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.

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.

Paul and Ray Noyes


Paul and Ray Noyes

Paul, b. 1869, and Ray, b. 1874, were two of four sons of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell Noyes. The family moved from Illinois to the freethought community of Liberal, Barton County, Missouri in 1882. Ray was about 8 at the time and Paul about 13. Allen would have been about 15 and Victor about 17. Sisters Cora and Emma were about 19 and 22 respectively in 1882, and Emma already married. It’s difficult for me to guess the ages of Ray and Paul here but whether the photo was taken before or not long after the move to Liberal, I can’t hazard a guess as to why Allen, at least, wouldn’t have also been included, unless the photo was taken in Liberal and Allen was already living outside the home, as well as Victor.

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

June 6th, Ray Noyes letter to Bettie Noyes

Dated with a month and day but no year, I have vacillated back and forth on whether this letter from Ray to Bettie Noyes would have been written during Bettie’s 1902 June visit with the family of Allan Noyes (a brother of Ray) in Oklahoma. Bettie’s first letter to Ray (at least the first of her two surviving letters) was written May 30th, and then another was from June 23rd, and I was given the impression she wrote frequently. However, Ray’s letter, written in response to one from Bettie which hasn’t survived, mentions that her letter had been dated the 12th but not postmarked until the 14th, which would be May 12th and May 14th. So, is this from another year? Or is it possible that the dates only appeared to be the 12th and 14th, and were so transcribed, when instead they were the 2nd and 4th. It seems more likely to me that the dates were June 2nd and June 4th. Mail traveled and was delivered quickly. Bettie could write a letter to Ray and seemingly be certain he had received it the following day. Also, I’ve a difficult time imagining that Ray, who prompts Bettie in this letter to get her mail out more quickly, would have waited more than half a month to respond to her. Not only this but Ray appears to mention his brother, Paul, taking the cattle to “the nation” at the same time Bettie left, which would be the Osage Nation. It’s difficult for me to imagine Paul would have been gone for that long a period of time to take the cattle to the Osage Nation. He had his own farm to which to attend.

Yet, Ray states also that he had “set a hen” the week Bettie left and he imagines she will hatch some time that week. If it takes about 21 days for chicks to hatch then if the chicks were expected to hatch some time around the 8th (the 6th was a Friday), he would have set the hen around the 18th of May.

The letter is primarily concerned with answering inquiries Betty had written concerning their farm–which seem to be the only inquiries she’s made as lists his answers numerically and there are no answers concerning anything else. The letter, however, seems playful. Ray does a nice job describing his meal for the evening and teasing Bettie with how good it was.

Liberal MO June 6

Dear Girl, Your long welcome letter arrived today seems like yer were rather long getting it mailed the letter was dated the 12 and the (illegible) postmark was the 14, I would think when he is harrowing (?) wheat yer could get a letter mailed any day. Well I will answer questions first No. 1 The garden looks real nice the sweet corn is in tassel

No. 2 the blackberries are very fine the largest early harvest that I ever saw but there


wont be many of them

picked 22 qt. today and took them to town and sold them got $7.75 easy I think they will all be gone in 10 days more picked 3 qt of red raspberries and caned them and they made three pt. after they were caned. No. 3 Your chickens are doing real well considering their master but the old hen down at the cattle shed has had some bad luck and her brood has thinned out a good deal they all live on shelled corn now I set a hen the week after you left so you would have something to do when you got back she will hatch some time this week so I guess I will (illegible)


a job. You have just four little ducks left.

No. 4 The timothy (?) looks real nice but not a great big crop but a good average will likely comence setting about the first of next month.

No. 5 how I get along batching well just Burn (?) but to tell you what that means I will tell you what I had for supper tonight and then you can guess To commence writing I had light bread with cream, Honey, Syrup and jelley to eat on it next I had Grape (illegible) and fingersnaps and some awful good minced ham, drank milk so you see I made no fire


now was that not good wages for any body would you not of liked to of ate with me. No. 6. No have not sold (illegible) more haven’t tried to (illegible) (person’s name illegible, Paul?) took his stock out of the pasture and went to the nation about the time you left he never said (illegible) about the pasture bill either

No. 7 a fellow by the name of Ray has (rest of page illegible)

P.S. I f this aint long enough will lose more

Edna Stark Noyes Letter to Bettie Noyes, April 13 1897

Below is a letter from Edna Stark (b. 1872) wife of Paul Noyes (b. 1869) to Elizabeth “Bettie” Brewer Noyes (b. 1877), wife of Ray Noyes (b. 1874), a brother of Paul’s. The letter shows that at the time they were living in Whiterock, Oklahoma. The baby picture that Edna mentions as having received from Bettie would likely be one of Pansy, who was born Dec. 8 1895. Grace also mentions two of her own children, Grace, who was born in 1892, and Ormal, who was born in 1893. They had another child, Garrett, but he isn’t mentioned.

Enough is written that we may glean some information on Edna’s garden and Paul’s farming, the weather, their hopes and the hopes of the community.

By 1900, Paul and Edna were back in Barton County, Missouri, living a couple of households from Ray and Bettie.

Whiterock Oklahoma
April 13 1897

Dear Bettie Noyes,
Liberal MO

Dear Bettie. Your letter and baby’s picture was received last Thursday and I was glad to get them the baby looks so fat and healthy. Grace and Ormal have grown quite a bit since you saw them. They just stay out of doors all the time when it is nice weather.

We had quite a rain Sat. night Sun. morning since it made everything look nice the wind is from the


west today and is cool. I hope it won’t frost because my garden is all up nicely peas are three inches high. The last frost got part of my radishes but they are coming out. I am not having any luck with chickens I have had about one hundred hatch out but they have almost all died.


We have two Sabbath Schools here now Saturday and Sunday we never have gone on Saturday but go once and awhile on Sunday.

Paul is breaking sod now on the school grounds (?) he takes his dinner and stays all day it gets lonesome for the children and I to be alone all day.


The wheat is about three feet high in some places there certainly will be a large wheat crop here this year and the people surely need one if they do any where The prairies are covered with flowers and Grace and Ormal go out on the lin (?) side and picks their hands full I am making them some dresses and I will have to stop and go to work.

Your Sister,

Edna Noyes

(Envelope postmarked Whiterock April 14)

Paul Noyes Photo

Paul Noyes

Original image courtesy of Nancy Benton

Paul, son of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, was born 24 Nov. 1869 at “10 oclock AM” in Anna, Union Co. IL, and died 3 May 1931 at Humansville, Polk Co., MO. He married Edna STARK on June 8 1891 at Liberal, Missouri. Their three children were:

  1. Grace V. , b. 1892, married Jim Pinkerton (perhaps James O. born about 1874 in Missouri). She married later in life, working first as a nurse in Kansas City for a number of years.
  2. Ormal “Ormi” b. in Miller, Oklahoma in 1893.
  3. Garrett Allan b. 1896 Dec 4 in Oklahoma Territory, died Feb of 1964. He married Genevieve who was born about 1903 in Missouri.

Paul, preparing for the Cherokee Land Run of 16 Sept 1893, lived with his brother Allen 1892-1893 at Miller, Oklahoma. Consequently, he lived in Oklahoma Territory through at least 1897. A family history details some of the experience.

Paul and his family in the census:

Central, Barton, Missouri
Pg. 20A
Sheet No. 3
Supervisor District 13
Enumeration District 18
5 June enumeration by David E. Harpole
( 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 9 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.

Paul Noyes is yet to be located in the 1910 census.

1920 Richland, Barton, Missouri
Roll: T625_902 Page: 4A ED: 36 Image: 1084
43 Fm 84/84 NOYES Paul Head own mw 50 md b. IL father b. MI mother b. MA Farmer General Farm EM 64
44Edna Wife fw 47 md b. MO father b. MO mother b. IL

Year: 1930; Census Place: Springfield, Greene, Missouri; Roll: T626_1188; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 0410.
42 702/40/41 NOYES Paul owns $5000 Doesn’t live on farm mw 60 md at 21 b. IL father b. MI mother b. MA Farmer Farm, not a veteran
43 Edna Wife fw 57 md at 18 b. MO father b. MO mother b. IL
44 Garrett A. son mw 33 md at 25 b. OK father b. IL mother b. MO Commercial truck Creamery, a Veteran of WWI
45 Genevieve daughter in law fw 27 md at 19 b. MO father b. KY mother b. IA
46 Nancy G. granddaughter fw 7 b. MO father b. OK mother b. MO
47 Luanna granddaughter fw 3 and 2/12 b. MO father b. OK mother b. MO

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.



Cherokee Run, photo from internet

The great romance of American pioneering is much richer than history makes it. The intimate annals of family experiences and personal adventures provide the countless dramas with which American progress is associated. Thrilling stories and plays have been founded on the individual heroism of the early settlers of any country. Interest in the human factor always transcends interest in the political evolution.

One of the most dramatic events of western history was the opening of the Cherokee Strip to settlement; really it might be called the last frontier in the United States. The Cherokee Strip consisted of 9,400 square miles, a tract of land 200 miles long and approximately 57 miles wide, east and west, bordering on the south line of Kansas, on the east by the Osage Reservation and on the west by the Texas Panhandle. The Cherokee Indians were paid $8,300,000 for their holdings or more than was paid Russia for Alaska, which was $7,200,000 in the year 1867.

Before settlement President Cleveland had the coveted land surveyed and laid out in quarter sections which were the limit of the individual allotments and into properly related town sites. There was much pressure to make the distribution by drawings, but the government felt that it could not sponsor a game of chance, much less a lottery. The drive from the border was selected as the best method. That meant a test of endurance as well as a test of speed.

A white stake marked the center of each farm and town lot. Under the rules the man or woman who first reached a farm or town lot and wrote his name on its stake was the owner of it.

Long before the day of the great race, the homesteaders gathered on the Cherokee Strip borders, some on the Kansas side and others on the Oklahoma side making a great human fringe. The vast encampment was orderly, friendly and expectant. But when the race started, it was for blood. They were held back by soldiers until high noon on September 16, 1893 when at the crack of signal guns the mighty torrent of men and women, on horseback and in all kinds of conveyances, swept in across the new empire. The opening of the Cherokee Strip was the grandest “wild west show” ever enacted.

An uncle of mine, Allan Noyes, had made the run into the Indian Territory in 1889. This was a sort of training school for the rush into the Cherokee Strip four years later.

Naturally, my father being a younger brother and now twenty one wanted to make this second rush. Uncle Allan was the teacher for the group that went with my father. My mother and father, myself (1 and 1/2 years old) and sister Ormal who had been born at Uncle Allan’s farm near Miller, Oklahoma, the preceding May 23, had been living with this uncle for nearly a year.

In the meantime ten friends banded together and prepared for the run into the “Strip”. So large a group was necessary for protection due to the lawlessness of the times. Claim jumpers that had brought their own stakes or “sooners” would shoot on the instant over any provocation.

For several days before the run the men assembled at Orlando Oklahoma at a farm where friends of one of the group of ten men lived. Days before the men had gone into the Strip choosing a desirable place about midway or nearly a 30-mile ride from the border. The farms selected were adjoining ones in a bend of two streams called Red River and Bunch creek. Choosing farms close together was for protection in the earlier rush of settlement and later for neighbors that were not strangers.

But men from the Kansas line were also watching these same choice farms and as it was exactly midway in the Strip, the men who reached there first would be the ones to stake the claims.

My father, Paul Noyes, had a fine saddle mare of racing stock that he had brought from Missouri to ride at the opening. Pansy was greatly beloved by my father. The other men had less desirable horses to ride but they were stronger and in the end proved the best for the purpose.

On the morning of September 16, 1893, everybody was lined up on the border. All carried bread in their pockets as that would be the only food available for the horseback riders. Many would go in with wagons and carry food with them, but they would be hindered in their speed and might not get a claim.

The soldiers burned off the prairie to rout all “Sooners,” the people who had gotten in ahead of time. Animals came running toward the border. My father always told about the frightened deer and wolves. The blazing prairie was no more dangerous than the guns of the men lined up on the line.

On Saturday, September 16, the wind was favorable for the Oklahoma line settlers. At the crack of the soldiers’ guns at exactly noon, the ten men with Uncle Allen as leader, started pell-mell on their mad rush across the prairie now burned black. For two and one-half hours they pounded across the country and the horses’ feet were sore from the flinty rocks and covered with foam and sweat.

They made a final burst of speed when they could see the Kansas riders coming from the opposite side. Racing now to the limit, my father punished his mare, Pansy, cruelly to get to the desired claims first. Horses and riders were severely winded when they finally arrived at the same time as some of the Kansas line settlers.

Father and another man both claimed the same claim, but father paid the man $25 to get him off which was satisfactory to the other man.

Now the ten men were busy defending their claims. As they had arrived at half-past two in the afternoon, the group began to look for water. Only a very thirsty person would have drunk the dirty water they finally found in a slough.

Uncle Allen started back to Orlando for the supply wagon. He rode all the rest of the afternoon on his tired horse and then started back with a wagon filled with food supplies, lumber, fence wire, and water, arriving at dawn the next morning. As the ten men had only dry bread for twenty four hours, he was a most welcome sight.

During that first night the men slept on the ground using their saddles for pillows. Pansy, the brave little riding mare, had hurt her feet so badly on the flinty stones that she suffered greatly. In an effort to let my father know her suffering, she stood over him all night and would not be satisfied if he moved.

When Uncle Allen started back again to Orlando, he led Pansy behind him leaving her at the farm where they had stayed while waiting for the run. Within the next few days, the mare had to be shot because her hooves were coming off. My father was greatly grieved at this as he had paid $100 for Pansy and was very fond of her.

Father put up a wire fence around a small plot of ground and then went to Guthrie and proved on his claim. He brought back more lumber for a small shanty that the law required for homesteading. Also he had to plow a few furrows in his field.

While bringing in the lumber, my father had an unusual experience when his horses stumbled at the edge of a stream. It was pouring rain and slippery, and the wagon turned over upsetting the lumber. Father crawled out and unhitched the horses, tied them to the wagon and laid lumber across to make him a shelter. He slept there all night. When morning came, he righted the wagon, reloaded his lumber, and went on to his claim.

After building his shanty and fencing and plowing his plot of ground, my father left the claim and went back to his brother Allen’s farm where he had left his family.

Courtesy of Nancy Benton.

Noyes Family Constitution

Being Free-thinkers who had been associated with socialist experiments and who had moved to Liberal, Missouri, which was expressly for liberals, it’s not surprising that the Noyes family would form their own family constitution.

The document displays the year as being 283.

The Dictionary of Missouri Biography notes that Liberal was utilizing a different dating system, one that was based on 1600 A. D., the year Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for his astronomical and pantheistic beliefs, becoming known subsequently as a martyr for science. “Thus, the year 1883, using their system, was called E of M 283 or Era of Man 283. Such a dating system had been recommended by the National Liberal League.”

Nancy Benton sent me the document. Below is a transcription and images.

* * * * *


Liberal, Mo. February 10th 283.

We the undersigned agreed to join together in a Society which shall be based upon and regulated by the following


1. The Name of the Society shall be Home-Circle.

2. Every member shall enjoy all the rights and priviledges which all others would claim for themselves; namely: every body shall have an opinion and views of his own upon all subjects and questions but shall always listen carefully to the suggestions and examine the ideas of others; perhaps, is he wrong and the rest right.

3. No oppression, forse, quarrel or fighting shall be practiced by any of the members, neither inside nor outside of the Circle.

4. Everybody shall be fully independent of all the others; provided that his actions and conduct are not in the way of anybody.

5. Nobody shall dictate or prohibit anything to anybody else, unless he is directly concerned in the business.

6. Whereas it is universally acknowledged that all what breathes, feels pain and joy as well as human beings, — Resolved : that it be the duty of every member of the Order not to torture or to cause any sufferings to any living beings, unless it be for self-defence or protection of personal property.

7. Let it be the desire of every member to help all others and try to make them pleasant and comfortable; but at the same time remind those, who involuntarily may commit somethings wrong, to better themselves. Such remarks shall be made privately and in a mild manner.

8. The Meetings of the Home-Circle will take place when the members will find it best.

9. The Officers of the society shall contain: a President, Secretary and Treasurer; They shall be reelected every 4 Weeks.

10. The Venerable Members of the Circle shall be honored and respected by the whole Membership.

11. The Secretary shall keep a brief and full record of all the proceedings of the Meetings and report everyone of them at the next meeting.

12. Any Law or Regulation may be added to this Constitution, according to the will of the members.

13. Every Member shall try to observe and practice the principles of the Constitution as strict as possible.

Carrie A. Noyes
J. A. Noyes
Cora R. Noyes
V. H. Noyes
A. M. Noyes
Paul Noyes
Ray Noyes
Viola Harmon
Sam Wegler, Secretary

* * * * *

The document reveals the thoughtful respect, dignity, empathy, and compassion family members expected to be displayed by another both in and outside the home, and the allowance of perhaps an unusual degree of independence as well. Quite a different arrangement from the utopian experiment conducted by their relation John Humphrey Noyes of Oneida fame.

We see all the children were present to apply their signatures, including the eldest daughter Emma Viola Harmon, who had moved to Chehalis in Washington State with her husband, but was apparently visiting.

Sam Wegler is given as secretary for this meeting. I have examined several censuses and can’t begin to place who this individual may have been.