The third son of Thomas and Nancy Hargiss was born September 1, 1887, and was named Homer Woodson. He gave himself the name of Bill when he became a schoolboy and was forceful enough to make it stick. "No one ever called me Homer Woodson. It just didn't fit." The only person who continued to call him Homer was his mother.
He grew up in a family of five boys and one girl on a farm in Cherokee County, Kansas, and went to school at Beulah, a vanishing town that was five miles south of Girard. "Our farmhouse was in Cherokee but the barn was in Crawford county," Bill explains.
Right: Homer Woodson as a baby in 1888 with parents and his two older brothers Leonard 5, and Charles 3.
With five adventuresome boys and a girl who preferred the outdoor life to that of helping in the house, life was certainly not boring or dull. As all the boys were athletes, the driveway was measured off in 50, 100, and 400-yard dash marks. The haymow was almost a gym with trapeze swings, parallel bars and pads for turning handsprings (at which Bob was very proficient). Hammer throwing, shot put and discus throwing were practiced in the small pasture near the barn.
Parents More on the lives of Thomas and Nancy Hargiss.
The Hargiss boys, ca. 1910:
[Sister Vetra (1903-1990) is not pictured]
Beulah High School, 1901
Beulah High had a great football team.
Beulah, a small village seven miles west of Pittsburg KS, had a 2-year high school
whose team, playing just three students, was the scourge of the Cherokee Neutral
Lands in the early 1900's. Not all the players went to school, but that was not
thought important. The halfbacks were legitimate scholars, the Hargiss brothers,
Bill and Charlie.
Hargiss was a three-sport standout at Beulah High School where he led the football team to an undefeated season and graduated in 1905.