Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Daniel B. and Sarah (McLaughlin)McGinnis, brother William, sister Sarah (McGinnis)(Miller) Beatty , Wray

In 1860 Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Robert McGinnis 50, farming, and Joannah 48, have Susanna 23, Robert M. 18, William 15, Daniel B. 13 and Paulina Evina 8., all born in Pennsylvania.
In 1870 Alturas County, Idaho, Daniel, 27 and William 23 are stock raising. D. B. and Sarah arrived in Yuma County March 11, 1888.

In 1880 Union County, Iowa, D.B 33 and Sarah J. 32 have William D. 10, Iowa. Next household is W.E. McGinnis 35, Wusan 25, Mary A. 4, and Daisy R. 1.

In 1895 Cheyenne County, Kansas, Daniel McGinnis is 48, S. J. 45, both Pennsylvania, with Ben, 10, Iowa.

D.B. proved up 160 acres in sections 4 and 5, 1S 42W in 1896.

In 1900 Glendale precinct, Yuma County, Daniel , born Nov 1846 and Sarah J. Feb 1848, both Pennsylvania, have Benton W. May 1884 Iowa.
Among those pioneers who have taken a prominent part in developing the resources of Yuma county and promoting its prosperity, the subject of this brief sketch occupies a prominent position.

     Mr. McGinnis is a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, where he spent his boyhood days on a farm. In June 1867, he married Miss Sarah J. McLaughlin, an estimable lady who has made his home one of sunshine and happiness. On the following month the young couple left for Iowa, in which new state they decided to commence the battle of life. They engaged in farming pursuits in the Hawkeye State with gratifying success until 1885, when they sold their farm and moved to Nebraska, where they remained for three years. In 1888 Mr. McGinnis and family came to Colorado and located in Yuma county, where he filed on a homestead eleven miles from Wray. The land was good and under the energetic management of Mr. McGinnis it produced abundant crops of wheat, corn and other farm produce, yielding generous returns for the labor invested. After twelve years of unvarying success, reaping rich harvests year after year, the gentleman rented his farm and moved to Wray, having purchased twenty acres of valuable land immediately adjoining the eastern limits of the city. On this property he erected a most comfortable home, where he is enjoying the well earned rewards of an industrious and well spent life.

     But the active disposition of Mr. McGinnis would not brook idleness, and as a result of this industrious spirit he purchased the Valley Barn on Chief street, shortly after his arrival in Wray, three years ago. He conducted the livery business with marked success until last spring, when he sold the stock and leased the barn to Mr. Aten. Last year he sold his farm and it is intention to plat his land adjacent to Wray, as an addition to the city.

     Mr. McGinnis has two sons - W.D. and B.M. McGinnis - who, yet in the morning of manhood, are generously endowed with those industrious and energetic qualities which distinguish their respected father. W.D. McGinnis the elder of the sons, is now the efficient and popular clerk of Yuma county.

     Mr. McGinnis has great faith in the future of Wray and Yuma county and he contributes generously towards every movement calculated to promote their prosperity. The gentleman is well known in the county and he and his estimable wife and family well merit the general esteem in which they are held. Fraternally, the gentleman is an Odd Fellow, of which excellent order he has been a worthy member for fourteen years.

1917 Among the young men whose ability, energy and progressive qualities have won well merited recognition in Yuma county, W.D. McGinnis, the efficient county clerk, occupies a front rank.

     The gentleman, who is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. D.B. McGinnis, of Wray, is a native of Iowa, where he was born on September 26, 1869. Although raised on a farm, he received a liberal education, which he finished at Creston, in that state. In 1886 he accompanied his parents to Nebraska, where they remained two years and then moved to Colorado, locating in Yuma county. After spending a few years on the range, Mr. McGinnis obtained a homestead of 160 acres eight and one-half miles southeast of Wray, (Section 20, 1N 42W, in 1899)where he engaged in the cattle business. The energy and untiring industry with which he devoted his entire attention to this business were rewarded with a generous measure of success. In 1899, after six prosperous years, he sold his remaining cattle, rented his ranch and went into the livery business in Wray. In the campaign of 1901 he accepted the nomination for the office of county clerk on the Populist ticket, and went into the contest with his well known energy and determination. The prospect of success was not cheering, but after making a vigorous campaign, Mr. McGinnis' personal popularity won the day, and he was elected by two of a plurality in the three cornered battle. He and Miss Cunningham, the candidate for county superintendent of schools, were the only two Populist candidates who emerged triumphant from the avalanche of Republican ballots. After the election Mr. McGinnis sold his livery business preparatory to assuming his official duties on January 1, 1902. During the past two years the gentleman has made an enviable official record. He has applied to his duties as county clerk that energy, fidelity and integrity of purpose which marked his entire business career, while the ability he displays in discharging the trust imposed in him evokes general commendation. Those who visit his office on business are treated with the most genial courtesy, and it would be hard to find an official who has more thoroughly ingratiated himself into public favor than he. While Mr. McGinnis has always been consistent and honest in his political opinions, as he understood them, he has never been a bitter political partisan. Like many thousands of others who became Populists from honest convictions, he became weary of the vagaries and inconsistencies of the Populist leaders, and allied himself with the Republican party, on whose principles the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of the people seem to be founded. However, the gentleman displays no political bias in discharging his official duties faithfully and well, as a result of which he is exceedingly popular with all classes and conditions of our citizens, regardless of party ties.

     In 1902 Mr. McGinnis sold his ranch but he owns valuable property in the city of Wray. His residence, which is situated in the western part of the town, is fitted out with the modern comforts and conveniences while the spacious lawn, shade and ornamental trees, shrubbery and floral beauty surrounding it, indicate the refining influences that permeate the pretty home. In addition to this, he owns two valuable business lots and five desirable residence lots in the city.

     In September, 1893, Mr. McGinnis married Miss Alena May Shumaker, one of the accomplished daughters of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Shumaker, the happy union resulting in four interesting children, three of whom survive - two sons and a daughter.

     The popularity of Mr. McGinnis is not confined to his official life, because his admirable qualities as a kind neighbor and an enterprising, useful citizen receives general recognition. He has an abiding faith in the future of Wray and Yuma county, and every movement calculated to enhance their moral or material welfare receives his generous support. He and his estimable wife well merit the general esteem in which they are held in the community. Daniel Benton McGinnis 1846-1926 is buried in Wray , # 54234117.

William E. McGinnis 1844-1926 is buried in Wray # 55381664. "Son of Robert D. McGinnis and Johanna Wadsworth Husband of Susannah M. Shearer "


January 31, 1918
Margaret's husband George 1833-1895 is also buried in Creston # 17456849.

George W. McGinnis proved up a quarter in 28, 1N 42W in 1899.

George Washington McGinnis 1866-1938 and Mary Elizabeth (Edwards) McGinnis 1876-1953 are buried in Wray # 55381347.
So is son George Bryan McGinnis 1908-1956 # 55381812.

Anna Margaret (McGinnis) Fincher was born Aug. 30, 1903, in a dugout on the McGinnis farm south and east of Laird, Colo., to George Washington and Mary Elizabeth (Edward) McGinnis. She passed away on Sunday, March 5, 2000.
Anna attended the country schools near her home, Union Ridge being one of the schools. She completed her education at Wray High School, then attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley where she studied education. She graduated with a teaching certificate in 1920.
Anna then began teaching in small country schools in the tristate area of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. She finished her education in Greeley in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in Education.
Some of the schools she taught in were De Nova, south of Akron; Alvin, north of Laird; Vernon; Parks, Neb.; North Haigler; Fred Earl; Frank Wilson; Rosencran Ranch by Laird; Reed-Wages; North Laird; Sunny Sloop, Neb.; North Willow; Cement, north of Wray; Laird High School; Lohman, south of Vernon; Vanhorn, Kan.; Fisher, and Grossclose.  During the early part of the '20s and '30s Anna helped her parents make ends meet by sending her wages earned from teaching to keep the family farm going. While teaching in the Cement School, Anna met Oval Bryan Fincher. They were married Jan. 1, 1939, in Burlington, Colo. For a while Anna and Ob lived between Holyoke and Laird, Colo. They finally moved to Laird and bought a place south of Anna's birthplace in 1941. Ob and Anna helped Anna's mother farm after the death of Anna's father. Anna continued to teach until 1963 when she retired with 43 1/2 years of teaching in the tri-state area. Oval and Anna had no children but had a hand in the upbringing of many nephews, nieces and schoolchildren. They all were treated as their own. After retirement Anna helped her husband and brother manage the family farm as well as her own farm. She continued to live in her home until her health no longer permitted it. In October 1999, at the age of 96, she moved to Renotta Health Care Center in Wray. Some of Anna's memories told to her niece Edith were: As a child she loved to take her father a drink of water while he worked in the field with the horses; Anna had her money lost when the Drovers and Traders Bank of Haigler, Neb., closed its doors in the 1930s. Having to find a new place to live from the morning to evening hours of one day, Anna went to teach school in the morning and the people she boarded with were the Paul Wages family. One day Paul came down sick with cerebral meningitis. When she returned home that evening she found the home quarantined. She had to leave all her belongings and find a new place to live.  One March, Anna was caught in a blizzard at a country school for the night with four children with no food nor blankets. She said the children came to school that morning in shirtsleeves and by afternoon couldn't get home. They kept the fire stoked all night. There was a Christmas party at school one year and Anna couldn't figure out who Santa Claus was. She found out some time later that it was her husband. Anna's interests in life were reading, gardening, raising cattle and reading the history of people who came to this area to live. She tried to keep up with current events and loved taking car trips to see the countryside. Her most prized memento was a lifetime teaching certificate she received for having taught 43 1/2 years in the area. Anna was preceded in death by her parents; brothers: Joseph Howard, George Bryan and Samuel William McGinnis; her husband; a sister-in-law, Clara B. McGinnis, and nephews Robert Franklin McGinnis and George "Ike" W. McGinnis. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Lillie C. McGinnis; nephews: Howard Vern McGinnis and wife, Edith, of Laird, Larry Keith McGinnis and wife, Naomi, of Akron, Colo.; Herbert Dean McGinnis and wife, Loretta, of Wray, Donald G. McGinnis and wife. Connie, of Lincoln, Neb., and Ronald D. McGinnis and wife, Connie; nieces-in-law Joann McGinnis of California, Margaret and husband, Clyde Chandler, of Mesa, Ariz., Janet and husband, Jack Simmering, of Arizona, and Phyllis and husband, Howard Shafer, of Florida; many great-nephews and nieces, and great-great-nephews and nieces.
Funeral services for Anna Margaret Fincher were held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2000, at the Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray with Pastor Jim Hoganson officiating. Elaine Ford was the organist and Irma Sloniker the soloist. Escorts were Dean and Niels Lieuranee, Calvin Freehling, Jon Harouff, Dick Bentley and Lurie Love.

George O. McGinnis proved up 160 acres in 8, 1N 42W in 1912 - that was very near Laird, and late in claiming.

Anna McGinnis married Samuel Seward in Union County Iowa Januray 22, 1874.
In 1880 Union County, Iowa, Susan Miller is 44, widowed, with Joanna 18, Amanda 16, Robert P. 14, Hila A. 12, George Elmer 10, Frank E. 8, and Dora E. 5. The last three kids were born in Iowa, everyone else born in Pennsylvania.

Susan proved up a claim in 1909 in section 7 and 18, 2N 42W.

1911 "Married at the Methodist parsonage Tuesday September 26, Mr. John Beatty and Mrs. Susan Miller, both of Laird. Mr. Beatty came recently from Pennsylvania. Both parties are sixty-five years of age and have been old time acquaintances for many years. They will make their home in Wray."
1913 Laird "Prof C.W. Meadows has changed boarding place on account of the illnes of Mrs. Seward. He is now rooming at Mrs. John Beatty's and taking his meals t the Wade restaurnt."
Charles E. and Dora E. Miller had been married seven years when they and three children came from Union County, Iowa, to Yuma County in 1904. Their livestock and household goods were shipped by box car on the railroad from Creston, Iowa, to Laird. They farmed south of Laird for two years before moving to a homestead north of Laird where they lived for 3 years. In 1908, the family moved to Laird where they oper-ated the Miller Hotel and a meat market for the next 5 years. They are best known for the popular hotel and restaurant which they owned and operated in St. Francis, Kansas, for the next 30 years. Mr. and Mrs. Miller retired in 1944 and three years later celebrated their golden wedding with an open house for friends and family. In 1912, a son Eldon was born, who lost his life in an automobile accident in 1944. Mr. Miller died in 1953 and Mrs. Miller in 1963. Both were members of the First Christian Church of St. Francis. A son, Herman Miller, and wife Garnet live in St. Francis. He served as book-keeper, assistant cashier, cashier and president of the Cheyenne County State Bank during the years before his retirement in 1971 A daughter, Grace, and husband, Charles Eaton, reside in Medford, Oregon Their second daughter, Beatrice, and her husband, C. L. Baxter, live in Benkelman, Nebraska.

Robert Pierce Miller was a young man in his 20's when he accompanied his uncle, Daniel B. McGinnis, to Colorado from Creston, Iowa, in 1892. Mr, McGinnis was a horse trader which, for those times, was comparable to a car dealer because of the mode of transportation. Pierce made his home with another uncle, W. E. McGinnis, at Laird until his marriage to Laura Jane Rife. Their wedding occurred 20 April, 1897, at the home of her parents, the Simon Rites, who lived northwest of Laird (known in 1978 as the Bradshaw Ranch). The Laird community was home for 20 years before the family moved to the Miller Ranch, two miles east of Wray in 1917 for another 20 years. One early home was the homestead site 4/2 miles north of Laird where the tree lane entrance still stands. This land adjoined that of his mother, Susan McGinnis Miller, and of his sister and her family, the Charles Millers, who later moved to St. Francis, Kansas. Mr. Miller was among the first of the early settlers to build a dam for irrigation — on an acreage east of Laird. Part of this land was later sold to the Laird school district for the location of a new school. The building is now used as a community center. The couple participated in community activities and news accounts of the day list them as fair winners in grain, vegetables, poultry and handwork. Children born to them, included Charles Elvert, who married Grace Whissen and later moved to Ft. Morgan where he died in 1972, and Frank G. who married Eula Patchen and lives in Wray. Nellie is the widow of Roscoe Bullard and Archie lives with his wife, Alta McCoy, on the Johnson place adjoining Wray. Each had two children. Mr. Miller was a race-horse fan and many summers found him on the race cir-cuit with a winning horse. A race track was always a part of every Miller farm and was enjoyed, too, by the four children and their saddle horses. Mrs. Miller was a kind neighbor and befriended many in need of help. She was often called upon to care for a new babe, born at home during the night. She was a good cook and hospitality was extended generously to those who came to "their house by the side of the road". She died in December, 1936, at the age of 60 years. Her husband later moved to Ft. Morgan where he died in November, 1946, at the age of 80 years. Both are buried in Grandview Cemetery at Wray.
Susannah (McGinnis) Miller 1836-1920 is buried in Union County # 17457188.
So is William Miller, Sr, dying 1880, age 44 years # 17457190.
March 21, 1919

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