During the nearly 43 years of her history, Comanche-co. has had twelve county superintendents, five of whom have been women. Of this number five served one term each, five two terms each, one three terms and one will soon have finished her fourth term.
J. R. CURRY
At the first election held in the county in April, 1885, J. B. Curry was elected county superintendent. He was elected as a democrat, defeating J. B. McCrary, republican, by a vote of 1035 to 570. Mr. Curry served for only the remainder of that year. About 25 years ago Mr. Curry moved to Arkansas, where he took up the practice of medicine.
L. N. WALLIS
At the general election in 1885, L. N. Wallis, democrat, was the successful candidate, defeating J. G. Steffee, republican, and E. R. Williams, Greenbacker. The votes stood, Wallis, 571; Steffee, 489; Williams, 386. Each of these men left the county during the 90s. At the general election in 1886, Mr. Wallis was re-elected, defeating S. P. Duncan, republican, by a vote of 555 to 491. Mr. Wallace moved from this county a few years later. Mr. Duncan has been a resident of Wichita for about 25 years.
CHAS. L. CLAYTON
Chas. L. Clayton, republican, was elected county superintendent at the general election in 1888, defeating Mrs. Lottie Hutchins, democrat, by a vote of 551 to 391. Mr. Clayton served one term, and, during the early 90s moved to the Pacific coast. Mrs. Hutchins and her husband, Dana Hutchins, moved to California during the early 90s, and both have since died.
J. A. PENNINGTON
At the general election in 1890, there were two candidates - J. A. Pennington and Dr. G. G. Laughead. The vote stood, Pennington, 286 and Laughead 259 votes. Mr. Pennington's was the republican and Dr. Laughead the Alliance candidate. Mr. Pennington was re-elected in 1892, defeating Mildred E. Holland by a vote of 351 to 200. He died in Lincoln, Nebr., about 31 years ago. Mrs. Holland has been a resident of Crestone, Colo., about nine years. Dr. Laughead has been a resident of Denver, Colo, for nearly 25 years.
There were two candidates at the election in 1894 - James Hadley, republican, who received 157 votes to 150 votes for Geo. P. Graves, Peoples Party. Two years later, Mr. Hadley was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by W. T. Holland, Peoples Party, the vote being 158 to 147. Mr. Hadley has been a resident of Wichita for about six years.
W. T. HOLLAND
W. T. Holland served two terms. At the election in 1898, he defeated James Hadley, the vote at that time being 187 to 160. Mr. Holland moved to Crestone, Colo., in 1918, and has since made his home there.
Ella McCune, democrat, was the successful candidate at the November, 1900, election, defeating J. W. Rodgers, republican, by a vote of 293 to 338. Miss McCune, now Mrs. H. B. Prather, has been a resident of Barber-co. for the past twelve years. Mr. Rodgers died in Manhattan about 19 years ago.
The candidates in 1902 were Miss Anna Huffmaster, republican, and W. T. holland, democrat. The vote stood, Huffmaster, 269; Holland, 134. In 1904, Miss Huffmaster was re-elected without opposition. After the close of her second term, she taught for a number of terms, and later married Lewis Gray. Mr. and Mrs. Gary have made their home in or near Protection for a number of years.
T. L. CHASE
At the election in November, 1906, T. L. Chase, democrat, defeated W. M. Seaman, republican, by a vote of 255 to 238. Two years later, Mr. Chase defeated Miss Nellie Botts, republican, by a vote of 329 to 325. Mr. Chase continued in educational work for a number of years. His home has been in Protection. He served that city as postmaster for several years.
In the 1910 election, Miss Nellie Botts was the only candidate. She was elected, and served as superintendent for one term. Last fall she was elected for the fourth time as Register of Deeds of this county.
Miss Mary Willard was the republican candidate at the 1912 election. She defeated L. C. Miller, socialist, by a vote of 683 to 148. Two years later, Miss Willard was re-elected, defeating T. L. Chase by a vote 885 to 631. In 1916, Miss Willard was elected for a third term, defeating Mrs. Jessie Janson by a vote of 1243 to 644. Miss Willard, now Mrs. E. M. Ireland, has lived in Coats, Kans., since leaving Coldwater four years ago. Mrs. Janson is still a resident of this city.
At the 1918 general election, Miss Ethel Smith, republican, defeated Mrs. Jessie Janson by a vote of 1447 to 389. Miss Smith was re-elected in 1920, and again in 1922, without opposition. She was again the republican candidate in 1924, and defeated H. A. Replogle, democrat, by a vote of 864 to 842. Her 4th term in the office of county superintendent will expire next June. She then will have served in that office for a longer period of time than any other person ever elected in this county.
At the general election last fall, there were two candidates - Miss Christa Hartshorn, republican and H. A. Replogle, democrat. Miss Hartshorn won by a majority of 16, the vote being 732 to 716. Miss Hartshorn, now Mrs. Jay Pounds will not enter upon the duties of the office for a little over five months yet.
Comanche County Officers, 1885 - 2007
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article 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 2 July 2005.