Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goldie Webster Part 5

This month, we wrap up the memoire of Goldie Gorman Webster by sharing her memories of her adult life in Geary County, including her marriage, community involvement and her final thoughts on her childhood and life in Geary County. If you’ve enjoyed Goldie’s stories, remember, we are always looking to add to our collection of local memories. Come in and share your own memories of growing up in Geary County. The Geary County Historical Society is open Tuesday-Sunday 1-4pm. And now, the final segment of Goldie Webster’s story:
“When I was teaching, I first taught the Rosey school on Davis Creek. Otto Roesler was the school board member who interviewed me and gave me my job. For the year I taught there, I lived in the home of Mrs. Behrend, a widow. I had as pupils, Leo Shane, Agnes Marie Brunswick and Florence Ashbaugh. The next two years I taught the Hardscrabble school, south of town. It was while teaching there that I met my future husband, a member of the school board.. The fourth year I taught the Pleasant View school. Mr. Younkin hired me for this job.
At the close of that term, I was married, June 7, 1916, to William G. Webster, who was my husband for almost 50 years. He passed away January 16, 1966. I came to the farm to live. My husband was an auctioneer, working in Geary County & surrounding territory. He sometimes was called to distant places to conduct a sale of pure bred cattle. He sold the government surplus material at Fort Riley after the war of World War I. We lived busy lives, being involved in many areas. We operated a dairy, had an insurance agency and were partners with R. H. Christenson in a wholesale hay and grain business. We built the large warehouse on East 8th. Later we owned an automobile agency that operated in that building. It was later known as the Mid Quinn building. We sold cars and had a repair shop in connection with the car agency. We were agents for the Avery line of machinery and the Bankers Life of Lincoln, Nebraska. These activities were not simultaneously engaged in but were spread over the years.
            We for some years had a large feed lot at the home place and at times fed out two hundred head of cattle. We once had sheep. They were gentle little creatures, nice to have around. That venture did not last long, due to the problem of stay dogs. We lived so close to town that we are always plagued with homeless animals. All these activities required a lot of help and that help often was quartered in our home.
            During the early years I worked on many community projects, such as selling war bonds, Red Cross drives, etc. I kept up with my church work during these years. For nine years I taught a group of Senior ladies Sunday School Class called the Co-Workers. We had church suppers and bazaars in those days. Our church group had bought the Congregational Church building at 5th and Adams and moved it to the corner of 8th & Madison Streets, the site of the old City Hotel. We worked hard to enlarge the building and to build an Educational Building. Later we sold that edifice and built our present church building on St. Mary’s Road. Two daughters were born to us. Jean Lee, who passed away in 1932, and Shirley Ruth, now Mrs. Theodore R. Laven of Emporia, Kansas.
            My years have all been happy ones. Of course there have been some sorrows which are the common lot. I recall my mother’s love of flowers and her love of all God’s creatures, great and small. When I was only four she took me to the timber to pick violets. She raised fowl of many species. I can still see the proud peacocks and the guineas. The guineas alerted us when a strange person or animal approached. She took time to make doll clothes for us and had birthday parties. My birthday which came in December was celebrated with that of my sister’s which came in May. December was usually cold and stormy and not pleasant for little folks to play outside, so we did it in May. I remember one time when we were having a party on Saturday, our father and his workman went into a grove along the Kearney branch track and each man picked a bunch of violets which he marked with a leaf to identify his bunch. They put them into the bottom of the lunch pails in water and father brought them home to us. That was one gift which I will never forget.
            Our parents insisted on obedience but were never harsh with us. We learned that no meant no and not "maybe" or "after a while". They taught us that promises were made to be kept. Once when we were young, some older children talked us into going with them down to the Republican River bridge. We were never allowed there unless an adult was along. We came home without accident. When father came home, he gave us each a few strokes with his razor strap with his big hand. The strokes administered to our rears were gentle. In my case nothing was hurt except my dignity. Father never used the strap again, we had learned our lesson.
            I have made many foot prints on the sands of time. How long they will endure, I do not know, but I do know this, I have had fun making them!
            Much has been left out of this writing, but all that has been written is real.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

04 24 16 Celebrating Past Times

In honor of the Celebrating Past Times event at the Spring Valley Historical Site I am sharing a portion of a Museum Musings column from April 26, 1998  by Gaylynn Childs former GCHS Museum Director,. It is an excerpt of the story regarding the restoration and the history of the Spring Valley School House Site.
                        “The little stone one-room school house, which has stood at that location since 1873, had been painstakingly restored to its turn-of-the-century appearance and was officially opened in 1997.  Since then this crew of dedicated Spring Valley Volunteers has turned their efforts to the reconstruction of the little pony barn that once stood on the school grounds.  As all that remained of the original structure was the foundation, this project has involved some real detective work, as well as back-breaking labor.  To maintain the historic accuracy, the crew dismantled an old barn that stood on the Caspar farm, and used the materials from it to recreate the Spring Valley structure.  There is a pioneer hewn log cabin which originally stood on Lyons’s Creek in southern Geary County. As its original location was landlocked and inaccessible, this structure was donated to the Historical Society a number of years ago by Mrs. Elsie Ruhnke.  It was dismantled and stored until a suitable use and location could be identified”.  It is now situated on the school grounds where visitors and school children can visit to experience pioneer life.    
“It is interesting to note that it was 40 years ago almost to the day that the Spring Valley School closing social and annual reunion was held.  It was on April 27, 1958, that the friends and former students who had attended the little country school gathered for the traditional end-of-the-year party, but sadness for it had been determined to dissolve the rural district # 21 and distribute the few remaining students among the adjoining Wall, Acker and Brookside schools.  Finally, in 1967, all the rural districts were absorbed into Geary County U.S.D. No. 475 and these little country schools were no more.”
            “School session in the district was a three-month term which commenced in January of 1872.  Miss Emma L. Stephans was employed as the teacher for $20 a month.  Josephine Munson’s history notes that “the late Sam Walker, Sr., said that the building in which school was first held was located on the flat just west of the Junction City Stone Company Quarry, north of K-18.  When he last remembered seeing the building, it was just four walls and a part of a roof.”
            “At the annual meeting held at the schoolhouse in March of 1878, it was voted to erect a new school building on a one-acre site received as a gift to the district from John W. Bailey and his wife Harriet.  That same day it was voted to issue bonds in the amount of $500 for the purpose of building this school.  In April a contract was awarded to Thomas York, for the stone work at $2.25 per perch (which was the term for a unit of masonry work), as for walls. and C.N. Gray was hired to complete the carpentry work for $224.00.  It can be assumed that the school was ready for use in the fall of 1873, when Clairnce D. Greenley was hired to teach the first term in the new building.  For the next 85 years school was conducted in the little stone structure with out fail, with the length of these sessions varying from three months in the earliest years to eight months at the end.”
            “Jo Munson’s account also notes some interesting statistics that give us insight into both the country school and its neighborhood.  “The number of persons between 5 and 21 years of age residing in the district in August of 1872 was 19.  Of these eight were enrolled in the school, with an average daily attendance of less that six.  The next year there were eleven in school, with an average attendance of ten.”
“Families  who moved into the community later and are listed in school records in the 1890’s and early 1900s were Kyner Munson, Tritle, Disberger, White, Froeschler, Meer, Walker, Menzloff, Breeler, McKinney, Stien, Thompson, Peterson, Ritter, Settgst, Schreffler, Parker, Cunninham, Pettit, Upham, and Ramsour.” 
“Mrs. Emil Ritter was elected as clerk of the district in 1933 and served for the following 25 years until the dissolution.  Carl Munson was elected treasure of District # 21 in August of 1883 and he served until 1886, when he moved to a farm on Clark’s Creek for a few years.  He was again elected in 1890 and served until 1902 when his son, Charles O. Munson, was elected.  Charles O. Munson was elected. Charles served until his death in 1934 when his son, Gaylord Munson, was appointed to the office of treasure and he served continuously in that capacity until the district was no more.”
The Geary County Historical Society would like to invite you to “Celebrating Past Times” as 10am-2pm at the Spring Valley Historic site.  Come experience some good old fashioned fun and historic demonstrations.  Also, the St. Joseph’s Church and Cemetery located along McDowell Creek in Wingfield Township will be open from 10am-12pm with a cemetery talk to begin at 10:30am.  On Sunday the Starcke House (next door to the museum) will be opened for a special tour and turn of the century games from 1-4pm. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Walking Through History

As the weather goes from cold and blustery to warm with milder breezes mixed in among the spring rains it is time to begin thinking about venturing outdoors.  The flowers are beginning to burst forth while the trees turn green and luscious with their new blooms. This is a great time to renew your acquaintance with the rich history of Geary County and Junction City or if you are a recent transplant get to know your new home.  
You can begin under the Memorial Arch in Heritage Park.  The Stonework was produced by the Junction City Masons at a cost of $1800 as a memorial dedicated to the sailors and soldiers who served their nation from 1861 to 1865.  The Memorial Arch was funded by the citizens of Junction City to commemorate the Grand Army of the Republic.  Local churches sold buttons to raise funds for the project and it was a credit to all the people of Junction City. Heritage Park itself holds many interesting and poignant monuments. There are POW/MIA and KIA/WIA monument which was funded by the Rotary club and placed in the park on September 10, 2014.  Then there is the Law Enforcement monument with the four pillars that represent Community, Vigilance, Strength and Protection.  Take a stroll through the park and discover the many touching tributes located within.
Across from the Arch on the Northwest Corner of Washington and Sixth Street is the building known as the Bartell House which opened in 1880.  It once was home to the Junction City Post Office located in the Southwest corner of the building. Across the street is the Rialto restaurant building which once housed the Good Eats CafĂ© and is once again an eating establishment.  One can meander and see the original George Smith library which was located on the second floor of the 103 West Seventh Street, a Federal style building designed by Architects James C. Holland and Frank Squires. 
On your walk through town do not forget to admire the beauty of the C.L. Hoover Opera House.  The citizens of Junction City desiring to bring cultural events closer to their Midwestern location raised the monies in 1880 to construct the public house with a limestone foundation and the red brick face.  The entire interior was lost to fire in 1889 and then renovated.  It was renovated and remodeled several times over the past few years culminating in a grand re-opening on October 3, 2008 after a multi-million dollar restoration.  After being on hiatus for 26 years the it was listed with the State Historical Register in 2003. The C.L. Hoover Opera House is now a hub of culture, theatre, and the performing arts in Junction City.
No matter if your interests are architectural, cultural, or historical the walk is not complete without a visit to the Geary County Historical Society & Museum. On the main floor you can explore the past by walking back in time through our Main Street gallery. The General Store display depicts the way life was and gives the viewer a glimpse into how the buildings they just walked by were utilized by our original citizens.  A visitor can experience a time gone by.  From the Bank exhibit to the Barber and Dress Shops as well as the Blacksmith displays there is something for everyone.  There is an extensive collection of Pioneer photos that were once displayed in the courthouse.  There is a scavenger hunt for children to enjoy as the whole family explores the exhibits. You can view the Tack Room exhibit with saddles, bridles, and equipment.  There is also Grandma’s Kitchen which brings back memories of apple pie on the window ledge.
On the second floor there is a recreation of a One-Room Schoolhouse that was once common as there were approximately 45 school districts in Geary County from 1875-1935.  We have a Railroad Station display that provides a glimpse into the major railroads that sent, received and enabled expansion within the Territories. In the lower level of the Museum there is a Firefighter exhibit as well as a Printing Press that was used to teach printing to Junction City high school boys between 1904 and 1929. Then there is the photography exhibit of A.P Trott, Louis Teitzel, as well as Joseph Ludd Pennell whose photographs appeared in such magazines as “Ladies’ Home Journal” and “Truth”. 
The warming weather that heralds in spring is the perfect time to rediscover Junction City, Geary County, and the Geary County Historical Museum.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Chauncey Dewey

By Josephine Grammer Munson

Geary County Historical Society

EDITORIAL NOTE:  Today’s column is the fourth and final installment in a series of articles on the 

C. P. Dewey family, wealthy and flamboyant developers in the local area at the turn of the last century.  Author, Jo Munson, had personal acquaintance with and vivid recollections of some of the Dewey family from her youth, and the compiling of these articles has fulfilled a long standing ambition to put down on paper her memories of these colorful local citizens.

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Chauncey Dewey was born in Austin, Texas, in 1877, but he spent most of his early life in Chicago or in schools in Europe.  After his marriage in 1908 to Elvira Millspaugh, of Topeka, Chauncey and his wife lived mostly in Chicago.  During that time he became active in Republican politics.  When World War I broke out, Chauncey enlisted in the army at Fort Riley where he was assigned to the staff of General Leonard Wood.
            During Dewey’s World War I service in the Army, his wife and daughter lived in the elegant Victorian house on the northeast corner of 3rd and Jefferson streets in Junction City. (This large house later became the convent for the Sisters of the St. Joseph until it was torn down and a new building, now the Open Door, was built on the site.)  The Junction City directories show Chauncey Dewey’s residence there from 1917 until 1921 when Mrs. Elvira Dewey was granted a divorce.  In 1921 she and her daughter moved to Topeka. 
            After the divorce Chauncey returned to the Dewey Ranch in northwestern Kansas, but maintained homes in Junction City on North Washington Street and on East 17th Street until 1925.  While living in Junction City, Dewey was rather active in community affairs in Junction City and Manhattan.  By this time the Junction City Telephone Company had been purchased from the Dewey-Wareham Telephone system.  It was also Dewey’s suggestion that trees be planted along both sides of Grant Avenue going to Fort Riley and along the interurban streetcar line to make it more attractive.  At one time a petition was brought to the County Commissioners to rename the route “Dewey Avenue,” but the petition was denied.
            The Junction City Republic reported the marriage of Chauncey Dewey to Miss Lavon Presson of Junction City on October 25, 1927.  She was the daughter of Jessie and Otis Presson, who worked at the U.P. Railroad shops here.  A 1923 graduate of Junction City High School, Chauncey’s new wife was 25 years his junior.  The marriage took place at the home of the bride’s grandmother, Mrs. Laura Weikoff.  The account of the wedding said that the couple would make their home on the Dewey Ranch at Brewster.
            On July 10, 1926, the Union ran an article stating that Junction City contractor Ralph B. White had been hired to build a new ranch home for Chauncey Dewey.  It said:  “The house will be of hollow title, one-story, and of Spanish Mission-style architecture.  It is to be 70X80 feet, with a 40X40 patio in the center.  In the front will be a living room 25x40 with a long seat on one end, equipped with a spring-roller, so that the rug may be rolled up for dancing.  On one side will be the library, dining room, breakfast room, and kitchen, and the other two sides will be given over to seven bedrooms and several baths. The basement will contain a vapor heating system and a large garage.  A complete waterworks system has been installed, the well being some distance from the house.  Mr. Dewey expects to occupy it in late fall.”
            In subsequent years the house, which was known as the “headquarters” for the vast ranch, was furnished with oriental carpets, paintings and antiques until it became a literal “treasure house” of family heirlooms and art objects.
            Chauncey and Lavon Dewey became the parents of two sons, Chauncey Jr. and Otis.  Both are yet living on the ranch and are said to be well respected in the area round about.  There were also several grandchildren. 
                 In the years following the Dewey-Berry feud (covered last week) and the related trials, Chauncey was never known to have spoken of it until 1952 when he gave an interview to Ernest Dewey (no relation), a reporter for the Salina Journal, and agreed to tell what really happened on that day in 1903.  The following is Chauncey’s account as recorded by Ernest Dewey:
            “ ‘The Berrys had driven us away from the sale with drawn guns the day before.  Our ranch riders were frequently molested when caught alone, but no groups were ever bothered.  However, William McBride, a constable, accompanied us to represent the law.
            “ ‘Alpheus and old Daniel Berry came down as we drew the rack alongside the tank, and engaged in conversation, but not in any threatening manner.  Clyde Wilson, the ranch bookkeeper, and McBride and I passed the time of day with them as the men deployed around the tank to lift it onto the wagon.  I turned to watch what they were doing.
            “ ‘Roy, Beach, and Burch Berry came charging on the scene, jumped off their horses, drew guns and started shooting at us.  One bullet whizzed past me and killed my horse.  Guns were exploding and bullets were flying all around.  When the shooting started, the mules bolted and didn’t stop until they got all the way back to the ranch headquarters.
            “ ‘The battle actually lasted only a minute or so.  Constable McBride shot and killed Burch.  Clyde Wilson shot Alpheus and Daniel, who had guns and were using them.  Roy Berry seemed to have me as his special target, or so I thought.  I fired at him.  My bullet caught him on the jaw, coursed up a cheek and took a piece out of his ear.  He dropped, though, and for all I knew I had killed him.
            “ ‘That’s the actual story as it was, and as we testified in court.  The point at issue in the trial, of course, was who started shooting first.  Roy and Beach, the surviving Berrys, denied at the trial that they started it.  The jury didn’t believe them but a lot of people, prejudiced against the Dewey Ranch, did believe them—or pretended that they did.’
            “Interest in the case died down over the years.  Finally, after thirty years, Roy Berry was living near Genoa, Colorado, and was visiting in Atwood. He talked with a friend, who mentioned that Chauncey was closing up the big house because it was costing too much.  Roy remarked, ‘You know, I was talking with Beach the other day.  We’re both getting old, and we figure we done Chauncey dirt enough and ought to make it right.  Do you know we started the shootin’ that day?’
            “The friend told Chauncey about Roy’s remarks, so the two of them got into a car and drove to Colorado, hunted up Roy and shook hands after all those years.  Chauncey said, ‘Roy, are you willing to put it in writing?’ He said that he would, and he would get Beach to do the same.  Beach did.  The Clerk of Rawlins County came to witness their signing.  When it came to signing, Beach looked at Chauncey and said, ‘You know, Chauncey, I ought to get something out of this.’ Chauncey asked what he meant.  Beach grinned and said, ‘For 30 years I have been wanting to fish on Dewey Lake.  You give me that right, and I’ll sign this.’  Chauncey agreed, and said, ‘When you are ready, we’ll take the day off and I’ll go with you.’  A few weeks later, Beach called Chauncey, and they went fishing.  People came and stood on the hills watching a Dewey and a Berry go fishing together.  ‘They couldn’t believe it,’ Chauncey said.”
            A colorful political figure throughout his adult life, Chauncey Dewey had many holdings in Manhattan and Junction City, and in the rural areas.  He maintained a lively interest in politics and was considered one of the state’s strongest Republicans until his death.  He served as a County Commissioner in Riley County in the 1920s.
            Kansans should also remember Chauncey Dewey as head of the last cattle drive over the Chisholm Trail.  He brought 4,000 head of cattle overland from Dalhart, Texas, to the Oak Ranch shortly before the trail was closed.
            On January 2, 1957, a disastrous fire destroyed the famous Oak Ranch house and all its valuable heirlooms and pieces of Old World art.  With it went the treasured hand-painted portrait of Teddy Roosevelt.
            Now, nearly a century after he was catapulted to infamous fame, there are few people in Junction City who have any memory of Chauncey Dewey, but there has always been interest in his colorful life.  95-year-old Norman White, whose father was the contractor who built the famous house at Oak Ranch, recalls meeting Chauncey when he visited the ranch one time while the work was underway.
            There was, however, another Dewey who is remembered by some still living in Junction City.  Chauncey’s sister, Emma Scott Dewey Lockwood Roberts lived here from the 1920s until her death in 1952.  She can be remembered as she worked in her yard on East 17th Street, walked up Washington Street in her ever-present hat, or drove her car around town.  She often had “tea” for invited guests in her home, including a number of local young people.  Having been educated in France, she was a delightful hostess and told many stories about her family, especially her illustrious relative, Admiral Dewey of Spanish/American War  fame.  She was very proud of her son, Randolph Lockwood, who attended the Naval Academy at Annapolis and later served in the Marines. She lived an interesting life, traveling extensively, and made quite a unique impression on our community.
POSTSCRIPT:  Near the entrance gate of Highland Cemetery in Junction City is a large lot on the left side of the road with a beautiful granite memorial stone marked “Dewey-Scott.”  The lot was purchased in 1921 by Chauncey Dewey and Emma Dewey Lockwood at a cost of $1,000.  The monument was purchased by Emma not long after.  A number of large crosses naming various members of the Scott family are place on the ground to the right front of the monument.  On the left are only two crosses marking the graves of Chauncey Dewey and his wife, Lavon Presson Dewey.  The crosses on the right side cover three generations of the Scott family including the mother of Chauncey and Emma who died in Junction City in 1920.  All of these family members are buried in Kentucky, with the exception of Emma, whose final resting-place is marked by the cross that bears her name on the right side of the walkway.  Along side is also a cross for her son, Randolph Scott Dewey Lockwood, who now lives in Texas. Chauncey Dewey and his wife Lavon Presson, who was born in Junction City in 1903 and died in 1994, are the only ones who rest on the left side of the lot.
Every Memorial Day there are flowers on the Scott side of memorial in memory of Emma Scott Dewey Lockwood Roberts and her ancestors.  And for many years her son Randolph would come each May and spend several days in a memorial vigil at the site where he would meditate and visit with those who stopped and were familiar with the family.
            But the one who started it all—C.P. Dewey, who came to Kansas and bought up the Konza Prairie and the range land of Rawlins County and brought electric lights, telephones, porcelain bathtubs, and “the good life extrodinaire” to Geary and Riley Counties—now rests alone and forgotten at the place of his birth in Cadiz, Ohio.
The only vestige of the once powerful and fabulously wealthy Charles P. Dewey family that remains in the area today is the impressive granite memorial located just inside the main gate of Junction City’s Highland Cemetery.  The crosses on the ground memorialize several generations of the clan, but according to cemetery records, only Emma Scott Dewey Lockwood Roberts is interred there.  



Friday, April 1, 2016

The Dewey-Berry Feud

By Josephine Grammer Munson

EDITORIAL NOTE:  This article is the third installment of a four-part series prepared by former GCHS officer, Josephine Munson.  Today’s topic covers one of the most infamous episodes in 20th Century Kansas history, the Dewey/Berry feud.  Though these events took place in the sparsely settled northwestern regions of the state, the gunfight and resulting trial were of great interest both locally and to the national press because of the great wealth and prestige of C.P. Dewey and the elements of the “Wild West” which the whole affair evoked.
            Much of the material for this column came from a summary written in 1968 by Kathleen P. Claar based on a collection of factual evidence from the Decatur County Historical Museum, in Oberlin, Kansas. 
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Americans are always fascinated with stories about gun battles and feuds in the “Old West.”  Among the most interesting in local parts, is the feud between the Deweys and the Berrys.  It all started in the early part of the Twentieth Century in Northwest Kansas.
Wealthy Chicago Industrialist C.P. Dewey, after securing vast holdings in Riley and Geary County, had acquired about 80,000 acres of land in four Kansas counties--Cheyenne, Sheridan, Rawlins, and Thomas.  He bought up western Kansas farms in a “checkerboard pattern” from settlers who could not pay their mortgages or taxes.  Times were hard in the 1890’s with crop failures and poor pastures for their cattle.  Up to that time it had been pretty much “free range” and ranchers grazed their cattle wherever there was any grass.  Naturally this gave rise to conflicts among the ranchers.
            In 1903 C. P. Dewey sent his son Chauncey out from Chicago to run his Oak Ranch in western Kansas.  Chauncey was only 23 years old and had been educated in the Arts in eastern colleges and in Europe.  He was inexperienced and had grand ideas of extending the ranch from Atwood, Kansas to the Colorado line.  Some of this land had been foreclosed upon and the settlers were unhappy.  When Dewey fenced the pastures in, not only did he include his own land but also public grazing areas that many ranchers needed and had freely used.
            Chauncey Dewey was a gentleman of culture with polished manners that seemed strange to most of the settlers who had little education.  It was said that he had a library of 2,000 rare books and he lived in a luxurious style.  Being so different from his neighbors did not engender trust with them.  The Hutchinson News-Herald reported that Chauncey--as a rich man’s son-- was a mite arrogant, but he had many good qualities.  He dressed himself in the fashion of the cowboy--perhaps a little over done, but he was frankly charmed with the country, with its prospects, and its people.  He was hurt when his friendliness was rebuffed by suspicion of himself as a representative of the eastern capitalist whom the Populist orators had been holding “indignation meetings” about for years.
            Among the most defiant of the people around the Oak Ranch was old Daniel Berry and his sons.  They claimed that Dewey was trying to drive them out of the county.  There were quarrels over the grazing of livestock, and there were threats on both sides.  Both factions went armed and “looking for trouble” and such things as the maiming of cattle and fence-cutting took place.
            The Berrys were also quite colorful in their own way.  Their name was linked to cattle rustling and other shady activities.  Daniel Berry, head of the family, was even reported to have given state’s evidence against his son, Burchard, in a cattle-stealing case.  Despite their questionable personal activities, the Berry family was also trying to establish land holdings and they had equal claims on much of the same land as Dewey had.  In the spring of 1903 the bitter feelings reached a feverish pitch.
            On June 2, 1903, a sheriff’s sale was held on a quarter section of land occupied by Alpheus Berry, Daniel’s oldest son.  On that day an employee of Dewey Ranch went to bid on an old wooden water tank and was run off by gunfire from the Berry brothers. Finally, with the protection of the Sheriff, Dewey’s men went back to the sale and bought the tank. The next day Chauncey took a contingent of his cowboys, including a 12-year-old boy, and a wagon and rode over to retrieve the tank. 
            According to the Berry’s story, Daniel and Alpheus Berry went to the corral to help the Deweys load the tank.  As they began the loading, the two other Berry sons, Beach and Burchard, and a cousin Roy Berry, rode up, tied their horses to trees, and started toward the corral.  They claimed that Chauncey Dewey opened fire at that moment, shooting Roy Berry in the jaw and in the gunfight that followed Alpheus and Burchard were shot in the back.
            Dewey maintained that they had taken refuge back of a sod wall when the Berrys opened fire first and they shot back in self-defense.  When the shooting ended, Burchard and Alpheus Berry were dead and Daniel died later.  Roy’s lower jaw was shot away and Beach had a wound in his leg, but they both survived.
            The killing of the Berrys led to an angry uprising among the homesteaders and lynching mobs formed.  On June 4th, Chauncey Dewey, and two of his men, Clyde Wilson, and M.J. McBride, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  Public feeling against them was so high that the Kansas Governor ordered the state militia out to protect them.  The Justice of Peace bound the case over to the next session of the District Court without bail, and the prisoners were taken to the Shawnee County Jail in Topeka for safe keeping.  Quickly this jail was completely renovated and provided with furniture, a library, and a telephone–-all paid for by Chauncey Dewey, so their jail stay was quite enjoyable.  After their bail was made, the accused spent the summer in seclusion at the Eureka Lake resort near Manhattan, which of course Chauncey's father owned.
            The case came up on the court docket in December 1903, and though the trial was set to begin on January 3, 1904, it was moved to St. Francis in neighboring Cheyenne County.  The courtroom battle was long and hard, with both sides taking advantage of every legal technicality.  When all testimony concluded, neither side was blameless.  The important point to establish was whether the Berrys were armed or not.  The State’s case declared that it was “murder in cold blood.”  Dewey’s defense was “shoot or be shot.”  The trial was prolonged, but finally, on March 19, 1904, after 28 ½ hours of deliberation, the jury returned a “Not Guilty” verdict.  That night the twelve jurors were hanged in effigy from a tree on the courthouse lawn. 
            The case was immediately appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court where the acquittal was sustained.  The Berrys then sued for damages for their deaths and injuries.  This case was not settled until March of 1921.  The judgement rendered required Dewey to pay $4,500 to Mrs. Harriet Berry, widow of Daniel and $1,000 to William Roy Berry.  Dewey appealed, keeping the case in litigation into the 1930’s, and there has been no record found that indicates whether any payments were ever made in this remarkable case that spanned over 30 years.
            The story of the Dewey-Berry Feud made national headlines and in Kansas became a legend, which is talked about to this day.
            Magic Lantern Shows, the forerunner of today’s slide-illustrated travelogues and lectures, were common forms of entertainment in the early part of the 20th Century.  One of the favorite shows on the mid-western circuit was about the Dewey-Berry Feud.  There were no pictures taken at the time of the shoot-out, but shortly afterward, the fight was re-enacted at the Berry place and pictures were taken for one of these travelling shows.  The slides portraying Chauncey Dewey as a cold blooded killer, were shown all over the country and the show was accompanied by a sad lament called “The Ballad of the Berry Boys”:

Way out on the plains of Kansas

Where the wind blows hard and hot
Stands a little old shanty
Where the Berry Boys were shot.

Two men in the prime of manhood
And a man with silvery hair
Were cruelly murdered that bright day
By the outlaw millionaire

Must wives be changed to widows
In the space of fleeting breath
And children be made orphans
And men be shot to death.

It is hard to believe it true
In this land we love so well;
It is hard for us to believe
That men will their honor sell.

Oh, is there no punishment
For this murderer’s blood-stained hand?
Is there no court of justice
In this glorious Christian land?

I would think the murderers,
Although they may be free,
Those quiet and deathly faces
In troubled dreams would see.

That aged and furrowed brow
Those bloodstained locks of gray
I think that Chauncey Dewey
Would see them night and day.

The jury has cleared the savages,
The court its verdict has given,
But they’ll find when through this life,
They can’t buy the courts of Heaven.

            After the trials, Chauncey Dewey seldom was seen in public until April 20, 1908, when he married Miss Elvira Millspaugh, daughter of the Rev. Frank R. Millspaugh, Bishop of the Kansas Diocese of the Episcopal Church, at Grace Cathedral in Topeka.  He then became prominent in social circles in Topeka and attended many events and parties.  On one occasion he entertained the Topeka Evening Club at Eureka Lake, where he gave the club a motorboat, which was christened “Topeka.”  Chauncey and his wife lived mainly in Chicago where he was prominent in Republican politics.  During this time, he directed Teddy Roosevelt’s campaign when he ran for President on the Bull Moose ticket in 1912.  In appreciation, Roosevelt gave Dewey a large hand-painted portrait of himself.
            When the United States entered World War I, Chauncey Dewey enlisted in the army at Fort Riley, where he was assigned to the staff of General Leonard Wood.  He served for three years, including 18 months overseas, and held the rank of major when discharged.
COMING NEXT: Our saga of the Deweys will conclude next week when, after 40 years, Chauncey Dewey reveals what really happened during the infamous gunfight.  We’ll also learn about the Deweys' Junction City connections.
Dewey cowboys waiting to unload a 35 car train of cattle at the Rock Island yards, Manhattan Ks, April 1907.