We talked about the Sloans (Grandmother's father's side). The Wilkins (Grandmother's mother's side) we don't know as much about. Rebecca Wilkins died in 1899 at the age of 48. Bingham Wilkins was a railroader and did a few odd jobs. I have faint memories of Grandmother talking about her Grandfather working at the railroad station, living in the house there. When we went to Selden, we looked through their newspapers from the early 1900's. Here are a couple talking about Bingham:
Here's the transcription of the part that mentions Wilkins:
B.G. Wilkins, of Selden, was a Rexford visitor last Monday. Mr. Wilkins has lately traded the stock of merchandise which he owned at Selden for a farm and will change his occupation in the future. - Rexford News
(looks like this is when he dropped farming and picked up railroading!)
B.G. Wilkins left the first of the week for Logan, Kansas, to look after his farm. He will again take up his old occupation as station agent on some railroad in the near future.B.G. Wilkins had options!
We are not sure how Mary Ellen Wilkins (the daughter of B.G. and Rebecca) met William Sloan, both families lived in Selden, but it seems some of the Wilkins moved away, including Bingham toward the beginning of the 1800's. Possibly due to his careers changes! Both families had experience farming. The Sloans made their living that way. When I describe Grandmother as a "Kansas farm girl", it is true on both sides!
Selden is still a TINY town in Kansas. How do I know? I visited of course! Here is a description from one of the papers we looked at from the 1900's.
In the month of June 1888 the town of Selden first saw the light of day. Now we have a population of about 300. As a Rail Road, Stock Raising, Agricultural, Fruit Growing, Commercial and Business Point, Selden occupies at present, or will in the near future, a commanding position in Western Kansas and will undoubtedly hold the second if not the first place in point of population and wealth in Sheridan County within the next ten years.
Seldenis located on the Rock Island rail road midway between Norton and Colby; nineteen miles North west of Hoxie, (the county seat of Sheridan County,) and twenty-three miles south of Oberlin(the capital of Decatur County and where is located the U.S. Land Office.)
Parties who contemplate embarking business will do well to visit this town before locating as the Selden Town Company will offerExtra Inducements to all parties who will engage in any kind of business at this place.According to this newspaper, this town of 300 was the up and coming place to be (or they hoped you would think so and bring your business there). Selden's current population is listed as 216.
Grandmother went to school there, her extended family is in the cemetery in Selden. Grandmother grew up on a farm not far from the heart of town. They lived in the farmhouse below (you can see me, my dad and the nice man who lives there now who let us walk in and look at it). Also- that dog was awesome.