Volume IV  Issue 3 August - September 1999 free

The Duntons of Arcadia, Kansas
Compiled by Michael L. Dunton

I recently had the opportunity of picking up several photographs from an antique dealer in Missouri.  Although she did not remember which estate sale or auction she had obtained them at (she attends several every week), she was very generous in sharing her personal recollections of applicable history.  What follows is an email that I received from her:


Thanks for emailing. I vaguely remember hearing their outfit advertised on TV many years ago. I'm guessing that they probably went out of business in the 1970's or so. It's been ages since I'd heard anything about them - or even thought about them - then I got these photos at an auction in Kansas. I don't remember the estate name or even which town I was in. I go to at least 2-3 auctions weekly both here in Missouri and Kansas. (only 5 miles about Arcadia - some of which lends credence to what I was thinking:


It's history began in 1878 when a town sprang up 1/4 mile south of Old Arcadia, Ks. It's name was FINLEY CITY and set where the railroad and a coal mine owned by Capt. George Finley met.  It became an overnight "boom town".  When OLD ARCADIA saw what FINLEY CITY was becoming that they were dying they took a drastic step. They picked up the post office and carried it to FINLEY CITY during the night.  

The town woke up the next morning with a post office and a new name ARCADIA, meaning rural beauty.

At one time ARCADIA boasted two banks, a grist mill, a saw mill, four dry good stores, four grocery stores, two drug stores, several newspapers, one undertaker, a harness shop, a blacksmith shop, several other businesses, and several coal mines.

In 1885, a smallpox epidemic broke out in ARCADIA.  Many of the residents died and those who were able, moved away.

Later many came back and the town prospered until the 1930's when depression and surface mining lowered the population. The high school closed in 1965 and the grade school in 1966. The passenger trains ceased to stop in the 1960's and the depot was torn down in the 1970s.

Today many of the building still stand silent in this once busy town.  ARCADIA now exists as a small quiet town in Northern Crawford Co. (foot note: the ARCADIA newspapers are in Girard Genealogy Dept. on micro film)

I did go to the furniture store once in the mid-1960's with my parents - it sat next to a general store where we bought my 'chore coat' and a hat just like my dad's. About all I remember about the store is that they had several couches and dinette sets and even then I wondered how they were surviving with not much else in the town. They did advertise heavily in the 1960's on TV and radio. I just asked my husband if he remembered the store being advertised since he moved here in the late 60's. He barely remembers hearing the commercials and never visited the store. 

So I'm afraid I'm not much help - but maybe it's a start.



P.S. -- The more detailed history was found online - here's the URL for that:


Do You Know Who These People Are?

1.jpg (100366 bytes) paneltruck.jpg (130862 bytes) 2.jpg (109455 bytes)

If you know which Dunton family member owned, or owns, this furniture company, I would love to include any and all information in the family archive.  It is so exciting for me to keep items like these photos "in the family" and available through the online archive.

Update 9/25/2005 - The picture of the couple in front of the Dunton truck is Clyde and Margaret Holmberg. Margaret was the secretary at Dunton store for many years and Clyde was a salesman. I do not know who the children are. I will try and find out for you.  (From Barbara, a former Arcadia resident)

Duntons of Fitzwilliam, Cheshire County, New Hampshire

While spending time doing research or compiling Dunton family data, there are certain family and place names that regularly pop up.  The following email from Bonnie Divoll is an example.  Please let me know if this type of information is useful or interesting to you.

In doing research on my family I found the following records in the Vital Records of Fitzwilliam, NH and thought they may be of interest to you.

  • Estella May, daughter of George L. May (the family I am researching), married Charles A. Dunton of Fitzwilliam, age 22, son of George O. Dunton, age 65, of Fitzwilliam and Emily A. Stone, on 10/22/1898. Marriage performed by John Colby. Estella was age 15. Their children, as recorded in Fitzwilliam:

  •  Alice M. Dunton, b. 2/17/1900, listed as first child of Charles A. Dunton and Mary May.

  • George Dunton, b. 6/26/1903, 2nd child.

  • Arthur W. Dunton, b. 8/17/1904.

  • Another record, as recorded, Alice M. Dunton, married George Dewey Chase, on 3/31/1917. Alice died 1/8/1918 at Millers River Hospital in Winchendon, Worcester County, MA from complications of pregnancy.

 I can assure you these records exist as I had the wonderful opportunity to actually sit down and go through the vital records of that town.  I hope they help in your fantastic undertaking of a consolidated database for the Dunton surname and it's variations. Best of luck to you........ 

With Regards,

Bonnie Divoll

Submit obituaries, marriage, military service, special events, birth announcements and prayer requests to keep us all up to date!

Vic & Nancy Dunton have returned to Oregon from an extended mission trip to Australia.  Welcome back.

Please pray for Sara Dunton while she is attending a Christian young adult conference, sponsored by Summit Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She will return home (all fired up) on August 21st.

"Life On The Farm"
Being a brief regular accounting of the events from life on the Victor Hugo Dunton farmstead in Oregon

Well, I finally got a few minutes to get a newsletter put together.  I apologize to all of you for slacking off.

Although I have not been able to dedicate a lot of time to working on genealogy, I have had a few opportunities that have arisen.  The main article in this issue is an example.  I have a couple of others that I will use in upcoming issues.  Stay tuned!

Life on the farm has been interesting.  Our family has had many serious challenges over the past few months and working through them has and will make us stronger.  As you already know, family -- immediate and extended -- is very important to me.

Like other parts of the country, our weather has not been "normal".  It hasn't been for a couple of years now and the climatologists are predicting winter weather similar to last year's.  The winter of 2000 might be an early and long, rough one for us.  Summer didn't come until the first part of July here and Fall is already threatening.

It has resulted in a very difficult gardening season for us.  Short season crops like beans, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and beets are doing well, but I am worried that we will not see a very good tomato, corn,  or pepper crop.

Canning season has started.  The girls have put up peaches, blueberries, and several batches of jams and jellies.  Relish is being canned as I type.  Hopefully the fruit room will be full before too long.  

For those of you city born and raised, there is an amazingly satisfying feeling when we get the shed full of wood, the barn full of hay, and the fruit room full of food.  It is our country savings account.

Please continue to send your family updates and news articles.  Please forgive me if I am a bit slow at replying to email.  It is not because I don't care.

Take care, slow down, live life, and may the Lord bless and protect you and your family.

Mike Dunton - 8/12/99

You can see and read more about our farm and our garden seed company at:


Victory Seed Company

If you are a vegetable or herb gardener, contact us at www.victoryseeds.com/contactus.html, tell us where you read this, and we'll mail you out the 2000 catalog, free of charge, when it comes out later this year.

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