By Douglas Steeples with Lois Steeples Settles.
The book below is a fascinating account of Steeples history, written by Doug Steeples and Lois Settles. The book actually contains much more than a biography of David James Steeples, offering the reader significant ancestral background from centuries past, as well as, overall world history from the period surrounding D.J.’s life. Thank you to both authors for all their hard work, which will be a priceless resource for many future generations of Steeples.
Third Edition – updated June 20, 2013
Download David James Steeples book (high quality PDF 15.4 MB). Slower download.
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Download David James Steeples book Kindle version (3.2 MB). Save the file to your computer in a location that is easy to find again, such as the desktop.
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From the email address that you used to create your Amazon Kindle account, send an email to your “Send-To-Kindle” email address. Attach the downloaded PDF file to the email and type “convert” into the email Subject.
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The document will be sent to your Kindle usually within about 5 minutes.
For additional details on getting the book onto a Kindle, see Kindle Personal Documents Service Help.
William Wallace (Wally) Steeples was born 03 February 1904 in Zurich, Kansas. Wally married Vera Marie Kobler on 12/24/1926. He died 29 July 1966 in Hays, KS. Marie Kobler was born in Penokee, KS on 17 Aug 1906. Marie Kobler Steeples died January 10, 2002 in Hays, KS. Wallace and Marie Steeples are buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Palco, KS.
Wallace and Marie Steeples had the following children:
In his later years, Wallace was active in the Republican party. He was a Kansas State Representative for two years and also served as the campaign manager for Bob Dole during Dole’s early years as a politician. At a book signing by Bob Dole many years later, Wallace’s granddaughter introduced herself as such to Dole, who then stated enthusiastically “Wally taught me everything I know”. Quite a compliment coming from the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Presidential candidate.
William Wallace Steeples, the son of D. J. and Myrtle Steeples, was born February 3, 1904 at Zurich, Kansas. He died July 29, 1966 at Hill City, Kansas, at the age of 62 years. He served as Superintendent of Schools at Holton, Delia, Hill City, and Palco, Kansas, and was County Superintendent of Public Instruction of Jackson County.
He served as State Representative from Rooks County from 1962 to 1964. He was a member of the Hill City Presbyterian Church and was active in the Palco Methodist Church. He was a member of the Paradise Lodge, No. 290, AF and AM, Plainville; the Consistory Isis Shrine, Salina; BPOE, Hill City. Steeples is survived by his wife, Marie (Kobler); three daughters, Mrs. Boyd (Jean) Webb, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Glen (Joann) Haslett, Arkansas City; Mrs. Robert (Lois) Settles, Athens, Georgia; two sons, Donald and David, of the home; two brothers, Chester, Plainville; and Wayne, Burbank, Calif.; five sisters, Mrs. Edith Whisman, Palco; Mrs. Alveda Newman, San Bernadino, Calif.; Mrs. Mildred Ross, Lincoln; Mrs. Olive Herron, Scott City; and Mrs. Freda Lowry, Hayward, Calif.; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at the Palco United Methodist Church and burial in the Pleasant View Cemetery, Palco.
We want to thank all our friends and relatives for their prayers, assistance, and many kindnesses, following the passing of our beloved husband and father, W’ W. Steeples.
The family of W. W. Steeples
(The above article was printed in The Hill City Times for Thursday, August 4, 1966)
As many of you are gathering to remember Hillon today, I am reflecting on the many good times we had over the years. Since our mothers were sisters and our fathers were brothers we never went to a reunion on either side without Hillon, Duane, and Donna being there. This did, of course mean a close affiliation through out our younger years. At any rate, there are so many times we shared I want to take a minute to share my appreciation of the those times.
Earliest memories do include Christmases for many years at the Chester Steeples’ farm, and at the Grandparent Kobler farm. Such fun for a little girl from town. Farm animals, chores, etc. fascinated me. Hillon and Duane would show me how the cats would catch the milk when they were milking and they “gave it a squeeze” their way. Watching as they would sheer the sheep and dip the animals, etc. all the while the cousins were busy, but never too busy to answer questions I had. Wonderful times remembered and even when they teased me (and they did) it was a fun tease, not a mean one. They showed me how you could take a bucket and swing it around and around and no milk flew out (demonstrating centrifugal force) which impressed me. Snakes did not scare them (they did me), and they taught me about buffalo wallows and so many other things one never sees in town.
One of the most fun times I remember was riding in their car with the rumble seat, and taking it over to the pond to fish. Hillon and Duane taught me to fish. I caught my first fish with them and I suspect it was too small to keep, but they never let on that I had not done a really good job! Ice skating on the pond when it was frozen was another special time. When Hillon went off to the Navy in 1944 Aunt Olive learned to play BELL BOTTOM TROUSERS AND COAT OF NAVY BLUE and any time there was a piano near by you could count on it, she would play it. Hillon made a very handsome sailor!! Fortunately, WWII was over by the time he made it to Japan, but I remember writing letters and how excited we were when he came home. He was seven years older than I was, which made little difference by the time Bob and I got married. We baby sat for Jim and Judy while we were dating and played bridge with Hillon and Monie every time we got back to Palco for years.
As our kids grew up and (thank God) became independent and we had retired, we traveled to Spain and Portugal together, staying in timeshare condominiums. We had one week in Portugal and two in Spain at two different locations. Such fun. Each place we ate Hillon would try a new fish. Each time he would say, “Well that’s another one I don’t need to try”. He was fascinated with the fish market where local fishermen came in with their daily catch. A huge warehouse would hold the catch and local (and probably some who were not) gathered and they would move from catch to catch and auction each variety of fish, all in Spanish. Hillon loved it (much like the cattle barn sales, of course) and we had to practically drag him away after a couple of hours. That is also where we saw the first Smart Car we had ever seen and got a picture of tall Hillon towering over the little car. In Portugal while on the beach Hillon and Bob spotted a gal laying on the beach who was wearing only the bottom of her bathing suit. Hard to get them away from there, too. Bob was going to take a picture but her husband or boyfriend sat up and looked right at him, so he gave it up. It was also in Spain where we went to a small town Tapas Bar. I don’t believe any Americans had ever been there before so we became quite an attraction. We had servers hovering over us and others watching our every move. They were very friendly even though no one seemed to speak English. They kept bringing fried sardines to our table (free) and finally Hillon said, “Stop eating the sardines, I think they won’t serve what we ordered as long as we keep finishing the sardines!” He was right, but I have to tell you those were the best sardines we had ever eaten.
Our next trip was to England and Scotland. We stayed at numerous bed and breakfast places throughout England and then stayed at a timeshare in Scotland just north of the Firth-of-Fourth. A great place to stay as it was close to St. Andrews where we went two days, and also close to Edinburgh, where we could spend some time with our cousin, Eileen (Steeples) Leitch and Bill Bell. They were great hosts to get us in to places we never could have gone (or found, for that matter). Besides seeing the family home in Mussleburgh, Scotland they took us to the University of Edinburgh where we saw a good bit of history in the buildings (I loved seeing the picture of John Knox and knowing he had taught there [good Presbyterian]). They took us to Bill’s golf club where we had dinner. Coats and ties were required and neither Bob nor Hillon had brought a dress coat. Bob could wear Bill’s, but Hillon was so tall with long arms that Bill borrowed a coat from the golf pro, the only guy in his club who wore a jacket that large. It was great fun, as they were roasting one of their members and (listening hard to all the Scottish brogue) we all left in a great mood.
Before we left for England and Scotland we spent a couple of days with Marcie’s family in New Jersey. Vince was just about two at the time and he was crazy about Monie and Hillon. He wanted to sit on their laps all the time, and as you might suspect, both were very accommodating. Hillon loved little kids, just like Dad and Uncle Chester.
I must include that when Hillon and Sonja married, it was always great fun to come to Hays and visit. I used to baby sit with Sonja when she was about two (no, she does not remember) and we lived next door to her grandparents in Hill City. They knew so many of the old friends I had way back when in Hill City. Great hosts and fun to be with, thank you, Sonja.
Well, to finalize this I wish to take this time to say, while many of you I have not had the opportunity to be so close to, I do have some wonderful memories of all the first cousins, and many of them have been as we have grown older (and wiser, of course) and become a closer family because of the family reunions, primarily. George and Duane and their wives who started our reunions, Tammy Steeples with Don’s support took over for two sessions when I had done about all I could do, did a fabulous job in Lawrence. When I was doing the reunions in Colorado, Tanya’s daughter, Lisa Stormes Hawker, was a big help. George and Berdena Whisman and their family, my daughter-in-law, Yvonne Settles and granddaughters, Mari Ellen Settles and Marie Settles, Sonja Steeples, who did so much in the kitchen each year, so many others I should name all of you were such a big help. Thanks to Dick Ross for being our MC a couple of times. To all of you who made contributions and attended time and time again, you are greatly appreciated.
Finally, I want to thank Doug for a great job on the book about grandpa and ALL OF YOU. This is our heritage and it is a phenomenon to have it down for posterity. Your children, grandchildren and all those following will have it for reference. If you have not taken time to read it, Mike Settles (our middle son) is preparing it (with restored pictures, new information from Doug, Eileen and me), to be put on-line soon. You can read it there, send it to your family, print it if you wish for a hard copy. It has been a lot of work on the part of all of us trying to perfect and correct so it will be as close to being what really has been for all to read. You will receive an email soon giving you the website address.
So, where am I going with this? Two places. Number one: I have a deep and enduring love for all of you. Dad used to say, “Blood runs deeper than water”. Our parents were brothers and sisters and learned to be determined, sturdy, dependable and loving in a musical, hard working household. I could say much more, but I will only say I am taking this opportunity to let each of you know how much you have meant to me. When we lose our loved ones we realize how little time we have taken to say you are special, you are cared for and you are appreciated.
Second. I am sorry it has not worked out for a reunion again. I hate to see it end, but it appears it is. Responses were sparse this time. Many of us are growing older and find it difficult to travel so much, to be in a high altitude, and others expressed wanting very much to get together, only give them a time and place, but no one seems to want to take the responsibility to get us all together. And, so, dear souls, please know it has been great getting to see all of you over the years. Should anyone wish to “arise again” both Tammy and I have information for the gathering.
You are special, you are cared for and you are appreciated. With love, Lois
Hillon Steeples was born 02 Aug 1926 in Hays, Kansas. Hillon married Ramona (Monie) Dodd on 12/27/1947. He died 15 Dec 2012 in Hays, KS.
A photo slide show was created by Judy Steeples Alston here in memory of Hillon Steeples.
Hillon D. Steeples, 86, died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at his home in Hays.
He was born August 2, 1926, in Hays to Chester and Olive (Kobler) Steeples.
He was a graduate of Kansas State University.
He married Ramona R. Dodd on Dec. 27, 1947, in Hill City, KS. She preceded him in death on June 20, 2002.
Hillon was a U.S. Navy veteran serving in Pearl Harbor and Japan in World War II. He was a farmer and rancher in the Palco area where the family farm dates back to the 1800s. He served on the Kansas Farm Bureau Board of Directors for 17 years and on the Plainville Rural Hospital Board. He was a member of the Shriners International and attended the Presbyterian Church in Hays.
On Dec. 12, 2003, he married Sonja Scranton Kobler in Hays.
Survivors include his wife, Sonja, and Sonja’s children, Kobie and Angelique Kobler, Lawrence; and Tyler and Brenda Kobler, Wichita; Hillon’s son Jim and Connie Steeples, Denver; grandaughters Dana Steeples of Denver, and Kellie Camilli and husband Lou, Las Cruces, NM and greatgrandson Benjamin Camilli; daughter, Judy Alston and husband Joe, Prescott, AZ, grandsons Thomas Alston, Tucson, AZ and David Alston, Portland; son Dan Steeples, Falls Church, VA; brother, Duane Steeples of Zurich; and sister, Donna Childs, Fairway.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to the Fort Hays Shrine Club to be used for the Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Presbyterian Church of Hays.
Chester Francis Steeples was born 01 Dec 1902 in Zurich, Kansas. Chester married Olive Irma Kobler on ??/??/19??. He died 23 May 1981 in Plainville, KS. Olive Kobler was born in Penokee, KS on 10 Aug 1900. Olive Kobler Steeples died Oct ??, 1994 in Plainville, KS. Chester and Olive Steeples are buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Palco, KS.
Chester and Olive Steeples had the following children:
Additional content will be added later for Francis (Frank) and Mary Ann Morison Steeples. However, the David James Steeples book, written by Douglas Steeples with Lois Steeples Settles already contains a wealth of biographical and historical information for Frank and Mary Ann.
Eventually, I hope to improve this section with a more complete and useful family tree. For now, here is an all-in-one tree in PDF format showing the ancestors of the Children of David James and Myrtle Steeples.
Since two Steeples brothers married two Kobler sisters (Chester and Olive Kobler Steeples, Wallace and Marie Kobler Steeples), there is significant history between the two families. The Kobler Family Ancestry website has been running for some time now, for anyone interested in Koblers or interested in seeing a more mature family ancestry website.
Rather than post all of my Steeples photos here, it is much easier to just provide a link to my Father’s website, where they are already available. There are some excellent old photos here, most of them with captions identifying the individual people.