Archive for Monday, February 13, 2012

100 years ago: Young Lecompton girl walks 12 miles to elope with Lawrence man

February 13, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 13, 1912:

  • "A fourteen year old girl last Saturday deserted her father's home at Lecompton, walked twelve miles to Lawrence to elope with her twenty-four year old lover, who was waiting for her with a common lumber wagon in which to take her away with him. That is the story of the elopement of Effie Fowler and Roy Pennington, who left Lawrence in a wagon Saturday afternoon and have not been seen since by any of those who are looking for the young couple. Soon after the young girl and her brother joined Pennington at Lawrence, the father arrived on the scene and immediately swore out a warrant for the arrest of Pennington. The sheriff and his party traced them as far as India station but here the trail was lost and it is not known which way the party went."
  • "You didn't know did you that there was an organization in Lawrence called The Kansas Art Association? Well, there is such an organization in this city and thanks to the men who form it Lawrence is now getting the fine pictures that are being exhibited up at the University.... Pictures can not be secured for Lawrence, just by sending them. It takes money and these men provided that. Tomorrow this association will send out tickets that will be given to every school child in the grades in Lawrence, that he or she may see the pictures for nothing. Not a child will be omitted. Those in the High school will not be included in this list, for they are ranked with college students and may pay their way."


FlintlockRifle 3 years, 8 months ago

Miss Sarah, can you follow up with more info. on the Lecompton girl and her Lawrence lover?, also do you know where Indian point was located, I have never seen this before.

LadyJ 3 years, 8 months ago

Wonder if it was somewhere around India school.

FlintlockRifle 3 years, 8 months ago

Ops, guess I wasn't reading all the words today, I said Indian and it should have been India, thanks for the catch there LadyJ, I would guess you are right on location.

LadyJ 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually hadn't noticed you put Indian, my eyes weren't focusing yet.

rtwngr 3 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if the sheriff formed a posse? There are still a couple of places, back in the woods, up by Lecompton that they have to pipe in sunlight.

Sarah St. John 3 years, 7 months ago

I have, not a lot more yet, but a little. I'll do my best to find more!

"The officials of Kansas City, Baldwin, and other towns have been notified to look out for a young girl and two young men who are traveling overland in a farm wagon and hold them until Lawrence officers arrive.

"From Lecompton it was learned this morning that the young Pennington had been spending the winter in a camp on the Delaware river near Perry, Kansas, and across the river from Lecompton. Last Friday he left the camp with his team and wagon and it was presumed that he went to Lawrence. The Fowler family arrived in Lecompton last fall, since which time the father has been working on a farm near Perry. They are said to be a poor family and with very little means. On Friday morning the daughter, Effie, 14 years old, and her brother Earl, about the same age, left Lecompton and it is believed they walked twelve miles to Lawrence. The girl had been keeping company with Pennington recently.

"Roy Pennington, the young man in the case, came to Lecompton last fall and has been doing odd jobs on the farms around there and living in a camp on the river. His parents are said to live in Kansas City, Kansas, where they moved last year from Baldwin, and it is believed that this is where he took the Lecompton girl and her brother."

Sarah St. John 3 years, 7 months ago

I can find one two Roy Penningtons buried in Kansas. One, buried in Wichita, is out of the picture because he would have been only about seven years old in 1912. :-) The other is a possible suspect! Roy P. Pennington, born June 8, 1888, died Oct. 10, 1978. Buried in Leavenworth National Cemetery.

I'll keep looking for a follow-up....

Tom McCune 3 years, 7 months ago

Alas, there is no Effie Pennington buried in Leavenworth, or anywhere else in Kansas.

Tom McCune 3 years, 7 months ago

Even if she was only 14, it sounded like they were both from really poor backgrounds, and you just kind of wanted it to work out for them. Even in those days, 14 was young, but not unheard of....

Sarah St. John 3 years, 7 months ago

True, N-Post. I know of a fellow here in Lawrence whose grandmother was married at age 14 to a 19-year-old. It was in Texas in 1915, so not too far away from today's story, geographically and chronologically.

tolawdjk 3 years, 7 months ago

A lack of an Effie Pennington buried in Leavenworth doesn't preclude this being the right Roy, however. I wouldn't expect Effie to be burried in LNC anyway. If he served in WWI, then he could be burried there and she burried somewhere else.

tolawdjk 3 years, 7 months ago

Amazing what you end up doing with an afternoon off work.

An Effie Fowler born in 1896, but the region looks wrong. Married and burried next to a Roy A. Coe.

Sarah St. John 3 years, 7 months ago

Sorry -- that was referring to your "Further on Effie" link at familysearch.

Sarah St. John 3 years, 7 months ago

tolawkjk: "Edit: It appears this particular Roy was born in MO."

Don't know for sure if that's our guy, but your link says his father's name was Squire Pennington, which is just too cool of a name (if it was a name and not a title, which I am assuming is the case).

tolawdjk 3 years, 7 months ago

Let me see if this link works.

Although I am running into dead ends with any further tracking.

tolawdjk 3 years, 7 months ago

Flargh, still not working.

Lets just try cut and paste...from 1910 Census.

Name: Effie Fowler
Birthplace: Kansas
Relationship to Head of Household: Daughter
Residence: Perry, Jefferson, Kansas
Marital Status: Single
Race : White
Gender: Female
Immigration Year:
Father's Birthplace: Illinois
Mother's Birthplace: Wisconsin
Family Number: 62
Page Number: 3
Household Gender Age Parent Oscar Fowler M 52y Parent Lizzie Fowler F 42y Aulden Fowler M 17y Essie Fowler F 14y Effie Fowler F 14y Annie Fowler F 11y Eddie Fowler M 8y Lettie Fowler F 7y Ina Fowler F 2y

FlintlockRifle 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks all, that was fun. Tune in tomorrow same time and same station for the next chapter in the Lecompton girls saga------

Commenting has been disabled for this item.