Ralph and Chleo Jarvis bought a ranch southwest of Salina.
In 1927, they had rented the ranch from C.L. and George Richards.
Then in March 1929, they bought the biggest part of the ranch from C.L. and Della Richards. In 1931, they bought the final part from George E. Richards.
The ranch was 640 acres, consisting of the west half of sections 15 and 22 in Summit Township in southwest Saline County. It was about 20 miles from Salina.
The land was pasture in rolling hills and watersheds. It’s in the area called Smoky Hills, west of Salina.
Ralph and Chleo had the latest gadgets. Among those were a movie camera and projector. Throughout this story, there are snippets of home movies filmed at the ranch in 1929.
In 1929, Ralph was age 35 and Chleo was 29. Mel was age 8 and Don was 6.
Ralph’s mother and brother lived there
As we read earlier, Ralph had invited his extended family to move to Kansas. They would live at the ranch.
There were two houses on the property, and a barn and corrals.
Ralph’s brother Tom and his wife Lottie would live in the main ranch house with their son Bobby.
Two of Tom’s buddies came to Kansas with him – Bill and Raul from New York.
Ralph’s mother Anna and her husband Sam Stafford would live in the smaller house.
Chleo’s mother Anna Webb visited Salina often. Here’s a video of Anna Webb at the ranch with Mel and Don and Bobby. Notice Ralph’s new Ford Model A in the picture.
Ralph had become interested in raising purebred Hereford cattle. He acquired a herd and a bull. And there were odds and ends livestock – horses, chickens, and a brood sow.
Tom was ranch foreman
Tom Jarvis would look after the ranch and livestock. Bill and Raul would help him. In return, Ralph provided their room and board.
Horses and riding became a passion for Ralph and Chleo and their family. They kept horses at the ranch and rode often.
The boys started riding at a young age. Mel’s horse was Sandy, Don’s was Chief.
Ralph and Chleo made a social event of horseback riding. They and friends drove 130 head of cattle from Wilson to the Jarvis ranch. That’s over 40 miles!
The ranch today
Nibbles Extra Credit – The Roaring Twenties – Politics
In the 1920s, three U.S. presidents governed – Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.
All three were Republican. All three believed the government shouldn’t interfere in big business. Banks and stock markets and utilities were unregulated.
Warren Harding (1921-1923)
When Harding took office in 1921, the U.S. was still in a post-WWI depression, with unemployment around 20% and high inflation.
Harding had a mandate to “restore normalcy.” Americans wanted to forget the war and recession and have peace and prosperity. Normalcy would be achieved under Harding, and the economy would take off. Modern elements like automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, and electricity fueled the boom.
Harding’s policies, his personality, and the return of prosperity made him very popular. His sudden death in 1923 was a shock to the nation. But it soon became clear that his administration had been very corrupt.
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
“Silent Cal” was sworn in at his rural home in Vermont after the sudden death of Warren Harding. Coolidge continued the laissez-faire policies of Harding and cut taxes on the wealthy. The economy soared.
Coolidge famously said, “the chief business of the American people is business.”
Coolidge was a reformer and cleaned up the corruption of the previous administration. Coolidge easily won re-election in 1924.
From 1922 to 1929, stock dividends rose by 108 percent, corporate profits by 76 percent, and wages by 33 percent. In 1929, 4,455,100 passenger cars were sold by American factories, one for every 27 members of the population, a record that was not broken until 1950.
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Herbert Hoover took office in January 1929. His first eight months in office proved him to be an able administrator. Then the crash of the markets in October 1929 forever linked Hoover’s name with the Great Depression.
Hoover’s efforts to restore people’s faith in the economy failed. The exuberance of the Roaring Twenties gave way to doubt and fear. Hoover was unable to fix things and would be voted out of office in the 1932 election.
- Newspaper articles – newspapers.com
- Photos – Jarvis ranch – 1920s – Jarvis family documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
- Photos – Jarvis ranch – 2021 – Mark Jarvis – May 2021
- Maps – Saline County and Summit Township – Standard Atlas of Saline County, Kansas – Geo. A. Ogle & Co. – 1920 – Kansas Memory – Kansas State Historical Society – https://www.kshs.org/km/items/view/224000
- Deed – R.H. Jarvis from Charles and Della Richards – 1929 – Deed record 89, page 477 – Saline County Register of Deeds – Salina, Kansas
- Home movies – Jarvis ranch – Jarvis family documents – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection
- Photos – Harding, Coolidge, Hoover – Sage American History – http://sageamericanhistory.net/twenties/20spolitics.html