Slough Creek Community -- Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas

Slough Creek

The early settlers named it Slough Creek because of the many sloughs and pools along its course.

Slough Creek starts a little north of the center of Ohio Township in north Morris County. It consists of two branches. The west branch starts in Twp. 14S R 8E Section 7. The east branch starts in Twp. 14S R 8E Section 8. The two branches join south in Twp. 14S R 8E Section 19.

Slough Creek is about twelve miles in length, its course being due south, and runs south and southeast of Dwight, Ohio Township into the Kelso, Neosho Township area. The area is still rural country.

Sometimes heavy rains fell and floods occurred along the creeks. The water rose many feet above its normal height in a very short time. The water came up around the cabins and washed the soil away from the crops. It was with relief the settlers watched the waters subside. The creeks are not very long, and they go down as quickly as they rise.

It was dangerous to cross a creek under such poor driving conditions. The strength of the current easily capsized a wagon. One indicator to check at the ford to the creeks was the mark cut on the trees, showing the depth of the water. It often happened that a farmer or traveler was delayed by the water for a few days.

Swartz School--District 52, also known as Slough Creek:


SWARTZ School was 1 mile south and 1 1/2 miles east of Dwight, Kansas. SWARTZ School opened in the early 1870's. Mention of SWARTZ School was made in the newspaper, Council Grove Democrat, in 1872. The SWARTZ School ground was deeded to District 52 by Martin SWARTZ on November 21, 1896. The south half of the 300-foot square was used for the school and playground. (Township Plat in 1901 - W 80 of SE1/4 Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)

The old SWARTZ School house was an early community center of this section, where church services, elections, and all gatherings were held.

"In the latter part of March 1873, a township meeting was held at the SWARTZ's school house to nominate a township ticket and it was an occasion long to be remembered at least by a few who were at the time present. There were three candidates for the office of township trustee, James Hamner, H.H. Bailey and Jay Kay. For some reason that we cannot now remember, Bailey and Wilkes were opposed to Hamner and an agreement reached by the friends of the first mentioned candidates receiving the least number of votes on the first ballot, should withdraw in favor of the other. Hamner received nine votes, Wilkes seven, and Bailey five, and according to the agreement, Bailey should have withdrawn, but he refused to do so and Wilkes' name was withdrawn, but the result was the most votes for Hamner, making him the nominee. Jay Kay was then requested to run as an independent. When the votes were counted out on election night, we were just seven votes ahead making us feel better than to have been that far behind. [Ref. Jay Kay]

Rev. J. E. GLENDENNING, a Methodist minister who lived at Skiddy in 1878-1879, held services at irregular intervals in various school houses in Ohio Township.

Teachers -- SWARTZ School -- District 52

Before 1909: W. Schumaker, Alice DASHER, J. W. Rhodes, Gertie Simmons, D. S. McLain, Stout Endre, W. W. Wood, Lizzie Willett, Maud Miller, Elsie Whittaker, Beatrice Herndon.

1909, M. O. Wright; 1910-1911, Alta Garrett; 1912-1916, Elaine Dowell; 1917, Eva Taylor; 1918, Mae Trock; 1919-1921, Morris Dowell; 1922, Mary Ellen Moredock; 1923, Morris Dowell; 1924, Gladys Martin; 1925-1926, Elmer Chinn; 1927, Eva Kendall; 1928, Bertha Wafler; 1929, Millicent Aspelin; 1930-1931, Erma JOHNSON; 1932, Leona Parken; 1933-1934, Vera Gallaway; 1935, Walter Glancy; 1936-1937, Gladys Pettyjohn; 1938-1939, Gladys Ensminger; 1940- 1942, Bertha Wafler; 1943-1944, Dorothy Schrader; 1945, Helen Iseli; 1946, Elmer Chinn; 1947, Ernest Anderson; 1948, David Deller; 1949-1953, Wilma Erickson; 1953-1954, Wilma Erickson, Faye Peters (3 months); 1954-1957, Ethel Dent; 1958-1961, Bertha Wafler; school closed.

SWARTZ School, 1913. Walter Moredock, Lawrence Chinn, Glenn Anderson, Cora Clark, Mary Hively, Everett Anderson, Frank Evans, Leo SWARTZ, Herbert SWARTZ, Edith Anderson, Irene Moredock, Lucile Hively, Josephine Moredock, Mary Ellen Moredock, Nellie SWARTZ, Elmer Chinn, Allen DASHER, Carl SWARTZ, Clifford Anderson, Laurence Hively, Albert SWARTZ, George DASHER, Clarence Anderson, Walter SWARTZ, Arley Anderson, Edith Evans, Inez Chinn, Pansy Moredock.

Swartz School closed in 1962. After consolidation, the Swartz School building was sold to "Holmes" and moved to a new location at the Oral Weeks farm.

SWARTZ Cemetery, also known as Slough Creek and Morris:

SWARTZ Cemetery is 1 mile south and 1 1/2 miles east of Dwight, Kansas. The SWARTZ School ground was deeded to District 52 by Martin SWARTZ on November 21, 1896. The north half of the 300-foot square was used for the cemetery. (Township Plat in 1901 - W 80 of SE1/4 Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)

Morris Church:

The Morris Church organization was first formed at the old SWARTZ School house and Sunday School was started in homes.

"Sabbath School has begun at Beagle, SWARTZ, Ream, Cooper schoolhouses." ("Morris County Enterprise" April 11, 1878)

In January 1879 a meeting was held at the SWARTZ School house to consider the propriety of organizing a Presbyterian Church. January 25, 1879 a church was organized by the Rev. T. (Timothy) HILL of Kansas City. As it was the first Presbyterian Church in the county it was named the first church of Morris County. ("Morris County Enterprise" July 24, 1879)

The Morris Presbyterian Church was built in 1885 on the hill east of SWARTZ School and Cemetery (Township Plat in 1901 - E 80 of SE1/4 Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E). Frank E. CHINN was a member and said the building was dedicated July 12, 1885. The original trustees were Mr. Thomas HAVENS, Mr. Martin SWARTZ and Mr. James ZAHNLEY.

The last service held in Morris Church was Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Amsbury's funeral on August 12, 1924.

The wrecking of the old Morris Church this winter truly marks the passing of an old landmark in this community. (The Dwight Advance, December 15, 1932.)

Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas History

Morris County was created in 1855 and was organized from Madison (formerly Wise) County. The county seat is Council Grove. Madison County was created in 1860 and was divided to Morris and Lyon Counties.

In 1859 Samuel Medary, a politician from Ohio, and Hon. S. N. WOOD, representing the county in the Legislature, had a bill passed, which changed the name of the county from Wise to Morris in honor of Senator Thomas MORRIS of Ohio.

Many early settlers came from England and Germany, and lived in Ohio before they came to Kansas. The first settlers on the high prairie in what is now Ohio Township were Norman 'Soddie' and Catharine PARKER. He settled on his land in Section 14 June 1, 1870, and for quite a while he and his lady lived under their wagon sheet. They lived in a sod house.

During the winter of 1871-1872, the commissioners organized the township and named it 'Mansfield' after a prominent politician of the settlement.

**David Francis Mansfield became a trustee of Mansfield (now Ohio) Township, and was made a trustee upon its organization. For some time he was the chair of the Republican Central Committee of Morris County. He died of consumption April 17, 1875. ** [Ref. Council Grove Democrat April 22, 1875]

'Mansfield' (now Ohio) Township was created February 9, 1872, and comprises territory once embraced in Parker and Neosho Townships. Sometime during the early part of 1873 the name of the township changed from 'Mansfield' to 'Ohio,' owing to the efforts of a few of the settlers who came from Ohio.

Most of the land titles in the area date from the 1870's. Many families in the area are not listed in the 1860 or 1870 Federal Census, but were there in Morris County by 1880. In 1880 the population (Federal Census) of Ohio Township was 595. Many early settlers moved away.

The Dwight Land and Townsite Company, [Edward H. Bouton (resident manager) Charles B. Holmes (manager of the Western Real Estate Association of Kansas City, Missouri)] bought approximately one-third of the town site from (1) Dwight W. and Mary E. Rathbone, one-third from (2) Thomas W. and Martha Rathbone and one-third from (3) George T. and Mary A. Brown. The Town of Dwight was platted on land as recorded at the Morris County Courthouse March 14, 1887. The plot of the town of Dwight, located on the following described real estate situated in Morris County, Kansas.

(1) Ownership of lots 17 and 18 of Section 7, Township 14, Range 8 East changed as follows: Ownership was conveyed to Dwight W. and Mary E. Rathbone of Ohio July 24, 1883; they transferred title to Edward H. Bouton February 7, 1887, excepting 10 acres marked on said plat "Dwight W. Rathbone."

(2) Ownership of the East half of the South East quarter of Section 12, township 14, Range 7 East changed as follows: April 5, 1877 Jesse and Mary E. Hamner homesteaded the land; May 23, 1879 the land in Section 12 was deeded to Thomas W. and Martha Rathbone of Ohio; and conveyed to Edward H. Bouton in early 1887.

(3) Ownership of lots 19 and 20 of Section 7, Township 14, Range 8 East changed as follows: Ownership was conveyed from the railroad to Charles T. Wyatt December 15, 1885; to Mrs. Walter H. Monroe January 23, 1886; to Margaret and David Hellem February 3, 1886; to John E. and Dora Merritt March 6, 1886; to George T. and Mary A. Brown September 2, 1886; and to Edward H. Bouton, December 10, 1886.

The town was named Dwight after Dwight Chapel, which had been built in 1883 and named after Dwight W. Rathbone (townsite owner) who gave the land February 7, 1887. Dwight, Kansas sprang up like magic on the Rock Island Railroad.

The Rock Island Railroad was originally granted ownership of every other section of land in a checkerboard pattern for a distance of 10 miles on either side of the tracks to sell and find money to build the track.

Early Settlers:


     William H. and Matilda AMSBURY came from Ohio and homesteaded
in Morris County south of what is now Dwight, Kansas in
approximately 1872.  They were buried in Dwight Cemetery.

     H.H. BAILEY lived in Section 18.

     After the Civil War late in 1870, George BEEHEIMER came from
Clermont County, Ohio to Kansas with three SWARTZ families.
     He stayed in Topeka, Kansas that winter, and came in the
spring of 1871 to his homestead in Section 20, Ohio Township,
southeast of what is now Dwight, Kansas.

     A. BINGAMEN lived in Section 20.

     Two BOWERs in Section 8

     Township Plat in 1901 - G. O. BOYD in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E

     Township Plat in 1901 - R. B. CAMPBELL in S 80 of NE1/4
Section 19 Twp. 14S R 8E.

     After the Civil War in 1869, Charles Frederick and Maria
(SHEARS) CHINN emigrated from England to America.  They settled
near Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois (near Freeport, Stephenson
County, Illinois and Harper, Ogle County, Illinois) in July 1869
and resided there for six or seven years.  
     In 1876 they came to Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas by
train on the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (Katy) Railroad, and there
they were met by friend, Samuel MIERS.  Charles CHINN purchased a
quarter section (SW1/4 Section 17 Twp. 14S R 8E) of land for $2.50
per acre from the railroad.  The original house was located 2 miles
east and 1/2 mile south of where Dwight, Kansas now is.  They later
bought an additional 80 acres (S 80 of NW1/4 Section 17 Twp. 14S R
8E) north of the original quarter section of land.

     Peter (b. in Virginia) and Jemima (b. in Virginia) DASHER came
west from Virginia shortly after the Civil War, first homesteading
in Nebraska.  They came to Kansas in 1879, settling on a farm east
of Dwight.
(Township Plat in 1901 - Peter DASHER in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)
     There were three daughters and one son in the family.  The two
older daughters were soon married and lived elsewhere, Anna in
Cheyenne and Martha in Oklahoma.
     George DASHER (b. Dec. 1860 in Virginia) was a farmer until he
retired,  Annual Grange picnic - George Dasher's Grove August 12,
1915.  He served on the District 52 school board, and was Ohio
Township trustee and assessor for many years.
     George DASHER was married in 1890 or 1892 to Fannie LEBARON. 
Their three boys were Sidney F. (b. Jan. 1894 in Kansas) and
George, Jr., both now deceased, and Allen, who now lives in Council
Grove.  He was married to Pearl STROM in 1940.  Allen Dasher became
sole owner of the Dwight Advance in February 1922.  Allen Dasher
was the editor of the Dwight Advance from about 1922 until 1940. 
He produced a paper in Dwight longer than any other editor.
     George's younger sister, Alice, was married in 1883 to Ed
CARTER, who came from England and homesteaded in the Parkerville
area.  She passed away in '85 and is buried at Parkerville.  Mr.
Carter soon relocated in Western Kansas.
     Submitted by Allen Dasher

     Handy S. DAY was born in New Richmond, Ohio in 1841.  He
served as a sergeant-major in Company C, Twelfth Ohio regiment
during the Civil War.
     He married Nancy LINDSEY in 1865.  To this union six children
were born: George, Margaret, Walter, Stanley, Bessie and James.
     After the Civil War late in 1870 Handy S. DAY and John DAY
came from Clermont County, Ohio to Morris County, Kansas.  On their
way, they laid over at Topeka, Kansas.  They took a homestead in
what was later Ohio Township in Section 18.
(Township Plat in 1901 - G. K. DAY in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)
(Township Plat in 1901 - N. L. DAY in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)
     Handy was an early day entrepreneur.  He was successful in the
real estate business and established a monthly newspaper, the
Dwight Advocate, in July 1899 - May 1900 (25 cents per year,
payable in advance).
     He was also interested in politics and his home was used as
the voting place for Mansfield (Ohio) Township.  In April of 1872,
Handy ran for trustee and was successful over his opponent, D. F.
     Margaret DAY married Charles LIGHTHALL in the late 1800's. 
Charles moved to Dwight with his mother, Laura Curyea LIGHTHALL,
and his two sisters from Ottawa, Illinois, to the farm east of
Dwight in 1893.
     To this union were born two sons: Glen and George R.
     Margaret was well known for her pure bred white collies that
she raised and sold.
     Charlie was often seen around the countryside in his Model A
coupe, pulling a four-wheel trailer with his stallions.
     Submitted by Bessie L. LIGHTHALL

     The southeast 80 (Section 18) now owned by Jake DOWELL (1920)
was filed on by W. ROBINSON who was later found dead in his little
shanty and buried on his claim in a rough box without the benefit
of a priest or clergy.  John DAY later hauled the shanty over to
his claim.  The next claimant for the 80 was John DAVIS.

     Township Plat in 1901 - O. J. FLACK in Section 19 Twp. 14S R

     Township Plat in 1901 - T. GRAHAM in Section 19 Twp. 14S R 8E.

     Township Plat in 1901 - Thomas HAVENS in N 80 of NE1/4 Section
19 Twp. 14S R 8E and in N 80 of NW1/4 Section 20 Twp. 14S R 8E.

     John HAYMAKER lived in Section 18.

     The early settlers of the HOLSHOUSER family came from
Pennsylvania and bought land in North Carolina from the King's
     James Lawson HOLSHOUSER married Anna L. MCLEAVY.  Their eldest
son, John Frederick (Fred) HOLSHOUSER, was born in Dwight, Kansas
in 1890.  Their daughter, Nora HOLSHOUSER (1892 - 1983), was born
in Dwight, Kansas and married Dr. George E. BRETHOUR (1884 - 1956).

Other children were Helena Wolff, who still resides in California,
and Howard.  
     Township Plat in 1901 - C. HOLSHOUSER in Section 19 Twp. 14S
R 8E.
     James Lawson HOLSHOUSER ran a livery stable in Dwight, Kansas,
and later he and John (Fred) had the firm of HOLSHOUSER and Son
Meat Market and restaurant.  This could have been a predecessor of
ASPELIN's meat market on the south side, but possibly it was
located in a restaurant building on the north side.
     John (Fred) HOLSHOUSER married Lillian NORDEEN at Council
Grove in 1914.  During their married years John (Fred) was employed
for a time in Topeka and at the butcher shop in Dwight.  Mr. John
Holshouser purchased a lot for building a 60x20 feed store.  John
(Fred) Holshouser was the postmaster at Dwight 1928-1929 and 1934-
1949.  John (Fred) was very active in the Masonic Lodge at Dwight. 
John (Fred) Holshouser died in 1949.  Lillian A. (NORDEEN)
Holshouser in 1949 was commissioned as the postmaster at Dwight and
held that position until 1960.
     The HOLSHOUSER children are Norma, Don, and JoAnn.  Norma is
living in Topeka, having retired from the Board of Agriculture
Laboratory.  She was married to Charles Holm.  He died in 1971. 
They have two boys, Randy and David, who with their families, live
in Topeka.  Don is retired and living in Maine.  He was a professor
at the University of Illinois.  Don and Marion have three children,
two of which live in Florida, and one in Maine.  JoAnn Stauffer
lives in Emporia where she and her husband Gene are employed by the
school systems.  They have two sons, John in Kansas City and Brad
in Topeka.  Their daughter, Tina is in graduate school at Emporia
     Submitted by Norma HOLSHOUSER HOLM

     John JACOBS in Section 8

     George W. JENNER was born June 1867 in Ohio.  He was a farmer.

The Wasp, June 20, 1891 "George Jenner is with the Rock Island
bridge gang."  George W. Jenner married Harriet A. ZAHNLEY in 1895
and lived in Herington.  Children included John W. (b. Jan. 1896 in
Kansas), Anna R. (b. Mar. 1897 in Kansas; possibly adopted since
her parents were born in New York), Ruby, Eva, Raymond and Fritz. 
Frank moved to Iowa; William to New Mexico and Arthur to
California.  All had families.
     Township Plat in 1901 - C. JENNER (NE1/4 Section 17 Twp. 14S
R 8E); George W. JENNER (E 80 of SE1/4 Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)

     A. G. KERN (b. 1853 in PA) A. G. KERN was a farmer.  A. G.
KERN married A. R. KERN (b. 1854 in NY). They moved to Ohio
Township, Morris County, Kansas 1883/1888.
     Township Plat in 1901 - A. G. KERN in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E
     Their children were: M. E. KERN (b. 1878 in IL); J. I. KERN
(b. 1881  in IL); W. C. KERN (b. 1883 in IL); J. C. KERN (b. 1888
in KS).

     Township Plat in 1901 - J. LEANDER in Section 19 Twp. 14S R

     Bob MARTIN and Mary ARNETT were married June 11, 1902.
     The MARTIN Ancestry has been traced to England; the Arnetts-
Blasings were from Germany.  The Martins came to Morris County from
Atchison County.  (Annie Elizabeth was a Blasing; they lived
southeast of Manhattan on Deep Creek.)  When Annie married William
Etsel Arnett, they lived near Zeandale, then moved to Council Grove
in 1886, and later to the SWARTZ neighborhood.
     R. E. (Bob), Bill and Frank Martin families and Annie Arnett
and children all attended Round Grove Sunday School and Church with
about 50 others according to records from 1890-1902, Pleasant Ridge
Church, dedicated in 1903.
     Bob and Mary spent almost all of their married life in Round
Grove District and Pleasant Ridge neighborhood except a short time
(soon after they were married) in Atchison County, three or four
years in SWARTZ School District 52 and the last years in Alta
     Bob was a farmer, his pride and joy in earlier days were the
Morgan horses he raised.  Mary was a school teacher before
marriage.  She taught Hurino, Beman, Fairview, and Prairie Flower. 
Bob served on school boards.
     After Annie Elizabeth's husband died, she lived in Dwight and
was a very dedicated worker in the Methodist Church.
     Submitted by Gladys Ensminger.

     Joseph T. MCLEAVY (b. Mar. 1841), with his wife, Margaret B.
(b. Nov. 1839), and their family immigrated to America from
Belfast, Ballinderry, Ireland in about 1885.  They came to Dwight,
Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas and settled on a quarter
section farm two miles east of the town.  
     There were four sons and one daughter in the family.  The
daughter, Anna L. McLeavy (b. 1867 in Ireland), married James
     The boys contracted TB, and with no cure then, two of them
died within a few years; George R. (1870 - 1896) and Joseph W.
(Oct. 1881 - 1906).  
     Township Plat in 1901 - Thomas E. and John H. McLeavy (NW1/4
and SE1/4 Section 17 Twp. 14S R 8E).
     The father Joseph T. and son Thomas E. (Apr. 1872 - 1906) had
in about 1900 moved to Alberta, Canada to an area called Kansas and
bought land there.  The descendants of Thomas E. and Lillian M. (b.
Aug. 1872 in Ireland) MCLEAVY's four children still lived in that
area of Canada near Calgary.
     The fourth son of Joseph T. and Margaret was John Hope McLeavy
(b. 1875).  He graduated from SWARTZ School District 52 in 1895. 
He later purchased the family farm and became a well-known
livestock buyer in a large area around Dwight.  He married Hanna
NELSON, daughter of N. W. Nelson, at Marion Hill Church in 1905. 
A son, John Conway McLeavy, was born February 22, 1908.  John Hope
died in April 1908.  The Dwight Spirit reported that the funeral
was the largest one to be held in the Presbyterian Church up to
that time, with the Rev. Harvey HOLSHOUSER officiating.
     Hannah McLeavy and her son, Conway, lived in their home near
the east end of Dwight.
     Submitted by Millicent Aspelin McLeavy

     Samuel MIERS lived (NE1/4 Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E) two miles
east of where Dwight, Kansas now is.  

     Joseph Moore came from Ohio in 1872 and settled in Section 20.

He built a house costing 5600.00, which was then, the largest house
in the township.

     John Eric Olson, Sr., son of Andrew and Christina Olson, was
born September 25, 1863 in Arboga, Vastmaland, Sweden.  In 1869 he
came to America with his parents, settling on a farm in Osage
County, Kansas.
     On February 18, 1885 he married Ida Belle Markley, daughter of
George and Sarah Markley, at Carbondale, Kansas.  She was born
August 2, 1864 near Phillipi, West Virginia, and came west with her
mother and three of her brothers to Osage County in 1867.  Her
Markley ancestors immigrated to America in 1749.
     Soon after their marriage John and Ida migrated west and
homesteaded an eighty-acre farm south of Grainfield, Gove County,
Kansas.  The inhabitants there consisted mostly of Indians and a
few white settlers from the east.  Their first child, Lewis Gove
OLSON, born September 25, 1886, was reportedly the first white
child born in Lewis Township in Gove County, Kansas.  In August
1889 Walter L. OLSON was born in Kansas.  After having fought
droughts and sandstorms, and having had many bad experiences, in
the spring of 1890 they came back east.
     After having rented farms near Dwight, in 1895 they purchased
a farm one mile south of Dwight where they raised their family. 
Township Plat in 1901 - John E. OLSON in Section 19 Twp. 14S R 8E.
Their children who were born after they settled near Dwight, Kansas
were: Ada B., July 1891; John E. Jr., Mar 1893; Harold and Herbert,
both dying in infancy; and Howard, 1908.
     John and Ida were faithful workers in the Dwight Methodist
Church.  After the first church building burned in 1911, John
worked many hours helping to rebuild.  John and several men from
Dwight attended Masonic Lodge in Parkerville; in 1905 they
petitioned for a charter to start a lodge in Dwight.  The charter
was received in February of 1906.  John was a faithful worker in
the lodge.  Ida was a member of the Eastern Star.
     John died June 14, 1933.  Ida died January 11, 1927.  Both are
buried in the Dwight Cemetery.
     Submitted by Howard Olson and Marie Kimmi.

     OXLEY lived in Section 20.

     Andrew C. PERKINS (a Civil War veteran) and his family moved
in the late 1860's from Rome, Kennebec CO., ME to Rochelle, Ogle
CO., IL. They may have settled briefly in Nebraska ca. 1874
(unverified), but the family did wind up in Morris CO., KS
somewhere between 1874-1879.  They finally lived ca. 1880 in the
Clark's Creek community around Latimer, KS.  There, A.C. PERKINS
donated land to build a church.  Township Plat in 1901 - Andrew C.
PERKINS in SE1/4 Section 20 Twp. 14S R 8E.  [Ref. Chuck Berndt,
Indianapolis, IN;]

     In the fall of 1870, John STEWART lived over on Slough Creek
in what is now Ohio Township.

     SUTTMAN in Section 8

     John and Anna Mary SWARTZ came to America from Wurttemberg,
Germany in the spring of 1852 and first settled in Cincinnati,
     After the Civil War late in 1870, three SWARTZ families came
from Clermont County, Ohio to Kansas with George BEEHEIMER:
(1) Martin and Jane (LILLIN) SWARTZ; (2) John and Elizabeth Ann
(widow of John SWARTZ, Sr.) 
     They stayed in Topeka, Kansas that winter, and came in the
spring of 1871 to their homestead in Section 18, Ohio Township,
southeast of what is now Dwight, Kansas.
     **The SWARTZ brothers left Topeka by the Santa Fe to file
claims.  They returned to Topeka by train, and the next day started
back for Morris County and took claims. ** [Ref. Charles L. Thomas]
(Township Plat in 1901 - Martin SWARTZ in Section 18 Twp. 14S R 8E)
(Township Plat in 1901 - John G. SWARTZ in Section 18 Twp. 14S R
     The SWARTZ boys and other neighbors hauled many a load to
Topeka where they could get money for their grain.

     In 1924, Edgar and Mary (Smith) TAYLOR with their five
daughters, Mildred TAYLOR, Ruth TAYLOR, Dorothy, Marjorie and
Maxine, moved to Dwight. Rev. L. C. Campbell, the Methodist
minister, had secured a farm southeast of Dwight, Kansas to rent.
On October 10 a son, Richard Edgar TAYLOR, Jr., was delivered by
Dr. George Brethour to a very happy family.
     Dad, not wanting to be outdone by a neighbor, when asked how
many children he had always answered, "I have five daughters and
each has a brother." "My! Ten children," was the response.
     We were very active members of the Methodist Church. Once a
bag of flour was given to the largest family there. The folks
wouldn't accept it as they said that wasn't the reason for our
being in church.
     Mother was a member of the Farm Bureau, now known as EHU. With
five daughters she organized the Live Wires 4-H club. Mildred
TAYLOR was recognized as an outstanding 4-H member from Morris
County and received a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago,
leaving on the Rock Island train from Dwight.
     We attended a one-room school (Swartz School) two miles west
of Dwight, Kansas and the Dwight Rural High School.  [Swartz
School, 1930 - Maxine TAYLOR, Dick or Richard TAYLOR, (Erma
Johnson, teacher)]  Mildred TAYLOR graduated from D.R.H.S. in 1931
and Ruth TAYLOR graduated from D.R.H.S. in 1933.  In 1934 the
TAYLOR family moved to Enterprise, Kansas.
     Mildred Longbine and Ruth Wood live in Abilene; Dorothy Gish,
Marjorie Jones and Maxine Fiedler in Enterprise, Kansas and Rev.
Richard TAYLOR in Topeka.
     Your years in Dwight hold many memories; roller skating,
homemade ice cream at the band concerts, the potbelly stove at
Kendall's Hardware, coffee grinder with the large fly wheels and
the cracker tins at Buchanan grocery store.
     Submitted by Marjorie (TAYLOR) Jones

     Richard Edgar TAYLOR, Jr., son of Edgar and Mary (Smith)
TAYLOR, was born October 10, 1924 on the Johnson farm two miles
south and one east of Dwight, Kansas, delivered by Dr. Brethour. 
     He attended a one-room school (Swartz School) two miles west
of Dwight, Kansas.  With his parents and sisters he moved to a farm
near Enterprise in March of 1934 when in the 4th grade. He met Mary
Louise Cook, a 2nd grader that year, who was a tap dancing rabbit
in the grade school program. (They were married in 1948). He
graduated from the Enterprise High School, salutatorian of his
class. At age 17 he enlisted in the Navy, attended Notre Dame
Midshipman school, received his commission and served as Gunnery
Officer aboard ship.
     He earned his mechanical engineering degree from Northwestern,
graduating in the upper 10 percent of his class. He was an engineer
with the Fairbanks Morse Company at Beloit, Wisconsin, working on
diesel engine design.
     He attended Drew University at Madison, New Jersey, and
received his Masters Degree in Theology. A member of the Kansas
West Conference of the United Methodist Church, he served Grand
Avenue in Salina for eight years, First Church Concordia for eight
years, and University Church Wichita for five years. He now serves
under appointment by his Bishop as president of KANSANS FOR LIFE AT
ITS BEST, working for the prevention of alcoholism and for safer
     He and his wife live in a farmhouse southeast of Topeka,
Kansas that was built in 1860, and listed on the National Register.
Their three children are college graduates and married. Richard
teaches at Topeka West High School, David is with the FAA at
Seattle, Washington, and Mary will be teaching in San Antonio,
     "A colorful orator with a hearty baritone voice, Mr. TAYLOR
finds his natural forum in church pulpits around the state." Wall
Street Journal, front page, December 28, 1973.
     "I always have respected the Rev. Richard E. TAYLOR, Jr., the
organization's head, and what he stands for, and consider him one
of Kansas' most valuable native sons." George Neavoll, editorial
page, Wichita Eagle-Beacon, July 4, 1982.
     Submitted by Richard TAYLOR

     Township Plat in 1901 - J. F. THOMAS in Section 19 Twp. 14S R
8E and in Section 20 Twp. 14S R 8E.

     Two TREGORs in Section 8

     Township Plat in 1901 - William VOGELE in Section 19 Twp. 14S
R 8E.

     Township Plat in 1901 - E. B. WALKER in Section 20 Twp. 14S R
8E.  E. B. WALKER was a farmer and won "best display vegetables and
fruits" at an excursion (from Topeka to Dwight) fair Saturday, June
25, 1887.

     Two WILDE brothers in Section 8.

     James (b. 1841 or 1842 in Ohio) and Rebecca (b. 1846 or 1850
in Ohio) (CURRY) ZAHNLEY came from Ohio to Ohio Township, Morris
County, Kansas with three children and settled on a farm in 1874. 
     Township Plat in 1901 - Chris ZAHNLEY in Section 19 Twp. 14S
R 8E.  Township Plat in 1901 - J. ZAHNLEY in NE1/4 Section 20 Twp.
14S R 8E.
     Alice (b. 1870); Harriet (b. April 1871 in Illinois); Franklin
(b. 1873 in Kansas); William (b. 1876); Arthur (b. 1878 in Kansas);
James W. (b. 1884 in Kansas); Ira? ; Harry G. (b. 1890 in Kansas).
     Zahnley's came to Kansas the year the grasshoppers destroyed
all vegetation.  Zahnley is quoted at saying the grasshoppers were
so bad, and it was so dry, you could whip a mouse all over the
hill.  He brought seed corn from Ohio and planted it that first
year, but the grasshoppers took everything.  He sent back to Ohio
for more of the same that was used in the family until hybrid corn
became popular.
     Zahnley served on the building committee of the Dwight
Methodist Episcopal Church in 1883.
     James ZAHNLEY died in 1923.
     Rebecca (CURRY) ZAHNLEY died in 1943.
     James and Rebecca (CURRY) ZAHNLEY were buried in SWARTZ
     One day the parents went to Council Grove leaving the children
home.  A thunderstorm came up.  Alice started to a neighbor's with
Frank.  There was lightening and she was killed.
     Ira was crippled.  One day in the field with the other boys he
was struck by a rattlesnake.  He lived several years but died at
age 10.
     Harriet A. ZAHNLEY married George W. JENNER in 1895.
     James Walter taught school at Dwight and later became a
professor of Agronomy at Kansas State University.  He had two sons,
James C. and Donald.
     Harry G. remained on the farm and married Phoebe Hively.  They
had a son Harry who married Annie ROGERS and moved to Winslow,
Arizona where Harry worked for the Santa Fe.  Harry died December
3, 1984.  Annie moved to San Marcos, California.  Harry and Annie
had one daughter, Dixie Lee Swenson, Dixie Lee Swenson, living in
Oceanside California.
     Submitted by Dixie Zahnley Swenson


BRAKE, Hezekiah. On Two Continents - A Long Life's Experience. Topeka: Crane & Company, Printers. 1896.

Cutler, William G. "History of the State of Kansas" Publ. by A. T. Andreas. Chicago. 1883 (Kansas Collection)

EBBUTT, Percy G. Emigrant Life in Kansas. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Gallaway, Dorothy L. DWIGHT, KANSAS - THE FIRST 100 YEARS (1887-1987)

Morris County Genealogical Society

Riley County Genealogical Society

Rydjord, John. Kansas Place-Names. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1972

Site created 12 Sep 1993

Return to the Kansas Community Networks
or return to the Kansas Heritage Server.