GEORGE W. GARDENHIRE.
He is written about in the 1901 Biographical sketches of Cowley County. He came in the spring of 1871.
[SPRING 1871] PAGE 281.
GEORGE W. GARDENHIRE, one of the pioneers of Cowley County, Kansas, lived with his family ever since the spring of 1871, locating in the valley of Grouse Creek, in Windsor Township, in section 32, Township 31, range 7 east. Mr. Gardenhire was born in Marion County, Tennessee, 18 miles south of Chattanooga, October 4, 1841, a son of Jacob and Martha (Welsh) Gardenhire. He is of Scotch descent on his father’s side. His great-grandfather came from near Glasgow, Scotland.
Thompson Gardenhire, grandfather of George W., with three brothers—William, Adam, and Jacob, came to America and located in Virginia. His son, Jacob, was born and reared in Tennessee, and became a river pilot. He moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas, in 1853, and died there in 1859, at the age of 54. He married Martha Welsh, who was born in Arkansas. Her father was a Welshman and her mother a lady of German nativity, who journeyed to Arkansas with a French colony, and settled nine miles above the city of Memphis. Mrs. Jacob Gardenhire died circa 1862, having given birth to seven children: America; George W.; Pearlee (Hawkins); Benjamin; William Garret; Susan; and Thompson.
George W. Gardenhire was reared in Tennessee until he reached the age of twelve, when he went with his parents to Lawrence County, Arkansas. He was brought up on the frontier, and became inured to the hardships incident to that region. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate army for four years, in Company E, Arkansas Mounted Riflemen. He was in the Department of Tennessee, under Generals Bragg, Hood, and Joseph Johnston. Joseph Wheeler Park, of the Old Soldiers and Settlers Association of Eastern Cowley County, comprising about 15 acres, is located upon his land.
George W. Gardenhire moved to Franklin County, Kansas, near Ottawa, in 1869, and first passed through Cowley County in that year, going to the mouth of the Chikaskia River, Indian Territory, where he camped in wagons with seven others. After a month’s trip, during which he met Col. E. C. Manning and Judge T. B. Ross, at Winfield, he returned to Ottawa about December 10, 1869. He remained in Franklin County until the spring of 1870, and in May and June of that year took his family, and 300 head of cattle, to Cowley County, and located upon his farm in the valley of Grouse Creek. They made the trip with ox teams, and drove the cattle. Besides himself, his wife, three children, and his uncle, Van Gardenhire, composed the party. Dr. Stanley had taken the claim where Cambridge is now, and Mr. Gardenhire purchased of Mr. Raybell the northeast quarter of section 32, township 31, range 7 east. He later acquired the 80 acres west, and in 1901 owned one of the finest bottom farms in the valley. There was a log claim house on the place, and into this he moved his family, and lived there for two years. He had all his money invested in cattle, and for a time had bright prospects, but during the first year 265 of the 300 cattle died of Texas fever. After two years, he secured a team of mules, which he sold at Wichita for $200, which he paid Mr. Drew to prove up on the 80 acres referred to above. Subsequently, with the assistance of neighbors, he moved the old claim house from the center of the farm to the site of his present home, with 15 yoke of oxen. His large nine-room house was erected in 1885.
Mr. Gardenhire also owned a quarter section of pasture land in sections 30 and 31, which had been deeded to Peter Dorwin. The first market for his community was Ottawa, and at a later period, Wichita and Emporia became the markets.
At the outset, Mr. Gardenhire raised wheat, corn, and some hogs. Later he raised wheat for winter pasturage. For many years he produced corn and hogs extensively and fed large numbers of native cattle, brought from a ranch in the territory. He preferred Shorthorn cattle and Poland-China hogs, and, aside from the first disastrous year, was successful in stock raising. He bred a large number of horses, including Clydes, Normans, and Hambletonians, and owned some very superior animals. He had one fine Hambletonian, which had gone a mile in better than three minutes, and was tracked but once.
On April 22, 1889, he went to Oklahoma and made the run at the opening, getting a claim in Payne County, which was deeded to him, and on which his son later resided. When in Oklahoma, he was made a national organizer of the People’s party, having been state organizer in Kansas, and was well qualified for that duty. He was elected to the senate in Oklahoma and served as president of the council 120 days. A feature of his service in that body was a speech made by him when accepting the presidency.
He leased his Cowley County property during his absence, although he had been offered $40 per acre therefor; he returned to it in 1898. He cleared about 30 acres of timber along Grouse Creek—one walnut tree measuring 65 feet to the first limbs. He assisted other neighbors, with teams, in moving Mr. Gann’s sawmill from Cherry Vale; it was the first sawmill in that section. Grouse Creek traversed the eastern portion of his farm, and he had an excellent water supply, furnished by three springs in the pasture. He also had an unusually fine orchard of three acres, consisting of a large variety of fruit.
Mr. Gardenhire was united in marriage with Rebecca Jones, in Lawrence County, Arkansas, in 1866. She was of German-Irish parentage, and was reared in Grantville, North Carolina. She died June 23, 1889, aged 55, having raised seven children.
1. Laura A.
2. Jacob, Jr.
4. Charles A.
5. Albert Sidney.
6. Rosa Estel Ia.
7. James T.
Laura A. (McCaleb) lived for a time in the Cherokee Nation, but died at the home of her father—leaving two children.
Jacob Jr. died in Oklahoma.
Clyde, who lived at Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma, was married twice. His first wife was Miss Pickett, who died leaving one son, Horace; he subsequently married Miss Lewis, by whom he had a daughter, Julia Rebecca.
Charles A. was a railroad man, and lived near the house of his father in Cowley County; he married Miss Bacon and they had two children: Malcolm H. and Osa Ionia.
Albert Sidney, who was now at home in 1901, had been married for six years.
Rosa Estella, wife of J. T. McCaleb, had three children—Versa, Adria, and Alrilda—and kept house for her father.
James T., who married Nina A. Woods, resided in Windsor Township, and had two children: Gladys Fern and Gertrude R.
Mr. Gardenhire was a Democrat until he helped in the organization of the Populist party in Cowley County. While in the senate in Oklahoma, he procured for Payne County the agricultural college and experimental stations.
He was a member of the lodge of the A. F. & A. M., at Burden, having been admitted from the lodge at Stillwater, Oklahoma. He belonged to the Shrine, at Oklahoma City, and also the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Burden. Religiously, he preferred the Baptist church, but his family belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Gardenhire never sued a man, nor was he ever sued.
NEWSPAPER ENTRIES THAT WERE FOUND.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 14, 1877.
“George Gardenhire, of Lazette, has a very small particle of Cherokee blood in his veins, and intends reaping the benefit of it by becoming a member of the tribe, and draw pay and receive a farm from Uncle Sam. How lucky it is to be an Indian, now-a-days.”
Arkansas City Traveler, May 3, 1882.
“George Gardenhire drove a bunch of cows and calves to his home on Grouse Creek last week. They have been on Duck Creek, Indian Territory.”