A Question Raised by the Death of John Wade Vincent at Liberal, Missouri in 1881

“The Wade Family, Monongalia County, Virginia, now West Virginia” published by Franklin Marion Brand in 1927, includes mention of a John Wade Vincent.

John Wade Vincent was preparing himself for the ministry in the Baptist church at a seminary at Liberal, Missouri. He died while a student there in the year 1881 and was buried in the college seminary.

John Vincent, a preacher born abt 1851 in Indiana, was a boarder in the household of the elderly Katrina Stipes in Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri in 1880. In 1870 he was given as 18, born in Iowa, and living in the household of John P. and Sarah E. Romain (Sarah Wade, a sister of his mother) in Vermillion, Vermillion, Indiana. In 1860 he was with his widowed mother, Julia Vincent, in Green, Parke, Indiana.

The above is the John Wade Vincent in question, but the story is off. Liberal was newly formed. A freethought community, there were no churches, certainly no seminaries and no seminary cemetery in which to be buried. The Freethought University wouldn’t open until 1886.

One wonders then what was John Vincent doing in Liberal and why he was given as at a Baptist seminary.

G. H. Walser at the Formation of the Kansas Liberal League in 1879

Came across Aaron Ketchell’s “The Countertradition: A History of Freethought in Kansas” and it has an interesting mention of G. H. Walser.

First he covers how in “The Golden Age of Freethought”, Robert Ingersoll “was instrumental in the organizing of freethinkers into a developed body” and that out of the Free Religious Association, founded by Unitarian ministers, came the National Liberal League, its first convention held in Philadelphia in July of 1876, its goal being the “promotion of secularism in America and opposing church influence in public life.” Different states formed their own liberal leagues, including Kansas on September 9, 1879.

Ketchell writes,

From September 5 to 10, 1879, the National Liberal League held a camp meeting at Bismark Grove, a popular meeting place along the Kansas Pacific Railroad tracks just east of North Lawrence that was well equipped for large gatherings. At this convocation, chaired by former Governor Robinson, thirteen prominent freethinkers from eight different states delivered twenty-two speeches, all anti-Christian. The speeches strongly supported established National Liberal League precepts, including taxation of church property, the elimination of the use of public money for religious functionaries employed by the government, prohibiting the use of the Bible in public schools, and the repeal of all Sabbath observance laws.

The critique of the evils of Christianity was relentless over the six days of the camp meeting. Professor William Denton, a geologist from Massachusetts, stated on the third day, ‘My intention is to destroy Christianity. Children are trained in the greatest absurdities instead of teaching them the truth.’ G. W. Walser, of Lamar, Missouri, told the meeting, ‘I don’t believe in the inspiration of the book called the bible. I believe it is a forgery and a libel on the great creator of the infinite universe.’ This harsh message was heard by thousands of people. Estimates of total attendance at Bismarck Grove on Sunday, September 7, alone ranged from three to twelve thousand people. It was claimed that if Robert Ingersoll had not canceled his scheduled appearance, an all-time attendance record for Bismarck Grove would have been set.

The full document can be read here but that is the only mention of Walser.

It’s amazing that positions openly held by politicians during that time are today considered to be political suicide.

The Dead Man’s Banjo

In Gridley Adams’ “Prose and Worse” column in Volume 46 of “Everybody’s Magazine”, 1922, we find:

(Liberal. Mo. News)

To The Late Mr. S. W. Cooper’s Friends:

Several who have been interested enough to ask me if the banjo was returned that the man borrowed from Mr. Cooper before his death. I wish to say no; he is not man enough to return it without I go to law. So now if you are entertained in some places of business you will know it is by a dead man’s banjo (who cannot speak for himself), and was kept by some one who has no principle or honesty. Don’t think I expect him to bring it back on account of this, but I want the honest citizens of Liberal to know him. Mrs. Geo. Stone. (e. C. G.)

If music be the feud of love, let’s have one more dance.

The 1920 census shows, in Ozark, Barton, Missouri, household 76:

Stone, George head 43 from IL, father b. NY, mother b. OH, a steam and shovel engineer
Marta Linn wife 37 b. IA father b. IA mother b. PA
Cooper, Roberta stepdaughter 15 b. KS father b. KS mother b. IA
Bertha stepdaughter 12 b. KS father b. KS mother b. IA

A jeweler, S. W. Cooper was Samuel W. Cooper, born 13 March 1875 in New York and died December 1918 in Pittsburg, Kansas (according to Ancestry.com). He married Myrta Linn Onstot.

And though he’s given as dying in Kansas, it would appear from the letter that if he didn’t live in Liberal, he was at least known and had friends there.

George Stone was likely the son of Orin and Jane Stone who were in the 1900 census of Leroy, Barton, Missouri, Orin b. NY being 54 and Jane b. being 58. The Stones aren’t mentioned in the histories of early Liberal so it’s unknown when they arrived but it was sometime after the birth of their daughter Eva in 1886 as they were still in Illinois at that time.

One wonders if the banjo was ever returned.

Caleb Lipscomb’s 1907 Hay Experiment

A report, “Conditions Affecting the Value of Market Hay”, published by the Department of Agriculture in July 1909 issue of the Farmers’ Bulletin (362), included an experiment conducted by Caleb Lipscomb.

Caleb Lipscomb had arrived in Liberal in 1899, coming from Fort Scott, and had founded the Lipscomb Grain & Seed Co. J. P. Moore in “The Strange Town of Liberal, Missouri” briefly comments on Lipscomb, “Mr. Lipscomb was a prominent mentor in the socialist movement which once gained considerable strength here. He was several times a candidate for high office on that party’s national ticket. He was not associated with either the Freethought or spiritualist cults. His religion was with the Christian Church.”

The paragraphs on Lipscomb’s experiment:

In Iowa and surrounding States considerable hay is stacked in the field, and the loss due to stacking is not thought to be enough to warrant the building of a barn for hay only.

In 1907 experiments were carried on by Mr. C. Lipscomb, of Liberal, Mo., to determine what the loss would be when timothy remained in the stack for several months. The hay was hauled with a wagon and pitched on the stack by hand, one man doing the building or stacking.

Two stacks were put up in 1007 under conditions that would compare favorably with those of the average farm in this section. The first stack was baled the latter part of December. In order to find out the loss of hay at market prices it was decided to put as nearly as possible only one kind of hay into a bale.

When hay is baled by the ton it is customary for the crew to throw out the spoiled hay from the top of the stack. If the sides are badly spoiled, all that can be removed easily with a fork is also thrown out. The balance is baled with the good hay, which results in there usually being several grades in a bale.

In this experiment the sides were raked off very carefully with a garden rake and all bad spots were cut out with a hay knife. When the baling was finished there were two grades instead of several, as is often the case. These grades were a fair No. 1, and a “No-grade” hay, there being 13.090 pounds of the former and 2,870 pounds of the latter, which made the loss of unsalable hay amount to nearly 20 per cent.

The second stack was baled the following March and the loss amounted to a little over 40 per cent.

The reason why the loss seemed so large was because nothing but the good hay was baled. Of course in raking out the spoiled hay a little good hay was lost, but the amount was insignificant. Had the badly stained hay been baled with the good, as is often done, the loss in pounds would have been less, but hay baled in this manner would have brought less total profit than was received by baling only the good hay. The reason for this, as stated previously, is because the presence of any. stained or spoiled hay on the outside of the bale, even though it be a small amount, causes the buyer to become suspicious and think that, the hay is “sandwiched.” Had the stacks been put up by the use of sweep rakes and stacking machines, the loss would probably have been less because the stack would have been more compact and not so liable to let in rain or settle with soft spots.

On an 80-acre field yielding a ton and a half of hay per acre, a 20 per cent loss would amount to 24 tons, or $192 when hay is worth $8 per ton, which was its value in December, when the first stack was baled. The loss on an 80-acre field, if baled at the time the second stack was baled, would have amounted to $384. According to these figures a hay barn would pay for itself in a few years.

The Carter-Dorsey Stone Company’s Quarries at Liberal, Missouri, 1895

From “Stone, An Illustrated Magazine”, Volume XI, June to November 1895.

The Carter-Dorsey Stone Company, Liberal, Mo., have begun work preparatory to taking out stone from their quarries on the Othen place. They have erected a blacksmith shop and are building three large derricks. One large space of the store has been uncovered, and work is still going on in that direction. Their drilling will be done by steam, and will have the latest and best machinery for the plant Mr. Dorsey, of Chicago, and H. C. Carter, of Omaha, are in charge of the work.

Liberal, Mo.—The Carter-Dorsey Stone Company has begun work on the opening of its quarry near Liberal. New machinery has been added.

American Home Missionary Society Evangelizes in Early Liberal

“The Home Missionary”, published by the American Home Missionary Society and the Congregational Home Missionary Society, listed in its appointments for June of 1884,

“Rev. Frank S. Van Eps, Verdella, Iantha, and Liberal, Mo.”

Appointments for January of 1885 included,

“Rev. Richard T. Marlow, Verdella, Iantha and Liberal, Mo.”

Appointments in May of 1885 gave,

“Rev. George W. Wheat, North Fork, Minden, More Rod and Liberal, Mo.”

I don’t know how these appointments worked, but these individuals didn’t appear to stay in one place for very long. The society was begun in the early 1800s and had representatives from the Congregational, Presbyterian and Reformed churches. By 1893 it was no longer interdenominational and was instead the Congregational Home Missionary Society.

Liberal’s W. A. Martin writes to “The Inland Printer”, 1898

From “The Inland Printer”, Volume XII, October 1898, edited by A. H. McQuilkin, published out of 212-214 Monroe Street in Chicago, USA.

W. A. Martin, of Liberal, Missouri, contributed to the “Notes on Job Composition” column,

“The card and notehead of the Ozark Hotel are very good for work of this class. The composition on your blotter could have been improved. The words ‘Printers and Stationers’ should have had more prominence. The paragraph at the bottom of the blotter should have been set in a trifle smaller type. The presswork on your samples is faulty, but we believe you can overcome this.”

“The Inland Printer”, Volume XXII, November 1898, again shows a contribution of W. A. Martin to the “Notes on Job Composition” column,

“There is considerable improvement in your September blotter over the one you issued for August. It is always a good plan to employ type orthe reading portion of your display work which will enable you to use good, bold display lines. Makes few display lines, but have them forceful. Now, we do not mean by this to take up all the white space with display lines, but use good judgment.”

The 33 year old William A. Martin, born in Missouri, his parents born in Missouri, was listed in the 1900 Ozark, Barton County, Missouri census as a publisher.

J. P. Moore wrote of W. A. Martin, in “The Strange Town of Liberal, Missouri”, that with Walser’s suspension, in 1899, of his paper, “The Liberal”, K. G. Comfort and W. A. Martin began “The Independent” in September of 1890. Mr. Comfort was an attorney at Liberal while Mr. Martin, a printer, had moved to Liberal from Moundville. After a year the association between Comfort and Martin was dissolved, Comfort retaining “The Independent” while Martin began “The Liberal Enterprise” in November of 1891. He sold his paper in 1913.

Noyes Burials at Liberal City Cemetery

At Find-a-Grave, an individual has placed up memorials for Liberal City Cemetery, including members of the Noyes family. There are (sadly) no photos, just names and inscriptions on the headstones. The person must not have been a member of the family as family members are unlinked. I’ve sent a request for them to be linked, but I’ve not heard back yet.

The family members who are there:

Cora Rachel Greene, daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell. She is currently listed as Cora B. Greene. I’ve asked for a correction on that. Cora married Frank Greene. He’s not listed at Find-a-Grave and I don’t know what happened to him after Cora died.

Emma Viola Noyes Harmon daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell. She married Orrin Ellie Harmon.

Orrin Elliot Harmon, husband of Emma Viola Noyes.

Elizabeth “Bettie” Jane Noyes wife of Ray Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell.

Caroline Atwell Noyes wife of James Allen Noyes, daughter of Hiram Atwell and Rachel Scagel. I also have a tombstone image here.

James William Noyes, son of Ray James Noyes and Eula Millard, grandson of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer

James Allen Noyes son of James Noyes and Sally Marble, husband of Caroline Atwell. I also have a tombstone image here.

Luella E. Bunton Noyes wife of James Noyes, son of Ray James Noyes and Eula Millard, grandson of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer

Ray Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, husband of Elizabeth Jane “Bettie” Brewer

Victor Hugo Noyes, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell

Brewer Burials at Mount Carmel Cemetery

Find-A-Grave has two Brewer burials at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Fillmore, Putnam, Indiana, Daniel A. Brewer and wife Nancy Smith.

Daniel A. Brewer Sr. was born Aug 31 1784 in York, Pennsylvania to Johannes (John) Brewer and Jane Van Arsdale.

On October 5 1805 he married, in Mercer County, West Virginia, Nancy Smith, who was born Dec 4 1785. She died Nov 9 1859 in Fillmore, Putnam, Indiana.

Daniel married 2nd Charity Bridges in 1863. She died June 22 1896 in Coatesville, Hendricks, Indiana.

Daniel also died in Coatesville, Hendricks, Indiana, on April 9, 1881 but was apparently returned to Putnam to be buried with Nancy.

They were the parents of Daniel Levi Brewer who married Catherine Hedden.

There are images of the headstones but they are a little too distant to read.

The cemetery can be viewed below. The town of Fillmore is only a short way north of it. It’s an itsy bitsy teeny place with a town hall that is about the size of a couple of garages stuck together. I guess it is primarily a farming community. I wonder if it was ever larger than this.

View Putnam County Cemeteries in a larger map