Weith, Newton and Faddis
1870 - 1970

Ida Faddis

Kansas Sunflower

This is from a 29 page type-written story from Ida Faddis.  The quality was so poor I hope I got all the spelling of the peoples names correct.  If someone sees a mistake please let me know.
Randy Crowell


Konrad John Weith was born February 1849 in Peoria County, Illinois.  Konrad, the son of George Weith, born in Germany, 1814, and Elizabeth Walters, born in Switzerland.  He had one brother Stephen and one sister Rosanna.  He learned his trade as a blacksmith in Pekin, Illinois, and came to Iola in 1870.  He worked as a journeyman blacksmith for a few months and in 1871 set up his own shop.  In this shop Gaylord Robinson was a wagon maker and David Robinson the painter.  I think this shop was on the north side of the square.

Martha Newton, born August 12, 1851 in Ashtabula, Ohio, was the daughter of Charles Newton, born December 17, 1826 and Zadah Rugg Newton, born May 23, 1829. The Newton family, Martha, Albert, Rosa, Henry and Perry age 3 came to Iola in 1875.   Mr. Newton had traded 30 acres of land on Lake Erie in Ohio for 160 acres three miles west and one north of Iola. This was such rocky land with a large swamp that he wouldn't even move on it.

He had a letter of recommendation to Mr. J. R. Young, a storekeeper, who let them stay in a house at the corner of West and State Streets. They filled their bed ticks with straw and slept there the first night, then they rented a house at about 10 North Sycamore Street, where they spent the winter.

Martha and Albert wanted to join the spelling bees and had to drive to Humboldt to buy the speller they were using.

Mr. Newton bought the Berry farm in Liberty school district northwest of Iola, near Horseshoe Bend. This was red land with a running spring and good barns. The large house was built before the railroad came, so the lumber was hauled in by wagons. It had a large kitchen, pantry, dining room, parlor, a parlor bedroom and their bedroom down stairs. Upstairs were three bedrooms and one long room over the two bedrooms downstairs. This was a storage room. I remember seeing a hair trunk, the flax spinning wheel, flax cards, and long rolls of tow, a drum and yards of goods piled up on a chair.

Martha sewed for the John Wooden family. He was the sheriff and they lived upstairs in the jail. Martha stayed there with them.

February 25, 1877 Konrad John Weith and Martha Newton were married. They lived in Iola. That same year his brother Stephen Weith came to Kansas and bought 240 acres of prairie land. He built a house and barn and set out hedge fence around all the farm.

On July 18, 1879, Ida May Weith was born at Grandpa Newton's home in Liberty District west of Iola.

The Newtons moved to Neosho Falls at one time so Henry, Rosa and Perry could attend school there. Albert was teaching school then. I remember going to Neosho Falls while they lived there. Then they moved back to their farm, I loved to go to Grandma's at the farm, I remember the stone steps up to the kitchen and the big room where the windows came down to the floor, and the spring with it's cold water. On the way to Grandmother's, heavy timber was on both sides of the road from the Neosho River to what is now called dry lake. This really was a lake with the tall yellow lotus flowers with their leaves floating on the water. This was also a very muddy road at times.

Some of the families who came before the Newtons were the Browns whose family came in 1856 and settled near the Neosho River. Their daughter Ruth was my seventh grade teacher and their son Sam married Sue Reimert. The Arnold family came in 1859. The children played in the dry riverbed during the drought in 1860. The Bird family came in 1857 and settled where the City Power House is located. Mrs. Dan Horville was a Bird. Other families west of the river in early days were Cornell, Pees, Hunger, Townsend, Roush, Malcolm, See, Hazzard and Barnhart. J. R. Young owned farms but lived in Iola.

In 1881 we lived on South State Street road north of Elm Creek on the east side.  Our farm ran to Washington Street.  Then the Pees family lived between our place and Elm Creek.  The Kettle family lived across the road west.

My Aunt Rose married Mr. Kelso who owned the farm where Sutherlands now live. Mr. Kelso had one boy Frank and a girl Jennie (Mrs. Bert Coutant.)  I think Mr. Kelso sold the farm to Mr. Ewing at that time.

While we lived there the brewery was closed.  It stood on the south side of the creek near the mound.  The men hauled kegs of beer to the top of the mound and celebrated all night when it closed.  We lived in a native lumber house but one year Father raised enough wheat to build a new four-room house.

There was no flood while we lived, there.  Father sold this property to J. S. Turner who built a full two-story addition to our house.  Mrs. Turner was a milliner in Iola.  After Mr. Turner died she sold this place to Al Hecoy. The house burned while he owned it.  Then the Moores bought the land, which Mrs. Lee Moore still owns.  My sister Rose was born here July 12, l88l.  My Father's blacksmith shop was on South Street.

At this time the stone two towered school stood on the now Jefferson School ground.  Jim Overmyor, on South Sycamore, a carpenter lived next door to us.  There were only a few houses east of Sycamore at this time.

My sister Ella was born here February 14, 1883.  On June 5, 1884. Father traded the house at 402 S. Sycamore and a place at 412 South Chestnut and his blacksmith shop at 203 South Street to Hooker Shapel for 160 acres of land in Allen Center School District number 14.  Elm Creek ran the half-mile through the farm, which was covered with heavy timber, pasture and hay land with prairie grass.

These were happy days for my sisters and me.  Our closest neighbors were the Fitzpatricks and we placed with Albert, Bertha and baby Cora (Mrs. John Page.) The Tredways were also near neighbors with Gay, Edna, Charley and John.

We always raised a garden and put potatoes, squash and canned fruit in the cellar.  Mother dried apples and corn and made apple butter.  She also made her own soap.  We took some apples to the cider mill and when this aged, we had our own vinegar. In the fall a hog was butchered and the hams sugar cured. Sausage and head cheese were made.

In the summer the Laury's from Golden Valley came every week with his wagon of fresh meat.  And of course he gave the liver to his customers as no one thought of selling it.  Father with some of the neighbors would cut big blocks of ice after the creek froze thick enough and stored it in the ice house which was packed with saw dust to keep it frozen.  We would go over to Tom Fitzpatrick's to watch him make sorghum molasses by boiling the juice of sugar cane down to the right thickness.  In the summer we would pick goose­berries and wild plums and in the fall gather nuts and persimmons.

Every week Father, Uncle Steve, or Mr. Tredway would drive the seven miles to Iola for the mail.  Eighty acres of Uncle Steve's farm was just north of our farm and his 160 acres across the road east of his 80.  While we lived there we had apples and pears to share with Uncle Steve.  Later he had a big apple and peach orchard.

I started to school at Allen Center at the age of 5 in l884.  Rose in 1885 and Ella age 4 in 1886.  Ida Marley was our teacher those three years.  Other teachers we had there were Carrie Strong (Mrs. Millard), Alice Crosby, Ruby Wisner (Mrs. Will Green) and Mr. Ellison.

At first the school was on the Tredway farm just across the road from our farm, but that was before we lived there.  Then the schoolhouse was moved half mile south.  This building was sold to the Adams family and moved to their farm and made into a house.  Then the present school building was built.  No school is held there now.

This was a large school, sometimes as many as 50 pupils attending with all eight grades.  Families with children attending in those days were; Fitzpatricks, Albert and Bertha; John Weiths, Ida, Rose, and Ella; Stephen Weiths, Josephine, George, and Archie.  Alice Messer was living with Len Barkers; James Sheldon at Tobeys.  Tredway, Guy, Edna, Charley and John.  Nashs, Ada (Mrs. Ellis Lemaster), Sam, Rose, Mary, Ita, Pearl and Ray.  Allyers, Lillie and Debbie.  Later Millers, Hattie and Stella; Rose Newton and John Tinker at Tinkers; Wallace, Gertie, Scott and Will; Ramsays, Emma, Eloise, Maggy and Joe; Jurys, Laura, Willie, Bob.

Claude Jury's Jud, Averill, Lucy; Ed Wilson's Gertie and Inez; Crowell's Newman, Etta, George, Charlie and Walter; Morrison's Orval and Dora; Runyon's LeRoy, Ed and Nellie; Adam's Nobe, Charley, Dollie, Lutie and Dell; Caleb Barker's Stella, Effie, Otis, Tessie and Frank.  Newman's were the only colored family in the district.  Webster Johnson, a former teacher, and his sister Alice also    lived in the district.  Neither had ever married.  Sunday School and Church was held on Sunday afternoon by Reverend Lawrence Faust the Reformed Church minister.   Later he married Etta Crowell.

One summer I will never forget was when the chinch bugs came until the ground was gray with those little bugs.  Father plowed a furrow around the field and dragged a log in it to try to keep them out of the fields.  Some years were very dry and farmers had to drive their cattle once a day to the creek near us to water them.  They also had to haul barrels of water for their stock and family to use.

Since father was a blacksmith he had a shop on the farm.  He would shoe horses and do other work for the neighbors.  Then we had the thrashers as we raised oats and flax.  The neighbors would exchange work as it took several men to go along with the thrashing machines.  Of course all these men had to be fed dinners and sometimes supper.  Mother had to make bread and pies, fry chickens and cook potatoes and other vegetables. We always had milk and made cottage cheese and churned butter.  The pigs were fed plenty of milk.  Sometimes mother sold butter and eggs to the stores. One time she only got 5 cents a dozen for the eggs.

Then Father rented the farm to Joe Stephens and in 1890 we moved back to Iola.   Years later an Ita Marley reunion was organized for those who had attended the Allen Center School. Later the name of the reunion was changed to Allen Center Schoolmates. These reunions are held the third Sunday in September and any one who attended Allen Center School meet for a picnic dinner. This year the reunion was held September 15, 1969 with George Weith and Ida Faddis as the only pupils living who attended school there from 1884 to 1890.

When we moved back to Iola father bought the house on lots 9 and 10 block 58 on North Walnut Street west of the Post Office.  Father's blacksmith shop was in with Gaylord Robinson, wagon maker, and David Robinson, painter, as they had been years ago. This shop was across the street south of the post office.  East of their shop Dan Thorpe had his barbershop and the family lived upstairs over the shop. His daughter Deulah (Mrs. Felix Casey) worked as a barber with her father. A vacant lot was west of the shop and then came a stone building.  This had been the city calaboose but now Jim Mills had a saloon there.

When we entered the Iola School Rose and Ella were placed in Maude Minrow's fourth grade. She later became Dean of Women at Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia. I was put in May Woodins (Mrs. John Dovilin) fifth grade. A few weeks later I was moved into Anna Pickles (Mrs. L. H. Wishard) sixth grade.  My seventh grade teacher was Ruth Brown.

   On the way to school we passed Grandma Swarfs house just across the street east, where the post office is now, next to the alley was John Dunfee' s blacksmith shop. On the corner of Washington Avenue and West Street stood McClain's dry goods store with the opera house above. On the corner of South Washington and. West Street was Northrup' s Bank. Then came Cowan and Ausherman's Grocery Store and Drug Store; on farther were Wiggle's Shoe Store and Jimmy Hershberger's Barber Shop. Then Otten's Bakery was next. It was here that I heard my father and Mr. Otten speak German.  Mrs. Turner had a millinery shop along there. One time Pancoast's Photography Shop was located there, but later he moved his shop on West Madison. Across the street on South Washington I believe DeClute had a clothing store. The Iola Register was next with the printing shop and the job room upstairs over both stores. An iron stairway was on the outside for a fire escape. At one time this upstairs was a large hall.

Going east on Madison was Coutant Hardware Store.  The G.A.R. hall was upstairs over a store.  This was a Civil War organization.  Bowlus's Bank was next to the corner and on the corner was Emerson and Salee's Racket Store. In the next block was Evans Drug Store, Bob Stevenson's Dry Goods, Mr. Beck's furniture store, and Kreuger and Kreuter Butcher Shop.  Mr. Ireland a democrat was the postmaster.  South on Jefferson stood an old stone building, which at one time was the Valley House.  The Proctor family ran this hotel in early days. The Proctor girls were Minnie (Mrs. Matter), Nora (Mrs. Gaylord Robinson, Sadie (Mrs. Charley Ausherman), Eurith (Mrs. Newby).  Sometimes on the way to school we would hear the school bell ring and knew we had better hurry on.

Neosho Falls sometimes held the Fourth of July celebration at their Fair Grounds just Across the Neosho River there.  I remember the time we took the Santa Fe train to Colony and the train (Jerky) from Colony to Neosho Falls.  At this time my Uncle Albert Newton was Superintendent of the Neosho Falls Schools. Here Mother saw Rutherford B. Hayes when he ran for election for President in 1877.

In 1891 my Father died and Mother was left with three little girls.  Mother sold the blacksmith shop to McCarty.  His son Dwight went into the shop and it was the McCarty and Son Shop.  After his father's death Dwight ran the shop until he retired several years ago.

Often Mother and my sisters and I would walk down to the Mineral Well Park for a drink of this salty water.  Nelson Acers owned it.  In 1871 he had drilled for coal and struck a vein of water with enough gas to force a sort of geyser of water into the air at regular intervals.  Mr. Acers built a hotel and cottages and had quite a sanatorium there.  A flood stopped the flow of water so a pump was used when we went.  Later the well was closed and now only Acers Park is remembered.  We used to like to walk to the mound sound of town.  The Martin girls lived on the east side of the mound and we often played with them.  They lived in a white house with a row of pine trees up to the house.  Now Bassola Lake is there and only a part of the mound is left.  Much of it was cut away on the west for the highway on State Street.

The old marble quarry was a place we liked to explore.  It was west of the mound across the railroad near Elm Creek.  My father's head stone was made of it as also were many sidewalks. Then there was John Brown's cave on South Kentucky and east on Elm Creek.  Some of the boys would crawl through it but we girls never would.

Some of the children who came to play with my sisters were Nola and Delia Daigh, Roy Sleeper, Herb Whitaker, Fred Weich and Charley Marsh.  I chummed with Myrtle Kelley (Mrs. Tom Breckenridge) and during the Benjamin Harrison campaign for re-election; in 1893 I wore a Harrison cap.  Myrtle called me a black republican and I called her a pesky pop.  Harrison lost to drover Cleveland who had been president before him.

Other girls in my bunch were, Daisy Chastain (Mrs. Late Servey), Dot Wright (Mrs. Hayes Ball), Lou Richeson (Mrs. Thompson), whose father, always made the white taffy candy at the fairs.  Nell Butler (Mrs. Jim Ewart), Theo Robinson daughter of Gaylord Robinson.  Some of the boys my age were Garfield Brown, Fred Cleaver, Elmer Gray, Gary Shaffer and Hugh Reagan.  Years later I had Hugh's daughter Lassen Reagan and then her daughter Susan Kohler in my first grade.  I remember when Mrs. Warner and daughter Guyla Myers (Mrs. Wallace Andersen) came to Iola from Kansas City and stayed at Robinson’s boarding house. Mr. and Mrs. Edgar and girls Birdie (Mrs. Austin Mayfield) and Addie (Mrs. Fred McKenna) also boarded there and roomed in their other house.  Mr. Edgar was the Santa Fe depot agent and Mrs. Edgar the operator.  Our neighbors on the north of us were Hi Grays.  They had three girls, Abbie (Mrs. Al Ellis), Sue and Addie.  Across the street north lived Dr. Tozier, a dentist.  His wife had a green house and that is where we went to see a night blooming cereus.  Their daughter Mrs. Crow and her son Alonzo were also dentists.  This home was remodeled by Mr. and Mrs. Guy Lamer, which still stands.

By the time I was in the eighth grade the school building was so crowded that we went to school in a wooden building where the Kress store stands.  Mr. J. E. Henderson was our eighth grade teacher.

The courthouse by this time was on the corner south where later Dr. Brown had a drug store, which is now owned by Mrs. Reynolds.  In 1866 bonds were voted to raise money to procure a courthouse.  A frame building located on the north side of the square was purchased from George Eldridge and fitted up for use of the county officers.  Then the building at the corner of Jefferson and Madison was bought for $1800.00.  The old building was sold for $500.00 to the school district and moved to South Jefferson and stood south of the two-towered stone school there then.

There was still no courthouse in the square as was planned when the town was platted.  The square was fenced and had watering troughs on each side with hitching racks for the horses.

When we entered High School Professor Pickens was the superintendent and Cliff Mitchell (Mrs. Bushey) the principal.  Mary Donica and later Sophia Donica (Mrs. Chapman) and Kiss Williams were teachers. Miss Mitchell was my ideal and I intended to be a teacher like her but instead I became a first grade teacher.

While I was in High School Frederick Funston came to talk to us about his trip to Alaska.  The United States Department of Agriculture had sent him as a botanist to classify and collect new plants.  He was a cousin of Cliff Mitchell.

In 1892, grandfather and grandmother Newton and son Perry, who had been living near Kingsville, Missouri, came to Iola.  They bought the Colborn place where the Memorial Hall stands.  This house was the first frame house built in Iola.  The Colborns then bought a hone where the High School is today.  C. H. Cochran and J. F. Colborn owned the land where Iola was laid out.  The town was named after Mrs. Iola Colborn, and that is where Iola got the name.  Mr. Colborn had a dry goods store on the corner where the Shannon store is located.  The Masons had their lodge hall upstairs over the Colborn store.

Sometime after Nelson Acers had drilled the well in 1871 and found gas a group of Iola businessmen formed a company for the purpose of prospecting for gas.  They obtained a charter from the city permitting them to pipe the city for distribution of gas should they find it.  Years later they sold their interest to Paullin and Pryor.  Winn Pryor was a well driller and formed a partner-ship with Joseph Paullin a railroad conductor on the Santa Fe.  He remained at his regular Job to earn money for drilling.  I was a teen aged girl then and stayed nights with Mrs. Pryor when her husband worked nights.

In five years they drilled six wells, not one of which was a paying producer.  They decided to drill one more well going 1000 feet if necessary.  On Christmas day 1893 they struck gas in such force that the roar was heard all over town.  This well was on the Goodner farm at the end of Buckeye Street. Floyd Smith now owns this place.  The gas well was just back of his barn.  A road just east of this farm crossed Elm Crock and was called Northrup's Ford. Gas was piped to our homes and a gas burner was put into our cook stoves.  We paid $1.00 a month for the stove and 10 cents a month for each light and could burn as much as we wanted.  Then wells were drilled around Iola.

In 1894 the city marshal posted notices that livestock shall not be permitted to run at large within the city limits.

A ladies band was organized which was the only band composed of all ladies that we, knew of at that time.  In early days my father belonged to a drum and fife corp.  Iola also had a band.

In l894 Mother married William Wesley Goble.  He was a carpenter and had learned his trade as an apprentice.  He went to Oklahoma and was there when the run was made in 1893 to open for settlement the Cherokee Strip.  There he met Mrs. Servey and Lute Stover and came to Iola to see them.

September 29, 1895 mother sold the farm at Allen Center to J. P. Rose. She sold the home in Iola to Mr. Mann, and September 26, 1896 we moved to La Harpe. By this time I was in the eleventh grade in high school.  During the last two years I stayed in Iola with Grandpa and Grandma Newton while in school.  Our graduating class was the last class to graduate from this building. The 1898 class was composed of seven boys and seven girls.  This was the year of the Spanish American War, All remember the slogan "Remember the Maine" because the ship was blown up in the Cuban harbor, Charles Smeltzer had just joined the 20th Kansas regiment and wore his uniform at the commencement. Our speaker for the commencement was Angelo Scott, a brother of Charles F. Scott. He was Professor of English at the Agricultural College of Oklahoma and later became the President of the college. This was the last year that Mr. Pickens was superintendent of the Iola School.  He became President of the State Normal School at Hayes, Kansas.  Later Pickens Hall was named after him.  Clifford Mitchell was elected Superintendent of the Iola School and held this position for seven years.

In 1898 a new high school was built on East Street where the Junior High School now stands, Only eight grades were left at the old school. In 1898 a new building was built on North Jefferson and was called the North School and the old school was called the South School.


 When we moved to La Harpe in 1896, it was only a small place, with the Malcolm Grocery Store, Davis Dry Goods, a restaurant, the post office, and Hackneys mill.

The building of the Fort Scott, Wichita and Western Railway (now the Missouri Pacific) was responsible for the birth of La Harpe, the plat of which was filed in l88l.  J. C. Reeder was the first agent.  C. H. Hackney had the first business, buying and selling grain.  Mr. Goble, my stepfather, started a hardware store and built a two-story house.  The house still stands.

A new four-room school was built replacing the small district building.  The young people had parties and met to sing and play singing games.  In winter we would go skating at Donnan's place on Elm Creek.  We also went to dances.  Sometimes Mr. Goble would play the fiddle and mother would accompany him on the organ.  While we could dance, we never played cards.

After many gas wells had been drilled around Iola, they began to drill near La Harpe.  Felix Casey a rig builder worked for Joe Ross and Fred Horton.

In 1898 they drilled a well in La Harpe, which was the largest gas well in Kansas at that time.  When they struck gas, it came with such force; all the men in the crew temporarily lost their hearing.  The heavy drilling tools were blown to the top of the rig.  It was a relief when the well was capped and the roaring stopped.

September 1896,Iola entertained 20,000 members of the Modern Woodmen of America from Eastern Kansas. Those who came by way of the Missouri Pacific from the east were greeted at La Harpe by a great arch of gas pipe with flaming words spanning Main Street, flaring torches, and screaming whistles.

Iola was booming and so La Harpe started to grow.  In 1897 Lanyon's Smelters built No.3 in La Harpe, No. 1 and 2 were in Iola at the cross roads of the Santa Fe and Missouri Pacific railroads.  The people came by the dozens.  A hotel was built and a settlement at the west edge of La Harpe grew.  This was Lanyonville. A large lake there was called the Smelter Pond where there was good skating in winter.

So La Harpe grew from a population of about 500 people in 1896 to a population of 2000 in two year so it was incorporated as a city of the third class.  C. H. Hackney was the Mayor, T. M. Davis, George Fox, J. E. Stansbury and L. H. Daggett were the councilmen, E. L, Runyan, City Clerk and Sam Malcolm, the Treasurer.

The first church built in La Harpe was the Methodist Church, which was built in 1885. Then as new industries came and brought many families to the town the Presbyterian Church was built in 1899.

Mr. Goble built a hardware store north of the Missouri Pacific tracks on main street, which he later sold to J. E. Firestone; and then built a large livery stable just east of the store.

In the fall of 1899 I began my first teaching in La Harpe. My salary was $25.00 a month, with an eight month term, J. Q. Roberts was the Principal and taught seventh and eighth grades, Dollie Adams the fifth and sixth, Ella Bostwick the first and second and I (Ida Weith) the third and fourth grades. We had to do our own janitor work and since there were no sidewalks, it was a pretty hard job to sweep the big rooms,

My parents and sisters moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan that fall, I boarded with Mrs. Cooksey. Her son Fred had a drug store, and her daughter Grace (Mrs. Gregg) taught music.

The young people in our group were Andy, Ensley, Phon, and May Williams who lived north of town.  John and Margaret McDonald (Mrs. Clair Kerr), Hez Ward, Minnie Ohlfest (Mrs. Travis Morse), Emma Ohlfest (Mrs. Dr. Hooper) and Albert Ohlfest. Jesse, Elmer, Harry and Pearl Stansbury (Mrs. Roy McDonald), Clem, Homer and Sadie Epperson (Mrs. Ed Runyon) and Fred Brister. Among the new comers were Wendell Philips, whose father had a hardware store, Ed Danforth a druggist, Ethel Danforth (Mrs. John McDonald). The Bakers Ora (Mrs. Wilbur Clark), Edna and Fred.

Some of the doctors were Dr. Wood, Dr. Helm and Dr. Fred Helm and Dr. Hooper, and Dr. Lacey a dentist who now practices in Iola.  At the end of the school term in 1900 I went to Michigan where my family were living.


 Summer in Michigan comes late, but it is a lovely place to be then. We lived on a small farm, but most farms were small. The largest one of our neighbor tarns was 65 acres. Everyone raised fruit and berries. I didn't get there in time to pick strawberries, but I did pick blackberries, red and black raspberries and cut grapes.

Our place had a pear and apple orchard, which was loaded with fruit. This was the year of the Galveston hurricane and most of the apples and pears were blown off the trees. We picked up 800 bushel of apples and sold them to the cider mill where they were made into vinegar.

A pleasure boat came up the St. Joe River from Benton Harbor carrying tourists to the summer resorts along the river.  The farmers would take their crates of berries to Summer Layton. They would be loaded on a boat and taken to Benton Harbor and loaded on a big ship. This ship would cross Lake Michigan and the fruit would be in Chicago in the morning. St. Joseph, Michigan is on Lake Michigan but a canal runs to Benton Harbor.

This was a Dutch settlement and they had large families, 'While their farms were small they had large houses and barns. We had good times with the young people and some have remained friends.

That winter we lived in Benton Harbor where Mr. Goble had carpenter work. When the snow came it stayed on the ground all winter. So sleighs and sleds were used instead of buggies and wagons. I don't think the winters are as cold now as they were then.


In the spring of 1901 I came back to Iola to attend the County Teachers Institute. This was held for one month in which we reviewed all subjects to be taught in order to be able to pass the teachers examination for a teaching certificate.

That summer I kept house for Uncle Perry Newton and a young man Clyde Carl, who worked on the Newton farm. This farm was northeast of Carlyle, Young people these days do not know how much work it was to feed two men who were doing hard labor. First they needed a hearty breakfast of meat eggs, fried potatoes or sometimes pancakes. Then for me there was the milk to be strained into the milk crocks, then to skim off the cream and then to be churned into butter. As we had no ice the butter had to be hung down in the well, and cottage cheese made of the clabber milk.  Then all the bread had to be baked, as well as pies and cakes. The washing was done on a washboard, with two tubs and a boiler to heat the water and then boil the white clothes before rinsing them. Maybe by three o'clock in the afternoon there would be a breathing spell between dinner and supper time, and so the summer passed.

In the fall of 1901 I was hired to teach in the Gas City Schools.  My family came back from Michigan and we lived in a house on Taylor Street in Gas City.  Dr. Teas owned the house.

E. K. Taylor was the founder of Gas City.  He owned a tract of land along the Missouri Pacific railroad, which at one time was the Whitcomb farm.  He sunk a well and developed a large flow of gas.

In the summer of 1898 he sold forty acres of land to the Cherokee and Lanyon Smelter Company and twenty acres to the Prime Western Smelter Company.  They erected the zinc smelters.  Then the remainder of the tract was laid out into town lots.  October 27, 1898 the town of Gas City was founded.

The Missouri Pacific train service put the town in touch with Iola and La Harpe.  The town grew rapidly but when I went there in 1901, we still walked over corn ridges to the depot.  Many people in South Gas lived in tents and it was called Rag Town.  A zinc rolling mill and a brickyard were built.

The school in district No. 52 was Rose Hill.  It was one half mile south of the highway.  Frank Tanner was the last teacher there.  Then the brick four-room school was built on the highway and was school No. 52. Dollie Adams, Laura McCormack and Gertrude Chocklay were the first teachers there in 1900.  In 1901 H. M. Clinesmith taught seventh and eighth grades and was superintendent. Dollie Adams, Laura McCormack and I were the other teachers.  At one time that year I had fifty children in my room.  Some of my pupils were John Page, Ottie Dority (Mrs. Swinford), Fred and John Kessinger.  My salary was $35.00 a month for an eight-month term.  A small house was moved, on the school ground and Almira Bassett was hired.  Soon this school was so crowded that four more rooms were built on to the brick building.

In 1904 this building burned and a new twelve-room structure built.  A box was placed in the corner stone when the new building was started in 1905.  The manual training room and five playrooms were in the basement.  H. D. Ramsay was the superintendent at this time with 12 teachers and 600 pupils.  A three-room school was in South Gas and a one-room school in Concreto.

The Portland Cement Company had built a plant on the English hill and a settlement made there called Concreto.  The Portland Cement Company in 1904 brought in a gas well that was a wonder even for this district.  They had four big gas wells, which should last many years.

In 1907 and 1908 Clifford Mitchell (Mrs. Bushey) became the superintendent of the Gas City schools.  She had been the superintendent of the Iola Schools. At this time there were 18 teachers in the schools.  Alice Hendricks was the musical director, Charles Huey manual training, Nora Dalby and Leota Liourance high school teachers, 8th grade Georgia Gardner (Mrs. Fred Ireland), 7th grade Virginia Dodds, 6th grade Lena Ferris, 5th grade Helen Glass, 4th grade Eva Orr, 3rd grade Mary Wade (Mrs. Roy Roberts) grade 2 B Mrs. Ella Tripp, grades 1 & 2 Lola Carl (Mrs. Ed Hunter), grade 13 Ida Weith (Mrs. Walter Faddis).  South Gas, Hattie Demitt 4th & 5th grades, Mrs. Etta Stewart grades 1 & 2.  Concreto grades 1, 2 & 3 Edith McClellan.

My sister Ella learned the printing trade in La Harpe working on the La Harpe news.  J. Q. Roberts owned this paper.  Others she worked with there were:  Roy McDonald, Cloyce Hamilton, Jay Mathews and Grace Gwin.

Frank Crouch interested some St. Louis capital in the Iola trolley car venture.  On July 24th, 1901 it was announced that the Iola Electric Line would have its own power house as Mr. Crouch had bought three acres of ground on the bank of Rock Creek a mile east of Iola for installing a generator for the electric power.  The work for the streetcar tracks was to begin on West Street near the Santa Fe depot.  But on May 21, 1901 the new electric railway was under way, when engineers began at the Neosho River, a mile west of Iola clearing the path for the tracks.  The plan was to connect Iola with the river on West Street with Gas City and La Harpe on the east.  Thus, boating and swimming might be enjoyed at the Neosho River.

On Christmas day 1901, the first cars ran from the Santa Fe depot to La Harpe. Crowds made the trip that day.  Only three cars were operated, as there were not available crews to run more.  The fare was 5 cents to Gas City and another 5 cents to go to La Harpe.  The track was extended to Bassett and Wheeler Heights because the Le High Cement Plant men lived there.  Now the smelter men could live in Iola and go to work in Gas City and La Harpe.  The stopping places for the trolley were Santa Fe depot, any street comer and East Iola. La Grange in West Gas, Gas City, Bunker Hill where residents of Sadie Town could board the car, Melrose for Concreto before the line was extended to Concrete, Lanyonville in West La Harpe and then La Harpe,

The streetcar line was under the management of Lee Massengale.  Mr. Hunt was the night engineer and Dick Long the day engineer.

My sister Rose worked nights in the first telephone office in Iola.  Doug Arnett operated the office which was upstairs over a store at 112 S. Washington where the Schell Cleaners are now.

Later Rose clerked in Ramsays Store that stood on North Washington with Northrup's Bank on the corner and the Elk's lodge above.  Mr. Mont Palmer was the manager of Ramsays.  This Ramsay Store burned and when it opened again it was on the corner of Jefferson and Madison.  Other Gas City girls working at Ramsays at this time were Ethel East, Nannie Faddis (Mrs. Claude Hurlock), lone Hobson (Mrs. Millard Teats) and Ione Taylor.  Another large dry goods store at this time was the New York store and later the Richardson Dry Goods Store.

The doctors at this time were Dr. Rennick, Dr. Moore, Dr. Hobson and Dr. Leavell.

Well drillers were Jack Humes, Felix Casey, and Ray Taylor, brother of E. K. Taylor, and Guy Taylor, son of Roy.

The third house built in Gas City was Mr. Boyds.  Mr. and Mrs. Engle were among the first to come to Gas City.  Mr. Engle built a house and a large barn.  The hall over his livery stable was the only place the young people could dance.  Later two stores on Main Street were built where Mr. Smith had a store.  Above these two stores was the Opera House. Now they had a hall large enough for dances, shows and special programs.  My stepfather worked on this building.

Jerry Bedwell a real estate man was associated with E. K. Taylor in real estate.  Frank and George McKelvey were carpenters.  Frank became the first mayor, and later the postmaster of Gas City.  Mr. Lynn was the first postmaster.  Gas City became a city of the second class when the population rose to 2000.  Other carpenters were Mr. Clawson, Mr. Tefft and John Griffith.  Dr. Swan was a druggist, Dr. Copple a dentist, John Remsberg the banker.  Bill Knable ran the first hotel built by Al Darby on South Main.  Later the Knables had the bakery.  The hotel on Main Street across from the opera house was run by Mrs. Thompson and later by Mr. and Mrs. Batterton.  The first lumberyard was the dark and Bates Lumber Company.  Mr. Wolf ran the Cooper Lumber Yard on McRae Street.  Ed Luckey worked there.  Mr. Frevert ran a real estate and insurance office.  Mr. Allstot had a grocery store as did Fred Cooksey.  Mr. Carls Meat Market was in with Mr. Hunters Grocery Store.  Mr. O’Connor had a novelty store.  (Hs married Etta Mooney).  Mrs. Mills and Blanche had a millinery shop.  Mrs., Allemang had another millinery shop.

Some of the office men at the Smelters were Tommy Hill, Fred Finnel and Mr. Anderson who married Delphia Ledford an Iola girl.

The first newspaper in Gas City was the Gas Light.  Later Gary Shatter owned the Tri City Herald.

Mrs. Kinman operated the telephone office.  She had two children, Arthur and Ida (Mrs. Archie Mood).

The boom of the smelters and zinc plants brought many Yale men to this community.  So they joined some great athletes of La Harpe and organized the Great La Harpe Football Team in 1905.  They were only beaten once and that was by the Haskell Indians.  Add Brennen; a famous ball player was also from La Harpe.

While we lived in Gas City we still went with the La Harpe bunch.  Mr. Sheehe had a dancing class in La Harpe where we learned many dances.  The one I remember best was the five-step.  At this time Thurlow Lieurance often played the piano for us to dance.  He had to walk on crutches at that time so some of the young me had to carry him up to the hall.  In 1898 Thurlow Lieurance at the age of 19 was named by Governor Leedy as band master for the famous 20th Kansas Infantry commanded by Brigadier General Frederick Funston which saw service in the Philippines during the Spanish American War.  He was the leader of the La Harpe Band when he composed the Register March and dedicated it to the Iola Register.  About this time ho composed the music for the song "Sometime" and William Felter, a friend of Grace Kent a Gas City teacher, wrote the lyrics. His most noted composition was "By the Waters of Minnetonka.”  Perhaps the greatest booster of this song was Mme. Schumann Heink, who loved to sing it.

Thurlow Lieurance died in Boulder, Colorado in 1963 at the age of 85.  I saw him a few years before his death here in Iola.  I told him I had the song "Sometime".  He did not have a copy.  These three pieces of music are in the Allen County Museum.

After the streetcar line was built, Mr. Crouch owned 30 acres along Rock Creek Just north of the electric powerhouse, which became the Electric Park.  This park became a dazzling amusement center.  It offered roller coasting, dancing, boating swimming and movies to thousands who attended each summer.  The entry was laid out in landscaped gardens.  It collected 250,000 admissions in 1907.  The Boston Ideals Company put on many light operas that we would not have seen otherwise.  The ones I remember were "Fru Diavola," "The Mikado," and Pinafore.  Grace Allstot a Gas City girl joined the Boston Ideal Company when it was here.

The Ladies Progressive Club was organized by Meda Wolf October 4, 1904.  This club was a member of the Second District Federation of Kansas Women's Clubs. The Progressive Club opened a library in Gas City with the help of Mrs. Rose B. Knapp the Iola Librarian in 1906 the members of the progressive Club of Gas City were:  Miss Ethel East, Mrs. R. S. Swan, Mrs. F. W. Frevert, Mrs. William Smith, Mrs. Frank McKelvey,            Mrs. Rev. Sample, Mrs. Martha Goble, Mrs. Ray Taylor, Mrs. D. L. Shuferd, Miss Georgia Gardner, Mrs. A. D. Thornton, Mrs. Rev. Hood, Miss Alice Rose, Miss Ella Weith, Mrs. W. D. Wolf, Mrs. Warren Robb, Miss Ione Taylor, Mrs. J. T. Price, Mrs. Guy Roberts, Miss Ida Weith, Mrs. S. T. Wilson, Miss Mabelle Rannals and Mrs. H. D. Ramsay.

St. Johns Hospital was built in 1905. This was about half way between Gas City and Iola. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita ran it. The progressive Club furnished a room in this new hospital. In 1909 Dr. J. S. Sutcliff built the Sutcliff Sanatorium located a little southwest of St., Johns hospital and near the streetcar line as was St. Johns.

After my sister Ella had learned the printing trade, she came to Iola and worked in the job department of the Iola Register.  Mr. Charles F. Scott was the owner of the Iola Register, having purchased it in 1882. It was the first paper established in Iola in 1867 under the name of the Neosho Valley Register.  It became the Iola Register with the change of ownership and has been in the same family owner ship ever since.

Some of the people working on the Register at that time were: Bert Harris, Elvie Gilliat, Herb Whitaker, Eunice Jackson (Mrs. Dick Tobey), Chris Black, Eugene Laughlin and Henry Fleak.

The Grand Theater was built by Charles Wheaton at a cost of $40,000, The "Grand" was one of the most beautiful buildings in Iola. Opening night was January 8, 1904 with "King Dodo" as a musical comedy, which was a successful Broadway show.  My grandfather paid $40.00 for four seats in the orchestra section and took my mother, Mrs. Goble, sister Ella and Uncle Perry Newton. I went with Henry Decker and sat in the main floor and suppose the price was the same. Sister Rose went with Frank Farnsworth of Benton Harbor, Michigan and sat in the balcony and I think paid $5.00 for their seats.  After the opening night, the price was $1.00 a seat. When you think of the $1.00 a day most of the young men made, they could not take a lady friend very often. The same shows that were shown in Kansas City were shown in Iola and Dallas, Texas.

One trip I will always remember was when Effie Engle (Mrs. Baker) and I went to the World's Fair in St. Louis, the summer of 1904, The Exposition was to awaken the public interest in the story of the Louisiana Purchase, Each state and many foreign countries had buildings at the fair.

E. K. Taylor the founder of Gas City was called the "Duke of Gas City."  He built the finest home in Gas City where he, his wife, daughter Genevieve and son Eugene lived.  The Goes also had a nice house near the Taylors.  Blanche was bookkeeper at the Clark Lumber Company, Hazel (Mrs. Lee Bowlus) and Xenia were schoolgirls then.  The Rowdens also lived there at that time.  Jim had a blacksmith shop.

In 1909 Rose Weith married Henry Fleak and moved to Wichita where Henry worked on a newspaper owned by Henry Allen.  In 1910 Ella Weith married Eugene Laughlin a linotype operator and moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

The last year I taught in Gas City Mr. T. E. Osborn was the Superintendent of Schools.  Some of the teachers I remember who taught with me that year were Helen Smith, Addie Thompson, Cora Roberts (Mrs. Venard) and Ethel Gilfillian (Mrs. Dell Adams).  That last year 1911-12 the school board decided not to hire married teachers.  Mrs. Etta Stewart did not receive a contract and mine was laid on the table unless I would promise not to marry.  They also required the teachers to stay in Gas City the five days of the week. Some of the pupils I had in my first grade while teaching in Gas City are my best friends now.  These are Glennis Bartles (Mrs. Ballon Heigle), Eva Hall (Mrs. Eva Gillett), Ethel Brown, (Mrs. Milford Langley, Dorothy Gibson (Mrs. Harlin Isaac), Ruby Fennimore (Mrs. Ruby Reeves), Irene Skinner (Mrs. Henry Porter), Alma King (Mrs. Walter Wise), Marie King (Mrs. Pope), Lois Rowden (Mrs. DaVatz) and others.


 In the fall of 1912, I was hired to teach at the Washington School in Iola.  Mr. Ralston was the president of the school board at that time and became a life long friend.  He was the agent at the Santa Fe depot.

I had been getting $60.00 a month salary in Gas City but only received $50.00 in Iola.  The highest salary in the grades here was $50.00.  I got a raise of $2.50 the next two years.

Mr. Mayberry who had been Superintendent of the Iola Schools left that year to go to Wichita.  Mr. C. C. Brown was the new Superintendent.  The Principal at Washington was Guy Widner.  The other teachers were Daisy Hobart, Mary Dennis, Margaret Heigle, Ivy Bayless, Hazel Butcher, Effy Arbogast and I, Miss Arbogast left after the first month and Mrs. Etta Stewart was hired to take her place.

Washington School had been built in 1901 during the boom here, McKinley was built in 1902 and Garfield in 1903.  The North School built in 1898 on North Jefferson had burned and a new building built in 1902 and called Lincoln School and at the same time the school on South Jefferson became Jefferson School instead of South School as it had been called.

In 1900 Laura Corn taught the first school in Bassett.  The school had been held in rented buildings. One year the children were transported to the Washington School.  At one time there were 90 children of school age in Bassett, So in 1907 a two room brick building was built in Bassett.  This building burned in 1924 and the children came to Washington while the new school was being built.

Some of the teacher's who taught in Bassett beside Laura Corn were Florence Longshore, Lulu Ricketts, Kate Van Nordstrand (Mrs. Charlie Marsh), Berdetta Wood (Mrs. Roy Sanden), Josephine Murray, Margaret Round, Ethel Agee, Mrs. Earl Farrell, Ethel Strong, Hattiebell Christy, Pearl Ericson, Dorothy Cummings and Forrest Huggins (Mrs. Tony Ross).  In 1936 the Bassett school was closed. In 1910 Jim Frederickson was appointed truancy officer and held this office for 50 years.

My sister Ella's husband Eugene Laughlin died, so she came back to Iola to live.  She had one little boy Eugene Weith Laughlin.  She again worked at the Register until she married Leon Lotapeich, the pressman at the Register. They had one little girl. Rose Mary (Mrs. Leo Shoemaker).  Others working at the Register then were Charley May, Mabel Barker (Mrs. Lester Lewman), May Hurlock (Mrs. Kirby) and Milford Langley.

During the years of the boom Lanyon Smelters No. 1 and No. 2 had been built near the crossing of the Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific tracks.  The G. E. Nicholsons Zinc and Prime Western Smelters were just east of Iola.  At the corner of First and Kentucky streets were the acid plant, the foundry, and a machine shop.

One picture show, the Majestic was on South Street where Nola Daigh and Mattie Herring played the piano.  The price of the ticket was 5 cents.

In 1903 the first courthouse was built in the courthouse square.  This was torn down and a more modem building erected in 1959.  The old clock that was on the top of the old building and could be seen as you approached Iola from all four directions now stands on the south side of the courthouse park.

Grandfather Newton had improved his place on North Washington.  He moved the house, which stood where the parking 1ot of the Memorial Hall is now, to the north lots and built an addition to it.  He made a house of the barn.  Chris Black's family lived there first and later Mr. McMurray had a cabinet shop there, A lumber yard was where the house stood and then the Airdome was built where the lumber yard had been.  The Shannon Store replaced the Colborn Store.

June 9th, 1922 the city bought the Newton property of Grandma Zadah Newton, for $8,500 and the Memorial Hall was built.  So it stands on the original Colborn ground where the first frame house in Iola was built.

The first jail was built on North Jefferson in 1869.  Lot 12 was bought from Henry Givler lot 11 was bought from J. T. Wing in 1880.  When the new courthouse was built in 1959 the jail was built in it.  The old jail became the Allen County Museum in charge of the Allen County Historical Society.

On South Washington, Ira Kelley built the Kelley Hotel, the Iola Theater and the Uptown Theater.  He also owned the old Pennsylvania Hotel that had been owned by the Fisher sisters.  Also on South Washington was the J. V. Roberts Music Store.  The Ourway Restaurant owned by Kit Wilhit was in the same block years ago.  Chautauqua circuits had traveling entertainers, which went to many cities. Iola each summer held the Chautauqua in a large tent on the Jefferson School ground.  Here I saw Thurlow Lieurance and his wife, who was also an accomplished musician, on a program.

Billy Sunday held revivals in Iola twice.  A large tent was pitched in the northeast part of the courthouse park.  People came from near and far to the afternoon and evening services.

In 1918 I married Walter Faddis.  He had come to La Harpe in 1898 to work in the smelters there.  Then his family moved from Nevada, Missouri to Gas City in 1901 where he worked in the pottery at the prime Western Smelter. When we were married he was working for George Marr who had an automobile agency. Mr. Marr started a bus line to Humboldt.  Ray Hale, and Don Burnett drove on this bus line as Walter did.  He opened the Faddis Taxi Service and operated it until he retired.

The last street car run was made March 19, 1918 and in 1919 the streetcar tracks were torn up.  The electric park was gone.  The smelters moved to Oklahoma because the gas had played out.  Now Iola is a city of less than 7000 population instead of 14,000 as it was in boom days.

Our Washington School became so crowded two rooms were fitted up for schoolrooms in the basement.  At that time all eight grades were in each buildings.  Later the seventh and eighth grades were taken to the Intermediate Building where the High School had been on East Street.  The new High School was built on East Jackson.

Washington School had a piano when I went there.  We bought the first Victrola by giving chili suppers, candy sales, and collecting and selling waste paper.

During the small pox scare the children had to be vaccinated by order of Dr. J. S. Sutcliff the county health officer.

In 1917 several P.T.A. meetings were held, but no permanent organization was formed at this time.

I organized the Washington Bird Club.  This was a Junior Audubon Society for the study of birds.  The next year, a club was organized at Jefferson School, by Mrs. Ray Hale and at McKinley School by Miss Evadean Harclerode (Mrs. John Copening).

One Armistice Day, all the Grade School children marched in the parade making a human flag.  The children practiced on the Garfield School grounds, which was in the 300 block between North Second Street and North Third Street.  All the children had to walk there and back each time they practiced.

In 1936 Washington School presented the operetta "Sunnyside" which cleared $60.00.  This was quite an ambitious production for a grade school and was given in cooperation with the high school orchestra on the stage at the high school. In 1936-37 Washington School had a Harmonica band, which was trained by Celeste Griffith.

For several years the welfare department served milk for the under privileged children.  Later hot lunches were served with some Jefferson children coining to Washington for their meals.

Miss Ella Ball a teacher at Lincoln School was elected principal of Washington School in 1917 and served as principal until 1930 when she resigned to go to California to live.  Miss Hazel Suffron (Mrs. Floyd Green) took her place.

While the Jefferson building was being torn down and the new one built, Miss Grace Reno came to Washington at this time.  She had been principal at Jefferson.

Superintendents from 1912 to 194O were C. C. Brown, B. E. Lewis, Charles Wagner, A. M. Thoroman and J. E. Fleming.  Music supervisors were Ina McKnight, Margaret North, Winona McLatchey, Margaret DeForest, Flora Rogers and Mrs. James Arkright.  C. B. Huff, grade school supervisor and art teachers were Ella Bostwick, Ethel Strong and Ellin Hill.  School nurses were Fontella Brace, Emily Beal and Clara Laury.

The new Jefferson School was finished and in May 1940 we moved into the new building.  The old school bell is not on this building but stands in the yard.  This is the third building to stand on this ground.  The new Lincoln building was finished the same year.  The Garfield building was sold to Mr. Stratton and torn down.  The Washington building was sold to Mr. Ensminger where grain was stored until it was torn down in 1968.  The new McKinley School was built in 1951.  So now there are three grade schools in Iola.

Dedicatory service for the new Jefferson building was held the evening of May 27, 194O.  One thousand people visited that night.  The address was given by L. W. Mayberry, the Superintendent of the Wichita Schools, and former Superintendent of the Iola Schools.

Grace Reno regained principal of Jefferson School until her death February l4th, 1944.  Miss Ethel Strong was acting principal until the end of the term. Mrs. Esther McKenna was principal for three years.  Then Mrs. Hazel green became principal.

Of the many programs given at Jefferson one of the most colorful was Ad Astra Per Aspera to celebrate the 81 years Kansas had been a state, l86l to 1942.

The Jefferson P.T.A. was organized October 9, 194O.  I was a charter member and still belong.  Every fall the P.T.A. have a carnival.

Art exhibits were brought to Jefferson and the money earned was used to buy copies of famous pictures.  The school board helped to pay for the framing. Some of the pictures cost $20.00.  Art exhibits had been given while I was at Washington School.  The club ladies had bought pictures for us and placed the name of the club on a plate on the picture.

The teachers teaching with me in 1954 were Mrs. Hazel Green, Ethel Strong, Florence Strong, Ruth Faust, Roy Kern, Helen Perry, Mrs. Knapp, Elizabeth Galloway, (Mrs. Moon), Judith Bragg, Mrs. Ora Leavitt, Earline Foiles and Florence Miller.

Miss Gary the music supervisor, Mrs. Evadean Copening art teacher. The custodian was Mr. Kinney. Joe Ostenberg was Superintendent. Dr. Lyle Schnaus was the president of the school board.

After teaching 54 years I retired in May 1954. I was honored at a public reception with over 300 friends, teachers and former pupils attending.

After my teaching career I taught in every grade and in every grade building, I also taught Stevie Fielder a polio boy for two years putting him through the seventh and eighth grades. Stevie graduated from the State Teachers College of Emporia and is now teaching. I also did substitute teaching.

I am interested in gardening and bird watching.  I also belong to the Iola Garden Club and the Let's Learn Hobby Club. I spend a lot of time reading and watching T. V.


The Newton family in Ohio as told to me by the family members:

Zadah Rugg born 1829, the daughter of Joseph Rugg, born 1802 and Amanda Stammard, born 1803.  Amanda was the daughter of Zadah Stammard born about 1770. The Ruggs cans from New York to Ohio and traveled by way of the Erie Canal.

Charles Newton born 1826 married Zadah Rugg.  Both the Ruggs and Newtons had large families.  Charles Newton was a sailor on Lake Erie.  The Charles Newton family bad six children: Martha, Albert, Rose, Henry, and Perry. They lived on Lake Erie.  Martha and Albert had to herd the sheep as they grazed on the roadside.

Evenings the family all pared apples, which were then dried and sold to the sailors.  They used candles for lighting but later had coal oil lamps.  The children had to sit back so the elders could use the light.  Grandmother had worked as a tailor when she was a girl.  She made all their clothes.  She earned and spun the flax for the linen goods such as towels and pillowslips.  Wool for bedspreads, and cotton for petticoats, even weaving a cord in the petticoats to make them heavier.  She dyed different colors using walnut hulls for brown, onionskins, sumack and other roots for other colors.  Then Grandpa bought a sewing machine.

In those days women were not supposed to know anything about machinery so he would stitch the garments after grandmother had basted them.

Mother attended the Academy, which was probably the same as our high school. Albert also attended a good school.  Henry and Rose were teen-agers and Perry three years old when they came to Kansas in 1875.

All the children hated to leave their home on the lake and all their many cousins in Ohio to come to the Kansas plains.  I think grandmother was the most homesick but she never complained.  She loved the out doors and I think I inherited this love from her.




1.          History of Kansas 1883

2.          History o fallen & Woodson Counties 1901 by Wallace Duncan & Charles Scott

3.          The Centennial Issue of the Iola Daily Register 1951

4.          Items of 50 years ago in the Iola Register

5.          Obituaries of early settlers

6.          Grandfather Charles Newton

7.          Grandmother Zadah Newton

8.          My Father Konrad John Weith

9.          My Mother Martha Weith Goble

10.        My Stepfather William Wesley Goble

11.        My own memories

12.        Thesis of Opening of the Grand Theater by Gerald Snider

13.        Mrs. Ena Ammon, Register of Deeds


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Posted: September 13, 2000. Moved: 03 August 2006.

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