Ruins of Haunted House Were Once A Fine Home for Proud People.
(Transcribed by Freida Wells)
1870s six families moved here from Michigan. When the people came they all built stone houses. Capp Binns, one of the six,
built the Old Haunted House the name by
which it goes now. The house has four large rooms downstairs and four large rooms
It had running water and the way the water ran was as follows: The house had a spring behind it and
had pipes which pumped it into the kitchen and also into the garden which was on the east side of the raid. After Mr. Binns
family had lived there for about four years, they moved out. Mr. Binns rented it to a man by the name of Davis. Mr. Davis
had a wife and two daughters.
Mr. Davis was a very wealthy man. He owned a farm or two in Ohio, a power company
in Montana and two large banks. They had only lived in the house for one year when a man by the name of Cal Floyd came to
work for them. The work he would do was to feed the horses, milk the cows and drive Mrs. Davis and her two daughters into
town or wherever they would want to go. He would also care for the lawn, garden and the house.
After Cal Floyd
had been with the Davis for about four years, the Davis decided they would move to Montana. Cal Floyd had lived in the house
for about one year,when he married a Sedan girl and they lived in the house,caring for the furniture and for Mr. Davis.
Then Cal Floyd tried to buy the house once or twice, but he couldnt get at that time. During that time one of his sons
and one of his daughters were born. In 1890 Cal Floyd moved out and rented it to another family.
At that time the
lease to the estate belonged to a large real estate company. The part the real estate had consisted of is the property which
is now part of Cal Floyd's ranch. The estate also consisted of properties in Chicago and Europe. He saw in the paper an ad,
that said the property was for sale, so he bought the house, but he did not live in it, but leased it. When that family moved
out the house was pretty well ruined down. He then decided to deed it to his daughter who now lives in Emporia.
couple of years a go Cal Floyd and some other men tore the roof off the house because they were afraid it would fall in one
someone. Cal Floyd thinks now it would be wise to tear down the walls of the house because they were getting very weak. There
has been no one living in the house for about fifty years.
Written May 12, 1955 by Karen Mills. ( Ed note: Karen
Mills, a sophomore, claims the honor of being one of the last students to interview the late Cal Floyd, who died about two
months ago. She talked with him about the history behind the ruins of the old stone house north to town. Though there seems
to be nothing sinister in its history, the ruins are popularly referred to by the younger folks as The Haunted House. The
haunts that are seen around it probably resemble high school students, also bent on nothing sinister.
Calvin Floyd ( 1872-1955)
Ghost Town of Farmersburg Alive In Memories
(Transcribed by Freida
Farmersburg, Kansas, was established in 1870 or 71 on an old freight line connecting Independence and a little
town of Boston, located on the Elk and Chautauqua line south
of Moline. The first store was a log and frame building
owned by a Mr. Melvin. The backrooms of the store served as a home for his family. In a year or so a Dr. Lannen opened a drug
store. At this time the town consisted of approximately seven homes, the store, and drug store.
A Post office was
established within the next year, the mail being brought in on a Star route. In later years the route connected Farmersburg
with Centre, located about six miles west, Grafton, to the southwest about six miles and then on into Sedan, about twelve
By this time there were ten buildings, houses, barns, a feed corral and an old camping yard located
on the west side of Farmersburg. B. J Johnson built the second store and operated it until his death. After Johnson the store
changed hands many times until a Mr. Burch became manager, operating it until it was destroyed by fire in 1910. The Post office
had previously been removed in 1906 or 07 when the rural route was started in Longton, to serve this territory.
removal of the store and Post office took the life from the little town and it soon fell into that long list of ghost-towns
which was trailing its way through the western states.
The remains of the on-time active little community center
may be seen today. Part of the first store and the stone walls which served as fences for the corrals may be seen on the Charley
Dye farm. This farm is something called the old Charley Crews place.
The Longton-Sedan road follows about the same
trail as the old freight route from Independence to Boston and points west. The road now passes between the remaining structures
of the ghost-town and Mr. Dyes house. What can be seen of the remains is on the south side of the road.
of Mr. Melvin, who helped to found Farmersburg, still lives in Chautauqua County. He is known by most of the county, his name
being Brother Woodworth. Several
old timers in and around the locality of Township 32, Range 12, Northwest quarter of
Section 18, helped to recall the facts in connection with the town, which is alive only in
their memories. The exact spot
where the place that was home to some early pioneers is twelve miles northeast of Sedan.
(By -Barbara Dye, Sedan
Times Star March 11, 1954)
(Transcribed by Freida Wells)
ELGIN- Tucked between
the rolling hills of far south central Chautauqua County, this small community of 139 once rattled with the sound of cowboys
herding cattle into a
bustling town and of trains taking those cattle to far-off markets.
Among the cowboys,
businessman and railroad men living in town, one resident had a claim to fame above all others- Rome Hanks, a cousin to Abraham
While Abraham Lincoln was said to belong to the ages, Rome Hanks belongs to Elgin. Margo Boulanger, a freelance
writer from Sedan who has researched Hanks life, said.
He left his mark on the town and Chautauqua County.
Lysurges (or Rome, as he was called) Hanks was born in Kentucky in 1821 and was related to Nancy Hanks, who was Lincolns mother.
His family later moved to Indiana, where he married Lorna. the couple moved to Knoxville, Iowa where Rome owned a livery
Rome received his first taste of combat during he Mexican War from 1846 to 1848. With the outbreak of the
civil War in 1861, he joined the 117th Iowa Infantry as a captain. the
first major battle he fought in April 1862 at Shiloh,
where his brother, Remus, a lieutenant in the regiment, was mortally wounded.
Before Remus died, it was said that
he called for Rome and told him about their mothers death and news of another brother Lucious, a Confederate soldier fighting
in a Tennessee regiment.
After the fighting at Shiloh was over, Rome net a friend he had made during the Mexican
War. Greeting him as Lt. Grant, Rome suddenly realized he was addressing Gen. Ulysses
Rome later was
seriously wounded and captured. He was sent to the infamous Confederate prisoner-of-war camp at Andersonville, Ga., where,
malnourished and surrounded by filth, his health became further broken.
After the war, he returned to Iowa. He then
confronted financial difficulties resulting from poor livery stable finances and a loan he gave someone that was never repaid.
His old friend Grant, who had been elected president in 1858, came to Romes rescue, however, Grant offered Rome the
position of postmaster in the new town of Elgin, which
Rome accepted. He arrived in Elgin in 1868 and built a log cabin
on top of a hill north of the town.
Lorna and their five children- four daughters and a son - joined him the next
year, but they reportedly broke out crying when the saw the primitive dwelling.
Despite the humble beginnings, Rome,
eventually became a major citizen of Elgin. Not only did he serve for a short time as postmaster, he also opened a trading
engaged in sheep ranching and in the time became a municipal judge and a justice of the peace.
daughter, Myrna, married Tom Beckham, who was hired to help at the trading post. They later moved to Sedan, where they operated
On one cold night in December of 1876, Rome was tending to his lambs when he caught pneumonia. A doctor
was summoned from Independence, but it was no use. Rome was buried in the Elgin Cemetery over looking the once-bustling city
where he spent his last years.
After Romes death. Lorna moved to Independence and opened a millenary shop. She died
at the age of 96. Now, Elgin residents report a trickle of visitors to the cemetery to see the marker of Rome Hanks, the cousin
of Abraham Lincoln.
(Taken from the Independence Daily Reporter, August 20, 1995)