Oil Tycoon From Wichita Owned Ranch on Sand Creek – Marlene (Frederick) Shares Stories Living at the Ranch

By Mike Bowen – Co-author, We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site 

Oil tycoon, Elbert S. Rule, owned the Golden Rule Ranch on Sand Creek—this land would later become part of the Bowen family ranch. 

(See video below in the blog)

Rule owned it for five years. 

Chuck Bowen’s grandparents bought that ranch in 1948. The next year, his parents bought adjacent land on the creek. 

Golden Rule Ranch in the 1940s. Photo from George Hainer collection.
Golden Rule Ranch in the 1940s. You can see a little of the house at the right. Photo from George Hainer collection.

Rule owned gas stations in 23 cities in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Four years before he purchased the ranch, he sold most of his filling stations and refinery in Wichita.

“Sale of the Golden Rule Refining Company to the Champlin Refining Company, of Enid, Oklahoma, was announced today by Elbert S. Rule, head of the Wichita concern. The sale includes all Golden Rule properties except its service stations in Wichita and Colorado Springs which Golden Rule will continue to operate. The company has stations in 23 cities in Kansas and six in Colorado” (Wichita Beacon, Wednesday, October 6, 1937). 

This is the west end of the house where the Fredericks lived. It was a small apartment. Rule lived in the east and southern part of the house. The room behind the woman is the sheepherder’s bunkhouse. Photo from George Hainer collection.

Rule employed Edgar Frederick to run the ranch. Edgar and his family lived in the west end of the home on the property. His primary residence was in Wichita, Kansas. The name for the filling station, Golden Rule, was used to name the ranch. 

Edgar’s daughter is Marlene Eddleman Deaton, who many in the Lamar area may know by her maiden name, Marlene Frederick. She is a 1954 Lamar High School graduate. She graduated with Les Scriven and Keith Clark. She was born in Tribune, KS, where her father ran a Golden Rule filling station. 

Marlene is at left. The house is behind her.

She was about five or six when she lived with her parents in the house at the Golden Rule Ranch. When Chuck’s grandparents, Claude and Mary Bowen purchased it, they kept the Golden Rule Ranch name. 

Marlene recently visited with Chuck Bowen in his home about memories she has from living at the ranch. She has fond memories of her parents, living at the ranch and of Elbert Rule. She said he was kind and treated her family well. 

Check out the video above to see her share memories.  

She shared a story about Rule when he attempted to drive his limousine across Sand Creek. The vehicle didn’t make it across. Instead, it began to sink in the sand. See the video to get the full story. 

While the Fredericks lived at the ranch, Leo Hainer worked for Rule. His son is George Hainer, an Eads High School graduate of 1975. 

Edgar would later move his family to Colorado Springs when he ran a Golden Rule filling station there. Marlene and her family would eventually move back to the area, as she graduated from high school in Lamar. 

Some of the photos in the video and blog are from the George Hainer collection. 

We learned from ancestry records some of the photos in his collection include Marlene and her parents, Edgar and Mildred, who is referenced as Gertrude in the photo below.

Mildred is referenced as Gertrude. Mamie is Edgar’s mother.
Edgar, Mildred and Marlene Frederick. Photo from George Hainer collection.
Mildred, Edgar, Mamie and Marlene in front. Photo from George Hainer collection.

There is a mailbox at the corner of Rd. 50 and Y that has the names for E. S. (Elbert) Rule, M. C. Rule, Leo Hainer, and an unknown name. Going north from the mailbox goes to the house Marlene lived in. Going east goes to the house Chuck grew up in. At the time, the house was owned by Hugh Robertson. 

Growing up on that part of Sand Creek provided Chuck a unique advantage when he set out with his wife, Sheri, to search for the Sand Creek village and fight areas. No one else had spent as much time on that part of Sand Creek than him. 

He and Sheri made a monumental discovery. Their discovery caught the attention of the National Park Service. Chuck and Sheri met with NPS personnel in late ‘98 and told them what they found. In May of ‘99, NPS Sand Creek lead archaeologist, Dr. Doug Scott, was in the Bowens’ home and identified many period artifacts. It was documented with a VHS camcorder. See the video in our blog here:

The discovery of over 4,000 period artifacts leaves no doubt to the Sand Creek location. It doesn’t just provide a new location, it changes the story. 

The artifacts are the concrete evidence—everything else is a theory without them. 

Learn more about the discovery and our book on this website. 

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There are over 100 photos of photos and maps in our book, We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site

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