Barber County Kansas

The Barber County Index, April 26, 1951.

Frank Storrs Knowles

Frank Storrs Knowles was born at Fort Scott, Kansas, December 3, 1864, and died April 14, 1951, at Medicine Lodge. Services were conducted by Father Owen Lloyd of the Episcopal Church and the Rev. Leroy Highbanks. Interment was in Highland Cemetery.

Frank was the son of John S. and Susan A. Knowles, who came from Wisconsin to Kansas in 1857, arriving at Westport Landing, now Kansas City. His parents came into the midst of the violent slavery question fight and his early memories were of stories they told about the violence in Bourbon county. The violence was climaxed for them by the killing of his uncle Horatio Knowles, then postmaster at Zenia.

The influence of these early times molded his thinking throughout his life. When he was ten years old, the pioneering spirit which had brought his parents originally from Maine, through Wisconsin, to Kansas, urged them on, this time to Colorado. There he worked with his father in railroad construction; helping build the first line to Canon City, Gunnison, Durango, now the D. R. & G. railroad. The bull snake whip used by Frank in driving his eight mule team is still in possession of the family.

In 1885 the "voice of Kansas" called and they returned, this time to western Barber County where Frank and his father homesteaded. During the difficult times following, the family again moved to Colorado where Frank drove the horse on a horse drawn street car and was later one of the first motormen on the new electric cars in Durango.

He was married November 12, 1893 to Josephine Dunham at Durango, Colo., leaving the next day on a bridal trip which brought them to Medicine Lodge, her first visit here. They made the 30 mile trip to their farm west of Sun City in a lumber wagon. There he made a home and there all of their children were born.

August 25, 1900, Frank was initiated into Medicine Valley Lodge No. 260, A. F. & A. M. and in 1950 received his 50 year membership pin. In 1925 he and his wife moved to Medicine Lodge. He was a member of St. Marks Church. His interest and pride in Medicine Lodge grew with the years.

He is survived by his widow Josephine D. Knowles; and the children, Relda K. Johnson of Cushing, Okla.; Fred J. Knowles of Walla Walla, Wash.; Robert S. Knowles of Sun City; Edwin C. Knowles of Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; Josephine R. Berglund of Seattle, Wash.; and Frank S. Knowles of Pueblo, Colo. A sister, Alzina Cornish, of Sun City, also survives.

John Shaw Knowles, father of Frank S. Knowles.

Susan (Smith) Knowles, mother of Frank S. Knowles.

Alzina (Knowles) Harrington Cornish, sister of F.S. Knowles.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above article to this web site!

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