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Biography of Capt. William E. Payton

Capt. William E. Payton, editor and owner of the Colony Free Press, had been a live factor in Kansas journalism for a number of years. He is also prominent in Kansas military circles, having seen service in actual warfare during the Philippine insurrection, and is now captain of Machine Gun Company of the Third Kansas Infantry. Captain Payton is a native of Kansas, having been born on a farm in Butler County December 15, 1879. His parents were Benjamin F. and Sarah C. Payton, both natives of Indiana. His father served as a soldier in the Civil war. The family came to Kansas in the early ’70s and his father died in 1915. They were the parents of nine children, eight sons and one daughter, William E. being the seventh in age. Captain Payton was educated in the public schools of Butler County and grew up on his father’s farm. Before he attained his majority he enlisted in Company A of the Thirty-second Regiment, United States Volunteer Infantry, and spent two years as a soldier in the Philippines. He made a good record in the army and his interest in military affairs had been unabated to the present time. In 1905 Mr. Payton bought the Burns Oitizen at Burns in Marion County, edited and published it three years, and selling out acquired the Bulletin at Florene, Kansas, having charge of that paper also three years. Mr. Payton bought the Free Press at Colony in 1912. This is a republican paper, the only one published at Colony, and was established in 1882 by C. T. Richardson and J. J. Burke....

Biographical Sketch of Herbert Hickman

Herbert Hickman is editor and owner of The Florence Bulletin, and had proved himself a very diligent and enterprising young newspaper man, coming up from the ranks of an apprenticeship as a printer. He was born in Las Animas, Colorado, December 6, 1893, a son of George W. and Maggie H. (Brown) Hickman, both of whom died when he was a small boy. His father was a native of Missouri and his mother of West Virginia. Herbert had a twin brother, Harvey Cecil, who died at the age of five years, and the youngest child, Warren Milton, was born in 1895 and died in 1902. After the death of his parents Herbert Hickman lived with his maternal grandparents at Colony, Kansas. His mother’s father was Rufus M. Brown, one of the early settlers at Colony. He served in the Union army as a member of Company G, First Regiment, Ohio Heavy Artillery Volunteers, and was long active in Grand Army circles in Kansas, His death occurred in Colony in 1911. In the home of his grandparents Herbert Hickman had good advantages, attending the public schools and spending three years working in the printing office of the Frce Press at Colony. He also continued his apprenticeship one year in Ottawa, Kansas. On March 2, 1914, he came to Florence as foreman of The Bulletin, and on May 1, 1917, bought that paper and the plant. The Bulletin is the only paper published at Florence, is a republican paper and was established in 1887 by J. B. Crooch. It is now in its thirty-first year. Mr. Hickman married at Colony September...

Biography of Samuel C. Varner

Samuel C. Varner, a retired banker and merchant at Moran, is a veteran of the Civil war, and was one of the earliest business men to locate in Moran. His paternal ancestors came out of Germany and were colonial settlers in Pennsylvania. Samuel C. Varner was born in Pennsylvania at Monongahcla on December 10, 1845. His grandfather, John Varner, was born in the eastern part of that state at Lancaster, was a cabinet maker by trade, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and spent most of his years at Monongahela City and at Pittsburg. He married Elizabeth McKnight, of Maysville, Kentucky. She died at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. John McKnight Varner, father of Samuel C., was born at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, March 26, 1817. He spent his early life at Pittsburg, was married at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and then lived for a number of years at Monongahela City. In early life he was a glass blower by trade, subsequently became a merchant, and in March, 1857, he came west and located at Canton in Fulton County, Illinois. After coming to Illinois he followed the trade of painter. In 1867 he went to Bushnell, Illinois, and that city was his home the rest of his life. However, he died while on a visit to Moran, Kansas, in October, 1895. He was laid to rest at his old home in Bushnell. Though quite an old man at the time he did a gallant service as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war. He enlisted in 1862 in the One Hundred and Third Illinois Infantry and was in service three years,...

Biography of James H. Campbell

James H. Campbell. Prominent among the men identified with the financial and business interests of Iola, Kansas, is found James H. Campbell, cashier of the Iola State Bank and an official in various other enterprises. Mr. Campbell had been a resident of this section all his life and here had worked his own way to an edifying and well-deserved success, unaided save by inherent business acumen and persevering labor. He was born on a farm twelve miles northeast of Iola, in Anderson County, Kansas, January 31, 1874, and is a son of James H. and Bethia A. (Simpson) Campbell. James H. Campbell, the elder, was born in 1818, at Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, and was there educated and reared to manhood. He was trained for the law, which he took up as a profession when twenty-one years of age, and followed that calling in his native community until 1859, when he came to Kansas as a pioneer of Allen County. Here he homesteaded a claim of 160 acres, which he subsequently traded for another property, just over the line into Anderson County, and that tract continued to be his home until 1886, when he went to Colony, Kansas, and retired. After two years he came to Iola, and here made his home until his death, which occurred January 15, 1889. Mr. Campbell was one of the substantial men of his community, possessed of business ability and of superior educational attainments. He was a republican in politics, and after serving in a number of minor offices was sent to the Kansas State Legislature. He married Miss Bethia A. Simpson, who...

Biography of Leslie J. Campbell

Leslie J. Campbell. One of the oldest and most prominent families of Allen County had been the Campbells. They arrived here when Kansas was still a territory, and through the various members of the relationship they have exercised worthy and helpful influence as teachers, farmers, lawyers and in various lines of business and in civic affairs. The pioneer Campbell was James H. Campbell. He was born in Indiana, came from Switzerland County, that state, to Kansas in 1860. By profession he was an attorney, and locating in Allen County he practiced in that pioneer district for several years. He rose to prominence in early day politics, and from 1865 to 1867 was county attorney of Allen County, and while the war was in progress, in 1863-4, he represented his county in the State Legislature. He was a member of the Legislature in the formative days of the state and impressed his influence upon some of the early legislation. He continued in the active practice of his profession until 1870, when, on account of ill health, he was obliged to abandon the law. After coming to Allen County James H. Campbell met and married Bethia Simpson. She was also a native of Indiana, and came with her parents from Parke to Allen County, Kansas, in 1859. Her father was a teacher and newspaper man in Indiana and Illinois, but after coming to Allen County took up a homestead. For several terms he served as county superintendent of schools in Allen County. Altes H. Campbell, a son of James H. and Bethia (Simpson) Campbell, had long been a prominent lawyer at...

Biography of Charles Rudolph Nesbitt

Although one of the younger representatives of the legal fraternity of Miami, his years seem no bar to the progress of Charles Rudolph Nesbitt, who has already attained a clientele and a reputation that many an older practitioner might well envy. He was born at Colony, Kansas, May 24, 1892, his parents being Frank W. and Mary (Halley) Nesbitt, both natives of Ohio. They removed from that state to Kansas, in which the father followed the occupation of farming. In religious faith he was a Methodist and his demise occurred in 1892. The youngest in a family of five children, Charles R. Nesbitt attended the grammar schools of his native city and the high school at Garnett, Kansas. In 1907 he entered the University of Kansas, which conferred upon him the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1911, while in the following year he received the M. A. degree, on the completion of a course in economics, winning a scholarship which gave him the privilege of attending Yale University. For two years he was a law student at that institution, which conferred upon him the master’s degree, and during that period he became a member of the Acacia Club. He continued his studies by a year’s attendance at the University of Wisconsin and while acquiring his legal training was connected with the state railroad commission. In 1916 he came to Oklahoma and after his admission to the bar of this state he entered upon the practice of his profession in association with his brother, Frank W. Nesbitt, a well known attorney of the city. They conduct a general law business...

Biography of Charles H. Johnson

Charles H. Johnson, of Colony, during his long and active career had been a farmer, insurance man and auctioneer, editor and publisher and also an inventor of no ordinary ability and success. He was born at Forest Home, Iowa, July 2, 1856, a son of James C. and Sarah Ann (Swangle) Johnson. Both parents were natives of Ohio. They went to Iowa as pioneers and after living in that state for a number of years came to Kansas in 1873 and here also they identified themselves with the pioneer element in Linn County. The father was an active farmer and died in 1876, while the mother survived until 1900. Charles H. Johnson was the second in a family of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, eight of whom are still living. He lived at home on the farm until he was twenty years of age, and acquired his education partly in Iowa and partly in Linn County, Kansas. After that he continued farming in Linn and Crawford counties until 1885, in which year he removed to Colony. Here he took up the business of auctioneer and insurance agent, but in 1895 he bought the Colony Free Press, of which he was editor and publisher for fourteen years. In 1903 Mr. Johnson also established the Elk Falls Journal, but sold that paper in 1904. In 1905 the plant of the Free Press at Colony was burned out and proved a total loss, but the Free Press did not miss a single issue on that account. In 1905 Mr. Johnson was one of the organizers of the Rural Mutual Telephone...

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