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Godfrey Family

The Tisdale Township Census of 1873 lists George H. Godfrey, 29; C. E., 25. The 1874 Census lists her as Katherine.
The Creswell Township Census of 1874 lists E.(Erastus) M. Godfrey, 61; Jenett, 65; E. J.(Jerry), 32; and Lizzie, 27.
E. M. Godfrey had eight children, five of whom came to Cowley County.
1 E. J. (Jerry) Godfrey.
2 Charles Godfrey. Married Lucy Ashley.
3 Verne Godfrey. Married Edith M. Conely

January 30, 1878, E. M. Godfrey wrote to his friend, John Marble, in Wellsburg, Pennsylvania, the following:
Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas. January 30, 1878.
Dear Sir:
I see by the cosmopolite that you are talking of emigrating to Kansas and I thought you would like to hear from me. After the war I lived several years in Kentucky and finally concluded to go to Kansas. I landed here with a cash capital of seventy five cents.
I am in Cowley County, two miles from the Arkansas River, and four miles from the Walnut River, near Arkansas City, on the main road from Wichita to Indian Territory. This is the best country I ever saw and you know that I’ve seen considerable of the world. Deep, rich soil, good water and plenty of it, beautiful storing streams, no better climate in America, mild and salubrious, just the right latitude between the frozen north and the torrid south. I have 160 acres of as good land as the sun shines on, a nice young apple orchard, which will soon be in bearing, plenty of peaches and small fruit.

I am now gathering the last 3 of 400 bushels of my corn crop. We raise heavy crops of wheat, corn, oats, barley, rye, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, peanuts, castor, beans, hemp, broom corn, some cotton, sorghum, etc. Our crops of vegetables, melons, etc., are simply immense. There is no doubt that the region is underlaid with coal, but we have no use for it yet, as there is plenty of wood. When I came here seven years ago the Indians and buffaloes had scarcely left, now you can call it a new country. We have plenty of steam and water grist mills and saw mills nearby. My son Jerry has just finished—potatoes. He has 100 acres of wheat in the ground, and I have 40 acres. Wheat has grown nearly all winter and is as green and bright as it is with you in June. I have 25 hogs, 3 horses, 5 cows, and it would take $2,500 to buy me out. There is some unimproved land in this county that can be bought at from $3 to $10 per acre. The beauty of the thing is, that a man can work here nearly the whole year around. He is not crowded into 20 or 30 days to do his spring work. He can plant from March to July. Most of the winter weather is mild and pleasant, people have been plowing nearly all winter. We have not had snow enough this winter to track a deer. This is a paradise of sportsmen. Deer, Prairie chickens, and rabbits are plenty, and the streams are well stocked with fish. I catch catfish in the Arkansas River from one pound to eighty pounds each. This is the best country I ever saw.
For a poor man, where there is Government land, he can homestead. If he has a team, he can break and put in 20 to 50 acres of sod corn which will turn off 20-40 bushels to the acre, and in the fall sow wheat. The next spring break he can plant corn, and he can sow in the fall; and before he is aware of it, he has an improved farm worth from $8 to $20 an acre.
How long would it take a man with 75 cents capital to pay for a farm on the lake shore, or French Creek Flat in Erie County (Pennsylvania). There are hundreds of men in Erie County who will never own a rod of land, who will work out by the day or month, when they get anything to do, pinch along and live from hand to mouth and finally die almost paupers, who could get independent in this state in 5 years. I advise all who have not the means to buy land to come to Kansas. This state is settling very ----. In a few years it will be difficult to get good government lands. Come and see us when you come out. We will have short cake, baked catfish, and sweet potatoes. Yours truly, Erastus M. Godfrey
E. J. (Jerry) Godfrey was one of the founders of the Oak Grove School where he taught for several years..
Verne Godfrey married Edith M. Conely and they had five children;
1 Irl Godfrey married Jeanne M. Muret.
Irl Godfrey married Jeanne M.Muret and they had four children;
1 Joan married Ray Taylor
2 Beverly
3 James (Jim)
4 William

More of the Godfrey story is told in the “Cowley County Heritage” published in 1990.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 26, 1879.
Died. In Creswell Township, on the 19th inst., the wife of E. M. Godfrey.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 22, 1881.
E. J. Godfrey informs us that he intends to start this week for San Francisco and from there they may go to South America. The object is to find a location to engage in business. Should he not be successful, next fall will find him in Kansas again.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 29, 1881.
Fourth of July celebration at Godfrey’s grove, on the Walnut.
                                                   Another Godfrey Family.
Arkansas City Republican, November 8, 1884.
Mr. Godfrey, father of O. F. Godfrey, is in town this week prospecting.  Mr. Godfrey is a resident of Chicago.

                               [Note: Need to check newspapers further. MAW]


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