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The following story was submitted by Trudy (Norman) Kemper (copyright).

The Eliason Family Hosted the Dalton Gang

I have come to the conclusion that I am never going to accurately nail down an exact date or exacts of anything. Here is what I know and I have attached a picture with the evidence.

As best as I can put together:

Sometime in 1891 or 1892, a group of men with guns rode up on horses to the Andor Eliason homestead (4 ½ miles west of Fowler on G Road(old Hwy 98), 1 mile south on 22 Road, ¼ mile west, located on the south side of the H Road). Andor & Helena were some of the early white folk to come to Meade County. They were Norwegian immigrants that had come from Norway in 1866, settled in Minnesota for a while (where they married and had their first 3 daughters, one of which was my grandmother Julia Eliason Norman). They came to Meade County area in 1878-1879 time period. Their son, John Emaus Eliason, was said to be the first white child born in Meade County on 23 Mar 1880. There used to be a picture of him hanging in the Meade County Museum, but I was unable to find it when I visited there the last two visits.)

In those days, the children were told never to look strangers in the eyes, but to keep their heads down, and to always serve those who visited you. The older girls were busy helping Helena in the kitchen to make a meal for the men. John Eliason kept stealing a look at the big guns hanging in the men’s holsters. Helena kept shushing him and telling him not to look. One of the older girls went into the parlor to get some supplies that were stored on a shelf over head. She dropped the box and startled one of the men sitting in the parlor. He leapt up in a hurry and his gun went off. The bullet hole was left as the evidence of the visit.

One of the girls, which I am unable to pin point if it was Lena, Amelia, or my grandmother, Julia, was told to play the piano to entertain the men while they ate. I am unsure how long the visit was, and any more details. A few weeks or months later, Andor had gone to Dodge City with the wagon for some supplies and some of the older children had gone with him. A newspaper was spotted with a picture of the Dalton Gang laying dead after the Coffeyville robbery. It was at this time the family recognized the men and realized that their visitors from a few weeks or months back had been the notorious Dalton gang.

The attached picture is my grandmother, Julia Eliason Norman, 2nd daughter born to Andor & Helena Eliason. She would have been about 18 or 19 at the time of this picture. On the wall behind her is the “bullet hole” that was said to have been from the Dalton gang visit.

Respectfully submitted,

Trudy Norman Kemper

Julia Eliason Norman Julia Eliason Norman

courtesy Trudy Norman Kemper

John Eliason

First European-American
born in Meade County


courtesy Meade County Historical Society

John Eliason


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