RKW worked on this file years ago. Also see file “Knowles-Moore” for some of the relatives of Prettyman Knowles.
The following is from page 63 of E. C. Manning’s autobiography.
“By the time December (1869) had arrived, there were quite a number of squatters located in the vicinity: W. W. Andrews, Dr. Graham, James and Abraham Land, Prettyman Knowles, and A. A. Jackson.”
Prettyman Knowles filed his claim for only 80 acres. The location was between 5th and 9th and west of E. C. Manning’s claim.
The Winfield census of 1873 lists P. Knowles, age 45, and his wife, S. Virginia Knowles, age 37.
On Monday, May 1, 1899, the Winfield Courier reported the death of Prettyman Knowles, a Cowley County pioneer, who died on Saturday night at his home on College Hill after a lingering illness. He was sixty-seven years old and left a wife and five children: Mrs. Lizzie Campton, Mrs. Sadie Guy, Mrs. Emma Moore, Miss Carrie Knowles, and Ed. Knowles. All of his children lived at that time in Winfield, and were with their father at the last. The funeral occurred at the house with Rev. J. C. Fisher officiating. Prettyman Knowles was buried in Union Cemetery. The pall bearers were Col. H. C. Loomis, Capt. S. C. Smith, J. B. Lynn, H. S. Silver, Dr. W. G. Graham, and John Land: all old settlers, companions of Prettyman Knowles in pioneer days. The obituary notice made the following comment: “He has hosts of friends all over the county who will learn of his death with regret.”
Kansas 1875 Census, Winfield Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.
Name age sex color Place/birth Where from
Prettyman Knowles 42 m w Indiana Indiana
Susan V. Knowles 36 f w Kentucky Indiana
Elizabeth A. Knowles 18 f w Illinois Indiana
Mary S. Knowles 15 f w Indiana Indiana
Malissa E. Knowles 11 f w Indiana Indiana
Sarah Knowles 10 f w Indiana Indiana
Edward M. Knowles 8 m w Indiana Indiana
Charles S. Knowles 5 m w Indiana Indiana
Wm. R. Knowles 3 m w Kansas
[Note: Found out that there were many families by the name of “Knowles” in Cowley County. Prettyman Knowles did not like publicity apparently. Very seldom was his name given in news stories. See Knowles-Moore family. More information there.]
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
“Knowles’ ford” is mentioned in early papers...
Winfield Messenger, March 15, 1872.
A large four-story Flouring Mill, containing four run of stone, is to be built the present season. The admirable water power at “Knowles’ ford,” has been purchased for the site, and the gentlemen controlling it have the capital and experience to make it first class. It is to be built of stone, like our splendid school buildings, and will, with other improvements to be made this season, fill the people of Cowley County with pride of their capital town. The citizens of Winfield are full of enterprise. They spend no time in envious bickerings with neighboring towns. They do not expect to build up a town by pulling down a rival.
Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
Board of County Commissioners met in Co. Clerk’s office in Winfield July 1st, 1872. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer.
Report of Green Road was then taken up, and E. C. Manning appeared for the road, and Pryor appeared for Mr. Bullen, and J. B. Fairbank appeared for Mr. Knowles, and both parties discussed the matter before the Board for and against the Road. The viewers appeared and asked to amend their report. It was granted and laid over for that purpose.
Winfield Messenger, July 19, 1872.
The main pier for the bridge at Knowles’ ford is completed and the abutments are going up. The bridge will be 30 feet above low water mark.
Winfield Messenger, August 16, 1872.
The piers and abutments of the bridge at Knowles’ ford are finished, and the upper structure is being rapidly put on.
Winfield Messenger, October 4, 1872.
COMPLETED. The bridge at Knowles’ ford is completed and the Walnut River is being crossed on the best bridge in southern Kansas. This is the first and only bridge built over the Walnut River and speaks well for the people of Winfield, and vicinity. The bridge south of town is progressing very fast.
Winfield Courier, Saturday, February 1, 1873.
Teacher’s Report. To the Clerk of Public School Board of Winfield, Kansas, for the month ending Jan. 25th, 1873. Whole number enrolled, 104.
Named in report: Mary S. Knowles and Emma Knowles.
Winfield Courier, February 4, 1875.
A report was given relative to pupils attending grammar and intermediate departments of Winfield schools by W. C. Robinson. “The efficiency of our schools is much hindered by tardiness and irregular attendance. Parents will oblige us by aiding in overcoming this difficulty.” Students in different departments were listed.
Intermediate Department: Mary Knowles, Emma Knowles.
THE WINFIELD COURIER. CENTENNIAL ISSUE.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
In the month of November, 1869, several families crept down along the valley and settled on claims in the vicinity of where Winfield now stands. These settlers each paid the Osage chief $5 for the privilege of remaining in peace. These early pioneers were W. G. Graham and family, who came the last of October, and whose wife was the first white woman that settled on Timber (then known as Dutch) Creek. During the next week P. Knowles, J. H. Land, J. C. Monforte, and C. M. Wood came with their families.
About January 10th, 1870, the preliminary steps were taken for organizing a town company and starting a town upon the claim of E. C. Manning. A. A. Jackson owned the claim adjoining Manning’s on the east, W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis, A. Menor, and P. Knowles held claims adjoining and upon which they still reside. The farm owned by John Lowrey [Lowry] to the west was held by one G. Green.
Cowley County Democrat, Winfield, Kansas, Thursday, July 13, 1876.
On June 11th, aided by Becker, Mr. Manning laid a claim foundation for himself upon the present town site of Winfield. The fear of Indians having somewhat subsided, several families during the month of September crept down along the valley and settled on claims on the beautiful prairie where Winfield now stands. These settlers each paid to the Osage chief, Chetopa, five dollars for the privilege of remaining in peace. These early pioneers were C. M. Wood and wife (Mrs. Florence Wood, who was the first white woman to settle on the Walnut, south of Timber, then known as Dutch Creek.), Prettyman Knowles, J. H. Land, J. C. Monforte, and their families. Dr. W. G. Graham, and family, who came the last week in October and settled on the east bank of Dutch Creek, two miles above its mouth, were the first settlers on that stream.
The following could be a relative of Prettyman Knowles???...
Winfield Courier, August 9, 1883.
Mr. Knowles’ little girl was severely injured Monday evening. She was playing and ran a hook into her eye, tearing out part of an eyelid.
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1884.
Mr. Prettyman Knowles, one of the old pioneer residents of the county, and who entered the quarter joining Winfield on the west, returned from Indiana last Thursday and will make Cowley his home once more. He says there is no place like it.
Charles Knowles, son of Prettyman Knowles???...
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 5, 1885.
Judge Gans has invested the following parties with authority to commit matrimony during the past week: Chas. Knowles and Ida Carder.
Sallie Knowles, daughter of Prettyman Knowles???...
PLEASANT VALLEY. “CORA.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 30, 1885.
Last Sabbath evening a number of young people gathered at the home of Miss Sallie Knowles, where the evening was pleasantly spent in singing.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 7, 1885.
The following are the real estate transfers for yesterday as taken from the Records of the Register’s office.
Prettyman Knowles and wife to Wm. J. Cann, 80 acres of w side of nw frl qr of 7-33-4e: $2,500.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.
Mr. Knowles, residing three miles and a half southwest, has left us splendid samples of timothy. It is ready for cutting and will go two and a half tons to the acre.
PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY DAY SETTLERS.
C. M. Wood’s Story.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
While Mr. W. W. Andrews was off to Leavenworth after his family, he having overstayed his 30 days (the time given a man to be absent, after taking his claim), some party came to me and asked me to go with my team and haul some logs for him, as he was going to jump Mr. Andrews’ claim. I told him I would have nothing to do with jumping Mr. Andrews’ claim as I knew he was coming back, and told him that Mr. Andrews was a well-meaning man and that his time should be extended until we could hear from him. I then turned and went down into my timber to work; but when I returned in the evening, I found that the party had taken my team and had hauled some of Mr. Andrews’ logs a short distance from his proposed building site and had commenced putting up a house. This movement aroused the friends of Mr. Andrews, such as Dr. W. G. Graham, James H. Land, Prettyman Knowles, and many others (whose names I have forgotten or have not space to mention). The claim jumper was informed that such a procedure would not do, whereupon he abandoned his action, apologizing to the settlers, and laying the blame on me, a thing that I must say that I was entirely innocent of, and was able afterwards to convince Mr. Andrews of the fact.
Mr. Andrews returned from Leavenworth about the first of January, 1870, with his family and household goods. He proceeded to erect a little log cabin on his claim about 35 or 40 rods north and a little east of where his fine, commodious brick house now stands, and where Mrs. Andrews and the children now live, Mr. Andrews being now absent in California.
Some strange things occurred here that winter, one of which is that Mr. Andrews killed a snake on the 21st day of January, 1870. He said that his snakeship was as lively as a cricket.