February 23, 2017
You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. Sunday, March 3, 1929, was the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Mr. Thomas G. McKinley and Miss Virginia G. Ross. Their relatives and friends from Geary County joined them in observance of the joyous event. Among the guests were the bridesmaid, best man and four other members of the original wedding party. Mrs. McKinley wore a black satin dress with a brooch and earrings, which were a gift of her bridegroom on their wedding day. The McKinley’s were both pioneer Kansans. Mr. McKinley had come with his parents from Illinois in 1858. The trip was made by the use of wagons. There was one drawn by horses, one by a yoke of oxen and one by a yoke of cows. The cows provided milk for the family and were used to start a herd of cattle on the farm once the homesteaded area was located. Soon after their arrival, they selected farmland near the mouth of the Humbolt Creek. Opportunities for an education were meager and Thomas McKinley felt that made life more challenging for him. However, through his natural ability and strong determination, he attracted the attention of his peers, who found him well qualified to serve publicly his community and country. He served on the rural school board for 34 years as well as being a justice of the peace and constable.
Mrs. McKinley was the youngest daughter of the Ross family, who came to Kansas from Virginia in 1873. Mr. and Mrs. McKinley spent the best part of their married life on the farm, but enjoyed their retirement years in their home in Alta Vista, where they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
We have many pictures of early pioneers from this area displayed in the hallway on the first floor of our Museum. Stop by and take a look at them and other interesting displays about Geary County history. We think you will agree that the more we change, the more we stay the same. That is one reason we say “Our Past Is Present” at the Geary County Historical Society.