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Goff Family

                                                            Brainard Goff.
This file probably needs more work on it. Need to recheck and see if additions should be made to it. MAW December 29, 2001.

The February, 1870 census of Cowley County does not list any family named Goff.
The Creswell township census of 1873 lists J. M. Goff, no age given, and no wife.
The Creswell township census of 1874 lists B. Goff, age 55, and his wife Jane, age 47. It also lists Lorenzo Goff, age 27, and his wife L?dyann, age 22.
The Tisdale township census of 1876 lists B. Goff, no age given.
The story of Albion and Lydia Gillis Goff is told in the Cowley County Heritage book, page 177. It covers Albion & Lydia Gillis Goff [wherein it is stated that Brainard Goff, wife Jane Billington Goff, and five children arrived in the spring of 1870 in covered wagon. Children: Lorenzo, Charlotte, Monroe, Albion, and Seymore. Submitted by Charles Davis.]
The story of John Brainard and Mable M. Goff is told in the Cowley County Heritage book, page 177. It is stated that Brainard Goff and family arrived in 1869 from La Porte County, Indiana. Submitted by Verna Goff Davis.
Winfield Courier, May 15, 1873.
We clip the following local items from the Arkansas City Traveler.
Last week we saw some of the best salt we have seen in this State, manufactured by Goff & Marshall, of Salt Springs, this county. These gentlemen have their vats in working order, from which they manufacture thirty barrels of salt per week, by evaporation only. As many more vats are being made, and they will soon be able to turn out twice as much salt as at present.
Mr. Goff brought into this market yesterday 1,000 pounds of beautiful crystallized salt. All the salt needed in this locality will be furnished from the Salt Springs.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 1, 1876.
Last Thursday evening, as Mrs. E. P. Wright, who lives in the stone house about two miles north of town, was at supper, she heard a noise out among her chickens. As none of the male members of the family were at home at that time, she and her daughter (Miss Josie) went out to ascertain what was the matter.
They soon found the dog engaged in combat with something more than he could handle, and could only find him from his cries; but soon a young dog, by his noise, caused them to proceed to the stable, where after some time Miss Josie saw that the same object that had fought the dog was perched on the stable roof.
When Mrs. Wright’s attention was called to it, she picked up a rock and threw it at the object with all her strength, knocking it to the ground. Here the dogs again rushed in, and the fight was general and furious. Finally the object was driven to a corner of the house, and after more fighting with varied success, the object at last was obliged to seek partial refuge under the door step, where Mrs. Wright and the dogs kept it at bay until Miss Josie went to the house of a neighbor, Mr. Goff, and got one of his sons to go to her mother’s assistance; which he promptly did, and after a time with poles and fire tongs, they succeeded in killing the object, which proved to be a good sized wild cat.

The young man then went home, and the ladies returned to their supper, well satisfied with their evening’s work. The same ladies, about two weeks ago, succeeded one night, by the help of their dogs, in capturing some wild animal about the same size, which they covered with a box, intending to see what it was; but when morning came, the animal had dug out under the box and was gone, so they never knew what they had caught.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1877.
Mr. Goff, proprietor of the salt works at Salt City, we are informed, has already manufactured upwards of fifty thousand pounds of salt this season. The salt is obtained by evaporation. The water from these springs is said to contain one pound of salt to every gallon of water. If coal should be found at this point, and no doubt it will at some future day, hundreds of thousands of pounds of salt will be manufactured yearly, and Salt City will become one of the liveliest town in the Southwest.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1877.
Taken up, by B. Goff, 2½ miles north of Arkansas City, 2 colts, supposed to be two years old next spring, which the owner can have by paying charges.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 12, 1877.
BORN. To Lorenzo Goff and wife, on Saturday last, a ten pound boy.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 2, 1878.
The Grange Festival given at the Grange Hall in South Bend, Pleasant Valley Township, last Monday night, was attended by people from almost all parts of the county, numbering in all nearly two hundred. The management and arrangement of the affair was one of the best we have attended in the county. A tent was erected a short distance from the door, where cloaks and wearing apparel were cared for, and checks given for safe keeping.
Close by was another long pavilion with a table filled with a dozen varieties of cakes, pies, meats, etc., with waiters suffi­cient to see to the wants of all. Under the same tent Mr. Goff engineered an oyster, cigar, candy, and apple stand, with a good heating stove behind him to warm by.
There were fifty-nine numbers sold, and the hall was crowd­ed, yet, all had a chance to dance, and enjoyed themselves exceedingly. The Pennsylvania brothers furnished the music—the best, without any exception, ever rendered at any similar enter­tainment in the county.
South Bend Grange is well known for its energy and hospital­ity, and its members compose most of the best people in the locality in which it thrives. By special invitation we attended the gathering, in preference to several others, and were glad of it; and would say to all who may be fortunate enough to be invited at any future time, go, if you can appreciate a good time.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 9, 1878.
Deer can be seen almost any day in Goff’s woods, a mile and a half north of town.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 1, 1878.

A new schoolhouse has been erected in the school district just north of this place, near Goff’s farm. It is about ten by twelve feet square, built of native lumber, with one door and two windows. The benches are made of native lumber also, and Miss Wright has been engaged as teacher. It is a cheap house, to be sure, costing only about $75, but the district does not have to pay $100 interest annually on school bonds, and after a while will be better able to build than those who have $1,000 houses. There are just enough children in the district to fill the little house full. We have promised to visit the school, but will have to wait until some of the children are absent before we can get in; otherwise, the teacher would have to stand on the outside, or send one of the pupils home during our stay.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 31, 1878.
J. T. Grimes purchased the two-story house of George Allen, known as the Goff house.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 31, 1878.
Mr. Lippmann’s harness and saddle were found last week by Mr. Goff’s boy under a straw stack a few miles from where they were stolen. The boy was herding cattle, and had laid down on the stack to rest, when happening to cast his eyes downward, he noticed a strap, and got down to pick it up. He reached to pull it out, but it didn’t come. He then gave a jerk, and out came a set of harness, greatly to the boy’s surprise, who did not risk another pull, for fear a mule might come out next.
(Note: The Sept. 25, 1877, Traveler, reported that a pair of harness and two saddles were stolen from Leon Lippmann.)
Arkansas City Traveler, November 20, 1878.
Mr. Goff and sons came back from the Territory with 23 turkeys and one deer.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 25, 1878.
MARRIED. Near Arkansas City, Dec. 18th, 1878, by Rev. J. S. McClung, Mr. Monroe Goff to Miss Hattie Burrell.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 17, 1879.
LOST AND FOUND. Last Sunday evening a child of Mr. Lorenzo Goff, aged but eighteen months, wandered from the house and was not missed for some time. As soon as his absence was noticed, some of the family started in search of him, but could find no trace whatever of the child. The alarm was given and some twenty men hunted all night, in every direction; but their search was fruitless, and Monday morning some town parties went out to Mr. Goff’s, about two miles from town, and joined in the search. Soon after they arrived, however, the child was found about a mile and a quarter from the house where he had laid the entire night, with no covering whatever, and rather thinly dressed. He had evidently felt tired, after walking so far from the house, and laid down to rest. With the exception of being thoroughly chilled, the child sustained no injury from his first night’s camping out, and Mr. Goff is to be congratulated upon the fortu­nate termination of his son’s infant travels.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 21, 1880.
DIED. On Friday, July 16, of malarial fever, Mrs. Lydia A. Goff, wife of Lorenzo Goff, aged twenty-nine years. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Fleming on Saturday morning. She leaves six children, the eldest about twelve years old and the youngest some eighteen months.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 6, 1881.
SEALED BIDS. Bids for building a bridge across the creek, near B. Goff’s, on the county road, will be received by the township clerk until April 30, 1881. Bidders are requested to furnish plans and specifications.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 8, 1881.
                                               SALT CITY’S SALT WORKS.

A representative of the Press attended the public meeting held at Salt City last Saturday and picked up some items in reference to the salt resources of that vicinity. Long before the first pioneers ventured west of the Arkansas river, the numerous salt springs of Walton township and the Slate creek bottom were well known to the Indians and buffaloes that occupied Sumner county at that time; and before this territory was ceded to the United States by the Osage Indians, these springs were “claimed.” There is no available record of the earliest opera­tions in salt manufacture from their brine.
In 1873, O. J. Ward constructed a vat 20 inches wide, 8 feet long, and 3 inches deep. In this he evaporated the brine taken from little oozes in the ground. By this means he manufactured 63 pounds of salt in 7 days. He also took one gallon of this water; and by boiling, obtained 3½ pounds of salt from it.
When we say salt, we mean salt, and the purest and best of the arti­cle. Repeated and careful chemical analysis show that this salt carries only a trace of foreign substances. The large majority of the old settlers in this county have used this salt; they testify, with one accord, that it has no superior for ordinary purposes, and that it preserves meats much better than imported salts.
In 1874, Brainard Goff began the manufacture of salt at Salt City by solar evaporation. He used 100 vats, and pumped all the water from a 5 ft. well, which was very imperfectly protected from fresh water seeps. He did all the work himself, and re­ceived as a reward for his labors an average of 1,000 pounds of salt per diem, as is shown by the State Agricultural report for 1875. But he soon overstocked the home demand. At that time, Wichita, 55 miles distant, was the nearest railroad point, so that he was devoid of all shipping facilities. During the summer of 1875, the property changed hands, the title was called into question, Mr. Goff became discouraged, and suspended opera­tions. From that day to this, this great boon of nature has been lying idle, while the richest brine on the globe has flowed ceaselessly on to the Arkansas river, thence to the Great Father of Waters and the ocean; where it has mingled with the native brine of the great deep, without doing benefit to man or beast.
But these great natural resources cannot remain undeveloped. James Hill & Co., of Arkansas City, have leased these salt wells for a term of ten years, and are busy engaged in preparations for a resumption of the manufacture of this most useful commodity.
The main well is to be sunk to a depth of twenty-eight feet, walled and cemented, so as to exclude all fresh water. Several hundred vats will be put in for solar evaporation during this summer. This fall, boilers will replace them, and the work will go on without interruption all the year around. The home trade is much more extensive now than it was formerly; the railroad is within twelve miles. In addition to these facts, this salt has obtained considerable note abroad. It requires no prophet to see that in the next few years these salt works will be the most noted on the continent. The facts condensed are these:  Here in Sumner county is the richest and purest brine known to civilized man. The supply thereof is inexhaustible. Its manufacture has been taken in hand by men who understand the business, and have sufficient capital to prosecute the work. It is within easy reach of railroad transportation, and can supply all the western country with better and cheaper salt than can be obtained from the east. It is no idle boast to say that Salt City, Sumner county, Kansas, will soon outrival all competitors in the manu­facture of salt. Wellingtonian.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 15, 1881.


Brainard Goff, living some two miles north of town, informs us he has sixty-five acres of the earliest and best corn he has ever seen, and about twenty-two acres of good corn but not quite so early, all of which he has tended himself. How is this for a man 63 years of age?
Arkansas City Traveler, June 15, 1881.
DIED. One week from last Monday, Mr. Brainard Goff, of La Porte, Indiana, at the advanced age of 107 years. The deceased gentleman was the father of Mr. B. Goff, of this township, and retained the full use of his faculties until within a short time of his death; in fact, to within a year of his demise, he himself attended to the ordinary house chores of farm life. Mr. Goff was born in Connecticut in 1776, and lived in that state until he arrived at manhood’s estate, when he moved to New Orleans, and thence to Vermilion county, Indiana, staying there twelve years, until 1831, when he removed to La Porte, Indiana, in which place he resided until his death. He was married twice and had eight children, of whom Mr. Brainard Goff, now 63 years of age, was the eldest. Mr. Goff followed the trade of a mason until 1831, when he turned farmer, which avocation he followed till he fell asleep in the fullness of years. He served in the war of 1812, and received, up to the last, a pension for his services therein.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 15, 1881.
Mr. Brainard Goff, living some two miles north of town, informs us he had 65 acres of the earliest and best corn but not quite so early, all of which he has tended himself. How is this for a man 63 years of age?
Arkansas City Traveler, June 29, 1881.
Lyman Blair Goff died in Chicago May 27, 1881, of hemorrhage of the kidneys. He was born July 12, 1812, was married in January, 1870, to Miss Hattie E. Mathew, and soon after moved to Kansas, which he made his home for five years, from thence turning his steps in the direction of Texas, in which State he remained until two years ago, when he returned to Chicago, where he resided until his death. He leaves a wife and three small children to mourn his loss. To show his standing in the community, and to set forth his character as son, husband, father, and citizen, it is sufficient to state that he was a Christian. Thus has passed away a beloved father and brother, the one aged and feeble, the other in the prime of manhood. The remains were taken to Pine Lake Cemetery, where, amid the quiet shade of that lovely spot, all that is mortal of Lyman Blair Goff finds repose.
La Porte, Indiana, Herald Chronicle.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 6, 1881.
Mr. Brainard Goff, living two miles north of town, brought to our office, last week, several specimens of this year’s corn from his farm. The specimens submitted for examination cannot be beat anywhere for general luxuriance, and are true healthful exponents of vegetable life in its most attractive garb. Of the five stalks sent in, the tallest measures 11 feet, but they will average 10 feet in length, and bear a goodly number of ears. Mr. Goff has quite a large acreage in corn, and we congratulate him on his good prospects.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 28, 1881.

Mr. Brainard Goff started last Monday for Indiana and Illinois, where he expects to spend about a month visiting relatives and old-time friends. Mr. Goff has been somewhat sick of late, but we trust this trip will reinstate him in his usual good health.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 7, 1882.
DIED. At the residence of B. Goff, in Creswell township, Cowley County, on Saturday, June 3rd, 1882, of consumption, in the thirtieth year of his age, Monroe Goff. The deceased leaves a wife and one child to mourn the protecting arm of husband and father. The funeral was preached at the father’s house on June 4th at 2 p.m., after which the remains were conveyed to Riverview Cemetery, whither they were followed by a large number of rela­tives and friends.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 14, 1882.
There is now on our table a sample of bearded wheat handed us by Mr. Brainard Goff, which we think is hard to beat anywhere. It is of the Egyptian variety, with very large ears (averaging six inches in length) and the kernels thickly clustering. In one ear we counted over one hundred grains. Mr. Goff brought the seed from back East some years ago, where he says he has seen it yield at the rate of sixty-three bushels to the acre. We con­gratulate Mr. Goff upon having fourteen acres of the best wheat we have seen so far this season.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 31, 1883.
MARRIED. On Tuesday evening, October 23, at the residence of Capt. A. J. Burrell, Mr. Wm. M. Blakeney to Mrs. Hattie Goff. If the above couple are half as happy as William looks, our best wish would be that his bright smile might never grow less.
Arkansas City Republican, February 23, 1884.
MARRIED. At Winfield, Feb. 14, 1884, Mr. Albion Goff and Miss Lydia Gillis were united in the holy bonds of marriage, by Judge Gans. In the evening, they returned to the residence of the bride’s father, the venerable A. Gillis, and partook of a splendid supper.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 15, 1884.
We are indebted to Mr. B. Goff for a basketful of the finest apples we have ever looked upon. They were grown on his farm northeast of town; were of the Larven Red, Rols Garnet, and Wine Sap varieties. Mr. Goff had about 140 bushels from his orchard this year, 19 bushels of wine saps being gathered from one tree. Southern Cowley will not take a back seat in anything.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 27, 1885. MARRIED. Also married on Saturday by the same clergyman, Seymour Goff, of Creswell, and Miss Augusta Finley, of Chetopa, Kansas.
Arkansas City Republican, December 26, 1885.
MARRIED. Last Thursday evening at the residence of R. A. Houghton, Miss Angie R. Mantor was united in marriage to Lorenzo Goff. Rev. S. B. Fleming performed the ceremony. The wedding was a quiet one, none but relatives being in attendance. Miss Mantor is one of Arkansas City’s most estimable, and christian ladies. Mr. Goff is a well-to-do farmer residing four miles northeast of town. As soon as married, the couple departed for the home of Mr. Goff and the future home of Mrs. Goff. The REPUBLICAN congratulates this most worthy couple and hopes their married life will be nothing but pleasure and joy.
Winfield Courier, January 17, 1910.

An overland trip from La Porte County, Indiana, to Cowley County was the early day experience of Brainard and Jane Goff when Emporia was the end of the railroad in this part of the county. Their party arrived here July 23. Besides Mr. and Mrs. Goff, a brother and his wife and a teamster, an Irishman by the name of Charles Lewis made up the party of adults.
They were fortunate in having splendid weather throughout the journey, one light rain falling during an overnight camp at Burlingame. At Burlingame the reached the land of the jackrabbit and the party had much fun over the resemblance of the rabbits to young mules loping over the prairie.
Cowley County was not surveyed by the government until February 1871. Marks of the old trail from Winfield To Arkansas City can still be seen across the pastures several miles east of the present highway. Between the towns in ‘70 were three log cabins, but the Goff family could only see two of them, that of Mr. Mumaugh [Mumaw] and the cabin of Dave Shaw.
Mr. Goff and his party bought the land south of the creek, between what is now the Haggard farm and the river. It had been claimed but the owner wanted to sell it. He proved up on the land in 1872 or 1873 and the patent to the land is signed by President Grant.
Later they obtained the land on the hill just north of them now owned by Mrs. Dillow. At first they set up a large cook tent, and built a hay shed to sleep in until they could build a house. After William Sleeth set up a saw mill in the slough east of Arkansas City they bought lumber and built a house. The lumber was cut with a circular saw, the teeth of which were not set true. The roof of the house was of oak lumber and when it rained these uneven grooves in the lumber became tiny troughs through which the oak stained water poured into the house. The roof was more of a sieve, which they endured until a sawmill was built at Geuda Springs and they were able to obtain shingles for the roof.
In these early days Mrs. Goff and the wife of a preacher, Mrs. Swarts, were the only women in the immediate neighborhood, all other settlers being bachelors.
Game and fish were plentiful. One of the first things the Goff men built, was a boat so that they could fish with the seine. During the winter it was a common sight to see several quarters of venison hanging in the trees away from marauders.
In 1884 Alvin Goff, who had been 15 years of age when the family made the move to Kansas, married Miss Lydia Gillis. They began housekeeping on the quarter adjoining the north line of the Oda Coats home northeast of the City. Their house and other buildings were near the creek west of the present road. In later years the house was sold to T. N. Haggard.
Many tales of blizzards so bad that ropes had to be fastened to guide one from the house to the barn had been told the Goff children, but Alvin Goff had first hand experience in the sudden blizzard that swept the country in 1886. His cattle were below the bluff in the timber near the creek and protected from the icy blasts. The second day of the blizzard he went to see about them and was glad for a fence to guide him to the house again. The wind was so strong it seemed to blow his eyes shut and he was unable to see. His pigs had crowded into a small dugout in the bank where he soaked their feed and were all right when he got them dug out of the snow.
Five children were born to Alvin and Lydia Goff of whom two are now living. John and Herman Goff of Arkansas City.
In spite of his 85 years, Alvin Goff is well and strong. Mrs. Goff has been ill for a number of years.


The following is from an undated and unsigned manuscript in the hands of Verna Goff Davis. We assume that it was written by her grandfather, Albin Goff.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Last evening after we had adjourned, the Chairman of the committee came to me with the request that I should act as substitute for my wife and have a three minute talk on flowers. So last evening after my wife and son had retired I got a pencil and tablet and I racked my brain for three long hours to get a three minute speech. So this manuscript is the three minute talk of my wife on flowers and flower cultivation. (It was) assigned to her by the committee on account of her winning one half of the prize offered by the Newman Dry Goods Co. For the best display of flowers grown by a married lady. (This is once my wife was lucky for being a married woman.)
Right here I want to offer an explanation as to why I am standing here holding this manuscript. My wife does most of the talking at home, but when it comes to talking in public, then she is too timid to talk, and shoves me to the front—and not being able to read her writing without an interpreter, so I have written this manuscript myself. I did not ask her what I should say. But I know that I have written, word for word, just as my wife would have written had she have written it herself.
The first thing to do in growing flowers is to make out an order to some good reliable seed house for about $2.00 worth of seeds of different varieties including some of the old fashioned flowers with a new name and a high price. Then ask the old man for about $7.84 and I will bet 9 to 1 that you can work him, for not one man in a dozen knows the price of flower seeds.
Now there is no use for me to explain how flowers are grown for every seedsman sends out catalogues giving full directions for planting and caring for all kinds of seeds and plants.
But perhaps I had better give you a few ideas as to how I raise them. As soon as the ground will do to work in the spring, I send the old man (that means me; You see this is supposed to be my wife talking.) out to spade the ground up good and deep. And rake it well until the clods are all pulverized, then it is ready for the young plants.
Then I give directions to the old man (There it is, calls me old man again.)  Right here I would like to but in and say a word if I dared to but I don’t. I will say this much though - If a man works hard and raises lots of flowers. All the credit he ever gets for it is the praise his wife receives for the beautiful flowers she has in the yard.
Give directions to the old man as to where and how to set the plants. Then I see that he hoes in the yard at least 15 minutes each day. This is done for the good of the flowers and partly to punish him for standing on the street corners and talking politics. This is continued until the flowers are in bloom.
There are two kinds of flowers that is very easy to raise. The one is the crescent and the other is the Polar bear flower. Any other’s daughter or servant girl can raise these flowers by using a package of Jacob Yosts celebrated Sunflower yeast. Full directions on each and every package.

I am willing to admit that it is a little discouraging for a man to grow flowers if his wife is in the habit of going very much, of if he has grown up daughters - the time was when a lady would pluck a rose of a pink or some other beautiful flower for a button hole bouquet, But now the fashion has changed, instead of plucking a flower they pull up the whole plant, root and branch, and pin it across their breast and say that’s style.
Now I think that I have said enough (or that my wife has said enough.) On the subject of flowers and flower culture.
Another hand written manuscript in the hands of Verna Goff Davis  is also undated.
(Note - From the content it was a speech made at the Old Settlers Reunion in the fall of 1902.)
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen and old settler friends.
I did not come here with the intention of making any talk, but for the purpose of listening to others.
My mother used to tell me when I was a boy, that little boys should be seen and not heard. And it has been buzzing in my head ever since. To be seen and not heard. But on this occasion I feel that I might say a word that would interest you in speaking of this buzzing sound (be seen and not heard.)
In the winter of 69 and spring of 70, my father had a very severe attack of western fever—so severe that he came west that spring. He went to Chetopa and from there to Arkansas City ( in 1869) where he found a location. He came back and on the 22 of June (1870), he started with his family for Kansas over the wagon road route. We experienced no difficulty, so had a very pleasant trip and landed at Arkansas City on the 23 of July.
So that I have lived on this land of peace and prosperity with peaches and cream for a little better than 32 years. We came by way of Winfield and down across the prairie not far from here, and on to Arkansas City—Ark City was then as it is now—a much larger and better town than Winfield.
We drove from the city out to the claim on the Walnut river where we found the grass almost as high as the horses back. Father got out and mowed a patch of grass. We pitched the tent and set up the cook stove. Mother got dinner and it did begin to seem like home. We sowed a large patch of turnips that fall and got a bounteous crop which we turned up for winter use and when we ate one meal we knew right where the next one was coming from. I will not attempt to tell all of things happenings so will skip on to grass hopper days. Every old settler remembers grasshopper year. They came little, big, old and young and brought all their relations with them. It looked as if the dark ages were rolling in upon us for they actually darkened the sun. They came about 5 o’clock in the afternoon and the next morning it was plain to be seen by the corn fields and every thing green that they had eaten their supper the evening before. We went to work and snapped our corn and hid it under a hay shock to save it but we found they were no fools for they found the corn.

Well, that fall they deposited their eggs in the ground. They had all of the hard places perforated until it looked like honey comb. The next spring, as soon as it turned off a little warm, they began to hatch. They came out of the ground by the million, yes, by the billion. They were very small when they first came out and were of a light gray color. The first thing that came to them after they were out was their appetite and they would begin to look around for something to eat and it looked as if they were destined to eat every thing that was green. Even some of the people got scared and left Kansas.  -- the manuscript ended in the middle of page 5. --


Cowley County Historical Society Museum