I will try and give a sketch of pioneer life in Comanche County. We left Holt county (Missouri) in September 1885. Mr. Al Brumbaugh, a friend of Mr. Ferrin, came part way, Mr. B. is an uncle of Mrs. Vic. Allderdice now living in Coldwater. He was Mrs. Carrie Holmes' first school teacher. Mr. Ferrin came to Greenwood Co. where he had a little bunch of cattle, his brother Loren coming two years before. They filed on claims that fall north east of Wilmore about five miles, they moved on them the spring of 1886. I will always remember the blizzard of the 7th of Jan. that year. We came to our claim, unloaded our team and house hold goods at Kinsley, and were two days driving down. Found neighbors on nearly every quarter. A great many had lost their cattle in the blizzard of '86 (1886) and canyons were filled with bleached bones which the settlers hauled to Coldwater for supplies. (They say its an ill wind that does no one good.) They also hauled salt for stock men from Salt Fork.
Of course all parents had an interest in school and church. We built a sod house for school that year and our first teacher was Jennie Doig (and a noble girl was she) - afterwards she was the wife of Grant Stevens.
We voted for a new school house the 17 of Jan. and in the spring built the new school house and named the same "Ridge Summit." Our first teacher was Mattie Wright who afterwards married Tommie Wilmore. The town of Wilmore was named for him, he being a favorite cowboy and foreman for Cap. Pepperd, a big cattleman. Then began the free range fights. In after years those wanting free range wanted herd law (such is life).
The first church organized here was U. B. Some of our early ministers, a dear old lady by the name of Friend and sure fit the name. Then Eden (I presume sprang from the "Garden" somewhere). Then later, Rev. Murphy the father of Mrs. Geo. Brown of Wilmore, Rev. Burrill, Rev. Charley Farney, who was a brother-in-law of Rev. Alexander, who went to his reward from this circuit two years ago, and had preached here in the early days. Rev. Ed Powell also preached here and the two ministers Forney and Alexander preached the funeral sermon here of E. A. Powell.
We were fortunate in getting our R. R. done soon. In 1887 they began to build. The camp was just north of our house, and Pepperd and Powell furnished beef for it. Mr. Powell (Will) had a butcher shop in Coldwater. We sold him cattle. Powell and Pyle were very much mentioned in these days with Pepperd and Greenleaf, cattlemen.
Cannon Ball Green, living north of Booths, in Kiowa county, and
John Bellof Wilmore, who could tell you of the sand storms and prairie dogs he saw coming about the same time.
The R. R. camp broke up the 10th of Aug. and the next day was a big cloud burst from the north, chicken coops, ties, and all that could float came down Spring Creek and emptied into Mule Creek. It looked as though we might all float away.
These pioneer days were dry and windy days but after all happy days. We raised a family of eight children they grew up sturdy like trees in spite of drouth and hot winds. We tried to teach them honesty and industry. I have watched all these pioneer children grow up from cradle to grandfathers and grandmothers and it seems but only yesterday. So we should "Remember now our creator in the days of our youth. For the youth of today will be the fathers and mothers of tomorrow."
Mrs. Arthur Ferrin
How Loren & Arthur Ferrin Came to Comanche County, Kansas
Ridge Summit School
Reuben & Hannah Philura (Murch) Ferrin
Earl Bryant Ferrin, son of Arthur & Alice Ferrin.
Loren & Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin
Memories of Alcana Ferrin by Janet (Schrock) Hubbard
Arthur & Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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