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Biography of David Crawford Thoroman

David Crawford Thoroman. The first of his name to come to Kansas, the late David Crawford Thoroman was for many years engaged in school teaching and farming in Coffey and Osage counties, and is still remembered by the older residents as a man of upright character, possessed of a high sense of justice. His experiences during the Civil war had placed upon him the handicap of being weak physically, but his energetic spirit and industry helped him to overcome this in large part, and throughout his career he was a useful member of whatever community he made his home. David C. Thoroman was born in Adams County, Ohio, in 1824, of English descent, and when a young man went to Lewis County, in the northeastern part of Kentucky, where he was married to Katherine Murphy. Thus early he was a schoolteacher and agriculturist and was so engaged when the Civil war broke out. Mr. Thoroman enlisted in Company E, Twenty-second Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and had his baptism of fire in Cumberland Gap, where he took part in a severe engagement. Subsequently he was in the battles around Vicksburg, including Milliken’s Bend, Big Black River and the numerous encounters leading up to the surrender of the besieged city, and later took part in the engagement at Arkansas Post. Just prior to the Red River expedition under General Banks, in which his regiment took an active part, Mr. Thoroman was forced to resign, owing to the ill effects of a sunstroke. By that time he had been advanced to the rank of lieutenant, through bravery and faithful service, and had...

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 John William Wallace

John William Wallace is one of the able and progressive educators in Kansas, now superintendent of schools at Reading. He came to this city from Americus in the fall of 1716. He is a young Kansan by birth and tradition, and had brought to his work as an educator not only thorough training but also a loyal appreciation of this great state and her institutions. He is of Scotch stock, his great-grandfather having come from Scotland to Massachusetts about the time of the Revolutionary war. Later the family settled in Mohawk Valley of New York. Professor Wallace’s father is J. V. Wallace, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1862, and is now a farmer and stockman at Waverly in Coffey County, Kansas, where he settled in 1882, when that section of the state was an open range. J. V. Wallace spent the first seven years of his life in his native state, then removed to Iowa, and was married after he came to Coffey County, Kansas. He is a republican who had taken a very active part in county affairs and had served as a member of state conventions. He belongs to the Methodist Church and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The maiden name of his wife was Minnie Bazil, who was born in Shelby County, Illinois, in 1868. In the family were fourteen children, mentioned briefly as follows: Mae, wife of Joseph Miller, a retired marble dealer at Burlington, Kansas; John W.; Maggie, who died at the age of fourteen months; Harry, principal of schools at Minneols, Kansas; Howard, who died at the age...

Biography of Terry A. Parkinson

The name of Terry A. Parkinson has been prominently connected with the agricultural and stock raising interests of Oklahoma for many years. Kansas claims him as a native son, for he was born in Coffey County, that state, in May, 1866, a son of James and Emma Jane (Randall) Parkinson. The father was born near St. Augustine, Illinois, on the 18th of May, 1840, and removed to Iowa with his parents at an early day. When fifteen years of age he ran away from home, and going to Kansas became identified with the cattle business as night herder of four hundred and fifty head of oxen on freight outfit work, oxen which were being driven across the plains to the train at Leavenworth, Kansas. He made a trip and a half the first year. Subsequently he went to Leadville, Colorado, where he spent the winter of 1855-56. He then returned to Kansas and was in the employ of Governor Tom Carney. Upon the outbreak of the Civil war he was still active in government work and was sent to Indian Territory to look after governmental interests there. He was conscripted into the service but the governor of Kansas secured his release, feeling that he could be of more importance in buying cattle for the Union army. He was active in that connection throughout the conflict. Soon afterward he became associated with the M. K. & T. Railroad which was being built through Oklahoma, receiving a contract for twenty miles of grading in Kansas. He remained in the employ of the road for some time and in 1871 made his...

Biography of George James Sharp

George James Sharp during the thirty odd years he had lived in Elk County had been a farmer, school teacher, county official, abstractor and lawyer, and his friends and associates say that whatever he undertakes he does with all the enthusiasm of his nature and to the limit of his ability. He is an exceedingly useful citizen, and his services have for several years been untilized by the City of Howard through the office of mayor. Mr. Sharp was born on a farm in Hendricks County, Indiana, December 26, 1862, a son of William P. and Anna T. (Higgins) Sharp. He had a very interesting ancestral record. The first Americans of the name were Scotch-Irish people who came from the north of Ireland to Virginia in colonial days. Mr. Sharp is descended from revolutionary ancestors on both sides. His great-great-grandfather, James Sharp, participated in the struggle for independence and became a celebrated scout both during that war and afterwards in the western wilderness. This revolutionary patriot was born in Virginia, but after the Revolutionary war he moved across the mountains and settled in Kentucky. In Bath County, Kentucky, is a town named Sharpsburg, where a number of the Sharp family settled in pioneer times. The village was named in honor of Moses Sharp, a relative of the branch of the family now being considered. Moses Sharp was in the Fourth Virginia Continental troops in the Revolutionary war. The great-grandfather of G. J. Sharp was also named James, was a native of Virginia, born in 1784, and was reared at Sharpsburg, Kentucky. He lived there until his marriage, then removed...

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 Winfield S. Andrews

Winfield S. Andrews, a merchant and one of the most liberal and enterprising citizens of Neosho Rapids, represents a family name that had been identified with that interesting section of Kansas since territorial days. The Andrews family came from England to Pennsylvania in colonial times, and Mr. Andrews’ grandfather, Thomas Andrews, was born in Pennsylvania in 1780. From Pennsylvania he went to the western frontier, then in Ohio, and from there again became a pioneer in Wisconsin, and when a very old man in 1859 accompanied other members of the family to Kansas, and died at Neosho Rapids in 1860. He was a blacksmith by trade. A. J. Audrews, father of the Neosho Rapids merchant, was born in Ohio in 1827, was reared in that state, and also learned the trade of blacksmith. When quite young he went to Wisconsin and lived there until after his marriage. Then in 1859 he came to Kansas, which was still a territory, and settled at Neosho Rapids, where he was one of the first to set up a blacksmith shop. Thenceforward for many years he was an influential and highly esteemed citizen of the state. He went out from Kansas in 1862 as a private soldier in Company C of the Eleventh Kansas Infantry and served three years until the close of the war. Most of his service was west of the Mississippi, and he participated in the battle of Perry’s Grove and in the campaign which drove Price out of Missouri. After the war he returned to Neosho Rapids, and followed his trade and also participated in local affairs until his...

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 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...

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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