The Rumors Were Wrong


Word of mouth spread quickly in the community, even in 1905. Aaron Vining, his wife Carrie, and their 8-month-old daughter Jennie had drowned in the flooded Chetopa Creek. The family had gone to nearby Vilas to visit Aaron’s parents,  Jennie and James Vining Jr.

They were expected back on Sunday but the alarm went up when they did not arrive. The heavy rain on Sunday had made the creek very high and risky for a buggy to cross. His brother went to Aaron’s house but no one answered the door. He feared the worst had happened.

Fortunately, the rumors were mistaken, the family was safely at home in their beds and had not heard the knocking on the door. Since the creek was flooded, they had returned home by way of Chanute.

The newspapers reported on the mix-up. The Wilson County Sun of Neodesha, Kansas carried the story on Fri, Jul 07, 1905 on Page 1.

Aaron Vining family not drowned. -

The Neodesha Register featured their version of the story on that same day on page 4.

Aaron Vining family missing/found -

The family had rented the A.N. Foster farm just 6 months earlier in January 1905. Formerly the farm was called the Old Ditto Farm. They moved to the farm from Newark shortly after baby Jennie was born.

My third cousin, Nancy Henning, had this photo of the couple, her great-aunt and great-uncle. To me, Aaron is a first cousin, 2x removed.

Aaron Lee Vining, b. 1877, & wife Carrie, courtesy Ms. Nancy Henning

Aaron and Carrie Vining (I suspect this is their wedding photo, so that would make it from December 1903.)

Baby Jennie, named after her grandmother, lived to the age of 92. Here’s a photo of her as she was growing up.

Jennie Vining

Photo of Jennie Vining (courtesy of Nancy Henning)

How fortunate we are that this family did not die tragically in the flooded Chetopa Creek and instead lived long and productive lives. Ten years after this mistaken story, Aaron and Carrie had another daughter, Mary Ruth. Here’s a photo showing the whole family (thanks again to cousin Nancy for the photo).

Aaron L. Vining and wife Carrie Carson with Mary Ruth and Jennie

Aaron Lee Vining, wife Carrie, daughters Jennie and Mary Ruth.

3 thoughts on “The Rumors Were Wrong

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