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Early Settlers – John A. and Mary Anna Pound Torline – Holy Cross Cemetery, Windthorst, Ford, Kansas


They are 51 headstones in Ford County with the surname of Torline with 35 of those in Holy Cross Cemetery alone. The oldest of those belong to John A. and Mary Anna Torline.


The Torline story begins with Bernard H. Torline and his wife Mary Adelaide Grimme leaving their home in Hanover, Germany, and emigrating to America in 1836. They settled in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. They did not stay very long as they moved to Indiana where John Albert Torline was born in 1844. He had four sisters and two brothers.


At some point, John moved back to Cincinnati and married Mary Anna Pund on October 21, 1869. She was born in Cincinnati and was 23 years old at the time of their marriage. Five of their 11 children were born in Cincinnati.


John was one of the 12 men who traveled to Larned, Kansas in 1877 to sign an agreement with the Santa Fe Railroad. The railroad offered 10 sections of land which could be bought for $10/acre and donated 80 acres for a townsite. Each of the men could buy 80 acres and one parcel would be set aside for the church, school, and cemetery.

However, John did come immediately with the original group. His family arrived in the spring of 1878. They took the train to Offerle and then loaded everything into a wagon and settled in Wheatland Twp. in Ford County.


The family first lived in a dugout while they saved their money to build a frame house which they eventually did. As with other early settlers, they faced grasshoppers, drought, blizzards, and prairie fires. On a November day in 1880, John was attempting to plow furrows to build fire break to save his home and pasture. The wind changed and before he could react, the fire surrounded him and his team of mules. The mules and John suffered severe burns.

While John was in Dodge City attending a county commissioner's meeting, the infamous blizzard of 1886 struck southwest Kansas. Mary Anna and the children were at home. They burned their supply of coal and corn cobs to stay warm.


Two of their children preceded John and Mary Anna in death. An infant passed away while living in Cincinnati. Their youngest son, Joseph, was kicked by a horse and passed away in 1898.


Mary Anna died in 1910 and John followed in 1918. He was 73 years old. They are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery with six of their children, spouses, and many grandchildren.

Note: In researching headstones in Holy Cross Cemetery, there is always a mention of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, or Kenton, Covington County, Kentucky. On a map, these cities are a short two miles apart.


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