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He was an Honorable man

 As a child Noah Zeigler's parents, George N. Washington Zeigler and his mother, Elizabeth (Masters) Ziegler, owned the Drover's Cottage in Abiline, Kansas and later the same hotel name in Ellsworth. As a boy, Noah did stable and stockyard work along with odd jobs around the hotel as might be expected of any young person in the 1870's.

  It wasn't all hard work, however, as at this time Noah met both Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickock along with other fancy personages of the old west. Both were residents of the Drovers Cottage for a time in Abilene. Noah regarded Buffalo Bill as "only a carney man" and he much preferred the friendship of Wild Bill. Once while chasing bandits with Wild Bill, Noah witnessed Hickok fatally shoot his best friend by accident. The outcome of that story may never be known.

Noah Zeigler Cowboy  In the photo above, Noah is the cowboy on the right. The other two rapscallions are unknown.

  When Noah was twelve he signed on as a drover for a Texas cattle drive. He rode the trails from Texas to Kansas, in the early days and became a first-class rancher and livestock man. But he remained a cowboy until the day he got married to Laura Bell Morris. He loved his wife dearly and she changed his life forever. On their wedding day, while riding home in a carriage, he stopped along the road and hurled his liquor bottle onto the wagon wheel, and said, "I will never drink again." And he lived up to that oath for the rest of his life.

  While on the trail Noah developed a code of personal ethics that held him in good stead as a gentleman. He tended to place his wife, a younger woman, on a pedistal and his grandson Jack says that Noah became a bit of a prude regarding women.

  He told his grandson (Jack Zeigler) that he never carried a gun, saying, "Only lawmen and outlaws carry guns." Noah's grandson remembers vividly what he thought of Calamity Jane too - "Calamity Jane was something not worth printing".

  Jack Zeigler recalls being spoiled by his grandfather and they were constant companions. He tells that Noah would alway say "giddyup" when the car started and "whoa" when he stopped.

 

 

OAKLEY GRAPHIC

NOAH ZEIGLER ANSWERS LAST CALL

His Life a History of the Cattle Business in Western Kansas. - Had Title to the First Assembly of Range Land Into One Big Ranch Before the Organization of Logan County. - Knew Hickok and Cody, and Rode the Old Cattle Trail As a Boy.

  Noah Zeigler passed away at his home in Oakley last Wednesday evening at the age of eighty-two years, and his going takes away another of the unique personalities who stood out as a landmark in the sturdy generation which developed the high plains country from virgin territory into one of the great cattle countries of the United States. He rode into the country on a horse as a cowboy following the great herds from the southwest, and a cattleman he remained with full faith in the calling until his death.

  Noah Zeigler's life was a living history of the cattle business of western kansas. As a boy at Abilene, Ellsworth and Hays, he personally knew Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody and others of that day. Hickok and Codybo arded with the parents of Mr. Zeigler when they operated the American Hotel in Abilene. At an early age he worked as a rider with the big cattle outfits in their drives of the huge herds from Texas to the railroad at Abilene and Ellsworth, and as the Kansas Pacific came west his ability to handle cattle became recognized and he held responsible positions with the big cattle pools which operated along the Smoky Hill and Arkansas rivers, and was one of the best known cowboys in the western operations of the large companies.

  When the big pools broke up, the riders and others connected with them sought work farther west or returned to the Panhandle or the Mountains country, the last of the great open range lands. Noah Zeigler began the assembly of a large ranch of his own on the Smoky southeast of Oakley, and the old maps of St. Johns County, which embraced all the country from WaKeeney west to the state line, showed only two titles in 1884. One was the Zeigler ranch, what is now the Gourley ranch, and the other was the Sears Horse Ranch. Logan County was organized a year later, making Noah Zeigler the first titled ranch owner in the county.

 

Noah Zeigler
NOAH ZEIGLER

 The big cattle ranch was the show place of the country in the early days and the present stone house was built for Mr. Zeigler by Gil Olson. The ranch handled many thousands of heads of cattle yearly and as more ranchers came and and the country became more settled the Zeigler ranch still held its place as the leader in the cattle industry.

  The blizzards took heavy toll of cattle and the destructive markets of comparatively more recent years finally added the touch which eliminated all the old cattlemen with the exceptionof the Warrens in south Logan County. The storms of 1918 finished the Robidoux holdings and after that Mr. Zeigler moved to Oakley and turned his expert knowledge of cows to buying and selling and feeding operations.

  Noah Zeigler was conceded to be an expert judge of cattle, a knowledge which he had gained from a lifetime spent with them. He loved his cattle and horses and in the Pioneer Parades in Oakley Noah eigler always rode and sat the saddle like the masterly veteran he was. He became a legend, and his stories and anecdotes of early days always were good entertainment for his old friends and newcomers who were priviledged to know him well.

  His tremendous vitality and virility enabled him to enjoy the last few years of his life doing the things he liked best that of caring for livestock and he was active in his daily routine of duties, which was typical of the rugged life he had lived.His passing seems to take away the last landmark that was emblematic of the great cattle industry which after all was the true mission of the first settlers of this section.

Obituary

  Noah Zeigler, son of George W. and Elizabeth Zeigler, was born September 2, 1858 in DeKalb County near Butler, Indiana and died in Oakley, Kansas November 27, 1940 at the age of 82 years. He came to Kansas with his parents in 1869 where he lived intermittently at Hays, Abilene and Ellsworth. While still a boy he came out to what is now Wallace and worked as a cowboy for the Prairie Cattle Company, when the company was new. He worked for them until 1884 when he took a homestead and went into the cattle business.

  He was married on June 16, 1893, to Laura Morriss of Oakley. To this union five children were born, two of whom preceeded him in death, Frank at 18 years and Keith at 4 years. He leaves to mourn him in death his wife, Laura and three children, Darrell and Jack of Oakley, Laura Dell, now Mrs. Lloyd Armstrong of Salina; three sisters , Mrs. Mary Vanatti of Hope, Kansas, Mrs. Louisa Healey of Gatun Panama and Mrs. Della Ham of Oakley; three grandchildren, Jackie, Dorothy Ann and Daryl Zeigler of Oakley.

  He lived a happy and active life and was loved by young and old alike who knew him. His stories of pioneer and cowboy days were more thrilling to his children and grandchildren than any ever printed in books. He had no love of pomp or show but welcomed the highest and the lowest

 


Noah Zeigler Obituary

 

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