Ray Noyes Family Gathering


Noyes Family Gathering


Noyes Family Gathering (fix)

Courtesy of Nancy Benton we have this photo of a Noyes family gathering in Liberal, Missouri circa 1932.

From left to right: Jamie Noyes; Ray Noyes behind Mary Lou Noyes; Charles Bryant with Viola Noyes Harmon in front of him and Kathleen Bryant in front of Viola; Pansy Bryant, Lloyd McKinney with Dorothy in front of him and Jim McKinney in front of her; Ray Bryant with Delana Brewer in front of him; Betty Noyes. Photo circa 1932 or 1933, taken on the South side of the Noyes home, a mile east and about 1/2 mile south of the town of Liberal. The image is courtesy Nancy Benton who supplies identification.

Jamie, Mary Lou, Viola, Pansy and Dorothy (direct line) were children of Ray Noyes and Bettie Brewer. Charles Bryant was married to Pansy. Viola Noyes Harmon was Ray’s sister and wife of Ollie Harmon. Delana Brewer was Bettie Brewer Noyes’ mother.

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.

Letter from Sarah Atwell Gilbert to Caroline Atwell Noyes, 1877

Sarah Ann Lydia Atwell Gilbert was Caroline Atwell Noyes’ sister.

Mention is made of a number of people in the letter. Viola, who had been apparently ill, was Caroline’s daughter and would have been about sixteen.

Sarah’s husband, to the best of my knowledge, was a dentist.

Uncle Best was Thomas Best Scagel b. 1805 in Vermont. His wife was Chloe Fisk Dillingham who died August 11 1876 in Vermont. Emery was their son, born in 1835 and died December 27 1872 at Hoosick Falls, New York. In the 1870 census Emery Scagel, a manufacturer of clap board, is living with his parents, Thomas and Chloe, their daughter Mary E., 16, and Dora, 6, and Flora, 4. Dora and Flora were children of Emery and Eliza Betsey Henry who had died March 11 1866. So Sarah is bringing up here the deaths of Mary and Emery and how they were difficult on Chloe who had died the previous summer.

Lorenzo R. is possibly Lorenzo Randolph Bryan, b. 1832 in Waterbury, Vermont to Orson Patrick Bryan and Sarah Sally Scagel, an aunt to Caroline and Sarah, sister of their long deceased mother and Thomas Best Scagel. Sarah Scagel, Lorenzo’s mother, had died Jan 7 1873 in Waterbury and Sarah Gilbert appears to not remember whether she was living or not, which I find peculiar with so close a relative. But Lorenzo Randolph Bryan is my best guess.

I’ve decided Marge/Mary Carlton is Marge (Margaret) Fisk, sister of Lorenzo, who I believe married a Major Alfred Lanthrop Carlton. He had died in Montpelier on May 29 1874.

Who Katie and Carrie are I’ve not been able to determine. I’ve checked for names like this in the Randolph, Orange County census and am finding nothing.

Clark who moved to Burlington Kansas? His last name appears to begin with a B. I’m unable to id him or his family.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Before Jan 3 1877

417 Showmont (?) Ave.

My dear Sister

It has been a long time since I have written you still I have not forgotten you I think of you every day and wonder when I am to see you again I hope you & Viola are back to health and the rest of the family well – I am much better than in the summer. West is not very well – his partner was sick for near three months this summer & it was very hard for him. He is talking of selling out again although no one knows it here and if he does he will take a long rest perhaps go out west – if he was not so miserable I should feel terribly about it – he has done very well since he went back into the office and

if I could feel sure that he was going to be able to work for two years to come I should feel terribly but I don’t want him to work on the confined (?) when he is not able to be we are fated to be unsettled all the time if he does go out of business I shall try to get out of the store by the way how many (unintelligible) has been & is there a chance for another some time when you are in town wish you would work out the (unintelligible) but some good responsible person that would know what the chances would be there for the spring trade – I can’t sell to Mrs. Fill (?) because she has not got any thing to buy with and I may be obliged to take the goods somewhere to set them up and perhaps (unintelligible) & then sell out – I can’t tell what I shall do would go to (unintelligible) I could hear of where there was a good chance – there are many things I like about being in a store

but if West is going to be miserable (unintelligible) go to be here – I don’t get home until after he is in bed almost every night – I have had so much (unintelligible) for the last year that I shall like to be relieved of some of it for a while – business is at a stand still here as well as at other places – don’t expect much until the Election is settled you probably hear (have?) more than I do for you are in a democratic district I believe – West went to VT this summer went to (illegible) at Waterbury took dinner with Uncle Best – Aunt Chloe is not there any more she died the last of July with softening of the brain Uncle Best said and that it was too much for her burying Mary and Emory I never have seen her since Mary was buried – the girls were there with him keeping home & going to school West went to the school house to see them said that Dora was

quite slight and stooping but Flora was plump & very pretty. They have a little old house at the Mill Village. West met Lorenzo R. between the center & streets said he had moved and that I should know where he lived if he sold the Baxler-Whitney place but I do not – West did not ask him for his mother so don’t know whether she is living or not & had forgotten (?) he said he had five or six children – Marge (Mary)? Carlton (?) is trying to sell out her store don’t know whether she will succeed or not – she was at Philadelphia and did not see her but a little while he went to Randolph to see Katie & Carrie they have each of them a good place he said Katie was taller than I am. The man their (?) mother married does not do any thing for them and the people that have them took them out of sympathy because they had no where to go

you will remember (..) Clark (…) used to be at Bradford one year ago he sold out of Bradford and went out to Burlington Kansas we did all we could to prevent his going but he went – He thought he had got into the (…) of the world he brought him a horse a small one and after a little he bought (…) house & 20 acres of land right in the heart of the town (…) $1800 for it – then he went in to different kinds of speculations such as hogs & (…) but in Aug. he was taken sick had the fever that is peculiar to that climate – we kept hearing from them by way of his wife that he was getting better then he would be worse until news came that he had got through with this life he leaves a wife & four children its oldest thirteen its youngest little more than one (…) she probably will have about 2000, not any more, and the last we heard from them

she was sick with this fever & two of the children how she is going to get along I don’t know but Clark had never been sick in his life I am so sorry that one of us did not go to them for Clark would have come to us if we had been sick he was a true friend. I remember this (?) ago this fall (?) when West was feeling so badly and was sick that I wrote him and asked him to write him he was (always full of fun) and say something that would encourage him but instead of doing that he took the first train of course and came right here to the store that he might know just how every thing was before he saw West he staied a week and it did West ever so much good he was always read to help but (…) now he is gone I know it must have been so hard for him to give up his family – I think his will will be a poor person to get along for the reason that she can do so few things she is an excellent teacher & that is about all she can do no housekeeper neither can she doe any sewing if (….) for her if West goes out of business he probably will go out there and see if he can help her to dispense of the business then I (…) wish I was at liberty so I could go with him & go and see you – he will stop at your place if I don’t go if he goes either in going or coming – Let us hear from you just how you are & if Viola has got well wish she was a little older I would set her up in business that is if she wanted to but she ought to go to school some longer – my love to them all remember me to your neighbors (…) you think (…) sister

Sara A. Gilbert
Nov. 21

This is the last letter I ever received from her. She died January 3, 1877, was buried at … the 5 day of January.

Carrie A. Noyes

Courtesy of Nancy Benton. Transcribed by JMK.

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, page 1

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, b

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, c

Sarah Atwell Gilbert letter, d

Interest in Spiritualism in Freethought Settlers of Liberal, Missouri Prior the mid 1880s – Letter from N. W. Gilbert to Caroline Atwell Noyes, April 18 1879

The Noyes family of the socialist Alphadelphia Association, and the free thought community of Liberal, preserved many of the family papers and correspondence, but with the McCarthy scare in the 1950s, my Noyes grandmother, with her sister, Pansy, burned almost the entirety of the collection, fearful of exposure and retribution. A very few letters were preserved, and it has confused me how they came to select some of the few documents that survived. Amongst a very few purely personal documents, two letters make reference to Spiritualism, one shows the link to Berlin Heights, and another concerns dream precognition. It seems that the family purged nearly all associations with socialist communities but were reluctant to discard these several documents concerning Spiritualism, and I’m glad we have them as I’ve long said that I don’t believe Spiritualism was a sudden and drastic change in the direction of the free thought community of Liberal, but that there was an enduring interest in some members of its community beforehand.

That prior interest is evidenced in the below letter written by Norman Gilbert to his sister-in-law Caroline Atwell Noyes. Liberal wouldn’t be founded until 1880. Settlement wouldn’t begin until 1881. Caroline was still in Illinois and the Noyes family would stay there until 1882, though having purchased land in Liberal in 1881. Caroline’s sister, Sarah Ann Lydia Atwell Gilbert, had died in 1877 in Boston. Two years later Caroline was communicating with Sarah’s surviving husband, Norman West Gilbert, that she was interested in making a visit. We don’t have her letter but we do have his response, and in it he mentions having been to a seance, which he believed to be a fraud, but the letter seems to at least indicate an interest and perhaps a belief in Spiritualism. My assumption is that he communicated this to Caroline because of her own personal interest, and we know from a later letter from her son, Victor Hugo Noyes, written in 1885, that the family was very interested in Spiritualism. I also know this just from being a member of the family and the passing along of family stories. James Allen Noyes, Caroline’s husband, was certainly a Spiritualist, and associates at Alphadelphia had been as well.

My belief is that the Noyes were of a type of free thoughter that saw no conflict between free thought ideals and spiritualism…or even agnosticism, if they were agnostic. The Noyes Family Constitution, written in 1882, at Liberal, shows they were using the dating system advocated by the National Liberal League, which was followed in Liberal. They were no doubt believers in separation of church and state. They were not Christians, and likely felt some stress from immersion in Christian society, else they wouldn’t have moved to Liberal where churches were initially banned. But to say that Liberal was thus only an atheist community and that its turn to Spiritualism was disappointingly against original ideals? I think it’s more likely that perhaps a fair number of settlers instead hoped for a living situation outside the constraints of theisms and codified religion, feeling there was ample room in freethought principles for science residing side by side with an individual belief in some sort of after life and Spiritualism. After all, these believers in Spiritualism partook in the initial settlement of Liberal, sending their children to schools where religion was not taught.

O. E. Harmon, a son-in-law of the Noyes, in his book on Liberal testified to this mixed assortment of freethoughters who simply wished to live “unmolested”.

He (Walser) had broken away from the Calvinistic religion, and had become a Free-thinker. It dawned upon him one day that it would be a good thing to found a town where Free-thinkers could live in a sort of colony and enjoy their belief in a quiet, unmolested way.

Various shades of Free thinkers first settled in Liberal. They ranged from out-and-out Agnostics to the more spiritual minded Deists and Spiritualists. Mr. Walser, himself an Agnostic when he founded the town, became in the course of years a Spiritualist, and there was quite a group in the town minded the same way.

* * * * * * * * * *

620 Tremant St.
Boston Friday April 18, 1879.

My Dear Sister –

It is a long time since I heard from you, but longer since you have heard from me. Your letter of November and December reached me in a short time, being forwarded from Northfield to me here. I came here in December, and after a few weeks opened an office in the house where we used to live. I haven’t come to stay, however, as I like the country too well to want to stay here, and besides, I have not the physical ability to endure the confinement and strain of a long continued city practice.


But what I did come for was to start an office here, and after a little while let another man enter it, and I slip away and go back into the country. I don’t (?) but my scheme will prove a failure, but am in life’s net. I shall finally go back to Northfield by (?) and let the Northfield man live this. We don’t say that yet but that was the plan between him and me, as I had acquaintances here and we thought I could start a place better than he could. A great many of my old customers are dead and moved away and changed so I can’t find them but I have found some of them.

So much for myself and what I am doing. I got the house where we used to live ready furnished, so have not put very much money into it, so will not lose much if I don’t succeed; but


shall make it succeed if we can.

I was very glad to hear that you were thinking more or less about coming east once more. And hope your plans in reference to it may be carried out, and that you will come. But why not come before “next Fall” – or is the weather too hot for you in the Summer. If you will come towards the last of June – or sometime in June – and stay here till first of July, I will go with you to Vermont, though I don’t suppose I could be with you much after we had got up there. I shall probably be up there the most of July and August, and may not come back though I may have to come back and stay a while longer. But if you don’t come till Fall, of course you will come and stay with me a while wherever I am. I want to see you, and would be very glad to have you come to New England again.

If it is not too late to send congratulations to Viola on her accession to the married fraternity, she will please accept mine


I hope she has a happy life before her, and that her husband will prove to be a good one, and will succeed in his profession when he gets ready to practice it. Please remember me kindly to them, as well, as to Mr. Noyes and the rest of the children. As ever yours,



Of course you always remember when the 18th of April comes, that it was Sarah’s birthday. Today she would have been fortyfive years old. And do you know how unattractive old age looked to her. Not in other people, as I know of, but she looked upon it as it slowly approached her, though yet quite in the distance, with great disfavor. Will, it never came to her in this life, and perhaps now she is where nobody grows old. I was at a Spiritualistic circle — by invitation of the man who got it up — and it was whispered by what purported to be a spirit that she was there, but I was satisfied that the whole thing


was a cheat and a fraud. I have gathered a little testimony lately, however, that tends to show the spirits communicate, but does not prove it by any means.

I am quite strong in my faith in a hereafter, but can get (?) that will remove the everlasting doubt. However, if there is none, we never shall find it out, and nobody can ever prove that there isn’t.

Please write me and let me know how you get along, and about your coming east. I suppose you are picking strawberries – or nearly ready to pick them by this time. They are here some now but come from the south. The season is very cold and backward. Has been snowing a little here today, though only a few stray flakes. It rains when it doesn’t snow. That the sunshine will come by (?).

Truly yours, N.W.G.

N. W. Gilbert letter, 1879, 1

N. W. Gilbert letter, 1879, 2

N. W. Gilbert letter, 1879, 3

N. W. Gilbert letter, 1879, 4

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

Viola Sells Poultry

Chickens! It was fun to come across this ad of Viola Noyes Harmon selling chickens, especially as I have a photo of her niece, Pansy, feeding chickens, and another photo of a nephew beside a poultry incubator. The White Wyandottes that she specialized in had been standardized in 1888 and were popular in the 1890s and early 1900s.

Emma Viola was the eldest daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, b. 1860. She was married to Orrin Ellie Harmon who wrote the history “The Story of Liberal, Missouri”.

September 1906

Farm range. Fine birds and great layers. Have been breeding them seven years, and they never had any cholera or roup. Eggs, $1.00 per 15; $4.00 per 100. Mrs. E. Viola Harmon, Liberal Missouri

Atkinsons Railroad Gallery Photo

Tried photoshopping a little to bring out the woman’s face, but didn’t do much good

Original courtesy of Nancy Benton.

UPDATE: I believe this is thought that it could possibly be Emma Viola Noyes, sister of our ancestor, Ray Noyes. I believe Nancy Benton suggested this. If not, I wonder if it could be Cora Rachel Noyes who married Frank Greene, as it’s known that she traveled with Frank whose work took him on the road.

This is Cora Rachel Noyes.

The backmark on the top image shows it as an Atkinson’s Railroad Gallery (or Atkinsons Railroad Gallery) photo. Because it was in the Caroline Atwell Noyes collection of photos, it was thought it may be an Atwell related image.

I’ve seen a couple of other images on the web from the same gallery, one was identified as being from Moline (which is in Rock Island County, Illinois) and another from Orion, in Henry County, Illinois. The one from Moline is only referenced on an auction site, not shown. Below is the one stated to be from Orion and shows the same background as ours.

Found on the web

Obviously, these photos were from the same place and in the same time period of the 1880s.

Orion, Illinois is only about 17 miles from Moline. I am wondering if both images were from the same place and one was simply placed as a certain city as that was the city in which the person lived? Or was this a gallery associated with a railroad in located in several different cities on its line? I’ve tried looking up an Atkinsons Railroad in Illinois and have come up dry. I read, however, that Charles Atkinson was a founder of Moline, so perhaps this photo is from Moline. I find also that there was a post-village of Henry County Illinois, on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, 30 miles east of Rock Island.

I have no relatives of the family in either Henry County or Rock Island County. However, I do have one, only one, possible person in the database in a Rock Island County, Illinois census, and that happens to be James Allen Noyes, Caroline’s husband.

There is a James NOYS in the 1850 Rock Island Illinois census aged 23. Given as born Ohio however. But this James NOYS is in a household with a group of men of different professions. Nearby was a well-known Swedish utopian community, so I do wonder if this is James Allen Noyes. The community was the Bishop Hill Colony founded by Erik Jansoon, which disbanded in 1861 but descendants lived there until recently.

James NOYES is given as James NOYS in the 1860 census,which may also lend support to the Rock Island NOYS being James Allen NOYES.

24 October, R.I. Cty Lower Ward
Roll: M432_126 Page: 220 Image: 74
29 1177/1177 John LITTIG 50 Laborer $400 Germany
30 Mary 50 Germany
31 Mary 19 Germany
32 Nicholas 16 France
33 John 8 France
34 Amelia 4 Illinois
35 Andrew 2 Illinois
36 Morriah 1 Illinois
37 John LITTLE 84 Laborer Germany
38 Lewis RUBIDEAU 38 Laborer Canada
39 Mary 24 France
40 Lenora 5 Illinois
41 John L. 3 Illinois
42 Amanda 1 Illinois
1 Frederick RATCLIFF 29 m baker $300 England
2 A. D. GIBBONS 25 m wagonworks $300 Ohio
3 James NOYS 23 Laborer Ohio
4 William HOLLOWAY 33 Assesor Ohio
5 R. H? ANDREWS 24 Lawyer D.C.
6 William NEWBY 25 Sadler $1000 Ohio
7 A. H. MCCULLY 26 laborer Ireland

I had 2 jpg files of this photo, one was titled “Emma” and I don’t recollect if Nancy Benton later wrote and identified the woman as at least an “Emma”. I don’t have this in my database file of notes on the photo.

The woman will likely remain ever unidentified, but the image may place James Allen Noyes, when he was wandering from utopian commune to utopian commune, as having visited Bishop Hill and perhaps initiated friendships with persons of that area which were maintained into the 1880s.

Ray Noyes Family Photo circa 1921-1922

Noyes family. Courtesy of Nancy Benton.

This photo, circa 1921-1922, would be from Liberal, Missouri. Nancy Benton supplied the following identification.

From left to right: O.E. Harmon; Viola Harmon; Edna Noyes; Jamie Noyes; Paul Noyes; Charles Bryant–Bettie Noyes in front of him and Mary Lou Noyes in front of Bettie; Ray Noyes with Lena Minor in front of him; Pansy Noyes Bryant with Ray Bryant in front of her; Dorothy Noyes.

Viola b. 1860 was a sister of Ray Noyes, and was married to Orrin Ellie Harmon. Edna was Edna Stark b. 1872, married to Paul Noyes b. 1869. Jamie Noyes was a son of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer and was b. 1903. Charles Bryant, b. 1890, was the husband of Pansy Noyes b. 1895. (Pansy, Viola and Ray were all siblings, children of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell.) Mary Lou was Mary Louise b. 1913, the youngest daughter of Ray Noyes and Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer. Ray Bryant was the eldest son of Charles Bryant and Pansy Noyes, their only child at the date of this photo. Lena Minor, b. 1916, was the daughter of John J. Minor and Cora Noyes. Her parents don’t appear in the photo.

Emma Viola Noyes Harmon


Emma Viola Noyes original


Emma Viola Noyes (fix)


Emma Viola Noyes portrait

Emma, daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, was born Dec 15 1860 in Wakeshma, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

On June 9 1878 in Anna, Union, Illinois, Emma married Orrin Ellie Harmon who would one day write a slim book on the history of the freethought town of Liberal, Missouri, where her family settled and where she and Orrin would reside after a few years in Washington state.

Orrin and Emma had no children of their own. When Cora, Emma’s sister, died in childbirth, they took in her son, Robert, and raised him as their own. Robert was born Oct. 16, 1887 at Liberal in Barton County, Missouri and died Nov 27 1961 in Monroe, Quachita, Louisiana.

The 1880 Anna, Union, Illinois census.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Anna, Union, Illinois; Roll: T9_254; Family History Film: 1254254; Page: 25B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 0207
Enumerated 36 and 28 of June by Joseph Levey
33 337/369 HARMON Asa wm 52 md Farmer b. VT parents b. VT
34 Lucy wf Wife 51 md Keeping House can’t write b. OH parents b. NY
35 Edgar wm Son 15 MI father b. VT mother b. OH
36 Almina sister 54 unable to read or write VT parents b. VT
37 Ida LEE wf19 Boarding sg b. IL parents b. IL
38 Charles LEE 16 wm Boarding sg Laborer IL parents b. IL
39 338/370 NOYES J. A. wm 53 md. Farmer b. MI father b. MA mother b. NY
40 Caroline wf 44 Keeing house b. VT parents b. MA
41 Cora wf 17 Daughter sg b. MI father b. MI mother b. VT
42 Victor wm 14 sg Son b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT
43 Allen wm 12 sg Son b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT
44 Paul wm 10 sg Son b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT
45 Ray wm 6 sg sg Son b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT
46 338/371 HARMON Orin wm 25 Son-in-law md Farmer b. MI father b. VT mother b. (VT written over Ohio or vice versa)
47 E. Viola wf 19 Daughter md. Farmer b. MI father b. MI mother b. VT

48 Chloe DAVIS wf 70 wd keeping house unable to read or write b. NC father b. NC mother b. VA
COMMENT: Chloe DAVIS looks like she was inadvertantly placed in the Orin HARMON household, as 338/372 continues with daughters of Chloe’s. Viola and her husband Orin HARMON reside in the J. A. NOYES’ household. There don’t appear to be other Michigan families nearby.

From spring of 1882 through spring of 1897 the Harmons resided in Chehalis, Lewis, Washington. In 1887 they adopted the son of Emma’s sister, Cora Noyes Greene, who had died in childbirth.

An envelope from a letter written by Caroline Atwell Noyes during a 1891 visit, postmarked Chehalis, survives.

In 1897, the Harmons moved to Liberal due to Orrin experiencing health problems and having been advised the climate in Chehalis was bad for him.

The 1900 Central, Barton, Missouri census.

Pg. 20A
Sheet No. 3
Supervisor District 13
Enumeration District 18
5 June enumeration by David E. Harpole
(Ancestry.com page 5)
Preceding households appear to be John RHINE, Thomas WILLIAMS, James HANSHAW, John SMITH and Charles DURHAM.
20 48/49 HARMON O. E. Head wm Dec 1854 age 45 married 21 yrs. b. Michigan F-Vermont M-New York Farmer 0 can read and write, 0 months unemployed, F F 50
21 E. Viola Wife wf Dec 1860 39 md 21 yrs, 1 child 0 living, b-Michigan F-Michigan M-Vermont can read and write
22 Robert adopted son wm Oct 1887 12 sg. b-Missouri F-Penn M-Michigan Farmer, 0 months unemployed, can read and write

23-29 49/50 Frank and Nancy STONE household Farmer
30 59/51 William H. GRIVET household Farmer
31-33 51/52 Newton WINNER household Farmer
34 52/53 NOYES Ray Head wm Jan 1875 25 married 6 years b. Illinois f-Michigan m-Vermont Farmer can read and write O F F 54
35 Bettie Wife wf July 1877 22, 2 children 2 living, b- Missouri parents-Illinois, can read and write
36 Pansy Daughter wf Dec. 1895 4 sg b. Missouri f-Illinois m-Missouri
37 Cora Daughter wf Sept 1896 3 sg b. Missouri f-Illinois m-Missouri
38 James A Father wm Dec 1824 75 Wd b. Michigan Parents-NY can read and write
39 53/54 JACKMAN Henry Feb 1849 51 married 21 years b. Penn parents-Penn
40 Mabel March 1863 37 5 children, 3 living b. Michigan F-Michigan M-Rhode Island
41 Hiram July 1881 18 b. Missouri
42 Amy May 1880 20 b. Missouri
43 Benton Oct 1891 9 b. Missouri
44 54/55 BECKMAN George April 1866 34 married 7 years b. New York F-Prussia M-Germany
45 Emma 1871 28 2 children 2 living b. Indiana parents-Indiana
46 Harold 1894 5 b. Missouri
47 Basil 1897 3 b. Missouri
48 55/56 NOYES Paul Head wm Nov 1869 30 married 9 years b. Illinois F-Michigan M-Vermont Farmer o months unemployed, can read and write, O F F 57
49 Edna Wife wf Dec 1872 27, md 9 years, 3 children, 3 living b. Missouri parents-Illinois Can read and write
50 Grace Daughter wf Mar 1892 8 b. Missouri f-Missouri m-Illinois
Pg. 21B
51 Ormil Daughter wf May 1893 7 sg wf b. Oklahoma Ter. f-IL m-IL did not attend school
52 Garrett Son wm Dec. 1896 3 b. Oklahoma Ter f-IL m-IL
Following households are STEVENSON, FOOTE Virginia, WILSON, JACKSON Louis, JACKMAN Allen, STRICKLAND Julia and son Lemuel, MOHLER James, JACKMAN A. M. , JONES William, Viola, Iva and Eva and Marcus, CHESTER Hiram and Permelia, BARNES E. J. and STACY William.

I’ve yet to locate the family in the 1910 census.

From 1916 to 1919 Emma resided in Louisiana.

The 1920 Central, Barton, Missouri census.

Roll: T625_902
pg 8A
ED: 25
Image: 0812
Enumerated 27 and 28 of January by Clara Conner(?)
1 Fm 154/162 NOYES Ray head own Free mw 46 md. can read and write b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT Farmer homefarm 118
2 Betty wife fw 42 md. can read and write b. MO father b. IN mother b. IL
3 James Son mw 16 sg. can read and write b. MO father b. IL mother b. MO
4 Dorothy Daughter fw 12 sg. can read and write b. MO father b. IL mother b. MO
5 Mary L. Daughter fw 7 b. MO father b. IL mother b. MO
6 Fm 155/163 HARMON Orren E. Head Own free mw 65 md. can read and write b. MI father b. VT mother b. NY Farmer homefarm 119
Viola Wife fw 59 can read and write b. MI father b. MI mother b. VT

The 1930 Central, Barton, Missouri census.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Central, Barton, Missouri; Roll: T626_1175; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 2; Image: 0803.
Enumerated April 3
91 23/23 HARMON O. E. Head own Un Radio Not a farm mw 75, md at 23, can read and write, b. MI father b. VT mother b. NY no occupation
92 Emma Wife fw 69 md at 17, can read and write, b. MI father b. MI mother b. VT

93 24/24 NOYES Ray Head own Radio Farm mw 56, md at 21, can read and write, b. IL father b. MI mother b. VT, Farmer, Own farm
94 Betty Wife fw 52 , md at 17, can read and write, b. MO father b. IN mother b. IL
95 24/25 NOYES James Head rent mw 26, md at 22, b. IL mother b. MO Farmer own farm
96 Mildred wife fw 21, md at 18, can read and write, b. MO father b. Il mother b. MO bookkeeper bank

After the death of Emma’s husband, Orrin, she lived with her son, Robert, at his plantation in Monroe, Quchita, Louisiana. She died there 1946 October 26 and was buried at Liberal Cemetery in Liberal, Missouri.

Cora Rachel Noyes Greene

Original photo of Cora



Cora, daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, was born 19 April 1863, at “1 and 1/4 oclock” in Wakishma, Michigan. She married Frank GREEN, 30 March 1886, at the age of 23, in Junction, Kansas. She died in childbirth, 16 Oct 1887.

Cora died in childbirth. Her son, Robert, was adopted by Cora’s sister, Emma Viola.
SOURCE: Pansy Noyes Pinkerton’s Noyes Family Record (made early to middle 1900’s and augmented by Nancy Benton).

From a couple of surviving letters, we have bits of information about Cora. In 1883 she had been working in a printing shop but lost the job, which is known from a letter her brother, Victor, wrote her in December.

A letter in August of 1885 from Victor to Cora informs us that Cora was interested in spiritualism.

In 1886, Cora married Frank Green. Envelopes, but not letters, from their correspondence survived, the letters perhaps destroyed when the family purged anything about which they were worried during the McCarthy years.

K of L(?) Section, Beloit, KS (Postmark–unreadable, KS)
Transient, Lincoln, NE (Postmark–Liberal, MO)
Care U.P. Engineer Corps, Hutchison, KS (Postmark–McPherson, KS)
Omaha, NE (Postmark–Liberal, MO–from Allen Noyes)
Occidental Hotel, Omaha, NE (Postmark–Liberal, MO)
Editor Resident, Wichita, KS (Postmark–Junction City, KS)
Transient, Chester, NE (Return Address–Green & Co., 211 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE)
“Hon” Frank Greene, State Convention Anti-Monopoly, Topeka, KS (Postmark–Wichita, KS)

I cannot make out the date on the last one, but apparently he was a state representative if he was addressed as “Hon”. Also possible he was working for the Union Pacific as an engineer.

The “editor resident” must have been for the Evening News in Wichita. There are two letters to Cora in the same handwriting in envelopes with that return address, written in the same hand, one to Liberal in 1887 and one to Junction City, KS, (no date). The same handwriting on a plain envelope addressed to her in McPherson, KS (no date).

SOURCE: Nancy Benton 2 May 2003

I don’t find any Frank GREEN who was a State Representative for the Anti-Monopoly party which was in the process of winding down at that point. He would likely have been at the Anti-Monopolist convention held at Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas on August 25 1886. I read the convention made no nominations for executive offices but delegates were instructed to work for the election of such candidates as would pledge themselves to secure the adoption of all the measures for the relief of labor and the great producing class that were in harmony with the AntiMonopolist, Greenback, and Knights of Labor declaration of principles.

Cora apparently went on the road with Frank, only envelopes surviving from letters written to her mother, Caroline.

Envelopes to Carrie, apparently from Cora, from Wichita, Mcpherson, Omaha, Lincoln, and one in an envelope with return of McPherson Steam Laundry in Wichita. Wonder if Cora worked there at one time? One dated Apr 14, 1893 from Scranton, PA, has a note on one side “Containing Frank Greene’s death…
SOURCE: Nancy Benton 2 May 2003

A note written by Carrie on a dream which seemed to become a premonition, was saved by the family. The seeming premonition was of Cora’s death in 1887.

Other posts have information on Robert Harmon who was taken in by Cora’s sister, Viola, and her husband.

I’ve yet to find the family of Frank Greene, who seemingly died before April 14 1893.