One of the early-day town builders and all around boosters for Comanche-co during the 80s (1880s) and the early 90s (1890s) was Darcey E. Dunne. He figured conspicuously in politics as well as in the role of town booster. At the November election in 1891 he was elected as a republican to the office of county clerk of this county, defeating J. B. Curry, democrat, and R. A. Strain, Alliance. Two years later he was re-elected to the same office, defeating W. J. Pepperd, democrat, by six votes. During the latter 90s Mr. Dunne moved to Wichita and has since made that city his home. For a number of years he was engaged in the bond brokerage business in that city and is prominent in the business circles of the southwest. Mr. Dunne writes the Western Star as follows regarding some of his early-day impressions in Comanche-co:
Wichita, Kansas, May 30, 1922.
Editors Western Star:
I am requested to write you a few lines in regard to my memories of Comanche county. When I think of Comanche county, it is always with a feeling of appreciation and gratitude. I have read many letters printed in the Star from old-timers and former citizens with much interest. Nearly every subject has been discussed. Much of the history of the county has been reported in these letters. However, here is one thought that comes to me that is worthy of special emphasis and is worth while to discuss. I know of no more appropriate word to give expression to that thought, than "hospitality."
The country was new. The people were strangers to each other. The past was forgotten. The future was hopeful. The newcomers were received with a welcome I have never observed elsewhere. Passing through Coldwater in the year 1884, to my father's claim eight miles west, we were greeted most cordially by the citizens of Coldwater. As I recall it now, real estate men (land office men), lawyers, merchants, in fact every class of business and avocation was represented, it seemed to me, and we were overwhelmed with questions of personal interest; questions like the following, I remember: "Are you going to locate with us?" "Are you going to locate in this county?" "Have you filed on your claim?" "Have you any contest?" "Where are you located?" "We are glad to meet you." "We wish you all kinds of good luck." "Come and see us again." "If we can do anything for you, don't hesitate to command us."
These men made us feel that we had located in the best community in the state. We camped over night on the town site, a short distance west of the business center of the town. That evening standing around our camp, I looked overhead at the sky, I looked westward and thought of our new home only a few miles away; I looked around and everything seemed so new, so clean and so fresh, so buoyant and so hopeful. I looked over Main street, the two rows of business houses, the town well and the windmill and I felt very proud of Coldwater. I thought of the hospitable reception, and I thought that we had settled in the finest community in the state. I have learned from observation since, that same spirit of the West prevailed in Clark, Kiowa, Meade and other western counties. While that is a characteristic spirit of the West, I still feel that the hospitality of the people of Comanche-co. was excelled nowhere in the state. If I could now will it otherwise, I would not have spent that portion of my life lived in that county in any other place I know. Men where measured by what they hoped to be rather than what they had been. The variety of experience is a schooling that cannot be obtained in any university I know. Every note known to music in the scale of human experience from optimism to pessimism was sounded. The receptions given in the West to newcomers was so fine and unselfish that the old timers will always cherish them in their memories and they will never be forgotten.
Yours very respectively,
D. E. DUNNE
About Comanche-co.'s 11 County Clerks
The Western Star, April 13, 1927.
Snake Story The Western Star, May 26, 1896.
Coldwater Centennial Notebook, 1884 - 1984 by Evelyn Reed
Comanche County Officers, 1885 - 2007
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