Mr. Gray's Ledger: L.R. Reynolds Subject: Man with two dogs standing up. Date: Sept. 20, 1908 Catalog: Photo No. 1104
Mr. Gray's ledger indicates this photo was ordered by "L.R. Reynolds," and that the copies should be sent "in care of Wm. Hohner." No evidence of L.R. Reynolds could be found in the museum library archives or the Federal Census. Considering how long subjects would have to hold still in order to expose the negative and how uncooperative animals can be, this photo seems to be nothing short of a miracle. It is a testimony to Mr. Gray's patient artistry -- or to the utter goodness of Mr. Reynolds' two dogs! Location: St. John
Mr. Gray's Ledger: C.A. Brown Subject: Little girl with teddy bears. Date: Nov. 27, 1907 Catalog: Photo No. 1064
The 1910 Federal Census shows Charles A. and Anna A. Brown living in St. John with their daughter Jennie Brown, who was four in 1910 (three years after this photo was taken). In 1911, four years after this photo was taken of their daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Brown donated the land for what became Brown Park on the north end of St. John. In April 1979, Jennie (Brown) Owen arranged for a large rock with a plaque in memory of her parents to be placed at the entrance of the park. Location: St. John
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Hubert C. Bowker Subject: Man standing with gun. Date: June 14, 1915 Catalog: Photo No. 5458
Hubert C. Bowker was a World War I veteran. He served as a private in the Kansas 164th Depot Brigade, which reported for duty at Camp Funston in April and May, 1918. Hubert was born in 1893 to Amaziah Chester and Lois Irene (Adams) Bowker on the family homestead in the northeast corner of Albano Township. He had one brother and one sister, Dulcie May, who wrote in 1964, "[Hubert] was a large child; slower in movements and not so venturesome as we older ones." The family attended Antrim Church. Hubert never married and in 1964 was still living on the family's original homestead. He died in 1965 and is buried beside his mother in Neelands Cemetery.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Imogene Gant Subject: Little girl sitting at toy piano. Date: April 25, 1914 Catalog: Photo No. 5533
This photo was taken for the St. John United Methodist Church Cradle Roll in 1914. Six years later, the 1920 Federal Census shows Imogene Gant at age seven living on the west side of St. John with her father, Edward W., an insurance agent, age 37, and mother, Pearl, age 30.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Rosa Welsh Subject: Young woman holding dog. Date: Aug. 1, 1907 Catalog: Photo No. 5112
Rosa A. Welsh was born Feb. 18, 1892 in St. John, the daughter of Robigny Jacob & Rose Anna (Conner) Welsh. Mr. Welsh was a contractor who built many of St. John's most important buildings, including the original grade and high schools and Methodist Church. Rosa married Bert Horstman and had two sons with him, Stanley and Sanford (whose West Point uniform we have in the museum). In 1936, she married John D. Stewart, president of the St. John National Bank. He died in 1953. Rosa owned and operated a millinery shop in St. John. According to p. 174 of Stafford County, Kansas 1870-1990, after Rosa "bought the hat shop between Third and Second avenues, she noticed a small covered window at the back. One day two men knocked there and asked if she had any needles. A few days later she was told that "needles" was the code name for bootleg whiskey"! Rosa died in 1990 and is buried in Fairview Park Cemetery at St. John.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: P.F. Fox Subject: Peter F. Fox with two giant pumpkins Date: Nov. 6, 1915
According to the Macksville Enterprise, Oct. 7, 1915, the Macksville Street Fair was a "brilliant success." The article mentions farm product exhibitions, including "corn and pumpkins," and we wonder if Mr. Fox displayed giant pumpkins at the Macksville Street Fair that week.
Peter Franklin Fox was born in 1845, Smith County, Va. A Civil War veteran, he enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1863 and served until the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. He married Sarah Francis Rhea in 1866. They had eight children. P.F. Fox is mentioned in Stafford County 1870-1990 as being first treasurer for Darling School (#48) in Richland Township in 1889. He makes another cameo appearance in our history in No Cyclone Shall Destroy as being on the "paint committee" for Neelands Chapel when construction plans began in 1903. He died in 1927, his wife in 1930. Both are buried at Fairview Park Cemetery.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: unnumbered Subject: William Bickerton (1815-1905)
According to No Cyclone Shall Destroy (Dorrance, 1979), in 1874, William Bickerton left the Methodist Church and led a group from the Church of Jesus Christ onto the plains of Kansas searching for religious freedom and a place to build their dreams. When the group reached the ridge, six miles north of today's St. John, Bickerton felt moved to kneel and ask blessings upon the land, that it might be a home for their followers and no cyclone might devastate the area as long as a band of faithful saints reside there. Bickerton died in 1905 (the year Mr. Gray opened his photo studio in St. John) and is buried at Fairview Park Cemetery in St. John.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Barrie Stock Co. Subject: Miss March Hathorne Date: Aug. 29, 1908
According to The County Capital, Aug. 27, 1908: "The Barrie-Graham Stock Company will present new plays and specialties at Convention Hall all the week. Tickets are now on sale at the usual place." Miss March Hathorne was an employee of the stock company, a popular actress of the day, performing in their productions.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: E.J. Manderscheid Subject: Walter Manderscheid Date: July 1914
According to the 1910 Federal Census, Edward J. Manderscheid, age 33, lived in Douglas Township with his wife Jessie D., also age 33, and their sons, Lester L., 10, and Melvil Leone, 4. Mrs. Manderscheid died Nov. 16, 1914, the same year this photo was taken. According to her obituary, she had a third son, Walter Manderscheid, who was only a few months old at the time of her death. He is most likely the baby in the bowl. After his mother's death, he went to live with an aunt in California and used the surname Miller.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: O.L. Ring Subject: wagonload of mattresse Date: May 24, 1911
O.L. Ring (1876-1953) served on St. John's City Council in 1913, the year the fountain was unveiled in the city square. It was also the year an ordinance was passed providing street numbers. Mr. Ring is buried at Fairview Park Cemetery in St. John. Photo No. 2044 Location: St. John
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Mrs. A. Bozarth Subject: Georgia Bozarth Date: Sept. 5, 1914
According to the 1910 Federal Census, Georgia Bozarth, age 21, lived with her farmer husband in Ohio Township. They had a baby daughter named Helen. Mrs. Bozarth would have been about 25 when this photo was taken in 1914. The Bozarths do not appear in the 1920 Federal Census.
Photo No. 3472 Location: St. John Date: Sept. 5, 1914
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Mr. Hill Subject: man and pony in front of St. John buildings Date: March 16, 1915
This photo looks out toward the water tower, the lumberyard and the southwest corner of the square. It looks like it might have been taken right out in Mr. Gray's front yard, or possibly the property beside it. We wonder if the man in the photo is the Ruben Hill listed in the 1920 Federal Census who resided as a boarder in a residence next to W.R. Gray's home/studio. Ruben Hill was 47, from Missouri and worked as a "cook at a hotel."
Photo No. 3531 Location: Main Street, St. John Date: March 16, 1915
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Harris Subject: harvesters Date: July 1907
According to The County Capital (St. John), July 18, 1907: "Unfavorable weather has delayed threshing, yet new wheat has come in to all of the markets of Stafford County ... Several loads were sold in St. John today, the test being 59 lbs. and the best price paid was 73 cents. A yield of an average of ten bushels is indicated, while extremes run from very low up to twenty bushels."
Photo No. 715 Location: Stafford County Date: July 1907
Mr. Gray's Ledger: J.B. Strickland Subject: Laura Strickland Date: January 1913
According to the 1920 Federal Census, James B. Strickland, age 61, lived in Albano Township with his wife, Martha S. Strickland, 54, and their 13-year-old daughter Laura Strickland, most likely the girl in the photo. Mr. Strickland was a farm laborer. They were originally from Missouri.
Photo No. 2571 Location: St. John Date: January 1913
Mr. Gray's Ledger: missing ledger Subject: Happy Valley School
Happy Valley School opened in 1880 and stood on two acres of land 4 1/2 miles northeast of St. John in Section 14 of St. John Township. As many as 50 students attended the school at any one time. The original building was torn down in 1924 and replaced by a modern schoolhouse. It closed in 1960. Lisa Fatzer wrote in the St. John News, April 11, 1990: "Today, nothing marks the location of where Happy Valley School stood. The milo field there is flat; no visible traces of a foundation mar the horizon. The wind rustles through the dry milo stubble, and a meadowlark sings from a nearby fence post. Our feet leave deep, sinking prints in the soft sand -- footprints, which like the old schoolhouse, are so easily erased by both the passing of time and the sweep of the Kansas wind."
Photo No. 2830
Location: St. John Township, Stafford County Date: 1917
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Geo. R. Frank Subject: Dillwyn Store Date: January 1912
James E. Kirk built a general store in Dillwyn in 1901. Alfrada Bock wrote in a letter: "I always remember Dillwyn as a very complete shopping center -- everything was so convenient. The well-stocked dry goods store and lumber yard met most of our needs. In addition to groceries the store housed the post office ... The store manager was Mr. Frank, whose daughter, Irene, was my good friend ... Also the general store was a social meeting place. On rainy days men driving teams would gather for supplies, visiting, asking the price of wheat at the elevators, taking work to, or receiving finished work from Mr. Doggett, the blacksmith." Photo No. 2284 Location: Dillwyn
Mr. Gray's Ledger: "Fairies -- Gypsy Picnic" Subject: Gypsy Picnic Date: Aug. 30, 1912
The County Capital of Aug. 29, 1912 advertises The Gypsy Picnic, a program of singing, dancing and recitation by children to be given in the Park at St. John Aug. 30 and 31. It was sponsored by the Hesperian Club as a fundraiser to beautify the city park. The net receipts for the two evenings were $324.36.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Girls at Hotel Subject: Two women in hotel kitchen. Date: Aug. 15, 1908 Catalog: Photo No. 0429
Mr. Gray did not record the names of the women or the hotel in this photo. There was no mention of any hotel in the County Capital the week of Aug. 15, 1908, but the 1907 Sunlight of Saint John (school annual) printed ads for the Silver Moon, "Best for First Class Meals and Lodging" on North Main Street and for the Arlington Hotel at 5th and Main in St. John.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Hunt Sisters Subject: Two girls with two horses. Date: Aug. 12, 1908 Catalog: Photo No. 4844
The 1910 Federal Census shows Ira W. Hunt, a 43-year-old laborer who worked at odd jobs, living in St. John with his wife of 19 years, Effie M., 39. Also living with them were their son, Elmer R., 17, and their two 13-year-old daughters, Gertrude and Grace.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: missing ledger Subject: Children in costumes Date: Around Oct. 31, 1911
On Nov. 2, 1911, the County Capital reported a Halloween party at the home of Wm. Emrie in St. John. The evening's entertainment was previously planned and carried out the Halloween theme. Those present were Marie and Lucy Coureton, Jessie and Emma Shank, Myrtle Ridenour, Earl Tanner, Gilbert Budge, Bertrand and Leslie Brown and Clara and Fred Emrie. Those in attendance reported an excellent time.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: C.C. Toland Subject: Man holding baby up in one hand. Date: Nov. 5, 1906 Catalog: Photo No. 573
We believe this is C.C. Toland holding his youngest child, Claude. According to family history on file at the museum library, Claude C. Toland was born July 13, 1906 (four months before this photo was taken) and was the youngest of eight children of Charles C. & Eva Ellis (Cubbage) Toland. Claude eventually married Edna Tinnell and they had no children. According to Claude Toland's obituary, he was a lifelong resident of St. John, died in 1981 and is buried at Fairview Park Cemetery in St. John.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Bessie Shafer Subject: Vera M. Shafer Date: Sept. 22, 1908
According to the 1910 Federal Census, Bessie M. Shafer, 24, lived in Cleveland Township with her farmer husband Lenard N. Shafer, 27, and their two-year-old daughter Vera M. Shafer, most likely the girl pictured with the kitten. By 1914, according to The County Capital of Sept. 24, the Shafers lived in Bentonville, Ark. The 1920 Federal Census of Benton County, Ark., shows them with three more children, Mildred, Leonard P. and Lucille.
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Elsie & Lela Scott Subject: Elsie O. & Lela May Scott Date: July 1910
Elsie Scott (1889-1981) and Lela Scott (1889-1962) were twins, two of 17 children of John and Julia Scott. John and Julia were both ex-slaves who migrated to Stafford County after the Civil War and homesteaded near St. John. Elsie graduated St. John High School in 1910 and Lela in 1913. According to Re-Echo 1887-1987, Elsie received her Master's Degree in teaching in 1940 and taught for 20 years at Vashon High School in St. Louis, Mo. Lela was "a personal maid to a movie star." They are both buried at Fairview Park Cemetery in St. John.
This boy is the son of Mabel (Carnahan) Stevens and grandchild of David S. and Susan (Stevenson) Carnahan. No Cyclone Shall Destroy claims Mrs. Carnahan was a first cousin of Adlai E. Stevenson, so he and this boy would have been first-cousins-twice-removed.
According to a story by Mabel Stevens, David Carnahan (1839-1917) and his wife Susan (1842-1908) left Illinois in 1878 to homestead in Stafford County. They are mentioned in No Cyclone as one of many families who migrated to the St. John area as a result of the Tree-Culture Act in the 1880s and 1890s. David is mentioned in Stafford County 1870-1990 as helping William Goodman erect a five-room house. David and Susan are both buried at Neelands Cemetery. (889)
Location: St. John Date: Jan. 11, 1908
Mr. Gray's Ledger: Daniel Gray Subject: young man playing cards Date: March 1909
Mr. Gray indicated in his ledger that this young man was a "relative" but he doesn't say how he was related. We have been unable to find his name in any Gray obituaries, other recorded family history or the Federal Census.