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Kansas Register of Historic Places may include Elliott farm

The Superior Express of Superior, Nebraska

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A farmstead once operated by a Superior resident, the late Richard Elliott, is being considered for possible inclusion in the Kansas Register of Historic Places.

An application nominating the Woodland Place Stock Farm near the former town of White Rock in northwest Republic County, will be considered by the Kansas Historic Sites Review Board. The board is scheduled to meet and consider the application on Saturday.

The farm is now owned by Locke and Jolynn Elliott Pierce, Woodland Park, Colo.. Mrs. Pierce is the great-granddaughter of Joseph and Bertie Elliott former owners of the farm.

The original Woodland Ranch was established by George and Elizabeth Johnson who donated land for the Pawnee Indian Village State Historic Site.

The farmstead includes two barns which were once important to the Shorthorn and Polled Durham cattle raised on the farm. They may be restored and used in association with a sawmill and timber enterprise now being developed on the farm. The farm recently received a Certified Treet Farm designation by the American Tree Farm System.

Locke Pierce is a member of both the Kansas Barn Alliance and the Kansas Preservation Alliance.

The farmstead was built by George and Elizabeth Johnson who donated the land for the Pawnee Indian Village state historic site. George Johnson settled in White Rock Township in 1869 and is considered to be the township's second settler.

The Johnsons' cattle farm evolved to be known as the Woodland Place Stock Farm and then Woodland Ranch.

Eventually the property was purchased by Joseph and Bertie Elliott. Elliott and William Sherman Lower, the Johnson's son-in-law, were partners in the operation. Elliott was in charge of day-to-day operations. Lower was banker who operated banks in Republic and Concordia.

Rail service played an important role in the cattle operation. Animals from the farm were shipped from Republic, Lovewell, Hardy and Courtland. Each of those communities was served by a different railroad, Republic by the Missouri Pacific, Lovewell by the Santa Fe, Hardy by the Burlington and Courtland by the Rock Island.

Two Midwest Prairie style barns were built on the property. The Midwest Prairie style is characterized by wide sweeping roofs, horizontal massing and gable-end entrances with large hay mows and hay hoods since the barns were primarily built for hay storage.

From the beginning, Kansas farms were larger than the national. The larger farms required large teams of draft horses and more hay. Woodland Ranch's operation was large enough to require two Midwest Prairie barns.

While the two barns are similar, there are some differences. For example, the siding is vertical on one and horizontial on the other.

The farmstead house was destroyed by fire but other buildings and a windmill remain.

The farm eventually passed to the Elliotts' only son, E.J., who farmed the land until his retirement in 1957. His only child, Richard, farmed the land for a few years and continued to manage it until his death in 2009. Jolynn Elliott Pierce, great-granddaughter of Joseph and Bertie and her husband, Locke, have managed the farm since 2009.

The land has been rented to Dwight Garman for a number of years.

Most recently a timber area comprised of black walnut and burr oak stands is being managed as a tree farm Longterm plans calls for the production of hardwood lumber. It is anticipated the South Barn will be used to store equipment used by the tree farm.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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