Headrick Family History

Cecil Headrick wrote the following for the Cowley County Heritage book, which could be found in the Southwestern College Library and in the Winfield Public Library in Kansas. Based on the information he provided, I believe he wrote this in 1989, shortly before he left Winfield for Santo Domingo:

Robert E. Headrick (1866-1917) was the son of Orville B. Headrick and Sarah Hall, who lived in Greeneville, Tennessee. Little is known about their ancestry.

Sarah made all of Robert's clothes until he was sixteen. She spun the yarn, wove the cloth, and sewed the clothes herself. She died when Robert was about twenty.

Orville was a wealthy landowner and clerk of the County Court of Greene County, Tennessee. He was the leading pallbearer at the funeral of former President Andrew Johnson.

Orville and Sarah had five children: Robert and four daughters. At Orville's death, he left each one of them $10,000.00 in gold coin.

Robert married Uona Belle Lovette (1873-1962) in Greeneville, Tennessee, in 1894. Onie, so called by those who knew her well, at age six, stuffed straw in clay to make bricks that were used to build Woolsey College on Camp Creek above Greeneville. Robert was suffering from tuberculosis and moved west in search of a drier climate. In 1910, he and his family took up residence at a farmhouse near the Wright Canyon School, half way between Winfield and Ark City, and kept cows there until August of 1913. At that time, the family moved to 901 East 10th in Winfield, next door to the Albright Mansion.

In 1914, the family moved to a farm four and one-half miles north of Winfield and stayed there until 1915, when they moved to "The Cedars" (a name later given by Lucy, Robert's older daughter) one mile north of Island Park, where they stayed until 1923. [Location?]

After a third trip to Arizona in four years, Robert died in March of 1917. His body was borne by horse to Union Cemetery. He was anti-automobile!

His wife, Uona Belle Lovette, was a fourth generation descendant of Michael Garoutte, a French nobleman, who had contributed two ships of his own and voluntary crews to the American Revolution in 1777.

Robert had inherited $10,000.00 in gold coin at his father's death, but this money remained intact during his life. He was a saver because of his ill health. Despite this fortune, his children walked barefoot to Southward School, in a poor section, rather than to the Eastward School, which was nearby and in a "better" section.

After Robert's death, the family used the inheritance to buy a house at 101 Michigan in Winfield, and rented out the farm.

Robert and Uona Belle had five children: Lucy, Grace, Herbert, Luke, and Cecil, all born in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Robert's older daughter, Lucy, after taking second place in graduating from WHS, taught at the Odessa Rural School from 1914 to 1916, and took care of lawyer McDermott's children while attending Southwestern, from where she graduated in 1920. She then taught in Hutchinson under Superintendent J.W. Gowan, whom she had known at Winfield High School. In 1926 she came back to Winfield to teach and coach dramatics at Winfield High School, where she remained until her retirement in 1960. She was much loved by her third-year English students, to whom she read "A Tale of Two Cities" by Dickens 146 times in her thirty-four years of teaching. In 1954, she was chosen as one of seven master teachers in the State of Kansas. Even in her dying years at the Winfield Rest Haven, many people swore their love for her.

Robert's second and third children, Grace and Herbert, graduated from Winfield High School in 1917 and from the State Agricultural and Mechanical College at Manhattan in 1922. Grace went into teaching and later became a dietitian at the Beloit Community Hospital, where she remained from 1930 to her retirement in 1965.

Herbert had taken officer training and became a second lieutenant. He was employed at Westinghouse as a constructor of electrical power stations until his premature death from a heart attack in 1939. His son, Lewis, became a member of the IBM staff for twenty-four years, and is still active as a computer engineer. His other son, Robert, was for twenty years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics expert, and later worked for General Motors. Another son, Homer Frank, became an oil expert.

The two youngest offsprings of Robert's, Luke and Cecil, graduated from Winfield High in 1920 and 1923, and from Southwestern in 1925 and 1926.

Luke married Ruth Corren, a cousin of Amos or Andy. They had no children. Luke taught in high schools and junior colleges and settled down in a nursery and lawn business in El Dorado.

Cecil, while a Freshman at Southwestern, in the spring of 1923, together with a sophomore by the name of Percy Beck, was interviewed by the city editor of the Courier and reported as having stated that the Belgians in 1914 should have let the German army pass through their territory rather than lose one third of their men of military age. (In 1939, the Belgians in fact chose that course of action.) This expression of pacifism was noted by American Legion Post No. 10, which demanded that the college dismiss both students. But College President A.E. Kirk took a plane from the East Coast to address a crowd of several thousand Winfielders, gathered in the new Southwestern gym, to defend the right of students to express unpopular opinions. Many people in Winfield still recall the Kirk-Legion confrontation.

Cecil was gifted for public speech. While still in high school, he won the Cunningham Scholarship at the Southwestern Oratorical Contest. In graduate school at Columbia University in New York, John Wesley Wetzel gave Cecil a one-student course in speech. Wetzel had been the first "Speaker of Athens" at Southwestern, a post later held by Cecil in the spring of 1926. Wetzel had also coached President Theodore Roosevelt in speech.

Another great influence on Cecil was his junior high school English teacher, Cora B. Vaughn, who had served as one of President Roosevelt's secretaries, Other mucb-loved high school faculty members were Will Freich, Helen Prichard, and Curly Vaughan. His favorite college teachers were Eleanor Hayes and Ada M. Herr.

Ted Marvel, who became Cecil's closest friend, sat in the same English class with him under Miss Hayes. Ted Marvel became a member of the Radio City Music Hall Chorus in New York and for seven years assisted Walter Cronkhite in producing his well-known TV news broadcasts. On Saturday nights, Ted conducted these broadcasts by himself.

Cecil broke off from graduate school to take a job as an exchange work-student in Germany. There he worked in brown coal mines and at the Deutz Motoren factory for a year. He then became a full-time exchange student at the University of Berlin. He also rode a bicycle through eleven countries and went by train and boat from Moscow to Japan and back to Germany.

In 1933, Cecil began teaching sociology at New York University, where he obtained a Ph.D. and rose to become assistant professor. In 1945, he was urged to resign and to enter government service in Germany to take part in the occupation, He was in charge of setting up the "American Houses" in the U,S. Zone from 1945 to 1948. He was then transferred to Radio Stuttgart and for the last three years of the occupation served as County Commissioner in Nurtingen, a town close to Stuttgart in South Germany.

In 1931, Cecil married Edith Finkelstein, a French-English stenographer who took down Herbert Hoover's speech at the 1931 Economic Conference.

Their sons, William (called Cedric in the family), born in 1937, and Daniel, born in 1941, attended German elementary schools for a couple of years, but had most of their secondary education in French schools in Germany. Both boys later attended Swarthmore College near Philadelphia. William later obtained an LL-B. degree from the Yale Law School and a J.S.D. from the University of Mexico. Daniel obtained a Masters in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and a PH,D. from Princeton in history in 1969.

Wlliam was a law professor at the University of Puerto Rico from 1964 to 1970 and for two years thereafter was a visiting professor at the University of Montana Law School. He is now a practising lawyer in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is married to Inga Westerholm, born in Finland of Swedish parentage. They have two sons, Allan and Mark. Allan graduated from Swarthmore College, and Mark from the College of William and Mary. Allan is now completing his master's in physics at the University of Texas, while supervising an undergraduate laboratory. William and Inga have also adopted a girl by the name of Cecilia, who is now eleven years old. She spent four years in the French school in Santo Domingo, and speaks English, French and Spanish.

Submitted by Cecil Headrick (1989).
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, Page 190 and Page 191.


Elijah Walter Headrick (1804-1878) was the father of Orville Benjamin Headrick. If my information is correct, Elijah was a lawyer and a farmer with a lot of property in Greeneville, TN.

Brother of Lewis, Robert and Homer Frank: Herbert Benjamin HEADRICK II (1926-1961) did exactly what his dad did. He built radio towers and worked as an Instrument Technician at General Electric in Hanford, Richland,Washington, arriving around 1952. He died in a car crash on the 25th of March, 1961, going to California to get parts for a Christian radio station.