Barber County, Kansas.  

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BARBER COUNTY, KANSAS: HISTORY & GENEALOGY
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Bender-Chinn Cemetery

The Bender-Chinn Cemetery, view looking northeast, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.
The Bender-Chinn Cemetery, view looking northeast, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.


A History of the Bender-Chinn Cemetery

By Nathan Lee, Coats, KS, July, 2006

It is well-known that the Turkey Creek Valley was among the earliest settlements in Barber and Pratt Counties. Extending 9 miles from the Medicine River at Sun City to the headwaters in Springvale Township, Pratt County, it was already home to around 100 people by 1895. According to the 1895 census, there were 145 people in the Turkey Creek Township. A well-established flour mill, founded by A.J. Johnson, was in operation in the early 1880s just north of the Barber County line. Johnson was deeded the very first land in Pratt County. The quarter section just south of the Turkey Creek Flour Mill, in Barber County, was also among the first deeded quarters in the region. Now part of the Lee (Moffett) Ranch, it was homesteaded by Alexander Campbell Bender and his wife, Rachel (Allen) Bender on July 15, 1876. She bore 9 children with Alexander, but died the following spring in 1877, starting the Bender Cemetery. According to her granddaughter, Lilly (Chinn) Snyder of Coats, KS, the dying Mrs. Bender chose a scenic spot on top of a hill overlooking the valley on which to be buried. Her husband, Alexander, his new wife Mahala Howard, along with her 4 children, bought the quarter of land which included the cemetery in 1879. Rachelís daughter and grandson were buried on the same day, strangely, in 1922, making it the Bender-Chinn Cemetery.

There are at least 4 pioneer cemeteries along or near Turkey Creek. Rachel Benderís grave is the third oldest of the still legible gravestones. Harris Adams, 1873, and Samuel McCall, 1875, pre-date the Bender grave. They are both in the Old Sun City Cemetery.

There are 7 known graves in the Bender-Chinn Cemetery in the SE ľ of Section 2, Turkey Creek Township, Barber County, KS. As of July, 2006, only 4 are marked, Rachel Bender, J.T. and Lilly Chinn, and Everett Chinn. J.T.ís date of death has not been engraved upon the stone. Mrs. Snyderís recollections from her mother are that a caravan of travelers came through the area and asked to bury their stillborn and very young babies there. They were allegedly buried in shoeboxes at the site, but never marked.

A.C. Bender died in El Reno, OK on his 80th birthday in 1909. According to the local newspaper, his remains were "sent to Sun City, Kas." However, there is no headstone or remains of any stones whatsoever.

Known Burials:

Alexander Campbell Bender: June 18, 1829 - June 18, 1909

Rachel (Allen) Bender: Oct 18, 1830 - May 20, 1877

Lilly (Bender) Chinn: June 26, 1864 - Nov 23, 1922

John Thomas Chinn: May 21, 1857 - July 31, 1943

Ebbie Chinn: May 06, 1882 - Nov 23, 1922

Everett John Chinn: Aug 20, 1901 - Aug 30, 1931

Baby Girl Chinn: dates unknown


Gravestone of Rachel Bender,
The Bender-Chinn Cemetery,
Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.
Gravestone of Rachel Bender, The Bender-Chinn Cemetery, Barber County, Kansas.

RACHEL
Wife of
A.C. BENDER
BORN
Oct. 18, 1830
DIED
MAY 20, 1877
Not dead but a sleep

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.

 

Gravestone of Everett John Chinn,
The Bender-Chinn Cemetery,
Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.
Gravestone of Everett John Chinn, The Bender-Chinn Cemetery, Barber County, Kansas.
1901 - 1931
Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.

Gravestone of John Thomas Chinn and Lilly Chinn,
The Bender-Chinn Cemetery,
Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.
Gravestone of John Thomas Chinn and Lilly Chinn
The Bender-Chinn Cemetery, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Nathan Lee, 31 July 2006.


Email from Nathan Lee to Kim Fowles and Jerry Ferrin, 7/31/06:

I will have to get back with you on exactly what it says on the bottom of the big stone. The sunlight was making it impossible to read. Lilly (Chinn) Snyder, whom I talked to today, said she remembered burying JT in 1943 while she was in nursing school, so he is there, but there is no date on stone. She had no idea that there was an Ebbie Chinn (son of JT) that died on the exact same day as Lilly Bender Chinn in 1922. I mentioned that it might have been a car or buggy wreck, but she didn't even know that Ebbie was buried there. I asked her to research that for me, but she is 85 and can't really keep straight all the Chinns there are -- and there are a LOT around the Coats area.


BENDER or CHINN CEMETERY, E 1/2 SE 2-30-15, five miles north of Sun City, Helen Weede, land owner, has seven marked graves of the Bender and Chinn families. -- The Chosen Land: Barber County, Kansas.


Thanks to Nathan Lee for contributing the above photos and information to this web site!

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