Life Sketches of Comanche-co. Pioneers * Some of Their Struggles and Early-day Experiences.
Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Baxter It was in the city of Sharpesville, Ind., on November 7, 1861, while the stirring scenes of the Civil War were in progress, that Marble Lane Baxter was born. It is presumed that he started out in life yelling for his country and his flag, and he has since kept it up. He grew to young manhood on the farm and there learned some lessons of industry and perseverance which have stayed with him ever since. His early education was received in the common schools of Indiana. On December 24, 1883, in Kokomo, Ind., he was united in marriage with Miss Lillie Lowrey. Two years later they were on their way to Kansas, Comanche-co. being their objective point. They located on a claim 3 1/2 miles southwest of Protection and there began to build for themselves a home. The county had begun to be settle less than a year before, hence the country was new and life on their claim called for the exercise of constant industry and economy. Their first home was in a sod house, but it was a happy one, for they were imbued with the spirit of determination and industry which they well knew must be the equipment of every pioneer. Hard times came, but they toiled on, always with the belief that, somewhere ahead of them were better times. Others left their claims and went back to the place from whence they came, but the Baxters were of the staying type. The pioneer days in the county were not all dark and dreary, however. Some years were prosperous, and at such times Mr. and Mrs. Baxter managed to save a little and to acquire more land and make more improvements. For nearly 30 years they continued to live on the farm, and then they built a good home in Protection and have since lived there, still retaining their farm and ranch possessions.
Mr. Baxter has been prominently identified with Comanche-co. affairs, having served in a number of official positions in his home school district, township and town. For seven years he represented the Third district as a member of the board of county commissioners, serving as chairman of the board for three years. He has also been prominent in political circles in the county, always adhering tenaciously to the principles of the Republican party. If you want to hear some interesting stories of early day life, with its hardships and its many trying experiences, talk with Marble Baxter. He can tell you about how he "turned his hand' to different things in order to earn a living. That was during the days when the farm afforded too scanty an income for a family of growing, healthy people. At one time during the 80s he carried the mail between Ashland and Coldwater. That was before the arrival of the railroad through this county.
He knew about every old timer in this part of the state. He saw the beginning of Protection, and has always stood for good schools and every other forward movement in the community.
During the four years previous to 1889, Mr. Baxter taught school each year, and thus not only helped to advance the educational interests of the county but, at the same time was enabled to meet the running expense of his family.
Mr. Baxter's acquaintances over this and adjoining counties has for many years been quite extensive. He and his wife, who has shared with him the varying experiences of the past 39 years in Comanche-co., have a circle of friends which reaches far beyond the limits of this county. They belong to that class of pioneers who have helped to develop the Southwest, and who have built here out of the wide stretches of prairie many happy homes, wide awake towns and progressive communities.
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter are the parents of six children. They are: Mrs. Theron A. Myers, Fred L., Pearl Cleo Bedinger, Louise Francis and Earl McKinley.
James W. Dappert: Reminiscences of Early Days in Comanche-co.
The Western Star, January 15, 1926.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing, and contributing the above news article to this web site! She noted that one child was not mentioned in the article.
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