Barber County Kansas

The Barber County Index, date unknown.

Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish

Alzina Knowles, fourth child of John S. and Susan Knowles, was born near Xenia, Bourbon county, Kansas, October 30, 1867. There were two older brothers, Fred J. and Frank S., an older sister Finette E. (Mrs. Robert McNicholas); and a cousin, Will Smith, now of Fellsburg, who was from early childhood a member of her family also. [A third brother, Charles W., died in infancy in Green Co., WI.]

In 1879, she moved with her parents to Alamosa, Colo., and in 1884 the Knowles family came to Sun City where Mr. Knowles filed claim to the land that has borne the Knowles name since that time. About 1888 the family went to Durango, Colo, where on November 14, 1889, Alzina Knowles was united in marriage to Ed C. Harrington. Later the pioneer spirit urged them to move to a ranch near Clayton, N. Mex. There three sons, Georgie, Jay and Frank, were born to them, of whom only one, Frank, of Sun City, survives.

After Mr. Harrington's death in 1906, she moved to Barber county, and in 1915 she was united in marriage to George J. Cornish, who preceded her in death. She continued to make Sun City her home until October 20, 1951, when she departed this life, aged 83 years, 11 months and 20 days.

Allie Cornish faced and accepted hard and bitter burdens, and lived every day to the fullest as one of the fine pioneers who helped to make Kansas the great state it is today. A woman of great courage, she lived the hard frontier life, fought drought and grasshoppers, lived in a dugout, and never found a task too difficult if it would make life happier and better for others.

Mrs. Cornish was a devoted member of the Sun City Baptist Church; she was a member of the Ladies' Aid Society which helped in the building of the church and the parsonage. She took part in community activities until ill health forced her to lead a quieter life. She loved her God, she loved her church and she loved her family and her country. No grandmother could have been prouder than she was of her two grandsons now in the service of their country, and of her granddaughter, a music teacher in the schools of Wichita.

Surviving Mrs. Cornish are her son, Frank Harrington, Sun City; three grandchildren, Edwin of Wichita Falls, Tex., Maurice of Panama City, Fla., and LaVon of Wichita; and many other relatives and friends.

Mrs. Cornish, with her unceasing quest for things beautiful, was a daily inspiration, and will continue to live on in the hearts of her descendants and all those whose lives she touched.

[Additions in brackets by Ellen Knowles Bisson.]


Gravestone for George and Alzina Cornish,

Lake City Cemetery, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Kim Fowles.
Gravestone for George and Alzina Cornish
Lake City Cemetery, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Kim Fowles.


Note from Ellen (Knowles) Bisson: "Anice Cornish nee Harrington was sister-in-law to Alzina "Allie" Harrington nee Knowles. And then, after Anice's death in 1913, Allie married George Cornish in 1915. Ed Harrington had died in 1906.".

George K. Cornish, born 1851, and Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish, born 1868. - 1920 and 1930 Census Records


Grandma Cornish first was married to a Harrington and had one son, Frank. Mr. Harrington then died so Frank told me. Grandma Cornish then married Mr. Cornish. Mr. Cornish raised Frank. Across Turkey Creek to the West, behind the house on the road was a rock house and that is where the original Cornish house stood. Frank never did have anymore siblings.

Frank and Edith had three children. LaVone, Ed and Maurice. Frank met Edith in Arkansas and when they got married he told Edith that if she came to Kansas and lived that when they retired they would go back to Arkansas. So, when they retired, back to Arkansas they went and Ed and his wife went with them. Frank, Edith and Ed all died in Arkansas. Edith always wrote to me up until a few weeks before she passed away. - Norris Hayes 8/2005


Frank Harrington and my dad were first cousins. Frank Knowles (my grandfather) and Alzina Cornish were brother and sister. Aunt Allie was married to Frank's father and I understand he died, and she then married George Cornish.

If I am not mistaken, Mr. Harrington and Mr. Cornish were business partners, and both their spouses died, and then Mr. Cornish and Aunt Allie married. I don't remember what Mr. Harrington's name was. - Janet (Knowles) Boggs, 8/2005


I can barely remember Mr. Cornish. The old improvements were across the creek from where the Harrington house is now. I think Frank built that when he and Edith married. Mrs. Cornish lived on the ranch for a few years after George died and then bought the house that Elizabeth Goodnight has and moved to town. Frank had two older brothers that died as boys and was raised pretty much as an only child, apparently Mr. Cornish had no children. Frank, Uncle Rob (Robert E. Lee Massey) and Lon Hoagland were all about the same age I think. - David Massey 8/2005


There's a Jay Harrington tombstone near George & Alzina Cornish tombstone in Lake City Cemetery. Jay was born 1897 - can't make out death date (1910/1916/1918???). Son of Alzina? -- Kim Fowles


John Shaw Knowles, Alzina Cornish's father.

Susan (Smith) Knowles, Alzina Cornish's mother.

Frank Storrs Knowles, Alzina Cornish's brother.

George & Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish

Ed Harrington, brother of Anice (Harrington) Cornish, 1st husband of Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish.


Thanks to Ellen (Knowles) Bisson for finding, transcribing and contributing the above article to this web site!




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