Family History of Louis Wise

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Kansas Family History

The Kansas Heritage server would like to thank Marsha Roach ( ) for contributing this material.

This is from an article in the Topeka, Kans. Newspaper (unfortunately, the 
name of the paper was cut off of the clipping).  It is dated Sunday, 
September 9, 1928.

The following is the text of the article:

Mrs. Anna Mahany Saw Her Husband Shot Down and
Her Child's Face Powder-Burned.
Tho She is 91 Years Old, Horrors of 65 Years Ago,
Remain Vividly in Her Memory.

   She saw her husband shot down in cold blood.  Her child that the father 
held in his arms was badly powder-burned about the face by the gun that took 
the husband's life.  Next morning her hair had turned snow white, tho [sic] 
she was then a young woman.
   If Mrs. Anna Mahany, 1273 Polk street [sic], lives twice the 91 years she 
has attained, the memory of Quantrill's raid and massacre at Lawrence, 65 
years ago will remain vividly in her memory.
   Mrs. Mahany is one of the few survivors [as of 1928] of that terrible 
ordeal, which left Lawrence, Free-State center, in smouldering [sic] ruins 
and hundreds of widows and orphans hysterical with grief.  Quantrill had his 
revenge and the havoc he left behind him will always remain as one of the 
blackest pages in Kansas history.
Raiders Appear at Dawn.
   She was then Mrs. Louis Wise, and her husband kept a small bakery shop in 
Lawrence.  Mr. And Mrs. Wise and their four children, the twins, Sarah and 
Louis, 7, possibly the first Kansas twins, Mary and the baby lived above the 
   "It was about four o'clock in the morning," she said.  "We saw a cloud of 
dust a-coming up the road.  --They killed every man they could find in town 
that day.--  We had been up most of the night because we knew the men were 
all around the town.  We put on all the clothes we could pile on, for we 
knew there would be nothing left.
   The men came in an grabbed my husband. 'Oh, please don't take my husband, 
I said.  The rest of us won't know what to do.  Please--'Well, we won't kill 
him.'  the leader said.  'But he'll be lucky if he gets thru [sic] the day.'"
   The next bunch that came along took Wise prisoner, along with about 150 
others.  They marched him out of the shop, still carrying the baby in his 
arms; and they joined the group of prisoners.  Mrs. Wise ran after him, 
carrying little Mary, and the twins tagging behind her.
Cold-Blooded Murder.
   The raiders lined the 150 men up, prisoners, their wives hanging frantically 
to their sleeves. Then Quantrill came along and asked why all those men were 
lined up. "Prisoners," was the reply. "Well," he shouted, "get to work and kill 
every one of them." The raiders coolly [sic] shot them.  They came to Wise. Mrs.
Wise threw herself against him.  "Please spare him," she cried.  "Please don't 
shoot him."
   They shot him down while he still held the baby.  He fell dead at his 
wife's feet.  Some of the powder spattered the baby's forehead, and he grew 
up with the powderholes in his head.  Mrs. Wise fainted, and fell beside her 
   Wise was carried away with the rest of the dead.  Mrs. Wise was taken for 
dead and carried away too.  Many of the women were brutally assaulted.
Only a Few Escaped.
   "Not a man in town was spared that day, if the raiders could catch him." 
she said. Some were saved by their wives wrapping them in featherbeds, and 
carrying them away with the household goods.  Others were hid in various ways.  
Volumes have been written about the incidents of the red morning.
   "One of the helpers in the bakery shop who was engaged to the girl who took 
care of the twins, was saved.  She dressed him up in some of my clothes and 
sneaked him out of town.  I wanted my husband to do that but he refused.  He 
said he would not leave the children.
   "Our shop was burned to the ground, our furniture, and $1,000 worth of 
goods and equipment we had just put into the shop.  We did not have a cent 

Family Left Desolate.
   Mrs. Wise came back to consciousness, collected her children and managed to 
make her way to a little farm that they had at the edge of town.  She remained 
there that night.
   Her hair turned completely white that night, from the terrible experience.  
"My hair was black," she said.  "The next morning one of the neighbors came 
in before I got up and cried, "Oh, what's the matter with your hair!"  I 
looked in a mirror and it was white."
   The family was left without possessions except for the little farm and the 
clothes they wore.  Mrs. Wise worked for several years trying to make a 
living for them.  She then married A.B. Mahany, and the family moved to 
Parsons where they lived for awhile, and then to Dunlap where they 
homesteaded a claim, and lived a number of years.  Five more children were 
   A number of years ago a bill was enacted by the legislature which allowed 
the victims of the raid $1,500 each for damages.  But for some reason Mrs. 
Mahany's name had been left off the list and she got none of that money.  
Her friends persuaded her to take her claim up with the legislature, but the 
most they allowed her was $600.
   Mrs. Mahany has lived for a number of years now with her daughter, Mrs. 
Margaret A. Trimmer, 1273 Polk street, who was born two months after the 
raid.  The other children, Louis Wice [sic], Mrs. Sarah Backus, and Mrs. 
Mary Fritts, live in Los Angeles, Calif.
   She is active for one of her age and loves to work in her back yard garden. 
  In the accompanying photograph she is shown with some of her large 
tomatoes, the pride of her neighborhood.
   Time has softened the blow of that morning 65 years ago, but the vision of 
horror still remains vivid in her mind.

Descendents of Anna Bridget Hastings Wise Mahany

Children of  Anna  Bridget Hastings and Louis Wise:
1. Sarah Wise, b Sep. 29, 1856, the oldest daughter, m Charles Backus Dec. 
27, 1877 in    Leavenworth.
	Children of  Charles Backus and Sarah Wise:
	1.  Mary Ellen Backus b Sept 6, 1878 in Dunlap m George Earl Byrnes April
	     19, 1897 in Neosha
		Children of Earl Byrnes  and Mary Ellen Backus:
	Grace Agnes Byrnes b in Washington State, m Walter L. Iles
	Ethel May Byrnes b in Wash. State, m Marshall Ney (Neal) Roach  (my 
	Mabel LaVelle Byrnes b in Portland, Or., m Dayton Larimore
	Robert Backus m with no children
	Ada Frances Backus m 1. Holly Rossiter, no children, m 2. Ben Sudtell, no 
	Laura Annie Backus m Charles Tanner, no children
	John Backus m with no children
	Louis Charles Backus m Betty ?, no children.
	Stephen Orrin Backus died unmarried.
2. Louis Wise, her twin brother m but no name of wife, several children, 
have name of only one:  Mrs. S. E. Carter of Topeka.
3. Mary Julia Wise b Jun 25, 1858, d Sep 23, 1938 m 1. John Fritts, m 2.  ? 
	Child of Mary Wise and John Fritts:
	1.  Nell Fritts
4. John Wise b Feb 12, 1861 (the one held by his father when shot), m Lizzie 
	Children of John Wise and Lizzie Marvin:
	Maude Wise,  m Montie Waddle
	Charles Wise
	Vivian Wise
	Sadie Wise
	Montie Wise
	Marvin Wise
5. Margaret Wise b Nov 6, 1863 in Lawrence, KS (born after the death of her 
father) m Christian B. Trimmer.
	Child of Margaret Wise and Christian Timmer:
	1.  Cora Meda Trimmer b Jul 12, 1888, d in Phoenix, AZ

Children of Anna Bridget Hastings Wise and  Thomas Mahany (I know article 
says A.B. Mahany, but family records say Thomas Mahany)of Toronto, Canada.
Ed Mahany died unmarried.
Charles Mahany died unmarried
Anna Mahany m Melvin C. Miller, no children.
And two other babies who died in infancy.

Prepared by Marsha Roach, July 25, 1999, Phoenix, AZ


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