Monday, September 30, 2013

Langley, Kansas, old photos, old stories


I have driven by Langley many a time over the years. But I have to thank a man named Paul Burmeister, of Claflin, who came by the office one day, saying he always wanted to know more about the little stop in the dirt road by Kanopolis Lake. 

Here's a few stories Burmeister tracked down for me through his diggings at the Ellsworth County Historical Society. The old photos were provided by Max Buffington, who owns the Marquette hardware and is a local historian.




The Langley Ladies Literary Club, 1916.



The depot in Langley, taken in 1915. The railroad closed the depot in 1951.

The lumberyard, probably taken in the 1910s.



Stories of Langley
Clayton Griggs wrote to the Ellsworth County Historical Society in 1961 with one handed-down family story of Langley.
"When I was in about the second grade at Langley School, Mr. Charlie Ruppert (an old man at that time) came to school one day and told us about a band of outlaws that had lived in a cabin on the creek years ago. (Mr. Ruppert's parents were one of the first settlers in this community.) These three outlaws were notorious train robbers until the army sent a detachment to clean them out. The gang was killed. ... Mr. Ruppert said that undoubtedly some of their ill-gotten loot is buried somewhere around the vicinity since none of them escaped."I later found the rock foundation outline of the cabin and dug down through the black soil about two feet where I found ashes and an old knife."
Another incident occurred before the town was founded and was recounted in a Feb. 18, 1982, story in The Ellsworth Reporter.
The article stated that the newspaper's 1882 edition printed a story that Philip Agley, a farmer residing in what would soon be the Langley area, "had been foully dealt with and then burned in his house."
"On Sunday evening, Jan. 1, W.E. Graham, a nephew of the murdered man, was arrested under a complaint made by Harry Anderson, stating he believed Graham had committed the murder," the newspaper reported.
Anderson, according to John Hughes, his great-nephew, had seen Agley's dugout burning and pulled Agley from the fire.
According to the story, Graham didn't have a fair trial. Instead, a few hundred men from all parts of the region assembled at the courthouse and rushed in, overpowering the sheriff and his guards.
The mob took Graham to the first telegraph pole by the courthouse "where he was tried found guilty and strung up by the neck until he, W.E. Graham, was dead! dead! dead!" according to the Jan. 5, 1882, issue of The Reporter.


1917 = can't figure out how to flip this photo as it appears the right way.


The Methodist Church closed in 1964 and joined the Marquette church.

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