William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL
Ross County Biographies
OHGenWeb NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the
Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message
remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in
any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations.
Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor.
This file was contributed for use in the OHGenWeb Ross County by Kyle Condon
These are individuals who once resided in Ross co. and went onto Kansas.
REV. SAMUEL L. ADAIR, minister of the Congregational Church, Section 9, Township 18, Range 22, Osawatomie. Mr. Adair is one of Osawatomie's very earliest settlers, and one of her most honored and respected citizens. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, April 22, 1811. His early life was passed on a farm. At the age of seventeen years he was apprenticed to a wholesale wagon and blacksmithing shop, served his apprenticeship and continued in the establishment five years. He then attended the Western Reserve College and completed his studies at Oberline College and graduated in 1838. He also took a regular course at the Congregational Theological College, graduated and was ordained a minister of the denomination in 1841. He began preaching at Sandyville, also at Bolivar, Ohio. Next went to Dundee, Mich., where he had a charge some two and a half years. In 1845, he went to Maumee City, where he spent nearly five years, during two of which he was Principal of the city schools. He next went to Lafayette, Ohio, where he preached four years. In the fall of 1854, came to Osawatomie where he purchased a claim, pre-empted the northeast quarter of Section 9, Township 18, Range 22. He organized the Congregational Church in Osawatomie in 1856, and has been except three years, the resident pastor of the congregation continuously since. During the late war he was chaplain of the general Hospital of Kansas two years by appointment of the Government. He also spent one year with the Christian Commission of Kansas. He was trustee for the Asylum for the Insane six years, from 1867 to 1873. In 1876, he was appointed Chaplain of the asylum and has served in that capacity continuously since. Mr. Adair was married at Hudson, Ohio, November 24, 1841, to Miss Florella Brown, daughter of Owen Brown, and half sister of John Brown, the great champion of freedom. Mrs. Adair was born in Ohio. Seven children were born to them, two sons and five daughters, of whom only three are living. the eldest Charles, S., married and lives in Osawatomie Township; Henry M., died, aged three and a half years; Emma F., is the wife of J. B. Remington, of Osawatomie Township, two of their daughters died in infancy; Addie E. teaches under the New West Educational Society at Las Vegas, N. M.; the youngest child, a daughter, died in childhood. Mrs. Adair died in Leavensworth, in February, 1865, while Mr. Adair was in that city on business, in connection with the Christian Commission. Mr. Adair resides in the old house, which he built in pioneer days and which is rich to him in memories of the turbulent times when his brother-in-law, John Brown, often enjoyed his hospitality and protection, and where he enjoyed the companionship of wife and children.
NELSON ADAMS, attorney-at-law. He came to Ogletree, Johnson County, Kan., in December, 1869, and followed agricultural pursuits until 1871; thence to Iola, Allen Co., in same occupation. In 1873 he went to Topeka, and the same winter clerked in Legislature, and in March, 1874, came to Larned, Kan., and opened a law office. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, June 21, 1850, and was raised in his native county, living there until 1864. Enlisted in March of latter year in Company K, Eighty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Participated in the Atlanta Campaign, Jonesburg, etc. He was mustered out August 26, 1865. He then emigrated to Independence, Mo., and lived there two years; thence to Kansas. He began the study of law at the latter place in Missouri, in 1866, and was admitted to the bar May 7, 1873, at Great Bend. Appointed County Attorney same year. Elected Representative to the Legislature from 116th district in 1873. He was married in 1875, to Miss Lillie Brecken, of Henry County, Ill. They have three children - Wirt, George, and Ross. He is a member of B. F. Larned Post, No. 8, G. A. R.
J. H. BELL, of the firm of Bell & Morrow, dealers in drugs, medicines and druggists' sundries, books, jewelry, stationery, etc. Mr. Bell opened business alone in 1878, opened as a firm in 1882, erected his store building in 1882, size of which is 25x70 feet, built of brick, two stories high, at a cost of $3,500. Carry an average stock of $5,000, and employ three men. He first came to Rice County, Kan., in July, 1871, and farmed until he began business. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1849, and was raised in his native county. He graduated from Miami University in 1870. He was married, in 1873, to Miss Mary E Magoffin, of Bainbridge, Ohio. They have three children - Renick M., Nellie I. and Mary M.
SAM BOWN, Clerk of the District Court, was born in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, February 5, 1848. His father was a plumber and tinner by trade. When Mr. B. was quite young, his father moved to Columbus, where he remained some eight years and from thence to Cincinnati where he lived ten years. Removed from there to Clark County and farmed until 1870, when he came to Kansas, locating in Marion. For about three years, engaged in farming and stock raising; for the following four years taught school in various districts. Was elected Clerk of Court in 1880 and re-elected in 1882. Was married September 15, 1879 at Marion to Miss Hattie Howard, of Warren County, Ind., who died February 27, 1883. One child survives -- Maud. Mr. B. is a member of Pioneer Lodge, No. 104, I. O. O. F., Marion.
WILLIAM S. BROWN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 5, P. O. Hiawatha, came originally from Ross County, Ohio, where he was born December 8, 1841. After acquiring a common school education he was engaged in farming in the lumber trade until the breaking out of the rebellion, when he enlisted with Company A of the Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in August, 1861, and served until his regiment was discharged in November 1864, acting in the capacity of Sergeant most of the time. Was in Nagley's division of Thomas' corps, and took an active part in the battles and skirmishes of the Army of the Cumberland. At the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, Mr. Brown was wounded in the left elbow. In June, 1865, he came west to Holt County, Mo., where he made his home until the fall of 1867, when he concluded to try his fortune in Kansas. This he did by purchasing some land in the Kickapoo Reservation, which forms a portion of his present farm. He was one of the first settlers on this reserve, and is now the possessor of some 280 acres under cultivation, with the exception of eighty acres of native timber. He has a fine orchard, embracing three acres of choice fruit trees of every kind indigenous to this State. Mr. Brown is engaged to some extent in stock raising, and his experience in this line has proved very profitable to him. At present he has on hand about thirty-five head of graded cattle and 100 hogs. Mr. Brown and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, Hiawatha. She was formerly Miss Frances Middleton, of Ohio, whom he married in June, 1865. Their family consists of three daughters and a son - Laura A., Jessie J., Nellie B., and Samuel T.
J. Q. BURCHFIELD, merchant, was born at Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, 1846, but was raised in Howard County, Indiana; in April 1861, enlisted in the Fifteenth Indiana Infantry, serving three years and three months. Was mustered out as Sergeant. In 1870, migrated to Kansas, locating in Howard County, and put in a stock of hardware at Longton; was among the pioneer merchants of Howard County, and remained at Longton until 1876. After the county was divided was the first Sheriff of Elk County, serving two terms. In 1879, put in a stock of exclusive hardware in Howard, also handles farm machinery, has a building 24x140 well filled with goods. The first year's sales were $20,000, while the sales for 1882 were $60,000. Carries the largest stock in the county, besides a branch at Longton. Mr. Birchfield is a good business man, and owns two good farms besides his other business. Is a wide awake citizen and a courteous gentleman. Was married September, 1865, to Miss Mahala S. Smith. Their children are, Ulric D., J. Q., Jr., C. N., Clyde, Brenton and Oria. Is a member of Longton Lodge, No. 26, A., F. & A. M.
JACOB COMBS, farmer, P. O. Louisburg, Section 8, Township 16, Range 24, has eighty acres of land, was born in Ross county, Ohio, in 1819, moved to Crawford County while quite young, was brought up on a farm; moved to Buchanan County, Mo., in 1839, spent seven years in that locality and then moved to Iowa. In 1862, he with his family immigrated by wagon to Oregon, spending six months without sleeping in a house. He spent two years in Oregon and Washington Territory but being dissatisfied with the climate, he brought his family back to Iowa by team, spending four months on the return trip. During their travels over the then unsettled regions of the West they were exposed to attacks from numerous bands of hostile Indians then ranging over that region. In 1869 Mr. Combs moved from Iowa to Kansas and located on his present farm in Wea Township.
JUDGE W. F. COMPTON, was born in Ross County, Ohio, March 30, 1838; moved to Republic County, Kan., in 1870. He was elected coroner of the county in 1871, and held that office until 1876, when he moved to Cloud County. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1877, and held the office until 1880, when he was elected Probate Judge of Cloud County, and has held the said office ever since. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He was married in Indiana, January 30, 1860, to Miss Mary Johnson.
JOHN W. DENNIS, farmer and stock raiser, was born in Ross County, Ohio, July 6, 1836, and was reared on a farm. In 1852 he moved to Knox County, Ill., where he followed farming and stock breeding. He was a member of Company A, Ninth Missouri Infantry, afterward changed to the Fifty-ninth Illinois. In 1867 he removed to Cass County, Mo., and in 1871 came to Olathe and located on his present farm overlooking the city of Olathe. Mr. Dennis has 175 acres of land, all finely improved by himself in the past twelve years. He has on his place a fine residence and barn and is largely engaged in breeding fine cattle and hogs. On his place is a splendid orchard of four acres. Mr. Dennis was married in Knox County, Ill., in 1863, to Louise J. Barnett. They have three children: William F., Edwin Lee and Carl.
JAMES DE VINEY, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Rossville, has eighty acres, all under cultivation; has fifty acres of corn, balance rye and oats. House 24x30, one and a half stories, seven rooms and a cellar. Granary 12x16; two horses, two mules, six head of cattle. Has a young orchard. He came to Kansas in the spring of 1880, from Ross County, near Chillicothe, Ohio, locating on his present farm. He was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, October 18, 1840. When quite young he removed to Ross County, and remained until he came to Kansas. Mr. De Viney was married May 27, 1861, in Athens, Ohio, to Miss Heppe sic Connor, of that place. They have one daughter, Jennie. Mr. V. enlisted, in 1862, in the Seventh Ohio Battery. He was in the engagements at Vicksburg, and Mobile, Ala. He was mustered out in 1865, at Camp Dennison, Ohio. He returned to Ross County, where he remained, engaged in farming, until coming to Kansas. The family attend the Presbyterian Church.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, farmer, four miles due north of Rossville, owns 490 acres in a body on Section 10, Township 10, Range 13; over 300 acres under cultivation. In 1882 crops were as follows: corn, 100 acres; wheat, 100. Has 100 head of hogs, 50 cattle, 24 horses, and 7 mules; header, reaper, mower and all necessary farm machinery. House 16x30, story and a half, and four rooms built in 1877. Barn 16x28. Orchard consists of apples, peaches and cherries. Mr. Franklin came to Kansas in 1857, first locating in Jackson County, ten miles southeast of the county seat, remained a few months and removed to Nemaha County, twenty-four miles southeast of Seneca, and remained seven years, improving 100 acres; then moved back to Jackson County, to James Crossing, and remained one year and a half, and then moved to Holton, where he remained about four years. He removed to his present farm in the spring of 1869; enlisted in the Kansas State Militia in 1864, to repel the invasion of Price's army; went to Independence and Kansas City; was out about two months; came into Shawnee County before the ratification of the treaty with the Indians. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, December 5, 1820. Remained in his native county until 1833, and removed to Randolph County, Ind., and remained until 1844, and moved to Warren County, remaining several years, and moved to Jasper County, now Newton, and remained until coming to Kansas. He followed farming nearly all of the time, but worked in a mill before he was married. He was married in September, 1843, near Winchester, Randolph Co., Ind., to Miss Sarah Woodburn, of Preble County, Ohio. They have six children living - William, living near St. Clair, Pottawatomie County; Rebecca, now Mrs. Joy now living one mile west of her father; Fred K., living one-half mile west of his father; Joseph M., Alice L. and Lucy Q., living at home. He is a member of the United Brethren Church. Has been a School Director for five years. Has always worked with the Republican party, and has been a delegate to several county conventions.
CLINTON GAULT, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Harveyville, was born in Pike County, Ohio, June 2, 1832; son of Jacob Gault and Rebecca Blair. His grandparents were John Gault and Andrew Blair. Mr. Gault was brought up in his native State, and was educated in the common schools. He came to Kansas in 1871, and settled in Burlingame Township, on a farm containing 160 acres, on Dragoon Creek. Rocky Ford is on his farm, and at this point a dragoon soldier of the United States army was drowned, and the creek took its name from this fact. He was married in Ross County, Ohio, September 28, 1863, to Miss Martha J., daughter of Rev. John McNabb and Mary Slee. They have only two children, twins - Charles E. and Mary L. born July 7, 1865. Mr. Gault is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Burlingame.
GRANVILLE GRIFFITH, Justice of the Peace, is a native of Ross County, Ohio, where he was born in 1835, and when five years of age, his parents removed to Paris, Ill. Mr. Griffith was educated in the Edgar Academy, Edgar County, Ill., and graduated in 1849. Turned his attention to farming, which avocation he pursued until 1856, when he started for Kansas, and was compelled to foot it from Keokuk, Iowa, to Topeka, arriving at the latter place without a dollar. Undismayed, however, he took up a claim on the Neosho River, near what is now Hartford, Lyon County, and proceeded to improve it. His next neighbor was a Mr. F. W. H. Ingham, of Connecticut, who owned a team of oxen and some farming implements, and he being laid up with the ague, Mr. Griffith borrowed his team, etc., and paid the owner by working half time on each claim. His first home in Kansas was, of course a log cabin, but so primitive and well ventilated that the cayotes (sic) used to crawl in through the interstices between the logs in search of food. By dint of hard work on his claim in summer time and by splitting rails, etc., in the winter, he was enabled in the course of two years to possess a team of his own, although this desirable end had only been reached by practicing the strictest economy. As a member of the Free-State party, he joined the Tecumseh Light Guards during the border troubles, and subsequently during the days of the rebellion was sworn in for three years as a member of the irregular service, liable to be called on at any time. July 31, 1862, Mr. Griffith was married to Miss Mary E. Dale. They have two children- Joseph L., born September 14, 1863, and James E., born November 23, 1864. Mrs. Griffith died January, 1870, and in September, 1879, he married Miss C. R. Clutter who has borne him one child, a son- Francis G. To his original claim, which consisted of the northwest half of Section 35, Town 20, Range 13, he added the northeast quarter of Section 34, Town 30, Range 13, and now has about 120 acres under cultivation, with an average wheat yield of twenty and corn fifty bushels per acre. He has also upwards of 1,000 fruit trees, principally apple, cherry, plum and pear, which have of late years borne well. A good substantial residence has long since taken the place of the log cabin, and, although Mr. Griffith has rented the farm for the past few years, he usually has upon it about fifty head of his own cattle. In the fall of 1876, he came to Eureka and has since been engaged as agent for musical instruments, sewing machines and school furniture. He was appointed to the office of Justice in October, 1882, and is a member of Ossian Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He owns property in town and his residence and ten acres just outside town limits, both that and his farm residence being insured. Looking back over the past years since his arrival in Kansas, Mr. Griffith, like many another old settler, cannot but observe the facilities open to those who to-day emigrate to Kansas and compare them with the days of 1856.
ROBERT J. HARPER, Clerk of the District Court of Riley County, was born in Ross County, Ohio, October 25, 1823. The Judge was raised a farmers boy, obtained a fair education and spent several years in teaching in the public schools of Ohio. In 1847 he removed to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he taught school for two years and after entered into commercial pursuits. In February, 1859, he came to Kansas and in May of the same year settled at Manhattan. The same fall he was elected to the office of County Clerk and Register of Deeds for Riley County, which offices he filled for two years. August 25, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company G, of the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and on the organization of the regiment he was appointed Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant September 23, 1863. He was commissioned First Lieutenant and Regimental Commissary of Subsistence. He was on detached service during a large part of his term of service as Post Quartermaster at Independence, Mo., and as Commissary of Subsistence on the staffs of Generals McKean, Sikes and Blunt. He was finally discharged from service August 19, 1865, and returned to his home in Manhattan. In 1867 he was elected to the offices of Probate Judge and Clerk of the District Court. He has held the latter office continuously until the present time, and was Judge of Probate Court until January, 1879. He has been a member of the City Council several terms and is now Treasurer of the city government. He is a member of the G. A. R. He was married July 21, 1862, at Woodburn, Ill., to Miss Catharine F. Pierce. They have no children by birth, but have two adopted daughters, Josie and Nellie Maud, who grace their elegant home in the city.
JAMES H. HAYES, farmer and stock raiser, Section 33, Township 3, Range 17, P. O. Hiawatha, came to Kansas, in April, 1881, and located on a farm in Mission township, where he has since resided. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and of the G. A. R. He took part in the war of the Rebellion as a member of Company M, First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and enlisted February 29, 1864, at Chillicothe, Ohio. He was discharged at Columbus, Ohio, September 28, 1865. He participated in the battles of Ebenezer Church, Selma, Ala, Columbus, the Atlanta Campaign and other minor engagements. Mr. Hayes was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 27, 1840, and resided in his native State until he came to Kansas. He has been married twice, the first marriage took place in March, 1861, in Ross County, Ohio, to Miss Susanna E. Weller, a native of Ohio. She died January 13, 1864; by this marriage he had two children, one of whom is living, Bertha A. The second marriage occurred April 19, 1866, in Ross County, Ohio, to Mrs. Martha E. Hermon, a native of Ohio, five children was the result of his marriage, who are all living: Nettie Bell, Lizzie Gertrude, Mary L., Theodore Clifford and William Earl. Mr. Hayes owns a choice farm of eighty acres, it is all enclosed, and has sixty acres under cultivation, the remainder being pasture land. The property is well supplied with excellent water, having a good well and has a branch of Wolf River flowing diagonally across it. There is a small orchard on the farm, which is well supplied with fruit trees. The improvements consist of a comfortable frame house, stock stable, granary, etc. Mr. Hayes had on the farm on which he resides at present thirteen acres in spring wheat this season, which yielded only seventy-eight bushels. He also had two acres in oats, which averaged thirty-five bushels, and fifty-seven acres in corn, which averaged fifty-five bushels to the acre.
D. N. HEIZER, attorney-at-law and real estate dealer. He first came to Great Bend, Kan., in May, 1871, and engaged in buffalo hunting and anything he could find to do. He soon afterward began surveying, locating settlers and dealing in real estate. In September, 1871, he assisted to survey and lay out what is now Great Bend. Soon after the A. T. & S. F. R. R. was connected he accepted the agency for the sale of their lands, in which business he has since been largely interested. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, November 11, 1846, and was raised near Burlington, Iowa, his parents moving there in 1847. He was educated at the Iowa State University, Iowa City, Iowa, and came directly from there to Great Bend, Kan; was admitted to the bar of practice in the District Court, of Barton County in 1873. He enlisted in February, 1864, in Company M, Second Iowa Cavalry, participated in all battles of his command, and was mustered out in September, 1865. Married July 23, 1872, to Miss Emilie C. McCaughn, of Sidney, Ohio. They have three children, Charles E., Frank O. and Dell A. He is a member of the first two orders of Masonry, K. of H., Pap Thomas Post, No. 52 G. A. R.; was elected first Probate Judge of Barton County in 1872. He was appointed by ex-Governor Harvey to organize Barton and take the census in 1872, and the first election was held in July of that year, and was State Railroad Commissioner at the same time; was elected Registrar of Deeds in 1873, and has held several city offices. He represented Barton County in the State Legislature in 1880.
JAMES A. HENRY, hardware merchant, was born in Ross County, Ohio. At the age of five years his parents removed to Dubuque, Iowa, but soon after to Jo Daviess County, Ill., settling in Elizabethtown. Again, after seven years, returned to Dubuque, living there twelve years, during which time, he was two years a student in Dubuque College. Then clerked for his brother in a hardware store in Sparta, Wis., until 1861. He enlisted April 15, 1861, in Company G, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for three months. Re-enlisted for three years in the same company. Again in 1864, he enlisted in Company G, Ninth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and was discharged November 1865. After the war he moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, and became a traveling salesman for Henry & How, wholesale hardware. In 1868 he went to Chicago, and was a salesman in same line four years. Thence to Kansas City, where he was a salesman, traveling for G. W. Henry, in same line four years, then with J. L. Kelly & Co., for two years. Again he went to Chicago, with Brintnall, Lamb, & Co., for three years. Then with Seaberger & Breakwater, one year. Meanwhile, had established four hardware stores in Kansas, one of which was a partnership with Ira A. Flood, Clay Centre. October 15, 1880, he moved to Clay Centre, and has since resided here. Is in the hardware business, corner of Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Street. He was married November 8, 1870, at Chicago, Ill., to Mrs. C. H. Little.
GEORGE W. HIXSON, farmer, Section 30, Solomon Township, P. O. Salina, was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 28, 1844. Moved with his parents to Chillicothe, Peoria Co., Ill., in December, 1884, where he was raised and educated. Blacksmithing was his occupation until September 27, 1861, when he enlisted in Company M., Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, under Col. Robert G. Ingersoll. He took an active part in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Lexington, Tennessee, Parker's Cross Roads and many others. Was mustered out in October, 1865. After the war he returned to Illinois and settled in Marshall County, and engaged in farming for four years. He then moved to Stark County, where he remained until February 2, 1874, when he came west and settled in this State. His farm contains 160 acres. He was married in Marshall County, Ill., September 29, 1869, to Miss S. A. Seelye, a native of Berkshire county, Mass.; born December 8, 1843. They have one child - George E., born October 13, 1870. Mr. Hixson is identified with the Republican party.
P. C. HUGHES, attorney-at-law, land, loan and collection agent. He came to Larned in April, 1876 and opened a law office. He first came to Eureka, Greenwood County, Kansas, in September, 1869, and opened a law office and continued there until he located in Larned. He has served as Justice of the Peace nine months, has been United States Commissioners (sic) by appointment since 1876, and city attorney at the same time. He was born in Adams County, Illinois, June 15, 1842, and was raised in that county; enlisted April 17, 1861, in Company E, Tenth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; three months service. Re-enlisted, in May, 1864, Company H, Forty- fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry; mustered out in September, 1864. He was educated at Quincy, Illinois College and Wesleyan University, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa; began studying law in 1864, in college course; after army life he entered the law office of E. H. Stiles as a student; admitted to the bar at Ottumwa, Iowa, in December, 1865; began the practice of law in the spring of 1866, at Sedalia, Mo., where he continued until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1867, to Miss C. Josephine Middleton, of Ross County, Ohio. They have four children - Otis A., Wirt M., Myrtle H. and Edwin R. He is a member of the Masonic order, Methodist Episcopal Church and B. F. Larned Post, No. 8.
JOSEPH KIRK, farmer and stock raiser, Section 1, Township 2, Range 15, P. O. Morrill, was born in Giles County, Va., November 21, 1824, but lived in his native State only a short time, his parents removing to Ross County, Ohio, where Mr. Kirk resided, with the exception of five years spent in Illinois and Iowa, until April 7, 1858, when he became a resident of Kansas, locating in Palermo, Doniphan County, where he was employed one summer as engineer in the steam flouring and saw mills located at this place. He then removed to Walnut Township, Brown County, where he had charge of the steam saw mill owned and operated by E. N. Morrill at the forks of the Walnut and Mulberry creeks, Meantime he pre-empted the quarter section on which he now lives. In the spring of 1860 he removed to his farm in Morrill Township, Brown County, where he has resided since. He is a member of Morrill Lodge, No. 187, I. O. O. F., and was the second past grand of this lodge. He was Treasurer of Walnut Township one year. He was married August 14, 1879, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Mrs. Louisa Stoffer, a native of Portage County, Ohio. They have two children - Maud Eldora and Bertha Josephine. Mr. Kirk is the prosperous owner of the Pioneer farm. It is a fine upland farm, lying in one of the finest portions of Morrill Township, and contains 241.39 acres. It is enclosed by substantial fences, is in a good state of cultivation, and has splendid orchards and groves, is well supplied with water and is one of the model farms of Brown County. The improvements are good and in part comprise large and elegant frame residence, containing eight rooms, with good cellar, stock sheds and stables, tool house and carpenter shop, a fine fruit evaporation and drying house, granaries, corn crib, etc. Mr. K. raises from 300 to 400 bushels of wheat, 200 to 300 bushels of oats, 3,000 to 4,000 bushels of corn yearly; keeps twenty five head of stock cattle, fifty to seventy-five head of Berkshire and Poland-China hogs and ten head of horses. Mr. K. had the honor of establishing the first postoffice (sic) in Morrill and of naming and securing the appointment of Solomon Meyers as the first Postmaster. Mr. Kirk was also one of the original stockholders and helped to establish the first and only farmers' co-operative store in Morrill. Mr. K. is one of the pioneers of this section of Brown County, a trusted and honored friend of Hon. E. N. Morrill, a prominent Odd Fellow, an honest and practical farmer and a good citizen and neighbor.
HON. SAMUEL LATTA, deceased, was one of the pioneers of Kansas, and emigrated to this State on the passage of the Kansas and Nebraska Bill. There were none more devoted to the cause of liberty and freedom than Judge Latta, one of the Supreme Judges of the State of Kansas, elected under the Topeka constitution. Judge Latta was born in Ross County, Ohio, January 1, 1820. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. His father was a mechanic and woolen manufacturer, and carried on farming in Louisa County, Iowa, to which place he emigrated in 1839. His son, the subject of this sketch, had a common school education. When he reached the age of manhood he studied law, and attended law school, and graduated at the Cincinnati College in 1849, and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Courts of the States of Ohio and Iowa. He practiced law in these States until he removed to Kansas, in April 1855. On removing to Kansas, he purchased a claim adjoining the city of Leavenworth. During the summer of 1855, he was recognized as a leader of the Free-state party. Judge Latta was a member of the convention, and was nominated for the elected one of the Supreme Judges of the State of Kansas. In 1871, he was elected to the House of Representatives from the city of Leavenworth, and re-elected in 1873, and was recognized as one of the most influential and useful members of that body. Judge Latta has been engaged in dealing in real estate, is which he has done a large business. He spent some time in California in 1876. He believed in the Christian religion, and was brought up a Presbyterian. He was originally a Whig, but became a Republican on the organization of that party. He was married in Louisa County, Iowa, to Miss Sarah Ann Thompson. By this marriage he had six children - Edward T., Belle, Mary, Ann, Eliza, and Anna. Judge Latta was again married, to Mrs. Nina Irwin, born in Pennsylvania, October 23, 1833; was married in January, 1863; they had three children - Samuel S., jr., (sic) who died in July, 1865; William Bell, and Nina Lee Maud. Judge Latta was Indian Agent for seven years, under Lincoln's administration. Judge Latta was a devoted husband and a loving father, and his death, which occurred from heart disease, in Leavenworth, the 10th day of May, 1880, not only brought sorrow and sadness to his own household, but great loss to the State that he served so faithfully, and to thousands of friends.
J. N. McCONNELL, inventor of this patent flour bolt, was born in Ross County, Ohio, December 16, 1831. He was educated in his native county. In 1848, he, in company with his brother, engaged in operating a saw-mill, which their father erected for them on the farm. In 1856, McConnell Brothers bought a large tract of timber, erected a mill, and engaged in milling until 1860. In that year, they opened up a planing- mill and lumber business in Greenfield, Highland Co., Ohio, under the firm name of F. & N. McConnell. Sold out in 1869, and then moved to Kansas, after operating a saw-mill at Council Grove for a short time; then settled in Lawrence. In 1870, they formed a partnership with Mr. I. G. Schmucker, and took the Pacific Mills, and engaged in operating it under the firm name of Schmucker & McConnell. This continued until 1876, and the firm was then McConnell Brothers until the Pacific Mill Company was formed. While operating the mills, Mr. McConnell's attention was first turned to the subject of flour bolts, and he commenced a series of experiments which finally resulted in his admirable invention. Mr. McConnell was married in Ross County, Ohio, to Miss Martha J. March, of that county; they have one child - Jennie. Mr. McConnell is a member and elder of the Presbyterian Church.
S. MCLEOD, of the firm of S. McLeod & Sons, dealers in grain and coal. Their elevator will contain 12,000 bushels of wheat and ten cars a day can be loaded. They also run a corn sheller by which two cars a day can be shelled and loaded. Mr. McLeod was born in Athens County, Ohio, in 1833. Resided there twenty-five years engaged in merchandise, and removed to Ross County and engaged in stock-raising until 1871, when he removed to Madison County and engaged in farming and stock-raising until removing to Marion County, Kan., in October, 1882. Was married in Athens, Ohio, 1853, to Elvira P. Beebe and has eight children. Enlisted in Company B, Fifty-third Ohio Volunteers and served two years. Participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Holly Springs and Memphis. Was discharged at Holly Springs on account of sickness, holding the commission of Second Lieutenant at the time. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Marion.
JOSIAH R. McPROUD, farmer, P. O. Louisville, was born in Ross County, Ohio, March 28, 1829. When he was nine years of age his parents moved to Randolph County, Ind. He was raised a farmer, but received an academic education at the Indiana Asbury University. He taught in the public schools of Indiana for nine years. Came to Kansas in 1866, settling on the farm where he now lives. In 1875, he was elected County Treasurer, and re-elected in 1877, serving four years. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. He was married, March 8, 1859, in Delaware County, Ind., to Miss Sarah A. Taylor, They have nine children - Guy C., Jessie H., George K., Laura, Millie A., Lawrence, Orville, Edwin and Osborne.
JOSEPH MOORE, farmer, Section 33, Township 15, Range 25, P. O. Louisburg. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 22, 1809. He was brought up a farmer. In 1837 he moved to Warren County, Ind., where he was a pioneer. He resided in Indiana until 1866, when he moved to Kansas, arriving in Miami County October 13th of that year, and settled on his present farm of 180 acres, situated on Section 33, Township 16, Range 25, Wea. Mr. Moore was married in Ohio, in 1837, to Miss Rhoda, daughter of William and Mary Lawrence. Mrs. Moore was born and married in Pickaway County, Ohio. Both Mr. and Mrs. Moore are tall of stature and have a family of seven sons, all living, smallest of whom is six feet one inch and the tallest six feet seven inches in height. The eldest son, Lindley M., resides at Danville, Ill. The second Samuel W. is the present postmaster of Louisville, Kan. The third, Richard H., of McPherson County, Kan., Joseph L. of Wea, Joshua W. of McPherson, County, Kan. The youngest, Kansas F., lives at the old homestead in Wea.
GEORGE T. PRICER, farmer, Section 4, P. O. Hiawatha, is a native of Ross County, Ohio, born September 5, 1857, son of John and Jane Pricer; the former died in Ohio in 1858. George T. came to Kansas in the spring of 1869, and purchased the farm where he now resides. This contains eighty acres of choice farming land, highly cultivated, and about the best improved eighty in that section of the country. There are about 250 fruit trees of different species, and some very choice varieties, all bearing. Mr. Pricer was married September 21, 1881, to Miss Emma Meanor, of Hiawatha. They are both members of the Presbyterian Church of that city.
SAMUEL RING, farmer, Section 26, Township 16, Range 24, P. O. Louisburg, was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1820. learned the blacksmith's trade; moved to Indiana in 1851, and the following year to McLean County, Ill., where he was engaged in farming in Illinois till 1865, when he removed to north Missouri and to Wea, Kan., in 1867. He located on his present farm, where has has 460 acres well improved, and has, besides, 400 acres in Anderson County. Mr. Ring was married in Ohio in 1844, to Miss Susan Seneff. Mrs. Ring died November 19, 1869. Four children born of this marriage lived to maturity. Mr. Ring was married again August 16, 187090, to Mrs. Matilda Cunningham, widow of Adam Cunningham and daughter of Andrew Wilson. Mrs. Ring had two children by her former marriage, and three by the latter.
OSBORNE SHANNON, editor and publisher of the Kansas Weekly Gazette. The subject of this sketch was born in Denver, Ross County, Ohio, February 7, 1842, living with his parents until 1857. He moved with them to the then wilds of Kansas, and located at Lecompton. His father, Gov. Wilson Shannon, who had removed to this State two years previous, was appointed Governor of the Territory, September 7, 1855, and continued in the office till August 18, 1856. His son, Osborne, inheriting his father's propensities, determined to follow the profession of law, and after graduating at the Franklin College, Ohio, he returned and commenced the study of law. In the fall of 1863, he was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of his profession at Lawrence. In 1871, he married the estimable daughter of the Hon. James De Long, of Ohio, and opened a law office in Southern Kansas, where he remained two years. Returning to Lawrence in 1873, he formed a law partnership with his father, which existed until the death of the latter. As an active politician for the last twenty years, he has identified himself with the Democratic party. In September, 1882, he established the Kansas Weekly Gazette, a Democratic organ that is fast increasing in favor with the reading public.
LEWIS S. STEELE, attorney at law and Notary
Public, abstracts of titles, real estate, loan and insurance agent, Lawrence,
Kan., business established here in 1868. Keeps a numerical index of all
transfers of real estate in the county. In insurance, he represent the American,
of Newark, N. J., Western Assurance, of Toronto, Canada, and the Kansas State
Mutual, of Lawrence, and several good life insurance companies. L. S. Steele was
born in Ross County, Ohio, September 15, 1833. His father, James C. Steele was
born at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1801, his father being among the first settlers of
the town. He received his education at South Salem Academy, in Ross County, In
1854, he moved to Indianola, Iowa, and read law in the office of his uncle, R.
W. Steele. He spent the winter of 1854 at Florence, Neb., and returned to Warren
County, Iowa, in the spring, where he practiced law until 1857, when he moved to
Kansas and settled at Bloomington, in Douglas County, where he engaged in
farming and the lumber trade. In 1860, he went to Pike's Peak and engaged in
mining. Was Judge of the Bald Mountain Mining District, on French Gulch, in
1861. In 1862, was Judge of the Washington Gulch Judicial District, and on the
organization of the Territory of Colorado was appointed Justice of the Peace of
Washington County, which position he declined on account of his enlistment in
Company C, Third Colorado Infantry, October 5, 1862. The regiment marched on
foot, in March, 1863, from Denver to Fort Leavenworth, and by boat to Pilot
Knob, Mo., where they remained till winter, when they were consolidated with
Second Colorado Infantry into Second Colorado Cavalry. He served as Clerk at
headquarters, Fourth Subdistrict of Missouri, at Kansas City, Mo., until the
Price raid, in which the regiment took an active part, meeting Price at
Lexington and following him to the Arkansas river; had several engagements with
him. After the raid, he was detailed as Field Adjutant to Brig. Gen. J. H. Ford,
commanding District of Upper Arkansas, with headquarters at Fort Riley, in his
Indian campaign of 1865. In September of that year, he was mustered out with his
regiment at Fort Leavenworth, and locating at Clinton, in Douglas County, bought
a grist and saw mill, which he operated until 1870. He then removed to Lawrence,
where he engaged in the practice of law. Was appointed Police Judge and Justice
of the Peace in 1878, to fill vacancy, and was elected in 1879 for two years. He
was married, in 1857, to Miss Harriet Stathem, of Des Moines County, Iowa, who
died in 1859, leaving one daughter, now married to a physician and living in
Iowa. His second wife was Mrs. L. A. B. Steele, authoress of "Rev. Adanijah" and
other works of same character, besides a large amount of contributions to
religious and other periodicals. Her father was Rev. A. Blakely, who came to
Kansas from New York to help uphold the standard of liberty, and died in 1864.
Their children are Charles A., John A., James L. and Horace E. The two oldest
are attending the Kansas State University. Mr. Steele has been from his early
youth a member of the Presbyterian Church. He has long been an active temperance
worker and connected with the Good Templars and Ancient Templars, and a strong
advocate of Prohibition
G. W. STINSON, liveryman, is a native of Ohio and was born in Ross County, February 22, 1844, was reared in his native State and came to Kansas in 1869, settled at Chelsea, Butler County. In 1879, settled in El Dorado. Mr. S. has been engaged in the stock trade principally since coming to Kansas. In 1869, he enlisted in Company F. Eighty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, served three months and re-enlisted, serving in all about fifteen months. He was married in Kansas to Miss Jane Rayburn. They have five children - Annie, Archie, Dell, John M. and Mary.
ROBERT H. TAYLOR, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Tonganoxie, came to Kansas in 1866, and located where he now lives, two miles southwest from Tonganoxie in Leavenworth County. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1838, and lived there until 1845, and removed with his parents to Indiana and located at Lafayette. From there he went to Rock Island, Ill., and lived there one year and came to this State and lived nine years. He then went to California and remained there five years, and has been in this county two years on his farm in Tonganoxie Township. He was married in Rock Island, Ill., in 1864, to Miss Mary J. Sechrist, a native of Lexington, Ky. Capt. Taylor enlisted in the Army in 1861, in Company G, Twentieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted from private to First Lieutenant of Company G, and then to Captain of Company F, and served with that regiment during the war. He has been the candidate of his party twice for Representative in his District to the State Legislature. He is a member of the Christian Church. He raises graded cattle and Poland China hogs on his farm. He is the inventor of the Corn Harvester-a machine to cut, shock and tie corn.
JAMES E. THOMPSON, groceries, restaurant, bakery, and fruit stand, came to Kansas in October, 1854, first locating in Nemaha County. Was in the employ of McGraw's Overland Stage Company from Independence, Mo., and drove through to Salt Lake City. Made five trips for them. Then in the fall of 1855 took a drove of 300 fat cattle from Leavenworth to Laramie City, returned to Kansas and took a claim on the Nemaha and laid off a town called Richmond. As a member of the Western Mining Company ran a store a short time at Richmond and moved to Lecompton in the spring of 1856, where he built a boarding-house and saloon; boarded the First and Second Legislature which met in Lecompton. Was appointed the first Sheriff of Nemaha; also appointed Colonel of Northern Division of Kansas Militia under Gov. Gearey's administration. Left Lecompton in the spring of 1858 and came on the first steamboat going to Topeka. Was familiar with all the historic men of those days, and losing all his property, returned to Pekin, Ill. in 1863. Remained there until the close of the war and then returned to Kansas and settled on the Pottawatomie Reserve and helped to survey Silver Lake, and has been in the grocery business most of the time since. He was born in London, Madison Co., Ohio, January 26, 1833. When sixteen years of age, moved to Pekin, Ill., and had a mail contract with his brothers, one of whom, J. C., was Postmaster at Pekin and afterwards was appointed Surveyor-General of Kansas under Gen. Calhoun. Mr. Thompson was married in 1855 Western Missouri to Miss Mary J. Smith, a native of Ross County, Ohio. They have two children, Edward, who was the first male child born in Kansas at Lecompton, January 19, 1857, and Carrie.
JACOB WELCHHANS came to Topeka May 16, 1868, and was engaged in masonry work for about a year after his arrival. In April, 1869, he was made Deputy County Surveyor and served in that position three years. He was elected representative to the State Legislature in 1873 from the Fifty-eighth District, he being at that time a resident of Monmouth Township, and in 1875 was elected County Surveyor, and served two terms. Since January, 1880, he has been connected with the office of the State Auditor. Mr. W. is a native of German Township, Clarke Co., Ohio. He was born August 5, 1834, and lived in Clarke County until 1863; then removed to Champaign County, Ohio, where he lived until he emigrated to Kansas. He was married in Champaign County, October 11, 1863, to Sarah Elizabeth Palmer, a native of Ross County, Ohio. They have three living children - Olive, Frank Everett and Alice, having lost one child in infancy. Mr. W. now resides on Section 26, Township 13, Range 16. He removed to Monmouth Township in 1870, and is carrying on a farm there, besides which he has taught school twenty-six terms and served as Deputy Clerk in the County Clerk's office four years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, I. O. G. T., I. O. O. F., Patrons of Husbandry, and several literary societies; also of the Shawnee County Teachers' Association.
DR. F. H. WILSON, dentist, was born in
Ross County, Ohio, January 5, 1829. He was born and raised on a farm, receiving
his schooling in Ross and adjoining counties. Shortly after his marriage, he
engaged in business in Greenfield, Highland Co., Ohio, as a watchmaker and
jeweler, continuing there about eleven years. In 1863, he enlisted in Company C,
Sixty-sixth Battalion Ohio National Guards. They were called into service in
May, 1864, being in active service four months, and mustered out in May, 1866.
Dr. Wilson had practiced dentistry some in 1850; after the war, he entered the
office of Dr. Lewis in Greenfield, Highland Co., Ohio, and resumed his studies.
In 1869, he began practice in Greencastle, Ind. In 1872, he moved to Lawrence,
Kan., where he has since engaged in practice with the exception of a few months.
He was married in Piatt County, Ill., October 25, 1855, to Miss Coovert, of that
county. They have one child - Maria Co., now Mrs. Pitt Ross, of Leavenworth. Dr.
Wilson is a member of the Presbyterian Church.
GEORGE W. WILSON, senior partner of the firm of Wilson & Tuggle, blacksmiths. This firm does general blacksmithing, horse-shoeing, and repairing of all kinds of farm machinery. Mr. Wilson was born in Ross County, Ohio, August 19, 1830. He was brought up in that State, and served a regular apprenticeship to the blacksmith trade. He moved to Illinois in 1852, and worked at his trade. He enlisted in August, 1861, as a private of Company C, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, and served a little more than three years. He was twice wounded; once at Buzzard's roost, and again at Resaca. In 1866 he emigrated to Kansas, and established a blacksmith shop at Humbolt, Allen County. He subsequently operated in various towns in Kansas and in February, 1875, came to Hillsdale and opened a blacksmith shop, which he has carried on to this date. Since the fall of 1882, he has had Mr. F. W. Tuggle for a partner. He was twice married, in Illinois. Lost his wives and was married again in Kansas, to Miss Dora A. Shultz. He had four children by his second marriage and four by the present marriage.
ANTHONY ZIMMERMAN, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Osage Mission, native of Bavaria, Germany, was born in 1839. His parents immigrated to America in 1841, locating in Ross County, Ohio, where he was raised. In 1854 he moved to Illinois, living in McDonough County. Here, in 1861, he married Miss Teas. In 1867 he came to Kansas in company with Mr. Basler and Giggs and families. They camped on Lightning Creek and the heads of the families then went to Crawfordville (now Girard), Crawford County, but not finding land to suit took horses and went to Erie, Neosho County, meeting P. Walters here he showed them the claims they have since occupied. Mr. Zimmerman at once erected a 16x20 box-house, and for a time lived on corn cake, having no improvements to commence with. He has now ninety-five acres under cultivation, pasture, meadow and fine orchard. Mr. Zimmerman has been Supervisor here, and has a family of four boys and one girl.