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Early Settlers – Samuel and Julia Ann Eakin – Browns Grove Cemetery, Burdett, Pawnee County, Kansas

In 1877, Samuel made the decision to go west. He was not happy with what he saw in eastern Kansas so headed farther west. He purchased 160 acres in Marena Township, Hodgeman County, Kansas. The following year, the Eakin family arrived by railroad to Kinsley, Edwards County. They brought with them a team of horses, harnesses, a wagon, some machinery, and furniture.

Samuel Eakin was born in 1837 in Venango County, Pennsylvania. He was one of 13 children born to David and Rebecca Eakin. Julia Ann Atwell (b. 1841) became his wife in 1862. They were the parents of twelve children. Nine children were born in Pennsylvania and rode the train to Kinsley in 1878.

Four more children were born in Hodgeman/Pawnee Counties and the family faced all the hardships and deprivations of those early settlers. Unfortunately, Samuel contracted typhoid fever and died in 1888. Julia Ann was left with nine children at home all under the age of 21. Samuel's last request was for her was to keep the family together and continue what they had started – making a home for her and their children.

Three of Samuel and Julia’s children died before her death in 1928. Ella died in 1901 after suffering back and chest injuries when she was thrown from a horse. She was 17 years old. Ella married James Brady and gave birth to two sons. She contracted tuberculosis and suffered for many years. She died on January 9, 1901. Grandmother Julia took care of the young sons. Samuel and Julia’s third son, David was married and living in Idaho. He and his three sons were killed when their hay stacker came in contact with a power line.

Julia and Samuel share the same stone in Brown’s Grove Cemetery. At the time of her death in 1928, Julia had 29 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Personal Note: A collection of my stories from Ford County is available for purchase on Amazon. You can type in either Mary S. Schartz or If Headstones Could Talk. It has been my pleasure to share these stories with you.

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