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Fred C. Childs, now superintendent of the Cudahy Refining Company at Coffeyville, is an oil refiner of almost world wide experience. He has been connected with that industry since youth, and has spent a number of years in the Kansas field.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 10, 1867, a son of Caleb O. and Sarah A. (Langdon) Childs. His Childs ancestors came from England to Rhode Island in colonial times. His great-grandfather John Cole Childs was a Revolutionary soldier and an extensive land owner in Rhode Island. His grandfather, Thomas Cole Childs, was born in Rhode Island in 1784, served as sheriff of his county and subsequently moved to Warren County, Pennsylvania, where he was a farmer and mill owner. Caleb O. Childs was born in Rhode Island in 1806, was married at Jamestown, New York, and for a time was engaged in the lumber business in Warren County, Pennsylvania: He was one of the pioneers in the production of oil in the Titusville, Pennsylvania, fields, going there in 1861. He was associated with some of the very prominent men in the early oil industry, and in 1867 moved to Philadelphia. A few years before his death he retired and died at Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1882. His wife was born at Addington, New Jersey, in 1811 and died in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1877. Their children were Calphurnia, who died in Warren, Pennsylvania, the wife of H. W. Childs, who is a retired oil producer; Milo H., who died at the age of three years; Robert H., superintendent of the Petroleum Products Company at Independence; and Fred C.
Fred C. Childs received a public school education at Titusville, Pennsylvania, and in 1885 graduated from the high school at Corey in that state. Since then for a period of over thirty years he has been closely identified with the refining industry, being employed in Northwestern Pennsylvania until 1901. In that year on account of his experience and capability, he was selected to go to Japan and construct a refinery for a Japanese company. He remained in the Kingdom of Nippon for two years. Returning to America he spent the next three years at Parkersburg, West Virginia, and since 1906 has been a Kansan. For several years he had charge of the refinery at Niotaze in Chautauqua County, and since 1908 has been a resident of Coffeyville and is superintendent of the Cudahy Refinery, which is located in the northwestern part of the city.
Mr. Childs has his home just northeast of the city limits. He is a republican and a member of the Lutheran Church, and is an active fraternal man, being affiliated with Keystone Lodge No. 102, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Coffeyville, and with Fort Scott Consistory of the Scottish Rite. He also belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees at Warren, Pennsylvania, and to Lodge No. 775, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Coffeyville.
In 1890 at Mayville, New York, Mr. Childs married Miss Nellie Lattimore. Her father, Rev. A. Lattimore, now deceased, was a minister of the Lutheran Church.