RILEY COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO
From the Manhattan Republic
July 3, 1908:
The old wooden awning at the Baltimore hotel was torn down Wednesday.
The old wooden awning in front of the Purcell building is being torn down today. This puts an end to the wooden awnings on the avenue.
(Note: The Baltimore hotel was on the southeast corner of Poyntz and Second Street. The 1951 flood destroyed the hotel. The Purcell building was on the southwest corner of Poyntz and Third. The Purcell building was destroyed by fire July 29, 1975.)
From the Manhattan Republic
July 10, 1908:
Judge Thomas Hunter moved the first of the week from 414 Leavenworth street to his new cottage at 525 Vattier street, which has just been vacated by Frank La Shelle and family, who now occupy the new Huntsinger cottage on Bluemont avenue. Mrs. Emma Shaffer, who recently purchased the Hunter property on Leavenworth, is having the home reshingled and will make some repairs on the interior before moving in.
(Note: Thomas Hunter was born in 1842 in New York. He came to Manhattan from Ohio in 1869 and worked for George W. Higinbotham. He was elected Riley County Treasurer in 1890 (just after Riley County Treasurer Fortner embezzled County funds) and served until 1893. He also served on the Manhattan School Board eight years and served as the First Mayor of Manhattan after the change to the Commission form of government in 1894. In 1908 Thomas Hunter was a Manhattan Police Judge. He moved into the cottage at 525 Vattier with his second wife, Laura. His first wife, Pauline Stingley Hunter died in 1889. Thomas Hunter had four children, three daughters and a son. He died December 5, 1914. His home at 525 Vattier is still standing in 2008.)
From the Manhattan Republic
July 28, 1908:
Death of Mrs. Dr. Denison.
Mrs. Frances Ann Osborne was born near Harpers Ferry, Va. May 24, 1830. She died July 18 at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Cecil (Edith French) Ames, Whitewater, Kan.
Mrs. Denison became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church when 16 years of age, from that time to her death, was faithful to every obligation and true to every post of duty. She was married to Rev. John H. Dennis, missionary for the Methodist Episcopal church to the Wyandotte Indians, and who died August 25, 1856, at the age of 40 years. November 21, 1859, she became the wife of Rev. Joseph Denison, who was the first president of the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kan. Her home was in this place until 1875, when Dr. Denison was elected president of Baker University. They removed to Baldwin where they remained until five years later when Dr. Denison returned to active work of the ministry, going home to his reward from Manhattan, February 19, 1900.
Mrs. Denison leaves one brother at Shelbyville, Mo. She leaves seven step-children who were trained by her from childhood into a beautiful manhood and womanhood. One of these children-herself the mother of five-remarking yesterday, “What must have been a hard task for mother, but it was beautifully done and we loved her as our own.”
Mrs. Denison had four children of her own two of whom, Ella Dennis and Fannie Dennis, grew to womanhood in our midst. These, with two younger children, proceeded their mother to the other world, the two daughters, one leaving a son, Edward Manning of New Mexico, and the other, a daughter, Ethel French- Ames both of whom spent much of their early lives in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Denison, as, also, did two other grandchildren. All four of these younger people were very deeply attached to their grandmother and realize that much of the beauty and sweetness that has come into their lives was due to her guiding hand, and their love and appreciation was not withheld while she was living.
Two weeks before her death, caused by exhaustion, Mrs. Denison was at church service. She was a good listener and her pastors always felt she was an inspiration. She was interested in every good work and devoted to the cause near her heart. Her son-in law Hon. C.O. Whedon, of Lincoln, Nebr. Said of her, “She possessed a grace of manner, a sweetness of disposition which endeared her to all with whom she came into contact. She led an active earnest Christian life and she was a helpmeet indeed to those who for so many years were engaged in disseminating the teachings of Christ.”
Perhaps but few women have more friends in this state where she began pioneer work in Kansas Methodism with her husband half a century ago, than this beautiful Christian whose body was followed to the last resting place at Manhattan, Kan., by a large concourse of people on Monday afternoon.
The services at the Methodist Episcopal church were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Dr. Bright. Rev. Dr. Hanson, former pastor, now district superintendant, offered prayer, and Rev. J.H. Lee, of the Episcopal church, formerly professor in the Kansas State Agricultural College, and a life-long friend of the family, gave an appreciative tribute. The flowers were from many places in Kansas, choice and beautiful. The honorary pall bearers were Dr. Little, E.B. Purcell, Judge Wilder, John Warner, Wm. Knostman and Stephen Barnes. Active bearers: Judge Kimble, Prof. Price, B.W. Smith, Wm. J. Griffing, F.B. Elliott, and S. James Pratt.
(Note: This obituary was written by Charlotte Felt Wilder, stalwart member of the Manhattan Methodist Church (the large window in the front of the current (2008) church was given in Charlotte’s honor by the members, and former member of her young men’s Sunday School class) and long time friend of the Denison and Goodnow families. Charlotte Wilder was the author of many books and magazine articles. Frances Osborne Dennis Denison was the first “First Lady” of what is today Kansas State University.)