Journal of Samuel Slack, Jr., Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Journal of Samuel Slack, Jr.

Transcribed and contributed by C.J. Laird

"Taken from a photocopy of the Samuel Slack journal. Journal kept from about 1827 with backdated entries between 1827 and 1845, and was continued until Slack passed in 1909. Entries pertinent to Barber county are included - these are dates from the time frame of about 1880 to 1887 (1887 is the place where I have stopped transcribing temporarily). Entries continue for Barber co. until sometime around 1892-1895.

Excerpts from Journal of Samuel Slack Jr. (1827-1909) Transcribed mostly "as writ" by the keeper of the journal, complete with spelling errors - illegible entries are noted with "??" or "___?" Entries I have guessed at are in ( ) brackets.

April 1873 - Slack's family arrived in Reno county kansas from iowa. (Note, along with T. S. Scoresby, Slack was one of 1st 2 families to settle in Troy Township, Reno county KS.)"

-- C.J. Laird, posted on the RootsWeb message board: Barber County, Kansas, 01 July 2007.

1886 map of Barber County, Kansas, shown are:  Amber, Canema, Elm Mills, Kiowa, Lake City,  Lodi, Medicine Lodge, Painted Post, Sexton and Sun City.

1886 map of Barber County, Kansas
Shown are: Amber, Canema, Elm Mills, Kiowa, Lake City,
Lodi, Medicine Lodge, Painted Post, Sexton and Sun City.

Excerpts from the Journal of Samuel Slack, Jr.

Annotations by Jerry Ferrin

Also see:

Elm Mills Township Map, Barber County, Kansas
From Standard Atlas of Barber County, Kansas, 1905. Courtesy of Kim Fowles.

Samuel Slack, Jr., KSHS reference

"Married: Last Saturday Judge Hardy issued a license for the marriage of Lee Briley to Lucy Provin and on Sunday, October 3rd, performed the ceremony at his - the Judge's - residence." -- The Medicine Lodge Cresset, 22 October 1886.

The death of James E. Slack of Elm Mills Township, aged 19, of consumption, took place between March 1, 1896 and March 1, 1897. Reported in The Medicine Lodge Cresset, 4 June 1897.

Sam. Slack came to Barber County, Kansas, in 1879, according to “Old Timers’ Picnic", an article in The Medicine Lodge Cresset on 11 August 1887.

"A big time is expected at the old settlers’ picnic at Furgason’s grove, on Friday, September 16th, 1887. Everybody invited. The following is a list of those in attendance last year, and at the coming meeting everyone in attendance will be expected to sign the roll."

The following list includes the year each settler arrived in Barber County, Kansas:

J.R. Brown - 1879, Ellen Butcher - 1879, P. Butcher - 1879, E.P. Caruthers - 1882, Alice Chadwick - 1875, J.A. Chadwick - 1875, Jas. Chadwick - 1886, Jas. Crouch - 1876, J.A. Dentoff - 1877, S.T. Dickerson - 1875, E.J. Douglass - 1884, W.C. Douglass - 1884, H.P. Ebert - 1884, L.M. Field - 1879, S.K.W. Field - 1879, Jacob Fishback - 1885, Jennie Furgason - 1874, S.A. Furgason - 1874, E.C. Grigsby - 1885, J.W. Kerr - 1884, Isabella A. Lee - 1879, Jas. H. Lee - 1879, A.B. McCormick - 1885, Jerome McVay - 1875, J.G. Moore - 1872, S. Palmer - 1885, S.F. Patton - 1878, J.M. Regin - 1875, Sam. Slack - 1879, I.W. Stout - 1880, C.C. Teagle - 1884, James Tufts - 1883, J.W. Upperman - 1872, J.H. Wheat - 1879, Mary H. Wheat - 1879, Ed. Williams - 1878, Mattie Williams - 1878, W.H. Zenor - 1881.

"Married: Ethan A. Pryor, of Kingman county, and Laura I. Logan, of Barber county, secured a license to marry from Probate Judge Edwards on last Saturday and on Sunday, November 16th, were legally wed by Judge W.H. Slack. May joy keep them companion through life." -- The Medicine Lodge Cresset, 21 November 1890.

"Married: At the home of the bride in Elm Mills township, on Sunday, March 10, Frank L. Gordon and Myrtle Riggins were joined in wedlock by Probate Judge Lacy. Mr. Gordon is a young school teacher of the county, and his bride is the second daughter of William Riggins. The Cresset joins their friends in wishing them every joy. After the ceremony, forty-three guests partook of the bountiful dinner provided for the occasion. The young couple will reside in Attica where Mr. Gordon will engage in the mercantile business. Among the testimonials of regard given them were a table cloth by Alex and Mrs. Means; cake stand, Alfred Jackson; fruit and sauce dishes, Lola McCullough; syrup pitcher, Ethel Slack; tureen, W.M. Riggins; salt box, Edgar Jackson; knives and forks, Mr. and Mrs. Mather; set of hand painted sauce dishes, Clara and Harry Means; berry dish, Romie Jackson; bread plate, Ervin Slack; lamp, George Riggins; linen towels, Mr. and Mrs. James Chadwick; butter dish, Annie Riggins; toothpick holder, Carrie Jackson; set of glasses, Maudie and Roy Riggins; sauce dishes, Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Warren; cups and saucers, Lola Riggins; orange dish, Clarence Means; set of plates, Mr. and Mrs. D. Jackson." -- The Medicine Lodge Cresset, 15 March 1901.

Message posted by C.J. Laird on Barber County, Kansas, Rootsweb message board, approx. 30 July 2007:

A family diary kept by an ancestor of my husband (who lived in Medicine Lodge area 1880-1888) has some interesting entries:

Diary has references to (1) doing a survey on March 2nd 1883 for Briley at "Holcom Mound", (2) on May 16, 1883 a note that "Holcum" was shot, and (3) on May 26, 1883, Scot and Lee Briley were accused of the shooting and taken to trial. There are trial references in the diary until sometime around 7 March 1884 or after. How was that resolved? Were the Briley family associated with the Comanche Pool?

Diary also shows a date of 20 Apr 1885, "the flood of Barber county Kansas, 22 persons found and buried." Were any of these flood victims identified? Where were the burials conducted?

Looking for marriage or area records of residence on John Middleton & Maria or Louise Colcord in December 1879, and for anyone named Briley to a spouse named Colcord between 1880 and 1886.

Is there anyone who has any way to help prove these diary notes and verify marriages in the area? Thank you.


To C.J. Laird from Jerry Ferrin 01 July 2007:

For news articles and a list of the 18 people who died in Barber County, Kansas, in the Great Flood of 1885, see: ~ The Paddock family who perished in the flood are buried in the Paddock cemetery: ~

Other flood victims are buried in Highland Cemetery in Medicine Lodge.

For information on the Comanche Pool, see:


I don't recall seeing a reference to a Briley in connection with the Comanche Pool, but I have never seen a listing of all the many, many men employed by or associated with the pool. Note the links on the preceding page to pages about the Colcord who was a cattleman.

For information on locating records in Barber County, Kansas, see:


You may want to contact the author of this book: "Born, Married, Died or Buried in Barber County, Kansas." This book is being written by Karen McClellan based on her database of 32,000 people connected with Barber County. Karen McClellan's e-mail address is [email protected] .

I do not know for certain, but suspect that Holcom Mound is a feature in the Red Hills near Medicine Lodge.

A listing of microfilmed newspapers from the time period of interest to you is available on the following page:

~ The microfilms are available through interlibrary loan from the Kansas State Historical Society.

Would you be interested in contributing a transcription of the diary for use on the Barber County, Kansas: History and Genealogy website?

If so, please see the Contributor's Guidelines for the site:


You can find my e-mail address on the following page:


Jerry Ferrin


from C.J. Laird to Jerry Ferrin, 01 July 07.

I only did a copy-paste & sent you what pertained to Barber co. - complete up to the last entry when my fingers finally wore out earlier (there's still more to do). I'd been at it for over two hours when I quit to go help work on a rental cleanup. There's more of the earlier dates of the journal posted on my worldconnect gedcom page. Easiest way to find it is to go straight to the file name - cjlaird - and navigate through the index. As I continue with transcribing, I will upload changes from time to time.

Some other names that I've been working on have also turned up in Barber co. - Scoresby, Slack, Jenks, Graves, Colcord, Middleton, etc. Two of T.S. & Caroline Scoresby's kids married 2 of Samuel & Lousia Slack's kids - my husband is desc. from a 3rd Slack sibling. A Scoresby daughter (Harriet or Hattie) married Charlie Colcord, possibly in Barber county, so I've acquired quite a bit on Wm R Colcord and his children as well, in my attempt to build a research base & try to document the who-where-when (b-m-d vitals & names of spouse & children) pertaining to the Scoresby & Slack descendants. What I hadn't counted on was getting so interested in the Comanche Pool.

Presently I'm curious about whether I can find anyone who really knows what happened to this John Middleton, a guy with a reputation of being a Texan who cowboy'd for the Pool for a while & reportedly was chummy with Billy the Kid. He is supposed to have married Mariah Louise Colcord (Mariah H Colcord?) in Dec. 1879 when she was 15 or 16 - and then later she's listed in 1885 on the census with the name Briley, living in Kingman with her parents, which is why I'm interested in the Briley family.

Thanks for the information you've sent - I'll look forward to hearing from you again. My other e-mail is jglass7 (at) cox (dot) net if you want to contact me directly.


1895 Kansas State Census, Barber County, Elm Mills Township,
Volume 14
, page 6:

Slack, Ethel M - Age 8, Female, White, Birthplace: Kansas

Slack, James E - Age 17, Male, White, Birthplace: Kansas

Slack, Julia E - Age 37, Female, White, Birthplace: Tennessee

Slack, William H - Age 48, Male, White, Birthplace: Iowa

Slack, William I - Age 13, Male, White, Birthplace: Kansas

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Thanks to C.J. Laird for transcribing this journal and contributing it to this web site.

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