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Biographical Sketch of Colonel and Judge Oscar E. Learnard

Colonel and Judge Oscar E. Learnard, one of the founders of Burlington, for many years a resident of Lawrence, one of the organizers of the republican party in Kansas and prominent in numerous state institutions and enterprises, was born at Fairfax, Vermont, November 14, 1832. He was of English and Franch Huguenot stock. In 1855, the year after his graduation from the Albany Law School, Mr. Learnard came to Kansas and located at Lawrence, and the next year he commanded a “mounted regiment” of the free-state forces in the border war. In the spring of 1857 he helped to locate and lay out the Town of Burlington, where he built the first mill, the first business house, and a building used for school and church purposes. He was a member of the Council in the first freestate Legislature (1857); was president of the convention which met at Osawatomie on May 18, 1859, and organized the republican party in Kansas; and after the state government was established became judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. That position he resigned to enter the army as lieutenant-colonel of the First Kansas Infantry, and served on the staffs of Generals Hunter and Denver until 1863, when he resigned his commission. When Price undertook to enter Kansas, in the fall of 1864, Colonel Learnard again joined the forces for the defense of the state, and took part in the battle of the Blue and the engagement at Westport, Missouri. He served two terms in the State Senate; was superintendent of the Haskell Institute for one year; was for a quarter of a century special attorney...

Biography of Will R. Burge

Will R. Burge. Trained faculties and an enlightened understanding are necessary requisites of a newspaper man in these modern days. The responsibility resting upon the man in eharge of the policy and editorial branch of a newspaper is heavy and should not be lightly assumed. From the time of the discovery of the art of printing, the power of the Fourth Estate has been great, and fortunate indeed is the community whose newspapers are directed and controlled by men of real worth, integrity and knowledge. In Will R. Burge, the City of Cherryvale has a newspaper man of this enlightened class. As proprietor and editor of the Cherryvale Republican he is doing much to forward the interests of his community, and under his management the sheet is becoming a power in Southeastern Kansas affairs. Mr. Burge was born in a log house in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, October 18, 1880, and is a son of S. B. and Josephine (Grubb) Burge. The Burge family originated in Germany, where the name was originally spelled “Buradge,” and during the days preceding the American Revolution was founded in this country, one of the early members settling in Ohio. John Burge, the grandfather of Will R. Burge, was born in Ohio, and for many years followed farming in Paulding County, Ohio. Although past middle age when the Civil war came on, he enlisted in a regiment of Ohio volunteer infantry, and met a soldier’s death on the field of battle while wearing his country’s uniform. John Burge married Mary Meeks, who was born in 1817, in Ohio, and they became the parents...

Biography of Joseph L. Strickler

Joseph L. Strickler. In reviewing the lives of the business men of Cherryvale, especially in regard to the establishment and growth of the oil industry, it who have taken part in this work have been those who have brought with them from other parts of the state and country reputations for honorable dealing, and capability for accomplishment of purpose. Associated with the oil industry of this part of the state is the name of Joseph L. Strickler, who came to Cherryvale in 1902 and is now probably the largest independent producer in this locality. Mr. Strickler has been identified with the oil business practically since he started upon his career and has had experience in various fields. He was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, December 19, 1872, and is a son of William Baker and Mary (Foutz) Strickler. The Strickler family is of German origin and was founded in America previous to the Revolution, the American progenitor settling in the colony of Virginia. John Strickler, the grandfather of Joseph L., was born in 1808, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and was a marble cutter by trade, but on going as a pioneer to Fairfield County, Ohio, took up farming as his vocation and homesteaded 160 acres. He also built the old half-way house between Lancaster and Pleasantville, which he conducted for many years, and there continued to reside during the remainder of his life. He was equally successful at his trade, as the proprietor of his tavern and as a farmer, and was a man of some influence in his community, and rounded out a full and useful...

Biography of William Wallace Brown

William Wallace Brown, general attorney at Parsons for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway and a director in that railway company, is one of Kansas’ prominent lawyers with many well earned distinctions in the profession. The secret of his success has been hard work. He began practice only after a thorough preliminary training of self reliance and after getting his professional education through his own earnings and efforts. A native of Kansas, he represents a pioneer family. Mr. Brown was born in Coffey County July 29, 1868. He is of English ancestry. His grandfather Robert Brown was born in England, brought his family to America in 1845, and became a contractor and builder in the State of Iowa. While still at work in his business he was struck by a beam and that caused his death about 1857. He died in Iowa. Charles Brown, father of W. W. Brown, was born at Beverly, Yorkshire, England, November 14, 1832. He was thirteen years of age when he came to America and he grew up at Maquoketa, Iowa. After finishing his education he became a farmer. In 1857 at the age of twenty-five he moved from Maquoketa, Iowa, to Kansas, and was one of the early settlers in the territory. His permanent home was on a farm along the line between Anderson and Coffey counties. A few years after coming to Kansas he enlisted in the Tenth Kansas Regiment of Infantry, and was in active service during the war, principally in Missouri, Arkansas and Indian Territory. He was in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and served with the Kansas troops...

Biography of Henry Seymour Sewell

Henry Seymour Sewell. For a man of forty years Henry S. Sewell has had more than an ordinary record of success in business affairs. He is one of the well known merchants of Independence, owns extensive properties in that city and in other sections of Southern Kansas, and all his prosperity is a result of continued concentrated effort through the years since he left home and started out to carve his own career. Born in Montgomery County, Kansas, October 4, 1876, Henry Scymour Sewell is a son of J. B. and Mary M. (James) Sewell, and a grandson of J. G. and Catherine (Maybury) Sewell. His grandparents were among the early pioneers of Montgomery County, having arrived here in 1871 and taking up a homestead about twelve miles from Independence. They were Tennessee people, steady, industrious, people of high principles, and in the past forty-five years the family has left its mark on affairs in Montgomery County in many ways. Mr. J. B. Sewall, father of the Independence merchant, is now in the mercantile business and is postmaster at Bolton, and his career is sketched on other pages of this publication. While a boy Henry S. Sewell attended the public schools of Montgomery County. As he was one of a family of nine children, he saw the necessity of self-support at an early age, and therefore contributed all his labors that he could to helping out his father, who was then in the mercantile business. He learned the trade of butcher and at the age of twenty-one started out for himself. In the meantime he had given all his...

Biography of Charles N. Converse

Charles N. Converse. Identified with banks and banking all through his business life, Charles N. Converse, president of the Citizens State Bank of Altoona, Kansas, is widely known in financial circles where his judgment is deemed sound and accurate, and his reputation had long been that of a forcible, able and efficient business man. Charles N. Converse was born at Clinton, Illinois, June 22, 1863. His parents were Henry E. and Clara (Weaver) Converse, and his grandfathers were John Converse and Solomon Weaver. Solomon Weaver emigrated from Germany in boyhood and grew up at Clinton, Illinois, in which neighborhood he engaged in farming and there he died in 1883. On the paternal side the family traces its ancestry to France and when the first of the name, two brothers, came together to the American colonies, they spelled it Congiers. The brothers separated, one settling at Boston, Massachusetts, and the other at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Converse, the paternal grandfather, was born at Woburn, Massachusetts, February 14, 1813, and died at Clinton, Illinois, in June, 1880. He was an early settler in DeWitt County, Illinois, and a pioneer shoemaker at Clinton. He was a member of the Baptist Church and a good and worthy citizen. He married Eurania Nelson, who was born at Sutton, Massachusetts, in 1815, and died at Clinton, Illinois, in 1890. Of their family of children one survives, Frank H., a resident of Decatur, Illinois, a retired contractor and builder. During the Civil war he served as a member of the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The grandmother of Charles N. Converse, was a direct descendant of the great...

Biography of F. A. Cassady

F. A. Cassady is one of the most successful business men of his age in the State of Kansas. He is proprietor of one of the largest general stores at Neosho Rapids and is also vice president of the Neosho Rapids State Bank. He had reached this position in business circles before attaining his twenty-second year. He was born in Graysville, Missouri, September 24, 1894. His grandfather was a native of County Londonderry, Ireland, and in the old country spelled his name William O’Cassady but dropped the first syllable when he came to the United States. He lived a time in New Jersey and from there brought his family to Missouri, where he spent his active career in Graysville. W. O. Cassady, father of the Neosho Rapids merchant, was born in Missouri in 1861, and for a number of years lived at Graysville and had been an active merchant for the past thirty-four years, his business interests having taken him to a number of different points. In 1900 he moved to Glencoe, Oklahoma, in 1903 to Severy, Kansas, in 1904 to Latham, Kansas, in 1905 to Exline, Iowa, in 1906 to Unionville, Missouri, in 1907 to Harvard, Iowa, in 1909 to Jasper, Missouri, in 1910 to Lindsborg, Kansas, and shortly afterwards to Hartford, Kansas, where he now resided. He had an interest in the store at Neosho Rapids and also owned a fine farm of 137 acres situated just southeast of Hartford. Politically he is identified with the prohibition party and is a member of the United Brethren Church. W. O. Cassady married Estella Geeslim, who was born 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 Oscar Eugene Learnard, Col.

Col. Oscar Eugene Learnard was born in Fairfax, Vermont, November 14, 1832, the son of Stephen Tracy Learnard, and he died in Lawrence, Kansas, November 5, 1911. He grew to manhood in his native state, attended the common schools and Bakersfield Academy, taught school, and attended Norwich, Vermont, University. He did not finish his course at the University but that institution afterward conferred a Master’s degree upon him. Ill health compelled him to give up his studies, and he went to Tennessee, where he was for a time collector for a commercial house. After regaining his health he returned to the north and entered Albany Law School, where he was graduated. He began the practice of his profession at Crestline, Ohio, but he became imbued with the Free State idea, and in the winter of 1855-56 traveled on horseback to Kansas Territory to help make that a free state. He first went to Lawrence, but soon afterward left there and founded the Town of Burlington, and there took up the active practice of the law. He was elected district judge, and while holding that office resigned to accept an appointment as lieutenant colonel of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry. He was the youngest district judge of the state, and one of the youngest army officers. Because of dissatisfaction with the restrictions placed upon him in the army, he resigned his commission in 1863, but the next year he was with the state militia fighting against Price’s army. Colonel Learnard was a member of the first territorial legislature of Kansas and one of the first state senators. His political views...

Biography of John Redmond

John Redmond. One of the prominent newspaper men of Kansas, and there is no doubt but that the state had its full share of talented journalists, is John Redmond, the able editor and prosperous owner and publisher of the Burlington Daily Republican of Burlington. A natural inclination for this profession probably prevented the state from registering one more able member of its bar, for he was early designed for the law, in which his brother, C. H. Redmond, now of Denver, Colorado, is so successful, and in which his father, the late James Redmond, so long held a distinguished place. John Redmond was born in Coffey County, Kansas, December 1, 1873. His parents were James and Sarah Jane (Geesey) Redmond. His father, James Redmond, was educated for the priesthood but never took holy orders. Early in the Civil war he enlisted for service, entering the Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and gained rapid promotion for gallantry, reaching the rank of colonel. He served until 1863 when, because of serious wounds, he was relieved from active duty. He was a man of fine attainments and when he recovered sufficiently from his injuries to take up again the ordinary ways of life, he determined to study law at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and subsequently was admitted to the bar at La Grange, Indiana, where he practiced law until 1867, in which year he came to Kansas. Colonel Redmond located at Burlington and opened a law office and continued in active practice until his death in 1904. A republican in politics, he became a party leader in Coffey County and for several years served...
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