Tisdale Methodist Church
Elza and Bill Ruggles with Tisdale Elevator in back
Tisdale Depot and three ladies


Forrest and Ethel Roberts in their 1917 New Era car. They are the parents
of Don Roberts, Ruth Scott, Jean Green and the late Montra Bergdall.

Luetta Scott – Mother of Warren Scott

This valuable history was sent to Mrs. Ivan J. Scott for the 1970 observance of Tisdale Church 85th Anniversary was written while Rev. Beason was a student in Southwestern College and he wrote me that I may keep it. (Warren Scott’s Mother)

 (from a note attached to the book) Laying of the Corner Stone March 26, 1948.  The metal box contains roll of membership, A white Bible, King James Version, The Methodist Discipline, A Winfield Courier, List of names of children baptized, A history of the Tisdale Church.

The first Trustees were Mr. Try – Mr. Hugh Chance and Mr. Moffet For full-time pastor Later Charley Cavit – Mr. Philip Cook – Ivan Scott Pledged to raise salary for full time pastor – not a circuit, Increased interest and membership.

Rev. Steadman Aldis was a preacher here, then went to India to tell the people there of Jesus – "Go into all the World".  An acre of land was purchased November 10,  1884.  Building of first part completed in June 1885.  The second part build in 1923-4 while Reverend Archie B. Madison was pastor.


  1. Why did my church begin? Because people in this new country had a love of God and wanted a place to worship together.


  2. Where did my church begin? First meetings/services were held in home of Mr. and Mrs. Ellinger – by a man named Elder Thomas. Then when school house was built (1872) service was held in that till Tisdale Church was built. A circuit – let by father Knight. Burden Rev. Long – Rev. McKibben – church records were lost or destroyed some way.

Rev. Stewards preached in school house promoted building a church.  Mr. Ellinger build the foundation and chimney, people of many denominations attended and helped, later more Methodists and it was dedicated as Methodist.


History of Tisdale to 1927

Mace V. Beason

The Kansas Emigrants.  By Whittier


We cross the prairie as of old


The pilgrims crossed the sea.


To make the West, as they the East,


The homestead of the free.


We go to rear a wall of mess


On Freedom’s southern line.


And plant beside the cotton-tree


The rugged northern pine!


We’re flowing from our native hills


As our free rivers flow:


The blessing of our motherland


Is on us as we go.


We go to plant her common schools


On distant prairie swells.


And give the Sabbaths of the wild

The music of her bells.
Upbearing, like the Ark of old,
The Bible in our van.

We go to test the truth of God

Against the fraud of man.

No pause, nor rest, save where the streams

That freed the Kansas run.

Save where our Pilgrim goufalou

Shall floaut the setting sun.

We’ll tread the prairie as of old
Our fathers sailed the sea.
And make the west as they the East,
The homestead of the free! (1984)

History of Tisdale.

No make believe pioneers were those sturdy hearted, sun-tanned sons and daughters of the plainsmen and mountaineers, who followed the Forty-niners westward some years later.


Those trail-blazers came in true pioneer fashion, with ox-teams and prairie schooners, not in search of gold, but rather they came seeking to establish homes and to prepare the way for civilization.


Slowly westward, but steadily westward, moved the caravans of lumbering ox-teams and prairie schooners, on and on into the far-flung untamed country of the west, they bore their precious cargos of hardy pioneers.


Only virgin soil and unbounded treeless, rolling plains stretched into tiresome distances in very direction. The only inhabitants of these unconquered western expanses before the coming of the white man’s onward march, were the savage, war like Indians and their companions of the prairies, the buffalo, the antelope, the jack-rabbit, the wiley coyote and the rattlesnake.


The untamed plains and prairies began at length to yield to the relentless, indemonstrable spirit and will of the invading pioneers.  Early in the sixties those who wandered southward from the Santa Fe Trail might have found, in the Walnut Valley in that portion of the state which later came to be known as Cowley County, the small beginnings of a little village. And there were those who did come southward and who found this little daughter of the prairie. This village later developed into Winfield, the county seat of Cowley County.


Before the United States survey had been made of the territory now known as Cowley County, a town company was formed by settlers then living at Emporia. These men came and establishing a town at the junction of the Walnut and Arkansas rivers, which they hoped to make the county seat of the county soon to be surveyed. The junction of the two rivers was chosen as the town site in the belief that it was the central point of the county.


The town started there was first called Creswell for one of the state officials of that time. But when a Post Office was applied for, it was learned that a Kansas town of that name was already in existence. Delphi was then decided upon as the proper name, but when the Post Office was granted it was named Arkansas City, which name it has since borne.

The two newly established villages of the frontier, Winfield and Arkansas City, at once became rivals in their quest for the County Seat.


In an election help on May 2, 1870 Winfield, although considerably smaller than Arkansas City, was declared the County Seat by a vote of 108 to 55. This election, however, did not settle the contest between the rival towns.


"On July 15, 18780 Congress passed a law to open up the Osage Diminished Reserve to settlement. The law was first to be ratified by the Osage Chiefs and then the land was to be surveyed by the government and sold to actual settlers in quantities not exceeding 160 acres, to each ‘in square firm’." The passage of this law attracted large numbers of settlers to Cowley County.


The search for suitable homestead lands drew prospective settlers five, six, seven, eight and even nine miles east of Winfield, to what has since come to be known as the Tisdale Community. The first homesteader of the community was a man named Foughty, a veteran of the Civil War, who had lost a limb in that conflict. He homesteaded the land now owned by Elijah Bailey. His log cabin built of threes hewn on Silver Creed, stood back in the field on the north side of the road, a few rods north of the large stone house now owned by Billy Bailey.


The county survey was made in January 1871, by the United States Deputy Surveys, O. F. Short and Angell. The survey caused a great deal of excitement among the settlers and prospective settlers of the county. Men driving ox teams, to wagons loaded with lumber followed the surveyors and as soon as a quarter section of land was surveyed which had no buildings on it, the first man there with his lumber unloaded and began to build, in order to hold the land until he could homestead it.

The county lines were now established by the government surveyors, and Arkansas City was found to be 4 ˝ miles from the south line and 6 miles from the west line, instead of being locted in the center of the county. While Winfield was 8 ˝ miles due west of the center.

It then became evident to Arkansas City that it was useless to compete longer for the County Seat; but it was thought that a new town might be started which might take the County Seat from Winfield. Therefore the founders of Arkansas City formed a town company with a charter bearing the date June 13, 1871. The company was composed of D. A. Keith, president and C. R. Mitchell, Secretary. It was given the name "The Tisdale Town Company." It proceeded to lay claim to the land about the geographical center of the county and to erect building and establish a town called Tisdale.

The Winfield Town Association which had been looking for some such move, arrived at the geographical center with lumber and claimants nearly as soon as the new town company, and jumped their rivals’ claims. "But the Winfieldites did not win this time." The founders and claimants of the new town could steal more lumber during the night than their rivals could haul out during the day. And finally Winfield abandoned the task, deciding it to be too expensive, and left the ground to their rivals who proceeded to lay out the town side and to complete the building already begun, and to erect others. The town site was then just east of the present location of the Tisdale Community M. E. Church. In fact the town well still exists. It is located in the very center of the Tisdale road about in front of the driveway leading to Mrs. Bevins’ house. A large slab of stone covers the mouth of the well and the road is graded over it.

The Tisdale Township was organized August 1, 1871, with S. S. Moore, Township Trustee. J. A. McGuire, Clerk and G. W. Foughty, Treasurer.

The building enterprises at Tisdale had progressed rapidly and then even in so short a time it was a thriving pioneer town. It consisted of a number of dwelling houses and a business section of no little consequence for such a primitive country in so early a time. The business section was then composed of two general stores, each carrying a complete stock of drygoods and groceries, some hardware, harness and implements. The proprietors of these two establishments were J.A. McGuire, and M. G. Trupp. In addition to these two general stores the business block of the town could boast of a printing office, the birthplace and fist home of "The Cowley County Telegram" (a year later), a drug store, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel. The hotel still stands and is in good condition. For years it has been the commodious dwelling fo farmer-fold. The Tisdale Hotel is the large stone house standing on the corner west of the church, now owned and occupied by Billy Bailey and his family.

The hotel was indeed a splendid piede of workmanship, a building of which an early County-seat town could well feel proud. Similar structures were seldom seen in this section of the country at that time.

Petitions were circulated for an election with the intention of relocating the county seat.