Martin Samuel Weaver: Kansas Homesteader

Second cousins Gladys (née Barkis) Gallagher Walters and Georgia (née Weaver) Koelsch, with some recent additions by Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter, compiled a history of the extended Weaver family in America, focusing upon the Weavers in Kansas. Sharon's paternal great grandfather Martin Samuel Weaver (1841–1927) was the first to settle in Kansas, forging a path from Holmes County, Ohio to Wagstaff in Miami County, Kansas in 1871. Many of Martin's siblings soon followed him to Kansas, while the remainder stayed in Ohio and Indiana.

Martin Samuel Weaver was the son of Samuel P. Weaver (1815–1882), grandson of Peter P. Weaver (1784–1836), and great grandson of Swiss immigrant Jacob Joachim Weaver Sr. (1748–1820), the subject of the history "The Weaver Way: Zurich → Pennsylvania → Ohio."

Martin was the oldest offspring in a very large family: After Martin's mother Catherine (née Kauffman) Weaver had died at the age of 39 in 1860 after the birth of her eighth child Catherine, Martin's father Samuel got remarried to a much younger woman Mary Nickey (1843–1925), who was Catherine's 1st cousin 1x removed. In fact, Mary was younger than her own stepson Martin! Samuel and Mary proceeded to have 10 more children, bringing the grand total of Samuel's brood to 18! We're guessing that Martin probably went to Kansas just to be somewhere less crowded! He may have been ahead of his time with social distancing ;-)

On January 13, 1871, Martin homesteaded on SE½ 13-16-23, which is at address 26150 Block Road in Marysville Township in Miami County, Kansas, about 39 miles SSW of Kansas City, Missouri (in what is quickly becoming suburban Kansas City!). Martin went back to Ohio to get married and then returned to Kansas with his young bride Sarah (née Maxwell) Weaver (1849–1920). Below are Martin and Sarah and their seven children circa 1899. (Another child Ida May Weaver had died earlier as an infant.)

Martin Samuel Weaver Family Martin Samuel and Sarah (née Maxwell) Weaver and family. Front row: Martin W., Ora Franklin W., Scott Cleveland W., and Sarah W. Back row: Abner Maxwell W., Minnie Matilda W., Atla Wellington W., Ada Grace W., and Calvin Daniel W. (click for family view page).

The photo below shows a much older Martin with some of his family circa 1918 in front of the house that he built in the 1870s. Martin's son Ora Franklin Weaver, who died at 48 years old in 1929, is behind the steering wheel, with his dad Martin just behind him and his mother Sarah in the background in black with the apron. Other family members are not identified, including the girl looking out the second floor window. They likely include Ora's sister Minnie (née Weaver) Barkis and her husband Frank Tresslar Barkis and their children. Some time after Martin passed away in 1927, the Barkis family owned and lived at the Weaver Homestead for a couple of decades, and then later they rented it out.

Weaver Homestead
Weaver Homestead house built in 1870s, circa 1919, Marysville Township, Miami County, Kansas (click on photo to zoom on Google Maps).
Weaver Homestead
Weaver Homestead barn, built 1892, Marysville Township, Miami County, Kansas (click on photo to zoom on Google Maps).

Ora's son (and Sharon's dad) Robert (Bob) Oran Weaver (1928–1989) ultimately purchased the Weaver Homestead for his wife Virginia (née Kohlenberg) Weaver Knop (1932–2016) and their family in 1963, just before their youngest son Jerry Alan Weaver was born. Sharon was not quite eight years old at the time. "ROW Acres" as it is now called is farmed by Jerry, who lives 0.6 miles north on Block Road, and his twin sons Kurt and Cory Weaver. Jerry took over the farm after Bob died in December 1989. Virginia remarried an old family friend Welby Knop in March 1991. The photos below show some of Bob and Virginia's kids and grandkids in 1992 in front of Martin Weaver's original house, renovated in the 1970s, and at the 100th anniversary of the old barn constructed by Martin. (The barn was badly damaged by the March 6, 2017 tornado and was razed in December 2019.)

Weaver Homestead House, 1992 At the Weaver Homestead house, 1992. Front row: Jessie, Kayla, & Ian Weaver; and Jillian (holding Audrey) & Scott Vitter. Back row: Stacey (holding Emily) & Jerry Weaver; Steven & Kathy Steele; Roxanne & John Weaver; and Sharon & Jeff Vitter (click on photo to zoom on Google Maps).

Weaver Homestead Barn, 1992 100th anniversary of the old Weaver Homestead barn, 1992. Not much had changed in 100 years except the horsepower! (click on photo to zoom on Google Maps).

A lot of comings and goings have occurred in the 253 years since immigrant Jacob Joachim Weaver Sr. crossed the ocean in 1767! His descendants have spread far and wide from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas — now covering most of the states in the USA as well as several foreign countries.

More Weaver Histories