Thomas Claude (known as T.C.) Bibb was born March 17, 1874 in Vandalia, Missouri. He came to Comanche County, Kansas in 1878 and worked for the Biddle Ranch; later he worked for
J.W. York. He met Gertie Josephine Dunn of Kiowa County, Kansas and they were married Oct. 3, 1900 under the trees on the Mills Ranch, Kiowa County, Kansas. This ranch was later known as the Briggs Ranch. Gertie Josephine was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Dunn. Gertie was born in Joplin, Missouri, September 1, 1879 and moved with her family to Kansas at an early age.
The young couple started housekeeping in Coldwater where their two oldest children, Viola and Claude, were born. The family moved to Missouri in 1905 and stayed until 1909. They moved back to Coldwater and remained there to raise their growing family. T.C. was a well driller and was very busy drilling wells in the surrounding counties and northern Oklahoma. He worked at this trade until 1921. During the early years, he ran a theatre in Coldwater. As this was the days of silent films, a local lady, Mrs. Haun, played the piano during the shows. In 1921, T.C. sold his drilling equipment and started a trucking business. He continued in this business until he retired. He hauled cattle, hogs, wheat or any other commodity that needed to be moved by the farmers of the area.
In the early 1900's the Christian Church was organized, and T.C. and Gertie became early members. They were baptized in the creek west of Coldwater, known as the Harbaugh Place. The Christian Church held their meetings in the Opera House over the Peoples State Bank until a church was built in 1908.
Gertie died March 26, 1941. and T.C. died Dec. 24, 1948. Both are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery close to the community that they loved.
Eleven children were born to T.C. and Gertie Bibb. All attended the Coldwater schools and became a part of the community life.
- Viola Bibb, born Jan. 20, 1902, husband, Jack Hackney, 3 children.
- Claude Bibb, born Dec. 19, 1903, wife, Leota Duncan, 1 son.
- Emma Mae Bibb, born March 17, 1906, husband, Alonzo Richardson, 7 children.
- Josephine Bibb, born Jan. 26, 1908, husband, Carl Meyers, 1 son.
- Charlie Bibb, born April 24, 1910, wife, Doris McMinimy, 3 children.
- Anna Bibb, born March 4, 1912, husband, Mac Magera.
- Lelah Bibb, born March 20, 1914, husband Fay Westergard.
- Clyde Bibb, born April 17, 1916, wife, Evelyn Smith, 2 children.
(After Evelyn's death, Clyde married Joan Bibb.)
- Lottie Bibb, born Jan. 15, 1918, husband, Leslie R. Mills, 2 children.
- Victor Bibb, born Aug. 27, 1922, wife, Joan, 2 children.
- Virgil Bibb, born Feb. 22, 1924, wife, Alice, 1 son.
Only one daughter still lives in Coldwater. Lottie Mills lives in Coldwater, and Clyde's two children, Clydean Bibb McMillen and Clark Bibb live in Coldwater. Emma Mae's daughter, Patricia Joyce Richardson Dunn lives on a ranch in Comanche County.
Comanche County History, page 254, The Comanche County Historical Society, Coldwater, Kansas, 1981. (Transcribed by Bobbi Huck for this site.)
The Western Star, December 31, 1948.
Death Comes to Pioneer Well DrillerT. C. Bibb Struck by Auto, Death Follows Paralytic Stroke
Funeral services for T. C. Bibb, who passed away December 24 in El Dorado, Kans., were held in the Christian church in Coldwater at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 27, and were in charge of the pastor, George Brown. Mrs. M. E. Haun and Mrs. Gene Dorsey sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Jessie Robertson.
Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery near this city. The active pall bearers were Paul Evans, Harold Daniel, Muriel Gregg, Lloyd Coles, Gomer Lemon and Clifford Smith and the honorary pall bearers were Earl Martin, A. J. Six, Alvah York, Bert Griffith, M. L. Zerby and Carl Rathbun.
While Mr. Bibb was crossing a street in El Dorado, Kans., on December 18, he was knocked down by a car which was backing from a curb. He suffered a broken hip and knee and on December 22 suffered a paralytic stroke from which he failed to recover.
Thomas Claude Bibb, eldest son of Webster and Mary Bibb, was born March 17, 1874, in Audrian county, Missouri, and passed away in the Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado, Kans., at 9:20 a.m. December 24, 1948, at the age of 74 years, 9 months and 6 days.
He came to Coldwater in 1897, making Comanche county his home until about two years ago, when he moved to El Dorado. Tom, as he was known to all who knew him, worked on the Biddle ranch in the southeastern part of this county, ran a livery stable in the early days of Coldwater and was a well driller for many years. Later he became a trucker.
Hundreds of wells all over Comanche and Clark counties were drilled by Mr. Bibb, many of them more than 200 feet deep, and they are still bringing forth an unfailing supply of water for herds of cattle year after year. He was a good workman, a kind father and a good citizen.
On October 3, 1900, Mr. Bibb was united in marriage in Vandalia, Mo., with Miss Gertie J. Dunn. She preceded him in death on March 26, 1941. To this union were born 11 children, nine of whom survive, with 16 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, one step-grandson, and one niece. His parents, two sisters, one brother, two grandchildren and two daughters, Mrs. Emma Mae Richardson and Anna Magers, preceded him in death.
The surviving children are: Mrs. Viola Hackney and Victor Bibb of Wichita, Josephine Meyers of San Diego, Calif., Charlie Bibb of Springdale, Ark., Mrs. Lelah Shipp and Virgil Bibb of Dodge City, Kans., and Claude and Clyde Bibb and Mrs. Lottie Mills of Coldwater.
Mr. Bibb was united with the Christian church in Coldwater several years ago. The sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of all in the loss of a loved one.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above obituary to this web site!
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