Miami County Museum Genealogy & Research
The Miami County Genealogy Society Research Library is housed in the Miami County Historical Museum. (Under the name of Hunt-Russell Library, the original founders-Ethel J. Hunt and Mildred Russell). The library houses a perpetual research inventory created and maintained by dedicated volunteers - a really valuable research tool. Contact us with requests or questions.
- Miami County Kansas Obituaries (pdf) - This is a very large file allow time to download
- Miami County District Court Records 1850 through 1920 (pdf) - This is a very large file allow time to download
- Email your request for research [(Micomuseum@gmail.com) with the subject line indicating “Research Request”
The source for Miami County historical information available in our Library include:
- Original Records (from the Miami County Court House, Paola, KS)
- Real Estate Tax Journals, 1860-1940
- Enumeration Books to 1979
- Probate Records 1858-1941 (Indexed on CD)*
- Probate Records 1942-1980 (Processing)
- Felony Court Records
- School Records & Rosters of Teachers, 1881-1969
- Marriage Licenses, 1885-1911 (Indexed)
- District Court Records
- Miami County Newspapers 1873 to date (Work in Progress)
- Documented information used for compiling the 150 year Paola history book.
Misc. Research Resources (compiled by volunteers since the organization was formed)
- Obituary Files-Clippings from original newspaper notices (35,000 and continuous additions)
- Funeral home book indexes
- Births-Clippings from original newspaper notices-continuous
- Cemetery Books-Three volumes containing records of burials in Miami County
- Barns of Miami County - A pictorial, informational documentation on existing barns, 2002*
- Family Histories of Miami County - Two volumes containing individual stories submitted by family members*
- Surname Files - Records, documents, queries from various submitters doing research of their families
- School Year Books - Paola, Osawatomie, Louisburg, Ursuline Academy
- Funeral Home & Basic Osawatomie State Hospital Records
- Photo Albums and Scrapbooks - Compiled and donated by various residents List of Veterans
- Oral Histories - Taped interview histories by many Miami County citizens
- Genealogy Family Histories, Records (Book Form) Compiled & donated by many family historians
- KS State Quarterlies and Annuals
- Files of Miami County Information: Fairs, Murder, Indian History, Towns, Railroads, Schools, Businesses, Officials, State Hospital, etc.
- A compiled 1890 census for Miami County from county ledger books.
*Items were published by our society(ies) and available for purchase. All known corrections have been annotated and are in our files.
We are constantly receiving vital information to add to our files.
- Micro Film (a new reader printer is available for researchers)
- Marriage Licenses - 1855
- Federal Census (Miami and surrounding counties) 1850 -1920
- Births & Deaths - 1885-1911
- County Records - 80 Rolls
All research is done by volunteers for a nominal research fee. ALL monies are donated to support and maintain our genealogy facility. Please contact any of the following for questions, requests or assistance on your Miami County, KS family research. Our "in house" volunteers are always happy to help you!
Betty Bendorf, Librarian
Local Family Histories
Jackson Warren Goss was born on October 20, 1923, in Lamar, Missouri. He was born in historic site in memory of President Harry Truman.
My Parents, Clinton C. and Mary Ellen Goss moved to Paola, KS in 1933. Our family included my brother, Clinton Mynatt Goss and my sister, Martha JoAnna Goss. Our move to Paola was the result of my Father being made manager of the new Kroger Grocery store on the north side of the square.
Over the years, my Father worked for several grocery stores in Paola and his last business in Paola was Clint's Market, located on the street, north of the entrance to the Ursuline Academy. I graduated from Paola High School in the class of 1941.
After graduation, I moved to Nevada, MO to work for the A&P grocery. That is where I met my wife, Anne, whom I married in 1946 upon returning from WW II. We have been partners for 64 years, as of January 23, 2010.
With the beginning of WW II, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, I enlisted in the Army on July 23, 1942, at age 18. Over the next ten months, I was sent to several communication schools and was trained as a control tower operator. My control tower training was used in North Africa to develop the first air-ground communication system.
During this period, I was selected to attend Officer's Candidate School at The Infantry School, located at Ft. Benning, Georgia. I graduated from The Infantry School in May, 1943 as a Second Lieutenant. I was one of the youngest Second Lieutenants to be commissioned, at age 19, from The Infantry School.
After being commissioned, I was assigned to Camp Wolters, Texas to train new recruits in basic training. A few months later, I returned to Ft. Benning, GA to attend Officer's Communication School. After graduation from Officer's Communication School, I was assigned to the 42d Infantry Division, known as the Rainbow Division. I was assigned, a short time later, to the 99th Infantry Division which was in the process of being shipped to England. From there, we landed in France, then to Belgium and we were in the Hofen/Monschau, Germany area when the Battle of the Bulge hit us with the first German attack. At that time, I was a rifle platoon leader with Love Company. One of the men in my platoon, at that time, wrote a book, titled "Infantry Soldier" by George W. Neill, This book describes the experiences of our platoon during this period. George Neill's book is now required reading in all courses taught about WW II. Our battalion held the Hofen/Monschau area and never gave up one inch of ground during the Battle of the Bulge. For this action, we were presented with the Presidential Unit Citation.
While we were still in the Hofen/Monschau area, I was promoted to First Lieutenant and became the battalion communications Officer, serving on the staff of Col. Butler, who was the commanding officer of the 3rd Bn.--395th Regiment- 99th Infantry Division, also known as the Checkerboard Division.
In addition to The Battle of the Bulge, our battalion participated in the Ruhr Pocket campaign, we helped capture the Remagen Bridge, which gave us passage across the Rhine River, and we were the first unit across the Danube River toward the end of combat in 1945. I remained in the occupation forces in Germany and was transferred to the Big Red One-the 15t Infantry Division. I was assigned to the security of the War Crimes Commission in Nuremberg, Germany and to other occupation duties.
I returned home in January, 1946 as a Captain, Infantry. I had been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, French Fourre de Guerre, Belgian Fourre de Guente and the Presidential Unit Commendation badge.
I went to work for The Kansas City Star in March, 1946, in the national advertising department.
The Star moved us to their Chicago office and later to their New York office. While in New York, among my many assignments, I developed relations with the financial community in New ,York and Boston. I became very interested in a new approach to individual investing, called "mutual funds". As a result, I was offered a position with The George Putnam Funds of Boston. I became President of Putnam Fund Distributors and a partner of The Putnam Management Company.
While at! Putnam, I was given a leave of absence to attend the Advanced Management Program at 'the Harvard Business School. I was one of the very few permitted to attend this program, having not graduated from college.
'When The Putnam Funds were sold to Marsh McLennan Co., I resigned and became President of Investor Mortgage Insurance Co. I helped build this into a $6 billion insurance operation which was eventually sold to Tiger International. At that time, I joined an investment management organization in Boston and we managed over $1.6 billion for institutional investors.
I decided to retire in 1989 and we moved to Florida. Very quickly, I became bored with retirement and went back to the investment management business, working only for our family and no outside accounts. I still continue to operate a full scale investment business. In addition, my wife and I operate a charitable foundation, which we fund entirely by our contributions.
The primary focus of The Foundation is to provide help for the elderly who try to survive on fixed incomes that are never adequate to cover their basic needs. We currently provide food, on a daily basis, for over 200 seniors living in this area of Florida.
Growing up in Paola, Kansas provided an environment that measured your character and integrity on a daily basis, inasmuch as you were known by most of the people in the area. I always worked two or three jobs, at the same time, so I never had much spare time. I played in the High School band, participated in some sports and was selected to attend the Sunflower Boys State.
Our family doctor in Paola was a member of the Army Medical Reserve. He talked me into attending the Citizens Military Training Camp at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas for a month of military training during the summer in 1938 and 1939. When I enlisted in the army in 1942, I quickly adapted to the environment as a result of my training.
The training, discipline and responsibility the army provided, prepared me for the opportunities that developed after I left the service in 1946. While in combat, at a very young age, you were forced to grow up in a hurry when you have the total responsibility for the many lives under your command.
The most important lesson I learned from my experiences in the army, particularly in combat and later in many business situations, was to immediately evaluate the "individual person with whom you had to interact on a daily basis. In most situations, your life and personal success depended on that individual.
I quickly learned that the low key and "quiet" individual was the one upon whom you could depend under most circumstances. The big personality with all the wit and charm, never measured up to the "quiet" one. I strongly believe that "Actions Speak Louder than Words".
It all started in 1868 when Albert J. and Margaret Hastings Bendorf came to Miami County. They had been married in Putnam Co., Mo. In 1865. Albert was born in 1830 in Prussia and came to America as a cook on a cattle boat. He served in 1862 in the Union Army 45 Regiment, Mo Militia. Two children, Francis and Richard, were born in Mo. Albert & Margaret bought a farm in Wea Twp. Eight more children were born, Caroline, Fredrick, Charles, Louisa, Henrietta, Jacob, Albert & Katherine.
Jacob married Martha Jane Whitmore in 1920. They had 3 children, Harold and twins Ray & Fay. Harold died at 4 years old. Fay had 4 children, Ronald Harold, Dorothy & Luther. Ray had served 2 years in the Army in Germany 154-56. He then went to work for Jack Cooper Transport co of Kansas City. He retired after 32 years. Ray married Betty Louise Jenkins Harper in 1975.
Ray was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Bodies, Your Rite and Abdallah Shrine, Eastern Star and Louisburg Shrine Club. He participated in parades with the Mounted patrol on his horse Paladin. His pride was in helping several children go to the Shrines Children Hospital.
Ray & Betty like to workhorses and had “pulling ponies”. George & Dan and Dick & Rowdy. Eventually, they got some Registered Shorthorn cattle and registered Suffolk Draft horses. We raised Cattle and horses for a while and then settled down to using 2 geldings, Bud & Prince, to give hayrides at the Louisburg Pumpkin Patch. He gave the proceeds to the Shrine Hospital for children. Finally, Ray, Betty, and the horses gave out. The family farm was sold in 2008. Ray passed on in 2009. Betty works at the Miami County Historical Museum (still since 1983).
Betty is a member of Eastern Star, Marais des Cygnes Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Historical/Genealogy Society.
Betty had 2 children Wayne Harper who has a farm near Pleasanton and Jeanette Harper Mathena who has a farm with husband Rick near McLouth, Ks. Jeanette has 2 children Elizabeth and Jarrod. Elizabeth has a daughter, Regan Cassidy which gives us the right to have a 4 generation photo taken.
- Betty Bendorf
She attended Beaver Creek Grade School, graduating with other rural graduates in a county ceremony held in the Mallory Opera House. There was no school large enough to handle the group. She has one of the programs in that spring 19I3 graduating group showing herself and five others who had a part in the program.
She graduated with the l9l8 class of Paola High School, and her part in that program published in l92l by T. H. Kinsella, L.L.D. entitled, The History of our Cradle Land. Ethel worked in the draft office of World War I in the courthouse with four members of the draft board until it was officially closed in April, 1919. Then, she was a stenographer in the law offices of Charles T. Meuser, Paola, until her marriage to Dr. W. W. Hunt, April 29, 1922. One daughter was born to this marriage, Gerry. She is Mrs. John P. Gaughan, Fairway, Kansas.
Mrs. Hunt was elected Clerk of the District Court of Miami County in November, 1940, an office she held until retirement January 13, 1969. During that time and since, she has served her community in various capacities. She was assistant to the Clerk of Selective Service, registering men for World War II. For many years, she worked as a volunteer on the reception desk committee at our local hospital, served as secretary for five years to the Hospital Auxiliary.
She compiled the scrapbook of early activities for the opening of Lakemary Center, Inc. Through the years, she has been an officer and ardent supporter of the Alumni of Paola High School, keeping interest alive in class reunions for returning graduates. Her great-grandfather, George Washington Wise, brought his wife and eight children from Indiana to Middle Creek Township in September, 1859, in covered wagons. Five more children were born. Mrs. Hunt's grandfather, William H. Wise, a Civil War veteran, was one of those children.
It was through her association with him as a child, that she developed an interest in the past and in her roots. She is a charter member of the Miami County Historical Society, serving as a director and treasurer for the first ten years.
She resigned to establish the library in the Swan River Museum where she has given many hours helping school children and others in genealogy until she suffered a stroke while working in the museum library on October 23, 1985.
Since then, she has worked from her home records, no Ionger able to research newspaper and courthouse records.
The board of the Paola Free Library gave her 43 years of Paola weekly newspapers, and she spent three years clipping and cataloging. Also, she has typed tombstone inscriptions in fifty Miami County cemeteries over a period of ten years.
When she is no longer able to use her home records, they will be given to Miami County Historical Society library in the museum, so that others may search for their roots.
Obituary for Robert "Bob" Harrington 1926 - 2009
Born June 17, 1926, in Bourbon County, Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Jobe T. and Pearl E. Hereford Harrington. Father a native and lifetime resident of Bourbon County, Kansas. Mother born in Illinois. Grandfather Joseph Thomas Harrington was Kansas Pioneer arriving and settling in Bourbon County, Kansas the week before Christmas in 1859, also served in Civil War.
EDUCATION: Graduate of Bourbon County rural school Crescent District 102, Graduate of Fort Scott High School in 1944 and participated in football, track and vocal music. Graduate of Fort Scott Junior College in 1948 where he was co-editor of the Greyhound-Tiger News and participated in dramatics (selected as the 2002 Fort Scott Community College Outstanding Alumnus of the Year); graduate of Ottawa (Kansas) University with Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and focus in Civic Literacy in 1976; graduate of International Typographical Union education course, participant in several continuing education seminars and workshops.
OCCUPATION: Semi-retired Author/Photographer/Journalist, working two days a week as outdoor sports and farm editor at The Miami County Publishing Co. in Paola, Kansas (Purchased Oct. 1, 2004 by the News Press Gazette media group of St. Joseph, Mo.), where he has worked in all phases of newspaper publishing since May 1949 and was corporation vice president for many years. Also worked on newspapers in Forest Grove, Oregon and Stilwater, Oklahoma. He has had columns, photographs and stories printed in books and national periodicals.
MARRIED: Wife: Marilyn Marie Adamson Harrington, native of Bourbon County, Kansas, a graduate of Uniontown (Kansas) High School. They are the parents of three adult children who are married; one Pamela Sue Harrington-Hennigh, the eldest, of Centerville, Kansas, is a graduate of Fort Scott Community College (attended Pittsburg State University). She is married to R. Lonie Hennigh who is employed by the Shawnee School district in Lenexa. They have two children, a son, Jason, former Marine and now in Boilermakers Union, married to Carolyn with one son, Tyler Robert Hennigh; and one daughter Amber; and one daughter, Holly, who is a 2003 graduate of Fort Scott Community College and a 2006 graduate of Pittsburg State University at Pittsburg, Kansas (married to Danny Lynn Blanchard on Sept. 3, 2005 with Grandfather Robert W. Harrington officiating). They have one son Wyatt E. Blanchard, 13 mo. Sheila Marie Harrington-Wilson is the middle daughter and is a nurse (attended Pittsburg State University). Her husband is Jake Wilson former Paola High School and Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, football player and now works at Spring Hill, Kansas Flat Glass. They have two boys, Philip Wenger and Chance Wilson. Philip graduated from Paola High School in 2004 and attended one semester at Ottawa University that fall. Chance is a senior at Paola High School; and the youngest daughter, Jana T. Harrington-Barcus is an Equine Field Specialist and her and her husband, Bill Barcus own Barcus Construction They have one son, Billy Lane, 10. Both Wilson and Barcus families live in rural Paola, Kansas. Pamela and Sheila were Job’s Daughters. He is also survived by 3 sisters; Vivian Whitt of Oklahoma and Dorothy Hunter of Overland Park and Jeanne McLaughlin of Pittsburg, KS and numerous nieces and nephews.
CHURCH AFFILIATION: Devon (Kansas) United Methodist Church since 1937. Ordained Clergyman in the Church of Spiritual Humanism in Pennsylvania in July 2005 to perform granddaughter Holly Hennigh’s wedding to Danny Blanchard on Sept. 3, 2005. Ordained as a Reverend by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, Calif. on Jan. 12, 2006. VETERAN: Served as tail gunner on a B-29 in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II (enlisted December 1943, honorable discharge August 1946). Life member of Miami Post 156 American Legion and Past Commander, presently serving as Chaplain, and American Legion Post Boys State committee chairman, and previously served on Second Legion District Boys State committee and public relations committee.
SERVICE CLUB: Member of Paola Rotary Club with perfect attendance record since joining in April 1968, served as Director, Vice President, President and Secretary; recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.
OTHER MEMBERSHIPS, RECOGNITIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: Member of the Paola Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club since its inception, serves as greeter and on membership committee. Served on the Paola City Planning Commission (1999-2000). Kansas Hunter Education Instructor since its inception in 1973; is presently Miami County Area Coordinator for Hunter Education courses. Donates more than 100 hours yearly to teaching safe gun handling and hunter ethics. Recipient of five Buffalo Awards as an outstanding Hunter Education instructor. Civilian recipient of the Kansas National Guard 127th Field Artillery First Battalion Saint Barbara (Patroness Saint of the Artillery) Award on Oct. 27, 1990, and recipient of the Kansas Adjutant General’s Distinguished Service Award. Unit representative of the Kansas Employer Support of Guard and Reserve for Paola/Burlington National Guard Unit (appointed 2001), now (appointed 2002) Kansas Region 8 Chairman/Ombudsman (December 2003) of ESGR. Received the Presidential Award for Volunteer Work with ESGR. Inducted into the Paola High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He is an Honorary Paola High School FFA Chapter Farmer. He collects and repairs fishing reels, rods, fishing lures and assorted equipment to give to youths and indigent adults, and has donated a collection of fishing rods, reels, lures and miscellany to the Miami County Historical Society and Paola Swan River Museum. Has administered two memorials related to giving away scholarships, awards for fishing derbies and trophies for 4-H shooting sports and for needs of Hunter Education. Recipient of the Soil Conservation Service Earth Team designation, and has received several other Natural Resources Conservation Service Awards. Served on the Miami County Extension Executive Council (2000-2002) and Miami County Emergency Preparedness Committees. Was secretary of the Kansas Sixth Judicial District (Bourbon, Linn and Miami counties) Judges Selection Committee from its inception to March 2006. Member of Miami County Historical and Genealogy Societies, and Old Fort Genealogy Society (Fort Scott). Recipient of Kansas Wildlife Federation Conservation Communicator Award (1985). Coordinator of several National Hunting and Fishing Days in Paola that attracted crowds estimated up to 10,000 visitors for one-day events. Former Boy Scout merit badge counselor. Former Ambassador of the Kansas City American Royal, and is still active as an American Royal Certified Barbecue Judge for more than 15 years. Also barbecue judge for the Great American Barbecue started in 2005. Elected and served several years as Paola, Kansas First Ward Republican committeeman.
M.A. Schroeder was one of Miami County and Paola’s most distinguished citizens. He was admired by the people of the county for his personal characteristics, honesty and his public spirit. He was known to have assisted in many worthy enterprises: two of which are the subject of this short narrative.
Morris Ammon Schroeder was born December 25, 1858, at Redding, PA. and died December 16, 1926, at Paola, KS. He arrived in Kansas on June 7, 1879, and began work as a harvest hand. He worked on a farm near Eudora before riding with the Eudora Lutheran minister through Paola to Block. On the return trip, he stopped in Paola and decided this is where he would make his home.
Mr. Schroeder’s first impression of Paola was that it was a “queer place” because of its board sidewalks and that farmers come to town on horseback and in wagons with splint bottom chairs with quilts for cushions. He started working for James Wallace selling organs and since Mr. Schroeder was an accomplished musician, he organized music classes which he taught in Paola, Louisburg, and Fontana.
On September 14, 1880, he married Ellen Stahl of Spring Hill. Soon after their marriage, Mr. Schroeder began his long career in the lumber business. He started his career working as a driver at the West and Bigelow lumberyard. After a few years, he owned his own business.
Miami County Courthouse
The Miami County Courthouse had several locations during its early years. For years there were discussions of the need for and where to build a new courthouse. Finally, in 1897 the state legislature passed a special courthouse bill into law authorizing the County Commissioners of Miami County to make a tax levy for two years not to exceed $45,000 to build, equip and furnish a new courthouse in Paola. In April, 1897 the County Commissioners purchased the property for the new courthouse from M. A. Schroeder for $4,100. This amount was only $100.00 more then he paid for the property. A condition of the sale was that he was given 90 days to remove his stock of lumber and the buildings from the lot. Mr. Schroeder hired a crew of men at his own expense, cleared the land, and delivered the property to the county within the 90 day period.
Shelter House, Wallace Park
During his life in Paola, Mr. Schroeder was active in civic affairs. He was on the city council, was city treasurer for a term, and served on the Park Board. As a member of the Park Board, he was especially interested in the improvement and beautification of Wallace Park. Soon after the city purchased the land for the park, Mr. Schroeder presented the idea of building a shelter house. As a result, the ladies of the Up to Date Club donated the first $50.00 to encourage the building of a shelter house. Nothing was done to further the project until Mr. Schroeder designed and planned the building of the shelter house.
On or about July 9, 1915, he made a proposal to the city that if they would extend the sidewalk from its present position in the park to where the shelter house was to be built, he would at his own expense build a foundation and floor of concrete for a shelter house 24 x 48 feet. He proposed the shelter house be located on top of the hill overlooking the lake and commanding a view of the park. Needless to say, Mr. Schroeder’s offer was accepted. At the same time Mrs. Ivah Scheer, a Park Board member, had a plan underway for raising money to put a roof on the building that would be 30 feet wide and 60 feet long and supported by stone pillars.
Mr. Schroeder superintended the building of the shelter house. In fact, he did much more than he originally proposed to do. After completing the foundation and floor, his artistic eye at once saw where adding a small terrace, with a nice stone wall, and concrete steps would greatly add to the beauty and completeness of the structure. He at once employed workmen at his own expense and furnished the material to build the wall around the shelter house. While this was being done, the ladies of the Up to Date Club (The officers are listed as: Mrs. Ida Williford, President; Mrs. Alex Hodges, vice-president; Mrs. L. B. Smith, secretary; and Miss Kittie Hobson, treasurer) raised the funds to build the stone supporting pillars and roof, thus finishing the building of the shelter house.
The shelter house was Mr. Schroeder’s gift to the city. He planned it, furnished material and superintended the construction.
The references for this narrative are from the following sources:
Family Histories and Stories of Miami County, Kansas, p.334
The obituary of Morris Ammon Schroeder
Miami Republican, March 5, 1897 and April 30, 1897
Miami Republican, August 1898, Illustrated Summer Edition
Miami Republican, July 9, 1915
Western Spirit, July 9. 1915
Western Spirit, June 23, 1916
Quotation marks were not used because the narrative is almost entirely quotes from the sources.
John William Toman (b. 1834 County Down, Ireland) came to America at the age of ten in 1845, most likely an indentured servant escaping the Irish potato famine which was occurring during that time. He married Mary O’Neil (b. 1826 Cork County, Ireland) in Bloomington, Illinois in 1855. John was a Cooper (barrel maker) with the railroad and like most railroad employees they moved many times through the years but settled in the Paola in 1871, when the MKT track was completed. Some descendants of the Toman family still reside in Paola and surrounding areas today. Although they were Catholic and attended Holy Trinity Church in Paola, Mary & John divorced in 1887. Mary is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Paola next to her son Henry. In Mary’s will she leave’s her property to her sons and although Minnie (her daughter) signs the will as a witness she is excluded in the will. Minnie’s brother William petitioned for her to receive an equal share of Mary’s property. Minnie later sells 4 lots which are now part of the Paola Cemetery. John was a Civil War Veteran and it is recorded with the National Parks Service that he served with the Calvary (Buchel’s) Yager’s 1st Mounted Rifles, for the Confederacy.
John & Mary Toman had the following children:
John William Toman II (1856-1932) m. Ida Graves (1864-1936)
Their Children: David Martin Toman (1885-1959), John William Toman III (1887-1969), Minnie Mary Toman (1890-aft 1943), Maggie J Toman (1892-?), Odelia B Toman (1896-?). John II was a Teamster and a brick mason and died from carcinoma of the stomach.
Minnie A. (Mary) Toman (1863-1940?) m. William J Ryan (1847-1922)
Their Children: Harry Jerome Ryan (1881-?), William Mathew Ryan (1882-?), Katharine’ Katie” Ryan (1887-?), Julia “Judy” Ryan (1896-?), Michael J Ryan (1900-?), Lilly G Ryan (1900-?). While William was a railroad worker and a Teamster, Minnie catered to his coworkers whom she boarded and filled their dinner pails daily. Their home was located on the west end of town near the cemetery. Around 1912 Minnie bought the Elms Hotel on W. Peoria St. next to the railroad tracks and expanded her business there. In the Paola History photo dated 1917 of the WWI recruits marching to the train depot, you will see three people standing on the porch of the Hotel which is next to the railroad tracks and is most likely the only photo of the owners. Minnie later moved uptown and ran the Ryan Hotel which also housed her restaurant. Minnie passed her cooking skills and business sense to Katie and Julia who both later owned restaurants in the Kansas City area and in California.
Henry Toman (1867-1912) m. Mary Francis Fort (1866-1937)
Their Children; Lizzie Toman (1891-1987), Harry J Toman (1894-1933), Eva Toman (1895-1955), James Ray Toman (1898-1951), Maude Mary Toman (1901-1961), Tho Frankie Toman (1903-), Pauline Toman (1907-). Henry was a Teamster, as well as his son Harry who owned his own team at age 17. Henry died of spinal meningitis at St. Margaret’s hospital in Kansas City at the age of 45 and is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Paola next to his mother, Mary.
William James Toman (1868-1931) m. Lydia Ellen “Ella Smith (1872-1948)
Their Children: Mabel L Toman (1896-1922), James Raymond Toman (1898-1960), Letha Fern Toman (1901-1988), Charles Irvin Toman I (1903-1935), Merlin Kester Toman (1907-1967), Wilma Reona Toman (1910-1974), Eugene V Toman (1916-1960). He was a dedicated Bible class teacher and member of the Church of Christ. William was a track foreman for the MKT railroad and had worked for more than 44 years when he died of stomach carcinoma in Parker, Kansas. In his respect the Katy Railroad allowed all employees of the Kansas City Division to leave work and attend his funeral if they wished.
His son Charles I Toman I, married Bertha Juanita Gordon (1901-1931) who was born in Hillsdale, Kansas, to Lovey Linsdale & Charles Gordon. Her father worked for the railroad in Paola, Kansas and they were neighbors of the Toman’s. They had four children, Charles II, Alfred Eugene, Imogene and Nadine. Bertha died in 1931 at the age of 29. Charley worked for the railroad in Paola and spoke fluent Spanish; he died in 1935 leaving the four children to be cared for by relatives.
Most of this family was made up of rugged railroad workers and teamsters who depended on the railroad for their lively hood. The railroad was built and supported by these men and women of extraordinary caliber who could live in the cluster of sometimes harsh railroad communities and make life substantial for one another. You would only have to read a census to recognize how neighbors working for opposing railroads married and raised families together to realize the dynamics of life during these times. Many of the Toman’s were talented musicians, bilingual and strong in their Christian faith. I ponder the family history of stomach carcinoma and the link to the Irish homebrew my father Charles I Toman II and uncle Alfred Eugene Toman learned to make from their families. Descendants of this Toman Family would be Hinman, Hull, Manos, Marchbank, Mills, Ratliff, Renner, Rude, Ryan’s, Toelle, Zouganiles etc.
Submitted by Susan Toman