Anna J. (Frazer) Winslow – 2003 Inductee

Anna J. (Frazer) Winslow was born near Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana, on 5th day of 2nd month, 1848.  The daughter of Alson and Hannah Frazer, Anna married Josiah W. Winslow on the 13th day of 10th month, 1864, in Henry County, Iowa.  The Winslow family settled in Mount Ayr Township, Osborne County, in 1873.  Anna was a lifelong Quaker minister who for nearly 40 years spread the gospel as an evangelist from North Carolina to Ohio to Kansas to Oregon, all while raising five children.  She moved to El Modeno, California, on 7th month, 21st, 1907, and passed away at Huntington Park, California, on 2nd month, 21st, 1918.  Anna wrote her autobiography, “Jewels From My Casket,” which details her life’s work, in 1910.

“I was born near Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana, on the 5th day of 2nd mouth, 1848. My father, Alson G. Frazer, son of Henry and Mary (Otwell) Frazer; and my mother, Hannah (Rees) Frazer, daughter of Zachariah and Mary (Davis) Rees of Westfield, Indi­ana, were members of Sugar Plain monthly meeting of the Society of Friends, near Thorntown, Indiana. My father was one who helped to build the meeting house at that place. When I was four years of age my darling little brother, Elwood, twenty-two months old, died; and in a few months my dear mother passed away. They were laid away in the ivy-covered cem­etery by a spreading beech tree, near Sugar Plain meeting house.” – 

 “I was a mischievous school girl and usually of a lively disposition and enjoyed the pleasures of school life very much, notwithstanding my occasional lone­liness.  The hardest thing for me to give up was my school life, which occurred when, on the 13th day of 10th month, 1864, I was united in marriage with Josiah W. Winslow at Cedar Creek meeting in Henry County, Iowa, according to the order of the Society of Friends, my father having removed to Iowa when I was nearly six years old.  About fourteen months after I was married, my loved father died; he had pneumonia which ended with brain fever.  One even­ing I took him some crackers, and he put his arms around me and said: ‘O, Anna, thou hast always been so good to me, and always been an obedient child.’  O how glad I was that he could say that!  These words were the last rational words he ever spoke to me, for in a few moments he was shrieking with pain and was delirious with fever.  Although I had a home of my own, I felt I had lost a good friend and counselor by his death, for he had of then advised me in the right way.  We had been married about one and a half years when our Orestes Alson was added to the family.” – The above two paragraphs were taken from Jewels From My Casket, pages 19-20.

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HIS PRESENCE IN OUR MIDST  blog

The Life and Times of Glendora Friends Church

Monday, 10th month, 13th, 2008

Anna J. Winslow

The other day my mother sent an email inquiring about a book by Quaker minister Anna J. Winslow titled Jewels From My Casket, published in 1910 by the Nazarene Publishing Company of Los Angeles. The only information she gave was that the book “was given to W. C. Gindlesberger” (my Great Grandfather on my mother’s side) and that Anna was originally from Indiana and the book mentions El Modena, a Quaker colony in Orange County, California.  Mom knew she was a Quaker minister but not much else. Great Grandfather Gindlesberger was a student at the Training School for Christian Workers in Huntington Park, California at the same time Anna J. Winslow lived there, around 1915-1916. It is quite possible he acquired the book then, perhaps given to him by the author herself.

UNOFFICIAL ANNA J. WINSLOW GENEALOGY

With this information and too much time on my hands I began my internet search. One source, Pioneer Memories of the Santa Ana Valley, Vol. VIII, by Maureen McClintock Richard (October 1988) notes that Anna was born to Alson G. Frazer (the family dropped the “i” some time before) and Hannah Rees near Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana.  Anna married a Quaker named Josiah White Winslow at Cedar Creek Meeting in Henry County, Iowa.  Josiah was born in Grant County, Indiana.  Josiah’s father was Nathan Matthew Winslow, born 15th day of 9th month, 1804 in Randolph City, North Carolina.

From Pioneer Memories: Hannah Reese was the daughter of Zacharia and Mary (Davis) Rees of Westfield, Indiana. Alson was the son of Henry and Mary (Utwell) Frazer. Hannah Rees Frazer died when Anna was about five years old. Her father married, secondly, Mary M. Hockett.

Anna J. Winslow became a Quaker minister. In her book, Jewels From My Casket, she tells about leaving her family of four children to preach in some distant place, like another state. Seemingly her absence was accepted by her husband and family.  Besides daughter Geneva, the children were: Urestus Alson, Julius, Matthew, Philander, Zacharia and Lida Anna Winslow.

QUAKER MINISTER

Anna J. Winslow came to do evangelical work in California in the summer of 1907 in the annual meeting [California Yearly Meeting]. She took up the pastoral work at El Modena on the 21st of 8th Month and resigned at the end of 1908. The family bought property in El Modena at the time. The little Quaker church still stands on Chapman Avenue near Hewes in El Modena. [El Modena Friends Church is a local city of Orange, CA historical landmark which was restored by a family and turned into a restaurant.]

The noted Quaker historian Thomas D. Hamm cites Anna J. Winslow’s book, Jewels From My Casket, as a source for his book The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800-1907. Hamm notes on page 102, under a section titled The Revivalists: “While the revivalists of the 1870s remained prominent, a number of younger ministers also came into prominence during the 1880s. Most having been born in the 1840s or 1850s, they came largely from solid Quaker backgrounds. Among the most important were . . . Anna J. Winslow in Iowa and Kansas.

Anna J. and Josiah W. Winslow are listed in the 1880 census as residents of Mount Ayr, Osborne County, Kansas. Anna’s occupation was listed as “Keeping House.” In the Book of Meetings By Society of Friends (1884) Anna’s name is mentioned under “List of Ministers” (p. 206): “Mt. Ayr Quarter . . . Anna J. Winslow, Mt. Ayr, Osborn County, Kansas.”

“Anna J. Winslow from Kansas” is noted in the 1885 Friends Review as having attended North Carolina Yearly Meeting.  The Review includes the following: “At this time Catherine Osborne and Anna Winslow paid a visit to men’s meeting. The burden of their exercise seemed to be, exhorting husbands to make a way for their companions to attend to all their religious duties, and to encourage them in every way to be faithful in attending to whatever service the Master may call them into. Many hearts were glad of this visit, and the stirring appeals of these faithful handmaidens will not soon be forgotten, or lightly passed by.

Anna next appears in the 1910 California Yearly Meeting of Friends Church minutes as living in El Modena, Orange County, California. In the 1915 minute book she is listed as “Anna J. Winslow, Huntington Park [California, near downtown Los Angeles]. In the 1917 minutes she is listed as “Anna J. Winslow, 125 N. Templeton St., Huntington Park.

Finally, in the 1918 Minutes of California Yearly Meeting of Friends Church (pages 119-121), Anna’s memorial is given: Anna Jane Winslow, daughter of Alson G. and Hanna Frazer, was born in Thorntown, Indiana on the 5th of 2nd month, 1848. Her mother died when Anna was nearly five years of age, and though Anna was provided for in her father’s home, she, for years afterward, felt her loneliness, and was often much depressed by it. Her mother had given her to Jesus, and to this fact Anna often attributed much of the tender Divine care and precious guidance to which she bore a feeling testimony in her later life.

In 10th month, 1864, she united in marriage with Josiah White Winslow of Henry County, Iowa. A few years later than this through the faithful ministry of Amos Kenworthy, she was led to seek and find pardon of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. Soon after her conversion she was quite clearly led to the belief that she should preach the Gospel. She shrank from this as being quite incapable of so important a service, and vacillated in her Christian experience for some time, but at length consented with her whole heart to what she was assured was God’s call. Her narrative of the influence of well known Friends toward her confirmation and establishment in the will of God, is full of interest.

Her subsequent life was marked to the close with an earnest and unceasing desire for the salvation of others. She answered many a loving call of her Heavenly Father to service quite remote from her home and under circumstances, many time, of peculiar difficulty. She traveled in the ministry quite extensively in Kansas, which for many years was her home, in Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon and elsewhere; and her ministry was marked with the Divine guidance which comes only to those who are walking closely with God in a life of prayer. The account which she gives of special providence is deeply interesting. When her means for traveling were exhausted, and she knew not how to proceed, the means often came through the persons who had no outward knowledge of her circumstances.

Her life was often imperiled by exposure and fatigue. At many times she was prostrated by sickness; sometimes when on her journeys in the service of the Lord; but even then her firm faith in her Heavenly Father, and her composure, her freedom from anxiety, was in itself a ministry for good to many souls.

She was often engaged in holding meetings of her own appointment, or in conjunction with other ministers; and wherever she labored, she left behind her precious evidences of the Divine presence and guidance in her labors. Though not educated, in the popular sense of that word, Anna Winslow gave abundant evidence of church experience in the school of Christ. The will of God respecting the time, place and character of her service, was generally made very clear to her in advance, as she was not want to allow any reasonings of own or other minds, to turn her aside from what was to her a call of the Lord.

The last few years of life she was in very feeble health and a great sufferer, but even then her habitual cheerfulness, especially in the presence of God’s children, or of those whom she sought to bring to a knowledge of Him, was blest to those who called at her home. About twenty months before her decease she met a painful accident on her way to attend the Yearly Meeting at Whittier, California. She had then been for a few years a resident of this state and for a time pastor of the friends Meeting at El Modena. Her home was in Huntington Park. Though very feeble, she was brought to the Yearly Meeting House by private conveyance, and after alighting, made a misstep, fell, and received injuries from which she never recovered. During the long weary months that followed, she lay nearly the whole time in one position, suffering not only the greatest inconvenience, but nearly all of the time much pain. Numerous friends from various parts of the country, visited her during this long shut-in period; and rarely if ever did anyone come away without a sense of having been blest in spirit by her evident rest and joy in the Lord, the power of grace wonderfully triumphing over the suffering of the flesh. Those who knew her best have questioned whether the ministry of those last months may not have been the most fruitful of here entire life.

On the 21st of 2nd month, 1918, she fell asleep in Jesus. Of her it may be safely said that though she rests from her labors her works do follow her. The memory of her heaven-sent messages and her godly life will continue to bless not only her family, but hundreds, perhaps thousands of those who have come under her influence.

To her it was given to show the world that a faithful follower of Jesus, though with limited education, limited means, a feeble and ofttimes suffering body, may accomplish a fruitful ministry in the salvation of sinners and the sanctification of believers, the great object for which our Lord sends forth His own into the world.

Her funeral was held in the Friends place of worship, in Huntington Park, the services being conducted by Eli Reece, acting pastor of Friends Church of Huntington Park. The interment was in the Whittier Cemetery.

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In 2008 Anna’s autobiography Jewels From My Casket was reprinted by Ad Astra Publishing LLC as part of their Hall of Fame series.

1870s Winslow farm home, Mount Ayr Township, Osborne County, Kansas.
Josiah and Anna Winslow’s California home, 1910.

Anna Winslow and family, 1910.
Anna Winslow in 1910.
California cemetery where Anna Winslow lies buried.
Gravesite for Josiah and Anna Winslow.
Anna’s headstone.

Oid Lee Wineland – 1996 Inductee

A fourth-generation native of Osborne County who has been a public servant in both his career and as a volunteer for over fifty years to the people of Osborne County has indeed earned himself a place in the Osborne County Hall of Fame.  Oid Lee Wineland was born October 28, 1920, to Clyde and Hazel (Tucker) Wineland on the family homestead in Kill Creek Township, Osborne County, Kansas.

Oid attended the Hillsview rural school and graduated from Alton [Kansas] High School in 1939.  Also in 1939 Oid was awarded the American Farmer Degree, the Future Farmers of America’s highest award.  He then attended Kansas State University, where he briefly played football and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in January 1943.  He entered military service in the army and received a reserve commission as a second lieutenant after graduating Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in May 1943.  That same month he returned to Alton and married his high school sweetheart, Letha Thayer.  Together they raised two sons, Ron and Jim.

Oid served in World War II with the 121st Infantry in the Rhineland, Central Germany, and Northern France campaigns.  After dismissal from active duty in 1946 Oid remained in the Army Reserve until April 1, 1953.  He became a member of the Alton American Legion chapter and has been in charge of the chapter’s firing squad for over fifty years.

On January 21, 1946, Oid became a rural mail carrier for the Alton post office, a job he held until March 29, 1986.  In his forty years as a carrier he was exemplary in his work and earned an Expert Driver Award-Million Mile Safety Award from the National Safety Council.  He also farmed wheat on rented land and worked alongside his father and then on his own on the family farm in Kill Creek Township all his working life.  An active member of the United Brethren Church in Alton, Oid has served on the Alton City Council and as the town’s mayor.  For twenty-one years he was elected to the local school boards, serving as School District Number 392 president for two terms.  He also held the office of Region Seven Vice-President of the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Oid helped local youth through the Pee-Wee and Cookie baseball programs in Alton.  At various times he could be found as the assistant coach, groundskeeper, scorebook keeper, equipment manager, umpire, supplying first aid, or whatever else there was to do.  “I enjoyed that about more than anything I ever did,” relates Oid.

Now in retirement at his home in Alton, Oid and his wife enjoy gardening, yard work, traveling, and visiting with family and the many friends he has in made over the years in the Alton area.  Always a source of pride and respect among his peers, Oid Wineland remains a strong voice in the affairs of Alton and the northwestern part of Osborne County.

OID WINELAND IN WORLD WAR II

(By Jim Wineland)

Oid Lee Wineland was an infantry officer in the United States Army in World War II from 1943-1945.  He was awarded the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters.

From August 1944 until the end of the war, he served in Europe as a lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry ”Gray Bonnet” Regiment, of the 8th Infantry Division.  This unit faced some of the toughest infantry fighting of the war.  During Oid’s time with the 121st Infantry, 718 of its men were killed-in-action or died of wounds suffered in combat in France and Germany.

Oid first saw action in August 1944 during the siege of the French port of Brest.  After that city fell, the 8th Division participated in the capture of German units on the Crozon Peninsula south of Brest.  Operations in France ended in September.  The division moved to Luxembourg and held a defensive position.  On November 20th, Oid moved with the 121st Infantry as it entered Germany near Huertgen, where a furious battle had been underway since September.

At the Battle of the Huertgen Forest, the 2nd Battalion played an important role in the capture of the village of Huertgen, Germany.  For its action on November 21-28th, the 121st Infantry received the Presidential Unit Citation, the nation’s highest award for a military unit.  On December 1, 1944, Oid was one of a few remaining officers who led the battered 2nd Battalion while it was surrounded by the enemy in the woods east of the village.  It was a harrowing day, but the battalion held on.  On December 6th Oid was seriously wounded in the leg by German artillery near Huertgen and evacuated.  After several weeks in hospitals in Belgium, France, and England, he returned to the 121st Infantry on January 26, 1945.

In 1945 he participated in the fighting near the Roer River Dams; the drive from the Roer River to the Rhine River; the house-to-house combat in the Ruhr Pocket east and north of Cologne, Germany; and, finally, the rapid drive to the Elbe River and into North Central Germany at the war’s end in May 1945.  Oid led what became a highly decorated platoon of black soldiers in a segregated unit within the 121st Infantry from March until the end of the fighting in Europe.  On May 8, 1945, Oid became Company Commander of F Company, 121st Infantry.  Oid returned to the United States in the summer of 1945 with the regiment.  The 8th Infantry Division was at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, preparing to join the war in the Pacific when Japan surrendered in September 1945.  Oid was discharged from active duty in January 1946 and returned to Alton, Kansas.

Oid Wineland during World War II.

Charles Edward Williams – 1997 Inductee

Charles Edward Williams was born March 17, 1867, in Fairmount, Indiana, to Paul and Catharine (Stanfield) Williams. His father was a Civil War veteran. His motherwas the daughter of one of Fairmount’s co-founders. During the first year of his life Charles was so frail of body that he was laid out for dead three different times. At the recommendation  of  his  doctor,  his  parents  moved  farther west  to  Guthrie  County, Iowa, in 1868. In the fall of 1873 his parents moved to Jewell County, Kansas, near Mankato. When the grasshopper s took all of the crops in 1874 theWilliams family, along with many others, moved back to Iowa.  The lure of the West still called, and the family returned to Kansas in 1878. After trying many locations they settled in Mount Ayr Township, Osborne County, in 1893.  Catharine’s father had settled his family there earlier in 1876.

Charles married Laura Mendenhall on October 22, 1893,in the Mount Ayr Post Office, which at that time was in her parents’ home.  The Joseph and Angelina (Gregory) Mendenhall family had come by covered wagon from Iowa to Mount Ayr Township in the fall of 1873, when Laura was only six months old.  The next spring, the Mendenhall family homesteaded at “The Cedars,” where they eventually built the first frame home in the northern part of Mount Ayr Township.

Charles and Laura were the parents of thirteen children: Verdun Ray; Lola; Luther; Ernest; Herald; Bessie; Walter; Chester; George; Lelia Almina; Ethyl; Virgil; and DuWayne. Charles and Laura’s first home, where five of their children were born, was located approximately two miles west of The Cedars.  Later on, they traded homes with Laura’s father, a move that gave them a bigger house, plus put the Williams children in walking distance of the Mount Ayr School then located one mile to the south.  Shaded by stately cedar trees, some of which are still standing, Charles and Laura appropriately named their new home “The Cedars.”  On the night of May 20, 1918, they and nine of their children still living at home  were  in  their  beds when  a tornado  completely  leveled  their  farm.  They and many others in Mount Ayr, Round Mound, Kill Creek, and Tilden Townships miraculously survived this devastating storm. The Williams family lived in a makeshift dwelling for severalmonths after. Their last child, born two months later in July1918, died in November when the entire family was stricken with the worldwide flu epidemic.

“The Cedars.”

In the early 1900s Charles became the Mount Ayr news correspondent for both the Alton  and  Osborne  newspaper. For over twenty-five years he wrote weekly news items and historical articles for both papers. His history subjects were the Osborne County settlers of the 1870s era and he recorded everything from their trips to Kansas in a coveredwagon to their existence on the harsh prairie.

Decoration Day in Alton was always a big event, and this was especially so in 1930 when the monument to Hiram C.Bull, the co-founder of Alton, was unveiled in the Sumner Cemetery. As chairman of the Old Settlers meeting held that year, Charles was instrumental in having the elk horns that killed Bull in a famous incident in 1879 shipped back to Osborne County. The horns, plus the bill of lading, arecurrently on exhibit in Osborne.

A View of Alton, in limerick form, was written by Charles in 1930. This poem described the 50 businesses,professions, churches, and schools in Alton at that time and earned much acclaim. In 1936 Charles, Laura, and the three remaining children at home moved to Hotchkiss, Colorado, where Charles passed away on November 15, 1937.  Laura, the final surviving charter member of the Mount Ayr Friends Church, lived until February 26, 1960. Both are buried in the Riverside Cemetery at Hotchkiss, Colorado. Charles was named to the Osborne County Hall of Fame in 1996. – Deanna Roach, descendant.

The legacy of Charles Williams is continued today among his descendants as four generations of Williams family members receive a monthly family newsletter, an integral part of which is the shared contributions of the history and pictures of the Williams family.  Their efforts are a fitting tribute to Charles Williams, historian and writer.

Doris (Parsons) White – 2007 Inductee

Doris (Parsons) White was born near Victor in Lincoln County, Kansas, the daughter of Archie and Jessie Marie (VanAmburgh) Parsons, on December 6, 1921.  After graduation from high school she earned her teaching certificate in 1940 and became the teacher at the Castle Hill one-room school in east-central Osborne County, earning $60 a month.  Over the next several years Doris taught at rural schools in both Osborne and Russell Counties before becoming a teacher at the Luray Grade School in 1951.  She even found time to marry area farmer/rancher George White, Jr.

Eleven years later Doris accepted a teaching position at the Osborne Grade School.  In May 1984 her 44-year teaching career came to an end with her retirement after 22 years in Osborne.  In those years she saw several of her former students go on to become valedictorians and salutatorians of their classes.  But the crowning achievement of her career was her induction in to the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1984.

Over the years Doris was active in a number of church and civic organizations, and even managed to earn herself a college degree by attending classes and studying on weekends and during summer sessions.  Upon retirement she started as a hobby creating ceramic dolls.  Doris made hundreds of the dolls from scratch, and gave untold numbers of them to relatives and friends.

In 2007 Doris was honored at the centennial celebration of the Osborne County Courthouse with an induction ceremony into the Osborne County Hall of Fame.  She passed away on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at the age of 89 in Russell, Kansas and was interred in the Osborne Cemetery.

Doris in later years with a number of the dolls she created.

Frank E. Wheeler – 1997 Inductee

Frank E. Wheeler was born April 4, 1906, in Hancock Township, Osborne County, Kansas, on the farm of his parents, Frederick and Ariadne (Holmes Hodson) Wheeler.  He got his early education at the one-room Social Hill School, District Number 31, and at the age of twelve he began collecting, trading, buying, selling, and writing about firearms, ammunition, and cartridges – a hobby that became his lifetime obsession.

Frank worked as the janitor at the Osborne Carnegie Library while attending high school in nearby Osborne.  When he was 17 he became the regular librarian and broke in his replacement in time to graduate from high school in 1924.  Then Frank clerked at the Babcock Variety Store in Osborne for nine dollars a week.  He decided to travel a bit, and 1926 worked as a cook’s helper in a restaurant at Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In the spring of 1927 Frank’s knowledge of weaponry got him a job as a powder monkey in Yellowstone National Park, where he blasted loose frozen packs of snow with explosives to clear the roads.  That summer he headed west to Hollywood, California, and spent the next five years cooking and managing restaurants.  There he married Anna Egerer and started a family.  In 1932 the Depression cost him his job and Frank decided to bring his family back to Osborne.

Frank then worked for the federal Work Projects Administration (WPA), earning $9.80 a week.  In 1936 he worked at the Holmes Bakery and the next year he and fellow Osborne citizen Frank McDaneld began a publication of a listing of cartridges for collectors, which they published for the next 31 years.

Wheeler took over management of Vern Lemley’s antique store in 1940 and began seriously building an extensive library of weapons technology.  By 1941 he had acquired over 800 pistols and rifles and continued amassing a large cartridge collection.  In September 1943 he began work at the Osborne Post Office.  Twelve years later he sent a story in to The Gun Report, an internationally-circulated monthly.  He later became an associate editor and had his own column, The Cartridge Collector, which he wrote for 22 years.

In 1956 Frank organized the first Solomon Valley Gun Collectors Show in Osborne.  This became an annual event that attracted gun, coin, and stamp collectors from across the nation for 20 years.

The Solomon Valley Gun Collectors Show was held in Osborne and was one of the largest such events in the Central United States for several years.

Frank held life memberships in the Kansas State Historical Society, National Rifle Association and the National Muzzle Loading Association, and was a member of over 60 other groups concerning weaponry.  Frank was elected charter president of the Kansas Cartridge Collectors Association when it was formed January 18, 1969, and also served two terms as president of the International Cartridge Collectors Association.

Frank retired to his legendary two-room “shanty” on the east edge of Osborne and received still more awards and recognitions, including the International Cartridge Collectors’ Association’s inaugural B. R. L. Lewis Memorial Award for personal contribution to cartridge collecting in 1972, and the Kansas Cartridge Collectors’ Association Man of the Year in 1976.  By 1973 his cartridge collection had grown to over 12,000 specimens, and his library held 2,000 old cartridge catalogs and 1,200 volumes on weaponry, ranging from an Italian book on guns printed in 1561 through to the 1970s.

Frank was an acknowledged world-wide expert on weaponry and was named to both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who International under Who Knows–And What Among American Experts and the Specially Informed.  The shanty regularly entertained visitors from around the world who enjoyed anonymity in Osborne they would never have received in a larger city.  Frank treated all who came to see him equally with a smile and a story culled from a lifetime of remembrances.

Frank died on February 27, 1977, in Osborne and was laid to rest in the Osborne Cemetery.  After his death a three-day auction was held to disperse his personal collection of guns and cartridges.  The softbound auction booklet sent out to prospective bidders ran 59 pages long.

Henry Harrison Welty – 2010 Inductee

In the early history of Downs, Osborne County, Kansas there are three men who achieved such legendary business status that they are forever known as The Lumber Barons of Downs.  Two of the three – George Howell and Marion Hardman – have been previously inducted into the Osborne County Hall of Fame.  Here now the third and last of the Lumber Barons joins them in being so honored.

Henry Harrison Welty was born on February 22, 1855 in Nora, Jo Daviess County, Illinois.  He was educated in the Nora public schools and graduated from Carthage College at Carthage, Illinois.

In the 1870s Henry headed west and settled in Logan, Kansas, where he engaged in the lumber business for a number of years.   He then moved to Downs after its founding in 1879 and worked for George Howell at the Howell Lumber Company.

In 1903 Henry was one of the three founders of the Central Lumber Company, which later became known as the Hardman Lumber Company, and was the company president.  He extended his business empire over several states and after a merger presided over the Noll-Welty Lumber Company.

From 1902 to 1906 Henry served as mayor of Downs and is accorded the accolade as being the finest mayor in the city’s history.  He was a leading spirit in all of the town’s undertakings and it was largely through his energy and influence that the Carnegie Library and many other advantageous civic projects were completed, elevating Downs at the time as being one of the most progressive small cities in the state.  In 1905 Henry served as president of the Lincoln Park Chautauqua  and completed what would be the largest home ever built in the city.  During this time Henry married a widow, May (Rice) Meadows, and adopted her daughter, Rebecca, a 1996 Osborne County Hall of Fame inductee in her own right.  Together they raised two more daughters and two sons.

In June of 1912 Henry decided to retire from active business and moved his family to Topeka, Kansas.  There he served on the board of trustees for both the Central Congregational Church and Washburn College, and was a member of the Topeka Scottish Rite as well as Siloam Lodge #225, A. F. and A. M.

Henry Harrison Welty passed away on August 23, 1929 and was laid to rest in Topeka’s Mount Hope Cemetery.

Henry H. Welty House in Downs in 1903.

Frank Peter Wells – 1996 Inductee

The businessmen who flocked to Osborne County in the 1870s often lasted only a few years before moving on.  Not so Frank Peter Wells–the business he began stayed in his family nearly a century.  Frank was born January 28, 1850, in Cortland, New York.  At the age of five his parents moved to Illinois.  Frank attended high school and graduated from the Woodbury Preparatory College at Polo, Illinois.

In 1869 he went to Iowa for two years, and then it was on to Blackhawk, Colorado, where he worked as a miner, a pharmacist, and in the post office.  Nine years later he joined a brother in operating harness shops at Brookville and Marquette in Kansas.  In October 1879 he came to Osborne and opened the Wells Harness and Repair Shop, which he managed for the next fifty-seven years.  In time his son Frank Edward, and later his grandson Max, managed the business.  Between them the family owned the business ninety-one years.

Frank married Mary E. Fultz on November 10, 1879, at Marquette, Kansas.  They raised six children:  Mary (Dottie); A.; Charles; Nettie; Wallace; and Gertrude.  In Osborne Frank was elected to the city council and was prominent in planting the first trees in the city park.  In 1884 he was elected a member of the local school board, a position he held for twenty-six years.

From 1913 through 1916 Frank served two terms as Osborne County Register of Deeds.  He was active in civic and social circles, particularly the Masonic Lodge, of which he was a member for fifty-three years.  Frank Wells took care of the needs of two generations of Osborne County settlers and farmers until he passed away June 9, 1936, in Osborne and was laid to rest in the Osborne Cemetery.

Winfield Washington Watson – 1996 Inductee

In its early years Osborne County consistently attracted many young enterprising businessmen who exhibited the necessary desire and hard work ethic needed in order to be successful.  Foremost among these was Winfield Washington Watson.  Watson’s rise as a prosperous and influential business leader began with his arrival in Kansas in 1880.  Over the next fifty years his leadership earned him considerable state and national recognition, a distinction which has earned him a place in the Osborne County Hall of Fame.

Watson was born November 29, 1848, in West Creek, Kankakee County, Indiana.  He was one of the ten children of John Watson and Sarah Jane Patterson.  His early years were spent in West Creek and Wilmington, Illinois, where he worked on the farm of Milton Butts and drove a team of oxen, often working by candlelight.  In due course he courted and won the heart of his employer’s daughter, Clara, whom he married on April 14, 1870, at Monence, Illinois.  They had one daughter, Florence.  In 1873 Watson moved his family to Monence, Illinois, to join his brother William in the grocery business.

In 1879 the Watsons moved to Osborne, where he erected a frame building and opened a general store.  Six years later he organized the Exchange National Bank and served as its first president.  A two-story stone structure was built on the northwest corner of Second and Main Streets for the bank that housed several other businesses also, and the town’s first library.

Watson also served on the board of directors for the proposed Omaha, Dodge City, and Southwestern Railroad.  The route for this line ran northeast from Dodge City through Jetmore, Hays, Osborne, Downs, Cawker City, and Jewell in Kansas.  As with most railroad schemes of the time, the plans fell through and the line was never built.

“Those were great days,” Watson recalled years later, “Days when men dared big things and either won or lost.  If they won, good and well; if they lost, they promptly forgot it and turned their attention to something else.  And so it was with our enterprise.”

In 1889 Watson moved his family to Salina, Kansas, where he became president of the American State Bank.  He also served as president of the Acme Cement Company, who furnished most of the material needed to build the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.  By 1900 he had returned to the grocery business and formed the Watson, Durand-Kasper Wholesale Grocery Company.  Watson was also president of the Duncan Shingle and Lumber Company in Kansas City, Missouri, and served on the board of directors of the Denver, Colorado-based United States Airways (later known as United Airlines).  In 1912 Watson organized and headed the Meridian Road Association, which led the way in U.S. Highway 81 becoming the first surfaced highway across the United States, a move that was instrumental in attracting industry to Salina.  His last important commercial venture came in 1921 when he built the Watson Theatre, which was later sold and renamed the Fox.  Currently it is known as the Stieffel – Watson Theatre.

Watson was a staunch Republican and was considered one of the “Big Four” delegates at the 1920 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, whose influence secured the presidential nomination for Warren G. Harding.  In his later years he was universally respected for his leadership and generosity–a reputation enhanced by his donation of 4,200 U. S. flags with which schoolchildren welcomed the Civil War veterans attending the state Grand Army of the Republic Encampment at Salina in 1925.  He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge.  And once a year he would make a special trip to Osborne to visit old friends and the town he still cherished from his younger days.

Mrs. Watson passed away in April 1925.  The next June Watson married Mrs. Esther Williams, and for five years the couple lived in contentment.  Winfield Watson died at his home December 4, 1931, shortly after his eighty-third birthday.  He was buried in the family mausoleum at the Gypsum Hill Cemetery in Salina.

The Watson Mausoleum in the Gypsum Hill Cemetery at Salina, Saline County, Kansas.

Zachary Taylor Walrond – 1996 Inductee

“Zachary Taylor Walrond was born in Hart County, Kentucky, April 3rd, 1847.  His birthplace is about six miles from Glen Lily, the birthplace and home, when not in public life, of [former Vice-President] General Simon Bolivar Buckner of Confederate fame and about twenty miles south of the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.  Conrad Walrond, the father of Z. T. Walrond, was a prosperous farmer of a genial happy disposition.  It was always a joy to the young people to visit the home of ‘Uncle Conrad.’  It meant a season of sunshine and good fellowship.  The Walrond family are thought to be of English descent.  Emily Mitchell, the mother of Z. T. Walrond, was of a Scotch-Irish family, her mother, Rachel Crawford, was of the old Virginia family, bearing the name, which has produced so many men distinguished in Church and State, Art and Literature.

Z. T. Walrond was known in early boyhood as ‘Taylor’ Walrond, in compliment to his namesake, the twelfth president of the United States.  As he grew older he seemed to dislike the name and he was called by his abbreviated first name, ‘Zac,’ with the unanimous consent of those most directly interested, who soon learned to use the new name by which he was ever afterwards familiarly known among his relatives and friends.  His early education was in the common schools of his native county.  Later during the Civil War he entered the Male and Female High School at Columbia, Kentucky; at that time this town was one of the centers of learning for the Green River Country in Kentucky.  After a time at this school he returned to his father’s farm and engaged at this occupation until  the fall of 1867 when he again entered the Academy at Columbia.  While in school he united with the Presbyterian church and being of exceptional promise as a student and with rare social qualities he was solicited to become a candidate for the Presbyterian ministry, to which he consented and was taken under care of the Presbytery with this calling in view.  His zeal in study overtaxed his powers and he suffered a physical breakdown and left the school in the spring of 1868.  After this he engaged for some time in active outdoor life to regain his health, teaching school in the winter until the spring of 1870, when he decided to seek his fortune in the West, coming to Kansas in the spring of 1870.  He has left on record April 3, 1870, as the exact date of his settlement in Kansas, this being his twenty-third birthday.  At that time the Arapaho and Buffalo roamed at will over the hills, valleys and plains of Western Kansas.  In company with two brothers of the name of Crosby he selected a preemption on the North Solomon River in Osborne County.

Z. T. Walrond was one of the first, if not the first to obtain full legal title to land in this county [Osborne] from the United States.  His patent is dated January 20, 1872, and bears the name of [Ulysses] S. Grant, then president.  Albert Wells and J. J. Wiltrout, now a banker at Logan, Kansas, were among his comrades and neighbors at that time.  They were all then young men, fond of adventure, and with high hopes for the future.  They lived in a stockade in what became extreme northwestern Bethany Township as a defense against Indian raids, enduring the privation of frontier life for the purpose of a home and independence in a material way.  He gave the name of Bethany to the township and post office [later known as Portis], being appointed the second postmaster and first justice of the peace in that vicinity.  After paying out on his preemption he homesteaded adjoining land and remained on his homestead until the fall of 1873.

Z. T. Walrond was elected register of deeds, November 4, 1873, and took the office in January 1874, making his home in the city of Osborne after that time.  Later in the year 1874 he had built the residence in Osborne which still stands at the corner of First and East Streets.  In December 1874 he was united in marriage to Mary Duncan Smith of Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky, immediately bringing his bride to Osborne to occupy the new home.  During all those early years Z. T. Walrond took an active part in laying the foundations of organized society.  He was in the forefront of every movement for the public kind, generous and hospitable.  He had a warm place in the hearts of the people.  He himself has said he never had better friends anywhere than the early settlers in Osborne County.  He loved them and was loved by them in return.  He held the office of register of deeds two terms, retiring in January, 1878.  During these early years he studied law and was admitted to the bar.  After retiring from the office of register of deeds, he formed a partnership with the late [Robert] G. Hays (who died a few years ago at Oklahoma City) for the practice of law; later this partnership was dissolved.  On January, 1879, he entered into partnership with J. K. Mitchell, and this partnership continued four about four years under the firm name of Walrond & Mitchell; later Cyrus Heren came into the firm and the business was conducted under the firm name of Walrond, Mitchell & Heren.  This partnership was dissolved January 1, 1890.

Z. T. Walrond had a retentive memory and kept a record of current events, from which between 1880 and 1882 he compiled a history of Osborne County and Northwest Kansas known as the Annals of Osborne County, a history of the decade of the 1870s that is a mine of information for all later historians.  He was elected county attorney of Osborne County in fall of 1880 and held this position for two terms, from January 1881 until January 1885.  He was elected county representative to the Kansas Legislature November 2, 1886, re-elected November 6, 1888, and was a member of the Legislature when appointed United States District Attorney for the Indian Territory by President Harrison in the spring of 1889.  During his second term in the legislature he was a candidate for Speaker of the House, but was defeated because he would not pledge himself in advance in the matter of appointments under control of the Speaker, deeming it of more importance to be free to use his best judgment in such matters and preferring defeat to being fettered.  His action in this probably aided in calling attention to the character of the man and in securing his selection as United States Attorney on the recommendation of the United States Senator, Preston B. Plumb, who was particularly anxious for a man with unquestioned integrity and firmness to be chosen as United States Attorney for the Indian country.  Mr. Walrond held the position of U. S. Attorney for four years, until  the spring of 1893, when he was relieved by the incoming Cleveland administration, being succeeded by a Democrat.

After his retirement from public office he continued to reside at Muskogee, Oklahoma, engaging in the practice of law, being called into the public position again as Referee in Bankruptcy and afterwards chosen police judge of Muskogee.  He discharged his duties in every public trust with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens.  He was frequently attorney for the Indians and enjoyed their unbounded confidence.

He leaves to mourn his loss his wife and one daughter, Lucile, three children–Virgil, Warren, and Annie–having died in infancy and whose remains rest in the Osborne Cemetery.  He has a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Hutcherson, residing at Portis, Kansas, a brother Madison in Nebraska, another sister, Mrs. Martha Hatcher and one unmarried sister, Alice, still living on the old Walrond homestead in Kentucky.  An older brother, Thomas, was a Federal soldier in the Civil War and died before the war closed from disease contracted in the service  The circle of his friends is only limited by the extent of his acquaintances which is not confined to state lines.  He had been in failing health for several months and spent some time at Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, during the last summer in the hope of regaining his health but gradually became weaker.  He suddenly became worse on Monday, November 2nd, and was taken to the hospital in Muskogee, where he had a specially trained nurse and the best of medical skill, but nothing could prolong his life and he peacefully and without a sigh breathed his last on one o’clock on Friday morning, November 6, 1914.  While he lay in the hospital his friends made his room a bower of roses.  Flowers beautiful beyond description covered his grave.

As before stated he connected himself with the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky, there being no church of that faith when he came to Osborne, he united with the Congregational Church and remained with that body until his removal to Muskogee, where he reunited with the Presbyterian Church, was chosen an Elder and at one time represented his Presbytery in the General Assembly as a Commissioner.  He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in Kentucky and remained a member all his life.  His pastor, Reverend J. K. Thompson, conducted the funeral service and his body was escorted to the grave in the Greenhill Cemetery by the entire local membership of the Masonic Lodge.  The Bar Association of Muskogee was present in a body.  Hundreds were unable to enter the outer portals of the church.  At the conclusion of the church service the body was placed in care of the Knights Templar and their brother Masons.  The active pallbearers were uniformed Knights Templar, while the honorary pallbearers were deacons of the church of which Judge Walrond had been a member for the last twenty-five years of his life.  He was the oldest lawyer in the state of Oklahoma in rank of admission to the bar in that state.  Few men have gained and held so high a place in the esteem of all classes of people through a long period of years.  He was always kind, gentle and considerate of the feelings of others, rarely wounded anyone or made an enemy; at the same time he was always firm for the right as he saw the right.

One of nature’s noblemen such as we do not look upon every day but whose lives leave the world richer for all time by reason of their sojourn here.  Requiescat in peace.”

— John Knox Mitchell, cousin, in the Osborne (KS) County Farmer, November 19, 1914.

Bertine Pinckney Walker – 1996 Inductee

The man who made the Osborne  County Farmer one of the most powerful small-town newspapers in Kansas was born January  29, 1872, at Winneconne, Wisconsin.

Bertine Pinckney Walker was the second of three children born to newspaperman William H. Walker and Melissa (Phelps) Walker.  Known as “Bert” (perhaps with good reason), he was five years old when his father bought the Peabody Gazette and moved the family to Peabody, Kansas.  Though he died only three years later, William Walker was a major influence on young Bert, who grew up determined to follow in his father’s footsteps.  He attended school in Peabody and worked on the Gazette until 1897, when he came to Downs, Kansas.

“A young man will go from this city tomorrow to take charge of the Logan Republican.  In the young man who is going to Logan we feel more than a passing interest.  He has been in our employ for only about a month, but in this brief time we have leaned to admire his manly qualities, his industrious habits and his proficiency as a printer and a writer.  This man is Bert Walker.  – Downs News, February 18, 1897.

Bert arrived in Logan, Kansas, with only 25 cents in his pocket.  By that October the newspaper was sold and Walker was out of a job.  He went to Osborne on a freight train and got work with the Farmer.

In 1901 Bert applied for the position of paragrapher at the Topeka (KS) Capital, beating out 32 other applicants for the job.  He also started a widely-read column entitled Kansas Men and Matters.  This lasted until 1904, when he went back to Osborne and bought the Farmer for $5,000 dollars from Charles Landis, who was anxious to sell the paper.  Working as both editor and publisher, over the next 14 years Walker  built the Farmer into a financial success whose views on Republican politics and state affairs began to receive considerable notice in other parts of Kansas.

Bert was a gifted writer of editorial comment.   His style was simple, graphic, sometimes whimsical and always dramatic.  He received his greatest fame for a column he began when he took over the Farmer.  “Musings of the Village Deacon” was soon being reprinted across the state, and by 1942 some newspapers nationally were publishing the weekly antics of such fictitious characters as Old Bill Shiftless and Jasper Tightwad, along with wry observations set down by Bert’s silver-tipped pen.  Reprints of the column continued into the 1960s.

On June 17, 1913, Bert married Althea Closon in Kansas City, Missouri.  In time the Walkers had enough money that Bert hired Charles E. Mann to be the new editor and the family took a two-year sabbatical on the West Coast, settling down in San Diego, California.

In 1921 Walker was appointed to the office of Kansas State Printer and he moved his family to Topeka.  He was elected to five consecutive terms before giving up the post in 1932.  Bert also served for a time on the State Board of Irrigation.

Under Walker and Mann the Osborne County Farmer maintained a presence of prestige and influence unequaled by any small-town weekly before or since in Kansas.  Walker was further instrumental in preserving and publishing much of the early history of Osborne County that otherwise would have been lost forever.  Special editions of the Farmer in 1921, 1926, 1936, and 1941 contained articles and photographs of prominent Osborne County citizens and businesses covering the first 75 years of the county’s history.  But all great things must end, and in 1942 Bert sold the Farmer and retired from the newspaper business altogether.

Walker continued to live in Topeka and work in the Scottish Rites of Masonic faith, of which he was a member for over 50 years.  The man forever known as “The Village Deacon” died in Topeka on September 11, 1946, and was buried there in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

*  *  *  *  *

(The following article originally ran in the May 14, 1936, issue of the Osborne County Farmer.  In it Bert Walker described several of the fictitious characters who had regularly appeared in his Village Deacon column during the previous thirty-one years.)

THE VILLAGE DEACON RECALLS A FEW OLD SETTLERS

Bert Walker in later years.

Old Bill Shiftless was one of the earliest settlers in Osborne County.  He preceded the Pennsylvania Colony by a couple of years.  Old Bill didn’t get to going good until some ten or fifteen years had passed.  There were few newspapers, inhabitants were scarce and busy and no great state issues had reached out this far on the prairies.  As soon as a few stores started up Old Bill began to get busy.  In a few months he owed all of them and never paid a cent.  He was a prominent figure at the first big religious revival in town.  He was converted the third night and posed as the town’s hero.  Bill proceeded at once to practice his new found light.  He went around to all the places he owed and promised to “take care” of his account in short order.  He wound up by asking for more credit.  He didn’t get it and. he began to grow suspicious of religion as a salvation for troubles.  He finally tackled Deacon Elam Philander, who was connected with a new bank, for a loan.  “Bill,” said Philander, “ready cash is too scarce to risk.  I can’t do it.”  Bill was sore under the collar by this time and blurted out:  “The trouble with you, Philander, is that the holy ghost never touched you.”  “Maybe not,” replied Philander, “and you ain’t going to touch me either.”  Bill backslid as soon as the revival was over.  “I was disappointed in religion,” said Old Bill, “It didn’t help me a bit any place.”  As the years went by Old Bill’s conversions became traditional.

Another of Old Bill’s rare traits was his loyalty and help in times of distress.  One day one of his cronies imbibed more shotgun whisky than he could carry and fell under the load alongside of a livery stable.  Old Bill happened along and stopped.  The stricken crony said, thickly, “Bill, help me up and get me home.” “No,” replied Bill, “I can’t do that, but I will lay down beside you if there is anything left in your bottle.”  Old Bill has the distinction of’ having belonged to every political party that ever existed in Osborne County. He was a perpetual candidate and never got three votes in his whole life.  “I got disgusted with politics,” said Bill, “and quit the crooked game long ago.”

Deacon Elam Philander came out with the Pennsylvania Colony.  The deacon was shrewd, thrifty and not a bad fellow.  He believed in doing good and practiced it religiously.  But he took about ninety per cent of his good for himself and distributed the other around the community as he saw fit.  He was so practical with his religion and his prayers that he just about ran the church.  I recall one time our preacher, a sad faced disciple who believed in prayer for all material things, had called a meeting in the church to raise some money for a stricken community in a distant state.  The preacher opened the meeting by saying, “We must look to the Lord for help in this sad hour.  I will ask Deacon Philander to offer a prayer.”  Philander arose and said very directly, “The best prayer we can offer at this hour and in this case is through the pocketbook.  I will give ten dollars and hope there are others here who will pray in the same way.”  The preacher was shocked, but the required amount was soon raised.  Then the preacher returned thanks for the answer to Philander’s prayer.

Another time the church board was going to meet at my house.  I said to Philander, very confidentially, “Brother Philander, you know I always keep a small vial of liquor at home in case of snake bite or hydrophobia.  Now the church board will be there tonight.  What do you think I had better do about it.”  “Well,” replied Philander, with one of his sharp looks into my eyes, “if I were you I would find a new hiding place for the jug in the barn.”  I didn’t like Philander’s attitude on the matter any too well, but I followed his advice and came out all right.  We had a very successful meeting.

Old Bill Shiftless is always knocking Philander and trying to get the best of him with his cute remarks.  One day Old Bill was sitting on the bench beside the old Exchange National Bank with a bunch of statesmen who were trying to save the country.  Philander sauntered up and Old Bill shouted, “Deacon, I’ll bet if I ask you to lend me two dollars right before the boys here, you won’t do it.”  “You win,” replied Philander, as he wandered on.

Portia Jason, the noted worker for the emancipation of women, was an early settler of Osborne County.  Of course, the first few years of the pioneer days didn’t afford her much opportunity for the exercise of her talents.  The women were too scarce or generally too busy to organize clubs and the idea of voting like the men never entered their heads.  But with the coming of better days and modern improvements Portia Jason came into her own. Her first master stroke was in marrying Henry Jason, a little, inoffensive, dried up sort of a “me too” chap.  When they were married Henry weighed 115 pounds and Portia 114.  Now Portia has added an even hundred by her method of diet, while Henry has lost five pounds and tips the scales at 110.  Henry can now wear his wife’s shoes, but that is about all.  The funniest thing the neighbors ever saw was the day Henry was in the back yard hanging out the clothes of the weekly wash wearing a sunbonnet.  Portia organized the Advanced Thought Club and was its first president.  She has been president ever since, too.  One day she dropped into the Farmer office with a club announcement and the results of the election.  “I note, Mrs. Jason,” said I, “that you are always named president.  Who elects you?”  “I always elect myself,” replied Portia.  “The members might make a mistake if it were left to them.”  Portia is intensely jealous of her husband.  There isn’t a woman in town who would give him a pleasant look.

But Portia knew a thing or two.  One day a dear soul who was fast approaching the final years of the thirties sought her out for advice.  “I am so lonely,” she moaned.  “I have no company and people stare at me in pity. What shall I do?”  “Simple,” replied Portia.  “Practice looking resigned and at the proper time say, ‘Things might have been different if he hadn’t been at Chateau Thierry.  He made the supreme sacrifice there.  I haven’t cared about anything since.’”  The lady brightened up and in six months everybody was talking about how her life had been ruined because her lover fell in the World War.  In a year she was married.  She didn’t make much of a catch, but it enabled her to  put “Mrs “ before her name and refer to “my husband” in company.  She is one of Portia Jason’s strongest supporters.

Portia Jason and Mrs. Deacon Philander make quite a bluff at being friends, but below the surface there is a deep enmity between them.  On the sly neither loses an opportunity to give the other a deep dig.  The real break came quite a good many years ago.  Portia and Mrs. Philander always exchanged Christmas presents.  But one Yuletime day Mrs. Jason, rushed to death with her emancipation work and club president duties, became careless.  Her Christmas gift to Mrs. Philander was the very same present Mrs. Philander had sent to her (Portia) the previous Christmas.  The next time Mrs. Philander met Portia she remarked:  “My dear Portia, I am crazy about your dear gift to me.  I loved it when I sent it to you last year, and now that you have returned it to me I love it more than ever on account of your sacrifice.”  For once Portia was put down for the count.

Jasper Tightwad is another pioneer settler who has attained more than passing prominence.  No citizen of the country has contributed more to the levity and humor of the passing years than Jasper.  Stories of his peculiarities are legion.  Jasper’s thrift has been phenomenal.  He has attended more “free” entertainments than any other person on the townsite, particularly where there was something to eat or souvenirs to be given away.  Jasper went into [Chan] Baldwin’s drug store one day to buy a sheet of sandpaper.  The mild mannered Chan waited on him and threw on the counter a stack of sandpaper.  Jasper picked up a sheet and looked at it carefully.  He turned it this way and that way to get the best view possible.  Finally he said, “It kinder looks to me like it’s imitation.”  Chan looked at him and said very meekly, “Well, Jasper, if you can tell me of anything that is cheaper than sand you can have the whole pile for nothing.”  Jasper said he would think the thing over and come back the next day and report.

During the World War Jasper did all he could in the cause of patriotism.  He bought two fifty-cent thrift stamps.  He held them until he got a little advance and then sold them.  He has confidentially told a number that he hopes some day to get a pension from Uncle Sam for what he did to help out in the dark days.  Jasper visited a dentist one day to see about a set of plates for his wife.  He wanted to know if a set could not be made so that he could use them, too.  “Wife and I have lots of time and we don’t need to both eat at the same time,” he said.

Simeon Sly is another old timer who has made more than a passing record during his sojourn in the valley.  Simeon has never been known to refuse any candidate his vote when approached on the subject.  His hearty congratulations to the winner are noted among the boys.  Always he says, “I sure did all I could for you.”

Sly is a great church goer.  He often tells about how he gives one-tenth cause.  I once asked Deacon Philander, who is church treasurer, about Sly’s giving.  “Yes,” replied Philander, “I know Sly talks about giving one-tenth, but I notice that Sly always selects the dates on which he gives the tenth.  He overlooks the days on which he makes money.  He just talks about his tenth, that’s all.”  But Simeon Sly has gotten along pretty well and is always able to fool a certain class of people.

A review of famous characters who have made history in Osborne would not be complete without reference to Old Man Blowloud, who is one of the real old timers.  Blowloud always knew everything, but generally after it happened.  He was a great man “back east,” before he came west for his health.  He could have anything back in the old home and was personally acquainted with most of the governors and United States senators and other famous men.  One day a man from Blowloud’s old home town back east dropped in and some of the boys asked him about Blowloud’s prominence back there and the big positions he had held.  “I believe he did hold a job there in the court house,” said the visitor. “I am sure he was a fourth assistant janitor for a few weeks, but he talked so much and worked so little that the commissioners let him out.”  But Blowloud’s voice still rings out on every occasion.

Time and space does not permit a very extensive writeup of these famous old settlers.  They deserve much more than they are getting.  But what is given will get results.  Old Bill Shiftless will come around with some advice on the financial situation.  Deacon Philander will deliver a wise crack and subscribe for a relative back east.  Portia Jason will tell us she is proud of the Farmer and that it always stood for the best.  Blowloud will tell us of a few mistakes, while Sim Sly will tap us on the shoulder and say, “You sure hit that fellow right where it hurt.”  All are woven into the yarn of the passing years and the town wouldn’t have been the same without them and their peculiar traits.