Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Historic Beaumont Hotel

Edwin Russell built the historic Beaumont Hotel in the beautiful scenic Flint Hills of Kansas in 1879.

The hotel was first used as a stagecoach station and stopping place for travelers from Fredonia and Wichita. This was part of a longer route from Ft. Scott at the eastern edge of Kansas.

In 1880, the Frisco Railroad built tracks along this route. And in 1885 the Frisco decided to build an extension south to Oklahoma and choose Beaumont as the junction. With the arrival of the Frisco Railroad, guests included cattle barons from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, as well as the elite of the Frisco Railroad. In addition to servicing the trains of the Frisco, Beaumont was a staging area for those who shipped cattle to markets back east. Two water reservoirs and cattle pens handled 9,000 cattle at one time.

As the old story goes, there was a brothel operating out of the Beaumont Hotel.  The wife entertained the men upstairs and the husband handled business downstairs. A young cowboy took a liking to the proprietor's wife. The husband then shot and killed him.Since then:
"There have been reports by staff and guests that the cowboy is now haunting the old hotel. Loud thumping can be heard on the stairs and on the top floor of the hotel. Guests have reported chairs being moved in rooms and alarms clocks that sound off all hours of the night. Staff members have even reported seeing the apparition of the cowboy."

J. P. VanHuss

The following is from the Carter County, Tennessee History.

J. P. Van Huss, farmer, was born in March, 1833, in Carter County, on his present farm. He was educated in the common schools, and when twenty years old began life, and now owns 157 acres of fine land.

In 1860 Rebecca, a daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Roadcap) Nead, of Hagerstown, Md., and Rockbridge County, Va., respectively, became his wife, About 1837 they came to Washington County, where the father died.

The children born to our subject and wife are as follows: Minnie F., James M., Daniel F., Barbara E., Flora J., William L. and John D. He and his wife are Baptists, the latter of the German Church.

He is a Republican and Prohibitionist. He was a justice in 1860 and has been since 1882. From January, 1888 to 1887, he was a trustee in 1866, and served four terms. He was deputy sheriff three years, and is a Master Mason. He was twice elected moderator of the Watauga Assocaiton of Baptists, and was also clerk of the same body from its organization in 1868 for six consecutive years.

He is the ninth of eleven children (five of whom yet survive) of Mathias and Lovina (Duggar) Van Buss, natives of Carter (now Johnson) County and the present Carter County respectively. The former was a soldier in 1812, a Whig, a farmer, and a blacksmith. He was a son of Valentine Van Huss, of North Carolina, and of Carter County, the latter born about 1778. He was of Dutch desent, while the mother was of Scotch-English origin. The mother was a daughter of was a daughter of William Duggar, a native of North Carolina, and a pioneer of Dugger's Ferry. He was a soldier of the Revolution and married three times. The Duggar family are long lived.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Leaving New York

I need to revise this post.These are just quick thoughts.

Leaving New York.

Father and son left New York for Tulpehocken, Lancaster (now Berks) Co Pennsylvania, settling in an area of mostly Germans.

Father and younger brothers and sisters then migrated to Anson Co., North Carolina in 1753/4. The son made his will in 1763, signing it John Vanhosen. On deeds there his name appears as John Vanhouser and John Vanhooser.

"[Later]descendants of John Vanhooser retained the spelling, Vanhooser
and settled in Eastern and Central Tennessee. Those from Jackson
Co., Tenn. still spell the name with the small "h".

One branch of the family kept the spelling, VanHuss. They settled in southwest
Virginia and in Carter (later Johnson) Co., Tenn."

In 1845 Valentine W. VanHuss married Lucinda Campbell and raised seven children in Carter county, Tennessee. The children were:

1. VanHuss, James M - 1845
2. VanHuss, Isaac S - 1847
3. VanHuss, Daniel S - 1848
4. VanHuss, Susannah - 1852
5. VanHuss, Matilda - 1853
6. VanHuss, Robert - 1855
7. VanHuss, John - 1859

Later, in the 1880's four brothers, James, Daniel, Robert, and John, homesteaded in and around Beaumont, Kansas.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New York


Every school child knows the story of how, in 1626, Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Lenape Indians for $24 in trinkets. Modern scholars now estimate the value considerably higher. (A caution that not everything should be taken at face value.)

Manhattan was part of the larger area of New Netherland (Nieuw-Nederland), a Dutch colony in North America that existed from 1624 until 1664. In that year, the Duke of York sent four English frigates into the port of New Amsterdam and demanded the Dutch surrender.

New Amsterdam became New York City and Fort Orange became Albany.

The area was first explored by Henry Hudson in 1609. And the earliest settlements were built around 1613. Around 1619, Fort Orange, on the Hudson River (Beverwyck on the map) as a center for beaver trade with the Indians. In 1624, New Netherlands became a province of the Netherlands. The port of New Amsterdam was established to protect the beaver trade and transport the beaver pelts to Europe.

The Dutch, through the West India Company, established settlements along the Hudson river to promote trade with the Indians for beaver pelts. Emigrants to the province included Dutch, Danish, Frisian and Schleswigan, and Walloons, as well as African slaves.

In 1639, Jan Franse Van Husum arrived in New Amsterdam along with his new wife Volkie Juriens Van Husum. They settled in Rensselaerswyck, an area surronding Beverwyck, now Albany, New York. Jan Franse was appointed Commissioner of Lands for the Dutch West India Co., and lived at a fur trading post,  Ft. Orange. In 1662 Jan bought from the Indians, for 500 guilders in beavers, land at Claverack and several hundred acres of land along the river where today is the city of Hudson.

Jan and his wife Volkie eventually had thirteen children.Their sixth child, Johannes (John) VanHoesen, born 1655, lived in Claverack (check spelling Clavernack).

His son Johannes, born 1697 lived in Claverack. John Van Hooser, Jr. was a fourth generation VanHooser. He was born in 1723 at Claverack, Albany (now Columbia) Co., New York, the son of Johannes Van Hoesen or John Van Hooser and his wife, Elizabeth Christina Laux.
Image from Wikipedia.

Leaving New York.

Father and son left New York for Tulpehocken, Lancaster (now Berks) Co Pennsylvania, settling in an area of mostly Germans.

Father and younger brothers and sisters then migrated to Anson Co., North Carolina in 1753/4. The son made his will in 1763, signing it John Vanhosen. On deeds there his name appears as John Vanhouser and John Vanhooser.

"[Later]descendants of John Vanhooser retained the spelling, Vanhooser
and settled in Eastern and Central Tennessee. Those from Jackson
Co., Tenn. still spell the name with the small "h".

One branch of the family kept the spelling, VanHuss. They settled in southwest
Virginia and in Carter (later Johnson) Co., Tenn."

In 1845 Valentine W. VanHuss married Lucinda Campbell and raised seven children in Carter county, Tennessee. The children were:
1. VanHuss, James M - 1845
2. VanHuss, Isaac S - 1847
3. VanHuss, Daniel S - 1848
4. VanHuss, Susannah - 1852
5. VanHuss, Matilda - 1853
6. VanHuss, Robert - 1855
7. VanHuss, John - 1859

Later, in the 1880's four brothers, James, Daniel, Robert, and John, homesteaded in and around Beaumont, Kansas.

Jan Fransse Van Husum

This post is a summary of the book VAN HOOSE VAN HOOSER VAN HUSS FAMILY IN AMERICA by Joyce Lindstrom. A second source is Elsie Rohre's book "The Van Huss Family". A third source is the VanHoesen blog, which compiles multiple sources. The reader should be mindful that there are always variations in the telling of a tale. Dates, place names, even facts will change with the retelling of any history.

The First Van Huss to arrive in America was Jan Fransse Van Husum. He was born in 1608 or 1609 in Husum, Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein, then a part of Denmark, although today it is the northernmost province of Germany. Husum is on the west coast and faces the North Sea. It is natural that Jan became a sailor and sailed for the Dutch West Indies Company. He lived in Amsterdam, where in April of 1639, he married Volckje Juriaens of Tuijnstraat (Twijnstratt, Utrect). The newly married couple immediately set sail for America and, on July 7, 1639, arrived in Dutch New Amsterdam.


"Jan Fransse Van Husum was the emigrant ancestor of all the Van
Hooser's in America as well as some thirty variations of the surname.
Originally he was known only as Jan Fransse, meaning "John, the son
of Francis." In the early days of history before the emergence of
surnames, the patronymic system of naming was used.In this case,
the second name was the father's first given name. Fransse or
Fransssen was a Danish name. The suffix "se" or "sen" meant "Son

Jan Fransse was born in Husum, a city in Schleswig in 1608. Husum
lies in the northern duchy of Schleswig, which was once an
independent duchy ruled by princes of the old Roman empire. A ducal
portion was ruled by the dukes of Holstein and a common portion was
ruled jointly by the kings and dukes."

Jan Fransse was employed as Commissioner of Lands for the Dutch West India Co.. As such, he and his wife settled in the colony of Rensselaerswyck at Fort Orange, now Albany, New York. In 1662 he purchased from the Indians several hundreds acres along the Hudson River at Clavernack, present day Hudson. The purchase price was 500 guilders in beavers pelts.

The couple had thirteen children. See Johannes VanHoesen worldconnect.

Jan died before 1667 in Clavernack. His wife remarried and lived in Clavernack until her death in 1703.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Between Tennessee and Kansas

Valentine Worley Van Huss and all five of his sons - James, Isaac, Daniel Smith, Robert E. and John Finley left Elizabethton, Tennessee after the Civil War for Kansas. The reasons why are not exactly clear as other half brothers would stay on in Tennessee, and in one case, Finley, would go to Texas.  Source RootsWeb.

Three of the brothers that I know of married in Kansas. These include James and Daniel who married sisters and whose marriage records ate found in El Dorado at the Butler County Courthouse. Additionally, John Finley Van Huss, Bob's grandfather married Josie Brewer, originally of Worth County, Missouri, but lately living in Hickory Township, Butler County, Kansas.

On a trip this summer, I was lucky enough to visit Elizabethon in Carter County, Tennessee. Nestled in the  Appalachian Mountains of  eastern Tennessee, Carter County is known for being the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 colonies, as well as beautiful Watauga Lake and Roan Mountain. Daniel Boone had a hand in blazing the trail though this area.

Children of Valentine W. Campbell and Lucinda Campbell

Since Valentine's family figured prominately in moving to Kansas I will reprint the family members here.
He married LUCINDA F. CAMPBELL 7 FEB 1845 in CARTER CO., TN., daughter of ISAAC CAMPBELL and SUSANNAH SMITH, born ABT 1819 in TENNESSEE.


1.    JAMES M. VANHUSS was born 9 SEP 1845 in TENNESSEE, died 6 JUL 1908.
2.    ISAAC S. VANHUSS was born MAY 1847 in TENNESSEE.
4.    SUSANNAH VANHUSS was born 18 JAN 1851 in TENNESSEE.
5.   MATILDA VANHUSS was born ABT 1853.
6.    ROBERT E. VANHUSS was born NOV 1857 in TENNESSEE.
7.    JOHN F. VANHUSS was born ABT APR 1859 in TENNESSEE.

Source RootsWeb see entries 402 and following.

Wives of  the Men:


2. Isaac S. Van Huss



7. JOHN F. VANHUSS b: ABT APR 1859 in TENNESSEE m. JESSIE [sic] E. ----- b: JUN 1865 in MISSOURI
 Butler County records the following marriages of  Daniel and James as 

VanHuss, Daniel, age 25, 
married Gifford, Emma A., age 19, on 9 Nov 1873
VanHuss, James M. age, 25 
married Gifford, Elmetta L. age 19 on 26 Sept 1875 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Frisco Railroad at Beaumont


No railroad tracks existed in Kansas until 1860 when the Elwood and Marysville line, five miles of track, was constructed opposite St. Joesph, Missouri.

Soon, over fifty railroads were chartered by the territorial legislature and the race was on. Railroads competed for the acquisition of land from the Federal Government and from the Indians who then lived in the state of Kansas.The eventual goal of most, if not all of the railroads, was to complete a more southern route across the United Sates to the west coast. The Pacific Railroad surveys recommended a Kansas route "to avoid the snows of the north and the heat of the southern desert." The disadvantage was that the railroads had to deal with the resistance of Indian tribes to allow railroads access to their lands. Eventually, the Union Pacific Railroad would join in completing a transcontinental railroad with its route through Nebraska.

Beaumont, Kansas was a railroad town, established in 1879, serving as layover for the St. Louis - San Fransico Railway Company, better known as the Frisco, on its route between  Ft. Scott, at the eastern edge of Kansas, and Wichita. The ATSF built a route just to the north which passed through Eureka and El Dorado on its way to Wichita.

The name St. Louis - San Francisco, like many other railroad names, represented a dream and not reality; the railroad began in St. Louis and ended in Texas just west of Fort Worth, and, in Kansas to Ellsworth and Abilene.

Visit the Frisco for images and information. Look at some old postcards from the Frisco. Image of Engine 1522 by Darrel Drumm, taken in Arkansas City.

The Frisco was incorporated in 1876 and was formed out of the assets of the defunct Atlantic and Pacific Railroad . In Kansas the Frisco competed against the larger and more successful Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF), which succeeded in crossing Kansas with track by 1873 and connecting to Pueblo, Colorado by 1876. A second railroad, the Missouri Pacific ran a line from Ft. Scott to Eureka and Wichita, north of the Frisco line through Beaumont.

Perhaps because the success of the ATSF, the Frisco, between the years 1872 and 1880, focused on  building a connecting line, the St. Louis, Wichita and Western, connecting the town of Pierce City on the Frisco main line to Wichita, Kansas, where it joined the main line of the Santa Fe.

Later, in 1884 there began a series of extensions of the Frisco, and construction was started at Beaumont, Kansas in 1885 routing through Latham and Winfield, Kansas reaching Gale on the Kansas - Oklahoma border February 1, 1886.

See the full map which is a part of the collection from the Wichita State University Libraries.

The full extent of the Frisco Railroad in Kansas is described in William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas,  first published in 1883.
The Kansas Division of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway enters Kansas in Cherokee County and runs westerly through the counties of Cherokee, Labette, Montgomery, Wilson, Elk (northeast corner), Greenwood and Butler, to Wichita, Sedgwick County, distance 171 miles. The branches in Kansas are from Joplin, Mo., to Girard, Kan. (thirty-eight miles - twenty in Kansas); from Oronogo, Mo., to Galena, Kansas (twenty miles - two miles in Kansas); and from Litchfield Junction to Litchfield, Crawford County, 2.50 miles. Total number of miles in Kansas, 195.50.

The Frisco employed 90 workers at Beaumont, which served as a refueling stop, as well as a railroad staging area for shipping cattle from the Flint Hills. The rich Kansas Blue-stem grass and local water reservoirs allowed Beaumont to hold 9,000 cattle at one time. Beaumont was less famous for cattle shipping as other staging areas at Ellsworth and Abilene gathered more attention.

The Frisco "All Aboard" provides a gathering place for railroad enthusiasts who have information or questions about the Frisco.

The land around Beaumont was settled during the homesteading movement following the Civil War.But Beaumont did not come into its own until in 1885, when Beaumont was established as the overhaul station for the Frisco between St. Louis and Wichita and five rows of tracks at Beaumont handled the daily four eastbound and four westbound trains.

The Beaumont Water Tower, built in 1885, stands across from the Beaumont Hotel. It is the only one still standing in the United States, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former roundhouse, built in 1890 had six engine stalls for repair and inspection. Altogether the railroad employed 90 people for its operations. Dr. William J. Phillips was the town doctor.

Read more about the Frisco Railroad.

The Beaumont Hotel, which is still in existence, was originally known as the Summit Hotel as Beaumont was the highest point on the Frisco Line from Wichita, Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri.

Guests at the hotel included cattle barons from Texas and Oklahoma and the elite of the Frisco Railroad. Beaumont served as headquarters for those who shipped or brought cattle in to fatten on the mineral rich grasses of the Flint Hills. While cattle barons and ranchers relaxed in the hotel, cowboys camped outside. Nearby were two water reservoirs and  holding pens for 9,000 head of cattle.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Josie Brewer VanHuss

In 1881, James and Margaret Brewer left their farm near Allendale, Missouri for a new life in Kansas.

They traveled by covered wagon taking with them their six living children, 3 girls and 3 boys. Among the children was 16 year old Josie Brewer, the youngest. The family homesteaded near Beaumont, Kansas and in September 1882, received a land grant from then President Chester A. Arthur.

In 1888, James died. The same year Josie married John VanHuss, the grandfather of Robert VanHuss.

Image from

The following is an extract from

"Josie BREWER "Aunt Josie" b 18 Jun 1865 near Allendale, Worth Co, MO d 3 Oct 1912 Latham, Butler Co, KS; M-24 Apr 1888 John Van Huss b 25 Apr 1859 d 3 Nov 1939, bur: Latham, KS.

Their children: Bula Van Huss m-Everett Schooling and had Ann m-Phil Coffin, Bill Schooling, married and had Billie Jean, Jack Everett and Sharon Louise Schooling; Jack Schooling.

Fred Van Huss m-Beulla Phillips, d/o Dr Phillips of Beaumont, KS and they had Jimmie and Robert Van Huss; Luva Van Huss m-Ernest Foote and they had Richard and Ted E Jon Foote; Elmer Van Huss m- Irene (___); Lois Van Huss m-Mr (____) Gresham."

There is no journal or diary which relates the reason why the Brewers left their farm in Allendale. They had lived there for almost 20 years.

What is known is that the years following the Civil War were tumultuous for Missouri. Outlaws and bandits roamed the state. Jesse and Frank James were from Clay County, to the south of Allendale and Worth County. The James along with many others were Southern sympathizers. James Brewer who came originally from Ohio and then Iowa, was likely northern in his sympathies.

Second, a severe economic depression struck the United States in the 1880's and the effect on farmsteads was severe as produce prices plummeted and banks called in mortgages.

Finally, the Homestead Act passed previously in 1863, was amended in 1880 to open up new opportunities for settlers in both Kansas and Nebraska. the fact that the Brewer family received a land grant from President Chester A. Arthur is evidence that free land was a strong reason for leaving Missouri and settling in Kansas.

"As the story goes...

When they came to Butler County (Kansas)-they came in covered wagons--three families together: Mary Jane & Joseph T Wright, Margaret & James BREWER, and Hephzibah "Aunt Hippy" & Mathew Hightower.

The Hightower's son Otto took sick on the way, and they camped at Eureka (Greenwood County, KS) with him for 'quite a while.' The other families stayed with them for about a week before moving on. Otto died and was buried in Eureka Cemetery before the Hightower's wagon left camp to join the others in Butler County. ...

The James M BREWER family, after fruit was stored and canning done, would load supplies into a covered wagon and travel to Medford, OK, to visit Jim BREWER's brother Henry, camping at regular campsites along the way at such places as Atlanta and Arkansas City in Kansas, giving the children the opportunity to play with other children who were also camping
there. ..."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dr. William J. and Margaret Z. Phillips

Dr. William J. Phillips was the pioneer physician and surgeon for Beaumont, Kansas and Bob Van Huss' maternal grandfather. (The daughter of William and Margaret Z. Phillips, Beulah Phillips, married Fred Van Huss.)

Dr. Phillips was born in Iowa in 1856, graduated from medical school in 1885, moved first to Lacrosse, Kansas (south of Hays, Kansas) and later Beaumont, where he was the practicing surgeon and doctor until his death in 1929 at the age of 73. He married Margaret Z. Redman, (1867 - 1958) in Lacrosse before moving to Beaumont. Margaret's father had been the sheriff and later probate judge for Lacrosse. The couple had eleven children, who they raised on a 130 acre farm just west of Beaumont. William and Margaret are buried in the Old Benton Cemetary in Beaumont, Kansas along with several of their children. Geneology Trails.

Skyways has reprinted a biography of Dr. Phillips online, parts of which I have reproduced here: 

...Doctor Phillips was born in Washington County, Iowa, October 2, 1856. He also has some Irish blood, since his paternal grandmother came from Ireland when she was nine years of age. His father, George Phillips, was born in Ohio, February 10, 1814, and died at Daytonville, Iowa, February 6, 1873.


Doctor Phillips spent most of his early life and gained his education at Iowa City, the first state capital of Iowa and the home of its university. He attended the public schools, also an academy, and took his course in the State University. where he was graduated M. D. in 1885. When only eighteen years of age, in 1874, Doctor Phillips had paid his first visit to Kansas and had come out here largely on account of his health. He recuperated and spent fifteen months in farm work at Washington, Kansas.

After securing his medical degree Doctor Phillips returned to Kansas and for ten years was engaged in practice at Lacrosse. Since then he has made his home at Beaumont, and is the only physician in practice. His services have been in great demand over a large community, and with his many years of experience he is counted one of the most competent physicians and surgeons in that part of the state. Doctor Phillips is emergency surgeon for the Frisco Railroad at Beaumont, is examiner for three large life insurance companies, and for five years was a member of the United States Pension Board Examiners at Lacrosse as local examiner. He also owns a drug store at Beaumont.

Doctor Phillips might also be designated as a farmer, since he owns a farm and residence adjoining the town on the west. His farm comprises 130 acres and is well improved and managed on a par with the best farms in Butler County. Doctor Phillips is now serving as town clerk of Beaumont and has held other township offices. He is a republican in politics, and a member of Beaumont Lodge No. 465, Ancient Order United Workmen.

Soon after coming to Kansas in 1885 Doctor Phillips was married at Lacrosse to Miss Maggie Z. Redman. She is a daughter of A. J. and Mary (Wright) Redman. Her mother is still living at Lacrosse. Her father, deceased, was for six years sheriff of Rush County and for ten years held the office of probate judge and other county offices. In business he was a farmer. Doctor and Mrs. Phillips take great pride in their children, and eleven sons and daughters have been born into their home. Clarence M. is a farmer 3 1/2 miles southwest of Beaumont. Hubert W. is employed as a brakeman with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and lives at Biggar in Saskatchewan, Canada; Edith Fern is the wife of A. L. Milliken, who is station agent for the Frisco Railway at Altamont, Kansas; George A. drives an auto stage at Brawley, California; Pauline, the fifth child, died when three years of age; Helen M. is the wife of J. H. Nichols, an express messenger living at Wichita; Beulah M. is a teacher in Butler County and still makes her home with her parents; Paul W. is attending a school of automobile instruction at Wichita. The three younger children are Alwilda, Wendell and Ruth, all of them attending the public schools of Beaumont.
 Reprinted from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, (Volume 3, page 1457, published 1918), which can be read online.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1910 Census

Robert (Bob) VanHuss is the son of Fred VanHuss, who is the son of John F. Van Huss.

The 1910 U.S. Census places John F. VanHuss, and his wife Josie, in the city of Sedgwick, Kansas.

John was a  50 year-old carpenter from Tennessee. He and his 44 year-old wife had five children: Bula, Fred, Luva, Elmer E, Jain O.. The childrens' ages ranged from 20 to 6, and they were all born in Missouri, suggesting that the family had made a long stop-over in that state on their way to Kansas. As Josie was born in Missouri, it is possible that John had migrated from Tennessee to Missouri where he met and wed his wife.

Bula, the oldest child, was employed as a teacher at the time of this census. And, there is a stone school house still standing outside of Leon, which has the name VanHuss inscribed in the stone over the front door.

The oldest son, Fred, 16 years old in 1910, was the father of Bob VanHuss.