Butler  County,  Kansas


No definite cause has been determined for the death of Jeffrey Gill, 19, of Benton whose body was found March 23, along a deserted road southwest of Brookings, South Dakota.

An autopsy report received Monday April 17 by Butler County Sheriff’s Office from South Dakota said that no cause of death could be determined after the autopsy, which included a toxology investigation.

South Dakota investigators may be coming to Butler County this week to talk with persons who knew Gill, Sheriff Dave Williams said. Butler County officers already have interviewed acquaintances of the victim to determine who, if anyone, accompanied him to South Dakota.

Gill, a fur dealer, traveled frequently and was last seen around Benton in mid-March. He had lived in Wichita off and on during the past year.

Services for Gill were Saturday, April 15 at the Downing & Lahey East Mortuary, Wichita.

Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Gill, and a sister, Jill Gill, all of the home; a brother, Brock, and two grandmothers, Mrs. Beulah Hladik and Mrs. Anna Gill of Benton. (Rose Hill Reporter, April 19, 1978


A Wichita man who is accused of killing Jeffrey Gill of Benton, South Dakota, in March was to have a preliminary hearing on a murder charge Friday, May 19, at the Kingsbury County Courthouse in De Smet, S. D.

James Lee Perdue III, 19, was arrested May 5 in Wichita for Gill’s death and was taken to South Dakota after he waived extradition. Also arrested in the case was Dana Feuillerat, 19 who has given addresses both in Wichita and in Butler County. Feuillerat refused to waive extradition and is being held in the Butler County Jail. South Dakota authorities have issued a warrant for Feuillerat.

The body of Gill, a fur dealer who had lived in both Benton and Wichita during the past year, was found March 23 along a deserted road near Brookings, S. D. He apparently died of suffocation. His body was identified April 11 from Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprints. (Rose Hill Reporter, May 24, 1978)


One Wichita man has been taken to South Dakota for prosecution in the Jeffrey Gill murder case and another man is being held in the Butler County Jail pending extradition proceedings in the case.

James Lee Perdue III, 18, Wichita, was taken into custody late Friday afternoon May 5 and then left Friday night with South Dakota authorities after waiving extradition.

Dana W. Feuillerat, 19, Wichita, was picked up late Thursday May 4, on a parole violation and is still being held. Feuillerat, a former Butler County resident, refused to waive extradition.

South Dakota warrants are being issued for both men in the death of Gill, a former Benton resident whose body was found March 23 in a rural area near Brookings, S. D.

Local authorities have suspected Perdue and Feuillerat in the murder for two or three weeks, Sheriff Dave Williams said, but they were waiting for South Dakota authorities to arrive before taking the suspects into custody.

The two have given conflicting statements about the killing, but their statements link both of them to the murder, Williams said.

The 19 year old Gill, a fur dealer who had lived in both Benton and Wichita in recent months, was found face down in the snow along a deserted road 15 miles southwest of Brookings.

His body was identified April 11 from FBI fingerprints. The sheriff’s office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation have been involved in the investigation since that time. (Rose Hill Reporter, May 10, 1978)


A fiery crash near Leon killed a Newton family of four Monday afternoon, May 15, when a semi-trailer truck drove over their car while they were stopped at a construction site 3-1/2 miles east of Leon on K-96.

The victims were pronounced dead at the scene after the truck hit the rear of their car, continued over the top of the car and hit a second car which also had been stopped at the highway construction site by a flagman. All three vehicles then went into a ditch and caught fire.

The Highway Patrol identified the victims as Lawrence J. Lowe, 52; his wife, Katherine P. Lowe, 52; and their daughters, Katherine L. Lowe, 19 and Elizabeth A. Lowe, 8.

The truck driver, John W. Coleman, 25, Eustis, Fla., was hospitalized in Augusta. A hospital administrator said that Coleman is in good condition with minor injuries, although a Highway Patrol spokesman said that the driver was in “severe mental shock.”

The passengers in the second car all were treated and released at the Augusta Medical Complex Inc. They are identified as Verna L. Rodden, 27 and Alma Rodden, 51 both of Bentonville, Ark.; Otto C. Calico, 69 and Alice Calcio, 72, both of Huntsville, Ark., and Ona Thomas, 33, Golden City, Mo.

The accident happened about 4:25 p.m. at the site of Kansas Department of Transportation repairs. Both the Lowe vehicle, which was a 1973 Buick and the other car a 1976 Chevrolet, were westbound. The Lowe family was trapped in the wreckage, but all of the occupants of the other car escaped from their vehicle.

Charges are expected to be filed, but the specific charges will not be k known until the Highway Patrol trooper who investigated the accident, Rod King of Augusta, talks with the driver and with officials in the Butler County Attorney’s office, the Highway Patrol said.

Local arrangements were handled by the Dietz-Carlson Funeral Home. Services are tentatively scheduled for Thursday at Newton. Draper-Cannon Funeral Home of Newton is in charge of arrangements. (Rose Hill Reporter, May 18, 1978)


A Florida man was arraigned on four counts of involuntary manslaughter Thursday, May 18, in the deaths of a rural Walton family near Leon on Monday.

John W. Coleman, 25, Eustis, Fla., was arraigned in Butler County District Court and then was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing was set for June 9.

Coleman was the driver of a semi-trailer truck which ran over the victims’ car while it was stopped at a highway construction site 3-1/2 miles east of Leon on K-96.

The victims were Lawrence J. Lowe, 52, his wife, Katherine P. Lowe 52, and their daughters, Katherine L. Lowe, 19, and Elizabeth A. Lowe, 8. (Rose Hill Reporter, May 24, 1978)


A former Andover man drowned and another man was hospitalized Saturday, May 13, as a result of a canoeing accident on the Walnut River near Augusta.

The body of Victor W. Wohrley, 25, Wichita, was recovered from the river at 6:50 p.m. Saturday after the canoe he was in capsized while the two men were attempting to go over a cement spillway. The other man, Huey P. Prohn Jr., 20, Wichita, was pulled from the water by Mike Rawlings of Augusta and was taken to the Augusta Medical Complex for observation.

The accident happened about 2:15 p.m. Saturday. The men had put the canoe into the river east of Augusta and were apparently going to try to ride the river to Douglass, Undersheriff Ron Peters said.

They went over one cement spillway, then tried to go over another one. The canoe went straight down, filled up with water, and capsized, Peters said. Both of the men were thrown out of the craft.

Prohn took hold of a log and tried to hold on to Wohrley, but he felt himself going under until he was rescued by Rawlings, Peters said.

Wohrley’s body was found between 75 and 100 feet downstream from the point where the canoe went under, Peters said. The men who found the body during the dragging operations were Butch Thomas of the Augusta Police Department of public safety and Bob Thomas of El Dorado, an official of the Fish and Game Commission. (Rose Hill Reporter, May 18, 1978)


Mrs. Belle Gibson Milligan is the mother of a daughter since last Saturday. We “gush” congratulations to the parents and grandparents Col. & Mrs. Gibson. (Walnut Valley Times, Tuesday, March 1, 1887


Judge Aikman issued marriage licenses yesterday to James Roth age 23 and Magdalina Rich age 22. (Walnut Valley Times, Tuesday, March 1, 1887)


Died February 26th W. H. Dunlevy of pneumonia, aged 48 years. Mrs. Dunlevy was among the earliest settlers here coming to El Dorado in 1870. He was highly esteemed as a man and citizen. He was a loyal soldier early in our civil war joining an Indian Cavalry Co. He received severe wounds from which he only partially recovered. His remains were escorted on Sunday to the East Cemetery by his comrades of W. H. L. Wallace Post and by the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows of which orders he was an honored member. Added to those was a procession over a mile long of his neighbors and friends. Peace to his ashes. (Walnut Valley Times, March 1, 1887)


Robert Vernon Carter, 2 month old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest G. Carter, 717 Benton Avenue, died at 5:30 o’clock this morning following a three week illness caused by whooping cough and pneumonia.

Funeral services will be held at 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon at the home. They will be conducted by Rev. C. A. Kitch, pastor of the Methodist Church. Burial will be made in West Cemetery. The turner Mortuary is in charge. (El Dorado Times, Thursday, January 7, 1926)


Robert Hays, six year old son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Hays, who formerly lived in El Dorado died last night in a St. Luke’s hospital. The body will be brought to El Dorado for burial tomorrow morning. The time of the funeral has not been determined. Mr. Hays was superintendent of the Gypsy Oil Company in El Dorado until last September when he was transferred to Sapulpa, Oklahoma. (El Dorado Times, Tuesday, January 26, 1926)


Madge Morain, three year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mack Morain who lives on the Wilson lease died at 7:35 o’clock this morning at St. Luke’s hospital. The cause of her death was pneumonia. The body will be taken tomorrow morning to Pierce City, Mo. for burial. It is in charge of the Byrd Brothers Funeral Home.

Madge was born on August 26, 1922 at Springfield, Mo. She is survived by her parents and brothers, Marcene Neal and Cletus Alvin and her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Majors of El Dorado and Mr. and Mrs. William T. Morain of Joplin, Mo.

Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at Pierce City. (El Dorado Times, January 14, 1926)


Former Residence Dies in Oklahoma

W. J. Mendenhall, a former resident of El Dorado, died last night at his home in Claremore, Oklahoma. The body will be brought to El Dorado on a Missouri Pacific train for burial at 6 o’clock in the afternoon at the Byrd Brothers Funeral Home. Burial will be made in West Cemetery.

Mr. Mendenhall was at one time a member of the city council here and was an active worker in the Methodist Church. He is survived by three daughters, two of whom live at home and another, Mrs. George H. Ryan who lives in California. He was about eighty years old. (El Dorado Times, January 15, 1926)


Ila Gene one year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burr Williams of Sallyards died at 7:30 o’clock this morning at St. Luke’s hospital after an illness of three weeks caused by pneumonia. The body will be taken tonight to Marion, Ind. Burial will be made at Van Buren, Ind.

Ila Gene was born on January 8, 1925 at Madison. She was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Williams. Mr. Williams is a brother of H. M. Williams, superintendent of the Mid Kansas Oil and Gas Company.

The body is in charge of Byrd Brothers Funeral Home. (El Dorado times, January 22, 1926)


Mrs. Catharine Murdock mother of the editors of the Republican and Wichita Eagle died in Wichita. (Walnut Valley Times, March 2, 1887


February 27 at his brides home, by Rev. W. H. Fitch, Mr. David W. Jones and Miss Emily Woodall of Brained were married. (Walnut Valley Times, March 4, 1887)


Married on March 2nd by Rev. W. H. Fitch at the residence of the bride’s father Mr. David Kell and Miss Mary Shuman. (Walnut Valley Times, March 4, 1887)


Mr. and Mrs. John Horner of Branerd have trod life’s path together for 30 years have reached what the imaginative call their “pearl wedding” which is to be celebrated on the evening of the 16th inst. By invitation of a few friends. (Walnut Valley Times, March 5, 1887, Saturday)


The sweet little 10 month old babe of Mr. and Mrs. Jno Cupples died last Friday night and was buried yesterday. (Walnut Valley Times, March 7, 1887)


Died, December 29, Mrs. Louise Entz, at Newton, Kansas. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery. (Independent, January 2, 1958)


Died, June 6, Mary Louise Entz, at Bethel Deaconess Hospital. Survived by her parents; Bernahard and Frieda Entz, siblings, Ruth, Eleanor, Paul, Walter and Kenneth. Burial was in Emmaus Mennonite Church Cemetery. (Independent, June 15, 1950)


Died, February 20, Henry Epp, son of John and Marie Epp. Married to Margaretha Wiens and father of 4 children. Survived by 5 children: Margaretha, Mrs. C. R. Regier, Marie, Henry W. and Walter. Burial is in Zion Cemetery. (Independent, February 29, 1940)


Died, July 28, Mrs. Henry (Wiens) Epp, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Abraham Wiens, at the Bethel Hospital, Newton, Kansas. Married to Henry Epp and mother of 5 children. Burial was in Zion Cemetery (Independent, August 1, 1935)


Died, February 18, Henry W. Epp, at Bethel hospital. Survived by wife, Mary, children: Melvin, Leonard, Herbert, Tony, Mrs. Lucille Ewert, Mrs. Vera Hofer, Margaret & Mary, brother: Pete Epp and sisters, Mrs. C. R. Regier and Mrs. Jake Ratzlaff. Burial was in Zion Cemetery. (Indpendent, February 27, 1947)


Died, January 5, Mrs. Johanna Epp, 80, at Salem Hopsital. Married Rev. Jacob Epp. Survived by daughters, Mrs. Arnold Claassen, Mrs. Eddie Ferrel & Mrs. Selbert Sharpe, son, Rev. Theodore Epp, sister, Mrs. Frank Thimm & Mrs. Elizabeth Penner, brother, Walter Von Steen. (Indpendent, January 7, 1965)


Died, April 16, John Epp, Married Margaret Toevs, and then Anna (Regier) Epp, and 9 children born to the union. (Independent, April 22, 1943)


Died September 16, Mrs. John Epp. Burial was in German Cemetery northeast of Whitewater. (Independent, September 19, 1907)


Died, September 21, Mrs. Mary Epp, at Bethel Deaconess Hospital. Survived by sisters: Anna Epp, Mrs. B. G. Harder, and Mrs. Ernest Claassen and step brother, John Wiebe. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, October 4, 1956)


Died December 22, Rev. Jacob B. Epp at Bethel Deaconess hospital. Survived by wife, a son, daughters, Mrs. A.C. Claassen, Mrs. E. A. Ferrer and Mrs. Selbert Sharp, and sisters: Sister Ida Epp and Mrs. B. G. Regier. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery. (Independent, January 1946)


Died, March 12, Artie Douglas Erwin, 52, at St. Francis Hosptial. Survived by wife: Thelma, sons, Kenneth and Russell, daughters, Audrey and Mrs. Joe Heath, father: William, brothers, Carl, Laural, Theodore, Robert and Eddie and sister, Mrs. Oma Blackford and Mrs. Roy Rousey. (Independent, May 15, 1962)


Died, February 14, Mrs. Mary Menervia (Lampman) Erwin, at son’s home. Married William Erwin. Survived by husband, sons, Carl, Lorel, Theodore, Eddie, Bob and Douglas, daughters: Oma, Bonnie and Norma, and brother Smith Brown. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, February 25, 1954)


Died, December 25, William Clark Erwin, at Winfield, Kansas hospital. Survived by daughters, Mrs. Roy Rowsey and Mrs. Ralph Blackford, and sons, Carl, Lorel, Theodore and Bob. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, December 30, 1965)


Died October 21, 1924, Abe Esau (Independent, October 23, 1924)


Died July 10, George Edward Esau, at Bethel hospital, Newton, Kansas. Married Clara Claassen. Survived by wife, sons: Harold, Victor, Elbert, and Paul, daughter: Elma, and 17 grandchildren. Burial was in Emmaus Church Cemetery. (Independent, July7, 1966)


Died June 25, “infant child” of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Esau of Brainerd, Kansas. (Independent, June 30, 1921)


Died July 15, Mrs. Marie (Martens) Esau, daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth Martens at Bethel Home for the aged. Married Abraham Esau. In 1892 she came with the Peter Claassen family to America and settled at Beatrice, NE. Burial was in Emmaus Cemetery. (Independent, July 22, 1954)


Died December 16, Cordelia Luella Eskridge, at St. Francis hospital. Survived by mother: Mrs. Sarah Eskridge, and sister, Mrs. O. S. Shirk. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, December 20, 1951)


Died April 12, Samuel Eskridge, in Wichita, Kansas. Samuel lived in the Whitewater area for 54 years. Survived by his widow; Mrs. Sarah (Weston) Eskridge, daughters, Cordia and Mrs. Cora E. Swarthout. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, April 16, 1942)


Died June 22, Mrs. Sarah (Weston) Eskridge, at Fannie Moorman’s home. Married Samuel Eskridge. Survived by daughters, Mrs. O. C. Shirk. Burial was in Whitewater Cemetery. (Independent, June 23, 1955)


Died November 10, Harvey Essington, son of Tom and Belle Essington. Survived by wife: Tracy, one daughter and five sons. He was a nephew of Lint White. Burial was in the Alliance Cemetery beside his mother. (Independent, December 6, 1951)


Died September 23, Mrs. Isabel (White) Essington at the home of her son, Harvey. Survived by her son and five siblings: C. L., F. A., Warren L., Mrs. Lucy A. Gore and Mrs. Mary E. Richardson. Burial was in Alliance, Alberta, Canada. (Independent, October 7,1937)


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