Was Eudora the only name proposed for the city? “FishCrossingCity ” and “
South Chicago” are but two names suggested for Eudora. A Kansas City Star 1930s article about Eudora said “Fish” was another name considered for the town site.
Dutch Bill, was he Eudora’s first German settler? Wilhelm Greiffenstein, also known as “Dutch Bill,” born in Germany in 1829, first settled in Hermann, Missouri, where he lived with his uncle and worked in a general store. The next year, he moved with his uncle’s family to St. Louis where he worked as a clerk, then went to Westport, Missouri, in another clerk position. There he met Joe Boinett with whom he formed a partnership to open a trading establishment on the WakarusaRiver near present Eudora. Accompanied by Shawnee guides, Greiffenstein left the store in his partner's hands in 1852 to profitably trade near the Texas border before returning. In 1854, he sold his store interest, joined traders traveling to New Mexico, and came back to Topeka to trade with the Pottawatomie. After an 1858 visit back to Germany to settle his father’s estate, he resumed trade with the Pottawatomie at St. Marys and set up headquarters for trading expeditions westward to the Cheyenne country around SmokyHillValley. He traveled with his wife, Cheyenne Jenny, an invalid, and set up his trading post at Walnut Creek. A few years later, he left and sometime in 1865 he established a trading ranch on Cowskin Creek in present SedgwickCounty
. That year he cleared $5,000 and continued to amass a substantial fortune. In time, he bought a trading post near the mouth of the Little Arkansas River and, with others, established Wichita, Kansas, and was later its mayor in 1880. Marshall Murdock, editor of the Wichita Eagle and a friend of Greiffenstein, later recalled that "there was a time when nearly every worthy Indian in this part of the country seeking aid or avoiding trouble could pull from the recesses of his blanket a dirty, crumpled letter from Bill Greiffenstein notifying the public that this was a good Indian." Source:
Kansas History Quarterly, Vol. 6, pgs. 17-19 and Walnut Creek Ranches on Santa Fe Trail Research Site by Larry and Carolyn Mix, St. John, Kansas.
Was Eudora considered a desirable location? Several land speculators wanted to buy the attractive Eudora townsite area. In 1855, Samuel Clarke Pomeroy, one of the first Kansas senators to Congress, wrote James Blood, the first mayor of Lawrence, about his attempts and those of others to buy the land from the Shawnee. Wrote Samuel James Reader, another who noted Eudora's desirability, to his half-brother, Frank, July 13, 1862: “The Dr [a surgeon in Col. Ritchies Reg. of Indian Home Guards] writes that there is splendid land on the Southern border of this State; in the Shawnee Reserve, also. The place he admired the most is called Eudora. The Indians of this nation have come in as citizens and the land can be sold.” Source: Samuel C. Pomeroy to James Blood, 3 February 1855, Blood Collection (Collection 281), KSHS, Topeka , KS, 1-3; Letters of Samuel James Reader, 1861-1863, Pioneer of Soldier Township , Shawnee County , May, 1940 (Vol. 9, No. 2), pgs. 141-174.
Whatever happened to Eudora Fish, namesake of Eudora? Tom Tucker wrote the following: [April 19, 2007] The following is what I think I know, but like they say, "you don't know what you don't know.” I know that Eudora Fish married Dallas Emmons on May 2nd, 1868. The marriage license indicates that she was age 19 on that date. I have a copy of the marriage license that I obtained from the Wyandotte Historical Society. I know that Eudora died in April, 1877 in LaCygne, KS. The notice of her death appears in the 4/13/1877 issue of the Wyandotte Dispatch and the 4/14/1877 issue of the LaCygne Weekly Journal. (I have copies of both newspapers.) She died on the Tuesday immediately preceding these dates, but I don't know the actual date in 1877. I need a perpetual calendar. Her body was transported from LaCygne on that Tuesday to Wyandotte where she is buried in the Huron Indian Cemetery in downtown Wyandotte. I have been to her gravesite 3 times. Her grave marker reads "Eudora Emmons ? - 1877" she is buried near her mother, Hester Zane. (This is however, not an original grave marker.) Therefore, based on the assumption since only 1/3 of the year (1868) had passed when she married and 2/3 of the year remained, I'm assuming she had not yet passed her birth date when she married Dallas Emmons and therefore, estimated her birth year to be (ca. 1848).I cannot confirm but I have read in multiple sources and a great granddaughter that has done extensive geneaology, that I'm in contact with, also indicates that Eudora had 4 children. Theodore b. 1869 d. 1951 in Tulsa, Bert b. 1870 d. 1900 in the Phillipines, Hettie b. 1872 d. 1873, and Adelia (Nellie) b. 1875 d. 1892. Theodore fathered 8 children with 2 wives, Bert none, Hettie none of course, Nellie married George Sparks and they had 1 child (Pauline Sparks - she had no children). As for Theodore, I've made contact with quite a few of his descendants and I'm still trying to make additional contacts.
According to Eudora (Emmons) Reed, the grand-daughter of Eudora Fish, Eudora is buried in the Wyandot Cemetery; however, she may have meant the Huron Cemetery. Reed’s August 6, 1925 letter read: “. . .I am sorry to say that there is no tombstone by her grave. Aunt Lou and Grandma Zane (Hannah), Uncle Will’s (Zane) mother carried a big rock and put it at the head and without their help, we would have maybe lost the place.” Other accounts (journals of William Walker Jr., tribal and family records found in the Connelley Collection at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library); William E. Connelley's 1896 survey of the cemetery; and the Kansas City, Kansas, Clerk's Mortality Records, July 9, 1892) show Eudora buried in the Huron Indian Cemetery with a marker by her grave. The Huron Cemetery is at North Seventh Street Trafficway and Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas. And, Eudora Fish wasn't the only Eudora in town. There was another “Eudora,” who was the daughter of Christian Epple, one of the townsiters, and, after marriage, she had the Wilson
What about those tunnels that are supposed to be under the downtown buildings? Common lore has it that tunnels run under the Charles Pilla’s home and his store. Some other Eudora stores, too, were said to have tunnels. It is true that some downtown stores had basements that were used, for example, as barber shops. And, Germans in Kansas during the 19th century were known to have built tunnels under their stores for storage, to set up other stores “down below,” or to avoid walking in the snow outside. So, although some downtown buildings have basements, documentation or proof regarding tunnels remains unknown.
What are some city laws that might not be well known? A long-ago Eudora local ordinance read that horse riders could go no faster than three miles an hour on Main Street. As for standing concerns: The first city ordinance concerned dogs running loose and through the years, this issue has resurfaced repeatedly. The Code of the City of Eudora
contained 18 ordinances regarding dogs and two additional ordinances for pit bull dogs. Mulberry trees appear to be another subject of city concern as Eudora Ordinance 13-302 states: It shall be unlawful for any person to set out a mulberry tree in the street parking ground or any public park of the city.
How did Eudora compare to other cities in Kansas? In 1886, the Oct. 2 Wichita Eagle reported that Eudora was the wealthiest city in Kansas of its size, according to the "statistical report."
Is it true that a governor of Kansas once lived in Eudora? Yes. The son of Quaker parents, Walter Roscoe Stubbs came with his family to Hesper in 1869 and left Hesper in 1881 to attend the University of Kansas, and later to farm and grade roads for railroad companies. His grading company got so large that at one time he employed several thousand men from his headquarters in
In 1902, Stubbs ran successfully for the
state legislature. Three terms later, in January of 1909, Stubbs was sworn in as the 18th governor of
. Another Hesper “who’s who” was James L. Davis who came with his family in 1860 to settle at Hesper. At age 21,
left his many relatives for
and went on to build a wholesale photograph business that was international at the time of his retirement with offices in
other major cities. He made it a point to hire people who wanted to earn their way through college. In 1899, he bought buildings to house a college he called
and gave them to the Quaker church. The gift came with a request to raise a $50,000 endowment fund. Andrew Carnegie, the philanthropist and business magnate, donated $25,000.
’ brother-in-law, Edmund Stanley, served as the college’s president. Another Hesper stand-out was John Outland, a
surgeon and head coach of the
football team in 1901, who was born at Hesper. With Phog Allen and Karl Schlademan, Outland founded the Kansas Relays, a top track and field event, according to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. And, according to common lore, the actor Hugh Beaumont, was said to have been born in the Hesper area
February 16, 1909
, even though film biographies list his birthplace as
. Beaumont, best known for playing Ward Cleaver in the television series "Leave It to Beaver," (1957-1963), appeared in more than 80 movies during the 1940s and 1950s.
Do any area museums contain Eudora items? At the WatkinsMuseum in Lawrence. Raymond and Louis Durr, Modesto, California
, donated woodworking tools and furniture built and used by townsiter Charles Durr between 1857-1868 of black walnut trees that grew in the Eudora area.The furniture included a love seat, two desks, several tables, high chair, four dining chairs, and a desk chair. In 2015, the Eudora Community Museum received the love-seat and baby high-chair from that collection.
SpencerArtGallery at the University of Kansas has an 1873 oil painting titled “Spot on the Oregon Trail, Near Eudora, Kansas ” by Henry Leaned Sr.
And, the Kansas State Historical Museum has an item from Eudora: A red and white quilt with four small crosses and one large center cross made during World War I by a group of women making quilts for the Red Cross, according to the October 2001 “During Times of Strife, Kansas Remember” article by Bobbie Athon.
Who is the most "famous" person who lived in Eudora? That very well might be Charles Parham, “the father of the Pentecostal movement” that has more than 500 million followers today. Parham came to Eudora at age 19 in 1892 to preside over the MethodistChurch services. Two years later, he resigned, in part, because of rumors about his personal life, yet he still continued to send letters to the newspaper about his evangelism. In 1901, Parham founded BethelBibleSchool in Topeka where the Pentecostal Movement was born and evolved into denominations such as the Church of God in Christ, InternationalChurch of the Foursquare Gospel and the Assemblies of God. For the first 20 years of its existence, the Pentecostals held inter-racial services marked by frenzied worship and the practice of “talking in tongues.”
Does Eudora have any buildings on The National Register of Historic Places? Does Eudora have any buildings on The National Register of Historic Places? The National Register lists the Pilla (Charles) House, 615 Elm (September 9, 1974). As for the state register, 720 Main Street (2014) and the 707 Main Street (2012) are on it. Eudora also has one of the few cemeteries in the state on the State Register and National Register as well. The B'nai Israel Jewish Cemetery located at the intersection of Winchester Road and 20th Street was added to the National Register in 2013.
Does Eudora have any ghosts? Several Internet websites and books about the supernatural relate the story of the “ghost of Eudora.” This ghost appears in Weaver Bottoms and is said to be the ghost of a woman, who killed herself by jumping in front of a train after she learned her boyfriend was killed in World War II. Haunted USA: Eudora (http://www.hauntedusa.com/) Another ghost associated with Eudora is Lizza Madden who was thought to have been murdered and thrown off the northwestern railroad bridge. A Lawrence WorldNovember 26, 1897 account read: “Those who have seen the ghost say there is little doubt about it being the ghost of the Madden woman. Some have said that spirit acted at times as if it were in pain and at other times as if there was a struggle.” Few traveled the bridge at night to avoid the ghost. The EudoraCemetery records list a Lizzie Madden, no age given, who was black and drowned February 28, 1897.
How about the weather? Well, in 1859, it didn’t rain for 16 months. And, in 1864, snow fell for weeks. Children walked on top of the five-foot high, frozen snow on their way to and from school. Also, during times of great storms and possible tornadoes, Eudora’s Indian population would gather on the south, never the north, side of the river for safety, wrote Olive Nuttall in her memories of growing up in Eudora. On a lesser wind note, sandstorms (also known as "duststorms") with visibility of less than a block, plagued Eudora for decades. They often would last at least an hour and send residents into their cellars. Soil conservation practices helped reduce their frequency. In 1912, the temperature was 24 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. William Schaake, KawValley, lost 25 mules after he took 49 mules north of the river to graze. Twenty-nine decided to return home over the iced-over river that broke when they crossed, which caused death for most.
Hmm, what did people hunt way back when? Herman Gabriel killed 700 rats when he tore down an old corn crib and barn in 1890. On Memorial Day in 1892, Eudora boys hunted and killed 21 snakes in the cemetery. Brazil Hall caught 60 gophers in the spring of 1900. A 1907 Lawrence Journal story reported: “Frank Schopper relieved the county of $6.70 this morning by bringing in 67 gopher scalps.”
With new subdivisions popping up all over the place, how big should Eudora be?
Stay exactly where it is.
Deb (Conner) Pennington
Cut if off, now! Dodie Ortega
It’s not the size; it’s how the town is planned and taken care of. John Durkin
Keep it a small town, seal it. LaDonna Ballock
If it is 6,000 now, maybe 6,002. Janet Campbell
When I moved here, it was half the size and I thought that was perfect. Sandy Scubelek
12,000-15,000. Rex Burkhardt
16,000 to 18,000. Randy Foos
Honestly, already too many for me. Tom Whitten
Hate to see it get bigger; that’s why we moved here. So, 10,000 tops? Gina Brunton
It was 1,800 people when I was growing up. I enjoyed that. Jon Nixon
Enough with the questions! To continue with interesting facts about Eudora. . .
The year 1903 had some odd death circumstances. For one, Frank Sommer, within a period of three months, lost his mother (pneumonia), 21-year-old wife (faulty operation), father (dysentery), and father-in-law (throat cancer). Then there was Charles Mertz who died after an illness relapse. He was engaged to be married three different times; twice his fiancées died before marrying him. Emma Bohnsack turned out to be the fiancée who outlived him. The strangest 1903 death story may be that of Adelia Sharpless. The Associated Press found her funeral interesting and reported on it throughout the country. In 1902, Adelia, a Quaker preacher who preached in Hesper at the Friends Church, left Eudora and married E. V. Sharpless, another preacher. Not too long after the marriage, the wealthy Adelia died in Springdale, Iowa.
Her relatives from
Pawtuckett, Rhode Island, did not think too much of her new husband but came to the funeral. After the quiet affair, Adelia’s husband took her coffin to the cemetery and it was put into a grave. Or so he thought. Instead, Adelia’s nephew, who had removed her body, with the support of her irate relatives, shipped Adelia’s body back to the family cemetery in Rhode Island.
Gypsies often visited the Eudora area. For example, in 1899 about 30 camped on the north side of the Kansas bridge, and, in 1903, a band of 50 came to Eudora, going to each door “begging” or offering to tell fortunes. The 1909 newspaper mentioned two visits; one was about the covered wagons full of gypsy fortune tellers who came to town, and, in February, the men who were “hard lookers” and the women “chasing all over town.” The north side of the river also attracted “tramps,” according to the Lawrence Daily Journal and Evening Tribune that reported October 25, 1997 that up to two dozen tramps would camp with their wagons at a time.
One party not too long after the turn of the 20th century took place at Lothholz Hall and brought out the “old folks” in costume. Costumed merry-makers included: L.D. Harris, Chinamen; Henry Hagenbuch, Irishman; S. J. Lawson, Turk; John Dolisi, George Washington; Mrs. Ed Miller, jockey; I. S. McClelland, “Arkansawer;” William Lothholz, a “Negro” lady; Gus Ziesenis, dude; Grace Allen, Martha Washington; Mrs. Charles Daugherty, queen of hearts; Euretta Kraus, Kentucky belle; Mrs. S. V. Carr, Egyptian bride; Jesse Kraybill, devil; and Mrs. H. Landon, schoolgirl. Dressed as clowns were Frank Sommer, B. J. McBride, Henry Oberholtzer, George Schubert, and Ed Miller.
The Kansas River-Wakarusa River confluence at Lawrence is the second widest flood plain west of the Mississippi River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Eudora has a total area of 2.94 square miles of which 2.89 square miles is land and 0.05 square miles is water.
The Eudora School Board at one time had a Bible placed in every classroom.
In 1927, the Main Street curbs were marked for the first time with parking spaces. The principal streets were oiled, and men with teams of horses laid a heavy coat of chat on top of the oil.
A light earthquake rattled the dishes of Eudora residents at during one March day in 1935. A second, lighter tremor followed soon after.
In 1946, the Eudora Flower Club named city streets after trees.
Eudora’s terrain ranges from 800 feet above sea level in its northwest corner to more than 900 feet in its southern boundaries.
Lila (Reetz) Self, a Eudora native and resident of Hinsdale, Illinois, and her husband, Madison Self, donated $1 million in 1990 to the University of Kansas for an endowed graduate fellowship, according to the University of Kansas Oread.
Wendy Jenkins, hired in 1997, was Eudora's first woman police officer.
The 1866 school bell in Eudora was used by the school and by City Hall. Joe Hargrave bought the bell and moved to Council Grove. When he decided to sell it, John Landon Sr., of Eudora bought it for $125 and donated it to the City of Eudora. For his Eagle Scout project, Scott Kleinschmidt with the help of fellow Boy Scouts built the brick stand and mounted the bell at Ninth Street and Main Street. In 2002, the bell was moved to the lawn of City Hall.
When a major project is underway, N. R. Hamm Quarry, Inc., a 72-acre limestone operation southeast of Eudora, may have 100 trucks a day load up 25 tons of gravel each before going to a building site for concrete and asphalt production. The quarry is directly north of another quarry.
In 1998, David Miller, then age 48, stepped down from his role as chairman of the state Republican Party to run for the Republican nomination for governor. A member of the Kansas Legislature for nine years and owner of the Miller Agency Insurance in Eudora, Miller used the slogan "Restoring Kansas values." He supported a flat 3.5% state income tax, public prayer, the right to carry concealed weapons, English as the state language, highway building, use of public money for private schools, and the elimination of mill local property tax to fund public schools. He was opposed to homosexual marriages and abortion. When the primary results came in, Graves had 73% of the vote, and Miller 27%. In 2002, another Eudoran campaigned for the governor’s seat. Dan Bloom, a former Eudora school superintendent, made a run but dropped out of the August primary in a race that Democrat Kathleen Sebelius ultimately won. Richard Rodewald, an automotive engineer from Eudora, filed to run as a Republican candidate in the August 2006 gubernatorial election.
At WyandotteHigh School, Paul Heitzman weighed 95 pounds and wanted to do school sports but always got cut from the team because of his size. At age 58, he started running, six miles each day before breakfast and has gone to be a top competitor in the U.S. National Senior Olympics and other top-ranked races.
Debbie Bryant, a Miss America, lived in Eudora at the
Grandview Trailer Court
for several years with her husband. She also taught school. Debbie had been a college student when she was selected to represent
Kansas at the Miss America Pageant. Active in her husband’s church and a piano teacher at Missouri Southern State College, she travels regularly speaking to churches, youth and women's groups, according to http://www.missamerica.org/meet/history/1960/1968.asp
City ordinances do not permit fireworks sales within city limits unless approved by the city council. The city allows fireworks to be set off July 2, 3, and 4 and on New Year’s Eve. For many years, area residents lit fireworks in Kerr Field. The city changed that practice when it began hosting a fireworks display at the EudoraHigh School during the 1990s. In days past, the town turned out for Fourth of July celebrations complete with speeches, a parade, contest, and platform dancing.
Eudora has long celebrated Halloween, or perhaps, a better word in its earlier years would be “endured.” That’s because Halloween was a night of pranks. Favorite tricks would be putting an undertaker sign in front of the physician’s office, placing gates in trees, and propping a dummy in front of a door so that it would topple on the person who answered the door. As for celebration, in 1910, for example, C.A. James held a “Halloween Carnival of Witches, Warlocks, and Wizards,” lit a bonfire at , and had the Belleview Ladies Aid society serve refreshments at his midnight “Order of the Broomstick.”
Traditionally, people went to parties in costumes, played games, and had their fortunes told. Clubs typically held Halloween parties with decorations such as black cats, autumn leaves, and jack-o-lanterns. In the second half of the 20th century, children trick-or-treated in area neighborhoods, and younger students attended a Halloween-inspired event at
NottinghamSchool. Residents of the Pine Crest Apartments at Tenth Street
and Pine Streets currently decorate their lampposts and are a popular trick-or-treat spot on Halloween night. Eudora got the national spotlight for Halloween when Mayor Ron Conner with the complete backing of the Eudora City Council decreed that Halloween would be celebrated November 1 in 2002 instead of its traditional date. This change was made because school officials had scheduled high school football game on Halloween and encouraged the council to make the change, arguing that Eudora families would want to see the football games and car traffic would be high. Local and national media, including the David Letterman Show, ran several stories about the town that postponed Halloween for a football game. Audience attendance at the Halloween football game proved to be an average turnout and not the crowd anticipated.
In the Christmas season, seasonal lights decorate downtown streets, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors "Light Up Eudora," and area children can visit with Santa Claus at City Hall.
Although the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has issued advisories not to consume bottom-feeding fish, including channel and flathead catfish, caught in the Kansas River between Lawrence and the confluence of the Wakarusa River because of the polychlorinated biphenyls chemical found in the fish, fishing remains a popular Kansas River pastime. Tom Burns, a long-time area fisherman who lived in between Eudora and Lawrence, was one of the best known of the bunch. He said in 1999 at a Eudora Area Historical Society meeting that the best sight he ever saw was a school of flathead "as big as a football field, with every size you could think of just rolling around" when he pulled his boat to the bank at Linwood. Burns couldn't row through them. He went up the river to Les Kindred’s place in Weaver Bottoms and spent the night, tied in there. The next night he moved his boat to Mud Creek. As he rowed on up the river, the same school of fish was there, hundreds of them. It took the flathead a day to go from above Linwood to the bridge north of Eudora. Burns said, that a
school of flatheads
, which ranged from 10 to 60 pounds each, made it from Eudora to Mud Creek the second day. Burns noticed that when fish swim alone, they move from one side of the bank to the other. But when they travel as a group, they never move more than a space of about two feet wide. They just keep rolling in the same size area in a straight line. He has also seen walleye move as a school. Burns said the best fishing is where the creeks would join the river and the jetties around DeSoto and Eudora. Fish in the Kansas River include catfish such as blue, flat head, and channel; German carp; leatherback carp; native carp; shad good for bait; white perch; drum; and sturgeon. Once he caught a gar so big it would barely go into the trunk of his 1936 Chevy car. Burns said less fish are in the river now, and those fish are smaller. In the 1940s and 1950s, he caught fish that were about 70 to 80 pounds and once in a while a 90 pound one. Now the weight is often at 60 but mostly below 50 pounds.
An earlier fisher of note was Doug Smith. The Linwood newspaper reported he used hoops one day to catch a 99-pound catfish, a couple of 15-pound catfish, and several catfish that were 25 pounds. A trapper who sold his animal hides in Chicago, Smith, was well-known for his large catches. The May 10, 1894 Eudora News told of another catch by Smith: “’Dug’ Smith, a fisherman who resides here, but who fishes up and down the Kaw and Missouri rivers, one week ago last Friday caught a large catfish, weight gross140 pounds, in the Missouri River, near Lansing, Kans. In the fish’s stomach Mr. Smith found a small bottle, containing a message, and the strangest part of the affair is that the message started on its downward trip from here. By river the distance to Lansing is about seventy miles. It’s, of course, impossible to tell where the fish swallowed the bottle; it may have been many miles down the Missouri and again it might not have left the Kaw river. Be that as it may, this message was found, securely bottled, in the fish’s stomach, seventy miles from where it started: ‘Eudora, Kans., 1894. Whoever may find this will please send it back to me. Hoping to hear from you in a year or two, as ever, your sincere friend. H. E. Pipes.’” [Pipes lived on the north side of the Kansas River in Eudora with his parents.] Fishing nets apparently were outlawed as evidenced in this Lawrence Daily World (June 30, 1906) article: “Two deputy game wardens have suddenly left town because they figured in destruction of fish nets they recently confiscated in Eudora. The head game warden may be sued for more than $500, which the deputies lost when they burned the nets and then fled on the train. The trial where Jake Washington was charged and then exonerated for the net-destruction made the warden department look terribly bad and inept.
Several people have lived to be age 100 or older in Eudora, including W. W. Oshel of Prairie Center (born 1823), Edmond Anthony (who died at age 101 in 1908, Bertha Roach, Lee Ella Kasberger, E. Antony (died 1908 at age 104), and Stella Schehrer. For example, Grace (Schellack) Musick, born March 25, 1884, said about her 100th birthday and longevity: "Work. Work. If you don't work, you don't eat" in a Lawrence Journal-WorldMarch 22, 1984 article. Stella Schehrer, born January 10, 1889, in Hesper, definitely worked: She spent 22 years teaching before working at the Kansas Home for Boys in Atchison. During World War II, she sorted and packed powder at Sunflower Ordnance Works before returning to the family farm.
Another who passed the century mark was Christena "Tena" (Neustifter) Ziesenis, born March 28, 1893, and pictured here on her 100th birthday. At the time of her 100th birthday, she did record-keeping for the Douglas County Health Department on a volunteer basis and was a member of the St. Theresa's Club, the Birthday Club, Golden Age Club, and the Pitch Club. In a news article, she said: "I take one day at a time. I never smoke or drank any alcohol. I stayed out of the sun. I eat a nutritious diet and stay away from sweets. I go to mass every morning and say prayers at home in the day." Fanny "Fern" (Fergus) Irwin was born December 3, 1896 to Emma and John Fergus of Mildred and lived to be over 100 years old. She grew up in Mildred and graduated from EmporiaStateUniversity with a teaching certificate. Fern taught elementary school before marrying Jim Irwin and staying home with her four children. They moved to the Eudora area for Jim to work at the Sunflower Ammunition Plant during World War II. Not quite five feet tall, Fern lived at Eleventh Street and Oak Street
and wrote letters every day to family, friends, politicians, and newspapers. About her long life, Fern said in a news article: “Psalms 103 says he'll renew your youth and I feel like he's renewed mine."Copyright 2017. Cindy Higgins. Where the Wakarusa Meets the Kaw: A History of Eudora, Kansas. Eudora, KS: Author.