Wellington – On Monday, February 17th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Raymond Frye Complex, 320 N. Jefferson, the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society in Wellington will host the presentation “First Families of Sumner County: the LeForce, Walton, and Clewell Families”, presented by Bruce Walton, Donald Clewell, Brian Turney, and other descendants of the LeForce, Walton and Clewell families.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the SCHGS at schgs@sutv.com, or check out the website at http://ks-schgs.blogspot.com/p/programs.html for more information.

One hundred-fifty years ago in July of 1870, a party of nearly forty people in eight covered wagons that included the Clewell, Walton, and Leforce families and a few others, came to northeastern Sumner County near Belle Plaine to homestead.

These families homesteaded near the Ninnescah River between Belle Plaine and London and descendants of those families live in Sedgwick and Sumner County today.

According to newspaper articles, prior to their arrival there was “a sprinkling of bachelors” who had scattered themselves over the prairies of Sumner county, including John Degolia and his French partner Cadou, whose trading post was along the Chisholm Trail north west of Wellington/ But the county, which had plenty of quail, prairie chickens, antelope and rattlesnakes, was not “graced by the charm of woman's presence nor by the innocent prattle of children” until these first families arrived.

Descendants from those original families hosted a gathering and storytelling event on July 6, 2019, at the Council Hill Christian Church in Peck, and these families will share the stories of their families’ arrival and survival in Sumner County, as well as their part in the settlement of Sumner County.