Roberta Adell Briles Crawford

Roberta Adell Briles Crawford was born June 20, 1930 in Buffalo, Kansas. She was the daughter of Edward Osmund and Pauline (Mentzer) Briles.

Roberta passed away at Sunrise of Lenexa in Lenexa, Kansas on January 9, 2022.

Roberta graduated from Emporia High School in 1948. She attended Kansas State Teachers College where she was a member and president of the Delta Sigma Epsilon sorority.

Roberta married Eugene David Crawford on June 9, 1951 in Emporia. Starting in 1955, Roberta and Eugene lived in Dodge City. While living in Dodge City, they were active members of the First United Methodist Church. The family moved from Dodge City to Lincoln, Nebraska and then to Emporia, Kansas.

Roberta started her career as a medical transcriptionist at the Dodge City Medical Center. Shortly after moving to Emporia, Kansas, Roberta joined the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital as a medical secretary, later becoming the Director of the Medical Records department. In October 1973, Roberta completed requirements for certification as an Accredited Record Technician. As a medical secretary, Roberta was a member of the Kansas Medical Record Association and served as treasurer in 1974.

After two of her children had completed college, Roberta joined her youngest as a college student and completed her college degree, graduating from Emporia State University in 1978.

Roberta and Eugene were long time members of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Emporia

After retiring, Eugene and Roberta became full time RVers wintering in Honda, Texas. They were active members of the Southwinders Association.

Roberta is survived by her three children: Marcia (Mike) Philbrick of Seneca, David (Kathy) Crawford of Blue Rapids, and Terry (Tina) Crawford of Shawnee; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband in 2006, infant son, Duane Crawford in 1953 and her siblings.

Roberta has been cremated. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to Emporia State University. Please direct your gift to the Eugene D. Crawford and Leon R. Crawford II Memorial Scholarship in memory of Roberta Crawford. Gifts may be made directly to Emporia State University Foundation, 1500 Highland Street, Emporia, KS 66801.

Throwback Thursday

While searching for a birth announcement in the Iola, Kansas newspapers, I came across this interesting little article.

My aunt and uncle owned an airplane!

Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Mentzer and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Mentzer enjoyed a visit and plane ride Friday when Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Thompson flew their plane down from Emporia. While here they got a birdeye view of Woodson and Allen County. Mrs. Thompson is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Briles of Emporia, who lived here many years ago.

“Local News,” 18 Nov 1954, The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), page 8, Marvin Thompson; digital image, ( : viewed online 10 June 2021).

Place Line


Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  It’s Saturday Night again – 
Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1)  We’re all familiar with Timelines – date, location, event, etc. – for events in our lives.  This week, create a Place Line for your life, or for the life of one of your parents or grandparents – your choice! In that Place Line, tell us the location (address if possible), inclusive dates (if possible), and events. Consider topics like residence, schools, churches, employment, etc.

To protect the privacy of my immediate family, I am choosing to do a place line for Pauline Briles. To determine these places, I have used land records, census records, city directories and newspaper articles. Since Pauline lived her entire life in Kansas, I can take advantage of Ancestry’s source, Kansas, City and County Census Records, 1919-1961, to help fill in the blanks.

Pauline Edith Mentzer, wife of Edward Osmund Briles

  • 1896 – born in Woodson County, Kansas – likely North Township
  • 1900 – census records indicate she was living in North township, Woodson County, Kansas
  • 1905 – Kansas census records indicate she was living in Neosho Falls, Woodson County, Kansas
  • 1910 – census records indicate she was living in Liberty Township, Coffey County, Kansas
  • 1913 – received a diploma from School District #9 in Coffey County, Kansas implying she was living in Coffey County
  • 1914 – attended high school in Yates Center, Kansas
  • 1915 – married Edward Osmund Briles in Yates Center, Kansas
  • 1917 – husband’s draft record indicates they were living in Vernon, (Woodson County), Kansas
  • 1920 – living in Iola, Kansas
  • 1925 – living in Iola, Kansas
  • 1929 – moved out of house on South Pecan street in Iola, (Allen County) Kansas
  • 1930 – living in Buffalo, Wilson County, Kansas
  • 1934 – living in Emporia Kansas
  • 1937 – 416 Constitution, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1939 – 6 Mechanic St., Emporia, Kansas
  • 1940 – 613 Lincoln Street
  • 1942 – RFD #1 (likely East 6th Street), Emporia, Kansas
  • 1945 – 924 Constitution, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1952 – 645 Lincoln, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1953 – city directory indicates she was living at 924 Constitution, Emporia, Kansas while the census lists and address of 645 Lincoln, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1955 – 645 Lincoln, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1956 – her husband died; his death certificate indicates they were living at 645 Lincoln, Emporia, Kansas
  • 1957 – 138 W. 12th
  • 1958 – Manhattan, Kansas living with daughter
  • 1959 – lived at 1014 Market Street, Emporia, Kansas which is where her sister, Gladys Green lived
  • 1961 – 821 W. 6th St., Emporia, Kansas – lived here until the house was sold for development along 6th street
  • 1967 – 609 W 5th St., Emporia, Kansas
  • 1976 – 609 W. 5th St., Emporia, Kansas
  • 1977 – 609 W. 5th St., Emporia, Kansas; lived here until she moved to Horizon Plaza
  • 1984 – at her death she was living in apartment #405 at Horizon Plaza at 1531 Wheeler in Emporia, Kansas

Below are two pictures of Pauline standing in front of her home at the time. Unfortunately, I don’t know which house is pictured in these photos.

Ancestral Homes


Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Identify an ancestral home address ( preferably one with a street address…) for one of your ancestral families (You do know where they lived, don’t you?  If not, consult the 1900 to 1940 US Census records, or City Directories).

2)  Go to Google Maps ( and enter the street address (and city/town if necessary – usually you can pick from a list) for your selected ancestral home.

3)  Look at the street map, the satellite map, and the street view.  Zoom in or out, or manipulate the image as you wish.

With this challenge, I’m going to state my ‘handicaps’ at the start.

  • Many of my ancestral homes were on farms. Thus, they didn’t have street addresses.
  • Several of my ancestral homes have been torn down and replaced.

2314 W. 21st Emporia

2531 P St Lincoln – no photos of house – now a vacant lot

2210 N 5th Dodge City

Glasco – No address

911 Second – Now a parking lot

504 Avenue G –

I haven’t found any photos of house. The location is now a business fronting on Wyatt Earp boulevard. What I learned from this exercise is that my grandparents lived very close to the railroad where my grandfather worked. The tracks are on the south side of Wyatt Earp Boulevard. The depot was a few blocks to the West.

510 Avenue G Dodge City

Google doesn’t recognize 510 Avenue G, but does mark a house at 508 Avenue G. The yellow house to the left of the white house is likely 510 Avenue G. (Note: the house that used to be at 504 Avenue G was likely similar to these houses.)

416 Constitution Emporia

924 Constitution Emporia

645 Lincoln Emporia

1014 Market Emporia

Briles Homestead – Near Crandall, Kansas

I possibly have pictures of other family homesteads in the backgrounds of family photos. It will take some digging to locate those images.

Band Member

#52ancestors #Music

Is your family one of those blessed with lots of musical talent? If so, did you inherit any of that talent?

I would love to say that I have inherited some of my mother’s musical talent, but I’m definitely a left brained person. I can figure out computer issues, but I don’t have a musical ear. I’m sure my lack of musical talent frustrated my mother since she loved music.

In high school, mom played the French horn and was a member of a French horn quartet, and the orchestra.

Emporia High Orchestra

Mom was likely a member of the marching band. However, the picture that I thought was the marching band is actually of the Emporia Municipal Band. Below is information from the 5 June 1947 issue of the Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) about the band.

The Emporia Municipal band, directed by O. R. Parker, will be back on the job Friday evening with the first of the series of Friday evening concerts that will continue throughout the summer. The program and place for the first concert will be announced later.

Mr. Parker announced this week that the band had been recruited to full strength of 35 members with the addition of several veteran musicians.

Next Saturday morning the band will go to Cottonwood Falls where it will have a part in the Flint Hills Rodeo parade which will proceed from Cottonwood Falls to Strong City. The band has been designated the official band for the rodeo which will show Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon and evening. “Ten-gallon” hats have been ordered for the members of the band and they are expected to arrive in time for the parade and rodeo performance.

Harry Krueger continues as manager of the Municipal band. The board members are Tome Ford, Warren Phillips, Reuben Hammer, Dan Lewis and Jay Pierson. Darrell McDermed is the librarian and Mary Jo Ames is the drum major.

First row – O. R. Parker, director, Bob Dabbs, Henry Cobb, J. W. Brinkman, Harry Krueger; Second row – Roberta Briles, Pat Phillips, Bernard Black, Reuben Hammer, Warren Phillips, Jane Hanna; Third row – Mary Jo Ames, Dan Lewis, Lois Gaines, Earl Gadberry, Tom Ford, Charles JOnes, Albert Ropfogel; Fourth row – Thelda Askew, Bill Dick, Duane Reaka, Dr. W. R. Fox, Donald Koons, Buzzie Stinson; Fifth row – Ernest Russell, Mike Meares, Darrel McDermed, Bill Clay, Jay Pierson, Byron Nienstedt and Ray Fowler.


On Sunday, David Allen Lambert tweeted the question, “Did your family own a radio in 1930?” as part of the #ancestorchallenge2018. Even though I have obtained the 1930 census records for most people in my tree, I have to admit that I have not paid attention to that little detail.

When I checked the 1930 census for my grandparents, Leon and Winnie Crawford, I discovered that they did NOT own a radio. Myrtle Gaskill, Winnie’s sister, was listed just above Leon Crawford in the census and she also did NOT own a radio.


I then checked (re-checked) the census records for my grandparents, E. O. and Pauline Briles and for my great-grandparents, Judson and Josie Crawford, Edward G. and Artie Briles and Charles and Nettie Mentzer. None of the census records indicated ownership of a radio.

Since my knowledge of ‘radio history’ is very weak, I turned to the Internet for some background information. According to the Wikipedia article about radios, “commercial radio broadcasting began in the 1920s.”

I then wondered whether the communities where my ancestors lived had a radio station. Thanks to the website, U.S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1930 by John Bowker, I discovered that Dodge City did have a radio station, KGNO. According to KGNO’s web site, they did not begin broadcasting until June of 1930. Since the Dodge City census record for Leon Crawford is dated 19 April 1930, the census data was collected prior to the existence of a local radio station in Dodge City. I did not find any radio station listed for Emporia, Kansas or any communities in Woodson or Coffey Counties, Kansas in 1930.

Even if they had had access, could they afford to purchase a radio? The web page, 1930’s appliances including prices, provides some pricing information. Towards the top of the page it lists a “Philco Auto Radio” for $24.95. At the bottom of the page is a “Philco Radio” which cost $188.00. Based on that pricing and the lack of a local radio station, I can understand why my relatives did not own a radio in 1930 — they couldn’t afford one.

EHS ’18’ Club

1958-BloodmobileGuys and Dolls

An “18” Club at E.H.S. has been recently established. A student may become a member if he is 18 years of age, and with his parents’ consent, is willing to give blood at the Emporia Bloodmobile. Those who have donated a pint of blood are Robert Brecht, Larry Hayes, Richard Frederick, Marie Cisneros, Eva Gasper, Donald Miller, Jim Anderson and Richard Carlburg. Randy Murray and Elaine Taylor, members of the club, volunteered, but were rejected. Co-chairmen of the Junior Red Cross Bloodmobile Committee, Karen Courtney and Sandra Clinkenbeard, assigned Emporia High girls to help at the Bloodmobile Feb. 27th and 28th. Those who assisted as the Blood Bank this week were Adrianne Hotzel, Jean Resch, Darla Smalling, Darla Andrews, Judy Deputy, Linda Fredrick, Linda Pocock, Sandra Clinkenbeard, Marilyn Moore, Juanita Osborn, Glenda Lang, Alice Hayes, Judy Haley, Nelta Britton, Cynthia Lyster, Joy Vail, Joanne Beck, Elaine Wilson, Phyllis Burroughts, Myrna Williams, Janet White, Teresa Burch, Sharon Potter, Shirley Brockelman, Pat Lewis, Pam Hotzel, Mar Gene Blair, Sara Steerman, Karen Courtney and Chriss Fogg.

“Guys and Dolls,” The Emporia Gazette, 1 Feb 1958, p. 5; digital images, ( : accessed 13 July 2018).


1974 Emporia Tornado


“At least six people were killed, more than 80 hospitalized and an unknown additional number injured by a tornado that ripped across the northwest corner of Emporia early Saturday evening. The twister virtually demolished the Lincoln Village Mobile Home Park and the Flint Hills Village Shopping Center.” (The Emporia Gazette – Extra – Sunday, the Ninth Day of June 1974 on

This is one of those ‘Where were you when’ moments.

On June 8th, my husband and I had been married for about 3 weeks. We had a 2nd floor apartment on 5th Avenue just East of Rural Street in Emporia. Mike’s brother was visiting Emporia to pre-enroll and was spending the night with us. I was just finishing preparations for supper when I heard a loud noise. A couple of minutes later, the tornado sirens went off. We proceeded toward our landlord’s basement. I don’t believe my husband ever made it to the basement. Instead he was on the front porch trying to figure out where the tornado was.

Unlike today’s reliance on cell phones and the Internet for news, our main source of information was KVOE, the local radio station. Thus, we had the radio tuned in to find out what was going on. That’s when we heard that the tornado had hit the shopping center. Thinking that the tornado likely continued to the northeast, I was concerned about my parents’ home on 21st street West of Prairie street. Since my parents were at Lake Reading for the weekend, I wasn’t exactly sure who would be home but figured my brother and his fiance may have been at the house.

My brother shared the following memory of that evening:

I lived on 21st street and my fiancee and I were the only ones home at the time. We did not hear any siren but when the electricity went off my fiancee (wife) looked out the window and said she thought it was a tornado. I can’t say I saw a funnel but it was the blackest cloud I had ever seen. We took the dog and cat to the basement. We could hear some glass breaking and when we decided it was OK to leave the basement I went down my driveway in bare feet and started visiting with a neighbor from across the street. I hadn’t looked to the east until he said something and I couldn’t believe what I saw – a few houses east and major damage. I went back inside and got some shoes on and started walking around the neighborhood. A sheriff’s deputy stopped me and asked if I had a crescent wrench, which I did. He instructed me to go around the neighborhood and shut off the gas lines.

At the time, I was working as a ward clerk (glorified secretarial aide) at St. Mary’s Hospital. Part of staff training was the expectation that staff would report during a disaster. Thus, my husband dropped me off at the hospital while he and his brother went to check on my parents’ house.

They weren’t able to drive into the area from 15th and Prairie. However, they were able to get close by going thru the park. They found the worst damage at the East end of 21st Avenue (a little over 1 block East of my parents). A house on the corner had imploded. Another house had been lifted off of its foundation with a car dropped into the basement. A house on the cul-de-sac at the bottom of the hill had a 2×4 going thru the corner of the bedroom.

While walking into the neighborhood, they found my brother and his fiance. The four of them continued walking the neighborhood looking for those that needed help. They helped put a tarp on the roff of an Emporia State University biology professor’s house. He lived close to the 21st and Prairie corner. My husband remembers putting his foot thru the ceiling of their bathroom as they struggled to get the tarp on the roof.

Sometime that evening, my parents were able to make it home. I remember my father saying that he helped the placement director move stuff out of her home that night. My husband remembers my father telling of his ‘overnight security’ detail where he turned the governor away from the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, I was at St. Mary’s Hospital along with many of their employees, expecting to be put to work. As stated in the disaster plan, one-half of Emporia’s physicians had also reported to St. Marys. Unfortunately, triage failed that evening. The ambulances did not divide their patients evenly between the two hospitals. The ambulances, walking wounded and those being helped by neighbors showed up outside of Newman Memorial Hospital. Since Newman’s was overwhelmed, the physicians went to Newmans to help. Most of the extra nursing staff went home since they weren’t needed.

Since I had been dropped off, I was stuck at the hospital — with no information on my family. Knowing that their telephone lines were underground, I didn’t think the tornado could have damaged them. Thus, I tried calling, but the call didn’t go thru.

Thus, I was waiting on first floor for my husband when the tornado sirens sounded around 9 pm. The director of nursing (a nun) ran out of her office and grabbed me saying, “We need to get the kids in peds (pediatrics on 4th floor) to the basement.” So, we ran up the stairs to 4th floor, grabbed a child and ran back down to the basement where we comforted those scared children. Relief workers at the shopping mall on the West side of town confirmed seeing a storm cell. Rumor said that there was a tornado dancing over the top of the hospital. Fortunately, no tornado struck the building and we were able to return the children to their beds on 4th floor.

What are your memories of that night?





Mrs. E. O. Briles

pauline-portrait-2Known as Mrs. E. O. Briles most of her adult life, Pauline Edith Mentzer was born in Woodson County, Kansas in 1896. Pauline and her twin brother, Paul, were the children of Charles Oliver and Nettie Adell (Wells) Mentzer. Pauline spent her youth in the northern part of Woodson County, Kansas where she attended school.

high-school-diploma-pauline-mentzerIn 1913, Pauline completed the ‘Common School Course of Study’. Her required course of study included reading, orthography, writing, arithmetic, geography, US History, Physiology, civil government, Kansas History, classics and agriculture.

At the age of 19, Pauline married Edward Osmund Briles and became known as Mrs. E. O. Briles. Her first child, Walter, was born in 1917. A year later the couple welcomed a second son, Kenneth.

Mr. and Mrs. Osmund Briles who lives south of here took their eight months baby which had stomach and bowel trouble to Kansas City to consult a specialist, week before last and last Tuesday the baby died and was brot here Wednesday and buried in the Crandall cemetery. The funeral was held to the Christian church Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. conducted by Rev. Mr. Lowe of Burlington. Kenneth was a sweet child and will be greatly missed in the home and we extend our sympathy to the parents and relatives in their sorrow.

Based on a postcard passed down by Pauline, it appears that Pauline was hospitalized a few months after the death of her child. img_3330

Pauline must have become an ‘expert’ at moving as the family seemed to have a new address every few years. When Kenneth was born in 1918, the family was living in Vernon (Woodson County) Kansas. During the early 1920’s the family was in Iola (Allen County) Kansas where her husband operated a garage. Her daughter, Letha, was born while the family lived in Iola. Around 1929, the family moved from Iola to Buffalo (Wilson County). It was in Buffalo that her husband Edward Osmund Briles began his career with motion pictures. It was also in Buffalo, that her daughter Roberta was born. Shortly, after that the family moved to Emporia, Kansas, where her daughter, Barbara was born. Even though Pauline would spend the rest of her life in Emporia, the family continued to move frequently. The family first lived outside of the city limits on the East side of town.  Other Emporia addresses for the family include 416 Constitution (1938), 613 Lincoln (1940), 645 Lincoln (1952), 924 Constitution (1953), 138 W. 12th (1957), 1014 Market (1959), 821 W. 6th (1966).

mentzer-pauline-b1896-1966-advertisement-the_emporia_gazette_sat__jul_30__1966_According to a want ad, Pauline was forced to move from the duplex on West 6th when the property was rezoned. She was able to locate that ‘3 room apartment’ and moved to 609 West Fifth.

Throughout her life, Pauline was socially active. In 1934, Pauline joined the First Christian Church in Emporia. She was an active member of that church until her death.  In 1960, Pauline was a member of the ‘Harmony Builders Class’ in the church. Besides hosting or attending family events, Pauline was a member of the East Sixth Avenue Club and the Whittier Unit.

mentzer-pauline-b1896-1932-airplane-rides-the_emporia_gazette_sat__jun_11__1932_Although most would have viewed Pauline as a typical wife and mother during the 30s and 40s, she was not always ‘traditional.’ In an interview with a correspondent for the magazine, Motion Picture Herald, Pauline told the reporter that she was going for an airplane ride. This interview was published in Oct. 1932. Since the June 11, 1932 issue of the Emporia Gazette includes an advertisement for those airplane rides, it is possible that this young mother did partake of this adventure. Pauline also worked in her husband’s business — The Lyric Theater. The 1936 directory for Emporia indicates that Pauline was a cashier for The Lyric Theater.

Pauline’s husband, Edward O. Briles, died in 1956. After over 40 years of marriage, Pauline faced life as a widow — but continued to be known as Mrs. E. O. Briles.