On this date, August 24, 2014, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world the fifth and last of the members of the OCHF Class of 2014:
He has been called one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. He forever changed both college and professional football with his invention of the I-Formation and sowing the seeds for the West Coast Offense. And, he was born in Downs, Osborne County, Kansas. We welcome Francis Albert Schmidt to the Osborne County Hall of Fame.
Francis was indeed born in Downs on December 3, 1885. His father, Francis W. Schmidt, was an itinerant studio photographer. His mother, Emma K. Mohrbacher, a native Kansan. Francis and Emma would have one other child, a daughter, Katherine.
As a photographer the elder Francis stayed in a particular location for only a few years before moving on. After stops in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas, the family was living in Fairbury, Nebraska, when young Francis graduated from Fairbury High School in May 1903. A year later he enrolled in the University of Nebraska.
Francis participated in football, baseball, basketball, track and the cadet band at the University of Nebraska while earning a law degree in just three years, graduating in 1907. Due to his mother having a serious illness Francis put aside his law career and helped his father with the photography studio in Arkansas City, Kansas, and taking care of his mother, who died later that summer. He helped the local high school football team that fall, as they had no coach, and even coached the boys and girls high school basketball teams that winter, leading the girls (with his sister Katherine as the center) to an undefeated season and the Kansas state championship.
For the 1908-1909 school year Francis was offered the position of high school athletic director. He held it until the spring of 1916 and continued to coach both football and basketball with amazing success. Then Henry Kendall College in Tulsa Oklahoma, hired him to be their football, basketball, and baseball head coach. His time there was interrupted by World War I, through which he served as a military instructor in bayonet, rising to the rank of captain. After the war he returned to Henry Kendall College (later renamed the University of Tulsa) and his 1919 football team roared its way to a record of 8-0-1. In the 1919 season Kendall defeated the vaunted Oklahoma Sooners, but a 7-7 tie with Oklahoma A&M that year prevented a perfect season. Francis became known as “Close the Gates of Mercy” Schmidt because of his team’s tendency to run up the score on inferior teams. During Schmidt’s three years at Kendall the football team won two conference championships as they defeated Oklahoma Baptist 152-0, St. Gregory 121-0, and Northeast Oklahoma 151-0, as well as a 92-0 defeat of East Central Oklahoma and 10 other victories by more than 60 points each time.
It was around this time that Francis married Evelyn Keesee. The couple would have no children.
Francis was then hired to be the head football, basketball, and baseball coach at the University of Arkansas , where he compiled a 42-20-3 record in football for the Razorbacks from 1922-1928 and a 113-22 record in basketball – winning four Southwest Conference Championships in basketball in 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1929 – as the school’s first-ever such coach.
From Arkansas Francis went on to become the head football coach at Texas Christian University (TCU) where he won nearly 85% of his games. Schmidt did everything to extremes, including recruiting. He refereed high-school football games, but spent much of his time telling select players why they should commit to TCU in the days before athletic scholarships. In five years at Texas Christian, 1929-1934, Francis compiled a 46-6-5 record and won two Southwest Conference championships.
At this time Ohio State University was a backwater in terms of major college football. Desperate to build a winning program, they took a chance on Schmidt, their third choice for the head coaching job. At 6 feet 2 and 200 pounds, Schmidt was a large man with a prominent nose and distinctive drawl. Schmidt used his World War One bayonet drill instructor experience in running his practices. This, together with a loud, raucous and colorful approach to the English language, created an imposing character the likes of which had never been heard on the serene and conservative Ohio State campus. “He was Foghorn Leghorn in a three-piece suit and bow tie”, recalled one former player.
Schmidt arrived in Columbus on February 28, 1934. Within hours, the coach had distinguished alumni, faculty members and reporters on their hands and knees combing the carpets of a hotel conference room. Asked for his offensive strategies, the Downs, Kansas native dropped to the floor, pulled nickels and dimes from his pockets and diagramed his innovative visions for the Buckeyes. The Columbus Dispatch columnist Ed Penisten depicted the bizarre scene: “He was a zealot, full of excitement, confidence and quirks. Converts began to join him on the floor including OSU assistant football coaches. He moved the nickels and dimes around like a kaleidoscope.”
Francis soon proved his genius for offensive football. In his first year at Ohio State he stunned the opposition by displaying – in the same game – the single wing, double wing, short punt and, for the first time ever, his own invention: the I-formation. He used reverses, double reverses and spinners, and his Buckeyes of the mid-nineteen thirties were the most lateral-pass conscience team anyone had ever witnessed. He threw laterals, and then laterals off of laterals downfield, and it was not unusual for three men to handle the ball behind the line of scrimmage. In his first two years he got touchdowns in such bunches that Ohio State immediately was dubbed “The Scarlet Scourge.” He was a bow-tied, tobacco-chewing, hawk-faced, white-haired, profane practitioner of the football arts – modern football’s first roaring madman on the practice field and the sidelines, and so completely zonked out on football that legend ties him to the greatest football story of the twentieth century:
So caught up was Francis in his diagrams and charts that there was hardly a waking moment when he wasn’t furiously scratching away at them. He took his car into a filling station for an oil change but stayed right in the car while the mechanics hoisted it high above the subterranean oil pit to do their work. Francis Schmidt, immersed in his X’s and O’s, simply forgot where he was. For some reason he decided to get out of the car, still concentrating on his diagram. He opened the door on the driver’s side and stepped out into the void, which ended eight feet south of him in the pit. He refused to explain the limp which he carried with him to practice that day.
At Francis’ first football banquet after a sensational first season capped by a glorious 34-0 shellacking of Michigan, Schmidt bawled forth two classic and historic comments. “Let’s not always be called Buckeyes,” he brayed. “After all, that’s just some kind of nut, and we ain’t nuts here. It would be nice if you guys in the press out there would call us “Bucks” once in a while. That’s a helluva fine animal, you know.” Ringing applause. And then:
“As for Michigan – Well, shucks, I guess you’ve all discovered they put their pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else.” Bedlam. It was the apparently the first time the homely Texas line had ever been uttered in public and it swept the nation. It also launched a “Pants Club” at Ohio State; ever since 1934 each player and a key booster who is part of a victory over Michigan is awarded a tiny little golden replica of a pair of football pants.
The Ohio State Buckeyes became a national sensation in 1935. They won their first four games, setting up an undefeated showdown against Notre Dame. The game attracted a capacity crowd of 81,018 and has been often called “The Game of the Century.” The Buckeyes surged to a 13-0 lead, but their advantage vanished in the fourth quarter. The Irish scored twice in the final two minutes to beat the Buckeyes 18-13. The Buckeyes regrouped and won their final three games, including a 38-0 pasting of Michigan, to win a share of the Big Ten title – their first in 15 years.
Schmidt, however, was haunted by the Notre Dame loss. It was the first in a string of big-game losses, and critics started to question whether his reliance on laterals, shovel passes and trick plays worked against top-quality opponents. Schmidt never worried about “getting back to basics,” because he didn’t stress them. His long practices were light on fundamentals such as blocking and tackling. Perhaps fueled by paranoia, Schmidt didn’t delegate authority, which often reduced his assistants to spectators at practice. He kept the master playbook locked away; players’ copies contained only their specific assignments and no hint at what their 10 teammates were doing. Among his shortcomings, Schmidt never understood the importance of mentorship and discipline. In Schmidt’s last seasons, key players became academically ineligible; others showed up late to practices. Team morale suffered. After the 1940 season in which the Buckeyes won four games and lost four, Schmidt resigned amidst heavy criticism from both fans and the administration. His total win-loss-tie record with the Buckeyes was 39-16-1 with two Big Ten championships.
The only position that Francis could then find as a head coach was at the University of Idaho. In 1941 his team posted a 4-5 record, and in 1942 they finished 3-6-1. Then the school suspended football because of World War II.
Francis never coached again, ending with a college coaching record of 158-57-11. He stayed on campus to help condition service trainees, but barely a year later he fell into a long illness and died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington, on September 19, 1944, at the age of 58. Francis was laid to rest beside his parents in the Riverview Cemetery at Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas.
The legacy of Schmidt has endured thanks to Sid Gillman, a Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who was a Buckeye end in the early 1930s and an assistant under Schmidt. Gillman is considered the father of the modern passing offense, and specifically the West Coast Offense which he used as a head coach. He always gave credit to Francis Schmidt that the principles of that offense were based on what he was taught by Schmidt. Gillman’s teachings had significant impact on the careers of later National Football League icons such as Al Davis and Bill Walsh.
Francis Schmidt’s imprint on the collegiate game remains well into the modern era as well. In the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State used three trick plays – a hook and lateral, Statue of Liberty, and wide-receiver pass – to stun Oklahoma 43-42. Schmidt had made all three plays famous while using them at Ohio State.
75 years after Schmidt coached his first game at Ohio State, a new book profiling his life was published. Frantic Francis, written by Brett Perkins (University of Nebraska Press, 2009) examines not only his career but also his effect on the modern game
Francis Albert Schmidt was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He is also a member of the Halls of Fame at Nebraska, Tulsa, Arkansas, Texas Christian, and Ohio State. And now he is the newest member of the Osborne County Hall of Fame.
SOURCES: Barbara Wyche; Frantic Francis, written by Brett Perkins, (University of Nebraska Press, 2009); Columbus Dispatch, Thursday, September 3, 2009; Topeka Daily Capital, May 16, 2012; The Spokesman-Review, November 6, 2009; University of Arkansas Athletics Hall of Fame; University of Tulsa Athletics Hall of Fame; College Football Hall of Fame.
(On this date, October 16, 2013, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world for the first time anywhere the fifth and last member of the OCHF Class of 2013)
Herman Darrell “Joe” Hale was born April 12, 1925, in Woodston, Rooks County, Kansas, the third of four children born to Carl Raymond Hale and Mayme E. (Dunn) Hale. Joe was baptized in the United Methodist Church, at Downs, Kansas, where he served as captain of the football and basketball teams and playing baritone in the school band. The football team distinguished itself his senior year with a perfect record – unbeaten, untied, and unscored-upon.
After high school graduation in 1943 Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade, Service and Supply Ship, in the Pacific theater until his discharge in 1946. Joe then attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence on the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Joe began work with the John Deere Company and later moved to Salina, Kansas, where he later worked for the Douglass Candy Company. In 1951, he met and married Joyce Vanier. Together they raised six children.
That same year, Joe joined Joyce’s father’s Western Star Mill Company in Salina, where he became vice president. The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur, Illinois, purchased Western Star in 1970. Two years later, Joe was named president of ADM Milling Company. He became company chairman in 1989 and retired in 1996. Joe was credited with building the company into a world-wide leader in the flour and grain milling industry.
Related to his field, Joe served as president of both Millers’ National Federation and the American Corn Millers Federation, now both part of the North American Millers Association (NAMA). He was an honorary lifetime member of NAMA.
Joe also was chairman of the board of Sunflower Bank; president of Star A, a ranching and farming operation; and vice president of the American Royal Association. He served as a director of the following companies – Archer Daniels Midland, Commerce Bancshares, and Lyons Manufacturing Company. Other directorships Joe held included the Wheat Industry Council, the National Pasta Association, the American Baking Association, the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers Association, the American Institute of Baking, and St. John’s Military School.
Joe was a founding member of the Rolling Hills Congregational Church in Salina. He was a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, Mission Hills Country Club, Garden of the Gods Club, Vanguard Club, Man of the Month Club, and the Kansas City Club. He was a former member of the Wolfcreek Golf Club, Oxbow Hunting Club, Equity Investment Club, Country Cousins, Privy Council, and the Black Sheep baking industry organization.
Joe supported many institutions throughout his life, and his support was honored through several lasting legacies both large and small: the fences around the Downs City Park and the Downs Cemetery in Downs, Kansas; the Hale Arena at the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri; the Hale Achievement Center and Hale Music Media Center at the University of Kansas; and the Hale Library at Kansas State University.
“Joe graduated from the University of Kansas, but several of his children went to K-State. He wanted to do something for K-State. His support had to be directly for students, so he contributed to a directly oriented student project that became Hale Library as we know it today. He and his wife, Joyce, came forward in 1992 as anonymous donors for the major portion of the $5 million in private funding needed to build the library. They are the reason that we finally have a facility that can accommodate the students at K-State.” – Brice Hobrock, Dean of KSU Libraries, 1999.
Gary Hellebust, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation, also said in 1999 that Hale was a true supporter of academics and was an inquisitive, intelligent person. “He was a bigger-than-life character. He was warm, but somewhat reserved – very inquisitive. He wanted to learn just so he would know and increase his awareness.” He was very pro-academic and wanted to support the library because he felt it would be supporting all academics at K-State and not just one part.”
H. D. “Joe” Hale passed away November 20, 1999 at St. Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri. He was 77 years old. His impact and generosity will influence many future generations to come.
(On this date, October 5, 2013, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world the first of the five members of the new OCHF Class of 2013)
Michael W. Dryden BS, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM
University Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Parasitology
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Michael W. Dryden was born on May 12, 1959 in Osborne, Kansas. Mike’s parents are Dixie (Pierce) Blunt and Victor Dryden (1933-1986). His mother was born and raised in Osborne and his dad was born and raised in Stockton, Kansas. Mike went to elementary school and middle school in Osborne and Downs, Kansas . Mike is a 1977 graduate of Waconda East High School in Cawker City, Kansas. Mike was an excellent student athlete in high school and was honored to receive 1st Team All-State in football his senior year.
It was in high school that he met and started dating Joan Winkel from Glen Elder, Kansas and the two were married in 1979. Following graduation from high school in May of 1977, Mike attended Kansas State University majoring in Wildlife Biology. He was accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in the fall of 1980. Mike was awarded his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1982 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1984.
After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mike, Joan and their son Shawn moved to Beloit, Kansas, where in May of 1984 Mike worked as a mixed animal practitioner with Dr. Charles Luke at the Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital. Mike, Joan and Shawn moved to Wichita, Kansas where he was employed in August 1985 as a small animal practitioner at Bogue Animal Hospital West.
Then in July 1986 Mike was accepted as a Graduate Research Assistant in Veterinary Parasitology at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Indiana. Mike, Joan and Shawn moved to West Lafayette in August 1986. Their daughter Sarah was born while they were at Purdue. During his graduate program at Purdue his studies included both Veterinary Parasitology and Medical/Veterinary Entomology. With his primary research focus being the biology of fleas infesting dogs and cats. He was in fact the first veterinarian in the world to get a doctorate studying flea biology. At Purdue University Mike earned both a MS (May 1988) and a PhD (May 1990) in Veterinary Parasitology. It was while a graduate student at Purdue that the veterinary students started calling him “Dr. Flea.”
Upon completion of the graduate program Mike accepted an offer from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and in June of 1990 Mike, Joan, Shawn and daughter Sarah moved to Manhattan KS.
Mike is recognized as a passionate educator. He co-taught the Veterinary Parasitology course in the College of Veterinary Medicine from 1990 to 2001 and became course coordinator in 2002 and has been a guest lecturer in several other courses. In 2010 along with Dr. Patricia Payne he developed the “Evidenced Based Small Animal Clinical Parasitology Training Course” at Kansas State University. The unique course is the first of its kind developed in the world. This week long course is designed to provide technical service veterinarians working in industry and veterinarians in academia a comprehensive clinical education in the areas of the biology, epidemiology, treatment and control of fleas, ticks, mites, heartworms, and intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Since 2010 almost 100 veterinarians from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe have attended the course. The course has become so popular that the sessions book up a year in advance.
At the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University Mike has developed a research program that has been involved in three primary areas: (1) biology and control of fleas and ticks infesting dogs and cats, (2) investigations into the interactions and disease transmission of urban wildlife with domestic pets and humans and (3) diagnosis and control of gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats.
Research projects in the area of flea and tick biology and control have constituted the majority of this research effort. His research team has conducted laboratory and field evaluations of prospective flea and tick products in Manhattan, Kansas and Tampa, Florida, including investigations of the largest selling flea and tick products in the world; ActivylÒ, AdvantageÒ, CapstarÒ, ComfortisÒ, FrontlineÒ plus, K9 AdvantixÒ, ProgramÒ, RevolutionÒ, SentinelÒ and VectraÒ 3D.
Conducting such a large research program has necessitated cooperative research with numerous faculty and students. The team has co-authored research grants and publications with faculty and graduate students in the Departments of Clinical Sciences, Entomology, Biology and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University. He has also co-authored publications with numerous researchers at other Universities.
Mike was promoted to Full Professor in the Department Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1999. In addition he has adjunct professor status in the Department of Entomology, Kansas State University and the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, Purdue University.
“The world has more than 2,000 different kinds of fleas, but there is only one species that commonly infests dogs and cats in North America. Americans spend more than $1.5 billion a year trying to fight this pest on their pets. Michael W. Dryden says people should know their enemy and not assume all flea products are created equal.
“Dryden is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on fleas and ticks that infest dogs and cats and was once the subject of a documentary about his work with fleas. He has been an expert source on fleas for The Wall Street Journal and ‘Good Morning America.’” – From Kansas State University Short Bios athttp://www.k-state.edu/media/mediaguide/bios/drydenbio.html.
Dryden’s research has radically changed the veterinary profession’s understanding of flea and tick ecology. In addition he has developed novel methods for evaluating flea and tick control products and proposed new concepts that revolutionized flea and tick control. Virtually every major pharmaceutical company utilizes his laboratory and research team to help develop and evaluate their flea and tick control products.
In 2007 Mike was honored to receive an endowment from the Merial Corporation to establish the “Dryden-Merial Tick Research Center at Kansas State University”. This endowment help fund a tick research laboratory and provide salary for an additional research technician.
Mike’s clinical parasitology research has generated over 125 basic and applied research journal articles, 8 book chapters and over 100 published scientific abstracts. The importance of his research on the veterinary profession and his passion as an educator is exemplified by the fact that he has been invited to lecture in over 21 countries (many multiple times), presenting over 850 invited seminars at national and international scientific conferences, numerous colleges of veterinary medicine around the world and dozens of veterinary continuing education symposiums. His research has also received both National and International media recognition with Mike appearing in segments on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, the Discovery Channel, Mona Lisa Productions in France, and televised appearances in Canada, England, and Spain, and interviews and articles in over 100 newspapers and magazines.
Mike has been recognized with numerous awards and honors.
1995: the “Pfizer Award for Research Excellence” for contributions that significantly advance our knowledge of animal health.
2002: Founding member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council
2005: the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association’s “KSU-Distinguished Service Award”
2006: the “Teaching Excellence Award” in recognition of outstanding instruction of second year veterinary students.
2006: designated the “Frick Professor of Veterinary Medicine”. An endowed professorship recognizing and honoring a faculty member who has developed an exemplary national and international reputation in veterinary medicine.
2007: the “Recognition Award in Urban Entomology” by the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America.
2010: the “Excellence in Teaching Award” from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Recognizing contributions to the education of future veterinary dermatologists at American College of Veterinary Dermatology Residents’ Forum.
2010: honored as the “Veterinarian of the Year” presented at the Purina® Pro Plan® 56th Annual Show Dogs of the Year® Awards, presented by Dogs In Review® at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
2011: Honored with the designation of “University Distinguished Professor” at Kansas State University. The UDP designation represents the highest honor Kansas State University can bestow on its faculty, an award that recognizes those making outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and service to their professions and communities.
2011: designated a Charter Diplomate in Parasitology in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology subspecialty Veterinary Parasitology
In addition, in a survey conducted in 2005 of leading Veterinary Dermatologists they stated that Dr. Dryden’s flea research was the “most significant scientific advancement in modern Veterinary Dermatology”.
Mike was also awarded a U.S. patent for development of the most efficient flea trapping system ever invented (M.W. Dryden, A.B. Broce & K.E. Hampton. Patent # 5,231,790, August 3, 1993).
Mike currently lives in Manhattan, Kansas with his wife, Joan. Their son Shawn is a graphic and web design artist at New Boston Creative Group who lives in Manhattan with his wife Mindy (Bates) Dryden and daughter Harper. Mike and Joan’s daughter Sarah also lives in Manhattan and works as a supervisor for Vets First Choice.
Mike is an avid hiker and nature photographer. He has been interested in wildlife and conservation most of his life and was majoring in wildlife biology when he was accepted in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Mike and Joan have made numerous hiking and photography trips to the Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain National Parks. In addition they have traveled to Arches National Park, Denali National Park, Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park, Red Woods National Park, Saguaro National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Zion National Park. Invitations to lecture in exotic locations and various countries have afforded him the opportunity to practice his photography in Hawaii, on Islands on the Great Barrier Reef, Kruger and Pilanesburg National Parks in South Africa and throughout Western Europe.
Alice Gannette (Dimond) Young was a noted temperance worker and devout member of the Methodist Church from the earliest days of the Downs community’s existence. She also was editor of the state Women’s Christian Temperance Union publication, Our Messenger, for almost two decades.
As a young woman, Alice Dimond experienced many of the events of the Civil War era during her early years in Pennsylvania and New York State, and later in Kansas. The youngest of seven children born to James H. and Harriet (Fifield) Dimond, Alice was born at President, Pennsylvania, on April 25, 1849, and later moved with her family to New York State. They soon returned to Pennsylvania and she graduated from Edenborough Academy, after which she then taught school in New York State. Her future husband, Francis Asbury Dighton Young, came to Osborne County in 1871 and homesteaded southeast of where Downs later was founded. He built a house and broke a few acres of sod, then returned east and he and Alice were married on December 12, 1871 at Stockton, New York. To this union one daughter was born.
They came west in the spring of 1872, accompanied by her brother, William W. Dimond, and his wife Susan. Their new dwelling was known as a Christian home where prayer and official meetings occurred. In the late 1870s, Alice and Dighton took an active part in a campaign to prohibit the drinking of alcohol. The Oak Dale schoolhouse was the center of this temperance movement. When Downs was established in 1879, the Youngs sold some of their land southeast of town, at prices below its worth, to aid the town’s expansion.
Alice became editor of Our Messenger in 1903 and continued in that position, with only a few years off, until ill health forced her to resign in 1919. During her years as editor of this temperance publication, she wielded a powerful influence for good throughout Kansas. The paper enjoyed a prestige that made it a popular periodical and a welcome monthly visitor to the homes of its readers. Alice was a brilliant writer and speaker, as evidenced by her speech at an Old Settlers Reunion near Dispatch, Kansas, in 1900.
Alice died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Hattie Foote, in Downs on November 13, 1922. At that time, it was written that “Kansas owes as much to her memory for state prohibition as to any other person.” She was laid to rest in the Downs Cemetery.
* * * * *
“In 1871 when Kansas was offering landed estates to all who cared to come to her vastless prairies, F. A. D. Young homesteaded a quarter section in Ross Township, Osborne County, and after erecting a house and putting a few acres under cultivation, returned to Pennsylvania and married Miss Alice G. Dimond, a youthful school teacher. In the spring of 1872 the young couple, full of life and courage, made the long journey to the western border home. From the very beginning the Dighton Young abode was known as a Christian home and was honored with prayer and official meetings. With the discouraging scourge of drouth, grasshoppers and prevailing low prices of farm products and no railroad short of sixty miles, the Youngs never hesitated in the one great effort of taming the plains. In the memorable prohibition campaign launched in the latter 1870s both Mr. and Mrs. Young threw their very souls into the work. The Oak Dale school house midway between Downs and Cawker [City] was the center of activities in this vicinity. The late William Belk was the able president of this temperance society with Eminous Courter and wife, D. C. Bryant, W. C. Chapin, the Pitts and Cox’s; and here, too, Mrs. Alice G. Young proved her ability and loyalty to right by always having an entertaining message, with a prohibition clincher.
“In the 1880s when Downs began expanding, a Methodist parsonage estate, the Downs flouring mill with twenty-five acres, the big creamery and five acres of land, and resident homes were carved from the Young homestead. The price received for lots and acreage was always below the actual worth, the one thought always uppermost to help in every worthy cause. The only child, Hattie, was given a thorough musical education, which has already been passed to another generation and being enjoyed by scores of music lovers.
“When old age and its accompanying increpencies began interfering with the management of the farm, Mr. and Mrs. Young moved into Downs. Here the latter’s ability was shown in the successful editing of Our Messenger, the state W.C.T.U. monthly periodical. Later Mrs. Young gave the Methodist church activities such favorable weekly publicity that many were attracted to the church for the Sabbath program.
“In behalf of Mrs. Alice Young, a lifelong friend, we make this broad assertion: that Kansas owes as much to her memory for state prohibition as to any other person and this community has lost a literary genius. The history of Osborne County, if ever written, will never be as complete as though her gifted pen had contributed to its paragraphs.” – Del Cox in the Downs News and Times, November 16, 1922.
Emmett Felix Yost, better known to his friends and family as Felix, was born October 7, 1903, in the heart of the wheat belt at Downs, Kansas, but after graduation from Downs High School in May 1923 he knew that the farming life was not for him. The long hot hours in the sun and a favorite uncle having graduated from the Naval Academy were incentive enough to prepare for a military career. He sought to go to the Naval Academy, but his age was against him. The Military Academy had a different age requirement and so he applied there instead. After a one-year stint at Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kansas, in 1923, he entered West Point in 1924.
As a cadet Felix was best remembered by his classmates as being a quiet, rather shy person who had to work very hard academically. Yet through it all he still maintained a keen sense of humor. Rules and regulations never seemed to bother him. He was always very meticulous and methodical in everything he did, and this carried over into his military career.
After graduation in 1928, as a second lieutenant, infantry, he attended the Air Corps Flying Training School at Kelly Field, Texas. He transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1929. His first assignment was at Selfridge Field, Michigan, as a pursuit pilot, squadron engineering and supply officer for the 27th Pursuit Squadron. It was here that he met and married Mary Beatty of nearby Richmond, Michigan, on September 30, 1931. In November 1931 they moved to Wheeler Field, Hawaii, where Felix was squadron engineering and armament officer. Their first child, Mary Diane, was born July 2, 1934. In August 1934 he was assigned to the Flying Training Command at Randolph Field, Texas, as a flying instructor and flight commander. He remained at Randolph until 1939. Their second child, David Felix, was born in 1937.
Felix was next assigned to Dallas, Texas, with the mission of establishing a civil contract flying school. He attended the Air Force Tactical School at Maxwell Air Force Base in 1940, returning to Dallas and then on to Pine Bluff, Arkansas until 1942. His next assignment was at the Air Force Advanced Flying School at Waco, Texas, as commanding officer. In 1944 he moved to Del Rio, Texas, to be commanding officer of the B-26 Transition School, where he stayed until 1945. For his part in training pilots for the Brazilian Air Force, the president of Brazil awarded him the Brazilian decoration Commander of the National Order of the Southern Cross.
His next tour of duty was on Okinawa with Headquarters Eighth Air Force, Plans Division, where he remained until 1947. Upon returning to the United States, he was assigned to the Troop Basis Branch, Directorate of Manpower and Organization at Headquarters United States Air Force. In 1948 Felix was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence in the Special Project Office. He became chief of the Supplemental Research Branch in 1950 with the same directorate, where he remained for a year.
In 1951 Emmett became inspector general of the Eastern Air Defense Force at Stewart Air Force Base, Newburgh, New York. In 1952 he transferred to Headquarters Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as inspector general. During 1953 he attended a military management course at George Washington University. He was then assigned as the commander of the 85th Air Division at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D. C., where he remained until his retirement as a brigadier general in July 1958.
Felix and Mary settled down to their retirement years in North Redington Beach, Florida. Two or three times each week Felix was on the golf course. With a house right on the water he was able to enjoy boating and fishing as well. He remained active with the Lions Club and worked closely with the city government, serving on different commissions over the years.
Mary, his wife of over fifty years, passed away in 1983. Felix died April 12, 1985, in North Redington Beach and was buried next to Mary at St. Albans Episcopal Church in Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Felix will be remembered best for his truly gentle spirit, kind nature, and strong sense of “duty, honor and country.” He had a wonderful, quiet sense of humor and will be missed greatly by all those who knew and loved him.
Career diplomats are a scarce commodity in the annals of Osborne County. Bartley Francis Yost, a local farmer and teacher born in Switzerland, entered government service in 1909 and spent the next quarter of a century representing the United States around the world. Bartley was born September 20, 1877, in the Swiss town of Seewiss. He lived there with his parents, George and Elizabeth (Fluetsch) Yost, until 1887, when the family emigrated to America. They settled on a farm three miles west of Downs in Ross Township.
Young Bartley’s education, begun in Switzerland, continued at the rural Ise School, District Number 37. Incidents from his adolescent years are immortalized in the 1936 John Ise book Sod and Stubble. Upon graduation he worked on the family farm, and then from in October 1896 he embarked on a teaching career at the one-room Greenwood School while tending to his own farm as well. He attended Downs High School for a year in 1898 and then studied for two semesters at Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas.
He then returned to teaching at several rural one-room schools in Osborne County: Scott School in Delhi Township; Prizer School near Alton; Bethany Center School in Bethany Township; and at Rose Valley in Ross Township. He then took a year off with a trip to California and Washington before returning in 1906, when he became co-publisher of the Osborne County News. That same year he was elected to the first of two terms as Osborne County Clerk of the District Court. On October 7, 1908, he married Irma Blau at Kirkland, Washington. The couple had two children, Robert and Bartley, Jr.
While serving as Clerk of the District Court Bartley was visited by a government representative, who was so impressed with the young man’s abilities (Bartley had mastered five languages) that he suggested Yost fill out an application for the U.S. Consular Service, that branch of government which serves the needs of American citizens either living in or visiting a foreign country. He was accepted and entered the consular service in 1909.
Yost’s consular work kept him traveling abroad from 1909 to 1935. He served as deputy consul at Paris, France, and Almeria, Spain, and as vice consul at Genoa, Italy. As chief consul he oversaw consulates in Santa Rosalia, Gnaymas, and Torrean, Mexico; at Sault Ste. Marie, Canada; at Nogales, Mexico; and finally at Cologne, Germany, where he was one of the last senior diplomats to deal with Adolph Hitler’s Nazi government before the United States broke off diplomatic relations. After 1935 Bartley retired from the service and settled into quiet retirement in California. In 1933 he had been given life membership in the Kansas Illustriana Society, and a further honor was bestowed upon him when he was named to Who’s Who inAmerica. In 1955 he published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Consul.
Irma Yost passed away in 1952. Bartley married his second wife, Elfrieda, in July 1953. Their happiness was short-lived, however, as Bartley died September 8, 1963, in California of a heart attack. He was laid to rest beside his first wife in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
* * * * *
(Excerpts from Bartley’s book “Memoirs of a Consul”)
On his family leaving home of Seewis, Switzerland, 1887:
Uncle Nicloaus lost no time in sowing propaganda among such people as desired to leave. He also urged Father to dispose of his extensive holdings and to take his family to the New World, where there were opportunities unbounded especially for us children. He also insisted that Grandfather accompany him to Kansas and make his home with him (Nicolaus).
I know that Father and Mother deliberated long and seriously over this momentous question, for it was no small undertaking with a large family. The interminable railway journeys and the long ocean voyage had to be faced. There was also the matter of disposing of the properties. But the gravest question of all was Mothers condition. She was expecting to give birth to another child in January 1887, and course, she would hardly be able to travel for several weeks. The momentous decision was finally made. We were to immigrate to America. And with us were several other families and young men of the village. There were protests and regrets on the part of relatives and friends, and even the city authorities, at the loss of such good and useful families. The thought of our departure filled our minds with emotion and with speculation as to what we should see and experience in our new home. It was the greatest event that ever happened in our lives.
With little delay Father disposed of his properties, and set March 17, 1887, as the day of our departure. It was a red-letter day in our lives. We were driven in horse carriages down the mountainside to the station at Landquart, where we boarded the train. The great journey and adventure had begun.
For the first few hours we swept through beautiful Swiss scenery along the banks of the historic River Rhine, with the snow-capped mountains always in full view. Sometime during the night we left Swiss territory, arriving at Strasburg, early in the morning. I can still remember Mr. John Monstien calling attention to the great German fortifications there, known as the Schanz. From Antwerp where our steamer, the Westernland, was awaiting us. I shall make the description of this our first ocean voyage as short as possible, for it is not a pleasant subject. Our ship was an old tub, about ready for the scrap heap; it was dirty and the service in our class left much to be desired. Being early in the year, we encountered much bad weather, which caused the old ship to toss like an empty eggshell. Nearly everybody was seasick. The food was plentiful, but it did not appeal to us. Poor mother, with her baby boy, two months old, suffered most of all. She was not only sea sick, but also homesick throughout the voyage and unable to come up on dick to get some fresh air. After three weeks of this torture we finally arrived at the Fort of New York.
Although this was decidedly before the days of skyscrapers, yet the skyline of New York from an approaching vessel was a fascinating study even then. Some acquaintances came to meet us at Castle Garden, which was then the immigration station now replaced by Ellis Island, to meet us and to welcome us to the Land of Opportunity. The usual immigration formalities over, we were ferried across the Hudson River to Jersey City to entrain for the Far West. I should not fail to mention here that before leaving New York, father took us for a walk across the world famous Brooklyn Bridge, Mr. Roebling’s dream come true [boarded a train headed west and] I think of this the more I realize what great courage and pioneering spirit it required to carry through this adventure. After a week or so on the slow-moving immigrant train, we arrived toward to end of April at Downs, Kansas, our destination, a wide-open prairie, with few inhabitants, few building, and few roads.
Schooling in Switzerland:
As to the place of my birth, I may be permitted to repeat a part of the introductory sketch to my “Memoirs of A Consul,” that I first saw the light of day in that picturesque village of Seewis, nestled away up in the mountains of Switzerland, where the rest of the Yost children were born. That was on September 20, 1877. Obviously, I would rather have been born in the good old U.S.A., but this was a matter beyond my control, and I am glad that my place of birth was Seewis, and not China or Africa. Even as a baby I made my parents much work and worry, and often showed my temper and willfulness. My father often told me that I was the lustiest howler in the whole bunch, and that nigh after night he had to rock my cradle, even in his sleep, while I would continue to howl.
When I had reached the proper age I was bundled off to school in the Schloss, my first teacher being Prof Yenni. He always kept a fine selection of witches on top of the brick heater, and I remember that at times he would try them out on me. The first year my desk was in the far corner of the room. To the delight of my schoolmates, when the teacher’s back was turned, I would stand up in the corner and make faces. But I did it once too often, and got caught. You may guess the rest, keeping in mind these witches on the heater. I learned to write laboriously on the grooved lines of my slate, to read and to figure. I was a chubby lad, with a bountiful crop of freckles, which I inherited from my mother. To this day they cling to me closer than a brother. About the first thing that I can remember of my “kidhood” was that one day while running down the steep hilt in front of our house, I fell and bumped my head against a sharp corner stone of the house steps, cracking my skull just over my left eye. The scar is quite visible and becomes more so as advancing age thins my locks.
I was no shirker when it came to work. I recall having a lariat and hay cap all my own to carry hay from the meadows into the barn. No doubt, I also tried yodeling, probably in the manner of a young rooster trying to crow. I also recall that once while helping my Uncle Henry to thresh they tried to make me sit up to the dinner table with the real men, but I refused, and heaven and earth could not move me. I even hid under the table until they fished me out.
But to hasten on, long before I had become rooted to the mountain slopes of Grison I was taken with the rest of the flock to the Promised Land Beyond the Seas; and I do not know how to thank Father and Mother enough for this momentous decision. I-lad it not been for this I would today probably be following in the footsteps of my ancestors, climbing goatlike up and down the mountains, keeping a few cows, haying on those hanging meadows where a misstep sends a man to eternity, carrying manure to fertilize the arid, rock slopes, bringing up a numerous family, and finally without having built me “more stately mansions, “have joined my fathers in the silent city of the dead, in the little churchyard overlooking the Landquart.
The long trip to America was full of thrills for me. I was just reaching the impressionable age when everything one sees registers in the mind. I remember distinctly the conditions under which we lived on the old Weternland for three weeks in coming from Antwerp to New York. I can still see my poor mother, seasick, taking care of baby John, eight weeks old. Our arrival at New York was for me like entering a fairyland. We walked the streets in the region of Castle Garden, which was formerly the immigration station, now replaced by Ellis Island. Castle Garden is now the Battery. We walked across the famous Brooklyn Bridge, Roebling’s great monument.
Once we had complied with the immigration regulations, and they were light then as compared with today, we were loaded into special immigrant cars at Hoboken, and the long tiresome journey to Kansas began. It was probably a week before we arrived at Downs.
Like any child of my age, I was not long in adapting myself to the new conditions and surroundings, and in learning the language. I reveled in everything that I saw, for everything was new, different, thrilling, full of interest. In the fall of 1887 I was sent to school in the little schoolhouse located on the Ise farm, and known as District 37. Because of my unfamiliarity with the language I was put into classes with primary kiddies younger than I. Miss Anne Carson was my first teacher, a kind, patient, sympathetic and competent teacher. The Carson family lived just across the river from our home. The Schoolmates and play fellows that I now recall most vividly were Albert Heiser, Clark Boomer, Frank Boomer, Ed, Charley and Walter Ise, Nate Winters, Nathan, Eddie and Wits Jones, Marian and Ed Worley, Elmer Richardson, Floyd Wagner, Dave McCormick, and others whose names have slipped my mind. The school term in those early days was for only six months. This meant long summer vacations, but they were not all play. On the contrary, we had to work hard most of the time, as soon as we were able to drive a team, or to handle farm tools or machinery.
Schooling in District #37, Ise School:
The little white schoolhouse where I received my rudimentary education would comfortable hold about twenty pupils, although I have seen as many as forty packed into it. There were a number of big families in the district in those days. There were fourteen children in the Jones family, of whom as many as eight were in school at one time; of the eleven Ise children there were as many as seven in school at a time; of the eight Yost children there were sometimes four of r five in school. I usually sat with Albert Heiser. During one of two winters I sat with Charley Ise. Charley had a quick mind and could learn his lessons in half the time that I could. This left him too much time for play and mischief He was daily getting into all kinds of deviltry, and was punished repeatedly in the old-fashioned way, with green sticks or rubber hose. Sometimes he would come prepared for it, by putting on about three shirts and three pairs of pants, or by sticking shingles into the seat of his pants. One evening he was ordered to remain in after school. This happened quite frequently. But, on this occasion, in a hurried conference be between us it was agreed that while the rest of the school was marching out, Charley was to jump out of the back window where I was to meet him with his wraps. Everything passed off according to progamme, and before the teacher realized our design, Charley was cutting across the pasture on his way home. Miss Anne Jones, the teacher, then locked the school house door and followed Charley across the pasture to his home. AS to the concrete results of the conference between Miss Jones and Mr. Ise, I an unable to say.
Once the teacher ordered Charley and me to get some switches from the nearby hedge fence; with which to punished us for some misconduct. We cut the switches full of notches, so that at the first blow the teacher struck, the switches fell all to pieces. One day just before recitation time Charley took off my shoes, of course I was not exactly asleep when he did it. When our class was called for an explanation. Charley then spoke up with’ “I throwed Yost’s shoes out the window.” The teacher then ordered him to go out after them, and the recitation went on. We were both kept in after school that night for the usual intimate talk.
My great joy was to be able to sit beside Minnie (Doll) Ise during the recitation periods. I hardly think that she experienced the same thrill.
First Year As A Schoolteacher:
That first term of school put me to the test. With more preparation than what the country school afforded, together with a month’s normal training, I struggled through my pedagogical duties. Some of my pupils were older than I, and probably knew almost as much. The teacher preceding me had had trouble over a triangular love affair, of which she was on e angle. I recall that we were nearly frozen out that winter. Gumbo Christ, the district treasurer, was delegated to provide dry wood for our stove, but he only began cutting the wood when school began, and we therefore had green wood during most of the winter, wholly in keeping with the name of our school. Greenwood. Once a month I would call at the Christ home, a combination of shack, stable and granary under one roof, to get my salary voucher for $25. He was a jovial and interesting man, an old bachelor. Usually he had a pie tin on the stove, filled with cuds of chewing tobacco, which he would dry and smoke in his pipe. About the year 1897 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of Probate Judge of Osborne County. But more about our green wood which merely sizzled and would not burn. The stove was also too small for the new, spacious schoolroom. It was so cold that I had to let the children keep on their wraps during school hours.
My prize pupil was Felix Gygax who later attended the Downs High School from which he graduated. After teaching school for two years he was admitted to the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, on competitive examination, and graduated in 1906, in time to take that memorable cruise around the world of our navy, under the administration of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt. His advancement in the navy has been consistent and rapid, his outstanding achievements many. Today he holds the rank of commander in the navy.
At a joint entertainment given in my school house by my pupils and those of the Columbia district, a serious fire broke out in the hall way, due to some one knocking over a coal oil lamp on the Felix was burning cork to blacken his face, preparatory to taking his part in “Jumbo Jum,” a Negro play. For a time consternation prevailed among the large number of people present. Everywhere I could see people breaking the windows and jumping through them for safety. There was screaming and shouting. I tried to calm the excitement, but with little effect. As the fire was in the hallway, it shut off escape. We finally got the fire under control and went on with the play, but the interest had been lost. Just fifteen years later, while I was home from Paris on a vacation and to attend to business in court, I was called upon one night for an address at an entertainment in the Rose Valley church; and strange as this coincident my seem, while they were giving the same play, “Jumbo Jum,” just before I was scheduled to speak, a fire broke out in the hallway. Crowd behavior is apparently the same under similar circumstances. People shouted and screamed, fought each other, broke the windows, and jumped through them for safety. We soon got the fire under control, and went on with the entertainment. It was a strange coincident, to say the least.
Being Elected Osborne County Clerk of the District Court:
In the spring of 1906, the political bee began to buzz in my bonnet; I aspired to the office of Clerk of the District Court of Osborne County, and made and active campaign. My opponents were Bev Ayers, the incumbent of the office, and Adolph Brown, a lawyer from Alton. The Republican nominating convention, the last one on record, was held in the old Cunningham hail at Osborne in July 1906. Below is given an account of the convention by the Osborne County Farmer, July, 1928:
“The last Republican convention held for the purpose of nominating candidates for county offices was held in the old auditorium in Osborne in the summer of 1906, nearly 21 years ago. John Ford, now of Plainville, but at that time editor of the Alton Empire, was chairman, and Chas. E. Mann, then editor of the Downs New, secretary. The fight between the “Progressives and the “Standpatters” was just beginning to warm up, although practically all Republicans favored the nomination of Taft for President, as he was the choice of Roosevelt. According to the old custom, a few of the leaders met in Osborne the night before the convention selected the organization and tentatively agreed upon the county ticket. It was composed of J.B. Taylor for representative; John Doane for county clerk; L.F. Storer for treasurer; J.M. Smith for sheriff, A.P. Brown for Clerk of Court. There was no opposition to V.K.N. Groesbeck, Probate Judge; D.H. Lockridge, register of deeds; and N.C. Else, county attorney. The last two were serving their first terms, and with Groesbeck were endorsed by both factions. When the convention met it was known that there was strong opposition to the slate prepared the night before, and the fight grew warm as the afternoon session opened up. The opposition to the slate had not been able to get together on a candidate for representative, and was not real sure of their strength anyway. When nominations were in order, J.B. Taylor was placed in nomination. There was no other name mentioned, so the nomination was made by acclamation. This gave the impression that the opposition had given up its fight, but leaders were soon to know different, for when the next name was placed before the convention the fight was on. John Doane and George F. Schultz were placed in nomination for county clerk. The latter was sponsored by the Progressives of Boss Busters, as they were then known. The ballot resulted in the nomination of Schultz by a few votes. The atmosphere was now clear. The Boss Busters were now sure of themselves and they proceeded with reckless abandonment to nominate the entire remaining members the ticket, which was their own slate. They nominated Geo. H. Rogers for county treasurer; E.L.Curl for Sheriff, and Bartley F. Yost for Clerk of the Court. Groesbeck, Lockridge and Else were nominated by acclamation. The Boss Busters were jubilant and quite cocky after the convention was over, and they kicked themselves because they had not also picked a candidate for representative.
However, after the convention was over the factional trouble settled right down and everybody went to work for the ticket, and it was elected in its entirety. Two of the county officers elected on that ticket resigned without filling out their terms of office; George F. Schultz resigned to return to his business at Natoma, and John Doane filled out his unexpired term, Bartley F. Yost, Clerk of Court, Federal Government, in which he is still engaged, being now United States Consul at Sault St. Marie, Canada. He was succeeded by the late John A. Fouts.”
I was then new in politics and not aware of the trickeries practiced. When the first ballot for Clerk of the Court was announced, I had only about 40 votes, Ayers 25, and Brown 48. My heart sank within me. Some of my supporters seeing my distress, came to me, patted me on the shoulders and whispered into my ears not to worry, that the second ballot would show a different result; that Ayers was releasing his delegates and had instructed them to vote for me; also that a number of delegates had cast only complimentary votes for Brown and would come to me on the second ballot. All this came true and I was nominated with a rousing majority, It was a great day for me, I had announced from Bethany Township where I had lived for two years, but L.F.Storer, who aspired to the office of county treasurer, also from Bethany, fought me hard and claimed that I belonged to Ross Township. As a matter of fact, since April 11 had not actually lived in Bethany but all my interests were still there. Storer saw that it meant either him or me. He lost. He was elected to the office four years later.
That fall, after a strenuous campaign, I was elected by a good majority. After the election I made my home with sister Burga, 2 miles west of Osborne, Before taking up my office in January, I husked most of Ed Zimmerman’s corn crop. I began my first term on the first Monday in January 1907, in the old tumbledown courthouse. My term was for two years. During the summer of 1908 I announced my candidacy for a second term under the new primary election law which had been enacted by the Stubs administration, and which had just gone into effect.
How He Entered the Consular Service:
Senator Charles Curtis, while looking after his political fences in Osborne County, stepped into my office in the court house one day, and after a pleasant chat, he remarked to me; “Yost, do you speak any other language than English?” I replied that I also spoke German. He continued: “Well, this is very interesting; have you ever thought of trying for the United States consular service? If you are interested I am in position to assure you a designation for the next consular examinations to be held in the City of Washington this fall. Let me know definitely before I leave town” The Senator’s momentous proposition put me to thinking. It was no easy matter to break all the ties that bound me to the homeland and to launch out into uncharted waters. I had a county office; I was half owner of the Osborne County News; I owned a good farm; surely I could make a fair living without wandering off into foreign lands, away from Kith and kin. It was a momentous problem for me, and I had but little time for reflection. At noon I went home to confer with sister Burga. We arrived at a decision that such a step might be for my best interests. The dye was cast. That afternoon I called on the Senator at his hotel and told him of my decision. He looked me over with those keen, eagle-like eyes of his, slapped me on the shoulders and said “Bully for you, Yost; I shall write to President Roosevelt tonight and ask him to designate you for the next consular examinations”
Three weeks later I received a formal and courteous communication from the Department of State in Washington, advising me that I had been designated for the examinations to be held in November. I also received a number of pamphlets and suggestions with regard to the textbooks I should study. There were no library facilities then in the little town of Osborne, and I was unable to find the books I needed, and to send for them meant considerable loss of time. I borrowed and bought books whereever I could, and for the next two months I studied every spare moment, but I realized that it was an up-hill undertaking, and that there was but little chance of my passing the difficult test. At the suggestion of Mr. Fred Slater, a Topeka attorney, who had also been designated, being a distant relative of the Senator by marriage, we went to Washington together, three weeks before the examinations. There we had the advantage of the Library of Congress, the State Department Library and other sources of information
The examinations were given in the old Pension Building. Sam Reat looked the questions over, and suddenly developed some sort of a bowel complaint. The 36 men present struggled like Trojans over questions in international law, maritime law, commercial law, history of the world political science, commercial and industrial resources, accounting, bookkeeping, foreign languages, etc. etc. The third day at the Department of State we had to run the gauntlet of a scrutinizing commission of State Department officials and Civil Service Commission officials, who sized us up for our general appearance, personality, general address, manners, expression of thought, knowledge of current events, etc. I was ushered in with Fred Slater and a gentleman from Mankato, Kansas. “Please discuss the Balkan situation” was the question fired at the first man. He flunked, and it was passed on to Fred, and later to me. I was also called upon to discuss the Reclamation Policy of the United States Government. Fred Slater had failed in the previous examinations and was allowed to take it with me in November. In these examinations he failed also; so did the man from Mankato. In fact, out of 36 applicants, only 9 passed. I happened to be one of them, The first intimation I had of it was an article appearing in the New York World, shown me by Bert Lockridge, about three weeks after I had returned home.
* * * * *
List of Consular Service through 1927 (retired in 1935):
It may be of interest to make a list of the several government commissions that I have been granted in connection with appointments and promotions in the consular service during the past twenty years; they are as follows:
1. June 24, 1908, Commission as Consular Assistant signed by President Theodore Roosevelt and Alvey A. Ade, Acting Secretary of State.
2. April 20, 1909, Commission as Deputy Consul General at Paris, signed by Huntington Wilson, Acting Secretary of State.
3. March 3, 1913; commission as Consular Agent at Almeria, Spain, signed by Philander C. Know, Secretary of State.
4. August 21, 1917, commission as Vice Consul at Genoa, Italy, signed by President W. Wilson.
5. June 15, 1918, Commission as Vice Consul at Santa Rosalia, Lower California, signed by Robert Lansing, Secretary of State. (On my way there I was appointed a full Consul; my work at S.R. was that of a Lookout Officer.)
6. July 6, 1918, commission as Consul Class Eight, Signed by President Wilson and Secretary of State Frank L. Polk.
7. November 22, 1918, Commission as Consul at Guaymas, Mexico, signed by President Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of State Frank L. Polk.
8. September 5, 1919, commission as Consul Class Seven, signed by President Woodrow Wilson and Acting Secretary of State Win, Phillips.
9. October 15,1919, Exequator to act as consul at Guaymas, Mexico, signed by President V. Carranza of Mexico.
10. June 4, 1920, Commission as consul Class Six, signed by President Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.
11. December 17, 1923, Commission as Consul Class Six at Torreon, Mexico, signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Chas. F. Hughes.
12. July 1, 1924, Commission as Foreign Service Officer Class Seven, signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Chas. E. Hughes.
13. Dec. 20, 1924, commission as Foreign Service Officer Class Seven, signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Chas. F. Hughes. (After confirmation by U.S. Senate).
14. June 18, 1924, Exequator, to act as consul at Torreon, Mexico, signed by President Alvaro Obregon, of Mexico.
15. October 13, 1926, commission as consul at Sault Ste. Marie, signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg.
16. January 3, 1927, Exequator, authorizing Bartley F. Yost to act as Consul at Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, signed by King George V. of Great Britain and by Mackenzie King, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Canada.
17. December 7, 1927, Commission as Foreign Service Officer Class Six, signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg (After confirmation by U.S. Senate.)
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.