Edwards  County,  Kansas



William Harold Allegre, newspaper editor, was born at Osage City, Kansas, July 24, 1895, son of Charles William and Emma Allegre. His father and mother were natives of Indiana, his father having died at Harveyville, Kansas.

After his graduation from Burlington High School in 1914, Mr. Allegre attended Friends University, where he took special work. Thereafter he was publisher of The Sedgwick Pantagraph, and the Quenemo News, and at the present time is the publisher of the Lewis Press. He is a Democrat.

On December 23, 1920, Mr. Allegre was married to Pauline Elizabeth Carey at Little Rock, Arkansas. She was born in Osage County, Kansas. There is one daughter, Patricia Ann, born August 10, 1926.

Mr. Allegre is a member of the Kansas Press Association, the Lions Club, and the American Legion. During the World War, he served as a private in Company I, 353rd Infantry, 89th Division, American Expeditionary Forces. He is a Mason. Residence: Lewis. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, Page 21)


Mabelle Wood Beeler, church and concert singer and voice teach of note, was born at Arkansas City, Kansas May 13, 1877, daughter of Lyman Clark and Martha Ann (Herren) Wood. Her father, a carriage manufacturer, was born in Westford, Vermont, December 12, 1834 and died at Guthrie, Oklahoma, December 22, 1896. He is descended from English Colonial settlers, some of whom served in the Revolution.

Her mother, who was born at Peru, New York, January 2, 1840, died at Wichita, November 13, 1929. She was Irish, her parents bornin Bainbridge, coming to America in 1824 and locating in Peru.

Mabelle Wood attended private and public schools at Guthrie and Wichita and for a number of years studied voice with Chicago and New York teachers, among them being Oscar Saenger, George Hamlin and Nelda Von Seifred. She has twice been appointed seventh district music chairman of the Federation of Women's Clubs, is past chairman of the National Music week program, president of Alpha Delphian and director and president of the Kinsley ladies Chorus. Affiliated with the Methodist Church, she is also director of its choir, which she organized in 1915.

She organized the Kinsley Music Club in 1922 and has served as president several times. For three years she conducted a studio in Kansas City, Missouri, successfully. Before and since that time she has gained a wide reputation as a concert singer and as a soloist in churches in Chicago, kansas City and the larger cities in Kansas.

On March 25, 1914, she was married to Charles W. Beeler at Long Beach, California. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1856. He has been for many years a prominent rancher and banker.

During the World War she was county chairman of the Kansas Council of National Defense as well as county chairman of the women's division in all oan drives. She was also a four minute speaker. Residence: Kinsley. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, Page 89)


William Newton Beezley, probate judge of Edwards county, was born in Kinsley, Kansas, March 9, 1900, son of William Newton and Pauline Jane (Wills) Beezley.

Judge Beezley's father was born near Fort Ritner, Indiana and died in Parsons, Kansas in 1912. He was a lawyer, who served as county attorney of Edwards County and as a member of the state legislature, where he was a member of the ways and means committee. Pauline Jane WIlls was born in Osage County, Missouri and resides at Kinsley.

Educated first in public school, William Newton Beezley was graduated from Kinsley High School in 1918 and from 1919 until 1922 attended Kansas University. He was active there in student affairs and was elected to membership in Sigma Chi.

From 1922 until 1926 Judge Beezley was connected with the National Bank of of Kinsley. He is now serving his fourth term as probabe judge, and has been re-elected without opposition. He is a member of the Southwest Kansas Bar Association. He is a Republican.

Judge Beezley is a member of the American Legion, the Lions Club and Mount Moriah Lodge No. 179 of the Masons. he attends the First Congregational Church. his favorite diversions are golf and reading.

On May 4, 1929, he was married to Florence Margaret Abrahamson, daughter of Oscar and Emma (Palm) Abrahamson, at Garfield. She was born in Pawnee County, Kansas, April 23, 1907, attended Bethany College at Lindsborg and the University of Denver where she majored in music. Residence: Kinsley. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, Page 89)


Ferdinand C. Blanchard, of Kinsley, Kan., a Kansas pioneer and a veteran of the Civil war, is one of Edwards county's best known and respected citizens, having been a resident of that county nearly forty years and judge of the probate court eighteen years. He is a native of New England, born on a farm in Cumberland, Me., Sept. 15, 1836. His parents, Beza Blanchard and Dorcas Prince, were natives of Cumberland, Me., the former's birth having occurred on Aug. 6, 1805, and the Tatter's on May 20, 1807. They were married in Maine and traveled life's journey together over sixty years, before death severed their long companionship The father was a sailor, as were also his father and four of his brothers. He died at Cumberland, Me., in October, 1894, the wife and mother having preceded him in death three years, as her demise occurred in 1891. Of their union were born nine children, all of whom grew to maturity except the youngest, who died in infancy. They are: Anna L., born in 1832; David L., born in 1834; Ferdinand C.; Caroline T., born in 1839; Sophia, born in 1842; Margaret, born in 1845, and died in 1909; Clara, born in 1847, and died in 1909; and Florence, born in 1849.

Judge Blanchard acquired his education in the public schools of Maine and assisted with the duties of the home farm until twenty-one years of age. Then, branching out for himself, he came to Illinois, where he taught school three years. The opening of the Civil war shortly afterward stirred his patriotic instincts, and on May 7, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company E, First Missouri infantry. On May 10 the entire regiment participated in the capture of Camp Jackson, in the western suburbs of St. Louis, which camp floated the Union flag but whose commanders were known to be Southern sympathizers and were strongly suspected of intending to seize the arsenal and of trying to secure the military control of the state. On June 10, a month before the expiration of its three months' term of enlistment, the regiment was mustered into the three years' service, and on Sept. 18 was made the First Missouri artillery. As an infantry regiment it had also taken part in the battles of Boonville and Wilson's creek, and at the latter engagement Judge Blanchard was slightly wounded. Company E formed a part of the First battalion, which participated in General Fremont's campaign in southwest Missouri. In the numerous engagements with the guerrillas, under Quantrill, Jackman, Freeman, Reeves, Coffey, and others this portion of the First Missouri artillery was always ready. Sometimes working as a battalion, often by battery, still oftener by sections, and sometimes by a single gun, it was a terror to the desperadoes. At the battle of Prairie Grove, Ark., the First Missouri won the commendation of General Blunt for its effective service. The first battalion, after having its equipment renewed at St. Louis, was sent to Vicksburg and remained there until after the surrender of that place. During its service the First Missouri was represented in nearly 100 battles, besides numerous skirmishes. The thunder of its guns was heard at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Champion's Hill, Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, and Nashville, and on every field it acquitted itself with credit and won the praise of the commanding officers under whom it served. It fought in nine different states. Judge Blanchard was mustered out with the other members of his company, at Brownsville, Tex., June 10, 1865. He removed to Kansas in 1873 and located at Kinsley on March 12. He took up government land and there became one of the pioneers of Edwards county, serving as the first county commissioner of that county, in 1874. He was reelected to that office in 1875, being a Republican at that time. In 1890 he joined the People's party, and as their candidate was elected to the office of probate judge of Edwards county, to which office he was reelected in 1892. In 1898 he was again reelected to the office, that time on the fusion ticket, and has held the office of probate judge continuously since that time, making his total service, up to 1912, eighteen years. That fact of itself is an eloquent testimony of the respect and esteem in which he is held in Edwards county.

On Oct. 29, 1874, Judge Blanchard wedded Miss Katie J. Martin, a native of Germany and daughter of John Martin, who died in 1862. Mrs. Blanchard is a talented musician and taught that accomplishment prior to her marriage. Judge and Mrs. Blanchard have four children: Winifred, born March 7, 1877, is the wife of W. R. Arthur, dean of the law department of Washburn College, Topeka; Robert L., born March 13, 1879, is engaged in contracting in Kinsley; Jessie, born March 10, 1893, married N. R. Mossman, a college professor at Fresno, Cal., and died March 18, 1909; and Katie L., born Feb. 17, 1896, is the wife of O. H. Hatfield, a contractor at Kinsley, Kan.

Judge Blanchard greets his remaining comrades in arms in the T. O. Howe Post No. 241, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas. He was post commander in 1892 and 1893 and has been quarter-master continuously since then. (Kansas Biography, Part 2, Vol. III, 1912) Transcribed as written by Millie Mowry. (A picture of Ferdinand C. Blanchard may be obtained by contacting the contributor at Rock2Plate@aol.com.)


Mr. Butler's parents came from Ohio to Rush County, Kansas, in 1873, when he was an infant in arms. Most of his life has been on the farm and as a reminder of industry, frugality and correct judgement he now possesses 640 acres of land near Lewis. Moved to town about nine years ago, was postmaster for 15 months, but did not like the confinement and resigned. He has proven a manager of affairs. His wife's maiden name was Elsie Ostrander. They have no living children. W. W. is also a member of the City Council and takes an active interest in all its deliberation. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


Mrs. Byrd is the ever-busy landlady of the Grand Central hotel. She came to Kansas 34 years ago, from Indiana, at the age of 14 from Hamilton county Indiana. For nearly ten years she has been in the hotel business at Greensburg, Haviland and for a year past at Lewis. Her daughter Iceial and son Earl reside with her, not to mention young Willard who responds to the nickname of "Dick."

The Grand Central services 25 cent meals that fill the boarder clear up the "muzzle." (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


Otis Crawford, has resided for 28 years in Kansas - all but 10 of the 38 years he has graced this mundane sphere and his presence. Seven years he has been in Lewis, and is the very handy man at the Hanson & Hoffman hardware. He is also township clerk and in fact is entrusted with considerable important business of a clerical nature. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


One of the younger members of our City Council, partner and active manager of the hardware firm of Hanson & Hoffman. He came to Kansas nine years ago from Illinois, labored on a farm three years, was employed with the Central Hardware Co. three years more, with Hunr & Co. one year. Two years ago he formed a partnership with Will Hoffman and has had active management ever since. He is making a success and that spells enough. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


Ray G. Jenkins, a nephew of the Rays; came west from Ohio. For a few months he found employment a Kinsley as a clerk on the tax rolls and then was installed as manager of a small stock of merchandise by Ray Bros. Under his management the business gradually increased, and today, as referred to elsewhere in these sketches, he is a partner in the business. Prominent in church and Sunday school work, leader of the choir at the Christian Church and much of a social fellow, he manages to keep very busy and in many ways is a very handy man. His advice is frequently solicited in business affairs and social functions. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


Mrs. Jane Israel Ray was born February 16, 1860, at Scuyler County, Mo., the only daughter of Willie Angeline and Milton W. Israel. When a small child, her mother passed away and it fell to her to be homemaker for her father and brothers. She received her early education in the rural schools.

In September 1875, she was united in marriage to J. P. Ray, the service being performed while the young couple were mounted on their riding horses and the horses and rides stood just on the Missouri and Iowa boundary line. The happy young couple started a home on a farm in Schuyler county where they lived for a few years, then moved into Harrison county. Here their home was made happy by the arrival of two of their children. Friends of the young couple told them of the wonders of the Dakotas and Mr. Ray was eager to move there, but Mrs. Ray says as she recalls it, she was homesick and lonely for her brother Will Israel who with his family had established a home near Lewis and as she did not wish to get farther away from those family ties, persuaded Mr. Ray to come to this locality. So, 45 years ago, the Rays paid their first visit to the Will Israels and rented the Tucker Gibson farm where they lived for one year. Just at that time the Oklahoma strip was being opened and again Mr. Ray decided to cast his lot in a new country. They moved to a farm near Medford, Okla., where they lived for ten years. Several more of their children were born.

In 1899 they returned to Lewis, purchased what is now the Charles Brill farm, west of Lewis and lived there for 25 years. Mr. Ray held other interests during this time, aside from farming being interested in a livery stable as well as owning a part interest in the Ray Bros. Store. On the farm their children grew to manhood and womanhood. In 1920 saw their flock seeking homes of their own and as the parents had prospered in past years, they decided to take life easier, so they purchased a home in Lewis and moved here and Mr. Ray established the Ray Meat Market.

Mr. and Mrs. Ray became interested in the Christian Church after coming to Lewis and were always among the leaders of that Church.

Mr. Ray passed away August 31, 1920 and since that time Mrs. Ray continues to make her home in the house purchased when they came to Lewis from the farm.

Seven of their nine children are alive, who are Mrs. Willie Delay, Lewis; Mrs. Nora Delay, Oklahoma; Mrs. Ida Wilkes, Garden City; Mrs. Viva Cline, Lewis; Roy, Great Bend; Zephie and John of Hooker, Oklahoma. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


John and Charley Rockwell are present owners of the Blue Front livery barn, the one public horsetelrie in Lewis. They are distinctively Kansas products, both having been born in Stafford County, John married Miss Beatrice Bernard and they have two sons. Charley anticipates matrimony suddenly, but that information is sub rosa. They are industrious square-dealing young men, run a dray in connection with their business, are obliging and look after their trade with promptness. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


John and Charley Rockwell are present owners of the Blue Front livery barn, the one public horsetelrie in Lewis. They are distinctively Kansas products, both having been born in Stafford County, John married Miss Beatrice Bernard and they have two sons. Charley anticipates matrimony suddenly, but that information is sub rosa. They are industrious square-dealing young men, run a dray in connection with their business, are obliging and look after their trade with promptness. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)


Dan White, well known farmer of Edwards county and one of the oldest pioneers of Lewis, was born in Oxfordshire England, on October 18, 1867. In 1880, in company with his parents and brother, Tom White, now a resident of Englewood, Fla., he came to Clay County, Kansas where they resided until March 1881, when they all, attracted by the opportunities of the western part of the state, came to Edwards county, locating on Hollingsworth ranch, where now the Tom Spence farm house stands. Mr. White states that he has often herded sheep down, what is now main street of Lewis, for at that time the town of Lewis did not exist.

Mr. White and his brother, worked on the Hollingsworth ranch for a few years and later when the Jim Lewis family located on their farm, became employed by them.

In 1898, Dan White and Miss Alta Snyder were married. Three sons were born to them, all living, the oldest, Gordon is cashier of the First National Bank, Glenn is a farmer north of town, and the youngest, Harold, now lives in Washington State.

Mr. and Mrs. White continue to live on their farm three miles north of Lewis and are known as one of the most substantial farmers of this community. (Pioneers of Lewis, The Lewis Press, 1935)

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