Pictures of Alonzo and Susan: The tintype of Alonzo is dated 1878. The picture of Susan is marked 1886, and is the original. It was made available, along with several other items including the tintype, by Laura Jean Kolberg, nee Shanks, from material gathered by her mother Katherine Ellen Shanks, nee Ragle.
References are made in the text to Burns City, Indiana and to Kecksville, Indiana; these are the same community, with Kecksville being the earlier name. The Ragle family history is intertwined with that of the following families in Indiana: Wadsworth, Toon, Keck, Woodruff, Trueblood, and others; the connection with Trueblood, Woodruff and Keck extends to the farming days in Kansas.
Alonzo O. Ragle was born on June 16, 1837 in the Village of Sanford (later given a U. S. Postal Service Office and renamed Raglesville), Daviess County, Indiana and died on January 30, 1906 at his farm near Raglesville, Indiana. He was the sixth born of fourteen children of Peter Ragle and Margaret Ragle nee Wadsworth.
Susan Ellen Toon was born January 4, 1839 in Martin County, Indiana, and died in Toronto, Kansas on July 27, 1889 at the age of 51 yrs 6m, 23 days. She was the daughter of William Toon and Mary C. Toon, nee Edmonson. She and Alonzo were married on June 10, 1858.
The couple had 10 children. Birth records for these children are not available, as the State of Indiana did not begin keeping such records until much later, but on later census records (e.g. in Colorado for 1910) the birthplace for all is shown as the Raglesville area in Indiana.
Alonzo Ragle grew up in the settlement of Raglesville. Little is known about his childhood. His contemporaries in Raglesville would have been his brothers and sisters, together with Alfred and James Watt Ragle, sons of John and Eliza Ragle, but there were apparently several other families of Ragles in the general area. A younger brother, Nathan S. Ragle, was apparently very close in Alonzo's last years, and Alonzo named one of his sons after this brother.
Even less is known about the early life of Susan Toon. She was one of several children. Her oldest brother, Lucian Toon, married Rhoda Ragle, the 2-year older sister of Alonzo. Susans older sister Eliza married William Pate, and we have some record of this relationship in the form of a letter from Eliza to Susan and a "Letter Edged in Black" from W. W. Pate informing Alonzo and Susan of Elizas death on Nov. 21, 1876. At that time, W. W. Pate and Eliza Pate were living in Pleasant Hill, MO, about 25 miles SSE of Kansas City, MO, and about 100 miles NE of Yates Center, KS, in the neighborhood of which Alonzo and Susan lived a decade later. At the time of Elizas death, Alonzo and Susan Ragle were living on the farm near Burns City (Keck's Church):
A number of Ragles from the Raglesville area served in the Civil War, and when the Civil War threatened southern Indiana in 1862, Alonzo enlisted in the Indiana Volunteers. He was enrolled as a sergeant in the 80th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers. The "Captain Ragle" referred to on the muster card (appended) is Alonzo's older brother Jacob, born December 22, 1833, who had signed up the previous year, and who was given his own company, Co. K of the 80th regt. on September 3, 1862. The dates are important in context. Alonzo was accompanied around this time by Alfred, George W., and Nathan:
Alfred Ragle enlisted as a private, Co. C, 91st Reg. on Aug 7, 1862 for a period of 3 yrs at Russellville, KY. He was 28. Alfred was discharged Aug 10, 1863.
Alonzo Ragle enlisted as sergeant, Co. K, 80th Reg. on Aug 13, 1862 for a period of 3 yrs at Louisville, KY. He was 25. Alonzo was discharged Jan 28, 1863 with disability.
Geo. W. Ragle enlisted as a private, Co. I, 97th Reg. on Aug 22, 1862 at age 19 for a period of 3 yrs. He mustered out June 9, 1865 at Washington, D. C. (Card notated "Raigle" at bottom. This person joined at Linton, IN, which is about 15 miles NW of Raglesville. He is part of a family distantly related to ours. These Ragles also lived in Putnam Co. IN.)
Jacob Ragle enlisted as captain, Co. K, 80th Reg. on Sept 3, 1862 at age 27 for 3 years. He was discharged Oct 27, 1864 at Cedar Bluff, AL with disability.
Nathan Ragle enlisted as a private, Co. K, 80th Reg. on Aug 13, 1862 at age 18 for 3 years. He was promoted to corporal July 3, 1864, and mustered out June 22, 1865 at Salisbury, NC.
The action at Perryville, Kentucky which saw the end of Alonzo's military career occurred on October 8, 1862. It was the final consequence of General Bragg's shift of the Confederate Army of the Mississippi to southeast Tennessee to cooperate with General Edward Kirby Smith's army in an invasion of Kentucky. Bragg's plan was to rally Kentucky to the Confederacy, and at the same time to relieve the pressure of General Buell's Union army on Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first moves in this Confederate plan took place in the second week of August, 1862, at about the time that Alonzo enlisted. Perryville was an "accidental" battle, occurring when advance groups from both sides sought water in the long summer's drought. The brunt of action on the Union side was borne by a part of the force which consisted of a large number of new enlistees who had no experience whatever. One presumes that Alonzo's company was in this part of the battle. Although the Confederate troops on this flank overran the Union lines, the battle was not tactically a victory for either side. It was the turning point of the Confederate invasion of Kentucky, but whatever its global significance, Alonzo became seriously ill in the field, spent a period recuperating in hospital, and received a Medical Discharge dated January 28, 1863 at Louisville, Ky. A copy of The Adjutant General's Certificate of Discharge is included below, along with a copy of his muster card and other information about his enlistment into the Army.
Alonzo's occupation is listed as "farmer" on his muster card, consonant with the fact that his father Peter and his uncle John are both listed in Indiana land purchase records as having purchased farmland in the Raglesville area. A description of the Ragle farm is given in the material on Will (William Eugene) Ragle. According to histories of the churches in Martin Co., IN. the first Methodist Church at Burns City was built upon land donated by Alonzo and his younger brother Peter Ragle Jr. sometime around 1870-1874. The Church was known as DePauw Chapel. Aside from this, we know little of Alonzo's activities. Much of his time must have been occupied with the farm, but we know that he was active in local government.
This church was built on the donated land, an acre and a half, located two miles southwest of Kecksville. It was a substantial building, 40' x 60' in plan, completed in 1874. By 1889 the congregation had diminished and the building was torn down for salvage, the material used to construct a new building in Burns City.
Alonzo was granted a commission in Indiana as a Notary Public for Martin County for the term of four years from the 18th of March, 1881 (v.i.)
We know that many of the Ragle and Keck family were sick with tuberculosis during the interval between the end of the civil war and 1880. Alonzo's older brother, Jacob, and his wife Samantha Keck Ragle, together with most of their family, died prior to 1875 of TB, and both Logan Ragle and Margaret Ragle, children of this family, were taken in by Alonzo and Susan. Margaret did not survive, but Logan lived to accompany Alonzo on trips to Hot Springs, Colorado. Material in the obituary of Robert Lucian Ragle sustains this suggestion. According to notes taken by Gertrude Ragle Clayton and provided by Annice Clayton Crimmins, Logan recovered from TB, accompanied Alonzo and his family to Kansas, returned to marry in Chicago, then returned to Colorado in 1898. Logan Ragle died in 1953.
In the early 1880's Alonzo Ragle and his family moved from Indiana to Woodson County, Kansas. In the light of the Notary Public commission, this may seem rather sudden, but it is almost impossible not to conclude that Alonzo [along with many others] was "suckered in" to this move by overblown representations by railroad land developers. There is more to say about this move below. In an autobiographical sketch for the Kansas Historical Society, Algern Ragle dates the move as January, 1882.
Two or three small towns in this area figure in the discussion below: Toronto (in Woodson Co.) and Quincy (in Greenwood Co.) are in eastern Kansas about 75 miles from the Kansas-Missouri border, and are located near the Verdigris River south and north of the present US 54 midway between Yates Center and Eureka. Quincy is now essentially a ghost town, but at one time it was a rail stop on the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which ran directly through the town. To the north of Quincy is another small settlement, Virgil, mention of which occurs in newspaper records of Ragle activities.
Two quotes from Andreas' "History of Kansas" bear on the matter of the growth of small towns such as Toronto as it was related to the development of railroad coverage.
"The growth of Toronto, lying as it did in the extreme southwest of the county, with no railway as a feeder and no hopes of becoming the county seat, was very slow. In November, 1881, nearly twelve years after the founding of the town, it had but two stores and eight or ten dwellings. With the advent of the railway came a fresh tide of life, and before the close of 1882 more than eighty new buildings had been erected."and
"The industries now represented in the town briefly capitulated, will serve to show something of its value. They are: General stores, six; groceries, one; drug stores, one; hardware, one; hotels, two; physicians, two; real estate, two; meat markets, one; furniture, one; harness shops, two; millinery, two; restaurant, one; livery stables, two; lumber yards, two. Besides these are the mill and other industries more particularly described. No one looking over this statement and recalling the vegetarian state of the town a year ago, can fail to see that the place has a substantial future before it."
On March 4, 1882, Alonzo and Susan (of Martin County, Indiana) bought the NE quarter and the west half of Section 21, Twp 24 Range 14 of Woodson County. On October 8, 1885, Alonzo and Susan (now of Woodson County, Kansas) purchased the remaining quartersection, the SE quarter of Section 21, Twp 24S of Range 14E of Woodson County. The farm was located just north of the centerpoint of a line drawn connecting Virgil and Yates Center. We do not have records of the disposition of the Ragle farm near Kecksville, in Martin County, IN, but it was apparently done in such a way that Alonzo could re-occupy it after 1900. Martin County land records would clarify this matter.
The farm is described in a 20 page "Handbook of Woodson County, Kansas." Since this handbook includes a description of the 1882 purchase but not the 1885 purchase, we may conclude that it was written in that interval, and certainly before the farm's sale in 1888.
p. 10: " Two miles higher up the creek [the creek is "Turkey Creek," and the location is roughly ten miles northwest of Yates Center] is the 520 acre 'Longview' farm of Alonzo Ragle. It is mainly high, rolling prairie, with 200 acres in cultivation, and has buildings and fences worth $ 6000. Mr. Ragle purchased this handsome farm last year, in time to raise 6,000 bushels of corn and 600 bushels of oats, and to cut 50 tons of millet and 300 tons of hay. He keeps a herd of 500 graded sheep (a), 25 cattle and a good string of pigs; has a beautiful home, commanding extended and inspiring views of the surrounding country, hails from Indiana, is a number one man, and is greatly pleased with the country. Next on the south of Mr. Ragle is 'Fairview' the 240 acre prairie farm of Alfred A. Keck (b). He, too, is a newcomer from Indiana, and like his old friend and neighbor Ragle "
On the same page we read "Mr. James Trueblood, (c) an intelligent and liberal minded Hoosier, has an exceptionally rich bottom land farm of eighty acres, on the creek ["Duck Creek," a bit further to the west], "
(a) Alonzos "graded sheep" were Merino sheep, which produced a high-quality wool.
(b) One recalls the Indiana connections with the family of this name...e.g. Jacob Ragle, Alonzo's older brother, was married to Samantha Keck, Nancy Ragle, Alonzo's younger sister, was married to John Keck, Mary M. Ragle, another younger sister of Alonzo, was married to Henry Keck, etc.)
(c) Susannah Ragle, Alonzo's younger sister, married a James Trueblood and the couple went to the 'Indian Territory' in 1873, where they lived for 12 years then moved to Iowa. It seems very likely that this is the same person.
Within the area described above there were living (1) Alonzo
and Susan Ragle, (2) Alfred Keck and his wife Carrie Trueblood,
and (3) James Trueblood and his wife Susannah Ragle, Alonzo's
younger sister. Henry Trueblood was in the grocery business in
the nearby Yates Center. Carrie Trueblood was the daughter of
Margaret Ragle and Richard Trueblood, and Richard Trueblood was
the brother of Henry Trueblood. Abbie Trueblood, the daughter
of James and Susannah Trueblood, relates that "Henry Trueblood,
a nephew of my father, came through with the caravan from Indiana.
Henry Trueblood stopped in Yates Center, Kansas, and went into
the grocery business there and was very successful." A glance
at the 1870 Daviess Co. Census shows that all these individuals
lived within a few miles of each other in the northern part of
the county. So it seems that the environment offered at least
a good appearance of family support, and perhaps the move is not
as surprising as it might appear at first glance; the movement
westward was very much in the spirit of the times.
On February 10, 1888 Alonzo and Susan sold all of Section 21 Twp 24 Range 14E, 640 acres, to E. B. Rall. This sale signals a move to leave the farming business. Will Ragle recounts a natural disaster which may have played a role in this: "The Great 4th of July Hailstorm" in which many of Alonzo's merino sheep were killed. Another cause may have been impending changes in the tariff laws which precipitously lowered the selling price of fine wool:
William Lyne Wilson (1843 - 1900) was a spokesman for tariff reform in the administration of Grover Cleveland. His name is associated with the Wilson Tariff Act of 1894, the principle provision of which was to remove the import tariff on fine wool. Under this act, the price of fine wool plummeted from $ 0.20 per pound to $ 0.08. Alonzo would have lost considerable money as a consequence, had he still been in the business. Wilson was later the Postmaster General of the United States from 1895 to 1897, and inaugurated the Rural Free Delivery system.
The loss of sheep to a hailstorm was followed by another, most serious disaster. One of the children, Horace, came home with the measles, which swept through the entire family. Susan Ellen was a diabetic, and an infected foot stemming from the measles soon spread to gangrene in her leg. An attempt to save her life by amputation of the gangrenous limb was a failure, and she died on August 15, 1889. Her death is recorded as caused by blood poisoning, a "settling of the measles."
During the interval 1888-1893 there are records of a number of transactions involving lots in the town of Toronto. Toronto is a dozen miles southwest of Yates Center, and apparently Alonzo and Susan, as well as several of their children, had begun to invest in land in this growing community. Algern and Delia Ragle apparently lived in the Toronto area.
At this point there is a lengthy hiatus, doubtless beginning with the death of Susan Ragle on August 15. On November 5, 1892 Alonzo granted Power of Attorney to his son Algern. On this document, Alonzo lists his own address as El Paso County, Colorado, and Algern begins to sell off the properties accumulated in Toronto. The last of these transactions, in 1893, show Alonzo's address as El Paso County, Colorado. Delia Ragle, Algern's wife, bought a lot in the Hughs Addition to Toronto on 14 March, 1892, but this was not from Alonzo's holdings.
The Ragles also had a store in Quincy, Greenwood County, which was called "A. Ragle & Sons Dealers in General Merchandise." The store's letterhead is reproduced at the top of the first page, the original from a letter written by Nathan Shumate Ragle to his sister-in-law, Laura Hoover. After Susan's death, the youngest members of the family remained in the area until after Alonzo's death in 1906. The older boys stayed in the area or harvested, the young ones stayed with the older ones, and Alonzo returned to Martin County, Indiana, where he died. Jacob and Mary Jane Ragle later resided in Iola, but Mary Jane purchased a small parcel of land near Toronto in 1892, and the transaction gives her address as Toronto. Fred and Nathan, assisted by Will, stayed on in Quincy, KS to dispose of the inventory of the Ragle store. Apparently the Ragle farm near Kecksville/Burns City was re-acquired, at least in some measure, as one of the letters below refers to Mollie as carrying out the feeding and lighting the fires. A 1906 letter from Jacob to his wife Mary Jane also mentions her impending trip to the Indiana farm to can peaches. References to Ragles in the Virgil and Quincy area in the Eureka Herald continue to at least 1907.
Obituaries from the local newspapers are duplicated below, and one indicates that Alonzo had suffered from heart trouble for some time prior to his death. Alonzo Ragle was given a Masonic funeral in Burns City, Indiana, and Mollie accompanied his body to Toronto, Kansas, where he is buried with Susan Ellen and with Juanita, the infant daughter of Algern and Delia Ragle.
We know very little more than this about Alonzo's activities in the interval between 1889 and 1906. A single newspaper record shows him travelling to Hot Springs, Arkansas for his health in May, 1891. Some of the flavor of this interval may be gathered from the following set of letters written to his son Nathan Shumate Ragle between 1897 and 1905. The originals of these letters were provided by Elizabeth Ragle, daughter of Forrest Shumate Ragle, granddaughter of Nathan Shumate Ragle.
Letter A is from Nathan S. Ragle, brother of Alonzo O. Ragle, to his nephew and namesake Nathan Shumate Ragle. Letters B through F are from Alonzo Ragle to Nathan Shumate Ragle. See notes at end of document for further comment.
A: Letter dated Montgomery (a) Ind December 13, 1897
We are well hoping you the same I understand that you are in the minstery (b). I rejoice that my name sake is cauld to [called too?] that hie [high] cauling to spred the gospel to the lost and sin kurst world Nate I am in hope that you will be the insterments in the hands of god of bring meny soles at the foot of the Cross that tha may be saved in heaven and you will at the end of the rase resieve a star on your crown for ever one you bring in the folds of Criest - Nate I wish you wold com out on a viste and bring you famley and preach some for us My soninlaw (c) is runing a paper in Montgomery and your father and I want you to rite a good holey gost surman and send it to us and we will have it put in the paper and we will send you a copey I want to sho the paple that thare will be one Ragle that will be a shining star in the church The paple in this cuntry is [mearley..(I don't recognize this word--could it be "worldly?")] and backslid my self with the rest
I will close hoping to hear from you soon yours untill deth
N. S. Ragle (d)
(a) Montgomery, IN is a small settlement about 10 miles south-southwest of Raglesville, not to be confused with the county of the same name 100 miles to the north-northwest. See "Murphy," letter C.
(b )The younger Nathan Shumate Ragle graduated from Baker University, Baldwin City, KS in 1896.
(c) One possibility is the Mr. Wallace married to Ada Ragle.
(d) Nathan S. Ragle, b. 1847, d. Mar. 17, 1914. m. to Mary M. Carpenter, buried in Raglesville Cemetery. I have not seen his middle name spelled out, but presume that it is also Shumate, as he refers to the Reverend Nathan as his "namesake." According to family stories, Nathan Shumate was a well-known Methodist preacher of the era. I have not been able to find any record of him.
B: Letter dated 11th 29th 1897 (i.e. November 29, 1897) on the letterhead of:
James R. Peden & Co.
General Commission Merchants,
Game, Butter, Eggs, Poultry, Hides, Furs, Etc.
Kansas City, Mo.
Nathan dear son I am now at Nats in Elnory (a), Ind. I was so porley in KC. and I had no place to stay to have any comfort I thought I would visite hear this winter and maybe I would get stouter I have saw all the conection but Nancy (b) at Bloomington I will go their tomorrow[.] Brother Nate (c) is doing better than any of them Will Toon (d) next Mart Keller (e) is not doing much Pete (f )is hard upon is runing a Hotell I will visite a few days with Nancy at Bloomington will go back to Nats and stay with him this winter until Feb. then go south Write me at Montgomry (g) Ind
(a) Elnora was laid out September 25, 1885. There had been previously a postoffice and two or three stores on this site for some time. The postoffice was called Owl Prairie, but the hamlet was called Owltown. The PO name was officially changed on January 1, 1886. ("History of Knox and Daviess County, IN" by Goodspeed) Elnora is a few miles west-northwest of Raglesville. Apparently Alonzo was picking up his mail in Montgomery even though he was visiting Nat(e) in Elnora.
(b) Probably Nancy Keck nee Ragle, Alonzo's sister younger by about 2 years, who was married to John Keck.
(c) N. S. Ragle, b. 1847, d. Mar. 17, 1914. m. to Mary M. Carpenter. Buried in Raglesville Cemetery. I have not seen his middle name spelled out, but presume that it is also Shumate, as he refers to the Reverend Nathan as his "namesake." There are references to Nathan Shumate as a famous Methodist preacher.
(d) William Toon Sr. is the father of Susan Ellen Toon, born in 1783 in KY. His son William was born on March 29, 1844. Although some of the Toons lived past 100, this Will Toon is probably not Susan's father.
(e) There is no record of Kellers in the family tree, but a Mary Keller figures in the establishment of Depauw Chapel.
(f) Doubtless Alonzo's younger brother Peter, b. June 5, 1845, d. December 19, 1918, m. July 16, 1865 to Martha Trueblood. Martha is buried in Raglesville cemetery.
(g) Montgomery, IN is a small settlement about 10 miles south-southwest of Raglesville, not to be confused with the county of the same name 100 miles to the north-northwest. Nathan S. Ragle's letter (letter A) is marked Montgomery, Ind.. See "Murphy," letter C.
C: Letter dated Montgomry Ind Dec 13th 1897
Nathan dear son your resived To day I took diner with Murphy Him and Nate is not good frinds[.] about as not to be allways quarling Their old church is all tore up I have been all around John Toon (a) is still geting drunk 2 of his boys married fine strongs girls[.] Mart Keller is not doing much good Lush Toon (b) is still on the old place a breathing Henry Keck (c) is about broke up has 8 children at home and 4 in Chickago Dick Trublood (d) is verry poore Nancy (e) and John Keck are runing a bording house doing farley well Brother Pete has lost (f) his farms and is in Elnoria keeping borders
Brother Robert (g) has a hard time lost all his children but Heth and Marry (h) Nancy (g) has been helpless for 3 year W L Sturm (i) just about the same as when we left hear Burns City is quiet a place the church (j) is not doing any good dont have preaching regular have no members to keep it up Raglesvill in the same condition The people have lost confidence in Tom Wadsworth (k) and he dont preach much He is going from place to place making Popolis [this is probably Populist] speeches
It is damp and raining hear and has been for a week I am all most tired of the mud
My health is verry poore can hardley get about I thought if it would clear up and I got to feeling better I would go to John [not completely legible -- looks like "Birchs"] and spend a week I think Will and Fread have about run the store out (l) by what they write Bob (m) is still at Burdett Ks[.] I am to go south in Feb if well I long for Feb to com as I have better health south May the Lord bless you
Your loving father
(a) Presumably John G. Toon, born April 22, 1836, son of William and Mary Edmondson Toon.
(b) Presumably Lucian Toon, born October 26, 1830, son of William and Mary Edmondson Toon.
(c) Presumably Henry Keck, born 1847, son of Christian and Mary Keck, married to Mary M. Ragle.
(d) Presumably Richard Trueblood, born May 5, 1843, son of Jesse and Charlotte Trueblood, married to Margaret Ragle.
(e) Nancy Keck nee Ragle.
(f) I have no record telling why Peter Ragle may have lost his land.
(g) The reference is to Alonzo's older brother Robert Ragle, b. April 03, 1832, d. August 23, 1901, m. Nancy Richardson, b. November 14, 1834, d. April 18, 1898. The children to which Alonzo refers are: Hayden Hayes Ragle d. November 19, 1891; Nannie Ragle, d. August 02, 1891; Margaret Ragle, d. as a young unmarried woman, date unknown.
(h) Het and Marry: Hester (later Esther) and Mary M. Ragle, children of Robert Ragle and Nancy Ragle nee Richardson. Hester married James Wesley Trueblood on March 28, 1875, and Mary M. Ragle married George M. Stoy on July 4, 1888.
(i)This may refer to Lowrey Sturm, one of the participants in the establishment of DePauw Chapel.
(j) According to records, Alonzo and Peter gave land to the church in Burns City, and the church was originally called DePauw Chapel.
(k) I don't imagine this refers to Thomas Wadsworth, father of Margaret (Peggy) Wadsworth, but rather to a son or grandson of this particular Tom Wadsworth.
(l) see note (b) of letter C.
(m) This is Robert Lucian Ragle, b. August 20, 1873, d. May 06, 1950, m. March 06, 1899 to Clara Viola Garrison, b. March 28, 1877, d. July 25, 1955. Both are buried in Colorado Springs, CO.
D: Letter dated Elnora Ind 1st and 31st 1898 (i.e. January 31, 1898)
Nathan dear son yours received I am still at Elnora They have just closed their meeting 53 accessions They dont have meetings like they ust to have hear never heard a shout in the camps in the 4 weeks that they run They have a good preacher his name is Allan He read your sermon says you had good thought and had a bright future before you and I aught to be proud of you which I are My [prayer] is that you will suckseede.
Preach Christ and him crusifide I belive in the old time religion and want to see coverts able to tell what crist has done for them When a siner resives pardon he knows it and the preacher dont have to tell them He will tell it him self I not hear one of their 50 converts give god the praise I writen to Will (a) to get you a suite of close and to write you if he could do it He was to send me $25 this mounth has not don it yet and for him to give it to you if he could you write him and find out if he could do it and if sow you go up and get it I will try and help you son when I get my pension That is all I have got now
Will has about run through (b) with all the balents
I dont know when I will leave hear Have not heard from Peter (c) for some time
Yours A Ragle
(a) This must refer to William Eugene Ragle, son of Alonzo and Susan, b. November 25, 1866, d. February 06, 1944, m. Etta Catherine Black. Both are buried in Los Angeles, CA. They are the parents of Harold Eugene Ragle, M.D. who wrote a pamphlet on the Ragle family.
(b) As nearly as I can figure out, this must refer to selling off the inventory of the Ragle store in Quincy. There is another allusion to this in letter D.
(c) This is a peculiar statement: according to the 1900 census, Peter lived in Elnora. He must have been away for an extended period.
E: Letter dated [Rudy] Ark 5th and 8th 1898
Nathan S dear son
Since I heard from you I have saw lots of the country I staid som 3 weeks near the coast Taken a tripe on the water of the Gulf of Mexico to see if I could fight the Spanish on the Water I wish to be excused as it made me see sick Fread has enlisted in Co. C. 3. Reg. Mo. Vol. went to Jefferson Baracks yesterday Carrie write me that Horrace (a) has enlisted but she thinks he will be rejected I am afraide before it is ended we will have to fight prety near all urope My health is very poore am afraid I will have to give up my Job How are you geting along I have an old book that I got at Nats last winter one of old man Carpenters (b) 150 years old I aimed to send it to you It is a grand thing ] the writers metitations amoung the tombs would give you some ideas and [this is on a paper fold and is nearly illegible. It could be "son the Gospel Judgment"] is grand Write me soon
(a) It is possible that Horace Mann Ragle already had symptoms of the diabetes from which he suffered, although he was active in the Colorado National Guard somewhat later in life.
(b) This is probably the father of Mary M. Carpenter, the wife of Nathan S. Ragle the elder.
F: Letter dated: at Lush Toons 9 & 16 1900
Dear Children I have saw most of the Relations They are all well They have a fine corn crop hear but no wheate it has been very hot hear scince I got hear thermometer 100 My health is much better than when I left Colo Springs
The Rebulicans are jubliert Say they will carriy Ind by 25000 to 50000 vots Their is a big yellow spider spining webbs in different parts of the stats and spelling McKinley and Rosefelts names planley Their is several of them in Washington and Montgomery I distrusted untill I saw and was converted I am going to Nats to day write me at Montgomry Ind
I said at start that all is well Lushes Magn is just able to be on her feete She will not live long Rhoda says send her love to you Says she allways loved you I supose Nate is gone home by this time Did he get any stouter Write soon I will go to see Peter some time this week
G: Letter dated: Burns City Ind 12 and 4 1905 (i.e. December 4, 1905)
dear son N S your Thanksgiven leter resived I feel like it is the last thankgiven day that I will ever see in this life I am faling fast not able to be about Have hart trouble so bad that I cant scarsley be on my feete Molley (a) has to do the feeding and make fires My kidneys is hurting me moor than ever Pass moore than a quart of blood in 24 hours It has been cool hear for several day but warmer to day I would be glad to see you but we are far a part if we dont see each other any moore in this life I hoope to meete you whear we will never be sepprated in that sweete by and by I am trying to right The people hear are not like they ust to be most all for selfe The churches are not doing any good they are running a meeting at Raglesville but cant get a congeration have run fo 3 weeks and havent made a moave yet No members scarsley any moore
PS I got a leter from Will He says they are well but he never hears from any of his bros
His adress is [Leo?ie, I T] (b)
(a) " Molley" is doubtless Anna Mary (aka Mollie) Ragle, b. March 29, 1876, d. June 21, 1931, m. December 18, 1922 to Rollo Beach.
(b) "Indian Territory" later becomes Oklahoma. I don't find any particularly good match for the letters in Alonzo's post-script amongst the modern town names in OK. There is, however, a town in western Kansas called Leote.
From the Toronto, KS Republican, August 2, 1889, p. 3. col. 4.
"Died, at the family residence, in Toronto, Kas., Saturday, July 27, 1889, at 10 o'clock a.m., Mrs. A. Ragle, aged 51 years, 6 months and 23 days.
"Susan E. Ragle was the daughter of William and Mary Toon, and was born in Indiana January 4, 1838. She was united in marriage to her now bereaved husband, Alonzo Ragle, June 13, 1858. This was a happy union, and to them were born ten children, eight sons and two daughters, all of whom are still living except one son, who preceded her to the home of the blesed in his infancy. The family came to Kansas in 1882, and first settled in North township, Woodson county. In February, 1889, they removed to Toronto. Sister Ragle had many apreciative friencs, who regret very much to have her taken from hem by death. Her sickness began the last of February of this year. First she was taken with the measles, but recovering, erysipelas set in, from which she rallied; then rheumatism followed, whcih was the idmmediate cause of her death. She suffered much, but patiently. Everything was done that could be by a faithful companion, loving children and a sympathizing community, to relieve her suffering. She was a devoted Christian, and united with the ME church in her youth. During her illness she frequently expressed a strong desire to go home to heaven. At times her joy was so great that she frequently expressed herself as having had visions of her heavenly home. Her sweet Christian spirit was manifest to the closing hours. Our church has lost a good and true Christian, her children a devoted and loving mother, and brother Ragle an affectionate wife. They have the sympathy of the entire community. Her mortal remains were followed by a long procession to the Toronto cemetery, where they were deposited with appropriate services by the pastor of the M. E. church. MVR."
From The Odin Journal, Washington, Indiana, February 2, 1906.
"Alonzo Ragle died at his home Tuesday night at 11 o'clock. He had been to Loogootee that day enjoying as good health as usual. But on his return had an attack of heart trouble of which he had been a sufferer for sometime. His remains were shipped to Torronto [sic] Kansas for interrment. Funeral services conducted at the home place by Rev. Pryor, at 2 o'clock Wednesday.
"Mr. Ragle was well known in this locality and highly respected by all."
From the Yates Center News, Yates Center, KS, February 9, 1906.
"Mrs. Dr. Black and son of Madison came down Saturday morning to attend the funeral of Mr. Ragle.
"Will Ragle of Indian Territory, Jake Ragle of Iola, Robt. Ragle of Larned, Molly Ragle of Indiana, Nate Ragle and wife of Colorado, Horace Ragle and wife of Colorado Springs, Alger Ragle wife and three sons of Coffeyville attended the funeral of their father which was held here at the M. E. church Saturday mornng."
Alonzo is buried in Section B1 NE Row 28 Toronto Township Cemetery, Toronto, Kansas, together with Susan Ellen Toon Ragle and Juanita Ragle, the infant daughter of Algern and Delia Ragle.
JLR's notes on transcription from handwritten form.
(a) These letters are in pencil, mostly on poor quality paper. Some words are hard to read, especially at the folds, and where a questionable guess has been made the word or phrase in question is enclosed in [ ]. I think that most of my guesses are more or less reasonable.
(b) No attempt has been made to "clean up" the spelling or to put it into modern form. With a bit of study most of the obscure meanings become clear. Some of the misspelled words are also found in correct form elsewhere in the letters, and so one supposes that they are just accidents of casual letter-writing. The others reflect on the writer and give understanding to the details of his life.
(c) An attempt has been made to insert punctuation only where it materially aids the flow of reading. My interpolations are enclosed in [ ].