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Ray & Josephine Helbert

The Western Star, June 20, 1968.

Mrs. Ray Helbert Dies In Wichita

Mrs. Ray Helbert passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kans., on Thursday, June 13, 1968, at the age of 72 years.

Josephine Luoma Helbert was born February 7, 1968, in Finland. Her parents were Andrew Luoma and Maria Lindfors. She lived many years near Wilmore and spent the past seven years in Wichita. Her husband, Ray C. Helbert, is a retired rancher.

Besides her husband, she is survived by her sister, Mrs. Amy Lawrence of Brooklyn, N. Y.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, June 16, 1968, at the Hatfield Funeral Home in Coldwater Kans., with Rev. Ralph Barcelo officiating. Walter Smith sang "God's Tomorrow" and "The Wonder of It All," accompanied by Hazel McMurray, organist. Pallbearers were M. E. Dellinger, Edward Baker, Fred Booth, John E. Unruh, Gene Uhl, and Carl L. Snyder. Honorary pallbearers were Ernest Ferrin, F. H. Moberley, W. W. Darroch, Jim McCay, B. M. Seaman, and Marvin Downing. Interment was in the Wilmore cemetery, Wilmore.

The Western Star, August 31, 1972.

Services Held For Ray C. Helbert

Ray C. Helbert, 86, died on Monday, August 28, 1972, at the Comanche County Hospital in Coldwater, Kans., after a short illness.

Ray was born March 4, 1886 at Mulvane. He was a retired farmer and lived here several years.

Survivors include a brother, Tot, McAllen, Texas and a sister, Mrs. Nell Johnson, of Wichita.

Funeral services were held at the Hatfield Funeral Home in Coldwater on Wednesday, August 30, 1972, at 10 a.m. with Rev. Ralph Barcelo in charge of the services.

Mrs. Hazel McMurray provided organ music.

Pallbearers were Carl Snyder, Fred Booth, Gene Uhl, Lester Fry, Jr., John Unruh and Willie Parsons.

Interment was in Wilmore cemetery, Wilmore, Kans.

HELBERT, Josephine : February 7, 1896 - June 13, 1968
Note: Wife of Ray Helbert. Josephine loved her cats.
Lot #86, Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

HELBERT, Ray : March 4, 1886 - August 28, 1972
Note: Helbert Ranch was originally the Cap Pepperd ranch. It was located near present-day Wade-A-While Park east of Wilmore. Ray and Josephine raised hogs. For a description of how their house burned and was rebuilt in the late 1940's or early 1950's, see Interview with Wendel Ferrin, 13 April 1989.
Comanche County History, p. 600
Lot #86, Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Gravestone of Jo & Ray Helbert,

Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. 

Photo by John Edward (Ed) Schrock, 
used with permission of Janet Schrock Hubbard.
Gravestone of Jo & Ray Helbert
Lot # 86, Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by John Edward (Ed) Schrock.

Excerpt from Interview with Wendel Ferrin by Jerry Ferrin, 13 April 1989.

Jerry: About this Cap Pepperd place with the walls built of thick gypsum so that Indians couldn't shoot arrows through the walls...

Wendel: Yeah, they called it the Ray Helbert place during my time. Gene Uhl lives there now. The original house burnt down in either the late 40's or early 50's. They never knew why. Ray and his wife were gone - they didn't go much, but they were gone at the time. One thing I do remember about that: it was a three-story house or possibly just a tall two-story, but anyway, Ray had a very expensive diamond ring which he didn't wear too often. It was laying on the dresser in an upstairs bedroom when the house burned. It was the only thing he valued too highly. I didn't find the ring but I was down there helping clean up the mess and I did help build them another house. The new house was built with just donated help. There was a big crew; we built them a house, I believe, in two days. It was just a very short while after the fire that we had him a house built -- it was a small one, but it was big enough for two people. But, anyway, they were sifting through the ashes of the old house and, of course, they didn't find the ring because the metal had melted but they found the stone in the ashes directly below where the dresser had been that Ray remembered leaving the ring on. Apparently the fire burnt the bottom of the house first and when the floor burned the dresser fell straight down because they found the diamond in the ashes directly below where Ray knew it had been in the home.

Jerry: How were the walls of the Cap Pepperd place constructed?

Wendel: It was a wooden frame house; they just filled the space inside the walls with gypsum. I understood that it was dirt, but it may have been gypsum. It was just like you'd put insulation in a house now: they just built a frame house and filled the walls with dirt or gyp or whatever that was. The idea was that if Indians shot a flaming arrow into it, the gyp would put the fire out and the house wouldn't burn. So far as I know, there were never any Indian raids there.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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