John N. Gere
civil war veteran
"Killed by Indians" in 1870
By Sharla Cerra
From the July 2015 Table Rock Historical Society Newsletter
Supplement -- a recollection about john gere's death, by his sister-in-law Fannie Giddings Norris
From Sharla: After writing this article, I discovered a little more information about Joh Gere in the recollections of Fannie Giddings Norris that were set down by her family in 1931, when Fannie was 92. Fannie was the sister of Lydia Giddings Gere.
Fannie's story as set down seems to suggest that John was killed near the White Cloud reservation in Northeast Kansas. At age 92, Fannie's recollections may have been fuzzy but more likely the family members simply did not preserve this small piece of information. The information that they DID preserve, however, is great -- a small clue to John as a person -- for a year-and-a-half, he was a teacher on the Indian reservation where his brother-in-law C. H. Norris was the agent (the White Cloud reservation).
Fannie also added a comment about Lydia's life after John's death, mentioning Lydia's second husband.
even more information about john gere's death -- a relative of one of the gere party might be living in pawnee county: steve staley
When the Gere story in the newsletter was posted on Facebook in August 2015, Geraldine Staley provided additional information, reporting that her husband Steve's great great uncle Willis Luckey may have been a member of the Gere party. Luckey was not mentioned in the accounts cited in the newsletter article. However, Geraldine relates an event that sounds like the Gere incident:
Willis Luckey was the first of the Luckeys to arrive in Mitchell County, coming here in 1870 from Bartholomew County, Indiana. He took a homestead by the Solomon River near the present town site. According to the 1902 Mitchell County Atlas, Willis was the founder of Walnut Creek Township. He was here when three white men were killed by Indians near the bluffs in 1870, the surviving two making their way downstream, while hiding in brush, to his dugout.
Willis spent the rest of his life in this community, engaging in farming and owning, at times, various pieces of property in town and surrounding area. In 1890 he had a stone building constructed to the west side of the square, however it is not known what the building was used for at that time. Willis died on February 27, 1893, at the age of 57 years and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetary on the hill
Soon after Willis settled at Glen Elder, his mother (commonly known as Ann) and several of his brothers and sisters came here also, taking homesteads in this area.