Some descendants of Samuel Maddox of Wales and Maryland made their way to the mining town of Weir in Cherokee County Ks.
The original Kansas Maddox homestead was in about 1871 on
land that they bought from the railroad that was Arnold Maddox and his son
Samuel R Maddox they had back to back. Arnold's nephew, Christian
William Maddox had a parcel of land just to the east. They had all
moved down from Appanoose County Iowa from the towns of Cincinnati and
That part of Iowa, as in Southeast KS around Weir, was all coal
mining. These Maddox's all seem to farm as well as mine even going back to before Iowa and Ohio days; there had been farming and mining.
grandfather Samuel Everett Maddox made his living from the coal in Cherokee
County Kansas and as he got older he
operated a steam shovel and still later he operated a gasoline powered shovel
with the name of Patti.
They were dark and cold places underground and the work was hard. It was also dangerous.
Samuel R lost a son
Arnold to the coal mines. Arnold operated the cage at one of the mines that took miners down and back to the surface.
The detailed Mining Accident Report". said there was a misunderstanding about moving the cage he was operating, and he fell to the bottom of the shaft (at right, a cage on display.)
My dad Arnold Wayne Maddox was named after that Arnold killed
in the mines. Arnold Wayne always told us boys how his dad Samuel Everett made
him and his two brothers pick up and sack coal to drop off to the miners
widows' on his way home from work. The coal delivery was
just a way of life, my great granddad Dowthard Scott even had his own open pit
mine on his land, with a scale and a moneybox for neighbors to stop by whenever
they needed they would load their wagons, weigh up, an drop the money in a
metal box on the scales.
I can remember when I was small at being at the Weir Homecoming days. Thousands
of people, old coal miners and families
would come back to Weir--a town with such early history as seen in old pictures.
It wasn't just a one lane Main Street as
of now but then there was a town several blocks wide there was a band in the
city park gazebo, tractor pulls, horse pulls, an wagons were everywhere cotton
candy and carnival rides! Yet just east of town, the ground was still
torn up land and strip pits as they had always been--probably all dug by
my grandfather Samuel Everett Maddox.
Over the years. as we went back to visit, the coal work
seem to stop, and then some of the land was smoothed over and the old pits filled in.
By the middle and end of the 1940s
most of the coal seems to be gone and my
granddad and his Patti the shovel, were digging clay for bricks.
Nowadays on our visits its mostly good memories, and
alongside the road there are still a few remnants of concrete pillars left from
the days that Weir had a tram line and was one of the largest cities in Kansas. (Cherokee Co Mining-Ks Historical Society link)
You would not believe that now! It's a far cry from when the Creek behind great
granddad's farm would run orange with alkali from the heavy rains. And most of
the torn up landscapes and pits are now gone just a few left for fishing!
Nowadays you will see deer and turkey but the quail of my youth are mostly
gone. It is now more like the time when my forefathers arrived.
--Larry W Maddox
Research on Kansas Genealogy -
Ks Historical Society Genealogy Resources