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Researched and contributed by Ron Kurz


Descendant contact: Jeanie Beeley

The Mable Kurz Parker Family
            Fred Parker                      Dorothy Parker                Mable Kurz Parker
        1896-1949                             1921-1999                             1896-1977
 Beeley Family Collection

The following family history was written by Jacob & Rosa Kurz great-granddaughter-in-law Jeanie Beeley in 1980 and is posted in the original form with her permission
It was first published by the
Comanche County Historical Society
410 South Baltimore, Box 177

In the spring of 1885 Jacob Kurz came to Comanche county to file a claim on government land in Rumsey township.  Jacob married Rosa Deubler in 1892 and they built the first wooden house in Comanche county.  The following year the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma was opened for settlement.  As neighbors moved on, Jacob purchased more land and their holdings became extensive.

Jacob’s professional interests were dryland faring and cattle.  He purchased the Durumas breed of cattle, later changing to the Galloway breed, and finally settling on the Hereford breed.  In 1913 the Kurz’s moved to Coldwater where they were to make their home for the rest of their lives.

In 1919 Jacob and Rosa’s eldest daughter, Mable, married Fred L. Parker.  In 1924 Jacob formed a partnership with Fred and Mable.  The partnership existed until 1946 when Jacob retired from active ranching.  Also in early 1930’s Fred purchased land which joined the ranch of the north and south.

In 1940 Fred and Mable’s daughter, Dorothy, married Woodrow Beeley.  In 1949 Fred died and at this time Dorothy and Wood moved to the ranch.  They then formed a partnership with Mable and the ranch was legally named the Parker-Beeley Ranch.

Mable moved to Coldwater where she lived until the time of her death in 1977.

In 1966 Dorothy and Wood’s son, Woody married Jeanie Judd.  The partnership was extended to include them and they too made the ranch their home.  It was 1970 that Dorothy and Wood built their home in Colder.  Woody, Jeanie and their sons, Robert and Roy, are now living on the ranch.

Today the Parker-Beeley Ranch is owned and operated by the fourth and fifth generations of this family.  Hereford cattle still feed on the native buffalo grass which grows abundantly.

Farming operations have gone from the horse drawn plow to the modern day cab tractor cattle  feeding has seen equal modernization, but the land remains much the same as it was when Jacob Kurz first laid eyes upon it almost a century ago. Jeanie Beeley

Woodrow Beeley

 Dorothy Parker Beeley
 Swaim Family Collection
  Mother and Son

Dorothy Beeley with son Woody
Grandmother with Grandson

Mable Parker with grandson Woody
 Swaim Family Collection
 Parker-Beeley Family 

Mable        Woody          Dorothy        Woodrow 
 A Girl and her Horse

 A young Dorothy Parke
rperforming with her horse 
 Swaim Family Collection
Beeley Family Collection

Death Comes to Prominent Rancher Fred L. Parker
Succumbs In Rochester, Minn. Hospital.

The people of Comanche County were grieved to learn last Monday that Fred L. Parker, one of Comanche County’s prominent stockmen and ranchers, had passed away at 12:12 p. m. in St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.

Mr. Parker had been in failing health since last September and upon the recommendation of the doctors at the Hardtner, Hospital was taken plane February 9 to the Mayo hospital in Rochester, Minn.  He was accompanied there by his wife, and his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Beeley, went by plane from Pratt to Rochester a day or two later to be with Mr. Parker.

It was found that a deep-seated malignant tumor about the size of an egg had developed in Mr. Parker’s brain and he became completely paralyzed shortly before his death.

The body was returned to Coldwater on Wednesday.  Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock in the Methodist church in Coldwater.

The services were in charge of the pastor, Rev. Donald A. Kessler.  There were many floral offerings as tokens of the deep respect in which the deceased was held by all who knew him.  Leroy and Raymond Cline san “The Old Rugged Cross’ and Home on the Range,” accompanied on the organ by George Wolf.

Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery near this city.  The honorary pallbearers were Victor Allderdice, Melvin Patterson, Dan Jackson, Ray McMoran, Howard Burnette, and Charley Jackson.  The active pallbearers were Muriel and Chas. Gregg, John McMoran, Lovedren Hall, Victor Gates and Roy Deewall.


Fred Leroy Parker, son of Charles and Ella Parker, was born August 9 1896, at Cabool, MO, and departed this life February 21, 1949, at the age of 53 years, 6 months and 12 days.
He spent the early part of his life at Cabool, coming to Comanche county in 1916.  He worked for Jacob Kurz and several other ranchers and took a great interest in the raising of cattle.
On March 27, 1919 in Coldwater, Kansas Mr. Parker was united in marriage with Miss Mable Kurz.  To this union were born two children, Mrs. Dorothy Dean Beeley of this county and a daughter who died in infancy.

Mr. Parker was a kind and loving husband and father and there was nothing he would not do to help a neighbor.  He was so manifestly fair and considerate of other that he was universally liked.  He was public spirited and took a great interest in the Comanche Herefords organization, the Farm Bureau and the cemetery association of which he was a board member.  For many years he had been the Rumsey township assessor and school board member.

He gave generously each year to the Methodist church and other organizations and unknown to others, materially helped many deserving individuals.

For many years he had operated the large Kurz ranch in the southeastern part of this county and had about 3000 acres of his own grass land and a fine range herd which e began accumulating about 1926.

Fred Parker will be greatly missed, not only by the cattlemen, but by a wide circle of friends.  He personified integrity and his word was as good as his bond.  He was one of the best beef producers in this section and knew how to handle cattle to the best advantage.

Mr. Parker is survived by his faithful wife, one daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Dean Beeley of this county a grandson, Woody Beeley One sister, Mrs. Blanche Kline, of Grass Valley, CA, One brother Reuben Parker, of Westport, OR, three nephews, Milson Parker of Delta, CO, and Bill Parker and Jack Kline of Newton, KS and by a host of friends.

Lifetime Resident Dies in Hospital

     Mable Parker, a lifetime resident of Comanche County, died Tuesday Morning, July 19, 1977, at the Comanche County Hospital at the age of 81 years.

     Rev. Wm. McFall conducted funeral services Wednesday, July 20, 1977, at 10 at the Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home.  Bonnie Frazier sand “In the Garden” and “How Great Thou Art” with Hazel McMurray as organist.  Pallbearers were Muriel Gregg, Charles Gregg, Neill Jackson, John Deewall, Bill Wasinger, and Gene Gates.


     Mable Parker, daughter of Jacob and Rosa Kurz, was born June 5, 1896, in Comanche county, Kansas, in the county’s first wood frame home southeast of Coldwater on what is now known as the Parker-Beeley Ranch and passed away July 19, 1977 in the Comanche County hospital at the age of 81 years and six weeks.  Her entire life was spent in Comanche county.

     On March 27, 1919 in Coldwater, Kans., Mable Kurz was united in marriage with Fred L. Parker.  To this union were born two children:  Mrs. Dorothy Dean Beeley of this county and a daughter who died in infancy.

     At an early age she joined the Methodist church, then in the country and later, she transferred to the Methodist church in Coldwater where she was a charter member.

     After the death of her husband in 1949, Mable moved to her home in Coldwater where she remained until the last seven months of her life which were spent at Pioneer Lodge.  Her greatest joy in later life was the caring for her two great grandsons, Robert and Roy Beeley, seeing them at least once a week.

     She is survived by her daughter, Dorothy, and her husband, Woodrow; one grandson, Woody, and his wife, Jeanie; two great grandsons, Robert and Roy Beeley; two sisters, Mrs. Rosa Bannick and Mrs. Ethel Swaim, all of Coldwater, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

     Preceding her in death were her husband, Fred L. Parker, her parents, one brother, and two sisters.

     Mable was a loving mother, grandmother, and neighbor and will be greatly missed by all.  She was of pioneer stock who loved the land of her birth and spent many happy hours riding on land that was known as home.

A quote from Mable
Yes, Mable spells her name that way - she always said "I'm not a BELL as in Mabel!!!"

Photos by Jerry Eagan
Crown Hill Cemetery, Coldwater, Kansas


Photo by Jerry Eagan
Crown Hill Cemetery, Coldwater, Kansas

Woodrow & Dorothy Parker Beeley

Jeanie & Woody Beeley

Beeley Family Collection

Robert Woodrow “Wood” Beeley

    Robert Woodrow “Wood” Beeley, 86, died Feb. 10, 2001, at Pioneer Lodge Nursing Home, Coldwater.

     He was born June 26, 1914, at rural Coldwater, the son of Allen LeRoy and Myrtle Harbaugh Beeley.  He attended rural country school and graduated from Coldwater High School in 1932.  A lifetime resident of Comanche County, moving into Coldwater in 1971, he was a farmer and rancher.

     Beeley attended Coldwater United Methodist Church, and belonged to Coldwater Masonic Lodge No. 295, the Wichita Consistory, the Wichita Shrine, the Coldwater Country Club and the Kansas Livestock Association.

     He was on the board of directors of the Farm Service Agency, served on the Mobil Service Station Board, was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors for Rural Water District No.2, and was involved in many other civic and community projects.  He also was an avid golfer.

     On Aug. 3, 1940, he married Dorothy Dean Parker at Greensburg, She died Oct. 9, 1999.

     Survivors include:  a son, Woody Dean and his wife Jeanie of Protection; tow grandsons, Robert Beeley and his wife Gwen of Garnett and Roy Beeley and his wife Sarah of Coldwater; and two great-granddaughters, Sydni Beeley and Jordan Beeley.

     He was preceded in death by a brother, Harbaugh; and a sister Ruth Beeley Allen.

     Funeral was Feb. 12, 2001, at the Coldwater United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Kent Little presiding.  Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home of Coldwater was in charge of arrangements.  Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery at Coldwater.

     Memorials may be sent to Pioneer Lodge or to the United Methodist Church, both in care of the funeral home.

Dorothy Beeley Dies at Pratt

     Dorothy Dean Beeley, 78, died Oct. 9, 1999, at Pratt Regional Medical Center.

     Born July 24, 1921, at the Kurz residence in Coldwater, to Fred and Mable Kurz Parker, she was a rancher and homemaker.

     She spent her entire life in Comanche County except for four years of high school at Mt. Carmel Catholic School in Wichita.  She attended Coldwater Grade School and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1939.

     On Aug. 3, 1940, she married Wood Beeley at Greensburg.

      In 1971, Dorothy and Wood moved to Coldwater from the country where she lived until moving to Pioneer Lodge on month ago.  Dorothy and Wood spent many years together on the ranch enjoying each other’s company.  They also enjoyed traveling and were privileged to visit such places as Hawaii, Japan, Europe, and Alaska.

     Dorothy also loved to play bridge and was a member of several different bridge groups.

     She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred Parker and Mable Kurz Parker.

     Survivors include her husband Wood of Coldwater; one son, Woody Beeley and his wife Jeanie of Protection; two grandsons, Robert Beeley and his wife Gwen of Garnett, KS, and Roy Beeley of Coldwater.

     Funeral was held Oct. 12, 1999, at the Coldwater United Methodist Church, with Rev. Kent Little presiding.  Burial followed at Crown Hill Cemetery in Coldwater.

     Memorials may be sent to Coldwater Heritage Park or American Cancer Society in care of Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home, P.O. Box 417, Coldwater, KS 67029.

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