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Biography of Frank S. Porter

This representative business man of the City of Wichita was about twenty years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kansas, and he had since continued his residence within the borders of the Sunflower State, where he had been long and prominently identified with the retail drug business, of which he is now a leading representative in the City of Wichita, his attractive drug store, metropolitan in equipment and appointments, being eligibly situated on East Douglas Avenue, in the College Hill District of the city. Frank S. Porter was born in the Village of Rushsylvania, Logan County, Ohio, on the 6th of July, 1866, and is a son of Robert B. Porter, who was born in West Virginia and who was a miller by trade. For a long period of years Robert B. Porter operated a flour mill at Roshsylvania, Ohio, from which place he finally removed with his family to Urbana, that state, where he became the owner of a large mill. In 1876 he established a retail drug store at Paulding, the little city that is the judicial center of the Ohio County of the same name, and this he placed under the active supervision of his elder son, Don M. In 1886 he disposed of his varied business and real-estate interests in Ohio and came with his family to Kansas. The home was established at Larned, and there Robert B. Porter continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1894. He served as a valiant soldier of the Union in the Civil war, in which he was a member of an...

Biographical Sketch of James S. Emery

James S. Emery was one of the stalwart pioneers of the free-state cause, who bravely and ably assisted the struggling territory and commonwealth to firmly lay their foundations. A son of the Pine Tree State, he was born in Franklin County, July 3, 1826; graduated from Waterville College in 1851; was admitted to the bar in New York City in January, 1854, and in the following September came to Lawrence with the second party of free-state immigrants to make the venture into the danger zone. He was a member of the Big Springs convention and in September, 1855, made a telling speech at the stone capitol in Pawnee, in support of the Topeka constitution and against alavery. A member of the Topeka constitutional convention, he was also with John Brown in the Wakarusa war, and in January, 1856, was one of the delegation sent East to plead for the free-state cause in Kansas. With Abraham Lincoln, he addressed the famous Bloomington convention of May, 1856, and stumped the State of Indiana for Fremont in the same year. He was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention and served in the State Legislature of 1862 and 1863. In 1864 President Lincoln appointed him United States district attorney, and he was twice a regent of the State University. Mr. Emery was president of the State Historical Society in 1891, and died at Lawrence, June 8,...

Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State Ohildren’s Home Society. In 1916 he was elected president of the National Children’s Home Society. Mr. Shirk comes of a very prominent family, one in which ministers, teachers, and men and women of the highest moral character have predominated. His...

Biography of Henry W. Weber

Henry W. Weber, cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Wilson, had worked and had lived in close touch with business and banking affairs since he was a young boy. Part of his early experience was as a farmer, and he is individually owner of a farm and had that invaluable asset of the country banker, a close knowledge and sympathy and understanding with farming interests and farmers. Mr. Weber was born near Dubuque in Russell County, Kansas, March 31, 1883. His father, Nicholas Weber, who still lives in that community, had long been a prominent man of affairs in Kansas. He was born in Luxemburg, Germany, in 1855 and left his native country when about eighteen years of age for America. He came here poor and with neither capital nor influential friends. For five years he worked at wages in Dubuque County, Iowa, and there gained his first real knowledge of merchandising. In 1878 Nicholas Weber arrived in Kansas and settled in Barton County, just over the line from Russell County. There he established a general mercantile store, also conducted farming on an extensive scale, being owner of 4,500 acres of farm lands at the present time. Prosperity had attended his efforts in every direction and he is an example of the man who had raised himself by sheer determinstion and industry to a place of secure success. He had long been a banker and is president and director of the Farmers State Bank at Wilson and a director in the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Claflin and in the Farmers State Bank at Redwing, Kansas. Politically he...

Biography of Jacob Shafer

Jacob Shafer. An old and honored resident of Kansas, Jacob Shafer for the past ton years had lived on his fine farm north of Topeka, among his children and surrounded with the comforts which his life of earnest endeavor and industry have enabled him to accumulate. A native of Indiana, he was born in 1844 in Tippecanoe County about nine miles south of the historic battleground where General Harrison fought the Indians just prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812. His father was Jacob Shafer Sr., a native of Ohio, while the grandfather was born in Pennsylvania about the close of the Revolutionary war. Jacob Shafer Sr. learned the trade of gunsmith while living in Ohio, and then as a young man became an early settler in Tippecance County, Indiana, where he acquired and developed a tract of land as one of the pioneer farmers. In 1866 he moved out to Mahaska County, Iowa, where he spent the rest of his years and where he died in 1908. He married Elizabeth Stettler of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Their children were: Susan, Sarah, Laura and Jacob Jr. The senior Mr. Shafer was a man of generous heart and hospitable nature, friendly and accommodating, and his religious convictions were in line with those of the Baptist denomination and he helped to maintain a church of that name in every community where he lived. He also filled various township offices. The early years of his life Jacob Shafer Jr. spent in his native county of Tippecanoe. While there he gained an education, and in 1862 at the age of eighteen enlisted...

Biography of William R. Murrow

William R. Murrow. Kansas, with splendid natural resources and true western energy and progressiveness, has afforded to her native sons the best of opportunities, and it is gratifying to note that the greater percentage of the younger generation representative of pioneer families has had the good judgment to pay unfaltering allegiance to the Sunflower commonwealth and to aid in the furtherance of the civic and material progress and prosperity of the state. In the thriving City of Independence, Montgomery County, such a native son is he whose name initiates this paragraph, and his prominence and influence in the business affairs of this section of the state is indicated fully by his incumbency of the responsible position of the manager of the Kansas Gas & Electric Company. William Rollins Murrow was born at Ellinwood, Barton County, Kansas, on May 16, 1878, and is a son of William D. D. and Ploma Elizabeth (Lawrence) Murrow, the former of whom was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1845, and the latter of whom was born on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1854. The father passed the closing years of his life at Ellinwood, Kansas, where he died in 1880, and the widowed mother was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, at the time of her death, in 1895. The subject of this sketch is the only child of this sterling pioneer couple of Kansas. As a youth William D. D. Murrow lived in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, where he found employment in an establishment devoted to the manufacturing of machinery. He was a...

Biography of Augustine P. Heimann, Rev.

Rev. Augustine P. Heimann is the beloved priest and rector of St. Martin’s Catholic Church at Plqua, Kansas. He is a veteran in the service of the church in Kansas. He came to the state more than a quarter of a century ago, soon after his ordination as a priest, and for years had devoted himself to the constructive as well as the spiritual administration of several important parishes in different counties. Father Heimann was born in Lafayette, Indiana, February 15, 1866. His father, August Heimann, was born in Silesia, Prussia, in 1834. When eighteen years of age he came to America, locating at Lafayette, Indiana, and spent many years in the railroad service. He finally retired and came to Kansas to live with his son, Father Helmann, and died at Odin in this state in 1910. August Heimann married Louiss Miller. She was born in 1836, at Dunningen in Wuertemberg, Germany, and her parents came to this country in 1850, locating in Covington, Indiana. August Heimann and wife had the following family: Albert, who died at the age of four years; Mary, who died when three years old; Augustine P.; and Emma, who became a member of the Sisterhood of the Precious Blood and died in 1912. Father Heimann was educated in the parochial schools of Lafayette, Indiana. He was early destined for the priesthood, and for five years pursued the classical course in St. Lawrence College at Mount Calvary in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. This was followed by three years of study of philosophy and theology at St. Francis Seminary near Milwaukee, and he took his...

Biography of Walter Charles Isern

Walter Charles Isern, a young and progressive business man of Kansas, is the responsible head of the chief mercantile enterprise of Alden. Mr. Isern grew up in the atmosphere of a store and had developed his talents for business by careful and painstaking work since he left school. Mr. Isern was born at Ellinwood, Kansas, October 18, 1887. He is of German ancestry. His grandfather, Frederick Isern, came from Germany more than seventy years ago, after serving his time in the regular German army. He located at New Bremen, Ohio, where he was a farmer and carpenter until his death. Adolph Isern, father of the Alden merchant, was born at New Bremen, Ohio, in 1845. He grew up and married there and spent his active career as a farmer. Coming to Kansas in 1878, he located at Ellinwood, where he was prosperously engaged in the management of a farm until his death in 1897. He was a democrat of the old school and an active member of the Lutheran Church. Adolph Isern married Minnie Nordman. She was born in Germany, near Bremen, in 1855 and is still living at Ellinwood. They had three children: Alvin, a farmer at Ellinwood; Alfred, also a farmer in that vicinity; and Walter C. Walter C. Isern acquired his education chiefly at Ellinwood, leaving the high school there at the age of sixteen. After a course in the business college at Salina during 1904 he became clerk in the store at Ellinwood of the Stephan & Isern Mercantile Company. This is a large and prosperous organization, with stores both at Ellinwood and Alden. In...

Biography of William C. Suttle

William C. Suttle. Under modern conditions the water works of any thriving and prosperous community is one of the most important branches of the civic service, and its management requires abilities far beyond the ordinary. Fredonia boasts of one of the best water systems in Southeastern Kansas, and much of the credit for the present excellent conditions existing in this enterprising city is due to the capable and experienced work of the superintendent of the water works, William C. Suttle, who had been connected with this department for about eleven years and had been in his present position since 1913. Mr. Suttle is a native son of Kansas, and was born on a farm in Johnson County, July 27, 1870, his parents being Benjamin O. and Abigail (Hazelett) Suttle. The family is of English origin and had resided in America since colonial days when the original emigrant located in Virginia. Benjamin O. Suttle was born in 1821, in Virginia, and was reared and educated in the Old Dominion state, from whence he went to Kentucky as a young man and engaged in farming in the vicinity of Franklin. He was married in that state and in 1870 migrated to Kansas, settling in Johnson County, where he farmed for two years. He then changed his residence to Coffey County, settled on a farm, and continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1881. He supported the republican ticket as a voter, and was a strong member of the Baptist Church, in which he served as a deacon. Mr. Suttle was married to Miss Abigail Hazelett, in Kentucky,...

Biography of Austin Alexander Torrance

Austin Alexander Torrance. One of the newspapers of Coffey County, Kansas, that had a wide circulation and is deservedly well supported is the Lebo Star, published at Lebo, Kansas, by its founder and able editor, Austin Alexander Torrance. He is a newspaper man from the bottom up, that is he is a practical printer as well as a talented writer, a judicious exploiter of news and had a very clear and logical conception of what the public demands in its favorite journal. Mr. Torrance had been a resident of Kansas during the last thirty-three years and had had considerable newspaper experience. Austin A. Torrance was born at Middleport in Meigs County, Ohio, August 21, 1877. His parents were Alexander C. and Margaret Ann (Pangburn) Torrance. His father was born in a pioneer log cabin on a farm in Meigs County, Ohio, October 14, 1838, and was a son of Jackson Torrance, who was born in Pennsylvania. Alexander C. Torrance served through the entire Civil war as a sergeant in Company I, Second West Virginia Cavalry, and was proud to have had General Sheridan and later General Custer as his commanders. His record was remarkable in that he was ever at the post of duty, never losing a single day, and returned home practically unharmed. He was a machinist by trade and after coming to Kansas in 1884 worked as a machinist and mechanical engineer until 1904. His death followed on February 10, 1905. He was a man of sterling character and was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Torrance was married in 1865 to Miss Margaret Ann Pangburn,...
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