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Alva and Irene (Sailor) Trummel

Alva Ernest Trummel was born November 16, 1883, at Bloomington, Illinois. At the age of three years he came to Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas, with his recently widowed mother, Emma, two brothers, Lewis and Ord, and sister Grace.

The family lived in Coldwater where his mother worked at the Calloway Hotel. Alva's brother Louis died at the age of eight. They later moved to the Sombart Ranch east of Wilmore.

When Alva was 14, his mother bought three quarters of land in northeast Comanche County. He and brother Ord helped their mother, farming and ranching and also worked on the Sombart Ranch.

Irene Sailor was born July 18, 1907, at Coldwater, Kansas, the oldest child of L.B and Maude (Sunderland) Sailor. Irene had four misters, Blanche, Marie, Regina and Helen, and one brother, Raymond.

Irene graduated from Wilmore High School, attended Hays State Teacher's College and taught for three years in rural schools in Comanche County.

Alva and Irene were married September 10, 1928. They lived on the Sombart Ranch. They later moved to the family home where they spent the rest of their lives.

Alva and Ord purchased more land and farmed and ranched in partnership. In the early 1940's they built a dam for a pond using a two-wheeled cart, hauling the dirt by hand. Hard work was their way of life.

One of the most exciting days in Alva's life was the day he was kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde and later released, unharmed, at the park in Meade, Kansas.

Alva and Irene had three children: Marie, Weldon and Clarence. Alva delivered his youngest son due to the tardiness of the doctor.

Weldon and Marie attended Ridge Summit Grade School and Wilmore High School. Clarence (nicknamed "Bounce") attended Ridge Summit the first grade and then Wilmore Grade and High School.

After high school, Marie went to Kansas City to Business School, where she met and married Vernon Saving. Their three sons are Glenn, Charles and David. Marie lives in Lenexa, Kansas.

Weldon served two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. After the war he returned to Wilmore. He married Lila Williams. Their three daughters are Janelle, Luann and Kelly.

Clarence graudated from Wilmore High School, Kansas University, The University of Missouri at Kansas City with a D.D.S. degree, spent two years in the Navy at White Sands, New Mexico, obtained his doctorate degree from Rochester University in West Hartford, Connecticut. He and his wife, the former Melinda Williams, have three children, John, Sara and Peter.

True to their heritage, Alva and Irene loved the land. They always had a big garden and loved to fish. Irene taught the Young People's Class of the Christian Church in Wilmore for many years. She died October 14, 1953, after a long illness.

In the late 1950's, Ord retired and moved into Wilmore. Alva continued to live on the ranch and with the help of his son Weldon, continued to operate the ranch until his death on October 7, 1968.

--Comanche County History, author uncredited (probably written by Lila Trummel), page 723.

The Wilmore News, September 14, 1928.


Miss Irene Sailor and Mr. Alva Trummel were united in marriage at the home of Mr. Trummel's aunt, Mrs. Anna Bennett, in Wichita, Monday evening, the Rev. Gillis of the Presbyterian church officiating. Only a few relatives and friends witnessed the ceremony. The bride, who was formerly a Comanche County teacher is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Sailor. The groom is manager of the Hall Trummel ranch where the happy couple will be at home to their friends after the first of the week.

The Western Star, October 20, 1953.

Funeral Services for Mrs. Alva Trummel

Had Been in Failing Health for More than two Years

Mrs. Alva Trummel passed away in the Comanche County Hospital on Friday, October 14, the result of cancer, following a protracted illness of more than two years.

Funeral services were held in the Wilmore Christian church October 16 at 2:30 p.m. and were in charge of Rev. O. A. Burr, Methodist pastor.

Mrs. F. H. Moberley, Mrs. Austin Cobb, Gene Dorsey and Rod Baker sang "My God and I" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," accompanied by Mrs. Frances Ridge.

The pallbearers were Marvin Belcher, Carl Snyder, Ed Baker, Glenn Jordan, Valtos Richardson and Fred Booth. Interment was in the Wilmore cemetery.


Irene Eleanor Trummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Sailor of this community, was born in Comanche county, Kansas, July 18, 1907, and passed away in the Comanche County Hospital October 14, 1953, at the age of 46 years, 2 months and 26 days.

Mrs. Trummel spent most of her life in this vicinity. She was gradated from Wilmore high school and attended Hays Teachers College at Hays, Kans. She taught three years in rural schools in Comanche county.

She was united in marriage September 10, 1928, with Alva E. Trummel in Wichita, Kans., and made their home on the former Howard Hall ranch, later moving to their present ranch east of Wilmore. Three children were born to this union, one daughter, Marie Luetta, two sons, Weldon E. and Clarence Trummel.

At an early age, Mrs. Trummel was baptized into the Christian church and served as an active member throughout her life. Until her illness she served as a teacher of the Young people's class in the Wilmore Christian church. She was active in community affairs. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star of the Wilmore Chapter. She was also a member of the Wilmore Social and Study Club.

Her cheerfulness and sunny disposition along with her winning smile were an inspiration to all who knew her during her prolonged illness. Her undying faith in God was always in evidence in all of her suffering. She will be greatly missed by her many friends and neighbors.

The son, Pfc. Weldon E. Trummel of the United States Army stationed in Korea, was called home to her bedside.

Besides her husband, Alva E. Trummel, she is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Sailor, Coldwater, Kans., one daughter, Mrs. Vernon Saving, Lenexa, Kans., two sons, Weldon E. Trummel, U. S. Army, Clarence L. Trummel of the home, two grandsons, Glen and Charles Saving, one brother, Raymond L. Sailor, Satanta, Kans., four sisters, Mrs. Martin L. Swisher, Coldwater, Mrs. Earl K. Jones, Wichita, Mrs. Roy E. Kerstetter, Protection, Mrs. Wm. E. Hanna, Wichita and a host of other relatives and friends.

The Western Star, October 17, 1968.

Services Held for Alva E. Trummel

Alva E. Trummel of Wilmore passed away in the Kiowa County memorial Hospital on Monday evening, October 7, 1968, following a two months long illness.

Funeral services were held October 10, 1968 at 2 p.m. in the Wilmore Federated church and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. Jerry Keck.

Walter Smith sang "Peace in the Valley" and "How Great Thou Art," accompanied by Mrs. Wade Zeigler.

Nephews, Lester Trummel, Clair Cummings, Robert Trummel, Kenneth Trummel, Louis Helm, and Gary Trummel served as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Marvin Downing, Lawrence York, Sr., Fred Booth, Myrl Dellinger, Valtos Richardson, Ernest Ferrin, Rod Baker, and Fay Smith.

Interment was in the Wilmore Cemetery.


Alva Ernest Trummel, son of Emil and Emma Trummel, was born in Bloomington, Ill., November 16, 1881, and passed away in the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, Kans., Monday, October 7, 1968, at the age of 84 years, 10 months, and 21 days.

When Alva was four years old, he moved to Comanche county, Kans., with his mother, two brothers and sister. Alva spent his pioneer days on the Sombart ranch east of Wilmore. It was here that he learned ranching and later became foreman of the Howard Hall ranch. He continued to serve as foreman when the ranch was purchased by Ed Robbins.

He was united in marriage September 10, 1928, with Irene Eleanor Sailor in Wichita, Kans. They made their home on the Hall ranch later moving to the present Trummel ranch. Three children were born to this union; one daughter, Marie L., and two sons, Weldon E. and Clarence L.

At an early age he was baptized in the United Brethren church and later became affiliated with the Wilmore Federated church. He was a member of the Wilmore Masonic Lodge No. 412 and received his 50 year pin in July of 1966. He was also a member of Grace Chapter O. E. S. , No. 394.

Alva was a friend of the land from which he drew his livelihood. He saw God's greatness revealed in all of nature, the sprouting of a seed, the birth of a calf, the changing of the seasons. Fishing and hunting were sources of much pleasure to him.

He was a good neighbor and a friend to all in the community.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, in 1953 and his two brothers, Louis and Ord. He is survived by his three children, Mrs. Vernon Saving, Lenexa, Kans.; Weldon Trummel, Wilmore, and Dr. Clarence Trummel, Rochester, N. Y., eight grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. Grace Cummings, Wilmore, and a host of friends and other relatives.

Also see:

Orda Franklin Trummel, brother of Alva Trummel.

Weldon Emil Trummel, son of Alva & Irene Trummel.

Alva Trummel Kidnapped, The Western Star, 8 Sept 1933.

Bill Brock relates Story of Highway Robbery at Meade Park, The Fowler News, September 7, 1933.

Bonnie Parker Worked in Dodge, Barrow in Hugoton, The Dodge City Globe, September 19, 1934.

Research on the Alva Trummel Kidnapping by Bonnie and Clyde

Alva and Irene (Sailor) Trummel, Weldon and Lila (Williams) Trummel and other members of the Trummel family are buried in the Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

One of the local history stories I heard while growing up on a farm just a few miles to the west of the Trummel farm in West Powell Township, Comanche County, Ks, was of how "Alvy" Trummel had been kidnapped by the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde along the road between our house and the Trummel's house. In about 1989, while I was working with my father, Wendel Ferrin, on his memoirs, I asked Dad about the story and he wrote to Lila Trummel to get the details. Lila sent him a copy of the article, Alva Trummel Kidnapped, The Western Star, 8 Sept 1933. -- Jerry Ferrin.

"I recall, two years ago, while riding out in the pasture with a nephew, Alva Trummel, who manages the Hall Ranch of 15,000 in Comanche County, Kansas, we found a man hopelessly stuck in the sand in an arroyo. He was traveling with his family of several children, in one of Lincoln's poor relations, commonly called a "flivver." Alva hooked on with his rope, tightened his cinch, and with what the car could do, he got him out easily."

-- E.S. Bennett: A Few Reminiscences of "Cowboy Days", The Western Star, April 22, 1927.

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

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