Butler County,  Kansas



Augusta's oldest citizen (possibly Butler County's oldest) will be honored Sunday, when Alma (Mrs. Will H.) Cummings celebrates her 99th birthday. Now a resident of Walnut Valley Manor, Mrs. Cummings has lived in Augusta 50 years.

She has been a member of First United Methodist Church throughout that period and is one of that church's oldest members, also.

Born on a farm in the Rose Hill community in 1875 to Mr. and Mrs. Asberry McKnight (her mother was the former Martha Chance), Alma attended school near Rose Hill. She married Will H. Cummings, the son of pioneer Butler County family, on her 22nd birthday, January 20, 1897. She and her husband lived on a farm north of Rose Hill for the next 26 years. They became residents of Augusta in 1923, when Mr. Cummings became County Superintendent of Roads and, later, as Butler County Commissioner. He died in 1951.

Mrs. Cummings is the mother of three, each of whom lives in Augusta: Bernice (Mrs. George) Clinger, 139 Main St., Orville E. Cummings, 1054 Osage St., and Audine (Mrs. Sam Miller, 1716 Washington Lane. She also has a grandson, Jack Miller, a teacher in Denver, Colorado, and four great-grandchildren: David and Philip Clinger, Wichita, and Diane and Wendy Miller, Denver. Another grandson, James Clinger, died in 1969. (Augusta Gazette, Jan. 18, 1874)


Glancing through an issue of the Leon Indicator dated Thrusday, November 29, 1905, the other day Mrs. Richard C. Woodward (Pauline Getter) was intrigued by a write-up of an annual birthday party complimenting her mother, Mrs. John Chandler Getter, Mrs. H. M. Cotton and Mrs. Bert Womacks. The story was signed "By One Who Was There" and named other persons present as Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tabing, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Cotton, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Servis, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. McCaffree, O. H. and Elmer; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cotton, Mr. and Mrs. H. L. McCullough, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Erwin, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Sowers, Mesdames D. G. Butts, J. Warner, Nicholas Hunsinger, D. K. Redmon, E. S. Denny, Henry Martin, William Ellet, J. P. Huntley, B. F. Womacks; Agnes and Ira Cotton, Laura Butts, Bryan Denny, Gertrude Martin, J. W. Megan and R. L. Larned. The editor - owner of the Indicator was J. C. Hannon..... Mrs. Getter, the former Clara Denny, who is a resident of the Valley View Convalescent Home at El Dorado, was feted up on her 89th  birth anniversary the 22nd of last November. A birthday cake and baked turkey were on the menu. Mr. and Mrs. R. C. woodward and Mary Margaret and Richard Charles King were the hosts and hostesses. Mrs. Getter was born in Hancock County, Indiana and came to Butler County in 1882. (El Dorado Times, Feb. 24, 1968)



Mrs. Edith Hill who resides at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. H. Hamblet of 327 Columbia, Augusta, was honored on her 101st birthday anniversary, Tuesday, April 27, at a family dinner party.

A longtime resident of Augusta, Mrs. Hill was a close friend of the late Mrs. William Powell whose daughters, Mrs. Murray M. Gilkeson and Mrs. M. M. McIntosh, live in El Dorado.

Mrs. Hill was born in 1864. She and her husband, the late Thomas Hill, had five children, nine grandchildren, twenty-seven great grandchildren and eight great great grandchildren. (El Dorado Times, May 6, 1965)


Mrs. Letitia Marshall Observes 90th Birthday Anniversary

Today – October 21, 1969 marks an important milestone in the life of Mrs. Letitia Marshall. Today she enters the 90th year of her life.

A native born Butler countian and a lifelong resident of this community, Mrs. Marshall the former Miss Letitia Griggs was born in the West Branch community.

She and her husband, the late Dill Marshall, were engaged in farming prior to his death in 1947.

They were the parents of three sons, Keith Marshall of 319 South Race, Ivan Marrshall of 916 West Locust and Earl Marshall of El Dorado, Route 3.

The family group also includes one granddaughter, Mrs. Ben Watkins (Vesta Marshall) of 1409 Cave Springs, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Marshall.

In addition there is one stepgrandson James R. Pierce and two step great-granddaughters, Mrs. Sheryl Barnhart of Erie and Miss Diane Pierce of Wichita.

Youngest of the clan is the great-great-stepson Breck Barnhart who is 2-1/2 years old.

Although the passing years have taken their toll, Mrs. Marshall enjoys good health, considering her age. For some time, prior to May this year, she shared the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Marshall. Since that time, she has been a resident of the Sarah Watson Nursing Home.

The aged El Doradoan enjoys handwork of various kinds, with embroidered pillowcases and hand-made aprons a specialty.

Mrs. Marshall will be honored guest this evening in the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Ben Watkins. A family dinner is planned. (El Dorado times, Oct. 21, 1969)


J. A. Smith Observes 92nd Birthday Working as Usual

How many men past 90 do you know who can chin themselves over the doorway, put in a hard day's work making garden and crawl under the house to repair the plumbing?

Most people around Augusta can name only one, the spry and agile J. A. Smith, who observed his 92nd birthday on Friday.

Mr. Smith doesn't have much time for celebrating birthday's with a 1-1/2 acre truck garden to till. But he is delighted to show visitors around the stately premises located at the former rock quarry south of Augusta on Osage street road.

"The season kind of worked backwards this spring," he said, glancing at 12 long rows of tomatoes he just set out after starting them in a hotbed. "It started out warm, then we got a freeze, then a dry spell in April and now a little rain."

But a seasoned husbandman like Mr. Smith takes these weather conditions all in stride and swings with the punches. The clean rows free of weeds indicate the pride he and his son Ralph put in their work.

"We started harvesting our first crop of potatoes May 20," he said holding up a bagful of freshly dug spuds. "Been eating turnips since February. Radishes have gone to seed. Onions and green beans and black eyed peas are coming right along."

The sweet peppers and beets are also growing and the sweet corn should be well over knee high by the fourth of July and growing roasting ears by this date.

The 13 acres operated by Smith and son lies along a creek that branches into the Walnut River.

Father and son work like a team in keeping their garden as free from weeds as a table top. Ralph loosens the ground with a roto tiller and the senior Mr. Smith follows it up with a hoe.

They have also taken great pride in their neighborhood and have waged an anti-litter campaign along Osage street road during the 26 years they have lived there. Many tons of trash and junk dumped along the roadside by careless persons have been burned or hauled away by the Smith's.

J. A. and Ralph mastered the art of dressing stone after moving to the former quarry and have constructed several handsome limestone buildings, including their home as well as a garage and utility house.

An artistic stone wall was worked into the front landscape and 70 pillars of assorted pieces of native stone have been added at various locations.

They have also built an artistic picnic area near the creek which features a cobble stone picnic table, oven and grill, and even a cable chair ride up and down the hill for the youngsters. Many church groups, Grange units and Scout troops have enjoyed these facilities in the colorful, rural surrounding.

Mr. Smith was a grocery retail merchant 25 years in Wichita and later operated a store four years in the Rock community before moving to his present acreage. Another son, Glenn, still operates the Wichita store in the 1400 block on South Waco.

The late Daniel Johnson, a charter member of Baker University was a grandfather of J. A. Smith. One of the stones in the Smith house came from the first building on the Baker campus and is inscribed with the date 1871.

Like other farms in their neighborhood, the Smith property was isolated from the mainstream of Augusta traffic by the recent closing of the Osage street bridge. But it is still not hard to find the place. Just head south on US-77 out of Augusta, cross the first bridge, turn east and follow the road until it makes a turn, then go north and the old stone quarry is at the foot of the hill.

Before picking up the hoe for another round in the potato patch, Mr. Smith had some pointers for other golden agers.

"Keep busy and get plenty of exercise. I do a lot of walking and can still walk into town. That's what keeps the body nimble and the mind alert."

"He does a lot of exercising in the winter too," laughed Ralph. "You ought to see him chin himself up over the doorway." (Augusta Gazette, June 3, 1972)


Mrs. Fannie Hull Wilson, of Potwin, a patient in Allen Memorial Hospital since May, 1960, will observe her 108th birthday anniversary Friday.

A party in her honor will be held at the hospital Friday and friends will call from 2 to 4 p.m.

Friday will be Mrs. Wilson's 534th day as a patient in the local hospital where she has been confined since suffering a broken hip May 7, 1960.

Mrs. Wilson, Butler County's oldest citizen, is alert and attentive, and amazes friends and visitors to her hospital room her keen knowledge of current affairs.

Earlier this year, she received a birthday greeting card from President John F. Kennedy for her 107th birthday. Although she was unable to be present, she was accorded honors by the committee staging the annual Potwin Old People's Day observance. In past years, she had been a principal figure and honoree at that established celebration.

Mrs. Wilson, a college graduate and former Butler County school teacher, was born Dec. 22, 1853.

At the hospital, she receives all visitors with enthusiasm and enjoys conversing with them concerning varied subjects. She is in room 258.
(El Dorado Times ~ Thursday, 21 Dec 1961)


The following clever account of the birth of a baby girl was received at the News office this week:

"A Red Letter day for former Leon folk - Edna Semisch Culbertson of Salt Lake City, Utah, is "spoiling" her ninth great grandchild, and by the same token Edna's daughter, Frances Eloise Underwood Brunatti is contributing her share of "spoiling" to her third grandchild. Also the aforesaid Edna's granddaughter who happens to answer to Frances Bruantti's daughter, Carmen Ann Ontiveros, looks on helplessly as her grandma and mother "spoil" her firstborn girl, Kristi Ann, a goodly seven pounder as of March 16. A good time was had by all. Great grandma and grandma are doing fine."

The writer, J. Culbertson, also reminds us of the article which he was honored to have published in the December issue of the American Heritage. He suggests it can probably be found in the public library.

There is also a copy of the book in the News office which anyone who cares to may borrow. The editors only recently received the issue and are looking forward eagerly to reading the story, entitled "A Pennsylvania Boyhood." (El Dorado times, March 30, 1967)


Earl Hodges of Cassoday received the congratulations of 111 relatives and friends as he observed his 83rd birthday anniversary on Sunday afternoon at his home.

Members of the family arranged the open house event as a surprise for Mr. Hodges. He received many numerous gifts and scores of greeting cards.

Attending from El Dorado were Messrs and Mmes. Eldon Yarnall, George Banks, Howard Cool, Dale Satterthwaite, Tom Hand, Mart Arnall, Virgil Johnson, Pete Reid, Earl Satterthwaite, Russell Griffith, Eugene Nellans, Jerry Pippig and Art Kropf.

Others from El Dorado were Misses Joyce Yarnall, Angie Griffith and Bessie Hodges; Elaine and Bob Nellans; Messrs. Ray Calloway and Glen Stangle; Mmes, Mary Hand, Ruth Arnall, Mary Rohmeyer and Eva Snyder.

Those from Cassoday were Messrs and Mmes. Ralph Prewitt, Charles Hodges, Junior Miller, Ray (Turk) Harsh, Jay Hoy, Larry Patton, Chad Patton, Calvin Hinde, Merlyn Andrew, John Hoy, Kenneth Hoy.

Also Gary, Teresa and Marg Prewitt, Shelly Hodges, Pam, Mike and Pat Miller, Janice and Jane Patton; Mmes. Louise Reed, Larry Nelson, Jay Young, the Rev. Harmon Lackey; Messrs. Bus Young, Raymond Prewitt and Forrest Plummer.

Guests from Wichita included Messr. And Mmes. Charles McCune, Keene Schaaf and Ivan Childres; Miss Delores Barngrover; Messrs. Mike Douthett, Craig Palmateer and Jack Hennngh; Cheryl and Cindy McCune and Joe Childres.

Completing the group were Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Hinde and Mrs. Barry Linnens and Kelly, of Florence, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hoy and Greg, of Emporia, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Clements, Ereline, Vernon, Chris and Linda of Holton, Mr. and Mrs. Cloise Orr of Urich, Mo., Mr. and Mrs. Warren Swanson of Burns and Mrs. Roger Hall of Andover.

Mr. and Mrs. Hodges moved to the Cassoday Community from Chelsea in 1933. They were engaged in farming operations before moving into the town in 1945. During the ensuing six years, until 1951, they operated a grocery store in Cassoday.

At that time Mr. Hodges became night superintendent for the Moose Lodge, a post he filled until 1969.

Mr. and Mrs. Hodges enjoy the friendship of scores of residents of their home community and in all areas of Butler County. (El Dorado Times, September 29, 1972)


Mrs. Cora Seward, of El Dorado, but formerly of Leon, celebrated her 90th birthday anniversary Thursday, March 10th, in a quiet manner, with calls between then and Sunday from her children and friends.

Mrs. Seward who fell and broke a hip a few years ago, gets around in her wheel chair, but she is able to be out and recline in a chair or on the divan where she uses her hands in making hooked rugs, does needlework of various kinds, or watches TV, seemingly content with her lot. She is indeed lucky as she has a most loved and capable companion in Mrs. Lura Bacon who is with her 24 hours of every day, but who also is granted special privileges which makes her life most pleasant.

Mrs. Seward, born Cora Parker, daughter of the late Joel and Martha Sinclair Parker, a pioneer couple is the last living member of her family. She was born March 10, 187 and was married to Freeman Seward on February 11, 1900. They spent their married life on the farm and in ranching. From her birth to the loss of her husband on October 10, 1948, Mrs. Seward was a farm girl, a farm wife and mother, and lived the simple pleasures she found on the rich fertile acres of farm land or in gazing out over the green pastures where the cattle grazed. But upon being left alone in the roomy and lovely old farm home she found she couldn't remain there, so she purchased a home in El Dorado where she has resided ever since.

She is the mother of one daughter and three sons - Mrs. Calvin (Ruby) Brown of Cheney, Ivan C. and Wayne H. Seward of Leon, and Freeman Seward of Eureka. She is the grandmother of 13 with only two of them, Paul and Darrell Seward, remaining in Leon. The others are scattered far and wide. She also has a number of great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Seward has seen vast changes made in this world during her 90 years, and in looking back at the old order of things, no doubt today marvels at the progress she has seen and enjoys in her declining years. (El Dorado Times, March 17, 1966)


The Family of LaNora McAdoo invites you to join them in celebrating LaNora's 90th birthday.

The celebration will be Sunday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the community room of Heritage House 211 N. Gordy.

LaNora turned 90 on Feb. 8.

Hosting the celebration will be her son Joe and his wife, Sidney of Springfield, Mo., and LaNora's daughter Susan of Wichita. (El Dorado Times, Friday, February 24, 2006)


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