Oliver Hazard Perry Brumback 

Butler County, Kansas’ Eighty Years Bios
(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 wounded.

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 County, Virginia.

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.

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