Barber County Kansas

William Shane and Mary Jane (Chenoweth) Watkins

William Shane and Mary Jane (Chenoweth) Watkins, Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of Della M. Shafer.

William Shane and Mary Jane (Chenoweth) Watkins, Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
Photo courtesy of Della M. Shafer.

The Barber County Index, January 4, 1940.

William Shane Watkins


William Shane Watkins was born in Cumberland, Tuscarawas County, Ohio April 22, 1852, the oldest child of Joseph and Sarah Jane Watkins. While yet a child he moved with his parents to Wapello County, Iowa, where the family lived for three years. He then moved to Clarke County and located on a farm near Osceola and a few years later to a farm near Lacelle. On November 19, 1873, he was united in marriage to Mary Jane Chenoweth. In 1877 he moved with his family to Medicine Lodge where he lived to the time of his death.

He was engaged in the mercantile business here with the firm of Watkins and Chenoweth. He also clerked in several other stores in Medicine Lodge. He has served on the city council and as a township trustee.

He united with the M.E. Church at Lacelle, Iowa, when a young man and moved his membership to the Medicine Lodge M.E. Church August 8, 1894.

Two children, Blanch and Ray preceded him in death. His father, mother, three sisters, and one brother preceded him in death also. He is survived by 8 children, 23 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Jennie Tibbetts of Medicine Lodge and Mrs. Grant Twombley of Iowa, and one brother, J. W. Watkins, also of Iowa. All the living children were present at the funeral except one daughter from Dakoma, Oklahoma and one son from Washington who were prevented from attending by illness.

Died December 27, 1939 at Medicine Lodge, aged 87 years, 9 months, 5 days.

Sharon Valley Times, January 4, 1940.

Pioneer Barber County Man Dies

Influenza claimed one of Medicine Lodge's pioneer citizens, Wednesday morning when W. S. "Billy" Watkins died at his home there.

He had been ill only a few days.

Funeral services were held Sunday at Medicine Lodge, with burial in the Medicine Lodge cemetery.

The Barber County Index, April 14, 1920.

Mary Jane Watkins

Mary Jane Watkins, wife of William S. Watkins passed away at her home in Medicine Lodge on Saturday evening, April 10, after an illness of about a week's duration. Pneumonia was the malady which caused death and the disease assumed a critical form from the beginning.



Mary Jane Chenoweth was born March 13th, 1854 at Lacell, Iowa, and died April 10, 1920 in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, aged 66 years and 27 days.

She was married to William Shane Watkins November 19, 1873. In 1878 they settled in Sedgwick County, Kansas, where they remained until 1879 when they moved to Medicine Lodge where they have since made their home.

Mrs Watkins was converted and became a member of the Methodist church at Lacell, Iowa in 1874. She remained a member of that church until her death.

(Other information from the obituary)

Survivors - Children: Mattie Ireland, Dacoma, Oklahoma, Blanche Wilt, Aline, Oklahoma, Lydia Hawver, Hazleton, Kansas, Minnie Wells, Medicine Lodge, Troy W., Zenda, Kansas, Ray W., Aline, Oklahoma, Fred W., Ashland, Kansas, Charles W., Simla, Colorado, Kyte W., Nashville, Kansas, Lowe W., Medicine Lodge. Sister: Josephine Mulkie, Portland, Oregon, fifteen grandchildren and one great grandchild. Charles and Lowe served in the army during the great war.

Also see:

The Family of Joseph & Sarah Jane (Dutton) Watkins for information on the children of William Shane and Mary Jane (Chenoweth) Watkins.

Jacob L. Chenoweth, father of Mary Jane Chenoweth.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above Sharon Valley Times news article to this web site and to Della M. Shafer for the photo and obituaries!

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