|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
BIG CREEK TOWNSHIP.
ELIJAH BROWN, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Chanute, is a native of Missouri, born in 1837. His parents immigrated to Kansas in 1854, bringing a family of nine boys and one girl with them. His father, Isam, took a claim near Iola, Allen County, on Deer Creek, and started to make a farm in the wilderness, surrounded by wild game and Osage and Sac Indians, where they lived until 1857, when a family settled within seven miles, and were considered close; those pioneer years, and experiences, although full of hardships, were the most pleasant of his life. In 1860, they received aid, but got plenty of that, so did not suffer. In 1857, he went to Missouri, and married a Miss Brown, and then located in Allen County, farming until 1865, in the meantime serving in the militia; he then moved to Missouri, but returned to Kansas in 1867, locating in Neosho County, once more a pioneer, bought his claim of Geo. Todd, and commenced plowing and building, his wife making their clothes from the wool their sheep yielded, so with rigid economy, bordering on privation, he has succeeded in establishing himself again. He cultivates seventy-five acres and the rest is in pasture and meadow. The farm is well improved, having a fine orchard with 150 bearing apple trees, raising grain and stock on the farm. Mr. Brown lost his first wife in 1872, and in 1873, married Miss Finch. He has seven children by the first, and three by the last marriage.
S. BARBEE, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Chanute, is a native of Wilson County, Tenn., born in 1833. His father in 1841, moved to Jefferson County, Ill., where Mr. Barbee lived until 1852, when he moved to Sangamon County, coming from there to Kansas in 1859, in company with J. L. Fletcher; after looking the country over, they settled on Big Creek, at this time having on it but the Haddons, Giddens, and one or two others. Mr. Barbee had about $100 and a few household goods, his horses and a few head of cattle. He settled on northeast quarter Section 15, then not surveyed, and for years had more Indians for friends than white men; it seems he moved up the creek into Allen County, where he lost all his stock in 1860, this liked to have ruined him, and in 1865, although he had sold his claim in Allen County, and bought cattle, he had to sell most everything he owned to pay for his land, which was entered under the Fourth Article of the Osage Land Treaty. In 1868 he lost stock to the amount of $400. During the war he was a member of the State Militia, and was in Block House at Humboldt in 1864, but his health gave way, and he was allowed to return home by Capt. Newmen. In 1877, he entered a quarter on the northwest corner of Section 15. He now has ninety-five acres in cultivation, the rest in pasture and meadow. In 1882, he raised good crops of corn, castor beans and flax, with fine orchards, buildings, fences, etc., he is now comfortably fixed. In 1857, Mr. Bargee married Miss Early. They have three boys, the eldest, deceased. In 1877 to 1880, Mr. Barbee served as Township Treasurer, and belongs to the Knights of Honor and the Masons of Chanute.
A. P. GIBSON, farmer, Section 16, P. O. Chanute, is a native of Mercer County, Ill., born in 1838. His early life was spent on the farm, and when the war broke out he enlisted in the Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. When he returned he was senior Captain of the regiment; he then went to farming. In 1859, he had, on a trip to the gold fields of Pike's Peak, passed through Kansas, so in 1870, in company with A. L. Taylor, he settled in Neosho County, Kan., taking or buying a claim of Mrs. Marsh, on a school section, and has experienced the drawback of high taxes levied for building their fine school houses, and during hard years of crop failure would have abandoned his farm, but for the timely help of his father. From a beginning of some few acres of sod breaking and a log cabin, Capt. Gibson has now a farm of 456 acres, and 265 of this is under cultivation, and notwithstanding the bad crops of 1874 and 1881, he has averaged from 1870 to 1883, forty bushels of corn to an acre, going as high as an average of sixty bushels in 1882. He makes a specialty of feeding cattle. He fed this year 131 head, turning off by May 1; this lot weighing on an average 1,500 pounds each, they cost per head $44, and are worth now $90 per head; he has fed them since November 1, 1882. In 1866, Capt. G. married Miss Taylor. They had five children, two deceased. Capt. G. was elected to the House of Representatives in 1875, and is a member of the Knights of Honor of Chanute.
J. H. HANSON, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Odense, Neosho County. Is a native of Madison county, Ohio, born in 1824. He was raised a farmer, and in 1851, moved to Iroquois County, Ill. There farmed and worked at the carpenter's trade. In 1871, he came to Kansas, buying a claim of 160 acres of Mrs. Marsh on Big Creek. After building his house, he sent for his family, who arrived October 5, 1871. He began with six and a half acres of land broken, now has 100, owning 200 acres. His son William A. owns 160 and James M. eighty acres. They are farming in grain and stock, as well as grading in Short-horns, and giving their attention to tame grasses meadow land. He has always fed a large number of hogs. In 1875, the hogs died of cholera, so he sold his corn that year, but aims to feed it on the farm. In 1846, Mr. Hanson married Miss Gragg. They have six children - five boys and one girl. In 1885 (sic), Mr. Hanson enlisted in the One Hundred and Fiftieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company D, and was mustered out in 1866. He was appointed Postmaster of the Odense Postoffice in 1877 holding it since. The postoffice was established in 1874. The Postmaster was N. P. Weisburg, who handed it over to Mr. Hanson.
PLYEL McGUFFEY, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Odense, Neosho County; native of Ohio; born in 1828. As he grew to manhood, and in early life, he was engaged in various lines of business; while in Illinois, was in a saw-mill, but in 1869, closed out his milling interests and came to Kansas with his brother Frank, taking claims and settling on Big Creek. The first year, generally the hardest, was passed by planting rented ground and his sod breaking, from which he got a good yield of corn. The years 1872-73-74 were failures, and he determined to leave Kansas, but raising a fine crop in 1875, he stayed, and has done well since. He now cultivates 130 acres, raising corn, castor beans, oats and broom corn. His son Charles owns 160 acres, which they use as a range for their cattle. In 1855, Mr. McGuffey married Miss Milligan. They have nine children - five boys and four girls.
ALVAN McGUFFEY, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Odense; native of Kentucky; born in 1832. The McGuffeys are of Scotch-Irish descent, and a long-lived race. His grandfather, a native born Scotchman, lived to the advanced age of ninety, and his father died when seventy-eight. In 1870, Mr. McGuffey, in company with a friend, came to Kansas, and he located on his present homestead. Here they lived and bached for eight or nine years, opening the farm, meeting with the checkered experience peculiar to settlers of Kansas, having now 120 acres in cultivation, which produced fine crops of corn, oats, beans and flax, in 1882, also having some very fine meadows of tame grasses. Mr. McGuffey married Mrs. Grady, of Allen County. They have a fine orchard, and the farm is well fenced with hedge and other kinds of fencing.
WILLIAM MILLER, farmer, Section 35, P. O., Chanute; native of Hanover, Germany; born in 1833. In 1848, he immigrated to America with a good German education, but speaking no word of English. he landed in Cincinnati, Ohio, applying himself to farming and learning the language. In 1862, he enlisted in the Seventy-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company C, serving his time out. He veteraned, and was mustered out in 1865, and returned to Illinois. In 1867, he came to Kansas in company with Mr. Ewing, taking a claim on Pecan Creek, buying of Widow Adams. He built a cabin, and then gave his attention to a piece of forty acres that had been broken up but was grown over again, so he had to plow and harrow it twice, thus insuring his harvest, which fully repaid him; here they lived, at one time visited a band of Sioux Indians, who were friendly. In 1874, they had the misfortune to lose their cabin and all their household goods by fire, leaving them without anything. They then moved into Mr. Ewing's house, and in 1876, bought his claim, now owning 320 acres, farming in grain and some stock. In 1858, Mr. Miller married Miss Ewing. They have three children - two boys and one girl. Mr. Miller has served as Treasurer and Clerk of the township, and in 1882, was elected County Commissioner. In 1872, Mr. Ewing and he organized their school district.