156 – John Webb and Anna Buhrer

John Webb left Virginia in 1885. By 1887 he was in Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas.

In 1886, at around age 19, Anna Buhrer moved to Dickinson County and stayed in the household of her sister Caroline.

Street Scene – Abilene, Kansas – c 1880

Caroline Buhrer Sigg

Anna Buhrer’s sister Caroline was twelve years older, born in 1855. Caroline had married Casper Sigg in Fulton County, Ohio. Casper and Caroline came to Pawnee County with the Buhrers in 1878. Their son, Will, was born there in December 1878.

In 1879, Caroline and Casper Sigg and their son Will moved to Dickinson County, Kansas.

Census – Caroline and Casper Sigg (and Buhrer families) – Dickinson County, Kansas – 1880

In Dickinson County, the Siggs were living next to several other Buhrer families, headed by Jacob and Elizabeth. These Buhrers were from Scheffhausen, Switzerland, just like our Buhrers. I haven’t traced them further, but I’m guessing that this Jacob Buhrer is a brother of Caroline’s father John Jacob Buhrer.

The Siggs lived in Liberty Township in Dickinson County, south of the small village of Chapman, Kansas, and about ten miles east of Abilene.

Dickinson County, Kansas – 1903

Anna Buhrer in Dickinson County

Anna Buhrer – Abilene, Kansas – c 1887

Around 1886, Anna Buhrer moved from Pawnee County to Dickinson County and into the household of her older sister Caroline Buhrer Sigg. I think Anna intended to find work in Abilene.

John Webb in Dickinson County

John Webb (r) and unknown friend – Abilene, Kansas – c 1887

John Webb had arrived in Abilene around 1887. We don’t know his first residence, or his first work.

John and Anna married

We don’t know how John and Anna met. But on July 2, 1889, John Webb and Anna Buhrer were married by the Justice of the Peace in Abilene, Kansas.

The Abilene Reflector – July 2, 1889
John Wesley Webb – c 1887
Anna Mary Buhrer – Abilene, Kansas – c 1888

The newspaper article that reports the marriage of John and Anna is from The Abilene Reflector, July 2, 1889. However, some of our family genealogy documents record the wedding date as July 2, 1888, a year earlier.

It’s hard to believe that the newspaper would report a marriage one year later. Hmmmm.

Mistakes in genealogical records are common.

I don’t have their marriage license. It would be the final authority. Read on…

They started a family

John and Anna’s first child, Miriam Mayfield Webb, was born on October 19, 1889. She was called May. Was this four months after her parents’ marriage? Or a year and four months?

October 19 was also Anna’s birthday. She was born in 1867, twenty-two years earlier.

Miriam Mayfield Webb – Born October 19, 1889 – Webb Family Bible

Do you think May was born four months after John and Anna married? I’ll leave that for another researcher.

The Westcott Ranch

By around 1889 or 1890, John Webb worked on the Westcott Ranch. His family lived in one of the ranch houses and John worked for J.H. Harman, the ranch superintendent.

J.M. Westcott was a wealthy industrialist from Richmond, Indiana. He owned the bank in Solomon, Kansas, in Dickinson County.

Westcott owned a huge ranch three miles south of Solomon. These 1887 and 1894 newspaper clippings evidence the huge size of the ranch:

  • 3,500 and later 4,000 acres.
  • 1,000 cattle
  • 500 sheep
  • 300 hogs
  • 125 fancy draft horses

1895 Census

Kansas Census – John and Anna Webb – Dickinson County, Kansas – 1895

By 1895, John and Anna had three children. As we’ve seen, Miriam Mayfield (May) was born in 1889.

James Miller (Jim) was born August 17, 1891. Jim was named after John’s father, James Miller Webb.

May and Jim Webb – c 1892
James Miller Webb – Born August 17, 1891 – Webb Family Bible
Myrtle Ray Webb – Born January 22, 1893 – Webb Family Bible

Myrtle Ray was born January 22, 1893.

Nellie Irene Webb – Born January 21, 1895 – Died February 6, 1895 – Webb Family Bible

In January 1895, a daughter Nellie Irene was born. Sadly, Nellie died a few weeks later.

Webb children – c 1895 – from left –
Myrtle, 2, May, 5, Jim, 3

Life on the ranch – 1896, 1897

John visits family in Virginia

The Solomon Tribune – February 5, 1897

In January 1897, John made a trip home to Rockbridge Baths to visit his mother and relatives and friends.

John’s mother Margaret and elder sister Virginia still lived in Rockbridge Baths, Virginia. John’s father James had died in 1891.

John was going to be away for a month, so he and Anna arranged for Anna’s younger brother Wally (Valentine) to come from Larned and stay with the family, and substitute work on the ranch while John was away.

The Solomon Tribune – February 19, 1897

John arrived back in Kansas just in time to help care for daughter Laura.

Laura Belle Webb was born at the ranch on May 18, 1896. She must have fallen ill the following February, age about 11 months.

Laura Belle Webb – Born May 18, 1896 – Webb Family Bible

Don’t worry. Laura recovered nicely.

A move to Larned

In 1898, John and Anna made the decision to move to Pawnee County. Why? I don’t know. Maybe to be closer to family. Anna had lots of extended family in Pawnee County.

The Abilene Monitor – August 18, 1898

There’s a family story that the Webb family moved from Dickinson County to Pawnee County in a wagon. I don’t know if it’s true, and I don’t have evidence, so take it for what it’s worth. But it’s likely that old family stories have some element of truth.

It’s about 160 miles, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

Dickinson County to Pawnee County – 160 miles

A farm in Pawnee County 1898

However they traveled, John and Anna and family arrived in Pawnee County in 1898 and set up on a 40 acre farm south of Larned in Pleasant Valley Township, very near Anna’s parents and siblings and cousins.

Here’s their farmhouse.

We know they had a team of oxen, because cousin Rick Jarvis has their oxen yoke to this day.

Life 1899

The Tiller and Toiler – October 27, 1899

The Webbs were settled in on their farm south of Larned.

On Thursday, October 19, John held a birthday dinner for Anna and daughter May. Both had their birthdays on October 19. Anna was age 32, May was 10.

1900 Census

Census – John and Anna Webb – Pawnee County, Kansas – 1900

The 1900 census shows John and Anna Webb living in Pleasant Valley Township, Pawnee County, Kansas. John was age 35 and Anna 32. Their children were May, 10, Jim, 8, Myrtle, 7, and Laura, 4.

Chleo Webb

The census was enumerated on June 6, 1900. The census didn’t record that Anna was seven months pregnant.

On August 21, 1900, John and Anna had another daughter, Sylvie Chleo Webb. Chleo was born in the farmhouse south of Larned. She’s our great-grandmother.

Chleo Webb – c 1901 – Age 1
Sylvie Chleo Webb – Born August 21, 1900 – Webb Family Bible

In 1900 John and Anna’s family was complete.

Life on the farm

Life for the Webb family had settled in. There was everyday work.

Lots of extended family around. Anna’s parents Jacob and Catherine Buhrer lived nearby. Several of her siblings and cousins were close.

Tragedy strikes

In January 1903, John contracted a serious case of tuberculosis. John died, at age 39.

The Larned Chronoscope – January 23, 1903

It’s not fair

We’ve seen this happen so often in our family history. A spouse dies at a young age, leaving a single mother or father with children.

And we’ve often seen pneumonia and tuberculosis as the culprit.

No, it’s not fair. But that didn’t help the poor victim that suffered and died. And it didn’t help the survivors that had a difficult time providing for a family as a single parent.

It’s easy to take our modern health care and medicines for granted. These family stories remind us to be thankful that these diseases are much less fatal today.

Jacob Buhrer died too

In May 1903, just a few months after John Webb’s death, Anna’s father Jacob Buhrer died. He was age 86.


  • Image – Street Scene, Abilene, Kansas – J.R. Riddle – 1879 – Kansas Memory – https://www.kansasmemory.org/item/201634
  • Photos – John Webb and Anna Buhrer – Jarvis Family Documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
  • Birth records – Webb Family Bible – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
  • Funeral cards – John Webb and Jacob Buhrer – Jarvis Family Documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
  • Census – Caroline and Casper Sigg – Dickinson County, Kansas – 1880 – Ancestry.com
  • Census – John and Anna Webb – Dickinson County, Kansas – 1895 – Ancestry.com
  • Census – John and Anna Webb – Pawnee County, Kansas – 1900 – Ancestry.com
  • Newspaper articles – Newspapers.com
  • Map composites – Standard Atlas of Dickinson County, Kansas – Geo. A. Ogle and Co. – 1901 – Kansas Memory – https://www.kansasmemory.org/item/209377/page/3
  • Map composites – Plat Map of Saline County, Kansas – Northwest Publishing Co. – 1903 – Kansas Memory – https://www.kansasmemory.org/item/209408/page/4
  • Image – Cattle branding on the Garst ranch south of Coldwater, Kansas – 1890s – F.M. Steele – Kansas Memory – https://www.kansasmemory.org/item/7811/page/1
  • Family tree – John and Anna Webb – Ancestry.com
  • Photos – Headstones and cemeteries – Mark Jarvis – May 2017

3 thoughts on “156 – John Webb and Anna Buhrer

    • Mark Jarvis April 17, 2021 / 10:10 am

      Thanks for the kind words, especially coming from you. I checked out your two blog sites. They are wonderful.

      I really liked your discussion post on “How to Plan the Future of Our Treasures?” I’ve been thinking about that very subject, without much resolution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne April 17, 2021 / 1:57 pm

        Thank you so much, Mark!


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