Barber County Kansas


William George Osborn.

Photo courtesy of his great-grandson, Bob Osborn.
William George Osborn
Photo courtesy of his great-grandson, Bob Osborn.

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.


William G. Osborn was born September 11, 1846, near Lockport, Indiana. Died August 14, 1919, at his home in Mingona township. He came to Kansas with his mother, brother and sister in 1865, just after the close of the Civil War, locating in Anderson county. He moved to Barber county in 1874, where he settled on the land where he remained until death's call.

On February 12, 1879 he was united in marriage to Jennie S. Stoughton. Five children, two sons and three daughters were born to this union. All the children except one survive the father. Nellis, the only child to precede the father in death, died in infancy. The surviving children are Dr. Leon L. Osborn, Medicine Lodge; Mrs. A. DeLay, Syracuse, Kansas; Mrs. George Turnbull, Medicine Lodge, Kansas; George E. Osborn, Salt Lake City, Utah.

During his entire life Mr. Osborn was a devoted member of the M. E. church. He was a member of the first M. E. church organized in this city. The services were then held in a little frame school building that stood where the public school building now stands.

In 1874 Mr. Osborn became a member of the state militia and remained in the service until that organization was disbanded in 1877. At the time of his death, he was drawing a pension from the government for his military services.

Besides the children and his good wife, Mr. Osborn is survived by four brothers and one sister. They are: W. H. Osborn, Partridge, Kansas; W. W. Osborn, Santa Barbara, California; H. L. Osborn, Santa Barbara, California. The surviving sister is Mrs. Ida M. Price, Kansas City, Missouri.

During his long illness the deceased suffered much but he bore his discomforts in silence. He maintained an exceptionally cheerful disposition through it all. He never complained of his failing health, but seemed to constantly entertain the hope that he would some day regain his broken physique. He had lived a true and honest christian life and in death he had no fear but as the breath of life gradually ebbed away, the light of a kind eternity brought a smile to his face and he passed into the keeping of his Lord with joy in his heart.


(Obituary is on a separate web page.)

The home of William George Osborn and Jennie (Stoughton) Osborn, built by W.G. Osborn in 1879, photo taken about 1905.

Photo courtesy of their great-grandson, Bob Osborn.
The home of William George Osborn and Jennie (Stoughton) Osborn, built by W.G. Osborn in 1879, photo taken about 1905.
In 2005, this is the Turnbull farm west of Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
Photo courtesy of their great-grandson, Bob Osborn.

Jennie S. (Stoughton) OSBORN, wife of W.G. Osborn.

Dr. Leon L. OSBORN, son of W.G. Osborn.

Mrs. Jennie Osborn Writes Most Interesting Article Concerning Experiences In Barber County

Barber County Index, September 29, 1927.

Medicine Lodge Freshmen Basketball Team, 1924, photo of David Osborn, a member of the team.

Indians Killed Her Father Here In 1874
Barber County Index, September 18, 1930. (Article mentions that W.G. Osborn found the body of Mr. Kimes.)

Lee Wynkoop: "Recalls Narrow Escape From Indians"
(Undated newspaper clippings.)

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

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