|Birth: ||Jun. 7, 1841, Switzerland|
|Death: ||Sep. 20, 1905|
John Babterb Widmer was born June 7, 1841 in Canton Argon, Oberrhoradorf, Switzerland, and came to America with an uncle when he was twenty-one. He had left home at seventeen. They attended night school in New York City until they could speak and write English and then they came west.
Amanda Sherman was born on December 12, 1846, in Sherman, Jackson County, West Virginia. She came to Kansas when a young lady, met and married John B. Widmer on July 10, 1873, at Arlington, Kansas. She was twenty-seven years old.
They first lived in Mitchell County, Kansas, where Guy, Beulah, Etta, Lester (who died in infancy) and Laura were born near Cawker City, the post office. Beloit was the county seat. They moved to Comanche County where Flora and Edith were born. When Kansas passed a herd law and they no longer had pasture for their small herd of cattle, they came to Lipscomb County, Texas in a covered wagon, arriving on May 21, 1887. They had heard about the large tracts of land in the Texas Panhandle for $1.00 per acre and forty years to pay, so they traveled to Texas to inspect the situation. The children were left at home.
They settled on the 7 K Ranch horse pasture although it was neither leased nor fenced, only a claim made on it. B. K. McMordie, the ranch foreman, was not at all happy to have "nesters" and tried to bluff them off but to no avail. Mr. Widmer bought their home section for $50.00 from Charles Dietrich, who had built a small half dugout, so their first task was to get larger living quarters. Guy plowed sod and they soon had a large sod house.
Then sod was plowed to put in a small crop. They had few implements but Mr. Widmer designed and made a hand planter. It looked like two crutches fastened together in the center. There was a container holding about a quart of grain half way up. The contraption was sharp on the lower ends and when chopped into the sod and the tops pulled apart, grain dripped into the hole, which was then covered by the planter's foot. About the second year, he planted a peach orchard which bore profusely. They canned great quantities and sold the surplus for twenty-five cents a bushel. Whenever they thought they were going to have a late freeze, they would make smudge fires from cow chips to keep the frost from the trees.
Mrs. Widmer taught her husband to read English, beginning with the primer. He learned to read well enough to read the weekly newspaper; however his speech was rather broken. The children attended high school and graduated at Lipscomb. Etta married J. T. (Tom) Glasgow; Edith married Robert Baker, and she was the first lady in the State of Texas to be admitted to the bar; Beulah married William A. Bell; Laura married Albert King; and Flora married William Rose.
Mr. Widmer had been wounded in the Civil War, so he received a pension of $36 quarterly which was a life saver the first few years.
When the Cherokee Strip was opened on April 22, 1889, he made the run on a mule and staked out a corner lot in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where a one room frame house was built. The following summer it was sold for $400. With this he bought fifty two year-old heifers for $8.00 a head which started his cattle business.
Mr. Widmer was thrown from a horse, which aggravated his army injury, and he died two days later on September 20, 1905. Daughter Flora and husband William Rose then moved to the Widmer place to care for her mother.
1900 Census, Lipscomb County, Texas
Precinct 1, Sup dist 3, Enum Dist 45, Dwelling 33
7 Jun 1900
Widmer, John B Head W M Jun 1841 58 M 27 Switzerland Switzerland Switzerland
Amanda M Wife W F Dec 1846 53 M 27 7/6 Living WVa Ma Ma
Laura M Dau W F Jul 1881 18 S Ks Switzerland WVa
Flora A Dau W F Apr 1885 15 S Ks Switzerland WVa
Edith A Dau W F Apr 1887 13 S Ks Switzerland WVa
Amanda Melvina Sherman Widmer (1846 - 1920)*
Guy Clarence Widmer (1874 - 1947)*
PVT CO C 55 OHIO VOL
Maintained by: Ruth Davis Root
Originally Created by: Sharon Hannon
Record added: Jan 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64334333
Added: Jul. 5, 2013