Joseph Flue


Most of us pass through life, interacting with our acquaintances on a daily basis, without ever pausing to think of the stories that are hidden in the history of the families of the individuals.  Even as genealogists, we more often fail to expand our interest to any families other than our own relatives.  Such is the case of the Flue Family of Roger Mills County, Oklahoma.  While growing up here in the county, I had known of one family named Flue who lived in the Crawford neighborhood.  There were four girls in this family who were active in 4-H club work and I would occasionally see them at county   4-H events.  Later, I would come to know their father through visits to the parts store or local cattle auction barn.  Such was my knowledge of the Flue Family until doing research for this presentation.

Joseph [Jefferson] Flue was born in Baden, Germany in 1848.  This was in the old kingdom of Prussia.  In Germany the surname was most likely von Flue which was shortened to Flue when he came to America.  He and his older brother, John, came to America either in 1854 or 1859, depending upon which census information is used.  Either of those dates would make Joseph a small boy of six or eleven years old and John, only five years older.  Because of their young ages when they immigrated to the US, I tend to believe that they probably came with one or both of their parents.  Nothing has been found to substantiate this belief.  The middle name Jefferson came through  I have some question about the name Jefferson being used in Germany.

The boys landed in New York City and probably settled in Syracuse, NY soon afterward.  By 1861, at age 13, Joseph had joined the New York Infantry of the Union Army, serving in the 149th and 102nd Regiments, fighting in a Civil War for a country he hardly knew.  These Regiments were from the Syracuse area and it is surmised from this that the two brothers were living in that location.  It is unclear if Joseph served to the end of the war or in what capacity he served.  Following the war Joseph became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic [GAR].  In 1870, his brother, John, was married with a family and was living in Essex, New Jersey.

By age 22, Joseph had found his way to Illinois where he met and married Margaret McGreevy in or before 1870.  Margaret was of English decent and is said to have had Royal English ancestors.  By the time their first child, George, was born, Joseph and Margaret had found their way to eastern Kansas just west of the Kansas-Missouri line and settled in Bourbon County and later, Crawford County where Joseph became a life-long farmer.

Their address was alternately given as Drywood and Coalvale, both non-existent towns today.  Drywood was on the Missouri-Pacific Railroad and Coalvale was on the St. Louis-San Francisco RR as these rail lines ran south out of Kansas City.  In 1880 these two locations were only about four miles apart and only one to four miles from the Missouri state line. This area was settled by many families of German decent so the Flues probably felt they were back in the “Old Country”.

Joseph and Margaret possibly never moved or else not moved very far during the period 1870 to 1890 era.  A daughter, Kate, gives her birthplace as Godfrey, a small nearby town in Bourbon County, Kansas.  I believe that during the period of 1870 to 1900, Joseph and Margaret rented the land they farmed and as was the case with many tenant farmers, may not have lived on any particular farm for more than a year or two before moving on to what they hoped would be a better location.  These moves were all confined to the same general area and probably crossed the Kansas-Missouri State line on at least one occasion.  This may account for the fact that Coalvale, Drywood and Godfrey as well as both Kansas and Missouri were listed as places of residence for the family and birth locations for their children.

The exact location of the family during the interval between the 1880 census and the 1900 census is unknown.  How long they remained in the Drywood-Coalvale area can only be inferred.  Rosa, who was born in 1882, gives her birthplace as Illinois.  If this is correct, it indicates that the family returned to the birth state of Margaret before Rosa was born.  However, this may have been a mistake by the census taker.  Ida May, the youngest child, born in 1891, states that she was born in Missouri.

By the time of the 1900 census, Joseph and Margaret Flue were living in Deer Creek Township of Custer County, Oklahoma with three of their children, John, Rosa, and Ida May.  Years later, Ida May recalled that she was about 10 years old when the family traveled by covered wagon to Oklahoma where they lived in a dugout and suffered the woes of the typical pioneer family.  So the Joseph Flue family must have arrived in Custer County just in time for the 1900 census.  Family history lore says that the older children remained in Missouri while the parents and younger children moved to Oklahoma.  However, as explained later, George was in Oklahoma in 1892.

Ten years later, in 1910, all the children were out of the house and on their own and Joseph and Margaret were living in Streeter Township of Roger Mills County.  Several of their children and families lived nearby in the same township.  The elder Flues continued to live there until Margaret’s death in 1927.  She was buried in the Fairview-Durham Cemetery.  Joseph then lived alone for a period of time before moving to Houston, Texas to live with his two youngest daughters.  He died in Houston in1937 and was returned to Cheyenne to be buried in Fairview-Durham Cemetery.

In 2009, there were only two direct descendents of Joseph and Margaret Flue living in Roger Mills County.  At one time during the 1920s or 1930s there were perhaps as many as 30 family members living here.

GEORGE AUGUSTUS FLUE was the first of eight children born to Joseph and Margaret.  He was born 27 March 1871 in Bourbon County, Kansas, probably Coalvale.  Family history as noted in Crane’s “Cemeteries and More” book says that George A made the land run into C&A Country in 1892.  He would have been 21 years old and well qualified to claim land.  George married Laura Oma Condo eight years later on 7 September 1900 at El Reno, Oklahoma.  George’s obituary says his wife’s maiden name was Dove but I believe this to be an error as his youngest sister married a man named Dove and it is possible the person writing the obituary got confused.  George and Laura lived on a homestead near Crawford and raised six children there.  They were Iva or Ivy, Ray H, Lee, James William, Theodore E and Dorothy D.  George died at Crawford on 10 September 1940 and Laura lived until 1971.  They are buried in the Fairview-Durham Cemetery.  George was a farmer-rancher.

MARY A FLUE was the second child born to Joseph and Margaret.  She was born 22 Dec 1872 in Kansas, probably Coalvale.  She married a man named Cummings and in 1937 was living in Denver.

KATHERINE ELIZABETH ‘KATE’ FLUE was born 19 April 1875 in Godfrey, Kansas, probably in the same house as her older brother and sister.  She married John Henson Stout on 3 Sept 1895 in Girard, Kansas.  They were the parents of 10 children, one of these, Joseph Hensen, dying in infancy.  Kate and John homesteaded a farm near Crawford, Oklahoma in 1901 and lived together there for almost 43 years.  Their other children were Leola Divelbiss of Enid; James F of Enid; Blanche McGaughey of Eakley; Margaret Porter of Canadian, Texas; Vinnie Cravens of Enid; Edith Myers of Crawford; Rebecca Buller of Enid; Frank R, serving in the US Navy in 1945; Madeline Wilson of Cheyenne; and one step daughter, Lula Church of Valley Falls, Kansas.  The 1930 census for the J H Stout family shows another daughter, Thelma M Stout, age 7, in the family.  Kate would have been 48 years old when Thelma was born.  What happened to Thelma?  Kate died on 20 Jan 1945.  She is buried in the Silent Home Cemetery at Roll.

John Hensen Stout was born 3 April 1863 in Phillippi, West Virginia.  He lived in Missouri before moving with his second wife, Kate, to Oklahoma in 1897 where he made his home for 48 years.  He was a millwright and farmer.  He died on 20 April 1949 and is buried in the Silent Home Cemetery at Roll.

I feel there is a mistake on the 1930 census report for the Stout family.  J H is reported to be 67 years old [this I agree] and Kate is reported to be 65 years old.  In 1930, using her birth date as 1875 from earlier census records, she would only be 55 years old.

EFFIE CHARLOTTE ‘LOTTIE’ FLUE was the fourth child born to Joseph and Margaret.  She was born in Bourbon County, Kansas on 27 Sept 1877.  She married Albert Marion Barnes on 6 July 1897 in Loveland, Co. and they lived in Denver.  Lottie died on 28 Dec 1956 in Denver.

ROSA BRUNER FLUE was the sixth child born 2 Sept 1882.  The census states that she was born in Illinois.  She married Alva C Ross about 1901.  They lived in the Crawford neighborhood before moving to Sayre where she died.  They had at least one child, Reba L, who was born about 1904.

JOHN JEFFERSON FLUE was born 9 March 1880 in Kansas, the fifth child of Joseph and Margaret.  He married Gracie Florence ________? about 1909.  They lived in the Crawford community where he was a farmer.  The 1910 census shows John at age 30 and Florance at age 18, living in Crawford community.  He registered for the draft for WW I in 1917 when he was 37 years old.  John and Gracie had at least one son, Benjamin F, born about 1915.  The 1930 census for Ft. Supply lists a Florence Flue, age 29, living there.  Was she a worker or an inmate?  She was born in 1901.  She may have been a daughter of John and Gracie Florence.

CORA MATILDA FLUE was born 23 Jan 1885.  She married McKnight, lived in Houston where she died on 15 June 1966.

GUSSIE LEOLA FLUE was born in 1887.  No information has been found for her. A list of the children of Joseph and Margaret with their birth years was compiled by Ida Dobbs.  The original list was composed of eight children.  Gussie was added later though she was not the youngest.  In the 1900 census, after all the children of Joseph and Margaret had been born, Margaret states that she had eight living children of eight which she had borne.  Also, none of the census records of the Flue family ever record Gussie.  Where did she come from and where did she go?  The only place she shows up is as an addition to the list of children of Joseph and Margaret.

IDA MAY FLUE was born in Missouri on 11 July 1891.  She married second William H Dobbs and died in Conroe, Texas on 14 Jan 1970.  They had no children.  She had two children by her first marriage, Joseph S Dove and Dorothy M Dove.  Her first husband was Lee Dove and they were married in Oklahoma.  They moved to Houston in 1925.  The 1930 census shows that her father, Joseph, was living with her and William in Houston.  This was shortly after his move to Texas.  Ida died on 14 Jan 1970 and is buried in Resthaven Cemetery in Houston.


IVA FLUE was born in 1902 at Crawford, Oklahoma.  She married Riley E Noblitt in 1919 in Roger Mills County, but she died in 1920.

RAY H FLUE was born 11 May 1903 at Crawford, Oklahoma.  He married Maudie B _______?  Their married life was spent in the Pampa-White Deer vicinity of Texas.  Ray died on 7 Sept 1986 in White Deer.  They had at least one child, Betty R, born about 1927.

LEE FLUE WAS BORN 18 Feb 1906 in Crawford, Oklahoma and lived in Roger Mills County all his life.  He first married Alice Ione Young in 1931 but she died two years later in 1933.  They did not have any children.

He next married Gladys Fletcher on 4 Nov 1938 and they made their home for a time in the Durham community.  They were the parents of four daughters.  Barbara, the oldest, married Richard H “Pinky” Carter.  Sandra married George Goin then later a Jensen and an Anders.  Jayne first married a Gordon then a White.  Wanda was married to a Hayman and a Diel.  Wanda died 7 March 1992 and is buried in Silent Home Cemetery at Roll.  Gladys died 14 June 1967 and is buried in the Silent Home Cemetery at Roll.

Lee Flue lived 1 ¾ miles west of Crawford on the south side of the road.  A neighbor recalled that Lee and Gladys were several years in completing the house they lived in.  It was presumed that they would do additional building whenever they had the money.  Lee raised Hereford cattle and bought a lot of stockers from the cattle auction barns.  These stockers were then grown out on the pasture that Lee had..  When the Flue place sold, Randell Calvert bought most of the land and his son, Teddy bought the house and about 100 acres.

JAMES WILLIAM FLUE was born 27 March 1909 near Crawford, Oklahoma.  He married Jessie Emma Keahey on 15 June 1934.  James and Jessie began married life at Crawford where four children were born.  They later lived in the Borger, Texas area.  James died 29 Dec 1982 in Hutchinson County, Texas.

THEODORE E FLUE was born in 1910 near Crawford.

Theodore was living at Crawford in 1940.  He was living in California in 1963 and died in 1991.

DOROTHY D FLUE was born in 1912 .  She married Charles H Holloway in 1935 in Roger Mills County.  They lived in Paonia, Colorado and in California in 1963.

JESS FLUE is believed to be a son of George.  Jess lived in Colorado in 1963.

Following the death of Gladys, Lee married Willa Dodson Carter and they first lived in the Crawford Community and then for a short time in Cheyenne.  Lee died 14 Nov 1980 and is buried in Silent Home Cemetery at Roll.  Willa died 2 July 1986 and is buried in the Cheyenne Cemetery.

By the time of the 1920 census, in addition to Joseph and Margaret, there were three other Flue families composed of their children and grandchildren living in the Streeter Township near Crawford.  These were the families of George, John J, and Rosa Ross and her husband, Alva and their children.  These families were all living in close proximity to each other.

Lee Flue and his family were to my knowledge, the last family in Roger Mills County to hold the Flue name.  Lee was born in 1906 and lived at Crawford all his life.  He married Alice Ione Young in 1931 at the age of 25.  Alice passed away in 1933 before they had any children.

Lee then married Gladys Fletcher in 1938 and they had four daughters.  They were Barbara, Sandra, Jayne, and Wanda.  Gladys died in 1967.

Following the death of the mother of his girls, Lee four years later married Willa Carter, the mother of Lee’s son-in-law, Richard “Pinky” Carter.

One of the daughters of Lee and Gladys, Wanda, died in 1992.

A grandson of Lee and Gladys, Rick Carter, died in a car accident on New Year’s Eve of 1977.

Another grandson of Lee and Gladys, James Goin passed away in 1984.

Members of the Flue family living in Roger Mills County in 2009 are a former son-in-law of Lee Flue [George Goin] and two grandsons of Lee Flue [John Goin and Randy Carter.

REFERENCES—Writings of, and pictures copied from a great granddaughter of Joseph and Margaret Flue, Judy Lee Kowis, as well as correspondence with her by e-mail.  Glen Crane’s book, “Cemeteries and More”, U S Federal Census for the years 1870-1930, Obituaries from “The Cheyenne Star”,, Social Security Death Index, WW I Draft Registration Cards in Roger Mills County,  RMC Marriage Records