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COMANCHE COUNTY, KANSAS: HISTORY & GENEALOGY
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Mary A. (Horner) Wagner and Some of Her Descendants

by Jerry Ferrin


Surnames: Bigbee, Carnes, Clark, Darling, Douglas, Ely, Ferrin, Handley, Hibbert, Horner, Johnson, Lyddon, Neth, Parcel, Reed, Stout, Wagner & Weidner.

In December of 1973, I visited my grandparents, Ernest & Nellie (Barnett) Ferrin, at their farm near Wilmore and "Poppy", my grand-dad, mentioned that his maternal grandmother died in the Loren Ferrin homestead about 5 miles northeast of Wilmore. I made a note of it, as I was interviewing him about family history but didn't follow up on it for another 15 years.

I wrote to the Comanche County Clerk to ask if there was a record of her death on file and received the following:

"I, Bonnie Parcel, County Clerk of Comanche County, Kansas, do hereby certify that according to the RECORD OF VITAL STATISTICS on record in this office shows the following information:

Name: Mary Wagoner (sic); Date of birth: Age 75, White, Female. Date recorded: 10/11/1906, Dr. Halliday, Coldwater, Ks. IN TESTIMONY THEREOF, Witness my hand and the official seal of Comanche County, Kansas, this 11th day of October, 1988.

(signed) Bonnie Parcel, County Clerk."

I then wrote to Evelyn Reed of the Coldwater Library to ask her to check microfilms of local newspapers for an obituary, as I knew the date of my gg grandmother's death. Evelyn promptly sent me the following two obituaries. (Thanks again, Evelyn!)

"A LONG LIFE QUIETLY ENDED: Yesterday morning at about 5:30 o'clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Loren Ferrin, of Powell Township, was closed the book of life for Mrs. Mary Wagner. The deceased had led a long and useful life, having passed her 78th milestone last January. Death was due to the infirmities of old age, and came as a peaceful rest from life's servitude. Mrs. Wagner had made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin for the past 15 years, and had many friends in her community. Funeral services were to have been held at the home at 9 a.m. today, conducted by Howard Stout. Burial was to take place in Coldwater Cemetery at 2 p.m. THE TALISMAN extends condolences to the sorrowing family." (from THE TALISMAN, published 12 Oct 1906, Comanche Co., Ks)

"DIED: Mrs. Mary Wagner died at 5:30 o'clock yesterday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Loren Ferrin, a few miles east of Wilmore, this county. She had been in very feeble health for about 9 weeks. Death came peacefully and with perfect resignation. Had she lived until January, Mrs. Wagner would have been 79 years of age. She was a native of Pennsylvania. With her husband (Daniel Wagner) she moved to Wisconsin in the early fifties, and from there to northern Missouri (Holt County, Mo). For the past 15 years she had made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin of this county. Mrs. Wagner was a devout Christian woman and possessed a kind heart and a peculiarly pleasant disposition. She leaves a record of a life well spent and filled with kindly and noble deeds. Funeral services were conducted at the residence this forenoon, after which interment was made in (Lot 18, Block 21 East of the) Coldwater Cemetery." (From THE WESTERN STAR, 12 Oct 1906, published at Coldwater, Ks.)

In 1991, I got a copy of a letter from Hazel (Ferrin) Brammer to Norma (Bigbee) Johnson which mentions Mary Wagner:

"As for your grandmother, her name was Alcana Wagner. I remember her mother, who came to live with them, and died there. She was Pennsylvania Dutch and didn't speak English. She was buried at Coldwater in the east part (old). Wilmore didn't have a cemetery then. I know nothing about my Aunt Cana's family. I am sure she was born in Holt County, Missouri, and probably at Bigelow , Mo. Missouri joins Nebraska along there. The county seat is Mound City. We've not been able to learn where the Ferrins came from except Essex County, New York. My dad's mother was buried at Elizabethtown, New York. Her name was Murch."

Mary Wagner's gravestone is an obelisk which stands about midway up the hill in the section to your right as you enter the Crown Hill Cemetery east of Coldwater.

Location of Mary (Horner) Wagner's grave in Crown Hill Cemetery, near Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas.  

Mary A.  (Horner) Wagner's grave in Crown Hill Cemetery, near Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo by Bobbi Huck.
Mary A. (Horner) Wagner's grave in Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi Huck.  


The following was published on page 57 of THE FERRIN FAMIILY NEWSLETTER in August of 1994:

MARY A. (HORNER) WAGNER: Mother of Mothers

The F.F.N. Genealogy of Some of the Descendants of Zebulon & Achsah (Darling)Ferrin in this issue includes ALL info. available to yr. FFN editor @ the time it was compiled and it lists all known descendants of Ferrin women, info. which is not normally included in a genealogy of this sort.

In two cases - Esther Irene (Ferrin) Bigbee and her sister, Nellie Mabel (Ferrin) Ely - this genealogy records the descendants of both Ferrin women into their great-grandchildren's generation. Because both of them were daughters of Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin and granddaughters of Mary (Horner) Wagner, it is interesting to see how many lines of direct maternal descent are traced in these pages. Therefore, in accordance with the FFN tradition of honoring American Motherhood in spirit, word and deed, and as a special tribute to Mary Wagner, the following facts are noted:

To Bonnie (Ely) Hibbert, Norma (Bigbee) Johnson and Joan (Bigbee) Lyddon, Mary Wagner is the mother of their mother's mother.

To Jodene (Johnson) Taylor, Esther (Johnson) Clark, Karen (Johnson) Neth, Nancy (Johnson) Handley, Sandra Lee Lyddon, Debra Lyddon and Holly (Hibbert) Carnes, Mary Wagner is their mother's mother's mother's mother.

To Betsy Taylor, Stephanie Clark, Kristen Neth, Megan Neth, Jordan Renee Handley, Jennifer Douglas, Sarah Leigh Douglas, Tiffany Weidner and Hannah Moran Carnes, the mother of the mother of the mother of the mother of their mother is Mary Wagner.


Related Links:

How Loren & Arthur Ferrin Came to Comanche County, Kansas

Crown Hill Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas

Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin, daughter of Mary (Horner) Wagner

Family history & obituaries: Loren & Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin,


To Loren & Dan Ferrin's daughters: Your line of descent from Mary Wagner is through your paternal grandfather, Delmer "Buck" Ferrin; your paternal great grandfather Ernest L. Ferrin and his mother, Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin. Mary is your great great great grandmother.   -- Jerry Ferrin, 21 Sept 2002.


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