Mary Grace Quint


February 10, 1893 - March, 1991


Story by Hazel (Quint) Parsons, her sister, written May 29, 1970



Photo of Grace, 1926

Grace Mary Quint was born February 10, 1893 on a farm near Beloit, Kansas in Mitchell County, the daughter of Louis Franklin and Isabell Flora Quint. She moved with her parents to Hill City, Graham County, Kansas in May of 1902 where she grew up on their farm. After completing elementary school, she attended Salina High School in 1908 trough 1910, staying with her sister, Mrs. Clara Stevenson, while attending school.

Returning to Hill City, she secured a teacher's certificate and began teaching school. During the summers she and her sister, Florence, together with Ethel Dunwoody, about Grace's age, would attend Normal which was usually held the last of July and first part of August, attending during the morning and studying in the afternoons in preparation to taking examinations at the close which would raise their teaching certificates to a higher level. I remember Florence and Ethel saying they had to study so hard and it always seemed to them Grace never had to study, yet she received good grades.

Grace taught several successful terms of school - two terms at Bogue, 4th and 6th grades; a two-term school south of Hill City; and two terms in the Shiloh District at Morland, Kansas. The Shilo District was about 16 miles from home and quite a distance to drive in order to come home week ends, so quite often she had to stay at her boarding place.. Elmer used to sometimes drive there on Friday, making the trip with team and buggy in the morning, then coming home after 4 PM arriving home about 7 PM as the trip took at least three hours each way. During this period of teaching she attended summer school, Fort Hays Teacher's College, Hays, Kansas. In the fall of 1915 she enrolled at Ft. Hays College attending there until the summer of 1917. While here she took a course in painting making several pictures and plaques some of which both Florence and Mabel have in their homes. She was always artistic.

During the summer of 1917 she signed up for a school in southeastern Graham County. She and I had planned to attend Ft. Hays College that fall, but the entry of the U. S. in World War I changed our plans. After teaching a couple of months, Grace became ill and was forced to resign to have an appendicitis operation.

In the spring of 1918 she served as Deputy County Clerk, then later as Deputy County Treasurer of Graham County. In the summer of 1918 she was persuaded to run on the Democratic Ticket for Register of Deeds of Graham County. She was well liked by everyone as she was very diplomatic and never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. Her opponent was a widow lady with two small children. One negro man said he knew who he would vote for, "the little lady from the county office and the widow lady with two boys". She campaigned that summer and fall. Elmer was very faithful in taking her on these campaign trips, going to the county sales and mingling with the crowd listening to their comments then relaying them to Grace. She kept up her work during this time at the County Treasurer's Office.

In the fall the Business College in Salina where I wa attending was closed on account of the influenza epidemic and I returned home and helped some in the office. Grace was the dignified one of the 'Quint' girls and it always seemed if anything comical happened it happened to her - and the rest of us made the most of it. One time she and I couldn't remember after the office was closed if we had locked the vault. Returning to the courthouse after supper, we had no keys to get into the office. Spying the ransom above the door open a tiny bit, we decided one of us would crawl through. Getting a chair, Grace climbed up, opened the transom wide enough to crawl through - and found the vault wa locked after all. We had decided no one would know anything about his. But we hadn't thought about the footprints which would be left on the dusty counter! Upon arriving at work the next morning we found excitement around the Treasurer's office and the sheriff doing much investigating. They had discovered the footprints and were sure someone had tried to break in. So there was nothing to do but confess - and the county officers and commissioners never forgot about it! Also, during this time as we were leaving the house one morning, Grace found she had picked up the broom instead of her parasol, and was carrying it down the street! She cautioned me to keep still about this as we turned around and went back to the house - but it was too good to keep! Election night arrived and about 10 PM I coaxed Grace to go with me to the Courthouse to get election returns. She insisted she wasn't interested but finally gave in. After about 2 hours I was ready to go home but not Grace! It was 4 AM before we finally left for home. She won the election and took office as Register of Deeds the following January, which office she held for two successful terms of four years.

On June 22, 1920 Grace was married to Harold Cecil Gilliland at Mabel's house in Salina, Kansas. Some of we young folks attending age them a good send off with rice, etc. as they boarded the train for Kansas City. Harold who had been a successful teacher in Industrial Arts in Graham County, was attending Kansas City Western Dental College at Kansas City, after having completed his tour of duty in World War I having served as First Aid in the Medical Corps in France and Germany and in the Army of Occupation until August of 1918. After completing her term of office, Grace went to Kansas City in January of 1923. While here she attended a class in china painting and has a lovely set of hand-painted china which is very beautiful, and she has used many, many times.

Harold graduated in August of 1923 and they located i Arkansas City, Kansas September 1st of that year where he began a very successful career as Doctor of Dental Surgery. They established a nice home here and both were good workers in the community and the United Presbyterian Church. Harold sang in the choir and both served the church in many capacities. They had many friends wherever they went and their home was always open to everyone. Both loved to entertain and were always willing to help anyone who needed help. Their only child, Edward Harold, was born here in Arkansas City, Kansas, June 2, 1924.

Dr. Harold Gilliland passed away in 1952 and the Carillon given in his memory is a constant reminder of the Gilliland family.

Grace has continued to live in the home and is still active and interested in the community. She had charge of the Greeting Card part of the bookstore belonging to her son Edward, until he sold the business in 1968. She has now retired.

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