|GEORGE WILLIAM (BILL) GILLETT FAMILY HISTORY||
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Who was in Kansas First?
Family of Anthony Reser
Family of James Shedden
The following story was told to Clair Mann
by his father, Charles Mann, and uncle, George Shedden
On their trip west in 1870 by prairie schooners from Kane County, Illinois to Marshall County, Kansas, the Reser and Shedden clan had to cross the Missouri River.
It was a known fact that Anthony Reser wanted to be the first to set his foot on Kansas soil and being the oldest and senior member, no one was going to interfere with his desires. He was 54 years old at the time.
So when they arrived in St. Joseph, Missouri, to cross the river by ferry, Anthony with his wife, Phylecta (Soule) Reser (53), drove his schooner on first knowing he would come off first. Going on last was the Schooner of the James Shedden family. James (34) with his wife, Elmira (Reser) Shedden (32) and their children, George (10), Margaret (9), Leonard (4) and Alanson (1).
For some reason, as luck would have it, the ferry turned around in mid stream. This reversed the order of departure with the James Shedden schooner landing first and the Anthony Reser schooner the last off.
Anthony Reser did not like what happened and never forgot it.