Pauly Farm

Our next post in #TheHistoryUnderCheney takes us to the 360-acre Pauly dairy farm that overlooked the Ninnescah River just off 21st street. Because their farm was the only one that sat within the footprint of the dam, Cyril Jr and Agnes Pauly were the first family that moved from their land.

Talks of reservoirs for Wichita began back in 1948 and was originally referred to as the Ninnescah River Basin project. In July of 1955, after reading rumors in the newspapers, the farmers were officially informed of a potential reservoir in the area. Almost immediately the farmers formed the “North Fork of the Ninnescah Organization” in opposition to Cheney. The board consisted of Cy Pauly Jr as secretary, Harvey Krehbiel as treasurer, Nick Theis as Vice president, and William Martin as President. They soon learned that they couldn’t stop the reservoir from happening all together, so their main goal became ensuring that the farmers were cut a fair deal by the government. He stated years later that he felt he was paid fairly.

By 1962 the Pauly’s had now lived at their farmstead for 16 years. They were given until the end of February to be gone. Their sale was auctioneered by Larry Geifer with his “booming voice” and clerked by Francis Bunck. After this the Pauly’s moved to a 500-acre farm by Nickerson while retaining ownership of a small chunk of their original farm ground by the reservoir. Due to his new place not being properly set up as a dairy, he wasn't sure if he would get back into dairy farming.

Their farmhouse, built in 1900 and boasting beautiful bay windows, was sold off and moved by the Robert Taylor family into the town of Cheney where it still stands today at 604 W 5th, owned by Tyler and Lorielle Engels. What a magnificent home, rich with Cheney history. Imagine if it could talk! Agnes Pauly is still alive today at 101 years young, living in Mesa, AZ with her daughter.

Township map with Pauly farm circled

1950's aerial of the Pauly dairy farm. 21st street is at the bottom of the picture.

Robert Hess, Matt Geifer, GA Samson, and Cy Pauly Jr stand in the driveway of the Pauly farm observing where the dam will be located

Larry Geifer, center, and Francis Bunck, behind, running the sale at the Pauly farm in Feb of 1962

Cy Pauly Jr moving items to his new 500 acre farm near Nickerson KS

The Pauly farmhouse where it sits today at 604 W 5th in Cheney KS, owned by Tyler and Lorielle Engels. What a beauty!

A side shot of where it sits today at 604 W 5th in Cheney KS, owned by Tyler and Lorielle Engels. What a beauty!