Pioneer Women Find Each Other at Church Reunion

WICHITA, KS – After 50 years separation, Mrs. F D Hughes of 1007 South Water, and Mrs. Ellen Winchel of Newkirk Okla., childhood playmates, met at the home of Mrs. G W Fairchild, 1433 North Hillside, this week. The two old women, who fathers came to this country from England a short time apart and who lived on two farms in Moweaqua., Ill., until they were married, had many experience to tell each other.

Mrs. Hughes’ father, Thomas Hudson, left Birmingham, Eng. In 1850 (or 1859), came to this country, and settled in the little pioneer settlement of Moweaqua. He brought his wife and children with him ad founded a homestead, which still remains in the family.

Several years later, John Haslem sailed from Black Pool, Eng., and came to Moweaqua. Not familiar with anyone and finding a fellow countryman in Hudson, they became warm friends; and when, three months later the Haslem family came to join the father, the two Haslem girls and the Hudson girl also became friends.

Separated in 1874

In 1874 the Haslem family moved from Illinois to Sterling, Kas., and the three friends lost track of each other during the years following. The two Haslem girls married and went to Oklahoma to live.  Years later the Hudson girl married E. D. Hughes, a country editor, and they came to Kansas.  The Hughes have lived in Wichita many years.  During a church reunion the past week, by a coincidence the three old friends were again thrown together.  Mrs. Winchel’s sister, the former Jennie Haslem, was also a visitor in the home of Mrs. Fairchild.  The husbands of all three of the women have been buried in Kansas.  The brothers of Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Winchel still live in the town of Moweaqua.  One still maintains the Hudson homestead and the other is a leading merchant.  The Wichita Beacon, Wichita, Kansas. Thursday, November 24, 1927.  © Transcribed by Rosetta Wiley for the Wichita Genealogical Society and the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.