Chick incubator and Ray James Noyes, Liberal, Missouri



Ray Noyes Jr. with Chicks (fix)


Ray Noyes Jr. with Chicks original

Courtesy of Nancy Benton, the photo is of Ray James Noyes, son of Ray Noyes and Bettie Brewer.

The photo was taken by a Maud Stacy, probably about 1905 or 1906 as Ray was born Aug 8, 1903. Maud Stacy, a daughter of William and his wife Amy, would have been about 23 years of age.

The family was residing in Summerfield, Monroe, Michigan in 1870.

1880 Central, Barton, Missouri
STACY William 41 farmer b. MI
Ann 38 wife b. RI parents b. RI (Amy)
Edward 16 son b. MI
Arthur 13
William 10
Maud 7
John 4
Roy 1

1900 Central, Barton, Missouri
STACY William head w m March 1839 51 m 38 father b. MI mother b. NY
Amy F. wife w f July 1841 58 m 38 9 of 10 children surviving b. RI parents b. RI
Edward son w m June 1864 35 single b. MI father b. MI mother b. RI
Arthur O. son w m Aug 1867 32 single b. MI father b. MI mother b. RI
William Jr. son w m Jan 1869 31 single b. MI father b. MI mother b. RI
Maude daughter w f Jan 1872 28 b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI
Guy E. son w m April 1881 19 single b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI
Jennie daughter w f Sept 1884 single b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI

1910 Central, Barton, Missouri
STACY A. F. head f w 68 widowed 9 of 10 children surviving b. RI parents b. RI farmer
Arthur O. son m w 42 single b. MI father b. MI mother b. RI farm laborer
William J. son m w 39 single b. MI father b. MI mother b. RI farm laborer
Maud daughter f w 37 single b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI
Jennie S. daughter f w 25 single b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI

1930, Central, Barton, Missouri
STACY Arthur 62 b. MI father b. MI mother b.RI farmer
Maud sister 57 b. MO father b. MI mother b. RI
Jennie sister 45 b. MO teacher in public school

Liberal in the “Fair Play” news, July 1, 1882

Fair Play, Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Saturday, July 1, 1882

The Western Missouri town of Liberal is zealously anti-Christian. Believers in Christianity cannot buy land there, and are excluded from residence as far as possible. The founder is an atheistic lawyer named Walser, and he has gathered a population of about 300 infidels, who, however, differ widely in their own theories.


1882 July 1

James Allen Noyes in Later Years


James Allen Noyes (original)


James Allen Noyes (adjusted)

James Allen Noyes, born 1822 at Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the husband of Caroline Atwell Noyes. In 1882 they moved to the freethought community of Liberal, Missouri where this photo would have been taken in James’ later years. He died in Liberal in 1901. More information on the family is here.

Ray Noyes’ Obituaries

Ray Noyes, husband of Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer, was the son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell Noyes. He lived in Liberal, Missouri. Ray is of our line.


Lamar Democrat Obituary

LAMAR DEMOCRAT obituary (Tuesday, January 21, 1941) for Ray NOYES reads:
“Ray Noyes dead–Ray NOYES, one of West Barton’s best known men, died at his home just west of Liberal at 4:15 Monday morning. The cause of his death was coronary occlusion, a spasmodic contraction of the arteries of the heart. He had suffered a good deal for several years from cardiac asthma thugh he was always up and about. Ray Noes was born at Anna, Illinois, January 4, 1874. He had just passed his 67th anniversary. He was the son of James A. and Caroline NOYES. When a lad of eight he came to Barton County with his parents, in 1882. The family made the trip in a covered wagon. Ray’s father bought and improved a farm near Liberal, Ray grew up in the Liberal community and was destined to live there for fifty nine years — to the end of his days. In 1895 he married Miss Betty BREWER. He leaves her together with five children, one son and four daughters. The son is Mr. James R. NOYES, northwest Barton’s largest and most successful farmer. The daughters are Mrs. Charles BRYANT of Liberal, Mrs. Cora DICKSON of Shreveport, Mrs. Lloyd MCKINNIE of Ponca City, and Mrs. Phil HURT of Laurenburg, NC.”


Last Rites Were at Home


With All His Childlren and Many Friends Gathered to Pay Final Tribute to Liberal’s Notable Citizens, Ray Noyes, As the Casket Lay In the Home, Final Services Were Held After Which the Casket Was Escorted to Its Last Resting Place in the Liberal Cemetery

Funeral services were held for the late Ray Noyes, at the family home, just west of Liberal, at 11 o’clock Wednesday a.m. Mrs. Noyes was yet unable to sit up and was compelled to be in bed during the services. Her daughters wrapped her warmly and supported her to the side of the casket where she took a last, lingering, loving look at the features of the husband of her youth. They put her back to bed before the services started.

A large group of relatives were present from out of the county. Bob Harmon brought his mother Mrs. O. E. Harmon, Ray’s only sister, from Shreveport. Mrs. Paul Noyes was present from Springfield.

All of the children were present. Mrs. Phil Hurt was there from Laurenburg, North Caroline; Mrs. Cora Dixon was present from Shreveport. Mrs. Lloyd McKennie, with her husband and her two sons, was there from Ponca City.

Carl Kenantz directed the funeral. Rev. Earl Bingham conduced the service. Miss (cut off) Bette Lee Bainter? sang Whispering Hope and Beautiful Isel of Somewhere. They were accompanied upon the piano by Miss Geraldine Sechrist.

The casket bearers were Robert Sweatt, Ewin Lipscomb, Buford Harkins, Robert Williams, Frank Curless Jr., and Mas Davidson Jr.

The flower bearers were the members of the Friendly Folks club. There was a fine floral offering and upon the casket was a beautiiful piece wrought from lillies and red roses.

Following the service at the home, the casket was escorted to the Liberal cemetery where the frail body of this notable, vibrant and vital poineer of Liberal was reverently lowered to its final rest.

Courtesy Nancy Benton. Transcribed by JMK


Ray Noyes Obituary

FRIDAY, Jaunary 24, 1941

Ray Noyes Dies After One Week’s Illness

Ray Noyes, aged 67, died at his home two and one half miles southeast of Liberal at 4:15 January 20 after a week’s illness of flu and complications.

Mr. Noyes was well known throughout the county as a very successful and prosperous farmer. He was a good man and a substantial citizen. He was worthy of and had the respect of the entire community. He was devoted to his family, by whom he will be greatly missed, and passing represents a loss to the entire commuity.

Ray Noyes was the son of James A. and Caroline Noyes. He was born at Anna, Ill., January 4, 1874. In 1882 he came with his parents to Barton county in a covered wagon. He was marrried to Miss Betty Brewer in 1895. To this union five children were born, namely Mrs. Chas. Bryant of northeast of Liberal; Mrs. Cora Dickson of Shreveport, LA; Mrs. Loyd McKennie, Ponca City, Okla; Mrs. Philip Hurt, Laurinburg, N.C., and Jim Noyes of near Liberal. There are ten grand children and one great grand child. He also leaves a sister, Mrs. Viola Harmon, formerly of Liberal but now of Monroe, La.

Funeral services were held at the home Wednesday morning at 11:00 o’clock with Rev. Earl Bingham of Mapleton, Kans., officiating.

The many beautiful flower sprays expressed the esteem and sympathy the folk of this community have for the family.

Burial was in the Liberal cemetery. The Konantz Funeral Service had charge of the body.

All the children were present for the funeral also his sister, Mrs. Harmon and son Bob Harmon of Monroe, La.

Transcribed by JMK

Obituaries are courtesy of Nancy Benton.

Poems by Alice M. Walser in “The Bouquet”


Portrait of Alice Walser in “The Bouquet”

Alice Walser, wife of George Walser, founder of Liberal, Missouri, contributed two poems to his volume of poetry, The Bouquet.



Can I tide this world of danger,

‘Mid temptations, storms and strife;

Can I walk the path forever
As your true and faithful wife

Can I feed a heart so tender
As the one your bosom bears;

Will my love for thee grow stronger
As I walk this world of cares?

In the spring time of our wooing

Hope wears but a golden gleam:

Will it change as we are going

Down life’s long and troubl’d stream?

As the cares of life encumber
Us with duties hard to bear;

Will our hearts be young and tender,
As we feel to day they are ?

I can trust your fond devotion;

1 can trust the heart you bear;
But will my first fond emotion

Ever stronger, stronger wear?

Will I be a fond companion.

Through life’s long and trying range:
Will I honor my dominion;

Or like Pimpernel, will I change?

In my hour of threaten’d danger:

Spirit friends I trust to you;
Guide me that I may not wander;

Let my heart be always true.

Fill my mind with thoughts of beauty;

Fill my heart with love, I crave;
Let me walk the paths of duty;

To a peaceful, honor ‘d grave.


Language: — LOVE ON THE WANE

When your love begins to wane,
I will feel a poignant pain; — –
My own heart will tell me so;
Spare your words, for I shall know.

By the half averted eyes;
By the breast that no more sighs;
By the rapture I shall miss
Through thy strangely alter’d kiss.

By the arms that do infold;
By that chill that is untold;
By the absence of that glow; —
I shall know love, I shall know.

Bitter will that stinging be;
Worse than words expressed to me;
Worse than sighs of utter’d pain;
When your love begins to wane.

Though it come not from your tongue;
Though you think my heart unstung; —
When your love begins to go,
I will know dear, I will know.

* * * * * * * * *

In the rear of the book is given the following description of the pimpernel.

The pimpernel, or anagallis is a genus of annual and biennial
plants; they are universal favorites for planting in the beds of flower
gardens. They are propagated by seeds or by cuttings. The name
is derived from anageleo, to laugh. The Pimpernal is fabled as
having the power to drive away gloom and despondency. It does
not unfold its petals until eight o’clock in the morning and then
closes them again towards noon; from this habit it has gained the
cognomen of “the poor man’s hour glass. “It is also sometimes
called the “Shepherd’s Warning,” from the fact that it closes its
petals on the approach of rain.

1892 Oct 17, Letter from Ray Noyes to Caroline Atwell Noyes

A letter from Ray Noyes of Liberal, Missouri to his mother Caroline Atwell Noyes. Paul and Edna Stark had married on June 8 1891 and their daughter Grace was born March of 1892. Paul and his family stayed in Miller, Oklahoma in 1892/93 in preparation for the land run of 1893.

I don’t know where Caroline was staying at the time of the letter.

The letter is courtesy of Nancy Benton.

Liberal MO Oct 17, 92

Mrs. C. A. Noyes

Dear Mother

Well Paul has given up the place and he and Edna left today.

Now the place is open and free for you to come and live here. I would be glad if you would come and be with us at home again

Every thing is getting along fine and we are all well.

There is not any news to tell that I know of I will expect to hear from you immediately

Ray Noyes

John B. Ellis on the Free Love Community at Berlin Heights

I include the below as James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell were connected with the free love community at Berlin Heights, and it’s known that some early residents of the free-thought community of Liberal came to there from Berlin Heights. It is shortly obvious that the writer had little sympathy for the group, but then he was even derisive about “emancipated females”.

* * * * * * * *

From Free Love and its Votaries by John B. Ellis, 1870



Position of the Village.—Lake Erie.—Magnificent Prospect.—Reputation of the Village.—Story of an Old Citizen.—Arrival of Reformers —The First FreeLove Colony.—A New Experiment Organizing.—First Efforts at Berlin Heights.—Early Disadvantages.—Alarm of the Villagers.—Abominable Doctrines Advocated.—Marriage Dispensed with.—Evil Rumors.—Imprudent Course of the Free Lovers.—Suspicious Indications.—Action of the villagers. —The Newspaper War.—Tactics of the Free Lovers.—Their Success.—The First Indignation Meeting.—Its Failure.—Exultation of the Free Lovers.—The Social Revolutionist.—An Outrageous Publication.—Indignation of the Villagers.—The Second Indignation Meeting.—Division of Sentiment.—The Free Lovers are Requested to Leave the Place.—They Refuse.—Demand for Mob Law.—Arrest of the Leaders of the Free-Lore Tarty.—Their Trial.—Defeat of the Villagers.—Mob Violence Inaugurated. —Attack on Frank Barry.—Destruction of his Documents.—Effects of this Outrage.—The Political Canvass.—The Election of the Free-Love Ticket.— The “Eden Group.”—Strange Rumors.—Adventure of a Man in Search of a Lost Cow.—A Picture of Eden Innocence.—The Secret Out.—General Indignation.—Action of the Villagers.—The Free Lovers Refuse to withdraw.—Dr. Overton’s Reply.—Settlement of the Matter.—Failure of Berlin Heights as a Free-Love Colony.—Departure of the Leaders.—The Sequel.

Taking the Cleveland and Sandusky Railway (which is a branch of the Lake Shore Line) from the former terminus, the traveller, in about two hours, reaches an unimportant way-station called Berlin, forty-five miles west of Cleveland, and fifteen miles east of Sandusky, Ohio. The place, in spite of its, proud name, boasts but one edifice, a large frame building, which serves as the residence of the stationmaster, a country store, and, if I mistake not, a mill. From this point a conveyance may be had to the village of Berlin Heights, which lies three miles back from the railway, and to the south of it. Here, passable accommodations can be procured at an indifferent hotel.

The village has a population of from fifteen hundred to two thousand souls, and differs from the average Western town in nothing that I could discover. The houses are of wood, and are not very tasteful, and the entire place is dull and stupid.

The location is magnificent. The village covers a considerable area, the houses having ample grounds, and is built on the highest point of the range of highlands that extends from the eastern halfway to the western boundary of the State, and at a distance of from one to three miles south of Lake Erie. The country is attractive, and the view from the highest point, which is called the Pinnacle, is very fine. To the southward, eastward, and westward, the land is rolling and thickly wooded. Here and there a capital farm appears, with its cleanly-cultivated land and its neat buildings. To the northward the blue expanse of the lake stretches away for miles until it seems to meet the sky. The eye ranges over the group of islands known as Gibraltar, Ballast,

Beaver Herald 1896 Report on Walser’s Conversion to the Presbyterian Faith

The Beaver Herald, Oklahoma Territory, December 10, 1896

Nevada, MO Dec 4 — The report that George A. Walser, the millionaire founder of Liberal, the noted spiritualist town, and president of the Western Spiritualist Association, has united with the Presbyterian faith at Lincoln, Neb., has caused much surprise among his followers.