Dr. Charles Frederick Attwood (1882-1945), Physician and Surgeon

ADR 9-4-1914

Dr. Charles Frederick Attwood

Thomas Edward Attwood told a tale of his being a young man who set out from Leavenworth County, Kansas by foot with a bag of peach pits and little money heading west.  He would trade pits for food and with what pits he had left he would start an orchard.  He came to settle in Goshen Township, Clay County, Kansas.  Being too young to apply for a homestead, he squatted for a couple of years until he could claim the land and set to farming.  This was in the year 1870.  He married Mary M. Adkins and over the next twenty years they would raise eight children in Goshen Township near Fact, Kansas.  Of their eight children four would become physicians (J. Edward, Lewis, George Arthur, and Charles Frederick) and one would become a pharmacist (Ethel Mary).  Their sixth child was Charles Frederick Attwood born in Clay Center, Kansas on January 11, 1882.  As all the male children did, Charles attended local schools and worked on the farm.

The Times (Clay Center) 6-20-1905

Advertisement from The Times (Clay Center),  June 20, 1905

After finishing local school courses, Charles enrolled at the Kansas Medical School in Topeka in 1902 and graduated in 1906.  His older brother, Lewis, was a physician in Topeka at the time.  Charles would return to Clay County for holidays and during the summer.  Although he had not completed his training as a physician and surgeon, he started practicing medicine in Fact, Kansas in June 1905 and would do so for a year.  While at school, Charles met Azaima Florence Deever, a daughter of Rev. John Bixler Deever and Jennie Brown Etherington.  Charles and Florence were married at her parent’s house in Topeka on April 12, 1906.  The couple’s only child, Dorothy Jane Attwood, would be born in Palmer, Kansas on February 16, 1910.

Azaima Florence Deever Attwood 1

Azaima Florence Deever Attwood

After graduating with his medical degree, Charles visited his brother in-law and sister, George Franklin and Luella Lucille (Attwood) Hahn, in Palmer, Kansas and decided to move his practice there.  His practice in Palmer officially began on May 1, 1906 with his office being on the 2nd floor above the P. Meier & Son Store.   When other physicians were on vacation, Charles would step in to manage the practice until their return.  This favor was often reciprocated.  For instance, in January 1907, Charles and Florence had an extended visit with her parents in Topeka and Charles’ brother Dr. George Arthur Attwood, arrived in Palmer to manage while Charles was absent.  While practicing in Palmer, Charles had an automobile and often drove patients to Clay Center for treatment and surgery.

The Linn-Palmer Record 7-1-1910

Advertisement from The Linn-Palmer Record, July 1, 1910

Charles decided to open a pharmacy in Palmer and traveled to Topeka to purchase the equipment and fixtures for the new venture.  The Attwood Pharmacy opened in May 1909.  The pharmacy had a soda fountain, back to school supplies, Christmas gifts, sold tickets to local events, and other goods available nowhere else in Palmer.  Miss Blanche Thomas was one of the pharmacy employees.  Charles decided that running a medical practice and pharmacy was not working, so he sold the pharmacy in February 1912 to a party from Medford, Oklahoma.  As part of the sale, Charles acquired 160 acres in Grant County, Oklahoma near Medford.

Florence was a member of the Knight’s and Ladies of Security Council, which threw a surprise farewell dinner for the Attwood’s at Cook & Fowler’s store prior to their moving to Abilene.  The last week of May, Charles loaded up his car with personal effects and drove to Abilene.  Charles resigned his position on the Palmer City Council and Bert Harnett was appointed as his replacement.  Upon arriving in Abilene, the Attwood’s purchased part of Lots 1 and 3, Block 15 of the Kuney and Hodges Addition and commenced to having a bungalow built.  The home addressed 802 N. Olive Street was completed in July 1912.  The Attwood’s would live in this home the duration of their time in Abilene and sold it to George Stacey Chase in 1925.

301 N Broadway

Farmers National Bank at 301 N. Broadway Street, Abilene.  Dr. C. F. Attwood’s Office Upstairs and Painted on Window

 

DCN 11-6-1913

Advertisement in the Dickinson County News, November 6, 1913

When he first arrived in Abilene, Charles’ practice occupied an office on the 2nd floor of the Farmers National Bank building (currently the La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant) and was addressed 212 ½ NW. 3rd Street with the entrance being on the 3rd Street side of the building.  His office would be in this location until December 1918, when he would move to the space above the Hoon & Company Clothing store at 207 N. Broadway (currently the south third of the USD 435 Administrative Offices).  In 1920, he moved his office to 208 ½ N. Broadway Street, which was above the Oscar Allen Dentzer’s Grocery Store (currently Abilene Chiropractic).

In Abilene, Charles was a member of the Brotherhood of American Yeoman and served as Chaplain.  He was on the Board of Directors of the Commercial State Bank, which was managed by his brother in-law, Roy M. Deevers.  Charles was also a shareholder for the natatorium.  Florence was involved with the Methodist church.

AWC 5-7-1919

Abilene Weekly Chronicle, May 7, 1919

In January 1918, Charles was appointed the Dickinson County Health Officer and would serve in that capacity until 1921.  He was succeeded by Dr. Tracy R. Conklin in 1922.  In October 1918, Charles was informed that he passed the examination to serve in the army medical corps and he would be commissioned for duty in the near future.  However, World War I ended on November 11, 1918 when Germany signed the Armistice of Compiègne.  During this time, the Memorial Hospital was being built and Charles was one of the managing physicians.  The other managing physicians were: Drs. Peter Bachman Witmer, Tracy R. Conklin, Simon S. Steelsmith, Harry Bowman Felty, and Johann Nickaulaus Dieter.  In July 1919, the Attwood’s spent a month in Rochester, Minnesota, while Charles attended a four week post graduate course at the Mayo Brothers hospital, later known as the Mayo Clinic.  The following year, the US Bureau of War Risk Insurance appointed Charles as an examiner for insurance claims for servicemen.

In 1924, the Attwood’s decided to move back to Topeka.  Charles rented part of 909-911 Kansas Avenue in downtown for his office and the family lived at 1301 SW. MacVicar Street.  Around 1940, they moved to 1411 Stratford Street.  Between 1933 and 1937, his office was in Suite 202 of the Kresge Building and at 633 Kansas Avenue between 1938 and 1945.

Charles died on Christmas Day of 1945 in Topeka.  Florence would outlive her husband by almost 20 years.  She died in Topeka on February 8, 1965.  They were laid to rest in the Penwell-Gabel Cemetery and Mausoleum in Topeka.

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Charles Hubert Pinkham (1843-1915), Dry Goods and Clothing Merchant

C.H.-Pinkham.jpg

Charles Hubert Pinkham

George Washington Pinkham and Elvira Melissa Flannagan welcomed their first child into the world on March 17, 1843 and named him Charles Hubert Pinkham.  He was born in Port Huron, Michigan, where the St. Clair River flows to the great Lake Huron.  George was a shoemaker and owner of George W. Pinkham & Company in downtown Port Huron.  Charles and his siblings who grew beyond infancy were raised in a mercantile environment.  Thus, Charles developed skills to operate a business at an early age.

In 1866, at the age of 23, Charles moved to Peoria, Illinois and there he met Luella White.  Luella and Charles were married in Peoria on May 31, 1867.  Their son, Charles Almon Pinkham, was born in Peoria in 1868.  The young family migrated to Rock Bluff Township in Cass County, Nebraska in 1870.  When the town of South Bend was starting to develop as a result of The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad constructed a line from Plattsmouth to Lincoln, Charles seized the opportunity.  In 1872, he opened a general store.  That same year, he was appointed as Postmaster of South Bend and operated the post office out of a corner of the general store.  Tragedy struck the young family when Luella died unexpectedly on August 25, 1872 in South Bend.

C H Pinkham General Store South Bend Nebraska 1880

C. H. Pinkham’s General Store and Post Office in South Bend, Nebraska

In 1873, Charles purchased the grain elevator in South Bend.  Then he married Helen Claira Cooley on February 14, 1874 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.  While in South Bend, Charles and Helen would have their three sons: John, James Patterson, and Frank.  There was some excitement in the store when in November 1880, the store safe was blown up and a considerable amount of money stolen.  Charles continued to operate the general story and remained post master.  In 1879, a wagon bridge was built across the Platte River connecting South Bend with Sarpy County, which made the general store more convenient for those on the north side of the river.  However, an ice jam and fire damaged the bridge in 1881 and it was abandoned.  That same year, Charles sold the grain elevator, general store, and completed his term as Postmaster.  This may have occurred because of the bridge and the Great Flood of 1881, which swelled the Platte River and flooded several towns.  By 1885, the family lived across the Platte River in Springfield, Nebraska where Charles was working as a grain dealer.  They moved to Lincoln, Nebraska around 1887.  Their daughter, Hubertine C., was born in Nebraska in 1888.

DCN 11-7-1889 ad footer

The Rescue Advertisement – Dickinson County News, November 7, 1889

 

The Rescue

The Rescue operated by the Pinkham Brothers

The Pinkham’s left Nebraska arriving in Abilene, Kansas in 1888.  Charles and his brother George owned a dry goods store named The Rescue, which was located at 318 N. Broadway (currently occupied by Hairtiques).  In July 1890, The Rescue moved to a refitted storefront at 312 N. Broadway Street (current the north half of The Other Jones).  Charles bought out George’s share of the business around 1894.  George moved from Solomon, Kansas to Guthrie, Oklahoma shortly thereafter.  Around 1896, the business was renamed C. H. Pinkham’s and moved to the northeast corner of the post office block (now addressed 311 NW. 3rd and occupied by John Purvis, Attorney).  The post office block was a 3-story brick building at the southeast corner of 3rd and Cedar Streets.  Charles’ son, John was going to business school and planned on work in his dad’s business.  John, James, and Frank all worked in the business at different times.

In the mid-1890’s, Charles became involved with a number of fraternal and civic organizations.  He was a member of the Crescent Council No. 10 of the F.A.A., the Knight of Pythias, the Commercial Club (now the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce), and the Abilene Chess Club.  Helen was active in the community and was a member of The Ladies’ Aid Society.  In October 1898, the Pinkham’s purchased the house at 502 NW. 6th Street.  John Pinkham worked in the post office in Cleveland, Ohio when he grew weak from consumption and could no longer work.  He returned to Abilene and died at the family home on November 8, 1900.

Pinkham's Dry Goods Store

Interior of C. H. Pinkham’s

ADR 1-3-1902

Pinkham’s Close Out Sale Ad – Abilene Daily Reflector, January 3, 1902

In June 1901, Charles purchased the stock of the Benefit Store and consolidated it with Pinkham’s.  The store remained at the 311 NW. 3rd Street location until the beginning of 1902, when the post office did not extend Charles’ lease and a closing out sale was held.  By March, Charles secured the space at 209 N. Cedar Street just south of the post office’s Cedar Street entrance (now occupied by Xpressions Salon).  This would be the last move the store would make for the next 86 years.  In Aug 1904, Charles improved the showroom by adding a double decker platform to display a larger stock and the room received new wallpaper.  On September 1, 1909, Charles took possession of the post office block from S. A. Cooper for $10,000.  He promptly remodeled the building with a new steel ceiling, a new staircase to Central Kansas Business College, and a boiler for heat.  This allowed them to double the size of their suit department.  One of the notable items of the business was the large cabinet cash register, which was purchased in April of 1912.

Charles’ son, Frank, had taken an interest in the retail business and after high school moved to St. Louis, Missouri to work for a wholesale dry goods house in 1899.  A couple years later he worked for a similar company in St. Joseph, Missouri.  By 1904, he returned to Abilene and took a position with his father’s business as a manager and buyer.  Frank was living with his parents at 502 NW. 6th Street.  He married Lucile “Lucy” Gertrude Hart at the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Abilene on September 26, 1911.  Lucy was the first woman to work at Pinkham’s in 1904.  The new couple purchased the home at 514 N. Cedar Street and would have four children: Dorothy Mary and Doris A. (twins, b. 1912), Helen (b. 1913, who died in infancy), and Charles P. (b. 1917).

ADC 11-24-1911

C. H. Pinkham & Son Advertisement – Abilene Daily Chronicle, November 24, 1911

In 1913, parcel post was introduced at the Abilene Post Office and Pickham’s sent one of the first packages.  It weighed the limit of 11 lbs, cost 25 cents in postage and insurance, and was delivered to J. W. Rumold, who lived 9 miles from Abilene.  At the same time the new post office at 3rd and Buckeye was being built and since it was not complete the post office renewed their lease from Pinkham.

The post office moved to the new facility at 3rd and Buckeye Avenue in 1914 leaving the space to the north of Pinkham’s vacant.  It was announced later that year that Pinkham’s would expand into the space.  This would allow them to put their cloak room on the main floor and expand their offerings.

Charles enjoyed cars and often went on long road trips.  This was prior to paved roads and Charles had gotten stuck more than once.  In 1907, Charles and Frank left Great Bend in his Ford Runabout and arrived in Solomon 2 hours after leaving.  Then a storm hit and it took two hours to arrive in Abilene having gotten stuck in mud a number of times.  Later that year, Charles traveled with Hubertine to Denver and followed that up with a two month visit to the old hometown of Port Huron, Michigan.  Charles purchased a new car in 1913 and drove it to Abilene after picking it up in Kansas City.

C.H. Pinkham & Hubertine in 1906 Ford Model N

Charles and Hubertine C. Pinkham (Holzworth)

The year 1913 also saw Charles’ health turn for the worse.  In March 1914, he spent time in the Swedish Hospital in Topeka, Kansas and it was determined that he had stomach cancer.  He returned home, but remained weak and Frank was handling all of the day to day business of the store.  Charles died at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, February 9, 1915 at the family’s home at 502 NW. 6th Street.  The family knew the end was near and all of his children were bedside when he passed.  James traveled in from Hartman, Colorado; Charles from Holly, Colorado; and Hubertine from El Paso, Texas.  His funeral was held at the home two days later and a large contingent accompanied the body to the Abilene Cemetery for burial.

Store Front

Pinkham’s at 209-211 N. Cedar Street

After Charles’ death, Frank continued in the business until his death in 1954.  At the time his wife, Lucy, and daughter Dorothy had management roles in the business and continued.  After her father’s death, Doris returning from Redwood City, California to work at Pinkham’s.  Lucy died in 1974 and the twin sisters operated the business until 1988, when it was closed after 100 years of continuous service to the community.  The remaining assets of the business were auctioned in 1990, including the cabinet cash register which was topped with an ornate brass plate engraved with “C. H. Pinkham & Son”.

Pinkham 100 year 1

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Charles Edgar “Ed” Shadinger (1868-1941), The Newsman and Printer

Charles Edgar Shadinger was born on July 14, 1868 in Mendota, Illinois to Henry Swartz and Nellie Armenia (Parks) Shadinger.  Henry “Harry” Shadinger was a farmer and civil war veteran with strong skills as a liveryman.  In 1871, the Shadinger family migrated to Dickinson County and Harry received a land patent for 168 acres in Section 4 in Buckeye Township, 7 miles north of Abilene.  The family moved into town around 1876 and his father built the Shadinger Livery Stable in the 400 block of NW. 2nd Street, which later became known as the Opera House Livery Stable.

Charles Edgar Shadinger 1

Charles Edgar Shadinger

Charles was commonly known as “Ed”.  Ed and his younger brother, Roy, attended Abilene schools and in May 1886 Ed graduated from the Abilene Commercial School.  That August, he became a printing apprentice for the Abilene Chronicle newspaper, which was published by Albert Wilkerson Hargreaves.  This was his first experience in the printing business which would become is primary vocation.  In January 1887, the Shadinger’s moved to Chapman, Kansas where Ed became the printer for the Chapman Courier.  An opportunity at the Denver Press in Denver, Colorado lured Ed west in early 1890.  However, this move west was temporary as he returned to Abilene in August to manage the Enterprise Publishing Company in Enterprise, Kansas.  A few months later, Ed would start working for the Abilene Chronicle again.  In February 1891, Ed accepted a position with the Santa Paula Chronicle in Santa Paula, California.

Jessie Ann Jeffcoat Shadinger 2

Jessie Ann Jeffcoat Shadinger

Ed had grown up knowing Miss Jessie Ann Jeffcoat since they attended school together in Abilene.  Jessie’s father, Amasa Jeffcoat, was in the livery business as was Ed’s father, so the families knew each other well.  In December 1891, Jessie boarded a train in Abilene and traveled to Santa Paula where she joined Ed.  The couple were married on December 12, 1891 in Santa Paula, California and returned to Enterprise in April the following year.  Ed worked for the Enterprise Journal, Abilene Herald, and Chapman Standard.  In the fall of 1893, Ed expressed interest in purchasing the Chapman Standard from J. C. Russel, but a deal was not made.  That November, Ed purchased Frank Strother’s interest in the Junction City Sentinel and became a partner with Abel Wheeler Chabin.  Mr. Chabin purchased the Sentinel in 1890 and previously owned a newspaper and been the postmaster in Onaga, Kansas.  The new firm was Chabin & Shadinger.  Ed and Jessie moved to a house on 6th Street west of Madison Street in Junction City.  This partnership was short lived when Ed sold his interest four months later and returned to Abilene.

Ed and Jessie had two children: Gladys Lorena (Hogan) (b. 1893) and Gerald Charles (b. 1901).  While in Abilene, Ed was involved in several fraternal and civic organizations.  As a young man, he was a member of the Camp 63, Sons of Veterans, which as the name implies included sons of civil war veterans.  Ed held leadership positions in the Knights of Pythias, Cyrus Chapter No. 25 Royal Arch Mason, Order of the Eastern Star, Fraternal Aid Association, and Abilene Rotary Club (President 1928-1929).  He was a member of the Commercial Club (currently the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce) and served as President of the Abilene Municipal Band for several years between 1900-1920.  At one time he was a member of the Grace Reform Church, but transferred his membership to the Presbyterian Church in which he served as a Trustee.  Jessie was also involved in the church, Order of the Eastern Star, and Job’s Daughters.

By 1894, Charles’ skill and knowledge of the printing business was substantial and he decided to start a job printing business.  In September of that year, he partnered with D. Tell Nutt in the job printing firm of Shadinger & Nutt.  The Shadinger & Nutt Printing Company occupied part of the 2nd floor in the old Post Office building, which was a three-story building at the southeast corner of Cedar and NW. 3rd Streets (currently occupied by John Purvis, Attorney and Xpressions Salon).  In February 1895, Shadinger & Nutt attempted to purchase the Abilene Dispatch newspaper, however, agreeable terms could not be reached.  After this failed attempt the print shop relocated to the 2nd floor over the Gleissner Drug Store near the southeast corner of Broadway and NW. 3rd (currently USD 435 Administrative Offices).  D. Tell Nutt decided to sell his interest and the firm was dissolved in July 1895.  He would continue to work for the firm at different times.

AD 3-7-1895

Newspaper Advertisement – Abilene Dispatch, March 7, 1895

Business Card

Business Card

In June 1898, Ed and Roy Shadinger along with Jabez Campbell Gault purchased the struggling Abilene Monitor newspaper from Ulysses Sanford Grant Gaines.  They consolidated the print shop with the newspaper office.  Mr. Gault was the newspaper editor and the ownership firm was Shadinger Brother & Gault.  However, this partnership lasted only 4 months when it was dissolved.  The print shop moved to the 214 N. Cedar Street (now occupied by Black & Company Realtors and Clippers Edge).  The brother’s new firm was Shadinger & Shadinger (Shadinger Brothers).  Always investing in the business, they introduced a gasoline engine to operate the presses in 1899.  Roy sold his interest in the company to E. G. Kenyon of Yates Center in May 1900.  The new firm name was Shadinger & Kenyon.  Roy moved to Los Angeles, California and became a very successful salesman and manager for the American Type Foundry Company.

Shadinger printing interior 4

Shadinger Print Shop When Located on the 2nd Floor of 214 N. Cedar Street

Shandinger priting interior 2

102 NW 3rd labeledW. W. Bolles sold the property at 102 NW. 3rd Street to Ed in January 1902 and the printing business promptly occupied the space. Today, the west half of the Benjamin F. Edwards office sits on this site. In 1904, improvements were made to the office and an engine room was added to the building.  Improvements were made to the 2nd floor for an apartment, which the Shadinger’s lived in for a short period of time after they sold their house on E. 1st Street.  The business would remain at this location until March of 1911.

Jacob L. Kruger, the building contractor, sold the property at the south corner of Mulberry and NW. 2nd Street to the Shadinger Printing Company in January 1911.  This site is now occupied by the eastern most building at the Webb Home Center.  The partners of the business at the time of this purchase were Ed, Ed’s brother-in-law, Lawson Eugene Jeffcoat, and Benjamin Frank Myers, who had been an employee of the print shop for a number of years.  During the first week of March, the employees of the print shop moved the machinery and supplies to the newly purchased building.   When the move was complete, Charles treated the staff to an oyster dinner at the Home Rule Café (108 NW. 2nd) and a picture show.  Ed bought Frank Myers’ interest in the business in 1921.

Shandinger printing interior 1Throughout the years dozens of employees worked in the print shops.  Among those were: W. B. Shawhan (1900), J. W. Saunders (1901), Theodore Wilvert (1903), Raymond Sanborn (1905-1907), D. Tell Nutt (1903-1907), Dr. Baldwin (1909), Francis Morton Duckworth, Frank Clarence Curts (1909), Elmer Clark (1914-1915), Blanche Mikulecky (1913-1915), Herbert Pike (1916-1917), Benjamin Frank Myers (1899-1921), Christopher Dunable (1913-1914), George McCormick (1916), Charles Lambing (1918), and Gerald Shadinger (1922).

Shandinger printing interior 3The Shadinger’s moved their residence more often than their business changed.  The family lived at a house on NW. 2nd Street between Walnut and Elm Streets in 1898.  That July, there was a barn fire in the middle of the block and four properties including the Shadinger house was threatened. The Johntz house at the corner of Walnut and NW. 3rd Streets was also threatened.  Three barns were destroyed and all of the homes were spared.  The Shadinger’s moved to the Boutin house at NW. 4th and Spruce Streets in October 1898 and less than a year later they moved into the Trott House on NW. 3rd Street.  In 1900, Ed purchased a cottage on E. 1st Street and made significant improvements to the property, which he would sell in 1904 at the time he purchased 102 NW. 3rd Street.  By 1906, they lived at 114 NW. 5th Street.

Ed purchased the vacant lot at the northwest corner of E. 1st and Olive Streets and built the 2-story home addressed 221 E. 1st Street.  They moved into this house in May 1908.  Ed again purchased a vacant lot at the corner of Cedar and 10th Streets and started excavating a basement in October 1912.  In January 1913, the family moved into the Carroll Boarding House at 107 W. 1st Street while their new home at 911 N. Cedar Street was being built.  They moved into the new house that July.  Four years later, this house would be purchased by Alfred Doidge.  By 1918, the Shadingers had purchased the home at 910 NW. 2nd Street.

Jessie died unexpectedly on April 12, 1936 at the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Abilene after a short illness.  Her funeral was held two days later at the Presbyterian Church.  Gerald would eventually become the manager and took care of the business after Ed’s day to day involvement ceased.  After Jessie’s death Ed lived at 205 E. 1st Street, with his daughter’s family.  Ed died 5 years later (August 30, 1941) in Abilene and his funeral was held at the Presbyterian Church.  The couple are laid to rest in the Abilene Cemetery.

After his father’s death, Gerald owned and operated the print shop.  In the early 1940’s the business was moved to 207 NE. 3rd Street.  In the 1950’s, Gerald took on a partner and it became Shadinger-Wilson Printing.  The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle purchased the business and only held it for a short period of time.  Ralph Hilton bought it from the newspaper in 1971 and continues to operate as Abilene Printing and Office Products Company at 207 NE. 3rd Street.

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Amasa Jeffcoat (1843-1934), Liveryman

Amasa Jeffcoat Portrait

Amasa Jeffcoat

Henry and Sarah E. (Wilcox) Jeffcoat welcomed their second son, Amasa Jeffcoat, to the world on February 4, 1843 in York, Illinois.  Henry was a farmer originally from Aylesbury, England.   When just a year old the family moved to Will County, Illinois and by 1848 they moved to Rockville Township in Kankakee County, Illinois.  When Amasa was 17 years old he was living and working on the farm of Calvin Walton in Rockville Township.

On August 5, 1862, Amasa and his older brother, Daniel, enlisted in Company I, 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  The 76th IVI mustered in on August 22, 1862 and the brothers would be mustered out at Galveston, Texas on July 22, 1865.  Amasa was enlisted as a Private and finished as a Corporal.  The 76th IVI operated along the east bank of the Mississippi River and was involved in capturing of Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of 1863.  Amasa was at Camp Hebron, Missouri, during the fall and winter of 1863 until February of 1864 when they moved on Yazoo City, Mississippi.  They would later travel to New Orleans and to Fort Barrancas, near Pensacola, Florida before heading to Texas.  Amasa was involved in a number of battles, skirmishes, and weather damaged watercraft during the 10,000 miles covered by the 76th IVI, which ended in Galveston, Texas.

76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in Galveston, TX

Mustering Out of the 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in Galveston, Texas on July 22, 1865

 

After returning to Kankakee County he returned to farming and after three years married Emily Marie Harrington on December 8, 1868.  Amasa and Emily lived on a farm in Limestone, Illinois.  Their first child, Lawson Eugene Jeffcoat, was born in October of 1869 and would be their only child born in Illinois.  In the late summer of 1871, Amasa drove a covered wagon west and led a migration of several relatives to Kansas.  On October 10, 1871, they arrived in Cheever Township, Dickinson County about 10 miles north of Abilene.  Ten days later Emily and Lawson arrived in Abilene by train.  Over the next 8 years, Amasa and Emily would add 4 children to their family: Jessie Ann (Shadinger), Joseph Wesley, Jacob John, and Frank Leslie.  Amasa took to farming and stockraising.

Tragedy struck the family when Emily died on January 3, 1880, leaving Amasa with five children under the age of 11.  Emily is buried in the Henry Cemetery in Buckeye Township.  Just over a year later on January 25, 1881, Amasa was married to Lillie May Fink.  The father of his deceased with, Reverend Wesley Harrington, performed the ceremony.  Amasa and Lillie would have six children between 1881 and 1897: Clarence Melvin, Nora Annette (Wilvert), Pearl Maude, Wilbur Amasa, Elmer Leroy, and Charles Carl.

Amasa Jeffcoat Family 1894

Amasa Jeffcoat Family in 1894 – back l to r: Wilbur, Nettie, Frank, Jake, Jessie, and Lawson “Gene”.  front l to r: Roy, Lilly, Carl, and Amasa

 

While living in the country, Amasa acquired land in Garfield and Lincoln Townships west and southwest of Abilene.  His entire life, Amasa had been taking care of horses and decided to get into the livery stable business.  Due to health problems, Amasa moved to Abilene in 1886 and started operating the former Shadinger’s (1884) and Ramsey’s (1887) Livery Stable on NW. 2nd Street, which is now occupied by the coffee bar portion of the LifeHouse Church.  This would be his first stable location of seven during his 22 year career as a liveryman.  They lived at 201 NE. 8th Street at this time.

81-153

The former Shadinger, Ramsey, and Jeffcoat stable on NW. 2nd Street, which Amasa Jeffcoat sold to William F. Lebold in 1888.

Henry House and Star Liveries on Spruce Street

Henry House Livery, which Jeffcoat operated until the fire on October 2, 1890

Amasa sold the NW. 2nd Street location to William F. Lebold and moved to the livery stable formerly known as the Henry House Livery stable, which was in the 300 block of N. Spruce Street.  This stable occupied the property which is now addressed 307 and 311 N. Spruce Street, which are now the United Capital Management office and recently closed 311 restaurant.  The Star Livery located at 319 N. Spruce had just been completed and there was a vacant lot between the two stables.

Disaster struck the business on the evening of October 2, 1890, when the stable caught fire and everything was destroyed.  Fifteen horses died in the flames and all of the buggies, harnesses, and structure were reduced to ashes.  The total value lost was $5,000 and Amasa did not have insurance on the business.  As reported the following week in the October 9, 1890 edition of the Abilene Weekly Reflector,

“WENT UP IN SMOKE

Jeffcoats Livery Barn And Contents Destroyed.  Fifteen horses perish in the flames – buggies, harness etc., Are Lost – Nothing Saved – Loss Over $5,000 With No Insurance.

The most disastrous fire in the recent history of Abilene occurred Thursday night at 11:30 o’clock when the frame livery barn of A. Jeffcoat on Spruce Street between Third and Fourth was burned to the ground, nothing being saved. 

The fire was seen by three or four different parties at about the same time.  John Maloney, of Maloney Bros., with a hostler in a neighboring barn was the first on the ground.  He saw the fire as he was closing his billiard hall, the flames showing in the northeast corner of the building.  He rushed to the place and found everything closed.  Going through the office he went into the main part of the barn where the smoke was so dense that he could scarcely see.  He untied two horses and attempted to get them out but could not and was obliged to run for his life.  He awakened the two boys sleeping in the barn and they too escaped.  The fire companies were soon on hand, the alarm having been given by the hostler, but nothing could be done except save the neighboring buildings.  Only for the fact that it was comparatively still night even this would have been impossible.

THE LOSE $5,000

The rapidity with which the flames got under way in the tinder-like structure precluded the saving of anything.  The complete list of loss of Mr. Jeffcoat outside of the building takes in nearly everything he possessed.  He lost 11 horses, 6 buggies, 2 carriages, 1 saddle and bridle, 3 sets double harness, 2 sets single harness.  2 tons hay, 150 bushel oats, one-half ton bran, whips, robes, etc., common to a livery barn.  Beside this there were four boarding horses with buggies and harnesses.  G. C. Sterl lost his fine horse and phaeton, Dr. Austin his horse and phaeton, James Slough his horse and sulky and Fred Wilcox his horse and buggy recently purchased, Carl Potter and R. M. White each had a buggy stored there and Eicholtz’s best hearse was in the barn.  All were burned and so far as can be learned not a dollar’s worth of insurance was held on them.  The total loss cannot be less than $5,000. 

SUFFERING HORSES

The most pathetic part of the fire was the burning of the 15 fine horses the remains of all of which were found in the stalls when the smoke cleared away.  No cries of pain were heard from them but it was probably because of suffocation from the dense smoke. 

William Conrad, the stable boy and a farm lad who was staying with him had gone to bed but a short time before had not time to put on their clothing after they were awakened. 

The loss is a particularly hard one on Mr. Jeffcoat.  He has been for years one of Abilene’s most respected and hard working citizens and has the sympathy of all in his misfortune.  The firemen worked their hardest and fought the flames to the best of their ability.  Abilene’s citizens outside the department also took a hold and aided materially in subduing the flames. 

Mr. Jeffcoat wishes us to extend his thanks to the firemen and all others who assisted him last night and have expressed their sympathy today.  We hope that in some way arrangements can be made by which he can again get into business. 

The debris is being cleared away today, the charred remains of the dead horses making immediate action necessary. 

After the fire Warren Thayer treated the firemen handsomely by inviting them to partake of coffee and refreshments at his restaurant on Third street.  The boys appreciate his thoughtfulness.”

Shortly after the fire several people proposed that a benefit fund be created to help Amasa.  A fund was established and George C. Sterl and David Matteson volunteered to pass a subscription paper among the business men.  The effort raised $633.10, which was provided to the Jeffcoats that November.  The generosity of fellow Abileneians helped Amasa start anew when he leased The Glenwood Stables shortly after receiving the benefit fund.  He purchased the horses, rigs, and harnesses from the Broughton Brothers (see William Henry Broughton).  The Glenwood Stables is the same property as Amasa’s original stable on NW. 2nd Street.  William F. Lebold rented the NW. 2nd Street stable to the Glenwood stock farm in January 1890 and then to Jeffcoat in November 1890.

ADR 6-23-1891

Bon Ton Livery Stable Advertisement – Abilene Daily Reflector, June 23, 1891

In the spring of 1891, construction of a new stone livery on Broadway Street began and the structure was finished in June.  The substantial and handsome two-story building, which replaced the old Bon Ton Livery stable.  The original Bon Ton stable sat on what is now 315 N. Broadway (First American Title) and the south half of 317 N. Broadway (Countrypolitan).  The first story of the new Bon Ton stable is now the Countrypolitan store.  You could enter the new livery stable from either the Broadway or Spruces Street sides.  The new Bon Ton Livery Stable was operated by Amasa and his partner, Charles E. Swick.  Prior to the opening of this stable, many of the leading horse owners in the area had made arrangements to board their horses there.

ADR 7-29-1895

Central Livery Stable Advertisement at Buckeye and 4th – Abilene Daily Reflector, July 29, 1895

The partnership of Jeffcoat & Swick was a short one with the retirement of Charles Swick in March 1893.  The partnership was dissolved on April 1, 1893 and the new firm of Jeffcoat & Son was born with Lawson Eugene Jeffcoat being the son.  They continued operation at 317 N. Broadway until July 1895.  In June 1895, Amasa and Lawson’s wives, Lilly Mae (Fink) Jeffcoat and Lucy Bell (Fritz) Jeffcoat, respectively, purchased five lots at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Buckeye Avenue (now occupied by M&M Tire) and the stable was moved in July.  This arrangement only lasted two months when the property on Buckeye was sold to George Etherington and Etherington’s horse and buggy teams were sold to Jeffcoat & Son.  With a large combined stock, Jeffcoat & Son moved to the fine two-story Star Livery building at 317 N. Spruce Street.

ADR 9-28-1895

Central Livery Stable Advertisement at 317 N. Spruce – Abilene Daily Reflector, September 28, 1895

The livery business was a dangerous one with runaways and disagreeable horses being a regular occurrence.  Rarely did a week go by that a team of horses didn’t run lose through the streets often damaging property, themselves, and people.  It was shortly after moving into the Star Livery that Amasa’s foot was severely crushed by a horse stomping on it.  There were other types of hazards.  For instance, in May 1896 the basement of the livery, which was where the horses were quartered filled with six feet of water.  It took over two days to pump the basement out.  One of the most significant accidents Amasa was involved in occurred in September 1903.  As reported by the Abilene Daily Reflector,

“W. L. Stowitts’ team attached to the rural carrier wagon of Route 1 ran away down Buckeye last evening at a terrific pace.  Near the Rock Island it struck a livery team from Jeffcoat’s with Mr. Jeffcoat and a traveling man in the buggy.  They tried to escape but the runaways struck them and there was a mixup.  Jeffcoat’s buggy was demoralized and his horses ran south to George Rush’s.  The other team was tangled up and stopped.  Mr. Jeffcoat and his passenger were bruised but not seriously injured.”

ADC 5-25-1899

Jeffcoat & Son Grocery Advertisement – Abilene Daily Chronicle, May 25, 1899

By 1898, Amasa seemed ready for a change.  In March of that year, he sold his interest in Jeffcoat & Son to his sons Lawson Eugene Jeffcoat and John Jacob “Jake” Jeffcoat who created the Jeffcoat Brothers firm.  However, the following month Joseph E. and William S. Badger purchased the Star Livery building for their transfer and bussing business.  In May 1899, Amasa and Jake formed another Jeffcoat and Son company and purchased the A. T. Munroe grocery store at 318 N. Broadway Street, which is now the north half of Hairtiques.  Jake had always been interested in the grocery business and would work for a number of Abilene’s grocers during his early adulthood.  The Jeffcoat & Son grocery store only lasted 7 months, when the store was sold to Clint C. Colden.  Mr. Colden had been the head grocery clerk for J. B. Case for many years prior to buying the Jeffcoat store in February 1900.  Jake started working for Colden and would later work for Kump’s Grocery, the Prendergast Store, and Markley’s Grocery.

Amasa promptly got back into the livery stable business as Jeffcoat & Son by operating the City Livery, previously known as the Young Stable.  Shortly after moving to the property, Amasa built an addition to the existing stable.  The City Livery was located at the southwest corner of Spruce and NW. 5th Streets.  This property is now occupied by the City Auditorium attached to City Hall.  Roy Weyant purchased the property from Jeffcoat and allowed Jeffcoat to rent it.

Jeffcoat City Livery 1900

City Livery Barn on the right east of City Hall at the corner of Spruce and 5th Streets.  Photo taken from 4th and Spruce Streets about 1900

In December 1900, the City Livery Barn was sold by Roy Weyant to David F. Keller and extended a lease to Amasa so he continued business next to city hall.  The following summer Jeffcoat & Son moved back to the Star Livery (317 N. Spruce) and William S. Badger moved his transfer business to stable on NW. 5th Street and Lawson Jeffcoat continued to live in the house next to the stable.  Jeffcoat & Son sold the Star Livery building to George C. Dahnke in March 1906 and had no plans to continue in business.  Amasa would spend the next year in retirement.

317NSpruce 1

The Star Livery Stable (317 N. Spruce Street) operated by Jeffcoat and Son.  Amasa Jeffcoat is next to his dog, Kan-Kee

317NSpruce 1-19-2019

The Star Livery building on January 19, 2019

Amasa must have grown restless in retirement.  In March 1907, Jeffcoat & Son petitioned the City Council for permission to build a boarding barn at 314 N. Buckeye Avenue, which is now occupied by SK Designs.  Permission was granted.  However, neighboring livery stable owner, H. A. Anderson, brought an injunction suit to the Council to halt the building project contending that the block walls were one inch less in thickness than required by ordinance.  The ordinance in questions did not cover cement block buildings.  On May 17th, the City Council adopted an ordinance addressing cement structures and allowed construction of the building to continue.  The new stable was touted as the most modern in the city with electric lighting throughout, insulated wire, and box stalls for twenty horses.

SK Designs 12-15-18

314 N. Buckeye Avenue on December 15, 2018, built by Amasa Jeffcoat in 1907

Amasa’s devoted wife, Lillie May Jeffcoat, died on November 5, 1908 at the family home after a battle with dropsy.  Her funeral was held at the Evangelical Church on November 8th and she was laid to rest in the Abilene Cemetery.

The boarding stable and livery business at 314 N. Buckeye Avenue was sold to veterinarian Dr. Ralph E. Townsend in October 1910.  Dr. Townsend continued the business at the same stand and added his veterinary office at the space.  With this arrangement, the boarding stable turned into an animal hospital with recovering animals being under consistent observation of the veterinarian.  Amasa retired from business.

Amasa for several years was involved in local Republican party having served as a ward committeeman and party delegate in the 4th Ward of Abilene.  He was also a member of the Abilene Post 63 of the Grand Army of the Republic.  The family moved their residence as often as the livery relocated.  The list of Abilene homes they lived in include: 202 NE. 5th Street (1900-1906), 123 NE. 4th Street (1910), 411 NE. 6th Street (1912-1914), 415 NE. 6th Street (1916), 514 NW. 5th Street (1920), 205 E. 1st Street (1923), and 910 NW. 2nd Street (1926-1934).

Amasa died on December 29, 1934 at the Carroll House hospital (107 W. 1st Street) of a brain hemorrhage.  His funeral was held at the Tufts Funeral Home on the last day of 1934 with a large crowd, including the membership of the Grand Army of the Republic and Women’s Relief Corps.  He was laid to rest in the Abilene Cemetery to the American Legion firing a salute and the playing of taps by his grandson, Gerald Shadinger.

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Oscar Allen Dentzer (1875-1940), Grocer

John Dick Dentzer and Sarah Jane Dentzer gave birth to Oscar Allen Dentzer on February 4, 1875 in Forest City, Illinois.  The family migrated to Dickinson County, Kansas by 1880, when the family was living on 161 acres in the Newbern Township (SW, 5-14-2) about 4 miles south of Abilene.  Oscar grew up on the farm and attended Abilene schools.  He enjoyed baseball and at one time was captain of the Newbern Nestlings baseball team.

When Oscar was 16 years of age, he began working for J. B. Case & Company and was the supervisor of their grocery department.  The J. B. Case Company occupied four store fronts (206-208-210-212) on the west side of the 200 block of N. Broadway Street.  The grocery department occupied 208 N. Broadway (currently occupied by Abilene Chiropractic and Sports Rehab).  As the grocery supervisor of one of the leading retailers in Abilene for nearly 20 years, Oscar became proficient in all aspects of the grocery business and often traveled great distances to buy product.

Dentzer Grocery Store Location

208 N. Broadway Grocery Store prior to Oscar Dentzer Purchasing the Business

On November 27, 1901, Oscar married Miss Dollie H. Hudson, daughter of John and Mary Hudson.  The wedding was held at the home of her mother at 422 N. Broadway Street with the Rev. Fuller Bergstresser performing the ceremony.  Dollie worked for the Independent Telephone Company and was the first local exchange operator for this company in Abilene.  The new couple first lived on SE. 2nd Street, but a couple years later moved to 217 E. 1st Street.  Their daughter, Phyllis A. Dentzer (Lanning) was born in 1914.

DCN 1-23-1913

Dickinson County News – January 23, 1913

J. B. Case & Company made some significant changes in 1911 when they closed out their clothing and shoe departments and sold the grocery department to Oscar. The grocery remained at 208 N. Broadway and was named O. A. Dentzer Grocery Store. Among his employees were his brother, Walter H. Dentzer, Judson Stowits, Leta Zollett, and Calvin Chestnut.

Oscar was an active member of the community and took on leadership roles in a number of organizations.  He served as President of the Abilene Business Men’s Association (1917); President of the Commercial Club (1922); and President of the Abilene Rotary Club (1923).  Oscar was a contributor to the subscription for the construction of the Memorial Hospital in Abilene.  He was also appointed by the Dickinson County Commissioners as acting Food Administrator for Dickinson County during the brief absence of C. A. Case in 1918.  The Dentzer’s were members of the Trinity Lutheran Church.

During the spring of 1916, the family built the bungalow addressed 101 NW. 10th Street, which they moved into in August.  They would stay in the home until the middle 1920’s, when they purchased a rural property just west of Abilene in Grant Township.  Oscar also sold the grocery business and devoted himself to operating a small dairy.

Oscar died on December 10, 1940.  His funeral was at the Eicholtz Funeral Chapel.  Following Oscar’s death, Dollie moved back to town (509 NW. 5th) and worked as a personal nurse.  Dollie died on June 14, 1959 at the Abilene Memorial Hospital.  Her funeral was at the Rasher-Martin Funeral Home in Abilene.  They are buried in the Abilene Cemetery.

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