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Arthur & Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin


The home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ferrin was the scene of a happy family reunion on Christmas day when all the children and eleven of the thirteen grandchildren gathered in celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary. The occasion, which will long be remembered, was the first meeting of all the family since a similar reunion on Christmas day ten years ago.

To be counted among the pioneers of this section is the tribute which this couple deserve with their record of 39 years in West Powell Township, where they homesteaded in the spring of 1886, after having moved from Holt County, Missouri, to Greenwood County, Kansas, during the previous year. Mr. Ferrin was born in Essex county, New York, May 6, 1848, and Mrs. Ferrin was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, July 8, 1857. Immediately after the Civil War, in 1865, Mr. Ferrin came West to White Cloud, Kansas, where he was engaged in the logging business until 1868 when he moved to a farm in Holt County, and on December 25, 1875, in Oregon, Missouri, he married Alice Eyerly, a teacher in the Holt County schools. From 1886 to 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin lived on their farm in West Powell township, and in the spring of 1913, the couple located in Wilmore.

Those present on Christmas day were: Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Ferrin and children of Pratt; Mr. and Mrs. Elza Holmes and children and Mrs. S.E. Holmes of Coldwater; Earl Ferrin who lives on the old homestead; Mrs. C.E. Fisk of Holland, Missouri; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ferrin of Hutchinson; Mrs. V.E. Rockefeller and daughter of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Mr. and Mrs J. Brammer and children of Rosalia; and Horace Ferrin of Columbia, Missouri.

(This article is from an undated newspaper clipping, which was certainly from one of the Comanche County newspapers.)



The Western Star, December 14, 1923.

Life Sketches of Comanche-co. Pioneers
Some of Their Struggles and Early-day Experiences.

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ferrin

Arthur & Alice Eyerly, photos published 14 Dec 1923 in The Western Star, scan courtesy of Shirley Brier. Three states, New York, Missouri and Kansas have, in succession, been the home of Arthur Ferrin, who is entitled to be ranked among Comanche-co.'s pioneer settlers and who is still one of our most honored citizens. It was in Essex-co., New York, on May 12, 1848, that he was born. But in the year 1866, the year after the close of the Civil War, Mr. Ferrin, who was then but 18 years of age, did what the prompting of his young, ambitious nature led him to do - he came out to the great West to grow up with and become part of it. One of his uncles had settled in the northwestern part of Missouri - Holt-co. - and it was to that place that young Ferrin found his way. There were not many railroads then but that made no difference with a young man so imbued with pluck and ambition as was Arthur Ferrin. He was strong and healthy and capable of enduring much hard work, and many hardships, if need be, and it was needed during the ensuing years.

Arthur went to work for his uncle and made his home with him, helping to get out logs and to clear the land. The country was very sparsely settled at that time. Log cabins were the rule as domiciles for the settlers. It required no small amount of work to clear a tract of land and to make a home, especially along the Missouri river, where considerable timber was found. Logs, mostly cottonwood, oak and elm, were cut and with them rafts were made, which were floated down the Missouri river to a sawmill, which was then located at White Cloud on the Kansas side of the river. The lumber was purchased by the settlers for several miles around for building purposes. The people of northeastern Kansas, as well as northwestern Missouri, patronized the mill. Missouri bottom land at that time cost $12 per acre.

On December 25, 1875, Mr. Ferrin was united in marriage with Miss Alice Everly, who had come to Holt-co. from Jasper-co., Iowa, and the young people at once began homemaking for themselves. For a time they lived on a portion of the uncle's land, then they settled on a prairie farm, where, for several years, they made their home, contending meanwhile with all the drawbacks and reverses, as well as sharing in the prosperity which at times rewarded their labors and their sacrifices.

Arthur's brother, Loren, had also settled in Holt-co. In the early 80's the brothers became interested to a considerable extent, in stock raising, and so looked around for a location in a grass country. For about two years Loren made his home in Greenwood-co., Kans., and Arthur and his family lived there for a little over a year. In March, 1886, they came further west where an unlimited amount of pasture was to be found. They settled in the northwest part of this county, and there began the building of substantial and permanent homes. The county had been organized less than a year. The nearest railroad was still 65 miles away. Mr. Ferrin says that he got here in time to vote for Coldwater as the permanent county seat. Since that time he has been a prominent factor in the development of the county, always standing for the best interest of the people. His time was devoted to farming and stock raising, until about 10 years ago, when he moved to Wilmore, and there in a comfortable home, Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin are spending their declining years, surrounded by many warm friends, whose esteem they so well merit.

Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin have performed well their part in helping to build out of the broad, uncultivated acres the great West, where now are found so many good homes. Mr. Ferrin served Comanche-co. for several years as county commissioner from the Second district, and in that capacity rendered valuable service to his county. He has also served in an official capacity in his home school district, township and city. Not many citizens of the county have had the confidence and high esteem of the people in such large measure as has Mr. Ferrin, all of which accounts for his being classed among our most valuable citizens. Mrs. Ferrin deserves well the high place she holds in the affections of the people. To her family and to her friends she has given her best energies and her constant labors and devotion. It is to such good citizens as Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ferrin that Comanche-co. owes her greatest debt of gratitude, for without such our county would never have been what it is today.

Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin are the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters. They are: Eugene H. Ferrin of Pratt, Earl Ferrin of this county; Fred Ferrin of Hutchinson; Horace Ferrin of Stafford, Kans.; Mrs. Carrie E. Holmes of this city, Mrs. Elsie Fisk of Holland, Mo.; Mrs. Cora Rockefeller of Washington, Pa.; and Mrs. Hazel Brammer of Rosalia, Kans.

(Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing this article for use on this web page!

Arthur & Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin

by Helene Gregg

Arthur Ferrin was born in Essex County, New York, on May 6, 1848, son of Rueben and Hannah (Murch) Ferrin. After the death of his mother, the family moved to Holt County, Missouri.

Sara Alice Cary Eyerly - the original German spelling being Eier when the four brothers immigrated from Germany, to Eyerly in America, so it is concluded that anyone whose name is Eyerly in America is a descendant of the Eiers from Germany - was born to Samuel and Mary (Thuma) Eyerly, and was one of the youngest of 14 children. After landing in Penn., they migrated to Washington County, Iowa. After the death of her father, she was sent to the home of her brother, Erastus, in Holt County, Missouri. Here she met and married Arthur Ferrin on February 25, 1875.


Arthur, with his wife and children, Eugene 9, Carrie 7, Earl 4 and Elsie eighteen months, moved to Greenwood County in 1885, settling near Eureka, Kansas, two years after his brother Loren, his wife Alcana and their daughter Maude had moved there. The families moved to Comanche County permanently in 1886, unloading their teams and househould goods at Kinsley and driving for two days to reach the claims they had previously "staked". Water was a very important part of each claim, and the brothers chose claims with Spring Creek running between the two. Arthur and Loren hauled lumber from Kinsley to build their houses and salt from the Oklahoma plains for their cattle.

Providing for the family was of the first things a pioneer family had to do, so each planted a garden and fruit trees. They canned what vegetables they could, dried fruit from their trees and raised pork and beef for their meat. Wild plums and greens were part of their staple foods, and each year Alice furnished Bob Callaway, who operated a hotel in Coldwater, Kansas, with a keg of kraut, and a keg of cucumbers put down in brine. She also kept the hotel stocked with wild plum butter. Their hardships were many, but being of sturdy stock, they mastered them all.

Eugene and Carried went their first year of school in a dugout, with Miss Jennie Doig as their teacher. Soon after that a sod school was erected. Other children born here were Fred, Cora, Hazel and Horace.

In 1886 or 1887 the Ridge Summit School was built, where the younger Ferrin children attended. Hazel said of the school, "since there was no High School in Wilmore, they just repeated the 8th grade". In later years there was a high school built and Horace graduated from there in 1919. Other Ferrin children sought their education elsewhere and Carrie, Elsie, Cora, Hazel and Horace taught school.

The first church organized in the community was the United Brethren and was a very important part of family life. Their ministers included the familiar names of Rev. Burrill and Rev. Ed Powell.

In 1903 Arthur made a run to the Cherokee Strip, drew a lot, then gave it to a dentist who pulled an ulcerated tooth for him.

Arthur was elected County Commissioner of the 2nd district in Comanche County and served from 1894 through 1904 and Earl Ferrin was elected for the same office and served from 1924 through 1932.

The family moved to their home in Wilmore in 1914 where they enjoyed the rest of their lives together and Earl remained on the family farm.

On Christmas day in 1935, Arthur and Alice celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a very happy and special occasion since all of their eight children, their spouses, and eleven of their thirteen grandchildren were present.

Arthur Ferrin passed away on February 3, 1926, at the family home in Wilmore, and it was said of him that he was a good man, a devoted husband and a splendid citizen.

Alice Ferrin passed away at the Shelley Hospital in Coldwater on March 20, 1943, with pneumonia, after suffering a broken hip. It was said of her that she was one of the most beloved pioneer women in the community. She was lovingly referred to as "Auntie Ferrin" by her many friends.

They were both buried in the family lot in the Wilmore Cemetery, as was Earl Ferrin, who never married.

Helene Gregg, Comanche County History, Comanche County Historical Society, 1981.

The Wilmore News, March 26, 1943.

Obituary: Mrs. Arthur Ferrin

Alice Cary Eyerly, daughter of Samuel M. and Mary Thuma Eyerly, was born in Washington County, Iowa, July 8, 1857. Alice was one of the youngest of fourteen children, all preceding her in death except Harlan Eyerly of South Loup, Nebraska, and Mrs. Mary Lowe of Straut, Iowa.

At the age of fourteen, after her father's death, Alice moved into the home of her brother, Erastus, living in Holt County, Missouri. She was converted at an early age, and at the time of her death was a member of the Methodist Church. While living in Holt County she met Arthur Ferrin, and they married on December 25, 1875. They later moved to Kansas where they finally settled homesteading in Comanche County in 1886.

To this union were born eight children: Eugene Ferrin, Pratt, Kansas; Mrs. Carrie Holmes, Coldwater, Kansas; Earl Ferrin, Wilmore, Kansas; Mrs. Elsie Fish, Steele, Missouri; Fred Ferrin, Pratt, Kansas; Mrs. Cora Rockefeller, Ridgway, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Hazel Brammer, Eldorado, Kansas; and Horace Ferrin, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Besides these eight children, she leaves nineteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Ferrin passed away on March 20, 1943, at Coldwater, Kansas, and will be laid to rest in the Wilmore Cemetery beside her husband, who preceded her in death.

The Wilmore News, December 30, 1915.

A Pleasant Christmas Surprise

Mr. and Mrs. A. Ferrin were invited to take Christmas dinner with their daughter, Mrs. Elza Homes, in Coldwater. They accepted the invitation and when they arrived they found they were not the only guests present - all of their children and their families had gathered there as had been prearranged to take Christmas dinner with them. The pleasure of this surprise may be appreciated more when the fact is known that this is the first time their family had all gathered around the same board in a family reunion.

Those present were, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Ferrin and children, Arthur, Eugene Jr. and Gordon of Pratt; Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Fisk and children, Hazel and Dallas, of Douglas, Missouri; Mr. and Mrs. V. E. Rockefeller of Garden City; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ferrin, and Hazel, Earl and Horace Ferrin of Wilmore.

We believe Mr. and Mrs. Ferrin will agree with us that this was the most pleasant Christmas gift their children could have planned for them.

-- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Wilmore News, "NEW EDEN", April 20, 1906.

Mrs. Arthur Ferrin of Ridge Summit visited several days recently with Mrs. W. J. Pepperd.

-- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Wilmore News, January 18, 1917.

Earl and Horace Ferrin went to Wichita Friday morning of this week to be with their mother who is in a hospital in that city. The doctor and nurse in charge of her case report that she is doing as well as they could expect and that she is recovering from a successful operation.

-- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Wilmore News, February 15, 1917.

Mrs. Arthur Ferrin returned to her home in Wilmore last Saturday after having spent several weeks in the St. Francis hospital at Wichita. Her many friends here are glad to welcome her home and hope she will enjoy the best of health for a long time to come.

-- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Western Star, September 17, 1920.

Mrs. Arthur Ferrin was operated upon at the Wichita hospital Monday morning shortly after eight o'clock. A letter received here Wednesday brought good news that the operation was apparently successful and she seemed to be recovering as fast as could be expected.

-- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Wilmore News, December 3, 1937.


Mrs. Arthur Ferrin was hostess to a family reunion held at her home Sunday, November 28. Dinner was served at noon to: Mr. and Mrs. Horace Ferrin and children of Britton, Oklahoma, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Ferrin and children of Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Brammer and children of Rosalia; Mrs. Elsie Fisk of Blythville, Mo., Mr. and Mrs. Holmes of Medicine Lodge, Mrs. Holmes Sr. of Coldwater, Mr. and Mrs. Merle Gregg and daughter of Coldwater; Mrs. Helen McKinney and daughter of Wichita, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Rankin and son of Ashland, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ferrin and children of Pratt, Mrs. Fred Ferrin's mother, Mrs. La Nore, also of Pratt, Mr. Earl Ferrin, Mrs. Loren Ferrin, Mrs. Maude Wadkins, Mrs. Smith and Mr. Pepperd of Coldwater, who took the pictures of the reunited group in the afternoon. All of Mrs. Arthur Ferrin's children were present except one daughter, Mrs. Victor Rockefeller of Pittsburg, Pa.

The Wilmore News, January 21, 1938.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Ferrin and Mrs. L. Ferrin were in Coldwater Monday. Mrs. L. Ferrin called on Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Griffith, also on Mrs. A. Ferrin who is at the Shelley hospital. -- News article contributed by Shirley Brier.

The Wilmore News, July 15, 1938.


A letter received by Mr. and Mrs. C. _ Austin from Elza Holmes, Jr. Lawrence, Kansas told of his recent marriage to a Lawrence girl and of their wedding trip through the south.

Elza is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elza Holmes of Coldwater and a grandson of Mrs. Alice Ferrin of Wilmore.

Mr. Fred Ferrin visited a while with his mother, Mrs. Arthur Ferrin, Monday afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Ferrin and family and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Bigbee and family visited Mrs. Loren Ferrin and Maude Sunday.

Mrs. Arthur Ferrin and Mrs. Edith Smith were dinner guests at the C. O. Masterson home, Wednesday.

One of the statements made in a compiled family history by Elsie Ferrin Fisk is that Loren Ferrin and his uncle, named Murch, were prospecting in Silver Cliffs, Colorado, when Loren returned to their camp and found that this uncle had committed suicide.

However, I believe that it was Arthur Ferrin, not Loren, who was in Colorado with his uncle. The "1880 Custer County, Colorado Federal Census Index to Heads of Households and Individuals with Surnames Different Than the Head of the Household" listed "Authur" Ferrin in the Silver Cliff precinct, census page 310, and also lists Horace P. Murch, his uncle, on the same page and in the same precinct. - Note by Jerry Ferrin, 20 May 2007.

Census source:



The following link to a satellite view of Comanche County, Ks, on 01 April 1996 shows, in the lower right corner, the location of Arthur & Loren Ferrin's homesteads. Note the "T" intersection of the roads: Arthur's house was to the left of the road going south and Loren's was to the right side of the road. The shellrock foundations of each of their houses may still be seen today.

Satellite view of Arthur & Loren Ferrin's homesteads, West Powell Township, Comanche County, Kansas.

Also see:

Alice (Eyerly) FERRIN: "Early Day Memories", The Wilmore News, October 31, 1939.

Earl Bryant FERRIN, son of Arthur & Alice Ferrin.

A Mother's Day Letter, 1919: from Fred A. FERRIN to Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin
On Mother's Day, May 11th, 1919, six months after the Armistice of World War I was signed, many American soldiers were still with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Among them was Sgt. Fred Ferrin of Wilmore, Ks.

Fred & Fern (Humphrey) FERRIN   Son & daughter-in-law of Arthur & Alice Ferrin.

Gordon FERRIN   Grandson of Arthur & Alice Ferrin.

Loren & Alcana (Wagner) Ferrin

Reuben & Hannah Philura (Murch) Ferrin, parents of Arthur Ferrin

How Loren & Arthur Ferrin Came to Comanche County, Kansas

Elza Orville Holmes, Sr.   Husband of Carrie Ferrin.

James Rolla & Agnes L. (Wallace) Doig, a family history which mentions schoolteacher Jeanne Doig boarding with Arthur & Alice Ferrin's family during the school year.

Ferrin Gravestones in the North Jay Cemetery, Essex County, New York.

A Brief History of Newton, New Hampshire (A New Chronology of the Life & Times of Jonathan Farren) Arthur Ferrin was a 6th generation descendant of Capt. Jonathan Farren of Amesbury, MA, & Newton, NH, as follows: Arthur Ferrin 6, Rueben Ferrin 5, Zebulon Ferrin 4, Zebulon Ferrin 3, Zebulon Farren 2, Jonathan Farren 1.

Cora (Ferrin) Rockefeller tells of flood in Pueblo, Colorado -- From The Western Star, June 24, 1921.

Richard Royce Ferrin, a virtuoso violinist and violist who has celebrated his 30th anniversary as a violist with the Chicago Symphony, is the son of Fred Arthur Ferrin and the grandson of Arthur Ferrin.

Red Cross Fund Oversubscribed, The Wilmore News, 28 June 1917.

Web design by Jerry Ferrin, this page was last updated 20 May 2007.