Butler County, Kansas’ Eighty Years Bios
OLIVER P. BRUMBACK
(transcribed by Sheryl McClure)
Oliver Hazard Perry Brumback, school teacher, merchant, lieutenant in
the Civil War, postmaster, farmer and stockman, came from an old and
distinguished American family whose members participated in the
Revolutionary War under Washington, states Volney P. Mooney's History
of Butler County. Mr. Brumback was a native of Kentucky. He was born
August 17, 1830, a son of Peter and Elisabeth (Estes) Brumback.
Martin Brumback, father of Peter Brumback, grandfather of Peter Warren
Brumback and great grandfather of Oliver Hazard Perry Brumback, was
born in Germany and came to America where he located in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, where he had an extensive business as an iron merchant.
He was lost at sea while accompanying a consignment of iron. His three
sons, Peter, who served in the Revolutionary War; Paul and John, were
born in Philadelphia, John dying while quite young.
Peter Brumback, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in
Philadelphia in 1750 and died in Boone County, Kentucky, at the age of
96 years, on April 6, 1846. He served throughout the Revolutionary War
and was twice wounded by British bullets, receiving one wound at the
battle of Camden. Oliver Brumback often discussed incidents of the
Revolutionary War with his grandfather, as he was 16 years old when the
grandfather died. Peter Brumback married Elisabeth Simpson in Fauquier
County, Virginia, where she was born in 1767. She died in Kentucky in
1852. The children of Peter and Elisabeth (Simpson) Brumback were
William, Willis, Martin, Hetty, Eleanor, Susan, Peter Warren, Sarah,
Elisabeth, Henry and George. Peter Warren Brumback, father of Oliver
Perry Hazard Brumback, was born in Bull Run, Virginia, in 1802. He
moved to Kentucky with his parents in 1806. In October, 1829, at
Middleton, Kentucky, he married Ann Elizabeth Estes. He died in
Huntsville, Illinois, November 27, 1867.
In 1845, Oliver Brumback went from Kentucky to Illinois where he was
married to Susan Elisabeth Allphin, a native of Schuyler County, and a
daughter of Reuben and Susan (Brumback) Allphin. During the Civil War,
Mr. Brumback raised a company in Schuyler County, Illinois, which was
mustered into service as Company F, 119th Regiment Illinois Infantry.
He was elected first lieutenant of the company at its organization.
This company received its baptism of fire at the battle of Shiloh and
Mr. Brumback was in the thick of the fray. They then went to Jackson,
Tennessee, under Grant and after campaigning in the West for some time,
Lieutenant Brumback's health failed and in 1863 he resigned his
commission. His brother, Benjamin, served in the Union army throughout
the Civil War.
After resigning his commission, Mr. Brumback was engaged in the general
mercantile business in Huntsville, Illinois, until May, 1870, when he
and his wife and six children drove in a covered wagon from Illinois to
Kansas, through El Dorado and Towanda which then was the only town in
west Butler County. In Milton Township they staked a claim, upland
acres, the northeast quarter of section 26. The five pioneering couples
in that section when the Brumbacks arrived were Mr. and Mrs. Amos
Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Adams, Mr. and
Mrs. James Jones and Mr. and Mrs. William J. McCraner. Texas cattle
ranged the prairies and wild game provided food. Mr. Brumback left the
wagon bed and cover as shelter for his family and drove the running
gears to Emporia from where he hauled lumber to build the first cabin
in Milton Township. He then carried mail from Emporia to El Dorado and
also "freighted" with wagon and team for the John H. Betts and N. F.
Frazier store in El Dorado. He soon made improvements on his homestead
and lived there forty-six years, selling the place to his son, Ernest,
and buying a store and becoming the postmaster in Brainerd. His was a
successful career. He never shirked a responsibility, or duty, whether
it was that of husband, father, citizen or soldier. Mr. Brumback died
in Brainerd February 8, 1916.
An unusual family history of patriotism is that of Mrs. Susan Elisabeth
Allphin Brumback, the widow of Oliver P. Brumback, who will celebrate
her ninety-eighth birthday anniversary March 1, 1935, and still lives
in Brainerd. With the exception of the Spanish-American War, she has
had close relatives in every war fought in America. None of her kin
ever lost his life on the battlefield, although several were severely
Her maternal grandfather, Peter Brumback, served throughout the seven
years of the Revolutionary War. An uncle served in the war of 1812. Her
father, Reuben Mansfield Allphin, and her brother, William, were in the
war with Mexico from 1846 to 1847, Reuben Mansfield Allphin was a son
of Zebulon Allphin who was a native of Orange County, Virginia, where
he lived at the time of the Revolutionary War but was too young to
enter service. Mrs. Brumback's great grandfather was a native of France
and a member of the old Bourbon aristocracy, states Judge Mooney's
history. Four of Mrs. Brumback's grandsons served in the World War. She
is one of the few surviving widows of Civil War veterans who were
married before that war. Mrs. Brumback's maternal grandmother, Mrs.
Elisabeth Lee Simpson Brumback, was a relative of the families of Gen.
Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Her paternal grandmother, Mrs.
Letitia Clarkson Allphin, was of Irish descent and was born in Orange
To Oliver and Susan Elisabeth Brumback eleven children were born-Austin
Mansfield, born in 1857; Clara, 1859; Virgil and Viola, twins, 1861;
Grace, 1864; Everett, 1866; Charles, 1868; Edgar, 1870; Harry, 1873;
George, 1875; William, 1877. Only Austin and Grace are living. Austin
Brumback was a member of the first class of the University of Kansas,
at Lawrence, later was a newspaper editor, school teacher and
superintendent of Butler County schools before engaging for many years
and until seven years ago, in the practice of law in El Dorado and in
Nevada; his children, Avis Brumback Fleming-Beidelman, of Belen, New
Mexico, and Ione Brumback Peterson of Los Angeles, were born in El
Dorado. Clara was educated in Illinois, attended teachers' institute in
El Dorado, taught school in Butler County and was one of the first
Kansas girls whose articles and verse were published; she married James
Cleveland Perry, a native of New York and a relative of Commodore
Oliver Hazard Perry of Lake Erie fame; after his death she married
Frederick Gaylor, of El Reno, Oklahoma. Mrs. Gaylor died in
Gainesville, Texas, in 1901. Her three children, Jessie Stratford,
Susan Long and Mercedes Holmes grew up in El Dorado. Edgar B. Brumback
was county attorney of Butler County and one of the prosecuting
attorneys in the famous Jessie Morrison case; he was city attorney of
El Dorado and practiced law here until failing health caused him to
move to New Mexico where he practiced law in Estancia and Santa Fe
until his death, in 1909. His widow, Minnie Joseph Brumback, former El
Dorado librarian and city clerk, member of a pioneer Butler County
family, has been a federal employe in the state house and federal
building in Santa Fe since his death. Ernest Brumback married Anna
Schroke, daughter of Fred Schroke, pioneer merchant of Brainerd and
Whitewater; Grace Brumback married George Haskins and lives in Gushing,
Oklahoma. They met at a Butler County Institute in El Dorado; both were
teachers; Viola Brumback, also a school teacher, married Marion Kinney.
The other children died in their youth.
Perhaps it is due to the fact that she is "of fighting stock" that Mrs.
Brumback, battling with high courage beside her husband to establish a
home on bare prairies, and give to her children every possible
educational advantage in a new country, encountered with fortitude all
the vicissitudes known to the pioneer. She emerged from those
vicissitudes with buoyant spirit, innate sense of humor intact;
physical and mental vigor and a sound and inspiring philosophy of life.
At 97, she is energetic, erect, absorbed as always in literature,
politics and world events. Always she has been an ardent Democrat; just
as her husband was an ardent Republican. A loyalty to the Presbyterian
and Methodist churches and concern for the welfare of others are
italicized in her Book of Life.