I'm Mae (Smith) Parsons and will contribute my "bit" of Barber County History. My grandparents were John Garten and Malinda Rogers on Mother's side, and Samuel E. Smith, Sr., and Mary Ann Bibb, on Father's side. Both grandfathers served in the Civil War. John Garten was Confederate, and Samuel E. Smith, a Union Corporal. Both families migrated to Missouri. John Garten came from Kentucky. After the close of the war, he settled at Sun City, Kansas, (a trading post) in 1872. In 1873 it became part of Barber County. He was a scout, buffalo hunter, and drove freight wagons from Wichita and Hutchinson.
The family of William Fisher Rogers came from Independence, Missouri, in 1873 and staked a claim on Bitter Creek (12 miles from Medicine Lodge). He was a widower with four children. The Rogers daughter, Malinda, one of six children, married in 1873.
Samuel E. Smith, Sr., came to Barber County from Lees Summit, Missouri, as a wagon captain, of a 17-wagon caravan. He was a widower with four children. He traded a wagon, team of mules, and equipment for 160 acres near Lake City. Close friends, the Rogers, lived about eight miles away.
My father, Samuel Smith, Jr., was seven years old and was the oldest. His father died three years later. Father married Fannie Garten, a daughter of John, in 1893. They made the "Run" in the opening of the Cherokee Strip, staking a claim near what is now Alva, Oklahoma. After a year, they sold their interest and moved back to Barber County, near Forest City.
When I was four, we moved to Belvedere, where Father was a foreman of a large ranch. Mother passed away in 1904. We returned to Forest City where I attended school, completed common school, then attended and graduated at Barber County High in 1918. The children in our family were Fred Smith, Ruby (Barrows-Lahey), Mae (Parsons), Jennie (Conner-Roth), and Jewel (Funk).
I met John Marvin Parsons in 1915. He came to Kansas to work in wheat harvest and do farm work. He later did carpentry and farm work. He later did carpentry for Roy Hoovler, who built and remodeled many houses in Medicine Lodge. He was inducted in the army in 1918 and served 13 months in France. He returned to Medicine Lodge after his discharge in 1919. We married in 1920, established our home on a 10 acre tract southeast of Elm Creek bridge, and lived there four years. Our son, LaClede, was born in 1921.
Marvin was hired as first clerk at Medicine Lodge Post Office March 17, 1924. He worked there thirty years, retiring in June, 1954. He enjoyed retirement in traveling, fishing, 'rock hounding,' and making Bolo ties. He was a member of American Legion, past Lions Club member, and both of us are Methodist.
Our son graduated from Medicine Lodge High School, attended Kansas University two years, and received his college degree in California. He married Mercedes Howard of Hazelton. He enlisted in the Air Corps and was stationed in Greenland. Following WWII, they moved to California.
During World War II, I renewed my teaching certificate and taught rural schools 1942-1959. I'm now a housewife, belong to Legion Auxiliary, WW Mothers, and Church Circles.
Marvin passed away March 8, 1979, at the age of 92.
DEATH RECORD - Fannie Garten Smith - Died, at her home on the Fullerton place near Belvidere, Kiowa county, on the morning of November 30 of typhoid malaria, Fannie Garen Smith, wife of Sam E. Smith and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Garten of Mingona township, in the 29th year of her age. Interment in Lake City Cemetery Thursday, December 1, where brief funeral services were conducted by Rev. Owens of Belvidere in the presence of a large congregation of relatives and friends." excerpt from an obituary published in a Medicine Lodge, Kansas, newspaper on Friday, December 9, 1904.
A List of the Graduates of Medicine Lodge High School (1890 - 1937) This was the "Barber County High School" mentioned in the above article.
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