Posts Tagged ‘Kansas’
by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 14th, 2009
Yes, I’d be glad to…?
When someone asks for my help I tend to say “yes, I’d be glad to…” though frankly in the last couple of years I’ve had to learn how to say “I’d love to, but I just can’t.” With only 24 hours in a day, no matter how I try to stretch it there needs to be time to sleep in there somewhere.
Possibly the most important ‘job’ I volunteer to do as Vice President of the Sumner County (Kansas) Historical and Genealogical Society is to find speakers that are interesting, informative, and that reflect county, state, national, and sometimes international history. And an important part of that is to try to find speakers that will attract new people into our group so that it will grow.
The Lord provides…
Finding fascinating people who will ‘speak for their dinner,’ even at a steak house, isn’t always easy but when our members ask me how I do it I usually answer “The Lord provides…” Once, during a casual conversation standing in line at Wal-mart I met a talented woman who just happened to be a Native American speaker. Several months later she brought us a very interesting informative program.
In November 2009, Tuskegee Airman Major George Boyd shared his fascinating story with us, and this week I will connect with our speaker, Jim Baumgardner, author of the historical children’s fiction “Sarah” books, interview him, write a press release, and send it out to eight newspapers, two cable television stations, one radio station, and so many people by e-mail that my internet provider threatens to shut me down for spamming.
This summer, on June 19th in Wellington, Kansas, our county will host the Kansas Council of Genealogical Society meeting, (you’re invited!) and we’re working to prepare and promote that already.
Video-Tape the Gen Society meetings….
About a year ago, I started video-taping the SCHGS programs with my camcorder and our city’s cable station re-plays most of our programs on the local channel in the months following. My goal is to have a library of DVD’s that members can check out and re-watch, and that we can share with elderly members who can no longer attend meetings. (this is something that I think other societies might be interested in trying to do!)
Transcribed Cemetery Information…
In 2003, my husband and I walked a (small?) cemetery of several hundred people, transcribed the stone information, entered it into a database, and shared the information locally with the SCHGS Center as well as published it in “Mayfield: Then & Now” a small-town history book that I co-authored with Elaine Clark. I plan to re-walk the cemetery this year to make new additions, and take photographs of some or all of the stones while there. And I try (but fail miserably) to share all the tombstone photographs that I take with www.deadFred.com.
Because my name is in the paper often, and because I like to help others research and preserve their family history I get phone calls out of the blue asking for help.
I get to meet fascinating people…
How many hours do I volunteer each month? It varies, but more than I have time for and less than I’d like to. But when we get photographs and memorabilia back where it belongs, locate tombstone(s), farmsteads, historic bridges, or the reporter finds info about the old one-room schoolhouse that he needs to polish up an article, it’s all worthwhile.
The most rewarding part for me is that I get to meet, interview, and get acquainted with some very interesting people and hear some fascinating and little-known family and historical stories. I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped preserve (and possibly share) another small piece of history.
As someone I interviewed a few years back about photograph preservation told me:
“The best you can do is to preserve it so the next generation can preserve it again…”
by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 12, 2010
Burchfiel Church & Cemetery – Harper County, Kansas
In the early 1960′s, my brother pastored at the Burchfiel Church…
Once again, I’m posting information about a cemetery in which I have no family members, although there are family ties to this cemetery and the church near it.
In the late 1950′s and early 1960′s, my brother Harold F. “Fred” Stocking Jr. and his wife Nancy served the Burchfiel Methodist Church as pastor and family. The Burchfiel church is located just a little over six miles south of Anthony, Kansas in Harper County on Highway 179.
They lived in the same parsonage on the church grounds that you will see here in the photograph. My brother was a student minister at the time, and attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.
My brother and his wife had three boys and a baby daughter then, and I was just a couple of years older than their oldest boy. Though they had a large yard, we were used to having a quarter section of ground (160 acres) to play on, so it was fairly common for us older children to run up the road that ran on the south side of the church to the old cemetery and play hide and seek among the stones. (would children be safe doing such a thing today?)
While playing among the stones, I noticed many baby and child burials…
Life on the prairie for the early settlers was certainly hard, and from other research and reading that I’ve done since I would guess very few families escaped losing a child to diseases we now cure so easily, so the one thing I noticed while hiding among the tombstones was how many babies and children were buried there in the early days of the cemetery.
This past year, the Burchfiel Church celebrated its 125th anniversary and my brother enjoyed going back for the celebration, and according to information from the article “Rural Churches Provided a Cornerstone for this Area,” by Ruth Jean Anderson, Conway Springs Star, Thurs, Sept 10, 2009 their minister last year and for the previous nine years was Rev. Laurence Hastings and his wife Aletha.
The facts and information following about the early days of the Burchfiel church were excerpted from “Rural Churches Provided a Cornerstone for this Area,” by Ruth Jean Anderson, Conway Springs Star, Thurs, Sept 10, 2009.
William H. and Sarah Denton Burchfiel traveled from Tennessee…
According to Anderson’s article, in 1878 William H. and Sarah Denton Burchfiel traveled from Dandridge, TN to their new home in Harper County, Kansas in a covered wagon and lived in a dugout home, located 9 and one half miles southeast of Anthony, and it was in their dugout home that the Burchfiel church had its beginning.
The Early Church Family met in a dugout…
According to Anderson’s article, Sarah Burchfiel swept out one of the rooms in their dugout home and invited the few neighbors to Sunday School. Later, in 1882, the Burchfield School was organized and Rev Wood, Anthony Methodist Church, held meetings in the school house.
Anderson’s article states that Bill Burchfiel wrote about his new home to his brother, the Rev. Joseph R. “Parson” Burchfiel who was a circuit-riding Methodist preacher in Tennessee, invited him to come to Kansas, and so in January of 1884 Parson Burchfield and forty members of his congregation came to Kansas, first on a flat boat up the French Broad River, then by railroad coach.
Parson Burchfield preached at the church until 1888, stated Anderson’s article, and several other Tennessee families joined them: Sharp, Croft, Frazier, Henderson, Moore, Bettis, Reneau, Willson, Walker, Denton.
“Only two families in the early days did not come from Tennessee. Both the William Geitgey family and the Fred and Steve Rife families came from Ohio. Sometimes the community was known as “Little Tennessee”.
On August 29, 1892 a charter for the Burchfiel Methodist Episcopal Church was obtained for the land and its present location six and one-half miles south of Anthony, and the first Burchfield church was in 1902 “after one of the best wheat crops ever.”
On the 10th day of April 1936 a heater at the church caught fire and the church burned to the ground. The next week a meeting of the official board was held to decide what was to be done. William Geitgey said that he would give $500 right then and more later to rebuild the church.
All during the record hot summer the men gave their time and labor to help on the new brick building. And so it was on the sixth day of September 1936, without one penny of debt, Bishop Charles Meade dedicated the new church.
Today, the tiny church supports its young people with college scholarships, and also supports mission work here in the United States and in Africa. The photographs are ones that I took while taking my mom for a ride in the country, and doing some reminiscing.
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 28th, 2009
This morning the phone rang twice…
This morning the phone rang twice. Because I write press releases for and am vice-president of our county historical and genealogical society, the Sumner County (Kansas) Historical and Genealogical Society, my name is in the paper quite a bit. So I get a lot of phone calls asking for historical and genealogical help.
It’s fun, actually, because I get to hear such interesting stories, and today was no exception.
I love it when someone preserves a piece of history…
The first was Nate, reporter for the local newspaper, asking for information about the Belleview School, a historic country school near Caldwell, Kansas that has been purchased by a couple who plan to move it near to a (busier) highway (Highway 160 going west of Wellington) and restore it to its 1870′s look inside so that individuals and groups of schoolchildren can take tours. According to the reporter, they’ve already added a tin roof to protect it from the elements!
Awesome! I love it when someone takes the time and the money to preserve a piece of history so that others can enjoy it!
Though I’ve done research on a few of the country schools, this wasn’t one of them, so when Nate and I hung up, I quickly got back on the phone, called several other researchers, and found some folks who could help Nate after he finished his research at the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Center.
My second phone call, coming on the heels of the first one was Chris Fimple, California, who is trying to find the descendants of a box of photographs and memorabilia that his dad took home to California many years ago after visiting in Kansas.
So far, my research, and I confess to not being as internet savvy as would be good (census, tombstone, obituary, google searches, local sources and word of mouth, ) has located obituaries and no living descendants. (Which doesn’t mean there aren’t any.) I apologized to Chris for not working right before and during the Christmas holidays, and told him I’d try to get back to it after the holidays.
If anyone knows of any living descendants of Joseph T. Raley…
So, if anyone knows of any living descendants of Joseph T. Raley, formerly of Enid, Ok and Sumner County, Kansas, leave me a message, Chris is looking for you…
P.S. When I get more info, website addresses, photographs, I’ll add another post!
It’s Saturday Night! And below is the SNGF Challenge from Genea-Musings Randy Seaver!
Cue up your “Mission Impossible” music, or maybe you really ought to turn on your favorite Christmas Songs! Either Way, Enjoy!
Welcome to SNGF — it’s Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!
We had a great response last week to our Dear Genea-Santa wish list – thank you all for posting – perhaps you can use that post as a start for the upcoming Canrival of Genealogy with the topic of “Dear Genea-Santa.” My apologies for duplicating the theme last week.
I think that we all want lots of imaged and indexed databases online for our pajama-clad viewing pleasure… so for this week’s SNGF, let’s express our wishes for databases we want the genealogy companies to bring to us:
1) Define one or more genealogy or family history databases, that are not currently online, that would really help you in your research. Where does this database currently reside?
2) Tell us about it/them in a blog post on your own blog or GenealogyWise or Facebook, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment to this post on Facebook.
This one is really easy.
I’ve sat at my computer in sweats and jammies in the wee hours many nights just wishing that every small-town’s newspaper where my ancestors (and my family here, for that matter!) lived in were on-line and available for research.
Just think! You could do your census and then check for the obituaries!
Indexed, too? Oh, be still my heart!
The problem with that is, I believe, financial. For the companies who are making this kind of wonderful technology available. Say for Ancestry.com to want to do this, they would probably want to justify the numbers.
So just how many descendants might be looking?
Many of my ancestors lived in very rural areas, and the tiny town newspaper I might be searching for might be serving a population of less than 500. Maybe even a lot less.
I figure my great-grandfather now has somewhere between 2 and 3 hundred descendants. If everyone in my tiny town of Mayfield, Population then about 100, (area population maybe another 3 to 4 hundred) population now about 100, (area population probably a bit lower now) had 200 descendants looking, they might only be talking about 3,000 to 5,000 individuals at the max who might be looking?
Anyone want to guess with me?
On the other hand, there are always peripheral family members researching family, so could the number looking be higher?
And my tiny town had a newspaper for less than a year, so it wouldn’t take them long to scan, so is that a plus or a minus?
On the other hand, if there were actually 5 to 6 thousand plus individuals involved what percentage of those would be researching and paying a monthly or yearly subscription to access this information. And will those numbers ever justify scanning the small-town newspapers? I sure hope so!
Anyhow, that’s my wish, Santa!
Anyhow, that’s my wish, Santa, so I hope you and your elves can make this happen. (That’s Kansas, Santa, land of the South Wind, and I’ve got lots of ancestral ties to Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, too)
Dare I hope that the new Kindle-type technology that Apple and various others will soon have available might just include the capability to view this info while sitting at home or at your favorite brick and mortar library?
Dare I to dream?
If so, I may just start on my 2010 Christmas list right now….
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 9, 2009
When I was growing up, my Grandma Maud (McGinnis) Stocking lived an hour and a half away in a little town named Cedarvale, Kansas . And though we went to see her and brought her to see us, it didn’t always happen exactly on Christmas.
So Grandma Stocking would pack up a little package for our family. It was all wrapped up in brown paper with packages inside for each of us, and oh, how I looked forward to that little package!
I watched for the mail man to turn the corner and drive down our little country road and when I saw him coming, I would run down the driveway of our farm to the mail box to say hello and check and see if today was THE day.
When the package came, I would run back up to the house with it and begin badgering and begging my mom to let me open it early. Most of the time, she made me wait at least until closer to Christmas. So then it was time to shake, squeeze, and guess what the package had in it.
The present I remember best is the one she made herself.
I can’t remember every present that Grandma sent, and I don’t remember anything that she sent my folks, but the present I remember best is the one she made for me herself.
It was a crayon apron. It was a pretty pink, girl-y looking with colored braid stitched on it and stitched into it were slim little pockets for crayons and each pocket had a colorful crayon in it. (I think there might have been a coloring book, too) It was designed to keep my clothes clean I’m sure, but I loved that little apron.
I was thrilled with it, proud of it, and I wore it and used it for many years. Finally, one of the ties came lose, and we didn’t instantly repair it. And, I was beginning to ‘outgrow’ the tiny little apron. For a long time, I left the crayons in the apron, and used it to organize my crayons.
I hope the little crayon apron will be there…
I’m not sure what happened to that little apron, but I hope (and pray) that when I go digging through my attic for the keepsakes I stored there many years ago that the little crayon apron will be there.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
November 6th, 2009
On the Stone:
Jan. 25, 1945 - June 21, 1908
Elizabeth His Wife
May 4, 1846 - Dec 8, 1918
James and Elizabeth (Conver) Kline are buried in Ryan Township Cemetery, near Milan, Sumner County, Kansas. The cemetery is located one mile west of Milan, Kansas on Highway 160.
James and Elizabeth (Conver) Kline came to Caldwell, Kansas shortly before the 1893 Cherokee Strip Run, where as family story has it, James ran in the Cherokee Strip Run, and when he was not fortunate enough to win free land, he later came to the Milan, Kansas area, where he purchased land along the Chickaskia River south of Milan.
James was born in Clarion County, PA.
Some of the following information includes information that I personally have found, but also includes information that I received from cousin Liz Williams:
Elizabeth Conver was born 4 May 1846 in Richland, Lebanon Co., PA, and was the daughter of of John A. Conver & Marry Huff.
James and Elizabeth were married in Knox, County, Illinois on 31 Oct 1867. They had three sons that died before they came to Kansas, Charles William Kline, born in 1868 but died before 1870, and two more sons, Levi born in 1870 in Illinois and Samuel born in 1872 in Iowa also died young.
After coming to Kansas, they had seven more children. The oldest surviving son, John Conver Kline, was my husband’s grandfather.
James and Elizabeth’s other children were: Newton Oliver Kline, Susan Alica Adilia Kline, James Monroe Kline, Walter Cleveland Kline, Orie Ray Kline, Mae Violet Kline
I would love to connect with other members of my husband’s Kline, Conver, and Huff family to share information, so please leave a comment with your contact info and I will respond asap.