Nate Massey, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Ralph Nathan "Nate" Massey, Jr.


Photo courtesy of Nate Massey.
Ralph Nathan Massey, Jr., U.S. Army, 1943.
Photo courtesy of Nate Massey.

Nate Massey's Service in World War II

S/Sgt R.N. Massey, Service # 37530044, Platoon Sgt., 1st Platoon, KCO, 3rd Battalion, 307th Infantry, Regimental Color Bearer.
Entered service: June 7, 1943.
Discharged: February 13, 1946.
Overseas 24 months
Hospitalized 3 times

Awards and decorations:
American Defense Service Medal
Philippine Liberation
Pacific Theater
Japanese Occupation
Combat Infantry badge
Good Conduct Medal
Unit Citation
5 combat bronze stars
2 Beachhead arrowheads

"Beachhead arrowheads were given to a unit for being in the first wave of an island attack. By the way, the combat bronze stars are not commendation bronze stars but were the small ones that go on the combat ribbons for combat action in major campaigns. I wasn't a hero, just a dumbass footslogger who could shoot pretty good." -- Nate Massey, email to Kim Fowles 28 April 2006.

Off-site links:
United States Army Medals and Awards
Ribbons: Order of Precedence

Islands major campaigns:

Island minor Campaigns:
Aka Shima
Amuro Shima
Kuba Shima
Hokaji - Geruma Shima

Hokiado, Japan

Oahu, Hawaii

Stinson L5 Sentinel aircraft.

Public domain photo.
Stinson L5 Sentinel aircraft of the type flown by Nate Massey

Detached service to 77th Field Artillery Battalion:
Pilot of an Stinson L5 aircraft:
* 283 liasion missions
* 97 ambulance missions
* 1 explosive drop
* 1 strafing
* transferred back to the infantry.

"I had my pilots license when I was 16 hoping to make flying my career but when I tried to enlist found out I couldn't pass the color blind test, anyway the opportunity came for me to get assigned on temporary duty to the the Artillery who had the liaison planes, so I flew a Stinson L5 for a while until I got in trouble for not sticking to routine missions and got transferred back to being a platoon sgt. I wasn't very smart but was pretty gutty. I got my license from Swinson Aviation at Pratt. One of the Swinson boys, I think Earl, was an instructor. They had Piper Cubs and Taylor cub trainers. The airfield at that time was about 2 miles east and 1/2 mile north of Pratt." -- Nate Massey, email to Kim Fowles 28 April 2006.

"Nate mailed me some information on his military service last night. He included photocopies of some photos. The photo of Nate in uniform is his photo. The three other photos are from a history of his division Ours To Hold It High - The History of the 77th Infantry Division in World War II by the Men Who Were There. He provided the above handwritten details of his service." -- Note from Kim Fowles to Jerry Ferrin, 27 April 2006.

Zamami Shima: H-hour is near as amphibious tractors head for the beach, March 26, 1945.

Sgt. Nate Massey is the man at far left, directly beneath the white star.

Photo from 'Ours To Hold It High - The History of the 77th Infantry Division in World War II'.

Courtesy of Nate Massey.
Zamami Shima: H-hour is near as amphibious tractors head for the beach, March 26, 1945.
Sgt. Nate Massey is the man at far left, directly beneath the white star.
Photo courtesy of Nate Massey.

Photo from 'Ours To Hold It High - The History of the 77th Infantry Division in World War II'.

Courtesy of Nate Massey.
Sgt. Nate Massey is the soldier standing at right.
Photo courtesy of Nate Massey.

Photo from 'Ours To Hold It High - The History of the 77th Infantry Division in World War II'.

Courtesy of Nate Massey.
An Engineer cat clears a 10-foot snowdrift in Sapparo.
Sgt. Nate Massey is standing just to the right of the bulldozer.
Photo courtesy of Nate Massey.

Off-site links to related historical sites:

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July-10 August 1944)

U.S. 77th Infantry Division

Combat Chronicle: 77th Infantry Division

307th Regiment: Lineage and Honors Information

LIBERATION — Guam Remembers: A Golden Salute for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam

Above: Shoulder sleeve insignia of the 77th Infantry Division, known as the "Statue of Liberty" Division.

Nate Massey's Memories

Collected anecdotes from his messages to Kim Fowles and Jerry Ferrin.

Sam Helton

Sam Helton.  Photo courtesy of Beth Larkin Davis.

At right: Sam Helton. Photo courtesy of Beth Larkin Davis.

There is an interesting story about Sam Helton, I don't know if it was ever put in writing or not about him being caught up on the prairies coming from Hutchinson and being chased by a group of Indians on horse back and he outrun them for 2 days before making it to safety, the number of miles used to be repeated when I was a kid but I can't remember what they were, whatever it was it was phenomenal, like 50 to 60 miles.

-- Email from Nate Massey to Kim Fowles, 9 Oct 2005.

Lighning / Bill Garten / Radio


I don't know if there was a connection (with the story about 2 cowboys struck by lightning near Sun City) but Ed Larkin was struck and killed by lighting, I think in the Deerhead area. He was a brother to Nick and Johnny Larkin and I think his wife's name may have been Winnie. Kenny Larkin, who would be a grandson of George Larkin, may have some info on that. Kenny's dad was Fred Larkin.

Billie H. Garten.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

At left: Billie H. Garten

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Also, on Bill Garten: he was one of the fastest persons I've known for the first three steps, he was our catcher when we were playing high school and town team baseball and, since the school couldn't afford a left hand catcher's mitt, he had to make do by using a right hand mitt on the wrong hand. It didn't bother Bill though.

I think he was returning to Coldwater from Protection when he ran into the bridge abutment, he loved playing for the country, and barn dances. I used to watch his dad patiently teaching him how to play the fiddle (violin) left handed.

One of our neighbors to the west was the Bud Garten family, they were the nicest and most gentle people you could know. The amazing thing: Bud & Pearl his wife, along with 2 sons, Guy and Roy, and a daughter Opal were all very accomplished (not country corn) musicians - also a grandson Dale Garten. Pearl played the organ or a piano, Bud a banjo or guitar, Roy and Opal violins and Dale drums and I think a guitar. I think Guy played the stringed instruments also.

They would entertain several of the neighbors on occasion and it was a real treat, remembering this was in the 1930's using kerosene or Aladdin and Coleman lanterns as about 1 out of 10 homesteads had electricity or running water.

Radios were very scarce and had lousy reception and kept Joe Woods hopping to keep them operating so we could catch the two or three programs we listened to. Dad splurged and bought a large Emerson or RCA and put up a 30 ft antenna so that he could listen to any sport broadcasts available and we really had a lot of friends and family visiting us whenever the big name athletes were performing, never missed a championship boxing match that I can recall.

You and Kim sure have regenerated a bunch of memory bank brain cells I thought were dormant, thanks a lot.

Nate Massey, 20 August 2005.

Jerry, most of the names mentioned by John Guyer are familiar. Van Lott was born and raised in Sun City, his father George Lott and mother Ella Bird owned the Bank and considerable real estate until one of the employees embezzled the Bank into bankruptcy and committed suicide.

J.P. Woods preached at Wilmore and Sun City several different times and I know that he Baptized J.R. and I along with Hope Massey, Byron Shutts, and Lena Shutts in the Baptistry at Wilmore instead of breaking the ice on the river at Sun City.

Billy Garten was one of my best friends and was one of the natural musicians of the Garten family. He played the violin and guitar both left handed. His father was Hal Garten. Bill's sister Elma married Harold Braggs and they worked for the Robbins ranch for years.

Interesting also was the Gilchrists: Bob G. and J.R. along with Clair and Louise Parcel and Lonnie Emerson all traveled to K state together and I know that Clair and J.R. were roommates at the Farm House Fraternity. Lonnie had a car with a rumble seat and the others all chipped in to pay for the gas . It took a lot of quilts sometimes for the rumble seat riders to stay warm.

Qwenn Woods married Fred Kennedy after the death of her first husband. Fred was the son of Blanche Lott Kennedy daughter of Ella B. and George Lott. World keeps getting smaller all the time doesn't it?

Thanks for the info.

Nate Massey

Mom: the Bronc Rider and Prize Baker

Mom's best friend from Lake City was Lillian Cook. I think she married one of the Lakes. Mom grew up on the old Oldfather farm southwest of Lake and evidently went to elementary school there but graduated from high school at Medicine. She roomed with a doctor at Medicine and kept house for them for room and board. Mom's memory items was that she won the Barber County girls bronc riding contest and also won first in baking at the Hutchinson state fair. She didn't pass along any of this info. J.R. dug it up in some old papers some place.

-- Nate Massey, 18 August 2005.

Memories of "Aunt Bird" by Nate Massey

Aunt Bird - Ella Bird (Van Horn) Lott - was one of the favorites of our family. One of my most memorable associations with her was when I was 3 or 4 years old and was ushered into the Baptist church every Sunday morning for a 2 to 3 hour session of J.P. Woods oratation on hell, damnation and hard wooden pews wearing long handled wool underwear and wool knickers outers. It was hard enough for me to remain still or quiet for more than 10 minutes in comfortable clothes let alone in itchy scratch wooleys and would squirm and wiggle and Mom would do her best to subdue me but after about an hour of the session she would grab me by the arm and out the east door we would go I think to a lot of Amens from the dignified congregation and especially J.P.

Well, we would head for Aunt Bird's who lived just south of the high school at that time and she would drag my little reluctant butt into Ella B.'s and give it a going over with either a switch or a piece of stove kindling which ever was handiest and I would go through the pain and suffering act for a few minutes. The whole reward though was Aunt Bird would take me up on her lap and sooth me and tell Mom I shouldn't me made to endure that torture that I was too young to understand and then give me a big piece of fresh baked pie to ease my suffering.

That program worked pretty good for awhile and I now wonder if maybe Mom may have sort of took a little advantage of my misbehavior to visit Aunt Bird also.

Aunt Bird and Mom were very close friends and we visited her often.

-- Nate Massey, 16 August 2005.

Sun City Basketball Team, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

L-R: George Selig (coach), Junior Fittro, Mead Adams, Ernest Keller, Nate Massey, Mark McLain, Jack Adams, Marlin Kramer, Billy Garten, C.R. McDougal. Supt.

Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.
Sun City Basketball Team, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

L-R: George Selig (coach), Junior Fittro, Mead Adams, Ernest Keller, Nate Massey, Mark McLain, Jack Adams, Marlin Kramer, Billy Garten, C.R. McDougal. Supt. ("This was the year we went to the state: I was a soph. this year, Mark was a senior. We only lost 2 games this year, one to Sharon by 1 pt. and to Alamena in the state." - Nate Massey)
Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.

Nate Massey - 44, Mark McLain - 99, Sun City Basketball Team, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.
Nate Massey - 44, Mark McLain - 99 (First cousins)
Sun City Basketball Team, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.

Sun City - Wilmore Basketball Games

Jerry, thanks for the info from the Wilmore area.

I was born in 1925 so my ball days were from about 1940 until graduation in 1943. Then I went into the Army, spent 27 months in the Pacific and ended up as a Platoon Sgt. in the 77th Infantry Division. I went to KState on the GI Bill and a BB scholar ship, then broke my leg in 1948 and that ended my ball playing.

I sent Kim clippings my dad kept of some of my basketball games while he was hospital bound, she might share those with you. The two games that year with Wilmore I made 44 pts. one game and 51 the next game so I don't think I was very popular with the Wilmore fans.

According to the clipping, the Wilmore team was: Ward, Nielson, Lawrence, Schenk, G. Wood, Smith and R. Wood.

I do remember playing the year before against Bob McCorkle, Red York and I think a Downing. I think Jay Peppard was coach but am not sure.

Thanks again. Nate Massey

(15 Aug 2005)

"Thought you would enjoy these excerpts for the webpage you have of the Sun City Basketball team. Nate Massey provided these to me. He wrote: 'Some old men have played basketball also! Season 1941-42.' The articles are not dated, but it appears they are from The Pratt Daily Tribune -- Kim Fowles, email to Jerry Ferrin, 6 April 2006.

Massey Runs Riot At Sun.
Personally takes Care of Team's Points as Sun City Defeats Wilmore, 79 to 13

Sun City, Jan. 21 - Nate Massey established what may be a high school record here last night as he dumped in 24 field goals and three free throws for a total of 51 points as his torrid teammates drubbed Wilmore high school basketball team, 79 to 13.

Massey's exhibition was one of Kansas high school's all-time greats, regardless of whether he actually established an all-time scoring record. His fast-breaking teammates fed him the ball constantly and with an unerring eye he dumped in field goals at the rate of one every 90 seconds.

Sun City Five Goes on Spree.
Score 82 Points in Routing Isabel High School
at Sun City Last Night.

Sun City, Jan. 10 - Sun City high school's sensational basketball team had its head in the clouds here last night as it blazed over an amazed Isabel high school cage squad to an 82 to 21 victory. The Sun Citians boomed in baskets from all angles as they averaged more than 2.5 points per minute throughout the four quarters of play. Leading in the higher mathematics was Massey, who totaled 32 points, and Adams, who made 28.

Hardtner is Taken By Sun

Sun City, Jan 1. Again it was Nate Massey who paced the Sun attack, dumping in 12 field goals and 3 free throws for a 27 point total. Adams was next high scorer with 17 points.

Sun City Faith is Strong.
The Town Would Pit Team Against Any

Sun City, Feb. 11 -- It is the general consensus in this rugged little gyp mining cow town that Sun City's 31 pupil high school has the best basketball team in the state of Kansas ... Cowboys and gyp miners and just plain citizens from its environs haven't tried to conceal the fact. It was a happy day when they learned they were going to get a chance to build up their case. Their own high school Hornets will buzz up to Pratt Saturday night to meet Macksville high school another Kansas class B team which has been some tall talking and playing.

For a long time it looked as though the Sun City challenges would find no takers. Sylvia once suggested an exhibition game but after a little more thought decided to take on the easier Buhler high school squad.

"It ain't braggin when you can produce," Dizzy Dean once declared, and that's just the reason Sun City fans don't think they're bragging when they talk of their tams chances in the state tournament this year. Why, last year's team went to the quarter finals and last year's team didn't hold a candle to this year's red hot Hornets.

The Hornets have played 13 teams so far this year. They have won 13 games . . . Nate Massey the fair haired forward who wears number 44 jersey, to date has chunked in almost 400 points personally, averaging about 30 points a game. He dropped in 51 points in one 32 minute session to set a Kansas high school record. Those, too, are facts. But Massey isn't the entire Sun City team. Jack Adams, who carries number 55 on his jersey, has an average of 17 points per game -- which is nothing to sniff at. Against Coldwater her got 22. If Massey ever should be cold some night -- a rare possibility -- Adams can jump in to bring the Hornets through.

Other starters, all boys who are essential to the high scoring Sun City machine, are Bodenhamer, Garten, and Sooter, who wear jersey numbers 22, 77 and 33, respectively.

Coach is King. Coach of this amazing outfit of goal threaders is Leicester T. King, first year at Sun City and not long ago out of Emporia Teachers. He was on the spot last fall when he took over the Sun City team, but he's sitting on the top of the town right now. . . . He went on record today as saying without reservations "We believe we can defeat Macksville."

Artha Lee (Van Horn)  Surber nee Massey with her grandsons (and grandson in law) who were serving in WWII:

Back row: Nathan Massey, Mark McLain, Max McLain,
Front row: Richard Moss (Mim Massey's husband), Grandmother Artha Lee (Van Horn) Massey Surber, Joe Massey.

John Massey  (also serving in WWII)  is missing at time of picture.

Photo courtesy of Lee Massey Ives.
Artha Lee (Van Horn) Massey Surber with her grandsons (and grandson in law) who were serving in WWII:
Back row: Nathan Massey, Mark McLain, Max McLain.
Front row: Richard Moss (Mim Massey's husband), Grandmother Artha Lee (Van Horn) Massey Surber, Joe Massey.
John Massey (also serving in WWII) is missing at time of picture.
Photo courtesy of Lee Massey Ives.

Artha Lee (Van Horn) Massey Surber

I never thought that my generation would be the old folks. Grandma Artha had the right idea -- she would see to it that her clan got together for a meal, picnic or bull session about every two weeks, and the grandkids had to stop by her house everyday for a granny kiss or you was on her hit list and that was not a place to be.

She would sit and glow listening to her 4 kids, Dad (Ralph), Uncle Ray, Aunt Ruth (McLain) and Aunt Ruby (Murphy) spin their yarns and everyone laughing and adding their bit. Uncle Rob and his family would come from Chicago about 1 week every year and the entire week was a shut down on the ranch and at least 4 hours of every day was spent entertaining the big city folks.

Grandma was a very intelligent and a pretty sly and cunning lady and usually had control of everything whether you knew you were being controlled or not.

One of her favorite programs was when they were interviewing preachers for the Baptist church was to have him out for a big Sunday dinner and then challenge him on reciting Bible verses from memory, I think she almost had the Bible memorized.

Thanks, Kim.

-- Nate Massey, 14 Aug 2005.

Ralph Nathan Massey Jr., David Dean Massey & John Robert Massey.

Photo courtesy of Kim Fowles.
Ralph Nathan Massey Jr., David Dean Massey & John Robert Massey.
Sons of Ralph and Blanche Massey
Photo courtesy of Kim Fowles.

"Ralph's three boys left to right
P.V.T. Ralph Nathan Massey Jr age 18
A.S.N. 375 300 44
Co.D. 78th Inf. Bn
Camp Robert Calif.
David Dean Massey age 12 who like Kent is doing a man's work with a tractor cultivating, disking and plowing and other ranch work.
P.V.T. John Robert Massey, age 20
I have given his address with the picture in uniform. We haven't Ralph N's they sent him right out after he was inducted."
-- Photo caption by Artha Surber in her own handwriting about her grandsons.

From left: Mark McLain, J.R. Massey and Nate Massey at McLain's Roundup.

Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.
From left: Mark McLain, J.R. Massey and Nate Massey at McLain's Roundup.
Photo courtesy of Brenda McLain.

Basketball / Indians & Spanish Artifacts

Dad saved clippings from the Pratt Daily Tribune of my basketball games when I was a junior. Dad was very ill at this time and missed a lot of my games, he was really a driving inspiration to all of us boys and some times it was rather difficult playing without him being present to encourage us. Dad never criticized our performances and when we didn't do too well he would point out the positive things, not the negatives. Dad was only 54 when he passed away and had been very ill for about 4 years.

The memo about the Indian site is very interesting, dad unearthed a site about 200 yds. east of the old Massey homestead while digging for fill sand, he stated there were several Indian relics in it.

Melvin Keller unearthed a Spanish metal helmet at the corner north of Sun and about 100 yds east while loading sand to put on the roads, I think that would have been in the mid 30's, I think the helmet was sent to one of the colleges, I know it wasn't kept around Sun.

Several of us boys - Dale Winnop, Bill Hugh Froman, Billy Joe Sooter and myself found an Indian campsite just south of the Medicine River Bridge at Sun. It was about 200 yds south on the east side of the road in what used to be a small field, after a rain the upper layer of soil would be washed away and on several occasions we would gather up 30 to 40 artifacts including a lot of complete arrowheads, parts of stone knives, hatchets or tomahawks, some pottery pieces. Dale Winnop ended up with the gatherings and I think that he turned at least some of them over to the State Fish Hatchery at Pratt. I took my daughter to the site several years ago and located a few flint items.

On different occasions we have ran across metal arrowheads in the pasture north of the old Massey house, there are numerous Buffalo wallows up on the upper flats where the springs are.

Thanks again. Nate.

Anecdotes about Ralph Massey and Reverend Woods

"Dad was 26 and Mom was 23 when they were married by Rev. J.P. Woods in the Sun City Baptist Church. Dad was pretty ornery and one Sunday morning he had slipped a deck of cards into J.P.'s top coat pocket handkerchief. Usually about half way through his hell and damnation sermon he would whip out the handkee to wipe the sweat off his brow and when he did the cards come flying out all over the alter, and naturally cards were the handy work of the devil!!!!!! Woods calmly picked the cards and stated to the congregation that it was evident that Ralph Massey was present today.

Old preach got even with Dad on the wedding day (1916) by jacking the rear wheels of Dad's and Mom's get away car up so that it wouldn't move and the crowd gave them a gala shower of all sorts of produce and other items I guess."

-- Nate Massey, July 2005.

Nate Massey's Memories re: Lyle Bullock

He could sure drop off into lala land in a hurry when playing cards. Lyle wasn't too fond of domestic household games.

He acquired his gimpy leg by breaking it roping goats at Belvedere with the Easlic boys, naturally on Sunday so our grandma's Ella B. (Ella Bird Van Horn Lott) and Artha L. (Artha Lee Van Horn Massey) said it served him right for roping on Sunday.

Dad (Ralph Massey) got Lyle in trouble one time though. About 3 or 4 people in Sun had 1928 Chevy cars of the same model and color, Dad and Lyle being two of them. Lyle was mail carrier and returned from his route about 4:00 p.m. everyday.

There was a family by the name of Williams that lived east of Hully Hosses, north of Gregories, whose matriarch was pretty well endowed with football playing capabilities both in the physical and mental attributes and the vocabulary of a mules skinner. She drove one of the old model cars that you couldn't see out the rear view mirror. Well on this particular day she was heading west on Main Street to the Ora Adams’ corner which was a pure 90 degree turn with the option of going on west into a wheat field up and over about a 3 foot rise. Ralph came up behind her and started pushing her at a rate where she couldn't make the corner and ended up out in Monty's (Monte Ward) wheat field pretty well mired down in the sandy soil.

After several minutes she was able to get back on the street and promptly returned to the loafing benches in front of the old hardware where the usual spectators and loafers were sitting and walked straight up to dad and addressed him in a completely unladylike manner and threatened to stomp his rear quarters into the Sun City landscape. Well Ralph calmed her down and let her know he would never do a thing like that and she had mistaken his car for little short Lyle Bullock’s, who had just then pulled up and parked.

Mrs. Williams stomped over and caught Lyle just as he emerged out of his car and recited 4 verses of a Calvary SSgt. requiem to a team of mules and lifted him off the ground about 6 inches to her eye level and shook him like a rag doll until she got tired. Lyle had a natural stutter anyway and never got to prove his innocence. I don't think he ever knew who set him up.

This was probably one of the least exciting of the Sun City recreation happenings.

-- Nate Massey, July 2005.

More of Nate Massey's Memories re: Lyle Bullock

(From an email to Jerry Ferrin, 20 August 2005.)

Lyle was a very placid person with a neat sense of humor and the most amusing laugh you ever heard - not to be embarrassingly descriptive, but it sounded like a goat bleating. Sorry, but that's how it sounded.

I know that Lyle spent time in the service in WWI as he showed me some of his uniforms on one visit.

I would go hunting with Lyle sometimes, both quail and coyote. Lyle had several guns and I was allowed to use them on occasion - by the way there weren't any quails hunted on Ada Blanches (Mom's) premises as she fed them and they were to be left strictly alone. Anyway, what she didn't know must not have hurt her too much in our opinion.

Lyle had a couple of pointers (dogs) and when he was bedridden for several weeks I would shoot jackrabbits and bring into his dogs and visit with him, by the way he covered his little bald head with a pointed night cap which was amusing to me for some reason.

Lyle was overly generous with his kindness and would do anything within his capabilities to care for his mail route patrons, running errands, carrying messages, fixing tires for the ladies, and often seeing that some of the more needy had necessities. That was not general public knowledge .

Evidently Aunt Ruby and Lyle must have had an interest in each other in their younger days, as they rekindled their relationship after Uncle Tom passed away.

I think that Hope, Mim or Lee would be a much more informative source on Lyle than I am.

Thanks for your info, I really enjoy it.


Ralph Massey's Baseball Career

Grandad (J.P. Massey) was a strong advocate on continuing education and saw to it that on finishing high school the children were directed into advanced schooling, Dad (Ralph), being the oldest, was sent to Salt City Business College at Hutchinson.

Dad was an outstanding baseball pitcher, being 6 ft. 5 in. tall and very strong physically, and attracted the attention of the minor leagues and eventually the majors. In fact there was a contract from the Philadelphia White Sox signed by Connie Mack along with a picture of them in the old upstairs chest for a number of years.

Grandad was sending expense money to Dad monthly and when the checks weren't being cashed and they were not able to contact Dad, Grandad went to call on his oldest son to find out what the problem was and found out Ralph N. was playing baseball with some semipro team, before going pro.

Grandad promptly demoted him back to the ranch and furthered his education personally until the accident.

Dad played baseball locally for several years but injured his arm playing ball. Another interesting aspect was that Carl Reipe was Dad's catcher as well as one of his high school teachers and related to us boys Dad's pitching abilities.

Dad always encouraged us boys in sports, and J.R. played on the baseball team at K state, I played a little basketball up there and Dave played football and wrestled for the Cats.

Uncle Ray was sent to a mechanical training school in Kansas City, Missouri, after he graduated; Aunt Ruby to a business college and Uncle Rob to University of Illinois in Chicago. I think Aunt Ruth was married after school and didn't have the opportunity to proceed, she was an accomplished piano player receiving lessons from I.O.Sherrod.

-- by Nate Massey, 10 August 2005.

Nate Massey's Memories of Tull Balding

Tull did some work for Grandma Massey on the old Massey ranch and built two or three what we called the hen house, the brooder house and the main chicken house in the side of the hill east of the main house.

I was 9 years old when Tull died but spent some very interesting days visiting him as he was living in Gene and Lyle Bullock's house about 3/4 of mile up the rail road tracks from Sun towards our place.

I would take our little single shot .22 and shoot rabbits and take to Lyle's dogs and visit with the Bullocks and Tull.

They all had an interest in guns and Tull had a very interesting lever action - I believe it was a 44-40 with some brass embelishment on it or some engraving - that he was very proud of at that time though he was nearly blind and was taking care of Bullock's chickens and what few head of livestock they had.

I think at that time Gene was mayor of Sun City and also constable or deputy sheriff and was a rather imposing old gentleman himself, tall slender and some times wore a 44 Colt hanging on his right side while enforcing some of his duties.

Tull never related any of his history at any time I was around, but I do remember one time a photo was shown at one of our family gatherings that had a picture of a gang and Skeeter's picture was in it and Mom was so startled and exclaimed "that guy Skeeter looks just like our Tull" which it should have.

I don't remember Tull coming into Sun but very vividly remember Rafe Walker when he arrived, Rafe was about 6'3" tall and slender and was dressed completely in black with his trousers legs tucked in black shiny boots, had on a black split-tailed jacket and a black flat-topped, wide-brimmed Stetson, I remember him striding the full length of main street, all 3 blocks up one side and down the other and don't think he spoke to anyone, I know he walked to Uncle Ray's and then came over to our place north of the river and visited with Dad before walking on west to the Walker home place. I never saw him or heard of him again.

It's a shame that some of us didn't record more of the earlier history, isn't it?

-- E-mail from Nate Massey to Jerry Ferrin, 6 Jan 2008.

Also see:

Mike Massey, son of Nate Massey. Michael Massey served in Vietnam: U.S. Army, Company D, 40th Signal Battalion, 160th Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade, USStratcom.

David Massey: Memories of Barber County People and Events

Joseph P. Massey, father of Ralph Nathan Massey, grandfather of Nate Massey.

Joe Massey, first cousin of Nate Massey.

John Robert Massey, D.D.S., brother of Nate Massey.

Hylon Hope (Massey) Howard, first cousin of Nate Massey.

Nate Massey
* Photos: Sun City Basketball Teams
* Comment: Homestead of John & Sarah (Wiggle) Young
* Comments & anecdotes: Ralph and Blanche Massey's family
* Anecdotes: Practical Jokes & Back Fired Actions
* Comments: Cornish/Harrington Cemetery (near Sun City)
* Comments: Tull Balding
* Anecdotes: Rev. John Presley Woods

Heh, heh, heh... What the...? Uuugh!  HEY!!!
Practical Jokes & Backfired Actions:
A few stories from Barber County, Kansas

Courtesy of David and Nate Massey

This RootsWeb website is being created by Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book. This page was created 16 August 2005 and last updated 6 January 2008.