Do you try to find details about an ancestor’s life for the time between their birth and their death, i.e. the dash? Census records help fill in that ‘dash’ since they put a person in a specific place at a specific time. However, I’ve found that gossipy newspapers also help fill in that ‘dash’.
The value of newspapers was brought home when I uploaded images to FamilySearch for my grandfather, Edward Osmund Briles.
It was a ’40 Years Ago’ clipping that my grandmother kept that provided a major clue to my grandfather’s life.
That clipping led me to articles and court records about the time my grandfather defied the law to show movies on Sundays. My grandfather was arrested and convicted for that ‘crime’.
It was while researching newspapers in the communities where my grandfather lived prior to Emporia that I learned that he owned Briles Garage. Not only did he own a garage but he was part of a ‘Grand Tour’ in the early days of the automobile.
All of these findings reinforced my previous experiences with newspapers – pay attention to those local news items. One never knows what they will uncover for the dash.
I recently posted a photo from my grandmother’s collection of an Alfalfa Mill to the Facebook group, Growing Up in Dodge City.
Since my grandparents lived in Dodge City their entire lives, I just assumed that the caption was correct. However, comments on the post questioned whether there was an alfalfa mill in Dodge City.
So, I turned to the newspapers to learn more about an alfalfa mill in Dodge City. I did verify that such a mill existed. Unfortunately, I haven’t located information for the construction of the first mill. Below is a synopsis of what I found.
Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 09 Feb 1911 Thu
The alfalfa mill will be opened again this week. It is a little unusual for the mill to be in operation at this time of year but the farmers held over much of their alfalfa for better prices and are now ready to place it on the market.
The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 23 May 1912 Thu
Alfalfa Mill Is a Total Loss
Fire Started Early This Morning and Burned Rapidly
(Monday) A fire loss which will probably amount to between $6,000 and $7,000 occurred early this morning when the W. B. Martin alfalfa mill on west Santa Fe trail street was destroyed. The building and its contents including machinery and supplies were burned, and no insurance was carried to relieve the owner of the loss. The fire started between the main building and the shed and many believe it was the work of some incendiary, as there had been no workmen or others about the mill since Saturday evening. The fire was discovered about 3 o’clock this morning and by four the building was in ashes. Besides a considerable amount of expensive machinery it contained several car loads of alfalfa and other food stuff. The fire department was powerless to save the building as it was covered with flames before the fire was discovered, but the work of the department, saved quite a number of residences in the neighborhood The residence of Frank Osburn on the east side of the mill was almost completely destroyed, and the one belonging to Archie T. Keech directly west of the mill was badly burned on one side, but no other buildings were damaged. Sparks from the fire blew over nearly all of the town from the mill ot the stand pipe on the Central Avenue hill, but most of the people of the town had been wakened by the siren whistle at the city power hose and watched their roofs. W. B. Martin, the owner of the mill is spending the day in Garden City and he had not announced before his departure whether the mill would be rebuilt or not.
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 24 May 1912
New Alfalfa Mill Is in Prospect
New Building May Go Up on the Site of the One Which Was Burned
It Would be Fire Proof
The New Mill Would Be a Cement Block Structure and Would Be Larger than the Old One — Some Are Protesting
Dodge City may soon have another alfalfa mill. It is possible that one will be built this season on the site of the mill which was burned last Monday morning on west Santa Fe Trail street. Manager W. B. Martin was talking about the matter this morning, and he said that contractors had been asked to make estimates on the kind of a building that would be required for the purpose. If a new alfalfa mill is put up it will be a thoroughly fire proof building and will probably be larger than the old mill which was burned. Mr. Martin said today that since most of the debris had been removed it was found that much of the machinery had not been seriously damaged and that with a little overhauling it would easily be put into commission again. It was stated this afternoon that W. P Kilesen of the Farmers’ Elevator company was circulating a petition protesting against the rebuilding o the alfalfa mill but it is not known what objection is made to the enterprise.
The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 06 Jun 1912, Thu
No Action Taken about Alfalfa Mill
Mayor Bell Favored New Mill While Other Commissioners Opposed It
There is still some difference of opinion abouth whether Dodge City is to have a new alfalfa mill. The matter was presented to the city commissioners again last night and was supported by a petition signed by eighty-one business men of the city asking that the commission rescind its former action denying the company the privelidge of putting up a fire proof mill on the site of the old one which was burned. Mayor Bell was in favor of allowing the mill to be rebuilt. Commissioners Miller and Laughead opposed it, but they took no action last night. They said they would consider the matter again at the meeting next Friday evening. Manager W. B. Martin was there to represent the company and several of those who opposed the proposition for rebuilding the mill were there to speak to the commissioners. In speaking to the intention of the company, Mr. Martin said: “I am unable to tell what we will do. Evidently the city commissioners intend to oppose our putting in a mill here. The quesiton is whether it would be better to go ahead anyhow and be the subject to all kinds of annoying orders, or abandon the field and put up a mill at some other point.”
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 15 Jun 1912, Sat
Considerable opposition is developing to having the alfafa mill re built on the location where it burned down. It is argued that it is too close to the oil tanks and would be a menace to the city water works. The Commercial Club may take a hand at securing new site for the company.
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 20 Jul 1912 Sat
Produce Company to Build
Site of Old Alfalfa Mill Has Been Purchased and Fireproof warehouse Is to Be Erected There
The wholesale produce company has purchased the lots where the alfalfa mill stood before it was burned and will erect a fireproof warehouse there. Work has already commenced clearing out the rubbish left after the fire and the building will be completed this summer. C. B. Young of the wholesale company says it has not been decided just the size of the building but that it will be either about 25 by 175 feet or 37 by 75 feet It will be one story of either concrete or brick. The location is an ideal one for a warehouse as it is beside the railroad track and will give a storage house which is needed on account of the growing business of the company
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 04 Oct 1912, Fri
The warehouse of teh Dodge City Produce company is to be ready for occupancy in two weeks. It is being erected on the Santa Fe tracks on the site of the old alfalfa mill.
The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 21 Nov 1912
Plan to Build an Alfalfa Mill Here
Ford County Growers May Form Company to Replace the One Burned Last Winter
Ford county growers of alfalfa are planning to build an alfalfa mill here to take the place of the one that burned last winter. A meeting of some of the leading alfalfa men was held last week to discuss plans for rebuilding. Will Martin, who owned the other mil, has been asked to take a part in the formation of a new company. It is estimated that a new mill can be put in operation for form $3,500 to $5,00. Alfalfa growers say the mill tends to keep up the price of the hay by providing a steady market. Some growers say that $8 alfalfa cannot be fed here profitably that the grower makes a greater and more certain profit by selling to the mill. The alfalfa crop in this county this year has been exceptionally good, and the amount of hay produced has resulted in the agitation for a mill.
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 12 Mar 1913
Build Larger Alfalfa Mill
Contract Let by Dodge Company and Work Is to Start at Once
The alfalfa mill company has let the contract for the new mill and work is to start at once. Morley Bros., of Wichita, get the contract for the machinery and the shed for it. The latter is to be 16 by 24 feet and 24 feet high. A wetterhold grinder is to be installed, and electric power from the Midland company is to be used. Fairbanks A Morse received the contract to supply the motors. A large hay barn is to be erected and a store room. Both buildings will be put up by the farmers who comprise the company. The plant is to be built on the Santa Fe spur near the Chris Behl tract, east of town. It will cost, complete, about $4,30000 and will be considerably larger than the plant which burned down.
The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 26 May 1916, Fri
I’ve been using this tool with great success — but have gone one step further: filtering by name. Since my recent research has centered on the descendants of James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford, I entered one of the descendant’s surname: Guthrie.
By using the mining tool for the obituary index and filtering the results by the surname Guthrie, I found a fabulous obituary for William Anderson Guthrie: William GuthriePark Leader, Dies Former Senator Recently Honored at Clifty Falls Ceremony on 85th Birthday
Dupont, Ind., August 6 (spl.) — William A. Guthrie, age eighty-five, for many years a member of the Indiana conservation commission and a former state senator, died at his home here last night.He was one of the early leaders in forming the state park system and because of his activity in establishing Clifty Falls state park near Madison, a plaque was placed on the new south gateway of the park in his honor. It was unveiled with ceremonies on his eighty-fifth birthday anniversary, with Governor Paul V. McNutt as principal speaker.Mr. Guthrie was born in Dupont, May 13, 1851, the son of Anderson Crawford and Anne Wilson Guthrie. He received his education at College Hill and Moore’s Hill College, which is now Evansville College. He married Sarah Lewis on October 28, 1875. Mrs. Guthrie died in 1925 in Cairo, Egypt.Lifetime RepublicanMr. Guthrie, a lifetime Republican, was active in the affairs of councils in Indiana and was one of the small coterie of state senators who brought about the first election of Albert J Beveridge to the United State senate. During this session, Mr. Guthrie devoted much time to obtaining passage of the pure food bill. In 1908, he was a delegate to the Republican national convention and a presidential elector in 1916 and 1928. During the world war, he served as vice-president of food production in Indiana and a short time later was vice-president of the deep waterway commission of Indiana.Mr. Guthrie was a Baptist. He was a member of the Academy of Science, an honorary member of the Nature Study Club of Indiana and of the Rotary Club of Madison.Mr. Guthrie was a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows, Mystic Shrine, Audubon Society, Columbia Club, Pioneer Society of Indiana and an honorary member of the Historical Society of Jefferson County.He served as vice-president of the Belt Railroad and Stock Yards Company and a member of the executive Committee. He held positions in the Fletcher Avenue Savings and Loan Association, the Guthrie-Thompson Company, the Federal Timber Company, and the Florida Orchard Company. He was president of the Freehold Company.For many years Mr. Guthrie had come to Dupont to spend the summer months at the family home here. He spent the greater part of the year at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, where he had lived many years. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Lucy Guthrie Crecraft of Akron, O., five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. W. B. Guthrie, a grandson is proprietor of Turkey Run hotel at Turkey Run state park. “William Guthrie, Park Leader, Dies,” The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, IN), 6 August 1936, page 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online October 2019).
Wednesday, July 18, 1984
page 2 column 4-5
KS State Historical Society
Funeral services for Mrs. E. O.
Briles, who died Tuesday at her
apartment in Horizon Plaza, will
be held in the chapel of Roberts-
Blue-Barnett Funeral Home. Ser-
vices will be Friday at 10:30 A.M.
conducted by the Rev. William Im-
hoff of the Christian Church.
Burial will be in Memorial Lawn
Memorial contributions may be
made to the First Christian
Church, to which Mrs. Briles be-
longed, and may be sent in care of
the funeral home.
Pauline Edith Mentzer was born
March 28, 1896 at Yates Center,
the daughter of Charles O. and Net-
tie Wells Mentzer. She married
E. O. Briles on Oct. 29, 1915, at
Yates Center, and he died May 28,
1956. Mrs. Briles had lived in
Emporia since 1930.
She is survived by two daugh-
ters, Roberta Crawford, 2314 West
21st Ave., and Letha Doolittle of
San Bernadino, Calif.; a brother
Leslie Mentzer of Neosho Falls,
and 12 grandchildren and eight
Mrs. Briles was a member
of the Whittier Extension Home
Unite and the Birthday Club.
She was preceded in death by a
daughter, Barbara Thompson;
two sons, Walter Briles and Ken-
neth Briles; her parents and sever-
al brothers and sisters.
I was able to locate a similar article on Newspapers.com by doing an advanced search for Briles, 1984, North Carolina. The article was published in the 26 Oct 1884 issue of The Courier (Asheboro, North Carolina).
Odell & Co.,
Randolph County, In Superior Court
Petition for sale of lands for division
Zebidee Rush et als,
F. L. Johnson and wife M. M. Johnson et als.
This is a special proceeding for the sale of certain lands situate in Randolph county for division among the children and heirs at law of Noah Rush deceased.
And it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the defendants Nancy Wade, George G. Rush, Branson Briles and wife Dorcas Briles, Alexander Briles, Dr. C. N. Briles, David Stanled and wife Sarah R. Stanled, John B Briles, Joseph Mitiger and wife Louisa MItiger, Robert A. H. Briles Zebedee R. Briles, James Allen and wife Nancy C. Allen, Benjamin Briles, Leander P. Leonard and wife Sallie Leonard, Zebidee Rush Jr., Geo. Gastinaw and wife Mary Gastinaw, Geo. Holmes and wife Caroline Holmes, Wm. Sexton and wife Nancy Sexton, Thomas Hatfield, and wife Martha Hatfiled, Jas Gastinaw and wife Lon Gastinaw, James Cox and wife Laura Cox, Adam Rector and wife Mary L. Rector, John C. Rush, Dr. B. Rush, Oliver Rush, Bell Rush are necessary and material parties in this action and that they reside beyond the limits of this State.
Even though I have not researched all of the descendants of Noah Rush and his wife Sarah Clark, I believe this document refers to their family. Noah’s daughter, Sarah, married Alexander Briles. Sarah’s sister, Dorcas, married Branson Briles. Alexander and Branson Briles moved their families to southeastern Kansas prior to the start of the civil war.
Below is how I think the names in the newspaper article match up with the children of Sarah Rush and Alexander Briles.
If I am matching the names in the land dispute correctly with the family of Alexander Briles, then there are two children (or their descendants) of Sarah Rush missing from the list of defendants: Noah Washington Briles and Harrison W. Briles.
I love Newspapers.com and other services that are digitizing newspapers. I enjoy finding those tidbits of information that help me understand more about an ancestor’s life.
Unfortunately, I’ve discovered an issue with my documentation of those tidbits of news. In crafting a citation, I have used the page number at the top of the screen with the name and date of the paper. When I started finding the society news on page 1 in the Emporia Gazette, I began questioning that page number. Below is a screenshot showing the information about the paper along with the top of the paper showing the actual page number.
After discovering this issue, I started adding the source information when clipping an article.
My genealogy research began prior to the Internet — which meant I had to travel to do research. Luckily, I live about 75 miles from the Kansas State Historical Society which has an excellent collection of Kansas newspapers. I remember using a bound volume of a newspaper in the reading room when the Historical Society was located downtown. However, most of my newspaper usage involved (and still involves) reading microfilm. Finding a ‘gossipy’ newspaper makes scrolling thru a roll of microfilm much more enjoyable.
During my early days of newspaper research, I copied the articles by hand – likely because it was easier/faster to copy the article by hand than to rewind the microfilm, wait in line at a printer, reload the film, find the page and pay to print it.
One of those early finds involved my grandfather’s ‘Uncle Jimmy’, who was actually his great-uncle, James H. Crawford. This article reported a carriage accident. I have included that information in James Crawford’s profile as an accident fact. The RootsMagic sentence for the event is as follows:
About 13 Aug 1888, James H. Crawford was involved in an accident in Dodge City, Kansas, while driving a covered carriage about 6 miles NW of Dodge. The carriage overturned throwing his passenger out on his head and shoulders and dragging him several rods.
The Dodge City Times proved to be a ‘gossipy’ newspaper as it revealed that James H. Crawford operated a grocery in Dodge City and operated a hotel, stable, and blacksmith shop in South Dodge City.
This newspaper also revealed that my great-great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford, who sometimes went by Marion Crawford, built the family home at 911 Second. (Second street was originally called Bridge Street.)
Both of my grandmothers kept newspaper clippings. In some of those clippings, I found a very small entry for ’40 years ago’ regarding my grandfather going to jail. That tiny article led me to numerous newspaper articles of the time period and to the actual court record.
With the digitization of newspapers, it is much easier to locate these tidbits of information — and these tidbits of information reveal a lot about the lives of my ancestors.