Kit Carson County, Colorado

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Kit Carson County Pioneers:

Burt and Adella (Austin) Ragan, half-brother John A. and Ellen Ragan, 6 South 44 West

In Keokuk Couny, Iowa "RAGAN, W. A. H., farmer, Sec. 20. P. O. Lancaster; born in Pennsylvania, March 16, 1813; there he was raised and educated in the common schools of that State; in 1851 he came to Iowa and located in Washington county; after remaining there for three years he came to Lancaster and settled on Sec. 31, where Mr. Eldridge now lives; he remained there about ten years and came upon his present farm in 1869; he owns two hundred acres of land, the most of which he has made himself by hard, honest toil; has held the office of constable; February 9, 1843, he married Miss Catharine Grim, a native of Pennsylvania; have nine children: Collin B., John J., Geo. W., Mary J., Theodore, Philip, Louisa, William, Edmond, and Joseph Grant; lost one: Sarah."

One post "Burt Ragan born 31 March 1868 in Lancaster, Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Collin B. Ragan and Katherine (unknown). Burt's mother died when he was 4 years old so Burt went to live with his grandparents William A. H. and Catherine (Grim) Ragan."

Collin B. Ragan 1844-1928 and Mary Ann Ragan 1858-1916 share a tombstone in Pennington Cemetery, Keokuk County. "Many years ago when Justice Henry F. Wagner of the Iowa Supreme court was a young attorney in Sigourney he promised Collin B, Ragan that he would deliver the Masonic oration at his grave. Mr. Ragan, a Civil war veteran, passed away at his home here Tuesday. Judge Wagner came here this afternoon to attend the funeral of his friend and deliver the oration. H. A. Gardner, Mrs. Ml. K. Xordurtt and Mrs. Francis McAndrews assisting."

In 1880 Ford County, Illinois, Adella Austin is 7, with James 31 and Anna 27, and Frank, 5.
(James and Anna are in Fort Morgan, Colorado in 1900 through 1930 census records, and Frank is there - when registering for WWI he was a janitor for the high school.)

In 1899 the Yount diary said "Feb 13 - Burt Ragan here to get his mail. He got a telegram from the Republican Cattle Co to take charge of the -T ranch at once. "
William Yale, born in 1882, wrote "When thirteen years of age I started riding for the Bar-T Ranch, and worked there for a number of years. Burt Ragan was foreman at that time, and we had about one thousand head of cattle on the range then. "

In 1900 Kit Carson County, Burt Ragan, born March 1868 in Iowa, married eight years to Adella E. August 1873 Illinois, have Cora A. April 1895, Ethel A. May 1898, and Burt M. August 1899 all three born in Colorado.
1905 "H.W. Critis has the contract to build an eight room stone house for Bert Ragan of Landsman."
Burt cash-claimed a quarter in 23, 6S 45W in 1892, proved up 150 acres in section 2 in 1896.

1905 a Chicago newspaper wrote "Burt Ragan of Landsman, Colorado, a well known cattle and hog raiser, informs the writer that he has fed hogs through the winter on third crop alfalfa and brought them out in the spring in good condition. "
Burt cash-claimed 30 acres in section 1 in 1911.
In 1917 Burt Ragan was vice-president of the First State Bank of Idalia, COlorado.

Burt M. Ragan married Tressa L. Swim on August 10, 1921, recorded in Kit Carson COunty.

Burt Ragan married Mrs. Mary L. Nees on March 17, 1926, recorded in Cheyenne County.

Burt Ragan 1868-1954 is buried in Burlington, # 89639682, with Adella 1873-1920 # 89639644.

Burt Ragan, 86, a resident of the Burlington community for 69 years, passed away at the Memorial hospital Friday, Nov. 19, about 8:10 p.m. Mr. Ragan, who had been in failing health for several months, had been admitted to the hospital Friday afternoon. At one time, Mr. Ragan was one of the community's outstanding businessmen, stockmen, political leaders, having a wide acquaintance throughout the state. Mr. Ragan's public service dates back to the year 1899, when he was elected to a county office. His residence here antedates the construction of the Rock Island railroad in this region. At 17 years of age, he walked into Colorado to the Bar T Ranch from Oberlin, Kan. He was one of the few true pioneers of eastern Colorado remaining. Burt was the son of Collin and Kathrine Ragan, who resided in Lancaster, Ia. He was born March 31, 1868. Because of the death of his mother when he was four years old, he made his home with his grandparents, W.A.H. and Catherine Ragan. When 16 years of age, he came by horseback to Oberlin, Kan. The next year he walked to Colorado. Soon he progressed to leadership positions of responsibility, and continued advancement for more than 60 years.
He was confined to his home for the past seven years. Mr. Ragan became the foreman of what was at that time the largest ranch in eastern Colorado. His ambition prompted him to attend the Franklin academy, Franklin, Neb., for two winter terms of four months each. There were no fences across eastern Colorado prairies at that time, and very few settlers between the range and ranch of the Republican Cattle company. There were only trails for travel across the prairies. Mr. Ragan did freighting from Haigler, Neb., to the river the first winter that he was in Colorado, hauling food-stuffs and building materials. Mr. Ragan was married to Adella Austin, March 18, 1892, in Friend, Colo. Of the nine children born to this union, three sons died in infancy. Two daughters, Mrs. Cora Abbott and Mrs. Ethel Stokes, also preceded him, as did a brother, Laurie. Mrs. Ragan died in 1920. On March 17, 1926, Mr. Ragan was united in marriage to Mary L. Nees, in Cheyenne Wells. They came to Burlington in 1931. In the fall of 1899, Mr. Ragan was elected to the office of county clerk and recorder of Kit Carson county, and resigned his position with the Republican Cattle company to take over this new work. He served one term in this office. In 1903 he was selected as assistant postmaster of Burlington. He served in this capacity for one year, then returned to his ranch home on the Republican river and again took up the life of a cattleman for about eight years. He then became identified with the Stock Growers State Bank, where he worked for 16 1/2 years.
He sold his interests in the bank in the spring of 1929, and became interested in writing insurance and land brokerage. The many friends that were associated with Mr. Ragan because of business transactions and knowing of his unusual ability in the understanding of the many needs of this section of the state, decided he was needed in the state senate. He was elected to that office in 1934 and re-elected in 1938, serving two four year terms. Because of age and other interests, he refused to run for a third term.
Mr. Ragan was initiated into the Masonic Lodge No. 77, A.F. and A.M., of Burlington in 1904. He had advanced to the 32nd degree. He was presented a 50 year pin a few weeks ago. When health permitted, he was a worshipper in the Christian church. His church faith was the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. Those who morn his passing are his beloved wife; two sons and two daughters, Burt M. Ragan, of Portland, Ore., Mrs. Lila D. Rule, Norton, Kan., Homer Ragan and Mrs. Vivian Kiefer, Burlington. Twelve grandchildren also survive, including Mrs. Helen Stokes Nelson, who made her home with her grandparents until she attained young womanhood; nine great grandchildren, one half brother, Samuel C. Ragan, Grinnell, Ia., a half sister, of Newton, Ia., six step children, and many other relatives.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 23, at the Hendricks mortuary in Burlington, Rev. Lloyd M. Green, pastor of the Christian church, officiating. Musical numbers were provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Hendricks, accompanied by Mrs. Sue Cason at the organ. Pall bearers were Bob Shamburg, John Richards, John Guthrie, Gordon Hitchcock, Chet Robinson, Henry Hoskin. Burial was in Fairview cemetery in charge of the Masonic lodge.

William A. J. Goodin proved up 160 acres in 30, 3S 47W in 1925.  Maybe he's the W.A.J. Gooden, son of John and Jane Gooden in Mercer County, Missouri in 1860.  W.A.J. is 5, John 27, Jane 23.

Jane Ragan was 20 in 1860, with John 66 and Anna 58 in Jasper County, Missouri,

In 1880 Frontier County, Nebraska, Washington Goodin is 48, Jane C. is 43.  They have William A.J. 23, Pollie S.  17, Delphia A. 15, John O.R. 12, Striclar 10, Flora V. 7.  Also with them is grand-daughter Floar A. Donaldson 4, Elmer Goodin 21 son, and Orson Ragan 22, nephew.

John and Jane are in Franklin County, Nebraska in 1900 - just like Nancy

Vivian Gwendolyn (Ragan) Kiefer, born June 13, 1914 to Burt and Adella Ragan in their home in Burlington, Colorado, was called home by the Lord to her heavenly home on April 7, 2009 at Grace Manor Care Center. Vivian was a very active young girl. She was in all the scholastic activities, and especially proud to be in Drama and Rainbow Girls.
She married Fred J. Kiefer on August 4, 1935. To this union six children were born; Garry Max, Virginia Kaleen, Terrance Jay, Sheryl LaVona, Katholyn Fredell and Billy Tim. Vivian kept busy with her children organizing the Sunshine 4-H club. She was active in the Rebecca Lodge, Eastern Star, and Farm Bureau, Past Nobel Grand, Garden Club, Church choir and Ladies Aid Society. She made sure that her children were active in 4-H, rainbow girls and raising large gardens. She also helped raise two nieces and many foster children.
She spearheaded a campaign to the county commissioners to create the Bus for Us , (She even drove the bus). This later evolved into what is now the city public transportation bus. Along with Fred, they started the Senior Citizens Center in Burlington. She organized the Senior Citizens Kitchen Band , and traveled to facilities in the Tri-State area to perform.
During the years she performed at many group gatherings, singing and reciting poems by memory, many times in costume.
Children and family were very important to her. Any day could be deemed a holiday and granted a big dinner and family gathering, especially if someone came home to visit from far away.
Grandmother to everyone in town, Vivian always welcomed in-laws, out-laws, ex's and friends to dinners and family events.
She started a group called the Walkie Talkies when she decided she needed more exercise.
During the first years of married life, she raised their children on the farm. Then moved to town for high school education for her children, moving back to the home she was born in, living there until she reached 90 years old. At that time she moved to assisted living. Due to health issues, she moved to Grace Manor Care Center where she spent her remaining years.
Vivian is survived by her six children and their spouses, 37 grandchildren, 88 great grandchildren, 38 great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by other family members that include Leonard Smith, Grace Mahaffey, Margie Jones, Curtis Johnson and Darryll Tyrrell.
Funeral services for Vivian were held on Tuesday, April 14 at 10:30 AM at the First Christian Church in Burlington with Pastor John Wrench officiating. Burial followed in the Fairview Cemetery in Burlington. Visitation was held on Monday, April 13, 2009 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Love Funeral Home in Burlington.
Memorials may be made in Vivian's name to the First Christian Church and may be left at the Bank of Burlington, Burlington, Colorado.



In 1900 Collin Ragan is in Keokuk County, Iowa, born January 1844 in Pennsylvania, married 21 years to Mary Feb 1860 Iowa. Catherine Oct 1879 Kansas, John A. May 1884 Nebraska, Harrison E. 15, Kansas, Patrick O . 12 Kansas, Samuel 5 Iowa and newborn Gracie N. , Iowa.
In 1910 Keokuk County, Collin is 66, Mary A. 50, Arthur 27, Harry O., 25, Patrick O. 22, Samuel 14, and Gracie 10 - this census says the last four were born in Kansas.
John A. Ragan married Helen Welsch in Keokuk County on May 31, 1916.
Helen Catherine Welsch was born March 13, 1896 in Keokuk County to John Nicholas Welsch of Keokuk and Mary ?? Butler, both born in Keokuk County.
John Welsch was a blacksmith in Sigourney township, Keokuk County.
In 1900 Keokuk County, John "Welch" born January 1860, married nine years to Mary Sept 1868, both born in Iowa, have James D. April 1894, and Helelen C. March 1896, both Iowa.
John died in 1907, and is buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Keokuk County. # 9614464. Mary Francis Welsch 1868-1951 # 9614466 is also buried there, on the same stone as Tot Butler Beard 1875-1964. Tot was her sister.

Helen's grandmother :

Mrs. James Butler , a descendant of a long line of pioneers of Virginia and KEntucky was born in Indiana on April 23, 1837
At five years of age her family moved to Keokuk IA . SHe was made an orphan when seven years old. In 1855 she moved to Sigourney Iowa, making her home with a grandmother
On Sept 56, 1860 she was joined in wedlock to James BUTLER who precaeded her in death nine years. To this union were born four daughters and one son. THe oldest daugher Lizzie passed away in 1883. There are left to mourn this sweetest of mothers. Etta of Minneapolis and Mary , Craig and Tot of Sigourney.
There are also three great grandchildren and seven grandchildren: Verle, Dwight and craig, Roy and Helen, Dale and Garnet Welsch, and Neal BUTLER. Garnet of thse remained ;with her gfrandmother and cared for her during the last year of her life.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 pm Saturday in the Reynolds Funeral chapel for Craig BUTLER, aged 80, who passed away at his home in Sigourney at 6:15 Thursday, after a lingering illness. The Rev. RM Hall pastor of the Christian church was in charge and burial was in Plesant Grove cemetery.
He was born March 22, 1871, the son of James and Helen Anderson BUTLER. On July 4, 1901 he was married to Jessie THOMPSON of Sigourney. They farmed north of Sigourney until 11 years ago when his health failed and they moved to Sigourney. Since coming to town he served as caretaker of Legion Park and was court bailiff for the Keokuk county jurors for several years.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mrs. Mary Welsch of Cedar Rapids, who died several months ago. He is survived by his wife, a son, Neal. of Caseyville, IL two sisters, Tot BEARD of Cedar Rapids and Etta COY of Minneapolis, Minn and two grandchildren, Marilyn and Neal Jr.
John Arthur Ragan registered for WWI with an address of Hermes, Colorado, born April 14, 1883, with Helen Catherine Ragan.

John A. 36, born in Kansas, is in Kit Carson County in 1920, with Helen C. 23 Iowa.

John R. Ragan proved up 240 acres in section 1, 6S 45W in 1922.
John stock-claimed 326 acres in 31, 5 1/2 S 44W, and 5, 6S 44W in 1923.
In 1930 Kit Carson County, John A. is 46, Nebraska, with Helen 34 Iowa.
In 1940 Kit Carson County, John is a dairyman, and he and Helen are still alone.

John Arthur Ragan 1883-1948 is buried in Burlington # 89640194.

Homer Ragan and Bernice Ragan divorced in 1938 in Kit Carson County.

Samuel Ragan 1895-1976 obituary said he was the son of Colline B and Mary Jane Jacobs Ragan, born in Harper Iow March 28, 1895..preceded in death by brothers Harry Arthur Ragan and Patrick Ragan, two sisters - Mrs. Kathryn Utterback and Mrs. Grace Rogers, and one half-brother, Burt Ragan.


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