Oliver Olin McAninch (1854-1932)



Article by Dick Schack, Vancouver, Washington [Note 1]


Oliver Olin McAninch was the 5th of 12 children of Joseph and Elizabeth Jane (Quiett) McAninch,

and was born on February 22, 1854 in Amo, Hendricks County, Indiana. Oliver would have been a

teenager when Joseph [2], his father, moved the family from Hendricks County, Indiana, to Ringgold

County, Iowa, and at an age where he would have helped the family break the new land there and

build a homestead to farm in Lotts Creek Township, Ringgold County [3].


On August 13 or September 13, 1876 [4], Oliver married Deborah Emily Gildersleeve, a young

woman from the area; Deborah had moved with her family by covered wagon from St. Charles,

Illinois, where she had been born, to Ringgold County, Iowa. Oliver and Deborah set out to

locate land for them to farm, and first settled on the Kansas prairie in the area about 8 miles

west-southwest of the present town of Chanute, Kansas, in the area of the now lost town of Vilas,

in eastern Wilson County. In 2000 all that could be found of the town was the cemetery, which

is still maintained. It is known that an older sister of Oliver, Sarah Ester (McAninch) Sharpe,

died in Wilson County, Kansas, in February 1882 [5]. It may have been her presence in the

area that influenced Oliver and Deborah’s move to the area. All that is known of this first

venture is that they constructed a sod hut with deerskin parchment windows to live in [6].

It was here that their first son, Perry Moses McAninch, was born in 1877.


Census records reveal their moves over the following years. By 1880 they had returned to

Caledonia, Ringgold County, Iowa, where they appear on the census for that year in Lotts Creek

township, and where their next son, Ira Joseph McAninch, was born that year [7]. It appears that

in the fall of 1884 Oliver and Deborah moved to Platte County, Nebraska, but were back in Riley

Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, for the 1885 State Census [8]. Gildersleeve family records

indicate that Oliver and Deborah moved to the LaPorte area, south of Wayne, Wayne County,

Nebraska, in the spring of 1886, where some of Deborah’s brothers had settled. Deborah and

Oliver remained there until 1897. Elizabeth Ann McAninch, Leslie Oliver McAninch, and

Theo Faye McAninch were born there.


Family lore has it that Oliver made a trip west through Salt Lake City to the west coast, searching

for land to homestead. He is said to have tried to homestead in the California mountains, but was

driven out by the large lumber companies in the area. While in the west, he was said to have

traveled north as far as the Columbia River, returning with smoked salmon when he returned to

Nebraska [9]. He then left Nebraska, and moved his family north to northern Aitkin County in

Minnesota, where he homesteaded.



“Oliver Olin McAninch (1854-1932)” page 1 of 6, by Dick Schack, Copyright 2005.

McAninch Family History NL, v.XIII.n.2 / April 2005 / Frank McAninch, Editor / page 2005-11


Table of Contents for this Year

First Page of this Issue

Previous Page

Next Page