ross, council members.

Elsewhere in this edition of The Chronicle is a history of Havana, written by Mrs. A. W. Michael. Old pictures will be published in The Chronicle Monday.

History of Havana

Havana - - In the fall of 1869 Callow and Myers established a country general store on what afterward became the David Dalby farm. In the summer of 1870 Lines and Cauffman went into business farther west, nearer the Bee Creek location. In 1874 they sold to W. T. Bishop and the next year he sold to J. T. Share.

David Dalby came with his family from Illinois in 1870. He bought the claim from Callow and Myers and used the store building for a house until he could build. George Dalby, his son, lived there the rest of his life after the death of his father. It is still owned by one of George's daughters.

Havana continued to thrive as a country trading post without a railroad until 1886 when the southwestern extension of the Southern Kansas line of the Santa Fe was built through Havana to Cedar Vale, where cattle and wheat were shipped from the west to Kansas City. The connecting link from Havana to Tulsa was built around 1912.

First Settler

Lewis H. Vore was probably the first settler of what is now Havana. He bought the claim where he resided and 80 acres more on which was later a part of the town. He was a carpenter, so he built a good home. He had an undertaking business and made coffins when needed. He was also an auctioneer.

His connection with the undertaking and auctioneering business came about in a way that illustrates that "necessity knows no law". He was the only carpenter in the vicinity when the first death occurred and was asked to furnish the coffin. At first he refused but later consented to do so.

He was appointed administrator of an estate. As he was unable to secure an auctioneer, he sold the property himself, and thus initiated himself into the business which he followed with great success.

When he settled in the county, nature was in its wildest mood and the country was full of Indians.

T. R. Pitman came with his family from Ohio in 1873. He established a hardware and implement store and also sold boots and shoes. During Cleveland's administration he had the postoffice in his store. His wife, Mary, was a sister of Lewis Vore. Catherine Fralick, another sister, came with her family later and built a hotel. Alice Moore, also a sister, came with her family and settled nearby.

Another of the early settlers to arrive in 1873 was David Dunham, who with his wife and seven children came on the train from Indiana to Cherryvale. They hired a rig to bring them to see some friends near what is now Niotaze. They stopped at a farmhouse north of Havana to get drinks of water for the children. Mrs. Dunham decided she would like to live there if the people would sell. They would , so the Dunhams settled there for the rest of their lives.

A part of their farm became city lots and the beautiful Havana cemetery is located on the northwest corner of the farm.

The night before they stayed at the Bender house near Cherryvale. Things looked rather suspicious and as the youngest girl had the croup they kept a light burning. They left early the next morning.

The church of all faiths sets in the center of the cemetery and was built by Emanuel Trotter soon after the cemetery was laid out.

Thomas Kelso came with his small son, Marion E. Kelso, in 1871 and filed on a claim just a mile northwest of the village. He and the son lived there the rest of their lives and it is now owned by L. L. Kelso, grandson of Thomas Kelso.

Influx of War Vets

There was a great influx of settler to Kansas following the close of the Civil War. Many of the soldiers came from North and Eastern states about the years 1868-1878 to settle in the new free state of Kansas. Some homesteaded and many bought claims.

Southeast Kansas was attractive to many because of its fertile creek bottom lands, rolling pastures and a more temperate climate. Many veterans settled in and around Havana and lived there the rest of their lives. Quite a few of these homes are still occupied and owned by decendents.

Robert B. Knock was a soldier who came with his new wife in 1870 and settled on a claim north of Havana. He later sold the farm and moved to town residence where Ed Fralick now lives. He served in many township offices and was justice of peace for many years.

William Michael, a soldier from New York State, came in 1873. He bought a claim in Chautauqua County first but in 1875 he bought the farm on the southeast side of town. He "batched" there until 1880, when he married and he and his wife lived there the rest of their lives. The place is now farmed by a grandson, William.

Jonas Gilmore, a soldier, settled on a farm southeast of town and raised a large family. They resided there for many years. His brother, Charley, had a farm across the road that bordered on the town plot.

George Blackmore lived on the south side of town for many years. It is now owned by the Glen Thompson family.

A. C. Whistler, a very early settler, first lived on a farm just over the line in Chautauqua Country, then moved to a home on seven cares(sic) at the southwest corner of town where they lived the rest of their lives. It is still occupied by a pair of twin daughters, Lillian and Mildred, and lately another daughter, widowed, moved in with them. Mildred was postmaster and Lillian her assistant for 22 years. John Pittman, brother of T. R. Pittman, lived on a farm west of the Whistlers. He was one of the first school teachers. His daughter, Pearl, taught piano for many years.

Good Schools

Havana developed some good schools during the years. The attendance outgrew the first two buildings and a brick building was built. Later, two additions were built. A high school was added - - two years at first, then four years. It was a school that generated much pride. Time makes many changes so changes came in the school systems of today when consolidation took place. Now our high school students are sent to Caney.

The population increased between World War I and II. No industry came other than garages, filling stations, and more stores. A creamery and cheese factory tried it for a while.

The first telephone exchange was established by G. W. Murrey.It was the battery-operated type used for many years. C. W. Powell bought the exchange in 1919 and provided service untilit was recently converted to the dial system.

The first doctor to stay in Havana was Dr. Dalby, a brother of George Dalby. He lived here many years. Dr. Stevens and Dr. Howell came later and after several years here they moved to Caney.

J. H. Stewart erected a large brick store building on the main street that housed one of the best hardware, furniture and implement stores in the country. He also built a brick dwelling that would be the pride of any town.

In 1908 the brick bank building was built and Bill Allen was the first president of Havana State Bank. Ed Worthern was the cashier. Business thrived until the depression years came when so many of the smaller bnaks had to consolidate. Havana bank was joined with Niotaze bank, then later both were consolidated with Caney National Bank.

P. H. Lindley had the only drug store in Havana. It was established in the early nineteen hundreds and continued until he died.

Kane Blake built a general store on the south side of Main Street in 1893.

The IOOF Hall was built in 1901, but was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and enlarged and contained two storerooms on the ground floor. The hall was upstairs and also a theater hall where many home talent plays were given.

Henry Pendleton built a general store in the same block. Walter Meeker and a man named Evans had a general store in the IOOF building.

Ralph Sircoulomb had a double-room store in the lower rooms of the hall, then later he reduced it to one room and Lafe Pendelton had a general store in the other side.

Brad Hosmer had a grocery store at one time. Later, Roy Raymond had a store until his health failed. Lester Sircoulomb built the two-story brick store building on the north side of Main Street and operated a produce store. While it was new the upstairs was used for square dancing. After Lester left, Bob Rickey had a produce store in the building. Wayne Lindsey had a barber shop upstairs. Walter Dobson had a barbershop in the south side for several years. Before him J. A Nolisch had a barber business.

John Sharpless and J. S. Reyburn were early day blacksmiths on the north side and later Oss Reyburn had the shop for a long time.

Lafe Pendleton built a large brick garage on the north side in the 20's. It has been empty for some time.

A good-sized lumber yard was built on the west side near the creek by William Rippetoe. He had a good business for several years.

For many years the railroad had a thriving business with four passenger trains and a similar number of freight trains every day. Lewis Pittman and George Dannels stayed the longest of all the agents for the Sante Fe. The Cedar Vale branch was removed and now very few trains go on the Santa Fe.

The town is now a good residential town within a short driving distance of Sedan, Caney, Coffeyville and Independence. The water has been piped into town and many families have modernized and fixed up their homes. Some new families have moved to town.

There is a modern store owned by Frank McClanahan on the north side of the street.

Some old deserted buildings have been torn down and cleaned away.

A nice postoffice is now in the bank building.

There is a Methodist church. Once Havana had a Christian church and a United Brethren church.

There is a Grange Hall where the Christian church once stood. There is a Youth Center used by 4-H clubs.

There is a lighted ballpark and a good library.

Most of all, Havana is a town of good sociable people.

This is not a complete history in any way. There are many more people who helped to make history in Havana and many more interesting events took place during the 100 years of existence.

It would take a book and much more research to write it all.

The one interesting thing about Havana's history is the fact that it never reached a very high level in industry and population, yet it never became a ghost town. Someone always kept it alive.

Havana was incorporated in 1910. First mayor was John McNally. Present mayor is R. L. Powell; A. M. Hough, clerk; Alvie Wilson, treasurer;, Henry Beair, D. M. Wade and George Ross, councilmen.

Transcribed and Contributed by Sullivan, Donald L

KSGENWEB INTERNET GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY COPYRIGHT NOTICE: In keeping with the KSGenWeb policy of providing free information on the Internet, this data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other gain. Copying of the files within by non-commercial individuals and libraries is encouraged. Any other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires the written approval of the file's author.