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Captain Simon Gray Gary

                                              SHERIFF COWLEY COUNTY.

Simon Gray Gary was born in Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio, February 5, 1837. He was the son of Joseph F. and Martha Gary. His father died on the 18th day of August 1850, when he was 13 years old. Five years later, his mother, with her four children moved to Mahaska, Iowa. There he grew to manhood and learned the carpenter trade. He entered the service of the Union during the rebellion joining as a private, Company H. Third Iowa Volunteers. He rose to the rank of captain in 1863 seeing service at Shiloh, Corinth, and before Vicksburg. He was wounded three times. He was mustered out July 18, 1864, and returned to Iowa, where he engaged in farming for ten years.
In 1865 he married Mary E. Hunt, daughter of Abraham and Mahala Hunt, at Peoria, Iowa. Capt. Gary was a member of the Iowa assembly in 1865-66 and also acted as deputy United States Marshall for his district in that state. Growing dissatisfied with his lot in Iowa and hearing of the opportunities in Kansas he decided to see for himself. With two companions he came to Kansas in 1877 and camped near Winfield. He was so pleased with it that he went back for his family.
He first engaged in the carpenter and contracting business, manufacturing furniture, and afterward owned a livery stable. His livery stable was at the southeast corner of Eighth and Manning. For two years he was a member of the Winfield City Coun­cil. He attended the Method­ist Church and helped to build every church in Winfield, although he was not a member of any religious organization. He was a close student of the Bible and Shake­speare and there were few passages in either text that he could not complete if the first few works were given him.
In 1883 he was appointed sheriff to fill the vacancy left by the murder of Sheriff A. T. Shenneman. He filled this office to the entire satisfaction of the people and in later years acted as deputy for other sheriffs. In 1893, during President Cleveland's second term,  he was appointed postmaster and served four years. For the last years of his life he owned the newsstand under the First National bank and his presence there every day was the cause of many of the old timers, who knew him, to assemble there and gossip.
Beside his widow, Capt. Gary left a son, George, who is associated with the First National bank, a daughter, Mrs. Leoti Kibbe, wife of the vice-president of the Winfield National bank and another daughter, Mrs. Grace Olds, wife of Wiley Olds. His only grandchild at the time his death was Gary Olds, the three year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Olds.
The funeral was November 24, 1904 at 2:30 p.m. The members of Winfield lodge no. 110 A. F. & A. M. attended in a body and conducted the services from the family home on East Ninth Avenue, assisted by Rev. A. O. Ebright, chaplain of the lodge, and Rev. T. W. Scott of the Methodist Church. Burial was in the Union Cemetery beside John Keck, the life long friend of Capt. Gary.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, October 24, 1883.
                                                               S. G. Gary.

Why is it that the moment the Republican party refuses to vote for a dirty Republican and kicks him out of the party, the Democrats at once take him up and nominate him for an office?
S. G. Gary was defeated in Mahaska County, Iowa, for treasurer, on the Republican ticket, when that party had 1,200 majority, and then he turns Democrat and comes to Kansas. Bill Hackney and his late relict, J. Wade McDonald, had him appointed sheriff upon the death of Shenneman. Then, desirous of propitiating these two worthies, he is forthwith nominated by the Democrats for sheriff. Is he a Democrat, or is Bill running that party through Wade McDonald, as he always has done in this county?  Or, mayhap, the office of sheriff is to be given him to pay him for refusing the bribe which Gary says Ed. Greer offered him in the water works row in Winfield, when Gary was councilman. When we remember that Bill and Wade, together with Read’s bank, put up that job, and that Gary voted it through the council, we can see more than one sow with its nose in the political swill trough of this county.
Comments by RKW (date unknown)...
J. J. Banks reports that the Bank’s story on page 121 of the “Cowley County Heritage” book is wrong. George G. Gray should be George G. Gary, and Ruby Mider Gray should be Ruby Mider Gary.
Have not had an opportunity to research this file completely in the newspapers.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum