Barber County Kansas
Funeral services were held at the Methodist church here Saturday for Joseph Lee (Joe) Gant, 79, prominent Barber county rancher, farmer and oil man, who died June 14 at his home near Medicine Lodge. Death followed a 4 month illness which resulted from an accident incurred last February 17 while he was repairing fence on one of his ranches, near Wilsey, Kan.
Mr. Gant was a pioneer resident of Barber county, having resided in the Medicine Lodge community for 68 years. Among the more than 5,000 acres of land under his ownership at his death was the ranch in Mingonia township on which he and father proved the claim.
He was born April 17, 1871, at Nashville, Ill.
He held membership in the Methodist church, Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows Lodge, Modern Woodmen and the Anti-Thief Association.
Surviving are three sons, C. R. Gant and L. T. Gant of Medicine Lodge and R. L. Gant of Wilsey; four daughters, Bessie Gant, Mrs. Rosie Kinsey and Mrs. A. E. Suhler of Medicine Lodge, and Mrs. L. C. Trulove of Herington; 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. His wife preceded him in death in 1945.
Joseph L. Gant, son of Richard V. and Sarah Virginia Gant, was born April 17, 1871 at Nashville, Illinois. In 1875 they moved to Cherokee County, Kansas, where they lived only a short length of time before removing to Barton County, Missouri. July 28, 1880 they landed in Barber County on the ranch in Mingonia Township where he grew to manhood. During the early days in Barber County he accompanied his father in government freighting from Wellington, Newton and Hutchinson to Camp Supply.
December 24, 1890, he was married to Hattie Orilla King. It was their happy privilege to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this date in 1940. To this union three sons and five daughters were born.
In February 1938 he left the ranch home and moved to Medicine Lodge but continued the operation of the ranch.
On February 17 he had an accident which led to intense suffering which he bore with Christian fortitude until June 14th when just as the sun was sinking below the horizon the soul left the suffering body and returned to the God who gave it, and 79 years of earthly existence was ended.
The sons and daughters left to mourn his departure are Rose Kinsey, Bessie, Charlie and Luther Gant of Medicine Lodge; Jennie Ardnt, Pueblo, Colo.; Richard Gant, Wilsey, Kan.; Florence Trulove, Herington, Kan.; and Zella Suhler, Nashville, Kan. Also fifteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren; one brother, Walter Gant, Colorado Springs; one sister, Minnie Adams, Medicine Lodge, and friends whose number are limited by his acquaintances.
Gone before are his beloved wife who went to her eternal home May 10, 1945; his father and mother and one brother.
He was a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges, Anti-theft Association and Ancient Order of United Workmen, but his outstanding affiliation was the church.
At 17 years of age he confessed Jesus Christ as his savior and was baptized into the Baptist Church at Forrest City. Later he renewed his faith and united with the Methodist Church. He was the pillar of that church, supporting it liberally with his service and his means.
Annually, for nearly twenty years, he sponsored a Sunday School camp outing by the entire community. On Easter Sunday, 1948 he transferred his membership to the Methodist Church in Medicine Lodge where he continued his regular attendance until confined to his bed.
He was essentially a product of the soil and was happiest when surrounded by his flocks and herds. His daily pilgrimage to and from his ranch in Mingona Township was a marvel for one of his years. That pilgrimage is ended and he has gone on that long journey whence no traveler ever returns.
His passing is a distinct loss to the community and leaves a void that cannot be filled. Firm and unyielding in his own convictions, he was ever tolerant of the views of others. While strict personal discipline and industrious habits brought him an abundance of worldly goods, his greatest investment was in the kingdom to come. There he shall dwell through all eternity.
The community at large proclaims "A good man has gone to a well earned rest."
The Chosen Land - Barber County, Kansas, pg. 185.
Joseph L. GantBy Charlene (Gant) Larson
Joseph L. Gant, son of Richard V. and Sarah Virginia (Boley) Gant, was born in 1871, at Nashville, Illinois. In 1875 they moved to Cherokee County, Kansas, and lived briefly before moving to Barton County, Missouri.
July 28, 1880, the parents, Joe, a brother Walter, and sister Minnie moved to a ranch in Mingonia Township, Barber County, where Joe grew to manhood.
In their early days here, Joe accompanied his father in government freighting from Wellington, Newton, and Hutchinson to Camp Supply; they also hauled corn to Hutchinson and traded for posts and wire used to fence the area which had been the Comanche Pool.
In 1890 Joe began to buy land. Later Joe recalled, "Land could be bought and fenced, and the owner would have less than a dollar an acre invested in it." Before his death, he had amassed 8,000 acres of which 1,000 acres were under cultivation. In 1890 he began his cattle ranching, raising Shorthorn and Hereford breeding cattle, usually maintaining about 200 head of each breed.
In 1890 Joe married Hattie Orrilla King. Hattie was born in Carl County, Missouri, July 28, 1868, to Alfred and Eleanor M. (Ferguson) King. She came to Barber County in 1889 with her father and step-mother, Beatrice.
To Joe and Hattie were born eight children: Rosie (Kinsey), Jennie (Arndt), Bessie, Richard, Luther, Charley, Florence (Trulove) Pratt, and Zella (Suhler).
Hattie's days were busy with household tasks and cooking three meals a day for her own family plus one or two unmarried farm hands, who always lived with them. At harvest, round-up, etc., the hungry boarders increased. Regularly she canned 60 half-gallons each of plum butter and grape jelly - for sweets for the winter larder. Active in all church activities, she tended the sick, cleaned the church, organized the women's quilting project, etc. While Joe was up front in leadership, Hattie kept things going in the wings.
They were members of the Baptist, and then the Methodist Church at Forest City. Joe was a pillar of the church, generous in finances and service. For 20 years he annually sponsored a Sunday School camp of three days, which the entire community enjoyed, as they slept, ate, swam, visited, and had daily church services in the out-of-doors. Later the Gants transferred their membership to the Medicine Lodge Methodist Church.
As a rancher, Joe was a member of the final Barber County Round Up in 1894; he was a member of the Salt Fork Live Stock Association, and the Anti-Thief Association (a protective organization against cattle rustling).
Joe was a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. With his Prairie Schooner and its authentic accessories, Joe played an important role in the early Peace Treaty Pageants.
In 1938 Gants built and moved into a modern brick home in Medicine Lodge. Joe continued daily pilgrimages to the ranch in his faithful Dodge automobile until ill health deterred him.
Hattie died in May 1945, and Joe in June 1950.
Meandering by Bev McCollom, July 21, 2008
In exploring ranches in Barber County one that cannot be left out is the Gant (now the Gant-Larson) Ranch. Located in the midst of the beautiful Gyp Hills, trail riders actually do explore the ranch several times a year on horseback or muleback.
Joseph L. Gant was born in 1871 in Nashville, Illinois, the son of Richard W. and Sarah Virginia (Boley) Gant. In 1875.the Gant family moved to Kansas, spending some time in Eastern Kansas and Missouri.
Then on July 28, 1880, the Gants with their children, Joe, Walter, and Minnie moved to a ranch in Mingona township, Barber County, Kansas, where Joe Gant grew to manhood. He worked with his father in government freighting from Wellington, Newton, and Hutchinson to Camp Supply in Indian Territory. They also hauled corn to Hutchinson, which they traded for posts and wire, since the open range was then being fenced.
In 1890 Joe Gant began to buy land. He found that he could buy land and fence it, and have less than a dollar an acre invested in it. Joe Gant amassed 8,000 acres of which 1,000 acres were under cultivation. The rest was for cattle ranching. He bred Shorthorns and Herefords, always maintaining about 200 head of each breed.
Also in 1890 Joe Gant was married to Hattie King, who was born in Carl County, Missouri, to Alfred and Eleanor (Ferguson) King. Hattie had come to Barber County in 1889 with her father and stepmother.
Joe and Hattie had eight children – Rosie (Kinsey), Jennie (Arndt), Bessie, Richard. Luther, Charley, Florence (Truelove), and Zella (Suhler).
Things were always busy at the ranch. Hattie cooked and canned for the family and for friends. Joe was busy with the cattle daily. Their children all had jobs to do.
Joe and Hattie were very active members of the Methodist Church in Forest City.
For 20 years Joe sponsored a Sunday School Camp of three days, which was enjoyed by the entire community, as they slept, swam, visited, and had daily church services outdoors. The Gants transferred their membership to the Methodist Church in Medicine Lodge when they moved to town.
In 1938 Joe and Hattie built a home for themselves in Medicine Lodge at the corner of West Kansas Avenue and North Cherry. Joe made daily trips to the ranch for as long as he could. Hattie died in 1945, Joe in 1950.
Joe’s son Charley went into partnership with him at a very early age. All their work was done on horseback, and Charley’s love of horses led him to become instrumental in the founding of the Kansas Cutting Horse Association.
On September 3, 1930, Charlie married Mildred Suhler, daughter of Nic and Louisa Suhler of rural Nashville. They became the parents of a daughter, Charlene (Larson) and a son, Gaylord.
Mildred joined Charley in his love for horses. In the 1950’s Charley was approved to judge cutting horse contests by the National and Kansas Cutting Horse Association. He judged at horse shows, fairs, and rodeos in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. In the 1960’s Charley and Mildred began breeding and racing quarter horses.
And the Gants had lots of fun in the 50’s and 60’s as partners in a group who square danced on horseback to the music of "The Double Eagle. Lloyd Berry was the square dance caller. Audiences loved the spectacle of the beautiful horses with the colorfully dressed riders.
For eight years after their marriage Charley and Mildred lived with his parents on the homeplace. When Joe and Hattie moved to Medicine Lodge in 1938, they continued to live there until 1950 when they moved to the ranch house on Bitter Creek. In 1960 they retired, and moved into the Gant home on West Kansas Avenue.
Daughter, Charlene, met Bob Larson when they were both attending Kansas State, They were married in 1951 and moved to the Gyp Hills. The Larson’s have continued the ranching operation; it is now the Gant-Larson Ranch.
In a project developed by Gant-Larson and B 7 (Lonker) ranches the annual big trailride draws tourists from six states – the group is limited to 250. The ride through the Gyp Hills in unforgettable. Smaller groups also take rides through the hills, enjoying what it was like to be a cowboy in early Barber County.
More next week , , , ,
Roundup at Cottonwood Springs, about 7 miles southwest of Sun City in Barber County, Kansas, 1894.
Photo courtesy of Mary Lou (Elsea) Hinz.
Left to right, front row: Harry Clements, Joe Gant, Roe Cole, George Abell, Bert Young, Walt Sears, Joe Burson, Jim Talliaferro, Jim Elsea. Second row: Charlie Kinkaid, round-up foreman; Jack Larkin, George Meadors, Arthur Shaw, Green Adams, Ed Teagle, Pearl Bunton, Jake Warrenstaff, Ed Hoagland, Tom Pepperd, Aub Donovan, Jack Ballanger, Bob Doles, Homer Hoagland. Back row: Cook Denver Boggs, Frank Abell and Doc Williams. This photo, courtesy of Mary Lou (Elsea) Hinz, was published in The Kansas Stockman in 1942 and 1949.
C.R. "Charlie" Gant, son of Joe Gant.
Florence H. (Gant) Trulove Pratt, daughter of Joe Gant.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!