Victor Hugo Noyes to Cora Noyes, December 1883

The date on the letter looks like Dec 1887 but Victor died in 1886. The date has been determined to be 1883, it being known that Victor was working in a tin shop in Kansas City in March of 1884.

“I have many more envelopes than letters, and none of the letters were enclosed in an envelope. Envelopes at that time carried the month and day, but not the year, so are not of much use in dating anything, anyway. It’s strange because the postmarks on postcards did carry the year.” Source: Nancy Benton 12 Sept 2003 email

Victor, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, of Liberal, Missouri was writing his sister Cora, who had been apparently inquiring about visiting. She had recently lost a job at a printing shop, possibly in Liberal.

He writes of activity at the tin shop where he works in Kansas City, the boarding house on Holmes street, a walk along the river, and a fledgling romance.

He also writes of having been to two spiritualist lectures.

Transcription of the letter follows the images.


Victor Hugo letter 83 a


Victor Hugo Noyes letter 83 b

(pg. 1)

Kansas City

Dear Cora –

I received both your letters and card yesterday at the shop. I am sorry to learn that you lost your job at the printing office.

You asked if you could stop and see me as you went be to (illegible). Yes, certainly, but the boarding house at which I am now staying is full and besides there are no boarders here but men. Most of them work at the iron foundry at the end of this street which is Holmes street. Since I wrote to you last I have been hear two spiritualist

(pg. 2)

lectures. It is quite cold here now. In the shop where I work we keep a big fire in the stove so that it is not uncomfortable. Why I quit backing was that it was so cold I could not keep myself as comfortable as I would be boarding. I pay three and a half dollars a week. Times are getting a little dull in the shop now. that is there is not so great a demand for tin ware in this season of the year as commonly. The Missouri river is in plain sight for several miles up stream from the shop window. for the last couple of days it has been full of floating ice proberbally frozen in it tributaries during

(pg. 3)

the cold weather we had a while ago and thawd loos in the succeeding warm weather. I took a walk a week ago last sunday along the bluff that overlooks Union Depot and the view was just grand. I walked 2 or 3 miles in all before I got to the city reservoir (?) where I took a street car and rode back. There are four women work in tin shop at soldering. One of them (who is about my age) get a long first rate.

Some of the boys say I will make a mash of it. “making a mash” is all the go here now. This is the slang expression of a gentleman and lady going to gether the boys are only teasing me

(pg. 4)

about Miss Emma is so you need not be afraid about me.

I expect you find it trouble to read this letter. It is of little importance so skip what you can’t make out.

Victor Noyes

* * * * * * * * *

Thought I’d add a link to a page where you can view what the old Union Depot in Kansas City looked like circa 1880.

James Allen Noyes Photo


James Allen Noyes original


James Allen Noyes (adjusted)

Courtesy of Nancy Benton, we have this photo of James Allen Noyes (direct line). James Allen Noyes was born Dec 22, 1826 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan to James Noyes and Sally Marble. He married Caroline Atwell in June 28 1859. They moved to the free-thought community of Liberal, Missouri, where he died Jan 24, 1901.

House of Banker, G. W. Baldwin


Home of banker, George Baldwin


Home of banker, George Baldwin (retouched)

The home of Banker G. W. Baldwin. He was president of the Exchange Bank. He was a native of Schuyler County, New York. He and his family moved to Liberal in 1888 and organized the Bank of Liberal. He and his partners sold the bank to J. J. Stewart of Ft. Scott, Kansas five years later. Stewart soon tired of banking and left town, leaving Liberal without a bank. So in 1894, Mr. Baldwin built a new building with a safe and opened the Exchange Bank.

In December 1895, the Liberal Enterprise newspaper printed a four page supplement that detailed the history of Liberal and also told about Liberal’s businesses and citizens. Below are computer scans from newspaper microfilm showing some of the early scenes. The quality is not perfect, but its better than a machine made copy.

Barbara Irwin first posted this material on her new defunct webpages on Liberal.

Noyes Land, Barton County, Missouri


Noyes Land Barton County

We can see on this map land of brothers Ray Noyes and Paul Noyes, sons of James Allen Noyes, adjoining land of Orrin Ellie Harmon in Barton County, Missouri.

James Allen Noyes moved to Barton County during the infancy of Liberal, Missouri.

Denison Hotel, from “This Strange Town–Liberal Missouri” by J. P. Moore

Checking with the copyright catalogue, I find copyright was made in 1963 by J. P. Moore but was never renewed, which means the book has entered the public domain. The author is long since deceased.

1880 – 1910


Return to the Table of Contents

Pg. 24


Denison Hotel

Obituaries for Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer Noyes of Liberal, Missouri

We have two obituaries for Bettie Brewer. I appear to have lost the obitnoyesbbettie1.gif of the below obituary, but still have the second. Both were courtesy of Nancy Benton.

Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer Noyes (line of the blog’s author) was the wife of Ray Noyes and daughter of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana Louise Fowler.


“Mrs. Bettie NOYES, eighty-six, lifetime and prominent resident of the Liberal community, died at Oak Haven rest home at FT. SCOTT, Tuesday forenoon. The eighty six year old woman had been in frail health for the past five years, suffering from degeneration of the circulatory system. She had been a patient in the FT.SCOTT rest home for the past eighteen months.

“She was born on the farm of her parents, David Nathaniel BREWER and Delanie Louise BREWER, three and a half miles northeast of Liberal, July 22, 1877. She was married to Ray NOYES, a young LIBERAL farmer, in 1895.

“She and her husband settled on the Noyes homestead in the LIBERAL vicinity following their marriage, where they reared their children and took a prominent part in the general affairs of the community and in the Methodist church. At the death of her husband in 1941, the widow took up residence in LIBERAL where she remained until it was necessary for her to enter the rest home.

“She was the first person to be baptized as a member of the Methodist Church, in the organization of which her father had played a leading role. She was twelve years of age at that time, and maintained an abiding and devoted interest in the church throughout her lifetime.

“She leaves one son, Jim NOYES, widely known and successful LIBERAL farmer; and three daughters, Mrs. Charley BRYANT, well-known Liberal woman, Mrs. Cora DIXON, Shreveport, Louisiana, and Mrs. Lloyd MCKENNEY of Carthage. One daughter, Mrs. Mary Lou HURT, died in 1953.

“The body was taken to the Komantz (?) funeral home at FT. SCOTT to be prepared for burial. The last rites were set for 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the Methodist church at LIBERAL, the Rev. Lavrey LANEVILLE (?) officiating. Internment follows in the Liberal City….”

The remainder of the article is cut off.


Bettie Noyes obit 2

The second obituary for Bettie Brewer reads:


“Funeral services for Mrs. Betty Noyes who died July 9 at Oak Haven rest home in Fort Scott were held last Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Liberal Methodist church with the pastor, Rev. Larry Linville, officiating.

“Mrs. Evan Cooper and Mrs. Howard Talbott sang “How Great Thou Art” and “Rock of Ages.”

“Casket bearers were Albert Snodgrass, Raymond (?), Frank Miller, Rex Jackman, Bob Williams and Francis Jones.

“Mrs. Noyes was born July 22 1877 on a farm three and a half miles northeast of Liberal, the daughter of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana Louise Brewer. She was married to Ray Noyes in 1895. They settled on a homestead in this vicinity and lived there until the death of Mr. Noyes in 1941. Mrs. Noyes moved into town after the death of her husband and resided at ther home on north Main street until 18 months ago when she entered the home at Fort Scott.

“Among those from a distance attending the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Benton and family of Tulsa, Okla., Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Smith of Selah, Wash., Mr. and Mrs. David Brewer, Mrs. A. Montgomery and Mrs. A. Moore of Everton, Mr. and Mrs. Schyler Brewer and Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Brewer of Stockton, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brewer, Mr. and Mrs. Alva Brewer, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Brewer, and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Brewer of Joplin, Mrs. and Mrs. Phillip Hurt and family of Prairie Village, Kan., Mrs. Stella Poindexter of Greenfield, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Spurling of Mapleton, Kan., Mrs. Pearl Ferona (?) of Lamar and Mr. and Mrs. John Daly of Carthage. ”

COMMENT: The Dalys were close friends of daughter Dorothy Nadeen and her husband, Lloyd McKENNEY. It would be interesting to know who the family of Vernon SMITH was, who came from Selah Washington for the funeral, Selah being where Jessie Brewer JONES, Bettie’s sister, had moved.