John M. Galer – 2016 Inductee

(On this date, October 6, 2016, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world for the first time anywhere the second member of the OCHF Class of 2016)

Farmer, soldier, teacher, pastor, politician, and businessman. John M. Galer had done it all in his long life – a useful life that has more than earned a spot in the Osborne County Hall of Fame.

John M. Galer was born on March 22, 1840, near what is now Penn State University in Center County, Pennsylvania.  His father David Galer was second generation American-born and his mother Jane was fourth generation American-born. They both had German heritage and were part of what was known as the Pennsylvania Dutch community. His mother’s father and uncle had served in the Revolutionary War. John was the eldest of a family of seven children. When he was 14 years of age his parents moved to Bridgeport, Wisconsin, later moving to the Cox Creek area near the town of Littleport in Clayton County, Iowa. Here he grew to manhood and helped with the family farm.

In September 1861 John volunteered for Civil War duty and joined an all-Iowa cavalry unit. His enlistment records show that he was 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighed 140 pounds, with blue eyes, a sandy complexion, and flaxen hair.  John was made a private – later being promoted to the rank of corporal – and assigned as a bugler. That unit was the 11th Pennsylvania Independent Cavalry, the 108th Volunteers also known as “Harlan’s Light Calvary”, under authority of the Secretary of War. John was in Company A. The 11th was mainly from Pennsylvania but Company A was from Iowa, Company M was from Ohio, and parts of Companies E and F were from New York and New Jersey.

On October 14, 1861 the 11th Pennsylvania was sent to Washington, D.C. On November 17th it was sent to Annapolis, Maryland, to be transported to the Fortress Monroe Virginia area where it was assigned to Camp Hamilton. This was part of the build up for Union Army General McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign. John personally witnessed the legendary sea battle between the ironclads USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimac) that took place in Hampton Roads on March 8th and 9th, 1862.

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The Battle of The Monitor and the Merrimac

By John Galer [written in 1918]

In the spring of 1862, our regiment, [the] 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry, were camped on the North Shore of Hampton Roads. Company A, our company, lay within 7 or 8 rods of the water line and had an unobstructed view of the whole of Hampton Roads, We had learned through scouts and spies that the enemy were building an ironclad war vessel near Norfolk on the Elizabeth River, 12 or 15 miles south of Hampton Roads.

In the afternoon of March 8, we saw a heavy smoke coming from Norfolk and soon the Merrimac made her appearance and with her the Yorktown, Jamestown and other smaller Confederate vessels. Union vessels in the Hampton Roads consisted of the Cumberland, Congress, Minnesota, (all 84 gunships) and other smaller Union craft.

The Merrimac steamed directly toward the Cumberland and Congress near Newport News and made the attack on them. Soon nearly all the vessels in the Hampton Roads were mixed up to some extent, in the fighting, which lasted several hours. The Merrimac put the Cumberland in a sinking condition and called on the captain to surrender, but the captain answered, “No sir, we will go to the bottom first,” and they kept on fighting and firing until the muzzles of their guns were near the water.

A part of the crew swam ashore and were saved, but the greater part, among whom was a brother of Uncle Jimmie McIntire of Alton [Kansas], went down with the vessel.

The Congress kept up the fight until the Merrimac set her on fire by firing red hot shot into her and caused her to surrender, and she was burned to the water’s edge. But a few of her crew were taken prisoners as the guns from Newport News made it too hot for the enemy to venture out to take them. Most of the crew were rescued by small boats from Newport News. The smoke from the vessels and firing obscured the fighting to such an extent that we could not see all of it.

The Minnesota in the maneuvering ran aground, where she remained till in the night. The enemy vessels went back to Norfolk in the evening.

We were an anxious bunch for the reason that there were only about 5,000 of us, while only 2 or 3 miles behind us was General [John B.] Magruder with 35,000 ready to attack us as soon as the Merrimac made it safe to do so, which she expected to do on the morrow.

In the morning of the next day (March 9), the enemy vessels made their appearance, the Merrimac steaming directly toward the Minnesota and firing a challenge at long range. Just then a queer looking craft, the Monitor, which had arrived during the night and had taken position behind the Minnesota, moved out toward the Merrimac, placed a solid 11-inch shot on the side of the iron monster and waked her up to the fact that she had something different from wooden vessels to contend with, and they were soon engaged in heavy fighting to see which should prove victorious.

They kept up a very hot battle, being on the move all the time as ships in action always are, sometimes very close together, pouring the solid shot on each other’s iron sides with little or no effect. This continued till 3 or 4 p.m. when the Monitor succeeded in placing a shot in the stern of the Merrimac and put her in a leaking condition and caused her to give up the fight and start for Norfolk and never engaged in another fight.

The battle with the Merrimac is too grand for pen to describe though partly hidden by a smoke screen caused by the continuous cannonading.

On the morning of the second day, several rebel steamers decked with flags and carrying finely dressed passengers arrived expecting to see the whole Union fleet wiped off the map. When the Merrimac started to retreat, the finely-decorated steamers with the fashionably dressed sightseers went away in a hurry.

At the end of the first day, death or prison seemed certain and we felt very despondent, but when victory came on the evening of the second day, we sure had a time of great rejoicing.

 

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 John Galer, Osborne, Kansas

Company A, 11th PA Cavalry.

 

P.S. – Hampton Roads is a body of water extending west from the Atlantic Ocean, nearly circular and about 14 miles across.

 

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John Galer’s handsketch of the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, where the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac took place. North is at the bottom of the sketch. John created the sketch on his son-in-law Ray Tindal’s business stationery in 1918.

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John served in the Union Army as a volunteer in Company A, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry for nearly four years. Most of this time was spent in the Portsmouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Williamsburg, Richmond and Petersburg Virginia areas as well as expeditions in the Camden, South Mills, Edenton, and other parts of North Carolina. He was honorably discharged in 1864 – “sent home to die”, as he said – suffering a serious relapse of measles which had taken the lives of many men in his Company.

John soon recovered and went to Clayton County, Iowa, where he taught school for ten years. Esther Gifford was one of his seventeen-year-old pupils. They were married on April 19, 1866. When she earned her teaching certificate in 1869 Esther also taught for three years until the birth of their first child.

In 1877 John and his brother-in-law, Sylvester Palmer, rode by horseback to Osborne County, Kansas, where they looked over the land and, liking what they saw, filed on two homestead claims. They then returned for their families and in late spring 1878 started the long trek to their new land in three or four covered wagons. The two families lived in tents while building their new homes. John promised his wife that their home would be of stone, as she was deathly afraid of snakes. The house was at first only sixteen by eighteen feet in size. As the family grew rooms were added, and the family also enjoyed having the first windmill in the area. John had faithfully kept diaries of his early life and Civil War experiences, but they were destroyed in a flood soon after the family’s arrival in Osborne County.

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The stone farmhome that the Galer family moved into in 1878 on their homestead. This photo was taken in 1916 just prior to the home being torn down.

They built a sod schoolhouse where all community gatherings were held. John taught school for two years, without pay, until the district was organized. He became a lay-preacher and often conducted church services there when the minister could not come.

In October 1889 John Galer was voted in as the Osborne County Republican Party’s nominee for Osborne County Clerk in the 1890 general election. Those plans were laid aside when Zachary T. Walrond resigned his position as the Kansas House of Representatives member from Osborne County, having been appointed Attorney General for the Indian Territory. After considerable debate John Galer was appointed to fill out Walrond’s unexpired term, which ran until December 1890. John served in the House with distinction and then declined to run for re-election, choosing instead to return home to his Mount Ayr Township farm.

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John Galer when he represented Osborne County in the Kansas House of Representatives, minus the beard and now sporting a moustache.

Esther Galer was only 49 years old when she died of a heart attack in November 1898.

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Mrs. John Galer Dead.

An unusually sad occurrence was the death of Mrs. John Galer of Mt. Ayr Township, on Saturday evening. Mrs. Galer, her two daughters, and two of her sons were in Alton Saturday afternoon making Christmas purchases, and providing numerous things necessary for a grand time to be had at the Pleasant Plain school house Christmas Eve.

They started homeward at about five o’clock in the evening, and when about three miles south of town, just beyond Ed. Ives’ place, Mrs. Galer was suddenly stricken by an attack of neuralgia of the heart, to which she had been subject, and fell from the wagon. She was picked up in great pain and made as comfortable as possible in the vehicle and all haste was made toward home. Mrs. Galer’s condition became rapidly worse, and she asked to be taken to the nearest house. The party drove as rapidly as possible to Clate Gregory’s and she was carried into the house, where she expired almost immediately

A most heartrending scene here presented itself. A loving mother surrounded by her beloved ones in the midst of preparation for a joyful commemoration, was called hence by Him whose birth-time she loved to honor.

The sad announcement was hurried on to the husband who awaited her coming in the home her presence had brightened for so many years.

Mrs. Galer was a refined and well educated woman, and the twenty years or her life spent in Osborne County has always been exemplary of the best that culture and a true conception of the responsibilities of life can offer. She was a member of the M. E. church and the leading spirit in the church work of that community. For the past seventeen years the infant class in Sunday school had been her especial care, and many a young man and young woman has carried with them into the world the influence of her teachings and motherly counsel.

She was born in Iowa, September 1, 1849. She leaves a husband and eight children to mourn. Her remains were laid to rest in the Pleasant Plain Cemetery on Monday. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Dugger of Natoma. – Alton Empire, December 22, 1898, Page One.

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John, at age 59, was left alone to raise the five children still living at home after his wife’s death.

galer-john-children-front-left-earl-olive-smith-ella-beisner-charles-back-left-john-jr-george-esther-peach-clarinda-tindal
The eight children of John and Esther Galer. Front row, from left: Earl Galer; Olive (Galer) Smith; Ella (Galer) Beisner; Charles Morrell Galer. Back row, from left: John Galer, Jr.; George Galer; Esther (Galer) Peach; Clarinda (Galer) Tindal. Photo taken in 1907.

In November 1903 John moved to Alton, Kansas and went into business for the International Harvester Company in partnerships first with John Hadley and later with Charles Thomas.

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John Galer’s hardware and implement store in Alton, Kansas.
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Charles Thomas and John Galer in front of their store in Alton, Kansas.

“John Galer, while working in his store last Saturday, just before noon, was stricken with an attack of heart trouble, and fell unconscious, remaining so for perhaps ten minutes. He revived, however, and was about the store the rest of the day.” – Alton Empire, May 13, 1909.

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John Galer in his last years with three of his children – Clarinda, Earl, and Charles.

John retired in 1910 and for the rest of his life lived with family members in Alton, Osborne, and Downs. He enjoyed always being the oldest veteran in all the area parades, and often made presentations in schools, usually being requested to retell his story of the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack. John died at the home of his son in Downs, Kansas on November 29, 1929.

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J. M. Galer Passes Away

Civil War Veteran and Early Osborne County Settler Answers Final Call

John M. Galer, well known and loved Osborne County man, passed to his reward Friday morning. Mr. Galer had been bedfast for only a few weeks previous to his death and until that time retained his faculties in a remarkable way for one of his age. He went to Kansas City a few weeks ago for an operation and since has not been able to be out much. Tuesday of last week he became decidedly worse and death came early Friday morning.

Mr. Galer came to Osborne County at an early day and reared his family here. He was loved by all who knew him for his jovial disposition and kindly ways and will be missed by all who knew him. He homesteaded south of Alton and for a number of years made his home in Alton. He was one of the few remaining veterans of the Civil War and was a member of the G.A.R. Funeral services were held from the Methodist Church in Osborne Sunday afternoon in charge of Reverend Leroy F. Arend, pastor of the church, and assisted by Rev. Ludwig Thomsen of the Congregational Church. The Masonic Lodge, of which the deceased was a member, had charge of the services at the grave. Masons from Alton, Downs and Osborne lodges were present and the oration was given by H. A. Meibergen, of Downs. Three of his comrades, Selah B. Farwell, Benjamin F. Hilton, and Robert R. Hays, attended the funeral. Burial was made in the Osborne Cemetery by the side of his wife who had recently been removed from the Pleasant Plain Cemetery to the Osborne Cemetery.

The following is [taken from] the obituary that was read at the funeral services:

The eldest son, Earl F., died at Lambert, Oklahoma six years ago. Those left to mourn his passing are: Mrs. L. C. Beisner, Natoma Kansas; Mr. W. E. Smith, Hays, Kansas; George G. or Skidmore, Missouri; Charles M. of Downs; John F. of Burr Oak, Kansas; Mrs. C. A. Peach of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Mrs. Ray Tindal of Osborne with whom he has made his home for the last ten years. All were present with their father during his last illness except George, who was unable to come. He also leaves 31 grand children and 13 great-grandchildren.

In 1880 he was converted and joined the Methodist Church of which he has since been an active member, transferring his membership to the Osborne M. E. Church several years ago. On 1886 Mr. Galer was ordained as a local pastor, and often filled the pulpit for other ministers when necessary.

Mr. Galer has been a Mason for over 60 years, having joined the lodge in Iowa, later transferring to the Alton lodge where he was a charter member, and at the age of 70 was conferred the honor of a life membership in that order. He was also a member of the Eastern Star and served several terms as Worthy Patron.

He was a charter member of the General Bull Post No. 106 G. A. R. at Alton, Kansas until it disbanded, after which he joined the O. M. Mitchell Post No. 69 at Osborne, Kansas.

In 1903 with his three younger children, he moved to Alton, Kansas, where he made his home until the marriage or his youngest daughter in 1910, since that time making his home with his son, Charles and daughter, Mrs. Ray Tindal.” – Alton Empire, December 5, 1929, Page One.

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 “John Galer is no more. He was one of the finest men to settle in Mount Ayr [Township] in the early days, although he was not one of the earliest settlers. Yet 1878 is considered early . . . Mr. Galer was a progressive farmer. He was always experimenting with grains and grasses, trying to find out the kind best adapted to this part of the country. We remember way back in 1900 when we were the trustee of Mount Ayr Township. Mr. Galer came to us with the idea of purchasing a road grader for the township. We studied the situation over with him and the result was we purchased the first road grader and were derided for so doing, but time has proven it was a good move. Mr. Galer was one of the first township officers, having been appointed to office when the township was organized . . . He was always held in respect by all who know him. After he left the farm he engaged in business with J. M. Hadley for a while. Mrs. Hadley sold out to Charles Thomas and the firm name was then Galer and Thomas for some time. They were in the pump and windmill business and the name of Galer and Thomas may yet be seen on many windmills . . . He is gone and the least that can be said of him is that he was a good man. We heard him say once that a man that didn’t care for children or flowers was no man at all. He was a lover of both; also, he could always be heard whistling – a sure sign of a cheerful disposition. He was a deep thinker and in an argument was always willing to believe his opponent had as much right to his way of thinking as he had, but like Henry Clay, he would rather be right than president. John Galer will be sadly missed by his many friends, but his ending at an old age is the culmination of a long and useful life.” – Charles E. Williams, 1996 Osborne County Hall of Fame inductee, in the Mount Ayr Department column of the Alton Empire newspaper, December 5, 1929, Page Four.

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SOURCES:  Chris Beisner, Surprise, Arizona; Richard Smith, Manhattan, Kansas ; “John Galer”, The People Came, Osborne County Genealogical & Historical Society, Osborne Publishing Company, Osborne, Kansas (1977), page 313; Alton Empire, December 22, 1898; Alton Empire, November 12, 1903; Alton Empire, May 13, 1909; Alton Empire, December 5, 1929.

Imri Ray Zumwalt – 2007 Inductee

Imri Ray Zumwalt was born in a sod farmhouse in Corinth Township.  He attended schools in Osborne and Decatur Counties and in 1897 Imri graduated from Clyde, Kansas, High School.  In 1906 he graduated with honors from Washburn College.  While in college Imri was ordained a minister in the Christian Church, serving charges in Arizona and later in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  Following graduation he worked as a news reporter and high school principal.

Following graduation Imri worked for the Topeka Daily Herald and then published the Herington Sun for a year. He then served a year as principal of Herington High School before buying the Bonner Springs Chieftain newspaper in 1909, which he operated for the rest of his life.  In 1916 Imri published a slim, 39-page book of poetry entitled “The Call of the Open Fields.”

The poem “A Thanksgiving Prayer”, from Page 25 of “The Call of the Open Fields.”

In 1919 Imri served as Kansas Assistant State Fire Marshal.  His major public office came that same year when he was appointed Kansas State Printer, the first of three Osborne County citizens to hold that public office in the 20th Century.  In 1920 Imri was elected to a full four-year term as State Printer, and that same year he was named to Who’s Who in America.

At the time of the 1920 general election Imri fell ill and never recovered his health.  He died on May 10, 1921.  Imri’s funeral in Bonner Springs, Kansas is still the largest such event ever held in that city’s history.

The editor of the Osborne County Farmer, Bert Walker, was then appointed by the governor to succeed Imri Zumwalt as Kansas State Printer.  Walker was previously named to the Osborne County Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

The simple headstone for Imri Zumwalt in the Bonner Springs Cemetery at Bonner Springs, Wyandotte County, Kansas.

 

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.

Hilland Homer Stewart – 1996 Inductee

Hilland Homer Stewart was born on a farm near Harlan in Smith County, Kansas, on March 17, 1906.  At the age of two he moved with his parents, Lewis and Perle (Brumbaugh) Stewart, to Graham County, Kansas.  He received his early schooling there and graduated from Palco High School in 1925.  Hilland spent two years at Fort Hays State College before returning to Graham County, where he worked as a grocery clerk.  In the 1930s Hilland entered the Denver [Colorado] Bible Institute, from which he graduated in 1937.  He remained at the school as an instructor and was ordained a minister in 1940.  From 1941 to 1945 he was managing editor and Sunday School Expositor for the Institute’s monthly magazine, Grace and Truth.

The Reverend Stewart married Myrtle Lewis on August 17, 1941, in Lakewood, Colorado.  The couple raised three children–Constance, Samuel, and Sue.  Hilland completed his education at Sterling College in Kansas and at Wheaton College in Illinois, and also spent a term teaching classes at Harlan High School.  From 1947 through 1980 he served as pastor at churches in Cedar and Harlan in Smith County, Kansas; at the Bethany Baptist and Pleasant View Churches and in Hunter, all in Mitchell County; in Luray and at Amherst Church in Russell County; and at the Cheyenne, Rose Valley, and Grace Brethren Churches in Osborne County.  When he was called to be pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Portis, Kansas, in 1947 he reached a special goal–that of following in the footsteps of his grandfather, David Brumbaugh, a early-day circuit-riding minister from that church.

In 1947 the Stewarts bought the equipment and shop of the defunct Portis Independent newspaper and established Stewart Publishers, a Christian publishing operation.  Hilland had learned the printer’s trade while in college and ran the Linotype himself.  In later years he performed the same task for the Osborne County Farmer.  Stewart Publishers printed Bible studies and other religious material, including Hilland’s book Life in Full Color, which was widely distributed.  But the principal product was the Mighty Mite Bible, a miniature-sized booklet designed for youngsters attending Christian Youth Camps.  First published in 1967, thousands of copies of the Mighty Mite Bible were sold all across the United States over the next two decades.  A fire in 1985 destroyed the print shop and Hilland had to take the printing business for the Mighty Mite Bible to other area printers.

Hilland was also interested in photography and prepared thousands of slides for use in illustrating Biblical teachings.  He wrote many articles on religious topics, several of which appeared in The Christian Victory, a nationally-circulated journal.  In the 1960s he was named to Who’s Who in the Midwest.  Reverend Stewart passed away on February 2, 1995, and was laid to rest in the Hammond Cemetery near Harlan, Kansas.

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The tombstone of Reverend Hilland Stewart in the Hammond Cemetery, Harlan Township, Smith County, Kansas.

Calvin Reasoner – 1996 Inductee

The only known photograph of Calvin Reasoner, when he was a member of the 1873 Kansas Legislature. Photo courtesy of “kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply”.

The annals of Osborne County history cite many individuals of exceptional ability. Few, however, can match the versatile Calvin Reasoner. Clergyman, newspaper editor and reporter, attorney, author, judge and politician, Reasoner left his impression on the early history of Osborne County and rightfully takes his place in the Osborne County Hall of Fame.

Calvin was born May 13, 1837, in Adamsville, Muskingum County, Ohio. He was the sixth of eleven children born to Jacob and Nancy (Hill) Reasoner. Little is known of his early life, other than that he was a college graduate with several degrees of merit, including Doctor of Laws. On March 8, 1863, Calvin married Venetia Shearer in Jackson County, Ohio.  Together they raised four daughters, May, Florence, Clara, and Elsie.

After their marriage the Reasoners moved west to Leavenworth, Kansas, where from 1864 to 1869 Reasoner was pastor of the First Christian Church. In 1870 he moved his family west again, this time settling in Tilden Township in Osborne County, Kansas. There Calvin joined with others and founded the town of Arlington. To insure the stability of the new town he and his partner Frank Thompson opened a general store, and in 1871 Calvin became the town’s first postmaster.

It was on the steps of Reasoner and Thompson’s general store that the organization of Osborne County took place on May 27, 1871. Much to Calvin’s consternation. however, Osborne City was selected the temporary county seat and not Arlington. To champion Arlington’s cause, the first newspaper in the county, the Osborne County Express, appeared with Calvin Reasoner as editor. The county seat contest was spirited, but in the third and final election held in November 1872 Osborne City garnered 267 votes to Arlington’s 214 and dashed its supporters’ hopes forever. The Arlington post office was discontinued and the town quickly faded away.

Calvin accepted defeat graciously and moved his family to Osborne City, where he opened a successful law practice and real estate business. He served as editor of the Osborne Times newspaper in 1873 and was elected mayor of Osborne in 1881. In 1873-74 he served both as the county representative to the Kansas Legislature and on the board of trustees of the Kansas Institute for Education of the Blind. In 1876 he compiled the newspaper series Historical Sketches of Osborne County in which was preserved much of the history of the county’s first five years.

In 1881 the Reasoners divorced. Calvin then married Ellen Jillson on December 16, 1882, in Massachusetts. This marriage also ended in divorce four years later. By 1888 Reasoner was working in Washington, D.C., as a special correspondent for the Topeka Daily Capital. The 1890s saw Calvin move to Utah, where he served as a probate judge in Ogden and wrote influential political articles urging less state government control by the Mormon Church. In 1896 his self-published book, Church and State: The Issue of Civil and Religious Liberty in Utah, influenced many Utah legislators in writing that state’s constitution.

Calvin Reasoner later lived in Warrensburg, New York, and in Sanford, Florida, where he lived with relatives.  He died there December 6, 1911, and was laid to rest in Sanford’s Lakeview Cemetery.   To date there is no known photograph of Calvin.

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Selections From “HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF OSBORNE COUNTY”

by Calvin Reasoner

Introduction:  Since the announcement a few weeks ago that an effort would be made to preserve a record of the historical details incident to the earliest settlement of our county there has been a commendable interest manifested in the mater by a number of our most intelligent citizens, and we can promise you a series of articles in which the most important historical matters can be preserved.  Let it be noted, however that in this series we will endeavor to follow no particular method whereby a systematic presentation would be secured.  Some articles will be furnished to us entire and will be published as presented and due credit be given to each contributor.  When the whole is spread upon the record, however scattering, it will not be difficult to systematize and put in proper shape. – C. R.

The first item we shall mention is the pecuniary condition of the early settlers in general.  It is no disgrace to those who came first into our county to say that the majority of them were very poor in this world’s goods, however blessed they might feel to be in their hopes of another and better life.  At the present, after half a dozen years of settlement, but few are well circumstanced.  Few have more than the barest necessities of life.  A very limited number have the comforts of life and scarcely any are able to afford the luxuries.

It must be expected that a majority of the settlers in a new country, and especially in a homestead country, will be poor.  Before the homestead law was enacted lands were often sold to the highest bidder and men of capital as well as those of moderate means would purchase lands.  The wealthy would buy large tracts and hold them for a rise in prices through settlement and the poor would buy each a farm for a home.  It was consequently by the improvements of the poor that speculators would get an advance on their lands.  But in a homestead country no man can get more that a small amount of land and in order to hold that he must live upon it.  Thus a man of wealth can scarcely invest his means until lands begin to change hands.  Some capital may be invested in the purchase and sale of goods, but even this kind of business is very much limited by the general destitution.

The markets . . . so far as there were any, were very remote from the settlers of our county–as they are still–but in 1870 and 1871 there was very little produced for sale, even if there had been a good market.  The principal staple was buffalo meat, and this was carried down the Solomon [River] valley as far as Solomon City [110 miles away] or sometimes to Junction City [160 miles], both places being trading points.  Buffalo meat was carried in wagons, sometimes in the raw state, and frequently it would be dried.  The latter would sell at from six to ten cents per pound and the former at from three to six.  Occasionally prices would vary from these figures but these were about the average.  The employment was therefore better than nothing and it was all that was available at the time.  Hence a great many of the settlers in 1870, 1871, and 1872 became of necessity buffalo hunters.

Let us draw a picture which has often been verified in our past history.  Here comes a covered wagon slowly moving up the road which was recently merely a buffalo hunters’ trail.  There are two persons walking and a boy driving.  Inside you notice, as the team approaches, that there are women and children; also bedding, boxes, tools and traps of various kinds; a shovel and a broom stick out behind and a small chicken coop hangs on at the rear.  The little cavalcade halts in our presence and inquires for vacant lands.  They want to get ‘timber and water.’  You tell them that there is plenty of vacant land with timber and water at a certain point and then inquire how far they have come.  Well they have driven some two or three hundred miles in search of a home and now they have got to their destination and they feel like laying the foundations of a new home.  They don’t feel discouraged by the entire newness of the country but indicate a determination to make the best of it.  They drive on to the place indicated and soon take hold on the surroundings and show they are able to take advantage of everything that offers in the building up of a new home.

You visit them in few weeks and find that they have used timber enough to build them a comfortable house capable of withstanding the winds, the heat and the rains.  They are breaking some ground and planting corn in the sod.  If the season is favorable they will get some ten or fifteen bushels per acre of sod corn and this will suffice to feed the team and perhaps a cow; and if it be not far to mill some of it will be ground for bread.  If there are no mills the corn can be parched or boiled.  I have known families to live all winter on little else than boiled corn and thankful to get even that meager supply.  If the season should fail to be one that would produce corn our settler will have hard times.  They have no money, perhaps.  Probably they did not bring five dollars into the country with them.  Some brought considerable money and soon consumed it in living expenses and then were quite destitute.

What then must our poor family do?  There is no work that will bring any remuneration.  How many poor settlers a few years ago contemplated life from this unhappy standpoint.  If the settler could get to haul a load of goods or freight of any king for a merchant or anybody else this would be of help; anything he could turn his hand to.  In this state of things it was very convenient to turn buffalo hunter, and for two purposes–one to supply the family with food, the other to have something for market to supply other things.

The year 1870 was tolerably good for wheat in the lower part of the Solomon valley, where it had begun to settle up and be cultivated, but it was dry through June and July.  In the vicinity probably corn would not have made more than half a crop.  Rains began early in August and continued through the fall.  All through the early part of the summer hot winds prevailed.  Some of the rains in the latter part of the season were exceeding heavy, so that the ground in many places was flooded with water.  During the latter part of this year 1870 Mr. [Frank] Stafford settled with his mother and her family on Little Medicine Creek near the mouth.  About the same time Baronet Gow, Will Garrison and Joseph Hart settled there, and these were the pioneers on Little Medicine.  They were soon joined by Wiley Wilson and others.  The winter was remarkably mild and pleasant and very favorable for the maintenance of stock without grain.  Gow had two yoke of oxen and had no grain to feed them, but they lived through and came out in the spring in good order, having had nothing but buffalo grass to subsist on.

Gow was a great devotee of the ‘weed.’  He had been out about a month and was severely punished for want of it when he succeeded in getting half a dollar and came out post haste down the valley to the writer’s store to get tobacco–I should have said ‘tobaker.’  His chagrin can scarcely be imagined when he got to the store and found that he had lost his money.  His words fell thick and fast and most of them indicated that he had been brought up under some of the numerous forms of orthodox religion.  A caddy of bright navy seemed to intensify his disappointment.  On being handed an immense plug his dental outfit set to work in good earnest as though the making of ‘amber’ was the chief end of man and to expectorate it around the height of human happiness.  It was not expected at the time that the plug would ever be paid for but it was and hundreds of dollars more within the next two years by this same honest, hardy, good-natured Baronet Gow.  Mr. Frank Stafford was one of the first three commissioners appointed by the governor and was subsequently elected to the same office by the popular vote.  He still resides in single blessedness on Little Medicine.” — Osborne County Farmer, March 3, 1876, and July 7, 1876.

Russell Scott Osborn – 1997 Inductee

Combmaker, book canvasser, lumberman, brickmaker, military veteran, Congregational minister, stonemason, politician.  All these were the trades of Russell Scott Osborn, born July 3, 1833, at Margaretville, Delaware County, New York.  As a young man Osborn moved to Harvey County, Illinois.  There he met and married Sabrina Letitia McKinley, a cousin of President William McKinley, on February 14, 1857.  Russell and Sabrina had eight children – Nettie, Ella, Nathan, Catherine, Oscar, Carl, Charles and Katie.

With the start of the Civil War, Osborn enlisted in Company C of the 17th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He then re-enlisted in Company F of the 140th Illinois Infantry, being discharged in December 1864 with the rank of captain.  In 1865 he moved his family to Story County, Iowa, where Osborn engaged in the nursery business.  During their stay here he was ordained a minister in the Congregational Church.

On August 7, 1872, the Osborn family came to Kansas and settled on a homestead located four miles west of Bull City in Sumner Township, Osborne County.  They lived on the homestead for the next twenty years.  Osborn supplemented his farming income by working as a stonemason.  He built the Ash Rock Church in northwest RooksCounty, the First Congregational Church in Stockton, the Alton stone mill, and several stone houses in the vicinity, including his own.

As a Congregational minister, Osborn helped organize churches at Ash Rock in Rooks County, New Harmony in southern Smith County, and at Mount Ayr in Osborne County.  He was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Congregational Churches in Western Kansas.  Osborn preached wherever he went, and from 1890 to 1892 he served as minister of the First Congregational Church in Stockton.

Osborn had considered himself a Republican in political matters, but when he was about 60 years old he became involved in the Farmers’ Alliance Movement in an attempt to help the plight of farmers during a financially depressed era.  With the rise of the Populist Party in 1890 Osborn and many other Kansans switched sides.  In 1892 Captain Osborn became Kansas Secretary of State on the Populist Party ticket. His career as a politician found him involved in the infamous Legislative War of 1893. The Republican and Populist Party members of the Kansas House of Representatives battled over who would gain control of the House.  The discord escalated to the point of physical violence with the Republicans breaking down the doors to Representative Hall with a sledge hammer and the two factions taking up arms against each other.  The governor finally called in the state militia to restore the peace, and the Kansas Supreme Court determined that the Republican Party had the legal majority in the Kansas

Osborn served only one term as Secretary of State.  He retired from politics and continued to live in Topeka.  In 1898 his wife died and Osborn moved back to the old homestead in Osborne County, where he lived for six more years before moving to Stockton.  He died there May 20, 1912, and was buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Sumner Township, Osborne County.

In 2011 Osborn’s great-great granddaughter Patsy Redden compiled a biography on his life entitled “Captain Osborn’s Legacy.”

William Wallace and Nellie Mae (Wagner) McDaneld – 1996 Inductees

The lives of William Wallace (also known as “W. W.” or Mac”) and Nellie Mae (Wagner) McDaneld were deeply rooted in Osborne County. Wallace, the oldest of the three children of Ira and Anna (Eastman) McDaneld, was born August 3, 1907, near Bloomington in Tilden Township, Osborne County, Kansas. He was named after the great Scot, William Wallace. The family moved to Victor Township in 1908 and in 1909 moved to a dairy farm which Wallace’s father named “Lone Pine Dairy Farm;” however, the “pine” may have been a cedar.

The third of eight children in the Frank and Altena (Bradshaw) Wagner family, Nellie was born on a farm in Victor Township on September 7, 1906. Except for four years spent near Arriba, Colorado, where her father homesteaded, Nellie grew up in Victor Township.

The Victor School and Church of the Brethren were fundamental in their lives. Wallace and Nellie attended Victor Rural School District Number 64 and Covert High School, graduating in 1926 and 1925. Both families attended the Victor Church of the Brethren. Nellie’s father served as the minister and probably influenced Wallace’s decision to be a minister. Wallace’s mother taught Sunday School classes, and Wallace and Nellie were involved in youth programs.

Following graduation, Nellie worked for several area families and in Waldo, Kansas stores. Wallace worked on threshing crews and on the family dairy farm. They married August 15, 1928, in Victor Township. In 1929, they moved to McPherson, Kansas, where Wallace attended the Church of the Brethren college. Poor eye sight kept Nellie from furthering her education. The depression years interrupted Wallace’s education after two years, and Wallace and Nellie returned to Osborne County where Wallace pursued a teaching career which spanned thirty years. Except for a few years when he taught in Decatur and Smith Counties, Wallace taught in the Osborne County rural schools of Victor, Valley View, Potterville and Portis, teaching in Portis from 1939 until 1962.

In the early 1950s the state required upgraded teaching certificates and Wallace returned to McPherson College during summer sessions, receiving his education degree in 1956. It was a family joke that he had been a college junior for twenty-five years.

Wallace was licensed to preach by the Victor church in 1928, and in 1937 accepted a call to minister at the North Solomon Church of the Brethren in Portis. The family was living in Victor Township where Wallace was teaching and traveled to Portis for services. Wallace served the church until 1962. For the next ten years, Wallace served as a substitute pastor in many churches in Osborne and surrounding counties until 1972 when he returned to the Portis church and served there until his death. Nellie was involved in various church activities and played the piano for many years. Wallace and Nellie moved to Portis in 1938 and purchased a house on the hill (Goat Hill, as Wallace named it) in 1943. Their four children–Donald, Arthur, Shirley and Sharon–grew up there. The house was the forerunner of the “food bank”–who might be coming for dinner was anyone’s guess, as transients were sent or simply found their way up the hill. Nellie took great pleasure in preparing the house for private weddings and the guest room was often occupied with visiting church leaders. Wallace became Osborne County Superintendent of Schools in 1962, a position he held until the state abolished the office in 1969. Continuing in government, Wallace became Osborne County Register of Deeds in 1969 and retired from that office in 1981.

The accomplishments Wallace and Nellie enjoyed can be credited to teamwork. They were so attuned that it is impossible to write about one without the other. As Wallace ministered to those who were in need, ill, grieving or in distress, and Nellie was always there lending support. For the classes Wallace taught and Nellie was a self-proclaimed “room mother”. She would fix holiday desserts and treats, load them into a picnic basket and head for the school. With the family grown, Nellie became a “working girl” assisting Wallace in the County Superintendent office. Nellie retired when the office closed, but soon came out of retirement and joined Wallace in the Register of Deeds office. The time in the Register of Deeds office presented an opportunity for Nellie to research and document the history of Osborne County families, schools and churches in Covert and Portis, and helped to compile histories on the towns of Covert and Portis. Nellie was known as the “Bell Lady” for her bell collection. She acquired over four hundred bells and often presented programs for organizations. Wallace had a forty-year collection of sermons which were titled and categorized.

Nellie died December 30, 1985, in the family home at Portis. Wallace passed away a short time later on April 19 1986, in Salina, Kansas. Both are buried in the Osborne Cemetery. Wallace and Nellie were active participants in the school, community and church. Wallace served on the city council and various boards and committees, such as the State Textbook Committee and the local ministerial committee. Nellie was involved in YWCA, Ladies Aid, PTA, and the Portis Christian Women’s Association. They may not have made headlines, but they made an impact on those they met through their active involvement. They were considered trustworthy and they bestowed and received great respect.

After their deaths, the children and grandchildren kept the Portis home as a family gathering place. The family also acquired the North Solomon Church of the Brethren to be used for family gatherings and family church services.