Saturday, August 29, 2015

Millard and Ethel Akers

Photo courtesy of Aker family
Rev. Millard Merle Akers (1890-1945) = Carpenter, School teacher, Farmer, Minister. Millard was born to Oliver and Clara Isabelle (Shaffer) Akers in Linn County, Kansas near Mound City on August 7. The Akers emigrated to Seward County, KS. Millard learned the carpenter trade from his father and then became a school teacher when he grew up and taught two years after he married his wife, Ethel Julia (1890-1974; great-granddaughter of Elder Martin White) on November 6, 1910 at her parent’s home, Alfred Jefferson and Fannie Viola (Bogart) White, east of Liberal, KS.
To this union, six children were born – Richard, Alfred, Fannie, Nellie, Arlene, and Donald. Richard, Alfred, and Don owned menswear clothing stores in Kansas – Richard, Pioneer Men’s Store in Elkhart; Alfred, Al’s Clothing in Kinsley; and Don in Dodge City. Fannie worked in the canteen at the Veterans Hospital in Wichita, KS; Nellie was a nurse and Arlene was a teacher and pastor’s wife.
Millard and Ethel moved to Baca County, Colorado after his school teaching days to a claim about fifteen miles west of Elkhart, Kansas. During this period of time, he felt God calling him to ministerial work. He pastored Church of God (Anderson, IN.) churches in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, and Florida. He was the pastor at the Liberal, Kansas church when his youngest daughter, Arlene was born. Millard filled the pulpit of the Pleasant Prairie Church of God near Satanta, KS. from time to time during the year of 1938-39 when the church was without a pastor. He was in Beaver County, Oklahoma at the time of his death with cancer on November 4, 1945. He was buried in Liberal’s city cemetery and Ethel was laid to rest next to him.

* I have happy memories of spending a week with Great-Aunt Ethel at her home in Liberal, KS during campmeeting one summer. She lived in a tiny bungalow across the street from the Church of God campmeeting tabernacle. Ethel’s granddaughter also had the privilege of staying that week too. Donna and I went shopping uptown, bought some liquid dip film in a can and wire to make plastic flowers from the dime store that was all the rage then and spent our week making bouquets of flowers to donate to the ladies missionary store on the campgrounds. The WOCG supplied linens and craft items to sell and the money collected went to help support Church of God missionaries, like Edna Thimes.

More to Read:
1. -- US Federal & State Census Records
2. Haskell County, Kansas. 1887-1987. 100 Years Beneath the Plow, A Historical Anthology. Ed. By Janice Lee McClure, Haskell County Historical Society. Mennonite Press, Inc., Newton, Ks. 1988.
3. “The Old Timers: As I Remember Them” by Chester C. Tucker. Printed c. 1963
4. White’s Family and Their Kin. Mrs. Gladys Esther White O’Neal and Elma Leota White Stoops. Paper Graphics, Garden City, KS; 1983.
5. Findagrave #10328566
6. Elkhart Today, Episode 23

Places to Visit in KS:
1. Church of God campgrounds, Liberal
2. Pleasant Prairie Church of God, Satanta
3. Morton County, Kansas Historical Museum, (Pioneer Men's Store exhibit), US Highway 56,  Elkhart 

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