History of Rozel

Compiled by Karl W. Smith, Carrol Smith Rice, Berniece Fromong and Hazel Fromong
Published in the Great Bend Tribune, Bicentennial Edition of July 4, 1976, Section F, pages 4 and 5.


Elmer Arnold

Elmer Arnold's father, Loren E. Arnold, and his descendants have owned Land and farmed In the Rozel trade territory since 1892. Peter Arnold. Loren's father, originally brought the family to Pawnee County (Ash Valley) in 1876. Later Peter Arnold and all his children, except Loren, migrated to California.

Loren E. Arnold married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Griffith in 1892. Their children were Fred, died in infancy; Lee W., married to the late Bess Michael, now deceased: Ruby, of Mulvane. Ks.. was married to the late Clarence Braley: and Charles Monroe, of Rozel married Mary Gum. Charles still lives on the Arnold homestead located in Keysville Township.

A historical note of interest to the present farming population of Rozel are a few lines taken from the book Kansas and Kansans published in 1918. The book highlighted pioneer Kansas families including Loren Arnold.

"Mr Arnold had planted an 80 acre tract to wheat in 1893. The total grain thrashed amounted to 48 bushels.The thrasher received 24 bushels. The landlord received 12 bushels and Mr. Arnold received 12 bushels and Mr. Arnold At that time wheat sold at only 30 cents a bushel. In those days. Mr. Arnold recalls, everybody in the country, including the 'bon tons' used the familiar buffalo or cow chips for fuel."

Elmer Arnold married Bonnie Compton at the Rozel Methodist parsonage the evening of her high school graduation. May 18. 1922. Their first home was on the homestead in Keysville Township, south of Rozel. Loren and Lizzie had moved to Rozel and purchased the property once known as the Daddy Franz Place.

Elmer and Bonnie had three children. Eugene, now deceased and Ralph, of Larned, were born on the family homestead. Martha (Arnold) Sauer was born after the family moved one and a quarter miles north of Rozel on land he later purchased from the first Rozel High School Superintendent. L.L. Kauffman.

Elmer Arnold, who was killed In a farm accident in1968. was a highly visible promoter of the Rozel community and the agriculture of Pawnee County.

Elmer was on the Rozel school board for many years, and was involved at the time of the consolidation of the Lincoln Township area and the Keysville Township area into the Rozel school district. Of particular interest is the fact that Adlai Umberger, Ralph Scott and Elmer Arnold were the school board members when an old wood frame one-room school building was moved in behind the existing high school and the first hot lunch school dinners were started The date was approximately 1946.

Elmer Arnold was a member of the Board of Directors and at one time Chairman of the Board of the Union Co-op Grain Company, was a board member and chairman of the Pawnee County Farm Bureau, served two terms on the State Farm Bureau Board, was on the Grant Township Board, and was a Pawnee County Commissioner at the time of his death.

Elmer Arnold was an ardent supporter of his church and was a leader in the successful effort to build the new Methodist Church in Rozel.

After his death, his wife Bonnie moved to Hutchinson. His daughter, Martha Sauer, continues to live on the farm that he started putting together In 1929.

The Ralph Arnolds have three children. Their daughters, Jane Grandy and Dru Palmar, live in Larned and their son. Stan, lives in Great Bend. There are four grandchildren.

Joe and Martha (Arnold) Sauer have three children.Their son, Dennis, and daughter, Jolene, live near Rozel. Their other daughter. Karen, lives In Hutchinson. There are four grandchildren. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Sanford A. Arnold

Sanford A. Arnold. Civil War veteran, born in 1846, died in 1942. Born in Hanover. Ohio, be enlisted at the age of 17 and was a member of Co. F. of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was wounded twice. He married Margaret Swihart In Ohio in 1867. He came to Pawnee County In March 1876 and bought a relinquishment on a quarter of land, and proved it up to make it his first permanent home. During the lean years, he freighted in supplies from Saline,Texas and Oklahoma, acting as agent and saving enough to buy an additional quarter for 1800. When the Jetmore branch of the Santa Fe was built, a station near the Arnold home was named "Sanford," in his honor. He built a private elevator there, the first building on the town site. His children are Jessie. Grace, Maude, Charles. John, Frank M.. William H. and Edward. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Frank and Flora Arnold

Frank was born in 1872 at Hanover. Ohio. Flore Tuttle was born In New Haven. Ohio. April 27,1863. They were married June 28, 1897. Their children are Ralph, Harold and Nellie. Ralph married Mabel Speer. and had four children; Leora, Orlo, Fyrma and Dunne. Harold married Lois Balman. Their children are Dorothy, Norma and Wilma. Nellie married Ed Boman. Frank died In 1944 and Flora on April 27, 1963. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Fred and Christina Balman

Fred Balman was born May 31, 1894. in Grundy County. Missouri, and moved with his family north of Rozel in 1906. He married Christina Riedl, born Dec. 20. 1892. daughter of Frank (Frantz) Riedl. of Olmitz, Rozel, where their six sons were born. They were active Rozel whee their six sons were born. They were active in the community and in the Baptist Church, with Fred serving on several boards including the Union Co-op Elevator. The boys all graduated from Rozel High, On Oct. 16,1948. Fred died. Later Christy (as she was called) moved to RozeL She cooked at the school for 14 years. When she retired she quilted many quilts. In 1979 she moved to Hutchinson and lives in the Mennonite home there.

She still is an avid quitter; she has made or quilted over 600 quilts. 92 in the last six years. Now, at the age of 93. she is learning wood-carving to help fill her idle time, when she is not making potholders, pillows and dollies, quilt piecing or quilting. And to top it off she is even cutting two teeth. Their children are Nolan, Floyd, John, Robert, Gail and Bruce.

Nolan Frederick, born June 14. 1916; died Feb. 12, 1978. He graduated from Ft. Hays. Moody Bible Institute. Sterling College and Bob Jones University in South Carolina and was ordained in May 1942. He married Ruth Horst on Feb. 8. 1942. They served as missionaries in South Africa for 12 years and served pastorates in Kansas. Ohio and Pennsylvania. He was on the faculty of Lancaster Bible College and was President of Harrisburg School of the Bible when he died of cancer. Their children are Phyllis. Rebecca.Daniel Lowell and Loren.

Floyd, born Sept. 7. 1917, married Edith Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson. They were both teachers and live in Detroit, Mich. Their children are Carolyn, Marshall and JoLynn.

John Allan, born Oct 30. 1918, married Ida Neil (Boitnottt) Browne of Burdett. on April 30. 1948. He was a farmer and died March 23. 1973. Their children are Mary Gargas and Nancy Barnes. Step children are Michael Browne and Kathy Browne Olsen.

Robert Irvin, born Nov. 21, 1921, married Nadine Franz, daughter of Dewey Franz. Their children are Gary and Robin

Gail Eugene, born July 8,1932, married Nan Paston. They have one son, Steven.

Bruce Richard, born Aug. 27,1932, married Barbara Grant of Hanston. Ks. They have two sons. Bradley and Brian. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Glenn Balman

J.W. Balman came to the United States from England in 1871 and moved with his family to Pawnee County, north of Rozel in Lincoln Township in the early 1900s, They had eight children, only four remaining at Kansas and only two in Pawnee County. John E. and Fred, John lived on the homestead built by his father until they moved to Rozel. They had eight children, one died In infancy; Laura Smith, Velma Patterson, Lois Arnold. Wayne, Melvin. Glenn and Elaine.

Glenn married Viola Spreier, daughter of David Spreier and they lived on a farm north of Rozel and raised their family of seven. Glenn was on the township board, active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the family was busy with 4-H activities, as well as all the school sports, music and community events. They moved to Rozel in 1968 and operated the grocery store they had purchased from Fern Kltch.

Later Glenn opened a general repair shop. They had several foster children in their home. Viola died in 1977. Their children are David of Missoula. Mont.; Richard of Rozel; Kay of Omaha. Neb.; Pat of Noble, Okla.: Glenda of Kansas City. Mo.; Stanley of Hutchinson, and Clyde, deceased. Only Richard lives in Rozel. He married Anita Conrardy of Stratton, Colo. Their children are Leslie (Mrs. Rusty Coker). Danny and Richard Glenn married Florence Zelner of Great Bend in 1979. She died Jan. 17, 1986. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

John Weber Balman
By Karl W. Smith

Mr. Balman came to the United States from England at the age of 28. arriving in New York City on May 4. 1871.

He was born May 24, 1843, In Broomfort, Barton, Jacobston, Brookshire, England, the son of Edward and Ann (Weber) Balman. He had relatives at Torquay. Plymouth. Cullompton. South Zeal, and Oakhampton, all in the southern pert of England.

There were at least two brothers and two sisters in the family.

One brother died Dec. 3, 1916 at Hayne Oak, Cullompton. England; another brother, William, lived in Broomfort. Two married sisters, Bessie and Tilla, also lived in that area. Tilla married John Squire of Sticklepath. one mile from South Zeal.

It is not known how he happened to settle in Missouri, but in 1872 be was farming a few miles from Chula. Missouri. It was there he met and married Martha Jane Kilburn on June 1. 1873. She was the daughter of Thomas and Jane Kilburn. Mr. Kilburn was a farmer, formerly of Kentucky and is listed in the 1860 Grundy County, Mo. census with a family of nine children, of which Martha Jane Kilburn was the eighth child, born in Missouri in 1946.

John W. and Martha Jane Balman were the parents of six children: John Edward, Charlotte Ann, Ellen Louise, William Henry, Thomas Kilburn, Moody Charles.

John Edward, born Jan. 14,1876. died Jan. 31,1948. He married Martha Lee Evans on Aug. 27,1902, at the farm home of her parents, Jesse and Eliza Rose Ann Evans, north of Rozel.

Charlotte Ann. born March 4. 1877. died Dec 28, 1902. She married John Kauffman.

Ellen Louise "Nellie." born Dec. 3. 1879, died July 23, 1967. She married Andrew Warren.

William Henry, born March 10,1881, died March 29,1946, He never married.

Thomas Kilburn, born Oct, 24, 1882. died March 4, 1967. He married Hattie Leora Fisher.

Moody Charles, born May 4. 1886, died Jan. 19,1962. He married Etta M. Hunter on Jan. 10. 1910.

Martha Jane Balman died May 8. 1886 at Chula. Mo., leaving six young children.

Mr. Balman was married a second time, on June 29,1891, to Maria Hall of Mercer County, Mo. Maria was the daughter of Thomas D. and Maria (Mills) Hall, and was a younger sister of Eliza Rose Ann Hall, wife of Jesse Evans of Mercer County, Mo. The Jesse Evans family moved to Pawnee County. Ks. in March 1902 and lived on a farm 10 miles north of Rozel.

John W. and Maria (Hall) Balman were the parents of three children, Jesse Oran. Fred Richard and Clarence Albert.

Jesse Oran. born May 13, 1892 at Chula, Mo., died Jan. 8. 1937. He married Delia Clingensmith, Jan. 4, 1924 at Chula, Mo.

Fred Richard, born May 31.1894, died Oct. 16,1948. He married Christina Riedl on Nov. 26, 1914.

Clarence Albert, born May 31, 1900, died Nov. 12,1972. He married Frances Newton on May 18. 1920.

On Oct. 6,1906 Mr. Balman bought Section 21-20-19 from F.C. Brooks and wife of Grundy County, Mo. and moved to Pawnee County the following year. This section adjoined the section of Jesse Evans who came here in 1902 from Mercer County, Mo.

Mr. Balman farmed until 1916, when he and Mrs. Balman retired, moving to Rozel where they spent their retirement years. They helped organized the Rozel Baptist Church and were charter members. Mr. Balman died at his home Oct. 7, 1926. Mrs. Balman also died at home on Sept 10,1932. Both are buried in the Lamed cemetery. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

John E. and Martha Lee (Evens) Balman

By Laura Balman Smith

My father, John Edward (Ed) Balman, was the oldest child of John Weber and Martha Jane (Kilburn) Balman. He was born Jan. 14, 1876, near Chula, Mo., and was only 11 years old when his mother died.

He began farming with Grandfather Balman sometime later and in a few years rented additional ground.

On Aug. 27, 1902, he married Martha Lee Evans at the home of her parents, Jesse and Rose Ann Evans, north of Rozel Grandfather and Grandmother Evans had farmed in Mercer County, Mo., east of Princeton for 34 years when they bought Section 16-20-19 In Lincoln Township, Pawnee County, Ks., from J.G. Edwards for $3,000. This section was part of the Fitzgerald Sheep Ranch of the 1880s. They moved here in 1902 shipping their goods by rail.

The Balman and Evans families had known each other for many years in Missouri where both families had farmed since the 1870s.

Immediately after the marriage of my parents in1902 they returned to Missouri where they farmed until 1906 when they moved to Kansas. In 1904 Dad had bought the southeast quarter of the section from Grandfather Evans and built a house on the southeast corner of the quarter and moved there early the next spring. I was about six months old at this time, both Velma and I were born near Chula, Mo.

On Oct. 5,1906. Grandfather Balman bought the adjoining section just south of Grandfather Evan's farm and moved the family there in 1906.

In 1910 Grandfather and Grandmother Evans sold their farm and went into the hardware business at Kinsley. Ka.

Transportation to country schools was a problem in those days before the automobile came into general use. We were in the Mission Ridge School District No. 61 with the school two and a half miles from home. Many were the times after a buzzard that the roads were snowbound for days. And the thawing snow didn't help the roads either. Velma, Lois and I stayed with our Grandparents at Kinsley one winter attended grade school there.

After Grandfather Balman retired from his farm in 1916, Dad rented the farm and we moved there. This move put us in District No. 46 which was one and a half miles south of home. During high school we stayed in Rozel through the week, going home over the weekends.

Dad and Mother continued farming until their retirement in 1942 when they moved to Rozel. Their retirement years together lasted only a little more than six years. Dad died Jan. 31,1948. at the age of 73. Mother continued to live at home until her death Nov 23,1966 at age 83.

There were eight children in their family: Velma (Mrs. Guy Patterson), Laura (Mrs. Karl Smith), Lois (Mrs. Harold Arnold). Wayne, Glenn, Melvin. Elaine (Mrs. H.F. Harmon) and Albert Edwin who died in infancy. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Robert F. Barnes

Robert and family moved to Rozel, Ks. in May 1969. Bob managed the Bunge elevator until he had to retire in the spring of 1977. due to his health. Bob had his first heart attack Aug. 21.1970 followed by the second attack in Sept 1976.

Bob and his family moved to the country March 1, 1971. Bob passed away Feb. 7. 1982.

Bob and Alberta had two children. Randy and Sharon Lynn. Randy and wife Nancy (Balman) live eight miles south of Rozel. Randy farms and feeds cattle. Sherry Lynn married Bradley Fox In 1971. they live in Denver. Colo. Brad works for Coors in Golden and Sherry Lynn teaches in Arvada. They have two children, Jason, seven, and Courtney Lynn, five. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Oscar Beale
By Fern and Alice Kitch

Oscar Beale came to Rozel as a carpenter working for a Larned contractor building a house for Walter Christian (the house where Dorothy Ideker now lives). A short time later he moved his wife and three children. George, Alice and John, to RozeL At one time they lived in the house that Howard Zooks lived in south of the railroad tracks. Meanwhile, he built the house that is now the Baptist parsonage, the Baptist church and in 1917. the Methodist parsonage. Beale then moved to a farm north of Rozel Later he moved to Kansas City then beck to Rozel for a while. He died at Greensburg in 1966 at age 91.

Alice and John both graduated from Rozel High School but George dropped out of school when a sophomore to work as a bridge carpenter for the Santa Fe Railroad. He eventually married and moved to Hutchinson where he worked as a carpenter. He died in 1978 leaving his wife, Edith, two sons and a daughter.

After graduating. John went to California. He worked as a barber. He eventually married. He died Oct. 21, 1966. at his home in Bellflower. California. He left a wife and two sons. (Submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

Walter and Charlotte Becker

Walter Becker, born July 6. 1914, was the eldest of seven children of William (BUI) F. Becker and Freda M. Paulsen Becker. They lived on a farm 12 miles north, two west of Rozel Part of the farm consists of 160 acres homes leaded in about 1886 by Bill's father. William A. Becker, who moved from the farm to Great Bend in 1913.

Walter grew up on the farm helping his father with farming and caring for cattle, sheep and horses. He attended rural school Pleasant Point District No. 24 and LaCrosse High School.

Walter's three younger brothers joined the Navy after graduating from high school. They were serving on the USS Arizona, where Marvin Otto Becker and Wesley Paulsen Becker died on Dec 7. 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Harvey Becker was not on board ship at the time of the bombing and survived.

On May 27. 1934, Walter Becker and Charlotte Blattner were united in marriage.

Charlotte Blattner was the third eldest child of Charles Blattner and Elizabeth Haun Blattner. She attended all 12 years of school in Rozel graduating in 1933. There were hard times but they were rich in other ways. The family had concern, time and love for each other.

Walter and Charlotte moved to a farm north of Rozel where they lived two years then moved to Rozel where he began working for Elmer Arnold. His pay was five dollars per week Walter helped with fanning and whatever else there was to do. For awhile he drove a team of horses repairing township roads. Lou Selig was foreman. Chet Burger and Shelton Darnell had teams of horses working.

Charlotte was busy doing what the could. She took orders for angel food cakes, whipping egg whites by hand with a wire whip. She had orders for up to ten per day. This left lots of yolks for noodles.

Walter bought the Standard Oil truck and sold and delivered fuel for Standard Oil Company. In 1937 he sold this to George Bruntzel who operated the business for several years. Walter began working for the Rossi Union Cooperative. He liked working but after six years developed health problems from grain dust and decided to move to the family farm in 1943. His parents had purchased a farm in southeast Kansas and moved there in 1942.

It was a change in living for Charlotte and Walter. There was no electricity or indoor plumbing. The water was carried from a shallow wall up an incline some three hundred feet from the house. There were little or no crops. The outlook was dismal, to say the beet, for a couple of years.

Walter and Charlotte are members of the Rozel Baptist Church. Walter served as board member on the Farmers Telephone Company, headquarters were in La Crosse. They were trying to improve on the party lines after a bad wind storm but this failed. Later he helped organize the Golden Belt Telephone Association where he has been a director since. He was a school board member of Unified School District No. 496 from 1964 to 1974. Also a director of Central Kansas Electric Cooperative (C.K.E.C.). later Midwest Energy.

Faye Louise Becker was born Jan. 29. 1946. That also was the first year there was a wheat crop. Joyce Diane Becker was born April 6, 1966. Both attended schools in Rozel and graduated from high school.

Fays Becker and Lynden Klein were married Aug. 21,1964. They live in Hays. Ks. and have two daughters, Dian and Tami. Faye is a teacher for Hays School District and Lyn is general manager and co-owner of James Motor Company.

Joyce Becker and John Wade were married Nov. 27,1982. They live in Macomb. Illinois, where Joyce is public relations officer for campus radio station at Western Illinois University. John is assistant chairman for the department of law enforcement at Western University.

Sam Beckwiths

Sam and Nadine Beckwith moved into the Baptist parsonage in Rozel with their children, Elsie and Tom on a hot August day in 1963. Frankly, they had no expectations of staying in Rozel for more than a few years before moving on to another church field. Little did they realize that some 22 years later they would be writing their history as longtime residents of the town.

Sam calls his home town (next to Rozel) Hiawatha, and Nadine hails from Alts Vista, both in Kansas. The children were born elsewhere but so much of their lives were spent in Rozel that they consider Rozel their home town. Elsie still makes her home in Rozel and Tom lives with his family in near-by Lamed so it is quite likely that the Beckwith name will be around the area for some time. Sam and Nadine have talked quite seriously of retiring in or near Rozel

Probably the most important impact that the Beckwiths have had on the community other than their work in the Baptist Church is the editing of the church paper, The Reflector. This has become a weekly bulletin for the communities of Rozel and Burdett for community events.

The most humorous event in the life of the Beckwiths was the day Sam "died." They were called away suddenly to attend the funeral of an aunt and because of some misreporting. the story got around that Sam had had a heart attack and was dead. Members of the church gathered at the parsonage with food and condolences but no members of the family could be found nor could they find the whereabouts of the body. Events were called off. Finally the church members ate the food they had brought for the family and went home, realizing there had been a mistake. If you want to know what a community thinks of you just die and you'll find out!!

The Beckwiths are glad to be considered a part community of Rozel and are looking forward to the centennial celebrations that are being planned.

Source: Rozel Kansas 1886-1986 wriiten by the residents of Rozel Kansas celebrating their 100th birthday.

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