Milt Clements, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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"Barber County Profiles", Medicine Lodge Cresset, March 2, 1900.

Uncle Milt Clements

One of the oldest settlers we have discovered in our rambles through Barber county is Uncle Milt Clements, of Sun City. He is a native of Illinois, served through the war of rebellion, came to Barber county and settled on Mulberry creek in 1872 and is living on the same section of land today. He has served one term as county commissioner, seven terms as deputy sheriff and was door keeper of the senate during Lewelling's administration.

Mr. Clements is one of the survivors of the blizzard that swept over the western part of the state in January, 1875, one of the most furious and longest continued winter storms of which there is any record. It was the year the Indians had their war paint on. The militia had been called out for the protection of the settlers on the border, and a stockade had been built at Sun City and garrisoned. Mr. Clements was at that time a sergeant in the state militia and with a squad of three men was on his way from Hutchinson when they were overtaken by the storm. Two of the party, Bartlett and Walker, were frozen to death, while Reuben Marshall and Mr. Clements were so badly frozen that they had to have their feet amputated and Mr. Clements is now using artificial feet, though one would hardly notice the fact. The ordeal was a severe one and the suffering was great. The best thing possible was done, however, and the government at Washington prevailed upon through the influence of Judge S.R. Peters to place his name on the military rolls with a pension of $72. A thrilling story might be written of Mr. Clements' experience and some day we may make the attempt.


Military gravestone for Milton H. Clements,

Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Kim Fowles.
Milton H. Clements, Company E., 10th Illinois Cavalry
Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Kim Fowles.

Gravestone for Milton H. Clements,

Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Kim Fowles.
Gravestone for Milton H. Clements,
Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Kim Fowles.

Gravestone for Elizabeth J. Clements,

Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Kim Fowles.
Gravestone for Elizabeth J. Clements,
Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Kim Fowles.

Gravestone for Effie Clements Moore,

Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Kim Fowles.
Gravestone for Effie Clements Moore ,
Daughter of Milton and Elizabeth Clements
Sunnyside Cemetery, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Kim Fowles.


Homer J. Clements, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Clements of Sun City was one of the survivors of the ill-fated Tuscania. In 1916 he went to Idaho and purchased a home. When the call came for engineers he responded and was enlisted in Company F, 20th Engineers, on Dec. 2, 1917. This was the so-called "lumber jack" regiment it was destined to get out timbers for the Army. He was immediately transferred to Washington, D. C. and went over on the Tuscania. When the news came of the sinking of the ship, his parents and friends feared the worst, but on Sunday noon his parents received a telegram from the Adjutant General's office stating: "Officially reported that Homer J. Clements was saved from Tuscania." -- "WAR STRIKES HOME: Raymond Roessler Among the Missing. Thos. J. Clements Reported Saved.", The Barber County Index, February 13, 1918.


See David F. Edmond's account of the blizzard in which Milton Clements nearly died.

Also see the story of Earl Holmes, who nearly froze to death in a Barber County snowstorm in 1909.

See Blizzards in Comanche & Barber County, Kansas for a collection of stories about snowstorms in this area, including one about M.R. Becktell nearly freezing to death in 1878 while in a canyon northwest of Sun City, Kansas.

The frequency of severe winter storms in Barber County circa 1880-1895 is documented in the Journal of Samuel Slack, Jr.

The plausibility of a person freezing to death in a snowstorm in the Barber County area was a central part of what was thought to be a scheme to defraud insurance companies in the Hillmon Case. See Hillmon vs. Insurance Companies by Charles S. Gleed, 18th Annual Report of the Kansas State Superintendent of Insurance, 1887.


Thanks to Ellen (Knowles) Bisson for finding, transcribing and contributing the above Medicine Lodge Cresset article to this web site!

It is one of a series of articles published together on 2 March 1900 under the title of Barber County Profiles: Men Who Have Taken a Prominent Part in Developing the Stock Industry in Barber County.

It was transcribed from Kansas State Historical Society microfilm reel #M 870. If a photo is indicated in the above text, the microfilm itself has a photo of the individual or property.

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