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Biography of John H. Middleton

JOHN H. MIDDLETON. John H. Middleton, general merchant, farmer and postmaster at Omaha, Boone County, Arkansas, is a worthy citizen in all the relations of life, and has always been interested in the advancement in the different affairs of his section. He is a successful business man; his generosity keeps pace with his prosperity, and he contributes liberally of his means to the advancement of worthy enterprises, in which respect his generosity has been recognized and appreciated. Mr. Middleton is a product of Bolivar, Missouri, born January 9, 1854, and is a son of William J. and Lovina J. (Beckley) Middleton. The father was born in Tennessee in 1830, and when seven years of age went to what is now Stone County, Missouri, with his mother, and settled near Galena, on James River, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican War. He then enlisted and served all through that war as a private. After his return to Missouri he was married in St. Clair County to Miss Beckley and at once located in Bolivar, where he followed merchandising until about 1856. From there he removed to Linn County, Kan., and engaged in business at Centreville for a few years. In 1859 he went to Pike’s Peak, but about a year later returned to St. Clair County, Missouri, where he engaged in the pottery business, following the same until the next year when he put in a crop. The war then broke out and he abandoned his enterprises and enlisted in Company G, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, and served three years and three months in the Army of...

Biography of Samuel G. McCracken

SAMUEL G. MCCRACKEN. Among the active and energetic business men of Ozark is Samuel G. McCracken, grain dealer and grocery merchant. He has acquired an enviable reputation as a business man and citizen, and well deserves the large competency he has acquired by honest methods and strict business integrity. The McCracken family is of Scotch-Irish origin and the first members of this family to come to America settled in Tennessee, where they were esteemed as honorable and upright men and women. Thomas McCracken, grandfather of our subject, was born in Tennessee, as was also Nathaniel McCracken, the father of our subject, whose birth occurred in Williamson County in 1813. The latter married Miss Arissa Cates and our subject was one of the children born to this union. Samuel G. McCracken was born in Hickory County, Missouri, March 30, 1851, and there remained until ten years of age, attending district school and assisting on the farm. The breaking out of the Civil War interrupted his studies at the above mentioned age, but he remained in his native county until after the war, when he entered the high school at Bolivar. Two years later he entered Drury College, when it was first opened in 1871, and passed three years in that well-known institution of learning. After leaving college he was employed as shipping clerk by J. M. Doling, grain merchant, and remained with him two years. During his college days he married Miss Mary J. Rountree, a native of Tennessee, born November 25, 1855, and the daughter of George W. and M. J. (Reggs) Rountree. Mr. Rountree died in Tennessee during...

Biography of William S. Norton

William S. Norton. Whatever their environment, men of true ability have the power to raise themselves above circumstances, and apparently handicaps and difficulties act only as a spur to increase effort and accomplishment. There are few Kansas whose careers better illustrate the truth of this assertion than that of William S. Norton, who is known so well in Cherokee County as a financier and business man. Mr. Norton could review by personal recollections practically every phase of life in Southwestern Missouri and Southeastern Kansas during the last half century. He was a Union soldier during the war and the keynote to his success can probably be found in the fact that he has been ever ready to meet danger and difficulty and has always been unusually resourceful in every exigency of a long life. As to his ancestry it can be stated that the Nortons were English people and were pioneers to the State of Ohio, where they settled before the War of 1812. Their first point of settlement on coming to America was North Carolina. Mr. William S. Norton was born in Edgar County, Illinois, July 26, 1844. His father was Amos Norton, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he was born in 1826. After spending the first nineteen years of his life in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, he moved to Edgar County, Illinois, where he married and subsequently identified himself with farming a raw tract of land in that section of the Prairie state. Amos Norton was a Kansas pioneer. The territory was barely opened for settlement when he arrived in 1854 at Fort Scott....

Biography of John W. Potter

Newspaper work is essentially transitory in its nature. The newspaper article that may be read with the most absorbing interest today by thousands is tomorrow forgotten by the eager public as it is then no longer “news” and some more recent event has occurred upon which public attention is centered for a few brief hours. Consequently the newspaper article possesses none of the stability of other literary effort. Rarely is it kept for general reference except in the files of the newspaper office itself. It is read, makes more or less of an impression for a time and is superseded by the next day’s issue and tossed aside. To make a permanent impression upon this particularly kaleidoscopic field of the world’s work requires something more than mere talent; it requires absolute genius, and the fact that a publisher and editor can make a deep and lasting imprint upon the public conscience-an imprint that remains unobliterated for years after his decease shows him to have possessed that genius. Such a man was John W. Potter deceased, for years publisher and editor of the Rock Island Argus. He was born August 17, 1861, at Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland, his parents being John W. and Josephine (Ryan) Potter. That in his early youth he should enter the newspaper field seemed only natural as his environment tended strongly in that direction, both his father and grandfather (whose given names were also John W.) were successful in that profession until the day of their death. John W. Potter, Sr., the father of the subject of this sketch came to America in the year 1853,...

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