Solomon Valley windmill

Solomon Valley Chronicles
Biographies

BOWER, Vernon V.

Vernon V. Bower

Vernon V. Bower. Perhaps no better estimate of a community's stability, importance and prospects can be secured than that given by a successful business man, one who has made his own way and through experience has learned both the possibilities and limits of business development. Many prospectors, tourists and transients have come to Idaho and have left again with but a cursory knowledge of the great resources of this part of the Union and their statements are of no more value than those of the traveler from across the sea who spends a day in the great eastern metropolis and goes back to his home to publish his notes on America. It is from the solid, sensible, business-establishing, home-building class of residents of Idaho that comes the enthusiasm that proclaims this one of the most promising states of the western country, rich in every possibility and awaiting proper developing agencies. To this class belongs Vernon V. Bower, a successful real estate man, at Richfield, Idaho, where he is also one of the representative men in all public matters.

Vernon V. Bower was born at Ashtabula, Ohio, December 20, 1877, and is a son of William J. and Augusta (Atkins) Bower, the father being a native of Ohio, and the mother belonging to one of the old settled families of Ohio. In 1879 the Bowers moved from Ohio to Norton, Kansas, and there the father engaged in merchandising and so continues. There were nine children in the family, Vernon V. being the fifth in order of birth, the others being as follows: A babe that is deceased; Adelmer A., who is a resident of Norton, Kansas; Frank L., who is in the real estate business at Gooding, Idaho; Ernest B., who is in the mercantile business at Goodlands, Kansas; Maude B., who is the wife of Noel J. Hedge, of Norton, Kansas; Claude, who is associated with his father at Norton and Goodlands, the firm being extensive hardware and furniture merchants; Floyd, who is a resident of Kansas; Glenn E., who is associated with the Ostrander Furniture Company at Twin Falls, Idaho.

Vernon V. Bower was graduated from the Norton high school at Norton, Kansas, afterward taking a business course in a commercial college there and then worked for his father for two years, after which he went out on the road as a commercial traveler and continued in that line for seven years, seeing much of the country and making and cementing many friendships, his routes taking him through Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. After retiring from that line he engaged in merchandising at Norton for two years and then sold his interests there and in the fall of 1008 came to Richfield, Idaho, and early in the following year embarked in the real estate business, which he has continued with every evidence of marked success. He owns a considerable amount of valuable realty in this place and enjoys one of the most attractive and well placed residences as his home.

In June, 1904, Mr. Bower was married to Miss May Hedge, who was born in Iowa, and they have one daughter, Irene B., an engaging little maiden of seven years. Mr. Bower is not only an energetic and active business man but he is also deeply interested in public matters and has been a factor in Republican politics, and in 1909 was elected to the Idaho legislature and served ably in the interest of his constituents.

[Source: "History of Idaho: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests, Volume 3", by Hiram Taylor French, 1914; pages 937-938.]

DuBOIS, George Edwin and Saphrona Isabelle (Wilmot)

George Edwin and Saphrona Isabelle (Wilmot) Dubois

Described as one of the county's earliest settlers, George Edwin Dubois passed away on 24 May, 1937 at the home of his daughter, Besse Pearl Dubois Garrett and husband Noah. George Edwin was born in Strong's Prairie, Adams county, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854. George Edwin was the son of the Laurence Knickerbacker Dubois and Saphrona Isabelle Wilmot. Later, the family moved to Jones county, Iowa during the 1850s, Jackson county, Kansas in the 1860s, back to Jones county in the early 1870s and finally to Lenora, Norton county, Kansas in 1872. He homesteaded north of Lenora for many years. Later, he moved to Norton and California. George Edwin married Saphrona Isabelle Wilmot 30 June 1878 in Lenora. Children born of this marriage included the following: Richard Earl, Alvin Glen, Besse Pearl, Viola Elizabeth, Jessie Almeda, Nellie Agnes, Leo Warren, Donald Leroy, Ada May, and Lawrence Edwin.

George Edwin worked as a saw mill operator, farmer, trapper, blacksmith, inventor, and mail carrier. George Edwin was the first town constable and member of board of education in Lenora. In 1925, the Rickert family moved onto the George E. Dubois homestead. By the 1970s, the original homestead was owned by Delbert Niehaus and Harold Allen (Alene Allen Hickert brother.)

Notes from Alene Rickert [sic Hickert], who moved onto the DuBois homestead in 1925 remembers the following about the farm. It had an orchard including apple trees (2 varieties), cherry trees (2 varieties), lots of peach trees (2 varieties), an apricot tree, pear tree, crab apple tree, and wild plum bushes. Tree on the southern border of the farm included maple and walnut. On Elk creek, wild grape and chokecherry trees were abundant. "The violets or 'Johnnie Jump Ups' as we called them made the Elk creek area a beautiful playground at the old swimming and fishing holes. She also mentions a large garden supplemented with a windmill. The orchard and alfalfa field north of the farm were wiped out by the drought of the 1930s. She indicates that the 40 acre home site in 1977 was owned by Delbert Niehaus and the rest of the farm owned by Harold Allen (Alene Allen Hickert's brother)

Following the death of Saphrona Isabelle, George E married Mary C. Dragon Henricks on 7 July, 1928.

Saphrona Isabelle Wilmot Dubois died on 11 November, 1927 in Clay Center, Kansas. Saprona [sic Saphrona] was the daughter of Jesse Wilmot Jr. and Elizabeth Luther. Saphrona was born 15 November, 1858 in Yorktown, Kenry county, Illinois. Saphrona married George Edwin Dubois on 30 June 1878 in Lenora, Norton county, Kansas. Children born of this marriage included the following: Richard Earl, Alvin Glen, Besse Pearl, Viola Elizabeth, Jessie Almeda, Nellie Agnes, Leo Warren, Donald Leroy, Ada May, and Lawrence Edwin.

Saphrona died at her home on West Court, Clay Center, Kansas after a short illness. Services at home were conducted by Rev. F. Ernest Bray of the First Baptist Church. Burial was later held in Lenora, East cemetery by the Congregational Church on Sunday afternoon.

Note: Three photographs.

[Source: Contributed by Src #24.]

FOX, Enoch Kruson and Rebecca (King)

Enoch Krusan & Rebecca (King) Fox

Enoch Krusan Fox and I, Rebecca Jean [should be "Jane"] King, were married July 5, 1878 at Vinton, Benton County, Iowa. He was 25 and I was 19. We came to Belleville, Kansas, in November of that year in a wagon train of twelve wagons. He and two other men, John and Elias Leech, came on out to Graham County and took homesteads about Christmas time the same year. Our homestead was the NE sec. 31, Twp. 8, Range 24, and those of the Leech's were nearby, but I don't remember their numbers. These three men came back to Belleville and we wintered down there. In March of 1879, three families. Leech's, Slades, and ourselves came to Gettysburg where the families stayed while the menfolks prepared dugouts, etc. At this time Gettysburg consisted of one store, a post office, a hotel, and a small land office building. We built a dugout for the three families of us here. In it all of us cooked and ate, and two women and four children slept, while the others slept in their wagons because of the lack of room in the dugout.

When we came out here Texas Longhorn cattle roamed over the prairies and sometimes stampeded and destroyed anything and everything in their path. While we were all living in a dugout which we built a little later up on Youngs Creek, a drove of these cattle stampeded late one afternoon. The men were out on the brush pile when these Texas Longhorns surrounded the premises. They yelled at us women and children to stay away from the windows and door so the cattle wouldn't see us, then they shot at them, and with the help of our good dog, Jack, frightened them away.

This dugout on Young's Creek was only 10 ft. by 16 ft., but all three families cooked, ate and slept in it. There were five members in each of the Slade and Leech families, and only two in ours - Ene and myself. One night while we were all living in this house he had company. That night sixteen of us slept in that one-room dugout.

Leech's moved to themselves into a dugout they had built. They only stayed out here two years.

Mr. Fox took the axe he had brought from Iowa and hewed out the soft rock and built a house 10 ft. by 12 ft. and laid it up with native lime. A portion of this original house still stands on the old homestead which is where the E. P. Goddard family live now.

As we came from Belleville we had stopped in Beloit and bought a small cookstove and cooking utensils which came with it, a walnut table and three chairs, and $5.00 worth of dishes. This is the equipment with which I set up housekeeping in the first rock house.

In one corner of the house Ene made a corn bin using a board a foot wide which he sawed in two and built into the corner in such a way as to form a bin about the size of a bed. Into this he put the corn he had brought out with us from Belleville, and over this we but a corn shuck tick and this was our bed for a year or two until we could get a bedstead.

One could get sugar, flour, raisins, currants, rice, coffee, a little canned goods, and once in a while a little meat, and a few other staples at Gettysburg, but we could get no potatoes. For lumber, hardware, etc., we had to go to Kirwin or Stockton as these were our nearest trading posts. We could buy calico, muslin, and some gingham, but it was poor quality. A spool of thread was ten cents.

The first year Ene broke some prairie and put in sod corn, and put up a sod stable. The corn didn't grow. In July 1879 we drove our span of mules back to Iowa where Ene ran the threshing machine he owned back there.

This had been my first stay away from home and I was awfully homesick, and so was our good span of mules. Each night when we picketed them out here in Kansas, they would work on the northeast side of their picket ropes all night. Going back to Iowa they also knew each crook and turn in the road. As we neared our old home the mules brayed and I bawled. When we finally arrived at La Porte City and they were unhitched, each one went to his own stall. We drove this same span of mules back to Kansas.

Our first child, Elmer, was born September 39, 1879, while we were in Iowa. The three of us came back to Kansas in the following March. We drove a covered wagon in which he had a stove that kept us very comfortable even though we had a severe snow storm and were delayed one week on the road because of the snow and cold.

In the spring of 1880 after we returned from Iowa, Ene broke more sod while I followed up with the sod hand planter and planted corn in the furrow. I had to put the baby in a box and leave him at the end of the field. This proved a better season and we had unusually good corn that year.

The winter of 1881 Ene freighted meal, flour, meat and occasionally a few potatoes from Arapahoe, Nebraska, and other places along the Republican and Beaver Rivers, to Gettysburg and Millbrook. He made pretty good money at this, and as a few dollars accumulated he would buy cattle. During the seasons that we had poor crops Ene would go down around Ellis and Salina and harvest while I stayed home to keep things going. With the money he earned this way we bought more cattle until he had a large herd.

After the complete crop failure in the summer of 1883 Ene and I went to Saline County during harvest. He threshed and I cooked for the crew. This, we did for seventy-one days.

That fall we bought more cattle and some feed to help us winter one hundred thirty head of cattle. During this winter, when the grass was covered with snow, Ene nailed boards together in the shape of a capitol A, then hitched our mules to the point of it and drug it around over the prairie. The boards would push the snow aside and the cattle followed along behind and ate the grass where the snow was cleared off. The cattle came through this winter in good shape.

Things picked up for two or three years, but in the winner of '86, which was a very hard winner, we lost a lot of cattle in a blizzard that lasted three days and nights. The snow had drifted over a long shed which housed the cattle and we had to dig them out. We lost most of our cattle that winter, and those that didn't die then were never very healthy and most of them died the next winter.

In the year 1886, we took a filing and built a solid house on it. This house had no floor. In April of 1889 our daughter Myrtle, was born in a solid house.

Along about this time we began farming heavier and raised some wheat and quite a little corn along with our cattle. We bought additional land as we could, until at the time of Ene's death, we had 4,200 acres of land.

About 1890, we had a stonemason saw enough stone for a house a story-and-a-half high and 18 ft. by 20 ft. on our homestead near the site of the first house built there. In March 1892, Katie, our third child, was born.

We were very fortunate in not losing any of our children, though they were seriously ill innumerable times, and suffered many injuries while playing, working, and riding horseback.

In 1897, we added to our house by building three rooms on the west, then in 1907 we built three rooms on the east, which made an eight-room house. This old house still stands in fairly good condition and is used by the Jolly Workers 4-H club.

In 1907, our son married Barbara Keith, daughter of Alexander and Charlotte Cormick Keith and in 1914, Myrtle married J.A. Keith, Barbara's brother.

In 1916, Katie was married to Edward P. Goddard.

Ben was in poor health for several years and died in 1919 , while we were visiting in Iowa. In a couple of years I moved into Morland and have made this my home.

[Source: Contributed by site-owner.]

MILLIRONS, Samuel

Samuel Millirons

Samuel was the son of Michael and Mary Millirons of Scioto County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Toland during November 1829.

In 1830, Samuel was enumerated in Madison Township in Scioto County, Ohio. He was a between the ages of 20 and 30. The only other person in his household was a female between the ages of 15 and 20. [Note: The obituary of Samuel's son William gives William's 1835 birth place as Greene County, Kentucky and that 'in early childhood' his parents moved to Ohio and later to Putnam County, Missouri. The obituary of another son, John, gives his birth as occurring in 1838 in Ohio. The 1850 census gives Ohio as the birth state of all the children.]

In 1840, Samuel was again enumerated in Madison Township where his household consisted of one male under the age of five, two males between the ages of five and ten, one male between the ages of 40 and 50, one female under five, one female between ten and 15, and one female between the ages of 30 and 40.

By 1850, the family was living in Bloom Township in Scioto County. Samuel was a 52-year-old white male born in Kentucky whose occupation was laborer. Others in the household were Elizabeth (age 39), Elizabeth (age 18), William (age 15), John (age 12), Nancy J. (age eight), James (age six), Josephine (age four) and Mahala (age one), Jas. (age 31), Mary (age seven), Sarah (age five) and Hester (age three). The older Elizabeth was born in Kentucky while all of the others were born in Ohio.

During the following ten years, Samuel moved to Putnam County, Missouri where he was enumerated in Elm Township in 1860. At that time he was a 62-year-old white male farmer born in Kentucky who owned $150 of personal property. Elizabeth was a 44-year-old white female who was born in Ohio. Others in the household were Mary (age 20), James (age 16) who was a farm laborer, Josephine (age 13), Mahala (age ten), Sarah B. (age six) and Samuel F. (age four). Son John was enumerated as a farm laborer in Richland Township in the household of D. Halley.

Samuel enlisted for the Civil War at Lancaster (Schuyler County), Missouri. He gave his age at enlistment as 45, and he actually was about 64 or 65. On Samuel's Certificate of Disability for Discharge, the captain of the company wrote: "By reason of weak breast caused by colds contracted at different times since his enlistment, and also general disability brought on by exposure, etc. Said soldier when enlisted give in (sic) his age as 45 years; but I am satisfied from all appearances that he is at least 55 or 60 years of age. He is worn out, and diseased lungs together with a general prostration of health renders him entirely unfit for military service."

On the 1870 census, S. Millirons was still in Putnam County, although in Liberty Township. He was a Kentucky-born 69-year-old white male farmer who owned $500 of real property and $300 of personal property. Also in the household was E., a 58-year-old white female who was born in Pennsylvania; S. B., a 16-year-old white female born in Ohio and S. F., a 13-year-old white male born in Missouri.

In 1880, Samuel and Elizabeth were living in Richland Township. Samuel was 79 years old, a farmer, born in Kentucky to Virginia-born parents. Elisabeth was a 68-year-old Pennsylvania-born white female whose parents were both born in Pennsylvania. Their youngest son, Samuel Jr., was a 23-year-old white male who worked on the farm.

Samuel died on January 11, 1888 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Sheridan County, Kansas. He may have been living with his son, William who lived near Morland, in Graham County, which is approximately ten miles from the cemetery.

[Source: Original writing by site-owner. Copyright © 2010.]

MOWRY, Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson Mowry

Andrew Jackson Mowry was born 22 January 1833 in Courtland County, New York the son of Ralph & Mary Ann (Delaney) Mowry. On 14 November 1855 he married Almira Charity Brown, the daughter of Timothy & Sally (Smith) Brown. They had five known children: Eugene, Willis, Lester, Aubert and Edna.

In 1856 they moved to Minnesota Territory by ox team. Disliking the severe weather and the Sioux Indians as neighbors, the Mowrys left Minnesota Territory in May 1858 and arrived in Kansas Territory on 18 June 1858. They made their home at Wathena in Doniphan County.

Andrew was an active "Free State" man and mustered into Company C of the 14th Kansas Cavalry 23 June 1863. His home was used as a station for the underground railroad.

Following the Civil War, Andrew was a buffalo hunter, established a grain business and transported Army supplies to Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

In 1873 the family moved to Comanche County to homestead but remained only a short time before returning to Doniphan County. Mr. Mowry homesteaded in Graham County in 1884 and later brought his family to their new home by ox team. They lived in a large shingle-roofed three room sod house that was described by relatives as being approximately eighty or ninety feet long and thirty feet wide. Many community celebrations, church services and other gatherings were held in the house. One noted occasion was Christmas Eve 1888 which was recorded in The People's Reveille on 5 January 1889:
"One of the most pleasant times ever experienced was at the Christmas tree at the residence of A. J. Mowry on Christmas eve. It was a decided success. The house was crowded to overflowing being 258 persons present and every one enjoyed the occasion immensely. The literary and musical entertainment was good, and the tree loaded with beautiful presents was superb. The exercises and distributing of presents lasted until midnight, after which a free lunch was served. Then a short time was spent in general sociability forming acquaintances and having a good time generally. Half of those present remained until morning tipping the light fantastic toe." ("Gradan - A Memory, by Ruth Gross McCalister)
In addition to raising her family of five children, Almira acted as a midwife for the community and greatly enjoyed hosting the events held in her home. One of these occasions was described in "The People's Reveille" in November 1896:
"The 14th was grandmother's day in Gradan. There was assembled at the home of A. J. Mowry, his four sons, their wives and fifteen children and grandfather Gilmore from Sheridan County. Dinner was served thus: The grandparents and grandchildren all seated at the first table, the fathers and mothers acting as waiters. It was a joyous occasion...
As the first course (oysters) was being served, the following proclamation was made by Mrs. A. J. Mowry, the grandmother present: 'By authority in me vested as the grandmother of these fifteen healthy children, I proclaim that on and after this date, the 14th of November in each year shall at my home be known as grandmother's day. And on each anniversary of this day, I hope that during my lifetime my children and my children's children may meet and exchange greetings at the family festal board where the joys of home predominate and the cares and carting of the world are left out'." ("Gradan - A Memory, by Ruth Gross McCalister)
Andrew "read the law" and was admitted to the bar September 21, 1889 to practice in all the District and Inferior Courts of the State of Kansas.

Andrew, a Republican, was active in the Hill City vs. Millbrook county seat fight and in a lawsuit involving Fremont. He helped many friends and neighbors secure their claims and as a notary, was involved in much legal work concerning their mortgages, deeds, wills and other legal papers. Fondly remembered as a great story-teller seated with his grandchildren circled around his feet.

In 1905 the Mowrys moved to "Fair View Farm" in Sheridan County, Kansas where Almira passed away on 31 March 1911. Andrew passed away ten years later on 28 August 1921. At the time of Andrew's death, he was survived by 26 grandchildren and 46 great grandchildren.

[Source: Original writing by site-owner. Copyright © 2009.]

NETTLETON, Isadore C. "Dora" (Sherman)

Isadore C. "Dora" (Sherman) Nettleton

Dora was born in Pennsylvania to Daniel and Annis (Larrabee) Sherman. She married Bryan Parker before 1868 when their daughter Inez was born. A second child, Ivan, was born in 1871. Bryan died in 1876.

In 1880, Mrs. Bryan Parker was enumerated in Hardin County, Iowa with her children Inez and Ivan, a tenant Benjamin Nettleton, and two servants, L. H. Poolin and Sarah Poolin. Mrs. Parker would marry Mr. Nettleton in about 1892.

W. B. and Dora Nettleton were living in Millbrook Township, Graham County, Kansas on January 1, 1895 where Mr. Nettleton was a farmer. They continued to live in that township for at least the next 20 years.

In 1900, Benjamin was a 51-year-old white male born in Illinois during October 1848 to an Irish-born father and a Canadian-born mother. Isadore had been born in Pennsylvania during December 1848 to natives of that state. They had been married eight years and both of the children born to Isadore were living. Residency and personal information remain consistent on all remaining census' (1905 Kansas, 1910 federal and 1915 Kansas) with the 1900 federal enumeration. The only additional information is gleaned from the 1910 census which indicated Mr. Nettleton had only been married once.

After Benjamin's death in 1917, Isadore moved to Hill City and was living next door to her son, Ivan, in 1920. She was enumerated as a 71-year-old widowed white female who had been born in Pennsylvania. She was still living in Hill City at the time of the 1925 Kansas State Census when she was enumerated as 77 years old.

After ten years as a widow, Dora passed away on September 25, 1927 and was laid to rest beside Benjamin in the Hill City Cemetery the following day.

[Source: Original writing by site-owner. Copyright © 2010.]

PARKER, Ivan Bryan

Dr. Ivan Bryan "I. B." Parker

I. B. Parker was a "horse and buggy" doctor in the early days of Graham County, Kansas.

He was born in Iowa to Bryan and Isadore (Sherman) Parker in 1871. His father died in 1876 leaving Mrs. Parker with seven-year-old daughter Inez and four-year-old son Ivan. In 1880, Ivan was enumerated in his mother's household in Hardin County, Iowa. Others in the household were his sister Inez, a tenant Benjamin Nettleton, and two servants, L. H. Poolin and Sarah Poolin. His mother would later marry Mr. Nettleton.

I. B. married Mary Findley, daughter of David and Mary Ann (McFeaters) Findley about 1894. When enumerated in the 1900 census, they were living in Hill City with two children, Jabez (age 3) and Mary (age 8 months). Three more sons were born to them over the next ten years: David in 1902, Ivan in 1906 and Bryan in 1910. Son David also became a physician while Jabez, known as Jay, became an attorney, serving his state as both Attorney General and as a justice on the Kansas State Supreme Court.

[Source: Original writing by site-owner. Copyright © 2010.]

PARKER, Jabez S. "Jay"

Jabez S. "Jay" Parker

Jay, as he was known, was the son of Dr. Ivan and Mary (Findley) Parker. He was born in Morland, Kansas on July 1, 1895 although the 1900 census listed him as Jabez, a 3-year-old white male born during July 1896.

After attending elementary school in Morland, Jay graduated from high school at Hill City in 1913. In 1918, he graduated from the University of Kansas Law School and set up practice in Hill City. He married Virginia Grace Shafer from Butler, Missouri in 1915.

He was first elected as County Attorney for Graham County in 1922 and was re-elected six consecutive times. His law practice continued to grow during his service to the county. One of the organizers of the Hill City Rotary Club, Jay served as the club's first president. Through his work in the Rotary, he became concerned with the crippled children. He was one of the sponsors of the Kansas Crippled Children's Law.

In 1925 he became an Assistant State Attorney. He was elected Attorney General in 1938 and was re-elected in 1940. The state legislature established the Kansas Bureau of Investigation during Jay's tenure as Attorney General and it was placed under his supervision.

In 1942, Jay was elected to the Supreme Court of Kansas and took the bench on January 11, 1943 serving as an Associate Justice until January 1957 when he became the Chief Justice, which he held until his retirement in 1966.

Chief Justice Parker appointed District Judge Alex Hotchkiss of Lyndon, Kansas to hear the 1965 appeal of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith at the Finney County District Court in Garden City, Kansas.

Justice Parker served on the Mount Hope Cemetery Board of Directors and was a member of the Methodist Church, Elks Lodge, Delta Upsilon fraternity, the American Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association as well as being active in a variety of other civic organizations.

[Source: Original writing by site-owner. Copyright © 2010.]

STULL, Nelson Arthur

Nelson Arthur Stull, Kansas

Born Williamsport, Pa., Oct. 8, 1865; graduated Burlington, Ia., College and High School 1885; Drake University B. A. 1886; Garfield University M. A. 1888; principal and minister Highland, Kas., 1889-90; minister Troy, Ks., 1891; supt. and minster Lincoln, Ks., 1892-94; professor Cotner Univ. 1894-97; minister Hastings, Neb., 1898; principal and minister Troy 1899-1900; in Europe in 1900; minister and supt. Hill City, Kansas, 1903.

[Source: "Churches of Christ: a historical, biographical, and pictorial history of churches of Christ in the United States, Australasia, England and Canada", by John Thomas Brown, 1904; page 619.]



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