CHARLES WESLEY RIDGWAY.
1901 Biographical Record.
 PAGE 413.
CHARLES W. RIDGWAY, who owned 1,320 acres of land in Cowley County, Kansas, was a resident of the county ever since he was nine years of age, when he accompanied his father from Ohio. Mr. Ridgway was born in Monroe County, Ohio, August 25, 1862, and was a son of Charles W. Ridgway, Sr., who was also a native of Monroe County.
Our subject’s grandfather came to this country from the British Isles. Charles W. Ridgway, Sr., kept a store for 19 years along the Ohio River, and in 1871 moved west to Cowley County, Kansas. He took, as a claim, the present home of Charles W. Ridgway, his son, the property being described as lots 2 and 3, and the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter, and the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 31, township 33, range 7 east, in Dexter Township. He later bought an additional 480 acres, of a Mr. Vaughan. He conducted a general store, in Dexter, from 1883 until 1888, and was then engaged in the stock business until November, 1896. Thence he went to Missouri, where he was residing in 1901, in Greenfield, Dade County. He was united in marriage with Caroline Meredith, who was born in Ohio, and both were still living in 1901 at the age of about seventy years. Four boys and five girls blessed their union, as follows: Millie, wife of O. C. Brubaker; Permelia (Hightower), who died in Texas; Zetta (Callison), of Liberty Township; Norton, deceased; Charles W.; David, deceased; Frank, who died shortly before 1901; Caroline (Brown), of Grant Township; and Addie, who was born in Kansas, and in 1901 was teaching school in Enid, Oklahoma.
Charles W. Ridgway, after arriving in Cowley County, attended school in district No. 54, of which his father was director many years, the other officers being R. Hite, Mr. Hamil, and Mr. Brubaker. W. E. Merydith taught school at one time, and R. B. Overman was one of the first teachers. Mr. Ridgway applied himself to agricultural pursuits, and owned considerable land in addition to the original claim of his father, possessing 1,320 acres in all. His tract was a mile and a half square, with the exception of 120 acres in the northeast corner. He cultivated about 360 acres, and the remainder he fenced and pastured.
He completed shortly before 1901 a commodious 10-room house and a barn, with dimensions of 40 by 68 feet, was built in 1900. The buildings were large and well arranged, and were surrounded by a stone fence. He dealt extensively in stock, buying native calves and mules, and selling the former as yearlings. He favored southern cattle, of which he had about two hundred head, and sold them to local dealers. He also raised Poland-China hogs. Corn was his staple crop, and there was but one failure of crops on this farm, which was in 1874--the grasshopper year. He raised alfalfa and cane to feed to his mules. There was an orchard of three acres, which was set out when he was a boy. At that period, he was accustomed to hauling wheat for his father to Independence, El Dorado, and Wichita. He had three fine wells on the farm, and an excellent supply of water was furnished by Crab Creek, which seldom ran low, and never dry.
Mr. Ridgway married Allie Dunlap, who was born in Lewis County, Missouri, in February, 1872, a daughter of G. W. and Caroline (Primrose) Dunlap. She was one of seven children: Willie, deceased; Arthur, who kept a hotel in Dexter, Kansas; Allie; Minnie (Patton), of the Cherokee strip; Ira, also in the Cherokee strip; “Pinky” (Hanes), who lived in the Indian Territory; and Ernest, who lived with his parents, 23 miles south of Mr. Ridgway’s place.
Mr. and Mrs. Ridgway had two children: Ernest Wesley, aged eight years; and Ruby Caroline, born in May 1898.
Politically Mr. Ridgway was a Democrat. He was contemplating in 1901 joining the Cowley County Cattlemen’s Association. He was a Methodist; his wife was a Baptist. Both attended the Baptist church in their vicinity until its organization was dissolved.
Iris David wrote a story about C. W. Ridgway in the May 26, 1983, issue of the Arkansas City Traveler.
Dexter Township 1874:
C. W. Ridgway, 44; spouse, C. M., 42.
Kansas 1875 Census Dexter Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.
Name age sex color Place/birth Where from
C. W. Ridgway 45 m w Ohio Ohio
C. M. Ridgway 41 f w Ohio Ohio
C. W. Ridgway Jr. 12 m w Ohio Ohio
F. S. Ridgway 8 m w Ohio Ohio
C. M. Ridgway 6 f w Ohio Ohio
Dexter Township 1882:
C. W. Ridgway, 52; spouse, C. M., 49.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 25, 1873.
MARRIED. BRUBAKER - BURNS. Married at the residence of the bride’s father, C. W. Ridgway, near Dexter, on the evening of Sept. 12th, 1873, by the Rev. P. G. Smith, Mr. Oliver Brubaker and Mrs. Millie Burns.
Winfield Courier, October 22, 1874.
MARRIED. At the residence of the bride’s parents near Dexter, by T. R. Bryan, Esq., October 4th, 1874, Mr. F. M. McWherter, to Miss Lettie Ridgway.
Winfield Courier, May 2, 1878.
Pursuant to a call for a county convention, the Presidents of the various Greenback clubs in the county and two delegates from each, convened in convention at Winfield, April 28, 1878, for the purpose of effecting a county organization. Mr. T. A. Blanchard was called to the chair and C. C. Krow elected Secretary of the convention. Committee on credentials appointed as follows: A. S. Williams, S. B. Hunt, and C. G. Handy. The committee reported the following persons entitled to seats in the convention.
Fairview Club: W. E. Merydith, A. A. Hamil, C. W. Ridgway.
Winfield Courier, February 13, 1879.
Misses Clara Herrick, Florence Goodwin, Emma Elliott, Fannie Harden, Eva Overman, Zetta Ridgway, Kate Ward, Addie Overman, Allie Harden, Anna Harden, and Viola Harden attended the late examination at Dexter.
[REPORT FROM “NELLIE GRAY” - CRAB CREEK ITEMS.]
Winfield Courier, September 1, 1881.
George Harris says he would have been a married man today if it had not been for C. W. Ridgway, but he says, “It’s all right, it’s a long road that has no turn.”
[CRAB CREEK CORRESPONDENT: “NELLIE GRAY.”]
Winfield Courier, February 9, 1882.
Mrs. Ridgway has got home at last from her visit to Ohio. She says everybody back there is preparing to have the small-pox.
[CRAB CREEK CORRESPONDENT: “G. B. H.”]
Winfield Courier, February 23, 1882.
Mr. Ridgway is putting in an addition to his building.
[CRAB CREEK CORRESPONDENT: “SISTER KATE.”]
Winfield Courier, March 23, 1882.
Mr. Ridgway is enclosing quite a large pasture.
Winfield Courier, June 28, 1883.
The County Normal Institute opened Monday with about sixty-five teachers in attendance. Prof. Davis, of the State Normal School, acts as Conductor, and Profs. Gridley and Trimble as instructors. The work starts off nicely and promises a most prosperous session. The following is a list of those in attendance at present and their grades.
Grade C. Addie Ridgway.
[CAMBRIDGE CORRESPONDENT: “CLYDE.”]
Winfield Courier, April 10, 1884.
Ed. Ridgway and Wm. Hewson started last week en route for Washington Territory.
TORRANCE ETCHINGS. “DAN.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 26, 1885.
Mr. Ridgway, of Dexter, shipped five carloads of cattle from here on Monday. Mr. Peabody shipped two carloads on Tuesday.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 6, 1885.
Railroad Meeting in Dexter.
The citizens of Dexter are stirred up over the subject of railroad communication, and on Saturday they held a mass meeting to consider the question. They favor the bestowal of county aid upon the Denver, Memphis and Atlantic road, and desire that the $100,000 of county bonds asked by that corporation shall be granted. But they seem to be impressed with the fact that the diversity of local interests may interfere with the success of this project, and hence the expedient was favored of pooling issues in order that all may work together. After an animated discussion, a motion was adopted that the citizens of Dexter lend their support to the proposed issue of bonds to aid the Kansas City and Southwestern road on condition that Arkansas City gives its assistance to secure an equal amount of bonds to aid the D. M. & A. Road, and in order to present this matter to the voters of this city, and learn from them whether they favor the proposed consolidation of interests, a committee consisting of W. E. Merydith, R. Hite, A. S. Gray, C. W. Ridgway, A. C. Holland, and W. G. Seaver, of the Dexter Eye, was appointed to visit this city, and interview our citizens on the subject. Those gentlemen reached here on Monday at midnight, being delayed on their way by swollen streams, and yesterday they employed in carrying out the purpose of their visit.
A meeting was held in Judge Pyburn’s office, at which a number of our representative businessmen were present to confer with the delegation from Dexter. The latter rehearsed the facts as briefly stated above and asked an expression of sentiment from those present. The offer of cooperation from the citizens of Dexter Township was very cordially received, and the assurance given that Arkansas City would work with them in good faith in granting aid to the road they are most directly interested in. It was stated that the county commissioners, in cession at Winfield, would that day (Tuesday) order an election to vote on the issue of $100,000 of county bonds to aid in the construction of the north and south road; the election to vote bonds for the road running east and west will be held later.
The result of the conference was satisfactory to the Dexter delegates, and they were unreserved in their assurances that the Dexter vote will be given for the Kansas City and Southwestern.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 7, 1885.
W. G. Seaver, R. Hite, C. W. Ridgway, A. C. Holland, W. E. Merydith, and Mr. Gray were in the city today, returning from Arkansas City, where they met the citizens of that place regarding the D., M. & A., getting a largely endorsed pledge for unison of effort in securing this line for Cowley. Arkansas City is coming up manfully in support of both the D., M. & A. and the K. C. & S. propositions. They sent in, with less than four days work, over seven hundred names for the calling of the D., M. & A. petition.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 18, 1885.
Dexter township is shaken from center to circumference by a youthful slugging match that ended in some dangerous blows, and possibly a term in durance vile for the attacking Sullivan. Frank S. Ridgway and William D. Callison, boys of twenty, were the sluggists. They met at Sunday School last Sunday, and, with blood in his left eye, Ridgway followed Callison along the road and gave him a belt on the head with an awfully wicked, home-made billy. Callison was knocked senseless, but on coming to, he began to chew his antagonist’s thumb, took away his billy, and with his thumb still in his mouth, gave Ridgway such a pounding as he will long remember—laying him up for repairs. They were brought before Justice Hines yesterday and Callison fined $10 and costs and Ridgway bound over to the District Court. Senator Hackney appeared for the State and Jas. McDermott for the defense. There were sixty-four witnesses, men, women, and children, with about five hundred spectators. Ridgways and Callisons are connected by marriage and the feud seems to have been the result of a family row.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 25, 1885.
James Vance, D. D. G. M., assisted by twelve from the Winfield Lodge, instituted Dexter Lodge No. 257, I. O. O. F., Wednesday, with the following members: J. D. Ward, S. H. Kirk, C. A. Peabody, John Simmons, J. S. Bernard, W. G. Seaver, J. V. Hines, W. M. Chastain, L. Harrison, E. B. Noble, G. P. Wagner, S. H. Wells, J. T. Riggs, C. C. Brown, L. J. Howerton, Fred W. Fay, R. F. Kaster, C. W. Ridgway, George Callison, and J. A. Million. The Dexter folks entertained those from Winfield in a manner most agreeable. Our folks had a delightful drive, starting back at sun up this morning—a drive that comes as a balm in Gilead to the penned up businessman.
DEXTER. “MOSS ROSE.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
Mr. C. W. Ridgway was unfortunate in having a fine horse stolen from him a week ago. Nothing has been heard from horse or thief up to this writing.
STAR VALLEY. “DUFFY.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 20, 1885.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Brown and Miss Addie Ridgway, of Dexter, are recreating in this vicinity.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 27, 1885.
Slick Thief. The confession of James Whitehead, the nineteen year old youth whom McIntire brought in from Greenwich Monday, shows a cuteness becoming a much older head. Jim stole a fine horse from Col. Ridgway, at Dexter, one night, rode him to Grenola, and there left him in a pasture. He took the train and came back to Cambridge and that day turned up all right at Ridgway’s and went to work. Four days after he went to Grenola, got the horse, rode him to Wichita, and traded him for another, bringing the new horse back with him, claiming to have been off on a visit and to have bought the horse. A slight suspicion, however, lurked in Ridgway’s bosom that all was not right, and accordingly he was taken in by Constable Church. The evidence was very meager, but Jim, getting away from his custodian so cleverly was evidence that the scent was good. He showed a boyish spirit when the iron door of our bastille shut him in yesterday, and he called the sheriff in and told him all, amid tearful penitence. He was working for Ridgway, his folks being out of this county. He says it is his first offense and can hardly explain what prompted it.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 27, 1885.
Whitehead, whom we mention elsewhere, as having been recaptured by Sheriff McIntire, has confessed all—melting after the iron door of the bastille clamped on him. He said he did steal Ridgway’s horse. He is a lad of nineteen. He hasn’t explained yet how he claimed to steal it, but says it is his first offense. He will get a year or two in the “pen.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 27, 1885.
435. State vs Frank S Ridgway.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 10, 1885.
A cute subscriber takes exception to our “Slick Thief” article of last week, relating to the escape of Jim Whitehead, who stole Col. Ridgway’s horse near Dexter. It will be remembered that he was left, for a few minutes, at Ferguson’s stable, while his custodian absent-mindedly (?) went up town, to find his man non est on his return. Whitehead was recaptured by Sheriff McIntire, and is now in jail. He will probably corroborate the following.
“Your article is a misnomer. A prisoner would be a green specimen if he did not go when turned loose. Any common thief would step out, if put up at a livery stable—unless he had very good provender. Nobody blames the young man for going under such treatment. If he had been put up at a first-class hotel and had his board paid, he would have been inexcusable. But the thought of being boarded at the ‘Hotel de Hoss,’ was beyond endurance.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 15, 1885.
The District Court convened on Monday, with Judge Dalton presiding.
State vs. Frank S. Ridgway, plea of assault and fine of $10 and costs.
TORRANCE ITEMS. “DAN.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 28, 1886.
Mr. Ridgway and son shipped three car loads of cattle last week.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
Thomas C. Brown and Caroline M. Ridgway got authority today that will tie the silken cords of oneness.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 25, 1886.
James Whitehead, charged with stealing Col. Ridgway’s horse, at Torrance, had his examination before Judge Buckman Thursday, and was bound over. County Attorney Swarts couldn’t get up from Arkansas City, and Lovell H. Webb appeared for him. Senator Jennings is Whitehead’s attorney. The bond was placed at $300. The victim languishes.