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.