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Lynn's Clerks

J. B. Lynn was a successful merchant due to his own efforts and to the clerks that he hired.
John W. Batchelder: One of the earliest clerks working for Lynn, Batchelder, 26, soon took charge of the grocery department in 1874 of Lynn’s dry goods and grocery store. In April 1877 Batchelder moved to Wellington and opened up a dry goods and grocery store with goods from Elk Falls. During the months of April through August 1877, Jim Holloway took Batchelder’s place at Lynn’s. Batchelder returned in October 1877. In 1881 he became an officer in the Knights of Honor. Both J. B. Lynn and J. W. Batchelder became members of the “Merchants and Business Men’s Protective Association” started in January 1882. Batchelder remained with Lynn for many years.
James F. and Edwin W. Holloway: Children of Rev. Samuel S. Holloway, who moved from Chillicothe, Illinois, in 1875 and bought the farm of Mr. D. S. Brown on Badger Creek, four miles east of Winfield,  for $2,000. All the children of Rev. Holloway were adept in vocal and instrumental music.
Edwin W. Holloway became a teacher in 1875 and participated in a concert given by the Winfield Musical Association in December with his brother, James, and sister, Jennie. In May 1876 Edwin Holloway became a clerk for J. B. Lynn and also engaged in horticultural pursuits. He joined J. B. Lynn in becoming a member of an early social dancing club in Winfield, the Evening Star Club. In 1877 he married Miss Hortense Holmes and became a clerk for Mr. S. Suss, who dispensed clothing and dry goods. In 1879 he became an officer in the Knights of Honor. In January 1880 Edwin moved to Salt City, where he ran the Baird Bros’ store with Ed. Lemmon. In 1880 Edwin Holloway and family moved to Howard, remaining there for about a year, and then moved to Sedan, Kansas.
Jennie Holloway, a daughter of Rev. S. S. Holloway, married Rev. J. C. Adams, who had recently moved to Highland, Kansas, on March 31, 1876.
On August 27, 1876, James F. Holloway and Miss Kate Porter were married by Rev. J. C. Adams at Winfield. After working for Mr. Lynn some months in 1877, James Holloway became a clerk in October 1877 for Baird Bros. He started a grocery store in Salt City in 1879. By 1885 the James Holloway family had moved to Omaha, Nebraska.
Tommy Dryden: Young Dryden began working for J. B. Lynn in late 1876. He came down with a severe attack of the measles in early 1877. By September 1877 he departed for Kansas City. He was an extremely good salesman.
M. B. Shields: Often referred to as “Banner” Shields, M. B. Shields became an officer of Winfield Lodge, No. 110, I. O. O. F., in 1878, when he began clerking for Mr. Lynn at the age of thirty, and remained an officer for many years. In May 1882 Mr. Shields became an alternate delegate at the county convention when he lived in the 2nd ward, and in subsequent years served as a delegate from Winfield. By August 1882 Mr. Shields was in charge of the dry goods room and was assisted by two ladies, Miss French and Miss Aldrich.
In June 1883 Mr. Shields was a committee member of Winfield businessmen and clerks, who proposed closing the stores in at 8:00 p.m. between June 11, and October 1, 1883, with the time of closing indicated by the ringing of the city bell. This proposal was immediately opposed by Mr. J. B. Lynn, who printed the following notice in the Winfield Courier.

“To the trade of Winfield and Cowley Co. I wish to say to the trade that from this date I will keep my store open until twelve o’clock every night except on Sunday. I will give a ten percent discount on all Cash Bills sold after nine o’clock p.m., and will take it as a favor if my City trade will postpone buying until after nine o’clock, thereby securing the discount. I mean just what I say. June 13th, 1883. J. B. LYNN.”
Lynn prevailed! The store hours were not changed. Furthermore, Mr. Shields remained with Lynn. In March 1884 Shields occupied the fenced-in platform at the rear of the store, where he received all the money and made change in the elevated railway cash system started by J. B. Lynn. By June 1884 he was designated as Lynn’s head clerk.
Daniel A. Carr: “Al” Carr, from Illinois, started as a salesman for J. B. Lynn in 1882 , in charge of trunks and gent’s furnishings in the basement. He moved to Wellington in 1885, taking a similar position in a clothing and boot and shoe store.
Forrest V. Rowland: In 1879 Forrest Rowland, son of G. B. Rowland, a stonemason in Winfield, began working as a clerk for J. B. Lynn and became an officer in the Good Templars organization in Winfield for a number of years. He became a clerk for A. T. Spotswood & Co. in March 1881. On September 24, 1881, he married Miss Mary Gale at Rochester, Illinois, a lady he had met recently when she visited for some months in Winfield.  Soon afterwards he began working in the Winfield post office. He became ill for some time in January 1882 with “lung fever,” but returned to his duties in February. By March 1882 he was advocating that every farmer and stockman in Cowley County interested in breeding and raising stock should call at the post office and get a sample copy of the Breeders’ Gazette, the best weekly stock journal published in America. In August 1882 he again became a clerk in Lynn’s store, putting up groceries for the public in the back room. Within a short time he was bedfast with malaria, recovering in late August shortly after a son was born. In September 1883 Rowland and John Willis, a gentleman who had just moved to Winfield from Indiana, purchased the Isaac Behner lunch stand. They proposed to run an oyster parlor in connection with a lunch counter and confectionery. Rowland became sole proprietor of the lunch room in November 1883. Later that month he purchased the McGlasson stock of groceries next to the English Kitchen; and after closing them out, put in a stock of notions and fancy goods. He then opened “Rowland’s Variety Store,” featuring three No. 1 second-hand sewing machines, warranted good as new. By December 1883 he was featuring his five and ten cent counters at his variety store. In January 1884 Fitch & Barron, dealers in White, New Home, Domestic, Diamond, and other sewing machines took up a portion of his store.
In June 1884, after visiting his sister, Mrs. Lewis Billings, who lived near Cherryvale, Mr. Rowland closed out his novelty store in Winfield and opened up a similar establishment in Cherryvale in July 1884. In September 1884 he returned with his wife to Winfield to bury their little son from his parent’s home, before returning to Cherryvale.
W. P. Tucker: Called “Perry,” Mr. Tucker, from Kansas City, became a clerk for J. B. Lynn in 1881. He joined in with other clerks (D. A. Carr, M. B. Shields, and J. W. Batchelder) in donating $1.00 each for the relief of the sufferers by the Floral cyclone in June 1881. In August 1882 Mr. Tucker assisted Forrest Rowland in the back room of Lynn’s store in putting up groceries. Perry Tucker became the librarian for the Presbyterian Sunday school in Winfield in January 1883, maintaining that office for a number of years.

In August 1885 an aunt of Mr. Perry’s wife, Mrs. F. C. Pritchard, moved from Sedalia, Missouri, to Winfield and erected a 34 by 50 ft. stone residence with a basement under the entire building on Mansfield between Eleventh and Twelfth. Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Tucker became the happy parents of a boy in September 1885.
J. E. Howie: Mr. Howie became a clerk for Mr. J. B. Lynn in 1880. A single man, he boarded at the Lindell Hotel. In August 1882 Mr. Howie was in charge of the carpets, mattings, oil cloths, etc., kept upstairs. He was never mentioned again in the newspapers.
Ed. Whitman: Mr. Whitman came to Winfield in March 1883 from Boston and started working as a clerk at J. B. Lynn’s. In May 1883, while riding a bicycle, he was thrown forward about twenty feet into the street when one of the foot rests broke as he was turning a corner. Mr. Whitman landed on his head. He was senseless when picked up and terribly bruised. Several physicians were called and Mr. Whitman was removed to the boarding house where he was staying run by Mrs. Aldrich. Already well liked, fears were expressed that Mr. Whitman might be permanently disabled. Mr. Whitman was never mentioned again.
J. W. Tyree: Usually referred to as “Jim,” Mr. Tyree settled in the south half of Vernon township circa 1881. In May 1882 he donated $1.00 toward a fund set up by the neighbors of Hiram Hopkins, a man found with one leg broken twice, the other leg broken once, and one of his arms broken twice. Mr. Hopkins was working in a grist mill about ten miles north of Winfield and the Walnut river. His coat tail was caught by a shaft. Hopkins’ neighbors in the south half of Vernon township donated $17.80; those in the north half of Vernon township donated $49.15. A letter from Mr. Tyree in June 1882 stated that he had collected $11.20 in addition to the amount given previously from friends of Mr. Hopkins.
It is not known when J. W. Tyree began working for J. B. Lynn. On May 28, 1884, he departed for Wichita, Kansas, where he was to be married to Miss S. B. Fleshman, late of Virginia.
Lynn, like many merchants, had many problems occur and his clerks became aware of the importance to pay attention to customers.
In October 1885 a lady from Udall tendered the clerk on duty a fifty dollar bill, which turned out to be the worst kind of a counterfeit: an old Missouri defense bond, issued in 1862, promising that Missouri would pay its State militia so much after such date. It turned out that after the Missouri militia was “licked” by the blue coats and the union was restored, these “defense bonds” were repudiated and became perfectly worthless. Mr. Lynn and Sheriff McIntire soon got the scent and were able to get the goods purchased returned and eventually the $25.00 that was still due.
In February 1886 a young man about twenty-three years of age bought a $2.50 hat of Jim Tyree and tendered a check for $15.00, appearing to be drawn all right by T. J. Stinson, residing near Maple City, and  well known as “good” all over the county. The check was on the Winfield National Bank and was cashed and the remaining $12.50 turned over. After the boy went out, the clerks got to speculating on his actions and thought them a little suspicious. The next day, Stinson was in the city and Mr. Lynn spoke to him about the check. Stinson at once pronounced it a forgery, drawn on a different colored check and a poor imitation at signature. Sheriff McIntire was informed about the counterfeit check and he soon traced the boy who had tendered the check to Arkansas City, bringing him back to the jail at Winfield.

In time it was learned that the culprit was Charles Swift and that he worked for about a month during the previous winter for Mr. Stinson. Swift denied any knowledge whatever of the transaction, but three of Lynn’s clerks identified him as the fellow who presented the check and bought the hat—which was on his head when Sheriff McIntire took him to jail. Furthermore, it was learned that Swift had tried to sell a $100 note at the Winfield National Bank several days prior to purchasing the hat at Lynn’s that had the signatures of T. J. Stinson and J. M. Stinson. The note looked all right and ran a year at 12 per cent.
In March 1886 Charles Swift was brought before Judge Buckman and about fifteen or twenty witnesses were put on the stand. Swift was bound over to the next term of the District court with a bond set at $500. Not having the money, he remained in jail until his trial in April. In May 1886 Mr. Swift was delivered to the Kansas State Penitentiary for a term of three years on one count of forgery and for five years on another count of assault with the intent to break out of jail. However, he was released from prison on March 22, 1887.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum