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Rev. Charles and Sarah Wardell Sturdevant – Larned Cemetery, Pawnee, Kansas

Updated: Apr 3, 2021


Rev. Charles Sturdevant was born in 1807 in Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of seven children born to Stephen and Sarah Tash Sturdevant. Charles graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a degree in theology. This degree led him to his life’s work as a Presbyterian minister. Rev. Sturdevant spent the next several years preaching at various places in Indiana.


Sarah Wardell was born in Indiana in 1812, two months before the War of 1812. “Her mother, Maria H. Pike, was the daughter of Col. Zebulon Pike, a Revolutionary hero. Her mother’s brother was Lieut. Zebulon Pike, the discoverer of Pike’s Peak in Colorado.” 1 This would make Sarah the niece of Lt. Zebulon Pike (Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs is named after him).


Sarah and were united in marriage on May 24, 1835 in Indiana. The couple was blessed with four children. In 1865, the family moved to Independence, Missouri where the Rev. was the president of a female college. Charles and Sarah accompanied their three children to Pawnee County in 1870 where Charles continued to preach at various churches in the area.


Charles passed away in 1888. Sarah died on her 97th birthday. Both are buried alongside their two married daughters in Larned Cemetery. Charles, their son, served in the Civil War. He was married while living in Larned and his buried in Alva, Oklahoma.


1 Larned Chronoscope 15 Apr 1909 pg. 1

Note: Charles’ line of Sturdevant has been traced back to the birth of William in 1650 in Connecticut.


Note: The War of 1812 was fought between the US and Great Britain from 1812-1814. During this war, the British burned the President’s House (later called the White House).


Personal Note: I started this column back in May 2020 with my first story in the Spearville News. I did not have any idea how it would be received. Thank you for your readership. I added the Edwards Sentinel in August and the Jetmore Republican in September. I will be writing my second article for the Larned Tiller and Toiler. As of this article, I have written approximately 100 stories. I added a blog this past summer where you can read those stories from other newspapers. I am working on a design where you can see all my published stories.


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