The following obituaries
are of the deceased buried in Ransom Cemetery, St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery,
and Cyrus Cemetery, Ransom, Ness County, Kansas. These obituaries and news
articles were collected and contributed by Mark Horchem.
Frederick Ireton, age 54 years, was shot to death
last night at the family home 24 miles southwest of WaKeeney in Trego County,
by his stepson, Roger Callahan, age 17 years.
The shooting occurred during a family disturbance at
about 6:30 p.m. Sheriff McAtee, Undersheriff Herr, County Attorney Clark
and Coroner Dr. Burnett, were called to the scene of the tragedy and young
Callahan was brought to WaKeeney and placed in jail pending investigation.
The body of Mr. Ireton was taken to Ransom.
Western Ks. World, June 21, 1951
A second degree murder charge was filed against Roger
Callahan, age 17 years, in the Trego County District Court at a preliminary
hearing held in the County Court at WaKeeney last Monday afternoon. Roger
is charged with the death of his stepfather, Frederick Ireton, age
45 years, at their farm home 24 miles southwest of WaKeeney, last Wednesday
The young man was bound over to the district court for
trial at the November term and was released on a $2000 bond signed by his
mother, Mrs. Ireton; and he returned home with her. Paul Applegate has
been employed as an attorney for Callahan.
Roger claims that the shooting was in self defense, as
Ireton had threatened to kill him and his mother and was attacking his
grandfather, Jess Shanholtzer, age 74, when he shot him the second time
with a .22 rifle. In the fracus Shanholtzer also struck Ireton with a washboard.
Ireton was a patient at the Winter General Hospital in
Topeka for several months; and since his release, it is said, has been
the cause of a number of family altercations, in which he had threatened
members of the family.
Western Ks. World, June, 28, 1951
Frederick Ireton, 45, was slain with a .22 rifle
at his farm home in southern Trego county eight miles from Ransom last
night, and the farmerís stepson, Roger Callahan, 17, was being held in
the county jail at WaKeeney today for questioning in connection with the
Trego County Sheriff Chet McAtee, County Attorney Ralph
Clark and the county coroner were forced to walk part of the way to reach
the farm 25 miles from WaKeeney because of washouts of rural roads. The
Ireton farm is located on a creek which empties into the swollen Smoky
Ireton was found slain immediately south of his farm
house. A family dispute that had been festering for several weeks was said
to have been the cause of the slaying.
Deputy Sheriff W.E. Horr said the only person present
at the time of the slaying, which occurred immediately south of the Ireton
home shortly after 6 oíclock last night, were the slain man and three other
occupants of the Ireton home. They were Callahan, Mrs. Ireton, the mother
of Callahan, and Mrs. Iretonís father, Jess Shanholtzer, 76.
Ireton had been a farmer for several years in Trego County.
He formerly operated a farm on land which was inundated by the Cedar Bluff
dam before moving to the farm near Ransom.
Hays Daily News, June 21, 1951
Trego County officials said today a second degree murder
charge has been filed against Roger Callahan, 17, in the slaying of his
stepfather, Frederick Ireton, 45, at the Ireton farm eight miles
from Ransom and 26 miles southwest of WaKeeney late Wednesday.
The county officials received word Wednesday night of
the death of Ireton from Dr. Kenneth McLain of Ransom and were forced to
wade through Sand creek to get to the farm because of high water and washouts
in the vicinity.
A county official, who asked his name not be used, said
second instead of first degree murder charges were filed, as the shooting
of Ireton with a .22 rifle was believed done on the spur of the moment
through sudden anger rather than being a premeditated act.
The Trego county officials said a family altercation
between Ireton and his wife had been in progress shortly before Ireton
was hit by two rifle bullets.
The official quoted Callahan, who is being held in the
county jail at WaKeeney, as saying he left the scene of the family altercation
in the yard south of the Ireton home, went to the second floor of the Ireton
house, got the .22 rifle, broke out the upper pane of a first floor window
and fired one shot hitting Ireton. The official added Callahan said he
fired a later shot hitting Ireton again. At the time the second shot was
fired, Ireton was tangling with the fourth occupant of the Ireton home,
Jess Shanholtzer, 76, father of Mrs. Ireton.
The county official said Ireton did not drop immediately
from the effects of the bullet wounds, but continued to run about the yard.
While he was running around the yard, Callahanís grandfather hit him with
The Trego county authority said Ireton had recently returned
from the Winter General Veterans hospital at Topeka where he had been a
patient for quite some time. A preliminary hearing for Callahan is planned
Hays Daily News, June 22, 1951
Mrs. C.N. Irvine, 92, the former Kate Harkness
and member of the pioneer Harkness family, passed away on Tuesday morning,
December 21, at the Ransom Hospital, where she had been a patient for almost
three years. Prior to entering the hospital for care, she had made her
home here for several years with her nephew, J.G. Harkness.
She was a teacher in the pioneer schools of Ness County,
and served four terms as Ness County Superintendent of Public Instruction,
first being elected in 1888.
She had made her home in Ness County since coming here
in 1855, with the exception of a few years spent at Colorado Springs, Colo.
She was united in marriage to R.P. Irvine in 1919. Her
husband passed away in 1934.
Survivors include nieces and nephews, among whom are:
J.G. Harkness of Ness City, Mrs. Lorena Amstutz and Charles L. Harkness
of Ransom, Mrs. Mary J. Lewin of Pueblo, Colo; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held from the Ransom Methodist
church today, Thursday, December 23, at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be in
the family plot in the Ransom Cemetery.
Ness Co. News, Dec. 23, 1954
Catherine N. Irvine, better known as Kate Harkness Irvine,
only daughter of Simeon G. and Mary B. Harkness, was born March 31, 1862,
near Galesburg, Ill., and departed this life December 21, 1954, at the
Grisell Memorial Hospital at Ransom, Kansas, at the age of 92 years, 8
months and 21 days.
She often expressed appreciation for the long life she
had been granted with the use of all her faculties, and a few hours before
the end expressed concern and regret that she was causing so many people
so much trouble just before Christmas.
She taught several terms of school in Illinois prior
to the summer of 1885 when she, her widowed mother and youngest brother,
Pat, loaded a few of their most prized possessions in a covered wagon and
came west to find homesteads in Ness County, Kansas, where an older brother,
James B. Harkness, had settled in 1878.
They found homesteads seven or eight miles southeast
of where Ransom is now located.
She taught her first term of school in Ness County in
a little sod school house in District No. 7, southeast of Ransom. She later
taught several terms in Ness City, Ransom and several country school districts.
She was elected county superintendent in 1888, and held
the office for three consecutive terms, and the was elected again in 1902
for another term.
She was married to Richard P. Irvine in 1919. They resided
a Beeler for a few years, then moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., and made
their home there until his death in 1934.
She had retained property and business interests in Ness
County and returned to make this home about ten years ago.
Her parents and four brothers preceded her in death.
She is survived by six nieces and four nephews, 17 grand nieces and nephews,
and 28 great-grand nieces and nephews and many friends.
Funeral services were held from the Ransom Methodist
Church on Thursday afternoon, December 23, conducted by Rev. A.E. Greenler,
pastor of the Ness City Methodist church. Interment was in the Ransom Cemetery.
Ness Co. News, Dec. 30, 1954