ALCON C. JORDAN.
[RKW initiated this file years ago.]
Mr. Alcon C. Jordan was born February 8, 1868, in Wheeling, West Virginia, the son of a Union Soldier. When he was four years old, in 1872, he started West in a covered wagon with his family— his mother, father, three sisters, and two brothers. Averaging about 30 miles a day, from sun to sun, the family stopped in Indiana one winter, and then went on to Lincoln, Nebraska.
That was the year (1874) of the grasshopper plague. He remembered a cornfield near the house, planted in roasting ears. The grasshoppers ate every kernel of corn off the cobs and even ate the shocks. His father packed up and moved to Rockport County, Missouri, where the family settled on a claim.
Later the again moved back to Nebraska, and this time the family settled near Fort Kearney, where Alcon C. Jordan remembered seeing General Custer, once while attired in his army clothing, and later when he was dead. The family moved several times between Missouri and Nebraska and at the age of seventeen, A. C. Jordan started out “on his own.”
A. C. Jordan went to Florence, Kansas, and started railroading, lying about his age to get the job. He broke his ankle switching cars. He stayed with a cousin while laid off; but because they found out his correct age, the railroad would not take him back when he recovered.
At that time the Harvey Houses were flourishing and he got acquainted with the bunch at Florence. The manager came through there one night, hunting a man to go to New Mexico to run the restaurant, and sent the porter to look up Jordan, who was at church with his girl. He took her home, packed his clothes, and at midnight was on his way to San Michele, near Albuquerque, which was later washed away. He arrived there with $1.75 in his pocket and 1,100 miles from home. He remained there several years.
About that time there was talk of opening the Cherokee Strip and his folks, who had settled at Geuda by that time, wanted him to come back and make the run. He made the run but returned to Geuda. Following the opening of the Strip he helped move houses and small business buildings from Wellington, Oxford, Belle Plaine, etc., into Oklahoma, having meantime obtained a house-moving outfit and horses. He was mayor of Geuda Springs from 1894 to 1901 during the boom days when the town was famous as a mineral springs resort.
During Geuda’s hey-day, Mr. Jordan and George Gabriel went into the feed mill and pump building business there. They then built up business at a hardware store and together ran a tin shop. They sold this business to Uly Bricker and his wife’s aunt, Mrs. Allie Coulton. Jordan stayed with them long enough to teach them the business before moving to Arkansas City in 1903.
A. C. Jordan and George Gabriel bought the foundry and machine shop of the Kirkwood Manufacturing (Wind Engine) Co., which had been built in 1888. (See page 12 of Cowley County Heritage book for Windmill story.) They reportedly manufactured the first all-steel windmills built in the United States. After George Gabriel died, Mr. Jordan became the sole proprietor of the foundry and machine shop. He continued manufacturing windmills as long as there was a demand and continued business in the foundry and machine shop until his retirement in 1936. He sold the building to the Kansas Gas and Electric Co. The building was torn down by KG&E in the 1970s.
Mr. A. C. Jordan then served as the first marshal of the City court, and later as clerk of the Fifth Avenue Hotel.
A. D. Jordan died May 6, 1959. Presbyterian services were held with burial in Riverview Cemetery.
Survivors included four daughters: Mrs. George S. Clemence and Mrs. P. E. Nance of Wichita; Mrs. James P. Darst of Arkansas City; and Mrs. Sam Mullins of Houston, Texas.