Seth Ingalsbee is now living retired at Wheaton, Kansas. His had been a long and useful career, and he is now past eighty-eight years of age. He served as a soldior during the Civil war, and came to Kansas a few years later and identified himself with the homesteading era in Pottawatomie County.
Mr. Ingalsbee is of early English and of Revolutionary stock. There is a record of military service in almost every generation. The founder of the family and his remote ancestor was John Ingoldsby, who came from England and was a Colonial settler. Mr. Ingalsbee’s great-grandfather was Ebenezer Ingalsbee. He fought with the English army during the French and Indian wars, and was still in the British service when the Revolution broke out. He sided with the Colonists, and was commissioned a captain in the Revolutionary forces. As a precaution against being tried for desertion in the event that he should be captured by the enemy, he changed his name to Ingalsbee, the form of spelling which had ever since been practiced.
Mr. Ingalsbee’s grandfather was also named Ebenezer Ingalsbee and also had service as a soldier in the Revolution. He was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, in which colony the family first located, and a number of years after the Revolution he emigrated to Western New York. He was a farmer and shoemaker and died in Cayuga County, New York.
Mr. Seth Ingalsbee was born at the Town of Byron in Genesee County, New York, May 15, 1829. He was born a few weeks after Andrew Jackson was inaugurated for his first term as president of the United States. His life had covered one of the greatest epochs in all the history of the world. The first great railroad in America, now the Baltimore and Ohio, was started building in the year of his birth and within his lifetime the entire United States had been covered with a network of railroads and he had lived through the period of telegraphy, telephones and all the other marvelous inventions that have changed the complete face of industry and social existence. His father, Adna Ingalsbee, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1794. He was twelve years of age when in 1806 his parents removed to Cayuga County, New York, and he grew up there and when still young entered the service of the American army in the War of 1812. While with the army he marched through Genesee County, and after the close of the war he located at the Town of Byron in that county and was successfully engaged in farming for many years. He died at the Town of Alabarna in Genesee County in 1848. He was a whig in politics and held various local offices, including that of assessor of Byron Township. He was a member of the Baptist Church. Adna Ingalsbee married, in Genesee County, Eliza Fenn, a native of Delaware County, New York. She died in Alabama Township of Genesee County at the age of seventy. Their children were: Abner, who became a farmer at Wheaton, Kansas, and while still retaining his residence there went out to California and died in San Diego at the age of sixty-nine. Alfred, who died in infancy; Ara, who was a farmer and died in Alabama Township of his native county at the age of twenty-seven; Austin, a farmer and later in the insurance business, died in Chicago at the age of seventy-four; Colby, who died in Genesee County, New York, in 1848; Seth, who was the sixth in order of birth; Fenn T., who was one of the pioneer teachers of shorthand and typewriting, at one time conducted a commercial college at Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he died at the age of seventy.
Seth Ingalsbee spent the first twenty-one years of his life on his father’s farm in Genesee County, New York. In the meantime he attended the public schools, though such a thing as a modern public school did not then exist. He began farming for himself and soon went to the West, to Illinois, in which state he enlisted in 1861 in Company C, Tenth Illinois Cavalry. Mr. Ingalsbee saw fourteen months of active service, chiefly in the country west of the Mississippi River, including some of the notable campaigns in Southwest Missouri and Arkansas. His command operated against the guerillas and during some scouting duty he was once wounded. After being mustered out of service Mr. Ingalsbee returned to Parton, Illinois, from which point he had enlisted; and there he resumed farming.
Mr. Ingalsbee came to Kansas in the fall of 1870, locating five miles southeast of Wheaton, where he homesteaded 160 acres of the fertile soil of Pottawatomie County. He developed his claim and endured the usual vicissitudes of Kansas farm life, including the grasshopper period and the drouth. Success attended his sfforts, and in the spring of 1893 he sold his farm and removed into the village of Wheaton. For a year or two he was a canvasser, and only recently had resigned himself to a life of leisure. For ten years he served as postmaster of Wheaton, being first appointed by William McKinley, serving through his administration and that of Reesevelt. Since leaving the postoffice he had looked after his property. Mr. Ingalsbee was old enough to vote when the last whig ticket was put in the field, and he assisted in organizing the republican party in the State of New York. While living in the country he served as justice of the peace in Sherman Township of Pottawatomie County and also as a trustee and township clerk and for over twenty years as a director on the School Board. Mr. Ingalsbee stands high among the old soldiers and is past commander of Custer Post No. 39, Grand Army of the Republic, at Onaga.
On December 11, 1850, at Batavia, New York, he married Miss Lois Baker, danghter of Robert and Mrs. (King) Baker. Her father was in the government service and had charge of the arsenal at Batavia, New York. Mr. Ingalsbee is the father of seven children. Emma married Silas Griffis, who was a trader, and both are now deceased, she having died at St. Catherine’s, Canada. Mary Adella, who died at Wheaton, Kansas, in 1912, married Orrin Ingakbee, a distant relative, and he was a farmer and speculator and is also deceased. Adna B. is in the real estate business at Kansas City, Missouri. Edwin S. is a farmer near Hunter, Missouri. F. Siegel is a farmer near West Plains, Missouri. Carrie married Charles Swickard, and they live in Wheaton. Mr. Swickard is a shipper of livestock and a horse man. Clarence, the youngest child, is in the produce commission business at Kansas City, Missouri.