Oscar Jacob Guseman arrived in Comanche County in October 1884. He was born on December 21st, 1859 in Morgantown, West Virginia, the eldest child of Abraham and Rhoda Conner Guseman. He moved with his parents in 1865 to northeast Missouri where he farmed with his father as he grew older. The summer of 1884 had been hot and dry---farm prices were low. Several young men gathered in Williamstown to talk of an area in southwest Kansas where they had heard good land was available. Oscar said he would bring a team and horses. In a few days the nine bachelors left for Kansas.
Soon after their arrival in Comanche County the men moved onto their claims. Oscar with the help of others, built a sod house on his claim. This house was the first shelter the "Happy Nine" had.
Oscar married Ellen Burns Curran on December 23, 1885. A gay barn dance followed the ceremony. Ellen was born in Summersville, West Virginia on June 6, 1866. She was the daughter of Michael and Mary Curran. Ellen lived there until she accompanied her father to Comanche County to visit her brother, Thomas Curran.
Early in their marriage, Oscar and Ellen farmed 160 acres in Shimer Township. The 1886 tax bill for the acreage was $17.83. Their personal property taxes in 1887 were 33 cents--11 cents for school, 20 cents for general and 2 cents for road taxes.
In 1891, Oscar and his family moved to Williamstown where they farmed with his father for eight years. They returned to Comanche County in 1899. They bought a farm 10 miles southeast of Coldwater which they farmed until 1931.
Their home was the scene of many happy times with their children, family, neighbors and friends. As a young girl, I remember many games of cards---pinochle for the adults and old maid for the children. There was always work--chickens to feed, cows to milk, crops to sow and harvest, gardens to raise, fruit to can, quilts to make, but they enjoyed their work and seldom complained.
Oscar Guseman died in Coldwater on November 19, 1931 and Ellen died on November 6, 1945. Oscar and Ellen had five children --- Ferdie, Mabel (m. Frank Arnold), Cecil, Claude and Denzil. All are now deceased.
Both Ellen and Oscar Guseman loved life and the good earth. They gave companionship and love to their grandchildren, which is often remembered when we talk of our childhood to others.
By Ellen M. Corkhill (granddaughter)
Comanche County History, page 400, published by the Comanche County Historical Society, Coldwater, Kansas, 1981.
Mrs. Ellen Guseman, mother of Mrs. B. F. Arnold of this city, passed away shortly after 5 o'clock a.m. in St. Anthony's hospital in Dodge City Tuesday of this week, the result of a heart ailment. She had been ill since last July, and in August was taken to Dodge City for hospital treatment. She entered the hospital again last Sunday but failed to rally. Mrs. Guseman was nearly 80 years of age.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. in the Presbyterian church in this city and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. S. A. Fulton. Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery. An account of Mrs. Guseman's life will be published next week.
Funeral services for Mrs. Ellen Guseman, who passed away in Dodge City, Kans., Tuesday of last week, were held in the Coldwater Presbyterian church on Thursday afternoon at 4 o'clock. Dr. S. A. Fulton, the pastor, was in charge and brought a comforting message. A mixed quartet composed of R. Dale Mark, Karl G. Ehrlich, Mrs. Ruth Stewart and Mrs. Helen Currier, sang "Abide With Me" and " Jesus Savior Pilot Me."
The pallbearers were Melvin Parcel, Roy Richardson, Lynn Beeley, Raymond Parcel, Gloyd Hadley and Victor Gates. Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery.
Ellen Burns Guseman, daughter of Michael and Mary Curran, was born at Summersville, West Virginia, June 6, 1866, and departed this life at St. Anthony's hospital in Dodge City, Kans., November 6, 1945, at the age of 79 years and 5 months.
When a young woman she came to Kansas and made that state her home since, except for a period of about eight years when she made her home at Williamstown, Mo.
She was baptized in the catholic church in infancy and remained a devout member throughout her life, always receiving the sacraments of the church when possible.
On December 23, 1885, she was united in marriage with Oscar J. Guseman. To this union were born, Ferdie Guseman, now deceased; Mrs. B. F. Arnold, of Coldwater, Kans., Cecil Guseman of Hereford, Texas; Claude Guseman, now deceased, and Denzel Guseman of Hereford, Texas.
In addition to the above children, she is survived by six grandchildren, Jim Guseman of Garden City, Kans., Rex Guseman of Wichita, Donald Guseman of Shelbyville, Ind., Mrs. Ellen Mac Corkhill of Springfield, Mo., Cecilla Guseman, Hereford, Texas and Calvin C. Arnold, with the armed forces in Germany. She is also survived by two great grandchildren, Donnie Sue Guseman and Gary Guseman of Shelbyville, Ind.
She is also survived by four sisters; Mrs. L. E. Halstead, Colorado Springs, Colo., Mrs. Frances Sorenson, Falcon, Colo., Mrs. Jerry Murphy, Chesapeake, W. Va., and Mrs. Logan Dotson, Summersville, W. Va.
Guseman - Curran
Oscar J. Guseman and Ellen B. Curran of Coldwater, married December 23, 1885. -- Interesting Data From Old Marriage Records, (Excerpt) The Western Star, July 15, 1938.
Obituary: James Ferdinand "Ferdie" Guseman
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site and to Bobbi Huck for transcribing the Comanche County History article!
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