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Kansas Family History

Family History of Jesse Anderson Seitz

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Melvin J. White for submitting this material.

Jesse Anderson Seitz moved from Pennsylvania with his parents to
Illinois and later to Sumner county, Kansas, arriving at his father's
(Henry Anderson Seitz) claim on 18 April, 1872. During the first winter
he was in Kansas, Jesse Anderson Seitz worked in Wichita. After he and
Eliza Jane McMulin were married, they lived on a farm one and one-half
miles south of Anson, Kansas, until October 1901 when they moved to a
farm adjoining Anson on the south. This place was quite a show place,
having two row of cedar trees going from the house to the road.

During his working years, Jesse acquired over 800 acres of farm land,
and some property in Anson and Wichita, Kansas. He gave or sold land in
Anson for the school (schoolhouse built in 1913), for the Methodist
Church and later for the parsonage; he built two grocery stores (the
second grocery store was built after he sold the lumber yard and it was
rented to Bill Pursell; the Modern Woodman Organization used the second
floor of the building). He also built an elevator in Anson and one in
?????. The latter one destroyed by fire; and a lumber yard.

The Jesse Sitz home was close enough to the Chisolm Trail, that at
night, they could hear the cowboys singing to the restless cattle to
keep them quiet. A cowboy taking cattle north on the Chisolm Trail had a
cow that dropped her calf during the night. The next morning, he brought
it to Eliza Jane and she started it feeding on barley water. This calf
became their first milk cow.

The homestead certificate was registered at the land office, Wichita,
Kansas, by Jesse Anderson Seitz covering W1/2 of SW1/4 Section 15,
Township 31S, Range 2W; Osage Trust Land. Signed by Rutherford B. Hayes,
President, on 1 October 1878.  Mr. Seitz also filed for W1/2 of NW1/4
15-31S-2W but sold it to Elijah Vian before completing requirements for

The following story appeared in the Wellington Daily News April 27,
1932. One year before the death of J.A. Seitz. Written by Mrs. Alvah

More Than Sixty Years Ago His Family Came To Kansas To Take Part In the
Building Of A Great Empire; Tells Of Life In The Raw------

 Winding thru mazes of Forest, over virgin soil and thru streams swollen
by spring rains, came J. A. Seitz to Sumner County more than sixty years
ago. To the younger generation that wild, rugged life that existed is
only a fantastic tale. But to those sturdy pioneers who came west  to
build an empire, that life was stark reality.

Packing their worldly belongings into a now extinct vehicle- the covered
wagon- the Seitz family, along with three other families, left Illinois
fro the West. After weeks of difficult travel over dense and trackless
forest, and here and there a wide or well nigh impassable swamp, they
stopped at a town then known as Austin, near the present site of Anson.
That was on April 18, 1872.

The Seitz family settled two miles southwest of Anson on the old cattle
trail. That trail can still be seen  plainly. (Chisholm Trail which went
through the Seitz homestead.)

The following day, J. A. Seitz came to Wellington. Saloons and gambling
houses predominated. South of town, camped on Slate Cree, were between
200 and 300 other families, all home seekers in a strange land. Only a
few claims had been staked between Austin and Wellington at that time
and the trip was rather lonesome.

Charley Gifford, Mr. Seitz recalls, ran Austin's only grocery store. A
Mr. Clark operated a blacksmith shop (this blacksmith shop was later
used as a barn by Louis Thomas Greathouse and his son Walter Greathouse.
It was located on the east side of the road.) and a Mr. Hopkins was
proprietor of a saloon. Aside from a few settlers, that was the size of

Just a mile south of that settlement, Russell and Haleaft operated
another saloon.  "Several men died with their boots on in that saloon."
the pioneer says, "and their bodies were buried on the place now owned
by Mr. Faulkner."

A vivid recollection of the picturesque Charley Hasbrook, young
attorney, who was hanged for stealing horses in 1874, is held by Mr.
Seitz. Hasbrook was from the noted Hasbrook family of Pennsylvania.

Life on the range is recalled by Mr. Seitz as vividly as tho it were
yesterday. In the winter of 1872 he, with a band of other youthful
cowboys and scouts, hunted buffalo 30 miles south of Medicine Lodge, on
the Cimarron River. These burly beasts, seen now only with circuses and
in national parks, roamed the prairies at will, as did the antelope.
While returning from this trip, the band experienced a terrific
blizzard. The storm struck hurriedly and with all the fury Mother Nature
could muster. A short time after the storm broke, the group was
compelled to halt and make camp on the open prairie.

So appalling and breath-taking was the blizzard, the hunters were forced
to cover their horses with buffalo hides to keep them from freezing to
death. They constructed a haphazard shelter for themselves by piling
more hides over their wagons. Here they remained until the storm had
spent its fury.

Several hours later they emerged from the shelter, stiff, sore and
famished. After driving ten miles they came upon a ranch house where
they received breakfast consisting of wild turkey, buffalo meat,
biscuits and coffee. About twenty other persons were stranded at this
same home.

"The last buffalo killed in Sumner County, to my knowledge," he stated,
"was a mile north of the present site of Conway Springs. That was in

In the same year, while on a trip rounding up stampeded cattle in Texas,
Oklahoma and Kansas, Mr Seitz witnessed one of the biggest Indian scares
ever to take place in this section of the country. Many settlers
abandoned their homes, some of them never to return.

"I well remember the grasshopper raid in 1874. On abut July 25 at 3:00
o'clock in the afternoon, they passed over my father's place, coming
from the northwest. They were so thick, we thought it was a cloud.
Father had only 12 acres of sod corn, and they ate every blade off the
stalks. In fact every thing green disappeared. It was shortly after this
that the Indians went on the warpath in the Territory, and many of the
families pulled out for the East,   from whence they had come."

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