Gaddis Family History & Genealogy

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Marie Branson-King THE JONATHAN GADDIS FAMILY HISTORY by Emma Gaddis Hargadine

Jonathan and Amy Gaddis and their family lived in Ohio in 1846 when their son, Willis Drisbow was born. Through family records noted that there were other children in the family. We have the names of three other sons: (1) Lew Gaddis, who had a lumber yard in Decatur, Illinois. We have no name for his wife, but two of his children were Charles and Nellie. (2) Levi Gaddis, who had a confectionery, in Nebraska; (3) Allen Gaddis of whom we have no record; and (4) a daughter, Louisia.

The family moved to Illinois when Willis Drisbow was a small child (probably early 1850's), and Willis grew to manhood there. Records show that Willis lived at Lane Station in DeWitt County, Illinois, when he and Emma Graham were married in March, 1877. Emma was born in Lancaster, Ohio, but lived at Lane Station, Illinois, at the time of marriage. Two children were born to Willis and Emma Gaddis: a daughter, Nellie Odessa; and a son, Wade Graham.

In the Spring of 1885, the Willis Gaddis family homesteaded in Pratt County, Kansas, near early Naron, which is now known as Byers, Kansas. For a short time, Willis, Emma and their two children went to Colorado and filed on a tree claim near where Holly, Colorado, now stands. This proved to be a bad move, and they returned to Kansas and bought a farm in Pratt County, Kansas.

The 1895 Census showed:

W. D. Gaddis 49 years
Emma Gaddis 44 years
Nellie Gaddis 16 years
Wade Gaddis 11 years

They owned 160 acres of land with 70% under cultivation, 25 acres under fence, 6 acres of Cottonwood, 25 acres of winter wheat, 30 acres of corn, 7 acres of barley and 20 acres of Kafer. They had two dogs, 6 horses, 3 milk cows and 5 swine.

They lived 22 years in and around Pratt County, Kansas. At the time Wade G. and Elletta Swafford were married in 1903, they lived in Hopewell, Kansas. In 1907, Willis and Emma moved to Stevens County, Kansas. They bought a farm and farmed until the Fall of 1918, when they moved to Liberal, Kansas.

Nellie was married in 1900 to David Franklin Woolen. In 1909, they moved to a farm 10 miles west of Liberal, Kansas.



Wade Graham Gaddis and Elletta Mae Swafford were married at the home of the bride's parents, Lindon and Anna Swafford of rural Pratt County. Their first home was with Wade's parents in Hopewell, Kansas. While they were in Hopewell, Beatrice was born. In 1905

Wade applied for patent to homestead in western Kansas. Their land was SE Sec.l3 Tws. 34S Range 34W 6P Meridian in Stevens County, Kansas. They made their final settlement in 1910. Their address was Ematon, Kansas. While there, Pearl, Eva, Alice and Emma were born.

Also included in book "Descendants of Alexander Geddes/Gaddis"
by Marie Branson King.
Dec 08, 2004 · Reply
Marie Branson-King Compiled by Ruth A Cox, Aug 1998 (Ruth is the daughter of "Bea" (Gaddis) Cox, granddaughter of Wade & Elletta (Swafford) Gaddis.)

Wade Graham and Elletta Mae (Swafford) Gaddis

This is a short story about one set of my Grandparents - Wade Graham Gaddis and Elletta Mae Swafford. It is a compilation of stories I have heard from my mother, Beatrice (Gaddis) Cox, and my several aunts: Emma, Rowena, Maxine and Marjorie. Unfortunately, Pearl, Alice and Mavis, as well as Mom's two brothers, Wade and Dean, were gone by the time I matured sufficiently to become interested in the subject.

Wade was born near Decatur, Illinois., on 18 May 1883 in the home of his parents, Willis and Emma (Graham) Gaddis. He had one older sister named Nellie. Sometime around 1900, they moved to the small community nears Byers, Pratt County, KS. It was here that Wade met and married the woman he would live with for over 55 years -Elletta Mae Swafford.

Elletta was born in Jonesboro, IN 10 Oct 1885, the fourth of the 13 children of Marcellus "Lindon" and Anna L (Carey) Swafford. Lindon had brought his family to Pratt County, KS also about 1900.

Wade and Elletta were married 17 Oct 1903. They lived with his parents in Hopewell while Wade filed on a 160 acre homestead in Stevens County, KS. During the winter of 1903-4, and with the help of his father, he built a one room cabin on the homestead. In the meantime, their first child "Bea" was born. When Bea was six months old, Wade and Elletta loaded their possessions in a covered wagon, tied a cow on behind, hung a coop of chickens underneath the wagon and moved approximately 150 miles across the plains to the homestead.

At first, Wade didn't farm the whole 160 acres. But, he had fields for broom corn, milo maize and cane. Broom corn was his cash crop. The cane was feed for the stock. And, he hauled all the water for the stock and for household use. After living in the cabin for 4 or 5 years, Wade decided to build a dugout. He made it much larger as the family had grown to five by then. Pearl was born in 1906, and Eva in 1908. The dugout was two rooms with only the lower part in the ground. Wade made it so it could eventually be pulled out and placed on the top of the ground like a regular house. It had wooden walls and a wooden floor, which was very unusual for that time. After finishing the dugout, Wade found a rig to dig a water well. He had been hauling water every day except Sunday since they moved to the homestead. After getting the well dug, he built a windmill to provide the power for the pump which brought the water to the surface. There was much joy in the dugout - more water for household use and no more hauling it in barrels every day! Wade then used the rig to dig several wells in Stevens County for other homesteaders.


In 1913, Wade moved from the homestead to the Hockett place, which was near Hugoton, in Stevens County. It is speculation as to why he moved, but his family had gotten larger. They had a stillborn baby in 1908, Alice in 1910 and Emma in 1913. And the school was three miles away which was too far for one child to go alone. Bea didn't get to go to school until she was eight. When Pearl was old enough, Wade let them take the buggy to go to school.

The Hockett place was a well established farm with a bigger frame house, peach and apple orchards and only a half mile from the school. Four children were born to Wade and Elletta while they lived at the Hockett place. Mavis was born in 1915, Wade, Jr in 1917, Marjorie in 1919 and Wanda in 1921. Wanda died in 1922.

About 1922, Wade and Elletta moved again. This time to Haviland, Kiowa County, KS. Bea and Pearl were attending school at the Friends Academy in Haviland, which necessitated their staying in that area and working for board and room while attending school. It should be noted here that both Wade and Elletta were devout Quakers and a Christian education and upbringing for their children was a very top priority.

Wade evidently traded the Hockett place for a butcher shop business and a large, well made frame home in Haviland. It was here in Haviland that their last three children were born. Maxine, born in 1923, Dean in 1925, and Rowena in 1926. But, the number of children in the home was beginning to decrease. Bea had married just before they left the Hockett place. Pearl married in 1924.

Wade and his family prospered. The butcher business was good, the children were growing and attending the Academy. Alice married in 1931.

But, the events of the day were to overcome Wade and Elletta. Wade had borrowed money when the individual to whom he had sold the Hockett place stock and equipment defaulted on payment. The Great Depression of the 1920's hit. Wade couldn't pay the loan because people could no longer patronize his butcher shop. He lost the butcher shop and the big house. They moved into a small frame house there in Haviland and Wade did whatever odd jobs he could find. And, during the early 1930's, Wade suffered from a back problem. He could stand and lie down, but couldn't sit - except in his old car.

About 1936, (when Maxine was in the eighth grade) Wade loaded their possessions into a trailer behind his car and, with the three youngest children still at home, drove to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas where Pearl and her husband had settled. (Emma and Mavis had graduated and had jobs outside the home. Wade, Jr had married in 1936 and established his own home.) They stayed in Texas not quite a year. Wade's back got better, but it was difficult to obtain a job with the cheaper Mexican labor in the area. They had left Marjorie working for her board and room in Haviland so she could finish High School. They put their things back in the trailer and returned to Haviland for Marjorie's graduation.



In the meantime, the Dust Bowl had devastated Kansas. Bea and her husband, Ira, had moved from Western Kansas to Southwest Colorado because Ira had developed dust pneumonia. Ira had found a farm on Granaut Mesa, just outside Dolores, CO but he was doing a lot of trucking and his boys not yet old enough to work the land. So he offered Wade the use of the land.

Once again, Wade loaded the little trailer with their possessions and moved to Colorado in 1937. The car they used to move to Colorado was Emma's, but quite worn out. So Wade refitted the trailer with a tongue to which he could hitch horses. The trailer and a team became their means of going to and from town (about 5 or 6 miles.)

Again, events overcame Wade and Elletta. Ira had sold some cows to make the place payment. But he was a week late. The man he was buying the place from took the payment, then foreclosed. Wade and Elletta were evicted. They rented a place in Dolores and Wade again worked at any odd jobs he could find, including janitorial work at the school.

At that time, school bus routes were contracted. Wade managed to make a down payment on a bus and about 40 acres of land in the Summit Ridge area. About the same time, he was offered a shoe repair business in Dolores. He would drive the children to school in the morning, repair shoes during the day, then drive the children home in the afternoon. Occasionally, Elletta would go with him when the shop was busy to shine shoes and help in any way she could.

The Summit Ridge home is the one the grandchildren remember best. All Wade and Elletta's children came to visit frequently and brought their children along. They played in the canyon where a creek ran year around, slept on pallets on the floor - awakening to Wade coming in from tending the stock singing a hymn and Elletta preparing breakfast.

When Wade retired, they bought a house in Mancos, CO, across from the school house. Here they lived out their remaining days enjoying their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren whenever they could come to visit. Wade died 4 May 1960. Elletta died 10 Oct 1974.
Dec 08, 2004 · Reply
Marie Branson-King Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol I.

John Gaddis, second son of William Gaddis (q.v.), was born in Frederick County, near Winchester, Virginia, in 1743, died April 12, 1827. The date of the coming of John Gaddis is given as 1785, but this is the date of his land warrant in North Union Township, and he had been in the county at a date as early as 1780. He settled in North Union Township in 1785, where he purchased about three hundred acres of land with an allowance of six percent for roads. The tract joined that of his brother Robert, giving the locality the name of Gaddistown. His warrant was dated February 7, 1785, and a patent was granted March 30, 1786. He purchased a tract of forty and a half acres adjoining Gaddistown, which he named Oxford, and another of sixteen acres he called Cambridge. Warrants for these were issued March 6, 1794. He was one of the first Justices of the Peace and a member of the Great Bethel Baptist Church of Uniontown; a prominent active worker holding the office of deacon. He survivd his wife, Sarah, twenty-five years, she dying January 7, 1802. Children: 1. Thomas; 2. Jonathan, died 1793; 3. William, removed to the west; 4. Jacob, farmed a part of the old homestead; 5. John of whom further; 6. Mary, married a James Allen and lived in Franklin Township; 7. Anna, died in 1799; 8. Elizabeth, married and lived in Wilmington, Ohio; 9. Priscilla, married Thomas Barton and lived in Menallen Township, where she died during the winter of 1880-81, aged ninety years; 10. Sarah, removed west with her brother William; 11. Ruth, married and lived in Wilmington, Ohio.

John (2) Gaddis, son of John and Sarah Gaddis, was born in North Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1788, died there February 2, 1868. He was a farmer and stock dealer of North Union Township all his active years, and a member of the Bethel Baptist Church. He married (first) Sarah Barton, died in North Union Township, August 9, 1849; (second) Sisson Gaddis, died in Uniontown, October 6, 1882. Children of first wife: 1. Henry W., of whom further; 2. Harvey; 3. Alfred M.; 4. Levi; 5. Harriet, married Ellis Baily; 6. Ruth A, married John D. Smith, resides in San Diego, California; 7. Joseph Barton, resides in Frankfort, Indiana; all others deceased. Children of second wife: 8. Thomas Barton, now of Uniontown Pennsylvania; 9. Eli Cope, resides in San Diego, California; 10. Fannie G. married Lucien Carson, resides in Cadiz, Ohio; 11. Jennie, married Hanson Rutter, resides in Uniontown, Pennsylvania; 12. Ella married John H, Clark, resides in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

Henry W. Gaddis, eldest son of John (2) and Sarah (Barton) Gaddis, was born in North Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, January 3, 1817, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 28, 1896. He was educated in the public schools, and devoted his entire business life to farming and stock dealing, owning a good farm in South Union Township. He was also a director of the National Bank of Fayette County. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He married Ruth Anna Springer, who died in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, February 5, 1892, aged sixty-two years, daughter of Levi Springer, a farmer of North Union Township, who died February 14, 1862, aged eighty-four years. Her mother was Catherine (Conden) Springer, who first married a Mr. Todd, was also a native of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The sisters of Mrs. Ruth Anna Gaddis were: Catherine, widow of John Fuller, resides at Perryoplis, Pennsylvania; Priscilla, married D.O. Cunningham, of Pittsburg, and died aged thirty-one years. John O. Todd, issue of first marriage, and a half brother of Mrs. Gaddis, died in 1907, aged eighty-four years. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis; 1. Levi Springer, of whom further; 2. Sarah Kate, married Colonel Henry E. Robinson, of the United States Army, now residing at No. 28 Charles Street, Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Levi Springer Gaddis, only son of Henry W. and Ruth Anna (Springer) Gaddis, was born in South Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1850. He spent his early years at the home farm and attended the public school. He prepared at Madison Academy at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and entered Washington and Jefferson College of Washington, Pennsylvania, whence he was graduated, class o 1869. Having decided upon a medical profession he entered Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, whence he was graduated M.D., class of 1873. He was resident physician at Dixmont Hospital for the Insane for two years, then established in practice at Uniontown, where he still continues. He is highly regarded as a skillful practitioner and commands a most generous patronage. He is vice-president and director of the National Bank of Fayette County, and interested in other Uniontown activities. He is a Republican in politics, and for fourteen years served on the borough school board. He is a member of the Masonic Order, the Royal Arcanum and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Included in book "Descendants of Alexander Geddes/Gaddis" by Marie Branson King.
Dec 08, 2004 · Reply
Marie Branson-King Edgar & Mavis (Gaddis) Branson
Written by Maxine Gaddis Morris, sister of Mavis

Mavis and Edgar met in Rico, Colorado, when Mavis and Margie left Kansas City where they had been living with Alice and Eli and working there (Mavis was working for Hallmark Cards). Alice and Eli were going to a new pastorate so Mavis and Margie came to Colorado where we, Dad (Wade), Mom, (Elletta), Rowena, Dean and I (Maxine)) were living. Bea, Ira and kids also lived there.

Margie found work in the Harris Bank and Mavis heard of a job as housekeeper for Mrs. Pellet in Rico so she went there and was accepted. Mrs Pellet was running for State Congress against Mr. Akin of Dolores. Her slogan was "Take a Pellet and Stop Akin" .. she won. When she knew Mavis was dating Edgar, she investigated him and told Mavis he was okay. Edgar said when he met Mavis (by that time she was working in the Rico General Store) he knew he had to have some edge to get on the inside track with her, to keep ahead of the competition. So he bought a car. This seemed to do the trick and they were married sometime later.

When Marie was born at our home (Wade & Elletta Gaddis) in Dolores, old Dr. Lefurgey came to the house to deliver her. He was quite the old doctor and would be a great story in himself. He had started as a young Doctor in the early days riding horseback to the patients, Sometimes sleeping in a haystack along the way. He did surgery on kitchen tables and all those other things that the pioneer doctors did.

When Marie was born I happened to be home from school with a sore throat, but I came down stairs to see her, keeping well away from anyone. Edgar was completely overcome with everything. When he was sure Mavis was alright and they placed Marie in his arms the tears were running down his cheeks. I guess he had never seen a newborn baby before.. He couldn't get over the fact that she had tiny little finger nails and even eye lashes. His girls were always such a delight to him. I always thought he should have been an engineer. He just had that turn of mind.

Mavis impressed me with all her talents being able to do so many things - Rico Telephone Operator, (the switchboard in her living room), Rio Grand Southern Depot Agent, Rico, (the last agent in Rico), Manager of the Ricado Hotel, Rico, Owner of the Gypsy Motel, Durango, along with running a home and being a fabulous cook.

Of course, Edgar was always there helping out when he was home.
Dec 10, 2004 · Reply