Sunday, May 12, 2013

Beaumont Cemetery

Beaumont cemetery is one of two cemeteries in Beaumont, Kansas. It lies at the northeast corner of the city on the north side of Highway 400. The cemetery is perhaps an acre in size. It is the resting place for almost 200 souls. (Beverly Horner has recorded the names of 194 individuals in the Beaumont Cemetery. See

The cemetery serves the pioneer families who settled Butler County near the headwaters of the Little Walnut River. This includes the townships of Glencoe and Hickory and the city of Beaumont. Included in those families are the ancestors of Robert and James Van Huss and their extended families. Other families include the Phillips, Edgars, Ferrells, Wassons, Northingtons, Axtells, Burrises, and Robinsons, to name but a few.

The date of the cemetery's opening is unknown, but early tombstones include  Elizabeth Wails (died January 8, 1887, age 56, 4 months, 21 days)  and Thomas Wails, (died December 17, 1887, age 59, 4 days). *

Thomas Wails, Beaumont Cemetery, died 1887

Settlement of Butler County and the Walnut River Valley began as early as the 1850's, but title to land was always uncertain until the final removal of the Osage and other tribes, which did not take place until the early 1870's. ** The historic Beaumont Hotel was built in 1879, and previous to that the location served as a stagecoach stop for the route between Fredonia and Wichita, Kansas. The post office came to Beaumont in 1880. And in 1885, the Frisco railroad come to town, connecting St. Louis to the east and Wichita to the west. Beaumont served as a refueling and service center. Its location at the top of the climb though the Flint Hills and Greenwood County making it ideal.

If cemeteries could speak they would reveal countless tales of heartbreak and sadness. For instance, there is the headstone of Orville and Mary Northington. Orville lived from 1889 until 1969. His wife Mary Kellie from 1890 until 1967. Next to their beautiful granite headstone are three well-preserved concrete headstones marking the deaths of Clara Northington, born May 15, 1934, died May 19, 1934; Irene, born November 25, 1931, died July 22, 1934, and; Oliver, born September 1930, died January 1932. Their stories are lost to time, but it is well to remember that Kansas in the 1930's was a decade of drought and dust storms.

Clara, Irene, and Oliver Northington, Beaumont Cemetery

*William Thomas Wails had at least one daughter, Mary Ann Wails (1883 - 1962).  She was born in Beaumont, Kansas, USA on 1883 to William Thomas Wails and Lettie Jane Mead. Mary Ann married John Oscar Strader and had 8 children.

** The Osage Indian settlements in southeast Kansas were primarily in Montgomery County, near present day Independence. However, the Osage Indians crossed Butler county in a well marked trail on their way to hunt the plains buffalo. Read more about the Indian Reserves in Kansas.

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