Owen Connaughton was born at Hamilton, Ohio, Oct. 2, 1844 and died at the Kansas Sanitarium, Wichita, Kansas, July 23, 1918, aged 73 years, 9 months and 21 days. He spent the few first years of his life in Hamilton where he enjoyed a happy boyhood, and he often referred to those happy days in what he called "The Ideal Boy Town." In later years he presented his grandson with the story called "A Boy Town," which is a description of boy life in pre-civil war times at Hamilton, Ohio the writer of that book having lived there.
His mother died when he was a small child and his father remarried soon and to this union several children were born, the only survivor being his half brother, Joseph, who accompanied the family of his son John, to Protection last Thursday, together with a nephew, John by name, both of whom live at Hamilton, Ohio. His father died when he was 11 years old and he began the battle of life alone.
At the out break of the Civil War he enlisted in the 60th Indiana and on expiration of enlistment re-enlisted in the 160 Indiana Infantry. After the Civil War he came west and worked with an Engineer Corps then engaged in building the Santa Fe through Kansas and on into New Mexico. Following this in 1869, he bought railroad land in Crawford Co., Kansas, where he was married in 1878 to Francis Priscilla Bennett.
To this union 3 children were born, two, John and Thad at Girard, and Joe near Protection. The family came to Comanche county in July 1884 where he resided until his death. They settled on a homestead just south of the city of Protection, being the very first settlers in the festal little Kiowa-Bluff Creek valley.
In a few months others came among whom were the Moores, Wuchters, and Baxters, and it was to the home of this old neighbor, Grandma Moore that the body was taken last Thursday when brought to Protection. The mother died in 1887 leaving the father and three children, the oldest of whom, John, was 6 years of age. The father kept his boys together and raised them to manhood, giving them educational facilities the county afforded. One son, Thad, died in 1913 and lies beside his mother and father in the Protection cemetery.
Owen Connaughton was six times elected Probate Judge of this county, and it is a source of supreme satisfaction to his family that he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his old neighbors and friends, a tribute to a quiet simple law abiding life.
He was married a second time to Julia Fretz at Coldwater where he lived at the time of his death.
He is survived by his widow, Julia Connaughton of Coldwater, a son John in Headquarters Co., 4th U. S. Infantry signal station now in France and probably at this time on the firing line, two step-daughters, Grace DeLair of Coldwater and Alta of Michigan, three great grandchildren, children of his son John, Lois, Owen and Muriel Connaughton, a half brother Joseph of Hamilton, Ohio, and numerous friends, numbered only by the scope of his acquaintance.
A SHORT TRIBUTE TO FATHER
Words fail me as I start to reduce to writing a word of appreciation of my father. Deprived of my mother at an early age, so early in fact that I hardly remember her, he became father and mother to brothers and I. His counsel and assistance have molded my life, his encouragement, had begotten my ambition. He said to me time and again, "Son, I want to leave you an education if nothing else; that you can use and never loose; other things may get away from you, that cannot."
He was very much concerned about his and tried to aid me although his education was meager and many a long night have we wrestled with Ray's arithmetic together. He did his work well.
I have grown to manhood and embarked in my profession and can look back to the good foundation which my father helped me to lay. His has been a life of self denial for his boys and God Bless, his memory, I shall cherish it thru life.
(by John Connaughton)
Comanche-co.'s Eight Probate Judges
The Western Star, February 18, 1927.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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