Linda Ferry (1843-1923) and her husband, Newell Greeley Rowley (1838-1899) were the parents of the wives of two prominent Barber County residents: Olive Rowley (1873-1946) married George Ralph Walker (1857-1937) and Alice Rowley (1881-1918) married Homer Fred Hoagland (1880-1973). They were the parents of my husband Fred Homer Hoagland (1912- he will be 93 in September).
Newell Greely Rowley was born in Fabius, New York, into a family that dated back to the Mayflower. His family said that he graduated from a university in New York State and was a state legislator from Ononagada County. In the 1860's he left New York to go to Oregon where he hauled freight with a team and wagon. His first wife, whom he married in Oregon, died and left a two year old son. Newell returned to Fabius with his son and shortly after married Linda. This background will give you an idea that Newell had seen some rather rough characters.
Newell left Sun City for Lake City where he had a flour mill. Later he bought over 2,000 acres of land a few miles south of Sun City where he raised cattle. The natural bridge was on part of his land. It was while he lived on the ranch that he served one term as a Barber County commissioner. He and Linda are buried in the Lake City cemetery.
Olive Rowley's youngest daughter, also named Olive, wrote about the family's reception in Sun City: Olive wrote:"... Mother always said the Wild West stories were overdrawn because her father hauled freight in pretty wild country in wild times and he only saw two dead men and one of them had been killed in a logging accident. Only one had been shot. Mamma told about when her family first came to Kansas in 1879 they were living in a house in Sun City. A group of cowboys came riding into town and heard this new family of easterners were there, so, for a little excitement, they rode around the house and shot off their pistols and yelled loudly. Grandmother was scared, of course, so she hid the children in a closet and maybe got in there herself. I can't remember that, anyway, mother's father went to the door and looked out and saw the cowboys were just shooting in the air so he suggested they invite them in to have doughnuts that grandmother had just made. So they did, the children crept out of the closet, the cowboys were grateful for the doughnuts and the new family found out western cowboys weren't as wild as reported. Mamma and Papa both said that if cowboys came by a settler's cabin and saw a woman in the yard they'd yell loudly and maybe shoot off their guns because maybe it had been two to six months since they had even seen a woman."
In 1979, the County Clerk's Office in Medicine Lodge had the following death record: N.G. Rowley, 60, M, W, Married, Cancer, Stomach, Stockman, American, Sun City. Died 1-9-1899. Rept. by Louis Bissantz, Sun City.
In the Probate Court of Barber County are two small boxes of papers containing the records and itemized expenditures of the Administratrix: Linda Rowley, of the Estate of Newell Rowley.
Having made no Last Will and Testament, said deceased had, at time of his death personal property probable value of $20,000.00 . . . deceased left the following heirs:
Linda Rowley, wife, age 53 years.
John Rowley, son, age 30 years.
Olive Walker, daughter, age 26 years.
Nettie Drury, daughter, age 24 years.
Orrin Rowley, son, age 20 years.
Alice Rowley, daughter, age 17 years.
Bond for Linda Rowley as Administratix of N.G. Rowley Estate set at $40,000 on 20 April 1899. Persons who pledged security for her bond: John Young, Thomas Taylor, Geo R. Walker, Ralph B. Walker, John T. Clawson, John S. Knowle, Levi T. Walker, Daniel L. Pierce,
Joe P. Massey, George W. Lukes, Louis Bissantz, O. Mills, Riley Lake, G.G. Shigley, Frank L. Garaber, L.C. Drury, H.C. Walker.
Newell Greeley Rowley and his wife Linda (Ferry) Rowley moved to Barber County, KS from Fabius, NY. before the birth of their youngest child: Alice Marian Rowley who was born in Sun City, Kansas 18 Sept 1881. In 1884, N.G. Rowley purchased at least 17 lots in Lake City, Kansas. In 1895 the Kansas State Census shows N.G. Rowley in Sun City Township with 2,000 acres of which 250 acres were under cultivation.
The Chief, published Medicine Lodge, Kansas, April 1, 1887.
Last Friday morning N.G. Rowley’s son came in from their ranch and reported two of their three horses stolen. Constable John Roller and N.G. Rowley immediately started out to find the thief. Roller went to the southwest part of this county and then to Nescatunga and Coldwater but could find no clue to the thief. Mr. Rowley went to Coldwater and started for No Man’s Land and as yet we have not heard from him. But the horses are now safe at home. One of the horses came home Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening the other two were found tied up in an old house in about one mile of the ranch. The parties that stole them must have weakened or intended to conceal them until the excitement was over. (From the Prairie Dog)
Barber County Index, January 11, 1899.
Obituary: N.G. Rowley
Died: On Monday, January 9, 1899, at 7 o'clock, a.m., death removed N.G. Rowley from our midst.
Mr. Rowley was one of Barber county's oldest and most highly respected citizens. His native state is New York and he was born in the city of Fabius fifty-six years ago. He came to Kansas in 1881 and settled on a farm in Sun City township and has been a constant and an active citizen among us since that time.
He was one of the most successful agriculturists and stockmen in the county and had a large acquaintanceship. He served the third district in the capacity of county commissioner from 1893 to 1896 and was one of the fairest, most conservative men who ever sat on the board.
A wife and five children survive him. A son and two daughters are married, the former residing in the state of Oregon. The others live in the western part of the county.
The deceased had been a sufferer from cancer of the stomach for two years and his death was not unexpected. Yet we are grieved to chronicle the departure.
It is seldom that one comes into contact with a man whose bearing commands instant admiration and respect like that of the subject of this sketch. And it is because of these rare virtues that the parting is doubly sad.
To the widowed wife and other relatives an appreciative people extend most earnest sympathy.
The Barber County Index, June 11, 1902.
Hoagland - Rowley
Homer F. Hoagland and Alice M. Rowley, both of Sun City, were united in marriage by Probate Judge Lacy last Thursday, June 5, 1902.
The groom is one of the most prosperous young farmers of the community in which he lives and the bride is a daughter of the late ex-Commissioner N. G. Rowley. Her mother is now Mrs. Isaac Sharp of this city. Mrs. Hoagland is loved and respected by all who know her and her husband is entitled to the hearty congratulations of his friends.
The Barber County Index, January 1, 1902.
Sharp - Rowley
Isaac Sharp of Virgil, Kansas and Linda Rowley, of Deerhead, were united in marriage in the parlor of the City Hotel on Sunday, December 28, 1901. Probate Judge Lacy performed the ceremony.
Mrs. Rowley is the widow of the late N. G. Rowley, ex-county commissioner who had extensive interests at Sun City. Mr. Sharp is one of the wealthiest men of Greenwood county and a widower. He is J. O. Warren's father-in-law. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp will reside at Virgil.
The Index extends best wishes.
Obituary: Luther C. Drury, son in law of N.G. Rowley.
The Natural Bridge near Sun City, Barber County, Kansas Photos courtesy of Brenda McLain, Kim Fowles and the Kansas Geological Society. Per Kim Fowles, the Natural Bridge was on land once owned by the Rowley family, and owned by the Dickerson family before that.
Thanks to Elizabeth (Covington) Hoagland for contributing the above biography and records to this web site and to Kim Fowles for her help in arranging the contribution!
Thanks to Ellen (Knowles) Bisson for finding, transcribing and contributing the above obituary to this web site and to Shirley Brier for the wedding announcements!
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