Barber County Kansas


The Barber County Index, August 20, 1919.


Once more has the caravan of death stopped in our midst, and choosing from among us two of our oldest and best known men, has wended its way onward toward the portals of Eternity.

Two of Barber county's earliest citizens, W. G. Osborn and R. M. Smith, died on the same day, at almost the same hour. Their obituaries appear in this column.


In Their Day

The rolling prairies of the west, where first the pioneers were challenged by the sulking savages of frontier days, have changed into the peaceful habitat of civilization; the boundless plains harbor fair cities and fertile farms; the echo of the coyote's howl is no more and in its place we hear the varied noises of modern life. The prairie schooner and the stage coach are novelties to this generation, yet in those old-fashioned vehicles there at one time rode the harbingers of our prosperity. In the eyes of the modern youth, their supply of material things was indeed meager, yet they has that noblest of all human things, courage to face the unknown.

It is with veneration and awe that we see them pass on into the reward of the faithful, and we feel in our hearts that their reward is in keeping with their efforts to push back the frontier of the wilderness for the coming of civilization, for with civilization comes Christianity, and who shall say that these pioneers of Kansas were not on a footing with the crusaders of old, who fought for the same thing.

With but little effort, one may imagine the master of the Universe beckoning these sturdy men to come and join in the making of some new world far beyond this one, they have so fully shown their fine-spun gold of character, and the iron will of conquerors.

May they rest in peace, secure in the knowledge that they have fully paid their tenancy on earth by the works they have builded (sic).


Hail! Pioneers of the Golden Age
Who came that this land might be,
Tho they go Beyond,
Yet their deeds shall stand,
Examples that youth might see.


(Obituary is on a separate web page.)


Robert Marvel Smith was born in Sussex county, Delaware, May 4, 1856. Died in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, August 14, 1919, aged 83 years, 3 months and 10 days.

He was married to Sarah Elizabeth Richards in 1858. To this union was born thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy. He is survived by a wife and seven children, seventeen grand children and one great grandchild.

The surviving children are: C. M. Smith, Eagle Butte, South Dakota; Mrs. G. P. Chesnut, Waynoka, Oklahoma; G. C. Smith, Bucklin, Kansas; H. T. Smith, Wakita, Oklahoma; A. D. Smith, Emporia, Kansas; G. R. Smith, Medicine Lodge, Kansas; Miss Carrie Smith, Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

All the children were present at the funeral except the son residing in South Dakota.

Mr. Smith came to Doniphan county, Kansas in 1869. Two years later he moved to Harvey county where he lived until coming to Barber county in 1877. He has lived here continuously since that time.

He was made a Master Mason January 1, 1887 in Delta Lodge No. 77, A. F. & A. M. and remained in good standing until his death.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, pastor of the Presbyterian church, at the residence on Kansas Avenue East, on Saturday afternoon. the Masonic Lodge attended in a body and held ritualistic services at the grave.

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

Last Updated:  

Return to Barber County Home page