Chautauqua County Kansas Genealogy

An Unaffiliated Web Page

[Picture of Samuel and Mary]

Submitted by Eileen D. Bouton

This is the Story of the Dyer Familiesí trip from the East to Kansas/Oklahoma as told by Thomas (T. J. ) Dyer in his book--The First White Settlement In Oklahoma.

Samuel Meredith Dyer and Mary Elizabeth Dyer moved with their family from Indiana to Iowa in 1851. After living in Iowa for 18 years, the family left Iowa in 1869. Traveling southwest they passed through Oceola and Indianola, Iowa, to Bethany and St. Joseph, Missouri. From there they traveled down the Missouri River to opposite Atchison, Kansas. At this point they crossed the Missouri River on a steam ferry boat, the Brick Pomeroy and from Atchison they came to Kansas City, Missouri. From Old West Port, landing they traveled the old military trail to Paola and Fort Scott, Kansas. (This was the trail that General Price retreated on with his army after his defeat at West Port.)

At Carthage, Missouri, the family spent the winter of 1869. At this time there was a great deal of talk about Oklahoma, so Samuel concluded to spy out this fabled land of promise. Loading part of the family into a prairie schooner, he proceeded westward to get a glimpse of this fair country, crossing Spring River at Baxter Springs, Kansas and then proceeded west to Chetopa and Coffeyville. At Coffeyville, Kansas, they knew definitely where the state line of Kansas was. West of there was only conjecture and with only a pocket compass to guide them, they traveled west until they came to the Big Cana River.

The story continues as told in the Biographical Sketches of Chautauqua County found in William G. Cutler's 1883 History Of The State Of Kansas.

SAMUEL M. DYER, farmer, P. 0. Medicine Lodge, Barber Co., Kan., was born in Guilford County, N. C., in 1814. When four years of age, his parents located in Monroe County, Ind. In 1830, the subject of this sketch settled in LaFayette, Tippecanoe Co., Ind., and learned the tinner trade; then for a year or two was in different parts of the State and in the South, after which he located in Clay County, Ind., and remained there until 1844. Thence to Greencastle, Putnam County until 1851, when he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Polk County, and engaged in farming. In 1855, was elected Treasurer of Polk County, and served four years and five months.

In 1869, he settled in Jasper County, Mo., and 1870 came to Kansas, and located some claims in what was supposed to be Howard County, and laid out nearly $1,000 in improvements, etc., but when the survey of the south line of Kansas was made, he found he was in the Indian Territory, and he was obliged to leave his land and improvements, receiving nothing for his lost.

He then located some land in Belleville Township, on Section 15, Howard County. and secured a farm of 257 acres, which he lived upon and improved. Mr. Dyer was one of the pioneers of the county, and when he settled was eighty miles from a railroad, and had to go eighty-five miles for his mail. In 1839, he was married to Miss Mary E. Gilerech, of Owen County, Ind. They have eleven children J. V. B., E. B., W. F.. H. J., Viretta H., Samuel M., Jr., William F., Oscar F., T. B., Rebecca J. and Sarah E.


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