Barber County Kansas


Undated obituary from Pratt, Kansas

Finette E. "Nettie" (Knowles) McNicholas

Finette [Nettie] E. Knowles, daughter of John S. and Susan A. Knowles, was born near Mapleton, in Bourbon County, Kansas, January 28, 1858, and departed this life December 19, 1945 at Pratt, Kansas.

She moved with her parents to Barber County while a small child, living there until young womanhood. Later she went with her parents to Colorado and it was there she met and married Robert S. McNicholas at Alamosa, Colorado on September 13, 1881. Her husband preceded her in death by 27 years, his death occurring the same date, December 19, but in 1918 in Durango, Colo., the family home. After his death, she returned to Kansas to make her home with her children.

Mother Mac, as she was affectionately called by all who knew her, was a true product of pioneer days. She was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, native Kansans and was very proud of her native state, having watched it come from a territory to its present status.

A member of the Presbyterian church, she was a living monument to her faith. She was also a member of the Durango chapter of the D.A.R.

One of the old school, she lived first for her family and then her neighbors and friends. She was loyal, true and always considerate of others. The most characteristic thing about Mother Mac was her friendliness. Beloved and cared for by all her family, it can rightfully be said, "Her children arise up and call her blessed."

She is survived by three daughters: Mrs. Nettie H. Tustin of San Antonio, Texas; Mrs. Josephine Davis of Astoria, Oregon; and Miss Adelaide of Kansas City, Mo. Three sons, Robert of Durango; Frederick S. of Denver and Jack R. of Pratt. One sister, Mrs. Allie Cornish of Sun City; one brother, Frank S. Knowles of Medicine Lodge; five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, many relatives and friends.

Her body was taken to Durango, Colo., where it was placed in the family plot.


John Shaw Knowles, father of Finette (Knowles) McNicholas.

Susan (Smith) Knowles, mother of Finette (Knowles) McNicholas.

Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish, sister of Finette (Knowles) McNicholas.


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




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