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Backus Family

There is no listing of a “Backus Family” in the 1870 federal census for Cowley County, Kansas.
The Kansas 1875 census for Harvey township lists:
Charles Backus, age 26, m., w., born in New York, came from Ill.
June Backus, age 25, f., w., born in Virginia, came from Ky.
Annie Backus, age 2, f., w., born in Kansas.
Winfield Courier, January 23, 1879.
It is said that the Germans of this city have secured a German teacher, Professor Backus, a gentleman of high education, for the purpose of establishing a private school, in which the German language will form a special branch of study. We wish them success.
Winfield Courier, November 11, 1957.
Mell Backus, 74, for over a half century prominently connected with various phases of Winfield Business, civic and sports activities, died at his home Saturday night. He had been ill only a short time.
Masonic graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Highland cemetery with Morris funeral home in charge 
Mr. Backus was born Nov. 26, 1883, in Latham. He was graduated from Winfield high school in 1901 and became a licensed druggist in 1904. He was married on Oct. 9, 1911, to Hazel Gunter, who survives. Mr. Backus was a member of the Episcopal church, Masonic lodge, and the Kansas Pharmaceutical Assn..
Also surviving is a son, Tom W., of Redondo Beach, Calif.
Mr. Backus started his career as a druggist serving at first as a clerk in the drug store of Harry Plagmann. At one time he operated eight drug stores in Kansas and Oklahoma, including two in Winfield and one in Oxford. In recent years he had operated only the one store, at 805 Main.
Because of his activities in professional baseball, Mr. Backus was a member of the National Baseball Congress Kansas Hall of Fame. He had played in the 3-I and Wisconsin leagues, and later was manager and catcher for the Winfield Reds.
He had served several terms as city commissioner and mayor of Winfield.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum