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PLAINVIEW TIMES, 17 March 1932

Matt Clarkson, (Mathew Flint Clarkson), an old pioneer of Kansas, passed away Thursday night, March 17th, 1932, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Richmond in Codell, (Rooks County) Kansas, where he has been making his home for some time.

Mr. Clarkson came to Kansas from (Bath) New York, before he was 20 years old. His exact age seems to be unknown. (Born May 10, 1850) He hunted buffalo, in company with his brothers, George and Charles, until 1876. Their firm, known as the Clarkson Brothers, at one time had between 10,000 and 11,000 buffalo hides at a camp on Ladder creek, southeast of old Fort Wallace. The average daily "kill" of buffalo was 150 head. Mr. Clarkson was in Rome (Ellis County) in 1866 and a year later he came to Hays (Ellis County), the newly established town that brought about the quick decline of Rome. After the R. R. Co. built a high grade west of the railroad bridge across big creek, a plague of cholera that wiped out nearly one-half of Rome’s population and put a finishing touch on the town whose founders had planned to make it the metropolis of western Kansas.

From then on, all buffalo hunters, soldiers, Indians, cowboys, bushwhackers, and plainsmen made Hays their headquarters. There were but few wells in Hays because it was a difficult task digging down to water. One summer the water in a well near a saloon, where the Cowan Produce Store now stands had a very bad odor. Still, people continued to use it, until the odor became so bad they decided to investigate. They found the body of a man at the bottom of the well. Who he was or in what manner he met his death remains a mystery yet.

Mr. Matt Clarkson told the above, trusting some day it would be published. He formerly owned a farm on the Saline river in the northeast part of Ellis County Kansas. His funeral was held in the Baptist church in Codell, Friday at 3:00 P. M., March 18th, 1932, conducted by Rev. A. S. Gwinn, pastor and the body taken to Fairport, (Russell County), Kansas and laid beside that of his wife, who preceded him in death many years; who was before marriage, Miss Palmyra Davis of near Paradise, Kansas. Mr. Clarkson had two brothers; Charles deceased, and George who lives at Larned, (Pawnee County), Kansas.

Note: ( ) Information added by Mr. Clarkson’s great granddaughter, Janice L. (Simpson) Reading.
Transcribed and Contributed by Jan Reading

Last Updated:  Thursday, April 18, 2002 19:59:39

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