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Biographical Sketch of Thomas S. Huffaker

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Thomas S. Huffaker, a pioneer Indian missionary among the Shawnees, a founder of Council Grove and an old-time republican leader, was born in Clay County, Missouri, March 30, 1825, a son of Rev. George Huffaker, who had come from Kentucky five years before. In 1849 he came to Kansas in connection with the manual training school for the Shawnee Indians at the mission in what is now Jefferson County, The following year he went to Council Grove, where he took charge of the Indian mission school which had been established on the Kaw reservation there by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He remained at the head of this school until it was abandoned in 1854. On May 6, 1852, Mr. Huffaker married Miss Eliza A. Baker, who was born in Illinois in 1836. About the time the Indian mission school was abandoned, Mr. and Mrs. Huffaker organized a school for white children, which was probably the first institution of the kind in Kansas. Mr. Huffaker was one of the incorporators of the Council Grove Town Company; was the first postmaster at that point; was elected to the State Legislature in 1874 and 1879; was a regent of the State Normal School from 1864 to 1871; was frequently a delegate to republican conventions, and as late as May, 1906, was a member of the state convention of that party. Mr. Huffaker died on July 10, 1910.

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