Naomi Katherine Allen McDiffett


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While we were growing up, it was our custom every summer to attend the Homecoming Celebration in Parkerville, Kansas. Because this small village with its people was dear to our parents, we rarely missed the occasion. This settlement approximately twelve miles northwest of Council Grove was the destination of our father, his parents, and his brothers and sisters when they came from Ohio to settle in Kansas in 1884 when Father was only a lad of ten years old. He grew up on a farm there and met and fell in love with our mother in this vicinity. Our mother’s mother and family, the Varners, also settled in Parkerville when they came from Ohio to Kansas. As a matter of fact, both Mother and Alberta were born in this village, Mother in 1881 and Alberta in 1901. I understand that when Mother was a young lady, she worked in the post office there. This little corner of the world was unique because the small band of settlers built their town differently. They built their businesses and homes around a square which served as their park and a place to have speakers and entertainment. The blue grass and beautiful large spreading Kansas trees made it a very inviting place. The square was separated from the businesses and homes by a wide street which surrounded the park. They set strong wooden posts in the ground and pulled huge iron chains through hand-whittled holes in the top of each post. These posts and chains served as a hitching post for the horses that pulled the wagons or buggies, whose occupants came to town to visit or to shop.

It was on this special day, Parkerville Homecoming, that the farmers came from far and near with their potluck to join the others for a bountiful feast. My sisters and I weren’t really so thrilled about this special day except for the fact that we got to see our great grandpa and our great aunts and uncle with their families. I imagine our joy was in watching our parents enjoying the good visit with the townspeople, relatives, and other friends who had been so dear to them in their earlier years. Naturally, it seemed that we girls were always hungry, so the good food was a treat to us. Just being away from the routine of the farm was also a welcome change. I have heard that there are but a few seniors living there now.

I have included the account written by my father’s sister, Mildred, regarding the Allen family’s trip from Ohio to Parkerville, Kansas in 1884 and how they celebrated Fourth of July in 1894 in this village.