Augusta Historical Society and Museum

Augusta Historical Society and Museum We cannot improve our tomorrows without first understanding our yesterdays.

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Charles Love was born in Martin County, Indiana on March 25, 1867 to J. P. and Mahala Smith Love.  Charles was one of 11...

Charles Love was born in Martin County, Indiana on March 25, 1867 to J. P. and Mahala Smith Love. Charles was one of 11 children. The Love family came to Butler County in 1876 and homesteaded a claim in Walnut township near where Gordon is now located. Charles’ brother, L. M. came to Augusta two years earlier and engaged in a grocery business with a Mr. Freeman. Freeman’s was located at 515 State Street. Charles’ father, became a successful farmer and stockman in the community. He died on July 5, 1893 and his widow resided in Gordon until her death.

Charles and his father, J. P. owned 360 acres of land located ½ mile west of Gordon, and they rented the Blood farm which consisted of 400 acres adjoining their own property. They farmed both pieces of land for 16 years. The development of oil and gas greatly enhanced the value of the Love farm.

Charles and Miss Eldora J. Dugan of Gordon were married on April 14, 1892. They had 4 children, Walter, a 1915 graduate of AHS who was also employed by L. N. Blood; Ruby, a 1916 graduate of AHS; Myrtle, who attended Douglass High School and a graduate of the 1916 class; and, son, Parkhurst. By 1920, the Federal Census places the Love family in Sumner County, so they did not remain in Butler County their entire lives. Eldora died in 1957 and Charles in 1960. They are both buried in Douglass.

Their son, Walter served during WW I and was discharged as a Master Engineer. In 1917 he and Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Bush were married. In 1923 he and Harry Horner formed Horner-Love Printing and Box Company. Three years later they made the first corrugated cardboard box at their factory in Wichita. Their partnership ended in 1930 and the Love Box Company was born. Walter was later joined in the business by his son, Robert, in 1945. Walter retired as chairman of the board in 1971. In addition to his son, Robert, he had two daughters, Mary and Nancy. Walter died in 1976 and is buried in the Old Mission Mausoleum in Wichita. His wife, Betty, died in 1984.

Photos: Charles Love; parents: Jeremy Parkhurst Love and Mahala Love Rollins; 1905 Walnut Township Map; AHS 1915 showing Senior, Walter Love and sister, Ruby Love, as a Junior; Charles’ and Eldora’ headstone from Douglass Cemetery; Walter Love, WWI picture; and Walter Love as owner of Love Box Company.

C. G. (Columbus Greene) Epperson was born on October 7, 1854 in Hamilton County Tennessee.  C. G. was born to John R. an...

C. G. (Columbus Greene) Epperson was born on October 7, 1854 in Hamilton County Tennessee. C. G. was born to John R. and Emma (Good) Epperson, one of 5 children.

C. G. attended school in Georgetown, Tennessee and remained at home with his parents until 1880 when he moved to Macon County, Illinois, where he entered into farming for the next 4 years. He then came to Walnut Township south of Augusta and engaged in farming for about 4 years and was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad for a year. He entered into a mercantile business as a clerk in the store of Mr. Farrow, and later clerked for Mr. Myers.

While working for Mr. Myers, he was appointed postmaster of Gordon by President Cleveland and served in that capacity for 3 years. He soon opened his own general store at Gordon. His first building was only 12x20 feet and he started with a small stock of goods, only about $90 worth. He paid cash for his goods and at first bought small quantities in Augusta and carried them to Gordon by bicycle. As time went along, his business developed and in 1912 he was appointed postmaster by President Taft and served in that capacity for a number of years.

In 1889 C. G. married Miss Ida Cooley of Rose Hill. She died two years after their marriage in 1904. He later married Nora Shreve of Augusta. Federal Census do not indicate any children born to C. G. and Nora. In addition to his duties of postmaster and running his general store, C. G. found time to do considerable writing. He was a local correspondent for a number of newspapers and produced well written matter as well as considerable poetry of merit.

Photos: one of C. G., and a photo of C. G.’s second wife, Nora’s tombstone. She died in 1935 and is buried in Seltzer Cemetery, Sedgwick County, Kansas. We have been unable to find the date and place of C. G.’s death.

Renwick P. Ralston was born on October 22, 1888 to James R. and Ida (Bennet) Ralston.  Renwick’s family came to Butler C...

Renwick P. Ralston was born on October 22, 1888 to James R. and Ida (Bennet) Ralston. Renwick’s family came to Butler County in 1869 and homesteaded a quarter section of land in the Towanda township. Renwick’s father served in the Union army throughout the Civil War.

Renwick grew to manhood on the home farm and was educated in the Towanda schools and was successfully engaged in farming and stock raising. He was one of Butler County’s first to become interested in the oil and gas development and commenced drilling on his property in late 1914. In the spring of 1915 he added three more wells, which became good gas producers. On October 20, 1915 a fourth well was drilled which had a steady flow of oil at 1,500 barrels a day.

Renwick married Miss Margaret L. Loncer of Towanda on January 31, 1912, at the age of 24. She was the daughter of Augustus and Mary Loncer of Towanda, who had a drug and general mercantile business in Towanda. Her father was also one of the organizers of the Towanda State Bank, and served as vice president of the bank for a number of years. When her father died in 1908, her mother came to live with Renwick and Margaret.

Renwick was a member of the Knights of Pythias. Renwick died in 1971 and Margaret died in 1981. Both are buried in the Mission Chapel Mausoleum in Wichita, Kansas.

Photos: Ralston Family, showing Renwick (#6); and, a photo of Towanda Band from 1910, including Renwick Ralston.

William Henderson Morrison was born on September 29, 1827 in Hawkins, Tennessee to Thomas and Jane Morrison.  William wa...

William Henderson Morrison was born on September 29, 1827 in Hawkins, Tennessee to Thomas and Jane Morrison. William was one of 6 children born to Thomas and Jane. William was a nephew of Governor McMinn of Tennessee.

In 1870 William came to Butler County, locating 4 miles northeast of Douglass at Walnut City, which was a little settlement that had a store, blacksmith shop and a few homes. He bought a claim on a quarter section of land from a Mr. Lord for $600. Later he bought 80 acres of land for $500 which was his home until the time of his death. At the time he settled the claim there was only a small cabin and the county was sparsely settled. He began general farming and stock raising, making many improvements to his farm. William was industrious and thrifty and through good management became very well-to-do and left his family in very comfortable circumstances at his death.

William and Miss Hannah Caroline Glaze were married in Dalton, Georgia on February 8, 1860. Hannah was one of 13 children born to Lawrence and Elizabeth Glaze. Hannah and William had 4 children, Hettie, Mary, Georgiana and Lawrence. Lawrence and Hettie lived together near Gordon and jointly owned 188 acres of land where they engaged in farming and stock raising. Hannah recollected that when she and William reached Emporia, the end of the railroad, they bought a team and wagon and drove to Walnut township with her holding her baby, Lawrence, on her lap. Their daughter, Hettie, recalled the first school she attended in Walnut township was held in the home of Norman Yowls and Miss Jennie Blakey was the teacher.

William died on May 20, 1912. Hannah lived another 14 years and died on February 23, 1926. Both are buried in Little Walnut Cemetery, Douglass, Kansas.

Photos: Headstone from Little Walnut Cemetery; and, a photo from a 1915 Oil Map of the Augusta Oil Field showing William and Hannah’s son, Lawrence’s property that he co-owned with his sister, Hettie, southwest of Gordon.

Cary Doan Pimlot was born on October 24, 1841 in Summit County, Ohio to Joseph and Joanna Pimlot.  Cary was one of 13 ch...

Cary Doan Pimlot was born on October 24, 1841 in Summit County, Ohio to Joseph and Joanna Pimlot. Cary was one of 13 children born to Joseph and Joanna. Cary was educated in the public schools of Ohio and later in Indiana after his parents moved when he was a boy. He lived the life of an average boy of his time until the Civil War broke out. He enlisted on October 16, 1861 in Company E, 44th Regiment, Indiana Infantry, when he was nearly 20. He took part in some of the most important engagements of that great conflict, including Shiloh, Corinth, and Fort Donelson. He as severely wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson, but refused to go to a hospital, preferring to remain on the line of battle. He served for just over 3 years, being discharged on November 22, 1864 at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Shortly afterwards Cary was appointed a member of the metropolitan police at Chattanooga under Governor Brownlow and served in that capacity for 4 years. In 1876, Cary was appointed as Postmaster of the post office located in Hamilton, Tennessee.

Just before he was discharged from the military, Cary and Melcenia McKelvey Pearson were married on September 1, 1864 in Chattanooga. The next year, the Pimlots began their family, having 5 children, Joseph, Georgia, Katherine, Myrtle and Lulu. Joseph, Myrtle and Lulu remained in Augusta after their parents’ death (all three are buried in Elmwood Cemetery).

Cary worked as a carpenter during his early life and in 1879, he and his young family came to Kansas, locating here in Augusta. A year later, he engaged in farming and continued farming for 23 years into the early 1900s, when he moved back into town and again took up carpentry work. He continued in that trade until 1914, when he retired.

Interestingly, there is an account that Cary returned to Illinois for a visit after 51 years of absence. He said not a person there knew him, including his brother and sister. Cary indicated he felt very much like Rip Van Winkle.

Cary was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He passed away on March 12, 1927. Melcenia died in 1911. Both are buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Photos: Cary D. Pimlot and his headstone at Elmwood Cemetery.

Elijah Elliott Harvey (Captain) was born on April 1, 1826 in Monroe County, Indiana to Robert and Ruth Harvey, one of 6 ...

Elijah Elliott Harvey (Captain) was born on April 1, 1826 in Monroe County, Indiana to Robert and Ruth Harvey, one of 6 children born to the couple. At the age of 24 on August 3, 1850 he married Miss Marilla Flinn in Leesville, Indiana.

At the age of 48, on March 1, 1875, the U. S. Census finds the couple in Butler County. By that time there are 7 children listed as having been born to the couple: William, Ada, Louella, Emma, Minnie, Edward and Charles.

In 1861, when the couple had 4 children, Elijah was called into military service. Elijah was 35 at the time. He served as Captain of Company B, Sixth Kansas Calvary. His company was enlisted in Appanoose County, Iowa and they were assigned to the war on the border of Kansas and Missouri throughout the war. After the war, Elijah returned to his home in Appanoose County and engaged in the mercantile business in Iowa and later in Missouri. Following financial losses in these places he decided to go west and in October 1872 at the age of 46, with a family of 7 children, he and Marilla decided to go west. In the company of several other families they left Numa, Iowa and came by wagon train to Butler County. They were on the road for 3 weeks and brought with them their flocks and herds of animals.

They reached their destination in October and first settled in a 2-story frame house on what was then the Smith claim in Bloomington township. Elijah began his work as a pioneer preacher of the Church of Christ, during their stay on that property. Some of his first preaching was done in the home of J. C. Riley. Elijah went where he was called and preached in private homes, school houses, halls, churches or groves as times, seasons and circumstances permitted. The outdoor meetings were held in groves and were notable gatherings where folks would come from all over the county and sometimes from adjoining counties with well-filled baskets of fried chicken and other good things, such as could be obtained in those early days, to spend a day of worship under the whispering trees of the groves. A favorite spot for one of these grove meetings was located at Dunn’s Grove in Douglass.

In the spring of 1873, the family moved into a home on his claim in Logan township on Muddy Creek. However, preaching was the work of Elijah’s heart and so farming was mostly done by proxy.

Elijah was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and known in political circles as Captain Harvey. He served as registrar of deeds of Butler County for 2 terms. His work as a Christian in Butler County resulted in the establishing of Churches of Christ at ElDorado, Augusta, Douglass, Leon, Haverhill and Benton in Butler County. He also ministered to the churches in Winfield, Udall, Wellington, Belle Plaine and Eureka. He was held in high esteem by men of affairs of all creeds of faith.

Elijah died in Wichita on May 7, 1906 at the age of 80. He is buried in ElDorado. Marilla died on November 13, 1908 and is also buried in ElDorado.

Photos include: Family photo, back row: Minnie, Louella, William, Ada, Emma; front row: Marilla, Charles, Edward, and Elijah. Elijah’s headstone in ElDorado cemetery.

John Joseph Mannion, Jr. was born in December 1868 to John Joseph, Sr. and Margret (Gormley) Mannion.  John Jr. was one ...

John Joseph Mannion, Jr. was born in December 1868 to John Joseph, Sr. and Margret (Gormley) Mannion. John Jr. was one of 11 children born to John Sr. and Margret. John Sr. was a native of Ireland, born in County Galway around 1824. In 1847 he came to the U. S. and for a number of years he engaged in farming in Macon County, Missouri. They moved to Macon County from St. Louis as the Civil War became imminent as he feared living in a city during the war. On the 4th of July, 1867 (the year before John Jr. was born) he and Margret came to Kansas locating in Spring Township, east of Augusta.

John Jr. attended school at Snow School north of Haverhill. He walked 2 ½ miles to school and back each day. The teacher, Miss May Morris (later to become Mrs. Andy Ryan), walked 6 miles a day, to and from school. In the Mannion family there were 4 boys and 5 girls to feed and educate. John Sr. had to go to Emporia for groceries and supplies. In the early days, there was neither mail nor train service. John Jr. was quoted as saying that there were 50 Indians to 1 white man in the late ‘60s. John Sr. lived until 1908 and his widow until 1918, living to see their family take their place in Butler County.

John Jr. at the age of 18 left Spring Township and moved to Wichita to attend Southwestern Business College for a term. Later he was employed by the PV Grain Company of Chicago, stationed at Greensburg to buy wheat and corn in season. In 1893 John Jr. went into the grain business for himself in Augusta and continued for 50 years, selling the business in 1943.

John was quoted as remembering the first Catholic priest in these parts as Father Paul Ponzelogne, an Italian, who was sent from St. Paul. Father Paul traveled by Indian pony and slept out while driving from one small community to another. He baptized John as an infant. The first Catholic church here was built in 1879 by Henry Loftus, a Canadian, and later dedicated in 1880. Father Carl Schurze was the first priest.

John Jr. married Sarah Alice Poncelow in 1898 at the age of 30. Sarah was 18. John Jr. and Sarah had 4 children, John Harold, Dorothy, Margaret and James (Bud). Sarah died in 1910. At the age of 46, John Jr. remarried in 1914 Teresa A. Fitzpatrick. John lived until the age of 87 and died in 1955. Teresa lived until 1967. All are buried in Calvary Cemetery, east of Augusta.

Photos: John and Sarah’s children, James (Bud), John Harold, Margaret and Dorothy; John and Teresa, John with Bud’s family; John with Harold’s family; John’s headstone; a Sanborn Map showing J. J. Mannion’s Feed Store located in the 600 block of State, just south of the Frisco Railway tracks on the west side of the street; and, several sales slips from Mannion Feed Store.

James H. Church was born in Champaign County, Ohio on November 1, 1848 to R. W. and Mary (Reece) Church.  There were 7 c...

James H. Church was born in Champaign County, Ohio on November 1, 1848 to R. W. and Mary (Reece) Church. There were 7 children born to the Church family, but only James and a sister, Nancy, reached adulthood. James was only 3 years old when his family moved to Iowa in 1851. He grew to manhood there and was educated in the public schools.

In 1870 James came to Butler County, settling in Bloomington township. He raised stock and farmed for 18 years when he returned to Iowa for 10 years and then made his way back to Butler County in 1899. This time he settled in Walnut township where he bought a quarter section of land, 5 miles southeast of Augusta where he farmed and raised stock. His land was right in the middle of the Augusta oil and gas field.

In 1877 James married Miss Mary E. Sherwood of the Bloomington township. She was the daughter of Martin Van Buren Sherwood. Three children were born to James and Mary, only one reaching adulthood, Alva Reuben.

James came to Kansas by rail. When he got to Junction City, he drove an ox team, bringing with him two additional ox teams and one team of horses. After settling in the county, he took an active part in the political arena as well as promotion of the area. He was involved in the Bloomington township and Webster school district, assisting in building the first school house constructed of native timber. The building was blown down by a storm in 1876 and another was built in its place. Before long it was replaced by still another building.

James was here when the grasshoppers came in 1874 although he said they did very little damage to his crops because a prolonged drought had already burned up his crops. He did, however, have a distinct recollection of how hungry the hoppers were as they devoured every green vestige of vegetation and said that they approached the millions, sounding like a great storm coming.

James was a member of the Fraternal Union at Augusta. James died on April 22, 1922 and is buried in Garrison Cemetery, Butler County, Kansas. Mary died on November 4, 1927 and is also buried in Garrison Cemetery. Their son, Alva, died on February 24, 1957 and is buried in Alton, Missouri.

Photos: Cemetery Marker, James Church; Cemetery Stone for son, Alva.


303 State St
Augusta, KS

General information

We always offer FREE admission to those visiting our museum. Come learn about the history of Augusta, while standing in the very first building built in Augusta, Kansas. We are open Monday - Friday from 11a - 3pm. We are open Saturdays from 1p - 4p from April - October. If you are unable to visit during our regular hours, please contact us to schedule a time to visit!

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 11:00 - 15:00
Friday 11:00 - 15:00


(316) 775-5655


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And another Augusta blog post:
I'm so pleased to have found this page. I write a family history blog, and have several posts relating to Augusta that might be of interest to your followers. Here's the most recent:
My great grandfather, Richard W. Stephenson (1874-1960), started the Stephenson's Men's Store on State Street in about 1909. The store continued under the ownership of my great uncle and aunt, Paul (1902-1972) and Do Stephenson, probably until about the late 1960s. Does the Historical Society have any photographs of the business or information on my family? Thanks!
Keep the interesting stories coming.
Hi every one , my name is Ray Freeman ,I live in England ,and together with my cousin Geoff ,we are looking into our family history ,We know that our great uncle had a business in town ,his name was Joshua Duncan Robson , we know that he has a grand daughter still living in the area ,and we are in contact with her , but what I was wondering is ,are there any old photographs of him or his store ,which was we think ,a Racket store situated at 432 State street , any help would be appreciated Thanks Ray