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Biography of Bion M. McCormick

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Bion M. McCormick. A prosperous farmer and representative citizen of Zeandale Township, Riley County, is found in Bion M. McCormick, whose beautiful farm of 160 acres is devoted to general agriculture. He was born September 30, 1867, on this farm, and is a son of Armstead Thompson and Anna (Allen) McCormick.

In recalling the honorable pioneers of this section of Kansas, the name of the late Armstead Thompson McCormick comes quickly to mind. He belonged to that band that may be called the pathfinders in Riley County, coming to this section years before the Civil war, accepting hardships, showing courage and resourcefulness, founding homes and improving conditions and in passing out of life, leaving honorable names and substantial records of having lived.

Armstead Thompson McCormick was born near Huntington, West Virginia, August 18, 1832. His parents were Levi and Phebe (Stuart) McCormick, of Scotch-Irish lineage but natives of Virginia. After their marriage they removed to Wayne County, in what is now West Virginia, and there they passed the rest of their lives. Their family contained eleven children, ten of whom survived to mature years. From this family came a pioneer of 1854 to Kansas, John McCormick making a permanent settlement in Zeandale Township, Riley County, in 1855, and in the fall of the same year he was followed by his brother, Armstead T. McCormick. In the spring of 1856 Armstead T. purchased 160 acres of land in Zeandale Township and on that land lived during the rest of his life with the exception of three years spent as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war. He enlisted in Company K, Eleventh Kansas Infantry and proved his valor on many a battle-field. On returning from the cares and dangers of army life he resumed civil duties as a farmer. He had come to Kansas a young man seeking future independence and found it here through industry and reasonable prudence. From the raw prairie he developed one of the best farms in the county and prospered in every branch of agriculture. His life was exemplary. He was a devoted husband and father, a good neighbor and popular as such and a citizen above reproach. Although never very active in politics, he possessed force of character and was a strong factor in the republican party for many years.

Armstead T. McCormick was married November 27, 1865, to Anna Allen, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, November 11, 1842, and still survives. Her parents were Benjamin and Phebe Allen, who came to Riley County during the period of the Civil war. Four children were born to this marriage, two sons and two daughters: Bion M., Orlen, Phebe, now Mrs. R. V. Allison of Salina, Kansas, and Sadie, now the wife of Frank Short of Topeka, Kansas.

Bion M. McCormick grew to manhood on his father’s farm and attended the nearest schools as opportunity offered. In addition to carrying on general farming he has done a large business in raising and dealing in cattle. Under his judicious management the old homestead farm has yearly increased in value, and all told he has 320 acres.

In 1890 Mr. McCormick was married to Miss Ida Hafer, who was born at Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1870 she accompanied her parents to Kansas, in which state they passed their closing years. Her father, William B. Hafer, followed agricultural pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick have three children: Hazel, Donivan and Kenneth. In politics Mr. McCormick is a republican but not an office seeker. He belongs to the Methodist Eniscopal church, and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic bodies at Manhattan, Kansas.

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