Transcribed from Biographical history of Barton County, Kansas. ; Illustrated. Published by Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend, KS : 1912. 318 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

1912 Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas




OF the old timers who came to Barton County in the early '70's none is better known than Ira Day Brougher, who arrived in this county in 1874. He was born May 14, 1843, in York County, Pennsylvania. He received his early education in the schools of that state and at the beginning of the war he enlisted in the 13th Pennsylvania and was a member of Company F. He began his enlistment June 9, 1862, and was honorably discharged January 3, 1863. He re-enlisted in the U. S. Military Railroad Department and saw active service until 1866. He took part in the battle of South Mountain, Maryland, and later lost his right arm as the result of a wound received at the battle of Antietem. At the close of the war he went to Philadelphia where he took a course in the Bryant-Stratton Business College. He graduated from this institution in 1868. This course of study fitted him for the occupation of book-keeper which he followed for several years in Philadelphia and New York where he held responsible positions with wholesale houses. He remained in New York City for two years and was there when he was seized with the idea to go west and grow up with the country, as was advised by Horace Greeley. He came direct to Barton County, Kansas in 1874 and homesteaded a claim in what is now South Bend township, about six miles southwest of Great Bend. He helped to organize this township and was the first trustee. He was engaged in the farming business from then on until he retired from active work on the farm in 1889. Mr. Brougher was elected county clerk of Barton County at the fall election of 1877, and held this office for three consecutive terms or six years. In 1889 he was elected to the office of Clerk of the District Court which office he held when Judge Clark was district judge of this judicial district. When Mr. Brougher first came to this section of the state the outlook was anything but bright for the future and although he was handicapped by having but one arm, he plunged into the thick of the development wcrk and from his public service which is mentioned above it can be seen that he had time to take an active part in public matters as well as look after his private affairs. Mr. Brougher was one of those men who made this county one of the best in the State of Kansas out of a barren prairie waste. For a time after his arrival here there was a period when things looked mighty fine for the early settlers, but this was followed by several years which tried the hearts and souls of the pioneers, when they were compelled to combat not only the uncertainty of moisture but had to contend with the grasshoppers and other conditions over which they had no control. However it was fortunate that the population of Barton County at that time contained men, who like Mr. Brougher, could see the possibilities of the future and in spite of the undesirable conditions remained and developed the county's resources until it is now one of the most important in the State of Kansas. Mr. Brougher owns nine quarter sections of land in this part of the state; seven of them being in Barton and one each in Stafford and Hodgeman counties. He is also one of the directors of the German-American Bank of Great Bend and was one of the organizers and is still president of the Barton County Fair Association, an office which he has filled since the association was formed in 1900. He also has interests in the mercantile line in Great Bend and is counted as a progressive, enterprising citizen, and one of the men who blazed the way for others to make of Barton County one of the most productive agricultural sections in the world.


THE Patterson family, of which Mrs. Isabel Patterson is the head, are probably as well and favorably known as any in county. Settling on home place March, 1876, public attention was directed to this family by the sudden death of Joseph Patterson, the father, and his two young sons on April 13th, 1879. It appears that on that day there was a thunder storm, accompanied by the usual rain flurry, and that in the yard was an unprotected ash hopper, which at that period was usually found on the premises of most farm homes and used for the purpose of making the family soap. A large flat rock attracted the attention of the husband as the best and most easliy found protection for the hopper, and he re-


quested his two young sons to assist him in placing the stone over the opening at the top. And, while in this act the three were stricken down in an instant by a flash of lightning with death as the result. During a residence of three years in one community Mr. Patterson and his family had endeared themselves to most of the settlers over a considerable section and the tragic incident caused comment for years following. Joseph Patterson was born May 6, 1838, in Virginia.

Mrs. Patterson's maiden name was Millikin, and she was born November 23, 1838, in Osgood County, Indiana. She was left an orphan at an early age and was adopted by a relative and grew to womanhood on a farm in Madison County, Ohio. She married Joseph Patterson at Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, on November 14th, 1860. She was the mother of ten children. A daughter named Mary Sayler, who died August , 1909, John and Frank, the two sons mentioned above as being stricken by lightning, and these following: Wm. Patterson, residing in Los Angeles, California; Joseph Patterson, jr., married Katie Tolbert, and resides near Albert; Stanley F. Patterson, married Anna Gruber, residence, Hutchinson; Sarah Patterson, single, residing with her mother; Orr Patterson, married Clara Goeldner, residence, Great Bend; Err Patterson, married Grace Zimmer, residence, home farm.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patterson, Sr., came to Barton County on March 8th, 1876, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from the Santa Fe railway company at four dollars and forty cents per acre. Failure of crops caused them to forfeit this contract, and they repurchased a few years later, this time having to pay six dollars. The premises are well improved and grows good crops.


Charles E. Button's Residence

THE birth of Charles E. Button antedates that of Barton County by about two years, because he was born Feb. 25, 1869, and was among the first organized body of pioneers assembled on the townslte of Great Bend in the Spring of 1871. Thus it happened that the two lives began almost simultaneously and their histories are practically one and the same. Mr. Button first saw the light in Peoria County, Illinois, and came to Barton County, Kansas, when but five years of age, accompanied by his parents, Almon H. and Annie E. Button. They arrived in the county in March, 1875, and settled four miles northwest of the farm described in this sketch, and it was then that life really began for little Charles, because his blood throbbed with the life of a new country. He saw Indians as they passed and repassed his father's home; saw buffalo as they fed majestically on the range, and saw his father bring them to earth with a trusty gun with popular skill. The cowboy and his bucking broncho were the idols of his imagination and he longed for the day when he could be trusted with a pony and gun to roam the prairie and chase the Texas cattle as he saw them do. The stores[sic] then told of "Dutch Henry" and his gang of horse thieves are still fresh in his memory, as well as other frontier day yarns. He is a man who had a great deal


to do with the early day history of his part of the county. He has improved his home place with exceptional skill and made of it one of the most attractive farms in his township. Mr. Button has always taken an active part in the affairs of his part of the county and is an enterprising and progressive citizen.


THE life history here recorded of Joseph Thies, is the record made by one of the largest renters of land in Barton County. He was born in Belgium on May 15th, 1878, and emigrated to the United States in 1893, when but fifteen years of age, and has imbibed more of American ways than of the Fatherland. He stopped first near Chicago, Illinois, where he hired himself to a farmer to learn how to grow and till the crops of this country; and later he was employed by a transfer company in the city for nine years and came face to face with the business world in the busiest city on the American continent. Thus he fitted himself for the strenuous life he has pursued since coming to Kansas, which was in September, 1902. He first rented the six hundred and forty acre farm of W. N. Klepper, six miles southeast of Great Bend, and remained there until 1905. Then he tried his fortunes for three years nine miles southeast of Ellinwood, on a section owned by Henry Roetzel. He then returned to the Klepper farm and remained there until the fall of 1911, when he took charge of the Gus. Werhahn farm of three hundred and twenty acres, fourteen miles west of Great Bend, and he now hopes that he has secured the farm where he can put in practice the theories he has for conducting a large farm on an economical basis.

Joe has always had several side lines heretofore; such as owning and operating a threshing machine, corn sheller and trading in live stock. He has discarded the thresher and sheller, and will sell and breed horses, mules and cattle, and cultivate corn, wheat, oats and alfalfa in the future. He is a great hustler and Mr. Worhahn is fortunate in having him.

Joseph Thies was married to Miss Anna Frances Grommes, of Aurora, Illinois, on August 20th, 1902, and they have three interesting children: Elizabeth Cordelia, aged 8 years; John Nicholas, 7, and Frank Henry, 5.

Mrs. Thies was born in Aurora, Ill., on March 16th, 1881, and has adapted herself to farm life in Kansas amazingly well. She is a true helpmate for her hustling husband and is content with her chickens, butter making and the domestic department of a large farm, and much prefers the life to that of a crowded and overrun city.


ºººº Pawnee Rock ºººº


FOURTEEN miles southwest of Great Bend, in one of the richest agricultural sections of Barton County is the town of Pawnee Rock. It derives its name from the historic cliff of sand-stone that for countless ages has stood a silent sentinel of the plains, just north of what is now the townsite. It was a stopping place for the hardy men and women who came from their eastern homes to find wealth and fortune in the boundless west, and the entire length of the Santa Fe Trail, noted for its historic points of interest affords no spot that has woven around it more real history of the early days than this old pile of rock.

Before the advent of the white man it marked a way for the Indians in their periodical migrations from what is now Southern Kansas to the valley of the Platte river in Nebraska. For years and years Pawnee Rock was a point at which the Comanche, Kiowa, Arapahe and Cheyenne Indians held their councils of war and peace. Within the shadow of Pawnee Rock many famous Indian battles were fought, battles that never found a place in United States history, but were described to the early white settlers, by descendants of the noble warriors of the plains who took part in them. Countless bones have been dug out of the soil adjacent to the Rock, and they bear witness to the bloody history that was made before civilization claimed it for the abode of the white man.


Pawnee Rock School Building

The first building to be erected on the site in this part of the Great American Desert, of the town of Pawnee Rock was the Rock Hotel which still stands today and has been the stopping place of hundreds of old timers who came to this part of the country in the early days, and it has housed some famous men and women since it was built in 1874.

The town grew in population and area, slowly at first but in 1887 the progressive citizens of the town began the work that resulted in the town being incorporated. The first set of officers were elected April 1, 1887. Previous to the election a rather exciting campaign was carried on by the two opposing factions, the main issue being pool rooms, and whether or not they should continue in the town. There were two tickets in the field and after the votes had been counted it was found that a part of each ticket had been elected and the first council of Pawnee Rock was composed of the following gentlemen, all of them men who had an interest in the town and stood for progress and growth: William Bunting,

Pawnee Rock In 1859

Pawnee Rock In 1878

mayor; L K. Benefield, John Hepler, William McDougal, W. H. Bowman and William Walton, councilmen.

At one of the first meetings of the council the following city officers were named and sworn in to serve: J. D. Welch, city clerk; J. W. Ratcliff, city attorney; Alvin Iles, city marshal; Earnest Smith, city treasurer.

This administration laid the foundation for the building of one of the most important small towns on the main line of the A. T. & S. F. Railroad.

The first elevator in the town was built in the year 1878 by W. H. Bowman, Aaron Garvick and Eli Bowman. They also built a flour mill and operated it until 1899 when it was purchased from them and moved to Garfield, near Larned. The year 1878 was a good one for the town, many new buildings having been erected, some of them fine residences.

At this writing Pawnee Rock has three general stores, two banks, two furniture stores, two hardware stores, five elevators, a fine electric light and ice plant, owned and operated by home people, three churches, Christian, Methodist, New Jeruselein, fine public schools and everything and more than is found in many towns of twice its population.

The present officers of Pawnee Rock are: John Bowman, mayor; A. S. Gross, clerk; R. G. McDougal, E. L. Robinson, W. C. Lamb and Grant Lippincott, councilmen.

Pawnee Rock contains some of the nicest and most modern residences in Barton County. It is a supply point for a large territory in Barton, Pawnee and Stafford connties and as a shipping point for grain, cattle and other live stock it ranks well up among the best in this part of the state.

From Inman's Tales of the Trail: "If this sentinel of the plains might speak, what a story it could tell of the events that have happened on the beautiful prairie stretching out for miles at its feet. All over its scarred and weatherbeaten front, carved in quaint and rude letters, are the names of hundreds who in early days made the dangerous and exciting passage of the Santa Fe Trail. Some names are roughly chiseled there, too, who were not ambitious at the time of more enduring fame, and gave no further thought of their effort than was concentrated in the bare idea of relief from the ennui of the moment, while their horses and mules were resting, but who will go down to history cursed or praised—as viewed from varying aspects—long after the storm of centuries shall have obliterated ever mark of this isolated mass of sandstone. Conspicuous among these is that of Robert E. Lee, the famous leader of the Confederate armies, who, in 1843, crossed into the borders of Mexico as an officer of the Mounted Rifles. Under the shadow of Pawnee Rock, perhaps Coronado, the celebrated Spanish explorer, and his little band of faithful followers rested on their lone-

Bird's Eye View of Pawnee Rock—Half View

Bird's Eye View of Pawnee Rock—Half View

ly march in search of the mythical Quivira. The Rock alone is all that remains, in all probability, upon which the Spaniards looked, for the mighty interval of nearly four hundred years relegated all else—trees, water courses and the entire landscape, that the hardy adventurers looked upon, to the domination of vast modification—and this iron-bound hill—whose unsuceptibility to change is almost as the earth itself—the only witness of their famous march.

"During the half century included between the years 1823-73—which latter date marked the advent of the railroad in this portion of Kansas—Pawnee Rock was considered the most dangerous place on the central plains for encounters with the Indians, as at this particular point on the Trail the Pawnees, Kiowas, Comanches, Arrapahoes and Cheyennes made their not infrequent successful raids upon the pack and wagon trains of the freighters across the continent. I well remember, in the earlier geographies, that most exciting and sensational of all the illustrations—to my boyish mind at least—which depicted the Santa Fe traders attacked by Indians, but that was long ago, and such scenes have passed away forever.

"In those primitive days of the border, Kit Carson, Lucien B. Maxwell, John Smith, the Bents and the Boones, with other frontiersmen, commenced their eventful lives in the far West—mere boys then—but whose exploits have since made for them a world-wide reputation. Kit Carson, Maxwell, Smith and Bents are all dead with the harnes on, and on the confines of the civilization which is rap-


idly closing up the gap at the foot of the mountains, amidst which there would have been nothing congenial—so they passed away while there still remained fresh prairies and quiet streams.

"Kit, one of the most noble men it has been my fortune to know, is sleeping peacefully under the gnarled old Cottonwoods at Fort Lyon, on the Arkansas that river he loved so well—every foot of whose silent margin could tell a story of his daring. It was at Pawnee Rock many, many years ago, that Kit, then a mere boy, had his first experience with the Indians, and it was because of this fight that the Rock received its name.

"In those days the Pawnees were the most formidable tribe on the eastern plains, and the freighters and trappers rarely escaped a skirmish with them either at the crossing of the Walnut, Pawnee Fork, or at Little or Big Coon creeks. Today the historic hill looks down only upon peaceful homes and fruitful fields where for hundreds of years it could tell of nothing but death; where almost every yard of the brown sod at its base covered a grave; where there was nothing but shadow, now all is sunlight. In place of the horrid yell of the savage, as he wrenched the reeking scalp from his vanquished victim, the whistle of the locomotive and the pleasing whirr of the reaping machine is heard; where the death cry of the painted warrior rang mournfully over the silent prairie, the waving grain is singing in beautiful rhythm as it blows to the summer breeze. Almost every day in the opening spring, or before the grain planting in the early fall for several years during the first settlement of the country in the vicinity of Pawnee Rock, the skeletons of those killed there in the long years gone by sometimes the bones of the white man, sometimes the bones of the red man were plowed up; and even now where new fields are opened, the Rock thus gradually unfolds the sphinx—like secrets of its dead."


Entrance to Pawnee Rock Park

In the year of 1908, the Women's Kansas Day Club contracted with the owner of Pawnee Rock, to raise $3,000 to improve Pawnee Rock, and he was to deed about five acres to the state park to be open to the public at all times. The monument was to cost not less than $1,500. The entire expense has been about $4,700 and the citizens of Pawnee Rock have raised $1,500 of this amount

Pawnee Rock covers about four acres and rises abruptly from the surrounding valley. It is about fifty or sixty feet in height and on its summit stands a granite shaft, towering thirty feet in the air, placed in honor of these who in the long ago blazed the way for civilization.

Pawnee Rock has changed through the agency of man, much since the advent of the railroad. Its once lofty summit has been stripped and the stone used for all sorts of purposes by the railroad and others, until now, if some of the old scouts and Indian hunters were to review it, they would not recognize it as the scene of their earlier lives.

On May 24, 1912, the monument situated on Pawnee Rock, was unveiled and dedicated to the State of Kansas, of which event, a program of the services will be found elsewhere in this book.


With the coming of the Santa Fe Railroad, began the destruction of the Rock, much of it having been moved by the railroad company to build foundations for water tanks, depots, etc. A great deal of the Rock was used in the construction of buildings by the early settlers, but early in this century the patriotic people of Pawnee Rock realized that if something was not done soon the Rock would have been entirely obliterated from the landscape. In 1905 and 1906, a movement began that had for its purpose the creating of a public park to be composed of the land surrounding the Rock and being about five acres in area. The matter was taken up with the governor, and members of the state legislature. However the owner of the land wanted too much money to relinquish his title and in spite of all these patriotic citizens could do the matter dragged along until 1911, when with the aid of the Womans Kansas Day Club, the Womans Relief Corps, Daughters of the American Revolution, State Federation of Womans Clubs and individual citizens, the land was finally obtained. On May 24, 1912, a magnificient monument was unveiled in the park in the presence of 8,000 people from all parts of the State of Kansas.

M. E. Church Pawnee Rock

New Jerusalem Church Pawnee Rock

How the Money Was Raised

The following table shows how the money was raised that made the preservation of what remained of the Rock possible.

Mrs. S. S. Simmons, president, 1908, and
   members of the Park Board to 1912
Mrs. A. H. Horton, president, 1909 100.00
Mrs. E. W. Hoch, president 1910 200.00
Mrs. Cora G. Lewis, president 1912 55.00
Total $3093.31
Daughters of American Revolution, one
   Bronze tablet valued at $50, cash $155,
$ 205.00
Woman's Relief Corps, the flag that
   veiled the monument and
State Federation of Womens' Clubs 50.00
W. C. T. U. $50.00
Citizens of Pawnee Rock 1359.34
Money paid into the fund from sales of "Echoes of Pawnee Rock," compiled by Miss Margaret Perkins, and all expenses of publishing, shipping, mailing, etc., paid for by Mrs. J. S. Simmons, president of W. K. D C., with money from proceeds of sale of said book, approximately $800 above all expenses. 
Total receipts  $5715.65

The following letter from Governor Hoch written in 1905 shows how the interest in the matter was aroused in the state's chief executive. It required years of hard work after this time however to get the matter adjusted in a way that brought the work to such a successful conclusion on the date mentioned:

State of Kansas, E. W. Hoch, Governor, Topeka, July 25, 1905.

Mr. T. H. Brewer, Pawnee Rock, Kansas. My Dear Sir: I share most heartily with you the sentiment of your letter concerning the preservation of what remains of old Pawnee Rock. I remember it well as I first saw it in the spring of 1872. Hundreds of names had been carved upon it, some of them dating back, I remember, as far as 125 years ago. It seems incredible that people should be so devoid of sentiment as to blast and destroy a historic monument like this for ballast and other commercial purposes. Better, a thousand times to have hauled the stone a thousand miles than to have done this.

I was one of 14 young fellows who built the first house and dug the first well in Pawnee Rock, and will be glad to do anything I can to preserve what remains of the historic relic of the old trail.

Cordially yours, E W. HOCH.


Pawnee Rock, May 24, 1912, When Monument Was Unveiled

The unveiling of the monument erected in Pawnee Rock park to the memory of the pioneers who withstood the hardships and fought the battle that resulted in making this part of the State of Kansas one of the leading agricultural sections of the world was witnessed by fully 8,000 people. Some of them came from distant states to take part in the celebration and as was truthfully said by one of the speakers of the day, "It is Pawnee Rock's supreme moment, and the greatest day in her history." May 24, 1912, was the date chosen by those who had the arrangements in charge, and the elements seemed to enter into the spirit of the occasion and it resulted in an ideal day. All day long the air was filled with music and promptly at 1:30 in the afternoon, the big flag that had been wound around the shaft was pulled aside and the park became the property of the people of the State of Kansas, a permanent memorial had been erected to the memory of the pioneers and what remained of Pawnee Rock was protected for all time against further destruction and will remain to

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