[File Created by RKW years ago.]
Robert Hudson, Senior.
Robert Hudson, Sr., was born April 24, 1824 in East Askian, Yorkshire, England. He came to Canada with his father’s family. He married first Sarah Little (Lytle) in the town of Bondhead, West Gillanburg, Ontario, Canada, in April of 1849. She was born Nov. 5, 1823, in Toram, Ireland, and died Aug. 28, 1874, in Winfield, Kansas. He remarried Feb. 9, 1880, to Miss Elizabeth Winslow. He died May 31, 1907, in Winfield. Mrs. Elizabeth Winslow Hudson died Feb. 22, 1908, in Winfield. They had moved to California in 1887 but returned in 1898 to Winfield. He had ten children, all born in Canada.
Elizabeth Jane, Born 10/27/1850, died 11/07/1926
George C., born 8/13/1853, died 12/23/1933
William H., born 7/12/1855, died 3/16/1940 in Winfield
Robert Jr., born 1/22/1863, died 4/08/1953 in Winfield
Mary (Molly), died in Winfield, no dates.
Sarah (Sallie), died in Winfield, no dates.
Joseph A., born 9/7/1864, died 6/4/1925
John, born and died, no dates.
Adaline (Addie), no dates. Died in Winfield
Martha, born and died in Canada, no dates.
Donald Hudson reported that Robert Hudson, Sr., died at the age of 82 years in Winfield at his home in the Lindell Hotel that he owned and operated. He ran a lumber business for a few years after coming to Winfield. He closed his lumberyard and built his first hotel at Seventh and Main on the southeast corner and this was called Valley House. As the city grew he enlarged and called it Hudson House, a few years after that he took this building down and built the large 2 story hotel called the Lindell Hotel with a bath house in back just for travelers who wanted a tho bath as they passed through town.
In March of 1869 Robert Hudson, Sr., left his Canadian farm and started with his wife and family for a new location, where the winters would not be so long and arduous. They came by train to Linn County, Missouri, where they stopped a few weeks with friends before moving west to Olathe, Kansas. They hadn’t been in Olathe long before they began hearing stories about southern Kansas and the beautiful Walnut valley. When they met a caravan of wagons headed in this direction, Mr. Hudson decided to join the procession. He outfitted two covered wagons, and with his family, started south. A good days travel was 25 miles.
They met other wagons, perhaps a dozen, and they traveled together, arriving in Winfield a few days before Christmas in 1869. (NOTE - This might have been the Norton party from Emporia who were looking to establish the town that later became Arkansas City. However the Hudson’s were not listed in Mannings census of February 20, 1870 while the Norton party was listed. Nor were they listed in the Federal census of June, 1870. RKW) The town of course, was not yet named and consisted of seven houses, two of sod.
The party camped at a site just north of (or on) Island Park and stayed there several weeks.
The lack of lumber mills kept the early settlers from building their homes at first. Robert Hudson, Sr., established a lumber yard and hired teams to go to Emporia and bring back lumber for the homesteaders. The railroad ended at Emporia, so it was the closest point for most supplies. Most everything was built of walnut, as it was plentiful. The valley was thickly wooded with walnut trees and it was with walnut lumber that their home was built.
As soon as a saw mill was established, where Seymour’s (305 West Seventh) now is, he gave it its first order, and erected a shack of green lumber. The green boards were put up vertically, with wide batting over the cracks. Although the boards were placed as close together as possible, when the shack was torn down, shrinkage had caused the cracks to become several inches wide. For several years he ran a small lumber yard where the George Waite service station (708 Main Street) is now located. The first home for the Hudson family stood just behind where the Salvation Army Citadel now stands. The Censor of March 18, 1871 reported: “Mr. Hudson raised and has nearly enclosed his immense two story building on Main street this week.” When streets were laid out by surveyors in 1872 the house was left out in the middle of the block from the street. Since that time, the Hudson family has erected 27 buildings, in Winfield, including houses and business buildings. (Note - This home was also used as a hotel called the Valley House. RKW)
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1871.
Robert Hudson (Sr.) takes this method to announce to the public that his new blacksmith shop is in full blast, and ready to do all kinds of work. Having secured the services of Mr. John Weiss, a first-class mechanic, he will guarantee satisfaction to all who patronize him.
HORSE-SHOEING made a specialty. Shop on North Main Street, West Side, between First and Second Streets, Winfield, Kansas. (Note - This is before the streets were renamed as we know them. RKW)
The Hudson family had several hat racks made from buffalo horns. Around 1872, men from the east came to Kansas to shoot the buffalo for their hides. They left the carcasses. People gathered the horns, which are always black, for different uses. For the racks, Mr. Hudson, Sr., polished the horns to a smooth, shiny surface.
Winfield Courier, Vol. I, No. 2. January 18, 1873.
HUDSON HOUSE, Refitted and refurnished. At North End of Main Street.
Boarding: $5.50 per week, with lodging. $4 per week for day board.
ROBERT HUDSON, Proprietor.
Winfield Courier, January 25, 1873.
R. Hudson says that four acres on his farm, north of town, sowed with seed imported from Canada, cannot be beaten in the state.
The Winfield, Kansas census of 1873 lists Robert Hudson, 48, Sarah Hudson, 48, and Elizabeth J. Hudson, 21. (Note - The census did not list persons under 21 years of age. RKW)
The Winfield Courier of Sept 4, 1873, reported “Died in this city on the 28th ult., Mrs Sarah Hudson, wife of Robert Hudson, aged 47 years. The deceased with her husband removed to this county from Upper Canada in 1871.”
The Winfield, Kansas census of 1874 lists Robert Hudson, 46, Elizabeth Hudson, 21, and George Hudson, 21.
Winfield Courier, February 4, 1875.
Public schools, Intermediate Department. Robert, Joseph and Sarah Hudson. Grammar department. William and Mary Hudson.
Winfield Courier, March 25, 1875.
The Valley House has again changed hands. Mr. Robert Hudson, the proprietor, this time taking charge. Mr. Hudson has completely renovated the house from top to bottom, and as he is an experienced hand at the hotel business, the Valley House will no doubt be one of the most popular hotels in the city.
Winfield Courier, March 25, 1875.
Robert Hudson was listed as a stockholder in the Winfield Cemetery Association.
Winfield Courier, April 1, 1875.
THE VALLEY HOUSE,
BY ROBERT HUDSON,
Is the most popular House in Winfield.
The best accommodation for Commercial Travelers.
Stages arrive and depart daily.
Just north of the Lagonda House, Winfield, Kansas.
WINFIELD, KANSAS, August 9th, 1875.
I hereby forbid anyone trusting my wife, Francis R. Hudson, on my account, as I will not pay any debts of her contracting.
(Note - I can find no record of a Robert Hudson being married to a Francis R. Hudson. This might develops into another story. RKW)
Winfield Courier, January 6, 1876.
HUDSON, ROBERT, contractor, has put up more substantial buildings than any man in town, and the best of it is, he furnished the “wherewith” to do it. He owns them. He will soon take charge of the “Valley House” and run it on Canadian principles. He is one of the original originals.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1876.
Just before going to press we learn that Mr. S. S. Majors has disposed of the City Hotel. Mr. Robert Hudson, formerly proprietor of the Valley House, being the purchaser, will take possession on Tuesday next. Sid. has, during his stay in this city, conducted the City Hotel with credit to himself, to the house, and to Winfield, and his many friends sincerely regret his going out of the hotel business in this city. Mr. Majors informs us that he intends returning to his farm some four miles west of Arkansas City.
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1876.
MR. ROBERT HUDSON took possession of the City Hotel last Monday.
AD: CITY HOTEL
ROBT. HUDSON, Proprietor.
Good Sample Rooms for the Accommodation of
The House will be run in better style than ever before.
Winfield Courier, September 21, 1876.
MR. HUDSON, of the City Hotel, claims to have the only spring beds in the valley.
Winfield Courier, March 21, 1878.
The old log store has gone to a more northeastern site. Robert Hudson put his log wheels under it last Saturday and it had to budge, heavy as it was. In 1870 this building was about all there was of Winfield. It has done service as store, church, political headquarters, law office, post office, schoolhouse, printing office, and almost everything else, but it had to give place to a more pretentious building. It looks lonesome around the old site.
The Winfield, Kansas census of 1878 lists Robert Hudson, 49, W. H. Hudson, 44, George Hudson, 24, E. J. Hudson, 23, and W. H. Hudson, 22. (NOTE - I believe the W. H. Hudson age 44, is from an unrelated family. RKW)
Winfield Courier, June 12, 1879.
Mr. Robert Hudson moved the Jochem building with all the shelf hardware intact and never disturbed a thing. When Mr. Hudson goes to work on a building, he is sure to make it go.
Winfield Courier, July 3, 1879 .
Mr. Robert Hudson, the boss mover of Winfield, accomplished a feat in the moving line last week which is worthy of mention. He moved Harry Bahntge’s old building from one lot over on another without jarring the plastering or moving a thing out of the house. The building was filled with furniture which was neither moved nor jarred.
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1879.
Last Saturday Mr. Robert Hudson finished taking out the Timber Creek bridge which was thrown down last week. The bridge is very little damaged, there being only one rod and a wooden cross-beam broken. The opinion of the persons who took the bridge out is that it did not go down in the center as at first supposed, but was thrown off of the abutment by the springing and crowding of the ponies. The irons and belts have all been taken out and are now at the foundry, and will only need to be straightened before they can be put back. It is estimated that three hundred dollars will put the bridge back on the old abutments in as good shape as it was before.
Winfield Courier, August 21, 1879.
We have been instructed to say that the person who feloniously and with malice aforethought, took three of Robert Hudson’s jack screws from his residence recently, had better return the same without further notice and save trouble.
Winfield Courier, April 1, 1880.
The elements seem to have a particular spite against Robert Hudson. His barn was destroyed by the cyclone of Wednesday night and Friday night the wind took the awning from the front of his building on Main street.
Robert Hudson’s granary and the shed attached to the stage stable were completely wrecked.
Winfield Courier, May 6, 1880.
Robert Hudson’s new bath house is about finished. It is complete throughout, furnished with bath tubs and bathing apparatus, and will be one of the most convenient houses in the southwest. Mr. Chas. Steuven has rented it and will open up in about a week.
Winfield Courier, August 19, 1880.
Hudson’s bath house will be in trim and open anew. On Thursdays he will give free baths to gentlemen and on Fridays, free baths to ladies, when female attendants will be in charge. Call and try it.
Winfield Courier, April 14, 1881.
Robert Hudson is putting in an addition to his bath house, and will soon have two more tubs in running order. With his new improvements, he will be able to give as good a “Turkey” bath as you can get in Chicago.