VAN HOOK (OR VANHOOK) FAMILY.
[CONNECTED WITH THE 101 RANCH OF G. W. MILLER.]
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
THE CHEROKEE STRIP LIVE STOCK ASSOCIATION.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 15, 1883.
The following are the names of members of the Association so far as we have been able to obtain them.
Listed: G. W. Miller (W. M. Vanhook in charge)
Caldwell Journal, May 17, 1883.
G. W. MILLER. [Wm. Vanhook in charge.]
CATTLE SHOW “NO” AND “K”
All cattle branded 101 on left horn. Range on Salt Fork, Indian Territory. P. O. Winfield or Hunnewell, Kansas.
Horse brand [K] One lot of cattle branded has left shoulder [K] on left loin.
It appears that K was used on both horses and cattle.
NOTE: GAVE ALL INFORMATION ON G. W. MILLER SHOWN.
Caldwell Journal, June 14, 1883.
Wm. Van Hook, in charge of the Geo. Miller ranch, was in town Tuesday and gave the JOURNAL the benefit of his smile.
Winfield Courier, September 25, 1884.
DIED. Wm. H. Vanhook, a young man for fourteen years in the employ of Geo. W. Miller, our cattle man, and the last four years manager of Mr. Miller’s Territory ranch, died last week at Hunnewell. He was taken a few days before, while in the Territory, with typho-malarial fever. Mrs. Miller and Dr. Emerson left here as soon as apprized, but before they reached him, the grim destroyer had done his work. The body was brought to Winfield and buried Friday from the Christian Church, Rev. H. D. Gans officiating. The attentions of Mr. and Mrs. Miller could not have been exceeded had the young man been an own son.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 26, 1885.
Milton Vanhook, formerly one of Geo. W. Miller’s cowboys, died at Hunnewell Tuesday of consumption. Mr. Miller brought the body in on the S. K, last evening. A cortege was awaiting it at the depot, from where it was taken to Union Cemetery and placed beside a brother who died last year. Milton was twenty-five years old and had been sick for some months. Mr. Miller gave him every attention.
A good friend, Mrs. Jerry Case (now deceased), was a genealogist of Cowley County History and assisted both R. Kay Wortman and Mary Ann Wortman in gathering up dates when people were born, married, died, etc. Jerry gave us a xeroxed copy of the Dexter (Kansas) Dispatch showing different items. The following pertains to Van Hook.
First published in the Dexter Dispatch, November 20th, 1913.
Case No. 12549.
By virtue of an order of sale to me directed and delivered and dated the 18th day of November, 1913, issued out of the District Court of Cowley County, State of Kansas, in an action in which M. E. Johnson, is plaintiff, and Belle Van Hook and G. K. Van Hook are defendants, I will, on Monday, the 22nd day of December, 1913, beginning at 2 o’clock p.m., of said day, at the south door of the Court House, in the City of Winfield, Cowley County, State of Kansas, offer for sale and sell, at public auction, to the highest bidder for cash in hand, without appraisement, all that certain tract of land situated in said county of Cowley, and described as follows, to-wit: Lots seven (7), eight (8), and nine (9), in block thirty-nine (39), Highland Park addition to the city of Winfield, Kansas, subject to a prior mortgage of $800. Said property levied on and to be sold as the property of the above named defendants, to satisfy said order of sale. Witness my hand at my office in said city of Winfield, this 18th day of November, 1913. L. W. HOOVER, Sheriff.
F. C. JOHNSON, Attorney for Plaintiff.
Winfield Courier, December 13, 1932.
G. K. Van Hook.
G. K. Van Hook of Ponca City, father of Mrs. Claude Brown of Winfield, died at the 101 ranch in Oklahoma at 5:25 p.m. Monday. He was born in Crabapple [Crab Orchard], Ky., in 1850, and was 82 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by three children, Mrs. Claude Brown, Glenn W. Van Hook, and Claud E. Van Hook.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., from the Belford Funeral home in Ponca City. Burial will be at the Union cemetery in Winfield at 2 p.m.
The following item was sent to me from Albert Stehno, Billings, Oklahoma, a member of the “Old-Time Cherokee Strip Cow-Punchers Association.”
COWPUNCHER ON HIS FINAL DRIVE.
December 15, 1932—Ponca City.
Funeral services were held at the 101 Ranch White House Wednesday for the late George Van Hook, Oklahoma’s longest time cowboy ever associated in Old Indian Territory with Col. George W. Miller, founder of the 101 Ranch. Van Hook was 76 years old and for several years had been a pensioner about the ranch. He came as a tenderfoot from Kentucky, back in 1875, to go to work for Col. George W. Miller on the cattle ranch that Miller was operating at that time in extreme northeastern Oklahoma, south of Baxter Springs, Kansas, including the present site of the city of Miami. With the exception of a few years, when he quit to try his hand at wheat raising in the Hunnewell community, Van Hook had been with the Millers ever since.
Miller Burial Ground in Winfield.
The Miller family did buy cemetery lots in the Graham-Union Cemetery. On March 13, 1900, Joe C. Miller bought block 2, lot 29. Joe Miller’s infant daughter died March 27, 1897, and is buried there with a headstone. On May 11, 1900, George W. Miller bought block 2, lot 36, and there is no record of any burials there. These lots are side by side. G. W. Miller died in 1903, while the family was still living in Winfield, but the body was sent to Crab Orchard, Kentucky, for burial. There are no other burials recorded by headstone or in the Winfield city records.
To visit these lots, approach the cemetery from the south, enter at the second entrance, go to the second crossroad west of the street, turn north and the Miller properties are the second and third lots north on the east side of the road way.
There are references to the Miller burying ground in Winfield.
From the book Fabulous Empire (Colonel Zack Miller’s Story) by Fred Gipson. Introduction by Donald Day. Published in 1946 by Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. Pages 3 and 4.
On Pages 3-4: “So Zack had to stay around home and play with the neighbor kids, longing for the day when he could ride with old Milton Van Hook, the 101 cowhand who could spin a kid exciting, long-winded range yarns by the hour. That hope was never fulfilled, though. Old Milton died before Zack ever got big enough to ride with him. Typhoid got the old cowhand in an upstairs room of the Hale Hotel in Hunnewell. Zack couldn’t believe it when they told him Milton was dead. Milton was his favorite cowboy; he couldn’t die. Nobody as lean and tall and fierce-looking as kind old Milton Van Hook could die. Zack went with his father the day they put Milt away. He followed the sober cowhands up to Milton’s room where the men went inside to get the old cowboy’s body ready for shipment. They couldn’t let Zack in; he had to stand around outside and wait till they finally came staggering through the door under the load of a big pine plank box. There was water leaking through the cracks in the box and spattering on the floor. When Zack saw that, he knew they’d made a terrible mistake. ‘He’ not dead!’ he screamed. ‘I tell you, he’s not dead! He just wants to pee!’ But nobody paid any attention to him. And they wouldn’t stop and open the box to let old Milton pee. They just carried him on outside and loaded him into a rig and set off for Winfield with him. And it was years before Zack found out that Milton really had been dead, and that the water dripping through those cracks had been melting ice they’d packed the cowboy in to keep him from spoiling before they could get him underground.”
Notes from Arkansas City historian, Lois Hinsey. “Milton Van Hook lived here (Hunnewell) . . . . He is thought to be buried in a Miller plot, following his death in the 1880s in Winfield, Kansas.”
Notes from Richard Kay Wortman, January 21, 1994: “I visited Graham Union Cemetery January 9, 1994. [Enter at south entrance, drive west but do not enter circle drive. About 35 feet south of road is a plot with a curb around it. The legal description is block L, lot 6. It is large enough for 10 burials. The Winfield city records show it was bought by (first name unknown) Van Hook in 1881.]
“The first burial recorded in the Winfield city records was Milton Vanhook, who died 9/18/1881 and had no headstone. Inside the curb surrounding the plot is a granite shaft with the name Vanhook on it. It reads ‘Wm. H. Vanhook, died 9/18/1884, age 28.’ The base is limestone with a carving of a longhorn steer and a coiled rope. There is no visible sign of a saddle. The base also says Dawson-Winfield.
“After checking Dawson Monument Co., I find that they have no record of the creation of this stone or who paid for it. The top of the shaft has had something on top which has been broken off, or weathered off. One source (Sally Wilcox, Winfield) stated that it used to be a longhorn steer’s head but was broken off by vandals and destroyed.”
At the back of the lot is a granite stone which states “Father. December 12, 1932. The Winfield Courier obituary of George K. Vanhook, published on December 13, 1932, states the following: “George K. Vanhook of Ponca City, father of Mrs. Claude Brown of Winfield, died at the 101 ranch in Oklahoma at 5:25 p.m. Monday. He was born in Crabapple (Crab Orchard), Kentucky, in 1850 and was 82 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by three children, Mrs. Claude Brown, Glenn W. Vanhook, and Claud E. Vanhook.”
At the front of the lot is a double marble stone that reads: M. Claude Brown, 3/7/1882, 11/6/1958; Georgia Brown, 3/12/1887, 5/16/1970.
Book: The 101 Ranch, Ellsworth Collings and Alma Miller England, Foreword by Glenn Shirley, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman and London, Copyright 1937. Eighth printing, 1889. From pages 7 and 8.
“Jim Rainwater was Oklahoma’s oldest cowboy, when he passed away last November  in a soldiers’ home at St. Louis. On September 16, just prior to Rainwater’s death, Colonel Zack Miller had a letter from him, calling attention to the fact that not only was that date the anniversary of the opening of the Cherokee Strip to settlement in 1893 but also the anniversary of the start on the same date of the 101 Ranch by Colonel George W. Miller, father of the Miller brothers. At that time, too, Rainwater sent to Colonel Zack Miller this account of the first trip to Texas for southern cattle.
“Rainwater was head cowboy for Colonel George W. Miller even back to the time when the Millers were living at Newtonia, Missouri, sixty-three years ago. The train then, over which cattle were brought from Texas overland to southwest Missouri, according to Rainwater, was via Newtonia to Pierce City, Missouri, and not long afterward it was from San Saba, Texas, to Baxter Springs. Rainwater and the late George Van Hook of the 101 Ranch accompanied Colonel Miller many times. Van Hook had come with Miller to Newtonia from Crab Orchard, Kentucky, the Miller ancestral home. Rainwater was a native of the vicinity of Fayetteville, Arkansas.”
From this we find that Milton Vanhook and his two boys, George K. (born in 1850) and William H. (born in 1856) came from Crab Orchard, Ky., to Newtonia, Mo., with Geo W. Miller in 1870. They also moved with Miller to Winfield, Hunnewell, and on to the 101 Ranch.
Book: Fabulous Empire (Colonel Zack Miller’s Story) by Fred Gipson. Introduction by Donald Day. Published in 1946 by Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. On page 104 another Miller ranch hand is covered. “Jimmy Moore had sung for the last time his little song about ‘If ther’d been no whiskey made, in Ireland I’d still be.’ He’d gone into Ponca City one night, taken on an overload of his juice of joy, and died before morning in his room in the old Planters Hotel. When Zack got back, they’d already buried the little Irishman in the 101 burial lot at Winfield where today a big granite shaft, with carvings of empty saddles and coiled ropes, marks the graves of many a good 101 cowhand.” (Note by RKW: This was in late 1893 or early 1894 according to Zack Miller’s memory.)
Notes from Lois Hinsey about Jimmy Moore. “When he died a few years later (after 1893) he was buried in the plot in Winfield.”
Note from Richard K. Wortman: “It is strange, to me, that there is no mention of Milton Vanhook’s wife, or George Vanhook’s wife. I have no indication to show that William Vanhook was ever married.”