158 – Life in Larned 1900s

John Webb had died in January 1903. By 1905, Anna Webb had moved her family into the town of Larned and into the Rock House at 219 Kansas Street.


Let’s review the family. Anna was age 38. All five of her children were still living at home – May, 16, Jim, 14, Myrtle, 12, Laura, 9, and Chleo, 4.

Kansas Census – Anna Webb – 1905
Anna Webb family – c 1907 – back row (l to r) – Myrtle, May, Jim – front row (l to r) – Chleo, Anna, Laura

The Ideal Steam Laundry

Anna went to work at the Ideal Steam Laundry. So did her daughters. At various times, Myrtle, Laura, and Chleo worked at the laundry.

Anna worked there for quite a few years. We’re so lucky to have this great photo of Anna at work.

Anna Webb (left foreground) – Ideal Steam Laundry – c 1910

Just for fun, here’s a colorized version of the photo…

The laundry prided itself on its modern technology and environment for workers. It ran a pickup and delivery service to small towns surrounding Larned. Here’s the new building, opened in 1916.

Larned Chronoscope – June 29, 1916

1910 Census

In 1910, Anna was living at 219 Kansas Street with four of her children.

Census – Anna Webb – 1910
The Tiller and Toiler – August 14, 1908

Living at home were Anna, 43, Jim, 18, Myrtle, 17, Laura, 13, and Chleo, 9.

May had married Tom Sooby in 1908, so she wasn’t living at home.

Family social events

Anna Webb’s family had parents, siblings, and cousins living in and around Larned. Anna’s mother Catherine Theobald Buhrer was nearby. Sisters and brothers Philipena, Jake, Valentine, and Lucy and their families were living in Pawnee County.

The families visited and socialized often.


Kansas census – Anna Webb – 1915

By 1915, only Chleo still lived at home with Anna.

Myrtle and Laura married in 1915. Jim worked on relatives’ farms in western Kansas.

In May 1915, Myrtle Webb, age 22, married Carlos Worrell. In September 1915, Laura Webb, age 19, married Oral Baxter.

Larned Chronoscope – May 13, 1915
The Tiller and Toiler – September 10, 1915

Jim Webb

Jim was born in 1891, so he was age 24 in 1915.

Jim Webb worked as a farmer and rancher. He often stayed and worked on farms of his cousins in Pawnee County and farther west in Kansas.

This is one of my favorite family photos. Jim Webb is on a cattle roundup in western Kansas.

Jim Webb (center, on white horse) – Western Kansas – c 1915

Jim didn’t marry. When Chleo’s husband died, brother Jim came to live with her and help work her farm.

When we were growing up, Uncle Jim was our proxy grandfather.

Nibbles Extra Credit

Did Anna ever smile?

While working on these series of stories, we were reviewing lots of photos. Cathy Jarvis asked me, “Did Anna Webb ever smile?”

Well, it did seem like there were lots of photos without a smile.

I remembered Anna (“Grandma Webb”) when I was a kid. I was age 7 when she died. And, no, I don’t remember her smiling.

I’m sure she smiled. It just wasn’t captured on a photo.

I tried an animation to see if I could get her to smile. Almost…



  • Photos – Anna Webb and family – Jarvis Family Documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
  • Censuses – Anna Webb – 1905, 1910, 1915 – Ancestry.com
  • Newspaper articles – Newspapers.com
  • Image and ad from Ideal Steam Laundry – Larned Chronoscope – June 29, 1916 – newspapers.com

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