John T. Maris, son of William O. and Mary Maris, was born near Sylvania, Ind., April 29, 1851, and passed away at the home of his son, Walter T. Maris, in Protection, Kans., June 2, 1944, at the age of 93 years, 1 month and 3 days.
His early life was spent on a farm and he obtained his education at the Friends school near his home. After he became of age he worked for several years for one of the leading carpenters and contractors in the community and thus became quite proficient as a carpenter. He was always a careful and competent workman.
On April 23, 1874, he was united in marriage with Miss Elma Hadley, who preceded him in death on January 19, 1912. To this union were born nine children, four girls and five daughters, all of whom lived to manhood and womanhood.
Mr. Maris moved with his family to Comanche County in the fall of 1890 and settled on a farm two miles west of Coldwater which he pre-empted from the U. S. Government in 1885. This place he improved and operated for several years and also did carpenter work at times. He finally sold it and moved to Coldwater and devoted his entire time to his trade.
He was a life long and consistent member of the Friends Church, except a few years in the M. E. Church in Coldwater, Kans. He was a loyal American citizen, deeply interested in the welfare of the government and a man of high moral ideals and Christian integrity - strictly fair and honest in all his business relations.
Though he was quite young when his mother died, his early training was carefully guarded by a gentle and loving step-mother.
Since his health began to fail he had lived with his children. He had not been dangerously ill until about a week before his death, when he was suddenly taken worse; and not withstanding the faithful care and ministration of loved ones and the faithful services of his physicians, he failed to rally.
Mr. Maris is survived by one sister, Mrs. Deborah J. Wilkey of Pawnee, Okla.; one half sister, Mrs. Lindus Hadley, Tanger, Ind.; one half brother, Dr. A. J. Maris, Long beach, Calif.; four sons, Burton W. Maris of Magazine, Ark., Rev. Oscar M. Maris of Grant, Nebr., and W. Ralph Maris and Walter T. Maris of Protection, Kans.; also two daughters, Mrs. O. J. Newlin of Lloydminster, Sask., Canada, and Mrs. Arthur J. White, Coldwater, Kans., besides 32 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, and numerous other friends and relatives.
Mrs. Wilkey, Mr. Maris' eldest sister, who was three years older than her brother, John, passed away three days after J. T. Maris' death. Her burial was in Independence, Kans., on Wednesday of this week.
Life Sketches of Comanche-co. Pioneers
Some of Their Struggles and Early-day Experiences.
At left: John T. Maris.
John T. Maris of this city was among the early settlers of Comanche-co., who stayed with the country, even when droughts and partial crop failures came and when times were hard, wages low and there was little or no demand for laborers. He, like a good many others, displayed a spirit of pluck, perseverance and stick-to-itiveness which was so necessary during the days when people by the hundreds were leaving the county for some other state or some other county in this state, where, as they supposed, droughts and hard times were less frequent visitors.
Mr. Maris is a native of Park-co., Indiana. His father, W. O. Maris, moved from Orange-co., Indiana, to Parke-co. about the year 1835, and continued to make that county his home until his death several years ago. In the year 1874, while still a resident of Parke-co., John T. Maris was united in marriage with Miss Elma Hadley. The time came to them as it did to many more natives of the Hoosier state, when they looked westward for a permanent location for a home. In the early spring of 1885, Mr. Maris and his brother-in-laws, James and Ira Hadley, came to Comanche-co. and secured claims a few miles west and northwest of this city. Mr. Maris' claim was the 160 acres on which Oliver Dellinger now lives. He made a few improvements on the land and raised a crop of corn - probably 200 bushels. He and Ira Hadley then returned to Indiana and remained there for a couple of years, after which they decided to first try Arkansas as a place to live, so they went to Yell-co, that state, where they stayed for about a year. Mr. Maris says that they raised some fine vegetables and corn that year, but affirms that they all suffered so with chills and ague that they had no appetite for eating anything. So they decided to come to southwestern Kansas and were soon on their way to Comanche-co. Mr. Maris started with a yoke of oxen and two horses. He had not proceeded far when he traded one of the horses for another yoke of oxen. The two yoke of oxen, with the one horse in the lead, managed to make between 25 and 30 miles per day with the heavily loaded wagon, although the roads were quite muddy. Five milk cows and the usual coop of chickens formed a part of the "articles" brought along. The trip was made in the month of December, and some cold, disagreeable weather was encountered. They were 41 days on the road. It was the day before Christmas that they arrived in Coldwater. Mr. Maris and his family first moved into a small house belonging to J. M. McClain, and which was located a few miles northwest of town.
Mr. and Mrs. McClain then lived in the property where Mr. and Mrs. Dick H. Rich now live. Mr. Maris had known Mrs. McClain in Indiana.
It was not long until Mr. Maris had a small but comfortable building erected on his claim. One room of his house was hauled out from town. Hay and poles were used with which to build stables and sheds. The next task was to get some of the land plowed and for this purpose he used his two yoke of trusty oxen. His one horse was traded for a cow. One of the ox teams was used when the family went to Sunday school, five miles away, and they attended regularly, also when they drove to town or for the purpose of hauling wood, etc. The Maris' continued to live, sacrifice and to toil on the farm for over 20 years, and, although the outlook was not very encouraging during some of those years, they stayed with the county. Fifteen years ago Mr. Maris sold his farm and moved to this city.
For ten years or more after he settled in this county, Mr. Maris and his family, in common with many others in the county, were compelled to use the strictest kind of economy in order to get along. The income from the farm was then rather small and very uncertain, hence Mr. Maris "turned his hand" to any kind of work he could find to do. For a few years he raised cane and made sorghum molasses. One year he sold 500 gallons to Harry Allderdice, merchantman, for 50 cents per gallon. Wood for fuel was then hauled a distance of 20 miles or more from the canons down in the edge of Oklahoma, or what was then called the Indian Territory. When wood could not be secured, "buffalo chips" were resorted to.
Mr. Maris relates how he worked with a threshing machine, receiving as pay for himself and the use of his two yoke of oxen the sum of $1.50 per day. The oxen were used to haul the threshing outfit from place to place. Mr. Maris was then, as he is yet, a good carpenter, but at that time there were very few frame buildings being put up in the county. He built a house for C. M. Bean, a large barn for Billy Powell, and did carpenter work for many others in various parts of the county. The prevailing wages then for carpenters were from $1.25 to $1.50 per day.
In those days, says Mr. Maris, prices of necessities, as well as of wages, were very low. He purchased corn, from 11 to 20 cents per bushel, a good cow for $11, and other things in proportion. But hard times, low prices and droughts did not daunt the indomitable spirit of J. T. Maris. He was one of the settlers who had visions of better things, and who realized their hopes and expectations.
Mr. Maris is one of our most honored citizens. Although past 72 years old, he is still in the best of health and works diligently, as he has always done. His first wife died on December 19, 1912. A few years later he was united in marriage with Mrs. Mollie Garrigus, who shares with him a good home in this city. He has four sons and four daughters - Burton Maris of Jerusalem, Palestine; Oscar Maris of Johnston, Kans.; Ralph and Walter Maris of this county; Mrs. Grace Newlin of Vancouver, B. C.; and Mrs. Ed Price, Mrs. Arthur White and Mrs. Chas. Mullins of this county. One daughter, Mrs. Warren P. Morton, died several years ago.
The Western Star, November 6, 1925.
J. T. Maris started Monday morning for Atlantic City, N. J., where he will make an extended visit with his son, Burton W. Maris, and family. On the way he will visit with a sister in Independence, Kans., with a brother in Kansas City, Mo., and with relatives in Indianapolis, Ind. Burton returned last July with his family from Jerusalem, Palentine, where they had lived for about six years. Burton is now living in Atlantic City.
The Western Star, January 18, 1929.
MARIS - KENWORTHY WEDDING
At the home of the bride in Portland, Ore., on December 25, 1928, occurred the wedding of Mrs. Isabel Kenworthy of that city and John T. Maris of this city. The ceremony was witnessed by about forty friends, who later, partook of a wedding breakfast at the home of the bride. the couple were guests at the home of a son of the bride in Portland at a fine Christmas dinner. We understand that the couple will make their home in Portland, for a while at least. Later they will spend a few months in California, after which they will return east. The groom in one of Comanche-co's. early settlers and best-known citizens. He is a splendid citizen, and his many friends here and elsewhere join in extending to him and his bride sincere good wishes. Mr. Maris went to the Pacific coast about six weeks ago, accompanying his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur White. Mr. and Mrs. White returned home about three weeks ago, but Mr. Maris remained in Oregon. Mr. and Mrs. Maris were acquaintances in Parke-co., Indiana, during their youthful days.
Burton W. Maris, son of John T. and Elma (Hadley) Maris.
Elma (Hadley) Maris, first wife of John T. Maris.
Anna Vera (Maris) White, daughter of John T. and Elma (Hadley) Maris.
Myrtle (Maris) Morton, daughter of John T. and Elma (Hadley) Maris.
Emma Geraldine White, daughter of Arthur & Anna (Maris) White, grand-daughter of John T. and Elma (Hadley) Maris.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site!
This RootsWeb website is being created by HTML Guy Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book. This page was last updated 8 June 2005.